Friday, September 30, 2005

Wow, Here's A Triple Shocker From Britain!

Check this out! The rational statement of a policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians and the Israelis, laid out by Britain's Minister of State for the Middle East.
Israel's response to the recent Kassam rocket attacks on Sderot has been measured and appropriate, Kim Howells, Britain's Minister of State for the Middle East, told The Jerusalem Post, disregarding Palestinian appeals for the world to rein in the IDF.

Howells, on a three-day visit to the region, hinted in an interview Wednesday night that financial aid to the Palestinian Authority might be withheld if the PA did not seriously begin tackling the terrorism in its midst.

"The Palestinians are receiving more aid per capita than any other people on the face of the earth, and we want to see some proper response," Howells said, hinting at a decrease of economic aid if the Palestinians don't fight terror.

"I thought the retaliation this week was proportionate," said Howells about the IDF operations. "The [Palestinian] attack was a very serious one, it could have killed a lot of people. It's a miracle really there weren't more casualties."

"I think there is no excuse now," he added. "Gaza is now in the hands of the Palestinian Authority, and there are no Israeli troops there. One hopes that where tough decisions have to be made, Abu Mazen [PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas] and the PA will make them."
And the Minister continues on fairly and reasonably after this. Read the whole thing, simply for the edification and shock value. It may never happen in our lifetimes again!

There are other signs of unanticipated and bewildering fairness from British news organs:

Adloyada writes up a BBC Radio 4 broadcast in which Israeli settlers are shown as reasonable humans, not insane settler religious maniacs. Though she also notes some of the regular programming tone the BBC has run of late as well.

[Hat Tip: Clive Davis]

And as though this weren't already a cornucopia, Bloghead brings our attention to another fair interview from the BBC. Video available here
an extremely hard-hitting and critical interview with Rafiq Husseini -- Abbas's chief of staff -- on Steven Sackur's HARDtalk. For those used to criticising the BBC, this was an unusual programme. Sackur, his irritation obvious, tried to pin Husseini down on controlling Hamas, on corruption in the PA, and on stoppping attacks on Israel. Husseini said a number of astonishing things, including that Israel was "justified" in military actions in response to attacks.
[Hat Tip: Judith]

It's too much to hope that it will last, so enjoy it while it's here.

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