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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ayalon threatened with arrest in London

Israel's deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon stayed in London, where he was visiting, despite a threat by lawfare activists to have him arrested. This is the first time they have attempted to arrest someone who is not an active IDF officer. Ayalon returned to Israel on Tuesday.
Ayalon and his advisers received the news on Monday evening before he was scheduled to give a keynote speech at the London School of Economics. His team took the necessary precautions and, after consulting with the Israeli Embassy, decided that he would continue with his trip.

On Monday night, Ayalon spoke at LSE. However, a student wearing a keffiyeh held up proceedings by shouting at the minister as soon as he took to the podium to deliver his speech, "The Situation in the Middle East: The View from Israel."

Despite appeals from Prof. Michael Cox, head of LSE's International Relations department and chairman of the event, the student refused to stop hurling abuse at Ayalon. Eventually the audience turned against the student, after the chairman lost control, and the minister was able to give his speech and engage in debate afterward.

An LSE spokeswoman apologized for the disruption, saying it had been caused by a very small minority and that the school tried to give a platform to all voices.

"LSE believes in free speech and has a long tradition of upholding it. The school is also, traditionally, a place where many world leaders come to explain their thinking and answer questions. Mr. Ayalon's speech gave LSE staff and students the opportunity to listen to, and question, a senior politician on a topic of pressing global concern," the spokeswoman said.

In his speech Ayalon reaffirmed his government's commitment to a "historic reconciliation" with the Palestinians, and acknowledged that "painful concessions" would be necessary for all people to live with dignity, security and justice.

Ayalon's advisers believe that the material advertising the university event was the catalyst behind the call for his arrest, as it described him as a former IDF officer: "Mr. Ayalon is a former captain in the Israeli army who served as foreign policy adviser to prime minister Ariel Sharon and as Israel's ambassador to the United States from 2002 to 2006."

No further details were available at press time regarding who demanded the arrest.
It's not clear to me what basis there is for arresting Ayalon. Having been a captain in the army doesn't provide even a basis to say you committed war crimes. The two incidents that are used to threaten arrest are the Shehadeh assassination (during which Ayalon was ambassador to the United States and therefore not involved in the planning) and Operation Cast Lead (during which he was not part of the government - and I believe he is too old to have been called up for the reserves). So what basis is there for arresting him?

Here is a video of a demonstration outside the London School of Economics on Monday night. Note that they're shouting "Ehud, Ehud" (Barak or Olmert) and not for Ayalon.

Let's go to the videotape.

No video from inside by the way. At least not yet.


At 9:40 AM, Blogger Ashan said...

I think that these lawfare imbeciles want to have any high-profile Israeli arrested. Actually, many of them believe that there are no real civilians in Israel, and that everyone is in the military. Therefore, by their horribly twisted logic and insane hatred for Israel and Jews, consider all Israelis guilty of committing war crimes. We ain't seen nothing yet.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Agreed, Ashan. I think the real crime is simply being Israel - being a Jew. This fits right with what I told Carl about yesterday about the world no longer being safe for the Jew. What happened in London is the grim legacy of Goldstone and Israel will be living with its repercussions for a long time to come. Expect more and more and more of these kinds of incidents to occur in the future.


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