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Britain's unfortunate surrender to Israeli blackmail

Israel's right-wing government has exercised the ugliest forms of extortion by postponing strategic dialogue with Britain until it changes the law that allows the prosecution in its courts of foreigners accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Israelis have committed war crimes during the aggression on the Gaza Strip, which were documented by the report of Judge Goldstone, and which was commissioned by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, and they repeated the same crimes at sea, in international waters, when they stormed ships carrying solidarity activists on their way to break the siege on the Gaza Strip, killing nine of them, all of them Turks, in cold blood.


Laws in Britain allow for the prosecution of war criminals before British courts upon their arrival on British soil; this is why several Israeli officials and military officers cancelled their visits to Britain to participate in seminars or political activities for fear of arrest, most recently, Dan Meridor the Minister for Israeli intelligence.

William Hague, British Foreign Secretary, who paid a visit to the occupied Palestinian territories and met with Israeli and Palestinian officials promised to his Israeli counterparts to amend these laws, and said he would present a draft in this regard to the British House of Commons in the coming weeks for discussion and approval.

This surrender by the British coalition government to Israeli blackmail is a departure from the well-established British tradition of defending human rights, protecting the independence of the judiciary system, and affirming its strength in the face of external pressures.

The British governments at the time of John Major (Conservative Prime Minister) and Tony Blair absolutely rejected to amend their laws to extradite Drs Mohammed al-Massa'ari and Saad Al-Faqih, well known Saudi dissidents, under the pretext of their inability to intervene with the British judicial system, despite threats by the Saudi government to cancel the Al-Yamamah military deal worth $45 billion pounds.

The Cameron Conservative Government has capitulated to Israeli blackmail – the freezing of strategic dialogue; with a rogue state that violates international law and practices war crimes and ethnic cleansing, in utter contempt of laws and legislations which Britain itself have contributed to formulate with the United States and other European countries.

The strategic dialogue, which Israel froze, would benefit it and harm the UK; for what can Britain gain from this dialogue? Can it lead to its exit from the economic crisis, through the creation of jobs for the unemployed? We do not believe so, because Israel's conduct of terror against its neighbours and war crimes has become a moral, political and military burden on Britain and other Western countries.

The amendment of these laws, if it happens in the term of the current coalition government, would be a disgrace to Britain and could jeopardize its strong economic relations with the Arab world, especially at this critical time through which the British economy is passing, and it will give Muslim extremists a new pretext to target Britain's security and stability.

We know very well that David Cameron is one of the close friends of Israel's, as well as his foreign minister, William Hague, who has been a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel since he was 16 years old, in addition to six other ministers in the current British government. What we also know and what we expect; is for all these to put Britain's economic, security and stability benefits above other considerations of friendship with this rogue state which insulted Britain and the entire West with its brutal practices and violations of the resolutions of international legitimacy.

We appeal to Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader, the main partner of the Conservative Party in the British Government, and Deputy to Cameron to act against this trend of the current government to amend the laws so as to protect war criminals, whose hands are stained with the blood of the children of Gaza, and peaceful unarmed activists of freedom ships.

These criminals must be brought to justice, prosecuted and be served the punishment they deserve behind bars, in victory for the blood of innocent victims that they shed without mercy or pity.

Source: Al-Quds Opinion

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Commentary & AnalysisEurope & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastPalestineUK
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