Here is what he said on a visit to the London office of Medical Aid for Palestinians: “Sadiq Khan fears a ‘disproportionate’ Israeli response to Hamas’ terrorist attacks could lead to ‘inexplicable suffering’ in Gaza,” by Oliver Price, Daily Mail, October 13, 2023:
The Mayor of London has said he fears a ‘disproportionate’ response by Israel to the ‘terrorist’ attacks by Hamas could lead to ‘inexplicable suffering’ in Gaza.
What exactly, in Sadiq Khan’s view, would be a “proportionate” response to the decapitation of dozens of babies, the murders of hundreds of children, the rape and murder of young girls, the torture and murder, sometimes by beheading, of 280 IDF soldiers, the kidnapping of Holocaust survivors in wheelchairs? Last I looked, Israel had not decapitated anyone, not a single child in Gaza was deliberately targeted, no Palestinian girls were raped or murdered, and the IDF, in fact, has been making heroic efforts to warn civilians away from places it is about to target, by messaging, telephoning, and using the “knock-on-the-roof” technique. Now it has urged Gazan civilians to move from the northern part of the Strip to the south, in order to avoid being caught in the fighting that will follow the IDF’s imminent invasion. It is Israel that is trying to save civilian lives, and Hamas, by insisting that they stay put in the north, that is trying to endanger them.
Sadiq Khan can hardly be unaware of that longstanding practice by the IDF. We also know that while Israel has dropped 6,000 bombs on Gaza, to destroy weapons hideouts, rocket launchers, command-and-control centers, and the offices of Hamas leaders, only 1417 Gazans have died so far, as of Oct. 14, which means that for every four bombs the IAF drops, only one Gazan is killed — an astounding figure that testifies to the care the IAF takes to minimize casualties through its multifaceted system of warnings. And while we know that 85% of the Israelis who were murdered by Hamas were civilians, we don’t know as yet how many of the Gazans killed were civilians. I doubt, judging by the results of the IAF’s previous bombings in the Strip, that more than a quarter of the Gazans killed in this war so far have been civilians. Of course, Hamas lies about its casualties. It always has done so, inflating the numbers of women and children killed, just as it prepares Palestinian families to cry on camera, and provides them with scripts of what to say to foreign journalists. That will all be investigated once the war is over, and Hamas as a military force is crushed. What Sadiq Khan should have said, under the circumstances, is that “I am aware of the enormous efforts Israel makes to minimize civilian casualties and I know that will continue in the coming days” instead of scolding the Jewish state in such an intolerable manner.
Sadiq Khan also called for the Israeli government to reconsider blocking off food, water and electricity to the region in response to the killings and kidnappings by the militant group, which led to the deaths of more than 1,000 Israelis [now 1,300] last weekend.
Israel is hoping to bring an end to this war to crush Hamas as quickly as possible, with as little loss of civilian life as possible. The Jewish state is under no obligation to supply anything at all to the people of Gaza, who have produced Hamas, who join Hamas, who support Hamas even if they are not members. The Gazans now have one plant that generates electricity, and have relied on Israel — their mortal enemy, whom they are determined to destroy — to supply the rest of its electricity needs. Israel was willing to do this in the past, but not now, in the middle of a war, and especially not after the atrocities visited upon its people by Hamas. The Gazans could by now have had several electricity plants built and in operation, had Hamas not chosen instead to spend billions on terror tunnels and weapons, and on the luxurious lives of its thieving leaders.
Why should Israel be expected to supply its enemies with any resources? Would the Americans have delivered food and water to Nazi Germany, or to militarist Japan, during World War II? Would we have supplied electricity, food, or fuel to those living in the Islamic State? Gaza has the coastal aquifer to supply some water, and it is not completely, as Sadiq Khan claims, “without water.” Gaza’s chronic lack of water is a result of three things: weak resource management, rapid population growth, and a failure to pay for WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) infrastructure. Is Israel at fault if Gazans have so many children, and that staggering increase in population requires more water? Is Israel to blame for the mismanagement of water resources by Hamas, including its allowing raw sewage to flow, untreated, into the sea? Or should we blame Israel for the billions of dollars in aid siphoned off by a handful of Hamas leaders, with five billion dollars being stolen by just two of them, Khaled Meshaal and Mousa Abu Marzouk? Did Israel force Hamas to spend so much money on war-making rather than on the husbanding and production of water? Hasn’t Israel in the past offered to share with the Palestinians its own advances in drip irrigation, and the Watergen technology that allows water to be produced from the ambient air?
During a visit today to Islington-based charity Medical Aid For Palestinians (MAP), the Labour mayor said: ‘I’ve spoken to Londoners who lost family members in Gaza and Londoners who’ve lost family as a consequence of the Hamas terrorist attack last weekend, so we’re feeling the pain here.
Khan refers first to the Palestinians who died in Gaza (the family members “lost” by Londoners), and only after that, in a tortuous locution, he refers to “Londoners who’ve lost family as a consequence of the Hamas terrorist attack last weekend.” No. Say it straight, Sadiq: “Londoners whose family members were murdered by Hamas.”
‘But we are worried about the response of the Israeli government being disproportionate (and) leading to the sort of suffering which is inexplicable.’
Mr Khan added: ‘We’re talking about human suffering on a scale which this charity, who has worked in that area for decades, hasn’t seen.’
The “human suffering” Khan is talking about is not that of the Israelis. No, he’s talking only about the ”human suffering” in Gaza, which is a direct result of Hamas’ murders, rapes, mutilations, and desecrations of the dead. Khan might better have directed his sympathy at the Israeli victims, instead of exaggerating the “suffering” of the Gazans, many of whom were celebrating the Hamas murders. And why is their “suffering” described by Khan as “inexplicable”? Israel’s response is perfectly explicable. It is what the U.K., or the U.S., or any Western state, if its people had been attacked in a manner similar to what Israel endured on Oct. 7, would do in response. The only difference is that no other country would make it a policy to warn enemy civilians away from targets, as Israel routinely does. Think of how many tens of thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan were collateral damage, killed by the American army in an attempt to hunt down terrorists and their supporters.
Speaking to an ITV journalist at the same event, he added: ‘The concerns many of us have is the response from the Israeli government and its disproportionality in relation to the suffering in Gaza.
The response of the Israeli government can hardly be described as “disproportionate,” given what Israel has suffered. Despite having endured every conceivable atrocity at the hands of Hamas, the Israelis still continue their policy of warning civilians away from targeted structures, which also allows Hamas members to escape. And Israel still provides medical care, albeit in prison hospitals, to wounded members of Hamas.
According to Sadiq Khan:
‘No child has joined Hamas to my knowledge. Those people who are in hospital aren’t members of Hamas.
No child has joined Hamas, and no child in Gaza is being targeted by Israel. Some of them live in or near buildings where Hamas has weapons, or offices, or hideouts for its fighters. The IDF tries to minimize harm to these human shields held hostage by Hamas. No child is being targeted by the IDF, and Sadiq Khan knows that. As for the people in Gazan hospitals, he knows, too, that Hamas has for decades hidden weapons and fighters in and beneath hospitals (as it has, too, in schools, apartment buildings, and mosques); the IDF warns the staffs of those hospitals well in advance of targeting buildings near them so that both the medical personnel and the patients can be moved out. And why is Sadiq Khan so sure that the people now in Gazan hospitals are not members of Hamas? I would guess that thousands of the wounded belong to Hamas.
‘Of course, Israel must go after Hamas but what’s happening in Gaza is suffering on a scale which this charity has never seen.’
Perhaps this Palestinian charity has never seen such “suffering,” but the rest of the world saw the suffering of the Israelis last week, a suffering that is incommensurable with any suffering the Gazans may have endured. Sadiq Khan seems to have forgotten all that; after all, nearly a whole week has passed. He’s forgotten what happened to the Israelis; now his attention is focused on “suffering” in Gaza that is “on a scale which this charity [Medical Aid for Palestinians] “has never seen.”
The Labour mayor urged the British Government to put pressure on Israel to practice restraint, adding: ‘I’m hoping the Israeli government will reconsider, understanding the pressure internationally, when you hear what the United Nations is saying, what the World Health Organization is saying, and when you listen to those people on the ground.
Israel doesn’t need Sadiq Khan, or anyone else, to tell it to exercise restraint. Every time the Israelis give a warning to the inhabitants about a building about to be targeted, knowing that such a warning will also allow Hamas terrorists to escape, it exercise restraint. Every time an Israeli pilot calls off an attack because he’s detected the presence of too many civilians, he is exercising restraint. There is only one side in this war that is unrestrained in its murderous depravity — Hamas. Sadiq Khan is posting his letter to the wrong address.
‘We should use our good relationship with the Israeli government to remind them of the importance of responding proportionately, allowing food, water, and medicine to reach the people of Gaza, and explain the unreasonableness of expecting over one million people, a population the size of Birmingham, to leave their homes and go south.
Why is it unreasonable for Israel to try to minimize civilian casualties by warning Gazans that remaining in the north will be dangerous, for it is there that the war will soon explode? It is Hamas that is urging the people in the north to stay put, in order — so Hamas hopes — that many of them will be killed, thus providing a propaganda victory for the terrorist group. We have seen hundreds of thousands of Gazans have already been moving south, showing that they trust the Israeli warning, and know that in the south they will be relatively secure, while they have no faith in Hamas, which actively seeks to endanger them.
‘Speaking to people here, there’s no way for them to go south.’
That’s what Sadiq Khan said, just the day before the movement southward was underway in Gaza. Apparently, the Gazans did find “a way for them to go south.” Almost half a million have now done exactly what Sadiq Khan said there is “no way” for them to do.
On Twitter, Sadiq Khan showed where his sympathies lay:
Good to spend time with Medical Aid for Palestinians who are doing essential humanitarian work supporting civilians in Gaza. The situation in Gaza was already incredibly difficult, but what Palestinians are facing now is dire.
Khan has also written to Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, calling for “humanitarian aid” for Gaza. Khan posted his letter to Cleverly on Instagram with a comment:
I’ve written to the Foreign Secretary about the situation in the Middle East, and to call for urgent action to deliver humanitarian access and support to and from Gaza, echoing the @unitednations and @who.
Why doesn’t Sadiq Khan ask for the obvious? That is, why doesn’t Egypt open up the Rafah Crossing at the Egypt-Gaza border to let some Gazans out, to live temporarily in tent cities in the Sinai, and at the same time, to let humanitarian aid flow freely into Gaza? Doesn’t Sadiq Khan realize that Egypt will as of now neither let Gazans in so that they may take refuge in their country while hostilities are ongoing, nor will Cairo allow humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza through the Rafah Crossing?
Sadiq Khan’s palpable sympathy for the Palestinians and his want of sympathy for Israel, have both been on display this week. Let us hope that despite the Muslim bloc of voters who will support him, the indigenous British, who still constitute 85% of the electorate in London, will take note of his views, and in 2024 vote him out of office. He’s been mayor since 2016; it’s long past time he was shown — unceremoniously — the door.