by Sarah Honig
FOR average Israelis, members of the silent majority (as distinct from the country's chattering cliquey elite), the false-passports brouhaha abroad is just another sideshow in the international community's theatre of the absurd.
In this global burlesque, everything can be turned upside down. The lie is granted equal standing with truth, and flagrant canards frequently gain the ascendancy and are paraded as fact. Values are devalued. Good and evil are interchangeable. Anything goes.
In this environment of intellectual anarchy,
The case of terror kingpin Mahmoud al-Mabhouh is instructive. After his body was discovered in a
Mabhouh co-founded the Hamas military wing and Hamas declared war on
Last year he boasted on al-Jazeera about his personal culpability in the separate 1989 kidnap-murders of Israeli soldiers Avi Sasportas and Ilan Sa'adon.
He crowed about smuggling into
So when Israelis point to Mabhouh's gory record, it isn't just their biased say-so. It's hardly an unsubstantiated assertion, an excuse to justify assassination.
Accustomed and resigned as Israelis are to the world's double standards, they nevertheless watch with renewed amazement as Mabhouh's suspected killers are placed on Interpol's wanted list, where Mabhouh himself never appeared - soaked with blood as his hands were. Has anyone, incidentally, bothered inquiring which passport Mabhouh was travelling under and why he was allowed to enter
The hullabaloo about secret agents using fake passports is just a very telling footnote to the larger travesty. To begin with, none of the supposedly offended countries possesses credible proof of Israeli involvement, though it's easy to point fingers at
But let's assume, for argument's sake, that it was
Or is it that given sets of rules apply for all nations, but others are imposed on beleaguered, existentially threatened
The British, French, Irish, Germans and Australians all know in their heart-of-hearts that there is no real cause to fear that the tradecraft employed in this assassination (assuming the cloak-and-dagger tales are true) jeopardises any one of their nationals. The terror syndicates, which increasingly menace Westerners anywhere, need no pretexts. They have no trouble fabricating provocations.
The only reason for
The illusion may be sweet, but weren't Australians targeted in the
Adolf Eichmann was apprehended in
Overlooking the crime and focusing on technical, legalistic niceties attests to a skewed moral compass, indeed, to outright moral impoverishment. It signals to Israelis that their blood is cheaper than passport-paper. It signals acceptance by the West of lopsided Arab logic whereby Arabs have the right to inflict incalculable harm on Jews, and to do so in the most sadistically inventive ways, while the Jews' attempts to deflect such blows are evil and deserving of punishment.
The counterfeit passport kerfuffle underscores the fact that the international community appears to deny
However, there is censure even for pinpointed targeting such as perhaps the Mabhouh caper was.
Another case in point is the recent
Since it's less than likely that the International Criminal Court or the UN Human Rights Council would have indicted Mabhouh for violating Israelis' basic human right to life, what then is left to Israelis? Are they to submit to the precept Jews must die and have no right to resist? That this is their lot? That is too much to expect of anyone, even Jews.
Sarah Honig is a columnist and senior editorial writer for The Jerusalem Post.
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