In a recent interview on Sky News, the interviewer asked, “Everyone understands the right of nations to protect their integrity and to protect their citizens, but is Israel’s response not disproportionate here?”
Proportionality in war means that ‘The harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage.’
We should not be judging the number of casualties in relation to the casualties suffered by the other side, but rather in relation to the military advantage. If Israel’s goal is to eliminate the terrorist threat in Gaza and demilitarize it, and the threat consists of hundreds of terrorist, thousands of rockets and weapons that are dispersed in locations such as hospitals, schools, homes, terror tunnels, kindergartens, mosques, civilians’ living rooms, then the war that Israel is fighting is not only not disproportionate, but is almost sure to hit below its target and goal. This is the catch-22 that Israel faces. If the IDF behaves in the supermoral way that it does, by not targeting civilian locations and by warning civilians as well as terrorists of upcoming attacks, the IDF both risks the lives of its own soldiers, as well as lowers its chance of success, giving the enemy time to flee and to launch preplanned assaults and ambushes on the soldiers, resulting in tragic loss of life. When Israeli soldiers, in the midst of fighting, stopped for a ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ and went to help two elderly Palestinian women, they removed their cloaks and revealed Palestinian terrorists who then shot and killed 13 soldiers.
Other accounts by soldiers reveal that some terrorists carried a gun in one hand and a baby in the other. Can we even begin to imagine the moral conflict the soldier faces in those moments, and the trauma of possibly having killed young children to protect himself and to do his job of eliminating terrorists? And it goes without saying, the lives of these little babies and children, being used as pawns, either killed, or forced to carry guns and attack soldiers themselves. This is child abuse and psychological warfare of the worst kind and there should be nothing less than complete outrage at these actions throughout the whole world, and especially among our world leaders. I don’t hear their condemnations.
The previous wars that Israel fought in Gaza were short-circuited as a result of great international pressure for Israel to cease fire. In the past, Israel capitulated to that pressure and did not fight until the goal was met, and so Gaza has continued to build up its terror capacities, while continuously attacking civilians throughout Israel. In this war, Israel’s goal is to get rid of the terror capabilities of its enemy once and for all, and to create a demilitarized territory instead of the terror hotbed that Gaza has become since Israel withdrew 8,500 Jewish citizens and soldiers nine years ago.
So no, Sky News, and many others, Israel is not behaving disproportionately, it is behaving morally and cautiously, putting our own peoples’ lives at risk and actually dying in order to minimize our enemy’s potential civilian casualties. We set up field hospitals, enacted our third cease-fire today, and are going above and beyond what any army has ever even considered doing for their enemy during a war. This is the nature of this country, where we value all life and do everything in our power to minimize its loss. While this is Israel’s stance, the enemy she is fighting has the opposite goal and intent: to terrorize and kill as many innocent civilians as possible. So what is NOT proportionate is the war itself that has been launched on Israel. Terrorism is defined not by its success rate, but by its intent. Arab terrorists attacking Israel from Gaza have genocidal intent, and their actions, every single one of their terrorist actions, is an act of genocide. The PA representative to the UN Human Rights Council stated that every single rocket that Hamas launches is a crime against humanity, and Hamas has launched more than 2,000 rockets at Israel in the last two weeks, and more than 12,000 in the last decade. If the terrorists’ goal were to be fulfilled, Israel and all Jews would be annihilated. If Israel’s goal were fulfilled, we would live in peace and quiet, secure in our ancient and modern homeland.
Israel is a sovereign democratic country. Sovereignty means the ability to defend your territory and its citizens, not the right to be told that you are allowed to defend yourself and then be told how to do so by John Kerry. Israel has the right to defend herself however the military and government see fit. Calling for a cease-fire the moment Israel responds to prolonged terror is denying Israel’s right to self defense. Calls for cease fire, under the guise of peace, actually promote terror and war and are disproportionately aimed at Israel. If we truly care about proportionality and justice in the world, let’s start looking at Israel and the rest of the world a little more proportionately.