web analytics
September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

‘What Makes You Better Than Them?’

Resnick-010413

“In that case, what makes you better than the terrorists?”

I often hear this question. It usually comes up after someone suggests that Israel ruthlessly defeat its enemies instead of maintaining its current wishy-washy approach of hiding behind security walls, wearing the enemy down, and offering land in an effort to advance peace.

I have never understood this argument. If Israel were, say, to target Arab civilians as part of a policy of collective punishment, would that render the Jewish state immoral – just as immoral as Arab terrorists who launch rockets at Israeli schools and playgrounds? Is the man who ends a fight just as guilty as the one who started it? Is the man who kills a killer just as immoral as the killer himself?

More important, however, the question itself – “What makes you better than the terrorists?” – is completely beside the point. The question presupposes that wars must have moral and immoral parties. The question further presupposes that countries fight one another in an effort to achieve moral superiority.

But neither one of these propositions is true. Countries fight one another not because they are battling for some moral summit but because they wish to live and not die.

If a mugger attacks me in an alley, I fight back not because I want to be more moral than him, but because I want to keep my money and teach the mugger a lesson while I’m at it.

Some wars are black and white. World War II is a classic example. Germany fought for an oppressive, murderous ideology while the United States fought for democracy and freedom.

But many wars do not have “good” and “bad” sides, “moral” and “immoral” parties. Who was “better” in World War I? Germany or Russia? Austria-Hungary or England? Turkey or France?

The answer is that neither side was clearly “better” than the other. Did that stop them from fighting each other? Did the Russian soldier say to himself: “Wait, I’m no better than a German soldier, how can I continue fighting?”

Of course not – because people don’t fight on account of their moral pedigree. They fight because they wish to advance a cause or because they find themselves under attack.

It happens to be that Israelis on the whole are more moral than their Arab attackers. They have no desire to kill anybody and wouldn’t harm a hair on an Arab’s head if they would only leave Israel alone. And when forced to fight, Israelis – unlike the Arabs – don’t lynch soldiers to the roaring cheers of the crowd, don’t cut open women’s stomachs, and don’t crush children’s skulls with rocks.

Fundamentally, though, it matters not one iota if Israelis are morally “better” than the Arabs or not. What matters is that the Arabs want to destroy Israel – and if Israel doesn’t trounce them first, Israel will die. Period.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘What Makes You Better Than Them?’”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Israel. Aug. 31, 2015.
Sen Cotton in Israel: ‘It Isn’t Over ‘Til the Votes are Counted’
Latest Indepth Stories

So it is critical that readers in the districts indicated come out to vote.

We urge readers to seek out upcoming rallies scheduled for times and places that work for them.

To be sure, the worst of what was directed at Mr. Nadler by some random hotheads with no real power or influence (calling him a “kapo,” for example) was over the top.

We can readily understand that it would be an embarrassment to the president were Congress to reject the deal he struck, even if that rejection would be vetoed and go nowhere.

As the First Zionist Congress was indisputably one of the seminal events in modern Jewish history, it is not surprising that it became the subject of some of the most beloved, beautiful, and rare Rosh Hashanah cards ever created.

Many in the media impart bias in place of truth; convey personal prejudice over objective facts.

Nahal Haredi is the ultimate solution, according to Branski, serving haredim from a wide variety of backgrounds – chassidish and yeshivish, Sephardi and Askenazi.

A recent study found that 54% of Jewish college students experienced/witnessed anti-Semitism in 2014

The purpose of an attack on Joseph’s Tomb is to murder Jews at prayer and destroy a Jewish holy site

A nuclear Khomenist Tehran will be a threat to Western democracies and to Jerusalem in particular

The MONSTERS of Nebi Saleh know well the damning, visceral impact of powerful, deceitful imagery.

Jewish Voice for Peace openly supports BDS movement against ALL of Israel & ending the Jewish State.

In recent years, there has been a big push to grow and develop American Football here in Israel.

Unlike Judaism & Christianity which honors “truth,” Islam pursues “Taqiyya,” strategic lying

More Articles from Elliot Resnick

Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

In his day, Rav Kook was the greatest writer of haskamot and pretty much everyone in the Lithuanian Torah world wanted his approbation.

But on the human level, public protest played a very central role. And that’s not my position – it’s the position of historians who are experts in this area.

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/what-makes-you-better-than-them/2013/01/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: