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Israel has really overstepped the line

By Bruce Haigh - posted Friday, 16 January 2009


This time Israel has really overstepped the line. Israel knows but it doesn’t care. This is dangerous.

Hamas is the product of generations of abuse and frustration by Israel against Palestinians.

A radical, even fanatical organisation, it has been fathered and nurtured by Israeli aggression. Israel’s stubbornness and fear has made it as radical as Hamas. Both sides understand each other. Just as black and white South Africans understood each other during the oppression of Blacks under Apartheid (a regime which Israel supported and helped to survive).

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Israel felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. Time was running out in which to implement a long planned strike against the Hamas leadership in Gaza. The morally bankrupt Bush regime would soon be gone, the western media was on Christmas holidays, the window of opportunity was now; particularly as it might give the so-called Israeli moderates a better showing in the forthcoming election, so they could appear to be as tough as the mad self destructive Israeli Right.

Israel seems to draw on the notion of being persecuted and certainly calls on it to justify its disproportionate reaction to Hamas rocket attacks. “Israel has the right to defend itself,” says Mark Regev, the truth altering Israeli spokesman. It used to be that Israel claimed the right to exist, now it is the right to defend and it has to be because Israel seriously compromised a number of “rights” when it refused to hand over occupied territories from the war of 1967 and subsequently built settlements on them with United States complicity.

Israel lies and the western media complies, further widening the gap between the way Arab and Islamic affairs are reported in the west and elsewhere. Israel lies and in so doing loses the moral high ground and does not care. It is a road to nowhere and undermines the basis for the foundation of Israel, which was a home for Jews to practice their religion free from persecution.

No where within the Jewish religion do I find any justification to lie in order that the Jewish faith might survive. And in any event the Jewish faith will survive no matter what happens to Israel, which has become a perversion of what it once was and what it was intended to be.

Some of my best relatives are Jews. None agree with this cruelty and self destructive madness. Many Jews oppose Israel’s actions in Gaza with the heavy handed and ruthless killing of the innocents. They oppose the Israeli blockade of Gaza. What has Israel become, what sort of a role model for Jewish children around the world?

The response of the Rudd Government has been pathetic. When the attack first started I rang Julia Gillard’s office’s (they were unmanned, as was Stephen Smith’s and Kevin Rudd’s) to put the point that Australia had troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and should not therefore appear to condone actions that might create more hard line Islamic radicals.

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I had called to urge a balanced statement; one that might indicate an understanding of the fevered thinking that led Israel to attack, but also to the disproportionate nature of that attack and the need to seriously consider the lives of children, so that when that threshold was crossed, as the Israeli’s have done increasingly over the past decade, Australia would have prepared the ground to protest.

I presume, that despite their caution and their desire to please, and therefore survive, which ever pusillanimous government is in power in Australia, our security services have pointed out to Kevin Rudd that this Israeli attack has seriously upped the anti among those that we choose to call our enemies, In the absence of a strong condemnation of Israel, we have made our soldiers, particularly in Afghanistan, even greater hostages to fortune.

If possible, this Israeli spleen letting will have further radicalised radical Muslims around the world and created many more. Has the Australian government analysed the editorials from the Arabic and Urdu press? I think not, otherwise Rudd and/or Smith might have said something, anything, which indicated other than support for Israel and the US, when we have troops on the ground ostensibly fighting to bring about moderate and stable government’s in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What does Rudd believe caused the phenomena of al-Qaida, if not from real and perceived injustices against Arabs/Muslims by Israel and the United States? And what are Rudd’s thoughts on how a settlement might take place in Gaza given that Australia has an expensive commitment to peace in the Middle East?

For Israel to have created more instability and uncertainty in the Middle East is irresponsible and selfish in the extreme, being undertaken, as it was, at a time of growing difficulty for the world economy which brings with it the seeds of political instability. Israel’s recent actions feed into that.

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About the Author

Bruce Haigh is a political commentator and retired diplomat who served in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1972-73 and 1986-88, and in South Africa from 1976-1979

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