The high grounds of morality

I have been challenged,from the morality point of view, to define my position regarding suicide-bombings and suicide-bombers. The easiest thing to do is to condemn the suicide-bombings and the suicide-bombers from the moral point of view. Then you appear to be safe since you are standing in defense of innocent victims. Doing that you are occupying the higher grounds of morality. You can then accuse all those who support the suicide-bombings to be "heartless" in the least. But to chose the easiest way has never been my motivation. What troubled me most, is that it appears that 60% of the Palestinians support the suicide-bombings. If I am to believe that they are heartless, I must conclude that I AM RACIST since I thus attribute a negative characteristic to an ethnic group. This is worthy of deep thought. I am not racist, and I cannot accept to accuse the Palestinians, in their majority to be heartless. Those who dothat ARE RACIST though they might not realise it. SUicide-bombers do kill-innocent people. So do, the status of refugees so does the inhumane conditions in the occupied territories. So does the state of despair of young people, and even old ones, who realise that an evil and powerful enemy is bent on depriving them more and more of their dignity and their possessions, of continuing to deprive them of their freedom, and is the cause of malnutrition, ilnesses and non-attendance to sick people. There are Palestinians who through despair, would have commited suicide, was it not for the false sense of dignity they feel in the fact that the suicide-bombers have proven that Israel cannot hurt Palestinians without hurting itself. In htis sense, the suicide-bombers while killing innocents are also saving innocents. If we move to the high grounds of morality, we must recognise that no one can beat the Israeli state in the immorlaity of their occupation and the immorality of their persecution. Still, the immorality of some does not necessarily justifies the immorality of others. But if I want to discuss morality in the absolute, I must conclude that no bombing that could kill innocents is morally acceptable. And if this is true, then no one of the allied bombings of Germany during the second world war is acceptable, since each of them could never avoid to kill some innocents, some children. But were the allies to conmply with the imperatives ofmorality, would they have abstained from bombing Germany, the war would either have been lost or would have lasted a few year more, killing more children under the bombing of the Germans. Maybe the high ground of morality should have still adhered to. Maybe the policy of bombing Germany and risking thus to kill children, was immoral. Maybe we should condmn it. But can we sya that those who differ with us, thoase who found in this bombing of Germany a way to self-defence and shorten the war and reduce the number of victims, can we say they were heartless? It might well be that the war would have not been longer. It might well be that the bombings did not shorten the war (I am certain that it did), but the people who ordered the bombings did believe that it would shorten the war. And we must judge their actions in the light of their beliefs, and abstain from describing them as heartless or criminal. Of course, here and there, you cvan find actions which obviously did not seve to shorten the war or reducing the number of the victims. Such is the case of the bombing of Dresden. Such, in my view, is the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Therefore those acts arer abslutely criminal with no moral justification. It so happens that many Palestinians believe that the suicide-bombings will shorten their sufferings and will bring about the satisfaction of their aspiration. I cannot say to a Palestinian hwose wife died because the ambulance she was in was stopped for too long a time at a checkpoint, who lost two children by Israeli tank shelling, and who believes, wrongly, that there is no other way to liberate his people who is suffering decades under a barbaric Israeli occupation, I cannot say to him, you are heatless because you support an imoral way of liberation! I thinkl that if i would do that, I would be the one who is heartless. It is why, I struggle against the suicide-bombings from the point of view of the political harm it inflicts on the Palestinian cause. This language is not only more correct, but it is also the only one that could convince a Palestinian, were my arguments to be true. And the one who will call me heartless is the one living in the coziness of an ivory tower and lacks enough feelings to be ready to challenge him(her)self by seriously contemplating the horrible tragedy facing the Palestinians. They have the right to use whatever means that will put a stop to the sufferings of their people. It so happens that they do not yet know that the Israeli is their people too, while the Israeli do not knwo that the Palestinian people is their people too. The only enemy is the enemy of both people, and it is the Israeli establishment, the Israeli leadership. I will dwell more on that aspect of the problem. Clement Leibovitz #56, 3221-119 street Edmonton, Alberta Canada T6J 5K7 Phone: (780) 436 9883 e-mails: websites: