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16/9/05

MP Jeremy Corbin on Doron Almog

  

Jeremy Corbyn MP 0207 219 3545 / 07773 429 690 corbynj@parliament.uk

16 September 2005

News from Jeremy Corbyn MP

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn requests a meeting with Ministers regarding the flouting of a UK arrest warrant for Israeli General Doron Almog. The General flew in to Heathrow airport last Sunday (11th September) but whilst sitting on the plane he was met by Israeli officials who advised him to remain on the plane, which subsequently returned to Israel. The issue has been given a huge amount of press coverage in Israel yet just a couple of articles have appeared here, and the impact has the potential to be much bigger than the specific case of General Almog. The potential for a precedent being set wherein a perpetrator of war crimes is allowed to flout a UK arrest warrant is enormous. This is why the Islington North MP insists on having the government explain itself.

Jeremy Corbyn MP stated: “This is no way for the police or an embassy to behave, though it remains unclear if the El Al airline had any involvement in protecting the General. It would seem to me that both the Israeli Embassy and the police have a lot to answer for. The behavior of the Israeli officials is unacceptable but sadly, doesn’t surprise me overly, since they are in the business of supporting these policies which brought about the war crimes committed by the General in the first place. Israel won’t act on such cases, which is precisely why a UK arrest warrant was issued.”

Jeremy continued: “I don’t know why it is that Israel seems to get different treatment from so many other countries when it comes to Human Rights, whether it be in press coverage or in international support. In my experience it is commonplace for officials to insist that Israel is a democracy, and take little notice of their flouting of international law, but such a title when allocated to Israel makes a mockery of the whole concept of democracy. It is time the European community admitted and took substantive action against Israel in relation to its wrongdoings. Aside from allegedly ordering the dropping of a one ton bomb on a Gaza residential area in 2003, resulting in the death of 15 people (including 9 children), he has been involved in the demolition of 59 Palestinian homes, contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Jeremy Corbyn is not the only Member of Parliament alarmed about this sequence of events. His colleague in Islington South, Emily Thornberry (previously a criminal barrister) is equally upset about these events and has also spoken out. Details of this case will become widely known and Members returning to parliament from their summer break will be concerned. Jeremy wants a full investigation into this case and its potential ramifications and these cross several departments, where action would need to be taken thereafter.

In a letter to Hazel Blears, Junior Home Office Minister, Jeremy Corbyn said: “This is a matter which clearly involves both the Home Office and the Foreign Office I’d have thought, and I am keen to meet with you to discuss the events that unfolded in order to ensure that they never happen again. … the solicitor handling this case on behalf of the Palestinian victims – Daniel Machover is, quite rightly,, extremely alarmed about the leak of the arrest warrant, and the police action (or lack of in this case), and the sheer audacity of the Israeli officials involved and their conduct. “

The situation as it stands reflects extremely badly on all departments, as well as the British Courts and we have a duty to ensure that such a scenario is not repeated. END

  
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