A previous article said Israel's
rap sheet makes serial killers look saintly by comparison. It's no exaggeration.
Decades of crimes of war, against humanity and genocide explain.
Accountability so far is wishful thinking. Hope springs eternal.
In May 2012, Turkey issued arrest warrants. Four former senior IDF officers
They include Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, military intelligence
head Amos Yadlin, naval commander Eliezer Marom, and air force intelligence
head Avishai Levi.
They're accused of ordering the May 31, 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre.
Israeli commandos attacked the vessel preemptively. They did so in international
Nine Turkish nationals were assassinated. Dozens more were injured.
Everyone on board was terrorized. Israel planned it that way.
High crimes were committed. A 144-page indictment said so. They
were premeditated. They were against unarmed, nonviolent activists. They
were delivering vital humanitarian aid to besieged Gazans.
Turkish/Israeli relations became strained. Ankara demanded an apology
and compensation for families of victims.
Israel never says it's sorry. It refused and stonewalled. Rogue
states operate that way. Turkey's trial is largely symbolic. Proceedings
began last November.
Accused Israelis didn't attend. No one expected them to. Entering
Turkish territory subjects them to arrest.
Istanbul Prosecutor Mehmet Akif Ekinci seeks 10 consecutive life
sentences. It's for nine deaths plus another victim in coma.
Charges include voluntary manslaughter, attempted voluntary manslaughter,
intentional injury, incitement to assault with a deadly weapon, robbery,
abduction or confiscation of maritime vessels, property damage, false
arrest, and mistreatment of prisoners.
Hundreds of complainants were invited to testify. Conclusions from
an internal Turkish investigation accused Israel of "banditry," "piracy,"
and "state-sponsored terrorism."
Israel is guilty as charged. Clear evidence proves it. More on that
On February 21, the Jerusalem Post headlined "Turkey resumes Gaza
flotilla trial for four ex-IDF heads," saying:
Israel dismisses proceedings as politically motivated. An unnamed
legal official called it a "show trial."
Last year's proceedings focused on murder charges. Current ones
address mistreatment, sexual harassment, property theft, and violations
of press freedom. Citizens of 37 countries are involved. Hundreds demand
On February 26, Mondoweiss contributor James Marc Leas headlined
"Years of impunity for Israeli leaders may draw to a close in Turkish
Uneditied raw video is damning. It's authentic. It points fingers
the right way. Videographer Iara Lee took it. It provides over an hour
of "minute-by-minute" documented evidence.
It "shows Israeli soldiers firing weapons at the ship at least 5
minutes and 30 seconds before other Israeli soldiers are seen rappelling
down to the ship from a helicopter."
In other words, it was premeditated. It's well before anyone on
board had time to react.
Israeli officials lied. They claimed boarding commandos acted in
They initiated attacks guns blazing. They singled out targeted victims.
They murdered them in cold blood. They did so at point blank range.
Footage showed in court "was formally released at a" UN June 10,
2010 press conference.
Gunfire began at "36:08 on the film."
"(I)t appears to be coming from an Israeli Zodiac boat. (It was)
alongside the" Mavi Marmara.
"The first explosive device is at 36:13."
Over the next few minutes, gunfire and explosions are heard.
At 36:39, closeups show Israeli soldiers on the Zodiac firing at
Video "shows flashes from guns and an Israeli soldier with a rifle
aimed up at the ship."
From 36:08 - 37:17, lots of firing and explosions are heard.
At 37:40, the first helicopter sound is heard.
At 38:24, "red dripping on the walls is seen, and someone keeps
At 39:12, "(s)omeone else says "I think they are using paintball
looking stuff. It is not live ammunition."
From 39:40 - 40:15, audible helicopter sound gets louder. At 40:28,
At 41:58, six or seven commandos "are seen rappelling down along
two different ropes…."
At 42:29, the helicopter lifts away. At 42:40, passenger noise level
At 42:49, 43:18, and 43: 35, gunfire is heard. At 43:29, wounded
are seen carried away.
"At 44:18, Kevin, an American, shows a booklet obtained from one
of the Israeli soldiers…."
It shows pictures of activists on board Israel wanted to kill. They
knew in advance who to target.
"(F)ootage shows Israeli soldiers firing weapons and shooting explosive
devices beginning at least 5 minutes and 30 seconds before other Israeli
soldiers came rappelling down their rope from (their) helicopter."
These facts contradict Israel's self-defense claim. It doesn't wash.
Clear evidence proves otherwise. So do numerous victim testimonies.
"Israeli government forces seized electronic devices, including
cameras, computers, cell phones, and memory cards…."
Israeli released footage was fake. It was staged. It doesn't wash.
It was filmed in advance on a Mavi Marmara replica. It showed passengers
Clear evidence shows Israeli commandos committed cold-blooded murder.
If Turkish authorities are serious, they'll find IDF commanders guilty
of high crimes. Doing so will set a precedent. It's high time that happened.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War
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.