Tweets from two Foreign Office ministers tell you all you need to know about the government’s views on Israeli massacres

An injured boy in Gaza
Andrea Needham

Two Foreign Office ministers have tweeted their ‘concern’ about the recent Israeli killings of protesters in Gaza. But both managed to do so without even mentioning Israel.

On 14 May, the Israeli military killed at least 60 Palestinians who were protesting on the same day as the highly controversial relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem. Shortly afterwards, minister of state for the Middle East Alistair Burt tweeted:

Start your day with The Canary News Digest

Fresh and fearless; get excellent independent journalism from The Canary, delivered straight to your inbox every morning.

Don’t mention Israel

He utterly failed to mention Israel, instead blaming “extremist elements” for exploiting peaceful protests. His weasel words sparked quite a reaction:

Really, don’t mention Israel

Not long afterwards, minister of state for the Commonwealth and UN Lord Ahmad weighed in:

He, too, failed to mention Israel. And like Burt, he blamed “extremist elements” for “exploiting” the situation. He was retweeted by Mark Curtis, but appears to have since deleted his tweet – sending out a new one instead which did mention Israel.

“Extremist elements” always to blame

A third Foreign Office minister, Harriett Baldwin, could only manage to retweet a statement from the UK ambassador to the UN – again, utterly failing to mention Israel and blaming “extremist elements”:

Meanwhile – and uncharacteristically – foreign secretary Boris Johnson had little to say on Twitter. However, the Foreign Office put out a statement on his behalf:

There was “concern” and “sadness” about the “loss of life” but, once again, no mention of Israel. In fact, Johnson appears to want to avoid the whole situation. The day after the massacre, he made a rapid exit from the House of Commons rather than face a question on Gaza from shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry.

A common thread runs through all the statements from Foreign Office ministers. They’re “saddened” and “concerned”. They all mention, or reference, “extremist elements”. But they avoid using the word ‘Israel’ as much as possible. And far from condemning the murders, the most they can do is to “urge restraint” from the murderers.

The government’s sycophancy and determination to support a murderous apartheid state at all costs is utterly shameful.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account. Also read and support other independent media outlets:

Media DiversifiedNovara MediaCorporate WatchRed PepperNew InternationalistCommon SpaceMedia LensBella CaledoniaVox PoliticalEvolve PoliticsReal MediaReel NewsSTRIKE! magazineThe Bristol CableThe Meteor, The SkwawkboxSalford StarThe Ferret.

Featured image via screengrab

Since you're here ...

We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.

The Canary Support

Comments are closed