What IS Proportional? The Madness Of Condemning Israel’s ‘Disproportionate’ Use Of Self-Defense Against Terrorism

In order to debunk the insanity that is the “grossly disproportionate retaliation” line, we have to ask: what would be proportional?

TOPSHOT - Israeli mourners attend the funeral of Israeli soldier Omer Tabib, 21, in Elyakim in northern Israel, on May 13, 2021. - Tabib was killed when Palestinian militants in Gaza fired an anti-tank missile near the border, the army said, amid tit-for-tat rocket fire and air strikes.
JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Responding to a barrage of thousands of rockets against Jewish civilians launched by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have executed hundreds of precise strikes against terrorist targets.

“The IDF’s most recent actions against the terrorists include destroying a Hamas terror tunnel, security and intelligence buildings, eliminating numerous top officers in the terrorist organizations, and killing countless numbers of terrorist soldiers,” reported The Daily Wire.

Among the many absurd criticisms of Israel’s inarguable right to defend itself against bloodthirsty terrorism, one argument which stands out is as abhorrent and illogical as it is seemingly mundane.

“Israel’s response is disproportionate.”

This argument comes in many forms. For example, Shadi Hamid tweeted, “The robotic recitation of ‘Israel has a right to self-defense’ no matter how disproportionate its use of force is just indefensible. Reasonable people can differ on policy, but at least find a way to talk about Palestinians like their lives matter. It’s really not that hard.”

Another example was provided by Australian politician Jordon Steele-John, who posted an image of himself holding a Palestinian flag, tweeting, “Apartheid violence, forced evictions & the ongoing, grossly disproportionate retaliation from Israel must immediately end.”

In order to debunk the insanity that is the “grossly disproportionate retaliation” line, we have to ask: what would be proportional?

Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups routinely target Jewish civilians. In recent years, their chosen strategies have included indiscriminate rocket fire targeting Jewish neighborhoods. On Tuesday alone, a school in Israel was hit as terrorists fired more than 130 rockets in under five minutes, with thousands of rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip in recent days.

So, in objective terms, Israel is facing the reality of random rocket fire targeting civilians. In this context, a truly (and immoral) “proportional” response would be mirror such attacks, firing hundreds of rockets at random, with the explosives landing wherever gravity dictates. Schools? Homes? Hospitals? Who cares…if we follow the disgusting and hateful logic of Hamas.

Except Israel — because its military has a foundation of basic morality, unlike Hamas — does not do that. Instead, they execute pinpoint strikes against terrorist targets. They go after individual terrorist leaders, they destroy launch sites, they destroy weapons depots. They do what any military on earth would do — attempt to neutralize the threat against their own citizens — while attempting to reduce collateral damage as much as possible.

Now, the reason Palestinians civilians are harmed in the process is not because Israel is actively trying to harm them. It is because Hamas uses civilian areas as their base of operations.

Yes, harm to any innocent life — including innocent Palestinian civilians — is tragic. But to place the blame for their harm upon anyone other than the terrorists using them as human shields is an act of colossal intellectual dishonesty and moral depravity.

Given the lengths Israel goes to protect Palestinian life while simultaneously protecting Jewish life, critics should be forced to answer one question: If targeting terrorists with pin-point precision is “disproportionate,” what would be a proportional response?

If the answer is “nothing,” they are proving that this isn’t about loving Palestinians. It’s about hating Jews.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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