Giving the UK a seat on the UN Security Council is like employing a gangster to serve as a judge
'In the current crisis with Moscow, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has written that “Russia cannot break international rules with impunity”.
Britain, along with Russia, has a particular obligation to uphold international law since it is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Last year, Attorney General Jeremy Wright said the UK was “a world leader in promoting, defending and shaping international law”.
Yet the reality is different: Britain has been promoting at least seven foreign policies that can be strongly argued to be violating international law, and which make a mockery of its current demonisation of Russia.
Israeli goods and Gaza blockade
The first two concern Israel. Although Britain regards Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as illegal, in line with international law, it permits trade with “Israeli” goods from those illegal settlements and does not even keep a record of imports into the UK from them.
Yet UN Security Council resolutions require all states to “distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967”.
Israel’s blockade of Gaza is widely regarded as illegal, including by senior UN officials, a UN independent panel of experts, Amnesty International and the Red Cross, partly since it inflicts “collective punishment” on an entire population. Through its naval blockade, the Israeli Navy restricts Palestinians’ fishing rights, even firing on local fishermen, and intercepts ships delivering humanitarian aid.
The UK does not deserve its place on the UN Security Council when it is a consistent violator of the principles it is meant to uphold: It is like having a gangster as a judge
Yet Britain, failing to uphold its obligation “to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law”, regularly collaborates with the navy enforcing the illegal blockade. In December 2017 and November 2016, British warships held military exercises with their Israeli counterparts.
“We’ve operated with several Israel Navy ships, practising communications and manoeuvring” and have a “great relationship with the Israeli Navy”, UK naval commanders have said.'
Read more: When it comes to Middle East policy, the UK is nothing but a rogue state