Friday, July 18, 2014

Evil, Or Just Insane?

A few weeks ago, I made what might have been one of the greatest mistakes of my life; I joined FaceBook. Still, I promised myself that I would just use it for spreading my blog posts, and would not get into FaceBook arguments. I broke that promise yesterday, when I spent many hours in an argument about the morality of Israel's actions in Gaza. What I found especially galling was that the person publicly criticizing Israel's recent operations as being "disproportionate," "immoral," "brutal" and "bullying" was not a Palestinian or a standard British judeopath, but a popular blogger who is a member of the Orthodox Jewish community, and who often writes excellent material.

Over the last few weeks, I have been mystified at the those criticizing Israel for responding to Hamas. What do they propose that Israel should do instead?

Some actually propose that Israel do nothing. They claim that Israel should simply suffer having rockets fired at it, rather than engage in military action that will likely result in civilian deaths. They are proposing that large portions of Israel should live their lives spending much of their time in bomb shelters, suffer the trauma of constant attack, and risk being killed by rockets that Iron Dome doesn't catch.

Coming from certain non-Jews, such a proposal is little more than a thinly-veiled hope that Israelis will die. But what about when it comes from affiliated Jews who clearly don't want that? It appears to be simply sheer lunacy. Rockets are lethal weapons. As Obama observed, "there is no country on Earth that can be expected to live under a daily barrage of rockets." Religious Jews claiming otherwise are simply lunatics, like flat-earthers.

Faced with that charge, some claim that a military response is appropriate, but not one that results in the loss of civilian life. But there is no such thing as a military response to rockets being launched from civilian areas that does not result in the loss of civilian life. How do you actually destroy the rocket launchers? How do you stop the people who make the rockets and fire them? Go into Gaza and say, "Sir, you are under arrest?!" (Incredibly, one person that I was arguing with proposed exactly that!)

Furthermore, if there was a way to stop the rockets without the loss of civilian life, you can be sure that Israel would do it. Aside from the tragedy of the loss of civilian life, there is nothing more damaging to Israel's interests than the international outcry resulting from the deaths of Palestinian civilians.

Thus, claiming that a military response is appropriate, but not one that results in the loss of civilian life, is effectively saying that no military response is legitimate and that Israel should endure something that no other country on Earth would be expected to endure.

Not only Judaism, but internationally agreed-upon moral norms, state that there is nothing unethical in causing the inevitable death of civilians of an enemy state as part of necessary military action. None other than the BBC has an excellent webpage on the ethics of war, specifically discussing the question of civilian deaths. Aside from mentioning the possibility that even civilians may be considered as combatants, the BBC notes that even definite non-combatants can legitimately be killed when they are not the target of the military operation. Unfortunately, the BBC fails to apply these ethical guidelines to its coverage of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

So, what do we make of it when people adopt a policy to Israel that is completely at odds with normal global norms of morality? When it comes from some people, we can dismiss it as antisemitism, but what about when it comes from people who are not antisemitic, such as comedian Jon Stewart, or religious Jews? I think that it is not evil, just sheer stupidity stemming from misguided morality. But even though it does not come from an evil root, its effects and results - demanding that Israel suffer rockets - are evil. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

82 comments:

  1. "Orthodox Jew"- this person id DREAMING of being Orthodox or Religious. His ideology has nothing to do with the Torah. Does he not read the Torah such as this weeks parsha where Moshes doesn't even send any letters nor phone calls (or messages in his day for "innocent civilians") Moshe order REVENGE against Midian and for what they did, when they come back with the news of killing the men Moshe get's angry and demands that the women be killed as well because they are also responsible. This is the REAL Torah and not the goody-tushu galuti non-Jewish ideology that leads to Jewish deaths and more war as well.

    Warren B.

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    1. The phrase is "goody two-shoes". Otherwise, your comment is right on-target.

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    2. while I wholeheartedly support Israel's current actions, I must respond to your comment as being totally wrong. Jews and Judaism DO NOT take our directives or advice from a literal reading of the Torah. That went out with Chazal 2000 years ago.

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    3. Does that include Megillat Esther, wherein we slaughtered over 75,000 of those who intended us harm (probably nearly all of whom were civilians)?

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    4. Or sefer Yonah where you can find the exact opposite message - you find what you look for.

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  2. When your views stand in contrast to those of just about every human rights organization on the planet, it would behoove you to consider the possibility that it's not your interlocutors who are either evil or insane. In your defense though, among many other possibilities, I highly recommend adding "raised from birth and socially conditioned to have certain beliefs" to your list. You are probably familiar with this possibility from other areas of your life.

    "Over the last few weeks, I have been mystified at the those criticizing Israel for responding to Hamas. What do they propose that Israel should do instead?"

    What they should do is not arrest hundreds of Hamas members for no reason. Israel declared war on Hamas before any rockets were fired and still has not revealed a shred of evidence that Hamas ordered the kidnapping. Of course, "Bibi said so," might be halacha l'moshe misinai for you, but you'll forgive others for requiring evidence; again something you might be familiar with from other areas of your life. Hamas had been actively suppressing rocket fire since the last truce and quite successfully. I don't have the exact numbers in front of me but rockets fired from Gaza during the conflict would be roughly twenty five times greater than in the entire year-and-a-half prior. If what bothered Israel was rockets, they wouldn't have attacked Hamas. It's not really a safety issue though, it's a pride issue. Hamas isn't the only one with pride issues. If you can kick the * out of Gaza while they fire their rockets, you feel much better.

    "As Obama observed, "there is no country on Earth that can be expected to live under a daily barrage of rockets."

    Not from another country. That's just one of the unfortunate hazards of being an occupying force, you don't get to treat the people living in occupied territory as another country.

    "But there is no such thing as a military response to rockets being launched from civilian areas that does not result in the loss of civilian life. How do you actually destroy the rocket launchers? How do you stop the people who make the rockets and fire them? Go into Gaza and say, "Sir, you are under arrest?!"

    Very funny. Here's one from the Palestinian perspective, "But how do you get your own country? Go into Israel and say, "Pretty please, give us our own country?" But enough of the hilarity, let's discuss your problem. In the hypothetical that Israel didn't start the escalation, which it did, and was not legally required to protect the civilian population of the territories, which it is, your question would make some sense. The answer to that hypothetical, would be the principle of proportion. Israel has killed hundreds of civilians, it has attacked hospitals, it has killed kids playing on the beach. Israel is not entitled to kill indiscriminately. I'm not saying that preventing rocket fire without harming civilians would be easy, and it would undoubtedly cost more Jewish lives (again, in this hypothetical scenario which is not ours). However, the idea that the entire Palestinian population is to be grouped together with the terrorists, and that a Jewish life is worth more than any given number of Palestinian lives, is a racist one.

    "Furthermore, if there was a way to stop the rockets without the loss of civilian life, you can be sure that Israel would do it. Aside from the tragedy of the loss of civilian life, there is nothing more damaging to Israel's interests than the international outcry resulting from the deaths of Palestinian civilians."

    Some argue that Islamic Jihad's terrorism is self-defeating and yet they do it anyway. I'm not saying your argument is wrong, but let's not pretend there aren't plenty of people, and some in the Israeli government, who would be fine with killing Palestinians whatever the international consequences.

    Continued....

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    1. "But how do you get your own country? Go into Israel and say, "Pretty please, give us our own country?"

      Yeah, well that's essentially what happened not even 10 years ago. Israel had mass withdrawal - forcibly removing thousands of Jewish settlers (sorry, you will prefer occupiers) - from Gaza. They gave Palestinians thousands of greenhouses, they allowed free commerce, they hoped that they would use this opportunity to create a modern, peaceful democratic country. Instead they tore down the greenhouses, stockpiled weapons (and enriched certain "leaders") with the billions donated by naive countries, and built a society premised on hatred for the Jews and the goal of destroying Israel as a Jewish nation.

      But I guess you forgot about that...

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    2. Ron, you are misinformed...Do better research, I cannot be bothered to go after every idiot who only gets his news from NYT

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    3. It's amazing to me when people like Ron justify the actions of hamas on the highly ethical grounds of "you (israeli govt) didn't give us what we demand, therefore we kill your citizens until you do!" But then complain about israels response to the violence calling it somehow immoral and expect to convince people to adopt this enlightened view.

      So, political rivalry, or arrests that I don't like, or gaza border closings not being open for enough hours a day or whatever dumb thing or demand they can think of justifies violence from hamas against israeli citizens, but violence from hamas does not justify israeli violence on gaza and hamas in gaza in response.

      Not only is it insane, evil, and idiotic, but it also ignores the reality that hamas's doctrinal operating principle is to destory israel and zionists, and all these excuses they point to to justify hamas violence or claim that israel "brought it on itself" are just that - excuses.

      Even if by your warped logic I brought it on myself, I'm still going to respond to it and don't. Give a damn what you think about it.

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    4. "What they should do is not arrest hundreds of Hamas members for no reason. Israel declared war on Hamas before any rockets were fired and still has not revealed a shred of evidence that Hamas ordered the kidnapping. Of course, "Bibi said so," might be halacha l'moshe misinai for you, but you'll forgive others for requiring evidence; again something you might be familiar with from other areas of your life."

      As you yourself concede, Israel believes that Hamas was behind the kidnappings. It cannot, therefore, be said that they rounded up the Hamas members for "no reason." Now you might think Israel is wrong about their assessment but they probably don't.

      Furthermore, they have revealed at least some of their evidence (the suspected kidnappers are known Hamas members and Hamas has been trying to pull off these kidnappings for years) and given more to the US which has agreed that the evidence points to Hamas. Please forgive Israel for not revealing who their informants are.

      "The answer to that hypothetical, would be the principle of proportion. Israel has killed hundreds of civilians, it has attacked hospitals, it has killed kids playing on the beach. Israel is not entitled to kill indiscriminately. I'm not saying that preventing rocket fire without harming civilians would be easy, and it would undoubtedly cost more Jewish lives (again, in this hypothetical scenario which is not ours). However, the idea that the entire Palestinian population is to be grouped together with the terrorists, and that a Jewish life is worth more than any given number of Palestinian lives, is a racist one. "

      This is combination of half-truths and straw men. Israeli has not targeted civilians nor killed hundreds of them. You cannot use the numbers reported by Hamas. They habitually lie about this. Here is a summary of some of their lies from Cast Lead http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2009/04/more-of-those-civilians-killed-in-gaza.html#.U8tJheOzEz4

      Hospitals have been attacked (with repeated warnings to civilians), because Hamas IS HIDING WEAPONS THERE!!

      Nobody in the Israeli government or Rabbi Slifkin have claimed that all Palestinians should be considered as terrorists (if they did, there would be no warnings at all). And nobody has claimed that Palesitinian lives have less intrinsic worth than Israeli lives. But any government has to prioritize the lives and safety of its own citizens before those of non-citizens. That is a government's responsibility.

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    5. One of the sadder aspects of this whole mess is that if the Palestinians did indeed put down their weapons and asked for a country, they would get a country. The Israeli people and their leadership have showed time and again that they are willing to take great chances for peace. It is a compounded tragedy that years have passed and thousands of lives have been lost and we are still at this impasse.

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    6. Aryeh, how is it possible that after all this time you still don't recognize that a country is not what they want? They want our destruction and if a country is a means to that end, they will pursue statehood. Putting down weapons would undermine their overall goal and render having a country pointless.

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  3. "Thus, claiming that a military response is appropriate, but not one that results in the loss of civilian life, is effectively saying that no military response is legitimate and that Israel should endure something that no other country on Earth would be expected to endure."

    Again, you miss all sense of proportion. Gaza, already a slum thanks to Israeli restrictions, has been turned to rubble, hundreds of civilians have been killed, and most of this before a single Israeli was killed.

    "Not only Judaism, but internationally agreed-upon moral norms, state that there is nothing unethical in causing the inevitable death of civilians of an enemy state as part of necessary military action. "

    Allow me to quote your BBC passage so your readers can see the difference between what may be legitimate and what is happening in Gaza.

    "In modern warfare it's difficult to ensure that only soldiers get hurt, for despite the effectiveness of precision weapons civilians are often hurt and killed. The "doctrine of double effect" is sometimes put forward as a defense. For example if an army base in the middle of a city is bombed and a few civilians living nearby are killed as well, nothing unethical has been done, because the army base was a legitimate target and the death of civilians was not the intention of the bombing (even though their death could be predicted)."

    You'll note the example given isn't, "A terrorist hides a weapon in a hospital (let's even grant that much), it is legally permissible to bomb the hospital in orders to destroy the weapon." Or, "It is permissible to bomb the house of a terrorist in an effort to kill or punish the terrorist."

    For someone so concerned with internationally agreed-upon moral norms, you seem to be quite comfortable with one country who routinely violates them:

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/study-israel-leads-in-ignoring-security-council-resolutions-1.31971
    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/01/27/rogue-state-israeli-violations-of-u-n-security-council-resolutions/

    "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

    Amen; everyone thinks morality is on his side.

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    1. Ron, if it were truly so that not responding to the calls of Hamas leaders to kidnap Israelis and hold them as ransom (there were numerous attempts that failed, before the capture of those three unfortunate teens), we would have some sort of "peace"--I think you would agree that it is still not truly peace.

      Like Arafat said about the Oslo Accords, that he'll treat them like Mohammed's hudna with the Quraysh clan--a ten-year peace agreement that Mohammed broke after two years, when he was strong enough militarily to defeat them. The Arab apologists quickly explained Arafat by saying that Mohammed broke the hudna only after the Quraysh broke it first! Such prescience--at the very outset of a peace accord, the Arabs somehow *know* that we'll break it, so they can go ahead and attack. Sound familiar?

      We are in the same bind as in those early Oslo years: 1) If there are terrorist attacks, we have to give the Arabs more land, so as not to "give a prize to the murderers of peace". 2) If there are no terrorist attacks, we have to give the Arabs more land, because "if they give us, we'll give them".

      The same thing here: 1) if we destroy Hamas and retake Gaza, then we'll have a seething Arab population under our control that wants to destroy us. 2) If we do nothing, we embolden Hamas that the Zionist entity has no answer to them, and they are succeeding in their openly stated aim to destroy us. 3) If we attack, and just weaken Hamas, we'll also have a seething Arab population that wants to destroy us, out of seeking revenge for all the civilian deaths.

      I still have to read of a viable solution from a peacenik--that we haven't already tried and seen that it fails.

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    2. "...Gaza, already a slum thanks to Israeli restrictions..."

      Stop right there.

      Gaza is a slum because the so-called "elected leaders":

      1) allowed the buildings and working greenhouses left by Israel for the Palestinians to use and earn money from to be totally and irretrievably trashed
      2) takes all the foreign aid money and uses it to
      A) enrich themselves instead of making life better for the people
      B) buy more weapons to shoot at Israel
      3) uses the building materials Israel lets through the border crossings to make new terror tunnels to more easily kidnap and kill Israelis.

      That is why Gaza is a slum.

      ~E. G. Edelson

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  4. Rabbi Natan Slifkin - the world is full of fools. Some of these fools are orthodox. Some of them have long beards. Some of them head yeshivas or chassidic institutions. Some of them are doctors, lawyers, accountants, politicians, mechanics, actors, singers. The fool is not evil or insane - he's just a fool. The fool can be found in every religion and in every stripe. Never let it surprise you.

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    1. But some ARE evil as well. Its not just being blind and a fool, yes those exist, but in some cases as well they don't want themselves to be targeted and in order to protect their own skin (or so they think) they are willing to sacrifice OTHER Jews to save their own behinds.

      ALSO its not following in the ways of the Torah. Even foolishness comes with a cost. Shaul HaMelech, the CHOSEN of G-D lost his right to Kingship because he refused to follow the Torah when G-D instructed to whip out the enemies of Am Yisrael (Amalek in this case).
      " With the mercy of fools all justice is lost"

      Warren B.

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  5. "When your views stand in contrast to those of just about every human rights organization on the planet, it would behoove you to consider the possibility that it's not your interlocutors who are either evil or insane."

    Sure, and my view that we don't use the blood of children in matzah also stands in contrast to the views of most people over history.

    "What they should do is not arrest hundreds of Hamas members for no reason."

    Aside from your spurious claim that there was "no reason" for them to be arrested (whether they were responsible for the teen murders is a different question), your statement is entirely irrelevant to the question of how Israel should respond to rocket fire.

    " That's just one of the unfortunate hazards of being an occupying force, you don't get to treat the people living in occupied territory as another country."

    Gaza is not occupied. Israel is not required to protect the citizens of Gaza. It is required to protect its own citizens.

    "Israel has killed hundreds of civilians, it has attacked hospitals, it has killed kids playing on the beach. Israel is not entitled to kill indiscriminately."

    What next - Jews use the blood of Palestinians in matzah? Israel is not killing indiscriminately. It is targeting Hamas. Very difficult to only kill Hamas in such an area.

    "the idea that the entire Palestinian population is to be grouped together with the terrorists, and that a Jewish life is worth more than any given number of Palestinian lives, is a racist one."

    No, it's a basic principle of nationhood. If you are American, then an American life is worth more than the lives of people in a Taliban village.

    "Again, you miss all sense of proportion. Gaza, already a slum thanks to Israeli restrictions, "

    No, a slum due to problems that it made itself.

    "has been turned to rubble, hundreds of civilians have been killed, and most of this before a single Israeli was killed."

    But launching rockets that could kill many.

    "For someone so concerned with internationally agreed-upon moral norms, you seem to be quite comfortable with one country who routinely violates them:"

    Actually, I am concerned with Judaism's norms. My point was that leftists are going against even leftist norms. If you follow the UN, you are apparently of the belief that Israel is by far the most evil country in the world. Is that what you think?

    But I'm glad that you weighed in. It reassures me that there is really is no adequate response.

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    1. No Natan. Because while Jews never baked matzas with blood, the dead and wounded children of Gaza are very very real.

      This is the first war where Hamas is killing a higher proportion of military targets than Israel and I for one consider that neither inevitable nor acceptable.

      The target selection is poor. Why waste expensive guided munitions, childrens lives, intelligence sources and international goodwill blowing up Hamad chief's swimming pools? If they really were command and control centers why are all the commanders unscathed? Why has the ability to launch rockets been left unimpaired? Or were they acts of political vengeance?

      I don't agree with Ron that the involvement if Hamas in kidnapping or not is at all germane. The situation was unstable; poised for conflict. If not the teenagers it would have been something else, so deep is the mutual antipathy. In these circumstances failing to seek a military solution would have left Israelis horribly exposed for a far fetched idealism. This is not a war of aggression.

      This is a just war; unfortunately fought by unnecessarily unjust means, and, paid for with the blood of civilians.

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    2. You seem to be a complete fool. (And I believe I am giving you the benefit of the doubt.) Please give a realistic and practical method for Israel to stop Hamas from terrorizing and attempting to kill thousands of Israelis every single day. There is not a single person who has shown any sympathy for dead Arabs that has given any solution other than "roll over and let them kill us".

      The Arabs want all Jews, everywhere, to be dead and gone. And after the Jews, they will go after the Christians. Then the atheists. They already fight with the Hindus in India (and other parts nearby, IIRC), but the Hindus actually fight back.

      That is a reality that no non-Arab is willing to believe and accept, much to their detriment. Look at what is happening in Europe for examples.

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    3. One word answer is patience! Strike only identified military targets, use more UGVs, don't use m109s within 1km of civilian homes.

      We just pounded a suburb of Gaza leaving 70 dead with no real clear basis on which to suppose that ANY of those 70 were combatants. As a result of which we will have to prematurely curtail the war. This is a deadly cocktail of incompetence and impatience which materially impairs Israel's ability to win wars. And leaves a bloody trail of dead children.

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    4. Patience is how we got here. Patience is what Hamas counts on to build up more stockpiles and dig more tunnels. The hard truth is that there are no non-combatants in a religious war, and you're a fool if you think that for Hamas this isn't a religious war. They put civilians in harm's way knowing they give Israel a no-win situation. Either we lose in the court of World Opinion or we die. Hamas is happy for the former in the short term, knowing it will eventually lead to the latter.

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    5. Moshe Dick writes;
      Actually, dead civilians are a part of the horror of war and have brought nations to its knees much more than military strikes. I would offer that the IDF should be even more indiscriminate.

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    6. Avi,

      Patience and forbearance are not the same thing. Patience means waiting for the right time to strike rather than averting a strike altogether.

      Moshe Dick, are Hamas' rockets bringing your nation to its knees? Terror bombing has a poor track record.

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    7. True patience in running the war would be the patience to see it through no matter how many so-called civilians get killed. Stopping premturely (out of some pseudo compassion or fear of the world or other dumb motive) is the lack of patience.

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  6. the typical answer is of the left. israel has no right to exist therefore has no right to resist resisters. they would say do less than nothing --go back home and give the country to the indigenous population,,,,,

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  7. Natan,

    To all those who are emotionally invested in thinking that is so obviously wrong (ie; anti-semites, or those you call "crazy" who I thing more accurately have a confused self-image and feel that somehow this makes them even-handed) I say, let's not waste our time with logic. They are not willing to be logical.

    HOWEVER, to those who are genuinely misguided as a result of hearing too much terrorist and anti-semitic propoganda, and are capable of being logical: Let's try a different approach:

    The following "principles" are consistantly invoked as those that Israel is violating:

    1) The pricipal of proportionality
    2) The principal that a country may not have an attitude that "better many of their civilians than even one of ours" ("Ron" who commented above, considers called such an attitude "racist"
    3) Civilians should not killed, even by accident, even when the enemy is targeting your civilians.

    To those who are not anti-semitic, and not emotionally invested in this, ask yourself:
    Do the people whom you hear questioning Israel's violation of these principles, really believe in these as "principles", or is the demand to conform to these "principles" invoked selectively, indicating that they are not really "principles" but rather idealogical weapons with which to attack Israel.

    Let's see:
    Pearl Harbor - approx 70 civilians killed as collateral damage in an attack on a military target
    U.S response - Over 130,000 civilians killed - not as collateral damage - in a DIRECT ATTACK on civilians in Hiroshima ALONE. Another 70,000+ killed in Nagasaki ALONE. This is in addition to estimates of 100's of thousands more in previous raids.
    Did the allied bombing directly save lives - was there a serious fear that Japan would come to the U.S. and murder civilians?

    Oh but of course - that was ancient history, we in the United States are much more moral now.

    So let's talk about Iraq, all the way back in . . . oh right, only about ten years ago!
    Estimates are all over the place but CIVILIAN deaths from COALITION bombing and the aftermath were clearly in the MANY TENS OF THOUSANDS (average estimates are MUCH higher - in the 100,000+) range.

    Ever hear of Kosovo and the NATO bombing of 1998-1999? Do you know how many civilians were killed by NATO? - not that many - but more than have been killed in Gaza so far this year. Did NATO go house to house in ground fighting at a cost to NATO forces - clearly many civilian lives would have been saved, or did they choose to protect NATO forces at a cost of civilian life?

    Now the question isn't: Why weren't the "principles" applied in the above cases. The answer to that would be simple - there are no such "principles" - noone ever believed in 'em, and they never will.

    The question is 1) Why are various "unbiased third parties" pretending that these principles ever exist in any conflict? and 2) The question you - (I address this to the rare - non-anti-Semitic, non emotionally involved observer who has acutally bought into this anti-Israel silliness) should ask yourself is - "Gee, why have I never even heard about U.S. coalition forces, and NATO European forces killing so many civilians in cases when NONE of their civilians were directly threatened? Why have I never heard absurd complaints against U.S. or NATO forces for using casualty-proof tactics like air strikes when they could have gone with ground forces, which although increasing military casualties, would have minimized civilian casulaties? Why did I never even HEAR a discussion of adhering to the sacred "principles" in those confilicts.

    (Hint: NATO and U.S. forces are not composed primarily of Jews . . .)

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    1. The best modern day equivalent is operation phantom fury. Israel should have set up refugee camps in its own territory or Egypt, and waited for two weeks before assaulting the conurbation.

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    2. The best modern day equivalent is operation phantom fury. Israel should have set up refugee camps in its own territory or Egypt, and waited for two weeks before assaulting the conurbation.

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  8. Incidentally, about those Gaza kids that were killed on the beach - according to the radically anti-Israel Guardian newspaper, "A witness who identified himself only as Abu Ahmed said the boys had been scavenging for scrap metal when the first shell hit a nearby shipping container used in the past by Hamas security forces." So the target was Hamas (as should be obvious).

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    1. And the second shell which killed them...? Not aimed at the cargo container. Aimed at fleeing children. In front of a hotel full of many journalists not just The Guardian.

      The captain should face a court martial even if this was just incompetence. Not seeing kids playing - an honest mistake, fine. Mistaking them for terrorists and firing the second shot - the sort of incompetence that looses wars.

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    2. Yeah, well. Some idiots in the Ukraine mistook a passenger jet with over 250 on board for a military target. Somehow, that's perfectly OK and there are no riots taking place all over the world because of that. Crap happens in a war. Perhaps your sick friends in the Gaza Strip should think of that before starting one.

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    3. Two wrongs don't make a right my self righteous friend. I would hope Israel would aspire to higher things than some vodka sodden ex KGB in a field behind the Prospekt coal mine.

      If you drop 20 iron dome interceptors its prison for a month. Kill 3 children in front of a hotel of journalists? What's the excuse? Fine sea conditions, excellent visibility, clearly defined target. There was nothing inevitable about what happened. What's really damaging is the inability of Israel to investigate and deal with war loosing incompetence of this type.

      Next time you loose your temper irrationally remember that your temper is not only making you blind to the suffering and dead children in Gaza but also to the suffering and death you bring on our own next generation. Because time and time again our military are held back by the political consequences of incompotents who target and kill civillians, and we never deal with it.

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    4. Again. Crap happens in a war. If you stop firing rockets from your hospitals, schools and mosques, there's less chance that Israel will retaliate in populated areas. I am sure there are enough fields from which to fire that civilians will not be at risk.

      Of course, there are tunnels which reach into a sovereign nation, and their existence and use is clearly an act of war. There is no reason for Israel to treat this as anything less than an invasion and act accordingly. There is no country in the world that wouldn't act as punishingly, and most would be much more severe. Israel is letting the Arabs off easy, and they know it.

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    5. "Excellent visibility, clearly defined target...."

      Amazing how confident and how simple it is sitting in your pajamas in a living room, isn't it? Before you open your very foolish mouth, put yourself in exactly the same shoes the army is. Who the hell are you, some anonymous dunce, to say what's feasible and what isn't? We have real men, making hard decisions in real time in life and death situations to protect the lives of millions of Jews who are being attacked on a daily basis. And then we have the effete sniveling snobs like this one. How pathetic.

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    6. Moahe Dick writes:
      I would think that had the IDF carpet bombed gaza, Hamas would be begging for mercy. Yes, the world would go into a frenzy but then it does that anyway.For comparison, see Syrian civil war, ISIS killing Iraquis and exiling a million X-ians, see Yogoslavia, Sudan,etc...all of these were way more deadly than the few pinpricks in gaza, yet the world could not are less.....

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    7. Gershon. Nothing you said answered my questions. The precision with which the navy hit their target with the first shot fired highlights the imprecision with which they selected their targets. This was a serious breach of military discipline. The commanding officer should answer for his incompetence - or worse. If there is no accountability for failure then we will fail.

      In rhetoric as in warfare, foam flecked displays of bombast will not prevail.

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    8. 1 2 3 4 5 67 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 + Palestinians and 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 of our soldiers died in this pinprick. I am particularly haunted by the dead children.

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    9. Avi - there is nothing unknowable or unforseeable about the effects of firing 155mm shells into a densely occupied built up area for ten hours straight at 12 rounds a minute. As an aside The emphasis on prophylactic fire has predictably led to at least two friendly fire deaths. I accept individuals make mistakes, but here the mistakes were grievous, compounded, systemic and protracted - that is to say, they were not mistakes - they were policy.

      Moshe Dick. Insofar as I would not like Tel Aviv to be carpet bombed, I would not like Gaza carpet bombed. Fair enough?

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    10. Moniker: Why were children playing on a beach in a battle zone? Prior to attacking, leaflets were dropped, thousands of phones were calling to warn residents to evacuate, and thousands of phones were texted the same message. The IDF takes all precautions to avoid civilian casualties, and Hamas takes all precautions to maximize the same.
      It's unfortunately tragic that these children were caught in the field of fire, and nothing justifies deliberately targeting and firing upon non-combatant children, and your assumption, without any evidence whatsoever, is that this was a deliberate firing on children rather than mistaken identity.

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    11. @Yehuda_H. The port of Gaza was not designated by the IDF as a zone to be evacuated in their leafleting. There is nothing suspicious about your children or my children or their children playing - it's what children do despite the trauma around them. I do not know whether the children were targeted with the knowledge that they were children - I sincerely hope not. I am clear that given the precision with which the target - a shipping container used by Hamas - was hit with the first shot - and the children - with the second - that they should not have been targeted - there was sufficient electro-optical equipment and stabilised weapon systems on board to have prevented this.

      Delete
  9. Also, see this Hamas memo which instructs its followers to identify military fighters as "innocent civilians," and not to publicize photos of rockets being launched from civilian buildings: http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/8076.htma

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  10. It's been to European Jews for hundreds of years now that being born (and raised) Jewish is no prevention when it comes to anti-Semetism.

    Israel is not much different than Syria, Jordan or Iraq, in that it was a country created by Western powers in the aftermath of WWII. The only reason it makes the news is because it is populated mostly of Jews. Had the Arabs left it alone, Israel would be a tiny country bordering Jordan and Syria, without control of Eastern Jerusalem or any of the West Bank. Arabs brought the current state onto themselves, and only a fool pities them for it.

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  11. Ron, I'm sorry, but your facts are off. The south of Israel has been under rocket attack for.most of the past year, and for most of the 9 years since the Gaza withdrawal. 9 years ago they were given a country, along with Israeli built i.dustry, with no embargo, and within days they started shooting rockets. See one of the many lists of Qassam attacks on Israeli civilians before you say somethi.g as factually wrong as there were no rockets before the kidnapping.

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  12. I highly doubt that blogger (and I know very well who you mean) is actually Orthodox. He claims to "believe", but then the overwhelming majority of his content consists of casting disdain on masoretic Judaism, and its observance by frum Jews.

    In any case, his raison d'etre is getting attention. He wants people to get mad and argue with him, and will say anything and everything to achieve that goal.

    Best of luck with your use of Facebook to publicize your excellent writings, but please do yourself a favor, and block you-know-who on all social media.

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  13. I am not surprised at all that Orthodox Jews including those who have not been affiliated with the radical anti-Zionist groups in the past are now distancing themselves from Israel. I have encountered this myself This is a perfect example of what I said in the previous thread about the moral rot of the United States dragging down the Jewish community, especially including the Orthodox with it.
    The dominant Post-Modernist philosophy in the US has infected EVERYONE there, even those who claim to have a moral position that supposedly rejects post-modernism. Among the pernicious values of the PM's is a rejection of nationalism, military values, religion as a social force making demands on human behavior (as opposed to New Ageist mystical spirituality which is okay), drawing distinctions between people, opposing defining some other nation as a an enemy and instead calling him "a potential peace partner", judging the values and behavior non-white non-Europeans such as the Palestinians, Also, a bedrock belief that all people in the world are essentially the same, and they want and believe the the same things which are the things I want and believe (doesn't that work out nicely?).
    In addition modern PM American values have a strong socialist and anti-capitalist tint which much of the Orthodox community benefits from and feels they have a stake in. When we left the US in 1986 most Orthodox Jews we knew identified politically with conservative Republicans based on their stand on morality. Today we see much of the Orthodox community identifying with the Democrats, which as a political party is rapidly becoming alienated from Israel and which most strongly identifies with the post-modernist ideology and the many Orthodox Jews are realigning themselves regarding hot-button issues such as homosexuality and support for Israel accordingly.
    As an example, I saw on the Reconstructionist Jewish website an essay written by one of the students who visited Israel for the first time and he said he was "put off by all the nationalism he encountered such as the presence of Israeli flags and soldiers".

    Daniel Gordis of the Shalem Center has written how the whole concept of Jewish Peoplehood is rapidly evaporating and this is what we are seeing here. We in Israel are simply going to have to accept this situation and when the time comes in the US, as it already has in Europe when the Jews are going to realize that there is no more future for them in those GALUT-EXILIC communities that we will still welcome them here with open arms.

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  14. Certainly there is egocentrism in the attitude you describe. Richard Landes describes it like this, after attributing "unconscious racism" to those who hold it:

    "The proponents of such thinking fail to grant the “other side” any moral agency. “Their behavior is entirely reactive, a response to our bad deeds. If only we would stop, they would stop.” This approach, which gives us, among other things, the current policy of appeasement in the West, also operates on assumptions that the “other” — in this case, the global Jihadis and the Muslim cultures from which they draw their recruits — are not autonomous moral agents. In other words, they, like animals, can’t help themselves. Hence, we make no moral demands on them, indeed, we lower ourselves to their moral level with our equivalences." (http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2007/02/12/self-criticism-and-the-middle-east-conflict/)

    Hamas has its charter, it has its alliances and sponsors. The Iranians developed better missiles than the Kassams that could be smuggled in through the tunnels.

    Hamas had built up its inventory and was bound to use it. Iran wanted to distract the international community from the talks over Iran's nuclear program. Hamas wanted to move the PA to take a more overtly genocidal position especially since Europe's increasing antisemitism is mainstreaming Hamas' stance.


    Also, I'm not sure about "not evil." Looking at Megillat Esther and Achashverosh's conduct I would say he was "disgusting" or "boorish" or "he's a complete jerk." Yet Chazal tell us that he was evil.


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  15. You might be interested in this article:

    http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=10309

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  16. Actually there's a simple explanation: it's the Holocaust effect.
    See, the Holocaust was unique in history because the victims were 100% victims and the aggressors 100% evil. Other genocides may have served a purpose, like consolidating a central government's power over a rebellious province or as part of a land grab. The Holocaust was simply one group's attempt to wipe out another group that was not hostile towards it at all. As a result it's morally easy. Jews = good, Germans and friends = bad.
    Israel is far more complicated. Yes, Israel has done some nasty things in its history but it has done them because of an existential need. Us or them. Zero sum game. Someone's gotta wind up in the wood chipper and the Israelis don't want it to be them. Necessary but less morally clean. So the same people who proudly tell everyone about the Holocaust suddenly get nervous when it comes to Israel. They want Israel to be morally pure like Holocaust victims and you have to wonder if they'd prefer a morally pure but destroyed Israel (chalilah) to a surviving one which has to do some brutal things to endure.

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    Replies
    1. Nothing "pure" and "correct" in not striking against the enemies. In fact it is wrong and EVIL to allow wild beasts to roam and murder others as they are accustomed and love doing.

      Warren B.

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    2. Warren, i agree with you 100% but for these whingers even evil beasts must not be harmed because inflicting any sort of damage is morally impure.

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    3. Pray tell, what is "morally impure" about killing a wild beast that roams in search of prey? And please don't explain one cliche with another.

      (FTR, you completely ignored Anonymous' rationale. He equated "the enemies" to "wild beasts" etc. thereby defending the action to kill the "wild beasts", known as the enemy. Yet you opened your comment with "i agree with you 100%".... That's misleading and dishonest. You agree with what? You agree that there's nothing pure and correct about not striking an enemy? Well I should hope so. No one thinks it's wrong to strike an enemy [that endangers your well-being]. And you definitely don't agree with the end of his sentence. so what's that supposed to mean "i agree with you 100%"? Unless, like many others who so tactically argue the Palestinian case, your'e trying to demonstrate insincere-neutralism.)

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  17. Well, from my past comments, I'm sure you know I support you 100% and that, indeed, my views are much more "extreme" than yours. I love how everyone talks about targetting only Hamas (whom Gazan citizens elected) when the major opposing party in the region is Fatah -- the part of Yassir Arafat. When exactly did Fatah become moderate?

    The entire region is riddled with people who hate Jews and would lynch one on site. I challange anyone who disagrees to travel to Gaza and publicly identify himself as a Jew.

    I would actually venture to say that there has never been a less innocent population in history. Your average German or Japanese woman and child in WWII did not hate the enemy nearly as much as the average "Palestinian" hates Israel. "Palestinian" women and children don't merely support their husbands and fathers morally. They actually are dangerous themselves, with kids being trained in weapons and pledging themselves to jihad.

    In short, as far as I'm concerned, there are no innocent civilians in Gaza (or the West Bank), and if the allies were justified in carpet bombing Germany and dropping an atom bomb on Japan, Israel is certianly more than justified in killing however many people in Gaza or the West Bank it feels necessary to get the enemy to surrender.

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    Replies
    1. Sweet. Mirror image of Hamas.

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    2. Well, maybe the allies weren't justified in carpet bombing Germany and dropping an atom bomb on Japan?
      What do you say to that?

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    3. > I challange anyone who disagrees to travel to Gaza and publicly identify himself as a Jew.

      You could probably find a few Nutty Karta'niks willing to take you up on that offer.

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    4. @ Moniker

      It's ironic how you can write proper full-sentences and, at the same time, be so irrational. 'Yehuda' is asserting -and you have not proven otherwise- that the population of discussion (Palestinians) is, as a whole, guilty of persecuting Israel. This being the case, carpet bombing can be justified, after all let's not make it as if there weren't other cases of genocide in recent years, where most weren't even lawful. Yet you respond by comparing an enemy who enigmatically believes and, unfortunately for others, actually fulfills their existence through martyrdom for the sake of killing those who don't conform to their beliefs, to a nation who is compelled to kill. Where do you see a mirror image of one body who seeks to kill and the other who is forced to kill?

      @ Mighty Garnel Ironheart

      I instinctively almost blurted out to myself "Hopefully they will all end up there" but then caught myself only because I had a bit of skepticism if it is permissible to pray for the destruction of even such individuals (NK) rather than praying that they realize their bad ways and repent. Although I was inclined to side with my initial feeling, simply because there is more Talmudic and Halachic evidence that would suggest so than not, since I'm not certain I kept my mouth shut. For now. And so for now, we can only pray that their minds and eyes be opened. (Ironically it's brought that one of the only ways to atone for such behavior is of the nature of "traveling to Gaza")

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    5. Moniker,

      Yes, it helps to be a mirror image of your enemy. That's the way you win a war. Or are you one of those people who believe that everyone who uses violence is equal -- making no distinctions between the aggressor and the one who responds to aggression?


      Just Curious,

      I have plenty to say, but not within the confines of a comment. I would just ask you to consider what you would do as president of the United States if Russia (or China) started a nuclear war against the U.S., bombing its main cities? Not firing back on Russian cities would be suicidal (I trust you agree on this point). Which means you would have to bomb back. But how in the world would you justify such "murder" if the enemy civilians are truly innocent?


      Mighty Garnel Ironheart,

      Only because they would publicly identify as Neturei Karta and therefore give the Arabs good publicity. And even they might be lynched before the had a chance to explain who they were.

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    6. Yehuda,

      I do not accept that Hamas have a moral or legal right to launch missiles on our capital cities, tunnel and leave bombs under civilian dining halls or do any of the reprehensible things that they do. It follows that I don't accept that we have a right to do the same to them. I don't accept "you started it" has any moral meaning whatsoever when it is applied to targeting civilians who didn't start it.

      I would urge Rabbi Slifkin to consider his responsibly setting an editorial policy towards the promotion of senseless violence aimed at civilians, even -especially - in these difficult times. Our boys are scared and in the field with deadly weapons in their hands and civilian women and children in their field of fire.

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    7. Moniker, the sole modus operandi of Hamas is the total and complete annihilation of every jew in the world, israeli or otherwise, preferably through violent death. To them, it's the ultimate religious - holy war. No mercy, no quarter, and breaking treaties in the name of Jihad is condoned and celebrated.
      Despite the constant barrage of rockets, Israel accepted several cease-fires which Hamas declined. When the ground invasion began, the soldiers encountered hundreds - if not thousands of fighters in civilian clothing, not wearing uniforms, equipped with ak-47's, rpgs, etc firing from sewers, from houses, from hospitals, from the middle of crowds of civilians; sending out children armed with suicide belts, sending women out with guns and grenades.
      Despite this, and at great cost to their own lives, soldiers go to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties, and proportionately there are far fewer civilian casualties than expected.
      When Hamas fires deadly mortars and shells from hospitals and schools, and hides terror tunnels stocked with ammunition, guns and rockets underneath mosques, they leave the IDF no choice but to destroy the weapons, despite the cost - yet - they still take the time to warn people to evacuate, and use precision targeting to avoid unnecessary damage.

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    8. @Yehuda_H - "soldiers go to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties" - OK - so we are agreed as to the right way to go.

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  18. Just the fact that in their (Hamas) and "Palestinians" charter and religion (Islam I might add) it says to murder all the Jews is more then enough reason to strike them even before they fired even 1 bullet or rocket (and they did thousands already). They should be expelled and/or killed according to the Torah and human logic as well.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Article 7 (towards the ending)
    The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).

    Article Eight: The Slogan of the Hamas
    Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief. ---------------------------------


    Warren B.

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  19. Highly recommend the writings available at jcpa.org. Especially take a look at these two articles by international law expert Avi Bell on the question of Israel as an occupying power in Gaza:

    http://jcpa.org/article/international-law-and-gaza-the-assault-on-israel’s-right-to-self-defense/

    http://jcpa.org/article/is-israel-bound-by-international-law-to-supply-utilities-goods-and-services-to-gaza/

    And also this larger study together with Justus Reid Weiner:

    http://www.jcpa.org/text/puzzle1.pdf

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for those links. They are very informative.

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  20. An illegitimate state does not have the right to defend itself.

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    1. So you agree that Hamas should stop fighting, then?

      Oh... you are one of the delusional ones who believe that Israel is somehow less valid a state than any other modern country who conquered an indigenous people and formed a government. Like the US, for example. Or any South or Latin American country.

      Fact: Before the State of Israel was formed, the last autonomous government in the region was conquered by the Romans, about 2000 years ago.

      Fact: The last autonomous government was comprised of Jews, and it governed Jews.

      Fact: The countries of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (to name a few) were all formed by Western countries, not by the natives living in the land.

      Fact: The UN accepted Israel's declaration of independence and its statehood.

      Israel is no less legitimate than any other sovereign nation on this planet. Your inability to accept that speaks about you, and says nothing about Israel.

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  21. Dear Rabbi Slifkin:

    I have the solution to your problem. Please bookmark the following link and click it whenever you sense the urge to enter such useless facebook discussions:

    http://xkcd.com/386/

    You're welcome.

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  22. What do they propose that Israel should do instead?

    I think some of us wish that Netanyahu and friends had some sense of end-game. Where does all this lead? There will be much death and destruction, and then what? Right back to where we were before. Right-wingers mock Kerry for saying such things as "there must be a negotiated solution," but at the end of the day, does Netanyahu have a better idea? The only real question is how many thousands of innocent people will die before we get to that day.

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    1. There is no such thing as a negotiated solution. How far did appeasement get Europe in the years leading up to WWII? When a government (or ruling body, or whatever Hamas is) wants nothing less than to destroy you, there is no peace unless enforced at the end of a big gun. The inability for world leaders to accept that is exactly how we ended up where we are today. Look at Putin -- he doesn't give a flying you-know-what, and now he basically owns the Crimea.

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    2. Netanyahu accepted 3 ceasfires and truces, all of which were spurned and ignored by Hamas. When the enemy does not want to stop fighting you, you have no choice but to continue to fight back.

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  23. I'd like to ask a question:

    I'm sure everybody is very disturbed by the death of the soldiers who got killed in Sejaya recently, and it's clear that it happened because the residents of Sejaya were warned that soldiers will come. To my understanding this makes sending soldiers to Sejaya a suicide mission - it gives terrorists time to prepare ambushes, and once there're ambushes, there's NO WAY IN THE WORLD to avoid major casualties. It's obvious that the first APC that goes in will get hit with an RPG, and that's the end of it...

    Now, I've seed a lot of comments from people calling on the government to stop this insane policy of giving the enemy warning, but I think it's completely pointless to address the government, because it's under tremendous pressure, and also it's composed of people who themselves have very confused morals and don't really mind sending soldiers on suicide missions as long as it helps them retain their political goals. This is the unfortunate reality.

    My question is - is there any guidance that can be given to the SOLDIERS in terms of being sent on suicide missions? My understanding tells me that a soldier has every moral right to refuse to go on such a mission, even if it means that the goals of the mission will be delayed - that there will continue to be rockets fired at Israeli cities and ever terror tunnels will continue to operate. My understanding tells me also that that Israeli public has a moral OBLIGATION to state clearly that they don't expect any soldier to be sent on a suicide mission for the sake to restoring calm, or for the sake of protecting them. To take unavoidable risks yes, but to be sent on suicide missions, like the one in Sejaya, no. Even if it means that they will suffer rockets and danger of being kidnapped.

    I would welcome opinions of people on this forum. If I'm on the right track here, perhaps the right thing to do would be to inform the public and the soldiers, because otherwise a very morally corrupt thing is happening. And perhaps, if there will be enough awareness (and if enough soldiers actually inform their commanders that they're not going on suicide missions), perhaps it will be the only way that this insane policy of warning the enemy will finally change.

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    Replies
    1. Brooklyn Refugee SheygitzJuly 22, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      this type of refusal has actually happened on many occassions in IDF history.

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    2. If, as reports state, they were hit in a stationery Nagmash (1970s issue M113 noted for its understrength aluminium armour) stalled in a built up part of Gaza city then this was indeed an excessively dangerous mission. Chances are that they were in a far more modern Nemar (converted Merkava tank).

      What I really don't get is why soldiers are being despatched to tunnel openings on our side of the fence in unarmoured jeeps as though it was some training exercise. We have lost 7 soldiers this way and it is unacceptable. They would be better off on foot.

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    3. Brooklyn Refugee SheygitzJuly 23, 2014 at 8:36 PM

      here you go. hot off the press
      http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Report-Dozens-of-IDF-reservists-refuse-to-enter-Gaza-368638

      Delete
  24. so where is the url of the facebook discussion. should be worth reading

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  25. Moshe, you're totally off base. Hamas, as well as any military organization, knows full well that a strategic area under their control will be attacked in case of military conflict. Hence, they would be prepared to defend that area using mines and dug-in combatants with anti-tank weapons, etc. The warning issued by the IDF was, therefore, nothing new and could not constitute a 'suicide' mission for its soldiers. One APC did, apparently, run into a buried mine and produced those Golani deaths. The others made it safely. Casualties will occur in any war. If the situation is deemed serious enough by responsible people to call for war, then losses will follow. That's part of the equation in considering such action. My advice is to calm down and follow the evolving situation. Only later can the issue of causation and advisability be evaluated. Neither defeatism nor anger towards opposing, responsible views are appropriate.
    Y. Aharon

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    1. hamas has well more than one strategic area, and it doesn't know which one will be attacked and when, so giving a warning does allow them to concentrate their forces in one area. ( I imagine hamas can't just have a mine buried in a street in gaza city for a very long time, so they specifically prepared it then because they knew that soldiers are coming soon.)

      I was not advocating defeatism, just not suicide.

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    2. As well as excessive civilian casualties, the other factor which has limited Israel's ability to pursue war goals to their conclusion has been excessive squeamishness bordering on hysteria about our own losses.

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  26. Psychological research has convincingly shown that once people adopt a particular position (such as, in this case, "Israel is the one to blame for the Middle-East conflict") cognitive processes such as the confirmation bias tend to cause them to ignore or minimize any conflicting information, and seek out and believe only confirming information. So it shouldn't be that surprising that anti-Israel people ignore what we consider to be important facts or values or arguments. Call it evil or insane or both, but it's normal human pigheadedness.

    I think that Internet debates on such topics are pointless, because there's little chance that people will change their minds (research even shows people tend to express more extreme opinions anonymously online that they have in real life). Writing articles is much more useful, because it's at least somewhat possible that some people will start the process of unlearning their wrongheaded beliefs in response to a particularly well-written article.

    In my case, I was a normal anti-Israel leftist until I started reading the Elder of Tziyon blog and other similar sources, which provided me with so much contrary information that it was impossible to maintain my previous beliefs.

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  27. mean time transaero (rusian) stop fly to israel too, not only american

    http://cursorinfo.co.il/news/novosti/2014/07/22/-hamas-ustanovil-vozdushnuyu-blokadu-izrailya--vedushie-aviakompanii-massovo-otkazivayutsya--ot-poletov-v-bengurion/

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  28. He who is merciful to the cruel, ultimately will be cruel to the merciful.
    Our rachamim has certainly gotten us into trouble on many occasions going back a few thousand years. That's why Amalek still haunts us.

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