In Britain today, hating Israel has become a valid criminal defense. Last week
five people charged with destroying property valued at some $225,000 at the EDO
MBM arms factory in Brighton during a January 2009 break-in were found not
guilty of all charges. They were found innocent although all five admitted to
having committed the crime.
As the Guardian reported, the defendants
boasted in on-line forums at the time of the incident, their crime was
premeditated. It took place during the IDF’s campaign against Hamas in Gaza.
Their declared aim was to “smash up” the factory. And they achieved their
The jury found the five innocent because it accepted as a valid
defense their claim that they vandalized the plant because they wanted
prevent Israel from carrying out war crimes in Gaza. EDO MBM does
the IDF, therefore, the defendants claimed and the jury agreed, it
In finding as they did, the jurors were acting in accordance
with the guidance they received from the presiding judge. As the Guardian
reported, Judge George Bathurst- Norman instructed the jury, “You may
that hell on earth would not be an understatement of what the Gazans
What this verdict shows is that in British courts, hatred of
Israel has become a license to break the law. This turn of events is the
flipside of Parliament’s abject refusal to amend Britain’s outrageous
jurisdiction law. British lawmakers, government officials and jurists
basically agree that the law, which allows magistrates to issue arrest
against foreigners based on allegations filed by British subjects, is a
travesty. It subverts the capacity of the British government to conduct
policy by placing all foreigners at the mercy of political
Both Spain and Belgium amended their universal jurisdiction
laws for this reason.
But in Britain no amendment is in the offing
because the demand for the amendment is linked to Israel. Since
activists began hijacking magistrates courts to force the issuance of
warrants against Israeli military personnel and politicians five years
Israel has repeatedly asked that the law be changed. And because Israel
changed, it will remain in force.
In fact, not only will it remain in
force, its use against Israelis expands by the day. Today anyone who
the IDF has to think twice about traveling to Britain lest doing so
or her in jeopardy of being arrested on trumped-up charges.
What both the
Brighton court’s verdict and the abuse of the universal jurisdiction law
that today in England, Israelis cannot assume that the laws will protect
And by the same token, haters of Israel can assume that they will be
punishment for violent attacks against Israel-related targets.
PERVERSION of the legal system in England isn’t unique. Take the
Malmo, Sweden, for instance. In an almost one-to-one parallel of the
that won the day in the Brighton courtroom, in January Malmo Mayor Ilmar
used the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day to bash Israel and Israel
supporters and equate them with Nazi Germany.
Over the past few years,
Malmo’s Jewish community has been fleeing the city due to the massive
in anti-Jewish violence conducted by an alliance of Muslims and
Reepalu denied there is anti-Jewish violence in his city and then went
blame the city’s Jewish residents for the violence launched against
them. As he
put it to the Skanska Dagbladet
newspaper, if the city’s Jews don’t wish to be
attacked, all they have to do is denounce Israel. But, he said, “instead
community chose to hold a pro-Israel demonstration,” adding darkly that
action, “may convey the wrong message to others.”
So like the EDO MBM
plant, Malmo’s Jews deserve to be attacked.
Then there is the situation
in Australia. In the weeks that followed the Mossad’s alleged
Hamas terror-master Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January, Australia’s
generally relaxed Foreign Ministry sprang into action. No, it didn’t
Dubai for allowing wanted terrorists to roam free and enjoy the famed
hospitality at one of its luxury hotels. Australia’s Foreign Ministry
expelled an Israeli diplomat amid unproven accusations that the Mossad
allegedly involved in the counterterror operation used forged Australian
passports to enter Dubai.
Notably, the fire-in-the-belly attitude that
marked Australia’s assault on Israeli embassy personnel had no parallel
Australian federal court last week as Judge Neil McKerracher adjudicated
extradition request from Hungary.
Hungary requested the extradition of
retired Nazi Charles Zentai, who is wanted there for his role in the
of Peter Balasz. Balasz was 18 when he was killed.
Zentai and his fellow
Nazis killed him because he was Jewish and threw his body into the
There is no statute of limitations for Zentai’s crime. Yet,
McKerracher didn’t care about the law. Instead he followed his heart.
heart told him that extraditing the 88-yearold war criminal who has
justice for 66 years would be “oppressive and incompatible with
considerations.” And so he denied Hungary’s request.
To sum up the
situation Down Under, an Israeli diplomat got expelled because Israel
used Australian passports to kill a senior member of an organization
to the eradication of Jewry. And an Australian judge ruled that a Nazi
criminal who actively participated in the genocide of Jewry can live out
rest of his life in peace in the bosom of his family.
THIS BRINGS us back
to Britain for a moment. Britain was the first country to expel Israeli
diplomats over the Mabhouh incident.
The Foreign Office received the
rousing support of the British media for its action. The Guardian, for
characterized the alleged use of British passports in the Mabhouh
the action of an “arrogant nation that has overreached itself.”
while Israel allegedly used forged British passports to target a
week it emerged that Russia used British passports to spy on the US.
the Russian spy ring that was arrested last week in the US indicate that
of the ring used forged British passports. Amazingly (or actually,
neither the Foreign Office nor the British media have taken or called
to be taken against Russian embassy personnel for abusing British travel
As to the international campaign against Israel following the
Mabhouh assassination, this week Poland is set to rule on Germany’s
request for Uri Brodsky. Polish officials acting on a German warrant
him at a Polish airport last month for his alleged role in forging a
passport for one of the alleged Mossad operatives involved in the
operation. Germany is adamant that Poland send Brodsky to Germany to
for his alleged role in assisting in the targeted killing of a wanted
Germany’s feverish insistence that Brodsky stand trial is of
a piece with its newfound appetite for waging political warfare against
Last week the Bundestag unanimously passed a resolution calling
for an international investigation of the IDF’s takeover of the Turkish-
ship Mavi Marmara
on May 31.
The resolution also demanded that Israel
immediately end its lawful maritime blockade of the Gaza coast and
for violating the principle of proportionality.
Like the court in
Brighton, the Bundestag’s action asserts that Israel is guilty by nature
that as a consequence, unlike every other country, it cannot be judged
impartial body. Rather, as the British judge made clear in his libelous
instructions to the Brighton jury, guilty Israel must be judged by a
jury that draws its conclusions in advance.
ONE QUESTION that necessarily
arises amid any discussion of this legalistic-political assault and the
worldwide perversion of law in the service of Israel’s enemies is where
government in all of this? Where are our leaders? Where is the Foreign
Where is the Justice Ministry? Last week Britain’s Methodist Church
boycott all products emanating from Jewish communities in Judea and
from Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem.
It probably goes without
saying that the Methodist Church has levied no similar boycott against
country. Indeed, as Robin Shepherd wrote in “The banality of Methodist
Monday’s Jerusalem Post
only did the Methodist Church never consider
boycotting say Sudan or Iran or Saudi Arabia for their human rights
only countries the Methodists considered attacking other than Israel
Britain and the US for having relations with Israel.
As Shepherd relates,
among other factors guiding the church’s decision was its members’
during the boycott deliberations that Jews worship a racist God.
recommends that Israel fight fire with fire. In his words, “If the
Church is to launch a boycott of Israel, let Israel respond in kind: Ban
officials from entering; deport their missionaries; block their
close down their offices; and tax their churches. If it’s war, it’s
These recommendations are eminently reasonable.
the government has no cause for not adopting them.
For generations Jews
have clung to the belief that law is intrinsically good and if we follow
law, the law will protect us. But this has never been more than a fool’s
As we see today in the wholesale perversion of law in the service
of Israel’s destruction in countries around the Western world, law is
tool. Depending on who wields it, it can be a force for injustice just
as it can be a tool for pursuing justice.
Israel’s response to date to
all of these legal assaults against its detractors has been muted and
But as the energized boycott movement and the Brighton court’s obscene
and similar actions throughout the world show, Israel must itself take
law as a cudgel to beat its foes.
Where are our government lawyers? Why
aren’t they issuing international arrest warrants against every agent of
and Hizbullah? Where are our diplomats? Why aren’t they expelling
Swedish, Australian and German diplomats involved in subverting our
in Jerusalem and other criminal activities? Where are our political
is not enough to decry the international campaign to delegitimize Israel
speeches before foreign audiences and in newspaper interviews. A war is
waged against us and it is well past time for us to fight back and fight