Wednesday 7 January 2009

an eye for an eyelash

In today's Guardian, there is a particularly clear analysis of the Israeli assault on Gaza by Avi Shlaim, the respected Iraqi-born British historian of Arab-Israeli relations, and author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (2000):

How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe

Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state's legitimacy. But its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions

He concludes as follows:

'This brief review of Israel's record over the past four decades makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that it has become a rogue state with "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". A rogue state habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practises terrorism - the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfils all of these three criteria; the cap fits and it must wear it. Israel's real aim is not peaceful coexistence with its Palestinian neighbours but military domination. It keeps compounding the mistakes of the past with new and more disastrous ones. Politicians, like everyone else, are of course free to repeat the lies and mistakes of the past. But it is not mandatory to do so.'

If you haven't already done so, I urge you to read Shlaim's article. Link here

For a further link about the bombing of two UN schools, and the UN's protest at a 'complete absence of accountability', see here

One of the 'New Historians', Avi Shlaim is currently professor of international relations at Oxford University, and a regular contributor to the
Guardian on the Middle East. He has dual citizenship of the UK and Israel.

For other
Guardian texts by Avi Shlaim, on Israel, Iraq, Jordan etc., see here

For related articles by Shlaim in the New Statesman, see here

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