Note: I have tried to avoid socio-political commentary lately because a) I’m really no expert at it and b) it invites all sorts of stupid opinions that I’d rather live without. However, the internet has provided a forum for armchair U.N. Secretary generals (aka blogs) so I’ll voice out my opinions in a snarky letter to the Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni.
Despite the fact that you’re pretty hot for an Israeli Foreign Minister, I must say I have some issues with your recent CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour.
AMANPOUR: You say it will help the peace process. But every time Israel goes to war against — whether it’s Hezbollah or even whether it’s against Hamas, it does in fact end up helping those who are the victims or the targets of your war, particularly given how many civilians are being killed by your forces in Gaza.
LIVNI: I can understand that the reality — not only the pictures coming from Gaza, but the reality can provoke and can make demonstrations, and provoke demonstrations in different parts of the world, especially in the Arab world. I can understand the empathy that public and the public opinion in different parts toward the Palestinians. We are not fighting the Palestinians. We are fighting Hamas, a terrorist organization which controls Gaza strip.
Now, it is true, and you asked me, there are also civil casualties. But we are trying to avoid civil casualties, even though it’s not easy, while Hamas is targeting our civilians as a target. Now…
Yes, well, I can see how it can be difficult not to target civilians from so far away, in your jets and helicopters. Oops, hit another market next to that supposed Hamas hideout! Damn. Well, you can’t win ’em all! Also, please don’t belittle the population of the world by saying you understand why your actions can provoke demonstrations for you to stop killing Palestinians (and let’s be clear, members of Hamas are Palestinian) because if you truly understood why people find your actions so abhorrent you’d stop immediately.
AMANPOUR: Mrs. Livni, all Israelis feel that’s a very, very bad thing, and everybody knows that — most people accept that it is Hamas who provoked the — your incursion. However, more than 400 Palestinians have been killed, many of them are children, many of them are women. More than 2,000 have been wounded, many of them children, many of them women and elderly men. There are a lot of civilians amongst the casualties. What are you going to do to avoid that, and can you in this case?
LIVNI: What we are doing is trying to avoid it. We are putting now our forces at risk because there are certain things that we didn’t want to do from the air in highly populated areas. This is what we are doing.
Wait wait wait, so to answer the question What are you going to do to avoid that, you say “What we are doing is trying to avoid it.” Nice save there Tzipi. Debate much? Glad to see you’re putting some of your forces at risk btw, I was afraid they’d get bored shooting people from a distance. I mean, that IS their job right? as soldiers? To be in the line of fire? As opposed to say, children.
AMANPOUR: The Palestinians leadership complain very bitterly about the disproportionate use of Israeli force. What is your view on the proportionality of your response?
LIVNI: I have to say that I can’t understand what is the nature of proportionality which is needed. I mean, they targeted last week a school in Beersheba, in Israel. Do you think that the proportionate action is to target a school?…
So the only measure that we are taking is to have them understand that this needs to be stopped. This is the expression of self-defense, the right of self-defense of a state.
And we tried — we tried a truce. We decided not to target at all. We decided not to retaliate at all. It didn’t help. So this time, we needed to say that, yes, maybe it is not according to — we are not answering one to one, one more to one missile to come from Israel. This needs to be stopped. So the question of proportionality I think is being misused against Israel.
I have to say that I can’t understand your inability to understand the nature of proportionality. The bottom line is that the ratio of killed is maybe 600 to 6. 100:1. 100 Palestinian lives for one Israeli life. OK, so maybe it’s not fair because, you know, Hamas is a terrorist organization, and Israel is a state, with every right to defend itself. But even if we throw all those arguments out the door the ratio 100:1 only means one thing: You’re better killers than they are.
I think I’ll leave it at that. Full interview transcript can be found here.