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Three Questions About “Disproportionate Force”

Yesterday in the New Republic, Michael Walzer weighed in on the question of whether Israel’s offensive in Gaza is a “disproportionate” response to attacks on Israeli citizens.

He rightly notes that most of those making this charge against Israel are not credible:

The commentators and critics using it today, however, are not being cautious at all; they are not making any kind of measured judgment, not even a speculative kind.” ‘Disproportionate’ violence for them is simply violence they don’t like, or it is violence committed by people they don’t like.

That’s an important point that can’t be made too often. Those who question Israel’s tactics are often those who don’t think any Israeli response to terror is justified under any circumstances. But for those who don’t fit into that category, how do we make judgments about proportionality?

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