The Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara wasn’t Gaza-bound, and the Israelis knew it. Or did they? Needed: Israeli cooperation with an independent investigation


The Turkish newspaper
Hurriyet reports that the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship carrying supplies for blockaded Gaza, had altered their course to avert a diplomatic crisis.

“During our departure, we said we were going to Gaza, but the coordinates that we gave were to Egyptian territorial waters. Everyone was aware of our course to [the Egyptian port] El-Arish,” Bülent Yıldırım, the head of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or İHH, said today. “The situation required us to go there.” He added that the U.S. ambassador in Ankara was notified, and told Israeli authorities.

Hurriyet is a credible source, not a mouthpiece for the Turkish government—far from it: it has been so critical of the government and so set on exposing corruption that the Erdogan government, in its most anti-democratic action, is trying to put Hurriyet and its sister publications out of business.

In the same edition the paper reports that the Israeli military chief of staff testified before the Israeli commission investigating the incident that Israeli commandoes fired live ammunition only after the Turks fired first, an account in stark opposition to a recent U.N.-commissioned report into the raid, which said there was “no evidence to suggest that any of the passengers used firearms or that any firearms were taken on board the ship.” It said that doctors on the vessel who examined three injured soldiers noted no firearm injuries, and that Israeli allegations of gunshot wounds to soldiers are “inconsistent and contradictory.”

To date Israel has refused to participate—or to cooperate—with any independent investigation into the bloody clash that has devastated relations between Israel and Turkey. Israel’s insistence that its forces acted with justifiable deadly force against violent intruders is wildly different from the accounts of the Turkish participants and some outside investigators.

A collapse of relations between Israel and Turkey would harm both nations and cause serious damage to U.S. national security interests. Unless Israel changes course and cooperates with an independent investigation of the incident, fair-minded people, including friends of Israel, can only conclude that she has something serious to hide.

As so many have learned at great cost, it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.



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2 Responses to “The Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara wasn’t Gaza-bound, and the Israelis knew it. Or did they? Needed: Israeli cooperation with an independent investigation”

  1. Ed Stern Says:

    It seems that The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet has forgotten that the activists on the Mavi Marmara were filmed chanting “Khybar, Khybar O Jews, the Army of Muhammed has returned” –this being a reference to an ancient Muslim assault on the Jewish community of Khybar. And the Hurriyet has forgotten that several of the activists declared they would go to Gaza or die–and told their families that. And perhaps the Hurriyet news reporters never sa the video of the activists attacking the commandos with iron rods as they rappelled down to the ship? It was a sad event, but the Hurriyet is not giving a balanced account. The activists died, but they did win a great propaganda victory.

  2. Ethics Bob Says:

    What Hurriyet “forgot” isn’t the issue. There’s a lot in dispute. My point is that Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the UN investigation–or any independent, open investigation, makes it look to some of her friends–including me–that she has something to hide. I’d love to know what the U.S. ambassador to Ankara learned about the REAL destination, or what the Israelis learned about the destination. And Israel says that some of their commandoes were shot; the Turks say that doctors examined them and found no gunshot wounds.

    I don’t know what the facts are; Israel seems committed to keep them covered up.

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