`Virus of abuse` in Britain towards Israel: Ambassador

Last Updated: Monday, December 21, 2009 - 10:43

London: Israel`s ambassador to London said on Monday there was a "virus of abuse" towards his country spreading through Britain as he slammed those behind an arrest warrant for former foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

It comes after the director of a committee set up by the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip said it was providing information to European lawyers investigating alleged war crimes by Israel in the Gaza war.

Livni, the leader of the Kadima main opposition party and the foreign minister during the conflict, cancelled a trip to London last week after an arrest warrant was issued against her by a British court, sparking a diplomatic row.

An "obsession to delegitimise and demonise the Jewish state" was now daily routine in Britain, Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor wrote in The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"A virus of abuse towards Israel and Israelis has spread throughout British public life.

"When this obsession leaps from the campus soapboxes to courts, the British public can no longer ignore the alarm bells.

"In this instance and at a time when both Israel and Britain find themselves confronted by terrorist foes, their sympathisers are cynically abusing Britain`s legal system.

"The scandalous treatment of Mrs Livni is another example of `lawfare`, waged for the sole purpose of delegitimising the State of Israel and its leaders.

"The fanatics who specialise in hounding Israelis are the first to defend the worst abusers of human rights and decency.

"As ever, where attacks on Israel are concerned, double standards, hypocrisy and irony are never far away."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has insisted that Livni is welcome and has voiced his determination to change the law that allows British courts to issue warrants for alleged war crimes suspects around the world.

The warrant was understood to have been issued by a London court at the weekend following an application by pro-Palestinian activists.

Diya al-Madhun, the judge who heads the committee, told a news agency on Sunday: "We provide documents, reports and evidence of crimes to all international bodies aiding the Palestinian people in bringing Israeli civilian and military leaders to trial and issuing warrants for their arrest."

Bureau Report



First Published: Monday, December 21, 2009 - 10:43

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