Buried in the hue and cry of the war in Gaza has been the one glaring question not yet answered by the media: If Israel indeed overstepped the limits of asymmetrical warfare, then what exactly is an acceptable "symmetrical" loss ("Hamas' terror is dwarfed by Israel's," Aug. 9)?

Should Israel lose one for one, two for one, three for one? This question is not to diminish the loss of the innocent but to understand a benchmark by which the United Nations and much of the world seems to grade such questions.

Israel has carried out more than 4,000 airstrikes and fired even more artillery rounds. If one were to accept the media numbers than one must ask, why weren't there more causalities? Even with the widely reported numbers by Hamas, this would equate to a causality rate in the range of 15 percent to 30 percent relative to the number of missions carried out, depending on whose numbers you use.

Taking into consideration that the war is being waged within the confines of one of the most densely populated areas of the world, one needs wonder why there weren't higher causalities. How many missions did Israel cancel to protect innocents? How many advance notices took place? And why is Israel held to a higher standard than any other nation on earth and then admonished when it doesn't meet it?

J. Phillip Schapiro

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