“When you go to war against your enemies..” Just as they would have no mercy upon you, you should have no mercy upon them.
When the UN launched its investigation of the IDF bombing of UNRWA installations in Gaza, what should have been Israel’s response? None. Let the barbarians investigate anything they like; good for them they learned to write the word “investigation.”
Instead, Jews out of habit jumped into the sea of arguing their righteousness. Every time we do that, we tend to drown there.
A century ago, Zeev Zhabotinsky—who was Vladimir then—lashed out at the Russian Jewish establishment, which was preoccupied with the Beilis affair; an unfortunate Jew was accused of killing a Christian baby to make matzo. At that time too, Jews busied themselves proving that Judaism disallows matzo contaminated with blood, and the incident could not possibly have taken place. To that, Zhabotinsky retorted, what if the Christian baby was killed indeed?
Jews are entitled to our own cranks and murderers and swindlers. We might be a beacon to nations, but we are not an otherworldly ideal nation of priests. We’re human beings, and humanity has a dark side to it. That’s what is called freedom of choice. Jewish liberals who want us to be like other peoples have to support me on this: we can behave just as atrociously as anyone else.
I also recall what I call, “a kipa dilemma.” I have always found it difficult to wear kipa in two environments. One is the United States: the gentiles of my circle there are so welcoming that kipa almost means impoliteness. They know how Jewish I am, and wish to be as accomodating as possible, so they react to this outward sign of my Jewishness with a near-hysteria of trying to be ever more understanding and helpful. I almost feel like a patient surrounded by scores of hyper-attentive staff.
Another situation is when I don’t behave to the highest standards. When I have to act harshly or show less-than-perfect results. I was learning to ski in France, and anyone familiar with my age and complexion could guess that my performance fell short of the Olympics. To tell honestly, it took me a considerable effort not to remove the kipa.
Jews need not be perfect, but rather normal, and that includes committing normal atrocities. Yes, we did attack some UN buildings, and we have no regrets about that. Even more, in many areas IDF soldiers received orders to shoot at everything that moves, cats and Arabs included. Still more, when IDF was the IDF, we used to kill POWs, and a lot of them. It wasn’t just some rogue group of right-wingers—the commanders were all leftists—but mainstream Jewish soldiers who killed scores of Syrian and Egyptians POWs. I can justify the killing on religious grounds or by necessity, but that would be superfluous. Yes, we killed POWs like every other nation has done, including Americans, Canadians, and Australians. The Egyptians screamed after a silly Israeli movie showed IDF massacring their POWs, and the Israeli establishment wrung their hands that that was just a movie, a fantasy. Now, there is no fantasy in my words: we indeed killed a lot of Egyptian POWs, especially in 1967; we killed fewer of them in 1973.
I have no problem with that.