Who is a Moser?


Not Richard Silverstein. Nope.

mabhouhA Moser in Judaism is basically a Jew who informs on another Jew to non-Jewish authorities. The law relating to a Moser has evolved over time. Jewish communities that lived in societies that discriminated against Jews, treated Mosers more harshly than those who lived in societies with fair justice systems. For instance, one who informs on a Jewish pedophile or criminal today in the United States, ought not be considered a Moser. The law of Moser is not, in fact, akin to the Mafia’s code of Omerta. The law of Moser was never meant to help criminal Jews escape Justice. It was meant to prevent injustice.

The law of Moser’s harsh strictures, often requiring the administration of the death penalty, also reflected the fact that such informants often lied in order to curry favor with the anti-Jewish authorities.

Recently, a team of at least 11 and as many as 17 people, killed the leader of Hamas’ Military wing, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Mabhouh was said to be in charge of Hamas weapons procurement from Iran and was personally involved in the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers. The suspects arrived in Dubai bearing a number of fake European passports and are suspected of being Israeli but that has yet to be proven unequivocally.

Despite that, self-described pro-Israel, pro-Zionist Jewish blogger Richard Silverstein, after posting photos of the suspects, expressed his fondest hope for those that carried out this extra-judicial killing as follows:

I would like to see Dubai take out Interpol warrants for these Israeli murderers. Then I would like to see Dubai request that the ICC try them when they are caught. I would like Israeli progressives to watch out for these people and report them when they see them so they can be identified even if they choose to stay in Israel where they can’t be captured. No more impunity

Are the people that committed this killing Israelis? We don’t absolutely know. Are they murderers? Is killing an enemy combatant, with blood on his hands, actively engaged in plotting the deaths of civilians, a murder? Or is it the sort of measured response to terrorism originating in Gaza, urged for by no less than Justice Goldstone in his infamous Report?

But one cannot help but be struck by the bile and pure hatred emanating from Richard Silverstein’s exhortation. He not only wishes ill against people defending Israel, he seeks to recruit fellow progressives in Israel to root out and bring to justice the suspects he hopes they will find in their midst. Will such suspects receive a fair trial in Dubai? I’m guessing… not so much. Will they receive a fair trial in the International Criminal Court? Well, Richard Silverstein is no expert on International law amongst other things he’s not an expert on. If he was he’d know that this sort of operation falls outside the ambit of the ICC. But whatever. This isn’t the first time Richard Silverstein has made a completely idiotic statement, and I suspect it won’t be the last.

Of course we can debate the merit of such killings. I have no doubt that Mabhouh will soon be replaced by someone else. But for a Jew to express such unbridled hatred against another Jew, and to actively urge people to turn them in, one has to wonder how the law of Moser ought to apply in such an instance.

Traditionally, no one was ever held in greater contempt than the Moser, and the sages often compared the informant to a serpent. Sanctions against Moserim range from death to excommunication. There isn’t much information about the penalty for one who encourages another to be a Moser. I would never suggest that Richard Silverstein be killed for his opinions and he excommunicated himself from Klal Yisrael a long time ago.

I guess the bottom line is that whatever the actual Jewish law is, Richard Silverstein has proven himself to be a world-class douche bag.

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Founder of Jewlicious? Publisher? Man I hate titles. I coined the name Jewlicious and I slave over the site. I live in Jerusalem and I need to get some breakfast.
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41 Comments

  1. Kung Fu Jew 18

    2/18/2010 at 9:37 pm

    Calling someone a moser (a bastard child) is like calling someone a nigger and saying you didn’t mean it in a racial sense.Give these petty pissing fights a break, they only highlight to worst of all parties. I know it’s convenient that it raises traffic, but douche awards go around plenty afterwards.

    To hell with the politics, Abitbol, this is low.

    • ck

      2/18/2010 at 9:41 pm

      Did I call Silverstein a Moser? No. I know full well what a moser is. That’s why I didn’t say he was one. I think you’re confusing moser (informant) with mamzer (bastard child). Please read the post carefully before commenting. You’re not usually this sloppy. I mean, not ever.

  2. LB Chasid (in La)

    2/18/2010 at 9:50 pm

    Kung Fu Jew needs to go back to Sunday School.

    See you soon CK!

  3. themiddle

    2/18/2010 at 10:12 pm

    I have no idea what a moser is and what I’ve read about the term is nasty.

    It is also something that as far as Judaism goes, belongs with our strictures regarding stoning…somewhere in our long-lost past.

    However, Silverstein is most definitely a douche-bag, whatever that is.

  4. Jeremiah Haber

    2/18/2010 at 11:20 pm

    First of all, a correction

    “The law of Moser was never meant to help criminal Jews escape Justice. It was meant to prevent injustice.”

    Excuse me, what is your source for that? If you look at the codes, you don’t see anything like this ortho-apologetics. The assumption throughout classical halakha, especially before the modern period, is that justice will not be meted out in goyishe courts (arkhaoteihem) or by goyishe governments because they are goyyim, whose standards of justice are lower, and because they are out to get Jews. Where is the heter to inform on a Jew before a non-Jewish forum that doesn’t have to do with fear of reprisals against the Jewish community if the Jew is not handed over — and that itself is not unproblematic.

    Now it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to describe the Dubai assassination as an extra-judicial killing that a) violate norms of law, b) violate Dubai’s sovereignty, c) lead to reprisals against Israelis and Jews, and d) desecrate God’s name because civilized countries don’t send out hit squads in hotels. For all these and other reasons, the analogy you draw between the pedophile (by the way, what is the source in Jewish law for giving him to a non-Jewish court) and the hit squad is spot on. It is not only not mesirah to call for their arrest and trial, but it would be a mitzvah.

    Now I don’t expect you, or anybody else with a tribal morality that belittles the rule of international law, to agree with this. Fine. That’s why liberals are liberals and conservatives are conservatives. But what does mesirah have to do with it? You are deliberately using a charged term just to take potshots.

    It’s your privilege to call Silverstein a douchebag, if you like — the term is an appropriate one in the frat house circles that you apparently frequent — but leave halakha out of it.

    Oh, and I pledge $100 bucks to the rightwing charity of your choice if you can find where Richard Goldstone approves of the sort of targeted killings in Dubai. You write: “Is killing an enemy combatant, with blood on his hands, actively engaged in plotting the deaths of civilians, a murder?” A good question, but break it up.

    “Is killing an enemy combatant” — soldiers are enemy combatants and are protected in many instances by the laws of war. Did you mean “illegal combatant”? And do you have any idea how hard it is to define that category?

    “with blood on his hand” — that is entirely irrelevant to the question of the justification of targeted killings. Revenge, or even punishment, is not a justification. I don’t know of any system of law that justifies the extra-judicial killing of people simply because they have blood on their hands.

    “actively engaged in plotting the deaths of civilians” — here you are getting warmer — but what evidence has been produced that al-Mabhouth was actively plotting the death of civilians. What Israeli civilians have been killed by his plotting recently? Are you claiming that he was a ticking bomb? Evidence?

    • ck

      2/18/2010 at 11:41 pm

      Jeremiah: I’ll try to get to all your points later. First I’d like to thank you for your restraint. Your questions are good. However, I’d just like to state that I have never voted for a right wing party in my life. And I vote every chance I have. Thus I have little or no interest in making any donation to any right wing organization. And I have never been a member of a frat nor have any of my friends. Not even AEPi. So yeah. When I have more time (in midst of Festival prep) I will try to respond to your relevant points.

      Malik: Aggh! You got me! I have no response to that! :)

    • moish

      11/19/2011 at 5:19 pm

      i hope a moser kills you.

    • EditorJP

      1/14/2013 at 11:19 pm

      Haber is another moser like Silverstein.

      He and Silverstein and their defenders have their heads so far up the Caliphate’s rear end they won’t even feel it when their jihadi boyfriends shout

      “Allah Akbar! we don’t need your help anymore, thanks, FAKE JEWS!!”

      and cut their worthless dhimmie heads off.

  5. Malik Shabazz

    2/18/2010 at 11:22 pm

    CK, you’re a world-class douche bag.

  6. jerry haber

    2/19/2010 at 12:03 am

    Sorry for the presumption. Let’s just drop the rightwing.

    Actually, I will also drop my offer of contributing, and my other belittling comments, if you want to make serious reponses. And also my comments about frat houses (pretty soon their ADL will be after me.)

    Maybe it’s just a generational thang, but I am not used to hearing “douchebag” in serious polemics, though I prefer it to “moser” and maybe I will adopt it myself, as in , “Dershowitz, you call Goldstone a traitor. You are totally a douchebag.”

    Whew, I feel better already.

    • ck

      2/19/2010 at 12:35 am

      Well, I don’t think Goldstone was a traitor. I think the report was flawed but the Israeli response, lack of cooperation etc. was at least in part to blame. I think you’ll find that despite my use of the term douchebag regarding Silverstein (it’s just so apt) I am still capable of serious discussion. Moser is a touchy term and it is often misused. I’ll be the first to admit that. Anyhow… back to fest prep!

      • ck

        2/19/2010 at 3:45 am

        Aye aye aye. Richard Silverstein responded! But, as is standard fare for that stupid shit head, he fails basic reading comprehension. I never said Silverstein was a Moser. What I did say was that he was encouraging others to be Mosrim. How rich is it for someone eats and feeds his kids pork to be giving mussar on halacha. Richard Silverstein is beyond redemption.

        The winner of the Richard Silverstein Whiny Bitch Pool is T. Maldev who made the closest guess as to how long it would take Silverstein to fire from the hip with a lame response.

  7. themiddle

    2/19/2010 at 12:07 am

    Jerry, can I get the $100 donated to the charity of my choice if I prove that Goldstone favors that Israel handle its fighting in this way?

  8. themiddle

    2/19/2010 at 12:15 am

    Also Jerry, could you expand on this a little: “Now I don’t expect you, or anybody else with a tribal morality that belittles the rule of international law, to agree with this.”

    Weren’t Hamas belittling international law by acquiring weapons that target Israeli civilians and then using those weapons against those Israeli civilians? Wasn’t the individual in charge of such acquisitions a warrior on behalf of those who violated international law? Is he then not a fair target for military action by those he and his partners would attack? What exactly is “tribal” about that?

    While you’re considering that question, please also consider the following ones. If a bunch of tribes, many of which belong to one religion and some tribes which have important economic ties to those tribes of the one religion, choose to use the forum that establishes international law as a resource to consistently single out a single tribe of a different religion that historically has been held in inferior status by that bloc of tribes, then is this forum being used justly to establish laws? Is it being used in consonance with an environment that would demand respect for the laws established in that forum?

  9. dahlia

    2/19/2010 at 2:07 am

    It has been reported in many news articles that al-Mabhouh was in Dubai to meet with Iranians. In counter-terrorism literature this is known as affiliation. If terrorist A has coffee with questionable person B there is an affiliation between A and B. Given that we know that al-Mabhouh is a weapons procurer for Hamas, and that Iran is a known supplier of weapons to Hamas, Hezbollah, the Shiite groups in Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen, which it treats as proxies, it is quite logical to assume that the meeting which was to take place was connected to procurement, and not a “catch up session between old friends.” So, while I wouldn’t classify al-Mabhouh as a “ticking bomb,” I am, however, aware that all nations (including those “civilized countries” to which Jerry alluded) know that the best way to prevent an enemy from using a given capability against them is to prevent the enemy from gaining that ability. If Clausewitz is correct, and war is the continuation of policy, then intelligence agencies rightfully engage in skirmishes.

  10. dahlia

    2/19/2010 at 2:10 am

    Jeremiah: Do you have information to which the rest of us are not privy? You seem to allude that this “hit” was carried out by Mossad. I have not seen any definitive evidence which would confirm this. Without said evidence, such accusations may appear premature, particularly in light of how easy it has, is, and likely always will be to rile up world support to “lynch the Jews”

  11. themiddle

    2/19/2010 at 5:17 am

    I would be pleased if Mr. Haber were to make a contribution to Magen David Adom in the name of Jewlicious. I hope he returns.

  12. xisnotx

    2/19/2010 at 6:03 am

    I’m posting this whole article because it’s not available via web, & thought Dahlia & others might find it of interest.

    Date Posted: 09-Feb-2010

    Jane’s Defence Weekly

    Death of Hamas commander ignites debate on future strategy
    Mohammed Najib JDW Correspondent
      Ramallah

    The 20 January assassination of Hamas’ top weapons buyer has presented a conundrum for the Palestinian guerrilla movement while also exposing fractures in its alliances with the Arab world as it draws on greater support from Iran, security sources told Jane’s .
    Mahmoud Mabhouh was killed in Dubai; Israel has been blamed for the assassination of the 50-year-old commander, who was responsible for the abduction and murder of two Israel Defence Force soldiers in 1988.

    Israeli intelligence sources said that Mabhouh was a regular visitor to Iran, where he secured the purchase of Grad missiles and other modern weapons that were smuggled from as far away as Sudan through tunnels into Gaza to supplement the rockets built locally by Hamas militants.

    His death has sparked an internal debate on whether Hamas should retaliate against Israeli targets. “Retaliation aboard requires a decision by Hamas political leadership and until now it has not been approved,” another Hamas security source in Damascus told Jane’s .

    Documents, a mobile phone and other important information about Hamas’ weapons purchases were also seized in the attack, “which will help them learn about our contacts and arms deals”, one Hamas security source in Damascus told Jane’s on 1 February.

    “It’s a painful loss for us … which will have a negative impact on our armament capabilities for some time,” the source said.

    However, while Mabhouh’s death is a blow to Hamas, “they will be able to replace him”, noted Colonel Maher Faris, deputy commander of the Palestinian Authority’s military intelligence unit.

    Members of the senior leadership, including exiled political chief Khaled Meshaal, have vowed retribution and increased collaboration with Hizbullah, while others have urged caution and forbearance, for fear of further damaging relationships with Arab patrons and allies.

    Worried about the mounting influence of Iran through regional proxies, the ‘moderate’ Arab axis led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt has hardened its tone. Analysts note the Saudi decision to mount an offensive against the Houthi rebels in northern Yemen as one indication of the severity of the Iranian threat to Gulf state internal stability and the resolve of the Gulf states to diminish it.

    Mustafa Alani, director of the Gulf Research Center for Terrorism and Security Studies, told Jane’s that the efforts to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East have had some recent successes, pointing to the defeat of the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

    “Hizbullah’s reputation has declined since 2006 and the Palestinian population is shifting support away from Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ] for what they consider too-close relations with Iran,” he said. “Pro-Iranian groups in Iraq are also trying to downplay their support for and from Tehran in the run-up to elections.”

    Arab states have also demanded public fealty from Hamas; Meshaal was invited to talks in January in Egypt and stood beside Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal when he said he was “reassured” that Hamas stood within the Arab fold.

  13. yankel

    2/19/2010 at 11:38 am

    What is it that Palestinians do to those (without even benefit of a trial) they perceive to be traitors and Israeli collaborators? How many Palestinians have been executed by their compatriots?
    Richard Silverstein should be grateful that Jews are NOT like Palestinians.

  14. jerry haber

    2/19/2010 at 12:07 pm

    Dahlia, what would consist of definitive evidence in your eyes?

    There is now a report in the Daily Mail, quoted by Haaretz, that a Mossad operative told the paper that the British government was informed before the operation that some of the hit squad used UK passports. Anyway, obviously if it was another country than I wouldn’t be criticizing Israel.
    haaretz.com/ha...
    Also, the question of the legality, morality, and utility of targeted assassinations is indeed complex. That complexity wasn’t reflected in the original post, or in comments made by themiddle. Folks, read up on this topic; there are books you can look at through Google Books and non-partisan websites.

    And for the record, the human rights agencies criticize the other side much more than they criticize Israel. HRW was criticized for hosting a fundraising evening in Saudi Arabia. Has anybody read what HRW has to say against Saudi abuse of human rights? Go to HRW’s website and see how much coverage it has of Israel, and how much of the places in the world.

  15. Tom Morrissey

    2/19/2010 at 12:15 pm

    Middle, you’re changing the subject, much as Dershowirz did in slamming Goldstone (again) in his unconvincing HuffPo piece. One sheds no tears for the late departed Mr. Mahbouh. But we can’t have a legal regime in which one state sends hit squads into hotels in the capital of another state to take out its enemies.

    Like Dershowitz but more obliquely, you cite Goldstone and seem to argue that his report somehow delegitimizes international law on targeted killings. A killing which is prima facie a crime under Dubai law is a crime, period. It’s not complicated.

    More to the point: how would you react if Russian agents shot a Chechen “terrorist” leader to death in a Washington hotel? Or if the Chinese killed the Dalai Lama on his visit to Washington? China having been victim of centuries of invasion and colonialist exploitation by the West, I suppose that would be just fine by you. Or at least, no one in this part of the world would have standing to complain.

  16. AlexK

    2/19/2010 at 12:48 pm

    Like I said elsewhere, I’m damn proud of the operation. Mossad can borrow my identity, car, passport, whatever, any time they want. And Richard Silverwhatever is a Moser. There I said it. I don’t give a ****, I’m still celebrating.

    This blog really needs more balance, as its sooo left of center.

  17. Kung Fu Jew

    2/19/2010 at 1:39 pm

    This is still so childish, Abitbol. And moser is worse — you’re obligated to kill a moser according to some people’s halakha. (Real Jews’ halakha, if I’m not mistaken.)

    “Who is a moser? Not Silverstein. Nope.” = “Silverstein is a moser.” I might need to go back to Sunday School, but I don’t want to, because I’m going to find Abitbol never left the playground. Did you just wink at your audience? “Hyuk, I’m not sayin’, I’m just saying…”

    Look, disagree with people about their values. Silverstein doesn’t believe in extrajudicial assassinations, so what? He’s a traitor now? Lots of us care that Israel obeys all international laws. All of them. I’m sorry you think that makes us traitors. This theme comes up in all the left/right conversations it seems. To me, Israel is treaty to the Geneva Conventions and that obligation is upheld again and again in the Israeli Supreme Court. But I’m a traitor for agreeing? This particular thought of yours isn’t well thought out, and perhaps you’re not aware of how calling out Silverstein on this particular topic smacks the rest of us too.

    Either way, how old are you? 47? You’re just a few years behind Silverstein in age, so I can’t say pot and kettle come out of this looking good.

    • ck

      2/19/2010 at 3:00 pm

      Sigh KFJ. Please allow me to be very clear. There are next to no realistic possibilities for Richard Silverstein to be a moser. Richard Silverstein is NOT a moser. I did not ever say that he was. What I did say is that Silverstein was definitely urging others to act in a way that may be considered Mesira. And yes, the penalty for Mesira can be capital punishment. But then death is the penalty proscribed for Sabbath desecration too and I doubt a guy who munches on bacon is Sabbath observant. Furthermore, even if he was an out nd out Moser, which again, he isn’t, only a duly appointed and qualified Sanhedrin can carry out such a sentence. I’m not a fan of vigilante justice and Yigal Amir is a fucker. I thought I was clear about all that but apparently not. Silverstein thinks I called him a moser but he has severe ideological blinders when he reads. I didn’t think you did. Also, I never said Silverstein was a traitor. He’s an American citizen free to express his opinion any way he likes. I believe he has effectively cut himself off from klal yisrael, but that too is my opinion, which I am entitled to.

      So again, not a moser, not a traitor. Just a douchebag. How do the Geneva conventions relate exactly to this case? And when on earth did I ever call you or anyone a traitor? Why do you all insist on projecting the idiotic ideas of right-wing lunatics onto me? This operation, assuming it was a Mossad job, brings up serious questions. Are such extra judicial assassinations effective for instance? Did the Mossad use the identities of Israeli citizens and was that such a good idea? Silverstein’s approach was just so venomous and hateful, I had to clean the bile off of my screen.

      Just so you know, I never visit Silverstein’s shithole of a blog unless someone sends me a link and insists I comment. OK I got a Festival to continue to start to run. Westboro Baptist is on their way…

  18. LB Chasid (in La)

    2/19/2010 at 2:09 pm

    They need to make this assassination into a movie because it is super awesome. Go Israel.

  19. themiddle

    2/19/2010 at 2:34 pm

    Jerry, forgive us for some of the shorthand, some of us have been writing here for years. Targeted killings have been discussed on this site a number of times, so it may be that we just didn’t say certain things. However, whether you question their legality on foreign soil, how can you question the morality of killing a man who is in process of procuring arms that will be used to attack Israeli civilians? What is immoral about that and how is it more moral to place your citizens in danger.

    Anyway, I guess you don’t want to pony up $100, but the following should be of some interest to you. Listen to Goldstone respond to the question of how Israel should have fought against Hamas at around 1:53:40 of the following video.

    youtube.com/wa...

    Goldstone talks about what would be a potentially a proportionate response to the Hamas attacks. He mentions targeted commando attacks. In other words, targeted killings, since there is no other way to understand commando reprisals in the context of a response to rocket attacks. Is that different than attacking an enemy warrior with a hit team while he is on a mission to acquire more weapons?

  20. Jerry Haber

    2/19/2010 at 2:38 pm

    There is nothing in the Goldstone report that supports the mafia-style hit-team’s assassination in Dubai. It is blatantly illegal, which is why Israel has no problem taking responsibility for assassinations in Gaza but not Dubai.

    What’s the difference?

    During a state of hostilities (war, etc.) between two parties, each side can kill soldiers who are actively engaged, at the time they are killed in directing or planning such operations. Soldiers who are not taking part in the war effort are immune — which is why the Hamas bombing of the Beit Lid soldier stop during the 1990s, which killed mostly soldiers, was a war crime, even if there had been active war going on, and although the targets were soldiers.

    All that has to do when there is a war and when there is a theater of operation. If it is permissable under the laws of war to take out a Hamas operative in Dubai because he has directed operations in which civilians were killed in the past, and because he is involved in arms acquisition in the present, it is permissible to take out Ehud Barak when he visits the US for the same reason. The point of laws of war are precisely to avoid the sort of killing that LB Chasid in LA celebrates.

    “Yeah, but we are the good guys and they are the bad guys.”

    (To be said by the Palestinians and the Israelis, respectively.)

    And by the way, when you are casting the movie in LA, Lb Chasid, don’t forget to cast the Jewish babies who will be blown up in the Hamas reprisals for the “super awesome” assassination.

  21. Tori

    2/19/2010 at 2:40 pm

    CK,
    “How rich is it for someone eats and feeds his kids pork to be giving mussar on halacha”

    I am by NO means defending that guy, but this is just a stupid, stupid statement. Is Bernard Lewis NOT an expert on Islam because he is not a Muslim??

    Quite simply, one does not have to be Orthodox to have an understanding of Jewish law.

  22. Tori

    2/19/2010 at 2:51 pm

    Morrissey -

    “But we can’t have a legal regime in which one state sends hit squads into hotels in the capital of another state to take out its enemies.”

    And “we can’t have a legal regime” fight Hamas using normal military procedures, CURRENTLY EMPLOYED BY VARIOUS WESTERN NATIONS, because you will endanger the civilians…

    And “we can’t have a legal regime” arresting Hamas terrorists because other Western media headlines will scream that Israel kidnapped innocent militants “resisiting occupation which is in their right according to Int’l law.”

    And basically “we can’t have a legal regime” called Israel that is allowed to defend and protect itself.

    This is really where this conversation is going, isn’t it?

    If we take everything into consideration, this operation was an absolute success:

    1) A high level Hamas terrorist was killed.

    2) There were no drones dropped from the sky killing scores of civilians (Hello US or British army in Iraq or Afghanistan + Yemen) or car bombs killing innocent passerbys (hello Arab countries).

    3) The team made it out safely and their identities were not compromised in any way.

    4) Dubai has been outed as a meeting place in the Middle East for terrorists, as opposed to the false image of a ME Disneyland that we often see. The media is ignoring this aspect of the story but I expect in the future we will see more about it.

  23. themiddle

    2/19/2010 at 2:52 pm

    Tom,

    More to the point: how would you react if Russian agents shot a Chechen “terrorist” leader to death in a Washington hotel? Or if the Chinese killed the Dalai Lama on his visit to Washington? China having been victim of centuries of invasion and colonialist exploitation by the West, I suppose that would be just fine by you. Or at least, no one in this part of the world would have standing to complain.

    I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry that someone is finally comparing Israel to these two countries since their crimes are far more severe than Israel’s just as their impunity is so much greater. Certainly, the absence of criticism that we see from so many Leftist groups that have no problem directing severe criticism at Israel is absent when it comes to these two states.

    So, in answer to your question, I don’t place these countries on the same plane as Israel. Israel is far more moral and always has been. Israel is also involved in an existential war that has the other side targeting its civilians for almost a century. China is not in the same category and neither is Russia.

    However, I would understand, after some of the Chechen terror attacks we’ve seen, why a Russian hit squad would seek to take out a terror leader (no quotes, as unbelievably brutal as the Russians were to the Chechnyans, there is still no justification for the attacks on Russian civilians) even in Washington, DC. I would expect the killers to be charged and tried in the US for murder if they are caught, and to lose in court. As to their right and necessity to do it? I think they would be morally in the right to kill that terror leader if it saves the lives of Russian civilians. I’m not talking about a cynical murder like the one they committed in England with the radiation pill, I’m talking about a situation where a person is personally involved in providing the tools for attacks against Russian civilians and is known to be involved in further planning and acquisition. Absolutely, get him and kill him before many of your people are killed. This is war.

    The problem everybody is facing is one where states are trying to fight non-state entities. These groups are fighting a war wearing civilian garb and utilizing their status as non-soldiers in non-armies for non-states to play around with international law that was constructed around warring high contracting authorities. The problem is that the critics of these forms of action, such as the assassination in Dubai, refuse to acknowledge that the laws we have in place do not account for this type of war. Listen to Goldstone in the clip above. It’s a good thing he doesn’t have to decide how to defend Israel, because he doesn’t know how to do it while abiding by his interpretations of international law. Does he really think Israel hadn’t tried to use commandos to stem the attacks from Gaza? Does he really think it’s possible to fight a war where the enemy wears civilian clothing and uses civilians as shields while attacking your civilians? Well, he does think that, but when asked how one could fight that sort of war, he spouts nonsense because there isn’t a solution if one sticks to his interpretations.

  24. themiddle

    2/19/2010 at 2:59 pm

    Jerry,

    If it is permissable under the laws of war to take out a Hamas operative in Dubai because he has directed operations in which civilians were killed in the past, and because he is involved in arms acquisition in the present, it is permissible to take out Ehud Barak when he visits the US for the same reason.

    From a moral standpoint, yes. If Barak is in an official capacity of supporting a war effort, why shouldn’t he be a target? The law might not agree with this assessment, but I don’t understand why it’s immoral to stop a person who is your enemy while he is procuring weapons? Besides, it is entirely hypocritical of leaders of states and non-states to claim immunity from the very wars they inflict on their populations and armies.

  25. Tom Morrissey

    2/19/2010 at 4:39 pm

    Middle, you are an effective advocate for Israel and I wholeheartedly agree that Israel is morally superior to Putin or the cabal in Beijing. But here, as so often, your immediate resort to a defensive argument– Israel had a right to act as it did– obscures the more important question: was it was the smart and prudent thing to do. And in this regard, you need look no further than the Haaretz columnist you linked to today.

    The Jews having been persecuted, hated, marginalized and murdered for centuries, have every right to tell the world: leave us alone in our own state, let us handle our own security, and piss off. That’s emotionally satisfying and entirely justifiable morally. But there’s a problem. It doesn’t work. Every country must act with what our founders called a decent respect for the opinions of mankind. Even the world’s hyperpower– look at how McCain and Obama both called for the closing of Guantanamo.

    To respect world opinion means, from time to time, to be constrained by it. Haven’t we learned this lesson in America in the most painful way these last years?

    As Jerry points out, Israel is quick to defend killing Hamas fighters in Gaza. Killing Hamas fighters in Gaza– stay with me now– is not the same as stealing the identities of citizens of several European countries, procuring or faking British, French, and Irish passports, and (alas) getting spotted on the way out in a manner that may result in future arrest and prosecution.

    The government and people of Ireland may have an issue, as it were, with Israel faking Irish involvement with a military operation targeting non-state terrorist actors in that cesspool of hatred and violence, the Middle East..

    If this was a smashing success, what would failure look like?

    Now, the macho response is not to give a fuck about Irish opinion, or resort to the kinds of defensive moral arguments that Middle so often purveys (which seem to amount to little more than the ends justify the means).

    But here we go again, Middle, with an event that may cause enormous harm to Israel, that could put Goldstone and the damage he caused in the shade.

    Do you agree?

  26. AlexK

    2/19/2010 at 4:49 pm

    Jerry,

    Don’t forget me. I’m celebrating too. And I agree with Tori. Besides, I don’t believe in the whole “cycle of violence” myth. It’s on par with Utopia, World Peace, and Global Warming: all liberal dreams that never will happen.

  27. Kung Fu Jew

    2/19/2010 at 4:56 pm

    Then what’s the whole point of bringing up Merisa in the first place if not to wink-wink-nudge-nudge? Only a qualified Sanhedrin can make the call…so why bring it up? Because you’re saying without saying, and it’s pretty infuriating as you wiggle out.

    Let’s unload my personal baggage, shall we? Why am I bent out of shape about moserim? Because moser means traitor. And nearly every Israeli I know and admire personally is a human rights activist, lawyer or NGO employee. I am also employed in this field. Not because we hate Israel, but because Israel should be more awesome than it is presently. Which is sometimes lotsa awesome and sometimes lotsa poo. So recently when a bunch of right-wingers ran a national campaign that portrayed my people as traitors, that stings. We — the Israeli human rights community and extended Jewish friends abroad — do that work you describe as Merisa. Which could get any one of us killed, because Yigal Amir has friends.

    So I’m doing a poor job of keeping my cool, because this post was already tasteless and juvenile without pointing fingers at who is and isn’t a traitor to Jewishness/Israel.

    You are something of a public intellectual. It behooves you to behave like an adult, consider the weight of your words, and connect the dots. Casting about for Jewish traitors is a big, big deal. If you didn’t think twice before now, then you heard it here first.

  28. themiddle

    2/19/2010 at 7:12 pm

    Tom,

    I think this was a stupid hit and a botched one. I have no idea whether it was necessary, though, so I can’t condemn it outright. Of course it’s idiotic to do this and to do it this way. How many posts must I write criticizing the IDF or the Israeli government before it becomes clear that I don’t think that Israel has the leadership it needs. However, that wasn’t the issue. We were talking about morality of this type of action and whether I think these types of actions should take place.

  29. Ephraim

    2/19/2010 at 7:35 pm

    I can see discussing whether this operation was carried out properly or not.

    But I can’t understand anyone who says it’s immoral to take out a murdering terrorist scumbag like al-Mabhouh.

    Illegal, maybe. Ill advised, perhaps. But immoral? Absolutely not.

    And anyone who says that this makes it OK for somebody to cap Barak in DC or wherever doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together. In case anybody forgot, it’s Hamas who is out to murder any Jew it can get its hands on. That makes them fair game.

  30. Cassandra

    2/20/2010 at 12:43 am

    CK, you implied in the article that Richard Silverstein is a moser, otherwise there was no point to your opening two paragraphs.

    It’s so childish how you and others hurl abuse at those you don’t agree with. How about less personal abuse and more substance in what you say?

  31. Pingback: Jewlicious On “Silverstein The Moser” « Taming Korach

  32. Justin White

    2/21/2010 at 11:04 am

    CK-right on the money! Sliverstein is the Erev Rav’s new leaders and “Jerry Haber” is one of his little puppets. Who is “Haber” to talk about desecrating God’s name? How about defending those committing terrorist acts again Israelis? For more info on this moron:

    tamingkorach.c...

    P.S. to Jerry: Yes my name is more “Jewish” than yours (JW)! How about having the integrity to reveal yourself?

  33. alexk

    2/21/2010 at 2:47 pm

    KFJ: “And nearly every Israeli I know and admire personally is a human rights activist, lawyer or NGO employee.”

    LMFAO! That made me sneeze out the milk from my cheerios. I thought people like you were just made up on TV. That’s some funny shit dude!

  34. ben

    3/7/2010 at 6:20 pm

    i just wrote this to Ricki and he kicked me off his website, after waiting 5 hours for a comeback i didn’t understand!

    ben wulff says:
    March 6, 2010 at 8:56 AM
    hey guys.
    wow, just read in todays newspaper, they’ arrested 2 Palestinian guys in Dubai for the murder of that mean Maboud person! my Gawd…..isn’t that awsome!!!!!!! jews and palestinians working together. imagine, murderous mossad (that’s an illiteration, feel free to use it), and murderous palestinians, murdering other murdering palastinian guys. thats so kewl!!! who said that jews and palestinians cant cooperate together? evn Imadinnerjacket in Iran will be impressed by that!

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