James Robbins at National Review has more on the moral levelling between Hamas´s aggresion and Israel´s defensive measures and decisive security operations:
One would think that Hamas’s decision to resume large-scale armed conflict would place the burden of responsibility for what has followed on them. Instead, two alternative story lines have developed: One is that Hamas and Israel are equally to blame for the situation, and both must stand down immediately; the other that the crisis is Israel’s fault for responding to the Hamas’s provocations with “excessive force.”
The first story goes like this. Both sides use force. Both sides kill civilians. Both sides must cease this unacceptable behavior and sit down and negotiate. The first problem with this formulation is that Hamas will not ever truly talk to Israel, a state it does not recognize and seeks to destroy. With respect to civilians, when civilians die from Israeli bombs, it is an unintended and unwanted circumstance, whereas Hamas kills civilians by design. The only way for Hamas to “take all necessary measures to avoid civilian casualties,” as U.N. Gen. Sec. Ban Ki-Moon has directed both sides to do, is to stop, well, targeting civilians. (There’s a thought.)
Hamas supporters counter that the blockade Israel imposed on Gaza in 2007 is the equivalent of violence against civilians, since it is they who suffer. But the blockade is in fact an alternative to violence, the very kind of thing that those who object to the use of force suggest.