Thursday, October 05, 2006

Policeman's refusal is further excuse to de-legitimise Israel

The story about the refusal by the Muslim policeman Alexander Omar Basha (who is part of the Police's diplomatic protection group) to do guard duty at the Israeli embassy is pretty appalling (especially given that senior officers were involved in the decision to grant him his wish). But what is even more depressing is the way it is being reported in the media. They are talking about his "moral stance against Israel's bombing of Lebanon". No attempt to balance such reporting by reminding people who started the war and which side was deliberately targetting civilians throughout. It is already the case that most people in the UK are completely unaware that Israel was attacked and that the physical and economic damage was enormous. It is just more of the gradual de-legitimisation of Israel. Especially concerning were the comments of "the UK's top talkshow host" Nick Ferrari, who completely disagreed with the decision to allow the policeman to be excused, but used the bizarre and offense analogy of how it would have been just as wrong for a policeman to refuse to guard the German embassy after the second world war. Note the subtle nazification of Israel in the analogy; but also note that Ferrari did not think for one minute of using a much more relevant analogy, such as policing the US embassy given its bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan (and they weren't even defending their homeland) or policing any number of Arab/Islamic embassies given their support for terrorist acts. Or even policing the Lebanon embassy given that country's hosting and support of the terrorist organisation that started the war and launched 4000 rockets against Israeli civilian targets.

Update on this: LBC News (the news version of the radio station Ferrari works for) were running the Jack Straw story about him asking women to remove their veils during face-to-face meetings. Their news presenters (i.e. people who are not even supposed to express an opinion) were speaking in incredulous terms saying things like "Jack Straw has obviously taken leave of his senses". Instead of ridiculing him for finally saying something useful, why is nobody asking serious questions like those concerning the security implications of allowing women to wear the veil (and hence completely avoid all normal identification measures). Also, Jack Straw is completely right - it is impossible to carry out a normal conversation with womebody you cannot see. It is also intimidating. Why is is allowed at all?

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