As we read about the Taliban and the Palestinian cruel, heinous, and barbarous way they treat their own people as well as the Jews, we first begin to understand why the Torah commanded us to destroy those tribes dwelling in the land of C’naan to the very last one including their women and small children. While this demands extreme brutality, something that is not within the Jewish character, the failure to deal with our enemies on their own terms, can have devastating consequences. We still pay the price today for the mercy shown by King Shaul toward Amolek..
And so when we read about Yehoshua setting fire to entire cities, destroying every last person, even the supposedly innocent women and children, there was good reason for it. Brutality can only be countered by brutality. A suicide bomber does not fear death since he is promised a seat in paradise, but perhaps will fear being slowly tortured to death along with his entire family. While western civilization does not advocate torture or cruelty, there are times that we are left no choice. Had the FBI captured a suicide bomber on the way to destroy the Twin Towers I’m sure that most Americans would have agreed that the FBI should be permitted to torture him in order to get him to talk? A war against those who dare threaten to use biological and nuclear weapons must be fought with different rules than any other war. Only when the enemy fully realizes the consequences of their actions, will they be deterred from using weapons of mass death and destruction.
One cannot fight a war with two sets of rules. We cannot permit al-Qaida or the Palestinians to play without any rules while we must restrain ourselves and fight by more civilized standards. Had Israel followed Arafat’s model of war, the West Bank and Gaza would long have been wiped off the map. Only by responding to ruthlessness with equal ruthlessness can the enemy be beaten. Only when we realize that if our enemies actually had nuclear weapons and would not hesitate to use them will we understand with whom we are fighting. This is what President Bush seemed to know when he went into war against Iraq and the Taliban. Imposing a double standard when it comes to Israel is very unfortunate. Promising the Palestinians what will surely turn out to be a terrorist state of their own, is capitulating to terrorism and only proves that terrorism works.