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From: Keith ( -
Subject: Re: Lebanon and Israel??
Date: July 20, 2006 at 11:11 am PST

In Reply to: Lebanon and Israel?? posted by U.J. on July 16, 2006 at 7:38 pm:

Your question comes down to two points: (1) does a state have the right to self-defense? and (2) to what extent is retalliation a justifiable and effective form of self-defense?

Clearly, a state should have the right to self-defense. When Israel finds itself attacked, it is reasonable for it to take action that is aimed at stopping the attacks.

The basic rule of retalliation is (and has been since the time of Hammurabi) "an eye for an eye". Unfortunately, it is often misunderstood to mean "at least an eye for an eye", when the original intent was "at MOST an eye for an eye".

My thought on retalliation as self-defense is that it may be justified when it does not grossly exceed the magnitude of original offence and if it has a reasonable chance of deterring repeat offences. I think that Israel has made a serious mistake in not adhering to these principles. At one time, they had an option of choosing land or peace and they chose land. The current state of affairs pretty much guarantees that peace will never become an option again in our lifetimes. You can't bring peace by escalating war.

To be fair, I have to say that the various terrorist groups fighting against Israel are at least equally to blame for the situation. There are no "good guys".


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