The Moralist: Interview with Professor Asa Kasher

(Jerusalem Post) David Horovitz - Tel Aviv University philosophy professor Asa Kasher co-authored the first IDF Code of Ethics. Who tries harder than we do to warn the [non-combatant] neighbors [to leave a conflict zone]?...We recently carried out precisely such an act of warning - by publishing a map of Hizbullah positions in south Lebanon. Israel released details of hundreds of villages where Hizbullah has a position deep inside the village. From there, they'll fire on us if and when they want to, and we will have to protect ourselves. That means we'll have to fire into the village. The publication of this map is a warning....The populace has to know that it is in a dangerous situation. If a neighbor doesn't want to leave, he turns himself into the human shield of the terrorist. He has become part of the war. And I'm sorry, but I may have to harm him when I try to stop the terrorist. I'll do my best not to. But it may be that in the absence of all other alternatives, I may hurt him. I certainly don't see a good reason to endanger the lives of soldiers in a case like that. In Israel, where most of the soldiers are in the IDF because service is mandatory, "I, the state, took them out of their homes. Instead of him going to university or going to work, I put a uniform on him, I trained him, and I dispatched him. If I am going to endanger him, I owe him a very, very good answer as to why. After all, this is a democratic state that is obligated to protect its citizens. How dare I endanger him?...He is one of the citizens that I have an obligation to protect." The package of measures that we take to minimize the harm to those who are not dangerous to us is truly without equal anywhere else....We make immense minimize the harm to people who do not constitute a threat. Self-defense extends to attacking the source of the attack....If I don't take action, he will presumably attack me again. He always wants to attack me. I have no reason to think that there will only be one Kassam or Katyusha. He'll fire another....I need to silence the source of the danger and therefore I am permitted to attack it. The Zionist mainstream supported the Partition decision [in 1947], which provided for a state for the Jews and a state for the Palestinians. We recognized a Palestinian state from the very start....The question is under what circumstances will a Palestinian state be established. I don't have to help in the establishment of something that wants to wipe me out.

2011-04-27 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive