All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Israel's Misfortune

First it was Tony Blair who nearly got blown out of the skies by the Israel Air Force and yesterday, Nicholas Sarkozy was but metres away from a trigger-loose Israeli border policeman. I don't even want to think about what the next Head of a friendly state will think as his or her plane ferries them to our wonderful country.

Would you want to be the "third time lucky" victim?

Jokes aside, this is a terrible story for every conceivable reason.

Firstly, a life has been lost, even though it has been confirmed that this was in incident of suicide. Another son or father has left the world's stage.

Secondly, what must the French, who for the first time in forty years have actually been our friends, be thinking? You know that I have no great love for that nation (I really don't), but I wish this incident, if it had to happen, hadn't done so when Sarkozy - someone whom I happen to like - was in town. Had this been Chirac, I wouldn't have minded so much.

That Carla Bruni ran for her life without a second thought about her husband is another matter. We're not exactly talking Jackie O here!

Finally, Israel needs as much as good press as she can get. If this policeman had a psychologically unstable history, why wasn't this examined? Am I asking too much? In a climate as volatile as Israel, people live on their nerves (well, most do). Surely, there must be some sort of character profiling that goes on? The fact that this sort of incident may not have happened before could be given as a mitigating reason, but had the policeman been an assassin instead, what would we all be thinking now? Then again, I've read some rather cruel comments on the Jerusalem Post website about whom he should have bumped off instead (and it wasn't Sarkozy).

I so want Israel to be portrayed in a positive light. Having visited the country once or twice (or fifty) times, I don't recognise it from the kind of reports you see on CNN. I won't even talk about the BBC's reporting. They seem to be spending their time in another country that they think is Israel. Having a shooter at the farewell ceremony for the President of France does nothing for Israel's image at home or abroad.

The security services acted in an admirable manner when faced with the situation - but wouldn't it have been great if it hadn't taken place at all?

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