Andrew Sullivan writes: I have only one thing to add to the endless news of Israel’s brutal, unrelenting onslaught in Gaza: and it’s at the very end of a live TV interview Chris Gunness did today. Gunness is the head of the UN’s Relief and Works Agency in Gaza. Israel bombed another of their schools today, killing children sleeping in a place they thought was safe. This seems to me to be the only human response:
I’m trying to restrain my emotions for the sake of intellectual clarity. In that spirit, a reader rightly noted how the US, in Afghanistan, has also killed children in collateral damage. That’s undeniable, and because we do not have video or photographs of the aftermath of drone strikes, we may be, in Gaza, seeing something that we too have done in counter-terrorism, and not fully owned. An independent study – at variance with official statistics – came to the following, harrowing conclusion:
“TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 – 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 – 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 – 1,362 individuals,” according to the Stanford/NYU study.
I cannot verify this – but I do not dispute the core point it makes. Singling out Israel for blame in atrocities is unfair when the US has done exactly the same – and when the level of sheer annihilation and misery in, say, Syria rivals and easily surpasses the gruesome toll and utter devastation in Gaza. But there are differences as well. The grimmest survey finds that the US killed 176 children over eight years; Israel has now killed over 250 children in a few weeks. And Syria is a full-scale civil war with evenly matched forces. Gaza is utterly at the mercy of Israel, whose Iron Dome has kept civilian Israeli deaths to a bare minimum. So this is truly a Goliath vs David moment in Gaza. And Goliath is still pounding David into the dust.