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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Second part of Turkel Commission report to be released on Wednesday

Some of you might recall the Turkel Commission, whose investigation of the Mavi Marmara incident brought high marks from the 'international community.' I didn't realize - and maybe you didn't either. - that there's a second half to the Turkel report. That half is to be released on Wednesday.
The second part of the report reflects an addition made to the mandate on July 4, 2010, at a time when Israel was still facing intense criticism over alleged war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, which took place in the Gaza Strip from December 2008 to January 2009.
The commission heard testimony from a plethora of top officials in Israel’s legal system, as well as from top human rights figures and academics.
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein and Deputy State Attorney Shai Nitzan testified on behalf of the Justice Ministry, stating that Israel vigorously investigates itself when there are accusations of wrongdoing, including war crimes.
They added that the unusually easy access to the High Court of Justice by any Israeli citizen or Palestinian resident of the West Bank shows the “determination of the Israeli legal system to maintain basic values and human rights even under complex and sensitive circumstances from public and security aspects.”
Yuval Diskin testified when he headed the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), as did Maj.- Gen. (res.) Avichai Mandelblit when he was military advocate- general, and Col. Haim Sasson, at the time commander of the Military Police Investigations Unit.
Mandelblit spoke about the difficulties – for Israel and any country – inherent in investigating alleged crimes committed in the framework of combat where, without help from outside groups, the IDF often cannot locate alleged victims.
He contrasted these difficulties with a standard criminal investigation where the victim comes forward and provides authorities with information to perform an investigation.
Diskin and Sasson testified in closed-door hearings.
Top figures in the human rights community, including Michael Sfard from Yesh Din, Dan Yakir from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Jessica Montell from B’Tselem, also testified, mostly claiming fundamental shortcomings in Israel’s ability to investigate itself.
If there is another country on this planet that investigates itself as vigorously as Israel, I have not seen it. And really, we have no choice but to investigate ourselves. Forget for a minute that there is no other western country that entrusts third countries to investigate allegations like these. To whom could Israel possibly entrust such an investigation? To the United Nations? To our 'European allies'? To the Obama administration? We'd be convicted before the investigation even starts!

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At 9:30 AM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

The ship should have been fired upon to disable its propellers and engines and then been towed out to nowhere.

What needs to be investigated is why Ehud Barak was so stupid as to unnecessarily endanger the lives of IDF soldiers, let alone sending to rappelling to the deck below with paintball guns in hand.

Absolute irresponsibility all around!


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