Sometimes sorry just isn’t enough

Wednesday was a day filled with sorrow and reflection as I learned about a tragic event unfolding in Gaza. A missile strike by the Israeli Defence Force claimed the lives of seven individuals associated with the World Central KitchenAid organization. Among them were three British citizens: John Chapman, James Anderson, and James Kirby. My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their lives in this catastrophe, particularly those working tirelessly to alleviate the severe food shortages plaguing the people of Gaza.

The mission of World Central Kitchen, to feed the most vulnerable under dire conditions, where some have had to resort to animal feed for sustenance, is nothing short of heroic. This calamity, however, casts a shadow on their noble work, revealing the precarious nature of providing aid in conflict zones.

The admission by IDF Chief Herzi Halevi, attributing the strike to misidentification, does little to assuage the gravity of the situation. The meticulous targeting of vehicles marked with the World Central Kitchen emblem seems to point to a breakdown not just in the fog of war but in accountability and oversight by one of the world’s most technologically advanced militaries.

In a separate, equally disturbing event, a suspected Israeli strike demolished the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria. This act, resulting in the death of seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), escalates tensions further and breaches the sanctity of diplomatic missions, a cornerstone of international relations.

These events have reignited the discourse on the Israel-Palestine conflict, underscoring the urgent need for peace and the problematic nature of ongoing arms sales to Israel. Calls for a ceasefire from former Supreme Court Justices and reconsideration of support for UNWRA highlight the potential complicity in serious violations of international law.

The paradox of the British government advocating for an end to hostilities while contemplating an $18 billion arms deal with Israel raises questions about the role of nation-states in perpetuating conflict under the guise of defence. As Britain stands at a crossroads in its 70-year alliance with Israel, the decision to suspend arms sales, as suggested by Sir Ed Davey, could signal a pivotal shift towards holding friends accountable and championing what is just and humane.

The ramifications of these incidents extend beyond immediate loss, challenging us to consider the broader implications of our actions and the paths we choose to pursue peace. The complexity of geopolitical dynamics, where indirect engagements threaten stability despite attempts at diplomatic resolution, calls for a nuanced and principled approach to conflict resolution.

As we stand witness to these unfolding events, we must ask ourselves the hard questions about the roles we play, the values we uphold, and the world we wish to see. It is a moment for introspection, for holding fast to the ideals of peace and justice, and for tirelessly working towards a future where the dignity and rights of all individuals are respected and protected.

* Mo Waqas is a member in Middlesbrough and the PPC for Middlesbrough and Thornaby East.

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  • David Wright 7th Apr '24 - 4:45pm

    According to the World Central Kitchen founder, their vehicles were deliberately targetted – see
    I’m not saying this was ordered by the Israeli government, but nor was it a chance bomb that went the wrong way. Clearly someone on the ground intended to hit those vehicles. As to with what: modern anti-tank missiles (such as we supplied to Ukraine) fly over their target then down through the roof, which is usually weaker than the tank sides. The hole in the roof and the evidence of intense heat inside the vehicle seen in news photos suggest that this was what hit it. Of course a falling bomb might have gone in through the top too, but I think that would have exploded the vehicle rather than caused an intense fire inside without destroying the sides.

  • Mohammed Waqas 7th Apr '24 - 11:25pm

    Please note this comment is an error What is the source of the number in the sentence “The paradox of the British government advocating for an end to hostilities while contemplating an $18 billion arms deal with Israel?

    I meant to add whilst the US government contemplates giving $18 billion in aid.

  • Mary Fulton 8th Apr '24 - 8:17am

    @Mohammed Amin
    Al Jazeera reported last week that the USA is considering an £18Bn arms deal with Israel.

  • Ruth Bright 8th Apr '24 - 10:47am

    A dreadful and shocking matter Mo.

    But are there any apologies forthcoming for the butchering of 22 year-old Shani Louk, paraded around like an animal with her crop top pushed to one side and her legs splayed?

    No, thought not.

  • These throw a spotlight on why this may have happened:

    Lavender’: The AI machine directing Israel’s bombing spree in Gaza

    Additional information is in this Guardian article

    Top Israeli spy chief exposes his true identity in online security lapse

    Basically, Israeli forces relied on their AI targeting system treating its output as if it were a human decision and thus command.

  • Helen Dudden 8th Apr '24 - 11:37am

    The Ukraine is being torn to pieces and still we give millions of pounds. What ever happened. War kills and kills innocent people.
    The 7th October was a crime. We have people living on the streets and includes children.
    Look at what’s happening here. Human waste poured into open water without treatment.
    Our country is a shambles. Grooming gangs and knife crime.
    If I am not for .myself…….. you know the rest.

  • @Mohammed – I suspect Mo is either getting confused or something got lost in the editing.

    UKs arms sales to Israel:

    US arms sales:
    Biden considers $18bn arms transfer to Israel, including F-15 jets

    I would have thought the US only needed to commit to the defence of Israel in the event of a neighbour deciding to attack Israel, anything else demonstrates support for the war crimes being committed against the people of Gaza.

  • Steve Trevethan 8th Apr '24 - 2:39pm

    If, as reported below, the Iranian government has reacted to a deadly Israeli attack by responding in a way which seems to have the potential to move combatants and their peoples, direct and indirect, towards peace, then they are to be commended for this action, which one hopes, may encourage others to behave similarly.

  • Zachary Adam Barker 8th Apr '24 - 8:14pm

    “The Ukraine is being torn to pieces and still we give millions of pounds.”

    Torn to pieces by Russia. All countries, including Ukraine have a UN enshrined right to defend itself. In that regard we should be proud of giving Ukrainians the chance to fight off what is a nakedly imperialist invasion.

  • What has been overshadowed by the Gaza conflict is the increase in attacks by illegal extremist Jewish ‘settlers’ on Palestinian villages and farms in the West bank.. 2023 saw the highest number of attacks…The settlers act with impunity as there seems no attempt by the Israeli authorities to protect those who are supposedly Israeli citizens..

  • Peter Hirst 19th Apr '24 - 2:04pm

    Saying sorry does nothing except assuage the perpretrator. Making amends and ensuring the event does not recur are much better. I am not aware of Israel doing either.

  • Peter Hirst 19th Apr '24 - 2:29pm

    We all make mistakes. Sometimes all we can do is say sorry and move on. Hopefully we also learn from the mistake and perhaps grow because of it. If the mistake has serious consequences then amends might be in order as well a more formal mechanism for learning so it does not reccur.

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