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Tuesday, Jan 27th

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You are here News Human Rights Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Why so little condemnation of Israel's extremism?

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Why so little condemnation of Israel's extremism?

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Their country is protected from censure partly because of fears that any criticism of its actions is potentially "anti-Semitic". Some anti-Semites do use Israel as a cover, but then Israel uses that fact to tar and warn all legitimate criticism. Its governments do what they damn-well want and claim perpetual exceptionality. Their darkest deeds are thus left unscrutinised. This time though, it is suddenly dawning on some key people, among them the hapless Middle East saviour Tony Blair, that these "martyrs" could trigger another Intifada. He is urging Israeli officials to "take all measures to prevent a tragic outcome that could have serious implications for stability and security". Why, he even uttered the words "human rights". The UN and other bodies have intervened. They will all be rebuffed, so monstrous are the egos of the ultra-right wing leadership. In any case Netanyahu et al can point – and with absolute validity – at Guantanamo Bay and our own prisoners held without trial. They are all in it together.

I truly want Israel to survive and thrive but it is becoming its own worst enemy. British activist Tom Hurndall, 21, was sheltering a Palestinian child from Israeli bullets in Gaza in 2003, when he was killed. His candid journals have just been published. Read them and mourn the idealistic young man and the loss of all idealism in Israel.

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