Israeli Soldier Says Military Rabbis Framed Gaza Mission as Religious
JERUSALEM, March 20 — A soldier involved in Israel’s recent military offensive in the Gaza Strip said in published reports Friday that the military’s rabbinical staff distributed material characterizing the operation as a religious mission to “get rid of the gentiles who disturb us from conquering the holy land.”…”The military rabbinate brought many magazines and articles with a very clear message: ‘We are the Jewish people, a miracle brought us to the land of Israel, God returned us to the land, and now we have to struggle so as to get rid of the gentiles who disturb us from conquering the holy land.’ All the feeling throughout all this operation of many of the soldiers was of a war of religions,” he said. “As a commander, I tried to explain that the war is not a war of Kiddush Hashem [the sanctification of God’s name, including through martyrdom] but over the stopping of the launching of the Qassam rockets.”
I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.”
On another occasion he said,
“We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God have been raised for such a time as this
And then there was L. Paul Bremer as he ran Iraq into a nightmare,
There is no doubt in my mind that I cannot succeed in this mission with the help of God. The job is simply too big and complex for any one person, or any group of people to carry out successfully…We need God’s help and seek it constantly”
And there’s Eric Prince, founder and CEO of Blackwater,
Prince’s father co-founded the Family Research Council with Gary Bauer. Prince is the brother of Betsy DeVos, a former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and wife of former Alticor (Amway) president and Gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos, son of Richard DeVos, Sr. (listed by Forbes in 2007 as one of the world’s richest men, with a net worth of $2.4 billion).
And there is the organized and common evangelizing of American soldiers brought to attention by Mikey Weinstein and the dissemination of religious tracts in Muslim Iraq and Afghanistan by evangelical soldiers.
And, of course, there’s Bush’s famous reference to the hegemonic attack on Iraq as a “crusade”.
And, somehow, we in American and in Israel can find the mental and emotional justifications to imagine ourselves somehow better than Muslims who war against the ‘infidel’ who worship the wrong God and who therefore deserve the horrors of explosions and beheadings.
Update: McClatchy has more