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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why The UN and EU Prefer Not Admitting Bulgaria Bombing Was A Terrorist Attack

Israeli‬ tourists killed in ‪Bulgaria‬ and the UN has nothing to say. No condemnation. Website, Twitter feed, Nothing.
Marc Leibowitz, Twitter


Of course, eventually the UN did find its voice and say something. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon condemned the terrorist bombing in Bulgaria (sort of):
New York/Beijing, 18 July 2012 - Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the attack in Bulgaria

The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms today's deadly bombing attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists outside of the Burgas airport in Bulgaria. The explosion reportedly killed at least seven and injured more than 30 people, some critically. The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the victims and their families, to the Governments and people of Bulgaria and Israel.
Moon condemned the bombing attack--just as Ban Ki Moon condemned the bombing attack in Kenya 2 weeks ago:
New York, 2 July 2012 - Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on attacks in Kenya

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the terrorist attacks carried out yesterday on two churches in the Kenyan town of Garissa which have resulted in the deaths of at least 17 people and wounded many more. These attacks, which deliberately targeted places of worship, are reprehensible and criminal.

No cause can justify the indiscriminate targeting of civilians. The perpetrators of these attacks, and of other recent terrorist acts in Kenya, must be held to account.

The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Kenya.
But of course there is a curious difference: the UN Secretary General reiterated that the attack in Kenya was in fact a terrorist attack. In the case of Bulgaria, Moon refers to it as "deadly bombing attack".

Since Moon is obviously not shy about using the term "terrorist"--he used the word twice in condemning the attack in Kenya--why is does he not use the word when referring to the murder of the Israeli youths?

Should the fact that Moon condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms" magically compensate for his apparent oversight?

Catherine Ashton, at least, admitted that the bombing kind of looked like a terrorist attack:
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on the killing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made today the following statement:
"I was appalled to hear of this afternoon’s apparent terrorist attack on Israeli tourists arriving in Bulgaria.

I am deeply shocked by the scenes at Bourgas airport, where what should have been the beginning of a happy holiday ended in murder.

I send my condolences to the families of all those killed. Many more have been injured. We wish them a speedy recovery.

The EU utterly condemns all acts of terrorism, wherever they take place. The terrorists who planned and carried out this attack must be brought to justice.”
Again, Ashton cannot quite bring herself to say the deliberate bombing of the bus of Israeli tourists was a terrorist attack--it was an "apparent" terrorist attack.

Nevertheless, besides using her statement to condemn all terrorist attacks, she does end off saying that those behind the attack were in fact terrorists.

Still, Ashton's message is a confused one.

But it shouldn't be. It's not as if the terrorist bombing in Bulgaria was an isolated incident.

Jeffrey Goldberg notes that Iran's war of terror against Israel has been going on for decades:
Iran has been waging war, rhetorical and actual, against Israel, and Jews, for at least 20 years, and is the prime sponsor of anti-Israel terror attacks, including the most notorious Iran-sponsored attack of all, the one that took place 18 years ago today, in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were murdered at a Jewish community center
Indeed, Argentine chief prosecutor Alberto Nisman, came to the conclusion that Iran was behind the terrorist attack on the Jewish Center in Argentina in 1994:
We deem it proven that the decision to carry out an attack July 18, 1994 on the AMIA (the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association, a Jewish charities association headquarters in Buenos Aires) was made by the highest authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran which directed Hezbollah to carry out the attack
And as Goldberg notes, that is not the first such terrorist attack against Israel that Iran is responsible for. The Israeli embassy in Argentina was bombed 20 years ago in 1992--and Iran was tied to that attack along with Syria.

Just a few days ago a Hezbollah operative was arrested in Cyprus allegedly planning attacks on Israelis:
The man was found with information on tour buses carrying Israeli passengers, a list of places in Cyprus favored by Israeli tourists and flight information of Israeli airlines that land in Cyprus, the Greek newspaper Phileleftheros reported, suggesting that he planned to detonate explosions on a plane or bus.
In fact, according to Haaretz, terrorist attacks against Jews have been planned and foiled around the world:
Israel's intelligence community has foiled dozens of attempted revenge attacks throughout the world. Foreign media reports, some of which were officially confirmed in Israel, told of terror attacks that were thwarted in Turkey, Greece, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Thailand, Kenya and other countries.
It is clear that Iran is conducting a war of terrorism.
That being the case:
  • Why is it that Ban Ki Moon has no trouble recognizing a terrorist attack when happens to Kenyans, but cannot say the "T-word" when the victims are Israelis?

  • Why is it that Catherine Ashton recognizes that terrorists are behind the the bombing  in Bulgaria, but yet refers to it as an "apparent" terrorist attack?

  • Why is Israel being excluded from meetings of the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

  • Why is it that when Hillary Clinton and others refer to incidents of terrorism around the world, they omit Israeli victims?
Maybe the reason is because there is a fundamental difference between Israel and Kenya: Israel has the ability and the determination to do something about these terrorist attacks. The world can offer their condolences to Kenya--and that is where it will end. Kenya will not stir things up.

Not so with Israel, which has demonstrated over and over that it is willing to take the initiative to retaliate against the terrorists--and that is not what other countries have in mind. They seem to prefer meetings and conferences, but not addressing the key issues head on, let along attacking the terrorists themselves.

Anne Bayefsky notes the handicap that the war against terror and the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) face:
Every one of the “key” Muslim nations in the GCTF is a party to an international treaty called the Convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on Combating International Terrorism. That treaty exempts from “terrorist crimes” “armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination.” Consequently, terrorism against Israelis, or Americans accused of being in the wrong places, will not be appearing on the Center’s agenda.
So don't expect the UN or EU -- or even the US, for that matter -- to cheer Israel on to take on the terrorists. World governments were only to happy to offer their condolences and sympathies to the US after the World Trade Center bombings--and they were indignant when the US took upon itself the dirty job of punishing the perpetrators.

They would prefer that Israel not rock the boat.
But even they know that is not going to happen.

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