POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY THE DAILY TELEGRAPH'S TOBY HARNDEN
I agree a trade union doesn't belong doing politics, but they often do, heavily supporting particular political parties or causes.
The situation of Israel is one that necessarily affects all informed people. I should think this particularly true in the case of journalists.
As far as the invasion of Lebanon, this was nothing short of savagery. Two soldiers are kidnapped (we know to this day, they are well), and you respond by killing 1,500 civilians, destroying a quarter of Beirut, and leaving behind a hideous minefield of a million cluster-bomb bomblets? Is this not the ghastly reprisal logic of Reinhard Heydrich?
The whole incursion was pre-planned, as we now know. The soldiers were almost certainly captured on Lebanese territory because Israel, generally unreported by the press, has maintained a long history of incursions and provocations on this border. Hezbollah exists entirely owing to this fact.
There is no anti-Semitism in criticizing Israel. If Israel ever hopes to be a country like other countries then it must be subject to the same criticisms.
The argument of selectivity is insincere and false, because news about Israel is constantly broadcast in Western countries.
How can people who think about and are concerned with world affairs not find themselves swimming in the affairs of the Middle East?
Every election, every cabinet change, every incursion, every health report on a prime minister, every bland policy statement, every agreement to meet someone - this and more is broadcast and put into print.
The current war on terror, and certainly the invasion of Iraq, has a great deal to do with Israel. More than it does oil, for sure.
And we have Israeli prime ministers strongly advocating invasions of Syria and Iran, threatening in effect to cast us all into still greater conflict.
In North America, we truly hear more about Israel than we do major countries like France or Germany or, indeed, Russia. Yet Israel is a country the size of Ecuador.