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Israel, War, And Innocent Civilians


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Realize further that if a newly belligerent Moscow dropped a nuclear bomb on Washington tomorrow, America would unhesitatingly retaliate by dropping a nuclear bomb on Moscow even though the average Moscow resident harbors no hatred for the United States.

Finally, know that when Arab terrorists murdered hundreds of Jews in Palestine in the late 1930s, the underground Irgun organization retaliated by killing innocent Arabs. Many Jews supported the Irgun and just recently Jewish Americans gushed with pride when they discovered that the father of Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s chief of staff, belonged to that organization.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Irgun’s head, hesitated before permitting these retaliatory attacks. But ultimately he could not tolerate a situation “in which everything is forbidden the Jew and everything permitted the Arab, a situation in which the Jew can be compared to a terrified mouse, while the Arab feels at home everywhere.”

Jabotinsky then asked a question that still resonates all these decades later: “Is this a moral situation?”

Israel cannot and will not win its future wars unless it kills many innocent civilians. This may sound horribly cruel, but war has already famously been described as hell. Either innocent Arabs will die or innocent Israelis will die. No third option exists.

The biblical commentator Ramban wrote, “Because of the mercy of fools, all justice is lost.” Let us not be fools.

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About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and holds a Masters degree from Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel School of Jewish Studies.


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