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Is war ethical?

Reader comment on item: "Free Gaza" Flotilla Defeats the Israel Defense Forces

Submitted by Cherif El-Ayouty (Denmark), Jun 1, 2010 at 03:14

Just after the Israeli maritime raid on the Gaza bound convoy, a friend of mine asked me a very sneaky question: Where do you stand on the Israel/Palestinians situation? Since I am a Western Muslim, it was indeed a sneaky question. However, l did respond to it nevertheless.

When two entities are fighting for the survival of their people while both are convinced they are right, it becomes a matter of personal taste or proximity as to which side one will support and not a matter of who is right and who is wrong. Wars are not based on ethics. One could argue that tiny David's use of sling shot stones to beat Goliath was unethical since David was thus using a far deadlier weapon than Goliath had in his huge muscles but can you blame David for his ingenuity? Maybe the Palestinians should draw a lesson from that story.

In that respect, one must take into consideration that Arabs see Israel's hardhanded treatment/warfare against the Palestinians as a picture of a very strong nation beating mercilessly on a the very weak nation of Palestine. However, you must accept that Israel see the situation in the picture of a tiny country of 5 million (call it David) fighting for its survival against an enormous nation of 1.4 billion Muslims (call it Goliath). That is the perspective one should base his judgement upon. That Israel has been always the winner over the Palestinians during their 62 year-long conflict proves to the Palestinians how obsolete their war methods and tactics were and still are. Israel's war methods could be described as overhanded. The USA's use of nuclear bombs over Japan is certainly described by many as overkill while considered a necessity of the time by others. When it comes to a deadly war, where ethics are blurred, feelings and beliefs must be taken out of the equation as they are not good means for one's strategy as logic and rationality are.

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