For months, even while spouting propaganda about a ceasefire, the Iranian-backed Hamas has fired rocket after rocket into Israel. The latest bombardment used longer-range rockets that can target large population areas. Israel could not sit on its hands.
Most rational people will agree with those statements, but some are saying that Israel's response was disproportionate. Hamas fired off many rockets and mortars, and then Israel came back like an avenging angel, dropping bomb after bomb and firing missile after missile. It looks as if Israel will go back into the area that it left three years ago, at least for a little while.
Some people, however, say that Israel's response is disproportionate.
Let's look at that.
Is it disproportionate to use whatever force you have available to stop an enemy from harming your civilian population? Isn't the protection of its citizens a primary duty of any government, be it city, state or national?
A little runt goes after the big guy, kicking him in the shins, hitting him from the back, telling lies about him, making his life miserable or worse. When the big guy finally has had enough and hauls off and cleans the runt's clock, it is disproportionate?
When I was 16 and my sister was 10, she was being bothered by a kid a year or two older. He was bothering her at the school bus stop. One day, I made it my business to be at the bus stop because she had complained about this little twerp's bothering her.
When I arrived, he was sitting on his bicycle and had her pinned up against a fence. I told him to knock it off. He asked what I was going to do about it. I told him I would throw him over the fence. He said he wasn't going to get off his bike, so I wouldn't be able to carry out my threat.
Well, it so happened that I had gone out for football that year and I was in pretty good shape. So, I picked up the bike, with him on it, and tossed both over the fence. As my sister and I walked away, he was crying and screaming threats. Needless to say, he never bothered my sister again.
Was that a disproportionate response?
The point is if you attack someone who can wipe up the floor with you, then you shouldn't be surprised if they do just that.
What should Israel do? They tried talking. They used their own soldiers to pry its citizens out of their homes in Gaza and gave Gaza to the Palestinians. What did the Palestinians do? They used Gaza as a base from which to attack Israel.
Should Israel count the number of rockets and mortar shells fired from Gaza and fire only that number back at Gaza. Most of the rockets used by the Hamas against Israel are not guided. The gunners have no idea where the rockets will go and couldn't care less. They have killed their own people in Gaza with errant rockets. They don't seem to care? Should Israel do the same?
At the same time that Israel is targeting Hamas bases and rocket pods, it is allowing food, medical supplies and fuel into Gaza so the civilian population will be harmed as little as possible. This is not the action of a cruel tyrant state.
The Palestinian population must realize that its election of Hamas as the ruling entity in Gaza is the worst mistake it has made and it must do something about it. It will take guts to toss out the ruling Hamas thugs. Until the Palestinians living in Gaza do that, however, they will continue to be the pawns in a chess game directed not by their elected representatives, but from Tehran and Damascus.
The Palestinians are the ones being hurt by the Hamas and its Iranian rulers. And they are being hurt disproportionately. But only they can free themselves.
Until next time...