In the past twenty four hours, I've come encountered the controversy raging over the allegedly illegal actions by some IDF soldiers during the Gaza operation. Some places were to be expected (e.g. here). Some, I should have expected, like one of the historical list-servs to which I subscribe. One, which surprised me, was a rabbinic forum that discussed collateral damage in a very learned fashion but, understandably, showed no understanding of what it is like to be under fire.
My remarks on the subject are formulated in the full understanding that the committed, on either side (especially the Left) will not be swayed either by reasoned argument, or alternate proffered opinions.
Let's begin with the charges themselves, which are baseless.
First, the sources of the charges are either Palestinian or Leftist fellow-travellers. IOW, the people who brought you Pallywood, are providing the charges against the IDF. So much for the sources.
Second, there were thousands of troops in Gaza. Civilians were used a human shields by Hamas. The tactics employed by the IDF often endangered our soldiers in order to avoid harming enemy non-combatants (many of whom were Hamas operatives masquerading as civilians). Tragically, real civilians were hurt. Some may have been hurt by over zealous, perhaps criminally so, soldiers. They will, no doubt be punished. HOWEVER, the number of violations of the rules of war are infinitesimal in light of the number of troops involved and the nature of the fighting.
Moreover, it's time to stop wringing hands and bending over backwards apologizing. We are at war. We have been at war for over 60 years. It is a war that we did not choose. It was forced upon us. It is a war in which the lines between combatant and non-combatant are purposely blurred by the enemy. It is a war that is waged by an enemy who has no red lines. And, sorry to say it (not), if it comes down to us or them. I choose us.
So much for the charges.
Now, not unexpectedly, the 'blame' for these 'crimes' is being placed squarely on the 'fanatic, right-wing, religious, settlers' who now 'dominate' the Israeli army. (Yes, a spectre is haunting the Left.) Singled out, especially, for opprobrium is Rabbi Rontzky, the Army chief rabbi. The critics, again in typical fashion, trot out a religious leftist philosopher to support the attack on religious soldiers and their morality. It's all very bon-ton. It's also skewered. It's so skewered, that I have decided to 'Fisk' the IHT article. See next post.