In recent days, many journalists, including Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post and Ronan Farrow on MSNBC, have asked when is Israel justified in attacking crowded civilian settings in order to kill militants. Robinson:
So if you’re an Israeli commander and you know that there’s a Hamas military facility next to a medical clinic, but you’re not completely sure the militants are still there, while the clinic is likely packed with injured civilians, do you still pull the trigger?
Over a decade ago, Yonatan Shapira, then an Israeli air force pilot, bravely confronted his top commander, Lt. General Dan Halutz, over what were euphemistically called “targeted assassinations.” Israeli warplanes regularly fired missiles at Hamas leaders in Gaza, also killing innocent civilians, some of them children.
Shapira asked General Halutz, What if a Hamas leader were located in Tel Aviv? Would you order our pilots to fire there, risking Israeli bystanders? Halutz said no.
So you value Israelis over Palestinians, Yonatan responded. Get someone else to fly your aircraft.