Thursday, June 03, 2010

Israel Backs Down, But Biden Continues To Defend What She Did.

There are reports that Israel only released prisoners, captured during their recent lethal operation to halt the Turkish flotilla, because the Turks threatened to review their entire relationship with Israel unless the Israelis did so.

"We have clearly stated that we would review our ties with Israel if all Turks are not released by the end of the day," Turkey's Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said yesterday. "No one has the right to try people who were kidnapped in international waters."
Glenn Greenwald was reporting that Israel was planning to try some of the people it had captured but I honestly thought that this was fanciful. Now, we find that they actually were seriously considering doing so until this Turkish intervention.

It really leaves me wondering just how insane the current Israeli administration are that they could even consider such a thing.
Israeli officials had previously suggested that criminal charges would be pursued against a minority of the activists. Yehuda Weinstein, Israel's attorney general, admitted that the decision to release the passengers was taken by Israel's political leadership despite the fact that some were "suspected of having carried out criminal acts". The move was based on "clear diplomatic interests touching on the state of Israel's foreign relations and national security," she said.
And one gets some indication of why the Israelis appear to be so out of touch with the rest of the world when one listens to Joe Biden on this subject.

US Vice President Joe Biden has offered the Obama administration's strongest defence of Israel's Gaza flotilla raid to date, in a interview on US television this evening, saying: "Israel has an absolute right to deal with its security interest."

Appearing on PBS's Charlie Rose Show, Biden defended Israel's action in boarding the Gaza flotilla as "legitimate". After suggesting the flotilla's cargo of aid could have been unloaded elsewhere, Biden appears to brush off the international criticism, asking: "So what's the big deal here? What's the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza?"

As long as the US offers this kind of automatic defence for every outrage the Israelis commit, then one shouldn't be surprised that the Israelis continue to commit them.

For Biden to suggest that there's no big deal about delivering aid directly to the Palestinians, suggests that he is either unaware or uninterested in the actual amounts of aid that the Israelis allow through. The truth is that one of the things the Israelis do not allow in are building materials, and that is one of the main things protesters want delivered. The Palestinians must be given an opportunity to rebuild after the Israeli devastation of their territory.

The fact that this seems unimportant to Biden will only heighten the international assumption that the US is in Israel's pocket.

In reaction to this outrage, we are once again seeing Israel and the US united against the rest of the world, with the US offering knee-jerk support for an act which outraged almost every other nation on the planet. I expected better from Obama's administration.

Biden is now defending an attack on a ship delivering much needed humanitarian aid to a group of people who are being collectively punished, which is, in itself, a breach of the Geneva Conventions. There are many in the world who want this illegal blockade to end.

Israel acts with such breathtaking arrogance because they know that the most powerful nation on Earth will always defend them. Biden does Israel no favours in the long run when he tells her that she is right and that the rest of us are wrong.

And Obama's plans to rebuild his country's relationship with the Arab world is dealt a serious blow when his administration backs such an obvious act of Israeli stubbornness and stupidity.


Pro-Israeli Democrats, including people like Anthony Weiner who I usually admire, line up to support Israel's behaviour.


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How do you even begin to dismantle this amount of spin?
Frank: By the way, I don’t remember quite so much worldwide outrage when the North Koreans sank a South Korean submarine and 46 people were killed. There are people much more upset about Israel in a much more ambiguous situation…

Let’s take a moment to unpack that, shall we? First, it was an “ambiguous situation.” No. It really wasn’t. The flotilla was no secret, as we were publicly told it was nothing more than a PR stunt, they knew who was on it, they followed it for days, and then they decided to go cowboy and assault a Turkish flagged ship in the middle of international waters. A combination of a flawed mission and bungled execution of said mission then led directly to the deaths of nine civilians. There is absolutely nothing ambiguous about what happened. Ask the heads of every nation except the United States. Ask every member of the Security Council except the United States. There may be some ambiguity in the details regarding who shot first (my guess- the ones with the guns, and since the IDF is not flashing pictures of guns seized, that sort of narrows things down, doesn’t it…), but there is quite simply no ambiguity as to what happened in this overall situation. It is crystal clear.

Then Mathews has the nerve to say, "You know, I think when you let the Europeans judge Israel, you are not letting them be judged by a panel of it's peers; it's does seem a totally prejudicial situation."

Notice how Mathews ignores the fact that outrage has been expressed worldwide, he implies it's simply those pesky Europeans displaying their dreadful anti-Semitism again.

And, if the Israelis are on such strong ground, why is she resisting an investigation?

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