Murdoch columnist urges Israel to kill people with less traces, please

Surely article of the day about Australian passports being involved in the Dubai murder (while Israeli itself continues to deny its involvement, sounding a little like a scorned schoolchild who doesn’t like admitting he hits girls). Over to you, Greg Sheridan (essentially wishing well… Israel and any other country that wants to murder supposed terrorists in an extra-judicial way but urges it to be done cleaner):

Israel has every right to wage war against those who wage war against it but Israel certainly does not have the right to misuse the passports of innocent Australians in the process.

This was a very bad mistake by Jerusalem. There will be a great deal of criticism of Israel over the next few days. Let’s be clear what Israel deserves criticism for.

Israel has every right to defend itself against terrorists and murderers. The international community cannot condemn Israel for waging too indiscriminate a war against Hamas in Gaza, then condemn it all the more for a targeted strike against a key terrorist murderer.

Morally, there is no difference in Israel’s actions from those of the US when it targets al-Qa’ida and Taliban leaders in Afghanistan for strikes by unmanned drone aircraft. The Australian Special Air Service has been sent on similar missions in Afghanistan. But one glaring question out of this debacle is how did it go so wrong. Israel has conducted numerous operations like this, often enough with the co-operation of one or other Arab intelligence agency. The reach, expertise and stealth of Mossad is legendary in the Middle East, and a substantial part of Israel’s overall military prestige. But this operation has attracted all the wrong kind of publicity and left behind embarrassing video images and evidence of Mossad agents’ behaviour. The misuse of Australian passports is a shocking mistake by Israel. Perhaps the key strategic challenge Israel faces is its diplomatic and political isolation. Apart from the US, Israel has no better friend in the world than Australia.

Similarly, there could be only a tiny handful of leaders anywhere in the world as committed to Israel as Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott. A smart nation, and Israel is normally among the smartest, does not ever, under any circumstances, burn friends like that. Canberra has a very close, active and intimate intelligence relationship with Israel. Many of our top intelligence people go there for consultations and even for special short course training. It is astonishing to find a circumstance in which the PM is condemning Israel. To misuse the Australian connection in this way is a very poor show by the Israelis. For God’s sake, don’t do it again.

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