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Judaism and the ethics of war

30-06-2005 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 858, by Norman Solomon

To get some idea of how Judaism handles the ethics of war, the author reviews a selection of sources from the earliest scriptures to rabbinic discussion in contemporary Israel, thus over a period of three thousand years.


Norman Solomon
served as rabbi to Orthodox congregations in Britain, and since 1983 has been engaged in interfaith relations and in academic work, most recently at the University of Oxford. He has published several books on Judaism. 

The article surveys Jewish sources relating to the justification and conduct of war, from the Bible and rabbinic interpretation to recent times, including special problems of the State of Israel. It concludes with the suggestion that there is convergence between contemporary Jewish teaching, modern human rights doctrine and international law.  

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