Monday, July 31, 2006



I understand you have issued a formal complaint to the Government of the United States with respect to the refueling stop at Prestwick Airport of cargo planes transporting laser guided missiles and other military equipment to Israel.

In the light of Prime Minister Blair's recent statement, that the UK is a good friend of Israel in both good and bad times and not just a fair weather friend, as well as agreeing that the terrorist organisation Hizbollah has to be eliminated, I find your approach reprehensible.

It would appear that whilst transport of weapons and military equipment from the USA to other theatres of war, either for their own use or the use of UK or Coalition forces is acceptable, only in the case of Israel is there a furore and Her Majesty's Secretary of State at the Foreign Office has to protest.

It has to be questioned why double standards are being employed. After all the UK government sanctions UK weapons manufacturers to export to Arab and other countries, fighter aircraft, navel vessels of all descriptions, tanks, missiles, rockets and a whole variety of ammunition, without batting an eyelid. The export of such material is considered so sensitive that no government department publishes detailed statistics. Only in the case of Israel has HM Foreign Office sought to ban or delay the export of such material, in some cases where total pre-payment had been made.

It is time for you to explain the basis and rationale for your decision.

Indeed, multipurpose material was exported without question to Iraq that resulted in the Scott Enquiry, much of whose recommendations are still not implemented. As you are aware, the Hizbollah rockets fired into Israel over the last two weeks originating from countries such as Syria and Iran, contain small diameter spherical ball bearings.

It is to be doubted if the Foreign Office or any other government department has put an immediate ban on the export of such material, the raw materials used for this item and the equipment used to make this item. In addition, has the transit of such material through the UK been banned?
In case you are unaware of the damage these items can cause take a careful look at the photographs

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