For both Rosenbaum and Bin Laden, the situation is straightforward:
Because a majority of Gazans/Americans voted for leaders who used
violence or waged war against Israelis/Muslims, both have forfeited
their claim to noncombatant status. After all, if they wanted to avoid
conflict, they wouldn’t have elected those people in the first place.
If you recoil from this logic, your head is in the right place. By
any standard, it’s perverse and morally wrong—a justification for the
worst atrocities. What’s more, it’s based on the faulty assumption that
there are no innocents in a democratic polity—that all individuals, from
aid workers and conscientious objectors to children and the disabled,
bear responsibility for every action of their government. If this were
true, then the logic of Rosenbaum and Bin Laden would make sense, and
everyone would stand as a legitimate target in armed conflict.