Was Israel Justified?


My mom called last night to tentatively ask: "But do you think Israel is justified?" She knew the answer but didn't have the words.

Which is the genius of good framing. You ask a question in a way that forces even your opposition to be conflicted about identifying as the opposition.

A recent Israeli poll asked, among other questions, whether "[the] aerial campaign in Lebanon is justified," according to the Washington Post (The raw data isn't available). 90% of Israelis agreed that it was.

But the question leaves little wiggle room. What if a person believes that a targeted and extremely careful aerial campaign is "justified"? And what if a person is pissed at Hezbollah's attack and capture of Israeli officers but doesn't agree with Israel's response at all? That person is apt to put a check in the justified box too.

The same question dominates U.S. news coverage. Israel regularly employs...

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