Is Collective Punishment Such a Bad Thing?

Our Tanach is replete with commandments to carry out collective punishments against irredeemably evil societies.  The mitzvah par excellance is the commandment to blot out the existence of the Amalekites.

Unfortunately, prevailing liberal democratic outlook and moral relativism says that people and cultures are not evil, there are only bad actions within the culture.

But, is it possible that an irredeemably evil culture can exist that can only be changed by “blotting it out?”

By blotting out I do not in any way shape or form advocate mass killings of non combatants or any other truly innocent or uninvolved persons in a conflict,  as  similar collective punishment actions  have been carried out by the most barbarous of regimes and peoples.

What I am speaking of is the collective punishment of taking positive action to blot out the LEADERSHIP of an evil culture by whatever means necessary.

By this I mean that if we encounter as a civilized society another group of people led by true irredeemable evil , then we have an obligation to wipe out this leadership until it is blotted off the face of the earth.

In our own recent history, we see this was the exact accomplishment of the allied victory in WW 2.  Two completely evil leadership cultures had to be utterly defeated and destroyed before they could be built back up into civilized participants in this world.

The only way that these two evil cultures were changed was by utter and complete defeat, eliminating the leadership during the war, and aggressively pursuing the leadership and punishing them accordingly even with execution,  after the war.  In addition, the evil ideologies were completely outlawed under allied occupation .

THIS is the type pf collective punishment that must be undertaken with Gaza. The Gazan Hamas leadership needs to be eliminated completely, by whatever means necessary.  These actors are so beyond redemption that the only remedy for their evil influence is to eliminate them with extreme prejudice. Just as the  Nazi hierarchy was either killed during or executed after the war, so too should the leadership of Gaze be killed.  Gazan leadership is toxic, with utter callous disregard for the lives of even their own people.

It will take multiple generations to change the citizens of Gaza into people that can join the community of nations.  But to allow the current situation to fester cannot continue.

The leadership of Gaza has forfeited its right to exist on this earth.  They must be eliminated by the most aggressive actions possible, and only then is there any hope for Gaza’s possible redemption.

About the Author
Midwest USA born and raised. Recently retired as a Vice President at BMO Harris Bank in Milwaukee WI. Lived in Israel as a young man and still travel their regularly. Enjoys biking boating and all manner of outdoor activities. He is an avid student of Jewish religion and history.
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