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Rabbi Rafi RankBy the CyberRav—Rabbi Rafi Rank

Listening to the critics of the Israeli incursion into Gaza is at one and the same time comical and scary.  The humor emanates from the twisted and tortured logic of bright people trying to make a distortion of truth sound good.  But there is a frightening factor in their words, because whatever influence those smart people wield, will determine whether people live or die. 

In recent days, Israel has been criticized for the intensity of its response to Hamas’ terrorism.  The argument here is that Israel’s military intervention is way out of proportion to the terrorism it has suffered.  Apparently these critics are biblical fundamentalists—an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  Tit for tat, measure for measure, and quid pro quo—all Israel should be permitted is some sort of equal exchange for the suffering it has had to endure.  Since Hamas has poked out Israel’s eye, Israel can return the favor, but no more.

The inhumanity and judicial backwardness of this argument runs deep.  It points to reasoning that is archaic, as if humanity has undergone not a trace of judicial evolution.  In refusing to name the indiscriminate lobbing of missiles into Israeli urban centers for what it is, namely heinous acts of terrorism, these critics endanger the lives of all innocent people by rendering them the legitimate targets of every crackpot liberation movement’s anger.

The way to respond to terrorism is to wipe it out.  Like a cancer, not a single cell of it can remain, lest it begin to metastasize and once again sicken the society of which it is a part.  To the extent that the Palestinians harbor and strengthen the hands of a terrorist organization like Hamas, they will tragically be caught in the cross fire.  That is sad for the Palestinians deserve peace too.

Israel’s response in Gaza is, in some way, disproportionate.  The intensity of its attacks against terrorist cells, ammunition depots, and tunnels for contraband have not yet risen to the level needed in order to finally dismantle them.  Hamas’ use of innocent men, women and children as human shields, a tactic which they believe is in some way sanctified by the righteousness of their goal—the destruction of Israel—should only underscore the twisted and immoral thinking of the enemy.  There is no excuse for this kind of military tactic and those who would excuse it are guilty of aiding terrorism and ripping apart the moral fabric of western civilization.

Let us pray for an end to this war and if asking wisdom from the smart people who have criticized it is just too much to ask, then in the very least let us pray for a return of common sense:  in a world serious about peace, there is no room for terrorism or terrorists.  No hokhmas there—just common sense.

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