The “right to defend yourself” is a bit slippery, a little tricky, because most of the time those with the most lethal violence are the ones left standing, left alive, left with a voice, and they use their voice to write history books, claiming their right to defend themselves.
Israel does not get the freedom to kill a hundred Palestinians for every five Israelis killed, from a “right to defend itself.” Evidence of this is what happened in 2003, when Iraqis had every right to defend themselves, just as Israel is said to have, but were unable to defend themselves, were defenseless against the U.S. and British militaries.
Iraqis did not have the violent capacity to “defend themselves” the way Israel does, killing a hundred Americans or Brits for every five Iraqis killed. For Iraqis, the right to defend themselves meant nothing, and if they did exercise their right to defend themselves, it only brought more violence upon them. This is what blurs and makes the “right to defend yourself” suspect, because it is always those with the best violence who can use and take advantage of “the right to defend yourself.”
Obama and the Star Tribune do absolutely nothing to better the world when they say “Israel has a right to defend itself.” If Iraqis during the war were able to defend themselves using the same kill ratio that Israel uses, 100 Americans killed for every five Iraqis killed, would anyone in the U.S. say that Iraq had the right to defend itself this way?
That would have added up to millions of Americans killed, since over 100,000 Iraqis were killed. It is obvious that Obama and the Star Tribune value Palestinians lives less and see them as expendable.
Israel behaves the way it does not from a “right to defend themselves,” but from Palestinians inability to exercise their right to defend themselves. As of Sunday, August 3, 1,720 Palestinians had been killed, and 65 Israelis had been killed!
Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.