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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Are we in trouble yet ?

Imagine a man that fails to pay child support, does not respect restraining orders filed against him, and is constantly involved in...
Imagine a man that fails to pay child support, does not respect restraining orders filed against him, and is constantly involved in trespassing into other people's properties. Now imagine that man has somewhat slipped through the cracks and has avoided punishment for each of his misdeeds simply because the justice system has chosen to look the other way. Now to top it all off, this man orchestrates a crime of international proportions, threatening the security of innocent civilians. Surely now, you would think, justice will jump on the occasion and say "Enough". But no, nothing happens besides a mere slap on the wrist. What would that say about the justice system then ? Worse, what would that say about us people, who stand as mere spectators to a system that seems to fail us every time this man commits another offense ?

A few days ago, Benjamin Netanyahu stood before the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and said "Jerusalem is not a settlement, it's our capital", in response to international pressure to halt settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which under U.N resolutions, are Palestinian territories. The failure to come to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem has been a frustrating and long story, but while in the past Israel could have merely shrugged off all pressure to implement U.N resolutions dictating it withdraws from occupied territories, the operative word today is different. Israel does not wish to implement these resolutions. In terms that might depict the issue better, Israel is publicly admitting that it is their decision to break international law, and that their past actions were not symptoms of procrastination, but simply of a long ongoing crime. While this statement does not surprise me, the lack of uproar in the response of the international community is, to say it mildly, disappointing.

And here comes the cherry on the cake. On January 20th, a senior Hamas officer was assassinated in Dubai by a 27-strong team of what seemed to be European tourists. But as it soon turned out, all individuals involved were carrying fake European and Australian passports, belonging to real people who reside, or have been to Israel. The finger automatically turned to Israel's intelligence agency: Mossad. And while the Israeli government refused to comment on the allegations until hard proof was presented as to implicate the Mossad in the assassination, the countries whose passports had been forged (France, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Australia,...) all condemned the use of forged passports as a serious offense that puts the security of their citizens at risk.But Israel was not yet in trouble, until yesterday. The British investigation into the incident concluded there was compelling evidence to implicate Israel in the forgery, and in response to such a serious offense, decided to expel an Israeli diplomat, but not the ambassador. In terms that might depict the issue better, Britain decided to punish Israel through a symbolic act, a slap on the wrist if you will, for a crime it condemned as being one of the most serious proportions.

In the meantime, Mr. Netanyahu and President Barack Obama failed to resolve the "dispute" over the settlement issue. Naturally, Netanyahu makes a compelling argument: Jews had been building in Jerusalem for 3,000 years, and Israel would continue to do so.

I've said it before, and I will continue saying it: The bully always gets his way in this world, and as the old saying goes, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing".
I suppose that makes some of us good men, very useless good men.

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