Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The price of 'virtue'

Several weeks ago, former Israeli foreign minister Tsipi Livni cancelled a trip to the UK because a warrant had been issued for her arrest. Now a delegation of Israeli military officers has cancelled its trip because UK authorities cannot guarantee that they would not also face arrest for alleged war crimes during last year's Gaza conflict.

The UK government has promised to fix this problem; the Muslim Council of Britain's General Secretary, Mohammad Abdul Bari, is doing his best to keep them from doing so. As he puts it: “You appear to be committing the government to the path of selective compliance with the enforcement of international law. This is surely not in the best interests of our country as it will add a further dimension to the double standards that our government is seen to have in relation to the politics of the Middle East."

Note that (1) these arrest warrants are political, pure and simple; (2) none of them are for Palestinians, not even those accused of war crimes by other Palestinians. Not only is 'selective compliance' an utter joke, but the whole concept of 'universal jurisdiction,' whereby a court anywhere can sue anybody for anything, is not justice but chaos.

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