Israel’s enemies, including those sitting in ivory towers, demand that Israel ensure that any response to the terror emanating from Gaza be proportional. By this, what they mean is that despite the thousands of rockets that the Gazan terrorists fire intentionally into Israel civilian areas, since only a few Jews are killed, Israel has no right to kill more than a few Gazans.
In order to understand the flawed logic of this argument, an analogy would be helpful. Let’s imagine that during WWII, the Nazi’s attempted to attack Manhattan with a Nuclear weapon. Due to a technical error, the weapon failed to detonate, and only a few civilians were killed instead of hundreds of thousands. What would be a proportional response from the US? Would they be entitled to respond by launching their own nuclear weapon against the Nazi’s? Would they be morally bound to a proportional response resulting in no more than a few Nazi fatalities?
Hamas has been preparing for war against Israel for years. Instead of spending their resources on providing healthcare, education and jobs for their people, they have been investing all of their resources on preparing for war against Israel. The millions of dollars and years of tunnel construction, missile smuggling and weapons manufacturing was not intended to simply scare Jews. Their intention was always to kill as many Jews as possible and ultimately destroy the Jewish state, a goal which is spelled out in their founding charter.
Indeed, if Israel were any other country, there would have already been thousands of fatalities. Through a combination of miracles and Jewish ingenuity, Israel has only suffered a few casualties despite having their civilian centers being pounded by thousands of deadly rockets. The fact that the Israeli casualty count has so far been minimal, is not due to Arab compassion and they deserve no credit for a minimal amount of deaths.
Proportionality should not be based on outcomes which are unintended. Simple common sense would dictate that proportionality should be based on intent. Just as Hamas intends to strike Israel civilian centers, proportionality would dictate that Israel is within its right to do the same. Hamas intends to cause tens, or hundreds of thousands of Israeli fatalities, attacking airports, hospitals, power plants, and Israel’s Nuclear facility in Dimona. If Israel were to act proportionately, even for 24 hours, it would never have to deal with rockets coming out of Gaza again.
The Israeli military establishment has always taken pride in its commitment to “purity of arms”. Israel is the only country In the world that risks the lives of its soldiers and civilians, in order to prevent harming their enemy’s civilians. Israel is the only country in the world that performs rooftop knocks, and warns its enemy before attacking, so as to prevent casualties. Through its compassion to the cruel, Israel has become cruel to its compassionate citizens who spend their days and nights in bomb shelters fearing when the next explosion will be.
For once, perhaps the enemies of Israel are right. Perhaps the time has come for Israel to act with a proportional response.