“A senior Hamas leader, Nizar Rayan, was killed today with his four wives and two of his children in an Israeli air strike in Gaza, medics said,” according to an account in The National, an Abu Dhabi-based, English-language paper. (Photo: AFP/Getty, via CNN)
The deaths of the wives and children are unfortunate, but Rayan knew he was a target and chose to endanger his family by using them as human shields. Whenever Israel has an opportunity to kill a senior terrorist, it would be irresponsible not to pull the trigger. Hamas can stop the conflict at any time by ceasing its rocket attacks against Israel, which have continued today.
In an earlier post I defended Israel’s use of “disproportionate” force. I later found a post by TigerHawk explaining why a disproportionate response to Hamas rocket attacks is not just defensible, but also necessary:
Massive, militarily disproportionate retaliation is the cornerstone of deterrence, and without it there would be more war, not less. …
The requirement that retaliation be proportional rather than “massive” destroys the credibility of the threat to retaliate and therefore the effectiveness of the deterrance. Why? Because it allows the attacker to determine the price he will pay for launching the attack. If the attacker knows that he can absorb a blow equal to the one he delivers, then he will not be concerned that the defender has the capability to retaliate massively.
This is like limiting the penalty for property crimes to restitution. Why not rob the bank? If you’re caught, you only have to give the money back.
Unfortunately I can’t find the link where I read the following idea, so I’ll just paraphrase: If Hamas and all the world’s jihadists were to lay down their weapons, there would be peace between Israel and Palestine. If Israel were to lay down its weapons, Israelis would be slaughtered to the last man, woman or child.
Can anyone offer any evidence that the above statement might not be true? This is a serious question, please leave a comment if you can make a substantive argument. And if the statement is true, I find it hard to understand why anyone would not root for the Israelis.