By Aijaz Zaka Syed
Opinion Editor - Khaleej Times- Dubai
Can we have a new UN ?
Given the intensity of global outrage over the assault on the Gaza aid flotilla, some of us were beginning to hope that the world might finally confront Israel. We were obviously mistaken — once again.
OK, poor Palestinians have long gotten used to getting swatted like flies and being at the receiving end forever. And Israel has always gotten away with murder. But those killed in cold blood in international waters were not some faceless “Palestinian terrorists,” as Israel calls them, but international peace activists and aid workers. And mind you they were not running guns or drugs but rushing the critically needed aid like food, medicines and most mundane stuff such as books and toys for children and bricks and cement for the ravaged homes of Gaza.
This is why the least you expected from the so-called international community and its so-called institutions was some token action against Israel, or at least strong words against its shocking and brazen acts against the unarmed peace activists. The United Nations with its fine institutions and the movers and shakers who run the world body are yet to unequivocally condemn the Israeli outrage, let alone lift a finger against the regime.
Helen Thomas, senior White House Press Corps member and the considered doyenne of international correspondents, gave a rare voice to America’s sleeping conscience when she blasted Israeli attack on the humanitarian convoy saying, “our initial reaction to this flotilla massacre, deliberate massacre, an international crime, was pitiful.”
Ms. Thomas who’s facing the combined wrath of the Israeli lobby and fanatically pro-Israel US media for advising the Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” has been taped angrily questioning the US policy on Israel: “What do you mean you regret when something should be so strongly condemned? And if any other nation in the world had done it, we would have been up in arms. What is this sacrosanct, iron-clad relationship, where a country that deliberately kills people?”
Ms. Thomas, who grilled 10 US presidents and survived, has been brought down by the lobby and has been forced to step down. So much for the much-celebrated Western freedom of speech! Meanwhile majority of US media networks, manipulated by the pro-Israel moneybags as always, are bending over backward to justify and “explain” the madness of Israeli massacre, spawning totally bizarre and ludicrous theories about the activists brandishing weapons and assaulting Israeli troops shouting “the Prophet’s army is coming!”