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  1. Ideas
20 October 2023

When we whisper together

On the hollow solidarity of our leaders.

By Ryan Ruby

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats’ feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

               —TS Eliot, “The Hollow Men” (1925)

The Security Council’s intervention in the Gaza crisis – a Russian-led draft calling for a ceasefire – was voted down on Monday. Despite this setback, diplomatic efforts are in full swing as it prepares to consider another text on the unprecedented crisis.
—UN News, 17 October


We are all shocked by the scenes at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital.
—Rishi Sunak, 18 October

Heartbroken by the death of hundreds at the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist hospital in Gaza.
—David Lammy, 17 October

I am saddened by the strike against the Al-Ahli Hospital and the huge death toll.
—Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, 18 October

I am deeply saddened by what happened at Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.
—Giorgia Meloni, 18 October

Deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.
—Antony Blinken, 18 October

I am horrified by the images of the explosion in a hospital in Gaza.
—Olaf Scholz, 18 October

I’m horrified by the loss of life at Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza.
—Justin Trudeau, 17 October

I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, and the terrible loss of life that resulted.
—Joe Biden, 17 October

I grieve for each person lost.
—Elizabeth Warren, US senator, 17 October

The destruction of Al Ahli hospital is a devastating loss of human life.
—James Cleverly, 17 October

The devastating loss of human life at Al Ahli hospital is profoundly disturbing.
—James Cleverly, 18 October

The scenes of hundreds killed at the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist hospital in Gaza are absolutely devastating and cannot be justified.
—Keir Starmer, 17 October

Devastating to see the pain and loss of so many at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza tonight.
—Samantha Power, former US ambassador to the UN, 17 October

The blast killing hundreds at a hospital in Gaza is deeply wrong.
—Elizabeth Warren, 17 October

The news coming out of Gaza is horrific and absolutely unacceptable.
—Justin Trudeau, 17 October

Innocent civilians were injured and killed. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims.
—Olaf Scholz, 18 October

Our thoughts are with them.
—Emmanuel Macron, 17 October

We mourn the patients, medical staff and other innocents killed or wounded in this tragedy.
—Joe Biden, 17 October

All civilians, Israeli and Palestinian, must be protected.
—Antony Blinken, 17 October

In Gaza as elsewhere, all possible measures must be taken to spare the lives of civilians.
—Emmanuel Macron, 14 October

The protection of civilian life must come first.
—James Cleverly, 17 October

Hospitals and civilian lives must be protected.
—Keir Starmer, 17 October

Innocent civilians must be protected & have access to humanitarian aid.
—Elizabeth Warren, 17 October

The United States stands unequivocally for the protection of civilian life.
—Joe Biden, 17 October

Nothing can justify striking a hospital. Nothing can justify targeting civilians.
—Emmanuel Macron, 17 October

There is no excuse for hitting a hospital full of medical staff and civilians.
—Ursula von der Leyen, 18 October

This cannot be justified. International law must be upheld.
—David Lammy, 17 October

We are united in upholding international law and the protection of innocent lives.
—Keir Starmer, 16 October

In Gaza as elsewhere, humanitarian law must be respected.
—Emmanuel Macron, 14 October

International humanitarian and international law needs to be respected in this and in all cases.
—Justin Trudeau, 17 October

International law must be upheld.
—Keir Starmer, 17 October

International law is clear.
—Elizabeth Warren, 17 October

A thorough investigation of the incident is imperative.
—Olaf Scholz, 18 October

All the light must be shed on the circumstances.
—Emmanuel Macron, 17 October

Together, we must determine what happened.
—Justin Trudeau, 17 October

The UK will work with our allies to find out what has happened and protect innocent civilians in Gaza.
—James Cleverly, 17 October

I spoke with King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and have directed my national security team to continue gathering information about what exactly happened.
—Joe Biden, 17 October

Our intelligence services have been rapidly analysing the evidence to independently establish the facts.
—Rishi Sunak, 18 October

All the facts have to be established and those responsible must be held accountable.
—Ursula von der Leyen, 18 October

There must be accountability.
—Justin Trudeau, 17 October

We will not rush to judgement.
—James Cleverly, 18 October

While waiting for definitive confirmation on the dynamics of the events, we once again renew our commitment to protect the civilian population, resolve the most urgent humanitarian problems and ensure a rapid solution to this crisis.
—Giorgia Meloni, 18 October


US vetoes Security Council resolution that would have called for “humanitarian pauses” to deliver lifesaving aid to millions in Gaza.
—UN News, 18 October

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