The best defence is a good offence

It was refreshing to read that the Israeli Foreign Ministry has responded to critical mouthings from EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton with a good serving of their own.

Under the heading Government slams Ashton’s meddling 

It was first noted that Ashton issued a statement saying she was “concerned by the conviction of 39-year-old Abdallah Abu Rahma in an Israeli military court on charges of incitement and organizing and attending demonstrations.

The Israeli response included:

1. “in Israel, where even those who openly support Hamas and Hizbullah enjoy freedom of speech, such accusations sound particularly hollow. Moreover, interfering with a transparent legal procedure of a democratic country is not just highly improper, but is hardly consistent with promoting European values.”

2. If Ashton wanted to replace Abu Rahama’s lawyers, she should say so. “Otherwise she should respect the ruling of the Israeli justice system, and refrain from casting aspersions on a legal system that is lauded world wide by its peers.”

3. Ashton’s statement “probably reflects that internalization of the anti-Israeli discourse that denies any merits or any legitimacy to Israeli democracy and its institutions.”


4. what made Ashton’s comments even more “open to ridicule” was that she found time to criticize Israeli justice, while ignoring troubles at home, such as the “curious release” by a Scottish court of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, a year ago and the highly controversial ongoing expulsion of scores of Roma from France to Romania.

The defence/offence aphorism is variably attributed to Machiavelli, Mao, Carl von Clausewitz and Jack Dempsey. 

I found myself associating Ashton with clowns from a circus of the same name


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One thought on “The best defence is a good offence

  1. I agree that offence is a lot more satisfying – defending gets boring. People who unfairly attack Israel on campus or politically should realise that there is a downside to the attack… be it leaflets or picketing.