Flotilla | the case against an Israeli-led investigation

Posted: June 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, the US and us | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

It seems that the White House is now suggesting that Israeli will lead the investigation of the flotilla incident, with a US representative serving as an observer. VP Joe Biden mentioned this idea in his Bloomberg interview yesterday, and Barak Ravid reported today in Haaretz that it was mentioned in talks between American officials and two of PM Netanyahu’s men. earlier Today Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman expressed support for such an investigation (Ehud Barak still objects it).

It’s a bad idea. Here is why:

1.    The attack occurred in international water, and it involved a Turkish vessel (which is regarded as Turkish sovereign territory) and Israeli soldiers. Even if one thinks that the soldiers had the right to board the ship in order to impose the blockade, during the fight it was still Turkish territory. How can Israel investigate something that happened in another country?

2.    Israel has confiscated some of the most important material for the investigation, namely the films, audio sections and photos taken by the passengers and journalists on board and the Mavi Marmara’s security cameras. Since yesterday, Israel has been editing these films and using them for its own PR campaign. In other words, Israel has already confiscated most of the evidence, held it from the world and tempered with it. No court in the world would have trusted it to be the one examining it.

3.    This is probably the most important argument: even if Israel can be persuaded into handing the recorded material, testimonies from the passengers will take a considerable part in the investigation. It’s clear that Israel cannot be the one questioning them, since even if the passengers agree to speak to Israeli investigators, this would look more like interrogations then testimonies.

We are left with the option of having an investigation that will take place without presenting the recorded material and without talking to the passengers. The report it will produce won’t enjoy much credibility.

Having the US use put its own name on this probe – on which it will serve only as an observer, without the power to subpoena material or to question witnesses – is pure madness, not just from an American point of view, but also from that of those wishing to see it reignite the diplomatic process in the region. Not only that it might destroy American credibility in Europe and the Middle East, but it could also damage its relations with Turkey beyond repair, not to mention weaken the administration at home, as both sides won’t like this move – all of this in order to cover up for the failure of en extreme Israeli government.

Even the Bush administration, who all but gave Israel a Carte Blanche regarding the use of military force, never placed itself in such a position.

10 Comments on “Flotilla | the case against an Israeli-led investigation”

  1. 1 Arik Elman said at 11:33 pm on June 3rd, 2010:

    Not only you’re a traitor, you’re also a stupid traitor. Let’s start with the obvious – no external investigation is required. Israel has executed its right to impose naval blockade on the hostile entity, which allows to search even on the high seas vessels that are declaring their intent to run the blockade. The claim that Turkish flag on the vessel somehow requires international involvement has no basis in the laws of war, otherwise any blockade runner would be protected by its flag. Neutral ships have to yield to inspection, and if they don’t, they could be stopped, forcibly searched, confiscated, condemned, or even sunk. “Sovereignty” does not means “immunity”. Moreover, from the evidence it’s obvious that during the raid the forces involved didn’t use any lethal weaponry except automatic rifles, which is correspondent to the only limitation – “the proportionate response”. Considering the undeniable hostile intent of the jihadist brigade on the ship, the amount of casualties is, in fact, minimal – only 9 out of more then 600.
    Finally, the video material filmed by openly biased witness is at least as much dubious as the evidence provided by the army. You just have to choose whom to believe, and the one who choose to believe an enemy in war is called – traitor.

  2. 2 MP said at 12:55 am on June 4th, 2010:

    You, my friend, are a very brave individual especially in light of the hate-filled “traitor” esq comment above.

    We need more people like you out there, reporting the truth instead of what we’d like to believe.



  3. 3 Kamil Rextin said at 1:05 am on June 4th, 2010:

    Brave words my friend. :) We need more people like you, speaking the truth and not marring news with personal agenda.

  4. 4 Zak said at 1:29 am on June 4th, 2010:

    “Moreover, from the evidence it’s obvious that during the raid the forces involved didn’t use any lethal weaponry except automatic rifles, which is correspondent to the only limitation – “the proportionate response”.”

    Oh yeah, they wern’t lethal – yet they did put a lethal end to 9 lives.

    “Considering the undeniable hostile intent of the jihadist brigade on the ship, the amount of casualties is, in fact, minimal – only 9 out of more then 600.”
    Objection 1: Undeniable? Why?
    Objection 2: jihadist brigade?.. and the rest of the world is an idiot thinking it was Aid mission?
    Objection 3: Minimal.. 9 out of 600. Cool. So, the carnage back in early 2009 before obama stepping into the office, it was like 1000 out of a 600,000. Minimal indeed yeah?

    You have absolutely no logic behind your comment. Besides, you did not give a substantial argument in favor of Israel conducting the investigation. In fact, it seems Israel is more paranoid than anyone else about this matter.

    “Finally, the video material filmed by openly biased witness is at least as much dubious as the evidence provided by the army. You just have to choose whom to believe, and the one who choose to believe an enemy in war is called – traitor.”
    Objection 1: Openly biased? Please elaborate.
    Objection 2: As dubious as evidence provided by army? Why is that? Does it mean you are in doubt about army’s evidence too? Aren’t you the traitor too according to your own definition. Just because you are saying – okay, both are dubious (which means you dont believe in either) – yet you chose to believe in the army only to show your loyalty. Quiet absurd from my angle.

  5. 5 thomas said at 6:42 am on June 4th, 2010:

    yet another brave post! thanks, noam… think your blog might start getting some more hits now that you’ve been quoted by the new york times?

  6. 6 rendaga said at 9:06 am on June 4th, 2010:

    If only my English were as good as you I would create a blog supporting yours here..this is a great article…Kudos :)

  7. 7 Sara Greenburg said at 11:26 am on June 4th, 2010:

    I am so proud of this piece! You are very brave! Now how can we make this go viral throughout the internet and all over the world? How can we get you on a trip to the UN?

  8. 8 nunya bidness said at 2:11 pm on June 4th, 2010:

    if there was an investigation by israel it would still be far ahead of the goldstone report when you psychopaths wouldn’t even do one in the first place. and that spaz wanking off about “TRAITOR!” will be one of the many, many israelis (or prick diaspora yanks) that history remembers as the true traitor to israel. who need nazis to destroy from without when fascist totalitarian pricks like that are destroying israel (and, let’s face it, the entire worldwide jewish community; if you aren’t part of the solution you’re part of the problem) from within?

    and no, israel has no “right” to impose a blockade and it has even less of a right to do so in int’l waters. quit making stuff up.

    evidence? like the pictures of “weapons” from 2003 and 2006 that the IDF idiots trotted out? “only” automatic weapons? can you hear yourself, you freaking sociopaths?


  9. 9 John said at 9:32 am on June 6th, 2010:

    A soundly convincing post. Writing from New York, watching CNN report the capture of the flotilla, I thought, as would anyone with common sense:

    - the IDF videos are cut and spliced
    - where is the entire video?
    - Where, especially, is the video showing the Israeli soldiers killing the passengers? Since that’s the most painful issue, where is the evidence?
    - I need statements, photos, videos from the passengers to know anything real

    Reflecting on the IDF / Israeli media defense, next thoughts were:

    - the captured weapons would not frighten any big city police officer. Ordinary NYPD officers carry themselves with a kind of assured authority that street-gangs do not try to beat them. A tpyical cop has a night-stick and will use it effectively.

    - the soldiers felt defenseless against a crowd of 30 civilians??

    - if the Israeli government wanted to take the flotila, why not do it in broad daylight with BBC/CNN/all other news cameras recording every step? Why attack at 1 – 4 am? Do everything in the wide-open.

    - the assault was carried out somewhat the way navies attack Somali pirates, usually with very little violence even though the pirates are armed with assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades. The contrast should cause anyone with a brain to ask questions.

    - Finally, good luck to you. When people call you “traitor” for merely asking what anyone — and now much of the world — has asked, then it suggests you face a collection of immoral thugs. Hang in, stand your ground.

    Bullies and thugs might not respect anything but a-moral power. If so, they will be reading this from a Washington “strategic policy” thinker:


    …and this background in the NY Times:


  10. 10 Nasar said at 8:35 pm on June 7th, 2010:

    The first comment was just absurd. It is quite obvious that Arik needs to go see a shrink or read up more on current affairs. I believe he does not know the history of the region so it logically follows that he doesnt know who is the culprit here.

    Israel is devouring Palestine like a parasite; from inside out. I am ashamed to be put in the same binomial class as them, much less from the same region (or one neighboring it).

    IMO, Israel should be condemned, openly, for this act of blatant aggression. Turkey, to my knowledge, is one of the most secular countries in that region and all the Flotilla looked to achieve was deliver relief goods to a people who have been put under sever circumstances by a virus that is Israel.

    USA agreeing to an investigation led by Israel is also absurd. Joe Biden is particularly sympathetic to the Israelis and that is common knowledge. However, I would like more insight into the depth of the relationship he enjoys with the Jewish lobby in the USA. It would be an eye-opener, I am sure.

    If Barak Obama remembers his speech that he gave in Egypt in his first official communique to the Arab (Muslim?) world he talked of more partnership, more trust and more fairness. He would do well to uphold those words now. I have no doubts as to which of the two sides he thinks is on the right here. However, thinking and doing are two different things. He needs to prove, by action, that he is serious about mending bridges with the Muslim world.

    Israel should be sanctioned, international ties cut with them and they should be chastised for this to the fullest. The attacked a TURKISH ship in INTERNATIONAL waters, carrying RELIEF material to a BARRICADED people. How much simpler could the equation get before the international community decides to act on it?

    I say again; Israel is the TERRORIST state in this world and time. Not Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Iran.