Tachles with Aviel – Why should Israel react proportionally?

Proportionality makes no sense. Only when it comes to Israel do people demand proportionality.

By Aviel Schneider | | Topics: Gaza, Hamas
A convoy of Israeli tanks at sunset near Israel's southern border with Gaza, October 12, 2023. Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90
A convoy of Israeli tanks at sunset near Israel's southern border with Gaza, October 12, 2023. Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90

One of the most persistent anti-Jewish prejudices relates to the phrase “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” which incidentally occurs three times in the Old Testament (including Exodus 21:24). Because of this biblical formula, it is still said today that the Jews’ understanding of justice and proportionality is based on the principle of revenge. In contrast to the “Christian God,” their God is a cruel and vengeful God, therefore peace with the people or the state of Israel is never possible.

Israel is currently being accused of not being proportional and of acting solely out of a need for vengeance. The world demands that Jews and Israel respond with “proportionality” in Gaza. The world should kindly decide what it wants from Israel.

The Western world thinks it is following Jesus’ commandment in the Sermon on the Mount: “But I say to you, do not resist anyone who does evil to you, but if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5). I don’t think Jesus preached “proportionality in conflict.” Here he was referring to love in personal relationships between individuals, where one should not repay evil for evil. Where and when in history did Christian armies actually follow the words of Jesus?

People gather in Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv and light candles to remember the victims of the cruel attack by Hamas terrorists, October 14, 2023. Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90

In the last few days I’ve been reading headlines everywhere about how the world is literally trying to force proportionality on Israel. “Biden urges Israel to adhere to international law in the ongoing military operation, NATO calls for proportionality” (FAZ). “How far can Israel go in war? What reaction is appropriate after a massacre in which more than 1,500 people were chased through the desert, kidnapped, raped, burned, beheaded and shot?” (ZDF). “NATO: Israel should maintain ‘proportionality’ in Gaza” (Stern). “Middle East conflict: Is Israel ignoring international law in Gaza? Because of the high number of deaths on the Palestinian side, Israel’s proportionality is doubted” (NZZ).

The world demands something from Israel that it cannot do itself. Why should Israel adhere to proportionality this time? Over the years and through many wars, Israel has always behaved more moderately than its Arab enemies and than the Christian peoples throughout its history. This proportionality that the world keeps forcing on us has become Israel’s Achilles’ heel. In order to free the Gaza Strip from the cruel terror regime, Israel cannot and must not react with proportionality. During the massacre in southern Israel, Hamas terrorists did not give Jewish residents any time to escape so that they could save their lives. In the Gaza Strip, Israel has warned Palestinian civilians to flee to save their lives. It is not the civilians who are the target of the Israeli bombing, but the Hamas terrorists.

Palestinians leave their homes to reach the southern part of the Gaza Strip, in Gaza City, October 13, 2023. Photo: Atia Mohammed/Flash90

The Jewish people and their army behave in a more “Christian” manner and show more consideration for their enemies than Christian armies throughout history. By the way, based on the Sermon on the Mount, the Palestinians are technically Israel’s enemies. Yet Israel spares its enemies. Not terrorists, but civilians.

In principle, Jews are not obliged to love their enemies because they neither recognize the New Testament nor Jesus as the Messiah. And yet Israel loves Palestinian civilians more than Palestinian terrorists love their own children. If innocent Palestinians, including children, die as a result of Israeli air strikes, then firstly it was not intentional, and secondly, it is no longer a secret that Hamas terrorists are hiding behind the civilian population. The Hamas regime is primarily responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians.

“Israel appears to be the only country in the world that should never be allowed to win a war,” said renowned British political commentator and journalist Douglas Murray during his appearance on TalkTV, where he noted the consistent use of the term “proportionality” in relation to Israel’s response in the Gaza Strip.

“Proportionality in conflict is rare, and only Israelis are expected to respond proportionately in a conflict,” Murray said. He went on to describe how even Britain has committed war crimes. But whenever Israel starts winning wars, Israel is told to stop. “Insisting on a proportionate response would mean that Israel should try to retaliate for what Hamas did in Israel on Saturday, for example, to find a music festival in Gaza – good luck with that – and to rape as many women as Hamas raped on Saturday. To kill as many young people as Hamas killed on Saturday. They should find a town exactly the size of Sderot and make sure they go door to door killing exactly the right number of babies that Hamas killed in Sderot on Saturday, and exactly the same number of pensioners who were shot in Sderot on Saturday, just to choose one city.”

The destruction caused by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Be’eri, near the Israel-Gaza border, in southern Israel, October 14, 2023. Photo by Omer Fichman/Flash90

The war in the south has nothing to do with proportionality because I think that Western politicians have no idea what they are talking about. In order to exist freely and safely in this land, Israel must create security and peace. And to do this, Israel must destroy the entire terrorist regime in the Gaza Strip. Believe me, Israel is not only doing itself a favor, but also the local Palestinian civilian population. The Palestinian civilian population can praise Allah that they have the Israeli forces as their enemy and not the Syrians, Iran, Iraq or any other Arab regime. Proportionality is irrelevant. Christian governments and armies should first show us Israelis how they have made everything better.