Rantingprofs: "There is no point of international law, and no established philosophy regarding the use of force by states that I am aware of that demands that a state use only the amount of force used against her and no more.Updated, with more good sense from Shannon Love at Chicago Boyz:
If that were the case, we would have been in the wrong in World War II because, when the dust had settled, we had obviously used far, far more force than had been used against us at Pearl Harbor, the initial provocation that got us into the war."
In the real world, a "proportionate" response to any attack is the level of response required to insure that the attack never occurs again. By that reasonable and honest standard, Israel has responded in a restrained and "proportionate" manner. The "disproportionate" critics really want Israel to respond in an essentially ritualistic manner. They expect Israel to engage in some little response that will serve to have their national honor satisfied and then to just let the violence continue.
On the bright side, the use of "proportionate" and "disproportionate" in anti-Israel rhetoric makes it easy to spot the stupid or dishonest critics.