Could it be because they know they are guilty?
The four unidentified officers, holding ranks from major to colonel, are the latest in a string of Israeli politicians and military officials to be forced to call off travel to Britain because of fear of legal prosecution.
Britain is one of the European pioneers of universal jurisdiction, a broad legal concept that empowers judges to issue arrest warrants for nearly any visitor accused of committing war crimes anywhere in the world.
Pro-Palestinian activists have sought to use this concept to press charges against Israelis involved in military operations in Palestinian territories, particularly since last year's Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. British officials have vowed to change the law, which has severely strained relations with Israel.
The Israeli delegation had been invited to visit by the British army. But officials said they were forced to call off the trip after their British counterparts could not guarantee that they would not be arrested.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter has become a sore point in relations with Britain. Neither the Israeli military nor the British government would comment.
Tuesday's announcement came as Britain's attorney general, Patricia Janet Scotland, was in Israel on a private visit. Scotland was scheduled to deliver a lecture at an Israeli university later Tuesday, though it was not clear if she would address the war crimes issue.
The British government has pledged to reform its war crimes law so its judges could no longer issue secret arrest warrants against Israeli officials or military officers. But no change has yet been put into effect... [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Common Dreams>
If we were talking about common soldiers, I would consider it inappropriate to arrest them. All to often, enlisted personnel have been singled out to serve as scapegoats for the war crimes of their superiors. Majors and colonels, however, are high enough in the military food chain that they should have known better.
Frankly, the British law is fine, just the way it is. Why should Israel get a special exemption?
On a practical note, I wish Britain would issue a special invitation to arrest Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Rove, Gonzales, Yoo and a few more.