Sunday, July 09, 2006

Let’s remember who started this

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, asked by Wolf Blitzer (who doesn’t know the meaning of the term “follow-up question”) what the US is doing about the siege of Gaza, responded that Condi “has been involved, every day of this crisis, to try to call on the Hamas authorities to release the Israeli soldier”, which is funny because the Hamas authorities are not the ones holding the soldier. Then he used possibly the least helpful words there are in international relations: “Let’s remember who started this.” And we know who that always is. “It was the outrageous actions of Hamas, in violating Israel’s sovereignty, in taking the soldier hostage, in killing the Israeli settler, that unleashed this.” First, I don’t think the Palestinians will be much impressed by the sacred status suddenly assigned to “sovereignty.” Second, that verb “unleashed,” as if Israeli actions are never a deliberate choice, but rather the air strikes, etc were “unleashed,” like a rambunctious puppy.

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