Ethics Dunce: Israel

"Nothing personal, you understand. It's just your dead son we're angry at."

“Nothing personal, you understand. It’s just your dead son we’re angry at.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had vowed a harsh response to the recent terrorist attack on a synagogue in Israel by two Palestinians wielding meat cleavers and a pistol. Four rabbis and a policeman were killed in the attack. What does he consider “harsh”?

“I have ordered the destruction of the homes of the Palestinians who carried out this massacre and to speed up the demolitions of those who carried out previous attacks,” Netanyahu said.


Yeah, I’d call that harsh.

Hours after his announcement, Israeli forces razed the east Jerusalem apartment belonging to the parents of another terrorist youth, Abdelrahman Shaludi, who intentionally rammed his car into a crowd of pedestrians on October 22, killing a young woman and a baby. Shaludi was shot by police at the scene and later died.
There is no indication that Shaludi’s parents were complicit in the attack, except for, I suppose, spawning him.

Israel seems to think that’s justification enough.It had used house demolitions as draconian retaliation for years in the West Bank but ended the policy in 2005 after the army decided that the tactic had no apparent deterrent effect and made violence more likely rather than less. Hmmm…I wonder where the fact that the tactic is just indefensibly wrong figured in that calculation? It obviously isn’t on Israel’s ethical radar now, as the government has reinstituted the indefensible measure.

The Netanyahu government, says commentators, feels that it must show the Israeli public that it is punishing its enemies. But human rights groups are again condemning the practice, arguing that this is unjust collective punishment targeting not the perpetrators but their innocent families…which is exactly what it is.

The policy is as stupid as it is unethical. If getting killed isn’t sufficient deterrence to stop terrorists, how likely is it that they will be decisively discouraged by the threat that their family’s’ homes will be razed after the terrorists themselves are dead? Firing missiles into Gaza when the government there attacks Israel daily is self-defense; intentionally harming innocent individuals based only on family association is horribly wrong whether it is a deterrent or not. This is the kind of “justice” meted out by criminal organizations: “Mess with us, and we’ll come after your family. You wouldn’t want that, would you?”

When terrorism causes a nation to act like terrorists, the ethics alarms had better start ringing, quickly and loud. As of now, the alarms are silent in Israel.


Sources: Yahoo News, Reuters

110 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Israel

  1. Frankly, I don’t think it’s harsh enough. Israel’s a postage stamp surrounded by Arab nations and groups extremely hostile to its continued existence. I would not only take out the houses of the families of these terrorists, I’d have a list of important Arab types we had surveillance on, and for every act of terror, a certain number of those names would be crossed off the list. Netanyahu doesn’t play. Did the Arabs expect there wouldn’t be consequences?

    • It’s not often that we disagree, but we do now. This sounds remarkably like “for every soldier you kill, we will kill 10 of you”. Or worse, the old Celtic 7 generations blood feud. I have no objection to causing perpetrators to face the consequences, but let’s stick to them, not go after family. You start doing that, it’s hard to stop. And it blurs the line of demarcation between you and the terrorists.

          • No, Michael, it was not. We were trying to destroy their ability and will to fight. You see, we were in a declared war. This is a different case simply because there are no distinct targets to bomb, but rather disturbed individuals with, I think, limited intellectual capacity. Let me note also that a large fraction of the civilian population supported the two warring governments, thus putting themselves at risk. Now, if we later find out that this apartment was used as a meeting place for the cell to which their son belonged and/or a storage place for weapons and C-4, yes, I say burn it to the ground.


              Here is how to deal with terrorism.

              Canadian forces were also brutal in suppressing terrorism. Canadian General Chris Vokes carried out large-scale destruction of German property in retaliation for guerilla activities. Towns from which sniper fire was directed against Canadian troops were reduced to rubble. Orders were given to demolish buildings housing snipers rather than risk the lives of troops. German homes were bulldozed. No “solidarity” protesters picketed the corporate headquarters of the companies manufacturing the bulldozers.

              Let me repeat that again.

              German homes were bulldozed

              It was not wrong then; it is not wrong now.

      • “his sounds remarkably like “for every soldier you kill, we will kill 10 of you”. “

        uh…this isn’t necessarily a bad comment. In WW2, we had an even better ratio than that of us to Japanese…and thank God!

  2. Israel is at war fighting for it’s very existence. I’m not going to try to deny it any tactic that works. It’s not like war is an ethical activity. Once engaged, especially with a barbaric enemy like Muslim extremists, all is fair. Frankly, I’m not sure anything less barbaric than the enemy is going to work. If ethics worked to prevent or end war with a barbaric enemy it would have worked by now.

    • These are people who are living in Jerusalem. They might be good citizens Why stop at the family’s home? Why not burn the school attended to the ground? How is this not like hounding George Zimmerman’s parents?

      • More interestingly, why allow 11 Arabs to serve in the Knessett? After all, if this terrorists PARENTS are as guilty as he is, wouldn’t ALL Arabs be considered guilty?

    • I agree with you, and I think it can only end as a war of attrition, ruthlessly conducted until all but the more moderate in thought and deed are destroyed. We can continue to ignore the truth staring us in the face, and we should probably try everything we can to avert it without losing our souls, but I really don’t think we’re going to Neville Chamberlain our way out of this one.

  3. Can’t disagree that the tactic is wrong, and probably ineffective. But it’s also a little like pointing fingers at Papa Smurf for poking Gargamel in the foot with a pin. How many times does this guy get to invade our village with no regard for ethics or morality whatsoever? It’s become a farce how dispropportionate the scrutiny towards Israel is. It’s CORRECT scrutiny, but it’s also a farce.

    My sympathy is with Israel for as long as they continue to be perpetually victimized by waves of psychopaths.

  4. Seems to me if my kid was going to commit a terrorist act, and I knew that because of it MY home was going to be demolished as a result, I would do everything I could to stop my kid from committing the act. The fact is that the families of the terrorists PRAISE the criminal activity more often than not, even if they weren’t involved in the planning or execution.

      • It should give you incentive to get your child to not engage in the illegal act And the perpertrator of the criminal act might think of what the reprucussions would be for his family.

        • To repeat: the perpetrator doesn’t care if he ends up dead. I’d say the fate of his parents—after all, they didn’t support his terrorist sentiments and ways! Nag, nag, nag…this will show ’em.

          The razing is an indefensible act, and your unsuccessful defense shows it. Yeah, what parents tell their children is always followed, because everyone knows parenting is an exact science, and great parents never raise troubled, violent, anti-social kids. There is a reason such a policy would end with indictments against authorities in the US: it’s wrong.

          • I think you’re trying to apply American peacetime norms and standards to a nation with a very different day-to-day reality. There’s is a world and life that is very different, and much more stressful, than ours. They’ve been pretty much on a wartime footing for a very long time. They’re beset by people who want to utterly destroy them, at a time when more than a few of their elders still remember places like Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, and Majdanek. Their motto, understandably,is “Never Again !”. They have a very immediate and present institutional memory of events almost too painful to even read about, let alone live through. Recall also that they went from one existential threat, directly into the midst of another, without even a 5-minute breather. You’re also trying to frame this in American family life terms. I think that it doesn’t require a great deal of thought or imagination to see why this is an apples and oranges comparison, so I won’t insult your intelligence by elaborating unless you want me to. If you’re going to use U.S. policy as an example, note that our response to acts of terrorism tends to be pretty heavy-handed too, drone strikes and invasions being good examples. . I’m inclined, for the above-listed and many other reasons, to see Israel’s point of view on this and similar matters.

            • I see Israel’s point of view. It is also a nation that is based on a moral culture. Engaging in blatantly cruel and unfair tactics intentionally targeting innocents and basing punishment on guilt by association is adopting the very tactics used against them in the Holocaust. If you corrupt your culture beyond rescue to survive, then it isn’t worth saving. That’s a universal principle, not an American one.

    • If the Israelis can gain some sort of intel that the parent DID know what their kid was planning, then certainly arrests could be made to investigate complicity or aiding and abetting. But until that is discovered, the parents are off limits for direct action.

  5. The hard part of this Israeli exercise is separating the good and bad guys when they are intermingled. Netanyahu is using a shovel as a tool when he should be using a rake. And who can say whether these killers are acting for some political cause or they quite simply are psychopaths?

    • Well put. Yes, I would say that if you are going to burn an innocent couple’s house down, you better be sure that the reason for the unethical act at least is based on facts. Is every murderous Palestinian a terrorist?

      • Again, these people voted Hamas in by a wide margin, and Hamas has no problem with blurring the lines by intermingling with the “innocents” in various ways, including using them as human shields, and storing & firing weaponry from mosques, schools, and hospitals. They win the public relations fight by doing this, then holding up the bodies of dead babies for the Reuters cameramen. Sick, sick sick !! I use the quotation marks above because I think it bears remembering that many Muslim children, Palestinians included, begin brainwashing them to hate Jews before they can count to ten. Now, if you give them a pass because of this indoctrination, you also can’t hold accountable the people in Nazi Germany who voted for and followed Hitler.

        • The Palestinians living in Jerusalem didn’t vote for Hamas at all. So now someone loses their home because of who their ethnic relatives voted for and what their children do—and that seems fair and right to you? I have a hard time believing you are thinking rationally, much less ethically, to reach such an indefensible position.

          • I think it’s a stretch to say that this compares to holocaust tactics. The Nazis considered all Jews guilty, whereas Israel is doing its very best to discriminate between the guilty and innocent, a daunting task when one of Hamas’ tactics is intentionally intermingling the two. All things considered, I really don’t think they can go too much further in erring to the side of caution without being utterly ineffective As far as survival goes, Your stance on cultural corruption is a noble one, but I also think that escalating hostilities in response to a threat, proportional to the threat, is not only a right but a duty. I’m sure you agree, but we probably differ in our take of what constitutes a proportional response.

            • Not a stretch at all. You are punishing someone not for what they have done, but for the presumed sins of someone associated with them. That was a hallmark of Nazi justice. I’ve read the transcripts. Israel risks becoming what it hates most.

        • First, Joed, let me thank you for your service. I finally LOOKED at your icon…SEAL, right?

          That said, there is a serious difference between indoctrinating children, virtually from the cradle, and hoodwinking adults living through a desperate depression, where a million marks wouldn’t buy a loaf of bread, and promising to restore lost glory. Frankly, I’m not sure which is worse, but with this current administration, we may find out.

          A few years back, a young fella who happened to live behind me broke into my house and stole some stuff. What you are advocating is that I run next door and shoot his father and mother because HE stole the stuff. Yes they may not be completely innocent, in that they may have known or suspected their son had terrorist ties (or in my case, a thief), but he WAS THEIR SON. It is very easy to ignore suspicions when the person in question is your child. Again, I’m waiting for evidence that they did something to warrant having their home burned to the ground.

          • Thanks! No, just a wannabe. I made it through much of the training pipeline (BUD/S class 187, jump school, and part of SQT), but was eventually med-boarded out of diving duty. I can have the avatar, but I could never wear it on a uniform. This was one of the great heartbreaks of my life. I started my career in 1985 on a submarine(USS Kamehameha, SSBN 642 Gold crew), then with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2DMARDIV as a hospital corpsman (combat medic), then pitched myself against that.
            While I would agree with the comparison in terms of guilt, I think what the Israelis are dealing with here is a matter of recalcitrance.
            No, I definitely wouldn’t advocate shooting the parents in either situation.
            Sorry for being brief; got a million things going on here.

            • Joed, I thank you again for your service. For what it is worth, before I went into the Army, I was a corpsman in a Naval Reserve unit assigned to destroyer escort.

              We may just have to agree to disagree on this. I still don’t see it, as I firmly believe in evidence, and tend to hold supposition in fairly low esteem. You may be right, but trying to compare their culture to ours is an exercise in futility. Israel should be and stay “the good guys”.

              • And thanks for yours. To me, determining the right course of action would be painfully difficult in a situation like this. I believe they’re the good guys, and that they should be very reluctant to give up the moral high ground, but the media is always going to paint them as the aggressor, unfortunately.

                • On that point, you are absolutely right. Anything they did would have been wrong as far as the media is concerned. However, I wonder what would have happened if, rather than their response, they had gone to this apartment and told the parents: “Your son was killed while performing this illegal act. We understand you had nothing to do with this, and that losing a son can be a serious hardship, regardless of the circumstance, so we are giving you a pension for the next 6 months and absorbing the funeral expenses ourselves”? Probably way too “Christian” for anybody’s taste but “kill ’em with kindness” might be a tack to try, since no one has, to my knowledge.

                  • What I make of it is that the Soviets showed the ethical restraint I would expect from a brutal regime–none—, and that the Americans eschewed such excesses. As I would also expect.

                    Great article!

                  • What I make of it is that the actions then were no more ethical than Israel’s now. Might does not make right, it just makes victors.

                    • “Might does not make right, it just makes victors.”

                      Not always in cases of civil order.

                      For example
                      British Mandate to 1947
                      Bloody Sunday 1972
                      Easter Uprising 1916
                      Iraq 2003 to present
                      In all these cases force was used without consent of the populus, and we lost.

                      It is only possible to police efficiently and ethically by consent (using legitimacy and justice) never by force alone. German occupations in the west worked by ‘natural ascendancy over decadent democracy’ backed by popaganda, paid informers, terror and making many people complicit and guilty and by establishing Quisling leaders. In the East the policy was extermination not civil order.

                      Once civil administration was returned to the German people, the Wolfs – went home. Reprisals just get in the way of goód coppering.

              • Hey where’d you go to corps school there, corpse-man? I went to Great Mistakes, Ill. I left out a couple places: NS Mayport and NSWU-4.I even did a couple months with 2d Force Recon (just indoc, no school).Where was your ship?

                • Oh, yeah, Great Mistakes. Only corpsman school they had at the time. And the Hensley (a WWII DE) was based in Newport News (I lived in Richmond at the time). Keep in mind this is 1963-64.

                  • Oh God; seasickness! I did a few weeks on the Sampson (DD 10) out of Mayport, doing a friend a favor and covering for him (also a corpsman). I puked the whole 3 weeks we were out.

                    • You poor guy. (Laughing gleefully!!) I don’t believe I spent more than about 10 minutes on that can without puking my guts out. Glad to meet a fellow sufferer.

  6. Israel, a dunce? The whole country? No, not any more than the parents of the attacker are as guilty of terrorism as their son, and thus deserving of having their home razed.

    Netanyahu, plus perhaps a number of his advisers, dunces? That might be closer. Netanyahu and his government do not appear to have many options to respond to these most recent acts of war, which is what they are – a tactic of genocide by a million terrorist acts. When the perpetrators are already dead, and only their parents are left to remind of their ever having been alive, it’s fair to ask: What else is there, what else could there be, to do? What, if anything, deters? Should all Israelis start walking around brandishing belts of ready-to-blow explosives, just in case?

    I’ll tell you what really pisses me off, though, and it’s one reason why I don’t live in Israel: Those useful idiots who party in the streets when such murders are done. That makes me wish Israel had armed drones flying constantly overhead, ready to zap dead those celebrants of evil the first instant they start their cruel, phony, cowardly Allahu Akbar victory dances.

    • “When the perpetrators are already dead, and only their parents are left to remind of their ever having been alive, it’s fair to ask: What else is there, what else could there be, to do? What, if anything, deters? Should all Israelis start walking around brandishing belts of ready-to-blow explosives, just in case?”

      WHAT? Translation: We’ve run out of fair, legal, reasonable and effective tactics, so it’s time to start using unfair, cruel, indefensible and ineffective ones.” And if that one fails, then we’ll try something worse, like, say, torturing the parents to death, then burning them alive! Maybe that will be a deterrent, rather than prompting more suicidal terrorists to harm the supporters of a crazy, amoral government that would think and act this way. What? What? WHAT??????????

  7. Any action of whatever level of brutality is admissible against those psychopathic, extremist, murderous, evil, cruel, phony, cowardly – enter name of victim group here. Again.

    What you are all doing is confusing stupid with irrational. The policy is not aimed at addressing a realistic Palestinian threat to the existence of Israel. It is aimed at calming Jewish fears.

    The right analogy is not to, for example, Oradour sur Glane (642 civilians slaughtered, no one really knows why – some one shrugged, as only a Frenchman can, at a Panzer column? ) The right analogy is to Krystalnacht.

    I believe the Israeli government is responding the way most Jewish people would want the Jewish nation to have responded to that first definite act, presaging annihilation. They are rerunning history – trying to get it right. Over and over. A tragic psycho-drama, without an end scene.

    The Israeli government is, I’m sure, acutely and fastidiously aware of the trauma embedded in its Jewish population. There have been studies, many, many studies. The ones I’ve read are more ambivalent than I think is warranted by the events on the ground. Something is not being faced. It would be a wise government which acted to prevent, limit and forestall the growth of a collective mind-storm, even by wholly disproportionate use of military force. Better that than fear being politically forced into something worse, much worse.

    How much worse will the USA make its Middle East policy? How much dumber could it get? I’m sure none of you would want any word written in these pages to influence the POTUS to do or the next POTUS to be committed to do something dumb. Or would you? If so, it’s your best opportunity, coming up to US presidential election year. Nothing the US does is ever dumb while mob rule is at its strongest and Government at its weakest. Surely?

    Psychodramas – anyone for 9/11 revenge, again?

    • “How much worse will the USA make its Middle East policy? How much dumber could it get?”

      We’re just about to tell Iran they can have a nuclear bomb, so you’ve got your answer.

      • I was referring to attempts to persuade persons with access to Saudi oil money to stop funding terrorism while consistently creating more poverty and more terrorism. While increasing the size of the real problem,, the west’s dependency on price fuel oil and petrol. Contrary to kyoku commitments. The USAs sensible policy in the middle east is to redevelop it’s electrical and fuel domestic economy in nuclear energy. Personal opinion

        • Bruce, your personal opinion is a good one, nuclear energy is the way to go. You can thank Jane Fonda’s ill-informed opinion and THE CHINA SYNDROME for it no longer being an option. However, it may stage a comeback, since wind and solar are just not cost effective, nor adequate to sustain any level of industry, beyond cottage.

          • For the sake of what help it may be to you.

            To communicate with those who disbelieve, the UK Government has made a dandy little graphical tool that allows one to play ‘god’ with energy policy. The objective is to meet UK climate change targets and keep the lights on without economic meltdown and riots in the streets (to put it in highly non-science policy language). The UK is a different economic mix to the US but we too have a ‘spot price’ market driven electrical grid supply. We’ve had it since about 1995 IIRC. Lucky us.

            Making all energy (minus transport) electrical and all electricity nuclear generated, beats all other options hands down – at least it does so in rational terms but, since when is anyone rational?

            (The tool is of course fully researched and uses costs up to date I think as of Jan 2013. Available on

  8. The Israelis are showing restraint. First of all, they’re not killing anyone, they’re serving them a long-overdue eviction notice. It defies logic to suggest that the families are not complicit in these acts. Remember, these are families with at least one member who belongs to a violent religious cult, not a family headed by someone with a criminal proclivity. It is seems likely that they’re just as indoctrinated as the person who commits the act, and that they’re not finding out about this in the morning paper. The terrorists are aligned with Hamas, a group with a charter that names the utter destruction of Israel as its goal. I doubt that the rest of the gang voted for the opposition. Dissent is not looked on favorably in Is-Bomb. Finally, I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s very many Jews that are welcomed in Palestine. At least in Israel, Palestinians can stay and not worry about getting their heads hacked off for the crime of being Muslim. Israel responds to attacks of all sorts; they don’t initiate them, and they don’t deliberately target innocents. They’re beset by enemies on all sides, ruthless enemies with a God-given mandate and no fear of personal death. How else do you deter people with this sort of mindset?

    • “…and they don’t deliberately target innocents…”

      And yet, Joed, that’s exactly what they have done. As yet, I have seen no evidence that this idiots parents had any connection to his evil, at all. They appear to be innocents, and, hence, were punished for a crime that their son committed. Should future evidence prove me wrong, I will change my stance, but right now, no.

      • I find it highly, highly unlikely that they’re innocent. It’s just not how this works. This is a religion and system of politics known for parents who strap bombs on their children, brainwash them, or kill them for marrying the wrong man. You really have to reflect on this and contrast it with the typical American families, even the most dysfunctional. I can’t see religious, suicidal zealots being brought up in a moderate home, and what innocent family would tolerate the sort of activities that a suicide bomber would engage in before the big day, knowing that the consequence is having your home razed to the ground? I’m sure they would not punish the family if they knew they were innocent, but as I stated earlier, it would be near-impossible to sift through them and find the rare innocent. This leaves deterrence as the only alternative of inaction (remember, this really is war). If you believe in the utility and necessity of deterrence, what else could be done to effect that?

        • No trial, not even a clear demonstration that the son was acting as a terrorist, that the parents were involved directly in any way with his activities, or any of the other indicia of what can be called legitimate guilt. Supporting terrorism, raising terrorists, even hating Jews is not a crime, even in Israel.

    • Thanks, you may have explained there better than I could have explained my own perspective on the war. War, That’s what it is. WAR. What else can war be, but an ethics train wreck? That (an ethics train wreck) does not automatically and necessarily thrust the mantle of “ethics dunce” on all parties involved with the wreck and wreckage.

      Other than that, I have to thank you joed68 also for a good chuckle – I honestly had not seen the term “Is-Bomb” before. It fits. Maybe too well.

        • Anybody who doubts that should look at our response to Japanese-Americans at the beginning of WWII. And the national recoil from that action later, once we figured out how totally wrong that it was.

        • Jack: No country with its survival at stake eschews attacking its enemies anywhere – including where the illusion of co-combatants “living peacefully” is most insidiously created.

          This comment is 100% sarcasm-free.

      • They absolutely love explosions and explosives.They first used them back in Mohammed’s day, when the angel Gabriel taught him how to make them out of hummus, frankincense, and a certain camel secretion I won’t name here. Then they marched into Medina. This is where the term “shock and awe” originated. Bet you all didn’t know that.

  9. “If getting killed isn’t sufficient deterrence to stop terrorists, how likely is it that they will be decisively discouraged by the threat that their family’s’ homes will be razed after the terrorists themselves are dead?”

    These are people who are not only unafraid of dying, they actively look forward to it. It’s the difference between the death cults (Die and you go somewhere nice, in this case with 70 odd nubile virgins) and the endurance cults (Judaism). I think the idea in this case is that there really isn’t anything that you can do to a jihadi fundamentalist here on earth that will deter them, and by holding their families responsible, you might force a culture shift from the top down. I’m not saying it’s fair or ethical as a general rule, but these fundamentalists eat their young. It’s invariably someone who made it through the gambit without blowing himself into a bearded grease spot tying explosives onto these kids, and temperance should start at home.

    I’m torn. It’s a shitty blanket rule. But I don’t think the parents are as innocent as you assume them to be.

      • I think that what Israel is doing is a horribly clumsy effort to hold the people they feel truly responsible to task. These kids don’t just wake up one day and decide to be radicals, there is a lot of culture that contributes to it, and I believe (and I believe that Israel believes) that to some extent that starts at home. I don’t agree with what they’re doing, I don’t know that it’s effective, It definitely isn’t ethical. But I understand it.

        They’re a Nation that prides itself on a “If you hit me, I’ll hit you, your mother, your hometown and your dog” Mafioso attitude. Overwhelming retaliation as a deterrent. And I’m trying to get at this point, but I don’t know how to make it…. I don’t want to make a comparative virtue excuse…. I don’t want to say “there are worse things” I want to say I don’t know if there are better things. The obvious is “don’t bulldoze homes!” But then they’re still faced with the problem of cultural, relatively unchecked jihadism. I don’t like this answer, but I don’t know what the better answer is.

        • What’s to be done? That’s an important question. Something does need to be done, IMHO. I usually don’t support that mode of thinking, but in this case, I do. We can label this particular action as wrong, fine. We can armchair quarterback all day, like the people who can’t understand shooting Mike Brown six times, but we’re not in their shoes. Don’t get me wrong; I understand the enormous importance of unvested, dispassionate parties making judgements and advising temperance or a more measured, considered response, but I do believe that they neeed to do something. These are people who walked meekly to their deaths in the millions and suffered the most inhuman cruelties at the hands of an enemy who, like the muslims who surround them now, believed they didn’t have the right to exist, and that’s a bitter, stinging pain kept alive by their current tormentors. I understand their need to do something that makes them feel anything but hopelessly impotent. It appears to me that it’s only a matter of time before they’ll be engaging an alliance of enemies determined to destroy them at all costs, and they can’t afford to be demoralized. Remember that this is a martial culture, and is so because of their incomparable history of persecution. I’m much more reluctant to label their actions right or wrong, because I would never back my assertion by being willing to stand by while some group threatened my family. I know that someone probably should, but not me.

          • But “something” must exclude pointless, cruel, unethical, useless, misdirected, unfair and ineffective. Doing something has the US sending billions to small countries to take measures against climate change that everyone agrees will have no effect on climate change at all. Doing something has zealots wanting to take the right to own guns away from responsible, law-abiding, non-crazy citizens, even though it won’t do anything to stop most of the shootings that the zealots want to do something about.

            • Like I said, I usually don’t endorse the “something” take. These are good examples of what I had in mind. Understand that I’m not trying to rationalize. I wouldn’t even attempt to do so if I was them.

          • I’m always struck by the absurdity of some anti-Israel comments: “Of course Palestine is going to resist occupation! What do you expect them to do, hang their heads? Israel has a duty to reign in its use of force!”

            Well ok. Is the answer instead for Israel to hang its head while rockets are raining down? Is it more palatable for the Israelis to only send back equally ineffective rockets? What are you guys looking for? Are you expecting Israelis to risk their lives to try to mitigate the losses incurred by the people firing rockets at them?

            • No, Humble, we are not. I’m not a government, and, frankly, I’m not advocating ANY action, because I have no idea what to advise. I AM advocating behaving like a civilized nation functioning under the rule of law, before that very thin veneer of civilization is ripped off, and Israel becomes indistinguishable from the Muslim extremists.

              • I think a lot of the niceties that we safe in our homes take for granted fly out the window the moment you’re thrust into the middle of a war. Look at America during 9-11. We went insane. Israel is surrounded on all sides by larger hostile nations, and has been for decades. 90% of Israel was within the limits of rocket fire, could you imaging what America would do if Cuba had access to rockets that could hit 90% of America and it started firing them off?

                • Having once found myself “in the middle of a war”, let me assure you that the last thing you want is for those considerations to go “flying out the window”. That is the point at which you stop fighting a war and become a highly skilled murder.

                  • I don’t think anyone alluded that it was a good thing those niceties fly out the window, but there’s the world we want and the world we live in. I don’t think it’s honest to compare suburbia to a country under rocket fire.

                    • And nobody is. What I am saying is that ethics are not disposable to fit the situation. Jack would be a better source than I on whether or not ethics are absolute, but I will say…again…if it is NOT ethical in suburbia, it had better not be ethical in a war zone.

                    • That’s exactly what I’m saying though. The situations are so fundamentally different that they aren’t comparable. If something is ethical in suburbia, that exact same thing is ethical in a war zone. I’m saying that even though there is the appearance of similarity, the situations are different enough that you can’t take those ethics judgements for granted.

            • What they are looking for is for Israel to offer up every man, woman and child as blood sacrifices to the heathens. It goes without saying that that is what the muslims want. Personally, there’s a good chance that I would have taken the gloves off a long time ago, but I’m just a simple fighter. I’m kind, generous to a fault, empathetic, and diplomatic, and I will do everything possible to walk away from a fight, but never, ever back me into a corner.

      • I just realized that I didn’t answer your question at all though. “Since when does how innocent a government “thinks” someone is govern the fairness of punishing him?”

        It doesn’t. I don’t think this is fair. I think that the Israeli government have a problem that no one really knows the solution for, and this is the best option they could come up with. It’s clumsy, unethical, unfair and icky.

  10. Maybe I did not re-read this thread closely enough. So maybe I missed what I am looking for: A credible argument for actions for Israelis to take in response to the latest acts of war against them, as alternatives to the action that Jack has judged unethical. A credible argument, to be credible to me, would have to persuade me that the Israelis had actually considered the specific alternative and failed to see its assured effectiveness.

    This comment is 100% sarcasm-free.

    • Lucky, I apologize. I should not have accused you of sarcasm, and will refrain from doing so in the future. My bad, and I will accept whatever scolding you wish to level at me. This is a sincere apology, with no attempt at either sarcasm or levity. It was not my intention to piss you off.

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