Israel is dealing with Hamas, a death cult
In the whole history of human warfare, has there ever been a combatant chided for inflicting too many casualties on the enemy while not suffering enough of its own? Can you imagine if we’d fought WW II that way? The only place we suffered more casualties than the Japanese in our island hopping campaign was on Iwo Jima. I guess that means that every other island invasion was immoral, or at least somehow tainted.
Richard Baehr makes many good points about fighting under such an atmosphere in his Israel Hayom article, titled, Hamas death cult celebrates first 'success':
The death cult known as Hamas is celebrating its first great success of the current campaign to murder Jews indiscriminately across the length and width of Israel. Today it struck gold as Israel suffered its first death from rocket or mortar fire from Gaza. This required The New York Times, America's paper of record for those who would vote for President Barack Obama for a third term if they only could, to point out that this one Israeli casualty has to be placed in context with the approximately 200 dead Palestinians in Gaza from Israeli bombing attacks. This disproportionality of Israeli versus Arab deaths has been a constant concern for Israel's enemies on the Left in every engagement the nation has had with terror groups starting with the war with Hezbollah in 2006.
For pretty much every other nation in the history of the world, the goal in any war has been to win quickly and decisively, with the lowest casualty cost to your own side, and if morality is a part of your culture (which of course eliminates many war participants, including all of those who have fought Israel in its modern history), with no needless suffering caused to the other side's civilian population. William Saletan, hardly a down-the-line supporter of Israel (he is a fierce critic of home demolitions of the families of terrorists) has applauded Israel for its enormous efforts to accomplish its military goals in the current air campaign, while avoiding civilian casualties.
He goes on to point out that there is substantial evidence in the ratio of male to female deaths (3 or 4 to 1) that Israel is targeting combatants. If, like Hamas, Israel attempted to inflict damage on civilians, the ratio would be roughly 1 to 1.
The only way to understand this “proportionality” thing is as anti-Zionism, if not outright anti-Semitism. It just makes no sense at all otherwise.
The only way the threat of violence acts as a deterrent is when you are seen as being able to inflict more damage on your enemy than it’s worth. Hamas is perfectly willing to let Israel kill Palestinians because it understands that this “proportionality” nonsense common to the western world’s Left is a significant tool in undermining support for Israel. Hamas figured out long ago that a few Jewish dead and a lot of Palestinian dead works in its favor. It won’t stop until it doesn’t work in Hamas’ favor. And it will work in Hamas’ favor so long as people believe that it is immoral for Israel to kill more than one Palestinian for every dead Jew.
If the people upset about the lack of proportionality in Jewish/Palestinian casualties really wanted to help keep Palestinians alive, they’d support Israel’s right to defend its citizens using massive retaliation. Then Hamas’ calculation would change. But they don’t really care about helping Palestinians; they care about hurting Jews.
Baehr writes a good article. It makes rational points. But the enemy here is not irrationality, it is hatred, swelling in Europe and washing onto the shores of the United States. I fear for the future of Jews, even in this country.
The basic problem is that the Arabs never had the Enlightenment. At best, they are at the point where Europe was during the 30 Years War. My hope is that western values will reach an increasingly thoughtful Arab (and Iranian) professional class and trickle down. This seems not to be happening because of animus towards the West. For this, European colonialism bears much, though certainly not sole, responsibility. (Another is Saudi oil money lavishly underwriting fundamentalist Islam.)