A reader writes:

Can you please stop pretending that Israel was responding to only “sporadic rockets” fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza? There were literally thousands fired from 2001-2008. During that time there were also dozens of Hamas suicide bomb attacks and other ambushes on Israeli citizens. And don’t forget what Israel faced on its northern front when Hizballah attacked in 2006: 500,000 internally displaced people, to say nothing of the death and destruction. That’s an important bit of context. Also, Gilad Shalit is still unaccounted for. You know all this, so stop acting as if it isn’t an important part of the story.

I’d like to know what you consider a proportional response to that level of provocation. I really would. I’m not certain that Israel did the right thing, but I don’t see much of an alternative, either.

Imagine this. I’m your neighbour. We’ve got a property dispute. My way of dealing with this is to throw small stones at your house. Occasionally I break a window, mostly I just chip the paint. Nothing you can’t afford to fix. Every now and then, though, I catch you in the open and hit you with a stone. Sometimes at night I sneak onto your property and kick your dog or beat him with a stick. A few times  I’ve snuck into your house and punched your husband in the face while he slept. I publicly and repeatedly threaten to kill all three of you. When you’ve responded angrily, whether physically or verbally, I complain to all of our neighbours and the police of your ‘roid rage’, so none of them intervenes. You don’t want to move because this is the only house you’ve ever owned; everywhere you’ve rented you’ve been kicked out or abused for being gay. Anyway, why should you compromise with a maniac? How long before you beat the living shit out of me? Does it take seven years?

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