Israel Has Set a New Standard for the Ethics of War

(JNS) Rabbi Daniel Rowe - In the recent fighting in Gaza, Israel delivered the greatest moral miracle in the history of warfare. The conduct of the Israel Defense Forces vis-a-vis the protection of civilians on both sides has no equal or precedent. Indeed, Israel has set a new standard for the ethics of war. Urban warfare is hell. Since the 1990s, civilian deaths have accounted for 90% of all casualties of urban warfare. Coalition airstrikes against ISIS in Mosul inadvertently killed 3,200 civilians. American bombing of ISIS' last stronghold in Raqqa killed 1,200 ISIS fighters and 1,600 civilians. In 11 days of fighting, Israel eliminated most of Hamas' significant military infrastructure. But the high number of civilian deaths Hamas counted on did not happen. Many Gazans were killed by the 600 Hamas rockets that fell short and landed inside Gaza. Whatever the precise civilian casualty count turns out to be, it is by far the smallest in the history of modern warfare. Israel saved thousands of Israeli lives, as well as those of many thousands of Gazan "human shields." Those who are rallying to have the U.S. Congress cut military funding to Israel are missing the point. It's because of military aid, technology and shared moral values that thousands of Palestinians and Israelis are alive today. The writer is executive director of Aish UK.

2021-06-03 00:00:00

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