Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Send 'em all packing!
It seems that the U.K. is expelling an Israeli diplomat over the suspected Mossad use of British passports in the killing of a known terrorist. I stress 'suspected' because unless I've missed something, nothing has been proven and Israel certainly hasn't claimed responsibility!
I say we unceremoniously herd the entire U.K. diplomatic mission onto the next boat out of Israel! Seriously... the lot of them! Take what you can carry and the rest goes on the auction block. Don't forget that picture of the Queen!
The British government is on record as supporting targeting (i.e. extra-judicial) killings. They have gone on record as being in favor of taking this kind of action at home and abroad.
Regardless of who actually killed this terrorist... by the U.K.'s own rules, he was fair game! Do these hypocritical bastards really want to pretend that MI5 and MI6 haven't used forged foreign passports in such actions?! Do they really want to pretend that they aren't continuing to do so?!!!!
At this point the U.K. intelligence community has far more to gain from Israel than we have to gain from them. At a certain point Israel has to take a head count of its friends in the world; Those who are fair weather friends or who feel the need to distance themselves from us in order to curry favor with the Arabs, should be cut loose.
The British Embassy in Tel Aviv is prime real estate, and could certainly be put to far more productive use without the present occupants.
Posted by David Bogner on March 23, 2010 | Permalink
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I agree. I also believe that this has nothing to do with the ridding the world of a malignancy. It is just another way of applying pressure to Israel to comply with the world's notion of what is fair for the Palestinians and what Israel needs to give up, with no input from Israelis. Israel needs to dig her heals in, imo and recognize she is being manipulated to her detriment.
Posted by: Kae Gregory | Mar 23, 2010 4:51:59 PM
While you're at it, David, why not send all American diplomats packing too.
The current administration has done inculcuable damage to Israel's position and security.
What the UK Government has done is throw a diplomatic hissy fit.
Get a bit of perspective here. The only reason this is hasppening is because the US government wants it to happen.
Gordon Brown is still Obama's puppy despite the personal and political insults he's been subjected to.
Posted by: chairwoman | Mar 23, 2010 4:59:48 PM
The reason NZ has no Israeli Embassy is because they were kicked out after Israel confessed to two Mossad agents trying to get NZ passports illegally (the said agents went through due legal process). The people who have suffered most for this absence of an Embassy have been the visiting Israelis and the Jewish people who live here. Everyone suffers when there is no diplomatic representation. I agree with Chairwoman, David Milliband's reaction whiffs of something bigger than a British decision.
Posted by: Noa | Mar 23, 2010 7:31:11 PM
And the Brits don't have any spies. Nope. Not one. Never, ever. They would never do that. They would never sneak around with fake IDs to protect their national interests.
Posted by: Alice | Mar 23, 2010 8:29:26 PM
I never actually thought of that point until chairwoman mentioned it but it does actually make perfect sence: Obama is aiming to bring down the Netanyahu government so while Bibi is in Washington trying to recover from the latest Obama offensive re the building plans in Ramat Shlomo and hearing in turn about how America has no greater friend than democratic Israel, Obama uses his puppet Gordon to launch a diplomatic offensive on another front- all aimed at making Israelis feel they have a pariah government.
Posted by: Bryan | Mar 23, 2010 8:32:40 PM
You seem to have forgotten that that great supporter of Israel, Maggie Thatcher, removed Arye Regev, the Mossad's man in the UK, in 1988 when the Mossad was caught doing something similar. While extracting a promise that Israel wouldn't do this again, she also suspended intelligence links with Israel. These were only reintroduced by this allegedly anti-Israel government. In 1988, there was no Brown, no Obama, no spat over Israeli settlement building in the occupied parts of Jerusalem. No lame excuses of any sort. Israel got off very lightly. A little bit of perspective might be nice here.
Posted by: Judean People's Front | Mar 23, 2010 8:44:14 PM
I agree, but I don't think there is too much more in this than the British, as usual, cosying up to the Arabs and Arabists. These days it is also just in to Israel-bash at every opportunity - I am ashamed to be living in this place. :-|
Posted by: Nir | Mar 23, 2010 9:55:35 PM
It's not what they did, it's that they got caught doing it.
Or, to put it another way, they left the Brits no choice.
Everything is fine as long as everyone can blandly say "I don't know what you mean" or "I have no clue what you're talking about". Once it could no longer be papered over, the Brits had to make a show of tail feathers for the other poultry.
And as for that nonsense above by 'Chairwoman' about 'incalculable harm' and Obama and puppies, please stop smoking whatever it is that you are smoking.
With all possible respect, your rhetoric comes off as strident and paranoid, besides being a massive oversimplification of relations between allies. There is much more complexity, and at many more levels, than just hissy fits by leaders, whether it is the United States and Israel, the United States and Britain, or even Britain and Israel.
Are you also willing to say that the prime ministers of other allied countries are dependent upon US say-so for their own policies, or the actions of all branches of their government? Is Netanyahu then Obama’s lapdog? If not, why not?
And why would you assume that the leader of a more important country is?
Surely you will accept that England is not ‘governed’ by the US? And that Obama, if he really wanted to make trouble for Israel (and were as powerful as some people wish to think he is) would not be so limited in what he could do.
England needed to placate the Arabs with a gesture. Expelling a diplomat, one below the rank of Ambassador, is not a particularly generous gesture.
That, to a degree, is what diplomats are for. And it's probably a welcome respite from lying for one's country all the time to be 'sent on unscheduled leave'.
Posted by: At The Back of the Hill | Mar 23, 2010 9:58:35 PM
Well, the Britons follow rule no. 1 of intelligence work: Don't get caught. That's actually rules two through nine, too - just number ten is different - and secret. So telling you about it would invoke rules 1-9. But I'm getting off route here. My point was: That's just another day in diplomacy. Symbolic acts and actionism, nothing more - especially no substantial changes in the British-Israeli relations. Whatever sorry state they might've been in before (I seriously don't know), it's just the same now.
Posted by: Carsten | Mar 23, 2010 10:06:43 PM
And yes, I am fully aware that there is no publicly known proof of Israel's involvement, and that Israel had denied any connection to the whacking of the terrorist in Dubai.
That is not really believable, and to assert that it is otherwise is to stretch 'plausible deniability' nearly to the breaking point.
One diplomat. Just one diplomat. That ain't an offensive. Nor part of an attempt to bring down Bibi's government.
Get real. Given that the same faces keep getting recycled in Israeli politics, getting rid of Bibi won't change a darn thing. And given that the ties between the US and Israel are so complex, trying to identify Obama's emotional state towards Bibi as the one and only fly in the ointment is ridiculous. There are more flies than that, and there is so much ointment that finding the flies is difficult (batel ba shishim in any case).
Posted by: At The Back of the Hill | Mar 23, 2010 10:14:47 PM
It may only be one diplomat-but its the first to be expelled in over 20 years from Britain.
Posted by: Bryan | Mar 24, 2010 12:19:43 AM
It's bedtime here in London, England, and I'm having to explain myself Behind a Hill (Yes. I know it's At the Back of the Hill).
My comment was directed at David's massive over-reaction to the expulsion of one Israeli diplomat from the UK that I described as a diplomatic hissy fit.
This is what Governments do. They always feel obliged to do something.
But I do stand by the rest of my comment.
The current administration's coldness towards Israel has opened the door to lies and abuse from other less friendly countries.
The President has offended not only Israel, but the UK, France, Poland and, I believe, either Italy or Spain. British servicemen die weekly in Afghanistan, fighting, unappreciated, an American war which the majority of British people are against. As for the war in Iraq, there are many people in the UK who believe Britain is fighting, at America's behest, a proxy war on behalf of Israel.
I know it's rubbish, but you try arguing it with Guardian readers and BBC watchers.
And yes, Gordon Brown is behaving like Barack Obama's puppy.
As for Mr Obama, America made a massive mistake in electing a man without experience of running anything except for office. If we elect an inexperienced Prime Minister and he turns out to be a lame duck, we are the only people who suffer. But the actions of the President of the United States of America, whether we like or not, affects everyone in the western world, but we don't get a say-so in who it is.
And to the other commentator who obviously thinks I'm some kind of fascist, Mrs Thatch was extremely popular abroad, and here too, until the proletariat woke up to find that she'd closed all the coal mines, most of the factories, and turned the working class into the jobless class, with no prospects.
Posted by: chairwoman | Mar 24, 2010 12:40:52 AM
I know it's rubbish, but you try arguing it with Guardian readers and BBC watchers.
That, more than anything else, restored the smile to my face. Been there, done that. Or rather, tried to do that, gave up in disgust, then tried the same with readers of De Telegraaf and the Algemeen Dagblad, nearly had apoplexy (though it may be largely due to my stirring up trouble that the Telegraaf no longer allows comments underneath most articles that mention the United States - things have a way of getting around when you know people in certain govt bureaucracies).
As for Mr Obama, America made a massive mistake in electing a man without experience of running anything except for office.
Well, we tend to do that every four years. That's why essentially the State Department and the Pentagon have to run themselves. It's not so much the guy at the top, who is the chairman of the board, as the various folks at mid-level, who are career administrators and who will be there long after the current king-emperor... errrm, I mean 'president' is gone, that determine what really goes on. Plus the business interests, of course. We have probably the biggest military-industrial complex in the world, so certain relationships are, at certain levels, inviolate (while others are incredibly profitable, and purely for profit).
On a cynical note, if all the "settlements" were massively armed with American cannon and anti-aircraft guns, I suspect that all levels of the American government, no exceptions, would be in complete favour of expanding the settlements up to the city limits of Damascus, Baghdad, Amman, and Riyadh.
Posted by: At The Back of the Hill | Mar 24, 2010 2:45:56 AM
On another note, most presidents have this strange notion that as foreign policy is pretty much the ONLY area in which they can have significant impact without having to play ball with the party honchos who run the political infrastructure in the United States, it must be the area in which they can and must have impact.
Other than being the bull in the china shop, it is hard to see any effect during their "breaking in" year. With every new president we get entertained by the stumbling and crashing. Which is, of course, much more dramatic when the Secretary of State has as little experience as the big cheese himself.
Most of the world is neither a Chigago ward office nor a Texas board room.... not quite the psych ward at the local booby hatch, but still a bit more 'intense' than the waiting room of a free clinic in the Tenderloin.
Posted by: At The Back of the Hill | Mar 24, 2010 2:56:41 AM
I wouldn`t expell a British MI6 in return. But I also wouldn`t give approval for replacements of British agents in the future.
Posted by: Ed | Mar 24, 2010 8:54:57 AM
Israel is in bigger and bigger trouble.
Posted by: mrZ | Mar 25, 2010 6:28:23 PM