Palle Veje Rasmussen
Danish philosopher and high-school-teacher

Big bombs have big consequences

Israel’s extensive use of large bombs destroys Hamas’ tunnel system in Gaza. The tunnels are underground, so it takes a lot of explosives to blow them up. However, large quantities of explosives also mean a very wide radius of effect, which makes it difficult to ensure that the attacks only hit military targets and do not damage civilians or civilian infrastructure. It not only has unintended consequences for civilians, but with large bombs in densely populated civilian areas, one must say that the risk to civilian life must be calculated and expected. Therefore, large bombs, unlike precision bombs, must be considered unethical in densely populated areas, as their use goes against basic principles of humanity and protection of the innocent. Even if the goal is not to hit civilians, it must be both expected and calculated. Whether it can thus be called intentional must be decided by a legal judge after the war.
In international law, it is a fundamental obligation to distinguish between military targets and civilian persons and property. The primary purpose of the laws of war and international conventions, such as the Geneva Conventions, is to protect those not participating in the fighting, especially civilians.

Another important principle in the laws of war is proportionality. This principle prohibits attacks where the expected civilian harm is disproportionate to the military advantage. Large bombs have disproportionately large consequences because there are far too many dead and maimed.

The use of large bombs can also have serious long-term consequences for the people of Gaza due to the destruction of lives, homes, schools, hospitals and other essential infrastructure. This results in lasting suffering, loss of access to education, healthcare and economic opportunities.

The ethical problem of large bombs with large consequences has resulted in many demonstrations around the world against Israel’s warfare in Gaza, because they have already destroyed the everyday life of the entire population of Gaza.

Satellite photos of Gaza show, according to the American TV station CNN, around 500 craters left by large one-ton bombs. It is shortly after the war has begun. (

There is no alternative to stopping the war

Thus, Hamas will not win the war morally, but Israel may yet avoid losing the war morally.

About the Author
I’m a Danish philosopher, have been written a book about formation in the high school-education system.
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