After a long delay, the Israeli military’s advance into Rafah, the city in southern Gaza that is the last stronghold of Hamas’s fighting force and that now also hosts many civilian refugees from the rest of Gaza, may now be underway. Many in the U.S. are concerned that an Israeli push into Rafah will incur high numbers of civilian casualties. How does and should Israel think about that possibility?

The rabbi and scholar Shlomo Brody is the author of a new volume on Jewish military ethics, Ethics of Our Fighters. It is traditional in the intellectual and philosophical field of just-war theory to draw a distinction between the ethics of going to war and the ethics of fighting in war. Here, Brody and host Jonathan Silver discuss the latter subject—ethics in war—as it is seen through the Jewish tradition and the historical experience of the Israeli military.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.