Michael Totten asks: What Would a Proportionate Response Look Like?
Now that Hamas’s long war against Israel is matched with a short war in Gaza, protests are erupting everywhere from the blogosphere and Arab capitals to the United Nations, and they began on the very first day. Salon.com “blogger Glenn Greenwald calls the Israeli retaliation to more than a year of rocket attacks a “massively disproportionate response.” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay “strongly condemned Israel’s disproportionate use of force.” The Israeli counterattack is, indeed, disproportionate, but it could hardly be otherwise. “At last count,” J.G. Thayer wrote, “one Israeli and two Palestinians (sisters, ages 13 and 5) died from rocket attacks. So a proportionate response, one presumes, would have required Israel to kill a single Palestinian and two of its own citizens.”..
…The “disproportionate response” crowd doesn’t seem to mind that Israel struck back at Hamas per se. They aren’t saying Israel should only be allowed to negotiate with its enemies or that any use of force whatsoever is wrong. They’re clearly saying Israel should use less force, inflict less damage, or both.
One problem here is that it’s not at all clear how they think Israelis should go about doing it. The weapons used by each side can’t be the same. No one has ever said Israel ought to put its superior weapons systems in cold storage until Hamas can develop or purchase something similar. Presumably Israel is allowed to use its superior technology as long as the casualty count on each side is proportionate.
But how would that work in practice? A single Israeli air strike is going to kill at least as many people as Hamas can kill in twelve months. Does that mean Israel should be given a “license” of one air strike per year to use in the war?…
The “proportionate response” crowd appears to be motivated by the pacifist faith, which considers it a moral victory to eliminate all violence, including self defense. Since these pacifists have no hope of eliminating terrorist violence, they focus their efforts on anyone who is unfortunate and soft-hearted enough to listen to their babble. Israel is one of those unfortunates.
The pacifist “proportionate response” ideal has helped terrorist violence increase worldwide. “Proportionate response” laws prohibiting self-defense have also been responsible for the recent crime wave in Britain.
Here are the basic rules for self-defense in Britain, via Uncommon Misconceptions:
You are permitted to protect yourself with a briefcase, a handbag, or keys. You should shout “Call the Police” rather than “Help.” Bystanders are not to help. They have been taught to leave such matters to the professionals. If you manage to knock your attacker down, you must not hit him again or you risk being charged with assault…
…How did it come to this? How were the British lulled into giving up what Americans regard as an essential right? The Cato Institute identifies these steps in the process:
* 1920: Law introduced requiring certification every 3 years of necessity of owning a gun
* 1937: “Necessity” redefined to discourage home or personal protection
* 1953: Prevention of Crime Act passed – outlaws carrying any article for an “offensive purpose.”
* 1964: “Necessity” redefined to exclude home or personal protection
* 1967: Criminal law revised to allow only “reasonable” force in self-defense. Protection of property is considered unreasonable.
British laws against self defense are based on the UN’s “human rights” legislation. Like the British people, the Israelis have slowly gotten accustomed to living with UN laws forbidding self-defense, a basic right that every being, even the lowliest amoeba, requires for its existence. Because of this, UN pacifist laws are, in reality and practice, a severe violation of human rights.
Forbidding “violence” in the form of self-defense appears to have become the primary goal of the United Nations. As promotors of the pacifist faith, the UN should be reclassified as a religious organization, not a political one.
We all know that faith and politics should not mix. The faithful of the UN only have power over those who are unfortunate enough to listen to them. If Israel or any other nation values its existence, they should not listen.