We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Gaza Flotilla Massacre: Whitewash Absolves Israel

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 at 10:16 AM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

crimes whitewashed

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:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/05/brave-israeli-commandos-slaughter-aid.html

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:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/08/charade-begins-netanyahus-flotilla.html

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/08/charade-begins-netanyahus-flotilla.html

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.

In several months, the report's part two will be out, discussing Israel's procedures for investigating its international law violations, as well as the government's decision-making process ordering the assault.

Last September 22, the UN Human Rights Council's (HRC) fact-finding mission held Israel entirely culpable, calling its assault brutal and disproportionate. An earlier article discussed it, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/09/guilty-as-charged-un-report-on-gaza.html

Based on eye witness testimonies, forensic evidence, video footage, and other photographic material, it:

"concluded that a series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation....The preponderance of evidence from impeccable sources is far too overwhelming to come to a contrary opinion."

Israel's justification on "security grounds" was called entirely baseless. Moreover, prosecuting Israeli criminals is warranted and essential under Fourth Geneva's Article 147, covering:

-- willful killing;

-- torture or inhuman treatment; and

-- willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.

HRC commission members included:

-- Desmond de Silva, a UK lawyer and former chief prosecutor for the Sierre Leone Special Court investigation into widespread killings there;

-- Karl Hudson-Phillips, a former International Criminal Court (ICC) judge and former Trinidad and Tobago attorney general and parliament member; and

-- Malaysia's Mary Shanthi Dairiam, active in gender equality issues, including on the UN Development Program's gender equity task force.

In emergency session ahead of its investigation, the HRC criticized Israel's "outrageous attack on aid ships attempting to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip," calling it "piracy, (an) act of aggression, (a) brutal massacre, (an) act of terrorism, (a) war crime, (a) crime against humanity - unprovoked, unwarranted, atrocious, (and) brutal." It described activists onboard as "peaceful, innocent, noble, unarmed, (and) defenseless, setting a hopeful tone for a Goldstone Commission-like investigation and conclusions."

Following its own investigation, Turkey's report (like the HRC mission) held Israel entirely culpable, accurately concluding what actually happened, not Israel's web of lies and coverup, its speciality.

A Final Comment

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected Israel's findings, saying they have "no value or credibility." Turkey's Foreign Ministry said it was "appalled and dismayed."

As expected, New York Times writer Isabel Kershner's article leaned heavily toward Israel, headlining, "Israeli Panel Rules Flotilla Raid Legal," saying:

"Israeli officials expressed hopes that the (panel's) conclusions....would vindicate Israel and win it at least some foreign support, quoting Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev saying "the findings....are clear: Israel acted in justifiable self defense. Our soldiers acted to protect themselves and to protect their country."

Video footage, said Kershner, "showed Israeli naval commandoes being set upon as they rappelled from helicopters onto the ship's deck. Some soldiers had their equipment seized, and the commission found that two were shot during the melee, but it said it was unable to determine whether (Turkish) activists brought their own firearms on board."

False on all counts. What, in fact, happened was opposite of what Kershner reported. No one on board had arms. Israeli commandos killed activists before coming aboard, then with photos of ones targeted, they shot them at point blank range.

Viva Palestina's Kevin Ovenden, on board the Mavi Marmara, responded saying:

"The claim by Israel's Turkel Commission that Israeli forces acted legally when they killed nine people (and) left another brain dead, will be laughed out of court by all but the Israeli government and its most fanatical supporters."

"This whitewash commission was set up by the Netanyahu government, the same people who commissioned the assault on the aid ship....Israel has refused (to cooperate with an) independent international inquiry and instead was brazen enough to establish this farce. No Turkish official, lawyer or representative was allowed to take part," even though its citizens were killed....However hard the Israeli Government attempts to rewrite history, they can't rewrite the truth."

Israel committed premeditated slaughter in international waters, murdering unarmed activists in cold blood, trying to deliver humanitarian aid.

Dealing only with Israel's blockade, the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement said "No Commission of inquiry can authorize collective punishment of a civilian population by restricting its movement and access, as did Israel."

"We disagree with the Commission's conclusion that the restrictions were justified for military or 'strategic' reasons." It's unjustifiable to claim preventing "the transfer into Gaza of industrial margarine, paper, and coriander (among other non-military staples) contributed to a legitimate military goal."

Gisha rightfully calls Israel's closure policy "illegal" under international law. It was established illegitimately to weaken Hamas, as well as punish and strangle Gaza's economy, not protect security as claimed. Murdering unarmed, nonviolent humanitarian activists trying to deliver essential aid compounds Israel's culpability. Ongoing without letup or accountability, Turkel's whitewash commission absolved it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Report this post as:

© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy