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This article deals with the views of Judaism and warfare.

The love of peace and the pursuit of peace, as well as laws requiring the eradication of "evil" using violent means, co-exist within the Jewish tradition.[1][2] [3] [4][1] Throughout history, Judaism's religious texts or precepts have been used to promote[5][6][7] as well as oppose violence.[8]

Judaism and violenceEdit

Main article: Judaism and violence

Some scholars such as Deborah Weissman readily acknowledge that "normative Judaism is not pacifist" and that "violence is condoned in the service of self-defense."[9]

Rejection of violence and pursuit of peaceEdit

Main article: Judaism and peace
The Jews are the mildest of men, passionately hostile to violence. That obstinate sweetness which they conserve in the midst of the most atrocious persecution, that sense of justice and of reason which they put up as their sole defense against a hostile, brutal, and unjust society, is perhaps the best part of the message they bring to us and the true mark of their greatness.

Jean-Paul Sartre [10]

According to Reuven Firestone, Judaism's religious texts overwhelmingly endorse compassion and peace, and the Hebrew Bible contains the well-known commandment to "love thy neighbor as thyself".[11] In fact, the love of peace and the pursuit of peace is one of the key principles in Jewish law. Jewish tradition permits waging war and killing in certain cases, however, the requirement is that one always seek a just peace before waging war.[1]

According to the 1947 Columbus Platform of Reform Judaism, "Judaism, from the days of the prophets, has proclaimed to mankind the ideal of universal peace, striving for spiritual and physical disarmament of all nations. Judaism rejects violence and relies upon moral education, love and sympathy."[8]

Judaism and religious Jews oppose violenceEdit

The philosophy of Nonviolence has roots in Judaism, going back to the Jerusalem Talmud of the middle third century. While absolute nonviolence is not a requirement of Judaism, the religion so sharply restricts the use of violence, that nonviolence often becomes the only way to fulfilling a life of truth, justice and peace, which Judaism considers to be the three tools for the preservation of the world.[12]

Jewish law (past and present) does not permit any use of violence unless it is in self defense.[13] Any person that even raises his hand in order to hit a nother person is called "evil.".[14]

Guidelines from the Torah to the 'Jewish Way to Fight a War': When the time for war has arrived, Jewish soldiers are expected to abide by specific laws and values when fighting. Jewish war ethics attempts to balance the value of maintaining human life with the necessity of fighting a war. Judaism is somewhat unique in that it demands adherence to Jewish values even while fighting a war. The Torah provides the following rules for how to fight a war. Pursue Peace Before Waging War. Preserve the Ecological Needs of the Environment. Maintain Sensitivity to Human Life. The Goal is Peace[15]

The ancient orders (like those) of wars for Israel to eradicate idol worshiping does not apply today. Jews are not taught to glorify violence. The rabbis of the Talmud saw war as an avoidable evil. They taught, 'Thew sword comes to the world because of delay of justice and through perversion of justice.'Jews have always hated war and Shalom expresses the hope for peace, in Judaism war is evil, but at times a necessary one, yet, Judaism teaches that one has to go to great length to avoid it.[16]

Violent tactics forbidden by HalakhahEdit

Jewish law prohibits the use of outright vandalism in warfare.[17] It forbids destruction of fruit trees as a tactic of war. It is also forbidden to break vessels, tear clothing, wreck that which is built up, stop fountains, or waste food in a destructive manner. Killing an animal needlessly or offering poisoned water to livestock are also forbidden.[17]

Those few cases in the Bible in which this norm was violated are special cases. One example was when King Hezekiah stopped all the fountains in Jerusalem in the war against Sennacherib, which Jewish scholars regards as a violation of the biblical commandment.[17]

According to Maimonides', on besieging a city in order to seize it, it must not be surrounded on all four sides but only on three sides, thus leaving a path of escape for whomever wishes to flee to save his life.[18] Nachmanides, writing a century later, strengthened the rule and added a reason: "We are to learn to deal kindly with our enemy." [18]

Types of WarsEdit

Regarding war, the commandment of Milkhemet Mitzvah (Hebrew: מלחמת מצווה, "War by commandment") refers to a war during the times of the Bible when a king would go to war in order to fulfill something based on, and required by, the Torah.[19]

What is a milchemet mitzvah? It is a war to assist Israel against an enemy that has attacked them.
-Maimonedies, Laws of Kings 5:1

Wars of this type do not need the approval of the Sanhedrin.[citation needed]

This is in contrast to a Milkhemet Reshut (a discretionary war), which according to Jewish law require the permission of a Sanhedrin.[citation needed] These wars (discretionary wars) tend to be for economic reasons and had exemption clauses (Deuteronomy 20:5) while, milhemet mitzvah tended to be invoked in defensive wars, when vital interests were at risk and had no such exemption clauses.[20]

The Talmud insists that before going to non-defensive war, the king would need to seek authorization from the Sanhedrin, as well as divine approval through the High Priest. As these institutions have not existed for 2,000 years, this virtually rules out the possibility of non-defensive war.[21]

The permissibility of war is limited and the requirement is that one always seek a just peace before waging war.[1][22] Modern Jewish scholars hold that the calls to war these texts provide no longer apply, and that Jewish theology instructs Jews to leave vengeance to God.[23] [24]

Wars of extermination in the TanakhEdit

File:Prise de Jéricho.jpg

The Tanakh (Jewish Bible) contains commandments that require the Israelites to exterminate seven Canaanite nations, and describes several wars of extermination that annihilated entire cities or groups of peoples.

Wars of extermination are referred to in several of Judaism's biblical commandments, known as the 613 Mitzvot:[25]

  • Not to keep alive any individual of the seven Canaanite nations (Deut. 20:16)
  • To exterminate the seven Canaanite nations from the land of Israel (Deut. 20:17)
  • Always to remember what Amalek did (Deut. 25:17)
  • That the evil done to us by Amalek shall not be forgotten (Deut. 25:19)
  • To blot out the name (or memory) of Amalek (or, according to Maimonides: to destroy the seed of Amalek) (Deut. 25:19)

The extent of extermination is described in the commandment Deut 20:16-18 which orders the Israelites to "not leave alive anything that breathes… completely destroy them …".[26] Several scholars have characterized the exterminations as genocide.[27]

The targets of the "extermination commandments" were the seven Canaanite nations explicitly identified by God in Deut 7:1-2 and Deut 20:16-18.[28] These seven tribes are Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Most of these descended from the biblical figure Canaan, as described in Gen 10:15-18. In addition, two others tribes were subject to wars of extermination: Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:1-20)[29] and Midianites (Numbers 31:1-18). The extermination of the Canaanite nations is described primarily in the Book of Joshua (especially Joshua 10:28-42) which includes the Battle of Jericho described in Joshua 6:15-21.

The instruction God gives in Deut 20:16-18 is for Israelites to exterminate "everything that breaths", but the precise extent of the killing varied, as Van Wees notes.[30] He goes on to say that "The genocidal campaigns claimed for the early Israelites, however, were largely fictional; the intrinsic improbability and internal inconsistencies of the account in Joshua and its incompatibility with the stories of Judges leave little doubt above this." [30]

Amalekites - 1 Samuel 15:1-20 - Israelites killed all men, women, children, and livestock.[30]
Canaanites - (Battle of Jericho) Joshua 6:15-21 - Israelites killed all men, women, children and livestock.[30]
Canaanite nations - Joshua 10:28-42 - Israelites killed all men, women, and children, but not livestock.[30]
Midianites - Numbers 31:1-18 - Israelites killed all men, adult women, and boys, but did not kill virgin women or livestock.[28]

Most scholars conclude that the biblical accounts of extermination are exaggerated, fictional, or metaphorical.[31] In the archaeological community, the Battle of Jericho is very thoroughly studied, and the consensus of modern scholars is that the story of battle and the associated extermination are a "pious fiction" and did not happen as described in the Book of Joshua.[32] For example, the Book of Joshua describes the extermination of the Canaanite tribes, yet at a later time, Judges 1:1-2:5 suggests that the extermination was not complete.[33]

Likewise, it is not clear if the historical Amalekites were exterminated or not. 1 Samuel 15:7-8 implies ("He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword.") that - after Agag was also killed - the Amalekites were extinct, but in a later story in the time of Hezekiah, the Simeonites annihilated some Amalekites on Mount Seir, and settled in their place: "And five hundred of these Simeonites, led by Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi, invaded the hill country of Seir. They killed the remaining Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day." (1 Chr 4:42-43).

Ethical issuesEdit

Theologians and other scholars have commented on the apparent ethical and moral dilemmas posed by the wars of extermination, particularly the killing of women and children.[34]

Maimonides applies the rules from Deuteronomy 20:10 (the rules governing discretionary wars) to the war on the Canaanite nation, and suggests that the commandment to exterminate the Canaanites was not absolute. He writes that Joshua gave the Canaanites three options: to flee, to remain and make peace with the Israelites, or to fight.[35]

Rabbi Gunther Plaut asserted that the Torah, itself, never addresses the morality of the wars of extermination.[36] Biblical scholar Sidney Hoenig discussed the "brutality" in the book of Joshua, but concluded that the "battle is only in honor of God".[37]

Scholars Ian Lustick and Leonard B. Glick quote Shlomo Aviner as saying "from the point of view of mankind's humanistic morality we were in the wrong in [taking the land] from the Canaanites. There is only one catch. The command of God ordered us to be the people of the Land of Israel".[38] Scholar Carl Ehrlich states that Jewish commentators have tended to be silent regarding the morality of the violence in the Book of Joshua.[39] Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins asserts that the commandments to exterminate are immoral.[40]

Scholars point out that collective punishment, particularly punishment of descendants for transgressions committed by ancestors, is common in the Jewish Bible.[41]

As genocideEdit

Several scholars and commentators have characterized the wars of extermination as genocide.

Scholar Hans Van Wees characterizes the wars of extermination as genocide.[28] Scholar Pekka Pitkanen asserts that Deuteronomy involves "demonization of the opponent" which is typical of genocide, and he asserts that the genocide of the Canaanites was due to unique circumstances, and that "the biblical material should not be read as giving license for repeating it."[42]

Scholar Philip Jenkins characterizes the warfare of the Bible as genocidal, and considers the laws of warfare in the Qu'ran to be more humane than the Biblical rules.[43] Scholar Leonard Kravitz describes the commandment to exterminate the Midianites (in the Book of Numbers) as genocide.[44] Scholar Shaul Magid characterizes the commandment to exterminate the Midianites as a "genocidal edict", and asserts that rabbinical tradition continues to defend the edict into the twentieth century.[45] Scholar L. Daniel Hawk describes the extermination of Canaanites as "ethnic cleansing", but notes that the narrative includes contradictory indications that Canaanites were absorbed into Israeli society.[46]

Scholar Robert L. Cohn characterizes the extermination of the Canaanite tribes as genocide.[47] Scholar Ra'anan S. Boustan asserts that - in the modern era - the violence directed towards the Canaanites would be characterized as genocide.[48] Scholar Carl Ehrlich characterizes the Battle of Jericho and the conquest of the Canaanite nations as genocide.[49] Scholar Zev Garber characterizes the commandment to wage war on the Amalekites as genocide.[50]

Justifications and rationalizationsEdit

File:055.The Midianites Are Routed.jpg

Several justifications and explanations for the extreme violence associated with the wars of extermination have been offered, some found in the Jewish Bible, others provided by Rabbinic commentators, and others hypothesized by scholars.

In Deut 20:16-18 God tells the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanite nations, "otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the lord your God". Another reason, justifying the war against the Midianites, was revenge for Midian's role in Israel's apostate behavior during the Heresy of Peor (Numbers 25:1-18).[51]

Another justification is that the Canaanites were sinful, depraved people, and their deaths were punishments (Deut 9:5). Another justification for the exterminations is to make room for the returning Israelites, who are entitled to exclusive occupation of the land of Canaan: the Canaanite nations were living in the land of Israel, but when the Israelites returned, the Canaanites were expected to leave the land.[52]

In Talmudic commentary, the Canaanite nations were given the opportunity to leave, and their refusal to leave "lay the onus of blame for the conquest and Joshua's extirpation of the Canaanites at the feet of the victims."[53] Another explanation of the exterminations is that God gave the land to the Canaanites only temporarily, until the Israelites would arrive, and the Canaanites extermination was punishment for their refusal to obey God's desire that they leave.[54] Another Talmudic explanation - for the wars in the Book of Joshua - was that God initiated the wars as a diversionary tactic so Israelites would not kill Joshua after discovering that Joshua had forgotten certain laws.[55]

Some scholars trace the extermination of the Midianites to revenge for the fact that Midianites were responsible for selling Joseph into slavery in Egypt (Genesis 37:28-36).[56]

Association with violent attitudes in the modern eraEdit

Some analysts have associated the biblical commandments of extermination with violent attitudes in modern era.

According to Ian Lustick, leaders of the now defunct[57] Jewish fundamentalist movement Gush Emunim, such as Hanan Porat, consider the Palestinians to be like Canaanites or Amalekites, and suggest that infers a duty to make merciless war against Arabs who reject Jewish sovereignty.[58] Atheist commentator Christopher Hitchens discusses the association of the "obliterated" tribes with modern troubles in Palestine.[59]

Biblical scholar Niels Peter Lemche asserts that European colonialism in the nineteenth century was ideologically based on the biblical narratives of conquest and extermination. He also states that European Jews who migrated to Palestine relied on the biblical ideology of conquest and extermination, and considered the Arabs to be Canaanites.[60] Scholar Arthur Grenke claims that the view or war expressed in Deuteronomy contributed to the destruction of Native Americans and to the destruction of European Jewry.[61]

Scholar Nur Masalha writes that the "genocide" of the extermination commandments has been "kept before subsequent generations" and served as inspirational examples of divine support for slaughtering enemies.[62] Scholar Ra'anan S. Boustan asserts that militant Zionists have identified modern Palestinians with Canaanites, and hence as targets of violence mandated in Deut 20:15-18.[63] Scholar Leonard B. Glick states that Jewish fundamentalists in Israel, such as Shlomo Aviner, consider the Palestinians to be like biblical Canaanites, and that some fundamentalist leaders suggest that they "must be prepared to destroy" the Palestinians if the Palestinians do not leave the land.[64] Scholar Keith Whitelam asserts that the Zionist movement has drawn inspiration from the biblical conquest tradition, and Whitelam draws parallels between the "genocidal Israelites" of Joshua and modern Zionists.[65]

Other viewsEdit

Wars of extermination are of historical interest only, and do not serve as a model within Judaism.[21] A formal declaration that the “seven nations” are no longer identifiable was made by Joshua ben Hananiah, around the year 100 CE.[21]

Scholar Moshe Greenberg asserts that the laws of extermination applied only to the extinct tribes, and only to their contemporary generations of Israelites.[66][67] Scholar Carl Ehrlich states the biblical rules of extermination provide guidance to modern Israelis not for genocidal purposes, but rather simply as models for reclaiming the land of Israel.[68]

Commandment to exterminate the AmalekitesEdit

File:Poussin, Nicolas - The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites.jpg

The Jewish Bible contains a mitzvah (commandment) to exterminate the Amalekites, based on the verse 1 Samuel 15 "Now, go and crush Amalek; put him under the curse of destruction with all that he possesses. Do not spare him, but kill man and woman, babe and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." Rabbinical commentator Rashi elaborates on the this commandment: "From man unto woman, from infant unto suckling, from ox unto sheep, so that the name of Amalek not be mentioned even with reference to an animal by [someone] saying: 'This animal belonged to the Amalekites'."[69] This commandment is related to attacks by the Amalekites on the Israelites during the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 17:8-10 and 1 Samuel 15:2).

Some commentators, including Maimonides, have discussed the ethics of the commandment to exterminate all the Amalekites, including the command to kill all the women and children, and the notion of collective punishment.[70] Maimonides explains that the commandment of killing out the nation of Amalek requires the Jewish people to peacefully request of them to accept upon themselves the Noachide laws,[71] and pay a tax to the Jewish kingdom.[citation needed] Only if they refuse is the commandment applicable.[71] Some commentators, such as Rabbi Hayim Palaggi (1788–1896) argued that Jews had lost the tradition of distinguishing Amalekites from other people, and therefore the commandment of killing them could not practically be applied.[72] Rabbis nullified the Torah’s commands to kill idolatrous people, by ruling that the Canaanite peoples no longer existed, that the Assyrians, not Israelites, had wiped them out – and therefore the command was a dead letter.[73]

In later Jewish tradition, the Amalekites came to represent the metaphorical enemy of the Jews. Nur Masalha, Elliot Horowitz and Josef Stern suggest that Amalekites have come to represent an "eternally irreconcilable enemy" that wants to murder Jews, and that Jews In post-biblical times sometimes associate contemporary enemies with Haman or Amalekites, and that some Jews believe that pre-emptive violence is acceptable against such enemies.[74] Nur Masalha and other scholars describe several associations of modern Palestinians with Amalekites, including recommendations by rabbi Israel Hess to kill Palestinians, which are based on biblical verses such as 1 Samuel 15.[75] However, in reality according to Judaism's view - Talmud book, today, since Sancheriv mixed up the nations, there is no nation that is identified as Amalek [76][77]

Modern warfareEdit

Jewish tradition permits waging war and killing in certain cases. However, the permissibility to wage war is limited and the requirement is that one always seek a just peace before waging war.[1]

While according to Rabbi Judah Loew (Maharal) of Prague, Jewish law forbids the killing of innocent people, even in the course of a legitimate military engagement,[18] some commentators claim that religious leaders have interpreted Jewish religious laws to support killing of innocent civilians during wartime in some circumstances, such as in 1974 following the Yom Kippur war. [78]

During the 2006 Lebanon War leaders of the Rabbinical Council of America issued a statement prodding the Israeli military to "review its policy of taking pains to spare the lives of innocent civilians", because Hezbollah “puts Israeli men and women at extraordinary risk of life and limb through unconscionably using their own civilians, hospitals, ambulances, mosques… as human shields, cannon fodder, and weapons of asymmetric warfare,” the rabbinical council said in a statement, “we believe that Judaism would neither require nor permit a Jewish soldier to sacrifice himself in order to save deliberately endangered enemy civilians.”[79]

In another case, a booklet published by an IDF military chaplain which stated "... insofar as the killing of civilians is performed against the background of war, one should not, according to religious law, trust a Gentile 'The best of the Gentiles you should kill'...".[80] The booklet was withdrawn by the military after criticism, but the military never repudiated the guidance.[81] However, major and mainstream religious leaders have condemned this interpretation, and the Israeli military subscribes to the Purity of arms doctrine, which seeks to minimize injuries to non-combatants; furthermore, the advice was only applicable to combat operations in wartime.

Activist Noam Chomsky claims that leaders of Judaism in Israel play a role in sanctioning military operations:

"[Israel's Supreme Rabbinical Council] gave their endorsement to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, declaring that it conformed to the Halachi (religious) law and that participation in the war 'in all its aspects' is a religious duty. The military Rabbinate meanwhile distributed a document to soldiers containing a map of Lebanon with the names of cities replaced by alleged Hebrew names taken from the Bible.... A military Rabbi in Lebanon explained the biblical sources that justify 'our being here and our opening the war; we do our Jewish religious duty by being here.'"[82]


See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  • Boustan, Ra'anan S., "Violence, Scripture, and Textual Practice in Early Judaism and Christianity", in Violence, Scripture, and Textual Practice in Early Judaism and Christianity, Ra'anan S. Boustan, Alex P. Jassen, Calvin J. Roetzel (Eds), BRILL, 2010 pp 1–12
  • Chilton, Bruce, Abraham's Curse: The Roots of Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Doubleday, 2009
  • Chomsky, Noam, World orders, old and new, Columbia University Press, 1996
  • Ehrlich, Carl. S, "Joshua, Judaism, and Genocide", in Jewish Studies at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Judit Targarona Borrás, Ángel Sáenz-Badillos (Eds). 1999, Brill. pp 117–124.
  • Ellens, J. Harold (Ed.), The destructive power of religion: violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007
  • Esber, Rosemarie M., Under the Cover of War: The Zionist Expulsion of the Palestinians, Arabicus Books & Media, LLC, 2009
  • Feldman, Louis H., "Remember Amalek!": vengeance, zealotry, and group destruction in the Bible according to Philo, Pseudo-Philo, and Josephus, Hebrew Union College Press, 2004
  • Firestone, Reuven, "Judaism on Violence and Reconciliation: An Examination of Key Sources", in Beyond violence: religious sources of social transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, James Heft (Ed.), Fordham Univ Press, 2004, pp 74–87
  • Glick, Leonard B., "Religion and Genocide", in The Widening circle of genocide, Alan L. Berger (Ed). Transaction Publishers, 1994, pp 43–74
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  • Harkabi, Yehoshafat, Arab attitudes to Israel, John Wiley and Sons, 1974
  • Heft, James (Ed.), Beyond violence: religious sources of social transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam , Fordham Univ Press, 2004
  • Hirst, David, The gun and the olive branch: the roots of violence in the Middle East, Nation Books, 2003
  • Hoffman, R. Joseph, The just war and jihad: violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Prometheus Books, 2006
  • Horowitz, Elliott S., Reckless rites: Purim and the legacy of Jewish violence, Princeton University Press, 2006
  • Jacobs, Steven Leonard, "The Last Uncomfortable Religious Question? Monotheistic Exclusivism and Textual Superiority in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as Sources of Hate and Genocide", in ‪Confronting genocide: Judaism, Christianity, Islam‬, ‪Steven L. Jacob‬s (Ed.), ‪Lexington Books, 2009‬, pp 35–46
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  • Kuper, Leo, "Theological Warrants for Genocide: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity", in ‪Confronting genocide: Judaism, Christianity, Islam‬, ‪Steven L. Jacob‬s (Ed.), ‪Lexington Books, 2009‬, pp 3–34
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  • Phillips, Gary A., "More Than the Jews … His Blood Be Upon All the Children: Biblical Violence, Genocide and Responsible Reading", in ‪Confronting genocide: Judaism, Christianity, Islam‬, ‪Steven L. Jacob‬s (Ed.), ‪Lexington Books, 2009‬, pp 77–87
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FootnotesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Fighting the War and the Peace: Battlefield Ethics, Peace Talks, Treaties, and Pacifism in the Jewish Tradition. Michael J. Broyde, 1998, p. 1
  2. Reuven Firestone (2004), "Judaism on Violence and Reconciliation: An examination of key sources" in Beyond violence: religious sources of social transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Fordham Univ Press, 2004, pp 77, 81.
  3. Goldsmith (Ed.), Emanuel S. (1991). Dynamic Judaism: the essential writings of Mordecai M. Kaplan. Fordham Univ Press. p. 181. ISBN 0823213102. 
  4. Spero, Shubert (1983). Morality, halakha, and the Jewish tradition. KTAV Publishing House, Inc.. pp. 137–318. ISBN 0870687271. 
  5. Carl. S. Ehrlich (1999) "Joshua, Judaism, and Genocide", in Jewish Studies at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Judit Targarona Borrás, Ángel Sáenz-Badillos (Eds). 1999, Brill.
  6. Horowitz, Elliott S. (2006). Reckless rites: Purim and the legacy of Jewish violence. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691124914. 
  7. Stern, Jessica (2004). Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill, Jessica Stern. HarperCollins. ISBN 0060505338. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Columbus Platform: The Guiding Principles of Reform Judaism, 1937
  9. "The Co-existence of Violence and Non-Violence in Judaism". http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/interreligious/cd39-07.html. Retrieved 2010-12-09. 
  10. Jean-Paul Sartre, 1946, Reflexions sur la question juive
  11. *Reuven Firestone (2004), "Judaism on Violence and Reconciliation: An examination of key sources" in Beyond violence: religious sources of social transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Fordham Univ Press, 2004, pp 77, 81.
    • Goldsmith (Ed.), Emanuel S. (1991). Dynamic Judaism: the essential writings of Mordecai M. Kaplan. Fordham Univ Press. p. 181. ISBN 0823213102. 
    • Spero, Shubert (1983). Morality, halakha, and the Jewish tradition. KTAV Publishing House, Inc.. pp. 137–318. ISBN 0870687271. 
  12. Bearing witness: violence and collective responsibility, Sandra L. Bloom, Michael Reichert, Routledge, 1998: page 242
  13. http://www.koltorah.org/ravj/14-10%20The%20Halacha%20of%20Rodef%20and%20the%20Rabin%20Shooting.htm
  14. http://www.ask.com/questions-about/Rasha
  15. http://judaism.about.com/library/3_intro/level2/bl_war.htm
  16. Judaism by Arye Forta, Heinemann, 1995, ISBN 9780435303211 , p. 122 [1]
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 [2]
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 The Ethics of Jewish War , By Dr. Michael Walzer
  19. Maimonedies, Laws of Kings 5:1
  20. Mishnah, Tractate Sotah 8:7
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Judaism and the ethics of war, Norman Solomon. International Review of the Red Cross. Volume 87 Number 858 June 2005
  22. Deut 20:10
  23. Weiss, Steven I. (2010-02-26). "The Ghosts of Purim Past: The holiday's violent beginnings—and what they mean for the Jewish future". http://www.slate.com/id/2246139. 
  24. "Violence and Vengeance: Purim and Good Friday". Dialogika (Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations). 1998-03-28. http://www.ccjr.us/dialogika-resources/educational-and-liturgical-materials/liturgical-resources/lent-easter/787-langer08mar22. 
  25. Eisenberg, Ronald L, The 613 mitzvot: a contemporary guide to the commandments of Judaism, Schreiber Pub., 2005, pp 129-130 Eisenberg notes on page 130: "However, the Israelites failed to heed this command and permitted many Canaanites to remain in the land."
  26. Ruttenberg, Danya, Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices: War and National Security Danya Ruttenberg (Ed.) page 54 (citing Reuven Kimelman, "The Ethics of National Power: Government and War from the Sources of Judaism", in Perspectives, Feb 1987, pp 10-11)
    • Grenke, Arthur, God, greed, and genocide: the Holocaust through the centuries, pp 17-30
    • Philip Jenkins - quoted in NPR article "Is The Bible More Violent Than The Quran?" by Barbara Hagerty. Online at [3].
    • Kravitz, Leonard, "What is Crime?", in Crime and punishment in Jewish law: essays and responsa, Editors Walter Jacob, Moshe Zemer, Berghahn Books, 1999, p 31.
    • Magid, Shaul, "Subversion as Return: Scripture, Dissent, and Renewal in Contemporary Judaism, in Subverting Scriptures: Critical Reflections on the Use of the Bible Beth Hawkins Benedix (Ed), pp 217-236, p 234.
    • Cohn, Robert L, "Before Israel: The Canaanites as Other in Biblical Tradition", in The Other in Jewish thought and history: constructions of Jewish culture and identity, Laurence Jay Silberstein, (Ed.), NYU Press, 1994, pp 76-77
    • Boustan, Ra'anan S., Violence, Scripture, and Textual Practice in Early Judaism and Christianity, BRILL, 2010, pp 3-5
    • Firestone, Reuven, "Judaism on Violence and Reconciliation: An Examination of Key Sources", in Beyond violence: religious sources of social transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, James Heft (Ed.), Fordham Univ Press, 2004, p 75
    • Ehrlich, Carl S., "Joshua, Judaism, and Genocide" in Jewish Studies at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, BRILL, 1999, pp 121-122
    • Garber, Zev, "Deconstructing Theodicy and Amalekut", in Post-Shoah dialogues: re-thinking our texts together, James F. Moore (Ed.), University Press of America, 2004, pp 241-243.
    • Van Wees, Hans, "Genocide in the Ancient World", in The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies, Donald Bloxham, A. Dirk Moses (Eds), p 242.
  27. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Van Wees, p 242
  28. Ruttenberg, p 54
  29. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 *Van Wees, p 242
    • Van Wees, p 242, "largely fictional"
  30. Ehrlich, pp 117
  31. Ehrlich, p 119
  32. For an early example, see: Horne, Thomas Hartwell, An introduction to the critical study and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, Volume 2, T. Cadell, 1828, pp 523-525
  33. Drazin, Israel, Maimonides and the Biblical Prophets, Gefen Publishing House Ltd, 2009 p 79
  34. Erhlich, p 118
    "In his Torah commentary Plaut (1981) grapples with the 'morality of conquest' only to conclude that 'the morality of the forcible displacement of the Canaanites was never raised by the Torah, and neither was the morality of war as such'. (quoting Plaut, W. Gunther, The Torah: A Modern Commentary, 1981, (p 991 in 2005 edition))
  35. Erhlich, p 118: "Sidney Hoenig is one of the few relatively modern commentators … who has raised the issue of violence in respect to Joshua, only to justify it as a divinely ordained holy war…." [quoting Hoenig:] "Sensitive readers are concerned about the brutality shown in Joshua, but one should not forget that it is a story of a war - of a holy war. The theme is the obliteration of historically hated pagans and the battle is only in honor of God" . (Quoting Hoenig, Sidney, The Book of Joshua: A New English Translation of the Text and Rashi with a Commentary Digest. Judaica Press, 1969. Chapter VIII; in Hebrew; translated into English in 1984).
  36. Lustick, p 76. Quoting Shlomo Aviner, Messianic Realism, pp 115-116
  37. Ehrlich, p 117:
    "It thus behooves us to ask … how has the Jewish community dealt with these foundational narratives, saturated as they are with acts of violence against others?…. The question of how to deal with traditional texts that advocate violence against human beings who are different from the in-group writing the text, be they foreigners, women, homosexuals, etc, is one that motivates many of the modern struggles with the textual corpus of inherited tradition…. Among Jewish commentators … the disturbing nature of Joshua has for the most part been passed over in silence….
  38. Dawkins, Richard, The God Delusion, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008, p 281
  39. Krašovec, Jože, Reward, punishment, and forgiveness: the thinking and beliefs of ancient Israel in the light of Greek and modern views, BRILL, 1999, p 113. He cites the following examples of collective punishment (of descendants) in the Bible:
    Ex 20:5 - "You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments."
    Deut 5:9-10
    Exodus 34:6-7: "And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."
    Deuteronomy 7:9-10 - "Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. 10 But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him."
    Jeremiah 32:18 - " You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the fathers' sins into the laps of their children after them. O great and powerful God, whose name is the LORD Almighty"
  40. Pitkanen, Pekka, "Memory, Witnesses, and Genocide in the Book of Joshua", in Reading the law: studies in honour of Gordon J. Wenham, J. Gordon McConville, Karl Möller (Eds), Continuum International Publishing Group, 2007, pp 267-282 quote (Page 280-281): "The 'demonization of the opponent' that Deuteronomy advocates is precisely something that accompanies genocides. This then in fact speaks for the conceptual plausibility of the historical occurrence of the events portrayed in Joshua. In addition, that genocides are often triggered by war or some other severe crisis also speaks for the conceptual plausibility of the events portrayed in Joshua. … It is certainly right, I believe, to try to show that the genocide of the Canaanites (whether real or imaginary) was a unique set of events and that the biblical material should not be read as giving license for repeating it. … the theological difficulty of the [holy war] is not mitigated by arguments against its historicity, since the text has in any case shown its capacity to mandate violence against peoples. … But we also saw that the book of Joshua advocates a vision where an important part of achieving an ideal society was to destroy anyone or anything not compatible with its central tenet of Yahwism."
  41. Hagerty, Barbara, "Is The Bible More Violent Than The Quran?"; online at [4]. Jenkins quote: "By the standards of the time, which is the 7th century A.D., the laws of war that are laid down by the Quran are actually reasonably humane," he says. "Then we turn to the Bible, and we actually find something that is for many people a real surprise. There is a specific kind of warfare laid down in the Bible which we can only call genocide."
  42. Kravitz, Leonard, "What is Crime?", in Crime and punishment in Jewish law: essays and responsa, Editors Walter Jacob, Moshe Zemer Berghahn Books, 1999, p 31:
    "Sin has changed [since biblical times]; crime has changed. We bring a different sensibility to our reading of the sacred texts of the past, even the Torah. There are passages in it which to our modern minds command crimes, the kind of crimes which our age would call 'crimes against humanity' … I think of the problematic section in the Mattot [Numbers 31] which contains the commandment to exact revenge against the Midianites by slaying every male and every female old enough to engage in sexual intercourse…. I used to think that were they [Midianites] suddenly to appear, no Jew would be willing to carry out such a commandment. Then Baruch Goldstein appeared on the scene, and he was followed by Yigal Amir and now I am not sure…. I find the commandment to commit genocide against the Midianite unacceptable. To accept the commandment to do the same to 'the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Peruzzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites' seems to me to make permissible the Holocaust, the attempted genocide of the Jewish people."
  43. Shaul Magid, "Subversion as Return: Scripture, Dissent, and Renewal in Contemporary Judaism, in Subverting Scriptures: Critical Reflections on the Use of the Bible Beth Hawkins Benedix (Ed), pp 217-236; quote from p 234:
    "The rabbinic tradition connects the commandment to destroy Midian in Numbers 31 to Genesis 37:36, … Thus Moses's call for 'revenge' killing here has a long history…. Perhaps the rabbinic assessment of Moses's reasons for rebuking Israel for keeping the Midianite women alive is captured by Yaakov Moshe Harlap… Harlap writes 'Moses's reasons (for having all the Midianite women killed) was that a person should not enter into a doubtful situation even if the intention is for the sake of heaven'. I cite this not to defend this position but to illustrate the way in which the tradition, even to the twentieth century, defends this genocidal edict."
  44. Reading Bibles, writing bodies: identity and the Book Biblical limits Author Timothy Kandler Beal Editors Timothy Kandler Beal, David M. Gunn Edition illustrated Publisher Psychology Press, 1997, pp 153-163
  45. Cohn, Robert L, "Before Israel: The Canaanites as Other in Biblical Tradition", in The Other in Jewish thought and history: constructions of Jewish culture and identity, Laurence Jay Silberstein, (Ed.), NYU Press, 1994, pp 76-77:
    "By representing the Canaanites stereotypically as people sunk in depravity [Lev 18:27, Deut 18:9-14, Deut 12:2-3], the biblical writers provide a moral justification for the conquest of their land by a just deity. Moreover, this depiction provides a rationale for the genocide of the Canaanites commanded in Deuteronomy (Deut 7:1-2) and purportedly accomplished by Joshua (Josh 10:40)."
  46. Boustan, Ra'anan S., Violence, Scripture, and Textual Practice in Early Judaism and Christianity, BRILL, 2010, pp 3-5 "The specific focus in this volume is violence and Scripture. Violence can be found throughout the pages of the Hebrew Bible… The Israelite God is portrayed as a divine warrior (Ex. 15:3); the Israelites themselves are commanded to obliterate the inhabitants of Canaan and are often presented as engaging in such holy wars; … Instigators of religious violence believe that they are carrying out God's directive as articulated in the Bible…. For example, the Deuteronomic directive to destroy entirely (herem) the Canaanites (Deut 20:15-18) is a thoroughly violent commandment - and in modern terms would be characterized as genocide. The later historical absence of any Canaanites, however, does not blunt this passage's violent legacy".
  47. Ehrlich, Carl S., "Joshua, Judaism, and Genocide" in Jewish Studies at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, BRILL, 1999, pp 121–122:
    p 121: "The broad consensus of Jewish tradition has been that the conquest of the land [ancient Israel] belongs to the distant past. In this manner, any discomfort with the anachronistic notion of genocide to be found in the Joshua narrative could be passed off as something that belonged to a certain time and place, not be [sic?] be repeated. The restrictions on the waging of war in Maimonides and his biblical and rabbinical sources would seem to support this contention"
    p 122: "It was particularly in the field of archaeology that the ideological battle about [the historicity of] Joshua was waged. It was felt that proving the veracity of the book of Joshua would in some way prove to be a justification of modern historical reality. In this manner, the battles of Joshua were viewed as paradigmatic for the modern age, not - it should be noted - in the sense of prescribing genocide against non-Jews, but in providing models for the reclamation of the land."
  48. Garber, Zev, "Deconstructing Theodicy and Amalekut", in Post-Shoah dialogues: re-thinking our texts together, James F. Moore (Ed.), University Press of America, 2004, pp 241-243.
    p 242: "Any attempt at understanding this warrant for genocide [Exodus 17:14-16] against the Amalekites and their descendants must start …"
  49. Walvoord, John F., The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, David C. Cook, 1985, pp 250-251
  50. Van Wees, p 241-242
    • See Joshua 11:19-20
    • Ehrlich, p 119-120: "At least some of the Rabbis asked themselves … what had they [Canaanites] done to deserve this punishment?.. In essence, the solution was to lay the onus of blame for the conquest and Joshua's extirpation of the Canaanites at the feet of the victims. [Describes a Talmudic narrative that says that Joshua sent a msg to Canaanites before the war, telling them to leave or else] .. In this manner this midrash makes the Canaanites responsible for their own demise. They were not innocent victims, but elected of their own free will to attempt to contravene the divine promise of land to Israel. The conscience of Joshua, and of his descendants, was clean…."
  51. Ehrlich, p 120: "The Canaanites were given the land of Israel to care for until the time .. the Israelites .. would arrive…. Joshua and the Israelites were forced against their will to wage war upon the Canaanites, who, contravening God, would not even cede an inch of land without a fight to the finish. This midrash also attempts to justify the fury and brutality of Joshua's holy war against the Canaanites….
  52. Ehrlich, p 120: "That not all Rabbis shared these feelings of ethical ambivalence about their ancestor's alleged genocidal war against the Canaanites is indicated by another midrash … [Joshua forgot some laws so] the Israelites were so outraged at his lack of learning that they wanted to kill him. Since there was no time to reteach him all that he had forgotten, the only way in which God could save Joshua was by diverting the attention of the people through a war. Thus the war of extermination against the Canaanites was begun earlier than planned as a diversionary tactic to save the life of one individual. It would appear that the author of this midrash was not all too concerned about the ethical implications of a God who sees nothing wrong with wiping out a whole nation just to save the life of a man whose life is threatened … "
  53. Magid, Shaul, "Subversion as Return: Scripture, Dissent, and Renewal in Contemporary Judaism, in Subverting Scriptures: Critical Reflections on the Use of the Bible Beth Hawkins Benedix (Ed), p 234:
    "The rabbinic tradition connects the commandment to destroy Midian in Numbers 31 to Genesis 37:28-36, … (Midianites sold Joseph into Egyptian slavery) "Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard."
  54. Encyclopaedia Judaica: Volume 8, p. 145
  55. Lustick, Ian, For the land and the Lord: Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, Council on Foreign Relations, 1988.
    Lustick, p 3: "The fear and uncertainty that this demographic shift [increasing Arab population within Israel] is generating within the Jewish population as a whole make more attractive fundamentalist appeals to use Joshua's destruction and subjugation of the Canaanites as a model for solving the contemporary 'Arab problem'…. "
    Lustick: p 78:" The image of Palestinians as doomed and suicidal in their opposition to Jewish rule in the Land of Israel corresponds to a more fundamental categorization of them. Gush rabbis and ideologues regularly refer to the local Arabs as 'Canaanites' … Thus Rav Tzvi Yehuda cited Maimonides to the effect that Canaanites had three choices - to flee, to accept Jewish rule, or to fight. These are the choices both [fundamentalists] suggest, that frame the appropriate attitude for Jews to take towards Palestinian Arabs. Of course, the decision by most Canaanites to fight ensured their destruction. The same fate awaits present-day non-Jewish inhabitants of the land who choose to resist the establishment of Jewish sovereignty over its entirety…. Humane treatment is appropriate, [Hanan] Porat emphasizes 'only for those Arabs ready to accept the sovereignty of the people of Israel'. From this general principle he infers a duty to make merciless war against Arabs in the Land of Israel who reject Jewish sovereignity and the specific requirement to deport the families of Arab juveniles who throw stones at the passing automobiles of Jewish settlers."
    Lustick: p 131: "No evidence exists of concrete plans to carry out genocidal policies towards the 'Arabs of the Land of Israel'. Nevertheless, analysis of the range of disagreement within the Jewish fundamentalist movement over the Arab question must begin with the fact that a number of rabbis supportive of Gush Emunim have offered opinions that could provide the halachic basis for such policies. The substance of these opinions pertains to the identification of the Palestinian Arabs, or Arabs in general, as Amalekites. According to the biblical account, the Amalekites harassed the Israelites … As a consequence, God commanded the Jewish people not only to kill all Amalekites - men, women, and children - but to 'blot out the memory of Amalek' from the face of the earth. Traditionally, great enemies of the Jews, such as Haman in ancient Persia … and Torquemada during the Spanish Inquisition, have been identified as descendants of Amalek. Accordingly, the most extreme views within Gush Emunim on the Arab question, views quoted extensively by Israeli critics of the movement, speak of Arabs as descendants of the Amalekites… A Gush veteran, Haim Tsuria, defended [violence towards Arabs]: 'In every generation there is an Amalek. In our generation, our Amalek are the Arabs who oppose the renewal of our national existence in the land of our fathers."
  56. Hitchens, Christopher, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Random House, Inc., 2007, p 101
  57. Lemche, Niels Peter, The Old Testament between theology and history: a critical survey, Westminster John Knox Press, 2008, pp 315–316:
    "The [Biblical] story of the 'morally supreme people' that defeats and exterminates another, inferior, nation was part of the ideological baggage of European imperialists and colonizers throughout the nineteenth century. It was also carried by European Jews who,.. migrated to Palestine to inherit their ancestral country … In this modern version of the biblical narrative, the Palestinian population turned into 'Canaanites', supposed to be morally inferior to the Jews, and of course the Arabs were never considered their equals … The Bible was the instrument used to suppress the enemy".
  58. Grenke, Arthur, God, greed, and genocide: the Holocaust through the centuries, New Academia Publishing, LLC, 2005, pp 17-18:
    "Discussing the influence of Christian beliefs on the destruction of the Native peoples in the Americas, Stannard argues that while the New Testament view of war is ambiguous, there is little such ambiguity in the Old Testament. He points to sections in Deuteronomy in which the Israelite God, Yahweh, commanded that the Israelites utterly destroy idolaters whose land they sought to reserve for the worship of their deity (Deut 7:2, 16, and 20:16-17). … According to Stannard, this view of war contributed to the .. destruction of the Native peoples in the Americas. It was this view that also led to the destruction of European Jewry. Accordingly, it is important to look at this particular segment of the Old Testament: it not only describes a situation where a group undertakes to totally destroy other groups, but it also had a major influence on shaping thought and belief systems that permitted, and even inspired, genocide."
    • Masalha, Nur, The Bible and Zionism: invented traditions, archaeology and post-colonialism in Palestine-Israel, Volume 1, Zed Books, 2007, pp 273-276:
    "Prior revisits the old ground [in his book The Bible and colonialism: a moral critique] … First, the biblical narrative, with its 'divine promise' was inherently linked with the mandate to ethnically cleanse or exterminate the indigenous people … third, in the narrative of the Book of Deuteronomy the divine command to commit 'genocide' is explicit. Fourth, genocide and mass slaughter follow in the Book of Joshua. These highly dubious traditions of the Bible have been kept before subsequent generations of Jews and Christians in their prayers…. The historical evidence, however, strongly suggests that such genocidal massacres never actually took place, although these racist, xenophobic and militaristic narratives remained for later generations as powerful examples of divine aid in battle and of a divine command for widespread slaughter of an enemy…. [Professor Bernardo Gandulla, of the University of Buenos Aires], while sharing Prior's critique of the perverse use that Zionism and the State of Israel have made of the Bible to support their 'ethnic cleansing' policies in Palestine, … Prior … found incitement to war and violence in the very foundation documents of Judaism, Christianity and islam. In the Hebrew Bible, for instance, there is a dominant strand that sees God as ethnocentric and militaristic. Furthermore, in their conquest of Canaan, the Israelites are commanded by Yahweh to destroy the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine. Later in the days of the Israelite kingdoms, they are urged to show no pity, but to massacre their enemies…. Today, both Christian Zionists in the West and Israeli messianics continue to refer to the Hebrew Scriptures for archetypal conflicts, which guide their attitudes towards the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine: the Palestinian Muslims and Christians."
    • Masalha refers to: Prior, Michael P., The Bible and colonialism: a moral critique, Sheffield Academic Press, 1997.
  59. Boustan, Ra'anan S., Violence, Scripture, and Textual Practice in Early Judaism and Christianity, BRILL, 2010, page 4-5
    "Later readers of the Bible dramatically transformed this divine directive [Deut 20:15-18] through hermeneutic alignment of the Canaanites with the current detested 'other'. Thus the Canaanites have been identified with … Palestinians (by militant Zionists), and scores of other 'enemies' of Israel. In doing so, the violence perpetrated against these groups is not only justified, but indeed, part and parcel of the original divine plan. The violent legacy of the Bible is a product of both its own violent narrative and the hermeneutics of violence applied to it".
  60. Glick, Leonard B., "Religion and Genocide", in The Widening circle of genocide, Alan L. Berger (Ed). Transaction Publishers, 1994, p 46:
    "[God] looked with favor on what we may fairly call their [Israelite] proto-genocidal destructiveness. The Book of Joshua provides us with one of the earliest texts in which a deity quite plainly promotes the destruction of a people. As the Hebrews, under Joshua's leadership, undertake the conquest of Canaan, they massacre everyone who stands in their way…. It is instructive (and distressing) to note that contemporary Jewish ultra-nationalists in Israel root their politics in the Book of Joshua and equate their territorial aspirations with the will of God. Here, for example, is Shlomo Aviner, a prominent theorist of the Gush Emunim … movement: 'from the point of view of mankind's humanistic morality we were in the wrong in (taking the land) from the Canaanites. There is only one catch. The command of God ordered us to be the people of the land of Israel'. Others have identified the Palestinians as 'Canaanites' who are engaged in a 'suicidal' struggle opposing God's own intentions; hence the Jewish people must be prepared to destroy them if they persist in pursuing their collective 'death-wish'."
    • Whitelam, Keith W., The invention of ancient Israel: the silencing of Palestinian history, Routledge, 1996, especially pp 71–121.
    • Whitelam cited by Ehrlich, pp 117:
    "Keith Whitelam (1996) has published a book [The invention of ancient Israel: the silencing of Palestinian history] in which he has implied that the modern European imperialist Zionist Jewish movement has drawn inspiration from the biblical conquest tradition … Parallels are thus drawn in Whitelam's thought between the genocidal Israelites presumably of Joshua's day and the racist Zionists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and also between the ancient Canaanites and the modern Palestinians … the interpretations attributed to [Whitelam] of the place of the book of Joshua and its … genocidal account of Israel's emergence in the land that it claims as its own pose a challenge to Judaism…. It thus behooves us to ask … how has the Jewish community dealt with these foundational narratives, saturated as they are with acts of violence against others?…."
  61. Greenberg, Moshe, "On the Political User of the Bible in Modern Israel: An Engaged Critique", in Pomegranates and golden bells: studies in biblical, Jewish, and Near Eastern ritual, law, and literature, EISENBRAUNS, 1995, p 467-469: "No 'national' commandment such as that of 'conquest and settling the land' occurs in any of these [Judaic] summaries [of the Torah]… [arguments for applying herem to modern Israel] introduces a distinction that Scripture does not recognize; nowhere are the obligations referred to in the summaries contingent on the achievement of the land-taking or the destruction of Israel's enemies. To suppose that they may be set aside or suspended for the accomplishment of national ends is a leap far beyond scripture…. The [biblical] injunctions to take the land are embedded in narrative and give the appearance of being addressed to a specific generation, like the commandment to annihilate or expel the natives of Canaan, which refers specifically to the seven Canaanite nations… Now, had there ben any inclination to generalize the law [of extermination], it would have been easy for the talmudic sages to [do so]. But in fact the sages left the ancient herem law as they found it: applying to seven extinct nations."
  62. See also, for discussion of Greenberg's argument: Seibert, Eric A. Disturbing divine behavior: troubling Old Testament images of God, Fortress Press, 2009, pp 47-48
  63. Ehrlich, p 121
    Ehrlich: page 121 "It is only with the rise of the modern state of Israel that the book of Joshua and its account of the conquest of the land has assumed a renewed importance with the context of Judaism…. the battles of Joshua were viewed as paradigmatic for the modern age, not - it should be noted - in the sense of prescribing genocide against non-jews, but in providing models for the reclamation of the land."
  64. Harris, Michael J, Divine command ethics: Jewish and Christian perspectives, p 137
    • Divine command ethics: Jewish and Christian perspectives, Michael J. Harris, pp 137-138
    • The Bible's Top Fifty Ideas: The Essential Concepts Everyone Should Know, Dov Peretz Elkins, Abigail Treu, pp 315 - 316
    • The ethics of war: shared problems in different traditions, Richard Sorabji, David Rodin, p 98
    • Theory and practice in Old Testament ethics, John William Rogerson, M. Daniel Carroll R., p 92
  65. 71.0 71.1 Kahn, Ari (February 9, 2002). "A Question of Race?". Aish HaTorah. http://www.aish.com/tp/i/moha/48939037.html. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  66. Eynei Kol Ḥai, 73, on Sanhedrin 96b
  67. Sword and Plowshare as Tools of Tikkun Olam: Violence & Nonviolence in Jewish Thought & Action, By Rabbi Arthur Waskow, 10/2/2007
    • Masalha, Nur, Imperial Israel and the Palestinians: the politics of expansion, Pluto Press, 2000, pp 129-131.
    • Stern, Josef, "Maimonides on Amalek, Self-Corrective Mechanisms, and the War against Idolatry" in Judaism and modernity: the religious philosophy of David Hartman, David Hartman, Jonathan W. Malino (Eds), Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2004 page 360-362
    "The example concerns the set of biblical commandments … centered on Amalek, the ancient nation that ambushed Israel during the Exodus from Egypt… What does it mean to 'blot out the name of Amalek'? We have evidence of what this meant for biblical Israel … where the commandment is taken literally to mean: destroy by actually killing every Amalekite, man, woman, and child…. Some rabbis allegorize Amalek, taking it as a eupemism for the evil inclination; others have it symbolize the enemies of Israel throughout history; yet others make it the personification of evil…. There are also more specific historital identifications of the people of Amalek. It is well known that in medieval rabbinic literature Esau, and his land Edom, are typologically identified with Rome and, in turn, with Christianity. It is less widely known that Amalek … also came to be conflated with his ancestor and identified with Rome and then Christianity. By the early medieval period, the descendants of the ancient nation of Amalek were identified by some Jewish authors as the Armenians…. Jewish authors could put a biblical face on this overarching foe by identifying it with Amalek and find hope for ultimate victory in the biblical promise that 'God is at war with Amalek from generation to generation' (Ex. 17:16)."
    • Hunter, Alastair G. "Denominating Amalek: Racist stereotyping in the Bible and the Justification of Discrimination" in Sanctified aggression: legacies of biblical and post biblical vocabularies, Jonneke Bekkenkamp, Yvonne Sherwood (Eds), Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003, page 99-105.
    "The Amalekites could well be regarded as the archetypal vicitims in the Pentateuch, in that divine instructions to dispose of this people are given on more than one occasion… They also symbolize a further classic device: the rhetorical move … of portraying the victim as agressor in order to justify his/her elimination…. For most Jews .. .the denunciation of Haman the enemy is part of the light-hearted celebration of a rather 'laid back' festival. But there are more sinister implications which have in recent years emerged on the political scene …. In the early 1900s Rabbi Hayim Soloveitchik of Brisk argued that … there was a possibility of contemporary war against Amalek … Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik used this position in the early 1940s to contend that the Allied war against Nazi Germany could be understood in Jewish law as a war against Amalek… [regarding the Sept 11 attacks] a couple of 'position pieces' draw disturbing parallels between the suicide plots and the enemy Amalek. The first is .. written by Rabbi Ralph Tawil, in which the writer … comes perilously close to equating President George Bush's war against terrorism with Israel's command to eradicate their troublesome enemy."
    • Masalha, Nur, Imperial Israel and the Palestinians: the politics of expansion, Pluto Press, 2000, pp 129-131.
    "Frequently Jewish fundamentalists refer to the Palestinians as the 'Amalekites' … of today… According to the Old Testament, the Amalek … were regarded as the Israelites' inveterate foe, whose 'annihilation' became a sacred duty and against whom war should be waged until their 'memory be blotted out' forever (Ex 17:16; Deut 25:17-19)…. Some of the [modern] political messianics insist on giving the biblical commandment to 'blot out the memory of the Amalek' an actual contemporary relevance in the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. In February 1980, Rabbi Israel Hess … published an article [titled] 'The Genocide Commandment in the Torah' … which ends with the following: 'The day is not far when we shall all be called to this holy war, this commandment of the annihilation of the Amalek'. Hess quotes the biblical commandment … 'Do not spare him, but kill man and woman, baby and suckling, ox and sheep, camel, and donkey'…. In his book On the Lord's Side Danny Ribinstein has shown that this notion permeates the Gush Emunim movement's bulletins [one of which] carried an article … which reads 'In every generation there is an Amalek. The Amalekism of our generation finds expression in the deep Arab hatred towards our national revival …'… Professor Uriel Tal … conducted his study in the early 1980s … and pointed out that the totalitarian political messianic stream refers to the Palestinian Arabs in three stages or degrees: …[stage] (3) the implementation of the commandment of Amalek, as expressed in Rabbi Hess's article 'The Commandment of Genocide in the Torah', in other words 'annihilating' the Palesinian Arabs'".
    • See also Hunter, p 103
    • Also describing Palestinians as targets of violence due to association with Amalek is: Geaves, Ron, Islam and the West post 9/11, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2004, p 30
  68. Purim and the Sin of Amalek - Torah on the Web
  69. A prophet for today: contemporary lessons from the book of Yehoshua - Steven Pruzansky - 2006 - Religion - 139 pages, p. 90
    • Rabbi Shim'on Weiser, "Purity of weapons - an exchange of letters" in Niv" Hammidrashiyyah Yearbook of Midrashiyyat No'am, 1974, pp.29-31.
    quoted in Masalha, Nur (2007). The Bible and Zionism: invented traditions, archaeology and post-colonialism in Palestine-Israel. Zed Books. p. 158. ISBN 1842777610. . This book quotes Amnon Rubinstein, From Herzl to Gush Emunim and Back (1980), p. 124.
  70. Rebecca Spence " Rabbis: Israel Too Worried Over Civilian Deaths", in The Jewish Daily Forward, issue of August 25, 2006. http://www.forward.com/articles/1438/
    • Abraham Avidan (Zamel), After the War: Chapters of Meditation, Rule, and Research, as quoted by Steven Schwarzschild, "The Question of Jewish Ethics Today" (Dec, 24, 1976) in journal Sh'ma (vol. 7, no. 124) - http://www.clal.org/e14.html. Schwarzschild article reprinted in The pursuit of the ideal: Jewish writings of Steven Schwarzschild, chapter 7, pp 117-136, SUNY Press, 1990 (ISBN 0791402193). Latter book quotes the booklet on page 125. Schwarzschild writes that Avidan was the "military rabbi" of the Central Command Headquarters.
    • Schwarzschild article includes a bracketed comment as follows: "... insofar as the killing of civilians is performed against the background of war, one should not, according to religious law, trust a Gentile [and justifies this claim, citing the utterance from the Codes:] 'The best of the Gentiles you should kill"...'". Schwartzschild indicates that the phrase "[t]he best of the Gentiles you should kill" is from the Mekhilta 14:7 ("tov shebagoyim harog"), citing Nathan Suesskind, "Tov Sheba-Goyim" C.C.A.R. Journal, Spring 1976, pp. 28f. and n. 2.
    • Schwarzschild article states that the booklet was discussed contemporaneously in the Mapam newspaper. Other sources cite contemporaneous discussions by Haolam Hazeh, 5 January 1974; by David Shaham, 'A chapter of meditation', Hotam, 28 March 1974; and by Amnon Rubinstein, 'Who falsifies the Halakhah?' Maariv, 13 October 1975.
    • Masalha, Nur (2007). The Bible and Zionism: invented traditions, archaeology and post-colonialism in Palestine-Israel. Zed Books. p. 158. ISBN 1842777610. . This book also cites the chaplain's booklet.
    • See also a discussion of "Religious Zionist military rabbinate" in George Wilkes (2003) "Judaism and Justice in War", in Just war in comparative perspective, Paul F. Robinson (Ed.), Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., p. 22.
    • Schwarzschild, Stephen (1990). The pursuit of the ideal: Jewish writings of Steven Schwarzschild. SUNY Press. pp. 125–126. ISBN 0791402193. 
  71. Chomsky, Noam (1999). Fateful triangle: the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians (2nd Ed, revised). South End Press. pp. 153–154. ISBN 0896086011. 


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