Israel’s enemies attack Israeli soldiers and civilians (a celebrated war crime) and their own population (dictatorships must act like this). However, Israel could never behave like that. The Jewish State is a parliamentarian democracy, with free assembly and a free press.
Outside of an active warzone, the State of Israel may commit two kinds of attacks:
- For prevention:
The terrorists of Chezbollah gets new weapons from Iran in the middle of the night. Suddenly a rocket coming out of nowhere finishes off the whole shipment.
The junta in Gaza is getting the newest rockets from North-Korea. Suddenly, still in Ethiopia, the whole transport goes up in flames.
Prevention is the best medicine.
- For deterrence:
The junta in Gaza again fired a rocket into Israel. Israel strikes after that.
NO, THIS IS NOT: STRIKING BACK, RETALIATION, REVENGE!!
I know, even Zionist outlets term them “retaliatory.” Just like women themselves may fail to notice when they’re treated as if second class. They then need a Tootsie to point out the internalized sexism. Maybe therefore, converts and newly religious (me) to Judaism may be extra fit to point out a lack of pride in Jews.
How did Jews ever get the stigma to be revengers?
Couple of answers:
- Guilt feelings in Gentiles. They know to what extent they don’t completely love Jews yet – not even plain hatred – “just” indifference. Their bad conscience connects with the myth of Jewish Power, instilling in them a fear that one day we’ll take revenge. In fact, many religious Monotheists, including Jews, believe that in the End of Days, G‑d will settle scores.
- Christian anti-Judaists (replacement theologians who believe that the Church has taken the Synagogue ‘s place, that Christians are now the apple of G‑d’s eye) point out that the “Old Testament” shows a revengeful G‑d, while their “New Testament” shows their supposedly superior concept of a loving G-d. I have a couple of things to say about that.
For starters, we Jews have felt pretty little of this Christian love towards us.
Further, G‑d wants to be served from our Free Will – not through coercion – and for our own good – not because G‑d would need us – G‑d doesn’t. When reason fails us to choose good, the awesome face of G‑d may come to our rescue. How so?
When temptation or confusion entices us to do something stupid, a holy fear of G‑d may help us to refrain. We may be tempted, though we know it would not be for anyone’s long-term good, but we still may not dare to.
An overly sweet G‑d is not enough deterrent against human wickedness. As we Jews have first-hand experienced best during the Holocaust. Christian Theology after Auschwitz should teach that the “Old Testament,” the Torah, does not have had its day. It is alive and well.
Its perfection is that it doesn’t try to be perfectly elevated. It’s not a guide for angels. Rather, it is – in close cooperation with the Oral Law (Mishnah, Talmud, Rabbis and Commentators) – down-to-earth enough to direct humans.
So, Judaism is not overly sweet. From that doesn’t follow that we are vindictive.
Therefore, no more “retaliatory strikes” – only “deterrent strikes.” This should be 101 in hasbarah. And preferably no needs for any strikes at all anymore, of course.