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How the Jews justify genocide.

7 February, 2009
I’ve been reading Haaretz again, something I know I should not do because it always makes my blood boil.  But I could not resist this article entitled “The philosopher who gave the IDF moral justification in Gaza.”  According to this article, a professor at Tel Aviv University who is also an Israel Prize laureate in philosophy began defining Israel’s justification strategy for fighting terrorism in the 1990’s.  It has been altered since then until about 5 years ago when the “ethical basis” for killing civilians and non-combatants was honed.  Evidently, the life of  one Israeli soldier is worth more than hundreds of innocent civilians in Gaza.

The use of massive force was designed to protect the lives of the soldiers, and when faced with a choice between protecting the lives of Israeli soldiers and those of enemy civilians under whose protection the Hamas terrorists are operating, the soldiers take precedence.

According to Professor Asa Kasher,

there is no justification for endangering the lives of soldiers to avoid the killing of civilians who live in the vicinity of terrorists

It does not matter that there are women and children, homes filled with possessions, food, or animals.  None of this matters. Gaza is densely populated and

in an area such as the Gaza Strip in which the IDF does not have effective control the overriding principle guiding the commanders is achieving their military objectives. Next in priority is protecting soldiers’ lives, followed by avoiding injury to enemy civilians

Israel does in fact have control over the Gaza Strip, they close the gates and limit the supplies that enter Gaza.  The basic necessities of life enter only on the whim of some Israeli; there is always a limited supply of food, fuel, medical supplies, and other basic necessities of life.  Israel has created a prison and controls every aspect of the lives of the people trapped there.  The way to break the cycle of hate would be to allow Gazans to live comfortably and thrive, thus breaking the stranglehold of Hamas, which appears to be the only organization that cares for them at the moment because no one else is allowed to come in and do what would be required for Gazans to maintain a decent lifestyle.

I suspect that most Israelis do not want to follow that path to peace.  They have abandoned all pretense of being a people of democracy and justice.  Peace is a word they throw about publicly but do not carry in their hearts.  I believe they need this philosopher to provide them with a justification for genocide.

Perhaps when they drove the Palestinians out of their own land, and founded their own country on terrorism, they lost something of their own humanity.  Perhaps the suffering in Russia and the horrors of Germany burned so deep into their souls, that hate stood in the place of love.  It must have been easy to turn to the pages of their holy books and discover that their god always justified the massacre of their enemies.

Maybe they believed that myth then and maybe they believe it still.  It’s all been done before: The U.S. believed in when it came to the Natives in the land they wanted which may be partially why they so wholeheartedly back Israel.  Certainly, The Romans  believed it, the Crusaders believed it, the Russians believed it, the Germans believed it.  I guess we all learn from what comes before us.

Right now, Israel believes it.  I was not alive during those other periods, but I am now and I can now express my outrage.   Who are these people that believe they have the right to create a concentration camp and judge the worth of innocent civilians? Who are these people to chastise the world for not intervening in Germany, when they now so blatantly dismiss world opinion now as you commit horrific crimes now?

What we are doing is becoming the law. These are concepts that are not purely legal, but also contain strong ethical elements. (emphasis mine)

The only way to arrive at the conclusion that it is ethical to kill any number of noncombatants to defend the life of a single professional soldier is to begin with the assumption that his life is inherently more valuable.  While it’s customary for militaries to dehumanize ‘the enemy’ in the eyes of their soldiers, but that designation doesn’t properly apply to the civilians in Gaza.     What, then, can explain why Israel has gone so far as to dehumanize a civilian population?


To all my friends who are not rabid Zionists, war-mongers, or believe in genocide, I know you and you know me…

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