Saturday, September 27, 2008

Leviev and the British Embassy in Tel Aviv

Yes, I know I am kind of late on reporting this. As my few readers know - I have been very busy as of late, but round one is done and now I find I have a little more time!

I got a call yesterday from the Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Mideast, they were following up with regards to the lecture this evening by Mark Arnold, the lawyer for the city of Bil'n who is suing, in Quebec provincial courts, a Leviev company, Danya Cebus, for building in the Occupied Territories against International and Canadian Law. I wrote about this here.

Now it seems that the British Embassy in Tel Aviv (Israel's capital city) has been negotiating a rental agreement to lease three floors in the Kirya Tower from Africa Israel Investments, a company controlled by Lev Leviev, a London-based property and diamonds billionaire with substantial business interests in Israel.

Palestinian rights groups across Britian have voiced their disapproval, stating that such a move would contradict the Government's own position on the building of illegal settlements within the Occupied Territories:

The Government has made its position on settlements very clear; we believe that settlements contravene international law and are a significant impediment to progress on the peace process. Should we decide to relocate the embassy, we will make clear the intended location once a decision has been reached."

Hmmm... that doesn't really say much does it? If the British government really means what it says with regards to the illegal settlements, then why are they even in negotiations with Danya Cebus, the Leviev subsidiary involved in their construction? Why not simply stop the talks and announce that they will either stay where they are or find somewhere else?

Keep in mind that UNICEF has refused any donations by Leviev due to his companies involvement in the construction of illegal settlements in Modiin Illit, which is close to the village of Bil'in.

So, again we see the double standards at work. Lots of lip service about how terrible the settlement building is, how it is illegal and is major roadblock to any kind of peace accord with the Palestinian people, yet no real action to back those loose words up.

I hope to be able to attend the lecture this evening, and if I make it I will include a synopsis on the blog in the coming days.

Until voices are heard and heeded there will be nothing but instability in this region of decades to come. The actions of foriegn governments in response to Israel's continual snubbing of international laws and the Geneva conventions must become louder. It's can no longer remain a comment only issue. It's easy to say how they disagree with Israel's actions, but only real consequences can force a change in policy. If this means disinvestment and boycotts - then so be it. It worked for Apartheid South Africa, it can work here to. The only thing stopping the movers and shakers seems to be the fear of being labelled an 'anti-semite' for even bringing the subject of Israel's illegal actions up.

Time to lose the fear, officials! Put your money where your mouths are - divest, talk sanctions and stick to one set of rules for all involved.

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