I heard ex-high-court-judge Mishael Heshin speak this morning on the radio about the morality of war. He suggested that war is pathological and inherently immoral – “you get up in the morning, brush your teeth, have a cup of coffe and go out to kill people”. He said that this is countered by the doctrine of “if someone comes to kill you, get there first to kill him” (haKam leHorgacha hashkem leHorgo). He was asked specifically about the morality of firing on attackers who use human shields and he didn’t really have an answer except that I need to save my life first.
My answer is that it may be morally justifiable but not be wise to allow yourself to be fall into the trap of a provocation to fire on a school. We know their leaders want them to die as martyrs to boost their cause so why give them that victory? However, mistakes in judgement occur and in war these mistakes are fatal. Israeli also tanks fired the day before on their own soldiers in two incidents killing four of our own fighters.