Report by Bruce, J-BIG
6 October 2011
- War Criminal Tzipi Livni
Tzipi Livni, war criminal and leader of the Zionist Kadima party, gave the fingers up to the British public and flew into the UK after accepting an invitation from Foreign Secretary William Hague, a political crime that shocked and outraged many who vowed never to forget come the next election.
Livni was Foreign Minister and part of the Zionist government that shared collective responsibility for atrocities committed during Operation Cast Lead, the assault on Gaza that killed over 1,400 people – many of them children – and left over 20,000 people homeless.
Livni later unashamedly admitted that she was proud of the part she played and there is substantial evidence linking her to this and other war crimes. As a result, arrest warrants were sought by human rights lawyers which is why Livni, as well as other senior Israeli government and military officials, didn’t dare visit Britain.
- Something we’d like to see.
In 2009, Livni herself was forced to abandon a trip to the UK due to the fear of arrest.
Unfortunately all that came to an end in September 2011 when the Con-Dem coalition government changed the laws on Universal Jurisdiction allowing those responsible for war crimes and other heinous acts to freely visit the UK without the worry and humiliation of being arrested and prosecuted.
What’s even worse, news slowly emerged that Foreign Secretary Hague granted Livni temporary diplomatic immunity from arrest citing that she was on a ‘special mission,’ despite Livni not serving in the current Israeli government, but as leader of its opposition – which is something almost unheard of.
As one human rights campaigner said: “This is another nail in the coalition government’s coffin. Their decision will give every ghoul and criminal carte blanche to come to the UK without any fear of legal repercussion.”
Indeed. The Jewish News in its October 6th edition reports that Israeli Major-General Doron Almog, the former head of the Israeli Occupation Force’s Southern Command between 2002-2003, will soon be visiting Britain.
On January 10th 2002, Almog ordered as collective punishment, the demolition of fifty-nine houses in Rafah. Several months later on July 22nd, Almog ordered that a one-ton bomb be dropped on a house in Gaza to eliminate a suspected militant. The explosion killed fifteen people, including nine children and injured dozens.
Coming soon to the UK: War Criminal Maj-Gen Doron Almog.
The demolition of homes, the expulsion of residents, the bombing of residential areas and the killing of innocent civilians during a period of occupation are violations of International Law and classified as war crimes.
In September 2005 at Heathrow Airport, Almog was advised not to disembark his El Al flight to avoid arrest and after a two-hour standoff, this fugitive criminal returned to Tel Aviv on the same aircraft that he arrived on.
Almog only escaped justice thanks to the complicity of the previous Labour government, especially former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and the Metropolitan Police, who probably were only following orders.
In July 2008, the High Court of Spain issued a second warrant to arrest Almog for his part in the Gaza house bombing.
That this coalition government offers the welcoming hand of friendship to those who are complicit in war crimes and atrocities is an act that mocks international justice and is something every conscientious person should object to.
And this was the reason for Thursday’s emergency demonstration opposite Downing Street.
Over one hundred people turned up, many carrying Free Palestine/End the Siege on Gaza placards and signs reading ‘Livni: You’re visiting the wrong Hague’ and ‘Murderer out of the UK.’
The police presence was larger than usual for a static protest and it was clear to many that they were expecting a blockade of Whitehall, the road that runs past Downing Street, judging by the way the crowd control barriers were arranged.
There was a large Jewish presence and banners were displayed from Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG), Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP), the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) and Neturei Karta, whose members carried a sign demanding Tzipi Livni’s arrest. There was also a large turnout from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign who organised the demo, as well as the Green Party.
Soprano Deborah Fink of J-BIG led the protesters in singing Ode to Boycott that was sung by the Beethovians for Boycotting Israel choir whose performance enhanced the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert at the BBC Proms on September 1st.
The Zionist Federation counter-demonstration amounted to fewer than twenty-five glum-faced Zios. What little support they enjoyed was made up with an overabundance of Israeli flags and banners.
In addition to the Zionists, there were two young people – the entire youth wing of StandWithUs UK.
- One man and his flag.
Jonathan Hoffman, Co-Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation, appeared at a crossing island directly in front of the protesters waving an Israeli flag and was promptly joined by two women who displayed a large Palestinian flag.
As Hoffman was being led back to the pen by police, many human rights campaigners started booing and heckling. Some shouted: “Go back to Monmouth Street,” referring to where Ahava used to be. The shop is now a menswear boutique.
I’m still not sure whether the protesters were booing Hoffman or the police, as his presence usually provides some entertainment and his unwitting and invaluable support in helping to rid the UK of its only Ahava shop certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
Afterwards in front of the Zionist enclosure, Hoffman recognised me and shouted “Jewish scum” several times. I wondered what the many commuters, tourists and members of the public made of Hoffman’s faux pas, especially coming from someone who was standing in an enclosure adorned with Israeli flags and banners.
Later, Jeremy Corbyn MP turned up and gave a short speech denouncing the government for playing host to Livni.
The demonstration finished at 7:00pm, long after all of the Zionists had departed.
And for those who find the title of this post a mystery, not only is Hague the surname of the UK’s Foreign Secretary, it’s also the home of the International Criminal Court in The Netherlands – a place where many people would like to see Livni and other Zionists accused of war crimes tried.
Some of the demonstrators. Downing Street is across Whitehall, behind the black gate. The large building in the background houses the Cabinet Office.
Soprano Deborah Fink leading the protesters singing 'Ode to Boycott.'
Over a hundred human rights campaigners were mobilised for this emergency demonstration.
As usual, a large Zionist turnout.
The Neturei Karta were there.