You have likely already heard the latest trendy political term - "proportionate response" - in countless news reports (see here, for example): one or another representative of some liberal western government or institution calls on Israel to show a "proportionate response" to, e.g., the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, implying that a large assault against the presence of Hezbollah gangster-state terrorists in Lebanon is somehow disproportionate to the kidnapping act that supposedly (but only if you are ahistorical in thought) started the present conflict in Lebanon. Anything more than what our opinion-leaders deem a "proportionate response" and Israel is to be accused of victimizing a whole group of blameless innocents - in the present case, the Lebanese people - simply because of the unfortunate presence of terrorists in their midst.Continue reading here.
But the kidnapping last week of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah was of course merely the excuse for which Israel has been waiting, as it seeks to ensure its very existence against an illegitimate non-state army armed to the teeth with rockets and allied with Iran, a state whose leaders deny the Holocaust and yet call for another one, for wiping Israel from the face of the earth. What, pray tell, is a "proportionate" response to people who are carrying on a fifteen-centuries old Jihad in whose name they hope to destroy Israel and turn any and all non-Muslims into either dust or Dhimmis?
While their enemy may deserve no mercy, in this nuclear age Israel cannot throw its full might at its enemy without truly becoming a pariah state. Consequently, whatever the level of Israel's response, the choice will be somewhat arbitrary and as such open to criticism for being too disproportionate, too intent on victimizing. (And alternatively, in being restrained, in departing from the traditional pre-nuclear assumption that a threatened people should do whatever they can to defend themselves, Israel also expose itself to mocking from Islamic warriors who take a less than total response as a sign of Israel's inherent weakness - they can kill a few more of us than we kill of them, but there will always be more of us than of them.)
And in an age when only visible victims really count in the media's making of "the news", when the rightness of a nation's cause is secondary to its power and ability to make its enemies, and associated civilians, suffer, Israel is open to much attack because it happens to be much more militarily effective than the cult of resentment it presently faces; even as the cult presently demonstrates some capability to kill Israelis with its rockets, its only truly great military advantage is its vast superiority in the numbers of its real or potential supporters, an advantage that only encourages its leaders to sacrifice as many of its people in the cause as needs be, as the Islamic cult of suicide bombing against Israel and other western and non-Muslim nations demonstrates.
So why the obsession among the western liberal-left with a "proportionate response"?
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