Israel is blessed with many creative minds. It has used this gift to cure diseases and win Nobel prizes in various fields of science and economics. Because of the vicious neighborhood in which it resides, it also uses its creativity to build sophisticated offensive and defensive weapon systems.
Israel has a vastly superior military capability than the Palestinian terrorists. The country’s defensive technological edge has helped to greatly reduce their casualty figures in the latest wave of terrorist attacks. In particular, the “Iron Dome” has shielded Israeli civilians from well over 1000 rockets launched from Gaza towards dense population centers. Had the Israeli technology not been in place, the casualty figures would certainly be high.
Would more Israeli deaths somehow make this combat “fair”? Do an “even” number of casualties make each side comparable? Those are distorted views of proportionality.
Would the world somehow be happier with more dead Israeli teenagers on their way home from school? Happy with dead Israelis who were sent to root out evil by foot rather than through an air campaign? Are drones attacks strictly within the purview of President Obama’s legal and military team?
Remarkably, in an effort to minimize the loss of life of the enemy, Israel continues to put its own young soldiers in harms way.
In the spring of 2002, roughly 50 Israelis and 50 Palestinians were killed over a three week period. To a casual observer, that tragedy might appear “proportionate” because the number of dead were the same for each side. However, the intent was not remotely the same: the Palestinians attacked and killed civilians and then Israeli soldiers who tried to prevent other attacks on civilians while minimizing Arab deaths. (see the video below).
In these past weeks, Hamas has already committed hundreds of war crimes by deliberately attacking civilians. It continues to do so while putting its own civilian population in harms way. Yet, the world looks away.
The principle of self-defense in the case of Operation Protective Edge is unquestioned. An enemy that is dedicated to the annihilation of a people and the destruction of a country, has launched over 10,000 rockets at civilians over the past six years. Hamas has thousands of additional missiles and is actively using them. The Israeli military goal is clear, although difficult to achieve in a densely populated area like Gaza.
Israel must continue to use care in rooting out the terrorists and their weapons. It will, unfortunately, use ground troops to minimize the loss of life to Arab civilians, which will greatly increase the risk of their own lives.
Now, Israeli soldiers will try to avoid the hornet’s nest of Gaza while eliminating the terrorists and their weapons of terror. Civilized people around the world should pray for a continued lack of proportionality in casualty figures, as Israel places its technological superiority on hold and attempts to protect innocent lives on both sides.