The Times reported yesterday that Hamas is "masterminding efforts to have senior Israeli leaders arrested for alleged war crimes when the visit European countries." The recent arrest warrant issued for Tzipi Livni by a British Court is certainly tied to this, and it is no surprise that the UK is the first port of call in this latest act of Hamas asymmetric warfare.
Although Hamas were not directly involved, it seems that they have acted as key facilitators, and claim to have provided lawyers with evidence of Israeli war crimes. This has been done through a Hamas initiative founded by Ismail Haniyeh called "the central committee for documentation and prosecuting Israeli war criminals," also known as Al-Tawthiq. According to its chairman, the commission's mission is to document and gather "evidence connected with Israel war crimes, tracking war criminals and prosecuting them in international, national and local courts."
Over the years, Hamas have been exceptionally successful at waging (and winning) an antisemitic propaganda war against Israel. So successful in fact, that in this country professing support for Hamas - a proscribed Islamist terrorist group - is now considered a mainstream position, which is held by some prominent politicians and high profile thinkers. Israeli officials have not yet come to terms with the effect that Hamas asymmetric warfare in Europe has on their ability to completely neutralise the terrorist threat they face at home. This Israeli underestimation of Hamas' capabilities outside of Gaza is no better illustrated than by the almost successful attempt to have one of their leading politicians put on trial for war crimes.
The UK is the European hub of Hamas support organisations and as I write, a convoy for UK charity Viva Palestina (VP) is en route to give aid to the "elected government in Gaza". Its last such initiative culminated in the dumping of a load of cash into the lap of a Hamas gangster. VP, however, had nothing to do with the arrest warrant instead leaving the job to their friend, Daud Abdullah (deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain). Abdullah has repeatedly expressed his support for Hamas, and is an ever present at the numerous pro Hamas, Israel bashing annual fiestas that take place in London. He is also - as has been repeatedly mentioned on this blog - a signatory to a high profile pro Hamas statement signed earlier this year in Istanbul.
According to The Muslim News, on December 7 one of Abdullah's front organisations, the Middle East Monitor (MEMO), held an event entitled ‘Universal Jurisdiction Against Israeli War Criminals'. The keynote address, read by Abdullah, "highlighted the importance of implementing universal jurisdiction against Israeli war criminals." Present at this seminar were two of the individuals who would later play roles in either securing or supporting the arrest warrant for Livni: lawyers Daniel Machover and Tayab Ali. According to the Sunday Times, Ali is the "lawyer believed to be behind the Livni case...who has a track record of representing high-profile terrorist suspects and those accused of extremist views." Ali was also behind an attempt earlier this year to issue a similar warrant for Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
The Muslim Brotherhood's official website claims that, upon learning of Livni's impending UK arrival, Hamas' Al-Tawthiq "hastened to coordinate with British lawyer Al-Tayeb Ali." If this is true, it would add to the list of Islamic fascists that Ali has worked on behalf of, a list which includes convicted terrorist Salahuddin Amin and Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT): the revolutionary Islamist group bent on the eventual destruction of Israel.
In a piece for Comment is Free last week, Machover wrote in support of the warrant, where he rightly stressed the importance of maintaining an independent judiciary, and criticised David Miliband's intervention. He failed however, to address how the arrest warrant was undoubtedly politically motivated and chose not to criticise this blatant use of the British legal system as a political tool against Israel. It is also quite ironic that in his piece Machover writes about the importance of "our ancient democratic traditions", after he had lent his name to the MEMO conference which was organised by a man who represents political Islam - an ideology that stands opposed to all of these traditions.
Machover and Ali are, at best, unwitting pawns in a war Hamas is waging against Israel with every weapon it has at its disposal, and they should be careful that their opposition to Israeli military tactics does not lead them to support Hamas initiatives.
Whether or not Israel committed war crimes during Cast Lead remains uncertain, but what is beyond any doubt is that the self proclaimed driving force behind the pursuit of Livni has for years implemented a policy of intentionally killing Israeli civilians, a war crime that is all too often excused, usually by the same people who support these absurd initiatives.
Focus on Islamism is a blog dedicated to analysing and exposing the modern ideological phenomenon known as Islamism.
Shiraz Maher is a writer and broadcaster.
Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens is a PhD student at King's College, London. He has contributed to various online and printed publications including, The Daily Telegraph, Lebanon's Daily Star, Standpoint and NOWLebanon.
To contact the authors, click here
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