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Boycott Israel and British Lives Will Be Lost

Why does the UK want to distance itself from the country best positioned to help protect British troops from IEDs?

by
Carol Gould

Bio

December 28, 2009 - 12:20 am
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Eshel enumerates the vast array of other methods used by insurgents to disable tanks and kill servicemen and women, and comments: “Only the Israelis have been waging a relentless anti-IED campaign against such elements, lately with growing success.” He describes the lethality of terrorist tactics derived from combined advice from Chechen rebels and al-Qaeda and former Taliban, corroborated by an unnamed senior U.S. intelligence officer at the 3rd Corps Support Command in north Baghdad.

The Israeli Defense Forces endured “camouflaged IEDs” in south Lebanon, weapons that have caused grief to coalition forces. Eshel asserts that Israel has unparalleled expertise combating IEDs after painful encounters during the Second Intifada and in south Lebanon.

That brings me to December 2009, when to the utter astonishment of the Anglo-Jewish community and to the truly incandescent rage of the Israeli government and embassy, Israeli Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni canceled a visit to Britain to appear at a Jewish National Fund conference in the wake of the issuance of an arrest warrant charging her with war crimes. It beggars belief that Britain is now in the position of forcing one of its valued allies to keep its officials from its shores; in recent years other Israeli dignitaries have refrained from getting off flights because of threats from the British courts. Had an injunction sought by sixteen Palestinians been successful, Defense Minister Ehud Barak would not have been able to visit Britain in October, although former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon did cancel a journey to London. The Livni affair has brought the issue of obsessive Israel-bashing to a head.

In the bulk of this article I outline the threat that exists to coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring in the factor of Israeli expertise in reducing fatalities. Instead, Britain, recently obsessed with Zionist-bashing (see my article about the UK media’s blitz on Anglo-Jewry), ramps up its efforts to prevent Israeli experts from entering the country. This is insane and self-destructive. Martin Bright comments in the Spectator: “War crimes should be punished and Israeli politicians cannot be exempt. But is this really the best way of going about this? I worry that we are making a special case of Israeli politicians and that Britain has become associated with a particularly virulent form of anti-Zionism.”

What is even more alarming is that in the week of December 21, several television news reports claimed that Hamas was responsible for securing the warrant against Tzipi Livni. The implication of this is that a terrorist group proscribed by the United States and European Union can operate freely with the British justice system. The Israeli government went so far as to say the warrant for Livni’s arrest was issued “at the behest of radical elements.” Israel has now said its officials simply cannot visit the United Kingdom.

In the holiday season even the Ahava shop in Covent Garden is the target of hate-Israel groups. Stephanie Brickman wrote in May from Edinburgh about the boycotts and kosher foods getting harder to find, noting that one of the earliest Nazi tactics was to ban such goods.

While dictators and rogues travel the world and speak at the United Nations General Assembly, a valued military ally is now unable to offer its advice in person to the British government. British soldiers die and could be saved by Israeli expertise, but thousands of union members, supermarket customers, and academicians rally to boycott anything and everything Israeli.

It beggars belief.

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Carol Gould is the Philadelphia-born author of Don’t Tread on Me: Anti-Americanism Abroad, Spitfire Girls, and A Room at Camp Pickett, a play about her mother’s experiences as a WAC in World War II; she has just completed a film about black GI babies. Carol has been a panelist on BBC's Any Questions?, hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby, on Jenni Murray's Woman's Hour, and on Andrew Gilligan's Forum, as well as being a commentator on Sky News, Press TV, and BBC Five Live.
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