Inversions of the Day: “Freedom Flotilla” and 1-ton bombs on civilian neighborhoods
Introducing “Inversions of the Day”
Israel-bashing from both within and without is often characterized by inversions of all kinds. Causes and consequences get confused, divisions of responsibility get distorted, proportions get out of balance, evil actions carried out or dreamt of by an Israel-basher get projected on to Israel and Israelis.
Inversions pelt down day after day. It’s exhausting and demoralizing. But I am practicing how to challenge inversions without writing long treatises. Perhaps I can inspire other friends of Israel to do likewise.
Here are the inversions and challenges I have selected for reflection today (26 June 2015).
Ban Ki-Moon and the newest “Freedom Flotilla”
In connection with the flotilla that wants to “break” the – legal – blockade of Gaza the Times of Israel reported:
[Secretary General Ban Ki-moon] continues to believe that a flotilla will not help to address the dire situation in Gaza and reiterates his calls on the government of Israel to lift all closures, with due consideration of Israel’s legitimate security concerns <1>.
What could UN Secretary General Ban have said instead?
“The dire situation in Gaza is primarily the responsibility of Hamas. Egypt and Israel will lift their blockades when legitimate security needs have been met. The flotilla is at best irrelevant, at worst a provocation that lessens chances for peace”.
Israel can’t drop 1-ton bomb on neighborhood
In the wake of the report commissioned by UNHRC, Mary McGowan Davis gave a number of interviews. The article on one of them was headlined: “UN Gaza probe chief to Haaretz: Main message is Israel can’t drop 1-ton bomb on neighborhood”
“We wanted to make a strong stand that the whole use of explosive weapons in densely populated neighborhoods is problematic and that the policy needs to change,” she emphasized in a phone interview from Geneva, where she presented on Monday the findings of the months-long inquiry she conducted. “Because it is not OK to drop a one-ton bomb in the middle of a neighborhood.” <2>
The message should be: “Warriors who hunker down in civilian neighborhoods from which they attack Israel must take responsibility for civilian deaths.” And in the light of the newest investigations by experts on modern warfare an additional sentence could read: “Gazans should be grateful that Hamas attacked Israel, which was able to keep civilian casualties down to about 50% of the total. Just think what would have happened if Hamas had fired rockets on Egypt!” <3>
<1> https://www.timesofisrael.com/un-chief-says-gaza-blockade-busting-flotilla-not-helpful/ oshua Davidovich, 25 June 2015.
<2> http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.662603 Barak Ravid, 23 June 2015 – uncritically re-tweeted by New York Times’ Judi Rudoren. If you don’t have access to Premium Haaretz, check out http://palestine.dk/head-of-unhr-gaza-inquiry-israel-must-reexamine-its-policy-of-using-military-might/ 24 June 2015. It doesn’t take long for enemies of Israel to run with the ball thrown to them by the UN.