In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Grande Strategy

The End of Universal Jurisdiction: Tzipi Livni in UK



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In December 2008 and January 2009 Israel launched a military assault, Operation Cast Lead, on
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the Gaza Strip (one of the most densely populated areas on earth). Around 1300 Palestinians
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were killed, overwhelmingly civilians. Over 6000 homes were totally destroyed. Amnesty
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International called the operation (quote), "22 days of death and destruction". The United
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Nations Fact Finding Mission that followed found prima facie evidence of war crimes committed
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by Israel.
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The United Kingdom has an international obligation under the Fourth Geneva Convention to seek
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out and pursue justice against war criminals. This can be done under the principle of universal
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jurisdiction that says that individuals complicit in such crimes - committed anywhere - can
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be prosecuted here.
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Tzipi Livni was Israel's Foreign Minister during the attack on Gaza and ordered the
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military assault. Since then she has affirmed (quote), "I am proud and fully stand behind
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the decisions I made during Cast Lead". She has had to cancel visits to the UK for fear
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of being arrested for her role in the attack on Gaza.
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The position of this coalition government and the previous government has been dismay
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that this country's allies could be subject to arrest on visiting the country. The Foreign
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Secretary William Hague said last year (quote), "We cannot have a position where Israeli politicians
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feel they cannot visit this country" (end quote). And so the war crimes law has been
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amended so that the government's Chief Prosecutor has control over which arrest warrants see
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the light of day. This has allowed Tzipi Livni to today make her first visit to the UK since
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the law's amendment.
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Earlier today Livni met with Foreign Secretary William Hague. Hague said he was (quote),
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"delighted to welcome Ms Livni to London" and reaffirmed that "Israel is an important
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ally".
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I'm here outside Downing Street where citizens are protesting against Tzipi Livni's visit.
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Why are people demonstrating here today?
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>> Today we've got a war criminal that's been allowed into the UK, so we're protesting to
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say no to war criminals in Britain. Tzipi Livni—she was in the inner-circle during
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Operation Cast Lead where 1400 innocent Palestinians were killed, under her directions. So today
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we're saying we don't welcome her here.
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>> We're here today to protest about her presence and about the action of the British the government
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and indeed the opposition in supporting the ending of Universal Jurisdiction .
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>> She couldn't come here two years ago: what's changed—what's going on in this respect?
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>> Two years ago it was possible for any citizen to go to Westminster Magistrate's Court and
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with prima facie evidence against an individual make an application for an arrest warrant
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which would then by issued by the magistrate. The law was changed to restrict this to the
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Director of Public Prosecution. He was asked to issue an arrest warrant on this occasion
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and refused to do so.
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>> However, now because of this change (it's been lobbied by Israel)—now war criminals
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are not only allowed, they're actually being invited into the UK and it's absolutely outrageous;
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but although she's been allowed, what's interesting is that the CPS actually released a statement
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today saying that she's been given 'special status' to actually come here, which means
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that there's actually enough evidence to prosecute her, so that the CPS have had to give a 'special
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status' and she's under a 'special mission' during her visit.
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>> It's a totally unsatisfactory position isn't it?
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>> Totally—It's absolutely and totally unsatisfactory. If we are in favour of Universal Jurisdiction.
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If we are in favour of protecting human rights around the world then we have to stick by
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it and do it.
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>> You're in a room with a war criminal, you had a meeting with her, you invited her, and
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you didn't take her to court, and you're telling me you're going to try war criminals in British
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