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Proportionality in this Gaza war is neither possible nor desirable

Image credits: The signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords with representatives from Bahrein, Israel, the United States, and the UAE (from left to right).

Proportionality in the Israel-Gaza war is impossible and undesirable. This is a paradoxical statement that many in the world resent because the hypocrisy about the immorality of warfare has reached unprecedented proportions. The Geneva Conventions and other international agreements are invoked by moral crusaders and applied if it suits their agenda.

By Ken van Ierlant (PhD)
There is no symmetry and context in this battle. It is a genocidal war in which Hamas and Hezbollah only seek the genocidal destruction of the state of Israel. They are not even looking for a two-state solution; they want to destroy the state of Israel.

In this position, the controversy over the battle in Gaza is being fought out in the Western media, universities, and local politics, with Israel being portrayed as the aggressor and hatred of Jews being increasingly propagated or justified. As if the end justifies the means.

Numerous conspiracy theories are now emerging, even suggesting that the October 7 pogrom was a “red flag” operation by Israel to create a condition for the current battle. Nothing is less accurate.

Carl von Clausewitz wrote in his many books on the “art of war” that warfare is an extension of the political enterprise with a clear goal. A goal that is a goal in itself.

Israel's political goal, according to propaganda channels, is to cleanse Gaza and turn it into a parking lot ethnically. October 7 and the reason for it has been carefully covered up by the media, like all previous pogroms since 1920.

The struggle of the Palestinians has been declared heroic by the Western media, while it was never about land but only about the non-acceptance of the wishes of the Jewish people to govern their own country autonomously. At its core, it is an ethnic-religious conflict in which one-sided intolerance is the leitmotif.

The suggestion that the Jews expelled the Palestinians from their land is a tremendous fallacy because 90% of all residents during the British Mandate were immigrants, as were the Arabs who adopted a Palestinian identity in 1964 with the creation of the PLO.

Martin Levi van Creveld, the author of more than 20 books on military strategy and tactics, founded new military tactics after the Second World War. He argues that nation-states prepare too much for conventional warfare, do not consider the approach to asymmetric warfare, and often enter the battle too softly.


In a popular Dutch weekly opinion magazine, he wrote in 2002:


"They [Israeli soldiers] are courageous people (...) they are idealists (...) they want to serve their country and they want to prove themselves. The problem is that you cannot prove yourself to someone much weaker than yourself. They are in a lose-lose situation. Anyone who is strong and fights the weak is a fool (...). Whoever lets the weak kill him is an idiot. So here lies a painful dilemma that has already been noted many times in history and for which, if I see it correctly, there is no simple way out. And then the Israeli army is not the worst of them all. It has never done what the Americans did in Vietnam (... ). They didn't use napalm, and they didn't kill millions of people. So everything is relative, but going back to what I said before, if you're strong and they're weak, then whatever else you do is criminal."[8]


According to his statement, the paradox is apparent that fighting a weak opponent with your hands behind your back is very unwise. You are worn down like a cad when you, as the top dog, defend yourself against a terrorist underdog who only wants to destroy you.

The Americans used all their military ingenuity in Vietnam and Afghanistan but never aimed for the destruction of the enemy. Warfare is not a clean business where morality and ambivalence can or may serve as leitmotifs. The NVA and the Viet Cong won at the time because they were willing to sacrifice everything to win.

Public opinion in the West is crying out for proportionality, while that only makes the problem worse now that Hamas must be destroyed branch and root. There is a big difference in morality between the West and the Arab world.

There is a deafening silence in the Sunni countries regarding this conflict because it is realized that all the talking, which Netanyahu has been doing for years, only makes the jihadist tumor bigger and seriously weakens the interests of the Sunni countries vis-à-vis Iran and its proxy armies.

Israel is the only military power with the USA as a backbencher to drive Iran back into its cage, and there is no escape from defeating and exterminating the proxy armies. When genocide was committed by totalitarian regimes in Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen, among others, during the Arab Spring, public opinion in the West was silent. Approximately 900,000 civilians have been murdered in Syria, and millions have been expelled to Turkey and Europe through ethnic cleansing.

There have never been any protests in the streets of London and Paris or at the universities about the disproportionality of violence against their population. It was and is very quiet in the UN. Not one resolution has been discussed or submitted against this mass murder and genocide of its population.

How different it is now that Israel is trying to eradicate Hamas's roots and branch out of pure self-defense, especially after the pogrom on October 7.

The world is too small, and large mass demonstrations express global frustration about how Israel, quite rightly, is fighting a group of mass murderers who have brutally murdered and kidnapped women and children without respect for persons.

There is no symmetry and context for such a course of action. The difference with the genocide of the Jews during the second war by the Nazis was that they still tried to cover up their massacres. At the same time, Hamas promoted its brutality on all social media as an act of heroism.

Due to ignorance, indifference, and lemming behavior, public opinion is running behind the mostly left-wing European mainstream media. The American media is an exception in this perspective.

Ignorance about geography, demography, economics, and history knows no bounds. The most unimaginable Hamas propaganda is parroted, as are the calls for genocide of the Jewish people. The statement “the river to the sea” is a call for genocide of unprecedented proportions when asked which river and sea turns out to be utterly unknown to 90% of the questioning demonstrators.

Now that there are casualties among the civilian population in Gaza, news channels are simply copying the published figures from the Hamas Ministry of Health one by one without a single critical question.

Numerous conspiracy theories are emerging, suggesting that Israel itself was behind the attack on October 7 and that it would like to build a new Suez Canal from the Gulf of Eilat to Gaza or that the population of Gaza should, therefore, disappear. The Nazis launched numerous anti-Jewish propaganda stories and films that compared Jews to rats and subhumans.

History repeats itself, but now anti-Semitism comes disguised as nuanced Israel critical of the left instead of the unqualified extreme right. The big difference with them is that the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s could not defend themselves.

Nowadays, the Jewish people have their army, namely the IDF, IAF, Mossad, Shinbet, and a booming high-tech. Industries that produce all kinds of modern weapons that can save the lives of Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians. Israel is currently waging a more proportionate war than any nation in the history of the world has ever waged.

This war's dilemma is that American President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have conflicting interests and must fear for their political lives. Joe Biden is hopelessly behind in the polls compared to Donald Trump and needs an old-style two-state solution that he will ram down Benjamin Netanyahu's throat if necessary to survive in November. On the other hand, Netanyahu has lost the Israeli public's trust due to his ambivalent attitude toward his security policies.

The drama of October 7 can largely be attributed to his weak security policy.

For Netanyahu to survive, if he still has a chance, a definitive victory over Hamas is a sine qua non. Both leaders are opposed to each other because the short-term two-state solution is a continuation of the adage that the current Palestinian leaders have no interest in.

Yasser Arafat never made it a secret during the Oslo talks that his goal was the destruction of the State of Israel. The talks in Oslo were a kind of Hudna (a temporary truce in the Koran) in which the opposing side is weakened, but the ultimate goal remains paramount.

This vicious circle of violence must now be broken, and the current players on the Palestinian side must be permanently removed and replaced by new leaders who favor cohabitation with Israel. The countries of the Abraham Accords (UAE, Bahrain, Sudan & Morocco), led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, should take the lead in convincing the Palestinians that there is no point in continuing to fight.

On the Israeli side, confidence will have to be created, which is widely supported among the Israeli people, to guarantee the Palestinians their habitat where they can develop economically and culturally in friendship with Israel and the surrounding Arab world.

Before that happens, Biden will be history for a long time, and, likely, Netanyahu will, too.

Israel's political goal, according to propaganda channels, is to cleanse Gaza and turn it into a parking lot ethnically. October 7 and the reason for it has been carefully covered up by the media, like all previous pogroms since 1920.

The struggle of the Palestinians has been declared heroic by the Western media, while it was never about land but only about the non-acceptance of the wishes of the Jewish people to govern their own country autonomously. At its core, it is an ethnic-religious conflict in which one-sided intolerance is the leitmotif.

The suggestion that the Jews expelled the Palestinians from their land is a tremendous fallacy because 90% of all residents during the British Mandate were immigrants, as were the Arabs who adopted a Palestinian identity in 1964 with the creation of the PLO.

Martin Levi van Creveld, the author of more than 20 books on military strategy and tactics, founded new military tactics after the Second World War. He argues that nation-states prepare too much for conventional warfare, do not consider the approach to asymmetric warfare, and often enter the battle too softly.


In a popular Dutch weekly opinion magazine, he wrote in 2002:


"They [Israeli soldiers] are courageous people (...) they are idealists (...) they want to serve their country and they want to prove themselves. The problem is that you cannot prove yourself to someone much weaker than yourself. They are in a lose-lose situation. Anyone who is strong and fights the weak is a fool (...). Whoever lets the weak kill him is an idiot. So here lies a painful dilemma that has already been noted many times in history and for which, if I see it correctly, there is no simple way out. And then the Israeli army is not the worst of them all. It has never done what the Americans did in Vietnam (... ). They didn't use napalm, and they didn't kill millions of people. So everything is relative, but going back to what I said before, if you're strong and they're weak, then whatever else you do is criminal."[8]


According to his statement, the paradox is apparent that fighting a weak opponent with your hands behind your back is very unwise. You are worn down like a cad when you, as the top dog, defend yourself against a terrorist underdog who only wants to destroy you.

The Americans used all their military ingenuity in Vietnam and Afghanistan but never aimed for the destruction of the enemy. Warfare is not a clean business where morality and ambivalence can or may serve as leitmotifs. The NVA and the Viet Cong won at the time because they were willing to sacrifice everything to win.

Public opinion in the West is crying out for proportionality, while that only makes the problem worse now that Hamas must be destroyed branch and root. There is a big difference in morality between the West and the Arab world.

There is a deafening silence in the Sunni countries regarding this conflict because it is realized that all the talking, which Netanyahu has been doing for years, only makes the jihadist tumor bigger and seriously weakens the interests of the Sunni countries vis-à-vis Iran and its proxy armies.

Israel is the only military power with the USA as a backbencher to drive Iran back into its cage, and there is no escape from defeating and exterminating the proxy armies. When genocide was committed by totalitarian regimes in Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen, among others, during the Arab Spring, public opinion in the West was silent. Approximately 900,000 civilians have been murdered in Syria, and millions have been expelled to Turkey and Europe through ethnic cleansing.

There have never been any protests in the streets of London and Paris or at the universities about the disproportionality of violence against their population. It was and is very quiet in the UN. Not one resolution has been discussed or submitted against this mass murder and genocide of its population.

How different it is now that Israel is trying to eradicate Hamas's roots and branch out of pure self-defense, especially after the pogrom on October 7.

The world is too small, and large mass demonstrations express global frustration about how Israel, quite rightly, is fighting a group of mass murderers who have brutally murdered and kidnapped women and children without respect for persons.

There is no symmetry and context for such a course of action. The difference with the genocide of the Jews during the second war by the Nazis was that they still tried to cover up their massacres. At the same time, Hamas promoted its brutality on all social media as an act of heroism.

Due to ignorance, indifference, and lemming behavior, public opinion is running behind the mostly left-wing European mainstream media. The American media is an exception in this perspective.

Ignorance about geography, demography, economics, and history knows no bounds. The most unimaginable Hamas propaganda is parroted, as are the calls for genocide of the Jewish people. The statement “the river to the sea” is a call for genocide of unprecedented proportions when asked which river and sea turns out to be utterly unknown to 90% of the questioning demonstrators.

Now that there are casualties among the civilian population in Gaza, news channels are simply copying the published figures from the Hamas Ministry of Health one by one without a single critical question.

Numerous conspiracy theories are emerging, suggesting that Israel itself was behind the attack on October 7 and that it would like to build a new Suez Canal from the Gulf of Eilat to Gaza or that the population of Gaza should, therefore, disappear. The Nazis launched numerous anti-Jewish propaganda stories and films that compared Jews to rats and subhumans.

History repeats itself, but now anti-Semitism comes disguised as nuanced Israel critical of the left instead of the unqualified extreme right. The big difference with them is that the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s could not defend themselves.

Nowadays, the Jewish people have their army, namely the IDF, IAF, Mossad, Shinbet, and a booming high-tech. Industries that produce all kinds of modern weapons that can save the lives of Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians. Israel is currently waging a more proportionate war than any nation in the history of the world has ever waged.

This war's dilemma is that American President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have conflicting interests and must fear for their political lives. Joe Biden is hopelessly behind in the polls compared to Donald Trump and needs an old-style two-state solution that he will ram down Benjamin Netanyahu's throat if necessary to survive in November. On the other hand, Netanyahu has lost the Israeli public's trust due to his ambivalent attitude toward his security policies.

The drama of October 7 can largely be attributed to his weak security policy.

For Netanyahu to survive, if he still has a chance, a definitive victory over Hamas is a sine qua non. Both leaders are opposed to each other because the short-term two-state solution is a continuation of the adage that the current Palestinian leaders have no interest in.

Yasser Arafat never made it a secret during the Oslo talks that his goal was the destruction of the State of Israel. The talks in Oslo were a kind of Hudna (a temporary truce in the Koran) in which the opposing side is weakened, but the ultimate goal remains paramount.

This vicious circle of violence must now be broken, and the current players on the Palestinian side must be permanently removed and replaced by new leaders who favor cohabitation with Israel. The countries of the Abraham Accords (UAE, Bahrain, Sudan & Morocco), led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, should take the lead in convincing the Palestinians that there is no point in continuing to fight.

On the Israeli side, confidence will have to be created, which is widely supported among the Israeli people, to guarantee the Palestinians their habitat where they can develop economically and culturally in friendship with Israel and the surrounding Arab world.

Before that happens, Biden will be history for a long time, and, likely, Netanyahu will, too.

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