Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Difference Between Us... & Them

One of the most important factors in the ongoing war between Israel and those who wish to destroy them is the moral equivalence - or lack thereof - that exists. It is important to remember that right and wrong here is not a matter of debate, but incredibly obvious to anyone with a clear mind.

One side views each loss of life as a tragedy - the other views it as a means of exploitation. The world must recognize this... and until they do, we must keep showing it to them.

The Israeli approach: (via Muqata - read the whole piece there)
On Saturday night at 2:30 AM, [the IDF] called the Gomez family to inform them that the helicopter which was shot down, was that of their son, Daniel.


"My son was killed, I don't want to endanger the lives of other soldiers to bring my son's body back," he [the father] said.

The base commander wisely replied, "This isn't your decision, it is our decision alone."


The rescue team was airlifted that night by helicopter into Lebanon, and heavy fire was directed at them. The "machat" battalion commander ordered the pilots not to land and return home to base. The rescue team unanimously decided to ignore the direct command, and try to land and carry out the mission.
The approaches of both the father and the soldiers are admirable: The soldiers for deeming it worth risking their lives to retrieve the bodies of their brethren, and the father for not wanting them to do so.

Contrast that with this picture (there are others): (via Life-of-Rubin/Meryl Yourish who have more)
1) Man arrives with suitcase full of American toys and dismantles doll in pink dress. (AP)
Umm, excuse me? Why isn't this a front-page story? How quickly would world opinion change if people actually saw this on the cover of their newspapers and newsmags, and not a Lebanese woman crying over what is presumed to be her destroyed home?

This is the difference between us... and them. May we always hold ourselves to higher standards than our enemies.

On a similar note, Jack posted an incredible piece by an LA Times writer named Tim Rutten on the impact of photography (and fake photography) on war. Read the whole thing.


  1. At the same time, we must remember that it's not enough to just be better than them.

  2. Ezzie, what do you think of the war in military and political terms? Clearly, Hezbollah exploits weaknesses in the media to convey an image that serves their purposes. However, what about Israel's conduct of the conflict. The early objectives that Olmert outlined have not been actualized. I'd like to see your thoughts on this, when you have the time. Thanks.

  3. Ugh... I wish I did have the time. Israel lost this war, plain and simple. Hezbollah wins simply by staying alive; that they kept the kidnapped soldiers, somehow turned undisputed territory into disputed, and forced "discussion about Lebanese prisoners" is just icing on the cake. Ha'aretz, a leftist paper in Israel, called for Olmert's resignation after 150 were killed in a month - for absolutely nothing.

    What's even sadder is that this is the first war - possibly ever - in which media bias was being properly exposed, allowing Israel to avoid false accusations to some extent. And Olmert simply blew it.

  4. I believe there were nine fatalities in the IDF on the last day of pre-ceasefire combat. Those nine may have died for a chance at a perceived victory, instead of an actual one. More, that perception is not in place on the Arab street -- and that is the one location where it really matters. (Your enemy must acknowledge defeat. Sun Tzu asks what the enemy will think in the ancestral temple before a war they cannot win: they will acknowledge defeat before a battle is even necessary. Thus conquest through preservation.)

    Worst case scenario is an emboldened Nasrallah, Iran and Syria. The latter two have already issued dark assessments of the current state of affairs in the Middle East.

    Do you think Olmert will lose his position as PM? I don't know Israel's internal politics, so I am hesitant to guess.

  5. What difference?? You eat. They eat. You bleed. They bleed. You cry. They cry. You kill. They Kill. You defend. They defend. You die. They die. So what difference is there? What difference does it make whether yr a jew, moslem, christian, hindu or whateva? What gives YOU or THEM or ANYBODY else the right to judge others?

    Self righteous ppl like you and self righteus moslems/cristians etc and a darn self righteous president of the US is what is making this world a mess.Period.