Gaza Flotilla Massacre: Whitewash Absolves Israel - by Stephen Lendman
Last May 31, Israeli commandos attacked and murdered nine or more activists, injuring dozens in international waters on board the Mavi Marmara mother ship, one of five bringing humanitarian aid to besieged Gazans. An earlier article explained, accessed through the following link:
The UK-based Stop the War Coalition called the attack "Yet another act of Israeli barbarism." Global protests erupted. Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy cited Israel's "propaganda machine....reach(ing) new highs (in distributing) false information....embarrass(ing) itself by entering a futile public relations battle," filled with malicious fiction and deceit.
What happened was clear. IDF commandos planned and executed a premeditated attack against unarmed, nonviolent humanitarian activists, trying to break Israel's illegal blockade to deliver essential aid. Cold-blooded murder resulted. The entire world knows it except Israeli government and military officials, as well as its self-appointed Turkel Commission, established to whitewash, not reveal, facts.
Two earlier articles discussed it, accessed through the following links:
Commission members included:
-- two voting members: former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel (its head) and Amos Horev, a retired major general; and
-- two non-voting observers: (1) close Israeli ally David Trimble, a Northern Ireland unionist allied with death squads during "The Troubles;" and (2) retired Canadian general Ken Warkin, involved in the coverup of the Canadian Airborne Regiment Battle Group's early 1990s Somalia atrocities.
Like similar Israeli and Washington commissions, it was established for coverup and denial. As a result, it unanimously endorsed bald-faced lies, distortions, omissions, false conclusions, and exoneration of cold-blooded murder, as ordered by top Israeli government and military officials who'll get off as usual scot-free. The outcome was preordained as was Israel's Cast Lead whitewash.
On August 9, it began hearings. On January 23, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "Israel's Gaza flotilla probe: IDF soldiers acted in self-defense," saying:
In the first part of its report, the Turkel Commission absolved Israeli commandos of criminality. It "also determined that Israel's (illegal siege) does not break international law....(and) there were clear indications that the flotilla intended to break the naval blockade....By clearly resisting capture, the Mavi Marmara had become a military objective," despite on board activists offering no resistance. Saying so was a lie.
Moreover, the Commission "determined that Israel had been in compliance with (its unilaterally imposed) conditions for such a blockade," a clear oxymoron. It also suggested Israel "examine the medical needs of the people of Gaza in order to find ways to improve the current situation....focus(ing) its sanctions on Hamas while avoiding harm against the civilian population."
Omitted was admitting the siege's illegality or that Hamas is Palestine's legitimate government, obligated to serve, protect and defend its people. Sanctioning it for doing its job is criminal and inhumane.