Robert Fisk: Passport to the truth in Dubai remains secret

Share
Related Topics

It's a propaganda war. Whoever killed the Hamas official in Dubai – let's speak frankly – it's part of an old, dirty war between the Israelis and the Palestinians in which they have been murdering their secret police antagonists for decades. Whose were the passports? Or should we say "passports". So here's a moment to reflect on realities.

Many Dubaians believe that the collapse of the emirate's economy last year was the revenge of Western banks – spurred on, of course, by the Americans – to punish them for allowing Iranian shell companies to use Dubai as a sanctions-busting base during the cold-hot war between the US-Israeli alliance and Iran. Now the Americans (or the Israelis – you can take your pick) want to turn Dubai into the Beirut of the Gulf. That was actually a headline last week – in The Jerusalem Post, of course – which painted Dubai as dangerous as it was economically calamitous.

But hold on a minute. According to a Dubai "source" of The Independent – readers will have to judge what this means – the security forces of the aforesaid emirate informed a "British diplomat" in Dubai (presumably the consul, since the embassy is in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi) of the UK passport details almost six days ago and "did not receive an appropriate reply". If this is true – the Foreign Office will be wrathful in its denials – then why didn't the British immediately express their outrage at the use of forged British passports and cough up details of the equally outrageous frauds a week ago? This misuse puts every British citizen at risk.

Yet the Foreign Office – so keen to warn British citizens of the dangers they face in the Middle East – sat on their large behind and did bugger all. I'm sorry. If they had the details, they had a duty to UK citizens to speak up. If they hadn't got the details, they should have told us. But they were silent. Why? Was there a cold breeze coming beneath a closed door?

Far too many police forces are now sending their minions to Israel to learn about "terror". The Canadians actually dispatched a team of cops to Tel Aviv who allowed themselves to wear "suicide vests" for publicity pictures. Air France now hands the US details of all its passengers' profiles – which, of course, go straight to the Israelis – despite the fact that Israeli security officers (like hundreds of Arab security officers in the Middle East) may well be involved in war crimes.

Now a small addendum. The Dubai authorities apparently gave the British the (allegedly) forged Irish passports under the misapprehension that Dublin was still a major city of the United Kingdom. Things, needless to say, changed in Dublin almost a hundred years ago – although how many readers can name the date of Dubai's independence from British rule? – but this elementary mistake suggests that the Dubai version of events (the inexplicable failure of the British to explain their silence) may contain a distressing truth. Don't we (the British? Gordon Brown? etc, etc) care when killers use supposedly British passports?

It is too soon to give a reply. But I should add that the Dubai authorities have other information which they have not yet revealed. The world awaits.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The traditional Boxing Day hunt in Lacock  

For foxes' sake: Don't let the bloody tradition of the Boxing Day hunt return

Mimi Bekhechi
 

Letter from the Deputy Editor: i’s Review of the Year

Andrew Webster
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all