The response to the MEPs who are junketing in the Middle East and who were convinced that they can create some kind of diplomacy that would sort out the Palestinian question has been swift, as has the reaction to funds being offered to the Palestinian Authority by Iran and Russia. A suicide/homicide bomber killed himself and eight other people and injured 49 in Tel Aviv.
Responsibility is variously being claimed by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ brigade (the “militant wing” of Fatah, which is rather unhappy at the turn of political events in the Palestinian Authority) and by Islamic Jihad. Hamas, of course, keeps telling us and this is repeated by somewhat naïve Western commentators, that they have agreed to a cease-fire and are keeping to it.
That does not mean, in their opinion, that they should in any way constrict the activity of Islamic Jihad who has not agreed to anything like a cease-fire, has consistently fired rockets into Israel and has now, possibly, sent a suicide/homicide bomber into Tel Aviv.
Nor has Fatah ever bothered to control or disarm Al-Aqsa. Speaking of the bombing, Hamas representatives all repeated the same line: this was legitimate activity in the face of Israeli aggression, by which they seem to mean the withholding of tax money until Hamas agrees to recognize Israel’s right to existence and definitely eschews terrorist activity. Also, it was self-defence.
It is important to emphasise that the bomb went off in Tel Aviv, not in the supposedly disputed territory. But, as one has to keep repeating, all Israeli territory is disputed by Hamas and their latest, though somewhat inadequate, paymaster, Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
In the meantime, the American Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) has published a report, which says that
“Iran has expanded its uranium-conversion facilities in Isfahan and reinforced its Natanz underground uranium-enrichment plant”.There is, as we know, growing speculation about possible American military action and, even, some discussion of Israeli action. Ahmadinejad, having at various times told the IAEA to stop bothering him, the Israelis that he intended to wipe them off the map and the Americans that they were courting disaster if they attacked him, has also said that an attack on the Iranian nuclear plants would be answered by scores of terrorist attacks by suicide bombers.
Naturally, we have to take threats like that seriously. But it is worth pointing out that there have been no Iranian suicide bomber attacks anywhere. Ahmadinejad’s calls for a jihad against the infidel and, in particular, Zionism have always made it clear that this was to be conducted by the Palestinians.
“U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan also warned that U.S. military intervention in Iran was not the best solution to resolve the nuclear standoff”.It is not clear what his alternative proposal is. After all, Iran is a highly valued member of the United Nations. Last Tuesday, on the day, Ahmadinejad boasted about Iran powering ahead (if one may use such an expression) with its nuclear reactors (nobody seems to be mentioning any more that they are there for peaceful purposes only), the United Nations Commission on Disarmament elected Iran as the deputy for Asian nations. This is in the supposedly reformed United Nations. Personally, I cannot wait to see who is chosen to be on the new Human Rights Council.
And while we are on the subject of the United Nations, one cannot help wondering why Claudia Rossett was not awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her patient unravelling of the far-reaching and deep-seated corruption in the UN. Instead, the awards, apart from the probably well-deserved ones to various regional and local newspapers, went to journalists on the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Again.