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Year 2010 No. 12, March 29, 2010 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

The Labour Government and Israel

Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :

The Labour Government and Israel

Government Forced to Delay Change in Law Governing Arrest of War Criminals

War Criminal Tony Blair Should Not Be Allowed on Malaysian Soil

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The Labour Government and Israel

The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, made a statement to the House of Commons last Tuesday, March 23, to explain what measures the government is taking in regard to the use of the identities of British passport holders by the assassins of the Hamas leader, Mahmud al-Mabhuh, who was killed in Dubai in January. It is now widely accepted that the assassination was carried out by the security service of Israel.

The investigation carried out by the government came to the view that Zionist Israel was responsible for identity theft but the government has not yet announced that it believes that the Zionist government carried out the assassination. Nevertheless, the government has "asked that a member of the Embassy of Israel be withdrawn from the UK as a result of this affair", and the government of Israel has complied. At the same time the government has asked for assurances from its ally that there will not be a repeat of this "affair", in other words that Israel takes more care to keep such operations entirely covert in the future. Indeed the Foreign Secretary was at pains to reiterate the government’s position that not only is Israel its main ally in the region but also "a democratic country with remarkable achievements to its name". He reaffirmed that Britain would continue to work closely with its ally, particularly in opposition to Iran’s efforts to develop its nuclear programme.

The government has therefore upheld its long-standing support of Zionist Israel, just as its predecessors have done. British governments have played the major role in creating the state of Israel before 1948 and have played a major role in maintaining and supporting it as a cat’s paw in the region ever since. It was a Conservative government that assisted Israel to develop its nuclear capability in the late 1950s and successive governments have facilitated arms sales and supported Israel’s expansionism in the region. At the same time, British governments have denied the right of self-determination of the long-suffering and militantly resisting Palestinian people. Only last year the Labour government, which hypocritically claims that it is opposed to terrorism, refused to condemn the barbaric and criminal bombardment of Gaza by Zionist Israel and rather sought to justify it. Meanwhile, the crimes of Israeli Zionism against the Palestinian people of Gaza have continued, and recently its armed forces have once again been committing aggression against the people.

The Labour government has not even condemned the murder of Mahmud al-Mabhuh. There has been no condemnation of what is clearly a blatant act of state terrorism, no demand that the Zionist government should be brought to justice for all its crimes. Indeed quite the opposite, the Foreign Secretary even made some efforts to justify what he referred to as "targeted assassination". He even claimed that it was not the policy of his government, clearly forgetting that it is precisely this policy that is carried out openly in Iraq and Afghanistan and which has been carried out by previous governments, openly and covertly, in Ireland and elsewhere.

The Labour government’s support for Israeli Zionism is so blatant and so long established that Miliband and other government ministers have been forced to deny that they are in any way implicated in the current passport affair. Such is the disrepute of the government, in this as in every other matter, that Miliband was also forced to deny that it had "any involvement whatsoever in the killing". Whether it was directly involved or not, it is evidently an accomplice and key ally of those who carried out this particular crime and those who perpetrated and continue to perpetrate countless crimes against the Palestinian people and people throughout the Middle East.

This affair also once again serves to underline that the resistance of the Palestinian people is just. The British government must end its support to Israeli Zionism, and condemn its crimes.

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Government Forced to Delay Change in Law Governing Arrest of War Criminals

It was reported earlier this month that changes in the law to remove the threat of foreign politicians becoming victims of "politically motivated" war crime arrests every time they visit Britain have been postponed until after the general election. The justice secretary, Jack Straw, said the decision to delay immediate legislation had been taken because the government recognised it was a controversial issue that involved the long-standing right of private prosecution. Under the current system, magistrates are obliged to consider applications for an arrest warrant for crimes under international law presented by a private individual.

The former Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, cancelled a trip to London earlier this year after an arrest warrant was issued by Westminster magistrates for crimes committed during last year's military operation in Gaza. The former US secretary of state, Colin Powell, had also expressed alarm about his possible arrest in Britain.

The issue is "controversial" only because the government’s desire to protect its ally Israel has come into conflict with the outrage of democratic people that Zionist crimes of occupation and aggression must not go unpunished. It cannot be far from the government’s mind also in originally trying to push through the legislation that there is a demand that Tony Blair, not to mention Gordon Brown himself, must be brought to justice for war crimes against the Iraqi people.

Jack Straw disclosed to MPs that change will not happen before the general election: "Rather than legislating now, we are going to seek views on the proposals we are minded to make." A short consultation will now take place involving the Commons justice committee, with a closing date of April 6. As the change will require primary legislation, this is too late for any move before the general election.

Israel welcomed the intention to change the law, but was reported to be concerned about further delays after having been promised by the government that it would be fast-tracked.

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War Criminal Tony Blair Should Not Be Allowed on Malaysian Soil

This is a petition by the Perdana Global Peace Organisation in conjunction with its partners, and addressed to all Malaysian NGOs, their members and supporters, March 22, 2010

We ask you to join in our opposition to the decision by Success Resources, a company founded in Singapore, to bring former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Malaysia as a sponsored speaker at the National Achievers Congress, Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, 23 April to 25 April 2010.

We strongly oppose this decision because we believe Blair is a war criminal for his role in the war of aggression in Iraq. In international law and under the Nuremberg principles, war of aggression constitutes the supreme crime. This war also contravenes the United Nations Charter and has led to the death of over one million Iraqis.

To have him on our soil is a travesty of natural justice and a mockery to those Iraqis who have paid with their lives for Blair’s illegal war. To this day, the killing, butchery and enormous suffering endures.

It is our utmost hope that Malaysian NGOs, their members and supporters who feel and sympathise with the Iraqis, will sign this petition to tell Blair and the organisers that he is not welcome in Malaysia.


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