So much for offense. As for defense, one side has the most advanced shield in the world; the other has...well, no defense at all.
For illustrating the disparity, here is a convenient article and graphic.
So let's talk about civilian suffering. For tribalistic reasons, the Jewish community in the US has been bombarded with pictures of Israelis sitting in shelters and safe rooms. We are being told that hundreds and thousands of rockets have been fired into Israel, and that Israelis are being held hostage to Muslim terrorists.
I don't want to minimize the trauma that the Israelis have suffered. On the contrary, I know it is huge, and I fear for the long-term effects. But because I understand how much Israelis who are in harm's way are suffering, I also understand how that suffering, as great as it is, pales in comparison to the suffering of the Gazans. And yes, making discriminations in the amount and depth of suffering does matter.
Name your critirion: Fatality statistics? Death and injury of civilians? Destruction of property? Fear and trauma? Deafening explosives? Feelings of utter helplessness? Of being utterly exposed? On every possible metric, the Gazans suffer more than the Israelis. And after there is another cease fire, and things get back to "normal," the Gazans suffering because of the blockade and the restrictions in movement, not to mention the occupation, will continue
Israelis get this. Ask anybody in Sderot where they would prefer to be now -- Sderot or Gaza City -- and they will look at you as if you are crazy.
On NPR this morning there was a report of Israeli wedding guests who, when they heard the air raid siren, skipped the shelters and went outside to watch the Iron Dome intercept its missiles.Picture that in Gaza.
IDF rockets and missiles have killed more innocent civilians in the last three days than all the Hamas rockets combined in the last eight years!
When you say this to Israelis, they get very huffy. Some will say that it is sheer luck that rockets don't killl hundreds or thousands. But that's an uneducated argument. In fact, they don't kill that many, and Hamas soldeirs knows they won't kill that many. They know that they are just shooting off steam and hoping to beat the house odds that are stacked against them. . In the First Intifada, the Palestinians threw thousands of rocks against the IDF soldiers, and Menachem Begin justified the use of lethal force against them saying, "A rock can kill." But rocks usually don't kill, and we now have abundant evidence that Hamas rockets rarely do the same. That cannot be said for IDF bombardments.
I realize that statistics don't mean anything to most people; if they did, people wouldn't waste their money on lottery tickets. It is indeed scary to hear a rocket exploding, even if explosion was in an open area.
But how much more scary would it be if the rocket were launched by the most technologically sophisticated weaponry in the world? Who would you rather fight? David or Goliath?
Bombs fired discriminately that kill large number of civilians are worse than rockets fired indiscriminately that have little chance of hitting anybody.
I suppose Hamas is learning this from the Israelis. When a missile was fired towards Jerusalem on Friday, the Hamas leadership said that they were aiming for the Knesset, which according to Israeli military ethics, is a legitimate target.
Instead, the missle landed miles away on the West Bank. Had it killed civilians, Hamas could have done what Israel does in such circumstances.
Express regret and set up an investigation.