British lawyers are arguing today that they can - nay, must - arrest Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack while he's visiting the country on official business today:
Solicitors are asking a district judge at the City of Westminster magistrates court to issue a warrant for Barak's arrest under the 1988 Criminal Justice Act, which gives courts in England and Wales universal jurisdiction in war crimes cases. The application alleges that Barak has committed offences against the 1957 Geneva conventions.
Barak, who is also deputy prime minister of Israel and leader of the country's Labour party, could argue that his government office guarantees him "state immunity" from prosecution. But lawyers from two London law firms, Irvine Thanvi Natas and Imran Khan & Partners, believe the warrant that the international criminal court issued in May last year for the arrest of Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, offers a precedent. Bashir is accused of committing war crimes in Darfur.
"Universal jurisdiction"? Hah! And they call us "unilateralists!
All this, based on the "Goldstone Report" on the Israeli-Gaza war of almost a year ago. Netanyahu calls it a "kangaroo court against Israel", and he's right.
But "right" doesn't matter in this brawl. Without George Bush, the fight against a 20th century-type explosion of anti-semitism is left to Barack Obama, who spent 20 years going to a church in Chicago that demonized Jews as part of their weekly ritual. Enough said. Wait, read this. Now, enough said.
Let's hope Ehud Barack (!) avoids prosecution in Britain, and Jews avoid persecution by everyone else (including the British). But Obama has - in his infinitely cool way - allowed the genie out of the bottle (that George Bush sat so tightly on), and it is now loose in the world, with the knowledge that the strong lack the will to force it back inside.
The genie smiles and licks his oily lips, because he knows the fun has just begun...