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Thread: Israeli Fury at UK Attempt to Arrest Tzipi Livni

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    Israeli Fury at UK Attempt to Arrest Tzipi Livni



    Israel has reacted angrily to the issuing by a British court of an arrest warrant for the former Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni.

    The warrant, granted by a London court on Saturday, was revoked on Monday when it was found Ms Livni was not visiting the UK.

    Ms Livni was foreign minister during Israel's Gaza assault last winter.

    It is the first time a UK court has issued a warrant for the arrest of a former Israeli minister.

    Ms Livni said the court had been "abused" by the Palestinian plaintiffs who requested the warrant.

    "What needs to be put on trial here is the abuse of the British legal system," she told the BBC.

    "This is not a suit against Tzipi Livni, this is not a law suit against Israel. This is a lawsuit against any democracy that fights terror."

    She stood by her decisions during the three-week assault Gaza offensive which began in December last year, she said.

    Israel's foreign ministry summoned the UK's ambassador to Israel to deliver a rebuke over the warrant.

    "We completely reject this absurdity taking place in Britain"
    Benjamin Netanyahu
    Israeli Prime Minister

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the situation was "an absurdity".

    "We will not accept a situation in which [former Israeli Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert, [Defence Minister] Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni will be summoned to the defendants' chair," Mr Netanyahu said in a statement.

    "We will not agree to have Israel Defence Force soldiers, who defended the citizens of Israel bravely and ethically against a cruel and criminal enemy, be recognised as war criminals. We completely reject this absurdity taking place in Britain," he said.

    Pro-Palestinian campaigners have tried several times to have Israeli officials arrested under the principle of universal jurisdiction.

    'Cynical act'

    This allows domestic courts in countries around the world to try war crimes suspects, even if the crime took place outside the country and the suspect is not a citizen.

    Israel denies claims by human rights groups and the UN investigator Richard Goldstone that its forces committed war crimes during the operation, which it said was aimed at ending Palestinian rocket fire at its southern towns.

    The Palestinian militant group Hamas has also been accused of committing war crimes during the conflict.

    Israel's foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday: "Israel rejects the cynical act taken in a British court," against Ms Livni, now the head of the opposition Kadima party, "at the initiative of extreme elements".

    It called on the British government to "act against the exploitation of the British legal system against Israel".

    Addressing a conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Ms Livni did not refer specifically to the arrest attempt.

    But she said: "Israel must do what is right for Israel, regardless of judgements, statements and arrest warrants. It's the leadership's duty, and I would repeat each and every decision," Israeli media reported.

    'Strategic partner'

    Israel says it fully complies with international law, which it says it interprets in line with other Western countries such as the US and UK.

    On Monday Ms Livni's office denied the reports that a warrant had been issued and that she had cancelled plans to visit the UK because of fears of arrest.

    It said a planned trip had been cancelled two weeks earlier because of scheduling problems.

    The British foreign office said it was "urgently looking into the implications of the case".

    "The UK is determined to do all it can to promote peace in the Middle East, and to be a strategic partner of Israel," it said in a statement. "To do this, Israel's leaders need to be able to come to the UK for talks with the British government."

    Palestinians and human rights groups say more than 1,400 people were killed during Israel's Cast Lead operation between 27 December 2008 and 16 January 2009, more than half of them civilians.

    Israel puts the number of deaths at 1,166 - fewer than 300 of them civilians. Three Israeli civilians and 10 Israeli soldiers were also killed.

    The BBC's Tim Franks says that, privately, senior Israeli figures are warning of what they see as an increasing anti-Israeli bent in the British establishment.

    In turn, our correspondent adds, there is clearly concern among British officials that should further arrest warrants be issued, relations with Israel could be damaged.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8413234.stm

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    GOOD!!!

    Here's another one who daren't set foot in the UK ...

    http://uruknet.info/index.php?p=m61077&hd=&size=1&l=e

    ... maybe they'll soon get the message, eh?

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    You would think war crimes would over-ride the 'peace process'. If it was any other country the politicians would not be grovelling over this, but other countries have not got their fangs in the British government like the Israelis have.
    In a statement on Tuesday night, David Miliband said he was keen to "avoid this sort of situation arising again". "Israel is a strategic partner and a close friend of the UK," he said.
    He is the son of the late Marxist theorist Ralph Miliband:
    As Adolphe Miliband, he was born in Brussels of Polish-Jewish émigré parents. Both his parents lived in the Jewish quarter of Warsaw, before his father, Samuel Miliband, joined the Red Army in the Polish–Soviet War.[1] He is buried in Highgate Cemetery close to Karl Marx and many celebrated left-leaning minds of the 20th Century. The young Miliband was forced to relocate from Belgium in 1940 as Hitler's army moved westwards through the country and he managed to catch a boat for London at Ostend. He and his father Samuel entered UK illegally on forged papers. Once in England he further changed his name to Ralph.

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    Ha, ha. Israeli war crimes and terrorism at least symbolically biting them in the arse.
    No American judge or politician would ever have the guts to challenge the Zionist regime on anything like that. Of course, in the States, no small number of judges are Jews anyway.
    Jews, esp. the Israelis, think they're above any goyim courts or laws anyway. How dare mere goys challenge the Chosen?!!

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    And here's another similar case ...

    By MARK LAVIE, Associated Press Writer – Tue Jan 5, 12:29 pm ET

    JERUSALEM – An Israeli military delegation has canceled an official visit to Britain, officials said Tuesday, the latest in a string of politicians and army officials to put off travel to the U.K. because of fears of war crimes prosecution.

    Israel complained that the practice, spearheaded by pro-Palestinian activists, is harming relations, and Britain's visiting attorney general said an urgent solution must be found.

    The Israelis called off their trip because their British army hosts could not guarantee they would not be arrested, the Israeli officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Neither the Israeli military nor the British government would comment.

    The incident underlined the effectiveness of a pro-Palestinian legal campaign to harass Israeli officials in the wake of war crimes allegations after Israel's devastating invasion of Gaza a year ago to stop rocket attacks.

    Israelis brand the tactic "lawfare," which they denounce as warfare through distortion of laws and conventions. It has crimped the travel plans of many officials and put Israel on the defensive in international bodies.

    In Britain, pro-Palestinian groups have forced Israelis to cancel trips for fear of arrest, taking advantage of Britain's "universal jurisdiction" law that allows prosecution of war criminals whose crimes have no direct connection with Britain.

    Britain is one of the pioneers of the "universal jurisdiction" concept, but the British government is concerned that its application to Israel is badly straining relations between the two countries and has vowed to solve the problem.
    Visiting British Attorney General Patricia Janet Scotland heard a stiff protest Tuesday from deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who called the situation "intolerable."

    Later Tuesday, in a speech at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, she noted that the British government "is looking urgently at ways in which the U.K. system might be changed to avoid this situation arising again and is determined that Israel's leaders should always be able to travel freely to the U.K."
    In Britain, pro-Palestinian groups have condemned moves to reform the law.
    "We believe no attempt should be made (to change the law)," said Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain. "There's no reason why Israel should be singled out for special treatment. If they're accused of war crimes, we have a duty — and legislation — to prosecute."

    Israelis charge the Palestinian use of the universal jurisdiction law is a distortion of its original intention — to prosecute war criminals whose own justice systems were incapable or unwilling to investigate their deeds. Though it has not satisfied international rights groups, Israel's military has investigated its own activities in the Gaza war and says it is still looking into a handful of cases.
    Israeli experts charge that other examples of "lawfare" are condemnations by human rights groups and the U.N. of Israeli actions against Palestinian militants, especially last winter's military operation in Gaza that left about 1,400 Palestinians dead, including many civilians, and caused widespread destruction.

    Last month, pro-Palestinian activists persuaded a London judge to issue an arrest warrant for Israeli politician Tzipi Livni, who was foreign minister during the war in Gaza. The warrant was withdrawn after Livni canceled her trip, but the matter strained relations between Britain and Israel.

    The threat of arrest has forced several former security officials to call off trips to London, including a former general who had to hole up on an airplane at Heathrow Airport in 2005 to avoid arrest. Last fall, Defense Minister Ehud Barak fended off an arrest attempt by successfully arguing he had diplomatic immunity.
    ___

    Additional reporting by AP correspondents Jill Lawless in London and Diaa Hadid in Jerusalem.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100105/...israel_britain

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