One of our regular readers, Alon, comments (ungermanely) on my previous post:
i would like to know is how do you feel on the day that the testimonies of soldiers on the killing of civilians and vandalism in gaza — after saying in your
“Bad War, Good Soldiers” post that you were “happy to hear” a soldier telling you that “we had to show them we’re not suckers and beat the hell out of them”, and that soldiers should forget their scruples and just “do the job?”
I’m writing an op-ed for the Forward this week about these recent soldier testimonies, and I’m giving a talk on Tuesday at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies on Tuesday on the moral responsibilities of the individual soldier (sorry, the talk is not open to the public). Since the subject is a serious one, I intend to take the necessary time to research and think through the issues before commenting on these revelations in detail.
However, here are a few pointers for readers interested in the subject—food for thought until my substantive post:
1. Anyone who has Israel’s interests at heart should be outraged at the thought of IDF soldiers shooting women, children, and old people.
2. Such things certainly happened in the Gaza War, as they have in previous wars.
3. Most of the specific allegations in the recent soldier testimonies are hearsay.
4. There were no clear boundaries or trustworthy distinguishing marks between Palestinian combatants and civilians—including women, children, and old people—in this war.
5. There seem to have been significant differences in how different units dealt with ambiguous situations involving civilians.
6. The IDF has again ended up being its own friendly-fire victim by not placing its dirty laundry in public view at its own initiative.
7. Anyone who has Israel’s interests at heart should be outraged at the thought of IDF soldiers shooting women, children, and old people.