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Who does Livni think she is to want to "shame" our government?

April 19, 2014 at 11:32 am

Israeli and British media are alight with commentaries on Tzipi Livni’s supercilious remarks about “testing” the British judicial system. The aim of the Israeli politician is to embarrass and shame Britain’s government into changing the universal jurisdiction laws to suit the whims of Israeli politicians and diplomats. Her comments come after her last attempt to enter Britain was thwarted by the issue of a warrant for her arrest in connection with her role in the Israeli invasion of Gaza in January 2009, when she was the Zionist state’s Foreign Minister; the assault and invasion left more than 1400 Palestinians dead, many of whom were women and children.

In the Daily Telegraph (Why are we still threatening to arrest Israeli politicians?, 15 February), Philip Johnston suggests that the military onslaught on an already besieged Gaza Strip was aimed at “Hamas strongholds”, implying that the arrest warrant was issued for an attack on an already proscribed terrorist organisation so it is nothing to get too upset about. What he fails to mention is the significant number of civilians who were murdered and thousands of others left with shocking injuries, the shameless bombardment of UN establishments and the destruction of crucial infrastructure that has left over 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza without the mere basics of life. This is what Madame Livni and others like her are being called to account for, not “political motivations”.

One hundred and nineteen mostly Labour MPs have signed an Early Day Motion against any change in the law. However, the change has a lot of backing from Conservative MPs and with the elections looming ever-closer, and the Conservative Party’s open support for a change in the universal jurisdiction laws, one is reminded that there is a great deal at stake if this change is pushed through. The Conservatives look set to be to Israel what Tony Blair was to George W. Bush.

Commentators are also turning the spotlight on Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, who seems to be the only high-profile figure making a real (private) effort to ensure that no hasty decisions are made that will damage Britain’s judicial reputation permanently. And damaged it will be, for if an Israeli politician is able dictate to Britain about how we run our judicial system, what will the Israelis target next? It makes you wonder.