UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has been touring the ruins of Gaza. The destruction, he said, is “beyond description” and a “source of shame to the international community.”
Is it? Why?
Before we try to answer that question, let’s just imagine for a moment that he’d visited the ruins of Berlin in 1945 and engaged in similar pontificating.
Would it have shed useful light on the situation, do we think, if camera crews had caught him looking very sad, surrounded by flattened buildings? Might it have added to anyone’s understanding of the background to the conflict if – as he did in Gaza – Ban had visited a school where several children had been killed and lamented the loss of their innocent lives?
Of course it wouldn’t because the impression given would have been deeply misleading. The sympathies of most people watching the footage would naturally be drawn to the victims of this carnage. And their natural antipathy would be directed at the people most apparently responsible for this destruction: in this case, the Allies.
So it is with Ban’s visit to Gaza. The United Nations is supposed to be a neutral arbiter on international affairs. But from this latest press stunt there can only have been one victor: not Israel which took every reasonable precaution to prevent the civilian casualties Ban laments; but the vicious terrorist organisation which provoked the war and was cynically complicit in so many of the deaths attributed to Israel, up to and including the brutal murder of innocent children – Hamas.