Another local Nobel Peace Prize winner heads towards the Middle East …

Having rejected the UN’s call for an international inquiry into the storming of the flotilla of aid vessels heading for Gaza, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now announced his country’s own inquiry.

Steve Punter's profile photo of David TrimbleA panel of three will be led by retired Supreme Court judge Yaakov Tirkel, and observed by two international experts. Whereas 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan was heading towards Gaza aboard the MV Rachel Corrie, 1998 winner Lord Trimble will be joining retired judge advocate general of the Canadian armed forces Ken Watkin as the two observers. The BBC explains:

The two foreign observers will take part in the hearings and subsequent discussions, but they will not vote on the conclusions of the inquiry

The panel’s role and powers are already being questioned. An editorial in Haatetz outlines some issues:

… Netanyahu’s panel will have no powers, not even those of a government probe, and its proposed chairman does not believe in such a panel. In an interview to Army Radio, Tirkel said there is no choice but to establish a state committee of inquiry. He opposed bringing in foreign observers and made clear that he is not a devotee of drawing conclusions about individuals and dismissing those responsible for failures. When a Haaretz reporter confronted Tirkel about these remarks, the former justice evaded the question saying, “I don’t remember what I said.”

Asked about the inquiry on Good Morning Ulster, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness quipped

Sounds like another Widgery

One thing is for certain – it won’t be plain sailing.

(Photo by Steve Punter).

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.

  • I’ll agree with Martin on this one. If you want to hide and/or launder bad news, call for an inquiry with useless peers.

  • wee buns

    What a joke.

  • Drumlin Rock

    it is rather ironic and not necessarily surprising, the thought had crossed my mind last week when there were many using the fact that a Nobel Peace Prize Winner was on board the Rachel Corrie to give it added credibility, obviously to counteract that you need a Nobel Peace Prize Winner on the Isreali investigation,and who better than Lord Trimble.

  • I have a book entitled “Terrorism: how the west can win” which was edited by Benjamin netanyahu in the mid 80s. He wrote the first and last chapters I recall. At the time he was the israeli ambassador to the UN but since then he has become a politician and has had the opportunity to put some of his ideas into practice. Absolutely complete and utter hardliner and no quarter given then or now.

  • Big Maggie

    Can Israel stoop any lower? They reject an impartial UN investigation and insist on their own.

    I’d make a weak joke about turkies and Christmas except that a bigger Turkey is involved here.

    David Trimble. Hmm, Orangeman, Ulster Unionist, erstwhile member of Vanguard, and member of a tribe that’s naturally opposed to the Palestinian cause (for the simple reason that the Taigs espouse it) , I wonder whose side he’ll take. The Canuck I do not know but Trimble would be the last “international” observer I’d choose.

    This stinks. The Israelis know it stinks but they also know they’ll get away with it.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Did our Deputy Dawg not ‘quip’ about some ira code of silence ?? Me thinks when one Deputy Dawg is going to make ‘quips’,one would be better keeping ones gob shut !! ( I quipped ) 😉

    How about waiting until after the inquiry into the hate flotilla,before actually condemning it ??

  • Ardmhacha

    when is a turd called a turd, when it falls from your arse and can be physically seen or much earlier when it is brewing in the deepest place of your bowels?

    even before we hear the results of this enquiry we know what it is and it definetly stinks.

  • wee buns

    We may as well savour the ironies while we watch this farce unfold.

  • Michael

    LAst week trimble said this about the Saville inquiry.

    David Trimble, told The Guardian newspaper that he had long opposed the idea of a new inquiry because it would be certain to provide fresh ammunition for those seeking to convict or sue the soldiers involved.

    It looks like the Israelis were reading his comments

  • Drumlin Rock

    Ahh but he is a Nobel peace Prize Winner, that over-rides any other considerations… well it did last week when it was Mairead Corrigan.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Wonderful to see the Irish bardic tradition alive and well.

  • Sarah

    How can you call a UN an impartial body? UN has a long history of extremely partial decisions towards Israel. The General Assembly of the UN, where each country has a vote is completely hijacked by the Arab and the so-called nonaligned states. They’ve passed a countless number of completely biased anti-Israeli resolutions, such as the famous ‘Zionism = racism”. Also, no Israeli can ever be elected to any of the professional level UN commissions because of the UN voting system, and the organization does not seem to be bothered by that. When Hizballah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers from within Israel, UN peacekeepers filmed all that happened, and then refused to hand it over to Israel. The UN is anything, but impartial.

  • Donald Fraser

    UTTER farce. Eamonn McCann got it right (and it’s rare that I’ll agree with anything he says) when he described Trimble’s winning of the Nobel Peace prize as being akin to a man winning the lottery without having bought a ticket. The Israelis don’t give a monkey’s about any opinion (palestinian, european, international or otherwise) other than their own and their absurd appointment of Trimble merely confirms that.

  • Big Maggie

    The Israelis were looking for neutral observers.

    I believe “neutered” is Hebrish for “neutral”.

  • Cynic

    Yes…as useful as Saville.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I had to do a double take when I heard this news.
    The BBC reporting that there would be an investigator from Canada and one from “Ireland” (sic).
    But did not “Lord” Trimble (Henry Jackson Society member) “warn” Tony Bliar about the consequences of an impartial Bloody Sunday Inquiry?
    And now he signs up to an impartial inquiry.
    What made him change his mind about such things?

  • boris1

    Thtas a rather lame strw man.

    His comments were very clearly relating to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in particular, not enquiries in general.

  • Unlucky Erb

    So Israel wants to pretend its a modern civilised state – that doesn’t just slaughter people in international waters on a whim.

    So it blocks an independent investigation, holds its own internal inquiry and to prove how fair and impartial it will be ….it asks David Trimble, a member of NI Friends Of Israel (Zionist Cheerleaders) to do the rubber stamping.

    Why are they bothering with Trimble when they’ve already got Obama, the current Nobel recipient as their poodle??

  • Argosjohn

    “The General Assembly of the UN, where each country has a vote is completely hijacked by the Arab and the so-called nonaligned state”

    Sarah: The UN is ocntrolled by the USA aka Great |Satan, which suports the fascist, nuke toting war mongering state of Israel

  • Rory Carr

    An excellent choice by Israel. If you need an ‘impartial observer’ on your team who will do precisely what he is told then who better than Lord Trimble who was so good at doing what he was told during the Good Friday negotiations that he was awarded loads of wonga by the Nobel Institute for being such a good, compliant little boy?

  • Eire32

    A Nazi backing the jews, felling guilty are we.

  • Greenflag

    The Israelis don’t give a monkey’s about any opinion (palestinian, european, international or otherwise) other than their own ‘

    Full marks for the obvious . They piss all over the Americans , steal British, French, Irish and Australian passports and use phosphorous bombs on Palestinian civilians as well .

    ‘ their absurd appointment of Trimble merely confirms that.’

    Nothing absurd about the appointment . They know exactly what they want and who best to give it to them .

    While it’s true that the Israelis don’t give a damn about the views of the rest of the world they want to make it appear as if they do mainly for American and British consumption and both Lord Trimble and the Canadian will fill that role . Got to hand it to the Israelis though that Nobel Prize appendage on Trimble was a masterstroke .

    Not that any findings if ever they see the light of day will change the world’s verdict on the recent Israeli State sponsored murder of civilians in international waters .

  • padraig

    Trimble, a safe pair of hands; considering that Unionists here are reactionary, right wing and prone to condone the murder of , ‘Enemies of the State’ in which ever way suits.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I think lawyers work on a “taxi hire” principle.
    You hire them and they take you where you wanna go.
    When the Israelis hire a cab….presumably a driver will ask “where do you wanna go guv?”
    Then if a driver takes you to your destination, you hand over the sheck……er cash and a small but generous tip.
    “I had that John Hume in my cab once”

  • old school

    Being told to do what, and by whom???

  • If the investigation is not carried out by the UN the Israeli govt will not get the legitimacy it seeks, no matter how many Nobel Prizes they throw in.

  • dodrade

    Netanyahu has always reminded me of Captain Vidal from Pan’s Labyrinth, played by Sergei Lopez. Just as living up to the legacy of his father who died on the battlefield turns Captain Vidal into a monster, so the embittered Netanyahu has always taken the most hawkish stance on every issue in order to prove he is just as great a defender of Israel as his dead war hero brother Yoni. In fact I truly believe he is a greater danger to world peace than Ahmadinejad.

  • Big Maggie

    Why would they listen to UN? They’ve ignored every UN resolution ever made.

  • Big Maggie

    They wont, but they should the UN is the right place for the investigation.

    Trimble should be insisting he would only take part in an investigation if it was carried out by the UN.

  • aquifer

    How much is David Trimble going to be paid?

  • Big Maggie

    Thirty pieces of silver?

  • Thomas Mourne

    British war crimes investigated by a member of the British establishment.
    Israeli war crimes investigated by a member of the Israeli establishment.

    Can’t be fairer, can it?

  • Bulmer

    You clearly haven’t a clue about Ulster Protestantism if you think the reason there has always been support for Israel is based on bigotry.

    And we won’t even pick up the stone labeled Roman Catholic anti-semitism will we…

  • Macanna

    such cynicism cynic

  • Bulmer

    Dear me. Despite his role in bringing the Troubles to an end, all we get here is a barrage of barely disguised sectarian abuse. So he has no credibility but Martin McG has? Eh?

    Believe it or not Israel is a democracy (and the only one in the Middle East). It is therefore entitled to conduct an investigation into its affairs. No democracy will countenance an external body conducting investigations into its actions. The UN is routinely ignored by everyone when it suits them. And Turkey is in no position to preach. Look at its recent reaction on being outed yet again over the Armenian genocide it pretended didn’t exist. International bodies involved in that as well.

    To denigrate each and every figure from the loyalist community shows just childish and reactionary some of the correspondents are here. If there was a Republican TUV you’d be in it!


  • White Horse

    “Dear me.”

    Are you writing a letter to yourself?

  • alan56

    Trimble delivered unionists to a powersharing agreement which included SF. He might actually be an inspired choice?

  • Ghost Bear

    lol well the choice of observers could’ve been worse, fortunately David Vance isn’t very well known in international political circles 😀

  • Republic of Connaught

    Does Trimble still live on our beloved Emerald isle or is he speaking with an English accent now? A masterstroke by the Israelis. A Nobel peace prize winning Irish Protestant Unionist to profess Israel is in fact the victim no matter how it behaves. I am generally sympathetic towards the Jewish nation but if any nation is given too much rope they’ll hang themselves.

    As for Trimble, he showed political courage signing the GFA and he deserves respect across Ireland for it. He’s a better Ulsterman than the likes of Nigel Dodds the DUP. But I always get the sense middle class Ulster Protestants like Trimble dream of being jolly good Englishmen so he’s probably in his element in the Tories in England. Seeing the UUP fawn to posh boy Davey Cameron was cringe worthy.

  • keano

    hezbollah did not kidnap any soldiers, they took 2 soldiers as prisoners of war to negotiate the freedom of their prisoners in israeli jails.

  • keano

    Hate Flotilla….sounds like something an uneducated person might say……what kind of propaganda is that?

  • keano

    i just hope the world doesnt think Trimbles view is the view of the Irish majority. When people see Irelands name on this report they may think we support his view. And we know his view before he ever opens his gob.

  • PJK

    So, 2 Irish Nobel Peace laureates, on opposite sides.
    Not to absolve David Trimble of past sins, but: wasn’t Mairead Corrigan the peace-loving person who confided to the world, not too long ago, that she’d like to see George W. Bush assassinated?

  • with all the talk going on about the inquiry re the raid on the high seas by the israiles, one has to ask what would the response be if an unnamed group were to attack a cruise liner on the high seas loaded with jewish holiday makers and twenty of them were shot dead .thx

  • pinni

    just for the fun of it…The Three Terrors