One For You, And One For Me

More and more frequently of late we find instances of the political elite working alongside each other to cover up illegalities and injustices. Perhaps the most blatant of these ‘all boys together’ tactics is taking place right now in Britain.

Recently, an arrest warrant was issued in London by a British judge. The warrant was in the name of Tzipi Livni, who was the Israeli foreign minister during that country’s incursion into Gaza a year ago.

1,400 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli strike on Gaza, more than half of them civilians – women and children. The United Nations investigator, Richard Goldstone, along with human rights organizations, claimed Israel was guilty of war crimes.

No-one has ever been held accountable. Just as in the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, where heinous war crimes were the norm, no-one has been brought to justice.

Now, it seems, the British government is determined that the British judicial system will be overturned, so that war criminals can visit the country at their leisure.

Britain’s Foreign secretary, David Milliband, said today:

“Israel is a strategic partner and a close friend of the UK. We are determined to protect and develop these ties. Israeli leaders – like leaders from other countries – must be able to visit and have a proper dialogue with the British government. The procedure by which arrest warrants can be sought and issued without any prior knowledge or advice by a prosecutor is an unusual feature of the system in England and Wales. The Government is looking urgently at ways in which the UK system might be changed in order to avoid this sort of situation arising again.”[1]

What Milliband hints at here is that the government should not only make the laws, but administer them; that powerful individuals from any nation, whatever their crimes, should be able to visit Britain provided UK government officials deem it okay.

If allowed to happen, this will conveniently place anyone fawned over by the British government above the law, making retribution for war crimes almost impossible to impose through the courts.

Livni is not the only one prevented from visiting Britain by virtue of alleged crimes. Only two months ago, so yesterday’s Telegraph informs us:

……….Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s vice prime minister, turned down an invitation to visit London on the advice of legal experts in his government. They warned him he could face arrest over an Israeli bombing raid that killed 15 people in Gaza in 2002, when he was chief of staff of the Israeli military.”[2]

It would seem the British government is determined to strangle the nation’s judiciary whenever the implementation of justice doesn’t suit. War criminals can do as they please, provided the nation they come from is ‘close friends’ with Britain.

In fact, Israel is no friend of Britain. Most Brits consider its treatment of Palestinians both brutal and inhuman. The British government may be great pals with its counterpart in Israel – yet another case of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ – but its shockingly unrepresentative of its peoples’ opinions.

But then, in today’s world, how many of us can honestly say we have a government truly representative of us?

The political elite are hard at work ensuring that old adage, “One law for them; one law for us”, is more apt than ever.

[1] “UK ponders law change after Tzipi Livni arrest warrant” BBC, December 15th 2009

[2] “Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni ‘cancels London visit over prosecution fears'” Telegraph, December 14th 2009

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