Monday, June 07, 2010

Israel rejects multinational inquiry into flotilla attack.

One would think that, after the worldwide condemnation brought about by their attack on the Gaza flotilla, that the Israelis would be very keen to clear their name.

But we now find that the Israelis - whilst releasing highly edited footage of what transpired on-board the Mavi Marmara and sticking closely to their script which makes their soldiers out to be the victims, despite the fact that all the dead are on the other side - are now refusing to take part in an international inquiry into what exactly took place.

Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, today dismissed a UN proposal for an international commission to investigate last week's assault on a flotilla of aid ships.

Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, was more explicit: "We are rejecting an international commission. We are discussing with the Obama administration a way in which our inquiry will take place," he said.
I find it hard to accept that Israel can have nothing to hide whilst simultaneously refusing to take part in any international inquiry. If these "Turkish terrorists" behaved as badly as the Israelis claimed, surely Israel would be keen to exonerate herself publicly at a time when she is facing great international criticism? Why this sudden reticence?

And, after the attack on the flotilla, there is now growing pressure from the international community, including the US, for Israel to ease the blockade of Gaza, with David Miliband going as far as to call it "a stain on policy right across the Middle East".

"I think there have been a series of deadly and self-defeating actions by successive Israeli governments in respect of Gaza," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

The UK today announced a £19m donation of aid to Gaza.

But we all know that the current Israeli administration is made up of dangerous right wing loons, so there's hardly surprise when people like Lieberman come out with this kind of nonsense.
Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, today insisted that "it is inconceivable that we should apologise to the Turkish government". He hinted that Turkey was heading in the same direction as Iran, saying Iran had been a "good friend" to Israel in the 1970s.

This was echoed by his deputy, Danny Ayalon, who said: "If they sever relations, it is clear they are switching sides in the direction of extremist Islam."
If Turkey objects to the Israelis shooting some of their citizens through the head at point blank range, then it is is obvious that Turkey favours "extremist Islam".

I suspect that I am not alone in finding this logic tiresome.

Dockworker unions in Sweden and South Africa have refused to handle Israeli ships, while the UK's Unite union passed a motion to boycott Israeli companies.

This right wing Likud administration are doing irreparable harm to Israel's reputation, and are now causing unions throughout the world to refuse to handle Israeli goods.

Ha'aretz today sums the situation up in an editorial
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his usual manner, rushed to raise the specter of the Iranian threat along with the adage that "the whole world is against us." Instead of locating the source of the fire scorching the diplomatic relations we built up with such effort, Netanyahu is following in the footsteps of his ostracized foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, accusing the world of hypocritical treatment of Israel.

In an effort to evade responsibility for the crisis and escape his obligation to fundamentally change his policy, the prime minister is distorting the nature of the criticism against his government and has plied it as hatred of the Jews.

Netanyahu and Lieberman are imposing a siege on a Jewish and democratic state that has professed to be a light unto the nations, but is becoming anathema among nations.

Netanyahu and Lieberman are leading Israel off of a cliff. Their "never apologise" philosophy, and their crude attempt to portray anyone who disagrees with them as either "terrorist sympathisers" or anti-Semites is simply objectionable.

No-one, other than their most fervent supporters, is taking anything they say seriously any more.

Click here for full article.

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