Friday, January 02, 2009

Five Questions for the Israelis

Five questions for the Israelis:

1. What is the position in international law and Jewish law on a state firing a missile at a police station knowing that fifty policemen will be killed without knowing the opinions of any of those policeman?

2. What is the position in international law and Jewish law on a state firing a missile into a house in which women and children are sleeping? That is, why is the daughter of a Hamas leader as guilty as her father? How many innocent people can be killed before the act is declared forbidden?

3. Is there a difference in opinion (say between reformist and Orthodox positions) in the legitimacy of these acts within Rabbinical law?

4. What position does Ehud Barak hold?

5. Could Israelis point to credible and important Rabbinical figures that hold to the opinion that the taking of all innocent life is forbidden and therefore the bombing of Gaza and the economic embargo are forbidden by Jewish law?

And one question for everyone else:

1. Why don't you ask the same questions of the Israelis as you ask us? Are they more moral or so totally amoral that it is pointless to even begin a question on the point of morality? Is Israel the one country to which international law concerning human rights do not apply?

This situation is deeply troubling because it is an argument against the upholding of rights. Might is right. 'You see this fist. This is my moral authority'. This is exactly why we are where we are. Israel is a militarised and demoralised state. Its leaders can only assume the posture of a conviction politician when they are killing people, especially just before an election. Two ways to respond are to pursue these matters in international law and increase the pressure for clear, unequivocal moral stances on the sacredness of the rights of Palestinians as human beings like the rest of us.