21 December 2008
Israel Legitimizes Terrorism?
The BBC reports that the two strongest candidates to become the next prime minister of Israel have both promised to overthrow the legitimately elected Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority. Naturally, they cite provocations from Palestine, and I don't doubt that the Palestinians do plenty to provoke Israel, but ultimately that's a chicken and egg game. But imagine if, during the next Palestinian election, the candidates all pledged to see the current regime in Israel removed, presumably by any means. The Israeli response, not to mention the American response, can be predicted, and the Israelis could be expected to appeal to the principle of anticipatory self-defense. Hamas would seem to be within its rights in adopting the "Bush doctrine" and taking steps to defend itself and Palestine by any means. If that means assassinating the next prime minister of Israel, it would seem that the Palestinians have a case to make at the United Nations. Meanwhile, the U.S. is in no position to judge either nation, as today's news has us urging African leaders to force the prime minister of Zimbabwe from office. In that case, it's hard to doubt that Zimbabweans would be better off without Robert Mugabe, but that's either exclusively for the country itself to decide, or else you must acknowledge the existence of an authority and a power that can judge the legitimacy of any government, not merely the "terror states" and "rogue regimes." And if there's an American who insists that his country answers to no one, then he shouldn't insist that any other country answer to him. That goes for any other self-styled democracy where they feel like passing judgments on their neighbors.