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Hannibal protocol, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, and the Jewish state

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Events of the latest round of violence in Gaza would likely lead an outsider to conclude that the segment of the Jewish-Israeli public, which was self-characterized in the past as "Religious-National", is today closer to "Nationalist", or even "Totalitarian" in its values and practices, and increasingly divorced from "Jewish". That of course is not the view of those involved, who consider themselves soldiers of the Lord.

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OccupyTLV, Yom Kippur Eve, October 3 - The latest round of violence in Gaza, this summer, continues to reverberate in Gaza, in Israel, and around the world.

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In Israel, a key part of the legacy of the latest round of violence is the establishment by IDF of the Hannibal protocol in practice. It instructs IDF soldiers to employ any necessary force to prevent the capture of a live IDF soldier by the Palestinians, even if it involves the killing the captive soldier himself. The protocol is not new, but it was employed during the latest round of violence in Gaza twice, the better-known case being the killing of Givati Brigade Lieutenant Hadar Goldin on August 1, 2014. [1,2]

While violence in Gaza was in process, Israeli media was oblique on the issue, and according to reports, Israel also tried to impose censorship on the foreign press in this matter. All of that changed over the past couple of weeks:
  • In an official interview with Ynet for the Jewish New Year, unnamed Givati Brigade senior commanders say, "our conscience is clear", and "we preferred a dead body" over a captive IDF soldier. [3]
  • In response, today Haaretz published an open letter by Uri Misgav to IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, calling upon Gantz to lift the fog of war and clarify the exact nature of the Hannibal protocol. [4]
Both Givati officers - the late Lieutenant Goldin - who was killed in Gaza, and Lieutenant Eytan - who was in charge of executing the Hannibal protocol on Goldin - are observant Jews. And in the aftermath of the case, the visit of Lieutenant Eytan with the family of Lieutenant Goldin was widely published. All involved were described as observant Jews.

No discernible protest has been raised against the Hannibal protocol from the Jewish observant segment of Israeli public, who tends to lean right, although the Hannibal protocol stands in clear violation of the basics of Jewish Halachic law: The sixth of the Mosaic Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not kill", and the commandment of redeeming captives.

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Moreover, numerous Halachic authorities in the State of Israel ruled over recent decades that captives, who were IDF soldiers, should be redeemed, even at the price of releasing Palestinians, who were convicted of terror acts of murder. In contrast, no Halachic ruling has been published in support of the Hannibal protocol. And yet, it appears that observant Jewish IDF soldiers embrace it.

Jewish observant, Givati Brigade commander Colonel Ofer Winter. [6]
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Givati Brigade and its commander Colonel Ofer Winter came into controversy, relative to Jewish religious issues, even earlier in this summer's round of violence in Gaza.

July 11, 2014, flyer by Givati brigade commander Ofer Winter. [5]
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On July 11, 2014, Israeli media published a flyer, which was distributed by Givati Brigade commander Colonel Ofer Winter to his soldiers, prior to the start of the ground operations in Gaza. Winter is an observant Jew. In the flyer, Winter refers to the Palestinians as a "blasphemous enemy", and invokes the Jewish credo: "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one," as a battle cry. [5]

The next day, media published protest against the flyer by secular Jewish-Israeli writers, claiming that it turned IDF into a "religious militia". [6] Observant Jewish-Israeli opinion writers found no fault in it...

Overall, the latest round of violence would likely lead an outsider to conclude that the segment of the Jewish-Israeli public, which was self-characterized in the past as "Religious-National", is today closer to "Nationalist", or even "Totalitarian" in its values and practices, and increasingly divorced from "Jewish".

That of course is not the view of those involved, who consider themselves the soldiers of the Lord.

The late Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz: "Prophet of wrath, harbinger of the future". [7]
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The most significant intellectual figure in Israel in the 20th century was Jewish observant, Hebrew University Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903-1994). With the passage of time, his words stand loud and clear, particularly on two issues:
  • In the aftermath of the 1967 war, he called for immediate, unilateral withdrawal of Israel from the territories it captured. The reason: Ongoing control of the Palestinian people by the Jewish people of the State of Israel would invariably lead to total corruption of the State of Israel!
  • All along he called for the separation of State and Synagogue in Israel. The reason: The ongoing merger of the two would invariably lead to corruption of both State and Synagogue!
The evidence, too long to list here, shows that Leibowitz was right on both.

LINKS:
[1] 2014-07-07 Joseph Zernik: "ISRAEL: The killing of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and the "Hannibal protocol", OpEdNews.com
http://www.opednews.com/articles/ISRAEL-The-killing-of-Lie-by-Joseph-Zernik-Gaza-Invasion_Israel_Israeli-Attacks-In-Gaza-140807-208.html
[2] 2014-07-12 Joseph Zernik: "ISRAEL: The killing of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin in Gaza - a government of crooks!", OpEdNews.com
http://www.opednews.com/articles/ISRAEL-The-killing-of-Lie-by-Joseph-Zernik-Gaza-Invasion_Israel-140812-256.html
[3] 2014-09-24 Yoav Zeytun: "Givati commanders regarding the Rafah battle, 'clear consience'", Ynet
http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4568410,00.html
[4] 2014-10-03 Uri Misgav: "To IDF chief of staff: Clear the fog over the 'Hannibal Directive'", Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.619030
[5] 2014-07-11 Givati brigade commander to his soldiers: "History chose us". NRG
http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/595/401.html
[6] 2014-07-11 Secular Israelis object to the brigade commander letter, who called for fighting in the name of the Lord, Walla
http://news.walla.co.il/?w=/2689/2764078
[7] 2013-03-13 Carlo Senger: "Yeshayahu Leibowitz: Prophet of wrath, harbinger of the future", Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/strenger-than-fiction/yeshayahu-leibowitz-prophet-of-wrath-harbinger-of-the-future.premium-1.509103 mselves the soldiers of the Lord.

 

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Dr Zernik is a Human Rights and social protest activist, recognized for his unique application of data-mining and IT system analysis in Human Rights.

Dr Zernik's reports in the area of IT systems and Human Rights were incorporated into (more...)
 

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