Sunday, December 3, 2006

J.Post December 3: The Strange Blindness of the UN

Sir, - Louise Arbour, the UN's top human rights official, has had a distinguished career as an activist on behalf of human rights. She is undoubtedly intelligent and gives the impression of trying to be fair-minded. However, when speaking about the Arab-Israeli conflict she resorts to casuistry.

Arbour insists that there is very little difference in the degree of culpability whether deaths are caused by the clear intent of Palestinians to kill civilians, or are the result of Israel's 'reckless' behavior despite its manifest determination to avoid civilian casualties.

Arbour completely misunderstands and misuses the word 'reckless,' which is defined as being 'utterly unconcerned about the consequences of some action.'

Any fair observer will be aware of the revulsion felt in Israel - by its military, citizenry, media and judiciary - regarding the deaths of civilians by Israeli military action.

The unfortunate truth is that Israel is faced with a ruthless and implacable enemy which places a higher value on shahidism than on human life ('Standing up for the victims,' November 30).

Petah Tikava