Joy Reid, Hamas Propagandist

Joy Reid made this absurd comment during her August 4, 2014 MSNBC show: "So far the war in Gaza has left more than 1,800 Palestinians dead – the population equivalent to 100 9/11s."  Others – e.g., Politico, have already debunked her use of “population equivalent.”  Her comment is absurd for another reason: it insinuates that IDF operations in Gaza, launched for the purpose of ending Hamas rocket attacks, amount to terrorism on a grand scale. In effect, Reid is accusing Israel of being a terrorist state.

We should agree that 9/11 was a terrorist attack against the United States.  Those who disagree variously refuse to draw the right conclusion from known facts (e.g., Muslim apologists) or are in serious need of psychiatric treatment (e.g., conspiracy nuts).

What are we to make of people like Reid, who realize the meaning of 9/11 and compare other events to it?  The point they most likely are after is that these other events should also be considered terrorism – i.e., morally evil.  After all, if someone is after a comparison with a horrific event and wants to stay morally neutral, why not pick the 2004 tsunami, which killed some 280,000 people?

Now, it is possible to mask the impression that a comparison at a moral or ethical level is what is really intended by, for example, playing games with arithmetic.  How?  Well, 9/11 claimed the lives of some 3,000 Americans, which is about 0.001 percent of our population.  Pick another event that claimed the lives of 0.1 percent of a population and then assert, oh so innocently, that it equals 100 x 9/11.  What would be wrong with that?  After all, 0.1 = 100 x 0.001.  Right?

One way to get in trouble is to link 0.001 percent of population A with an event X that is morally evil, link 0.1 percent of population B to another event Y, and then claim that Y is a moral evil 100 times greater than X because 0.1 = 100 x 0.001.  This is a gross logical blunder, of course.  For one thing, philosophers have argued that “moral evil” is a normative concept unlike “natural evil,” applicable to the 2004 tsunami.  Despite valiant attempts to the contrary by some philosophers, “ought” does not reduce to “is.”  Treating morality as a branch of arithmetic is just plain silly.

This, of course, is the contention of Hamas as well, and of others who wish to destroy the Jewish State.  Reid is a propagandist for the lot of them, and not a very subtle one at that.  But then, she’s on MSNBC, so that shouldn’t be surprising. The left has been taking sides against Israel and with its enemies for a while now.  If only American Jews started paying attention, especially as they enter the voting booth.

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