This is not a tit-for-tat war, in which one side’s casualties justify or validate an equal number of deaths on the other side. On Israel’s side, this is a war for security and survival, while for Hamas, it is a war to eliminate Israel.
Israel can commit particular acts that are immoral, without becoming morally equivalent to Hamas, in the same way that Western Allies could commit morally problematic acts (e.g. Dresden), without becoming morally equivalent to the Nazis.
Hamas is — while taking into account the wild disparity in the sheer geographical and numerical extent of their crimes — qualitatively even more anti-Semitic than the Nazis were.
After 2000 years of virulent holy hatred, Judeophobia, genocide, expulsions, blood libels, ghettoisation, rejection, ridicule and demonisation, the world has not been able to cast off the shackles of innate antisemitism.
The core of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is the Geneva Conventions, a set of rules for war negotiated after World War II. IHL attempts to achieve a balance between the necessity of defeating an opponent and limiting needless suffering.
The important thing is to always be living as if this were your last day on earth. In one sense we should always live as if eternity is just around the corner – even today.
In addition to the rich vein of Islamic canonical sources which promote antisemitism, Hamas has also been influenced by the antisemitism of Christian nations.
Last week the Opposition Leader was effectively running the country. With Anthony Albanese too busy jetting off overseas to be bothered with governing, Peter Dutton stood and took charge.
The barbarity let loose in Israel on October 7 exists right here in the West, only barely restrained. We are in a civilisational battle. The question is whether we will admit it in time to do something about it.
The world is at this moment grappling with a succession of challenges that, if not properly addressed, will cause everything we know to spiral hopelessly out of control.