Save the Children Demands ‘Guarantees That Guarantee Nothing’

July 13, 2015 by Ted Lapkin
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Another week, another so-called ‘report’ casting aspersions against Israel. Or so it seems….writes Ted Lapkin.In quick succession we’ve gone from a flawed Breaking the Silence document, through a faulty UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) manifesto and now to a partisan missive from Save the Children.

Ted Lapkin

Ted Lapkin

This week’s Save the Children report, entitled A Living Nightmare: Gaza One Year On, implements the same polemical tactic we observed last month in the UNHRC’s so-called Independent Commission of Inquiry on Gaza. A partisan assault is mounted against Israel behind the rhetorical fig-leaf of a few superficial assertions against Hamas that are meant to prove the authors’ impartiality.

In the case of Save the Children, the fig-leaf manifests itself in the form of a few perfunctory references to trauma inflicted on Israeli children by nine years of rocket fire from Gaza. On page 2 the report reveals: “Meanwhile, children in Israel report that they live in fear of a return to conflict.” Gee, thanks for that.

At the risk of waxing pedantic, I note that only 89 words of this 2,600-plus-word report – confined to a mere eight sentences – make any mention of the psychological injury inflicted on Israeli children by year-after-year of rocket fire. In other words, less than four per cent of this report makes reference to the suffering of Israeli toddlers-to-teenagers. Save the Children shows little interest in ‘saving’ Jewish children who live within the Jewish state.

The report is replete with quotations from Gazan children who recount the privations and distress they incur. Yet the truth is sad enough without partisan embellishment of the situation by Save the Children’s authors. On page 5 the report asserts that food is in “short supply”, implying that the people of Gaza are somehow threatened by malnutrition, or even famine. This apocalyptic narrative flies in the face of the 800 trucks filled with food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies that enter Gaza each day via Israel. And never mind that Israel is currently investing another USD$ 10 million to upgrade the capacity of the Gaza border crossings so that the daily tally of supply trucks will be in excess of one thousand.

And forget about the fact that the carrying capacity of those trucks on the outward leg hasn’t been wasted, either. Save the Children doesn’t want you to know that since October 2014 nearly six million tons of Gazan industrial goods and agricultural produce have been exported through Israel for sale in West Bank and overseas.

There’s is no denying the present situation in Gaza constitutes a major human tragedy, despite all of Israel’s best efforts at amelioration. But Save the Children cannot bring itself to identify the primary agent responsible for this sad state of affairs. Recommendation 3 begins well enough; with a robust demand for “an end to violations of international law”. But then Save the Children’s language slips-and-slides into mealy-mouthed diplomatese that invokes a “push for greater accountability of all parties [unnamed of course], including guarantees of non-repetition.” Uh huh.

At the risk of transgressing Godwin’s Law it’s all rather reminiscent of a great line from one of my all time favourite movies, The Battle of Britain. Early on in the film there’s a scene in which a senior official from the German foreign ministry arrives at the British legation in Berne to try and negotiate a peace deal between Hitler and Churchill. The German diplomat – played by Curt Jürgens – declares “The Fuehrer is being very reasonable. He offers guarantees …” At which point the British ambassador – played by Ralph Richardson – interjects: “Experience shows the Fuehrer’s ‘guarantees’ guarantee nothing!”

Ralph Richardson in “Battle of Britain”

And in this vein it’s useful to note that Save the Children offers no advice – sage or other – to offer about how precisely those “guarantees of non-repetition” are supposed to work in the real world.

But then Save the Children miraculously finds the courage to make a specific finding about a specific party to the conflict in recommendation 4. There the report demands that “Israel should lift the blockade” in order “to allow the rebuilding of homes and schools.” Wonderful in theory, except for the awkward fact that Hamas has a nasty habit of commandeering building materials for use in the construction of attack tunnels into Israel.

In an op-ed that appeared this week in the Herald Sun, Save the Children’s Dave Hassell expressed the hope that “things will change for the better” so that Gaza’s children can regain some sense of normalcy. The ZFA shares that hope.

But we’re also realistic enough to understand such change will happen only when Gaza is liberated from the repressive rule of Hamas, a jihadi movement that seeks Israel’s destruction and the murder of every Jew on the planet.

Last year the UN Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) conceded that Hamas terrorists used UN schools as ammunition depots, a practice UNRWA described as “a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law.”

We’d suggest that Save the Children would better served focusing its wroth on the immoral practices of jihadi terrorists that endanger Gaza’s children by using schools for military purposes; except for one detail. If Dave Hassel were outspoken enough to voice such public disapproval of Hamas he’d likely end up in the same condition as so many of the movement’s other critics – dead.

Ted Lapkin is the Director of Public Affairs & Advocacy for the Zionist Federation of Australia and a former Israeli combat-intelligence officer.

 

Comments

One Response to “Save the Children Demands ‘Guarantees That Guarantee Nothing’”
  1. Naomi Robertson says:

    Segments of the “Save the Children” report aired on ABC News Radio and on the TV news of both ABC and SBS on 7 July. All coverage was blatantly biased and featured a Palestinian mother going on about how her 11-year-old son wets the bed (the broadcasting of which fact around the world in itself constituting child abuse, I believe), which she and the report attributed to Israeli aggression. I have written to both SBS and the ABC to protest this biased coverage, which I said constituted an attempt to delegitimise the state of Israel. I have yet to get a response. If anyone else wants to send a letter of protest to the ABC, SBS or “Save the Children” itself, I would be very pleased. If complaints reach critical mass, there is a chance that we can forestall future broadcasts that inflame Australians against Israel.

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