We can probably safely assume that the Observer editorial of February 21st was not actually intended to be a comedy piece, but the nameless armchair general/diplomat who wrote it certainly achieved that effect. Its anachronistic patronising tone coupled with the irony that a writer from the Guardian group – undoubtedly the main stream media’s foremost de-legitimiser of the world’s one and only Jewish state – should instruct Israel to basically calm down and listen to her elders and betters was quite hilarious, but at the same time a sad indication of just how far removed from reality the writer (and his/her newspaper) is.
The editorial opened with yet another attempt to attribute the apparent execution of Mahmoud al Mabhouh to Israel, despite the fact that with every press release from the Dubai police this is looking further from being the case. Then, some pseudo-psychology supposedly explaining the ‘fears’ and ‘paranoia’ behind Israeli policy; obviously it has not occurred to the writer that after 62 years of an Israeli state in the Middle East we might have a rather better understanding of our neighbours than the average Fleet Street journalist.
“The diplomatic challenge is to help Israel grasp how its failure even to engage with international opinion risks an isolation which will make the country much less secure.”
How are we to define ‘international opinion’? Is the writer’s intention the Muslim bloc dominated UNHRC? The sometimes frankly ridiculous EU? The USA? Or (heaven help us!) the opinions of Guardian readers and journalists? Leaving aside the fact that there cannot be said to exist a homogenous opinion held by all, our armchair general seems to think that whatever it is, ‘international opinion’ must be just and correct. Unfortunately, history has proved time and time again that the Jews cannot rely upon international appraisal of right and wrong for their safety. From Evian to Bermuda, through the 1948 American embargo on arms and Heath’s Yom Kippur embargo to name but a few, the international community’s record is sadly lacking.
Even at this very moment, the international community is allowing Hizbollah to stockpile vast amounts of Iranian weaponry under its collective nose and in direct contravention of its own UN resolution 1701. Right now the international community is failing to come up with any viable solutions to the problem of Iranian nuclear armament. For the past 44 months the International Red Cross has failed to oblige Hamas to comply with international conventions regarding prisoners of war in the case of Gilad Shalit. For eight years prior to Operation Cast Lead the international community ignored Israel’s repeated appeals regarding Hamas rocket fire on Sderot and its environs. Just this week UN envoy Serry made statements regarding the preservation of heritage sites in Hebron and Bethlehem which can only encourage those for whom ridding Judea & Samaria of Jews is merely the first step in their aspirations. If these are examples of the effects ‘international opinion’, then it is obviously both a fickle and dangerous thing.