Friday, September 16, 2011

Britain's Morality, Israel's War Crimes

Today it was reported  that Israel was overjoyed at the fact that the British government has passed legislation "curtailing citizens' rights to seek the arrest of foreign politicians for alleged war crimes." In 2010, Israel had stopped sending its representatives to Britain for fear that they would be tried for war crimes. The passing of this legislation signals to Israel and the world that Britain is entirely fine with giving war criminals, in the words of Amnesty International, "'a free ticket to escape the law.'" 

This legislation signals that Britain is willing ignore the numerous war crimes of Israel, such as those perpetrated in Israel's constant blockade of the Gaza Strip. The law flies in the face of previous situations where Israel was worried about going to the UK. One such instance was in 2009 when "lawyers representing 16 Palestinians asked a London court to issue an arrest warrant for [Israeli] defense minister, Ehud Barak." 

It is quite interesting to note that many Israeli officials were afraid of traveling to the UK because of this. One could reasonably speculate that this is due to the fact that many Israeli officials know they may have been involved in acts that could be viewed as war crimes because if one is confident that they didn't commit war crimes or that the charges could easily be proven false, why would they be afraid?

By passing this law, Britain is firmly protecting members of a regime that have committed war crimes. After the Gaza massacre in 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that he would "never to allow Israeli leaders or soldiers to stand trial on war crimes charges over their actions during last winter’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip," even though there were reports that stated that the Israeli military had committed war crimes (see this as well).

This has larger ramifications as well. Now any member of a regime that commits war crimes can flee to Britain.

Today the British government has shown just how much it cares about justice, not just for Palestinians, but for the people of the world as a whole.

Britain is now a safe haven for war criminals.

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