The arrest late on Tuesday night in London of Sheikh Raed Salah is a very strange business. The political leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, who has three times been elected as Mayor of his town, Umm al Fahm, has visited Britain without problems before, and his programme this time – including two engagements in the House of Commons - was public knowledge well before his arrival. No objection was made by any UK government agency.
Sheikh Salah entered Britain last weekend entirely openly and legally on an Israeli passport. Now suddenly, the government apparently believes that the Sheikh’s deportation would be “conducive to the public good.” He is now in a detention centre pending legal moves, instead of spending Wednesday evening addressing a large public meeting in the House of Commons.