DISPROPORTIONATE? I...

DISPROPORTIONATE? I keep seeing European diplomats and leaders refer to Israel's attack as "disproportionate," which seems a sort of weird criticism given that wild overreaction is pretty much the point. Israel has long operated off a fire and brimstone theory of military reprisals, deploying excessive strength in order to markedly disincentivize small attacks by their foes and neighbors. It's assymetrical warfare of an oddly inverted sort: Israel can launch massive attacks, their opponents can't, and so Israel responds to small provocations with massive responses. There is, to be sure, the question of why they do it, or whether it's a good idea, but pointing out that their strategy of disproportionate reprisal seems dependent on disproportionate reprisals is a tautology, not a criticism.

--Ezra Klein

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