Saturday, February 7, 2009

Opinion: A Humanitarian Offensive - Nicola Nasser

Al Ahram Weekly, February 5-11, 2009 - Stubbornly insisting on putting the cart before the horse as the approach to a "durable and sustainable" ceasefire in Gaza, US and European diplomacy is building on a misleading Israeli premise that the 22-day military operation dubbed "Operation Cast Lead" was a reaction and not a premeditated and long planned scheme that found in the change of guard in Washington DC perfect timing. It was "not simply a reaction", but "a calculation", Daniel Klaidman wrote in Newsweek on 10 January.

American and European diplomats are reiterating Israel's propagandistic justification: "What would any normal country do if they were threatened by rocket fire? They would act." US President Barack Obama was the last Western leader to uphold this Israeli claim, but he upheld it nonetheless. "But Israel is not a normal country, it is an occupying power," former Palestinian-Israeli member of Knesset Azmi Bishara said. Moreover what country would tolerate an eight- year siege and not consider it an act of war unworthy of a national reaction? Why should Western diplomacy judge Palestinians in Gaza as abnormal?....

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