Status of Any British Citizens Serving In Israeli Military

In the light of Robert Fisk's recent article on the potential of British citizens serving in the Israeli military, I have written the following letter today to the Home Secretary.

Dear Home Secretary, 

I have provided below a link to an article written by Robert Fisk, the much respected journalist and expert on the Middle East. 

Here is the link to the Robert Fisk piece:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/its-not-just-radicalised-islamists--what-about-foreign-fighters-who-flock-to-the-idf-9634260.html

You will see that in this article he raises the question of the possibility of British passport holders fighting in the Israeli military or on behalf of the Israeli state in recent conflicts.

I am aware of the Government’s policy of detaining and prosecuting those British citizens travelling to fight in the current Middle East conflicts. 

I am writing to ask if you are aware of how many British citizens are currently fighting with, or are intending to join, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) in and around the Gaza Strip?  Will you be making the necessary arrangements to assess the numbers involved? 

Will you in your capacity as Home Secretary be advising all British citizens publicly that engagement with the IDF in the current onslaught on the population of Gaza puts them at strong risk of being held personally responsible for the war crimes currently being committed in the form of indiscriminate bombing, shelling, or firing that knowingly risks the lives of non-combatants, and the imposition of collective punishment, all of which are unlawful in international law? 

Will you be explaining to them that association with those who are intentionally targeting civilians for political ends, or participation in such acts, would involve them in an association with or engaged in, the perpetration of acts that meet the statutory definition of terrorism in the UK? 

Will you be warning any British citizens considering engagement with the IDF that, in line with established British Government practice (e.g. the deprivation of British citizenship from, to date, at least 40 UK passport holders who have been involved in the Syrian civil war), such engagement may put their British citizenship in jeopardy? 

Given the seriousness of the current situation in Gaza and the apparent escalation of the Israeli attacks on Palestinians, I urge you to address these questions promptly so that any British citizen currently participating or planning to participate in these attacks is warned of the potential consequences and thus may be deterred from acting in this way. 

Yours

John McDonnell MP


Showing 5 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • commented 2015-09-17 15:01:54 +0100
    As far as I know any person with dual British/Israeli nationality who goes to military service in Israel, -upon returning hasn’t to this day come back to Britain expressing his/her desire to cause harm to any British citizen-quite unlike the British born men who go to Syria to fight. It is also not illegal for a person with dual nationality to complete his/her compulsory military service.
  • commented 2015-09-15 23:36:53 +0100
    Robert Fisk , they seek him here , they seek him there , because he pretends so well , at being …who knows where !
  • commented 2014-08-02 17:31:25 +0100
    Dear Mr McDonnell

    Thank you for your letter to the Home Secretary; he has asked me to reply on his behalf.

    Your letter seems to be based upon an article by Robert Fisk, a journalist notorious throughout his profession for claiming to have written about places he has visited when other journalists know that he was with them elsewhere; please see many editions of Private Eye to substantiate these claims. As you know, “fisking” has come to denote the practice of “savaging an argument and scattering the tattered remnants to the four corners of the internet”. I don’t know of any other journalist whose surname has been turned into a negative verb.

    Now let me answer your questions in the order with which they have been written:

    1. Are you aware of how many British citizens are currently fighting with, or are intending to join, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) in and around the Gaza Strip? NO.

    2. Will you be making the necessary arrangements to assess the numbers involved? NO, BECAUSE YOU CAN PROBABLY COUNT THEM ON THE THUMB OF ONE HAND

    3. Will you in your capacity as Home Secretary be advising all British citizens publicly that engagement with the IDF in the current onslaught on the population of Gaza puts them at strong risk of being held personally responsible for the war crimes currently being committed in the form of indiscriminate bombing, shelling, or firing that knowingly risks the lives of non-combatants, and the imposition of collective punishment, all of which are unlawful in international law? NO. BECAUSE THE ONLY WAR CRIMES BEING COMMITTED ARE BY HAMAS.

    4. Will you be explaining to them that association with those who are intentionally targeting civilians for political ends, or participation in such acts, would involve them in an association with or engaged in, the perpetration of acts that meet the statutory definition of terrorism in the UK? NO. BECAUSE THE ONLY PARTY IN THIS WAR DELIBERATELY TARGETING CIVILIANS ARE THOSE FIRING ROCKETS INDISCRIMINATELY INTO ISRAEL WITH THE SOLE INTENTION OF KILLING CIVILIANS.

    5. Will you be warning any British citizens considering engagement with the IDF that, in line with established British Government practice (e.g. the deprivation of British citizenship from, to date, at least 40 UK passport holders who have been involved in the Syrian civil war), such engagement may put their British citizenship in jeopardy? NO.

    To conclude, the Home Secretary would like to thank you for remaining open-minded in regards to why this war started, to thinking through clearly and rationally which side contains genocidal maniacs and to doing everything possible to create a situation where we can all work towards peace in the Middle East.

    Now, don’t you have a fete to open somewhere?

    Kind regards

    Civil servant
  • commented 2014-08-01 18:19:55 +0100
    All British citizens serving in Israeli armed forces should be prosecuted as war criminals.
  • commented 2014-07-31 19:20:25 +0100
    An excellent question and one to which I am sure you will receive an erudite answer. The double standards practiced by the government will I presume, be set aside when addressing such an obvious question.