They’re not children! They’re terrorists!

There’s a reason I generally stay away from message boards and comment threads. I recently began participating in one about the events in Israel, and it’s reminded me that this kind of thing is bad for my blood pressure. You can’t argue with a fanatic. To the fanatic, Israel has always been there, and the Palestinians are invaders. To the fanatic, the Israeli military doesn’t kill civilians; it’s the evil terrorists who intentionally use civilians as shields. If they can be called civilians at all, that is, because clearly they support the wrong side, so that makes them terrorists. To the fanatic, everyone in the Gaza strip would be fine if it weren’t for Hamas, because the blockade doesn’t really do anything. To the fanatic, history doesn’t exist, observable facts are invisible, and every crime can be explained away by making the victim a faceless terrorist.

It’s been a good reminder, though, that being against Bush does not mean you have a progressive or humanitarian political agenda. I have seen someone I used to respect greatly justify the killing of Palestinian children. Because they’re terrorists. Or because the evil terrorists won’t take them out of the way of the well-announced Israeli raids.

Fanaticism. It makes me sick.