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Gerald Kaufman: not what he seems

Cross-posted from Z Word

Here’s British parliamentarian Sir Gerald Kaufman on Israel’s operation in Gaza against Hamas: “”We have had a fuss in our country about the inability of certain Israeli politicians to visit Britain for fear of being arrested…Anybody who uses white phosphorus should be arrested and should be tried for war crimes.”

Sounds like a bold interventionist on behalf of human rights, no?

Here’s what Gerald Kaufman, then the Shadow (opposition) Foreign Secretary, said at the onset of the Serb onslaught against Bosnia, in June 1992: “The situation is far too confused for forcible intervention from outside to do any positive good…The Foreign Secretary is equally right to make it clear that the Serbs are not the only guilty party – that others share the guilt.” (Quoted in Brendan Simms, Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia, Penguin 2001, pps. 297-98.)

And here he is again in early 1993, when the genocidal nature of the Serb campaign was becoming increasingly clear: “The European Community should have no military role in this conflict or indeed in any other. The need is not to extend the conflict but to maintain it [sic].” (See Brendan Simms, p. 298.)

To maintain it. To maintain, in other words, a state of affairs which enabled the punishing siege of Sarajevo, the concentration camps in which women were raped and men brutalized, the massacre at Srebrenica and myriad other atrocities.

Gerald Kaufman was perfectly content for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bosnia to continue apace. So whenever you hear him delivering one of his inchoate, hateful rants against Israel, ask for the salt.

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