On Monday, the findings of an Israeli military investigation of the Gaza bound flotilla incident six weeks ago were leaked to the press. They were not released to the public.
It "found the naval assault"was plagued by errors of planning, intelligence and coordination but the killings of the nine Turks on board were justified. The investigators praised the commandos"saying they operated properly, with professionalism, bravery and resourcefulness. They called the live fire justified."
Israel has rejected the call for an internationally sponsored commission to investigate the flotilla incident preferring to go it alone (as it usually does in these matters) whenever the international community feels compelled to call for an independent investigation of Israel's military actions. It rejected the findings of an internationally led commission of Israel's invasion of Gaza in late 2008 which concluded its killing of innocent Palestinians and overall destruction of infrastructure i.e. schools, hospitals, homes was not justified.
This was an aggression against a population that was essentially trapped within the Gaza enclave with no means to escape the Israeli onslaught. Israel's justification for the assault was Hamas, the political entity that governs Gaza, was responsible for lobbing rockets into Israel (which according to respected, independent observers produced no Israeli casualties while falling harmlessly in open fields).
For this infraction Israel pummeled Gaza with overwhelming firepower against its residents producing over 1400 casualties. The Israeli assault ended conveniently days before Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.
Now with the flotilla assault, Israel's own investigators basically absolve the military of any wrongdoing. Question: Does Israel expect anyone (beyond its own domestic audience and the likes of the ultra conservative right wing in America) to believe and respect the conclusions of its own internal investigation? That idea is laughable if it weren't for the deadliness of Israeli policies that produce the unimaginable misery and horror perpetrated on the Palestinian people.
Israel seems to reside in its own parallel universe, detached from the terrible realities it creates while the rest of the world recoils with righteous indignation against its illegal actions. It is like South Africa during apartheid, defending the indefensible.
It is noteworthy that even Israel's principal ally, the U.S., increasingly finds it difficult to defend its aggression toward the Palestinian's, particularly when most of the Muslim world identifies with the plight of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation while the U.S. is engaged in two wars in Muslim countries and clandestinely in Pakistan and Yemen.
Even General Petraeus, in testimony before Congress stated his belief that our open ended defense of Israel's policies toward the Palestinians has made for greater numbers of radical Muslim Jihadis willing to sacrifice themselves in suicide attacks against us and all those we are allied with in our wars.
America's partisan and unequal defense of Israeli policies vis a vis the Palestinians along with its wars and occupations in Muslim countries has most Muslims increasingly believing we and Israel are at war with the entire Muslim world.
This is not an unfathomable conclusion considering the Israeli siege of Gaza, its illegal blockade of Gaza, its illegal flotilla assault in international waters of the humanitarian mission to Gaza, not to mention the continuing seizure of Palestinian lands by Orthodox Israeli settlers in the West Bank as they are all indefensible acts of aggression by Israel on the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.
Here in the U.S., the majority of the American people seem mostly disengaged from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, preoccupied one supposes with their own domestic agenda. Of course the American main stream media does its part to keep the American audience essentially indifferent by reporting the Israeli aggression as simply a defense of Israel with its usual obsession for objectivity that discounts and overlooks the oppression of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli's. They come to no intelligent conclusions based on the evidence. It's like reporting on the weather.
But the status quo situation in this area of the Middle East is increasingly becoming untenable, particularly for Israel.
But to this observer, considering our material support of Israel, only we are capable of forcing the Israeli's to end its aggression and occupation and conclude a peace agreement with the Palestinians.