One must ask themselves this question. Should Israel continue to fight fairly? Ever since the U.S. started fighting in Iraq we’ve heard a lot of talk about fighting a clean war, a moral war. War by definition is not moral. It is killing and destruction and no one decent is ever happy when it takes place. To quote my mother, “When there is a war, no one wins”. My mother Sipora Groen, is a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor from Holland, very pro-Israel, and very aware of the need to destroy the enemy. Her statement is based on the understanding that even the victorious suffer pain and loss no one should ever have to endure. Even with self-defense and survival forcing good people into war, war never becomes a good thing. With that being said, she understands, as so many do, that Israel is exercising its right to self-defense, which makes its mission a vital and moral one. What has made Israel’s behavior during this war so remarkable is that it has not sunk to the depths of the enemy, an enemy with no moral restrictions. This has ironically given the enemy some advantages on the battlefield and on the world stage. Seeing that the defeat of the enemy is crucial, should Israel sink to the level of Hamas?
Simple answer is, only if it is the difference between victory and defeat. The levels in which this war is being waged most unethically are primarily twofold. First and foremost is of course the manipulation and use of the civilians of Gaza, either through exploiting their injuries in the press or even worse, causing the casualties through the use of human shields. The second is through lying, either through transparent omission or blatant distortion of the facts. The fact that those unwilling to support Israel will not do so regardless of what the truth is, is clearly stated by the same facts they use to attack Israel in the media. Israel has allowed full disclosure to the press, has clearly stated its objectives, and has provided open information on all incidents that have taken place since the start of the operation. Other than providing blueprints for its attack strategy, Israel could not do any more than it has. Hamas on the other hand hides from the press, intimidates the press, and consistently makes statements contradictory to its actions. A very logical assumption would be, if what you are doing is right, you want the whole world to know about it. So from the media standpoint the answer is simple. If Israel is going to be attacked by those that hate it, there is no benefit in sinking to that level of lying the enemy has been using from the very beginning.
However, militarily speaking, if Hamas continues to attempt to draw Israel into a war of attrition, Israel may have no other choice but to change tactics. It comes down to one very simple point, one I have no doubt is in the heads of everyone in Israel’s cabinet. If protecting Palestinian civilians puts Israeli civilians in more serious and prolonged danger, Palestinian civilians will no longer be considered in the strategic assessment. As long as Israel can maintain its high moral ground it will, but ultimately unless something happens to stop Hamas, Israel will be left with no other choice but to inflict damage in Gaza that will make Hamas and the residents look back at the situation on the ground today as a relative picnic. It is a choice Hamas and the Palestinians need to make, and in my estimation one they need to make soon or suffer dire consequences.
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