Humanitarian international law continues to correctly require that every use of force by an army or insurgent force meet the test of "proportionality." Going back to the basic legal principle that "the means that can be used to injure an enemy are not unlimited," proportionality stipulates (among other things) that every exercise of armed force be limited to the minimum application needed for operational success. More specifically, this ancient principle of customary international law applies to all judgments of military advantage and to all planned reprisals.
The world is full of Israel-haters. I don't know why. It probably has something to do with anti-Semitism - and even more to do with lack of knowledge and understanding about the Middle East.
A democratically elected government's ultimate responsibility is the safety and security of its citizens. Accordingly, achieving that goal is the task facing the Israeli government in its dual war against Hizbullah terrorists on its northern front and Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world. I, the prime minister of Israel, am speaking to you from Jerusalem in the face of the terrible pictures from Kfar Kana. Any human heart, wherever it is, must sicken and recoil at the sight of such pictures. There are no words of comfort that can mitigate the enormity of this tragedy. Still, I am looking you straight in the eye and telling you that the State of Israel will continue its military campaign in Lebanon.
International law is not a suicide pact. Israel's distinctly measured use of force against terrorist bases in Lebanon is entirely consistent with international law. Although some would mistakenly contend that Israel's essential actions express "aggression," the incontestable right of individual self-defense is plainly codified in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Indeed, by persistently allowing its territory to be used as a base of terrorist operations against Israel, it is Lebanon that is in flagrant violation of the charter.
"Just like Hitler fought the Jews, we are a great Islamic nation of jihad, and we too should fight the Jews and burn them." - Hisham Shamas, political science student, at a symposium hosted by Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV at Lebanon's largest and only government-run university, Université Libanaise, November 29, 2005.
I hate making this call about my Orthodox Jewish brother Joe Lieberman, but he almost certainly will lose next week's Connecticut Democratic Senate primary. He will be defeated, as predicted by the polls and pundits, primarily because of his support for the Iraq war and his refusal to join in the demonization of George W. Bush.
The news that I, along with Rabbi Avi Weiss (Rav Avi), would be embarking to the north of Israel on a mission of solidarity and unity was met by many friends and colleagues with a myriad of responses. Many were supportive of the mission, all were apprehensive about the dangers, and yet some were cynical about our motives and chances of success.
The Washington Post's Richard Cohen, in a July 18 op-ed on the current fighting between Israel and Hizbullah ("Hunkering Down With History"), declared that Israel's creation was a "mistake." He based this judgment of Israel on its Arab Muslim neighbors' opposition to its existence.
Media coverage of the fighting between Israel and Hizbullah has gone largely as expected – CNN, The New York Times and other liberal outlets see events largely through a prism of Lebanese civilian casualties, while Fox News, the New York Sun and other conservative organs present a broader picture of Hizbullah provocations and the suffering of civilians on both sides.
Every Jew is familiar with Deuteronomy 30:19: "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, that you and your descendants may live." This Torah obligation is binding not only upon individuals, but also upon states - especially the always imperiled State of Israel.