In a much celebrated poem, Victor Hugo recounts a war anecdote his father, a general in Napoleon’s, armies told. Accompanied by one of his aides, General Hugo surveys the battlefiled when he hears emerging from the dead bodies laying on the ground a feeble voice asking for a drink. He spots a badly wounded soldier from the defeated Spanish Army. Fetching his canteen from his horse’s saddle, he asks his aide to offer the wounded a drink. As the aide leans with the drink the Spaniard grabs his pistol and fires a shot at General Hugo barely missing him. Upon which General Hugo orders his aide: ” Give hin to drink anyway.” You can read the poem in the original French with an English translation at
This little story is a metaphore of Israel’s conduct of the Gaza conflict. As the battle rages it allows the supply of medecine. food, fuel, water, electricity to the supposedly besieged Gazans, without being able to control whether the goods are delivered to the population or to the combatants. A makeshift hospital was even set up to treat the wounded. Why does the UN Human Rights Council choose to ignore that Israel fulfills its compassionate humanitarian obligations toward the Gaza population?

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