4 thoughts on “IDF Col. Ofer Winter’s Holy War Against Latter-Day Philistines – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. The town Hirbet Ahza’a mentioned in the article is called Khuza’a (خزاعة) in Arabic and English. In Hebrew it is similarly called ח’וזאעה (Khuza’a) but is sometimes (for unknown reasons) referred to as ח’ירבת אִח’זעה (Khirbet Akhza’a). When translating from Hebrew it is preferable to use the standard form of the name.

    1. @ Goran: First, thanks for the correction. Second, I’m not an expert on Gaza place names nor Arabic. So I was aware of the name Khuza’a and had never heard of the name Hirbet Ahza’a and was directly translating from Hebrew. So I didn’t know the two names had any relation. Of course, I will change those names now.

      1. Khuza’a and Khirbat/Khirbet Ikhza’a is the same place. Khirbat means ‘ruins’ and is often the first part of geographical names (just like Deir), and is sometimes just dropped. The correct English rendition is Khirbet Ikhza’a, and not Hirbet Ihza’a: ‘kh’ in both words (like Khaled), it’s the same letter as in Khuza’a (and Ikhza’a is just a variation of Khuza’a, same three roots).

        I read horrible testimonies from Khuza’a published by a major French ‘grand reporter’ in Paris Match, the most read French weekly ‘gossip’ magazine. Among them was the story of 7-8 young men from the village who were detained in a house after simply trying to escape the siege, after many days they were just executed and there was a photo of what used to be a bathroom with blood and their decomposed bodies all over. The reporter said people came looking for their sons and just left crying, incapable of entering what had become “The House of Horror”.
        War crimes also happened in Khuza’a during Cast Lead, and this reporter mentioned that it was supposedly revenge for the dead of 10 Israeli soldiers who were killed sometimes prior to Cast Lead while entering an abandoned farm on the outskirts of Khuza’a that has been filled up with explosives.

  2. It will be ‘Jihad’ or Holy War

    Rabbis handed out hundreds of religious pamphlets during the Gaza war. Some leaflets called Israeli soldiers the “sons of light” and Palestinians the “sons of darkness”. Others compared the Palestinians to the Philistines, the bitter biblical enemy of the Jewish people.

    “Our job was to boost the fighting spirit of the soldiers. The eternal Jewish spirit from Bible times to the coming of the Messiah.”
    Rabbi Kaufman

    ‘Religious duty’

    I visited an orthodox Jewish seminary near Hebron in the West Bank. It is one of an increasing number of religious schools that encourage taking the Jewish Bible to the battlefield. The students’ seminary is built in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank.

    “Morals of the battlefield cannot come from a religious authority … or it’s ‘Jihad.’ People will not like that word but that’s what it is, Holy War.”
    Reserve General Nehemia Dagan

    BBC article: The rise of Israel’s military rabbis. [September 2009]

    Reminds me of the Bible texts Rumsfeld handed to George Bush to make the just decisions on Afghanistan and Iraq.

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