Friday, January 16, 2009

Qatar and Mauritania Suspend Relations With Israel

Al Jazeerah reports that Qatar and Mauritania "have suspended economic and political ties with Israel in protest against the war in Gaza ..."

Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and exiled Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, have both called on Arab countries to cut all ties with Israel.

Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab countries that have formal diplomatic ties with Israel. I don't expect that either one of these two countries will sever diplomatic ties with Israel.

Here in South Africa the Israeli ambassador, Dov Segev-Steinberg, said South Africa had a "one sided" approach to the tensions between Israel and Hamas, according to a report in the Mail & Guardian.

Segev-Steinberg was speaking to members of the South African Parliament's foreign affairs portfolio committee.

He told the MPS that Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Fatima Hajaig had "bashed" him when he tried to explain what Israel was doing in Gaza in a conversation that took place on December 29, 2008.

Segev-Steinberg also claimed that Hamas followed "extreme religious ideas" and that they are supported by Iran.

What absolute nonsense is my view. I wish South Africa's leadership had more backbone to stand up and expel Ambassador Segev-Steinberg.

It would be the fitting thing to do but it is even more unlikely than Jordan and Egypt breaking ties with Israel.

And so it goes. National interests over human rights. It is a storyline as old as international relations itself.


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