Britain has a special relationship with Israel that is little recognised in the mainstream media but unmissable in light of the killings in Gaza. With more than 110 protesters dead, Britain is in effect defending Israeli actions. The British government has not, as far as I have seen, actually condemned Israel for the killings.
When British Prime Minister Theresa May phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 10 May, by which date 40 Palestinian protesters in Gaza had already been shot, it appears she did not even raise the issue. Meanwhile, the government infers it will not even review UK arms exports to Israel after the Gaza massacres which have only been discussed once in the British cabinet.
That Britain is supporting Israel over the Gaza killings is true to form. The UK’s relationship with Israel is special in at least nine areas, including arms sales, air force, nuclear deployment, navy, intelligence and trade, to name but a few.
Theresa May says that Israel is “one of the world’s great success stories” and a “beacon of tolerance“. To Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, Israel is a “light unto the nations” whose relationship with the UK “is underpinned by a shared sense of values: justice, compassion, tolerance”.
These gushing words translate into consistent British support for Israel internationally, helping to shield it from ostracism. Britain abstained on the recent UN vote to authorise an investigation into the Gaza killings because it would not also investigate Hamas; instead, the UK supports Israel carrying out its own inquiry.
Last year, the Foreign Office refused to sign a joint statement at the Paris peace conference on Palestine, accusing it of “taking place against the wishes of the Israelis”.