Anorak News | Unfriendly Fire

Unfriendly Fire

by | 23rd, March 2004

”ALL of us understand Israel’s need to protect itself – and it is fully entitled to do that – against the terrorism which affects it, within international law,’ says Jack Straw on the cover of the Telegraph.

British troops attacked in Basra

‘But it is not entitled to go in for this kind of unlawful killing and we condemn it. It is unacceptable, it is unjustified and it is very unlikely to achieve its objectives.’

At this point cynics may snort and compare the Israeli government’s killing of the so-called spiritual leader of the Hamas terror group with the Allied invasion of Iraq.

As ‘unlawful’ killing goes, the death of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who the Israeli defence minister calls the ‘Palestinian bin Laden’, seems not a million miles away from what British forces would like to do to the head of al-Qaeda and did to Saddam Hussein’s sons.

The whiff of hypocrisy is unmistakable, as are the cries of vengeance from Yassin’s supporters and the news that violence will breed more violence in the Middle East.

The most vivid reaction to Yassin’s assassination is seen on the cover of the Times where a British soldier is seen with his fatigues ablaze.

One of 17 soldiers wounded in an attack by a mob hurling petrol bombs in the Iraqi city of Basra, the soldier grapples to take off his burning helmet as the crowd chant: ‘Yes, yes to Yassin. No, no to America, Britain and Israel.’

But despite this apparent chanting, Major Tim Smith, the British military spokesman in Basra, sees no link between what happens in Israel with life in Iraq.

‘There is no evidence whatsoever to link this incident with any other, or with political events elsewhere,’ he tells the Telegraph.

Perhaps he should try convincing Jack Straw of that…’

Posted: 23rd, March 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink