Third, the murder of Israeli and Palestinian civilians in this current conflict cannot be justified under any guise, as neither a tactic of national liberation nor as an "honest" military mistake. Part of our current difficulty in the Middle East can be traced to conflicting policies and double standards. The Bush administration vigorously and rightly condemns attacks (by a minority of Palestinians) on Israeli civilians. But where is that same condemnation and outrage when a 1000-pound (American-made) bomb is dropped on an apartment building in the Gaza Strip?
Most Americans would not accept daily human-rights violations, collective punishment, and civilian killings as a tool of state policy. So why do our representatives in Washington tolerate such behavior by a supposed democratic ally? Mr. Sokol's apparent justification for why some Israelis (a minority to be sure) have come to advocate the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians embodies the kind of moral and intellectual cowardice that underlie these contradictions.