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Reprinted from YnetNews.com.
The flurry of international reactions to the killing of Osama bin Laden by the American army provides Israel with a great opportunity to demonstrate the double standards applied against it by so many in the Western world and elsewhere. All one has to do is compare the reactions of major institutions and leaders with those after the death of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. This leader of the Hamas terrorist organization was killed by Israel in 2004. He was directly responsible for many lethal attacks on Israeli civilians including suicide bombings.
On Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters that “the death of Osama bin Laden, announced by President (Barack) Obama last night, is a watershed moment in our common global fight against terrorism.”
Yet after the killing of Sheikh Yassin, then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said “I do condemn the targeted assassination of Sheikh Yassin and the others who died with him. Such actions are not only contrary to international law, but they do not do anything to help the search for a peaceful solution.”
The now-defunct UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the tragic death of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in contravention of the Hague Convention IV of 1907.” At the Security Council, the US had to use its veto power to prevent condemnation of Israel.
After the bin Laden killing, the leaders of the European Council and European Commission stated that his death made the world a safer place and showed that terrorist attacks do not remain unpunished. Following the Yassin killing, then-EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana said, “This type of action does not contribute at all to create the conditions of peace. This is very, very bad news for the peace process. The policy of the European Union has been consistently condemnation of extra-judicial killing.”British Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated President Obama on the success of the bin Laden assassination. Cameron considered it a massive step forward in the fight against extremist terrorism. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair also welcomed bin Laden’s demise.
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