In case you haven’t heard, Israel shelled a UN school. It’s been on the news for two days straight. It’s the worst atrocity since … I dunno, Fallujah? Boko Haram? Two weeks ago?
But I kid. The real issue is people are trying to make moral statements about the war without any attempt to peek through the fog of war and see what’s actually happening.
So before I make my moral assertions about this war, let’s cut through that fog of war to see the events surrounding the shelling.
The basic issue is that the UN school was sheltering an alleged 3000 people. Of those people, 20 died.
Now, if Israel were directly targeting the school with artillery fire, a lot more people would have died in that attack. It’s pretty safe to say that entire structure and everyone in it would have been decimated in a minute.
Let’s also keep in mind that the whole compound is in a crowded neighborhood, where Hamas fighters are engaging Israeli troops all around it.
Now, I don’t make any apologies for engaging Hamas fighters with overwhelming force. You don’t attack without it, all militaries use it. That means softening up their hiding spots with artillery fire.
So, the likeliest explanation is that Israeli troops engaged Hamas relatively close to the school. And a couple of artillery shells, which are “blunt instruments” exploded a bit too close for comfort to the school.
This certainly jives with what we’ve seen in videos, even from CNN’s lookout tower, where artillery shells were falling all around them.
So, for the UN to make this moral assertion without bothering to peek through the fog of war; to make this assertion that Israeli troops were targeting a UN school despite some serious contradictions: this now makes the UN the target of moral scrutiny.
Just what are they doing there? Are they there to shelter innocents? Or are they there to erode Israel’s moral authority for self defense?
Hamas has engaged Israeli troops in their own turf, in Gaza. There’s no shortage of evidence showing their willingness to hide behind civilians. This means no neighborhood is now safe from the conflict. Gaza City is imminently an occupied city, much in the tradition of Atlanta, Dresden, Berlin, Fallujah.
Why insist on keeping civilians so close to the line of fire? You want to tell me there’s no other way for them to keep civilians safe, if this is their mission? How about barges on the coast? Buildings on the border? Something that Israeli troops can secure?
And let’s not forget the video footage being shown for two days straight. It’s the same stock footage of Palestinian mothers screaming and crying, which cries out propaganda video. If people were seriously wounded, mangled, killed, the footage would be a lot more grisly.
And for the UN to take it and run with it like this, this makes them sound like a propaganda arm. Not so much for Hamas, but for the millions of anti-Semites in the streets right now, calling for death to Jews.
UN, J’accuse. Get out of Gaza, now. You serve no purpose there other than to foment further conflict around the world.