There’s a case making its way through the Italian courts that challenges the government’s policy of denying docking rights to migrant rescue boats. Critics are up in arms. The policy, they assert, would
leav[e] them in the Mediterranean Sea for days or even weeks—a campaign critics have branded as cruel but that has garnered support from many Italians.
The critics, though, are being disingenuous. To the extent that there is cruelty here, it’s on the part of the “rescue boat” captains and the ships’ operators who have chosen to spend those days or even weeks trying to force entry rather than moving promptly to other nations’ ports where they would be allowed entry.
There are arguments for and against the Italian policy, but this sort of distortion does not advance the debate a bit.