Stewart Mill (NSW) responds to Cohen’s “Israel deserves respect in global forums” The Australian 21-22Nov09 PUBLISHED November 27, 2009

The Australian – Focus: “Israel deserves respect in global forums” by Barry Cohen, 21-22 November 2009 (see scanned article below)

Rights for all, not just some

IF Barry Cohen (“Israel deserves respect in global forums”, Focus, 21-22/11) wants to raise the question of proportionality of the Israeli attack on Gaza then he should compare like with like. To compare it with military strategies used 60 years ago in Europe leads to an absurd result. A fairer approach is a comparison with strategies used by military superpowers today, such as the US in its initial attack on Baghdad, its later attack on Falluja and the methods used by British troops in Basra.

No one in their right mind denies Israel’s legitimate right to self-defence. Certainly Richard Goldstone ensured that his mandate would look at the rocket attacks on Israel for that very reason. What Cohen fails to appreciate is that Goldstone’s report concluded that all 36 incidents identified provided grounds for investigations into breaches of humanitarian law by both Israel and Hamas.

Israel is held to a higher standard because it is a liberal democracy. Sadly, Western nations often turn a blind eye to Israel’s actions. In the long run this helps no one. Peace will come when nations learn the importance of ensuring the protection of human rights of all rather than of some.


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