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Thursday, June 10, 2010




Anwar and Pakatan’s tune on Israel
WED, 09 JUN 2010 22:20

By G Krishnan

COMMENT Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional, especially Umno, have made a big production out of the recent flotilla issue involving Israel. In the aftermath of the violence that unfolded off the Mediterranean the coast of Gaza, both political factions have attempted to play up the anti-Israeli rhetoric and to capitalise on the incident.

Naturally, much of the theatre that unfolded was catered for domestic consumption. Indeed, both camps seem to be falling over each other trying to make the most out of the Israeli government’s actions against the flotilla, and once again trying to score political points out of the Palestinian-Israeli stand-off.

Not wanting to be outdone by the Barisan Nasional, Anwar Ibrahim, like a boxer trying to counter-punch his opponent, has been trying to keep the tussle with the prime minister going by levelling criticisms at the latter’s response to the Israeli raid. In many respects, I am rather disappointed by Anwar’s exhibitionism on this front. It is, to say the least, utterly disappointing.

It is not surprising to see Umno playing up its anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic tendencies every chance it gets. After all, there is a long legacy of doing just so in Umno. At times, this Umno-led, anti-Semitic propaganda has served it well to galvanise support for the government against a faraway villain that ultimately doesn’t represent a threat to Umno in any way whatsoever. On other occasions, the anti-Semitism serves to temporarily divert attention from Umno’s domestic troubles.

At the end of the day, it is the persistence of a political narrative which, inevitably, has as its central premise the demonisation of Israel. In this case, the centre of the controversy stems from Israel’s blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza.

The critics of the blockade do not appear to have raised a hue and cry over Egypt’s role in enforcing it. Yes, the same Egypt, which, along with Turkey, is a member of the Organisation of Islamic Conference – to which the Palestinian Authority also belongs.

Egypt, too, in other words, has actively imposed a blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza by closing the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt. Such are the realities of the region, not to mention the realities of supposed Arab brotherhood itself.

Why no protest at Egypt Embassy? - CUBA LIHAT SINI

Let us just take note that the Israeli blockade would not, from the Israeli standpoint, be as effective if their action was not being complemented by contributions of the Palestinian fellow Arab brethren.

What, one has to wonder, could be the Egyptians’ motivation for aiding and abetting the Jewish state in its supposed efforts to punish the Hamas regime, which happens to be hell-bent on the destruction of Israel?

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