3 Jul 2016
TEL AVIV – Israel’s former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was summoned last week by British police for questioning on suspicion of war crimes committed during the IDF’s 2008 Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, prompting the Zionist Union number two to slam the British legal system as “the theater of the absurd.”
Livni received diplomatic immunity following her receipt of the summons, according to Haaretz.
The Israeli embassy in London received a summons ahead of Livni’s arrival in the country for Haaretz‘s diplomatic conference asking her to appear of her own volition at Scotland Yard’s war crimes bureau.
During Israel’s three-week defensive war with the Hamas terrorist group, Livni served as foreign minister, deputy prime minister, and a member of the diplomatic-security cabinet of then-prime minister Ehud Olmert’s government.
Pro-Palestinian groups in the UK have made many attempts to charge Livni with war crimes, but last week’s police summons was unprecedented.
Speaking Sunday at the conference in London, Livni, who also served as justice minister and headed up peace talks with Palestinians, said the situation could not continue.
“The fact that Israeli decision-makers and army commanders are forced to participate in a ‘theater of the absurd’ when we come to London is something that is not acceptable,” she said. “It’s not a personal issue. It’s a moral issue and this is something that needs to be changed.”
She added that she was “proud of the decisions I made as a cabinet minister in the Israeli government.”
Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog asked that British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond change the law that allows Israeli politicians to be questioned – especially in light of the wave of recent terror attacks against Israelis.
Herzog said that “attempting to question MK Tzipi Livni makes a mockery of the British government’s calls for unity in fighting radical Islamist terror, and legitimizes those that seek to murder children and terrorize society.”