On proportionality

Last night I was present at a demonstration in which about 20 pro-Israel people faced at least 400 pro-Palestinians. It was disproportionate!

One Palestinian I met said that he didn’t like Hamas either, but Israel’s reaction was ‘disproportionate’. It got me thinking about what would be a ‘proportionate’ response to the Hamas rockets falling on Israel. Here are some ideas:

  • Every time a Hamas rocket kills a random Israeli, Israel should find an equivalent Palestinian (child for child, etc.) and kill him or her. Amputations could be treated in a similar fashion.
  • Every time a Hamas rocket falls in a populated area, Israel should fire an artillery shell into a populated part of Gaza.
  • Israel should invade Gaza, but stop and withdraw when as many Palestinian civilians have been killed as Israelis. This is a bit problematic: should we count just those Israelis killed by Hamas rockets, or should we include those killed in suicide bombings? And what about Islamic Jihad? Should their victims be included?

Or how about this: Israel should do what is necessary to end the rocket fire and other aggression by Hamas, and ensure that it cannot be restarted, while hurting the smallest number of innocent Palestinians as possible.

Oh, wait a minute, Israel is already doing that.

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2 Responses to “On proportionality”

  1. David says:

    On proportionality – should not the those advocating proportionality limit their demonstrations to the size of the pro Israeli demonstrations?

  2. Howard Wolf says:

    Disproportional is the byword of modern anti-Semites. I doubt whether the French or any US ally would have howled the term during World War II when British Lancasters or US B-17s and B-24s were laying waste to the Reich. If genocide was on Israel’s agenda, all Palestinians would have been done away with long, long ago.