Wednesday, December 16, 2009

True lies

By Ayman Mohyeldin

"....What's surprising is that instead of standing up and defending its own legal system the British government is distancing itself from the issue and allowing Israel to clearly interfere in influencing its domestic affairs and governing system.

In a statement, the UK says it is determined to be "a strategic partner of Israel ... and that it is looking urgently at the implications of this case".

I would have expected the British government to say these are the laws of our land and we stand by them, but it is not the first time the government seems to have caved to public pressure from Israel.

Back in 2005, then British foreign secretary Jack Straw apologised to his Israeli counterpart for a stand-off at Heathrow airport when an Israeli official wanted for alleged war crimes refused to get off a plane fearing he would have been arrested.

British security officials refused to arrest him on the plane fearing a confrontation with Israeli security agents would have led to a shoot out.

Let me see if I get this straight, the British foreign minister apologised that his government didn't actually enforce a standing order from its own judicial system?

But there could be a more interesting irony in all of this.

Israeli media have been carrying reactions from various politicians. One official put it this way: "British officials could find themselves in a similar situation due to airstrikes by British crews on population centres in Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan"

Interesting? I wonder if the UK is more concerned with appeasing Israel or afraid of its own laundry being aired publicly if its officials start facing arrest warrants abroad."

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