Monday, October 3, 2011


Imagine this horrific story.

A man is asleep in his bed with his wife. A band of masked, armed intruders break into his home. They kill members of his household staff and burst into his bedroom. In front of his terrified wife, they shoot him. They steal his electronic equipment and make their getaway.

What do you think about this grisly crime? Do you feel sympathy for the victim? Are you angry at the perpetrators of the murder?

I just described the assassination of Osama Bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALs. Now how do you feel about the intruders and the victim?

I wrote this not to comment on the death of Bin Laden*. Rather, I wanted to show how the context of a story matters. By leaving out some crucial pieces of information, I have manipulated you into feeling sympathy for Bin Laden.

If you listen to any pro-BDS speakers or read any pro-BDS materials you will never find any admission of the Arab violence against Jews, Arab agression, Arab terrorism, Arab rejectionism. All you will hear or read is victimhood. You have to wonder why. That is a discussion for another day.

* For the record on Bin Laden: Bin Laden had to be killed, for both strategic and symbolic reasons. The United States carried out this mission in a way that minimized injury to his family members who were in the compound with him. The US got all of our guys home safe, and we should all be grateful for that. The US violated Pakistan's sovereignty to carry out the mission and killed a man. Decision taken in an armed conflict have a complex moral calculus.

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