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"Israel is acting with disproportionate force"
People who come across this term have to point out (to those who bandy it about) that, (a) it is applied exclusively to Israel and (b) to act otherwise would simply serve to prolong a conflict unnecessarily.
What on earth does "Proportional Response" mean anyway? Is it meant to mean that an army is only allowed to use the same scale of force as its opposing army. Has any actual war ever been fought by these rules?
I've only ever heard this kind of accusation made against Israel, which is seen - in my view incorrectly - as being orders of magnitude more powerful than Hamas and Hizbulla. Apart from this, the doctrine of proportional response, if adhered to by the more powerful party in a conflict (remember of course, that it ONLY ever applies to the stronger party) is a sure recipe to prevent a conflict from ever resolving.
Those who heard (our Prime Minister) John Howard's press conferences on Australia's response to events in the Solomon Islands will remember him explaining to the public that only by sending in "overwhelming force" would the unrest be brought to a speedy conclusion, minimising damage to persons and property.
In a phony effort at evenhandedness a commentator on BBC last Thursday was trying to explain Israel's "furious" response to the kidnappings of the soldiers as motivated by pride. He said that the IDF's pride had been hurt as a result of its being caught unawares by the surprise attacks from the tunnellers in Gaza and the Hizbulla in the North.
This (British) commentator tried to explain how terrible it must have felt for the IDF.
From a Jewish point of view every life is precious, and when people are in the hands of an enemy in unknown condition you need to act in whatever capacity you can to rescue them.
This BBC commentator had no concept that it was a perfectly natural response to a kidnapping. Maybe he takes the view that it's not worth provoking a regional conflict over two soldiers. I am certain that the Israeli response would not have been so forceful if the soldiers were visitable by UN officials, and known to be safe.
16 July 06 7:51 GMT Commentators on the BBC were speculating that if the death toll should increase in Israel, public opinion will turn against the Israeli government.
This is the BBC's way of saying: "As soon as the Israelis begin to suffer as much as the Lebanese are, they will come to their senses and realise they are wrong.
Notice that there is no speculation by the BBC that if the death toll increases in Lebanon, the Lebanese public opinion will turn against anyone.