“Sadly, Israel is no longer democratic” writes Shulamit Aloni
She writes in Ha’aretz, 1 May 2009:
Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin and philosopher Asa Kasher, two respected men around here, published an article entitled: “A just war of a democratic state,” (Haaretz, April 24, Hebrew).
A remark about the first part: There are wars that are necessary for self-defense or to fight injustice and evil. But the expression “just” is problematic when speaking of war itself – which involves killing and destruction and leaves women, children and old people homeless, and sometimes even kills them.
Our sages have said: “Don’t be overly righteous.” And there is absolutely no question that dropping cluster bombs in an area populated by civilians, as we did in the Second Lebanon War, does not testify to great righteousness. The same thing can be said of using phosphorus bombs against a civilian population.
Apparently, according to the Yadlin and Kasher definition of justice, in order to eliminate terrorists it is just to destroy, kill, expel and starve a civilian population that has no connection to the acts of terror and no responsibility for them. Perhaps had they adopted a more decent and less arrogant approach they would have tried to explain the reasons for the fury and intensity that brought about the shocking killing and destruction, and even apologized for the fact that these exceeded any reasonable necessity.
But after all, we are always right; moreover, these things were done by “the most moral army in the world,” sent by the “democratic” Jewish state – and here is the meeting point of the two concepts in the title of Yadlin and Kasher’s article.
As for the army’s morality, it would have been better had they remained silent and thereby been considered wise. This is because the statistics on the destruction and harm to civilians in the Gaza Strip are familiar to everyone, and not divorced from the oh-so-moral behavior of our army in the occupied territories. In the context of this behavior, for example, the army operates with great efficiency against farmers who demonstrate against the theft of their lands, even when the demonstrations are not violent.
The long-term evidence of abuse by soldiers against civilians at the checkpoints – including repeated instances of expectant mothers who are forced to give birth in the middle of the road, surrounded by armed soldiers who laugh wickedly – is no secret either. Day after day, year after year, the most moral army in the world helps to steal lands, uproot trees, steal water, close roads – in the service of the righteous “Jewish and democratic” state and with its support. It’s heartbreaking, but the State of Israel is no longer democratic. We are living in an ethnocracy under “Jewish and democratic” rule.