“Proportionate” v. “Adequate”

June 25, 2006

If past instances of international reaction to Israel’s response to acts of Palestinian terrorism are to be a guide, we’ll sure hear a lot in the next few days about the need for “measured” and “proportionate” response to yesterday’s killing of two Israeli soldiers, the wounding of another two, and kidnapping of one.

But will a “proportionate” response solve the problem of terrorism? Will killing of two terrorists, wounding of another two, and abduction of one do the trick?

Of course not – because the warfare between the Israelis and the Palestinians is completely asymmetric: the Palestinians take that what the Israelis value – Israeli lives, and pay with what the Palestinians do not value – Palestinian lives. The exchange is that of perceived gold for perceived trash, and this being the case, there is no reason whatsoever for the Palestinians to stop.

So, the “proportionate” response to Palestinian terror, advocated by the governments and the press cannot possibly work – simply because it does not inflict on the Palestinians the pain proportionate to that felt by the Israelis. The “proportionate” response is, in fact, un-proportionate.

If the “proportionate” response does not work, is there a response that would?

Absolutely yes – a response that could be termed “adequate,” a response that would either render Palestinians unable to wage terrorism, or unwilling to do so – either because, as a result, they’d start losing what they actually value, or because they’d realize that the entire religious and ideological underpinning of the war against Israel and the West is false through and through.

The first option – rendering the Palestinians unable to commit acts of terror boils down to what is being called a “military solution.” Yes, I know – there is no military solution; except that, of course, there is one. Another way to make Palestinians reluctant to do terrorism is to start taking, in response to terror, that what the Palestinians actually do value. There is such a thing – land. Every day, officially annex one square mile of land currently occupied by the Palestinians for every Israeli killed or wounded, expelling the Palestinian population from that square mile, and name that square mile after the killed or wounded Israeli – and in a week it will dawn on the Palestinians that terrorism does not pay.

The second option is to attack the actual root cause of terrorism – the nationalistic and religious (or, more precisely, idolatrous) underpinnings of the terrorist mindset. Yes, this is tantamount to attacking the cherished religious beliefs – a no-no in our politically correct climate of multiculturalism – yet those cherished religious beliefs are built on such patiently false foundation, that it is no wonder that religion so easily lends itself to support of terrorism. Religion, Islam including (and not some mythological “perversion of Islam“) needs to be freely examined, and its tenets debunked. And the Arabs and Moslems need to be clearly told something they know all along, but refuse to recognize the implications of – that the lands they occupy were gained through conquest, through Arab “aggression and occupation,” and that they had owners before the Arabs. Rid terrorists of their sense of entitlement and of the idolatrous certainty that they possess “true faith” – and the terrorism is gone.

Are such measures “proportionate?” Yes, they are proportionate to the task of ending the terrorism. And fully “adequate,” too.

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