The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

HMG pulls immunity rule out of its ass for Israeli defence minister

Some are more equal than others as the saying goes.

The political expediency lying at the heart of the victor's justice of war crimes law is neatly illustrated by the amazing discovery by HMG that the defence minister in every country in the world is entitled to immunity from prosecution from these Geneva crimes.

According to the Guardian today, the guy who brought forth this serendiptous discovery is none other than Israeli defence minister Shaul Mofaz, who is due in the UK for a shopping trip (Harrods a must, natch), and may be popping in to see the ever-ineffectual Jack Straw if his plane connections permit.

Straw, of course, was the ringmaster of the Pinochet extradition circus, in which at times it seemed that the entire British polity had been paralysed by a ga-ga ex-dictator and a fanatical dago judge.

If immunity applies to defence ministers as well as heads of state, what other positions might it be extended to?

Of course, the Israeli government is riding high, after inflicting humiliation on the Swedish government (or rather, provoking the Swedish government to humiliate itself) over the question of hooligan diplomat Zvi Mazel (January 22) and the artwork he vandalised.

Not only the Arabists in the Foreign Office must surely be thinking it's high time Daniel Bernard's shitty little country received a diplomatic wake-up call: perhaps there's some kind of loophole in Straw's free pass that will allow the coppers to put the gyves on Mofaz.

More likely, Straw will play the part of the door-mat (the boy is typecast!); Mofaz will no doubt operate the Likud antisemitism muckspreader, but can expect nothing substantive from HMG beyond the pleasure of its humiliation.

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