18 Comments
Apr 3Liked by Elise Labott

When over 200 trucks wait at the border, but the UN manages to deal only with about a hundred per day, there is a problem. I am not trying to defend the terrible tragedy of the mistaken bombing, but not EVERYTHING is Israel’s fault. And it has been proven that the Nazi Hamas animals did loot trucks and took supplies to the tunnels, while selling some of them at exorbitant prices. You see, since Israel has emptied the safes found underground of millions, it seems they need money.

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Apr 3Liked by Elise Labott

Right. Let’s not forget what and who started this ongoing tragedy. So hard to ignore, though, the missteps from that point by Israel. The WCK killings are just one. There will be more.

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Apr 4Liked by Elise Labott

Great article Elise, written with humanitarian passion. We've gone beyond who started the war. The crimes of Hamas have been overshadowed by the inept and incompetent response by the Israeli government.

The WCK killings (in this case it was outright murder) are symptomatic of this incompetence. The team was in touch with the IDF all throughout the tragedy. First vehicle destroyed and they told the IDF who it was so they bombed the next one with the contact to the IDF to not fire on them. And then the third strike. That's deliberate. That's murder and that's a war crime. It's a Hagueworthy referral to the ICC for Netanyahu.

This war is a gross mistake. It is the genesis of a larger and more deadly war in the future with 1.5m people who now absolutely hate Israel with a fervent anger that won't be assuaged for another generation. Good move Israel.

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author

Bill thanks for weighing in. I agree we are at the point where who started by the war is being eclipsed by the humanitarian crisis - which has turned everyone's attention away from the horrors of October 7. Everyone has lost sight of the violent attack Israeli suffered and the continued plight of the hostages. But both things can be true. The attack was brutal and awful and Israelis are still traumatized and scared. AND Palestinians in Gaza are suffering and it's only getting worse. Something must be done - which is why I wrote this piece.

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Apr 4Liked by Elise Labott

Totally agree.

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Where are the hostages ? Why has Hamas Not agreed to the ceasefire offer ? Why has Hamas not organized aid to the population ? Will Hamas stop bombarding innocent Israelis with rockets ? Why has the UN not addressed these issues ? Innocent Palestinians are not being taken care of by Hamas !!!!

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Apr 5Liked by Elise Labott

Hamas has made two things abundantly clear. First, their entire purpose is to destroy Israel, kill Jews and then move onto the rest of the infidel world - following Mohammed’s final directive to the faithful. Second, they have declared that the safety of Gazans is none of their concern, that’s entirely up to UNRWA.

President Biden owes the American people a clear explanation for yesterday’s proclamation that the #1 priority is feeding Gazans rather than demanding the hostages’ unconditional and immediate release.

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Yes it’s true Biden is not talking about the hostages and the priority of the getting them released. But neither is Netanyahu to be fair. Let’s hope talks in Cario this weekend produce some progress.

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Apr 3Liked by Elise Labott

Like most Americans I support our “stand with Israel” policy, but I personally feel that diminishing. Not just with the WCK incident, but the entire response. The US is now IMO complicit, until the Admin stops giving 2,000 lb bombs and more until Operation Gaza Relief is implemented.

The CNN link was very disturbing info, details I hadn’t read before.

Good piece of writing, Ms. L.

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I hold Israeli to the same standard I hold the U.S.

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Nick of course the priority is a ceasefire, but that is not happening and until it does, is everyone supposed to just sit around and wait until the fighting stops to get the needed aid in? Nobody ever said US should be inside Gaza, and the article specifically does not endorse that, but the U.S. has the expertise, resources and leverage with Israel to help on the borders to alleviate the chaos of the delivery and alleviate what everyone recognizes is a untenable situation.

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This statement is misleading as fewer than 80 trucks brought in food and medicine to Gaza before Hamas broke yet another “permanent” ceasefire on October 7. The rest were building and other non-perishable materials.

“Around 500 trucks of aid are required daily to meet the basic needs of Gaza's population, but the number able to pass into Gaza falls significantly short – with trucks often waiting for days to cross.”

What we are seeing here is the usual change in the rules when it comes to Israel. Article 23 of the Fourth Geneva Convention is clear that an army is not obligated to feed an enemy civilian population where there’s a reasonable risk of diversion by enemy combatants - something that has been already well documented. Yet, Israel has cleared more aid to go into Gaza than the NGOs are able to distribute. The photos of the cleared, backlog of aid trucks confirms as much, notwithstanding the continuous finger pointing at Israel.

Also, although we are several months in to warnings of “imminent famine”, in none of the superabundance of videos coming out of Gaza do we see any evidence for the claim. One need only compare the average Gazans who appear as bystanders or interviewees with the average South Sudanese who are suffering. While food distribution may have been disrupted, that happens in war.

As a final point, the IDF strike on the WCK convoy took place at night, so the logos were not visible to the drone operators. It seems that an aid worker who was carrying something was mistaken for an armed individual.

After the initial review, two commanders have been dismissed, others reprimanded and Prime Minister Netanyahu (even before the report’s release) formally apologized.

Let’s compare that to the U.S. droning of an aid worker and his family of ten during the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal. Biden never apologized. Or the attack on Médecins Sans Frontières that killed over 40, again no Presidential apology. So a bit of humility is in order.

As a final thought, today’s humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza might have been avoided almost entirely had the West forced Egypt to give refuge to Gaza’s women, children, elderly and infirm. Instead, they unironically made Gaza a real open air prison by allowing that border to be locked down.

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I’m not going to play “whataboutism” about past or current situations in other countries, which if you knew the body of my work, I wrote about as well.

The 500 needed trucks are based on the current humanitarian crisis. Please let’s not llitigate whether there is a famine or not - as I said in the piece, you can argue with the legal definition, but whatever it is, it’s bad and getting worse.

That doesn’t take away from the plight of the hostages or what Israeli suffered at the hands of Hamas Both can be true.

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Apr 5Liked by Elise Labott

Please don’t hide behind “whataboutism” when the issue is double standards. If you want to hold Israel to a standard other than those for other democracies, then just say so. We live in an imperfect world inhabited by imperfect people. Errors happen, it’s regrettable but so is warfare itself.

As to the 500 truck issue, it makes little sense to suggest that a fourfold increase is suddenly needed. You might wish to check out the various X and Instagram accounts that show the seemingly thriving black market full of diverted humanitarian aid. Life in wartime is self-evidently different from peacetime. But if things were as dire as we’ve been told over the past several months, it’s inconceivable that there’s not abundant photographic evidence of widespread famine and disease.

It’s just something to add to the mix when trying to make sense of information coming from an area where the local stringers, doctors and pretty much everyone else in Gaza are subject to Hamas reprisals should they stray from what Hamas wants reported.

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Article is nonsense. Priority must be total ceasefire and all IDF TO LEAVE Gaza….all forms of aid will enter super fast…There should be some sort of coalition placed in Gaza but definitely no involvement from the USA…that would be absolutely disastrous….

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Apr 5Liked by Elise Labott

You forgot the hostages. Unfortunately, you are not alone in abandoning them to Hamas - and therefore making hostage taking no longer a war crime but an effective tactic against democracies.

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I agree the hostages have been secondary in everyone’s calculations here - including the Israelis, sadly. I don’t know what it is going to take for Hamas to release the hostages. I suspect the main motivator will be the ceasefire, along with release of a ton of Palestinian prisoners. Not sure aid has anything to do with it.

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Let’s be clear eyed on this. Hamas will not release the hostages, dead or alive, absent an IDF withdrawal that will allow them to declare “victory” and vindicate going forward their twin strategy of grabbing civilian hostages and placing their own people at risk.

Should Hamas survive, that will be the death knell of the PA, revitalized (whatever that means) or not. It will also destroy US deterrence worldwide as it will be seen as an entirely unreliable ally that allows short term political calculations to override its strategic national interests.

The Middle East follows different cultural norms than does the West. In that, Israel stands as something of a hybrid culture. You cannot, as the cartoon with John Kerry has it, meet someone halfway whose goal is to ”Kill the Jews”.

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