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Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.
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As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner. That witticism came to mind while reading headlines in the Hebrew press Thursday about the testimony that soldiers who took part in Operation Cast Lead in January gave at the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military preparatory course at Oranim Academic College in Kiryat Tivon in February.
Dani Zamir, the head of the program, published the conversations in a newsletter sent to the course's graduates. According to the testimony of a number of soldiers who took part in what appears to have been a group therapy session getting the war experiences off their chest, three soldiers told of cases in which civilians were killed by sniper fire, and of the wanton destruction of property.
The IDF military advocate general instructed the Criminal Investigation Division of the Military Police on Thursday to investigate the claims, and while some may dismiss the investigation as a fig leaf for the rest of the world, it isn't.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak's response to the story was telling. He said Israel is the most moral army in the world. While the country's detractors around the world would mock at that moniker, we Israelis believe it, and it is extremely important that we continue to do so.
The country fights not because it wants to, but because it has to. And since it has to, it is crucial that Israelis believe in the morality of their cause.
The idea of a moral army is not important because of how we are perceived abroad, but rather for how we perceive ourselves. This country demands a lot of sacrifice from its citizens, and people will only sacrifice if they feel that what they are sacrificing for is just and right.
If the army would act in an immoral manner, it would pull the rug from under our feet, and would also deter good, decent people from either going into the army, or sending their children to fight there.
Thursday's headlines, picked up immediately by the wire services and getting wide play abroad, were "IDF killed civilians in Gaza under loose rules of engagement," and, "Testimony of soldiers who fought in Gaza: What is lacking is context.
First of all, this type of testimony is legendary in Israel - there is even a phrase to describe it: The most famous book of this genre, Siach Lochamim, came out immediately after the Six Day War inand was translated into English a few years latter under the title The Seventh Day.
The testimonials from the Rabin preparatory course have a similar feel: It is important to note that none of the testimony was about what the soldiers did themselves, but rather of what they heard or saw other soldiers do.
It is also important that what was reported seems to fall within the realm of aberrations by individuals during war against a cruel enemy hiding behind civilians, not a systematic loss by the army of its moral compass.
A story in Haaretz on Thursday said that in Zamir, then a parachute company commander in the reserves, was tried and sentenced to prison for refusing to guard a ceremony where "right-wingers" brought Torah scrolls to Joseph's tomb in Nablus. Zamir, in an interview on Israel Radio on Thursday, said that the soldiers from Operation Cast Lead who spoke at the meeting reflected an atmosphere inside the army of "contempt for, and forcefulness against, the Palestinians.
The book, which earned commendation from no less a personage than Noam Chomsky, includes a section by Zamir, described as "an officer in the reserves from Kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar who was sentenced to 28 days for refusal to serve in Nablus and now heads the Kibbutz Movement's preparatory seminary for youngsters ahead of their induction in the army.
The testimonies of the soldiers that he brought to the public's attention seem to corroborate - what a coincidence - his thesis.Country analysis of North Africa in regards to military expenditures and arms transfers, major arms and zone, conventional forces, and qualitative trends in the military balance in the Middle East.
5 The Ethics of Research in the Middle East commentary, opinion, and analysis in today’s gloriously open internet-shaped public sphere. Political scientists writing in places like The Monkey Cage should hopefully be able to introduce this methodological rigor and comparative analysis into those arguments.
Baalke, Caitlin, "A Political and Historic Analysis of the Relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia: how the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has influenced U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East" ().
"The most perfect of the believers in faith is the best of them in moral excellence, and the best of you are the kindest of you to their wives." The Prophet's Hadith The Qur'an, of course, acknowledges and makes provision for differences between men and women.
Islam, founded on individual and collective morality and responsibility, introduced a social revolution in the context in which it was first revealed. Collective morality is expressed in the Qur'an in such terms as equality, justice, fairness, brotherhood, mercy, compassion, solidarity, and freedom of choice.
A lot of what passes as “ethical” discourse in the foreign policy debate, and especially about the Middle East, is more like political grandstanding or glorified identity politics.
The first 73, op-eds and political speeches thundering on about moral clarity are enough to turn anyone off of the language of morality.