To err, it is said, is human. Yet admitting a mistake seems a step beyond many people, especially politicians. Napolean Bonaparte said “in politics… never admit a mistake” but we now know that taking responsibility and correcting a mistake is seen as the sign of truly great leadership, especially when the error is obvious. And so we must show respect to two men who have corrected themselves over the past week in displays of rare integrity.
- Daniel Sugarman is a staff reporter for the Jewish Chronicle who wrote “A few days ago I said I could not and would not defend Israel’s actions. Now, in the cold light of day, I could not and would not see how I would fail to defend them.”
- Nick Boles is a conservative member of the UK parliament who tweeted “Yesterday I criticised Israel’s handling of the protests at the Gaza border. I should not have been so quick to judge. We now learn that 50 of those killed were Hamas terrorists. Israel had an absolute right to defend itself against such attacks.”
There are countless others on social media or in private who likely also changed their mind and admitted that the knee-jerk reaction of blaming Israel was misguided in the case of the deaths on the Gaza border. Unfortunately, some of the New Zealand political leadership and media have not been able to correct themselves. We have previously highlighted 10 points the mainstream media in New Zealand have not widely reported. Those points and the updates we have given in our newsletters should give the following leaders and media pause:
- Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern – “It is the right of any nation to defend their border, but this is a devastating, one-sided loss of life.”
- Green Party co-leader, Marama Davidson – “…the [US] embassy opening has… been used by the Israeli Government to justify their massacre of Palestinians… This slaughter is all the evidence we need that Trump’s move makes peace less likely and makes life for those living in Gaza more dangerous.”
- Newshub journalist, Duncan Garner – “They’re assassinations, aren’t they? This is a war crime and this needs to be investigated.”
- Newshub journalist, Amanda Gillies – “they [Gazans] weren’t armed, they were shot at”.
- Newshub journalist, Mike McRoberts – “I just thought what happened yesterday, considering they were on the border – they weren’t actually in Israel – was just barbaric and unfortunately it’s a legacy of disproportionate responses seen from the Israeli defense force”.
Though it is, regrettably, unlikely that the fact that Israel used non-lethal methods such as issuing warnings, tear gas, skunk water, and rubber bullets before resorting to live ammunition; or the admission that at least 50 of fatalities were Hamas terrorists; or the clear intent of the riots were to breach the border and kill Israelis will be acknowledged by those above. They have made their statements and it remains to be seen whether they have the integrity to admit they were mistaken.