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Israel at War

Siege Warfare and Civilian Casualties: Jewish Values and Israel’s Dilemma

Shlomo Brody

Shlomo Brody

Shlomo Brody

What does the Jewish tradition teach us about the need to minimize enemy civilian casualties? What role can Jewish values and ideas play in Israeli law and military ethics? Shlomo Brody, the executive director of Ematai and author of Judaism Confronts War: Jewish Military Ethics for the 21st Century, explores rabbinic perspectives on siege warfare and discuss how they informed IDF guidelines in recent dilemmas of asymmetric warfare, with particular attention to the current war in Gaza.

Part of the series, Ethics of War: Jewish, Philosophical, and Legal Perspectives:

The horrors of October 7th and the subsequent war in Gaza have raised urgent questions around Israel’s military response and the degree to which it is morally and legally justified. These questions are being litigated by politicians, policy makers, philosophers, and on social media, and have given rise to a range of responses, in both the international community and in Israel. The debates are dynamic, changing, and evolving in real time. In this series, Idit Shafran Gittleman, Shlomo Brody, and Yitzhak Benbaji, three leading Israeli thinkers in this field, explore the ethics of war through traditional Jewish sources, moral philosophy, and law.

Other sessions in this series:

  • Ethics and Rules of Proportionality in the Israel-Hamas War (Idit Shafran Gittleman)
  • Just War Theory in Israel and the International Community: October 7th and Its Aftermath (Yitzhak Benbaji)

This program is part of Ideas for Today, curated courses by Hartman Institute scholars on the big Jewish ideas we need to think better and do better.

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