“You don’t throw a cup at your brother!”

datePosted on 06:00, January 14th, 2009 by Anita

Last week I was standing in a cafe queue in front of some mums talking about their children, one said “I told him ‘I don’t care who started it, you don’t throw a cup at your brother!’”

With that rather heavy-handed allegory I start another post about Gaza: I don’t care who started it; it’s not ok to bomb civilians, fire missiles into towns, or invade and start killing innocents.

Every time someone criticises Israel’s actions they get slammed for being anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian and/or for standing up for terrorists. When someone criticises Hamas’ actions they get attacked for being blindly pro-Israel, a lapdog of the US and/or for standing up for terrorists.

I don’t know whose fault the current situation is, I don’t know the ins and outs of all the wars, the politics, the negotiations, the ceasefires and truces and the breaches, the overt ties, the covert ties and the financial ties.

But I know that I don’t care who started it and that it’s not ok to use the lives of innocents as leverage in a political power game.

P.S. Maia has and interesting post about why innocence should not be required for us to care.

categoryPosted in War | printPrint

5 Responses to ““You don’t throw a cup at your brother!””

  1. Pablo on January 14th, 2009 at 23:33

    Nice post Anita, and the analogy was great. Just be aware that in war the innocent are pawns in the propaganda game (as is the case here). That is why war is to be avoided, as it is the ugliest and primal of businesses–once it starts all bets are off, particularly the more desperate the struggle. In this case both actors are desperate.

  2. Jack N on January 15th, 2009 at 00:08

    Anita wrote:

    But I know that I don’t care who started it and that it’s not ok to use the lives of innocents as leverage in a political power game.

    The TV advert about wife beating has tainted the expression “not ok” with dark connotations — images of sermonisers like Russell Brown giving us morality lessons on rules we all of us know and understand even if we don’t follow them.

    It’s not ok to preach it’s not ok.

    Incidentally the wife-beating advertisement to meet full PC standards should have included a woman weightlifter warning it’s not okay to beat your husband.

  3. Anita on January 15th, 2009 at 06:31

    Jack N,

    The TV advert about wife beating has tainted the expression “not ok” with dark connotations — images of sermonisers like Russell Brown giving us morality lessons on rules we all of us know and understand even if we don’t follow them.

    Actually there are a whole bunch of people in NZ who think that physical violence (aka “discipline”) within the home is entirely ok, but that aside.

    If everyone knows the rules:
    1) Why aren’t we following them?
    2) What can the government do to convince us to follow them?
    3) What can we, as individuals, do to convince others to follow them?

  4. Neil on January 15th, 2009 at 08:16

    one very inportant point about the analogy is that children usual have parents who can intervene – physically if necessary – to stop the fighting.

    Within a country there are parent-equivalents called Police who have the same role.

    Between countries there is as yet no equivalent although the UN would ideally have that role and from tine to time coalitions do form to act as parents, whitness Bosnia and Afghanistan.

  5. Lyndon Hood – Not sorry, Wellington…

    But then I saw this on Kiwipolitico and stopped feeling like I had a novel idea.

    There was also one about John Key being satisfied with the size of his stimulus package. I’ve shelved that too.

    I digress…

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