From The Horse’s Mouth

Every nation has the finest, most moral, army on Earth. Even Adolf Hitler praised his troops for the honorable manner in which they fought in France and Poland. The US military in Afghanistan, we are constantly told by the media, consists of a fine bunch of brave men and women doing their duty for their country.

Usually, those on the losing side have a different tale to tell.

Even prior to the war in Gaza ending, in January this year, Israel was defending its forces and denying any possibility of war crimes. Despite international observers, and stories of despicable brutality told by the Palestinians themselves, the Israeli government continued to deny any such events had occurred.

Now, however, Israeli soldiers are speaking out, describing the atrocities they saw committed by their own side. Evidence has emerged of heavy involvement by rabbis, circulating religious pamphlets among the troops that described the war as a ‘war of religion’.

“All the articles had one clear message,” one soldier said. “We are the people of Israel, we arrived in the country almost by miracle, now we need to fight to uproot the gentiles who interfere with re-conquering the Holy Land.”

“Many soldiers’ feelings were that this was a war of religion,” he added.[1]

There’s nothing quite like injecting a religious cause into conflict, to bolster the moral high ground.

Despite statements from Israeli soldiers, describing Palestinians murdered in cold blood, Defence Minister Ehud Barak recently told Israel Radio:

I still say we have the most moral army in the world. Of course there may be exceptions but I have absolutely no doubt this will be inspected on a case-by-case basis.”

Say it often enough, Barak, and someone, somewhere, may eventually believe you.

[1] “Israel troops admit Gaza abuses” BBC, March 19th 2009

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