Russian President Vladimir Putin calls Israel's defensive incursion into the Gaza Strip and Lebanon unacceptable, involving as it does the "use of full-scale force." "All the sides that are involved in the conflict must immediately cease military action," says Putin. This from the likes of a ruthless former KGB agent whose country is historically responsible for gulags, pogroms, unceasing expansionism and mass extermination of political opposition.
Pope Benedict XVI equated Israel's response with the actions of Hezbollah and Hamas, explaining, "neither terrorist acts or reprisals, especially when they have such tragic consequences on the civilian population, can be justified." The Vatican should have little moral authority in the realm of international politics, especially when it comes to Israel. No long-standing organized religious institution promotes the sort of international moral relativism the Vatican espouses. And in light of its history, the Vatican hardly has the standing to condemn a Jewish right to self-defense.
President Jacques Chirac of France says that Israel's response to the kidnapping of its soldiers and the coordinated terror attacks on its homeland has been "totally disproportionate." Of course, one would not expect a French president to know that the point of war is a completely disproportionate use of force culminating in victory. For the French, a proportionate response is, presumably, surrender.