Britain moves towards insulating Israel from even a light tap on the knuckles

The role of a real democracy is to protect the innocent and prosecute the guilty. When it comes to Israel, however, Western states are almost expected to give them a pass. We’re fighting terrorism, you see, and pesky civilians are simply getting in the way.

Case in point:

Tzipi Livni on Thursday welcomed a legislative amendment to Britain’s laws on war crimes, specifically a universal jurisdiction clause which allowed Palestinians in Gaza to apply for a British arrest warrant for Livni over her role in authorizing Operation Cast Lead.

Livni welcomed the effort and said, “this amendment will bring an end to the horrible and twisted [law] that allows individual political activists to cynically take advantage of the legal system to fight the international struggle against terror.”

Livni said British ambassador Israel Tom Philips updated her on the details Thursday.

“The free world must differentiate between real war criminals who must be brought to justice and those who fight terrorism against civilians,” she added, “including the officers and soldiers of the IDF. This is an important step in the right direction.”

The British coalition government will work towards changing the law on universal jurisdiction for war crimes “at the first opportunity,” UK Justice Secretary Ken Clarke announced Thursday.

The UK government will propose a legislative amendment which will require the Director of Public Prosecutions to approve all private prosecution for war crimes, Clarke said. Only after such approval will an arrest warrant be issued under the proposed legislation.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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