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Arielle Biran

O, Fickle Proportionality

Emilia Aloni reuniting with a family member (Schneider Hospital)

Considering Gen Z’s post-pandemic intellectual impediment, a consequence of months of mind-numbing online learning, I’ve been thrilled to observe my peers’ newfound regard for mathematics. A bevy of budding data statisticians, these comment section crusaders casually erase millennia of nuance through their oversimplified oppressor-oppressed narratives. These American teenagers have somehow found the answer to the world’s most complicated geopolitical conflict, employing the ingenious methodology of comparing Israeli and Palestinian death tolls and smugly declaring Israel the villain. Brava! Such astute and unique observations! Such intellect hasn’t been matched since the likes of Einstein!

These enlightening revelations consistently fail to mention the 10,000 rockets that Hamas has fired towards Israel since October 7 — 10% of which have fallen back towards the citizens of Gaza, consistent with Hamas’ mantra of forcibly martyring its people. Viewing civilians as disposable human shields, Hamas has murdered Palestinians attempting to flee Gaza, preventing them from seeking safety when the IDF roof knocks, but of course such causes of death are excluded from the narrative. Israel is spared from the brunt of rocket barrage only because of the Iron Dome, the air defense system that successfully intercepts 90% of Hezbollah or Hamas-fired rockets. If more civilian casualties is what is needed to garner global support, then I hope the world stands against Israel forever.

These figures are also dependent on reports from the “Gaza Ministry of Health,” akin to the Reich Health Ministry, a propagandist branch of a genocidal and extremist government. Their complete baselessness is exemplified by their reporting of the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital explosion — within minutes, their scattered terrorist infrastructure was somehow able to confidently proclaim over 500 dead. Yet, following independent investigation (the true perpetrator revealed to be an errant Islamic Jihad rocket and the true target the hospital’s parking lot), a senior European official deemed the casualty count at no more than 50. How preposterous that those who hacked human beings to death with garden hoes could also lie!

And of course, the outlandish pleas for proportionality. Should the IDF consult autopsy records so that they may behead and burn Palestinian babies just as Hamas terrorists did to their children? Should they replicate the precise temperatures at which their infants were placed in ovens, charred beyond recognition? Should soldiers be forced to study footage of their wives, sisters, and mothers being brutally raped so that they may inflict equal suffering on Palestinian women?

Still, I suppose that I should be grateful for my peers’ sudden proclivity towards proportionality, as I can surely expect their outrage towards the ridiculous terms of the hostage-prisoner swap: 50 innocent Israelis in exchange for 150 convicted criminals? Exchanging six-year-old Emilia Aloni for Ibrahim Zmar, Nafoz Hamad, and Sharouq Dwayyat, each convicted murderers of Israeli civilians, hardly seems proportional. Yet, it seems that Gen Z has opted for a sudden change in profession, magicians rather than statisticians, as they’ve performed a disappearing act with these prisoners’ criminal records, painting them as innocent children.

Gigi Hadid has acted as one such magician, uploading an image of prisoner Amed Almansra to her forty-nine million Instagram followers, writing that the boy was “abducted by the #Israeli occupation at the age of 12.” In reality, teenage Almansra stabbed several people in Jerusalem, admitting afterwards that his intention was to injure Jews. After parading the principle of disproportionality over the past seven weeks, anti-Zionists must construct falsehoods to appease their cognitive dissonance. The narrative must remain black and white — aligned with the numbers. Israel: bad. Palestine: good. Rinse and repeat.

Since it seems that my peers have abandoned their mathematical ambitions, allow me to conduct a quick lesson in arithmetic:

15: how many minutes it took Hamas to break the ceasefire that Pro-Palestinians have been advocating for over the past seven weeks. Yet, these activists were uncharacteristically silent in the face of Hamas’ violation, alluding to their true desire for Israel to sacrifice itself, to allow its people to be massacred and do nothing in retaliation.

2: the pair of Palestinians executed in the West Bank on Friday, lynched as entertainment for a crowd, their limbs torn from their joints, disposed of like garbage. Yet, the public has been silent. Concern for Palestinians is feigned, a forged sympathy weaponized to disparage the world’s only Jewish state.

240: the number of hostages stolen from their beds on October 7. The movement to bring them home has encompassed the globe, posters revealing their faces and stories hung from Sydney to Los Angeles. Yet, for each poster hung, another is torn down, the desire to bring children home to their parents dismissed as Zionist propaganda.

While I am no mathematician, adding up these considerations leads to an obvious sum. The conditional obsession with proportionality is only the latest of double standards waged against Israel. In response to an act of terrorism, we are somehow the aggressors. Murdered Israeli civilians deserved their fates, complicit as colonial settlers. Israel is the party to blame for failing to play diplomacy with a genocidal terrorist organization. Jews are, of course, the eternal scapegoats, the conniving villains; it seems the world’s oldest hatred lives to see another day.

About the Author
Arielle Biran is a proud Philadelphian and Israeli-American high school senior. She seeks to create awareness about the true nature of the Israel-Palestine conflict and spread Jewish joy.