web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Gidon Saar Resignation Announcement
Minister Gidon Saar Unexpectedly Announces Resignation
Latest Indepth Stories

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

Sisi:”The religious nature of the Middle East creates challenges for the governing authorities.”

For too long the media and international community have been preaching that “Palestinians” bear no responsibility for the consequences of their decisions and they are passive victims of the conflict.

Iron Dome intercepted over 1,000 rockets aimed at Israel with a success rate of over 90% in 2014

We talked about the responsibility that comes with the pen, its potential to influence and inspire.

Amnesty International:The crippling of the power station was “collective punishment of Palestinians”

Originally scheduled to be held elsewhere, the hotel canceled, pressured by local missionary groups

It’s likely that some of the rebel factions, including US clients, have indeed made pacts with ISIS

Imam Tafsirli of the Harlem Islamic center: “You cannot be a Muslim without believing in Jesus”

If simple fuel choice were implemented, the power of petroleum and those who sell it would cease.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Ben Cohen

If you remember, in 2006, a Jewish kid in Paris, Ilan Halimi, was abducted, beaten, and held hostage for three weeks… These are the kinds of people attending these Gaza solidarity rallies.

Rabbi Berel Wein

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

Formerly an attorney at the prestigious law firm Proskauer Rose for 40 years – six of those years as its chairman – Fagin holds degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Universities. He retired in 2013 to devote more time to the Jewish community.

The message is that Zionism, which used to be great, is today very institutionalized and [consists of a] bunch of people who are just squabbling over titles and budgets.

For Steinsaltz, the Rebbe was no less than “the greatest man I have ever met,” as he writes in the preface to his book.

If a child is seldom required to yield his desires and needs to those of others, surely doing so as an adult will not come naturally to him.

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: