POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Israel, Turkey, and the Gaza ship … Sometimes (too many times) Israel makes it very hard to support a state which is so stubborn and so stupid.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 6, 2011

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Roger Cohen writes in the NYT (9/6/11) …

  • Here’s what the United Nations report on Israel’s raid last year on the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara had to say about the killing of a 19-year-old U.S. citizen on board:
    • “At least one of those killed, Furkan Dogan, was shot at extremely close range. Mr. Dogan sustained wounds to the face, back of the skull, back and left leg. That suggests he may already have been lying wounded when the fatal shot was delivered, as suggested by witness accounts to that effect.”
    • Dogan, born in upstate New York, was an aspiring doctor. Little interested in politics, he’d won a lottery to travel on the Gaza-bound vessel. The report says of him and the other eight people killed that, “No evidence has been provided to establish that any of the deceased were armed with lethal weapons.”
  • The Palmer report, leaked to The New York Times last week found that
    • Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is legal and appropriate — “a legitimate security measure” — given Hamas’s persistent firing of thousands of rockets from the territory into Israel;
    • that the flotilla acted recklessly in trying to breach the blockade; that the motives of the flotillas organizers raised serious questions;
    • and that the Israeli commandos faced “organized and violent resistance.
  • But it also called the raid — 72 nautical miles from land —
    • “too heavy a response too quickly.” 
    • The flotilla, it says, was far from representing any immediate military threat to Israel.
    • Clear prior warning should have been given.
    • The decision to board “was excessive and unreasonable.”
    • It criticizes Israel for providing “no adequate explanation” for the nine deaths or explaining “why force was used to the extent that it produced such high levels of injury.”
    • The panel is left dismayed by Israel’s inability to give details on the killings.
  • Overall, the panel finds that Israel should issue “an appropriate statement of regret” and “make payment for the benefit of the deceased and injured victims and their families.”
  • Israel is losing one of its best friends in the Muslim world, Turkey. The expulsion last week of the Israeli ambassador was a debacle foretold.

 “We need not apologize,” Netanyahu thundered Sunday

— and repeated the phrase three times.

read the entire column at … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/opinion/06iht-edcohen06.html?ref=opinion

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LMW COMMENT …

Sometimes (too many times) Israel makes it very hard to support a state which is so stubborn and so stupid.

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