Following the cloning of British passports for the alleged Mossad hit in Dubai, Foreign secretary David Milliband has expelled an Israeli ‘senior diplomat’, widely believed to be the head of Mossad in London. As the BBC‘s Jeremy Bowen reports:
Britain’s relations with Israel have been difficult for some time. Israel resents Britain’s support for greater clarity in the labelling of products from Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
And late last year the former Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni – now Israel’s opposition leader – was forced to cancel a trip to Britain at short notice after a warrant was issued for her arrest on war crimes charges. Worldwide, Israel is now under all-round diplomatic pressure from its allies.
However, I fear that some are getting too excited by this. Britain have made a gesture that it is displeased, nothing more. It’s not even as if the entire Mossad office in london has been closed, merely had its head removed.
It is sadly inconceivable that Britain would ever dare to take a drastically separate path to America with regards to Israel. Indeed one wonders whether the decision to take such a firm approach on this occasion is in the context of America’s current public disagreements with Tel Aviv. If any other ally had committed so public an affront as using British citizens’ identities to commit murder, one suspects we would see a more drastic response.