Foreign visit fiasco

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper well known affinity for the state of Israel blossomed two days ago with the official visit of Benjamin Netanahu, Prime Minister of Israel. The visit was very well orchestrated and prepared in advance. A big crowd of few thousand Israel’s friends from Jewish diaspora in Toronto and Montreal were on hand to celebrate the existence of “only democracy” in Middle East (in the words of many Canadian friends and Mr. Netanahu himself).
Israeli Prime Minister even agreed to an one on one interview with Peter Mansbridge from CBC. Where (despite many polite attempts of CBC anchorman) every question about Israel’s own nuclear arsenal was answered with phrases exemplifying the deathly dangers of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It seemed at times that the Prime Minister of Israel knows much more about Teheran’s nuclear plans and preparedness than that of his own country. Mr. Netanahu visit to Canada was supposed to be a prelude to a difficult visit to the USA in an attempt to mend recently cooled relationship between Israel and its staunchest ally – the USA. Although I can’t see why Israel should worry about it: Israel, it’s existence and security, is the cornerstone of US Middle East policy for the past 50 years and I can not see how that could change. O, surely this and that American president will utter angry words now and than after a particularly bad embarrassment. And nothing ever changes in substance.
The state of Israel during most of its existence is a very peculiar member of international community. A fully fledged member, with a quasi Western democracy style of government – yet at odds for most of the time with the rules of international law, behavior and conduct. But it is the last vestige (albeit with references to ancient and mostly religious-mythological tradition) of white, European power in Northern Africa. An island on the mighty ocean of Islamic concept. Jerusalem reborn. This time not in the hands of our Knights of the Cross, but in the hands of our convenient proxy: the Israelis. Indeed a unique mix of an old culture of many very different groups and subgroups of people whose only glue cementing it together is a common ancient religion and tribal atavism.
But that’s another subject. Back to the story at hand; Mr. Netanahu visit, so well prepared and directed, was suddenly cut very short and in a dramatic way. The ‘beacon of democracy’ in dark Middle East found itself in particularly bad spot. On the Mediterranean Sea it decided to revive the ancient art of piracy. A flotilla of ships caring international relief to the starving and blockaded (by Israel) people of Ghaza was attacked by an Israeli commando on open seas (international waters). As far as we know now 10 people were killed, numerous other wounded. Hundreds kidnapped and moved into Israeli custody. It followed by an outcry form many nations. The strongest from Turkey which openly and angrily called it an act of piracy and international crime. This is a particularly volatile situation, because Turkey is a member of NATO. An Emergency Session of Security Council was conveyed and strong resolution tabled. Of course, as one would have expected, in its final draft it was seriously watered down by US – but it was passed nonetheless.
Somehow the Israelis succeeded again in being its worse enemy. And spoiling the possibility of achieving public support of its western allies. They have their cake but it constantly escapes their ability to eat it too.

About Bogumil P-G

publisher, essayist, poet lived (and born) in Poland, later England, Italy, presently in Canada
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