Dear Rabbi Simon,
Would you please be able to answer a question to a non-Jew about the seven Noahide laws? Firstly, I believe these laws to be true and would bring peace and harmony to the world. I am a believer in non-violence and anti-war. I believe ‘thou shall not kill’. And all killing, if it is done when your personal life is not at immediate risk goes against this commandment. My question is please. How can Israel, a Jewish nation, bring light unto the world, and expect gentiles to follow the Noahide laws, if we see Israel killing indiscriminately? This includes women and children who would never be able to kill them? Isn’t Israel thereby showing the world how not to follow the word of G-d?
Thank you for your interesting and relevant question.
First, I have to acknowledge that the State of Israel is also a western secular democracy broadly similar to the USA and European countries (with its own idiosyncrasies, of course). As such, its laws and conduct, as a country, do not necessarily exemplify Torah values and commandments in every case.
Having said that, I do not agree that we see Israel killing indiscriminately. Israel does not target civilians or civilian infrastructure. However, Hamas chooses to deliberately position their rocket launchers, ammunition caches, command and control centres and the like next to, under, and within mosques, schools, hospitals, etc. For this reason, Israel has encouraged/warned the civilian population to evacuate the areas which are particularly rife with military targets. Hamas has set up roadblocks to prevent them from doing so, effectively holding many thousands of their own people hostage.
Moreover, you may be aware that some of the most troubling allegations against Israel have been proven entirely false. I refer to the bomb that fell in a parking lot near a hospital in Gaza last week. Hamas immediately blamed Israel and claimed 500 (or more) fatalities. In fact, the explosion was due to a missile launched by Islamic Jihad from Gaza (intended to kill Israeli civilans, of course). It fell short, leading to damage and loss of life. This assessment has been verified by the US, UK and other third-party observers.
In sum, while I do not claim that Israel always personifies Jewish values, I do believe that Israel’s prosecution of the war forced upon her by the Hamas massacre of 1400 unarmed civilians is justified. But don’t take it from me. Take it from Colonel Richard Kemp (Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan): https://www.prageru.com/video/israel-the-worlds-most-moral-army.
Thank you again for your important question and interest in the Noahide Laws.
Rabbi Rashi Simon