Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Elul 5765 - September 21, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Ban The Mosrim

The bonds of the Jewish people are thick and multilayered. A moser breaks them all.

At the top what brings us together is Torah and mitzvos, the common content and mission of all normative Jewish lives. But typically there is also a closeness based on culture, language, and common experiences that is very strong even when true Torah ties are weakened or nonexistent. Finally, there is a basic bond of blood that links all Jews, throughout the world and across the ages. All of these function together.

In Jewish society, a moser was considered the lowest level to which a Jew could sink. Intellectuals who challenged Jewish traditions were fought bitterly. Modern people who betrayed our traditions in order to become rich or powerful were mourned. But none became the object of scorn and derision that was the lot of the moser — one who exploited the hatred of the non-Jews in order to undermine other Jews. Such a figure had severed all ties to the Jewish people and to Judaism, and joined forces with those who hated Jews. Those whom the moser handed over could not expect any sort of fairness or justice from the non-Jewish authorities, whose hatred of Jews was the underlying basis for all their actions.

Now our mosrim wear ties and present themselves as enlightened and cultured. In the old galuti times, the mosrim used to be embarrassed to show their faces in Jewish society, and they would do their work in secret. In the progressive, modern State of Israel, the mosrim enjoy favorable press reports and a certain amount of public prestige, as if they were fighting heroically for justice.

Last week the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, an organization based in London that, despite its ostensibly neutral name, is openly an advocate for Palestinian political interests, was joined by the Israeli organization Yesh Gvul in filing a complaint against current IDF commander Dan Chalutz and former IDF commander Moshe Yaalon for war crimes, because of their involvement in the assassination of mass murderer Salah Shehadeh, a very competent Hamas mass murderer who had the blood of dozens of innocent Israelis (and no few Palestinians) on his hands and who was planning the murder of many more.

Shehadeh was staying in a building that was in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Along with Shehadeh, 14 others were reported killed. Of those others, it is known that at least one was another Hamas fighter. Another was Shehadeh's wife, who was publicly photographed dressed as a fighter, meaning that she was also a legitimate target and not an innocent bystander.

According to international law, Israel had every legal and moral right to target Shehadeh and, according to international law, the responsibility for the collateral damage and destruction is Shehadeh's, not Israel's, since he lived among noncombatants, in violation of the rules of warfare.

In a reasonable society it would be understood that even the most tolerant democracy cannot allow its own citizens to join forces with its enemies and to harass (or worse) dedicated public servants who are acting as agents of the community of which they are a part by sending them to judgment in hostile courts.

Yesh Gvul has a goal — to bring Israeli army officers to trial for what it calls "war crimes." It said openly that if the Israeli High Court is unwilling to do what it wants, then it will appeal to British courts. If groups try to override the High Court by working within the Israeli system that makes the legislature sovereign they are criticized by the Left for "bypassing the High Court." Appealing to European courts, however, is OK.

This behavior threatens the fundamental rights of the Jewish community in Israel, since if they cannot kill those who want to kill them, the results are obvious. It also, and thereby, sets them apart from the entire community.

A healthy state would not hesitate to ostracize such organizations. If the Israeli state were reasonable, it would ban such organizations, and would not read the media that regard them as heroes.

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