From the Bad Argument Files: The Current Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

When people follow an ideology, and are blindly opposed to any argument that contradicts their beliefs, frivolously awful soundbites are soon to follow. No extreme is immune. Pro abortion-rights. Antiabortion. Pro death penalty. Anti-death penalty.

In recent weeks, the pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli soundbites have hit the airwaves, leading me to wonder how even educated people can firmly believe in the┬ánonsense coming out of their mouths. The country of Qatar put forth a U.N. draft resolution accusing Israel of “disproportionate” force in Gaza in response to the capture of an Israeli soldier last month and rockets being fired into Israel.

While the word “disproportionate” may apply when it comes to who-has-the-bigger-guns, this accusation is essentially calling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a board game, and Israel is cheating because it has bigger guns.

What would be an appropriate use of force by the Israelis that wouldn’t get condemnation by Qatar or anyone else? Perhaps, in response to Hamas firing rockets into Israel, the Israeli farmers should carelessly fire rockets back into Gaza. But they must be the same kind of rockets, and can’t fire any more than what hits Israel. Maybe then the international self-proclaimed referrers won’t hand Israel a red card.

If you punch me, I will stab you. If you stab me, I will shoot you. If you shoot me, you and your family will be shot. Am I playing fair? It doesn’t matter, because this simply isn’t a game. And don’t expect diplomacy after a shot has been fired.

Hamas militants fire rockets into Israel. What kind of response are they expecting? Certainly they do not believe Israel will pick up and leave the Mideast, though that’s what they ultimately want. But they continue to fire rockets. Any call for a cease-fire is obviously an attempt to halt Israel’s response and to rebuild their own forces for the next wave of attacks, so it is foolish to expect Israel to accept Hamas’s time-out call.

One anti-Palestinian theory is that the militants hide behind their women and children and hope for a “disproportionate” Israeli response so the international community will condemn Israel for killing innocents. But that won’t get them closer to their goal of eliminating Israel. It just gets them more pity from people who fall for this strategy.

Let’s imagine for a minute that that isn’t their strategy, just collateral damage. Suppose that they care less about what anyone else believes, how the international referees see Israel, and how Israel responds. If that’s the case, Israel will keep responding “disproportionately,” hurting the Palestinian people and getting Hamas no closer to their goal of making the Israelis pack up and leave. In other words, it’s not a winning strategy by any means. Forget about who you’re rooting for here. Try the Hamas strategy in any conflict and see where it gets you.

So, Qatar, and anyone else condemning “disproportionate” force, go pick a fight with someone. When you get beat, go complain to the ref and see where it gets you.