Proportional Response: A Modest Proposal

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

A key issue among those who are critical of Israel in the current war is a supposed lack of a proportional response as revealed by the difference in the death toll on each side. Frankly such supposed reasoning baffles me. Hamas started this war. Hamas is placing missiles in places like schools to maximize civilian casualties. Hamas refused repeated requests for a cease-fire, broke an earlier cease-fire it did accept, and we will see if the current one holds.

There is no doubt that if Israel really didn’t care about civilian casualties, it could certainly have killed far more civilians. Israel could, for example, have simply bombed their targets from the air without risking their own ground forces. In an effort to minimize civilian deaths, they sent in ground forces instead of just bombing, losing 60 soldiers in the process. And yet somehow it is Israel who is being blamed, because the deaths are not proportional.

So in the spirit of bringing this war to a Swift conclusion, I suggest the following modest proposal. A significant reason for the disproportional number of deaths is Israel’s Iron Dome system. So I suggest that the system be reprogrammed and fed the corresponding death tolls on a daily basis so that it can randomly let missiles through until the desired level of proportionality demanded by Israel’s critics is achieved.

Of course, before this could be done, we would need to know the level of proportionality desired. Do the critics demand a full 100%; an eye for an eye? Will they be satisfied with a lower percentage such as 90% or 80%? Once this detail is cleared up, reprogramming the system should not be that difficult. After all it is amazing that Iron Dome can stop any missiles, so letting a few get by should be a snap.

Some critics will argue that they would want Israel to stop. But is this really reasonable? Let’s say your neighbor was, on a daily basis, shooting at you and your family. He is a bad shot, and so he almost always misses. But many times each day he tries to shoot you and your children.

Which is the key point here: That he is trying to shoot you and your family, or that he is a bad shot? Would the fact that he is a bad shot be sufficient reason to do nothing? Or is the fact that he is shooting at you and your children be enough of a reason to stop him? I do not know of any sane person who would leave their children at risk, just because he normally misses.

So as long as Hamas continues to attack Israel with missiles and through tunnels, Israel has no real choice but to try and make them stop, and since the critics of Israel demand proportionality the Iron Dome system should be reprogrammed to achieve this goal.

Aug 5th, 2014

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