As much force as is necessary 43

 Hugh Hewitt interviews Michael Oren in Townhall – an extract: 

Hewitt: In response to all of these arguments that Israel is using disproportionate force, since it’s going to be condemned for it anyway, you wrote, why shouldn’t Israel smash Hamas promptly and massively, and reap the benefits in terms of self-respect, deterrence, and a respite for its embattled citizens? Is there a calculation, is Israel holding back right now? 

Oren: Well, Israel is always holding back. We have a very, very large army. We have many hundreds, perhaps even thousands of tanks and cannons and aircraft, and we’re using only a small fraction of that tonight in Gaza. We often get accused of using disproportionate force here, and that D-word appeared on the first day of the war. Force is only disproportionate if the army had achieved its goals and was still bombing Gaza. We haven’t achieved our goals yet. We have to use the requisite amount of force to try to end the bombing of our cities. And Israel also has invested very, very heavily in civil defense. It’s one of the reasons our casualties are so low. The Palestinians have not invested a dime in civil defense. They have no bomb shelters. They have no air raid sirens. And Israel probably shouldn’t be penalized for having invested so heavily in the safety of its citizens. So there’s that feeling here.

Hewitt: There’s an argument made … that, look at the slaughter—you’ve got of hundreds of Palestinians versus a handful of Israelis killed. It’s got to be disproportionate. That’s from his articles. What do you respond to that? 

Oren: My response is if you used that argument in World War II, America would have lost it. America had to use a massive amount of force to win the war. If it hadn’t used that force, it wouldn’t have won the war—and it was overwhelming force. There was no complaint about it, I think, among the American people at the time. The same thing is true here. We will use the amount of force that is necessary to stop rocket fire on our civilians….


Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, January 8, 2009

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