Today’s Gaza. This is what Hell must be like. You want to kill a terrorist and in doing so you kill almost his entire family including his 3 year-old child. And those who aren’t killed are severely wounded. And if you’re the IDF, you probably get a job-well-done pat on the back from the Ramat Kal and Defense Ministers, who themselves have probably engaged in precisely the same types of killing expeditions. As for the women and children–well, it’s their own fault:
In an incursion in southern Gaza, in a village near Khan Yunis, Israeli troops and tanks, backed by helicopter gunships, destroyed a house, killing two brothers, Ahmad and Sami Fayyad, their sister, Asma Fayyad, 24, and their mother, Karima Fayyad, 60. Their father, Muhammad Fayyad, a farmer, was wounded.Medics at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis said that Sami Fayyad’s wife was wounded, and that the couple’s 3-year-old daughter was clinically dead.
Sami Fayyad, 30, was a fighter with Islamic Jihad’s military wing. Ahmad Fayyad, 32, was a former member of the Palestinian Authority security forces. Israeli Army spokesmen said the brothers were firing on Israeli forces from alongside and inside the house. The house was hit by at least one tank shell, and Palestinian witnesses said Israeli forces, using armored bulldozers, then collapsed the rest of the house.
In a statement, Israel said blame for the deaths of the women “lies with the gunmen, who operated intentionally from a civilian environment.”
There is much that the Israeli right can point to in their feeble attempt to mitigate IDF responsibility: who asked the fighters to endanger their family? Why didn’t the family flee before the shoot-out? But keep one other question in mind: did the IDF give the civilians inside a chance to escape before demolishing the home? If they did, they’d surely have said so in their statement. Since they didn’t you can only assume that the IDF was fully willing to murder three civilians including a baby in order to get their bad guys. This is the moral calculus of the IDF. Two bad guys outweigh the lives of three civilians. Babies hardly count.
Let’s imagine the funerals for the dead which perhaps are being held as I write this, and the tiny baby’s shrouded body carried aloft by Palestinians through the streets of Gaza. For shame. Yes, for shame for the violence against Israeli civilians as well. But killing 3 year olds? What learned rabbinic tractate gives us the right to do such things in order to shield our own civilians? Is our blood redder than theirs?
Annapolis appeared so promising to some a few short weeks ago. Lots of optimistic speeches, the right words being said, hitting the right notes. But it’s massacres like this which show the real face of the conflict and how impossible it is to resolve. In the face of such bloodshed how can there ever be peace?
Let it not be said that Alan Dershowitz doesn’t have a darkly ironic sense of humor. The title of his current essay in Frontpagemagazine is Targeted Killing Works, in which he brags about how few civilians the IDF has been killing lately. Indeed.