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Jul 22, 2006

refuse orders?

Ynet has an article describing an anti-war rally that took place in Tel Aviv today. These rallies are increasing in support and will continue increasing as time goes on. There is nothing wrong with that. We live in a democratic country and people have the right to express their feelings against the war. I would hope that while our sons/daughters/brothers/sisters are out there fighting that we would try to curtail our criticism so as not to demoralize them, but to each their own. If they feel it important enough to protest, let them protest.

I do think they are misguided and wrong about what they are protesting for the most part. They were mostly protesting against the occupation. Either they are mistaken in understanding the cause of the war and the goings on of the war, or they are intentionally rallying against unrelevant ideas just to attract media attention, because occupation has nothing to do with this war. We left Lebanon a long time ago and have no interest in going back (more on that in a later post). They are also protesting against the killing and that is worthy of protest.

There is something else that bothered me. According to the above Ynet article, at this rally there were calls for soldiers to refuse orders and refuse to take part in the war. This is an especially interesting phenomenon. During the disengagement last year some right wing Rabbis, right wing organizations and political leaders called upon soldiers to refuse orders and not participate in what was termed immoral orders. A soldier should never do anything illegal or immoral and if given an immoral order, I do not think "I was ordered to do it" is an acceptable claim. Not to the world courts at least, as we saw in Nazi Germany, Serbia and wherever else it has arisen.

The question is obviously what is considered immoral and at what point should a soldier refuse such orders. I will not deal with that because, except in extreme cases in which the answer is clear, it is generally a gray area in warfare. Everybody thinks their morals are the right ones and anything going against that should be refused. The left wing protests in tel Aviv today think the issue is one of killing innocent Lebanese civillians. It is unfortunate that innocent civillians are being killed, but they are allowing Hezbollah to operate among them and attack us from places that put them at risk. We have to respond and go on the offensive to quell the attacks, otherwise we will have given up the basic rights and obligations of a country, to protect its citizens. But I digress. I will post more on this issue probably tomorrow, maybe Monday (I was interviewed for a different site and the interview touched on these issues. I do not want to preempt the interview being published so I will wait until after that to post on this topic.)

During the disengagement we heard calls from the right wing, or elements within it, to refuse to partake in the disengagement. At the time, the left wing politicians and organizations and even the general public blasted the right for being traitors and calling on soldiers to refuse orders is destroying the army, etc.. Not only that, but the army threatened certain hesder yeshivas with cancleling their offical status because the deans of thos eyeshivas supported and called for refual of orders. Other people were arrested for such calls to refuse orders.

Now the left wing is calling for refusal. Will we see a wave of arrests? Will we see condemnation of the left wing protestors by the general public and the right wing? Will we see a silencing of protestors by violent police and army battalions fencing them in, similar to what we saw against protestors of the disengagement? Will we simply ignore it until the protests get so loud that they force the army's and politicians hands, similar to the protests of the Four Mothers five years ago?
Will the army and politicians use the same tactics they used against the right wing last year? I am waiting to see what happens, but I think I know already..


  1. Don't worry so much. Maariv came out with poll results, and over 90% of the entire population believes that the fighting against Hezbollah is justified, and they support the war. In Tel-Aviv, they were just showing the minor pinkos who live in some alternate reality. We saw the protest. A bunch of the people were carrying around Soviet sickle and hammer flags. No-one's taking these freaks seriously. Over 5,000 reservists have been called up, and not one has refused orders. Actually, they showed reservists coming in that HAD NOT been called up but showed up any-ways because the rest of their pikud had been called up. That's the reality. These whakos don't represent any reality.

  2. Thanks for reassuring me. However, I would point out that last weeks protest had only a couple hundred people and this weeks had a couple thousand. Right nwo they are still a fringe element and there is overwhelming support, but I think as time goes on and this takes longer than expected, alot of people might join those protests..

  3. The fact that the US is letting the IDF do their job is reassuring as well. People protest everything, that's life. B"H civilian injuries have been minimal. HKBH is on our side.

  4. yes it is.. (however they think HKBH (aka Allah) is on their sode... very confusing..)

  5. crazy whack jobs. I once (a long time ago) went to a left wing rally with some friends and we spread out and held up ridiculous signs to give the impression that everyone there was a whacko.
    like "Nukes kill whales too" and
    "No Ozone, No Bread"

    The rally was anti-occupation, but some of our signs got in the paper.


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