Kenya bomb attacks: “Terror is terror”; & another excuse to slander Israel

December 02, 2002

CONTENTS

1. Another excuse to slander Israel
2. "Kenya: Have we become canon fodder?" (The Nation Nairobi, Kenya)
3. "A single war" (By Max Boot, New York Post, Dec. 2, 2002)
4. "Terror is terror is terror" (Boston Herald editorial, Nov. 30, 2002)
5. "For Israelis and Jews everywhere fear is now international" (By Jonathan Freedland, Guardian, Nov. 29, 2002)
6. "Mideast mixed signals" (Toronto Star editorial, Dec.1, 2002)
7. "Mossad wakens 'sleeper' agents in Yemen, Saudi Arabia" (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 1, 2002)
8. "Hundreds attend Mombasa tour guide's funeral" (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 1, 2002)
9. "British tourists shun Israelis [in Kenya]" (London Times, Nov. 29, 2002)



[Note by Tom Gross]

ANOTHER EXCUSE TO SLANDER ISRAEL

This is a follow-up to the dispatch of November 28 (Mossad to track down those behind triple bomb attacks in Kenya.) I attach a further round-up of articles connected to the Mombassa bomb attacks, with notes and a summary first. (In some cases, to save space, I have attached a summary without the full article.)

Although a few individual correspondents from international TV networks including one who was quietly removed from Israel earlier this year for her persistent misrepresentation of facts and was posted to Africa managed to lace anti-Israel comments into their reporting, much of the coverage was sympathetic to Israel.

The correspondent I mention claimed in her reports that the government of Israel should be doing more to help the Kenyan victims (even though it is far from clear why she thought it is Israel's responsibility.) In any case, nothing could be further from the truth. Israeli military aircraft brought the most seriously injured Kenyans back to Israel with the Israeli injured in order to provide them (at Israeli taxpayer expense) with emergency medical treatment of the kind that is not available in Kenya.

There are also a number of print journalists, such as Robert Fisk, yesterday in The Independent on Sunday, who have used the Kenya attacks as an excuse to further slander Israel. However, several papers and writers have taken a more understanding approach.

-- Tom Gross

 

SUMMARIES

“NOW WE UNDERSTAND”

1. "Kenya: Have we become canon fodder?" (By Magesha Ngwiri, The Nation Nairobi, Kenya)

[Extract only] "By all means, we sympathise with the Palestinians who have never known peace since 1948. But now we understand why Israel acts the way it does, a country that is surrounded from all sides by enemies and which can never relax for even a single day for to do so would mean its extermination."

 

“A SINGLE WAR”

2. "A single war" (By Max Boot, New York Post, December 2, 2002)

"There is at least one silver lining in the ghastly carnage in Mombasa, Kenya: The homicidal swine who turned the Paradise Hotel into an inferno blew away the illusion that Israels war on terrorism can be separated from America's. This is a myth treasured by many in the U.S. government, especially at the State Department, who believe that America is right to use overwhelming force against its enemies, but that Israel should show "restraint" no matter the provocation. While America roots out the source of our terrorist problems in Afghanistan, Washington sternly admonishes Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that he must not touch a hair of Yasser Arafat's head even though Arafat is at least as much responsible for terrorism as Mullah Omar once was."

(Note by TG: This is one of several editorials making this point. I attach one more example below.)

 

“BOTH FOOLISH AND WRONG”

3. "Terror is terror is terror" (Boston Herald editorial, November 30, 2002)

"We say it. We believe it. And yet when it comes to Israel too often the Bush administration at least in its public pronouncements attempts to draw distinctions between global terrorist networks and the Mideast's homegrown varieties. Once upon a time that was merely foolish. Now it is both foolish and wrong."

 

ALARM SPREADING ACROSS THE JEWISH WORLD

4. "For Israelis and Jews everywhere fear is now international" (By Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian, November 29, 2002).

Jonathan Freedland, a significant figure in the European left-liberal media (he is tipped as a future editor of the Guardian newspaper), seems to be realizing that Israel and Jews are under attack, and do not solely play the role of aggressor. He writes "Kenya's psychological impact will not be felt by Israelis alone. It will fuel a growing mood of alarm spreading across the Jewish world: the sense that Jews are being hounded in a way unseen for more than half a century... No one expects George Bush to make concessions to Bin Laden, so why should Sharon to Arafat? As of yesterday, that argument will gain ground. Overtly now, the al-Qaida and Palestinian campaigns have been fused."

 

“MIDEAST MIXED SIGNALS”

5. "Mideast mixed signals" (Toronto Star editorial, December 1, 2002)

Yet another traditionally anti-Israel paper takes a more understanding position, and unlike many editorials notes that the attacks on Israeli civilians last Thursday were directed not just at tourists but at voters ("Gunmen associated with Fatah murdered Israeli voters.") The Star writes: "Who speaks for Palestinians? Yasser Arafat and his moderate-sounding aides, or the terrorists who murdered innocent Israelis this past week in Israel and Kenya? The world needs to know... These attacks on democracy, civil aviation and tourists come as Palestinians court the world's sympathy. This is no way to earn it."

 

MOSSAD WAKES “SLEEPER” AGENTS IN YEMEN & SAUDI ARABIA

6. "Mossad wakens 'sleeper' agents in Yemen, Saudi Arabia" (The Jerusalem Post, December 1, 2002)

This is based on a report in the London Sunday Times, which may or may not be true.

 

HUNDREDS ATTEND MOMBASSA TOUR GUIDE’S FUNERAL

7. "Hundreds attend Mombasa tour guide's funeral" (The Jerusalem Post, December 1, 2002)

Albert's oldest daughter, Ilana, recalled how the last contact he had with her was via e-mail. He asked her what he should "bring his beautiful daughter" back from Kenya. She replied: "Just come home safely."

 

ISRAEL NEVER RECEIVED A WARNING

8. "Western countries didn't share information with Israel" (Israeli press reports, Extract only)

"Though the Australian media are reporting that their government warned its citizens almost three weeks ago that Mombassa was a likely terrorist target, and though the U.S. confirms that it received similar information, Israel says it never received such a warning. British officials refused to comment on whether they were made privy to these warnings. The Americans say that they did not act on the information because it was "general and not trustworthy." Western intelligence agencies generally pass on information of this nature among themselves."

"The three Israelis murdered in Mombassa on Thursday were laid to rest today. The brothers Noi and Dvir Anter, 12 and 13, from Ariel were buried this afternoon at the Yarkon Cemetery near Petach Tikvah. Their mother was seriously wounded in the carbomb attack, and their younger sister was lightly hurt. Ilana Nulman, principal of HaYovel Junior High School in Ariel, where the two boys studied, said that the hallmark of the two boys was their "constant smile that never left their faces. They were true flowers. The pain is tremendously great. We took out paper and all sorts of drawing utensils, and the computer room, and encouraged the students to put their feelings down on paper or on the computer. One of them wrote an apology, and later explained that he had hurt one of the two brothers and didn't get a chance to say he was sorry."

 

BRITISH TOURISTS SHUN ISRAELIS IN KENYA

9. "British tourists shun Israelis" (London Times, November 29, 2002)

British tourists travelling to Kenya are demanding to know whether Israelis will be sharing their hotels, according to a leading travel firm.



FULL ARTICLES

“ONE SILVER LINING IN THE GHASTLY CARNAGE”

A single war
By Max Boot
The New York Post
December 2, 2002

There is at least one silver lining in the ghastly carnage in Mombasa, Kenya: The homicidal swine who turned the Paradise Hotel into an inferno blew away the illusion that Israels war on terrorism can be separated from America's.

This is a myth treasured by many in the U.S. government, especially at the State Department, who believe that America is right to use overwhelming force against its enemies, but that Israel should show "restraint" no matter the provocation. While America roots out the source of our terrorist problems in Afghanistan, Washington sternly admonishes Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that he must not touch a hair of Yasser Arafat's head even though Arafat is at least as much responsible for terrorism as Mullah Omar once was.

This attitude reached new heights of absurdity after the targeted killing of six al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen by a CIA-operated Predator unmanned aerial vehicle. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher took pains to argue that there was absolutely no comparison between this action and Israel's targeted killings of terrorists, which the U.S. government continues to condemn.

But what if the people attacking America are also the people attacking Israel? If it turns out that al Qaeda was responsible for the Kenya attack, as now appears likely, this conclusion will be inescapable. Yet the evidence already strongly pointed in that direction long before last week's bombing.

One only has to think back to 9/11: The suicidal attacks on America caused great grief in Israel and undisguised joy in the Palestinian territories.

Though Arafat took pains to quash coverage of pro-al Qaeda demonstrations, the Palestinian reaction was hardly an aberration. Remember that in the 1991 Gulf War the Palestinians also openly rooted for America's enemy, Saddam Hussein.

It's more than a matter of rooting interest, however; there are also much closer connections between anti-American terrorists and anti-Israeli terrorists.

At the broadest level, both groups represent an extremist Islamist ideology that revels in suicidal attacks and seeks to inflict maximum civilian casualties. The 9/11 hijackers were similar in spirit to those who tried to blow an Israeli airliner out of the sky over Kenya with SA-7 missiles.

Not all Palestinian terrorists, much less all Palestinians, are Islamists but fanatical groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad are at the forefront of the current Al Aqsa intifida.

Within extremist Islamic circles, hatred of America ("the Great Satan") and Israel ("the Little Satan") go hand in hand. The Islamists even debate which is their greatest enemy: Some argue for America, on the grounds that Israel is merely an outpost of the "Crusader" empire centered in the United States; others suggest that the "Zionist entity" is the greater threat, on the grounds that a Zionist conspiracy secretly controls the U.S. government. But there is no denying that the two are closely linked in the Islamists' minds because both countries stand for everything they detest: religious freedom, women's rights, democracy, pluralism.

Thus Hezbollah (Party of God), the Iranian-sponsored Lebanese terrorist group, has carried out major operations against both Israel and America. Hezbollah is believed to be behind the blowing up of the U.S. embassy and the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, the kidnapping and killing of numerous Americans in the 1980s, and the bombing of the U.S. Khobar Towers barracks in Saudi Arabia in 1996. At the same time, Hezbollah has waged a relentless war against Israel from its bases in Southern Lebanon, a war that has not slowed down even after its ostensible provocation (Israel's occupation of part of Lebanon) ended in 2000.

Many observers wrongly focus on the divisions between terrorist groups. Some, such as Hezbollah, are Shiites. Others, like al Qaeda, are led by Sunnis. Still others, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, have secular leaders. But even rivals cooperate in their common campaign against Israel and the West, much as disparate terrorist groups of the 1970s and 1980s (the Baader Meinhof Gang, Red Army Faction, Irish Republican Army, etc.) worked together under the tutelage of Communist intelligence services.

The modern Islamist movement began with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the 1950s-'60s, but has since spread throughout the Middle East and beyond, from the Palestinian territories to Pakistan. All these groups see themselves as fellow jihadis (holy warriors) for the Dar al Islam (house of Islam) against the Dar al Harb (house of war or all non-Islamic societies).

If we are ever to defeat them, we must see them as they see themselves. If we do, we'll realize that the Israeli conflict is not a "distraction" from the war on terrorism it is the war on terrorism.

(Max Boot is the Olin senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power.)

 

TERROR IS TERROR IS TERROR

Terror is terror is terror: A dangerous world got more dangerous
Editorial
The Boston Herald
November 30, 2002

We say it. We believe it. And yet when it comes to Israel too often the Bush administration at least in its public pronouncements attempts to draw distinctions between global terrorist networks and the Mideast's homegrown varieties.

Once upon a time that was merely foolish. Now it is both foolish and wrong.

The coordinated attacks Thursday on Israeli citizens in Mombasa, Kenya, are of a different order of magnitude not just for them, but for the United States as well. It is entirely likely that the attacks, one on an Israeli-owned resort hotel and the second on a plane departing from Mombasa airport, were the work of al-Qaeda. The suicide bombing of the hotel killed 12, three of them Israelis and nine Kenyans, most of them members of a youthful dance troupe which had come to welcome the new arrivals.

The attempted strike on the plane from a shoulder-held missile was, of course, a nightmare scenario come to life. That it missed, that it was barely felt by the pilot who thought a bird had hit the plane, and that the lives of 261 passengers were spared, was a result of either a faulty missile, an inexperienced terrorist or simple good luck.

"The world war against terror must become a practical, realistic and uncompromising war against all the terror organizations and those who harbor them anywhere and at any time," Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said following the attacks.

Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, interviewed on the "Today" show yesterday, focused on the new terrorist weapon of choice, a shoulder-launched missile, noting that the next one could easily be aimed at an American plane.

The older model, used in Kenya, is fairly available on the just barely underground arms market. Even the more advanced Stinger missiles are still floating around Afghanistan to such an extent that the Central Intelligence Agency is offering a bounty for them.

We have known for a rather long time that we live in a dangerous world. This week it just got a little more dangerous, a little scarier.

 

FEAR IS NOW INTERNATIONAL

For Israelis and Jews everywhere fear is now international
By Jonathan Freedland
The Guardian
November 29, 2002

The sick fact is that, by Israeli standards, this was not a particularly big one. Suicide bombings inside the country regularly claim a dozen Israeli lives or more, while the terrorists who attacked the Paradise hotel outside Mombasa yesterday killed as many of themselves as they did Israelis (three each).

If terror were a crude matter of numbers, the African murders would have less significance than, say, yesterday's raid on a Likud party office in Beit Shean, which killed five. But numbers are not always decisive. Location matters too. Which is why yesterday's double assault from Kenya will strike so hard.

First, it will deepen yet further Israelis' state of fear. For more than two years Israelis have lived with the daily possibility of violent and random death within their own borders. Every parent worries that the bus carrying their child could blow to pieces; a trip to the mall could be a deathtrap; a pizzeria could be a minefield. That constant fear has seeped into the marrow of the society. Nothing is normal.

But Israelis always had one way to escape the fear. A holiday outside the country could be the valve that releases the pressure. Home may not have been safe, but abroad could be.

Now Israelis have lost even that comfort. Now they will believe that nowhere is safe. They will be hunted down wherever they are, targeted for the crime of being Israeli. That is the message of yesterday's attack: Israelis cannot live at home, they cannot live in the world.

Some will think that an overreaction. After all, Australians were the target of October's Bali bomb yet surely few Aussies now feel themselves in a state of siege. That's true, but it misses two important differences. Australians are not under constant attack in their own country. Nor are they a people with a long, collective history of persecution.

Which is why Kenya's psychological impact will not be felt by Israelis alone. It will fuel a growing mood of alarm spreading across the Jewish world: the sense that Jews are being hounded in a way unseen for more than half a century.

Many Jews will see Mombasa as confirmation that Osama bin Laden's words are to be taken at face value. That when he repeatedly declares a "jihad against Jews and crusaders", he means it. And he puts Jews first for a reason: because he regards them not Israelis or Zionists, but Jews as enemy number one. Al-Qaida's April attack on an ancient Tunisian synagogue, which left 16 dead, was an early proof. Yesterday was another.

Politically, there are two likely impacts. First, Kenya will, like all terror attacks, prompt Israelis to close ranks. They will unite behind their prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who last night looked set to cruise to re-election as Likud leader. When terror strikes, Israelis accept the Sharon view that the only proper response is crushing force.

So the fledgling campaign of Labour challenger Amram Mitzna arguing that a peace process, not military might, is the only long-term answer will now struggle to get a hearing. What is there to talk about with maniacs prepared to blow 261 passengers out of the sky?

Sharon and much of the Israeli consensus will see a second vindication in Mombasa. Ever since September 11, Israeli leaders and their allies among the US hawks have argued that Israel's struggle with the Palestinians is merely one front in the wider war on terror. "Arafat is our bin Laden" is the slogan.

The desire to link the two is not hard to fathom. If these are the same fight, then Israel has the same right to hit at the "terror camps" of the West Bank as America had to strike at Afghanistan. And why negotiate with Palestinians if they are merely a local branch of al-Qaida? No one expects George Bush to make concessions to Bin Laden, so why should Sharon to Arafat?

As of yesterday, that argument will gain ground. Overtly now, the al-Qaida and Palestinian campaigns have been fused. As an Israeli government statement declared yesterday: "Whether in New York or Washington, Bali or Moscow, Mombasa or Bet She'an, terrorism is indivisible, and all attempts to understand it will only serve to ensure its continuation."

Kenya adds weight to the hawkish view that Israel faces a murderous enemy with whom there can be no reasoning; there is no point talking peace, because this is not a local, soluble struggle over real estate but a global, metaphysical "clash of civilisations". That is the view of the right, in Jerusalem and Washington and, not for the first time, the terrorists have just served as the hawks' star witness.

 

“WHO SPEAKS FOR PALESTINIANS?”

"Mideast mixed signals"
Editorial
Toronto Star
December 1, 2002

Who speaks for Palestinians? Yasser Arafat and his moderate-sounding aides, or the terrorists who murdered innocent Israelis this past week in Israel and Kenya? The 56 per cent of Palestinians who shrink from attacks inside Israel or the large minority who still cheer them?

The world needs to know.

Brutal attacks on Israeli voters, holiday-goers and air travellers a few days ago coincided with news reports that Arafat's top deputy Mahmoud Abbas has denounced the two-year Palestinian campaign of violence as a tragic error and a dead end. "We should... ask ourselves where we are headed," he told Fatah party activists at a closed-door meeting. "What happened in these two years... is a complete destruction of everything we built."

Yes it is. Some 2,700 people have died, Arafat's credibility has been shattered, his Palestinian Authority all but destroyed, statehood has been put on hold and tens of thousands have sunk into poverty.

A rethinking of Palestinian strategy is overdue. But Arafat himself, not an aide, should have shouted this message from the rooftops. Then fewer ordinary people might still cling to the contemptible fiction that terror is justified.

If Arafat cannot bring himself to challenge this view, publicly and forcefully, he should bow out. To be credible peace partners Palestinian leaders must make themselves heard for peace above the noise of rockets, bombs and guns. They haven't yet.

No sooner were Abbas' musings on the futility of violence made public, than gunmen from the Al Aqsa Brigades associated with Fatah murdered Israeli voters as they re-elected Prime Minister Ariel Sharon head of the ruling Likud party.

And in Kenya, Israeli tourists were blown to pieces by killers thought to be in league with Al Qaeda, and an Israeli passenger jet was nearly brought down by two missiles in a frightening escalation of terror.

These attacks on democracy, civil aviation and tourists come as Palestinians court the world's sympathy. This is no way to earn it.

 

MOSSAD WAKENS “SLEEPER” AGENTS

Mossad wakens 'sleeper' agents in Yemen, Saudi Arabia
By Douglas Davis
The Jerusalem Post
December 1, 2002

The Mossad has activated "sleeper" agents in Saudi Arabia and Yemen after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered Mossad head Meir Dagan to track down the planners and perpetrators of last Friday's twin attacks in Mombasa.

Quoting one source, the London Sunday Times reported that Sharon summoned Dagan to a meeting following the attacks and told him: "War has been declared on the State of Israel by the global Islamic terror syndicate. Change your priorities and get them, one by one."

Codenamed "Warriors," the highly trained sleeper agents are said to volunteer to live undercover in Arab countries, remaining dormant unless war breaks out. In such circumstances, their mission is to undermine Arab plans for strikes against Israel.

The last time the Mossad received such orders was in 1972 when then-prime minister Golda Meir ordered the assassination of Palestinians who were involved in the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. All but one were eliminated in an operation that ranged over several continents and six years.

According to the newspaper, Sharon's order "promises to have momentous consequences for the conduct of the war on terror." It also said the order had met with a mixed reception among Mossad agents.

"If Bin Laden was involved in the Kenya attack, this man is a walking corpse," one agent was quoted as saying. Others, however, described the decision to activate the "Warriors" as "overkill." One source was quoted as saying: "Muslim terrorism is not a critical threat to the state of Israel. We should keep these people for an all-out war."

 

“JUST COME HOME SAFELY”

Hundreds attend Mombasa tour guide's funeral
By Kelly Hartog
The Jerusalem Post
December 1, 2002

The way in which 60-year-old Albert de Havilla's funeral was conducted was a true reflection of the man himself: calm, muted, and simple. This was not a funeral like those of so many terrorism victims. There were no camera crews, no hysteria, no flailing of arms, wailing or keening, cursing or cries for vengeance.

Several hundred people turned out to pay their respects, including family, friends, co-workers, and the small group of journalists who had accompanied him to Kenya.

All those who spoke at his graveside described a man who "loved life, had a hunger for knowledge, and whose enthusiasm had not waned with the passing years." Albert was born in Morocco and at the age of 16 was heavily involved in a program to help smuggle Jews from his homeland into Israel. He later made aliya with his wife, Estria.

Albert recently took early retirement from his post at the Prime Minister's Office and began a new chapter in life as a tour guide.

A co-worker at the funeral said after working for only a month for Paradise Geographic he received an award for being the most outstanding employee.

Albert's oldest daughter, Ilana, recalled how the last contact he had with her was via e-mail. He asked her what he should "bring his beautiful daughter" back from Kenya. She replied: "Just come home safely."

Albert is also survived by three grandchildren and his two other daughters, Ruthie and Keren. Keren is an flight attendant with Arkia, the airline he took to Mombasa, and Ruthie flew to Kenya with her father. They shared his final meal together.

I had spoken to Albert, my tour guide, just about every other day on the telephone in the two weeks prior to my departure to Kenya. No minor question was too much of a bother for him. He was incredibly busy at work and happily handed me his home telephone number, telling me to call him in the evening where he could chat to me in peace and quiet.

I first met him at the airport last Wednesday night when he handed me my ticket to Mombasa. Impeccably dressed in slacks, shirt, and jacket, he towered above everyone a strong, lean man with a shock of white hair.

With his perfect posture, welcoming smile, and gentle tone of voice he had the rare ability to be both a leader who commanded respect and one who was also completely approachable.

Within 12 hours of us meeting and shaking our hands he was dead. I can never forget how he saved the lives of our entire group by making us go into the dining room for breakfast instead of waiting with the others who had just arrived to check in. Finishing up his eggs and juice, he left the dining room to see if the lobby had cleared a little. It was the last time we saw him.

They never knew it, but Albert De Havilla and the Anter family's lives and deaths became forever linked on the morning of Thursday, November 28.

A special bus had been set aside to take our small group of journalists to the Paradise Hotel as we left Mombasa Airport. We had around 10 extra seats on our small bus and several families found themselves stranded as the larger buses were full. They asked if they could accompany us on our bus for the 45-minute journey to the hotel.

De Havilla initially protested. He wanted the journalists to have their "reserved" bus and not share it.

Eventually he acquiesced after asking us if we would mind sharing the bus. Of course we didn't. Two families embarked. One of those was the Anter family. Little Adva, 8, came and sat next to me.

Her brother Noy, sat in front of me alongside his mother, Ora. She put one arm around her son and awkwardly reached her other arm over the back seat and held onto Adva for the entire journey. The little girl kept asking when we would be arriving. Dvir and his father sat at the front of the bus.

As we all listened to Albert's descriptions of every street and village we passed, Dvir kept piping up with questions. Adva could barely keep awake.

When her mother finally said "We're here," Adva was fast asleep. She had to be shaken awake and carried off the bus. The boys ran ahead into the lobby.

We had all arrived on the same bus. I cannot help but wonder what would have happened if Albert had held firm and not allowed the Anter family on our bus. The "what if's" can destroy you if you let them. Dvir, Noy, and Albert have now been laid to rest. Adva and Ora have a long road ahead.

 

BRITISH TOURISTS ASK IF ISRAELIS WILL BE SHARING THEIR HOTELS

British tourists shun Israelis
By Gabriel Rozenburg
The Times of London
November 29, 2002

British tourists travelling to Kenya are demanding to know whether Israelis will be sharing their hotels, according to a leading travel firm.

Somak Holidays, Britain's leading tour operator to Kenya, said that it received between 80 and 100 calls yesterday from tourists asking whether they would be staying in hotels either owned by Israelis or specifically catering for Israeli tourists.

Ash Sofat, the company's chief executive, said that bookings to Kenya had not been significantly affected by the attacks in Mombasa, but there had been widespread concern among his customers.

The company currently has 349 clients in Mombasa, but Mr Sofat said that none of his hotels worked with Israeli travel companies.

"A group of people are wanting to know if there are many Israeli tourists in their hotels," he said.

"I think it's a fairly healthy line of questioning. But this appears to be an Israel-Palestine problem and not a Kenya problem."

Shuli Davidovich, press secretary to the Israeli Embassy, said that she had never heard of tourists singling out Israelis in such a manner before.

"I would be concerned if it was a lasting phenomenon that Israelis would be asked not to go to certain hotels and tourist centres," she said.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said last night that British tourists would not be urged to avoid travelling to Kenya.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.