AJS Review

Research Article

War, Revenge, and Jewish Ethics: Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli's Essay on Kibiyeh Revisited

Robert Eisena1 c1

a1 George Washington University, Washington, DC

In 1953 the government of the newly founded state of Israel sent an elite army unit to attack the village of Kibiyeh, just across the Jordanian border. The attack was in reprisal for violence against Jewish villages on the Israeli side of the border. Since the end of the 1948 war, armed groups from Jordanian border towns had been infiltrating Israel and terrorizing its citizens, and in one such raid on the village of Yehud, a woman and her two young children were killed. The Israeli attack on Kibiyeh was in response to that incident. Kibiyeh was chosen as the target because the perpetrators of the violence in Yehud had apparently come from there. In the Kibiyeh raid, several dozen Arabs were killed, including women and children. Condemnation of the raid from the international community was swift. Opinion in Israel was mostly supportive of the operation, though a vocal minority opposed it.

Correspondence:

c1 robeisen@verizon.net