April 20, 2018: IDF's Morality

Our readers have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
IDF’s morality
With regard to “The most moral army in the world. Really?” (Reality Check, April 16), what do people like Jeff Barak want from this country? He asks if there if a league table for military morality and wonders how we honestly think the IDF would rank. Comparing the number of Arab lives lost in Operation Protective Edge in 2014 as being excessive compared to those of the IDF is repugnant.
Mr. Barak writes that although the recent Arab demonstrations along the fence with the Gaza Strip were clearly designed to spark conflict and were not peaceful, he asks why “the most moral army in the world” automatically resorts to the use of live ammunition. He obviously chooses to ignore the seriousness of the situations the IDF finds itself in and that it does not automatically resort to live fire – otherwise, there would not be the continual violence against us.
The rioters/terrorists were warned beforehand about the use of live fire if they persisted in their manic desire to kill soldiers and civilians.
Kol hakavod to Jeff Barak for taking righteous potshots at “the most moral army in the world.”
The most powerful army in the Middle East faces off against a few thousand paltry-armed demonstrators and what happens? A few dozen demonstrators are killed and hundreds are wounded on their side of the border fence while no Israeli soldiers or civilians are hurt. If this is not incontrovertibly a disproportionate use of force, then what is? As Mr. Barak points out, non-lethal means of driving back demonstrators are available to the Israel security forces, and if a life-threatening situation develops, any competent sniper can hit a firebrand in the lower extremities rather than taking lethal aim at the upper body.
Fifty years of subjugating another people has apparently impacted on the IDF’s moral fiber.
Ironically, the bloody mayhem on the Gaza border caused no major international outcry. This is a case of the “cry wolf” syndrome since the world community is so used to taking Israel to task for minor matters that when an outrageous episode takes place on our western border, the backlash is minor.
Blaming the IDF for the deaths in Gaza is unreasonable. The so-called “demonstrations” were riots deliberately orchestrated to produce the injuries and deaths that Hamas needed to enlist the sympathy of naïve journalists like Jeff Barak.
Having myself participated in demonstrations, I know how they are conducted. The organizers take care to ensure that participants stay within the bounds established by the police. Banners and flags can be carried but not used to cause property damage, and stones are not thrown.
Mr. Barak claims that 30 unarmed Palestinians were shot dead, failing to mention that most of them were Hamas “militants,” the polite term for soldiers without uniforms who may not have been armed with guns, but were well equipped with firebombs, stones and burning tires. It is also well known that Hamas operates behind human shields, ensuring that civilian deaths are maximized.
Yes, the IDF is not 100% moral, but by any reasonable measure it is still the most moral army in the world.
Ma’aleh Adumim
From so far away
I am sure that I write in the name of many Israelis in thanking Rabbi Rick Jacobs for his sage and welcome advice from several thousand kilometers away (“US Reform leader calls on Israel to ‘take precautions’ in Gaza clashes,” April 11).
It is a comfort to us all that Rabbi Jacobs is concerned about the welfare of “innocent civilians,” particularly those thousands in the Gaza Strip who have been threatening to crash the border and attack Israelis who “deserve, too, the guarantee of a peaceful life.” The Israelis really must stop provoking the residents of Gaza! Most impressive is the rabbi’s ability to speak without waiting for all the facts to emerge – he obviously does not want to be confused.