As violence between Israel and Tehran’s terror proxies in Gaza continues, President Joseph Biden used a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to reiterate his desire for a ceasefire. Given the human suffering over the last week, calls for a cessation of violence are certainly understandable.
But when applying that virtuous impulse to the situation in Israel and Gaza, honest observers should reject suggestions of moral equivalence between Israel and terrorist groups, while recognizing that inflicting additional damage on terrorist groups now may save more Israeli and Palestinian lives in the long run.
As often happens in Israel’s conflicts with terrorist groups in Gaza, some international observers have explicitly or implicitly suggested a moral equivalence between the two sides. But such a suggestion does not stand up to scrutiny.
On one side, you have Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). For good reason, the U.S. government has designated both as foreign terrorist organizations. In just 10 days, these terrorist groups launched more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel in an effort to kill civilians. These rockets are not precise weapons of war but rather tools of terror.