Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holding Israel to account

Two important stories from the Guardian this morning on the world's attempts to hold Israeli leaders to account for their war crimes in Gaza and Palestine. Last month, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon cancelled a fundraising trip to the UK after he was warned that he could face arrest for his role in the indiscriminate murder of civilians in Gaza in 2002. Better, a court actually issued an arrest warrant on war crimes charges for former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni over her role in directing Israel's war crimes [PDF] in Gaza in January this year. The warrant was subsequently withdrawn after Livni also cancelled her trip - but unlike Ya'alon, she does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, and had she set foot in the UK, could have been arrested and prosecuted.

The message to Israeli politicians is clear: the UK is not a safe haven for war criminals, and if they go there, they may face prosecution.