February 20, 2008

Updated Almog update

Ellis Sharp, in the comments below my Almog update post, pointed out that the Independent had a better article, by Andy McSmith, on the escape of war crimes suspect, Doron Almog, from the UK's London Heathrow Airport than the BBC one which I had drawn on.

The article in the Independent certainly asks a few searching questions that the BBC fails to. We know the story basically. There was this plane at Heathrow Airport.
Inside the plane was a senior Israeli army officer, Doron Almog, veteran of some of the most celebrated military operations in the troubled history of the Middle East. There were also armed Israeli sharpshooters.

Outside were officers of the Metropolitan Police, acting reluctantly on an arrest warrant served by a judge at the request of lawyers who wanted to launch a private prosecution against the general.

The question that can never be answered is what would have happened if the police had marched on to the plane to seize the general and haul him before the courts. Possibly, he would have come quietly, and a lot of lawyers would have been kept very busy as the courts weighed what to do next.

A much more sinister possibility is that the Israeli agents on board would have refused to let the general be arrested without putting up resistance. At best, that would have meant an ugly stand off followed by a major diplomatic row. At worst, it could have led to dead bodies aboard the plane.
So the Brits bottled out, as we say, and the Israeli war crimes suspect got away. Not only that Jack Straw, the then Foreign Secretary issued a grovelling apology to his Israeli counterpart.

But consider the fact that the tip-off led to a situation where British police officers or airport or airline staff could have been killed so there's a question to be put here and Andy McSmith does put it:
the police and the Government face some awkward questions, of which the most interesting is who warned the Israelis that there was trouble brewing at Heathrow?
Actually I think the most interesting is, why did Jack Straw have to apologise to Israel when the Brits did Israel a favour? But the most important is, who happily endangered the lives of the police and others to help the racist war criminals of the State of Israel? I think we should be told.

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