A ‘partial embargo’ is not enough…

gazaIt is a measure of the suspension of the normal rules of judgement when it comes to Israel that the governments decision to cancel 5 out of 182 arms export licences to concerning spare parts for the Israeli Navy is worthy of some truly sensationalist reporting saying Britain is now ’embargoing’ Israel. If only that were the case; the international communities refusal to view matters in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict with a balanced eye is one of the deciding factors in it’s continuation because while Israel feels it can proceed however it feels without the threat of recourse it will continue too and it’s opponents will continue to be equally reckless and callous.

Amnesty International has produced a report which has said that both sides committed war crimes. Donatella Rovera, who headed an Amnesty International field research mission to Gaza and southern Israel during and after the conflict, said:

“‘Israel’s failure to properly investigate its forces’ conduct in Gaza, including war crimes, and its continuing refusal to cooperate with the UN international independent fact-finding mission headed by Richard Goldstone, is evidence of its intention to avoid public scrutiny and accountability.

‘The international community, led by the UN Security Council, must use all its leverage to ensure that Israel cooperates fully with the Goldstone inquiry, which now offers the best means to establish the truth.’

Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups fired hundreds of rockets into southern Israel, killing three Israeli civilians, injuring scores and driving thousands from their homes. ‘Such unlawful attacks constitute war crimes and are unacceptable,’added Rovera. ”

Restricting the arms flow to both parties should of course be the goal of the international community; embargoing Israel further would send a clear signal that a more even-handed approach will be taken and it was right of Nick Clegg to call for the drastic curtailment of these kind of licences. The government in not renewing these five has taken a step in the right direction but it needs to go further.

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About darrellgoodliffe

n.a

2 responses to “A ‘partial embargo’ is not enough…”

  1. Joe Otten says :

    Does being even-handed really imply supplying arms to both sides, or not, on the same basis?

    And what? Let them fight it out?

    No, surely the goals of restricting arms supplies to Israel are quite different – to attempt to influence the Israeli government to be less aggressive – to the goals with respect to the embargo against Gaza – that any weapons making it in there will be used against Israel, and probably civilians, sooner or later.

    The idea that fairness on the battlefield can be a sensible policy goal is frankly ludicrous.

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  2. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Joe,

    It means being even-handed in terms of public statements and the judiscious application of the norms of international law. And it does mean that neither side, both of which break the said law should be actively armed by any country purporting to want to see those laws upheld.

    No the goals really are not different at all considering Israeli arms also clearly end up being indiscriminately against civilians too. The goal is the maintence of international law which seems to be an almost fictional concept in this conflict and a recognition that a right to self defence in Israel’s case does not extend to the right to committ war crimes of aggression.

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