Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill

Memorandum submitted by the Anglo-Israel Association (PR 110)

I would like to put forward a written submission on behalf of the Anglo Israel Association concerning Clause 151 of the ‘Police Reform Bill’ currently being examined by the Commons Committee.

The Anglo-Israel Association is an independent charity which enjoys the active support of people of different faiths and from across the political spectrum. Founded in 1949, it is the oldest organization for Anglo-Israel friendship in the UK. The purpose of the AIA is to promote wider and more positive understanding of Israel among British people, to encourage exchanges in both directions and generally to support activities which foster goodwill between the two countries.

Summary: The Anglo-Israel Association would like to present its support for Clause 151.

1. The Anglo-Israel Association is concerned that the current UK legislation has in the past been exploited for publicity purposes, namely in the cases where an arrest warrant for a foreign national was sought despite the fact that the case would not be upheld in a law court. This enables lobbyists to manipulate the British judicial system in order to make political not legal points.

2. This is of particular concern to the Anglo-Israel Association, which aims to support educational programmes enabling the people of both Israel and the UK to deepen their understanding of each other and to foster goodwill between the two countries.

3. The UK has a traditional role as a meeting place for negotiating and resolving issues related to major conflicts, yet the current trend of cynically exploiting the law for publicity means that key actors, and negotiators (all of whom would have at some point served in the Israeli army) are unable to convene in London. If Israelis interested in supporting peace are prevented from arriving in the UK, what opportunity is there for UK citizens to not only discuss but even to meet Israeli negotiators and exchange points of view?

4. The proposed Government amendment (Clause 151 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill) presents the opportunity to strengthen the law and close the loopholes for settling political scores.

February 2011