Yitzhak Laor: After Jenin

Old Blog Import

Article by Yitzhak Laor:

But this evil of the past’ has a peculiar way of entering our present life. On 25 January, three months before the IDF got its licence to invade the West Bank, Amir Oren, a senior military commentator for Ha’aretz, quoted a senior officer:

In order to prepare properly for the next campaign, one of the Israeli officers in the territories said not long ago that it is justified and in fact essential to learn from every possible source. If the mission is to seize a densely populated refugee camp, or take over the kasbah in Nablus, and if the commander’s obligation is to try to execute the mission without casualties on either side, then he must first analyse and internalise the lessons of earlier battles – even, however shocking it may sound, even how the German Army fought in the Warsaw Ghetto.

The officer indeed succeeded in shocking others, not least because he is not alone in taking this approach. Many of his comrades agree that in order to save Israelis now, it is right to make use of knowledge that originated in that terrible war, whose victims were their kin.”

(London Review of Books)