Daniel Mahover: Finds it 'hard to believe' Jews would need help in UK

'Almog better get a good lawyer'

Daniel Machover talks to Ynet about the proceedings he brougt against former southern command chief Doron Almog; denies being motivated by anti-Israel political stance

(VIDEO) British lawyer Daniel Machover who, acting on behalf of a Palestinian group, initiated an arrest warrant for former southern command chief Dorom Almog in Britain, told Ynet that Almog could be arrested in any country outside of Israel.


Machover speaks (Video: Hagit Kleiman)

“I would advise Doron Almog to hire a good lawyer, since in accordance with our client’s wish we are planning on making the warrant against him international,” said Daniel Machover, the British lawyer who presented submitted a British court with an arrest warrant against Major General Doron Almog.


Last Sunday, Almog was on his way to Britain when he received a phone call from the Israeli embassy in London, and was told that a Muslim organization brought a warrant against him for his arrest, which was approved by a British court.


After landing in London, Almog immediately returned to Israel.


Machover, a former Israeli, denied any links between the warrant and his personal political views.


“It’s important for me to emphasize that the office in which I work operates for human rights. I represent the client, in this specific case this is a Palestinian organization representing Palestinian civil rights. If a Jewish civilian turned to us about a breach of his rights here in Britain, I would gladly represent him, but I find it hard to believe there would be a reason too,” said Machover.


“I have nothing against Israel, I even have family there,” he added.


Despite his denial of being motivated by a political stance, Daniel Machover been active in a number of anti-Israel initiatives in Britain.


In May 2005, Machover signed a letter in support of an academic boycott against Israeli universities, as adopted by Britain’s Association of University Teachers. The letter called on European governments to pass sanctions on Israeli universities.


In October 2000, Machover signed a letter which compared the Oslo peace process to “apartheid.”


“To the dismay of the Israeli government, the Palestinian people would not put up or shut up with apartheid masquerading as peace process. The barbaric Israeli response is the mowing down of unarmed civilians utilizing Apache (helicopter) gunships and tanks. Israel inflicts collective punishment, such as destruction of homes and the cutting of utilities. All because the Palestinians will not accept apartheid…. The truth is now out and the Oslo sham cannot be resurrected,” said the letter. 


'Right of return'


Machover’s client, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, is a politicized nongovernmental organization. The organization’s ‘philosophy’ page on its website condemns “Israel's violent campaign to crush the Al-Aqsa Intifada and maintain the Occupation since September 2000,” and omits any condemnation of Palestinian suicide terrorism against Israeli civilians.


The page also contains a pro-Palestinian political platform which calls for a “right of return for Palestinian refugees.” The organization’s website provides a direct link to the anti-Israel ‘Electronic Intifada’ Palestinian website, which advocates a boycott against the State of Israel.


Speaking about the British warrant he requested, Machover said: “Mr. Almog gave the order in 2002 to drop a bomb on a neighborhood filled with innocent in Gaza, according to witness statements in our hands which we gave to a senior British judge in London, Timothy Workman.”


“I emphasize that this is not the first time that such a request has been made to a British court, though they have been rejected in the past. In our case, the judge accepted our documents and witnesses on Friday, and approved our request to bring out an arrest warrant. He then informed British police. From that point onwards, we were not part of the process. We didn’t even know the flight plan of Mr. Almog.”


Referring to the warning given by the Israeli embassy to Almog, Machover said, “if this is true… there was a criminal act here. I expect our foreign office to get in touch with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and demand that the people involve be invited for a clarification. If there was interference with the police and courts, and aid to Mr. Almog during his time in Britain, diplomatic immunity may have to be lifted.”


Machover refused to comment on whether there was a connection between the Yesh Gvul far left Israeli political group and his own activity, saying he had no authority to say who was working with his office.


Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 09.13.05, 17:00
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