Monday, December 29, 2008

Ah, Proportion!

Israel's strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza are stirring up that old complaint about Israeli "proportionality."

You see, despite thousands of Hamas rockets and mortar shells that have been fired at Israeli civilian targets, relatively few Israelis have been killed. Israel's military response has killed a lot of Palestinians--mostly Hamas thugs--in a few days. So it is not "proportional" and hence is wrong, illegal, and probably a war crime, in that Global Left view.

Gateway Pundit links to a defense of the scale of response. It has footnotes and discusses international law and everything. In my mind, that's lovely but so what?

In my view, it isn't a disproportionate response if your enemy keeps trying to kill you. Is it Israel's fault if Hamas has a high tolerance for dead Palestinians as the price they are willing to pay for a mere chance at killing an Israeli?

When the Israeli attacks lead to no enemy attacks on Israeli civilians and the Palestinians in Gaza raising a white flag in stunned shock at the carnage around them, then you may ask about proportionality. Of course, that would mean the Hamas thugs had stopped shooting.

Which is a problem for the "proportionality" crowd. Nobody asks if it is proportional to riot over cartoons, stab someone over a movie, or fly planes into our buildings because some Moslems are angry with us over this or that. Nor does anybody ask if it is proportional for Hamas to rain rockets on Israeli cities because Israel--what? Evacuated Gaza and let the Palestinians there run their own lives? Which as it turns out is focused on killing Israelis. The fiends! Who wouldn't crank out the home-made rockets and let 'em rip at the Jews?

But should Israel fight back, suddenly they must make a "proportional" response only. Which for the Global Left means not enough force to stop Hamas from attacking the Israelis.

And if you doubt this, let's run a proportionality thought experiment. Let's say that Israel announced a policy of firing a single unguided rocket into Gaza for every Hamas rocket that falls in Israel. Does anybody think that the Proportionality Fetishists out there would refrain from condemning Israel for acting all proportional?

To ask the question is to answer it.

In that case, it would be all about that "cycle of violence" thing that is only triggered when Israel or America fights back against jihadi enemies.