No proportionality

Par Beryl Wajsman le 14 juillet 2014

Well, now that the only democracy in the Middle East is trying to defend itself, we have the usual calls from some quarters that Israel’s response in Gaza is not proportional. Well, the critics may be  right.

It is not proportional that Israel gives notice of targeted bombings while Hamas launches bombs without notice. Israel should perhaps adopt that policy.

It is not proportional that the Palestinian Representative to the UN Human Rights Council, Amb. Ibrahim Kraishi, called Hamas actions “crimes against humanity” while in the same interview stated that Israeli actions are within the norms of international law because of its specific targeting and notice. Yes, it is not proportional that Israel is the party that faces criticism by some.

It is not proportional that Israel has dropped less bombs since Operation Protective Edge began than the number of rockets Hamas has fired in that same period, and two-thirds less than Hamas has launched since the beginning of the year. Perhaps Israel should increase the number of its bombs to satisfy calls for proportionality.

It is not proportional that certain quarters in the world criticize Israel for not having suffered any deaths because of superior defense technology while these same critics are silent over the fact that Arab nations like Saudi Arabia – having the same defense system as Israel – offer no help to Hamas. Would it satisfy the calls for proportionality if Israelis offered up their citizens as sacrifices? But then they’ve been there and done that while the world remained mute.

It is not proportional that while Israel is under attack for defending itself; while America is criticized for giving Israel the Iron Dome anti-rocket system; critics say not a word about the Muslim Brotherhood whose government in Egypt under Mohammed Morsi supplied Hamas with these new long-range rockets. Perhaps in order to satisfy proportionality Israel should be given offensive weapons not defensive Iron Domes.

It is not proportional that Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal states that “Israelis believe in life, we value death. We will show them which is stronger” yet critics of Israel demand that she negotiate. Negotiate what, her own death? For the sake of proportionality should Israel adopt the same culture of death?

It is not proportional that Hamas MP Fathi Hamad  last Thursday admitted the pre-meditated use of Gazans as human shields by Hamas and repeated Meshaal’s message with the words “We desire death as you desire life” pointing out that women make the best “shields.” So for proportionality’s sake would Hamas’ apologists and fellow travelers prefer that Israel had not fighter bombers in dozens of incidents when satellite images revealed civilians near the targets.

It is not proportional that Hamas is threatening Gazans with death if any accept Israeli help and at the same time firing rockets that knocked out power to 70,000 Gazans while Israel – even through this campaign – continues to deliver hundreds of tons of food, hundreds of thousands of litres of gasoline and truckloads of medical supplies into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom border crossing every day as it has done since its withdrawal from Gaza years ago. Perhaps Israel should inflict the same suffering on Gazans as Hamas does in the name of proportionality. Particularly in light of the fact that when Israel withdrew from Gaza it left in place hospitals, schools, desalinization plants, an irrigation system, factory infrastructure and a world-level floral industry as the main export. All this Hamas destroyed within a month of taking power. 

It is not proportional that Israel takes care to target each attack only against armaments and Hamas leaders while Hamas has not only summarily butchered thousands of Gazans in its reign of terror but also nearly 1000 Fatah political operatives of Mahmoud Abbas. Would proportionality be satisfied if Israel killed indiscriminately as Hamas does?

And it is not proportional that since the Israeli pullout Hamas has launched over 12,000 rockets against Israel while Israel in all these years has responded militarily only twice. Perhaps a military response a month would satisfy proportionality?

Israel has taken enough body blows. The world still owes it a debt. To the critics of the State and the advocates for “proportionality” there is only one word. Shame! You forget that Jewish blood is not on discount anymore.


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Beryl P. Wajsman

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