Every now and then I am really happy that my opinions and decisions are not influential. The pressure on the leaders of nations, heads of the armies and other significant individuals must be overwhelming in many cases. The matters of peace and war seem to be, from my point of view, the hardest ones to analyze. The decision is not a theoretical question in an academic debate but a choice that will end in survival or death of real people.
The recent days have shown that the narration for the need for bombing Iran is not the only one in the Israeli society. The photos of Israelis declaring love towards Iranians and promising NEVER to bomb their country went viral in the social media and were responded by mutual feelings and declarations among some Iranians. Peace is good, war is evil. The ones who declare war are unjust; the justice is always for the peace. If only this could be so simple.
The history of the Jewish people shows that violence is not always unjust, in many cases it is necessary for the higher cause in order to save the lives of families or not to perish as a nation. We celebrate Purim not because Ester convinced Haman to change his plans but because the enemies were killed before they managed to kill the Jews. World War II has shown how people, not demons, can bring horror to the face of earth and the Nazi concentration camps were not liberated by pacifists. Israeli War of Independence was not a conference for global peace and understanding but a violent way to save the newborn country from annihilation.
In my eyes, eyes of a person living in the diaspora, who has never experienced war and lives in a bubble of multicultural circle of friends, war can just be theory. Peace is always. I can only imagine what it feels like to be woken up in Be’er Sheva by the sound of sirens or serve in the army in the Golan Heights. I wish all my Israeli friends could say the same thing, but we do not live in a perfect world. It would be very easy for me to cheer for the “We will never bomb you” slogan while having a cappuccino and updating my status on FB and a part of me really appreciates the good will of the people on the both sides of the conflict but how can one say that peace is justice when Iran will get a nuclear bomb? How can one actually believe that Israel will NEVER bomb Iran when the spiritual leaders of that country tell to: “Kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel”?
In Babylonian Talmud, one of the sources of Jewish sense of Justice, we can read: “if someone comes to kill you, get up early to kill him first.” And I do not feel like having any other option than to say that sometimes justice is war.