Naivety is inevitably forgivable; wilful blindness cannot be excused. The line between the two was crossed in the Guardian editorial of December 17th on the subject of the issue of an arrest warrant against Tsipi Livni by Westminster Magistrates Court in London. The writer of the editorial claims that “The principle (Universal Jurisdiction) is neither new, nor is it being selectively applied”, despite the fact that the evidence available shows precisely the contrary.
For several years now, pro-Palestinian groups have been making use of British law in order to harass Israeli public figures and members of the IDF. Considering the high cost of such potential court cases, one does have to wonder how ‘Palestinian victims of the conflict’, as they have been described manage to overcome their abject poverty (of which we are constantly reminded on the virtual pages of CiF), and hire some of the most expensive legal representation in the world. Of course they don’t, and what the Guardian editorial conveniently neglects to address is that in this case, as in previous ones, the law itself has fallen victim to manipulation by politically motivated groups who count among their ranks certain practitioners of the law who marry their profession together with their political convictions to form a very dangerous cocktail.
Joy Wolfe has already written about one such man; another of the same ilk is criminal lawyer Michel Abdel Massih QC. Mr. Massih must be a very busy man. Not only does he spend his time defending the likes of Hussain Said, shooter of the Israeli ambassador Shlomo Argov in London in 1982, and Kamel Burgass, he also advises the Syrian government and officials being investigated by the UN Security Council for the murder of Rafik Hariri. Mr. Massih even acts as an advisor to the Sudanese president Omar al Bashir, against whom, ironically enough, a warrant for arrest has been issued by the ICC.
In light of this, Mr. Massih’s preoccupation with the apprehension of Israeli nationals seems rather less heroically principled and rather more a case of the exploitation of his position in order to further his particular political agenda. Just in case we are not entirely sure what that political agenda is, Mr. Massih was kind enough to make it abundantly clear when he took part in a debate at the Oxford Union in which he argued against the proposition that ‘This House believes that the State of Israel has a right to exist’.
The Guardian editorial wilfully ignores facts such as these just as it deliberately avoids the fact that the adoption of the Goldstone Report by the UNHRC serves only to prove that, to the detriment of the entire world, that body is dominated by a motley crew of dictatorships and theocratic totalitarian states whose citizens can only dream of Human Rights.
Whilst it is true that no-one is above the law, it is also true that the law can be used and abused as a political weapon, and that is precisely what is happening in the UK at present. The British government appears to understand this, but the editors of the Guardian are so blinded by their anti-Israel fixation that they are both unable and unwilling to see the bigger picture and therefore continue to produce editorials which have no value except to expose the extent of that blind bias.