Israeli soldiers listen to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in a field in southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip, October 19, 2023 (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
UPDATE 1256 GMT:
I spoke with India’s WION News about the international community’s attempt to prevent an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza while getting humanitarian aid to Gaza civilians.
We now have a contest between whether Israel invades on the ground or whether there is significant humanitarian aid to help civilians.
You cannot have both.
UPDATE, OCT 26:
I joined The Pat Kenny Show on Dublin NewsTalk on Wednesday to review the latest situation, including international efforts to prevent an Israeli invasion of Gaza, the escalating death toll from Israel’s bombing, and the need for significant humanitarian aid to separate the civilians in Gaza from Hamas — as well as to save lives.
Along the way, I knock back the propaganda lines of Israel’s Ambassador to Ireland, Dana Erlich.
Listen from 9:35:
Any discussion of what has happened since October 7 has to begin with Hamas crossing a line with the deliberate murder of more than 1000 Israeli civilians and foreign nationals.
But you cannot dismiss that we are now close to 6,000 people killed in Gaza since October 7, about 5,000 of them civilians. We cannot remove the context behind this: Hamas refusing to accept the state of Israel, and Israel blockading the civilians of the Gaza Strip since 2007.
The Israelis, rather than taking the message of UN Secretary General António Guterres to heart, falsely accused him of taking only side and called on him to resign. They are now blocking any visit by UN personnel, including the head of humanitarian operations at a time when humanitarian operations are essential.
I have friends who lost family in Israel on October 7. My heart grieves. But my heart grieves also for those in Gaza. And no politician — whether from Hamas or Israel — should use those civilians as pawns for mass murder.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, OCT 24:
I joined Al Jazeera English’s Inside Story on Monday to analyze the latest position over Hamas’s mass killing of civilians and Israel’s response with mass killing in Gaza.
The other panelists are Yossi Mekelberg of London’s Chatham House and Roxane Farmanfarmaian of the University of Cambridge.
Our discussion considers whether Israel will accompany its intense bombing with a ground invasion, as Hamas holds about 220 Israelis and foreign nationals hostage.
We also look at the state of negotiations for humanitarian aid to Gaza’s civilians and at the possibility that the cycle of violence can be broken.
The key, both symbolic and political, is getting that aid into Gaza.
The argument of much of the international community is that you must get space between civilians and Hamas, must get civilians away from the idea that Hamas is their only protector.
For that, you need not a few dozen aid trucks. You need hundreds, indeed thousands, going in and going in very soon.