The Jerusalem Post reported today that Sir Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya criticized the appointment of two leading Jewish academics to the UK’s Iraq Inquiry panel, stating it may upset the balance of the inquiry.
Miles said the two academics were Jewish and that Gilbert was an active Zionist. He also said they were both strong supporters of former prime minister Tony Blair and the Iraq war.
“It is a pity that, if and when the inquiry is accused of a whitewash, such handy ammunition will be available,” he added. “Membership should not only be balanced; it should be seen to be balanced.”
The former ambassador also said that having two historians in a panel of five “seems a lot” and also questioned the Jewish academics’ credentials.
“In December 2004 Sir Martin, while pointing out that the ‘war on terror’ was not a third world war, wrote that Bush and Blair ‘may well, with the passage of time and the opening of the archives, join the ranks of Roosevelt and Churchill’ – an eccentric opinion that would seem to rule him out as a member of the committee. Sir Lawrence is the reputed architect of the ‘Blair doctrine’ of humanitarian intervention, which was invoked in Kosovo and Afghanistan as well as Iraq,”