Israel showed care in a ‘just war’

June plenumA recent report published by a multi-national group of former military experts has defended the actions of the Israel Defence Force in its war against Hamas last year. They include retired Australian Major-General Jim Molan – who will address the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies plenum on Tuesday evening, July 21.

Major-General Molan is one of the most decorated soldiers to have served in the Australian Defence Force. In 2008 he retired after 40 years of service, ranging from command appointments in operations, training, staff and military diplomacy. He served in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia, Germany and the United States, all in preparation for his most demanding posting to Iraq.

Since retiring in 2008, he has become a sought-after commentator on security and military issues for numerous media outlets and was recently featured across various media outlets stating that the Israel Defence Force went to great lengths to operate within the laws of war: “Israel’s prosecution of Operation Protective Edge not only met a reasonable international standard of observance of the laws of armed conflict, it exceeded them significantly, often at cost to Israeli soldiers and citizens.”

In an interview with the ABC, Major-General Molan commended the efforts of the IDF in reducing the number of civilian casualties in Gaza through its air attacks and targeted civilian warnings.

He and his colleagues recently spent a week in Israel meeting with high-ranking politicians, military experts, IDF strategists and soldiers. They concluded that Operation Protective Edge was not a war that Israel sought, and in fact Israel had tried to avoid entering the war. Their report considered the 2014 war a legitimate conflict that was necessary in order to defend Israel’s borders and civilians.

Major-General Molan was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his part in disaster relief operations and was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for his role in Indonesia and East Timor. In 2009 he was recognised as Australian Thinker of the Year. He is married with four adult children.

Major-General Jim Molan will address the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies plenum in Darlinghurst on Tuesday 21 July. Inquiries: