How Many Faces Can One Wear Before They Call Him a Hypocrite?

Over 50 years ago, the great song writer, Bob Dylan asked,
“How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?”

In the same vein I ask,
How many missiles must fall on innocents
before the meek are allowed to defend themselves?
And how many senior citizens need to be injured
before their sons and daughters are allowed to protect their beloved parents?
And how many children should collapse from fear
before their mothers and fathers are allowed to shield their precious ones?
And how many pets must cower in fear before
their masters can comfort them?
And how many must endure terror before they
can live life as a free and sovereign nation?
The answer, my friend, is “Never Again”.

But, Never Again” means different things to different people.
To the anti-Semite, it means, “Never Again” will we allow the Jew to raise his arms to defend his life, loved ones, property and homeland.
To the self-respecting, self-preserving, and self-loving Jew, it means, “Never Again” will Jewish blood spill like water.
Sometimes, I wish Israel was a non-Jewish state, because then the world and the self-hating Jews would encourage Israel to defend ourselves.

The issue is no longer about the legitimacy of Israel. In fact, legitimacy was never the question.
That in itself is a foolish inquiry.
According to such immoral logic no one could defend themselves from harm unless they were a sovereign state.
Perhaps we should apply the same logic to the Palestinians. And say that since they are not a sovereign state they are not allowed to defend themselves.
I am sure that Hamas, Hezbollah, the PA and the EU (European) Union would not agree to that notion.

Every living creature has the moral duty and obligation to protect his/her self and their loved ones. Sovereignty has nothing to do with self-defense. It is like saying until the Jim Crow laws were lifted from the law books the KKK had the “moral right” to lynch and the black victim had no right to run for his life. Many times moral law has nothing to do with civil law. In fact, moral law must triumph over judicial law. Over 3,500 years ago the mother of Moses, Yocheved, and his sister, Miriam, refused the legal law in favor of moral law when they disobeyed Pharoah’s command to kill the newborn boys.
And, in the 20th century, Dr. Martin Luther King marched against the legal law of racial discrimination in favor of the moral law – that all human beings are created in the image of G-d and must be treated as such.

And the same moral law applies to self-defense.
In other words, by the very virtue that even one missile lands in any neighborhood in any part of the world enables the inhabitants of that given region the moral obligation and right to defend themselves.
It has nothing to do with national rights, state rights, religious rights, civil rights or even human rights.
It has to do with Life Rights.

So what is the legal and moral definition of self-defense?

To quote from the Dictionary of Law,
“Self Defense is the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe he/she/they is/are in danger. The force used in self-defense may be sufficient for protection from apparent harm (not just an empty verbal threat) or to halt any danger from attack, but cannot be an excuse to continue the attack or use excessive force. Examples: an unarmed man punches “Allen Alibi”, who defends himself by hitting the attacker with a baseball bat. That is legitimate self-defense, but “Alibi” cannot chase after the attacker and shoot him or beat him senseless. If the attacker has a gun or a butcher knife and is verbally threatening, “Alibi” is probably warranted in shooting him. Basically, appropriate self-defense is judged on all the circumstances. Reasonable force can also be used to protect property from theft or destruction. Self-defense cannot include killing or great bodily harm to defend property, unless personal danger is also involved, as is the case in most burglaries, muggings or vandalism.”

I understand that the anti-Semite wants to destroy me and mine. But what I will not accept is when the anti-Semite, the “agnostic hater” , “the holier than thou liberal”, or the self-hating Jew will not allow me the decency and right to defend myself. But rather will delegitimize my moral right to exercise the G-d given right of every living creature, which is namely, to defend oneself.

World opinion claims that Israel’s action against terrorists living in Gaza is disproportional. But lets look at the matter with different eyes.
Recently Israel killed one terrorist commander, Baha Abu al-At, a ticking time bomb of terrorist activity. Israel did not launch a ground or air strike against the Gazans. Rather only one commander, responsible for terrorist attacks, was killed.

And what was the response of Islamic Jihad ? 400 indiscriminate missiles launched all over Southern Israel and reaching even Tel Aviv; terrorizing and targeting innocent children, senior citizens, women, men, and property.
Was that a proportional response and an act of reasonable self defense on the part of Islamic Jihad?
Of course, not.
But if the Jewish State dares to defend its citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish, property and borders then the tsunamis of “moral indignation” pound upon Israel.

And what about the other nations of the world? How reasonable are they regarding their “proportional self-defense responses” as compared to Israel?

For instance, in 1982, Great Britain launched a 10-week undeclared war against Argentina, some 12,955 km or 8,050 miles away from the UK, over the disputed Falkland Islands as to who was its rightful sovereign. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on June 14, returning the islands to British control. In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities.
Was that a proportionate act? No!

In August of 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, both annexing it and taking over its vast oil fields.

In response to the invasion 39 nations including the United States, Britain, Egypt, France, and Saudi Arabia and 28 other nations contributed troops launching on January 17, 1991 Desert Storm, with a coalition aircraft attack flying over 100,000 sorties. Land operations then followed on February 24 and were successfully concluded in only five days. Coalition forces lost 392 dead, including 47 British soldiers. Iraqi battle deaths were estimated between 20,000 and 35,000, while over 3,000 civilians were killed in coalition air strikes.
These 39 nations had united together to save the economic safety of the world community viz-a-viz Kuwait’s vast oil supply.
Was their reaction proportionate force? No!

Israel is neither seeking land, oil, nor technological innovations from Gaza. It has none.
In effect Israel could conquer Gaza within two months of intensive fighting.

In the last 18 years over 20,000 indiscriminate missiles have been launched from Gaza into Israel.
Had Israel been a non-Jewish state Gaza would had been razed to the ground in 2001 when the attacks first began, just as the US and the other 38 nations pounded the Iraqi army with its ruthless and determined action to save the world’s economic “life”.

So who is disproportionate? The World Nations or Israel?

Rather, Israel, in comparison to the nations of the world responds in the most proportionate terms possible, to the point where Israeli citizens need to run to safety bunkers.

Israel is not fighting for its economic life in regards to Gaza. It is fighting for the very lives of all its citizens. And as the Rights of Life demand, Israel has the moral and G-d given right and obligation to defend itself. And just as a non-Jewish nation has the right to defend its life and security from harm’s way so does the Jewish nation.

So how many faces can one wear before they call him a hypocrite?

There was a time when anti-Semites were man enough not to hide behind the skirt of hypocrisy.

About the Author
Rabbi Avi Schwartz, is the son of the Palmach Legend, Motke Eish HaGarzen, Motke the Axeman. His Father was the commander that led the 21 Palmach Warriors who conquered Har Tzion ( Mount Zion), King David's Tomb in 1948, rescuing 1,700 Jewish men, women and children from the onslaught in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. Rabbi Schwartz is both a Black Hat Rabbi and Zionist activist. A filmmaker and writer, with works in Netflix, he is also the creator of the first apps against BDS: Fight BDS and BDS Myth Busters (BDS Myth Busters is sponsored by the Hollywood icon and anti-BDS activist Roseanne Barr. Rabbi Schwartz is the VP of Digital Marketing and Director of Energycite, a breakthrough technology in energy conservation. He also is the founder of Torah Teen Palmach Center, training teens to be future leaders in the tradition of the Palmach.