Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Aaronovitch, Israel and the "pointlessness" of war zealotry

The explosive admission that white phosphorous was used against civilians in Gaza.

Do you remember when last year war zealot and Tony Blair fan David Aaronovitch wrote of the "pointlessness" of accusing Israel of disproportionate force in Gaza?

"Pointless outrage", he called it, as he wrote in the Times that "Israel takes care with its targeting, [the Palestinians] don't".

Like he still does over Iraq, Aaronovitch was oozing confidence that yet another war was "morally just".

Around that time, Amnesty International and other observers obtained evidence that Israel had used white phosphorous -reports also substantiated by Aaronovitch's own paper, the Times. All "pointless" stuff, of course.

And yet the UN too, with the Goldstone report, accused the IDS of using "disproportionate force", a claim that was immediately rejected by the Israeli government as "flawed from A to Z", "biased" and "ludicrous", along with allegations that white phosphorous had been used.

One year later and the tune has changed. The Israeli government published its report to the UN, admitting -crucially- that "[S]everal artillery shells were fired in violation of the rules of engagement prohibiting use of such artillery near populated areas". In particular, the report refers to a UN compound sheltering 700 civilians that was set ablaze by white phosphorus shells.

Which, I guess, goes to show the "pointlessness" of overpaid commentators a-la Aaronovitch.

1 comment:

Ben E said...

While I agree that the use of White Phosphorous was appalling, another article in The Times does make a valid point about the way in which this is being dealt with internally by Israel.