The Turkel report assigned no responsibility and was clearly intended as a PR campaign to show that no International and truly independent investigation is needed since the occupation army and the colonial state do a “good job” investigating themselves though they can improve “operationally” in this good performance! Even the Israeli investigation of the massacre of hundreds of civilians at Sabra and Shatila in 1982 (a massacre performed by Lebanese paid mercenaries of the Israeli army with lighting and protection by Israeli forces) was a bit more nuanced. That 1982 investigation at least assigned some responsibility to then defense minister Ariel Sharon who left political life briefly but returned to become prime minister instead of being sent to the Hague for war crimes. And of course independent UN investigations are not allowed or if they happen are dismissed out of hand. Even the killings of US citizens are not investigated independently (for example see the murder of Rachel Corrie).
I think this “Turkel report” should be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I think Turkey (a member of the International Criminal Court and a member of NATO) and Palestine (which can now apply for membership) should take Israel to the ICC. I think Palestinian and Turkish officials meeting with President Obama next months should say to him: enough is enough. It pained me to see Salam Fayyad meeting with Israeli Knesset members and pleading with them to release the Palestinian tax money that Israel stole. After 20 years of “Oslo”, will they learn that pleading and begging colonizers/occupiers for our rights does not work?
If you want to waste a lot of time reading gibberish, here is the website of the Israeli commission that exonerated the Israeli actions: see http://www.turkel-committee.
Two UN reports contradict the Israeli report. See for example
All human rights organizations who looked into this even wanted stronger actions (and of course these were not on the agenda of Mr. Turkel). See for example Amnesty which first described the initial Israeli report of January 2011 as a whitewash
and came up with a strong report of its own
The Turkish government detailed report (though I could not find a direct link to the text, there are many news reports on the internet about it).
But if Israel is about transparency, why not release the hundreds of camera/video cameras that it confiscated from the hundreds of passengers on board? Why not even mention them in the Turkel report (which did use the selective videos by Israeli military commandoes). The few smuggled videos are rather damning and indeed show war crimes. Here is a segment of execution by Israeli soldiers of a peace activist on board the Mavi Marmarahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?
And here is a far longer smuggled video that shown many other atrocities issues
And of course Mr. Turkel and company did not care about the testimony of hundreds of survivors. Here is just one chilling testimony: http://blogs.aljazeera.com/
And the Turkel report does not allude to these Photos that show Mavi Marmara passengers protecting, aiding Israeli soldiers http://aliabunimah.posterous.
Gideon Levy wrote an article that says “Israel does as it pleases: Until now it’s worked. Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Sudan and, of course, the Palestinians wiped the saliva, said it was rain and restrained themselves, because they are weak and Israel is strong.” http://www.haaretz.com/
Well I say again this “Turkel report” could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back if Turkey (a member of the International Criminal Court and a member of NATO) and Palestine (which can now apply for membership) can get their act together. I do hope we will not have to wait for the next war crime to act.
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD