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Innocent victims


Rabbi Jonathan Blass

24 Adar II 5763
How does Jewish law see situations where soilders fighting for the defence of the country do not take enough care to avoid innocents being killed? Although I know that the reason behind the Israeli army operations into Palistian areas which I support is to fight the terrorists who would kill innocent Israelis it is also a fact that soilders don’t always take enough care to avoid the deaths of arab innocents. Where do you draw the line with self defence? Also what would judaism have to say about things like the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings during WW2?
The “innocents” are those Israelis- civilians and soldiers- who have been murdered and those whose lives are being threatened by Palestinian terrorists. The Palestinian society- that (according to all public opinion polls) sponsors and encourages terror, that teaches hatred of Israel and Jews, that applauds suicide bombers, that during these past few days has been openly cheering Saddam Hussein- is anything but “innocent”. If faced with a choice of endangering the lives of innocent IDF soldiers, Jewish or otherwise, or of hurting the Palestinian Arab population, it would be grossly immoral to prefer the lives of the Palestinians. It is they- who having initiated the Oslo War- are solely responsible for the thousands of deaths and casualties on both sides that their war has inflicted. The war will cease when the price that bloodthirsty population is made to pay becomes so costly that they will be forced to end their support for terror. Unfortunately, due to international pressure, Israel has had to sacrifice the lives of innocents –Israeli foot soldiers who were sent to clear the Palestinian controlled cities of terrorists- when those lives could have been saved if the terrorist strongholds had been bombed from the air. The US administration claimed the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved hundreds of thousands of lives that would otherwise have been lost in an American invasion of Japan. Whether or not the bombing was justified, rests on the truth of this contention.
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