Angry cries are mounting that Israel’s response is disproportionate to more than 2,000 Hamas missiles in the past two weeks (and thousands of other rocket provocations before this latest conflict). International finger pointing denies Israel’s national security needs to destroy the deadly arsenal of Hamas weaponry and their sinister cross-border tunnels of terror.
As the debate over Israel’s military intervention and self defense continues in the media, at the UN and elsewhere, the seemingly even-handed argument against the Jewish state seems to be, “OK, Israel has a right to exist and to defend itself, but Israel’s reaction is not proportionate. Too many Gazan civilians are being killed in the conflict.”
Dan Hodges, in his blog today for the London Daily Telegraph newspaper, noted that Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg “has joined this chorus, accusing Israel of imposing a “disproportionate form of collective punishment” on the Palestinian people.” Clegg’s words were echoed by the United Nations Relief and Works agency [UNWRA], which warned that “Maximum restraint must be exercised and measures of distinction, proportionality and precaution must be respected.” [The question begs to be asked: How many nations with a proportionate amount of provocations would abide by calls for maximum restraint?]
Britain’s House of Commons debate was also an accusatory succession of MPs mouthing the same mantra: Israel’s response is way out of proportion; hundreds of civilains have been killed compared to the some 30 Israeli soldiers who have died in the conflict.
Even Israel’s “surgical” air strikes against terrorist targets, purposefully aimed to avoid civilian casualties, bring global condemnation.
“When people say Israel’s response to Hamas aggression must be “proportionate,” the Telegraph blogger wrote sympathetically, “they don’t mean it. What they actually mean is that Israel shouldn’t respond at all. . . . But Israel’s critics should at least be honest about what they’re really proposing. And what they’re proposing is that while Israel has a right to defend itself in principle, it shouldn’t do so in practice. It should just turn the other cheek.. . .
That statement about turning the other cheek made me think of a quote from philosopher Eric Hoffer after the Six Day War: “Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem … But everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab … Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious, it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.”
“What do you think the death toll would be if Hamas had Israel’s military capability – including its nuclear capability?” Hodges asked provocatively in his blog. “Because I think in those circumstances we would see with horrifying clarity what a disproportionate use of military force really looks like.”
According to a legal analysis published by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the fact that Hamas does not possess the same military capabilities as Israel does not render Israel’s response unlawful. There is absolutely no principle of military law that requires a nation to defend itself through the use of the aggressor’s weapons.
Israel has indeed tried everything: peace talks, disengagement from Gaza, ethnic cleansing of themselves by removing even their dead from former Jewish cemeteries in Gaza. And Israel has abided by ceasfires when Hamas did not.
Seemingly just calls for the resumption of quiet would not remedy the situation and would only prolong the conflict.
Jonathan Feldstein wrote today in The Times of Israel, “Nobody wants more loss of life, but few I know want to pick up and walk away now, leaving Hamas and other terrorist infrastructure in place to have this happen all over again in a few months, or a few years. If we don’t finish the job, not only will Israelis still be at grave risk from the thousands of rockets the terrorists still have, but from the tunnels yet to be unearthed and destroyed, that start in Gaza but end in Israeli villages and communities, just waiting to be used to carry out a massacre.”
Watchmen on the Walls, pray for all leaders and decision makers in this most difficult and complex conflict to be like the children of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32, “men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”