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Tzipi Livni arrested in London

by Stan Brin and Steve Payne


Author says: what if Her Majesty's Government had supported the Palestinian Plaintiff's request for Tzipi Livni to be arrested for alleged war crimes during her visit to London, England? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

December 16th, 2009: Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was arrested in London, England for war crimes allegedly committed during the Gaza assault the previous winter (pictured, left).

The warrant was granted at the request of Palestinian plaintiffs under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which holds that some alleged crimes are so grave that they can be tried anywhere, regardless of where the offences were committed.

Part 1: The Arrest

The British Foreign Secretary Claire Short (pictured below, left) said Israel was a "rogue state" and stressed she was keen to ensure that “this (genocide) can never ever happen again. We are determined to protect and develop ties with the Palestinians. Israeli leaders must expect to face the consequences of violating international law.” "This (genocide) can never ever happen again. We are determined to protect and develop ties with the Palestinians. Israeli leaders must expect to face the consequences of violating international law" ~ British Government

Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman (pictured, below right) said the situation was “an absurdity. We will not accept a situation in which (former Israeli Prime Minister) Ehud Olmert, (Defense Minister) Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni will be summoned to the defendants' chair,” Mr. Lieberman said in a statement. “We will not agree to have Israel Defense Force soldiers, who defended the citizens of Israel bravely and ethically against a cruel and criminal enemy, be labeled as war criminals. We completely reject this absurdity taking place in Britain,” he said.

"This is not a suit against Tzipi Livni, this is a lawsuit against Israel. This is a lawsuit against any state that exports terror" ~ British Government “The British government claims that the lawsuit against ‘any state that exports terror,’” Lieberman said. “If that is the case, why hasn’t the British government arrested itself for allowing professional terrorists to live in Britain, and for supporting them off the public teat? Allowing them to do so is a clear violation of the 1907 Hague Convention, which defines such actions as a ‘state of belligerence,’ a virtual declaration of war.”

Between 27 December, 2008, and 16 January, 2009, Israel’s armed forces carried out a punitive operation against Hamas in Gaza called Cast Lead in response to rocket fire directed at Israeli cities. Hamas and non-governmental organizations sympathetic to the Palestinians say more than 1,400 people were killed during Cast Lead, more than half of them civilians. Israel puts the number of deaths at 1,166 - fewer than 300 of them civilians. Three Israeli civilians and 10 Israeli soldiers were also killed.

Author says, considerable amounts of source material have been repurposed from the source articles from the BBC News Web Site.


Part 2: The Aftermath

The following takes place over a period of roughly six weeks following the December, 2009, arrest of Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister during the Gaza war. A local magistrate in the United Kingdom ordered the arrest on 12 December following a complaint by a private citizen.

Writing in The Times, former Conservative MP George Walden called the action an example of Britain’s “Mrs. Tiggywinkle style of adjudication in foreign affairs.”

Mrs. Livni did not arrive in Britain.

Let’s suppose that she had dared authorities to arrest her, and had been arrested. What would happen if Israel’s reaction was not as passive as expected? What would happen if Israelis decided that it was time for payback?

1) The Israeli Embassy delivers an ultimatum demanding Livni’s release, calling her arrest “a pseudo-judicial kidnapping and an act of war.” The British Foreign Office responds that the Israeli note is “an unfortunate overreaction and that the matter is the responsibility of proper judicial authorities.”

2) Israeli police arrest eighteen journalists representing the BBC and other British media. The journalists are charged with “crimes against humanity for fabricating anti-Semitic and anti-Israel pornography.” The police cited the Nuremberg trial and subsequent execution of nazi pornographer Julius Streicher as precedent. In London, the Foreign Office angrily called the charges “ridiculous and clearly fabricated.” In Jerusalem, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs respond by demanding that the BBC release the 2004 Balen Report. The report is an audit of bias on the part of BBC reporters and editors that management have kept secret despite incurring over Ł200,000 in legal costs.

3) Israeli Police release detailed video confessions by half of the arrested journalists, along with incriminating wiretaps, emails, and voice messages. Producers, editors, and officials of the Foreign Office are implicated in many of the fabricated news stories, and having directly ordered others. According to an Israeli police spokesman, “We expect more confessions.” In London, the Telegraph, a newspaper regarded as sympathetic to Israel, calls the scandal “Journo-gate” and calls for a Parliamentary commission of inquiry into the matter, especially as it regards the BBC and the BBC World Service. A spokesman for the Home Office maintains that “the judicial system of England and Wales is not subject to foreign extortion.”

4) In London, a Foreign Office official connected to the BBC commits suicide in his office following damning disclosures in Israel. He is heard demanding that the BBC America news reader interview a leading American communist – and dictating questions to be asked. The leader of the opposition joins demands that the government appoint a commission of inquiry into the “Journo-gate” matter. In Jerusalem, the attorney general issues arrest warrants for the judge, plaintiff, arresting police, and prison warders involved in the Livni case. The government arrests a prominent British leftist MP upon his arrival at Ben Gurion airport at Lod. He is charged with collaborating with a terrorist organization.

5) An advertisement appears in the Telegraph and the Mail, listing the names of four thousand Jews killed during the 1948 Siege of Jerusalem. The advert also contains the names of scores of surviving British soldiers, policemen, and government officials implicated in the 1948 events, as well as others involved in the implementation of Britain’s “White Paper” policy in Palestine between 1939 and 1948. The advert accuses them of complicity in the murder of a quarter of a million Jews. A few hours later, a fire of suspicious origin breaks out in a government warehouse in Kent containing old Foreign and Colonial Office documents. The fire is quickly extinguished, but two men are admitted to a local hospital with burns that they can’t explain. Police discover that the pair are Foreign Office employees. They are spirited away from police by government agents presumed to be MI6. Police refuse to allow anyone to remove documents from the warehouse until they discuss the matter with Crown prosecutors.

6) A spokesman for the Home Office calls Israeli mention of the “White Paper” and the Siege of Jerusalem “old stories, water under the bridge, like the Holocaust.” There are immediate calls from the opposition and from government backbenchers for the resignation of the Home Secretary. In Parliament, the leader of the opposition thunders, “Will the Prime Minister please tell the house – since when has the Holocaust, and Britain’s silence while the six million were murdered, become ‘water under the bridge’?” He accuses the government of “reopening the single most disgraceful chapter in British colonial history” and demands Mrs. Livni’s immediate release along with “compensation for her troubles and expenses.” In Jerusalem, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs demands that the local British consulate general do business in Hebrew as well as Arabic and English, or shut its doors. “Seventy percent of the population of the city speaks Hebrew, not Arabic.”

7) Oliver Jones, a ninety-year old retired Oxford policeman, appears in a Jerusalem court, charged with complicity in the kidnap and murder in that city of a fifteen year old boy in 1946, the so-called “Grey Hat” case. It was previously believed that Jones had wandered away from a retirement home where he had lived for a number of years. Instead, Jones is now believed to have been kidnapped by Israeli authorities in a tit-for-tat response to the Livni case. In Jerusalem, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that London has no cause for protest. “Jones really is a war criminal. Livni is not.”

8) Five members of the BBC’s governing board, the BBC Trust, resign in response to “Journo-gate.” In Jerusalem, a British barrister representing one of journalists charged with “anti-Semitic and anti-Israel pornography” claims that the evidence will show that his client was “only following orders.” The Swedish government announces that it will try to extradite Mrs. Livni if she is released. The Home Secretary announces his resignation following disclosure that he had prior warning of the Livni arrest, but denies that he informed the PM. In Jerusalem, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs demands that the Home Secretary be extradited to Israel to be tried for “kidnapping and extortion.”

9) In London, Downing Street announces that the government will propose legislation outlawing private prosecutions of the kind that led to Mrs. Livni’s arrest, but states that until the law is enacted, she must remain in custody. The opposition calls on the government to resign. In Jerusalem, the President formally invites Prince Philip, the prince consort, to Israel to visit his mother’s grave on the Mount of Olives. “It is absurd that the British Foreign Office does not allow the poor man to remember his own mother at her gravesite. He’s been here only once. The Prince of Wales is sixty years old and he’s never seen his grandmother’s grave. It’s a disgrace.”

10) The Times of London’s Jerusalem correspondent writes that “The Islamist group Hamas is masterminding efforts to have senior Israeli leaders arrested for alleged war crimes when they visit European countries including Britain.” Officials in Whitehall deny that they are in league with the terrorist organization. In New York, the government of Cyprus complains to the United Nations that scores of military jets “perhaps hundreds” overflew its territory above the two British Sovereign Base Areas. BBC reports that an hour after the over-flights, Mrs. Livni was taken by helicopter to an RAF base from whence she was to be taken to de Gaulle airport outside Paris, and turned over to Israeli authorities. “This affair is at an end,” a government spokesman tells the press. In Jerusalem, a spokesman for the prime minister says, simply, “No, it’s not!” The RAF transport that flew Mrs. Livni to Paris does not return to Britain but instead lands at an Israeli airbase. Israeli media report that the crew were under arrest as accessories in the Livni “kidnapping,” and that the plane was seized as evidence.

11) An 87 year old former captain with the Arab Legion, Mr. Trevor Johnson of Kent, surrenders himself to the Israeli Embassy in London. He releases a statement claiming to have participated, in 1948, in the demolition of dozens of synagogues in the Old City of Jerusalem. Among those destroyed was the Hurva, the most famous synagogue in the world. He begs forgiveness and presents diplomats with a Torah scroll looted from the Hurva, for which he paid six shillings to a sergeant. “This business was a clear violation of the Geneva Convention and not the sort of thing a King’s officer should have been ordered to do. Our orders came from General Glubb, who wouldn’t have acted without the permission of Field Marshal Montgomery and Ernest Bevin. The Foreign Secretary announces his resignation, but denies any knowledge of the warehouse fire. The Israeli ambassador immediately calls for the former foreign secretary’s extradition to Jerusalem and asks that the government surrender him forthwith. An American tourist files an application for a warrant for a private prosecution of the former foreign secretary at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, charging her with complicity in kidnapping. The  warrant cannot be served because the former foreign secretary still possesses parliamentary immunity. In Stockholm, the Swedish prime minister cancels a planned visit to London to protest the release of Mrs. Livni. There are more over-flights of the British bases on Cyprus. That night, sonic booms break windows at Gibraltar.

12) In London, the Minister of Defense informs a special cabinet meeting that the RAF lacks the aircraft, pilots, and the will to take on the Israeli Air Force. “They may be a small country, but their frontline jet fighters outnumber ours three to one. Worse, their pilots have more experience and better training than ours. We have no way to protect Cyprus or even Gibraltar from the IAF. On Cyprus, we have only one squadron of unarmed helicopters.” Even worse, the minister says, “Israel is not a banana republic, nor Argentina. They are angry, and our air marshals don’t want to ask their men to die to protect what they call ‘the political fortunes of a government of kidnappers and liars.’ They also recall the last time the RAF faced the IAF. It was a disaster they don’t care to repeat.” The leader of the opposition in Parliament once again calls upon the government to resign, complaining that “Under this government, the British lion has opened its jaws and produced not a roar, not a meow, but the squeal of a pig.” In Jerusalem, the President demands that Britain pay massive reparations over “the Struma affair and other crimes of the Mandatory regime.” A Foreign Office spokesman angrily replies “Let us repeat, those issues are settled! They of interest only to historians!” An Israeli minister rejoins, “These crimes are of interest to me – I had relatives aboard the Struma! All of them drowned! Remember the Struma!”

13) The American administration, which has remained silent until this day to avoid taking sides between friendly governments, now asks both to “tune down the anger and solve this thing.” Privately, they advise the Israelis not to “overreact” given the fragile state of British politics. The Israelis respond by arresting 23 American journalists. All would be charged with “Streicherism.” The British, American, French, and Swedish governments receive demands for the extradition of nearly one hundred editors and publishers implicated in a second round of “journo-gate.”

14) In London, a newly-hired BBC reporter tries to interview a frightened former newspaper editor near his home. The man refuses to talk about alleged abuses. Meanwhile, police arrest a visiting Emirates prince on charges of terrorism. The charges are brought in a Manchester court by a British family whose son was killed in a bus bombing, an act committed by an organization financed by the prince. Later that day, Sky News reports that the government has surrendered to public opinion and will immediately propose legislation banning private arrests. The opposition calls the action “abject capitulation, and long overdue,” but hopes that it will not apply to the case of the Emirates prince. In Jerusalem, the British consulate general closes its doors rather than do business in Hebrew as well as Arabic. Other European governments follow suit. The following day, British and European diplomats in Tel Aviv find that Israeli officials no longer speak English or French. The embassy hires an interpreter who explains that relations are frozen until an Israeli commission of inquiry into the Livni matter can release its report.

15) The UK consulate general reopens with a Hebrew web page that is seen as highly insulting to the Israeli government. In response, the government welds shut the consulate general’s gates. In London, the Home Office refuses to discuss the Livni case with members of the Israeli commission of inquiry, describing it as an internal matter. The Israeli embassy presents a partial list of British subjects currently residing in the UK who are wanted by Israeli police for crimes committed during the Mandatory regime. The Home Office complains that it does not have the funds or personnel necessary to protect so many old men, 24 hours per day.

16) The House of Commons abolishes private arrests in war crimes cases. In Jerusalem, ninety-two year old Sir Wellesley Edward Wainwright, a former ambassador to Finland and high commissioner to several Commonwealth countries, refuses to plead in a Jerusalem court. Instead, he produces a stream of invective aimed at “World Jewry” and screams that “Oswald Mosley was right! Bevin was right! Heil Hitler!” The court orders him examined by a psychiatrist. The Times publishes the result of a preliminary investigation of the charges against Mrs. Livni. An editorial concludes that “The charges were created by a terrorist organization, were without any basis in fact, and were endorsed by a magistrate who should have known better. Mrs. Livni is a former diplomat, a former foreign minister, nothing more. She had no influence or control over Israeli military actions, and it would be absurd for a British court to point an accusatory finger at her, given the depth of British perfidy against the people of Israel.” The BBC reports that the Prime Minister would soon step down “so that his party might recover before the general election scheduled for June, 2010.” The new Foreign Secretary denies that the resignation was related to the Livni or Journo-gate matters.

17) After nearly six years, the BBC finally releases the Balen Report. It is highly damning. In Tel Aviv, thousands of demonstrators demand reparation for the 1948 war. They also demand that a London statue of Ernest Bevin be taken down and his name be removed from schools. “This monster brought untold suffering to our people and was responsible for the loss of thousands of lives, yet he is still honoured as a great man!” In London, the former Foreign Secretary, now in hiding, is quoted as saying, “I’m afraid that all we have done is to open an enormous can of worms, and now we must eat them.”

18) European media reported that Baroness Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s first “High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy,” cut short her visit to Israel after less than a day. An aide to Baroness Ashton is quoted as claiming that she was not taken to see the prime minister or the foreign minister, to a hospital, where she was forced to view disfigured patients, many of them children allegedly injured by Palestinians. Their parents screamed insults at Ashton for demanding that the so-called ‘separation barrier’ be torn down. She tried to explain that a certain level of discomfort is to be expected before Palestinians achieve statehood, but the wall will be entirely unnecessary thereafter. According to the BBC, Ashton was then taken to meet the prime minister, who never replied directly to anything she said, but instead, played bloodthirsty videos which he claimed were broadcast on Palestinian television. An aide called them obvious forgeries, but the same videos were broadcast on Palestinian television that evening. A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said that negotiations with the Palestinians would be impossible as long as the Palestinians engaged in incitement of that kind. The spokesman further stated that EU could not function as a mediator unless it adopted a neutral tone – and until alleged ‘European war criminals’ were brought to justice. He specifically mentioned two former British ministers and former French president Chirac, who sold the Osirak nuclear reactor to Saddam Hussein.

19) And so on…


Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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