Condemnation And Silence, Gaza 2014

An excerpt from After Gaza, a unique supplement offering a range of responses from opinion-shapers on the summer’s Gaza conflict, by Philippe Sands.

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The summer has offered numerous challenges. The upshot:

a Jew is not required to condone all actions of Israel

a Muslim is not required to condone all actions of Hamas,

to condemn certain actions of Israel is not to be anti-semitic,

to condemn certain actions of Hamas is not to be anti-islamic,

to condemn the actions of one is not to condone the actions of the other,

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to condemn the actions of both is not to embrace equivalence,

to remain silent is the easier path,

to resist the tribal instinct (and the pressures in favour of silence) is more difficult.

Has my perspective changed across the summer? No. Reinforced? Yes.

Avoid tribalism, be independent. Don’t run with any lawless crowd. Condemn actions you believe to be wrong. Do not remain silent.

Is hope warranted? Always. There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.


Philippe Sands is professor of law at University College London and a practising barrister.


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