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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 10, 2006 / 16 Menachem-Av, 5766

How Israel fights

By Jonathan Kay


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What the media does not report


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Late on Saturday night, an Israeli commando unit landed by helicopter on a beach near the Lebanese city of Tyre. None of the soldiers wore military markings. All had grown beards, so observers would think they were just another group of Hezbollah jihadis.


After landing, the soldiers made their way to a building that housed a three-man Hezbollah rocket-launcher crew. From intelligence reports, the commandos knew the trio was holed up in a second-floor apartment.


The Israeli commander was the first through the door, and promptly took a bullet through a lung. The Israelis fired back. When the smoke cleared, all three Hezbollah members were dead. The Israeli commander was still breathing — but only barely. Another commando was also seriously wounded.


As the commandos left — their two wounded on stretchers — they were attacked by Hezbollah gunmen spilling out of nearby buildings. Israeli helicopter gunships hovering nearby laid down a covering fire, allowing the commandos to retreat to their original landing area. After a military doctor performed emergency surgery that saved the commander's life, the whole team flew back to Israel.


These mission details sound like something out of a Hollywood film. But the truly amazing part of it is that the mission happened at all. Instead of risking the lives of its most elite soldiers, Israel easily could have dropped a bomb on the building and taken out their targets while they slept.


Why didn't Israel do just that? Because as well as serving as a barracks for Hezbollah, the building also contained civilians. And Israel didn't want to spill their blood. Hezbollah may wage war while hiding behind women's skirts and baby rattles. But Israel stubbornly adheres to a more humane creed.


This is not a new policy that Israel adopted in response to the July 30 Qana bombing. Israeli soldiers employed the same humane methods in one of the first major engagements of this war.


On June 26, Israeli infantrymen assaulted the outskirts of Bint Jbail, a major Hezbollah hub near the border. Israel could have flattened the town easily prior to its soldiers' advance — it lies well within range of its army's artillery, not to mention the Israeli air force. But according to a high-ranking Israeli officer, the carpet-bombing option was ruled out because several hundred Bint Jbail civilian residents had ignored Israel's warning to flee. As in Tyre, Hezbollah was using them as human shields.


The result? Battalion 51 of Israel's Golani Brigade was ambushed by dozens of Hezbollah gunmen wielding anti-tank missiles. In the hellish close combat that followed, eight Israeli soldiers died. Like the 23 Israeli soldiers who lost their lives in the warrens of the Jenin refugee camp in 2002, the men of Battalion 51 died so that Arab civilians could live. Not one of Israel's enemies would have taken the same risks under similar circumstances.


Nor is Israel simply following the letter of international law. A Hezbollah rocket crew can kills dozens, or even hundreds, of Israelis with a single volley. Demolishing that apartment building in Tyre arguably would have been a proportionate, and entirely legal, Israeli response to the threat posed by its occupants.


Moreover, Israel had warned the residents of Tyre to evacuate many times. Most of those who remain in the city are Hezbollah supporters. Last week, Haidar Fayadh, a Tyre cafe owner, told The New York Times: "Everyone has a weapon in his house. There are doctors, teachers and farmers. Hezbollah is people. People are Hezbollah." Luckily for Fayadh, Israel doesn't take him at his word, or he'd be dead and all of Tyre would be a smoking ruin.


By this point in the war, some readers will have heard enough about media bias. Still, I can't help but marvel at the other-worldly impression people are getting. The Israeli air force has flown 9,000 sorties during this war. The handful of tragic instances in which Israel has mistakenly attacked civilian targets are treated as war crimes. Meanwhile, Hezbollah has launched more than 2,000 missiles at Israel, every one of them deliberately targeting Israeli civilians. (The group's Syrian-made 302mm rockets are packed with tens of thousands of ball-bearings, the objective being to disfigure those who aren't killed.) But the only time this is reported is when the rockets actually hit someone — in which case the fact is cited not as an indictment of Hezbollah's barbarism, but as testament to its strength and the purported futility of Israeli strategy.


This appalling double-standard goes beyond media bias. It reflects a deeper sense that pervades our entire society. After watching Arab terrorists kill innocent Jews for two generations, we have become inured to their methods. It is simply taken for granted that anti-Israel "resistance" movements will sink to the lowest possible level as soon as the shooting starts. Killing civilians. Hiding rocket launchers in homes. Shooting from mosques. All of this is unsurprising — expected even — so none of it makes the news. Let Israel mistakenly kill civilians while fighting back, on the other hand, and it's time to stop the presses.


It's unclear which side will be seen as the victor in the current war. But even before the shooting began, Arab militants could claim a perverse sort of triumph: liberation from the humane standards the world normally applies to the armies that fight wars. It is a triumph that Israel, and all civilized nations, can be proud of having forsaken.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Kay is Managing Editor of Toronto's National Post newspaper. To comment on this article or contact the author, please click here.



© 2006, Jonathan Kay