There is a moment in every conflict Israel has found itself in that causes some Diaspora Jews to find the "courage" to denounce it. The death of dozens of civilians in the Lebanese village of Kana this past week yet again adds fuel to the fire of many so-called idealists; it remains such a moment.
While the complete story about the bombing of this Hezbollah stronghold has yet to be told, there's no doubt that the deaths of so many innocent people is a tragedy. Yet despite the outrage this incident has generated, Kana is not a reason to conclude that Israel's response to Hezbollah is "disproportionate." Nor should it serve as an excuse for Diaspora critics to immediately jump on Israel.
The use of villages to hide Hezbollah arms caches — and to serve as launching points for deadly missile attacks — render them perfectly legitimate targets. Though Israel Defense Force policy seeks to avoid harming civilians, no one residing in a place used to carry on warfare against Israel has the right to be surprised when the Jewish state responds with military force to stop these attacks. Responsibility for the deaths in Kana, and throughout Lebanon for that matter, lies with the Hezbollah killers who launched this war — not Israel.
Let there also be no doubt that Hezbollah uses civilians as human shields. In fact, it seems as if Hezbollah is doing everything it can to ensure high Lebanese casualties in order to create more sympathy and support for their war on Israel.
The attempt to use the Kana incident as a club to beat Israel is no different from the effort to brand Israel's counterattacks as "disproportionate." It is nothing but a subterfuge, whose aim is to delegitimize necessary anti-terrorist military action.
What's needed now is not the faux courage Israel-bashers boast. Desperately needed are the guts that genuine supporters of the Jewish state must summon to defend this necessary war against a vicious terrorist foe, even when — and perhaps, especially when — bombs inadvertently land on the wrong people.