Walter E. Williams
Navi Pillay, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, has accused both Israel and Hamas militants of committing war crimes in the Gaza conflict. Her harshest criticism, as well as that of most nations, has been reserved for the Israeli government, charging that it has committed war crimes in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions. In the wake of the huge difference in casualties and property destruction, many in the West have accused the Israeli government of making a grossly disproportionate response to terrorist rocket attacks. A New York Times (July 23, 2014) article titled "As Much of the World Frowns on Israel, Americans Hold Out Support" says that a number of "world leaders and demonstrators pointed to the lopsided number of Palestinian casualties -- more than 650, most of them civilians -- versus 35 on the Israeli side, 32 of them soldiers." By now, those numbers have tripled, but let's think about some of the arguments being made.

First, let's take a historical look at proportionality in response to an attack. In February 1945, in Dresden, Germany, 25,000 lives were lost in one night and the city was reduced to rubble as a result of British and U.S. bombers firebombing. In March 1945, 300 U.S. B-29 planes dropped incendiary bombs on Tokyo, killing more than 100,000 people, with millions injured and made homeless. Later, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to even greater loss of life and property destruction. Who's willing to criticize the Allies for lack of proportionality in response to Germany's and Japan's attacks? Though the Allies brought about a horrible loss of life and massive destruction, one thing is very clear and indisputable: Neither country has attacked ever since.

Anti-Semitic attacks have skyrocketed in Europe in the wake of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's not just a criticism of Israel's foreign policy; it's an attack on Jews. Synagogues have faced Molotov cocktails, bomb threats and vandalism. Several European cities have seen slogans such as "Dirty Jews," "Jews your end is near," "Out with Zionists," "Israel executioner" and "Save Gaza! Hitler, you were right!" According to RT, over the past month there has been a 50 percent increase in hate crimes against Jews in Britain.


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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