In the Yom Kippur service there is a passage that refers to Pidyon Shevuyim (redeeming the captives). Islam theologically views the non Muslim as no better than cattle, to be bartered, stolen, abused and despatched to his or her death when no longer of service. As such, Islam is the true spiritual heir to the Roman Empire whose civilisation likewise produced great works of art and literature and, defined statecraft and ethics as the celebration of power and death, imaginatively delivered to lesser beings.
The one thing that has differentiated both the USA and Israel in their statecraft from the rest is the tension between foreign policy pragmatists (realists) and foreign policy idealists. It is why the home of Capitalism boycotts its enemies and why the most significant opposition to war has always come from within our two societies not outside of them. It is why Israel’s enemies fired almost 10,000 rockets and missiles at Israel’s citizens; nevertheless Israel permitted its enemies to escape with their families in the assault on Gaza that began on December 27, 2008. And Israel has the most diligent military prosecution service in the Western world, to ensure that those forgetting the ‘rules of war’ do not escape scrutiny from an Israeli court.
It may not be much but it is what differentiates ‘us’ from ‘them’.
On November 30, 1947 the Arab Higher Committee issued its manifesto to rouse the population to a higher plane of consciousness – it wanted the Palestinian Arab populace to be prepared for the conflict with the Jews. It was titled “Kingdoms are established over dead bodies and skulls.” Rousing stuff.
In a not dissimilar vein, Neturei Karta, the fundamentalist Jewish worlds very own Jew haters may be correct about one thing only and that is that a people with a state will compromise on following God’s commandments. They bleat that only a God created state is permissible therefore they ignore the state and often actively work to undermine it. Their ethics are without Jewish foundation. In order to survive,a state will inevitably make compromises and God is in the struggle, not in full time study and disengagement from the life of the nation.
Those who would abandon a captive to his or her fate betray Jewish values. That a senior Israeli Rabbi could publicly suggest this, is an indication of moral degeneration, not of piety.
Israel must not forget that the ethical foundation of the state of Israel is not Turkish, nor Arab, nor British; it is Jewish, and it is Israeli. Ethnic cleansing is symbolic of Islam’s foundation mythology. Pidyon Shevuyim is symbolic of Israel's founding ethic. Some of us appear to have forgotten that.
Pirkei Avot 2.6 (Hillel) "In a place where no one behaves like a human being, you must strive to be human.”