Israel and Russia: Why such different responses?

by Ray_North on July 30, 2014

Unknown-5Of course, the answer to the question I pose in the headline to this piece is dead straightforward – the Jewish votes in the USA are far more important than Russian votes, in fact there is actually political capital to be made in America for having a pop at the traditional enemy – Russia; whereas any American politician condemning Israel would face political suicide.

I’ve been away for the last week, on holiday with no phone, no computer and no newspapers in a concerted effort to avoid all forms of communication and social media, but, despite this, it was impossible to ignore the ongoing crises in the Ukraine and Gaza.

Both situations are desperately worrying, both demonstrate the clear failure of international politics and the UN and the fact that in Israel and Russia there are in Benjamin Netanyahu and Vlademir Putin two leaders with dangerously massive opinions of themselves.

It is pretty clear that Russia is involved in the separatist movement in the Ukraine – though the bombing of the Malaysian MH17 was probably down to cock-up rather than a desire to blow up passenger airlines. And, yes, it is right that the rest of the world is taking some steps to put pressure on Moscow to intervene in a positive way to bring the civil war to an end, rather than ratchet up the tension because it suits Putin’s desire to recreate the Soviet Union.

But, as yet, Russia has not directly intervened in the Ukraine: Russia has not bombed a school or hospital, Russia is not responsible for the killing Ukrainian children and has not invaded another country.

Israel, on the other hand, is not the subject of anywhere near the same level of international pressure – Netanyahu’s ‘cronies’ have not seen their assets frozen; the G7 are not imposing sanctions on Israeli firms and businesses; John Kerry is not rattling his sabre in the direction of Israel. In fact, Israel have been pretty much being left alone to bomb the Palestinians of Gaza with impunity.

The West and in particular the Americans are quite content to allow Netanyahu to continue with his policy of keeping the Palestinians cowed and desperate, even though this is being done at the expense of innocent Palestinian lives. Ok, Hamas may not be the most attractive neighbours for the state of Israel, but, surely even the most stupid Israeli would find it difficult to understand that this brutal aggression being waged against Gaza is doing more to keep Hamas in power than anything they can do themselves.

I don’t know the answer to the problems in the Middle East any more than Tony Blair, John Kerry or Barack Obama, nor do I know the answer to the strife in the Ukraine, but one thing I do know is that as long as international diplomacy is being determined by the needs of American domestic politics, then the world will continue to be an unstable and dangerous place and it is the innocent who wills suffer.

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