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aggression is not hostility

Reader comment on item: Iran vs. Israel: Who's Making the Threats?

Submitted by myth (Germany), Jun 3, 2015 at 08:52

The debate centered on an exchange of arguments who would be the more aggresive country - Israel or Iran? That question presumes that aggression constitutes bad behaviour. But is aggressionas such already bad bevaviour?

My answer is no. I know the difference between aggression and hostility. While agression is a healthy and necessary part of the spectrum of human behaviour hositlity is not. By hostility I mean a feeling, at least bordering on hate, toward other people - wishing someone ill regardless of his actions. Think of dogs fighting wildly as a way of playing to illustrate the distinction.

I would recommend to accept that Israel by means of its military as the more aggressive country. After all, being aggressive is the IDF's job. They don't recruit people with banners reading "join us! we help elderly jihadis across the street."

However the Israelis don't hate the Iranians, nor does the Israeli government. And they don't hate Arabs either. The population mix of Israel demonstrates that. Arabs in search for people hostile to them need to look no further than IS. How many people now in Syria would love to make it across the border into Israel (if that was an option) and live wihtin the safety provided by the IDF?

The Iranian government certainly demonstrates not only hostility but open hate of Israelis and Israel. I argue, hostility is the difference, not aggression, that mandates a "no no no" to the Iranian nuclear efforts.


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