Obvious, really – with a thousand dead on one side, including many non-combatants, and only one civilian on the other side, and 45 military men.
But the argument is becoming so muddied with claim and counter-claim, with allegations that Hamas routinely and callously hides its rocket launchers in schools and hospitals, that an examination of the basics of just war theory should be made.
A just war is a proportional war: if one boy steals another boy’s pocket money, then he should be punished. But not beaten to a pulp by a gang of six men, we would all agree.
If a member of a diplomatic mission is found to be a spy, it is fair enough for him or her to be expelled – but not for the home country to sit a tank outside the offending embassy and fire short-range missiles into it.
Israel has a grievance and legitimate security concerns. But the answer to its problem is not to wipe the Palestinian people off the face of the earth, no matter how much many of its political leaders and supporters would like this to happen. Read more…