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moral inversion of warfare

Reader comment on item: Strange Logic in the Lebanon War

Submitted by Determined_in_Dallas (United States), Aug 17, 2006 at 00:32

Numerous self-righteous articles by columnists acclaim the moral superior war tactics used by the IDF. I am disgusted by these claims to higher moral ground. In reality, the way the IDF prosecuted this War is rather immoral when it comes to (1) the likelihood that its soldiers will survive combat and perhaps more importantly (2) the chance that they will defeat the enemy and secure Israeli territory. One incident that illustrates the point well is the Battle for Bint Jbail.

The Battle for Bint Jbail took place well into the War. By then Bint Jbail civilians had been thoroughly warned by IDF leaflets that an invasion was imminent and that for their safety they should leave. At this point, the IDF should have been confident that the people remaining in Bint Jbail were either Hezbollah fighters or Hezbollah support people. However, rather than raze the village with massive aerial bombardments and "clearing the area", what does the IDF decide to do? They go on house to house raids to clear out the Hezbollah fighters. They didn't even throw hand grenades into the homes before they entered. They blindly entered these homes with weapons drawn. Not only is this behavior insane, but it is also immoral. These rules of engagement unnecessarily place the IDF soldiers in mortal danger.

Strangely and as I mentioned above, many Jewish columnists praise these IDF tactics as morally superior to the civilian-endangering tactics of Hezbollah. Notably, many of these columnists in their essays also fail to use words/phrases like, "victory", "win" or "defeat the enemy". One doesn't have to be a Talmudic scholar to know that biblical Jews understood the importance of both waging war and winning decisively. Why has Jewish opinion about warfare mutated in such a perverse way?


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