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There is no proportionate response to terror [Letter]

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I appreciate the valid points made by Bruce Knauff in his letter to The Baltimore Sun regarding the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict ("Conflict over Gaza is one-sided," July 16). Allow me to respond to the idea that it is a one-sided conflict and the notion that Israel uses disproportionate force.

We all remember what the streets of downtown Boston looked like in April 2013 during the aftermath of the marathon bombing. A war zone would be too weak of a description; it looked more like the aftermath of a military offensive. Here's a question: Why did the Boston Police Department respond so aggressively to the acts of two deranged teenagers? The answer is self-evident. When terrorists attack indiscriminately, there is no proportion. Terrorism is inherently not proportionate, so the response isn't either. The equivalent of a proportionate response to terrorism would be to place a bomb in a terrorist's face.

When it comes to the Israeli Army and Hamas terrorists, here's how some western journalists portray the conflict. "The media coverage hardly reflects the reality," writes Owen Jones in the Guardian. "A military superpower armed with F-15 fighter jets, AH-64 Apache helicopters, Delilah missiles, IAI Heron-1 drones and Jericho II missiles (and nuclear bombs, for that matter), versus a 'prison camp' firing almost entirely ineffective missiles."

A senior Hamas official who was quoted in Haaretz in response to a question about Hamas' rockets targeting civilians as well said that "everyone knows the rockets from Gaza are primitive and lack the destructive power of Israel's weapons. How many have they killed? You can't compare with an Israeli bomb that can destroy a 12-story building. It's just a sort of defense. We want to defend ourselves."

Hamas' rockets are ineffective not because they decided to go easy on their enemies but because of the miraculous Iron Dome defense system. And by the way, they have saved hundreds of Palestinians from becoming collateral damage as a response to Israeli deaths, and it's all thanks in part to America funding this project.

A pressure cooker bomb is also "almost entirely ineffective" but still managed to sow terror in the heart of Bostonians and brought on a disproportionate response. Should Israel start firing rockets into Gaza as a proportionate response? Mr. Owen still wouldn't be content because Hamas leaders don't have a rocket defense system such as Iron Dome. Does Israel have to supply them with an Iron Dome battery for the sake of proportion? Maybe Israel should hand them over some combat jets as well for good measure to minimize their underdog' status.

The only language terrorists understands is disproportion. There is no way of proportionately neutralizing terror.

Aryeh Rand

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To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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