Foreign secretary David Miliband made it clear that the government will not back attempts by Palestinian supporters to try to have Israeli politicians arrested as war criminals.
Speaking at the Labour Friends of Israel fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Mr Miliband said: “This will never become a country where ministers of Israel are unable to come and have proper dialogue with the government of the United Kingdom.”
It was a clear put-down to the attempts earlier in the day by lawyers acting for 16 Palestinians who applied unsuccessfully to Westminster magistrates’ Court for a warrant to arrest Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
Mr Barak had been invited to the conference by the Labour Party. He was accompanied by Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog, who was LFI’s guest.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown also attended the event and was greeted with whoops and cheers. Mr Brown and Mr Barak lavished praise on each other and the relationship between their respective parties.