However, the killing of Sheikh Yassin was called by the then-British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw “unacceptable” and “unjustified.” The official spokesman of then-Prime Minister Blair condemned the “unlawful attack“ and observed: “We have repeatedly made clear our opposition to Israel’s use of targeted killings and assassinations.”
A Case of Anti-Semitism?
France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed Bin Laden’s killing as a coup in the fight against terrorism. He called President Obama, praised his determination and courage and all others who had pursued the head of al-Qaeda for 10 years. Sarkozy added that the two heads of state had agreed to continue the just and necessary fight against terrorist barbarity and those who support it.
Yet after Sheikh Yassin’s death, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman, Herve Ladsous, said, “France condemns the action taken against Sheikh Yassin, just as it has always condemned the principle of any extra-judicial execution as contrary to international law.” Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin declared that “such acts can only feed the spiral of violence.”
German Chancellor Angel Merkel said at a recent press conference, “I’m glad that killing bin Laden was successful.” She also called it “good news.” Then Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer had stated after the killing of Sheikh Yassin that “the German government is deeply concerned about the development.”
Russia released a statement regarding bin Laden which the Voice of America quoted as saying that retribution inevitably reaches all terrorists and that Russia is ready to “step up” its coordination in the international fight against global terrorism.” After the Yassin assassination, a foreign ministry spokesman said that Moscow was deeply concerned about the situation.
President Abdullah Gul of Turkey declared that the killing of bin Laden was a message for terrorist organizations all around the world. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had called the killing of Yassin “a terrorist act” and said that “the assassination was not humane.”
This comparison gets even more meaningful when seen in the context of the definition of anti-Semitism as regularly used in the European Union. It was prepared by one of the EU agencies. It gives examples of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel, including the following: “Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”Israel could considerably improve its public diplomacy by using the comparison of the two killings and other comparisons of events which occur with great frequency to stress such double standards. This is one of the many ways that Israel can fend off at least part of the unjust criticism against it.
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld has published 19 books, several of these deal with anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism.
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