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An act of state terrorism

The Israeli state literally gets away with murder, dealing out death and destruction with impunity, confident that friendly governments in Europe and America will turn a blind eye or at worst profess temporary, affected outrage. That was the scene played out in London yesterday.

Israel’s ambassador in London was “invited” to the Foreign Office to explain how fakes of British citizens’ passports had turned up in Dubai, used by the assassins of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Ambassador Ron Prosor left looking less than chastened, while in Israel they were saying that the British government was simply “going through the motions”.

The well-worn term double standards doesn’t even begin to apply here. Perhaps treble or quadruple standards might be more appropriate. The murder of al-Mabhouh was an act of terrorism, and the fact that it was perpetrated by a state only adds to the degree of calculation and planning involved.

But search the media, listen to the BBC and other outlets and you won’t read or hear the term “terrorism” used in relation to the Dubai murder. Instead, it’s politely referred to as “targeted assassination”, as if that made it any more acceptable. Of course, if the boot had been on the other foot, Hamas would be quickly branded as “terrorists” and beyond the pale of civilised society.

Now reports are circulating that Mossad, aka Murder Incorporated, told Britain’s MI6 spy agency that fake British passports would be used in an operation. Moreover, the Foreign Office was informed hours before the actual killing of al-Mabhouh that such a plan was in motion. So David Miliband’s “anger” is more feigned than real, it would seem because New Labour has known about the passports scam for some time. Mossad and MI6 have had a long-term collaboration and the notion that this will be affected by the Dubai killing is just laughable.

None of this should surprise us. New Labour and other European governments have helped make Hamas leaders a “legitimate” target by refusing to recognise the organisation’s election victory in Gaza and boycotting any relations with it. This facilitates Israel’s continuing blockade of Gaza and its arrogance in the face of war crimes committed during the January 2009 assault that left 1,500 dead and infrastructure destroyed.

Mossad’s involvement – Dubai police are 99% certain it was them – in the killing of al-Mabhouh is also intended to block any attempts inside Israel itself to bring Hamas into any negotiations with the Palestinians. Hamas militants have on the whole stopped firing rockets into Israel since the 2009 Israeli assault and there was talk of concluding a prisoner exchange.

Was the killing of al-Mabhouh intended to provoke militants into retaliation and strengthen the hand of the far-right Israeli government which is stuffed full of racists like foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman? If there were such developments it would be more difficult, for example, for France to continue its behind-the-scenes overtures to Hamas.

And so while the British and American governments express a desire for a peace deal, the Israel state just gets on with its daily business of destroying Palestinian homes, creating more settlements, ripping up olive groves, building walls and electrified fences – in short, building an apartheid regime that the world thought had disappeared with the old South Africa. And not forgetting carrying out state terror attacks in other countries.

Paul Feldman
Communications editor
19 February 2010

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