Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Remember "Proportionate Response"?

Remember that phrase, from the Second Lebanese War and also Gaza: "disproportionate response"?

That Israel was hitting back too hard against terrorists trying to kill and maim?

I found it again, in another setting:

Britain's envoy to the Middle East on Monday said the United Kingdom would continue its fight against West Bank settlements, but would not mount a broader divestment campaign. "This isn't about boycotting Israel...

...Under a 2005 agreement, products from Israel enter EU states like Britain duty-free. But Palestinians complain that many of those goods, labeled as made in Israel, actually come from West Bank settlements.

Rammell said the inspections were helping British authorities identify producers from the settlements, who are then denied the benefits. "One, you would make sure that it wasn't given a tax-exemption. Two, you would tell that to the producer. And three, you would be alerted to that source for the future," he said.

But Rammell made clear Britain has no plans to join a campaign in some European countries to pressure companies to divest from the settlements. "I'm not sure it's effective. It would be extremely complicated. And I think it's about a proportionate response," he said.

Thank God for proportionality.

Maybe we should start referring to Arab communities in Israel as "settlements"? Would that set the cat among the pigeons?

Are "settlements" only Jewish? Is that racial profiling?

Or would that be too disproportionate?

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