I Condemn, Do You ? | As‘ad AbuKhalil
There is something similar going on today about Syria. One is expected to inject condemnation of the Syrian regime before one can speak about Syria. This is not to argue whether condemnation is in order or not (and here I feel the pressure to write my own share of “of course, I condemn the Syrian regime”), but to argue that debate and political rhetoric are politically defined.
What is amazing though is that one is not expected to habitually condemn Israeli terrorism in order to obtain license to speak on Arab-Israeli issues. Similarly, one is not expected to offer condemnation of crimes against civilians by armed Syrian opposition groups in order to comment on Syria. So the prerequisite of condemnation is a method to control speech and debate. It is a system of control and restrictions.