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Tzipi Livni, former foreign minister and current opposition leader of Israel, had an arrest warrant issued against her in London – cancelled when the courts found out that she had cancelled her trip to Britain. War crimes is considered so heinous that universal jurisdiction is assumed – yet, unlike murder or rape, anyone in the UK can requests an arrest warrant.

The ridiculousness of such a loophole means that Livni could have been arrested and tried in London – despite being an opposition leader commited to a two-state solution and quick settement with the Palestinians (remember, her party Kadima came to being to bring about the Gaza disengagement). Not only will such a court case weaken the pro-rapproachment side of Israeli politics, it would rhetorically strengthen Israel’s right – particularly its persecution complex.

It isn’t as if a case proving culpability will be easy in a Livni case: her ministerial portfolio is a bit disconnected to alleged war crimes in Gaza. The Goldstone report, issued by a Human Rights Council factfinding mission, was deeply flawed – the resolution creating the Goldstone mission was in itself largely one-sided against Israel. Had the warrant was executed, perhaps the silver lining is that the report will be subjected to the scrutiny of British courts. And Netanyahu likely regrets Livni’s escape – the likely acquittal and court case will be a boon, politically, for him at home.


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