By Ted Belman
International criticism of Israel was greatly diminished in 2007. Was it due to the fact that less people were “victims of Israeli aggression” or was it due to some kind of tacit agreement to allow Israel to fight Hamas to enable the peace process to proceed?
Alan Dershowitz in his current article Targeted Killing is Working started out describing the criticism as it then was and then he described how much Israel had reduced collateral damage as it is called.
In other words for every 30 legitimate combatants killed by the Israeli air force’s campaign of targeted killings, only one civilian is killed. Even this figure may be misleading because some of the civilians are anything but innocent bystanders, while others, such as young children, surely are. Every death of a civilian is a tragedy to be avoided whenever possible, but civilian deaths are an inevitable consequence of warfare. This is especially so when terrorists deliberately hide among civilians and fire rockets from civilian areas, as Hamas and Islamic Jihad frequently do.
- No army in history has ever had a better ratio of combatants to civilians killed in a comparable setting. Israel’s ratio is far better than that of the United States, Great Britain, Russia or any other country combating terrorism. Yet this remarkable improvement has hardly been reported by the international press. Neither have human rights organizations taken appropriate note of it, especially considering the extraordinary and disproportionate criticism directed against Israel when the ratio was worse. Nor have these organizations noted that the selective employment of targeted killings in 2007, coupled with other defensive actions, have resulted in the lowest number of Israeli civilian deaths and the lowest number of Palestinian civilian deaths in recent times.
So why isn’t the press reporting on this great accomplishment. At least targeted killings are now an accepted tool in self defense. It wasn’t always so.