Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Matter of Disproportionality

How can the BBC use disproportionality as a weapon against Israel?


Use three maps to explain the damage caused in the latest operations in Gaza during "Cast Lead" and have the ones showing the Arab side very big and deatiled and the one displaying Israel very small and not very detailed.



Here's a map that sort of helps out the Israeli side:


Peter Drubetskoy said...

If the damage to the Israeli side was anywhere near the damage wreaked on Gaza, you'd have a point. It is not "a matter of disproportionality" but that of asymmetry.

g said...

I think it's morally wrong to even consider proportionality of a military respond. Does it mean it's ok if for 10 Israelis killed by Palestinians, Israeli have right to kill 10 Palestinians?
The only reaction to disturbance of peace and to a military attack should be a condemnation and not discussion of its legitimacy, proportionality etc etc., which only distracts from the real problem - the attack itself.

Peter Drubetskoy said...

Proportionality means that the response was such that the force applied was justified in proportion to the threat it is supposed to counter. Military response is not unjustified a-priori. It is OK to take out Qassam launchers, it is not OK to reduce a town to rubble in the process.
Proportionality, btw, applies not only to military strikes but to any military activity. For example, the roadblocks. Aryeh Amihay has a good post on this. It is only in Hebrew right now, but I guess he'll translate it pretty soon.

g said...

Peter, I agree with you on proportionality.
However, if we make military response a norm, we'll continue on this path of never ending violence.
There will always be reasons to attack, to take out Quassam rockets, to protect herself, to resist occupation, etc etc. Yet, what do this attacks accomplish?
Did the Quassam rockets stop? Did the occupation end?
To speak about proportionality of a military response is to justify it and therefore to make it a norm.

Peter Drubetskoy said...

"However, if we make military response a norm, we'll continue on this path of never ending violence."

Absolutely. "Live by the sword, die by the sword".

YMedad said...

Now look what you've done, Galia.

You've made Peter a militarist.

Peter Drubetskoy said...

I am no militarist. Maybe it is that in your imagination I was some kind of naive straw-man pacifist.

Peter Drubetskoy said...

Aryeh posts a short version of the aforementioned post in Hebrew.