Thursday, November 1, 2018

Confessions of an Israeli Soldier

"And somehow it was the most normal thing. Because in Gaza, everything was permitted. As one of the commanders of the Girit outpost that sat on the neck of Rafah, I was involved in dozens (yes, dozens) of incidents in which all the positions in the outposts fired simultaneously at the houses in Rafah, using any weapon possible. In 98 percent of the cases, the shooting began because someone imagined that they saw something, and the rest was just part of the fun. To our credit, I must say we weren’t discriminating. As we fired in all directions, we were also firing at our own troops in the neighboring outpost, at the Israelis of Rafiah Yam and at anything in-between."

"In such a situation, there are no rules and no one holding you to account. As an engineering unit without too many resources, we were often given new, unfamiliar weapons. And the best way to test their efficacy was to aim them at the homes of Rafah. Thus, we conducted tests with light bombs that fell in the middle of the city. It’s how we tested an automatic grenade launcher that fired grenades in bursts, indirectly firing into Rafah. At whom or at what, we had no idea. Everything was allowed. That’s how we behaved in the most moral army in the world."

Keep reading: What Really Happens in the World's Most Moral Army  by Eyal Harel

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"Alas, to what cruel slander has Judaism, the heritage of the Abrahamites, along with its bearers, the Jews, been subjected through the ages! The "circumcised race" has been accused of regarding itself as the sole chosen people of God. We are told that the sign [of the covenant] which sets the Jews apart from all the others must of necessity rob them of all cosmopolitanism, of all thought and feeling for their fellow men, turning the God of heaven and earth, the God of all human souls, into the narrow, parochial deity of their own particular spot on earth, the national god of their own tribe."

Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch on Bereshis 18:1, parshas Vayera

1 comment:

  1. Atrocities have been committed by both sides in every war in history. No command can keep total control of all of its soldiers; some soldiers' psychopathic tendencies will come out during war.

    So yes, the Israeli army IS among the most moral armies in the world---because it makes huge efforts to minimize these atrocities, and puts its own soldiers on trial for committing them. The majority of the world's armies, including all of Israel's enemies, generally DO NOT.

    So it's more of the same: you compare the Israeli army to utopia, and condemn it on that basis, instead of comparing it to how actual armies have acted throughout history. Is this an honest way to argue?

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