Indiscriminate killing of civilians ... nothing wrong with that?!

Rabbi Eliyahu in traditional Sephardic dress
Image via Wikipedia

What if you believe that you should get your morality from the Torah (Old Testament of the Bible)? What possible consequences could result from such a belief?

Eliyahu advocates carpet bombing Gaza

By MATTHEW WAGNER

former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu "ruled that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings."

Perhaps this is just because the Rabbi has some kind of personal vendetta -- he couldn't possibly back up the ruling using religious texts that there is "ABSOLUTELY NO MORAL PROHIBITION against INDISCRIMINATE KILLING of CIVILIANS", right?

Wrong.

"[He] ... cited the biblical story of the Shechem massacre (Genesis 34) and Maimonides' commentary (Laws of Kings 9, 14) on the story as proof texts for his legal decision. ...  he advocated carpet bombing the general area from which the Kassams were launched, regardless of the price in Palestinian life."

When people take their magic book to be absolutely essential in knowing how to deal with moral situations, they may actually believe what it says. Religious beliefs like these are not harmless delusions that a person tells himself when dealing with a personal tragedy. They are policy influencing beliefs that justify things like "indiscriminate killing of civilians."  Rabbi Eliyahu gives us another perfect example of why it matters what people believe!

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