Lamech was a wimp

by Kim on July 30, 2014

At least 1,200 Palestinians and 55 Israelis have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on 8 July.
Most of the Palestinian deaths have been civilians.
Some 53 Israeli soldiers have been killed along with two civilians.
– BBC, 30 July

That’s a ratio of 22 Palestinian dead for 1 Israeli dead.

Let’s ridiculously err on the side of Israeli military accuracy and say 600 of the Palestinian dead have been civilians, compared to 2 Israeli civilian deaths. Then the ratio becomes 300 to 1.

As for children - well, never mind. Not least because a child should only count as half a person, shouldn’t he, she - it?

According to Genesis 4:24 (GNB), Lamech said, “If seven lives are taken to pay for killing Cain, seventy-seven will be taken if anyone kills me.” That’s a ratio of 11 to 1.

Clearly Lamech was a softie, Lamech was a wimp.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }


Earl 07.30.14 at 1:47 pm

Lamech was neither a softie or a wimp. He simply lacked vision. War as industry and policy was not yet on the horizon.


Mark Byron 08.01.14 at 1:05 am

So as long as Hamas sets up shop with civilian cover for its bases, Israel is supposed to let them bomb them to their heart’s content. Their heart’s content, let us not forget, is to wipe Judaism off the map.

Israeli pacifism that you seem to be urging gives us millions of Jewish refugees fleeing Israel if followed to its logical conclusion, given that Hamas, Hezbollah and other Islamic groups aren’t going to play by the Marquess of Queensberry rules.


Kim 08.01.14 at 8:48 am

Israeli pacifism that you seem to be urging …

That’s bullshit, Mark. You know that I know (and you know) that pacifism is a negligible part of the Judaic tradition, and that, in any case, nation-states cannot be expected to practice pacifism. But they can and should be expected to acknowledge and embrace - and held to account over - Just War tradition, respect for which is central to international law and order.

In my little Swiftean post, I specifically target the ius in bello criteria of proportionality and discrimination: Israel’s overkill is wildly disproportionate and its evident indifference to civilian populations is sickeningly indiscriminate, and hardly justifiable as a legitimate reaction to Hamas’ rocket fire, morally indefensible as this insane gesture is.

My brief post doesn’t deal with them, but cogent cases can also be made that Israel is in violation of other Just War principles, including, btw, ius ad bellum criteria. Hamas too, of course. Check the net.


Mark Byron 08.03.14 at 12:05 am

The one problem I see with the Israeli situation is that Israel has no good answer to Hamas. Winning would be wiping Hamas off the map or getting Hamas to coexist with Israel. The former would be genocidal and the latter would take multiple miracles.

Short of that, Just War seems to have no good answer for Israel. Bashing Hamas in order to weaken them but not eliminate their threat does too much damage to civilians and only gives Israel a reprieve until Hamas rebuilds and restocks. Doing a mere tit-for-tat retaliatory attack serves nothing but drag them down to Hamas’ level. Doing nothing would be the moral thing but hard to do on a governmental level when your first job is to protect your people.


Kim 08.03.14 at 3:27 pm

I pretty much agree with your assessment, Mark. I would only add that Israel is never going to make Hamas, or a Hamas clone, disappear. The onus really is on the Palestinian people themselves to say “No! You do not represent our best interests; you are part of the problem, not the solution.” What Palestine really needs is a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King - preferably chromosomally XX. Israel, on the other hand, needs an Amos.

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