Israel will co-operate with UN flotilla enquiry

By raycook
August 2, 2010

At last!! The Israeli government has seen sense and decided to show that it has nothing to fear from a UN enquiry which appears to be unbiased – for a change.

Israel Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, released the following today:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (Monday), 2.8.10, informed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon that Israel would participate in the panel that he is establishing in the wake of the 31.5.10 events regarding the flotilla.

The announcement to the UN Secy.-Gen. was delivered following consultations with the seven-member ministerial forum earlier this morning and in the wake of diplomatic contacts that have been held in recent weeks in order to ensure that this was indeed a panel with a balanced and fair written mandate.

The panel will receive reports on the Israeli investigation by the Independent Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31.5.10 chaired by retired Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said today, after speaking with the UN Secy.-Gen., that, “Israel has nothing to hide. The opposite is true. It is in the national interest of the State of Israel to ensure that the factual truth of the overall flotilla events comes to light throughout the world and this is exactly the principle that we are advancing.”

Having initially refused to co-operate, Israel set up its own internal enquiry which concentrated on exposing a group of Turkish activists with links to the IHH who led a flotilla intent on breaking the Israeli maritime blockade of Gaza.

This ‘humanitarian’ organisation has been shown to have links with terrorist groups, even Al Qaeda. 8 of 9 activists killed had links with dubious IHH activities and most had left evidence that they were determined to reach Gaza or become martyrs. Such an attitude itself reveals a hatred for Israel that is so great that they were prepared to die, and kill, for it.

Despite much documentary evidence taken by the Israelis and by many people on board the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship of the flotilla, there has not yet been a clear and detailed account of how and under what circumstances the 9 men were killed. All we know from the Israeli account and video evidence is that the commandos who landed on the Mavi Marmara were met with lethal force and a mob of about 50 men attacked a much smaller number of commandos whose main ‘weapon’ was a paint gun.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a web page dedicated to the events of 21 May 2010 here.

The terms of the Israeli commission are detailed here.

The main objectives were as follows:

1) Consideration of the security circumstances for imposing a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip and the conformity of the naval blockade with the rules of international law;
2) Conformity of the actions taken by Israel to enforce the naval blockade on 31 May 2010 to the principles of international law;
3) Consideration of the actions taken by those who organized – and participated in – the flotilla, and their identities.
The Commission will also consider the question of whether the inquiry and investigation mechanisms vis-à-vis complaints and claims regarding violations of the laws of armed conflict, as followed by Israel in general and as implemented with regard to the event in question, conform with the State of Israel’s obligations under the rules of international law.

Following the international outcry against Israel and its virtual pariah status, it’s about time Israel engaged at an international level to show that, indeed, it has nothing to hide.

Whether the UN panel will give Israel its first fair hearing at the UN for some considerable time remains to be seen.

Perhaps the UN might also want to consider Turkey’s role in aiding and abetting an organisation, the IHH, which may well be proscribed in the United States and which members of the Italian parliament are seeking to have proscribed in Europe.

Yes, it’s about time that Israel fought more pugnaciously to restore its reputation in the UN and find a platform to expose the hypocrisy of its enemies and critics.

Israel has already admitted operational errors. That doesn’t excuse those who would commit murder because they oppose an ideology. The would-be murderers were those killed who were intent on killing Jews/Zionists/Israelis – it was all the same to them.

Let’s see what the UN comes up with this time.

First posted on Israel will co-operate with UN flotilla enquiry


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 08/03/2010 - 10:09

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The truth I suspect is that Obama via Susan Rice pointed a (metaphorical) gun at their head so that they had no real alternative. However the UN enquiry wil only have access to papers of the Israeli government and to political leaders. It will not be permitted to interview Israeli officals.


Tue, 08/03/2010 - 12:55

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Well, at least you are not violently against it like Anne Bayevsky (and one or two others who have commented privately to me and on my blog)?

I may be naive but I think that there is a game to be played and Israel needs to play that game sometimes and if it is proved the UN are still blind to the patent facts of the incident then it's game over; the UN is irredeemable when it comes to treating Israel proportionately and fairly.

Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 08/03/2010 - 13:13

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I agree with Anne actually - this is 'no win' for Israel but Obama has given it no choice. Notice how he is putting the knife in through others - David Cameron last week, Ban Ki Moon this week.


Tue, 08/03/2010 - 15:24

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Jonathan and others will be quick to dismiss the conclusion of the UN enquiry, if it actually is objective and accordingly its findings are critical of Israel. Remember Goldstone, he was widely respected and involved in Human Rights issues in South Africa and i think Bosnia, yet his criticisms of Israel led to him being totally attacked as 'anti-semitic', simply due to his criticism

yankeeuxb (not verified)

Tue, 08/03/2010 - 15:39

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More Myths:

'Such an attitude itself reveals a hatred for Israel that is so great that they were prepared to die, and kill, for it'.

Where is the evidence that any of these men were prepared to die?

There were no weapons on the boats.

The IDF ' . . .whose main ‘weapon’ was a paint gun'.

No, the IDF's main weopons were gunships, helicopters, guns,handcuffs, blindfolds, edited video and dissemination of truth.

9 unarmed people were killed by the IDF. Each of the 9 received more than one shot. Most were shot in the head. Some were shot in the back.

There were people of many nationalities on the boats including on the boat where the men were murdered. Israel wanted to kill, beat and steal property (none of which has been returned, incidently) in an attempt to scare activists.


Tue, 08/03/2010 - 16:21

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@Yankee "where is the evidence that any of these men were prepared to die"

I suggest you look at the their own video evidence, their stated aims to be martyrs, their leaving wills. You need to click my embedded links.

Unarmed? Maybe you are the one with the blindfold. What is an iron bar or a knife?

Although the majority on board were not intent on violence, about 50 IHH 'activists' boarded the ship with a clear plan to confront the Israelis and 'throw them into the sea'.

The Israeli commandos landed with paintballs and a pistol. If they had been armed with intent to kill would they have rapelled into a baying mob without shooting?

As for the number of shots each dead man had, are you saying that one shot in the toe would have exonerated the Israelis in your eyes? Clearly they shot to kill when they had no options left and had their own lives threatened. What would you have done in that situation? Shot in the back or back of the head? If you had 10 men jumping you with knives and iron bars in the dark on a heaving ship maybe you would have shot them in the back too.

How come the Israelis had knife wounds, gunshots and broken skulls if their assailants were not armed? Why was no-one injured on the other ships? Why were only 9 killed if the Israelis wanted to murder everyone? Why didn't they just sink the ships? Why did the Israelis repeatedly ask for 5 hours that the ships divert to an Israeli port if they wanted to kill people?

You are a victim of your own blind-folded prejudice. Edited video? yeah, right, like the moon landings and 9/11.


Tue, 08/03/2010 - 19:25

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I incline towards Jonathan ...


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