ISRAEL AND NAZIS
The Israeli ambassador in Washington claims that a U.N. report into last winter’s war in the Gaza Strip compares his country to Nazis, as the U.N. Security Council prepares to review the findings on Wednesday.
Ambassador Michael Oren accused Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who headed an international panel that issued the report, of treating Israel worse than Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has denied the Holocaust and threatened to destroy Israel.
“The Goldstone report goes further than Ahmadinejad and the Holocaust deniers by stripping the Jews, not only of the ability and the need, but of the right to defend themselves,” Mr. Oren wrote last week in the New Republic magazine.
He accused the Goldstone panel of portraying “the Jews as deliberate murders of innocents - as Nazis.”
“And a Nazi state not only lacks the need and right to defend itself, it must be destroyed,” Mr. Oren wrote.
He said Israel opened its military strike after Hamas launched more than 7,000 rockets into Israeli towns since 2005, when Israel withdrew from Gaza.
The Goldstone report accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes and noted that it studied Israel’s methods of responding to the rocket attacks, not its justification. The report criticized Israel for attacking civilian targets, although Israel has long accused Hamas of hiding rocket launchers in mosques, schools and civilian neighborhoods.
“If a country can be pummeled by thousands of rockets and still not be justified in protecting its inhabitants, then at issue is not the methods by which that country survives but whether it can survive at all,” Mr. Oren said.
Repeated terrorist attacks in their own countries are straining relations between the Afghan and Pakistan ambassadors in Washington.
Normally diplomatic teammates, Said Jawad of Afghanistan and Husain Haqqani of Pakistan dueled with each other last week after bombings rocked both South Asian nations.
“We are pointing the finger at the Pakistan intelligence agency, based on the evidence on the ground and similar attacks taking place in Afghanistan,” Mr. Jawad said in an interview with the Public Broadcasting Service.
Terrorists last week bombed the Indian Embassy in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Seventeen people died in the attack, which left another 60 injured.
Mr. Haqqani responded in a statement, expressing his disappointment over his colleague’s accusations.
“It is unfortunate that, instead of working together with Pakistan to eliminate the common threat of terrorism, some of our neighbors choose to blame us,” he said Saturday.
“Today in Rawalpindi, Pakistan is the victim of a terrorist attack. Victims should not accuse fellow victims. Terrorism has been nurtured by many actors in our region.”
He implied that Pakistan’s “traditional enemies” may be responsible for the attack on military headquarters in Rawalpindi that ended Sunday with at least 19 deaths, when Pakistani forces broke a 22-hour siege and freed 42 hostages held by terrorists.
Mr. Haqqani did not identify Pakistan’s “traditional enemies,” but the country has fought three wars with India since independence in 1947.
“Today’s attack on our military headquarters could raise doubts about the involvement of Pakistan’s traditional enemies,” Mr. Haqqani said.
“The spiral of violence and allegations must now come to an end.”
• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@ washingtontimes.com.