Amira Hass reports on a talk given by one of the flight crew that assassinated Saleh Shehadeh, and 14 civilians, including eight children and three women in 2002. This was one of the seminal events of the second Intifada and is high on the list of international human rights activists for war crimes adjudication.
Later on the day of the attack the pilot tells us:
“The next day, actually the same day, they tell us that the strike killed Salah Shehadeh, his wife, his daughter, his son and others… The commander of the pilots called us all in for a talk about ethics, the first one I’d ever heard about…”
During the discussion in Tel Aviv, T. asked the teenagers, who are themselves, preparing for their military service, the following question: “Had I known that 14 other people were with him … what should I have done?”
A little late for that question, don’t you think? The same holds true for the talk about ethics.
Of course there are many pro-Israel advocates who can and do easily justify the killing of the 14 innocents. Like the pilot in this story, they can murder a man and his children and then sleep soundly. There was a time when Jewish tradition would condemn such immorality, would in fact be horrified by it. There are still rabbis who do so. But morality in Israel has coarsened. Life has coarsened too, for Israelis and Palestinians.
But mainly I want to know how the murderer has the chutzpah to talk about ethics. By what right?