28 February 2008

28 February 2008 - Shame on Israel for selling out Karsenty

Philippe Karsenty's day in court went well. His arguments trounced those of France 2, according to HonestReporting/Take A Pen (and just about everyone else who was there). France 2 didn't try to defend his substantive claims, but launched a bizarre series of personal attacks. The judges were apparently leaning towards Karsenty, even if the Avocat General--the "independent" legal reporter who advises the court--went against him.

But Karsenty may still lose, and if he does one of the main reasons will be that he has not received the support of the Israeli government. Aside from a spokesman in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, no one in the Israeli government has defended Karsenty's claims, and Israel has basically backed away from him in an attempt to avoid rocking the boat. It's a classic appeasement posture.

And it's shameful, disgraceful--worse than Ehud Olmert invoking the apartheid metaphor to create an undue sense of urgency around half-baked peace proposals. Israel's short-sighted silence amounts to collusion in Karsenty's prosecution. Once again it seems that Israel's PR strategy is worse than self-defeating; it's self-demonizing. We'll know the verdict on March 21, but even before then Israel deserves a strong rebuke for the way it has treated a man who has sacrificed his career and reputation to defend it against incitement.

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