Just one day after being anointed the U.S. deputy sheriff in Asia, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard made comments about the Israel and Hamas escalation implicitly supporting the Israeli assassination of the Hamas leader Ahmed Said Khalil al-Jabari. In her comments about the escalation, Gillard condemned repeated attacks by Hamas on Israel, but was silent on the Israeli assassination of the Hamas leader.
Government assassinations are both against international law and Australian government policy. However Gillard's silence over the matter, just like her silence over numerous U.S. drone assassinations in Pakistan over the last few years, seems to indicate a change in Australian foreign policy. It is apparent that any breach of international law by either the U.S. or Israel will always have the tacit support of the Australian government, even though some actions may be wrong and against any sense of moral ethics and international law.
Now we live in a world were state assassination of people, even their own citizens without trial, is acceptable. Last year, the Obama administration deployed a drone to kill one of its own citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki, without any trial whatsoever. The raid on Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan also had no legal basis, other than being an 'act of might.'
In war, terrorism, and insurgency, both sides undertake morally reprehensible and illegal acts. However, Western democracies have now decided that the means justify the ends and have dropped all legal concepts of justice in pursuit of their ends.
We are told to trust government in this post 9/11 era as if they know best. With the same bodies collecting intelligence, judging it, and then making assassinations, we have a situation where the basic division of powers, police, judiciary and penal system, once separated, now act as one.
This is the product of democracies that have decided to throw away all forms of visible checks and balances. This zero-sum game will act only to aggrieve more people who will be encouraged to take up insurgency and terrorism as a last resort, escalate the current situation in the Middle East, and make Western nations further targets for acts of terror. Now Australia is proudly among these targets, with Gillard putting her nation in harm's way.