Israel's Active Defense - Disproportionate?
To: International Herald Tribune
Letter Editor 30 December 2008
Sir, Your article "UN: 51 civilian victims in Gaza" (2008/12/28) discusses in length the question of proportionality of Israel's air attacks on Hamas.
The answer would be clearer to everybody, had you raised the question not about Israel, but about our own country. Let's presume we are American. Or French. Just imagine the case - fortunately theoretical case only - that a small neighbor of our country (called, let's say, Gaza-Rico, or Gazandorra) was seized by a terror organization, as Hamas is regarded, by the US, EU, Japan, Russia and more - and for years they have bombarded our civilian areas with tens of thousands of rockets, killing 700, or 120 of our citizens. (Figures are increased proportionally to the populations of these countries, relative to actual casualties in Israel).
Now, would our country hold its military response for so many years, as Israel did? Would our country finally respond militarily, very firmly? Firmly, until we ensure that this terror entity loses its ability and will to attack our country.
It seems Israel does well to keep lateral damage to civilians at minimum. Hamas itself reported that 188 of the total 254 dead until yesterday were from its armed forces.
Every one civilian casualty is one too many. However, if the figure of 51 dead civilians is true, then the proportion of 20% civilians among the victims is far lower than that of any recent conflict in the world. Thanks to Israel's will, and to the high-tech solutions it developed for surgical accuracy.