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(photo credit: AP)
Misuse of British passports in the Dubai affair was a clear and serious breach of the security relationship between the UK and Israel, but has not fundamentally damaged the strong relationship between the two countries, British prime minister Gordon Brown said Thursday in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle ahead of the May 6 general election in the UK.
“The security relationship between the UK and Israel is a close and important one, and it is essential that such relationships are built on trust. Misuse of British passports was a clear and serious breach of that trust and we were obliged, in defense of our own citizens’ rights, to take action. This has not fundamentally damaged the strong relationship between Israel and Britain, or the friendship between our two peoples,” Brown told the Chronicle.
He stated if his party returned to power it would take steps to amend the universal jurisdiction legislation that currently allows magistrates to issue arrest warrants for visiting foreign politicians and military staff. “The Labor Party is and will remain fully committed to the principle that politicians of democratic nations should be able to travel to Britain freely,” he said.
Brown called for Israel’s blockade of Gaza to be lifted to “allow
humanitarian assistance through and the reconstruction effort to begin,
in a way that is consistent with Israel’s continuing security
He also said that Israel should conduct its own investigation into allegations of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead.
On the issue of anti-Semitism on UK university campuses, Brown told the
that while there could be no compromise on
freedom of speech, universities have a responsibility to take strong
action and the authorities must step in where the law is broken.
“Universities and colleges have a responsibility to protect all their
students and staff from those who seek to promote violence, incite
hatred, intimidate or bully others,” he said.