Clausewitz and Cabs
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs organized a conference yesterday under the title “Hamas, the Gaza War, and Accountability under International Law”. As usual it was a very interesting event with high-quality speakers and excellent food.
Even though I’m no expert in the field, the topic of international humanitarian law and its application in warfare against an adversary who doesn’t stick to those laws himself, is a complex and — unfortunately — all too relevant one.
Most of the speakers were very interesting, but I’m afraid that my capacity for listening to never-ending presentations and lectures has decreased to a worrying extent since I left academia. I did find myself looking at my watch a bit too often toward the end, and I started to consume a clearly unmotivated quantity of grapefruit juice just to keep myself busy.
Luckily, some people, like colonel (ret.) Daniel Reisner, had the wisdom to lighten up the presentations. Col. Reisner did so by telling the following story:
A priest, a rabbi and an Israeli taxi driver come to heaven and are greeted by an angel from the celestial housing committee. The priest and the rabbi are both given pleasant, albeit modest, apartments in a nice neighborhood of heaven. The cab driver on the other hand, gets a huge villa on a hillside with a marvelous view. The priest and the rabbi get a little miffed about this, so they go back to the angel and say:
What’s the deal here? We dedicated our lives to bringing people closer to God– and then He goes and reward that clown?
The angel looks at them and says:
Look, guys, we’re all very grateful for all your hard work. But that cab driver put the fear of God into more people on any given day than you both did in your combined lifetimes.
I guess that’s one approach.