Sunday, March 14, 2010


Palestinian child with photo of Sheikh Yassin

Australians still wait to hear Kevin Rudd or his Foreign Minister Stephen Smith condemn the murder of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mahboub. Their focus continues to be on the use of three (oops, now four) forged Australian passports by the suspected killers linked to the Israeli spy agency, Mossad. As Patrick O'Connor pointed out on the World Socialist Web Site ( "As far as the US and its allies are concerned, extra-judicial executions and so-called targetted killings now constitute a legitimate state activity and do not warrant comment, let alone condemnation".

And it seems like it's not only our right wing politicians who have no problems with state-sanctioned murder. Paul Howes, national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, shares the blood lust  and voiced his opinion: "That's why I'm proud that our nation has played a small, and accidental role, in the removal of the terrorist al-Mabhouh from our planet". Proud indeed!

The assassination of al-Mabhouh was the most recent in a string of political murders linked to Mossad hit squads and other Israeli agencies. The killing of Hamas's spiritual leader, the elderly, nearly blind, wheelchair-bound quadriplegic Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, in 2004, was a particularly bestial act. The helicopter gunship pilot who blew him into fragments also managed to take the lives of nine bystanders. Meanwhile, the killing of community leaders and activists in villages across the West Bank during late night incursions by the IDF (sic) continues with hardly a mention in the western press.

Just as human rights are not something which can be applied selectively (for instance, to Israelis and not to Palestinians) so too assassination is an unlawful, cowardly act, whoever commits it.

See Barbara Heard, "The Complex Business of Assassination" in the Palestinian Think Tank (link at right).