There was disgust and revulsion when it was revealed that Hamas (we assume it was Hamas; it could have been "innocent Palestinians") were found to have turned children's dolls into bombs, dressed them up to look like babies, and played recordings of crying babies beside them to lure IDF soldiers to their deaths. This was put forward as evidence of what monsters Hamas are.
Of course Hamas are monsters. We know that already. All we seem able to gain from such discoveries is yet more moral indignation. Let me spell this out: Hamas do not rig up booby-trapped dolls because they are monsters; they do so because they have intelligence that Jews are drawn to helping people in distress, especially children and babies. Their next question will have been: how do we operationalise this intelligence fi-sabi-lillah, in the cause of Allah? Shari'a requires that all Muslim creativity be directed in the cause of Allah. The idea to kill Jews with bombs disguised as crying babies would have occurred quite naturally to many of them.
We howl in indignation at Hamas using hospitals for war. By their own admission, they do this because, "the Jews will not attack hospitals." They use ambulances as military transports for the same reason. Why would they not? The only law they recognise is Shari'a, which we do not bother to study, telling ourselves that our security people knowing Arabic is enough. Why do we think it such a big deal when we show the world yet another weapons cache behind an MRI scanner or inside incubators?
We assert that they are barbarians and we assert that they are waging jihad against Israel, yet fail to see that this combination leads inexorably to their doing the kind of things they do. If we took but one of these assertions seriously, we would not make half the mistakes we do. More than two months into the war and we still hear, "This is a new low," despite our having called them barbarians on Day One.
How often do we not hear Israelis accuse Hamas of "putting civilians in harms way" by "using civilians as human shields." Hamas neither puts civilians in harms way, nor use them as human shields, because the IDF repeatedly says, "We abort attacks when we see unexpected civilian presence," which means that Hamas can place clearly-visible civilians between themselves and the IDF secure in the knowledge that those civilians are not in harm's way. It is effective IDF deterrence against the IDF. Who are the idiots here?
Yesterday the IDF gave Hamas yet another piece of valuable intelligence: "The IDF doesn't shoot a person who raises their hands. That's strength, not weakness." Let me spell this out, too. If you have to say something like this to your soldiers, then for God's sake do not broadcast it! This is strength only for so long as Hamas, or any Muslim on jihad, does not know it. Now that they do know it, it is no longer a strength, but a distinct weakness.
Hamas are Muslims on jihad. Qur'an 8:60 teaches: "And prepare against them whatever you are able of power," be it live civilians or crying dolls. Since it is their religious obligation, we should expect them to now also figure out how to detonate a bomb by stretching out arms initially raised to only shoulder height. The bomb does not have to be strapped to their bodies. It can be hidden in the rubble beside the IDF soldiers, to be detonated by an approaching terrorist simply raising his hands a bit higher. No rocket science required.
And once they've done that, there'll be more news reports of how treacherous Hamas are, and how they have no regard for the rules of war. They have no regard for our rules of war, but they certainly have complete regard for theirs. "War is deceit," (Sahih Bukhari 3029). One can safely predict that this will be put out as yet more proof of how much better than them we are. How barbaric they are; how civilised we are. We can feel smug as we die on the moral high ground. It is beneath us to learn how our enemy thinks, what makes him tick. We sedate ourselves with lazy profundities like, if we think like them, we become like them. We call them barbarians, but will not fight like we're fighting barbarians. Instead, we wallow in our civilised values as if this impotent pride compensates for the ridiculous cost of not winning quickly and outright.
We insist on fighting according to the rules of war when there is no demand whatsoever on Hamas to abide by those rules. How many times do we want to prove the same glaringly obvious facts over and over again when it makes not a blind bit of difference? The rules of war are there to protect each side from the barbaric excesses of the other. When one side unleashes every possible depravity against the other without restraint, then the other does not enjoy the protection of the rules. To comply with the rules under such conditions is not civilised, it is not moral, it is not ethical, it is stupid.
Screen grab, TBN Israel, https://youtu.be/fVfGjGGPu50?t=53
The Polish translation bears the following editorial note:
From the editors of Letters from Our Orchard:
Do we agree with this reasoning? Yes and no. We are full of admiration for the moral code of the Israel Defence Forces, for the consistent investigation of every reported abuse, and at the same time, we realise that this enemy follows no rules and the IDF endangers its population and its soldiers by putting the sanctity of the chivalric ethos above military necessity.
It is a fair comment, to which I would add Ze'ev Jabotinsky's brutal warning, issued a hundred years ago:
It is incredible what political simpletons Jews are. They shut their eyes to one of the most elementary rules of life, that you must not "meet halfway" those who do not want to meet you.
There was a typical example in old Russia, when one of the oppressed nations, with one accord, launched a crusade against the Jews, boycotting them and pogroming them. At the same time, this nation was fighting to gain its own autonomy, without any attempt to conceal it means to use its autonomy for the purpose of oppressing the Jews. Worse than before. And yet, Jewish politicians and writers, (even Jewish nationalists) considered it their duty to support the autonomist efforts of their enemy, on the ground that autonomy is a sacred cause. ...This sort of thing is not morality, it is twaddle. Human society is built up on the basis of mutual advantage. If you take away the mutual principle, right becomes a falsehood. Each man who passes my window in the street has a right to live only in so far as he recognises my right to live; but if he is determined to kill me, I cannot admit that he has any right to live.
It is a warning that goes unheeded to this very day. One hundred years of Jewish blood spilt on the sanctity of a suicidal principle. There are hopeful signs that things might finally be changing.