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Saturday, January 03, 2009

'Sacred Muslim Values'

This past week Israel's Reshet Bet radio station reported the following:

"Egypt has asked Israeli defence officials to refrain from attacking mosques in the Gaza Strip even if it is suspected that they are used as hiding places for weapons. The Egyptians said that bombing mosques could enrage the Muslim world. Bombing mosques also serves the interests of Hamas, the Egyptians explained, which is exploiting this for propaganda purposes by claiming that Israel is harming sacred Muslim values."

I have to admit that in the opening hours of the present Israeli operation, my American liberal upbringing bubbled to the surface and caused a moment of revulsion at reports that some Gaza Mosques were being targeted.  But those feeling quickly evaporated as I watched films of secondary and tertiary explosions from within those mosques as the rockets and weapons stockpiled inside went up like the 4th of July.

Once again Israel is being asked to spot our enemies a few strokes... a half lap head start... a good-will handicap... just because to do otherwise might inflame Muslim sensibilities.  For some reason, the idea that Muslims themselves have defiling their own holy places with weapons and rockets never enters into the equation for the simple reason that in Jihad [holy war] anything goes. 

For the record, I'm not suggesting that Israel go that far... yet.  I still firmly believe that we must continue to adhere to the norms of modern warfare and the rules of International Law... and I'm please that some respected voices have done a good job of explaining why Israel is on firm legal ground in that respect.

The IDF has gone to incredible lengths to prevent civilian casualties (including actually making phone calls to tens of thousands of individuals to tell them to vacate buildings that are about to be bombed).  But unfortunately, when the wolves make a regular practice of hiding among the sheep... often with the willing cooperation of the flock... regrettably, some wool is going to fly. 

Hamas knows that we can't very well bomb hospitals, so their top terrorists hide out there posing as doctors and nurses.  But the IDF has decided that other places that would normally be considered sacrosanct, such as schools, universities and mosques, are now legitimate targets because of the irrefutable evidence that they are being used to hide weapons, explosives, rockets and high-level enemy combatants/leaders. 

And this isn't an accident.  Those places are deliberately chosen to cynically exploit our 'western values'... the same values upon which Egypt is now trying to play.  Egypt is essentially saying, 'Yes we know Hamas is doing something wrong but we need you to act more correctly since to do otherwise will offend the sensibilities of Muslims around the world'.  Such a thinly veiled threat from our peace partner is chilling.

The truth is, there's no such thing as 'scared Muslim values'... at least where civilians, hospitals and mosques are concerned.  Can a society in which suicide bombing is so widely accepted and admired really claim to hold anything sacred?  The answer is no.   The moment the infidel is involved and Jihad is invoked, the only 'value' that matters is winning at any cost.

To be clear, I'm not willing to win at any cost...  and I'm proud that my country's army is taking great pains to act morally and ethically in this conflict.  But if a few mosques have to be destroyed to keep Israeli civilians from being killed... I can live with that.

Posted by David Bogner on January 3, 2009 | Permalink

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David - great post but please stop promoting their propaganda with the "suicide" title, the term evokes pity for those depressed souls who feel there's no way out; terrorists are HOMICIDE Bombers, their intent is to kill Jews, become martyrs among their peers and get their 72 virgins - boy do they have a surprise awaiting them on the other side :-)
Shavua Tov!
Tehillah

Posted by: Tehillah | Jan 3, 2009 8:48:09 PM


Trep-- i wonder why the press reports the IDF bombing mosques, and not ammo-dumps? then again, i guess that's like asking how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop. ;o/

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Jan 3, 2009 9:18:42 PM

@Tehillah: Recently most of the bombing including the death of the bomber (call them whatever you want - they're as evidently suicidal as they are homicidal) actually killed muslims. Many of them in mosques. Talk about 'sacred values'.

@David: I value your appreciation of the IDF's upkeep of international standards of warfare. But, as cynically as that may sound, that might not be a winning strategy, as they are facing an enemy that couldn't care less about any rules whatsoever. This is war among the people - and it can't be won like a war between armies. I highly recommend the book "The Utility of Force" by Rupert Smith. Although I don't agree with him in all points, he offers some valuable insight.

Posted by: Carsten | Jan 4, 2009 12:54:58 AM

It is time to ignore the world and just do what has to be done. G-d willing this operation will be successful and we'll see a better day.

But I am not real optimistic.

Posted by: Jack | Jan 4, 2009 1:18:05 AM

David: I realize that you are under stress & it's difficult to be generous, but please understand that the Egyptian government has to say things like that. I wouldn't pay it much heed.

Posted by: jsilverheels | Jan 4, 2009 2:29:31 AM

I would add to Jsilverheels remarks. Not only do I think the Egyptians have to say things like that, but their request actually covers what they are not saying, which is wholesale condemnation of Israel for it's ground incursion. In fact, I think the less extremist states are secretly relieved that Israel is taking a stronger stand against a force they see as antithetical to their own interests. I do not pretend some sudden surge of love for the Jewish state, but it is clear some kind of acknowledgment of convergent interests is taking place here.

Posted by: jordan Hirsch | Jan 4, 2009 4:56:49 AM

What Jordan said. Let's pay as much attention to what's not being said here as to what is being said. You are a musician, David, aren't the rests as important as the notes?

Also, I even heard that Saudi Arabia did actively condemn Hamas. Sorry, no cites. It was something I heard on the radio as I was brushing my teeth. I nearly dropped my toothbrush.

Nor would I pay much attention to the Guardianista crowd. I think most people (even those more sympathetic to the Pals.) realize Hamas did something really stupid in rocketing Israel and they provoked this.

Posted by: jsilverheels | Jan 4, 2009 7:43:10 PM

Thank you Trep, for posting that video....I've seen way too many of the sort for my liking...but this was the first my boyfriend had seen, since he walked into the room as I was watching it, and was sickened that ANY society would make something like that. When I told him it was shown on cable television throughout the Palestinian territories, his response was "I've never realized how dangerous television is...and now I understand why kids should be kept away from it."

And we both WORK in the tv industry...

Posted by: beershevaboheme6 | Jan 6, 2009 4:59:29 AM

Thank you Trep, for posting that video....I've seen way too many of the sort for my liking...but this was the first my boyfriend had seen, since he walked into the room as I was watching it, and was sickened that ANY society would make something like that. When I told him it was shown on cable television throughout the Palestinian territories, his response was "I've never realized how dangerous television is...and now I understand why kids should be kept away from it."

And we both WORK in the tv industry...

Posted by: beershevaboheme6 | Jan 6, 2009 5:00:27 AM

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