NEVER lower the bar. It was frustrating to see various commentators concentrate their fire and ire on Adam Bandt and his accomplices for not supporting a government motion in Parliament that condemned “all forms of hate speech.” For the Greens and the Teals to thereby endorse Hamas and Palestinian ‘protesters’ is contemptible, certainly, but it was low-hanging fruit. No, Mr Dutton, this was not a “unifying motion.” Bandt or no, it was a disgrace in its own right. It was trite, hackneyed equivalency-mongering of the sort we’ve come to expect from the left whenever Israel is subjected to murderous enormities. Only in the duchessed imaginations of Islam’s Western blackmailers and the apostatised minds of their enablers could last week’s holocaust in Israel be read as an occasion for sandbagging Mohammedanism. The Labor Party is in electoral thrall to the imams who roused thousands into the CBDs of Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate the killing of Jews but the Liberal Party isn’t. Albanese’s pox on both their houses boilerplate was a wink-wink reward for the pogrom mobs. Besides which, Islam is not a race and Christophobic Labor is hardly believable in the role of Fidei Defensor. It has been waging jihad on Catholics for years.
As for the rules of war – either set forth in international law or in the theorised bellum iustum of Cicero, Augustine or Aquinas – the following brief animadversions are apposite. The first concerns distinguishing combatants from civilians. A state that has the ability to annihilate Gaza at any time chooses not to – while urging its inhabitants to evacuate. This proves charges of “war crimes” and “genocide” are wholly malevolent lies. That Israel will launch a ground offensive whose objective is the erasure of Hamas proves it even more emphatically. Thousands of IDF personnel will be put in harm’s way to achieve that end without endangering the 11 or so adults in Gaza who have no moral liability for cultivating exterminationism. On that subject, bear in mind that when Donald Trump was elected in 2016, most of the animals Israel is hunting were sweet young boys. They didn’t grow into perverts that even the SS would have reined in of their own volition. Here it is worth noting – before dismissing – the unsolicited cant of Washington. Harry Truman dropped two atomic bombs on civilians on the pretext that doing so saved American GIs.
While the lightweights of anti-semitism during Israeli conflicts mawkishly hawk civilian casualties, those who regard themselves as sophisticates run with ‘proportionality.’ This too has centuries-old antecedents in moral theology and, more recently, secular military ethics. The distorted version of the protocol – the one that gets air play, needless to say – is that the aggrieved nation should call it a day once it kills as many of its enemies as the latter did when they started the war. Ironically, this chyron-friendly variant is closer to the “eye for an eye” of the Book of Exodus than it is to Grotius or the Hague Conventions. Correctly understood, the proportionately conducted military operation requires that inevitable, even foreseen civilian deaths and destruction of property are justified – by the proximate necessity of neutralising discrete threats and by the overarching moral imperative to win. All schools of just war theory stipulate that war should not be embarked upon at all if there is no credible prospect of succeeding. Proportionality therefore demands something Cardinal Parolin injudiciously ignores: a resolute will to prevail – not just for survival tomorrow but for the sake of a lasting, secure peace. For Israel especially – perhaps uniquely – the absolute routing of its enemies is not a vengeful extravagance but a moral obligation.