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Israel’s response is entirely appropriate

Israel’s recent offensive against terrorists in Gaza was long overdue, given the thousands of rockets and missiles fired by Hamas into Israeli territory with the express purpose of killing innocent civilians. No sovereign state can be expected to forgo its primary responsibility of protecting its citizens against foreign attacks.

The United Nations enshrines the rights of all member states to self-defense. Since Israel withdrew from Gaza entirely in 2005, Palestinian terrorists there have launched thousands of unprovoked and deadly attacks on Israeli territory and citizens, requiring the government to defend itself. Israel has attempted to comply with U.N. guidelines on self-defense scrupulously, sometimes putting its own personnel at great risk to avoid causing collateral civilian casualties.

This stands in direct contrast to the explicit targeting of innocent Israeli civilians practiced by Hamas and other Palestinian groups, which the United Nations defines as a war crime. It also stands in contrast to the all-too-common Palestinian practice of hiding weapons and military sites behind innocent Palestinian civilians, which constitutes yet another war crime.

Israel deserves our support in its ongoing fight to protect its innocent citizens against terrorist murderers. In similar circumstances, the United States and other Western countries have reacted in a far more lethal fashion. For example, Britain and the United States carpet-bombed entire German cities during World War II, in part after London was targeted by several thousand German V-2 rockets. By comparison Israel’s restrained tactics are careful and entirely appropriate.

Daniel H. Trigoboff

Williamsville