The worst sin that any Jew can commit is to say something nice about an enemy. To most Jews, even those who begrudgingly admit that “Arabs are people, too”, become insanely irrational when
Nothing brings out the fanatic in a Jewish person like
My support for
Let me speak my heresy now: “The Hezbollah and Hamas fighters (call them terrorists if you wish), whether you associate with their cause, or not, are, indeed, very brave men and women.”
What? How could I say this in earnest? Have I gone completely mad? (That’s arguable.)
Look at it this way. It’s not 1948 anymore.
With power comes a moral and ethical responsibility to use that power with restraint and, in the Israelis defense (pun intended), Israel has bent over itself backwards to accommodate her enemies and not engage in too much indiscriminate killing or collateral damage. I do believe the Israelis are more conscious of civilian losses than are Hezbollah or Hamas because of the political fallout caused by the photographs of dead Arab children on the front pages of world newspapers. We have the power now and there is no reason for us to abuse it. We know that.
Now we know that Hezbollah and Hamas sometimes hide behind civilian targets and many would call them ‘cowards’ because of it. Well duh! Where else are they going to hide? How else would they possibly deter Israeli retaliation? How else can they operate if not partially underground? Sure, the people know and the people don’t, won’t, or can’t do anything about Hezbollah in their midst. Maybe the dead non-combatants serve as ‘martyrs’ to evoke international outrage at the Jews. So what? We cry ‘victim’ anytime they kill one of ours, too.
The Hezbollah and Hamas fighters can’t ascend to the caliber of the Israeli war machine. There is almost no comparison one to the other. For them to step into harm’s way and risk their lives incurring the full wrath of the Israeli armed forces, where death is pretty certain, and casualties among their non-combatant loved ones is a given, then they must be very courageous souls to make the personal and possibly even familial sacrifice for their cause.
A man doesn’t have to be morally or objectively correct to display bravery. A person has to be committed to the ideals to the extent that his or her life becomes subjugated to the ‘greater good’, the moral veracity of that ‘good’ notwithstanding. Sometimes acts of bravery are really acts of folly designed to ingratiate the doer to those who run the social order. Neither bravery nor martyrdom prove the justness of any particular cause, but let’s ‘give credit where credit is due’. To piss off the Israelis takes some huge brass balls.
This inability to say something or anything complementary about one’s enemies reminds me of how my ex-wife spoke about our marriage after the divorce. It would have been quite enough for her to have told the plain truth about her ex-husband to have those around her hate me as much as she did. Yet, her hatred for me was so intense, and became so irrational that she would fabricate newer and greater faults for me! Not to mention her inability to admit any good qualities in her ‘enemy’.
Let’s not become the angry ex-wife so blinded by rage that we cannot see the ‘ex’ as a real human being anymore; with qualities and faults that go beyond the images we are programmed to accept in wartime to ensure he or she remain an enemy worth killing. Let’s encourage our enemies not to become the same. Perhaps a good dose of plain unembellished truth about ourselves (and our enemies) is the slap in the collective ‘face’ we need in order to be able to sit down and honestly engage in real diplomacy.