The falsehood of proportionate response

The phrase 'disproportionate response' will again rear its ugly head with the upcoming anniversary of the Second Lebanon War and the Gaza flotilla on the horizon. Instead of trying to answer accusations of disproportion, Israel needs to ask other world leaders what they would do.

June 27, 2011 15:46
4 minute read.
PM Netanyahu with Russian PM Vladimir Putin

PM Netanyahu with Russian PM Vladimir Putin 311 GPO. (photo credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO)


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In theory, everyone recognizes that Israel has a right to act in self-defense. In practice, recognition of Israel’s inalienable right fades almost instantaneously with Israel’s first shot. Within moments of any given Israeli military action, foreign ministry spokesmen and human rights groups from around the world invariably begin condemning Israel for using “disproportionate force,” even as they pay lip service to that theoretical right of self-defense.

Israel should retain settlements as a deterrence strategy

When fired upon, no military in the world advises their leaders to be proportionate in response. Quite the opposite: being attacked is the true measure of deterrence failure. And the logic of deterrence requires that countries impose a disproportionate cost on their adversaries - not simply as retribution, but primarily in order to re-establish deterrence and avoid future conflict.


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