Op-Ed: Jewish Blood is not Cheap
Eytan Meyersdorf, Im TirtzuThe writer is a new immigrant from the USA, served in Golani, and is currently the coordinator of Im Tirtzu at Bar-Ilan University.
War brings up a lot of moral and ethical questions. If we were to listen to CNN, or BBC, then it would be quite obvious that Israel is in the wrong. Luckily, we know the truth, but despite that general consensus, there are still arguments among us what actions must be taken in order to achieve our goal.
We are in a very difficult situation. Hamas uses human shields and shoots its rockets from civilian populations, leading to civilian casualties. Because of this, people are reluctant to give the “green light” for more extensive actions to be implemented, and feel the need to make excuses for what we are doing, even going as far to apologize to the world.
Yes, it is sad that civilians are killed, and we should do everything we can to avoid it, but we must come to the realization that it should not be on the account of any Jew.
Jewish blood is not cheap, and we must do everything we can do defend ourselves, AND APOLOGIZE TO NO ONE for doing what must be done. When people cry out about bombing Gaza or cutting of their electricity, it exposes their true feelings about a Jewish life: They don't value it, because if they did, they wouldn't tolerate one Jew, let alone one million, getting bombed without doing the absolute maximum that can be done to stop it.
In a world that prides itself on its morals and ethics, it is hard, especially among believing and religious Jews, to come to the realization that Jewish lives are the most important thing. It may not be the fairy-tale idea of Judaism that we grew up with, but it is the truth.
Should we let Hamas treat our fellow brethren like sub-humans?
People always say that “it is more complicated then that, not everything is black and white.” Well to me it is simple – when Jewish lives are in danger, it becomes black and white. We cannot stand idly by, or restrain ourselves, when it will lead to Jewish blood being spilled.
That does not mean, of course, that we should carpet bomb Gaza, or deliberately target civilians, it simply means that we must do everything we can to protect their civilians, until it starts putting our own civilians and soldiers at risk. Once that occurs, we must get over our preconceived notions of right and wrong, and be able to say something simple: We will do everything necessary to defend our people, because THAT is moral and THAT is right.
Next week, we will be reading in the Parsha about the rape of Dina, and how Shimon and Levi retaliated by killing Schem, his son Hamor, and all the people of the city. Yaakov was angry and rebuked Shimon and Levi until they answered him with a simple question to which he had no answer, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?"
It is funny how history repeats itself... Should we let Hamas treat our fellow brethren like sub-humans? Should they continue to bomb us without retaliation? We must first and foremost value, respect, and honor ourselves and our people - only then will we be able to do the right and moral thing.