Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In Case You Haven't Seen This Yet...



Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, giving a pro-Israeli testimony at the UN Human Right Council's special session on the Goldstone Commission's Report on Operation Cast Lead. When most of the world is against us, it's refreshing to see someone who is still willing to say it as it is. And rationalists can wonder at the fact that the most compassionate army in the history of warfare can be condemned more than all other armies put together.

6 comments:

  1. As someone living in Israel (and in "occupied territory" as well), this makes me very happy.

    Nonetheless, I don't see what it has to do with Judaism, rationalist or otherwise. Even if the Israeli army is the "most compassionate" (and I'm not betting on it, since armies and compassion are opposites by nature), it isn't because of any Jewish ideas.

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  2. Perhaps, Ephraim, you'd like to offer your most rational theory as to why "the most compassionate army in the history of warfare can be condemned more than all other armies put together" -- and then someone else will explain why your answer might not be so rational. (I'm not saying your answer will be wrong; I'm just saying that I agree with R' Slifkin's statement about rationalists wondering.)

    On a different note, R' Slifkin said "most compassionate," and not just "compassionate" -- /someone/ has to have the most compassionate army.

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  3. Perhaps, Ephraim, you'd like to offer your most rational theory as to why "the most compassionate army in the history of warfare can be condemned more than all other armies put together" -- and then someone else will explain why your answer might not be so rational.


    I didn't say I had an alternative theory (after all, I also believe in hashgacha pratis). I only said that armies by definition are not compassionate (and as a result, they are virtually certain to do some very cruel things). I also think that just asserting that the Israeli army is the least uncompassionate needs at least some evidence, even though it certainly may be the case.

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  4. אדם אברהם קOctober 20, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    Israel's military strategies are irrational and unnecessarily imperil Jewish lives. Col. Kemp clearly states that the route the IDF has chosen to adopt is "to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable." Even if one were to acknowledge that such tactics are militarily disadvantageous but affirm that softening the international blowback is sufficiently worthy of pursuit, they'd still be wrong. As the Col. has stated there exists in the global community an "automatic, Pavlovian presumption... that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights." Israel's detractors are dogmatically committed to their positions and will not veer to the left or right in light of the objective facts. It is fundamentally irrational to assume that Israel's ideological enemies will cut it some slack.

    A rational defense policy is not a suicidally 'compassionate' one.

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  5. All the more amazing considering he's British.

    At any rate, I don't doubt his comments were struck from the record of the meeting so as not to unbalance the 100% anti-Israel tone of the final document.

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