The UK’s foreign and commonwealth office have now responded to a letter from the Muslim lobbying group ENGAGE about its position with respect to the killing of nine aid volunteers aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla by Israeli commandos last month.
The FCO letter makes for interesting reading not least because it shows how the UK government after initially calling for a ‘full, credible, impartial and independent investigation’ into the killings has now laughably welcomed news of the Israeli internal inquiry into the killings as ‘an important step forward.’ No one seriously expects the Israelis to conduct a proper inquiry into the killings, especially not the Turkish government, several of whose nationals were killed by the Israelis. How disappointing it is to see the UK government backing down in such a humiliating manner over its initial insistence that an ‘credible, independent’ inquiry be held.
Secondly, the FCO letter officially ‘welcomes’ the appointment of Lord Trimble as an observer to the Israeli inquiry. As I noted on this blog a couple of weeks ago, Trimble is well-known as a long-standing partisan supporter of Israel and just last month helped launch a new ‘International Friends of Israel’ initiative designed to bolster Israel’s cause. His appointment can hardly be said to inspire confidence in the Israeli inquiry!