August 3, 2018
A few weeks ago I posted here an article on Human Rights Watch’s Sari Bashi. She had advised Israel not to use lethal force against Gaza protesters, but instead to use nonlethal means such as “skunk water” to throw back the assembled crowd.
Here’s Gershon Baskin’s first-hand account of the “skunk water” recommended by Bashi:
Then came the skunk. This is something that no human being should ever experience. A giant water cannon shot the most putrid smelling liquid I have ever smelled in my life. They sprayed directly at people. They sprayed the main square. They sprayed a house where about 15 people were seeking shelter from the tear gas and being treated by a family that was serving endless cups of coffee, tea and water. About 30 minutes after the housed was ”skunked,” the smell was too intense to stay inside. I felt totally nauseous. Everyone went outside and about 10 people gathered with soapy water and brooms to try to clean the house and get rid of the smell. It didn’t really work. People told me that it takes about two weeks for the smell to dissipate.
Distinguished Hebrew University professor Baruch Kimmerling called Gaza a “concentration camp,” while former UK prime minister David Cameron called it an “open-air prison.” The Ha’aretz editorial board called it a “ghetto,” The Economist—a “human rubbish heap,” the International Committee of the Red Cross—a “sinking ship.” Gaza is what the UN human rights chief called a “toxic slum,” in which an entire civilian population is “caged . . . from birth to death.”
It is a very sad day indeed when the representative of a reputable human rights organization counsels Israel to use skunk water against a population, half of whom are children, protesting their protracted confinement in an inferno.