Moral equivalence, justice perverted--and Torah

Tuvia Brodie,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Tuvia Brodie
Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is He usually publishes 3-4 times a week on his blog and 1-3 times at Arutz Sheva. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.

The EU, US and UN are wilfully blind. They refuse to see what is happening in the Arab-Israel war. Purposefully blind, they make a moral mistake. They do not distinguish right from wrong. They do not behave as honest judges. They are afraid to assert that someone in the Arab-Israel war is right, someone wrong. Instead, they assert that both parties are morally equal.

The two sides are not moral equals. In fact, in this long-term Arab-Israel war, there has never been a ‘moral equivalency’.

‘Moral equivalence’ is a sham.

When two parties fight, both are not morally equal: one is the aggressor, one the victim.

This Arab-Israel war has been characterized as two peoples fighting to establish their own homeland on the same land. That characterization creates a moral equivalence.

If you start with that premise, then both sides have an equal right to the land of Israel. Therefore, when fighting over the land starts, both are morally equal.

But in this dispute, both sides do not have equal right to the land. The two claims are not equal. One side doesn’t even meet the definition of a ‘people’. It has no distinctive language. It has no distinctive history. It has no distinctive heritage.

Moral equivalence is not moral. It does not lead to justice.

Consider the story of Solomon and the baby. In any dispute, only one side is right. ‘Equivalence’ says otherwise. But ‘equivalence’ does not assist justice. It subverts justice. For Solomon, it meant that if both mothers are equal in their claim that the baby is hers, what choice did he have? The mothers are morally equivalent. Both are right.

Solomon had only one choice. Moral equivalency forced him to announce that he would cut the baby in half. Moral equivalency meant that he must divide the baby equally.

That’s what moral equivalence does. It kills the baby. 

If you are looking for a good definition of the perversion of justice, this is it: It destroys what is most precious.

Yes, this is an unusual way to interpret the Solomon’s baby story. But it is an accurate interpretation. It tells us that ‘moral equivalence’ does not work as a basis for morality—or justice.

Nevertheless, ‘moral equivalence’ finds a place in the Middle East. It assigns a morality to the Arab. It voids the morality of Israel. It ignores Hamas’ war crimes. It elevates the culpability of Israel. After all, someone has to be guilty of killing those Gazan civilians. If Hamas isn’t guilty, then Israel must be.

That’s how the world uses its moral equivalence for the Arab-Israel war: to protect the Arab; to demonize the Jew.

Moral equivalence is not moral. It turns morality into a weapon of war against Israel.

For example, the US condemns Gaza for its rocket-fire into Israel. Then it criticizes Israel for the deaths of Gazan civilians. That’s moral equivalence.

But as there is no moral equivalence, those civilian Gazan deaths are not truly Israel’s responsibility. Most of those deaths occur because of four significant war crimes Hamas deliberately commits specifically to drive up civilian deaths.

 First, Hamas fires rockets at Israel from within its civilian population. That’s a war crime. It exposes civilians to being killed.

Second, Hamas stores munitions inside apartments within civilian apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, mosques and other public-service buildings. This, too, is a war crime.

Third, Hamas places its Command centers in apartments inside civilian apartment buildings. That’s also a war crime because it puts civilians directly onto the battlefield.

Fourth, Hamas uses its own civilians as human shields. That’s a major war crime because it so clearly puts civilians into danger.

As Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week on the CBS interview program, Face the Nation, “the difference between us [Israel and Hamas] is that we’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles. So naturally they’re responsible for all the civilian deaths” (“Why doesn’t Israel publish figures and details of Gaza casualties?”, Times of Israel, July 15, 2014).

The EU, US and UN ignore the war crimes of Hamas. They white-wash Hamas’ guilt. They assign a ‘morality’ to Hamas through the coffins of their dead.

So it is that, when Man believes he is better than G-d, he becomes arrogant. When Man is arrogant, he creates his own morality. He creates ‘moral equivalence’.

To paraphrase Martin Luther King, Man’s law does not conform to G-d‘s law. Until Man’s law becomes consistent with G-d’s law, there will be no justice in this world.

The world promotes Man’s law. It promotes moral equivalency. It wants us ignore the true mother. It wants us to kill the baby.

Do you know how Man’s law becomes consistent with G-d’s law? By following the Torah.

Have you read your copy of the Torah lately?