When it comes to the Middle East, Amnesty International appears not only to be promoting freedom from subjugation but from rationality as well.
Leading the group’s charge toward a brave, new, logic-free future (and possible self-inflicted irrelevance) is Ann Harrison, Amnesty’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, who was quoted yesterday on the group’s website: “The UN Security Council should meet urgently to impose an international arms embargo on Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza.”
Absent from this simplistic demand is any recognition of the fact that arms smugglers and state sponsors of terror, like Iran, pay little heed to UN Security Council resolutions, let alone to pronouncements from human rights orgs like Amnesty — unless they’re directed against Israel, of course.
The proposal would be somewhat less ludicrous if Israel faced a threat only from Gaza, but militant groups (most of which aspire to the complete erasure of the Jewish state) are active in every country bordering Israel and receive open or covert support from sympathetic sources worldwide.
Perhaps Ms. Harrison and her colleagues are unfamiliar with this famous quote from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “If Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war.”
When it comes to serious statements, elegant simplicity trumps simplistic superficiality every time.
For a nuanced view of the potential for peace in the Middle East, see the document A Peace of Jerusalem, an evolving, collaborative proposal that we have been proud to host here since 2009.
Britain, US and France send warships
through Strait of Hormuz
Britain, America and France delivered a pointed signal to Iran, sending six warships led by a 100,000 ton aircraft carrier through the highly sensitive waters of the Strait of Hormuz.
By David Blair
Chief Foreign Correspondent, The Telegraph
6:00AM GMT 23 Jan 2012
This deployment defied explicit Iranian threats to close the waterway. It coincided with an escalation in the West’s confrontation with Iran over the country’s nuclear ambitions.
European Union foreign ministers are today expected to announce an embargo on Iranian oil exports, amounting to the most significant package of sanctions yet agreed. They are also likely to impose a partial freeze on assets held by the Iranian Central Bank in the EU.
Tehran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation. Tankers carrying 17 million barrels of oil pass through this waterway every day, accounting for 35 per cent of the world’s seaborne crude shipments. At its narrowest point, located between Iran and Oman, the Strait is only 21 miles wide.
Last month, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, commander of the Iranian navy, claimed that closing the Strait would be “easy,” adding: “As Iranians say, it will be easier than drinking a glass of water.”
But USS Abraham Lincoln, a nuclear-powered carrier capable of embarking 90 aircraft, passed through this channel and entered the Gulf without incident yesterday. HMS Argyll, a Type 23 frigate from the Royal Navy, was one of the escort vessels making up the carrier battle-group. A guided missile cruiser and two destroyers from the US Navy completed the flotilla, along with one warship from the French navy.