Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Britain expels Israeli diplomat


The BBC reports:

The UK is to expel an Israeli diplomat over 12 forged British passports used in the murder of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband told the Commons there were "compelling reasons" to believe Israel was responsible for the passport "misuse".
He said: "The government takes this matter extremely seriously. Such misuse of British passports is intolerable."
Mr Milband said it was "highly likely" the Israeli secret service Mossad was involved and the fact that Israel was a close ally added "insult to injury".

He said he had evidence that genuine passports belonging to UK citizens had been copied after being handed over for inspection to "individuals linked to Israel".
"Given that this was a very sophisticated operation, in which high-quality forgeries were made, the government judges it is highly likely that the forgeries were made by a state intelligence service," he said.

"We have concluded that there are compelling reasons to believe Israel was responsible for the misuse of the British passports."

Former Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Menzies Campbell told the BBC Radio 4's World at One programme: "It is very serious indeed... there can't be a greater violation of trust for one ally to abuse the passports of another ally."


Quite. When the news of this scandal first emerged, there were some, like Melanie Phillips, who tried to convince us that Israel may not have been responsible. But the efforts were feeble, and now surely no one has any doubts as to who was behind the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

You can read Jeremy Bowen's take on the significance of today's action, here.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's nuke 'em!

Er...sorry...that's Iran...

Raul said...

Neil,

One would ask the obvious question, which is, so what? Israel and the Palestinian Arabs are at war. In wars, soldiers are unfortunately killed. Al-Mabhouh was a soldier in that war and had actual, not hypothetical, blood on his hand in the form of actual dead Israelis.

If, as appears to be the case, the Israelis played a role in killing a soldier who killed Israelis, why the great outrage? Maybe, assuming that Israel is behind this as alleged, it was bad to use British passports. Then again, your country also kills its enemies and, on top of that, kills America's enemies which are not even Britain's enemies. And, somehow, Britain's spies, when it serves the purpose, use passports of people from other countries.

Again, how is this anything but hypocrisy?

David Lindsay said...

Poor Labour Friends of Israel. No peerage, to say the least, for Stephen Byers.

Poor Conservative Friends of Israel. No peerage, though for some reason no punishment any worse than that, for John Butterfill.

The Mossad chief in London kicked out.

Harry's Place preparing to be sued into oblivion by none other than George Galloway.

And Hillary Clinton - yes, Hillary Clinton - made to go to AIPAC and tell them from her boss that they can all eff off, if they can find anywhere to eff off to, or even if they can't.

Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.

Gregor said...

I can’t help contrasting this with the Litvinenko case. Litvinenko was a sleazy creep:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/jan/26/weekend.adrianlevy

who was given asylum and citizenship for being an associate of Berezovsky. Given the tragi-comic spectacle of Berezovsky suing defamation whilst facing criminal charges at home, I’d better watch how I describe this hrmhrm heroic dissident, but let’s just say I have my reservations.

Anyway, when Litvinenko was poisoned we immediately heard of ‘a new cold war’. The papers had already decided whodunit and (in yet another twist that would be amusing in fiction but was just bitter in reality) were full of self-righteous fury at Russia for not extraditing Lugavoi when we have consistently refused an extradition treaty with Russia because their wonderful dissidents put money into our economy.

So there we have wonderful British democracy: absolutely everyone agrees that our ‘ally’ is a country we have supported during their horrific bombing of Lebanon. I do love a ‘brave little democracy’ that drops cluster bombs on children. Absolutely everyone agrees that our enemy is the wicked Russian bear that might be refusing to extradite someone who might have killed a traitor even though we are certainly refusing to extradite the, ahem, wonderful human rights activists who have come to our shores due to our lack of banking regulations- I mean tradition of Magna Carta and wonderful values.

john said...

@Gregor

The only problem is all the evidence points to the fact that he was smuggling Plutonium himself working through private security firms that was now revealed he was an MI6 agent. Even then there is an Israeli connection with Litvenenko’s contacts with Nezlin in Tel Aviv.

It was comical when the story started to unravel like the fact that traces where found before he meet Lugovi or when his Italian contact was arrested by Italian police for weapons smuggling or or Litvenenkos other revelations that the FSB was responsible for 9/11, Beslan and Nord Ost terror attacks, creating Al Qaeda, the then Italian PM Proda was a KGB agent and that Putin is a paedophile and the PR regime had to keep making excuses.

It even turns out now that the poison tea or coffee which he allegedly drank did not even happen he just meet him and retired to his room.

Russia as usual has done such a god awful lousy PR offensive and has not even attempted to address the issue. The best they could come up with is this interview with American investigator Epstein.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVlJU26BCss

They should have immediately set up a high profile extensive investigation.

There is literally zero evidence that Lugovi killed Litvenenko and lots of evidence that the was involved in Plutonium smuggling which could have really put British and western authorities on the spot that they are involved in criminal activity in Russia and attempted to frame a Russian citizen.

And British authorities have not submitted any evidence to Russians authorities to warrant extradition. No toxicology report, single video of the hundreds of CCTV footage and even the evidence they have is skewed as the place that Litveneko was submitted to which did the test is connected to MI6 and Berezovsky’s friend to released the death bed confession help perform some of the tests.

The main question is why were they smuggling Plutonium?

Was is to contaminate nuclear equipment to give false reading on Iran’s nuclear inspections or were the developing a dirty bomb, maybe even an attack to implicate the FSB.