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Friday, August 18, 2006


Asymmetric warfare, asymmetric "diplomacy"

Remember these guys? They're part of the 64 Palestinian Cabinet ministers, legislators, and other officials who were kidnapped, excuse me, "arrested," by the Israeli government on June 25. That arrest was followed up subsequently with the arrest of the head of the Palestinian Parliament. A few days ago, one of those arrested was released; most of those arrested remain in Israeli hands.

Unlike the three Israeli soldiers being held by Hamas and Hizbollah, most of the world doesn't know their names. But that's only the most trivial part of the asymmetry referred to in the title of this post. What prompted me to write was this touching story, in which we learn that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is anxious to meet with the families of the captured Israeli soldiers. Has Annan (or the U.N. Security Council) ever uttered a single word about the arrest of the Palestinian government members, much less expressed an interest in meeting with their families? If he has, he's certainly managed to keep it out of the news. Not difficult to do, of course; you'll need to look very hard to find any mention at all of these men in the Western corporate media since their arrest.

Just imagine if the Palestinians had the firepower to retaliate against Israel for those kidnappings in proportion to the way Israel retaliated against Lebanon for the capture of two of its soldiers. Talk about the "destruction of Israel"!

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