Israel Forever

For the week ending 21 September 2002 / 15 Tishri 5763

Slay the Murderer First

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The weapons of mass destruction in the arsenal of the Iraqi dictator present a threat to Israel and the entire world. The preemptive military action being planned and promoted by U.S. President Bush is the only course open for nations which have learned from the past that it is impractical to compromise with would-be murderers.

"One who comes to slay you, slay him first!"

This is the directive of the Torah in regard to dealing with a burglar who is suspected of an intention to murder you if you attempt to resist his attempt to deprive you of your possessions. No negotiations are called for when you confront someone with such intentions. "Take action quickly!" is how the Talmudic Sages phrase this directive for preemptive action.

Iraqs glib vice-president, Tariq Aziz, told a press conference in Bagdad last week that the read intention of President Bush and his British ally, Prime Minister Blair, was "to change the map of this region and to protect Israel so that Ariel Sharon can banish the Palestinians to Jordan". This is the sort of "big lie" demagoguery which characterized a European regime 64 years ago. Failure to take preemptive action then led to a bloody world war and the loss of many millions of lives.

The entire world must wake up to the threat to its survival posed by Saddam Hussein despite all of his assurances that he harbors no weapons of mass destruction. The Torahs approach has been vindicated by history and is the order of the day "Slay the murderer first!"

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