Appalling double standards

At long, long last the US finally summons up the moral courage to condemn the outrageous criminal behaviour by Israel in Gaza.

Mind you, it’s only spokesmen for the White House and State Department who dare go so far. Where is the President himself?

As soon as there’s the slightest opportunity to shift criticism away from Israel, he has no trouble making himself available to condemn the reported capture of an Israeli soldier as “barbaric”, and demand his immediate release. (Never mind the fact that the last Israeli captive, Gilad Shalit, acknowledged upon his release that he was treated well by Hamas.)

So where is the President now that Israel has attacked a UN shelter yet again, after similar attacks on schools, hospitals and ambulances? He’s nowhere to be seen. His nameless, faceless functionaries emerge to acknowledge what is obvious to every fair-minded person in the world – which is that Israel is an outlaw state which has learned that there are no limits to the moral outrages it can commit upon a captive population without any fear of being held to account.

And why is this? Because for 70 years it has been sheltered by the US from any penalties for its behaviour. And like so many spoiled brats who are indulged by their parents and shielded from criticism, it soon becomes the bully and then the outright criminal.

Let’s at last see some meaningful action taken to bring Israel’s political and military leaders to the International Criminal Court to face the music for this disgusting moral outrage, as suggested by Geoffrey Robertson this week.