What�s not understandable, or even reasonable, are the repeated assertions � and not just from Israeli hawks, but from many people whose opinions I respect here in the US � without distinction, that �Palestinians�are The Enemy. Sure, that the terrorists are Palestinians I won�t deny, but it doesn�t follow that all Palestinians are terrorists. That�s so obvious that I shouldn�t need to make the statement, especially since nobody of significance argues The Non Sequitur. So why did I?
Because everybody is behaving as if The Non Sequitur is true. The argument is that Israel would be perfectly justified in treating all Palestinians as enemies of Israel because Palestinians support the terrorism. Let�s forget The Non Sequitur and ask the relevant question: Do all Palestinians support the terrorists and their objective?
Predictably, Anthony was accused of being a "Palestinian apologist" - the very phrase itself is victim to the same lumping-in of all palestinians as Anthony was writing about. His response to these attacks are well-written and coherent.
This basic problem of viewing all Palestinians as one entity is also a serious threat to the just peace that is the self-interest of all parties in the middle east. The WarBloggers perpetuate these fallacies and thus are able to affect public opinion, which in turn affects foreign policy. And sensible voices of reason, tolerance, and vision like Edward Said are either ignored or shouted down or misrepresented.
To really achieve peace, we need to pragmatically address the needs of both sides, so that both get some measure of justice. As long as one side is routinely demonized, this cannot happen. This sort of "partisanship" is acceptable and even healthy for a nation's politics - for example the demonization of Democrats by Republicans. But when it shapes foreign policy, there is vast asymmetry and the result is the chaos and injustice that we see.