Friday, August 14, 2009

Counterpoint: A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds

From David Forman's most recent op-ed in the Jerusalem Post:

The logic of the progressive holds that if one is an opponent of settlement building or home demolitions, then one must be a proponent of an investigation into Israel's conduct during the war in Gaza. We tend to see everything in black and white, not realizing that there are many shades of gray, especially as they apply to the Middle East conflict. Like our rightist counterparts, we refuse to acknowledge a possible middle ground. We have discarded the art of nuance. We seem to evaluate every situation in a vacuum. But, all things equal to the same are not necessarily equal to each other. For example: Is the construction of the security barrier as devastating as the suicide bombs that brought it into being?

He concludes:

If we in the liberal/human rights world wish to be effective, then we must exercise balanced judgment. We need to cultivate the mainstream, not wander around the fringes of the Jewish world. Flexibility and adaptability to ever-changing circumstances and times must be taken into serious consideration. We must shed ourselves of the foolish view that consistency is the hallmark of a sane policy. Quite the opposite, it is the "hobgoblin of little minds" (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

Well said. Read the full column here.

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