Mad Dogs and Liberals: The Moral Equivalence of the New York Times

The New York Times op-ed page has a feature today called 'A First Step Back From the Brink.' As the Times describes it:

"With chaos threatening to engulf Lebanon, the need to resolve the conflict in the Middle East has rarely seemed so urgent. The Op-Ed editors went to seven experts with experience in the region, asking each of them what should be the first step toward defusing the crisis."

The Times did accord Richard Perle the opportunity to make the case that 'Israel must see the current fighting through to a conclusion that is unambiguously a defeat for Hezbollah and Hamas.' But most if not all of the other contributors call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, including Judith Kipper of the Council on Foreign Relations who wants to negotiate with Hezbollah and Hamas and describes them as 'political parties and social welfare organizations', albeit with 'military wings.'

Then there's a Columbia professor of Arab studies, Rashid Khalidi, who blames the problem largely on Israel's 'occupation of Palestinian lands' and condemns the US and Israel for their allegedly 'empty bombast about terrorism.'

The contributors are all partisans of varying stripes. But what is most significant is the way the Times itself has framed the issue with its editorial cartoon. For the Old Gray Lady, there is no difference between the rejectionists and Islamo-fascists of Hamas and Hezbollah, and the people of Israel who seek to survive in a hostile Arab sea. They are all simply mad dogs, literally armed to the teeth.

This is moral relativism at its most abject.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.