On October 7th, 2023 – a date that will live in infamy – an army of bloodthirsty Hamas jihadists swarmed into Israel and laid waste to a reported 1400 innocent, unarmed civilians including women, children, the disabled, and old people, committing war crimes of a sickening nature that historian Victor Davis Hanson has labeled “pre-civilizational.”
In response to the terror assault, the Jewish state justifiably declared war on Hamas, with Israeli leader Bibi Netanyahu vowing that every single member of the terror organization is now a dead man walking. And right on cue, the mainstream (read: left-wing) media, left-wing politicians, and globalist institutions like the farcical United Nations Security Council that are packed with enemies of the Western world, demanded that Israel exhibit “restraint” in its response and refrain from “disproportionate violence.”
This curious notion of “proportionate response” comes up every single time Israel is hit with a terror attack. Has a single one of the aforementioned talking heads or politicos or global entities ever called for Hamas terrorists to show “restraint”?
What retaliation is “proportionate” to the burning alive of families, the gang rape of female prisoners, the beheading of babies and toddlers, the torture of old people, and the kidnapping of hundreds more who live in terror that their beheading will be live-streamed on the internet? What would the anti-Israel Left consider an acceptably “proportionate” response to those atrocities? Would they be satisfied if the Israeli Defense Force limited itself to a surprise invasion of Gaza, burning Palestinian families alive, raping Palestinian women, beheading Palestinian infants, torturing Palestinian grandmothers, and kidnapping hundreds of Palestinians? Because technically, that would be proportionate.
Of course not. The same Western leftists who celebrated the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7th would have apoplectic fits of outrage if Israel ever perpetrated a single one of these war crimes. The revulsion and shock these hypocrites should have felt over Israel’s victims are reserved only for the “oppressed” so-called Palestinians. Let’s be real: the only response to Hamas terrorism which the Left considers appropriate for Israel is for the Jewish state to sit on its hands and submit to its own extermination.
Wednesday on MSNBC’s The Last Word, to name the most up-to-date example, host propagandist Lawrence O’Donnell stated that the Israeli government in the 21st century “seems to have deliberately and publicly abandoned the notion of proportionate response” and is using a response that is “in effect, disproportionate,” by taking an approach towards Hamas that “we will hit you even harder than you’d ever expect.”
During an interview with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof who criticized Israel’s military response to the October 7th attack, O’Donnell stated, “Nick, the phrase that used to frame these events in the 20th century was proportionate response. Whether it be the United States, whether it would be Israel responding to some kind of attack, the response was supposed to be, in theory, proportionate.”
According to whom? Since when is a response to sneak attacks or terrorism “supposed to be” proportionate? According to what “theory”? “Proportionate response” has never been an international wartime agreement or standard, 20th century or otherwise. No one during WWII ever cautioned the Allies to limit their response to Pearl Harbor or to other Axis aggression “proportionately.”
In wartime, just as in sports, the only reasonable expectation is that each combatant is fighting to win, to batter the enemy so hard that they stop fighting and surrender, or die. Did anyone ever suggest to Mike Tyson that he pull his punches in a “proportionate response” to his opponent? Why on earth would a combatant hit back only hard enough to allow his opponent or enemy to keep fighting?
This notion of “proportionate response” is entirely bogus. It is nothing more than a fake moral demand from Israel’s left-wing enemies to prevent her from defending herself. Only Israel is expected to respond “proportionately” to ongoing terror attacks from an organization whose commitment to eradicating the Jewish state is enshrined in its own charter.
“The 21st-century Israeli government seems to have deliberately and publicly abandoned the notion of proportionate response, into, in effect, disproportionate, saying we will hit you even harder than you’d ever expect,” O’Donnell continued. “This seems to be the deliberate framing that they want.”
Yes, it is the deliberate framing Israel wants, and why shouldn’t it be? Especially in the wake of the 9/11-level October 7th attack on Israel, Israel is justified in destroying Hamas to the last man, for the good not only of the civilized world but of the Palestinians themselves, whom Hamas exploits as cannon fodder. It is a terror organization that deliberately shields itself behind Palestinian non-combatants and embeds its headquarters and weapons caches in hospitals and schools precisely for the purpose of drawing Israel into the narrative trap of attacking civilian targets.
The IDF, for its part, makes a greater effort than any fighting force in history to avoid civilian casualties. This is never acknowledged or appreciated by the pompous antisemites of the media or the United Nations, who shrug off any number of Israeli casualties but who treat a single Palestinian death as a tragedy of epic proportions.
There is no negotiating with or appeasing Hamas. Ghazi Hamad of the Hamas political bureau said on October 24 on Lebanese TV that Hamas is prepared to repeat the October 7th “Al-Aqsa Flood” Operation over and over again until Israel is destroyed. He added that Palestinians are willing to pay any price because they are “proud to sacrifice martyrs,” and “everything we do is justified.” What is the proportionate response to such relentless evil, to an entity so devoted to your annihilation that they will sacrifice any number of their own people to carry it out?
If you are Israel, the only proportionate response the world finds acceptable is to sit back and welcome your own slaughter. For her sake and for the sake of the civilized world, Israel must ignore these subversive demands and exterminate her jihadist enemies once and for all.
Follow Mark Tapson at Culture Warrior