Ami Ayalon: no arrest in London

By Jessica Elgot, March 10, 2010
Ami Ayalon: spoke about the Goldstone Report at LSE

Ami Ayalon: spoke about the Goldstone Report at LSE

The former head of Israel’s secret service, Shin Bet, Ami Ayalon, has returned to Israel after speaking in London, without being arrested.

Israeli lawyers met Mr Ayalon at the airport when he landed in London in case he was arrested but the visit went without a hitch. Pro-Palestinian groups were expected to perhaps seek an arrest warrant for Mr Ayalon under universal jurisdiction.

Mr Ayalon, formerly a government minister and ex-head of the Israeli navy, spoke at the LSE on Monday evening as part of a public discussion entitled “The Goldstone Report and the Peace Process”.

He spoke alongside Christine Chinkin and Desmond Travers, who were on the panel of the UN Goldstone Report, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, which found both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes.

Palestinian activist and academic Karma Nabulsi also spoke.

Mr Ayalon told the JC: “Nobody seemed to know I was in London, so there was no problem.”

He added: “I was there not to represent the views of the Israeli government but to represent Israelis. So I can’t accept where there is a situation in England where ordinary Israelis can’t present their ideas.

“I don’t really understand the British law and it is not for me to try and change it. I am not a British member of parliament. I can’t be the one who forces a change in the law. But if I had had to have spent six, seven days in prison, I wouldn’t care.

“The conference was worthwhile, the audience was quite positive, but I didn’t get much of a chance to ask for feedback because I had to leave straight away. But I was very glad that I came.”

Last updated: 9:49am, March 26 2010