Proportionate response?


When did war require proportionate response? In every American war there were far more military and civilian casualties on the other side. While we retain images of combatants on the sands of Iwo Jima and the beaches of Normandy, by the end of the war the Allies were destroying whole cities in Germany and Japan. Hundreds of thousands of German civilian were incinerated in Dresden
and elsewhere. Even more civilians were incinerated in Japanese cities, culminating in the 100,000-200,000 killed instantly and in lingering deaths from radiation poisoning in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. American civilian casualties – 0; American military casualties far fewer than the enemy civilians.

Future wars would be fought with even greater disregard for civilian life. Were an enemy to attack us with a nuke, we would respond with one or more of even greater capacity to kill. Nukes are not pinpoint weapons!

Why is the life of a 10 year-old Palestinian, whose father is firing rockets or supporting Hamas, more sacred than an 18 year-old Israeli soldier? The American military devastated enemy cities to protect our 18-year-old soldiers from a ground war, which would have killed thousands of them. The Palestinian child has parents; the Israeli soldier has parents. The Palestinian child is unprotected from Israeli fire; the Israeli soldier is unprotected from Hamas mortars and rockets. The only difference is in the mind of those making judgments against Israel. Their clamor could not be clearer if they shouted “We want more dead Jews” or “Death to the Jews”.

Am I an immoral monster? Or am I just an American Jew, who sees no difference between my America killing Germans and Japanese civilians to save American lives and Israel killing far fewer Palestinians civilians to save Israeli lives?

Silver Spring

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