What is Israel trying to do? Apart from commit war crimes and engage in genocide in Gaza? They have pounced on a sentence by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Emily Hand, where he referred to the relief that young Emily was ‘lost and now is found’. Israel’s foreign minister Eli Cohen claims Leo is trying to absolve Hamas from blame. Emily, they say, was abducted and held hostage by Hamas, not ‘lost’.
Well, Eli is right, if you’re deaf and blind to the notion of metaphor. If you’re familiar with the New Testament you can’t have missed the parable of the Prodigal Son, who, his overjoyed father says, “was lost but now is found”. Maybe the Israeli authorities are unfamiliar with the Biblical passage, so I’d urge them to hurry over to Luke 15.24. Or even, as my friend Larry Murphy reminds me, recall the words of ‘Amazing Grace’ :
But of course the Israelis have other diplomatic fish to fry. They hope by slapping down An Taoiseach, they will push other foreign leaders into concentrating solely on the suffering Israel endured on October 7 , while remaining silent on the 14,000 innocent Palestinians who have been killed by their aerial and ground assault on Gaza, with innocent children making up tens of thousands of those deaths.
Israeli clearly believes it must cow into submission anyone who stands in their way. They’re wrong. Leo Varadkar is not going to apologise for his use of words and is not going to stop calling for Israeli to end the insane carnage it is meting out in Gaza. Early on in this conflict, An Taoiseach noted that Israel had the world’s sympathy, but that that sympathy could leak away if it continued to over-react in its attacks on Palestinians in Gaza. Israel chose to ignore the warning and now only very cynical people are failing to call out Israel’s actions for what they are: war crimes and attempted genocide.
If the international community fails in coming months and years to put Israel in the dock in The Hague and try that country for war crimes, it’ll be the equivalent of Justice Minister Helen McEntee or Garda Commissioner Drew Harris saying to the rioting nasties of last Thursday in Dublin “Fire away, lads. We see no reason why you should be punished for your actions.”