Sunday 19 January 2020

Israel must hear internal voices

FOREIGN Minister Micheal Martin, and several other EU foreign ministers, protested to their Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, yesterday about his country's presumed role in the assassination of a Hamas commander, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, in a Dubai hotel.

Their anger centred on the use by the assassins of forged Irish, British, French and German passports.

The action, they said, raised "profoundly disturbing" issues.

They condemned the fact that the killers "used fraudulent EU member states' passports and credit cards acquired through the theft of EU citizens' identities."

The protest had no effect on the minister, and it probably will have no effect on the Israeli government.

Mr Lieberman admitted nothing and apologised for nothing.

That is par for the course. It is universally believed that the assassins were members of the Israeli security service Mossad. It is also assumed that Mossad has a free hand from the government in Jerusalem to engage in any kind of actions, including criminal actions. When challenged, the government replies with blank denial or, in extreme cases, self-justification.

The root cause of the terrorism it faces is its refusal to cease constructing Jewish settlements on the West Bank and in east Jerusalem.

All attempts at a solution of the Israel-Palestine problem -- including those by President Barack Obama -- have failed on this issue.

Yet there is within Israel a strong peace movement. Perhaps enlightened internal opposition to an intransigent regime can have more effect than European protests.

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