I think my credentials for being anti-war are fairly solid. I was always against the Iraq war. I had problems with the Afghan war and the Kosovo-related Serbian war. I would have opposed the Vietnam war (like Ayn Rand) and I even have issues with the first and second world wars.
But I support the Israeli offensive against Hamas.
Unlike the American invasion of Iraq, the actions of Israel are clearly defensive. While Hamas (mostly) stuck with the truce, Israel also stuck with the truce. When Hamas ended the truce and began bombing Israel, then Israel responded. This approach is absolutely necessary to create the right incentives.
Some in the world (EU, UN) are calling for a ceasefire. But this call is hollow. These same talking heads are not concerned that Hamas started hostilities, and nor do they mind if Hamas continues their attacks. In effect, by their selective outrage and silence, they are endorsing a situation where Hamas can attack Israel but Israel should never respond.
I believe the anti-Israel attitude is based in part on a soft-hearted and soft-headed approach to war, where modern commentators judge the combatants by how many people they kill. If you kill more, then you are bad. And Israel is killing more, therefore Israel is bad and they should stop. But this makes no sense as it offers the simplistic (and obviously wrong) conclusion that the side with the best technology must be in the wrong.
The combatants in a war should be judged by (1) whether they started the war; and (2) whether they are offering a reasonable way out of the war.
This war was started by Hamas. And only Israel is offering a reasonable way out of the war. The peace terms offered by Israel is “stop trying to kill us”. The peace terms being offered by Hamas is “stop existing”. Clearly the international community should be encouraging (and pressuring) Hamas to accept the Israeli terms.
I want to be clear that I do not think Israel is always the “good guy”. There are many flaws in Israel and they deserve to be criticised about many things… including their unwillingness to discuss giving up East Jerusalem, their poor treatment of Arab-Israelis, the radical settlers of Hebron, the over-reactions of the past and their increasingly socialist government. But none of this justifies the actions of Hamas, and all countires (and people) need to defend themselves from direct attack.