Britain stops arms exports to Israel
Britain became the first country to halt arms exports to Israel in response to its Gaza offensive, rescinding five export licences for parts used on warships which were deployed in the conflict.I've got a feeling that even if the Tories are elected to office next year, this may not change. But as I said, I don't think Israel should rely on Britain's arms services anyway, because the time has come to start developing weapons on their own.
An Israeli official said that Britain had reviewed 182 licenses before deciding to revoke the five in connection with the Saar 4.5 class corvette. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv confirmed the move but said that it did not constitute an embargo on Israel.
"There are no security agreements between the UK and Israel," an embassy spokesman said. "UK policy remains to assess all export licences to Israel against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.”
After the 23-day offensive six months ago, a number of MPs called on Gordon Brown to impose a complete arms embargo on Israel. A petition of more than 38,000 signatures calling for a ban was also posted on the Prime Minister’s website.
If anything, this shows how the UK's anti-Israel hostility has really reached a new low.
More commentary on this from Melanie Phillips.