I hear the argument that demanding of Israel a sense of proportion in its handling of the conflict with Hamas is unreasonable, in that war is always disproportional. It has been most succintly put by André Glucksman.
There is truth to this, but that does not make the current invasion of Gaza — it’s a stretch to call it a war — any less deplorable. It rather suggests an incredible lack of empathy for the suffering of a million and a half people in Gaza, and beyond that the Palestinians as a whole. This sad conflict has been one-sidedly asymmetrical since 1948, and every time it flares up, casualties on the Palestinian side match those on the Israeli side tenfold, if not more — and in this particular instance more than hundredfold.
You cannot relativise the suffering of the individual, of course, and everyone involved in this tragedy is ultimately the loser, but beyond all the politics, this is a pretty consistenly horrifying trend. And it only makes commentators sitting abroad implying that hundreds of civilians dying are somehow insignificant numbers, and the action that caused their death as a kind of last and only resort, seem more callous. Surely, things could be different.