When confronted with absolute evil or the depths of human depravity, some of us experience a very particular kind of depression. It’s as if we just can’t cope with such a repudiation of humanity.
Some experience it when exposed to the details of child sexual abuse. And some feel it over the libelous falsehoods hurled at Israel whenever it’s forced to defend itself against genocidal fanatics, as happened this week in the Hamas onslaught on the Gaza border fence.
There is actually a strong thematic connection between these twin evils.
Two awful features are associated with child sexual abuse over and above the assaults themselves.
The first is the way the perpetrator projects all blame onto his victim. She led him on, he tells himself, she dressed like a tart, she was asking for it and so on. In his mind, he must rob his victim of her innocence in order to deny that she is a victim and thus justify himself.