Sunday, July 11, 2010

British Ministers "will change" war crimes arrest law.

I was only made aware of this story yesterday when my attention was drawn to it in the comments section, as no national British newspaper seems to have covered this.

I find this staggering, as the spinelessness of the British government in the face of Israel's repeated acts of illegality appears to know no bounds. Most of us are still trying to come to terms with the most recent outrage when Israeli troops stormed a peace flotilla heading for Gaza and killed nine people.

The Israelis, of course, have refused to allow any international inquiry to investigate what has taken place.

But we all remember the Israeli invasion of Gaza and the use of white phosphorous and the fact that the UN found that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes during that conflict. And, as I covered at the time, most of us will remember that Tzipi Livni was unable to visit Britain recently as an arrest warrant had been issued against her for her participation in the Gaza conflict.

Well, William Hague has promised to avoid that embarrassment from ever happening again.

Senior ministers and government officials are moving towards changing the law to prevent the arrest of visiting Israelis.

Jeremy Newmark, Jewish Leadership Council chief executive said: "We understand that cross-departmental meetings have recently taken place at ministerial and official level to discuss the best way of delivering a solution."

The issue resurfaced this week after a senior Israeli army commander, Colonel Udi Ben-Moha, pulled out of a move to study in Britain over fears he could be arrested for war crimes.

The government is eager to avoid a return to the major political row which erupted earlier this year after an arrest warrant was issued for Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

It hopes to improve relations with Israel so that Foreign Secretary William Hague can visit, and to ensure Israeli politicians can come to Britain for the party conferences this autumn.

The Foreign Office confirmed this week that Mr Hague stood by comments he made after May's election, when he said it was his intention to "act speedily".

Mr Hague had said the current situation was "unsatisfactory and indefensible" and "must be put right".

I find that staggering. We all remember that Israel sent Mossad agents to Argentina to capture Adolf Eichmann so the notion of universal jurisdiction is not one that the Israelis can have any objection to. They simply can't accept that this concept should ever apply to themselves. And Hague, disgracefully, appears to be buying into this argument.

Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor told an international conference of Jewish lawyers in London that a concerted effort was needed to amend the law on universal jurisdiction.

The envoy said that current laws were being abused by political activists as part of a campaign to "demonise and deligitimise" Israel.

The "political activists" currently "abusing" the law, according to Proser, are actually people who say that the UN has legitimacy and that it's findings count for something.

The UN has found that war crimes have been committed. The answer from the British government is to offer amnesty to one side and to promise that international law will not be upheld on these shores. It's quite one of the most shocking things I have ever heard of.

Because you can be sure of one thing, we will not be offering a similar amnesty to any member of Hamas who dares to visit the UK.

Only Israeli war criminals will be welcome here with a government guarantee that they will never be arrested and investigated for their crimes.

We are making a mockery of international law.

Click here for full article.

No comments: