Israel Is No More Rogue than America

(Financial Times-UK) Andrew Roberts - Is state-sanctioned assassination justifiable, or does it somehow delegitimize the state that undertakes it? All that the Dubai operation will do is remind the world that the security services of states at war - and Israel's struggle with Hamas, Fatah and Hizbullah certainly constitutes that - occasionally employ targeted assassination as one of the weapons in their armory, and that this in no way weakens their legitimacy. When Britain was at war, Winston Churchill sanctioned the assassination by its Special Operations Executive of the SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the capture (and killing if necessary) of General Heinrich Kreipe on Crete; ditto Erwin Rommel. Just as with some Mossad operations, such as the disaster in Amman in 1997 when agents were captured after failing to kill Khaled Meshal of Hamas, not all Churchill's hits were successful. But the British state was not delegitimized in any way as a result. More than six decades after the foundation of the State of Israel, there are still those who call the country's legitimacy into question, employing anything that happens to be in the news at the time to argue that Israel is not a real country, and therefore doesn't really deserve to exist. The reason that such double standards still apply is not because of the nature of that doughty, brave, embattled, tiny, surrounded, yet proudly defiant country, but because of the nature of its foes. Real rogue states such as North Korea might be loathed and criticized, but even they do not have their very legitimacy as a state called into question because of their actions.

2010-03-03 07:56:08

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