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Friday, 6 February 2009

Nazi State still dealing with international fallout

More than two weeks after halting its Gaza offensive, Israel is still dealing with the international fallout, including a very public spat with the leader of Turkey, a slew of war crimes allegations and broken ties with Venezuela, Bolivia and Qatar.

It's not quite a major diplomatic crisis, but it is a serious public relations problem for the Jewish state, which once again finds itself on the defensive against an avalanche of accusations.

Israel's defenders say the country was acting in self-defense and charge that no other country would be singled out for the kind of criticism that has been slung in its direction since the beginning of the Gaza offensive on Dec. 27.

The Foreign Ministry says Israel's important relationships are unharmed and predicts the international mood will pass.

The three-week offensive, aimed at halting years of rocket fire at Israeli towns from Gaza, killed some 1,300 Palestinians, at least half of them civilians, according to Gaza health officials. Thirteen Israelis were killed, including three civilians.

Perhaps the most noteworthy outburst was Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spat with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum, usually a refined get-together for the world's most powerful. More