Monday, July 19, 2004
Diversity of Israeli Opinion
Given that Shinui is the second most powerful party in Israel right now, and that Tommy Lapid is the Justice Minister, views of the sort that he expressed today have been largely ignored by the US media and government. According to Ha'aretz, Lapid was quite concerned over the dismissal of the International Court of Justice's ruling on Israel's wall through the West Bank:
"The Hague court, groups like Amnesty, and United Nations committees, act as a kind of global high court that, while they do not have to be liked, cannot be ignored," said Lapid.Meanwhile, in op-ed pages across the United States, in the House of Representatives, and on cable news networks, the only view expressed is that Israel is justified not to heed the ICJ's ruling, that the ICJ ruling ignores the real issue of Palestinian terrorism, and that the ICJ ruling, as simply a "political" ruling, is of no import or consequence. Well, Tommy Lapid is no leftist. He makes it abundantly clear that his primary concern is the best interests of Israel. I think the US media does Israel and the US a disservice by not including those prominent voices that do not hold the Likud party line. And again, I find that more and more I am pleasantly suprised by the things that come out of Lapid's mouth.
International bodies, who are running out of patience for Israel's occupation of the territories, have put Israel under a legal blockade, Lapid said.
"If we don't respect human rights in the territories, we'll be putting ourselves in the situation in which South Africa found itself," Lapid said.
"People here don't understand that, when Israel ensures that laws and humanitarian criteria are maintained in the territories, it is looking after its own best interests."