Mediterranean oil spill conference to clean up aftermath of war

August 17, 2006

Right, for those of us not up to speed with the matter:

There’s 15,000 tonnes of crude oil spread across 140 km of Syrian and Lebanese coastline. No-one really bothered to mention this when it happened, partly because we were all a bit distracted by the whole Israel/Hezbollah dickwaving competition, and partly because said competition made it very hard to get close enough to the spill to find out what was going on.

Turns out it’s pretty bad. Tuna stocks are threatened. Green turtles, an endangered species, may lose an entire breeding season. Most of Lebanon’s coastline has been ruined, not that anyone was really thinking of taking a holiday there any time soon. And it’s still spreading.

Greece is to host a conference of nations to look into how to sort the mess out, including Turkey, Syria and Lebanon herself, but conspicuously missing Israel. The Israelis are responsible for the spill, having targeted a (civilian, non-combatant, non-Hezbollah) power station by the coast, but they accept no responsibility. It must be said, Hezbollah have also failed miserably to face upto their part in the conflict, celebrating the cease-fire as an Israeli defeat (which it wasn’t). But we’re not going to talk about any of that; this is about the environmental disaster.

What is clear is that the EU and the Arab nations are going to have to pay to clean this up, and rebuild the power station, while Israel continues to pretend that its actions were perfectly justified and not at all over-zealous. Which adds to my consistent point that Israel has no respect for the International community that created it. They actually don’t give a toss about anything anyone says. We asked them nicely to stop killing pople, and they said, ‘Hmm. No.’ When we eventually get their agreement, it’s with a treaty which would allow them to continue fighting while preventing their opponents from doing so. Now there finally is a ceasefire that both sides are willing to accept, and Israel refuses to help clean up the mess that it made in other countries. There’s oil throughout Syrian waters. Syria wasn’t even involved in the fighting.

A little like right-wing Americans, at some point Israel should stop going on about how everyone hates them, and start wondering why.

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