- On August 9, Israel's self-appointed Turkel Commission,
its planned whitewash, began hearings into the Freedom Flotilla massacre,
a humanitarian mission delivering essential aid to besieged Gazans, Israeli
officials blaming the victims, not themselves.
- After the incident, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said
organizers incited the attack. His deputy, Danny Ayalon, connected them
to international terrorists, trying to smuggle in arms, bogusly claiming
weapons were found on board the mother ship, the Mavi Marmara.
- Netanyahu's spokesman, Mark Regev accused the activists
of "initiat(ing) the violence," insisting IDF commandos "were
attacked with knives, clubs, and even live fire." Chief of Staff General
Gabi Ashkenazi said soldiers were forced by violence to open fire.
- He and other Israeli officials lied, clear evidence showing
commandos attacked peaceful activists even before boarding, shooting others
multiple times at point blank range, some in the head. Their well-planned
mission was to interdict, attack, assassinate designated targets, seize
the ship's cargo, take prisoners, brutalize them, then send them to an
Israeli prison for interrogations.
- Straightaway, damage control cover-up began, including
appointment of the Turkel Commission, Israel's thinly veiled whitewash,
hearings now underway - on day one, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the
first witness, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishing his full
testimony. Let the charade begin.
- Deceiving no one, he absolved his government and IDF
commandos, saying they:
- "conducted themselves in accordance with international
law....display(ing) a rare courage in fulfilling their mission and in defending
themselves against a real threat to their lives. I have full confidence
in our soldiers, and the State of Israel is proud of them. (My) appearance
before this committee is the best evidence of the high standards by which
Israel's democracy functions."
- Democracy or hypocrisy? In Israel, as in America, for
the privileged, not others; for Jews, not Arabs; why observers call Israel
a failed state, a rogue one - reckless, lawless, and out-of-control, the
Flotilla massacre one of many examples, murdering civilians in international
waters, the Prime Minister condoning it, his above statement self-explanatory
- words of a criminal, not a leader, asserting bald-faced lies, making
false accusations, saying:
- "Israel has always been different (from other Middle
East states) - very different. Israel is a liberal, democratic country
governed by the rule of law, with independent courts, a bona fide parliament,
and a free press."
- False - Israel spurns democracy, the rule of law, and
free expression, treating Jews one way, Palestinians another, including
1.5 million Arab citizens, denied their rights, treated like a fifth column
in an alien land - persecuted, threatened, and intimidated to leave, perhaps
expelled one day if they won't.
- Yet Netanyahu cited "unprecedented threats of war
and terrorism," his government "defend(ing) the security of its
people and protect(ing) its democratic values, (meeting) this challenge
for 62 years."
- No nations threaten Israel, the region's only nuclear
power, its history blood-drenched in violence against neighbors and Occupied
Palestinians, living for 43 years under conditions Westerners can't imagine,
surviving and persisting nonetheless, determined one day to be free on
their own land in their own country, reclaiming just 22% of what Israel
stole, or living cooperatively in one state treating Muslims, Jews, Christians
and all others equally, renouncing violence to live peacefully, what Israel
won't do and never has, its politics driven by violence, its motive - a
dominant Jewish-only Greater Israel, dividing and subjugating other regional
states, rendering them weak and subservient, what's never acknowledged
but true. What the Turkel Commission knows but won't hear or discuss.
- Netanyahu then bogusly called Hamas a terrorist organization,
"work(ing) toward the destruction of Israel," assisted by Iran,
"also (wanting) to wipe Israel off the map....equipp(ing) Hamas with
thousands of rockets, missiles, and other weapons, (transforming Gaza)
into a terrorist enclave." False, but Turkel Commission members won't
- Asked by its members to justify military action, Netanyahu
called it "a last resort, and the instructions were to conduct it
with as little friction as possible." False again. Planned weeks in
advance, commandos had names and photos of activists to assassinate. Even
IDF video was faked, filmed in advance on a look-alike ship, staged to
comply with Israel's version of events, the real ones entirely different,
showing intent to commit premeditated murder.
- Yet Netanyahu claimed Flotilla activists were terrorists,
"interested with clashing with the IDF," saying commandos had
a right to defend themselves from violent attacks, the way Israel always
blames victims for its crimes, in this case courageous activists delivering
humanitarian aid, risking their lives and welfare doing it, knowing the
risks, yet committed as are other planned flotillas coming, determined
to break Israel's illegal siege.
- Haaretz Writer Gideon Levy Comments
- On August 8, ahead of Netanyahu's testimony, he headlined,
"Missing the forest," saying:
- "Does anyone actually know the meaning of the term
'Jewish state'? Wouldn't it be better to live in a just democracy,"
instead of Israel's fake one?
- Levy calls Israel's "forest of political, governmental
and institutional racism....dark and deep, (containing many) poisonous
trees: Citizenship laws, loyalty laws, conversion laws, the razing of Bedouin
villages in the Negev," Israeli citizens losing their homes to make
way for Jews, "and even the story of the Arab delivery man who was
convicted of rape for pretending to be a Jew."
- Few see the "big picture....several times worse
than the sum of its components," more than ever today under Netanyahu,
Israel's most extremist ever leader, backed by a rogue government - militant,
racist, fundamentalist, and dangerous, threatening everyone in the region.
- "Defining Israel as a Jewish state condemns us to
living in a racist (one). This is the new definition of Zionism,"
moving relentlessly from one injustice to another, a character "embedded
in the state's most fundamental values. There is no other state" where
religion is so blatantly one-sided.
- "Jewish blood, whether authentic or dubious, is
kosher. Other blood....is unacceptable." Does this not reflect "a
new kind of 'racial purity....a religious ethnocracy or an apartheid state?
Wouldn't it be better to live in a just democracy? And how is it even possible"
to call a Jewish state democratic, especially one defiling the rule of
law, committing crimes of war and against humanity throughout its history,
murdering humanitarian activists in international waters, claiming it's
self-defense, suppressing truths too disturbing to reveal under a leader
even Jews should fear, Levy earlier saying Israelis should be worried.
- Discussing the Flotilla attack, he cited a "chorus
singing songs of falsehood and lies," accusing activists of committing
"a violent attack on Israeli sovereignty," outrageous propaganda
claiming the aid convoy violated international law, not the siege but legitimate
aid trying to break it, so stopping it by cold-blooded murder is righteously
- "We (are now) portrayed not only as the ones that
have blocked assistance, but also as fools who do everything to even further
undermine our own standing," Israel's friend, Mario Vargas Llosa saying
the "occupation was approaching its grotesque phase."
- More astute analysts know that passed long ago, reaching
new heights under Netanyahu, Levy calling him "Tricky Bibi,"
a pathetic outrageous extremist, preaching peace while waging war, practicing
deceit, a man "betraying himself in his own words as a con artist,"
worst of all a dangerous, treacherous one, endangering Jews like Arabs,
Exhibit A the Flotilla massacre exposing Israel's true face, revealing
what everyone in the region fears, most of all peace and democracy advocates,
notions Netanyahu and his colleagues won't tolerate.
- A Final Comment
- On June 2, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) approved
formation of an international committee (like the Goldstone Commission)
to probe the Flotilla attack, comprised of lawyers and international law
and human rights experts. They'll visit Israel, Turkey, Greece, and the
Flotilla coalition, then present its findings in September, during the
Council's three week Geneva session. If they investigate as admirably as
Judge Goldstone, expect a true account of Israeli lawlessness, exposing
the real face of a rogue state.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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