Grad rocket fired from Gaza falls near Be’er Sheva. cc: wikipedia
Public Appeal: How to Maintain Human Rights when Rockets are being launched from Civil Population in Gaza on the residents in the South of Israel
The rockets salvos on Israel are launched by extreme groups within or near to the civil population in the Gaza strip. This creates a strong moral dilemma when on one hand there is a clear military motivation to attack these groups at any price in order to protect the residents of the South and on the other hand it is clear that an undifferentiated attack in a residential area will hurt many innocent Gaza residents. Beyond an abuse of human rights, such activity can also escalate the hatred and the motivation for terror.
As a human rights organization that is also obligated to the Jewish tradition, we, at Rabbis for Human Rights, are in principle, against damage to civilians, whether they are Israelis or from Gaza, and also if they live near to launching sites. On the other hand, the residents who live in the South of the country are also entitled to security and normal life. We admit that we do not have all the practical answers and we try hard to think of the most creative and smart ways in order to minimize the tension between the security needs and human rights.
It is obvious that it is better to from the outset make all efforts to prevent a situation like this (as the ceasefire from June to November 2008) but the question remains: how is it possible to protect our citizens without hurting innocent people? From here we call all our activists, specialists in different areas and the public to suggest different kinds of solutions.
We would like to point out that the solutions of the policy makers were not enough and even were not in line with the goal of returning the security to all the residents of the area. And indeed the people of Gaza strip suffer from the IDF bombs from loses, injuries, trauma and damage to property, and it does not seem that these measures contributed to the safety of the residents in the South. We can not just tell the people in the South that we simply do not have a better solution to the rocket launching. In this challenging framework we have to try and think on another solution.
Public Appeal: please send us articles/opinions/topical, practical and detailed columns to settle the dilemma and a for a solution for the human problem. Please send suggestions of no more them 600 words to Yariv Mohar, spokesman of Rabbis for Human Rights: firstname.lastname@example.org
The suggestions will be published, on the Rabbis for Human Rights website and possibly also on leading news and opinions websites, subjected to the writer’s consent and of course with his/hers name.
In Sanhedrin 4:5 it is written that to loosing one man is as if loosing the whole world.
THE Jewish tradition (as the international law) recognizes the rights and the responsibility for self defense (Sanhedrin 72). It is of course limited to the minimum power needed and forbids hurting these who do not fight you, even to save your life (ibid 74).