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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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Dear @IDFSpokesperson – Please Stop with the Moral Platitudes


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IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz talking to the media.

IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz talking to the media.
Photo Credit: Mendy Hechtman/Flash90



We’re all more than a bit angry and sad right now, but I’ve thought it over, and the moral platitudes being published by the IDF Spokesperson on Twitter have been grating on my nerves since they began, and my feelings about them have nothing to do with the deaths of our soldiers today, other than spurring me on to write this post.

Today the @IDFSpokesperson tweeted:

IDF Chief of Staff: “We have a moral obligation to avoid civilian casualties. We also have a moral obligation to defend our people.”

I have a simple question for the Chief of Staff: Which of these two moral obligations takes priority, and which action has higher moral value for you?

It’s a very real question, because it affects the decisions you make.

I know which one I give a much higher priority to, but I can’t tell which one our Chief of Staff considers morally superior, with that morally equivalent statement he’s bantering about.

I’m very much reminded of the 2002 decision to needlessly send a dozen soldiers into a booby-trapped Jenin alley, in a morally corrupt attempt to minimize enemy civilian casualties.

Perhaps I am being too harsh right now, and speaking out of the loss we all feel, but didn’t we learn from Jenin that it is morally and tactically superior to remotely soften and even destroy known dangerous zones, even with civilians present, before putting feet down on the ground?

Are there other factors in his decision? Could be, and in fact there probably are, such as world opinion, or US pressure.

But we can’t know if those factors actually enter into his calculations, as this moral platitude is the only one the Chief of Staff actually bothered to share with us on the subject.

Perhaps it would be simply better if he didn’t tweet moral equivocations like that in the first place, which lead me to conclusions I don’t want to believe are true.

And then we have:

IDF Chief of Staff: “We will continue offering help [to Gaza]…Even as we fight the enemy, we are transferring humanitarian assistance.”

So, even as we fight the enemy, we provide that same enemy with assistance?

Has he forgotten that before their violent and murderous coup, Hamas won 60% of the Parliamentarian seats in Gaza in open elections? Don’t Hamas’s citizens bear any responsibility for their actions and choices?

Don’t their cheers and chocolates after terror attacks on Jews, indicate some inkling of shared complicity on their part with their leadership?

It appears the IDF Chief of Staff doesn’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong. I am sure there are innocent civilians among them, but to brag that we are supporting an enemy population even as they attack us, which also enables them to attack us for longer? There’s something very unhealthy about that.

And finally we have:

IDF Chief of Staff: “There are no militaries like ours. There are no militaries that drop leaflets and telephone civilians before a strike.”

I hope he doesn’t break his arm patting himself on the back. But the world really doesn’t care about Israel’s “moral” acts as much as he thinks it does.

In fact, it is Israel who keep inviting the world in to criticize us, by looking over our shoulder every two seconds to make sure the world still likes us (and some of it does, and some of it doesn’t).

Sending out tweets like that, invites closer scrutiny and investigation into our actions, if for no other reason than to prove it wrong that we are “morally superior”.

JoeSettler

About the Author: JoeSettler blogs at The Muqata.blogspot.com and occasionally on his own blog at JoeSettler.blogspot.com.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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