Miliband puts Israel on tourist warning list

The Foreign Office has just added this official warning on its site for visitors who wish to travel to Israel:

“UK passport holders should be aware of a recent Serious Organised Crime Agency investigation into the misuse of UK passports in the murder of Mahmud al-Mabhuh in Dubai on 19 January 2010. The SOCA investigation found circumstantial evidence of Israeli involvement in the fraudulent use of British passports. This has raised the possibility that your passport details could be captured for improper uses while your passport is out of your control. The risk applies in particular to passports without biometric security features. We recommend that you only hand your passport over to third parties including Israeli officials when absolutely necessary.”

David Miliband, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, made a statement that an Israeli diplomat will be expelled from the UK, eventhough this had been on the BBC website since this morning implying a Foreign Office leak to the BBC.

David Miliband, Britain's Foreign Secretary

But all such statements should first of all be made to us, the British public, via our elected MPs, and not to the unelected BBC.

Miliband would not name the Israel diplomat except to say that he or she had been picked by the Foreign Office which seems to imply that this person is directly responsible for the faking of the passports that allowed for the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

There was agreement with Miliband’s action by both William Hague (Cons. Shadow Foreign Secretray) and Ed Davey (LibDem. Shadow Foreign Secretary).

At no time was a specific allegation made by these three that Israel carried out the Dubai assassination.

Then we had the MPs who were there specifically, in a relatively empty House of Commons, to get their prime TV time at the expense of Israel:

Gerald Kaufman (Labour) spoke of Israel’s corrupt government and Israel’s corrupt Ben Gurion airport (although, hilariously, Julian Lewis (Cons.) said it was highly unlikely that Israel would clone Kaufman’s passport.)
Mark Durkan (SDLP) was unhappy with Miliband’s use of the term “alleged murder”.
Angus MacNeil (SNP) demanded that Israel apologises.
Ming Campbell (LibDem) spoke of the “killing” in Dubai.

Others also spoke and generally expressed the sentiment that this assassination was “murder” and should be tried accordingly as should the charge of fraud for cloning the passports.

It is a sad state of affairs that while our soldiers are attempting to kill terrorists in Afghanistan to try to make us safe on Britain’s streets Israel is condemned and punished for trying to do that for its own citizens.

But this is not about the killing or the passports, it is about the fact that British passports were used. Miliband said that of all the cloned passports used for the assassination the highest number were British. Hence the Foreign Office warning above.

Presumably, there would therefore have been no such outcry had none of the passports had been British.

But without such a cloning al-Mabhouh would still be alive today planning more atrocities against Israel’s civilians. And it is highly unlikely that Mossad, if it was Mossad, would clone British passports in the future after the current uproar.

In addition in the House today there was no criticism of al-Mabhouh or Dubai, which let al-Mabhouh come and go on many a false passport. In fact Miliband said he would continue to support Dubai in its investigation!

Not only has Israel lost a diplomat but tourism to Israel will now suffer due to this warning.

More than that, yet again, our Parliament has been demeaned by the sight of Israel-bashing MPs having an opportunity to paint a grotesque portrait of Israel while going unchallenged even by the likes of Miliband, Hague and Davey.

12 responses to “Miliband puts Israel on tourist warning list

  1. Simple question: do you think HMG’s reaction would/should have been different if the cloning had been carried out by, say, the Austrian secret service?

  2. richardmillett

    I think it would have been different. There wouldn’t be the outcry. Austria, I believe, hasn’t got such a strain of anti-Israelism running through it like we have here encouraged by the usual suspects so I suspect the thing would have died a death (so to speak). So, yes, I believe it would have been completely different.

  3. I wonder what the Government would have done had Mossad allegedly taken out Bin-Laden? Would there be any such expulsion? Don’t think so. Also, what did Britain do when Iran captured Military personnel for allegedly straying into Iraqi water around 3 years ago? Any expulsions? Dont remember hearing of any. More duplicity and double standards from this pathetic moribund corrupt Government.

  4. There wouldn’t be the outcry.

    I’m not talking about the outcry, I’m talking about the fact that Miliband, the FM of a sovereign Nation, has no choice but to condemn the abuse of passports of citizens of that country.

    Extra-judicial killings are illegal, whether committed by Hamas or by Mossad.

  5. Blacklisted Dictator

    Richard,
    If the Israelis had “murdered” Osama Bin Laden using fake British passports would there still have been an outcry at Westminster? Let us assume that Israel had admitted killing him and
    that it also happened in Dubai.

  6. Blacklisted Dictator

    If Osama Bin Laden had been killed, Gerald Kaufman would have got up and opposed it on the basis that the British bombing of Dresden was worse than 9/11. Kaufman would have also said that if America was not backing a corrupt Saudi regime, Bin Laden would not have planned the attack the Twin Towers.

  7. Concerned Brit

    I suppose my question to those who think this was an over-reaction or a singling out or whatever is simply this: what exactly was Britain meant to do? What does a country have to do to its ally to justify a diplomatic expulsion in your eyes? Stealing the passports of that ally’s citizens seems to me to be a pretty cardinal sin.

    And the Bin Laden comment is a total red herring. Aside from the fact that Bin Laden is a considerably more important and dangerous terrorist than al-Mabhuh ever was, why is it inconsistent to say that, whilst one supports the ends, one despises the means?

    In fact, if it had been Bin Laden, I would be extremely proud of the UK if it officially condemned the stealing of passports, and kicked a diplomat out to show that, whilst officially being glad that he was dead. This seems to me to be a sensible thing for a liberal democracy to do – and indeed I’d hope that Israel would do the same if Britain nicked Israeli passports and killed a terrorist.

  8. richardmillett

    I kind of agree with Concerned Brit and Gert. Britain had to be seen to do something and losing one diplomat for the death of a terrorist is a minimal punishment. At least Miliband, Hague and Davey didn’t condemn the actual assassination itself which is what Menzies Campbell did on Newsnight tonight. I almost choked on my Horlicks!

  9. Michael Gerrard

    Dear Richard,

    There is one point to be made. Forget about the British Government, what effect will the use of their names have on the people cloned?

    Maybe there was no way around this tickerly problem. While understanding the motives for bumping the Hamas guy, I do hope every effort will be made by the Israeli Government to insure that the dual nationals do not have their lives ruined as a result.

  10. jcwmoderator

    Gert,
    “Extra-judicial killings are illegal, whether committed by Hamas or by Mossad.”

    – If the killings are extra-judicial, then they can’t be considered “illegal” which is a judicial term.
    “Judicial” can’t relate to what is “extra-judicial”.

    Avraham Reiss – Jerusalem

  11. Blacklisted Dictator

    “In fact, if it had been Bin Laden, I would be extremely proud of the UK if it officially condemned the stealing of passports, and kicked a diplomat out to show that, whilst officially being glad that he was dead.”

    What hope is there? So called “Western liberals” have become so confused that one has toconclude that the war against al-Qaeda must be officially lost.