Israel-Gaza Conflict: Misplaced “Proportionality” - New Canadian Media

Israel-Gaza Conflict: Misplaced “Proportionality”

One question that often comes up in the ongoing (and third) war between Israel and Hamas is the issue of proportionality.  As of this writing, Haaretz estimates that 650 Palestinians and 29 Israelis have been…

One question that often comes up in the ongoing (and third) war between Israel and Hamas is the issue of proportionality.  As of this writing, Haaretz estimates that 650 Palestinians and 29 Israelis have been killed.  Not surprisingly, the rest of the world asks, ‘Why is the toll so lop-sided?’

The discrepancy in the casualty toll (dead and injured) is due to a number of factors:

  • Israel has built an anti-rocket system called Iron Dome that is very effective at intercepting rockets and destroying them before they can reach populated areas.
  • Israel has built shelters for its civilian population and trained its citizens on using them when they hear sirens warning about the launching of rockets. Thanks to Iron Dome and to civilian shelters, in the current count of Israeli casualties, only two are civilians.
  • Hamas’ strategy is to ensure that many Palestinian civilians die in order to increase external pressures on Israel to accept Hamas’ terms, which are the release of convicted criminals and the end of Israel’s blockade on weapons to Gaza.  This death strategy is meant to further Hamas’ ultimate goal of destroying Israel and eliminating all Jewish presence in the Middle East.  To reach its desired high count of Palestinian civilian casualties, Hamas uses its civilians as human shields and forces them to stand near likely military targets, and it uses schools and hospitals to store ammunition and fire rockets.
  • Despite the high number of Palestinian casualties and Hamas’ best efforts at increasing its own civilian casualties, a large number of these fatalities are Hamas terrorists (accurate estimates are not available at this time).  This is due to Israel’s extensive efforts at avoiding civilian casualties.
  • The number of reported casualties on the Israeli side does not account for Israelis who have died or have had serious medical problems as a result of panic during rocket attacks.

Irrelevant question

Besides all of the above, the question of proportionality is largely irrelevant.  Israel is attacking Hamas in order to stop rocket attacks into Israel, and, as both Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird and Liberal critic Marc Garneau recently said, Israel has the right and even the duty to defend its citizens.  Despite Iron Dome and civilian shelters, the rockets still terrorize Israeli citizens and cause damage to the Israeli economy.  No sovereign nation on earth would accept that its citizens be terrorized without attempting to stop the attacks.  The fact that Palestinians have far more casualties than Israel isn’t relevant because Israel does not target civilians, and every civilian death is the result of Hamas’ own strategy.

The low number of Israeli casualties is not due to lack of trying on Hamas’ part.  If Hamas rockets were not intercepted by Iron Dome, the number of Israeli casualties would be far higher than Palestinian casualties.  If a Hamas rocket managed to reach a large building in Tel Aviv and killed thousands of Israeli civilians, would that mean that by virtue of proportionality Israel would now be justified in killing thousands of Palestinian civilians?  Of course it would not be justified, and the Palestinian Authority that is almost silent on Hamas crimes would be sure to remind Israel of that.

Death strategy

The war in Gaza is not a football game.  When Germany beat Brazil 7-1 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, near the end of the game many German fans felt sorry for Brazil because they did not want to humiliate Brazilians.  In that case, speaking of proportionality made sense – there is no need for Germany to win by a huge margin in order to win the cup; however, the war in Gaza is not a game.  It is an attempt by Israel to stop terrorist attacks on its citizens.  If Israel stopped its operation without reaching its objective simply because of a desire to maintain some misplaced proportionality, Israelis would continue to be terrorized by Hamas rockets and sooner or later Israel would have to fight Hamas again with probably even higher death tolls.

The only solution to end repeated wars in Gaza is to stop Hamas and its allies from attacking Israel.  The preferred way to achieve this is to replace the Hamas rule in Gaza with a moderate leadership that is interested in negotiating peace with Israel, but this is not a change that Israel can impose.  Palestinians must make this change with the help of their friends, but those friends have been too busy excusing Hamas’ actions and blaming Israel.  Until this change happens, Israel will have no choice but to keep fighting Hamas in order to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, and while Israel is protecting itself, every death on both sides must be attributed to Hamas’ death strategy.

Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Lebanese origin who has been living in Canada for 30 years. Maroun is interested in Middle East politics, particularly the Israel / Arab conflict. This comment is a slightly edited version of his blogpost here.

About the author

Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Lebanese origin who lives in the Ottawa area. He has written extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including about 200 posts in a Times of Israel blog. Fred Maroun has also written for The Gatestone Institute, The Jerusalem Post, New Canadian Media, and others.

One Reply to “Israel-Gaza Conflict: Misplaced “Proportionality””

  1. THE MAY 2021 WAR !

    HISTORY IS REPEATING FROM THE HEBREW BIBLE !

    Zephaniah 2:4 ESV

    For Gaza shall be deserted, and Ashkelon shall become a desolation; Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon, and Ekron shall be uprooted.!!

    Zechariah 9:5 ESV

    Ashkelon shall see it, and be afraid; Gaza too, and shall writhe in anguish; Ekron also, because its hopes are confounded. The king shall perish from Gaza; Ashkelon shall be uninhabited;

    PROVIDENCE = ASHKELON AND ASHDOD ARE BOMBED, BY HAMAS ! “KING OF GAZA” is killed – which is the HAMAS COMMANDER IN GAZA !

    IT ALL STARTED WITH AN ISRAELI SETTLER STEALING AND OPENLY CLAIMING TO STEAL THE LAND OF A PALESTINIAN

    The quote of the Israeli on “If I do not steal…………..” is a lift from the Sanhedrin Talmud.The Philosophy is that Goyim and Gentiles are inept (which may be be true) and undeserving of any serious possessions (and this is NOT a ethical or righteous stand) – and so,it is BETTER,that wealth be in the hands of the Israelis !

    So the Settler,is merely following the Talmud – which SUPERSEDES TORAH and the HEBREW BIBLE,as under:

    Baba Mezia 24a . If a Jew finds an object lost by a gentile (“heathen”) it does not have to be returned. (Affirmed also in Baba Kamma 113b).
    Sanhedrin 57a. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep.(MY INTERPRETATION – But the Jew MIGHT make a compensation !)
    Baba Kamma 37b. The gentiles are outside the protection of the law and God has “exposed their money to Israel.”

    And the same applies to the Israeli gobbling of Palestine – as Israel is the name of Jacob,the son of Isaac !

    “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel since you have striven with god and men and have prevailed” (Genesis – 32:29).

    Israel Gobbling Palestine by deception and treachery,is all a part of the lineage of Jacob,who cheated Esau and His father Isaac ! This is Isaac the son of
    ABRAHAM the PROPHET ! But as per Maimonides,this was NOT a Cheating – as Yaweh had PROMISED Jacob’s mother that he would be the successor,and Isaac TRIED TO BREAK THAT COVENANT

    Hence,the THEFT of Jacob was justified,and so is the Israeli occupation as – BENJY IS FULFILING THE PROPHECY MADE BY YAWEH to REBECCA (the mother of Jacob !)

    The Israelis do NOT CARE for what the world THINKS – as they view the opinions of the world,as that of ESAU (the twin of Jacob)

    Mr Esau said that JACOB was RIGHTLY named JACOB,as he was a CHEAT ! (God Bless !)

    Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing” (Genesis 27:36).

    Y Israelis care a CAHOOT for the world – is that ,as per Genesis – Yaweh also came to JACOB, and promised him success and glory (AFTER HE CHEATED HIS FATHER AND BROTHER),and that the whole world will bow to his lineage (which is the state of the Jews today – so the Jews of Israel,see it as fulfiling that prophecy !)

    TREACHERY AGAINST THE JEWS,is something that Jews accept, as passe.Jacob who CHEATED his father and his brother – was ALSO CHEATED by his uncle,TO MARRY A WOMAN,who he was NOT to marry – and it was from this CHEATED MARRIAGE,with LEAH – that was lineaged 12 sons,and the 12 TRIBES OF ISRAEL !

    SO THE CONCEPTION OF ISRAEL,IS BY SUBTERFUGE,AND TAKING THE RIGHTS AND PROPERTIES,OF GOYIM AND GENTILES – IS A VALID RIGHT BESTOWED ON THE JEWS,BY EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION (BY YAWEH), DEDUCTIVE INFERENCE (FROM GENESIS) AND DECONTRUCTED DIALECTICS (FROM THE TAKMUD).This EXPLAINS THE MINDSET of the Israelis !

    That is Y Maimonides calls Jacob or ISRAEL,the NOBLE DECEIVER – as HE as BLESSED BY YAWEH – just as the transgressions of Israel today – which GETS AWAY,EVERY TIME !

    UN protocols mean garbage to Israel – as Rebecca COERCED and TRAINED Jacob,to CHEAT ISAACC (the PROPHET) – BUT ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE – AS REBECCA WAS FULFILING THE PROPHECY OF YAWEH,TO REBECCA,WHEN THE TWINS WERE INSIDE HER ! SO ALL THAT ISRAEL DOES IN INTERNATIONAL LAW – MEANS NOTHING – AS THEY ARE DOING ALL,AS PER THE PROPHECY OF YAWEH TO REBECCA, ON THE DIVINE SUPREMACY,OF THE JEWS AND ISRAEL !

    GENESIS HAS COVERED ALL THE THEFT OF JACOB,IN MAGICAL SYMMETRY,BY WORDS FROM YAWEH (IN PERSON) – BLESSING JACOB TWICE.

    SUCH PERFECTION IN THEOLOGICAL SYMMETRY AND LOGIC.dindooohindoo

    It APPEARS TO BE WRITTEN IN HINDSIGHT !

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