By Stuart Littlewood – London
The British public must be wondering what has happened to the nation’s backbone, and its moral compass, when they see news items like these:
"British Foreign Secretary David Miliband yesterday apologized to MK Tzipi Livni and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for the arrest warrant issued against Livni in London earlier this week. He also promised Lieberman to begin working immediately to change the UK laws that enable the issue of arrest warrants against Israeli officials accused of war crimes."
Who does this foreign secretary think he is, apologising in our name for the operation of British law, especially when the warrant was issued to answer well-founded charges of war crimes?
Livni claims it was not personal. "It’s about the entire State of Israel and our ability to go on working together against common threats."
What common threats? We have nothing in common. The threats Israel faces are caused by its racist expansion, land theft, general lawlessness and hateful attitude towards its neighbours, and by the lethal threat Israel itself presents to others in the region. Our government puts us in harm’s way by associating so closely with the regime and continually taking its side.
As for ex-night club bouncer Lieberman, a deranged loudmouth who lives in an illegal Jewish settlement in the Palestinian West Bank and thrives on extremist language, since when did he merit a British apology?
"Miliband called the warrant intolerable and said he had spoken to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Justice Minister Jack Straw to find an urgent solution. Prosor [the Israeli ambassador in London] chastised the British secretary saying it was time the British government took action."
Prosor “chastised” a Minister of the Crown… demanded a change to our laws? Your own laws need changing more than ours, Prosor.
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office also released a statement: ‘We will not agree to a situation in which [former prime minister] Ehud Olmert, [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak and [opposition leader and former foreign minister] Tzipi Livni will be summoned to the bench. We utterly reject the absurdity that is happening in Britain.’”
Get your tanks off Palestine’s lawn, Netanyahu, and your squatters off Palestinian land before you criticize anyone else.
The Israelis’ arrogance is breath-taking. Livni would gladly repeat the atrocities in Gaza last December-January. Her office issued a statement saying she was proud of Operation Cast Lead. And speaking at a conference at Tel Aviv’s Institute for Security Studies, she said: ”I would today take the same decisions."
Miliband’s grovelling, especially to Lieberman and Livni, is enough to make any red-blooded UK citizen cringe with shame. Few of us, surely, would touch these people with a barge-pole.
This abandonment of principle and descent into the abyss is explained in the Foreign Office statement: "The UK is determined to be a strategic partner of Israel.”
Why? I have always wanted to know how this serves our best interests.
The law on arrest warrants, of course, should be left undisturbed. It’s all quite simple. If Israel behaved in a civilised manner there would be no need for them.
This diplomatic ruckus helps us to see clearly the lunacy of stacking the British Foreign Office with Israel-lovers. There’s Miliband, of course, with his ethnic links. He voted enthusiastically for the Iraq war and against an investigation.
Then there’s our minister in charge of Middle East affairs, Ivan Lewis. He’s a former vice-chairman of Labour Friends of Israel. He too voted for the Iraq war and against any investigation. In January, with the sickening stench of Israel’s blitzkrieg on Gaza in the world’s nostrils, Lewis told a rally in Manchester: "This community stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel in the good and the bad times. We do not apply double standards to Israel…"
The trouble is, his kind don’t apply any standards at all.
In July, with the blood of 1,400 dead Gazans (including 320 children and 109 women) on the hands of the Zionist devils, and with thousands more horribly maimed, the insensitive Lewis told the House of Commons: “Israel is a close ally of the UK and we have regular warm and productive exchanges at all levels."
Lewis is also chief executive of the Manchester Jewish Federation and a trustee of the Holocaust Educational Trust. Along with Miliband, he is the face of British diplomacy in the explosive Middle East.
Add to the team Miliband’s Principal Private Secretary, Matthew Gould, just promoted as Britain’s first Jewish ambassador to Israel with effect from next year. Gould told Haaretz that he and his wife will keep a Jewish household and bring up their kids in the Jewish tradition. "The fact that I’m Jewish means I will come with a particular insight and sympathy and understanding, because the story of my family is in certain respects the story of the people of the State of Israel. But fundamentally I’m going as the British ambassador, to pursue British policies and advance British interests."
That’s difficult to believe, and some will point to a hopeless conflict of interests not only for Gould but also Miliband, Evans and others who feel an affinity with the appalling “story" of Israel.
Presiding over all this is our disaster-prone prime minister Gordon Brown, a Zionist sympathizer and patron of the Jewish National Fund, which is an organization set up to facilitate the confiscation and development of illegally occupied Palestinian lands.
As if to illustrate just how far Britain will go to appease Israel’s ‘Criminal Tendency’, the Jewish Chronicle reported a few days ago how the Foreign Office stamped on an initiative by the Department for Communities and Local Government to reassure the Muslim community that the British government did not support Israel’s actions in Gaza. Foreign Office officials considered it pandering to the Muslim community’s prejudices about Israel, especially when it was discovered that some Muslim leaders around the country wanted the government to recognise Hamas’s right to armed resistance. Tut-tut. Oh dear, no. Everybody knows that only Israel is entitled to self-defence. And Britain panders only to Israel.
British-Jewish MP Sir Gerald Kaufman recently threw a bucket of cold water over this obscene Anglo-Israeli love-in by branding the Israeli government a gang of amoral thugs. These are the undesirables Miliband wants to accommodate with a change in the law. Well, I doubt if the British public would welcome the idea of such vile people, who think nothing of burning women and children to the bone with white phosphorus, coming and going as they please in our capital city.
These same thugs won’t even allow thousands of Palestinian students like Berlanty Azzam the freedom to travel within their own homeland to attend university and finish their degree.
Mr. Miliband, your cruel friends are not welcome here.
– Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit: www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk.