Note: This is different from what I posted earlier today under a slightly different title. I made the significant mistake of assuming that there was only one Tristan. I was wrong. I apologize.
On June 9th, reader Tristan wrote the following as a comment to my posting: “Israel Attack; Gaza: the Background” :
“UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Saturday Israel’s blockade of Gaza is illegal and should be lifted, and reiterated calls for an investigation into Israel’s raid on aid supply ships this week, Reuters reported.
“International humanitarian law prohibits starvation of civilians as a method of warfare and … it is also prohibited to impose collective punishment on civilians,” Pillay said.
Just the facts, Maam.”
Here is a small part of an Associated Press dispatch released to-day 6/10/10 on the nature of the Israeli embargo:
“…Palestinian official Raed Fattouh, who coordinates the flow of goods into Gaza with Israel said soda, juice, jam, spices, shaving cream, potato chips, cookies, and candy were now permitted.”
(And, no, don’t worry, I have not lifted out of context to twist the meaning of the whole dispatch. I don’t do this sort of things.)
Tristan’s endorsement of Pillay’s solemn declaration means that he believes Israel is starving the population of Gaza. (Else, why would he quote the quoter?) Tristan’s comment on my blog is contrary to fact except if one believes one of the following:
1 Palestinian Raed Fattouh is actually an overt agent of Israel although he is sure to be uncovered and very likely to end up assassinated;
2 Israel’s embargo now allows cookies and jam into Gaza but it still blocks essentials such as pasta and flour for bread, for example;
3 Associated Press is lying in an easily verifiable assertion.
Is Tristan going to change his mind even a tiny bit about anything now that he has been shown evidence that the UN bureaucrat he quotes is lying or does not know what he is talking about? I don’t know, I would like to know.
More generally, I am chronically perplexed by the insanity of otherwise sane people. Individuals who live otherwise rational lives will hold beliefs oddly at odds with obvious reality. It does not seem to impede their functioning in other areas. I am so interested, I would welcome reading suggestions by intellectually serious people on the topic.
And, of course, I wonder if I have escaped the curse completely. I know I am rational and devoted to facts in general. I wonder if there are nooks and corners of my mind that don’t follow suit. How about you?