Humanitarians around the world are up in arms. Israel-the-brutal kills civilians. Israel-the-brutal kills children. The UN Human Rights’ Commissioner, Navi Pillay, has already announced that there is a ‘strong possibility’ that Israel has been committing war crimes in its attacks against Gaza (“UN's Navi Pillay warns of Israel Gaza war crimes”, BBC News, July 23, 2014). The BBC report says of her that, “Ms Pillay clearly views Israel's actions in Gaza as disproportionate” (ibid).
She has said nothing about Hamas war crimes.
Now, it appears that Ms Pillay could have something very, very disproportionate to write about tomorrow or in the next few days. Will you soon see the following headlines?
‘Israel attacks hospital. Many women and children dead…Israel commits major war crime’
Israel news media has been reporting today that Israel Defense Force (IDF) troops in Gaza have come under heavy fire for a local hospital in Gaza called, the Al-Wafa rehabilitation hospital in an area called, Shejaiya (“IDF targets hospital used as Hamas command center”, Times of Israel, July 23, 2014). Gazan gunmen have used the hospital as a staging ground for small-arms fire against the IDF. IDF spokesmen have also said that anti-tank weapons have also been fired at IDF troops from this structure and/or its grounds. What is noteworthy about this story is that news reports in Israel have stated that the IDF has repeatedly notified international agencies, hospital administrators and Palestinian officials that the hospital is being used by gunmen in this manner, and that the IDF will act accordingly. The IDF says it has also notified civilians to evacuate the premises.
Despite these efforts, nothing changed. Well, that’s not quite correct. Something did change: the intensity of attacks from the hospital increased (“IDF Returns Fire After Terrorists Attack From Gaza Hospital”, Arutz Sheva, July 23, 2014).
Given the anti-Israel bias in the UN, most particularly from Ms Pillay, do not be shocked if you see a headline in the near future accusing Israel of the ‘indiscriminate’ bombing of this hospital. Or, alternatively, you might see reference to ‘Israel’s continuing and disproportionate’ killing of women and children.
The EU, UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon and the US State Department (or White House) might join her on the 'disproportionate' bandwagon. Israel could be condemned at a special session of the Security Council, called precisely over this hospital incident.
Bombing a hospital could be the last straw for counterfeit Humanitarians. That means it could become the first brick in a UN diplomatic wall to cut Israel off from the rest of the world.
Then again, we might see a miracle. We might see either (1) no headline at all; or, (2), a spirited defense of Israel’s right to defend itself; or, biggest miracle of all, (3), expressions of outrage at Hamas’ cynical use of its own citizens as human shields.