Morality Isn’t Debatable

murdered boyI struggled with the decision to write something about the most recent developments in the killing of the Arab boy in Israel. I believe that there is enough garbage in the media used to demonize Jewish people and the state of Israel without adding to it.

But that’s when I noticed something I believe to be incredibly important. Even the most angry and vengeful of my Jewish friends, people who were incredibly incensed about the murder of the three Jewish boys recently, were still all saying the exact same thing – that killing kids was wrong, that murder was against everything Jews believe in and that WHOEVER DID IT needed to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Now think about that. Even after the murder of three completely innocent Jewish kids, these people were still willing to condemn the murder of an innocent Arab boy. Even after Jewish people were arrested they maintained that stance, because for them, morality isn’t debatable.

Even on social media, I had someone tell me that there is no moral side in a war. I do not believe that. I believe that there can be, and in this case there absolutely is, a moral side. The moral side is the one who condemns killing of innocent people, that does everything possible to avoid killing civilians. the side that doesn’t excuse wrongdoing but prosecutes it even when it is its own people. The side that never accepts blame, that teaches a doctrine of hatred and racism, that glorifies the killing of women and children and pays perpetrators of horrific events a salary based on how many Jews they killed, cannot in any way be considered morally equivalent, at least not by any decent human being.

Many people don’t know, this but after the massacre of Arabs by other Arabs in the camps of Sabra and Shattila, Jews felt so strongly about it that they demonstrated in the streets in Israel. This despite it literally being their allies killing their enemies. They didn’t hand out candy or cakes, they didn’t name a soccer field after anyone, THEY IMMEDIATELY CONDEMNED THE IMMORAL KILLING OF CIVILIANS. I remember reading that as a kid and being confused. Why would anyone be upset at the death of their enemies?

I have friends who blog, and some of them have written about this, not because they are anti Israel but because they are pro human beings. Unlike the other side, they do not shy away from culpability, they do not hide from the ugly things that even “our side” is capable of. I have yet to see one person who I consider to be my friend, say anything other than extremely powerful condemnation and expressions of deep sadness that this happened. Maybe being Jewish and having undergone so many tragedies makes them more empathetic, but it really did make me absolutely certain that I am on the right side of this conflict.

This is why the shock and anger at the even the idea that Jews might have been responsible, wasn’t one of denial but of outrage, because it does seem outrageous to anyone who is Jewish or even who, like me, knows Jewish people. Most of us didn’t even consider the possibility of it being Jews, simply because its anathema to Jews to kill civilians. Even now, we do not want to believe that Jewish people did this. I will wait until I have more evidence, but sadly it appears that it was Jewish people who committed this crime.

I hope they find the people who did this, and just as I hope they find and punish the murderers of those three Israeli boys, I hope they find and punish the murderers of this Arab boy. Not out of quid pro quo, but because killing children is wrong and a strong message needs to be sent.

We don’t pick and choose when to be moral.

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About Ryan Bellerose

A member of the indigenous Metis people, Ryan grew up in the far north of Alberta, Canada with no power nor running water. Ryan was unsure if his real name was "Go get water!" or "Go get wood!" In his free time, Ryan plays Canadian Rules Football , reads books, does advocacy work for indigenous people and does not live in an Igloo.