Diplomats under attack

February 15, 2012 by J-Wire
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This week we woke to the news that two Israeli Embassies had been struck by car bombs, one in New Dehli, India and the other in Tbilisi, Georgia. 
..writes Emily Gian.

Emily Gian

The attack on the Georgian Embassy was thwarted before the bomb could detonate after a staffer noticed a strange object attached to a car in the parking lot (see more).

In New Dehli, Tal Yehoshua-Koren, the wife of an Israeli Defence Ministry representative to India was wounded after a motorcyclist attached a bomb to her car. Her brother stated, “she grasped the situation, showed resourcefulness, managed to get out of the car and evacuate herself to the hospital despite her injury” (see more). She has since been released from the hospital after undergoing surgery to remove shrapnel from parts of her body including her back.

The motorcyclist managed to get away and India’s Foreign Minister SM Krishna has expressed to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Leibermann that he would do everything he could to find the perpetrator and also to boost security for the Israeli Embassy.

In light of the fact that similar attempts to attack Israeli citizens abroad have had Iran and Hezbollah’s fingerprints all over them, Prime Minister Netanyahu released a statement declaring “Iran is behind these attacks; it is the largest exporter of terrorism in the world. The Government of Israel and the security services will continue to act together with local security forces against such acts of terrorism. We will continue to take strong and systematic, yet patient, action against the international terrorism that originates in Iran”.

Israel’s President Shimon Peres stated, “Iran is not only building a bomb and threatening to destroy our people, the government of Iran today is the headquarters of terrorism, of hatred and of war, and will not spare any effort to attempt to kill and to destroy. The Iranian government does not have a future because it does not promise a future. We shall meet the Iranian dangers as it should be done – with the maximum effort to make the region secure and peaceful”.

Not surprisingly, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast denied any involvement, blaming Israel and its allies for the attacks claiming they “were the latest phase in the Jewish state’s psychological war against Tehran” and that “Israel targeted its own embassies in a bid to undermine Iran’s friendly ties with India and Georgia”. He added that the “Zionist regime has a high record of criminal acts against humanity and it is the first suspect of any terrorist operation in the world… Tehran condemns terrorism in strongest terms as Iran has been a victim of terrorism” (see more).

Fighting words coming from a country that on more than one occasion has threatened to wipe Israel off the map and which has armed and trained Hezbollah and Hamas fighters. Both groups are widely known for their terrorist activities.

Meanwhile, a senior Foreign Ministry official for Israel said that the accusation of Iran’s involvement “was backed by both intelligence information and evidence collected at the scene of both crimes, particularly an examination of the bomb that was defused in Tbilisi”. 

However, Israel is not expected to respond harshly.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has now responded to the attacks, declaring “we strongly condemn acts of terrorism in all forms and urge the authorities in India and Georgia to investigate these serious and deliberate acts of violence against Israeli diplomatic staff”.

The news made it into this morning’s edition of the Australian but only online in the Age with an AP article that seemed to deride Netanyahu’s claims of Iran and virtually suggested that Israel’s fear of Iran is irrational.

Which brings me to a fantastic piece by former Haaretz editor Chemi Shalev entitled ‘The Holocaust is a good reason, not a bad excuse, for attacking Iran’, which appeared in that newspaper a few days ago. Shalev wrote, “even if the legacy of the Holocaust has been crassly trivialized and cynically exploited by politicians in Israel and in America, it is still a towering presence in the lives of most Israelis and Jews, individually, and of Israel and the Diaspora, collectively. It is not some distant memory, it is not a historical tragedy, it is not something that happened to our forefathers once upon a time in a strange and distant land, it is not a ruse, not a cover, not a pretext and not an excuse”.

While discussing Iran and its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas, it is interesting to note the comments made by Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh just a few days ago. The Palestinian leader was in Iran when he declared, “They [the West] want from us to stop resistance and acknowledge Israel but I herewith announce that this will never happen”. He continued, “our message… is that all occupied lands will eventually be liberated from Israeli occupation”. Iran shared the love with Haniyeh with Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi declaring “soon the Zionist regime will be punished for its plots and aggressions”.

For those around the world who are quick to act as apologists for Hamas, it is worth noting that these words come in the wake of the signing of the unity agreement with its rival Fatah (see more). The disturbing message behind this is that the two main Palestinian political groups are focussed not on ending Israeli occupation of areas outside the 1967 borders but on destroying the Jewish State altogether and that is a problematic proposition for all those who seek peace in the region.


One Response to “Diplomats under attack”
  1. Jack Chrapot says:

    It should be added that there has now been a further attack by an Iranian national in Bangkok. The man was seriously injured by a hand grenade when he hurled it at police, but it bounced back from a vehicle. The explosion tore off his legs.

    Locally, Eleanor Hall of the ABC’s World Today managed to shoot herself in the foot by recruiting a rabid Israel hater and former Guardian journalist Geneive Abdo to discuss the attacks on the Israeli diplomats. 

    Here’s an example of the pair’s stupidity:

    ELEANOR HALL: Iran’s leadership says it’s sheer lies that it’s behind the attacks and that the Israelis have planted the bombs themselves to discredit Iran?

    GENEIVE ABDO: Well I think that’s entirely possible. I mean, if you consider what the Israelis did for many years in Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East, that theory is not so farfetched …

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