Thursday, July 27, 2006

Compare and contrast.

... how four countries responded to Israel's attack on a UN observation post in Lebanon that killed four peacekeepers -- one from Canada, one from Finland, one from Austria and one from China.

Finland:
Finland, the country holding the rotating presidency of the EU, said Wednesday that it had learned "with great shock" that four peacekeepers had been left dead by an Israeli air strike on a UN post in southern Lebanon on Tuesday.

"Attacks against UN personnel are unacceptable," a Finnish EU presidency statement added.

"The presidency calls for an immediate and full inquiry into this event." ...
Finland's President Tarja Halonen issued a statement Wednesday demanding Israel to perform a full investigation on the strike.

"There is no justification for Israel's strike on a UN observation base," she said.

Austria:
The incident prompted foreign minister Ursula Plassnik to telephone her Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Livnik, to express Austria’s indignation over the attack. Plassnik also demanded an immediate and thorough investigation into the incident. ...
The foreign ministry also issued a statement by Plassnik: "Such an attack on unarmed UN observers is entirely unacceptable and can in no way be justified”.
China:
China asked the UN Security Council on Wednesday to condemn an Israeli attack on a UN observer post in southern Lebanon that killed four peacekeepers from Austria, Canada, China and Finland.
"For China and for others," China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya said, "we condemn this because I think any attack on the United Nations positions and the United Nations personnel is inexcusable and unacceptable."
Also on Wednesday, Chinese President Hu Jintao expressed "deep condolences" over the death of Chinese UN observer Lieutenant-Colonel Du Zhaoyu and expressed utmost sympathy to his family.
The president instructed officials to condemn the attack, said a statement from the Foreign Ministry.
Hu "demanded the departments concerned properly handle the aftermath of the incident and take every measure necessary to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals in Lebanon," it said.
Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said earlier that China felt "deeply shocked" by and "strongly condemned" the Israeli air raid.
And how did our Prime Minister respond? Mr. Stephen "Stand Up For Canada" Harper? As The Star reports:
Harper, speaking to reporters after a funding announcement in eastern New Brunswick, said the Canadian military would consult with the UN and the Israeli government to find out what happened.
The prime minister also said he wants to know why the post was still manned even though it was in the middle of an obvious war zone. ...
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has suggested Israel deliberately targeted the UN outpost despite repeated calls to stop the shelling.
But Harper said the facts suggest otherwise.
“I certainly doubt that to be the case, given that the government of Israel has been co-operating with us in our evacuation efforts, in our efforts to move Canadian citizens out of Lebanon and also trying to keep our own troops that are on the ground, involved in the evacuation, out of harm’s way,” he said.
“We want to find out why this United Nations post was attacked and also why it remained manned during what is now, more or less, a war during obvious danger to these individuals.”
Is it too much to ask for a little outrage when one of our peacekeepers is killed? The inclusion of a couple of words like "strongly condemn" or "unacceptable"? Especially when said peacekeepers reportedly contacted the Israeli military 10 times about their position before they were bombed?

Do I, like Kofi Annan, believe that this UN mission was deliberately targeted by Israel? No. But I'd prefer to see my country's Prime Minister put standing up for Canadians a little ahead of making excuses for Israel...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

mess with the best die like the rest!