Gaza:changing priorities for Israel

January 7, 2009

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The task of any country’s army is to protect its citizens, to protect itself, and to avoid injuring civilians while doing battle with the enemy. After having targeted Israeli civilian targets for years, and after having invested in developing longer range missiles at the expense of its people’s welfare, it would seem that Hamas, in this sense, is no army.

The Israel Defense Force (IDF), is an army. Within Israel and without, there has been an ongoing argument about the way these three priorities of an army – a) protecting Israeli civilians, b) protecting Israeli soldiers, and c) protecting Gaza civilians – should be ordered.

Up until recently, most residents of Israel’s south were protesting that the Israeli government had it all backwards. Gazans were ‘rated’ higher than soldiers, who in turn were rated higher than Israeli civilians. This ordering of priorities, they argued, was immoral.

In going to war, the Israeli government signaled that it has inverted the priorities. Israeli citizens come first.

As a result, Israeli soldiers have been in grave danger for the past few days, and the civilian population of Gaza has been going through utter agony.

Is it wrong to put ourselves first?

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