Israel’s cost-benefit calculation

Robert Grenier; 2/3/10

In the various commentaries we have seen concerning the alleged Israeli assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Israel’s Mossad is coming in for a great deal of criticism. How, it is asked, could the vaunted Israeli spy service have left behind so much evidence? Isn’t the point of such operations to “eliminate” an enemy without being detected? And when, according to this analysis, one factors in the ensuing political and diplomatic “firestorm” which is still gaining momentum, this Israeli operation – for such it certainly was – begins to look like a colossal blunder. I would suggest, however, that those making these criticisms are missing the point.

See: http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/03/20103191732842915.html

Israel is justified in defending itself from threats
2/3/10
You quote the Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, as saying: ”The Australian government always considers UN resolutions on a case-by-case basis and on their merits” (”Australia abandons Israel in UN vote”, March 1). It would be fascinating to hear the Foreign Affairs Department’s reason for Australia’s voting against a UN resolution in July 2004, which called on Israel to comply with an International Court of Justice advisory opinion relating to aspects of the West Bank separation barrier that the court considered illegal. The resolution was carried by 150 to six. The six against were Israel, the US, Australia and three US client states (Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau). The only Western country to abstain was Canada. Given that Australia purports to support human rights and the rule of law, I wonder what particular problems we perceived with this resolution. Roger Mayhew, Surfside
See: http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/israel-is-justified-in-defending-itself-from-threats-20100301-pdhb.html; ”Australia abandons Israel in UN vote ; http://www.smh.com.au/world/australia-abandons-israel-in-un-vote-20100228-pb70.html