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The Distinction Between a Threat and Describing Natural Consequences

May 11, 2014

Telling people that smoking tobacco will kill them is not a threat. It is a description of the natural consequences, a description that when enunciated serves to prevent would-be smokers from harming themselves.

John Kerry, J Street, and Livni warning Israel that unless it surrenders territory to Its sworn enemies and ethnically cleanse its homeland it will be subject to random acts of murder against innocent civilians is a threat because it does not naturally follow that by Israel maintaining the status quo its enemies will decide to do that. It could very well be that the enemies choose to eschew violence (Ha!) or that Israel, if faced by the prospect of another terror war, will eventually hit back, may be even pre-emptively. 


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