The Natural Consequences Of Hamas' Attack
The present situation in Israel and Gaza is simple, regardless of how complex these critical issues may be. Whatever the final response of Israel and the inevitable horrendous consequences that the innocents of Gaza and Israel may endure, blame lies squarely at Hamas's feet.
Every sovereign nation that has ever existed would respond with fury and determination to the kidnapping, rape, and murder of 1,300 of its citizens. Israel is no different. Israel's response to the attack did not surprise Hamas as they knew Israel would ferociously respond.
One can play the blame game, but the righteousness of Israel's response is almost irrelevant. By kidnapping civilians, Hamas invited Israel to rescue the victims. By killing 1,300 civilians in a surprise attack, Hamas created the outrage that made it impossible for Israel to turn the other cheek. Hamas purposely placed its troops, supply lines, and headquarters in populated civilian areas, hiding behind their children's book bags and their grandmothers' flowing scarves. Perhaps they hoped that Israel would refrain from attacks due to the fear of civilian causalities, but they also knew that such fear would not prevent Israeli retribution.
And Israel has responded precisely the way that Hamas knew it would. There is even a school of thought that believes the purpose of the attack was to provoke a massive Israeli response to derail any agreements between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Israel's response parallels the American response to the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center. In each instance, a substantial American reaction was guaranteed and justified. So is Israel's.
American jurisprudence has a concept whereby the perpetrator of a crime is responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their acts. A jury in a criminal case is instructed:
"An act causes injury if the injury is the direct, natural, and probable consequence of the act and the injury would not have happened without the act. A natural and probable consequence is one that a reasonable person would know is likely to happen if nothing unusual intervenes. In deciding whether a consequence is natural and probable, consider all the circumstances established by the evidence."
This does not give the Israelis carte blanche. But the fact is that an Israeli military response leading to the deaths of civilians was the natural and probable consequence the moment Hamas fired that first missile into Israel. Hamas knew that its attack would provoke Israel to war; Hamas knew that war would result in the loss of thousands of innocent lives in both Israel and Gaza. The blood is on Hamas' hands.