A bloodbath is taking place in Beit Hanun, the Israel Defense Forces runs rampant and kills at least 37 people in four days – and Israeli public opinion yawns with indifference. A brigade commander tells his soldiers, who killed 12 people in one day: “You’ve won 12:0,” and the soldiers grin broadly. This is the moral nadir we have reached, following a long slide down a slippery slope: Human life has become cheap.
Proof of this came at the end of the week from the big mouth of Major General Elazar Stern, the head of the IDF Personnel Directorate, who occasionally says true things. “The IDF’s excessive sensitivity to human life led to some of the failures in the Lebanon war – and this should not happen,” Stern told Channel 7. Stern should be praised for these forthright words: Those who embark with unbearable lightness on a futile war of choice cannot allow themselves the luxury of showing sensitivity for the lives of their soldiers. In war, soldiers not only kill, but are also killed. This should have been stated in advance.
But the general’s remarks are also tainted with hypocrisy: Those who over a few months kill more than 1,000 Lebanese and 300 Palestinians for dubious reasons do not have the right to speak about sensitivity to human life. The fact that the public protest against the war did not take off demonstrates that after having lost all sensitivity for the lives of others, we are also gradually losing sensitivity for the lives of our children who are killed in vain. The contempt for human life starts with the lives of Arabs and ends with the lives of Jews.