The Israel government’s Turkel Commission has released part one of its report into the May 30/10 maritime incident involving the Israel Defence Force confrontation with the Gaza-bound protest ship Mavi Marmara.
The report exonnerates the IDF of blame for the deaths of ship passengers who assaulted their personnel when they boarded the ship when it attempted to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza which it imposed in order to prevent weapons from reaching Hamas.
The Turkel Commission Report – Part 1
- Turkel Commission: http://www.turkel-committee.gov.il/
- Turkel Commission Report – Part 1: A. The Observers Letter (by Nobel Laureate Lord David Trimble, former First Minister, Northern Ireland; and Brigadier General (ret.) Kenneth Watkin, former Judge Advocate General for Canadian Forces; released Jan 23/11)
- Turkel Commission Report – Part 1: B. The Report Summary (released Jan 23/11)
- Turkel Commission Report – Part 1: C. The Report – Part 1 (296 p, released Jan 23/11)
Canadian jurist serves as observer to Turkel Commission
In an attempt to provide transparency to the investigative process Israel invited two internationally respected jurists to act as observers:
- Lord David Trimble, former First Minister, Northern Ireland, Nobel Laureate (following making of Belfast Agreement, 1998)
- Brigadier General (ret.) Kenneth Watkin, Q.C., former Judge Advocate General for Canadian Forces
Turkel Commission Report – Part 1: Observers Letter
(released Jan 23/11)
It is an honour for us to serve as Observers to the Public Commission appointed to inquire into the maritime incident of 31 May 2010. We understood and accepted the sensitivities that led to our appointment as observers to the Commission and not, strictly speaking, members of it. Nonetheless we are satisfied that we had access to all the material before the Commission and we were fully involved by the Commission in all its work.
All testimonies, both in open and private session and all formal meetings of the Commission were, of course, conducted in Hebrew. However they were simultaneously translated for us into English. In the early days there were some difficulties with the translation of documents into English; these were quickly overcome as our work proceeded.
We are glad that the Commission made repeated efforts to hear both sides, extending to making arrangement for evidence to be given by video conferencing and offering to take evidence in a neutral location. We regret that these offers were not taken up. But we would like to express our appreciation of the Israeli Arabs, who were on the Mavi Marmara and who gave evidence to us. We would also like to thank the representatives of the Israeli Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations who testified and provided significant material to the Commission.
The Commission made enormous efforts, to get as much information as possible. This involved going back to the IDF for additional information, obtaining further staff to examine all the video material (hundreds of hours) including the CCTV downloaded from the Mavi Marmara and to collate the material so that it has been able to examine each use of force by the IDF. We have also been impressed with the efforts of the small but very dedicated team of lawyers supporting the work of the Commission.
We have no doubt that the Commission is independent. This part of the report is evidence of its rigour.
Lord David Trimble
Kenneth Watkin, Bridagier-General (Ret.)
- Turkel Commission Report – Part 1: A. The Observers Letter
The Commission also employed two ‘Special Consultants’:
- Prof. Dr. Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, Germany
- Prof. Michael Schmitt, U.K./U.S.A.
VoC Comment – negative reaction to Turkel Commission Report is racist and anti-Semitic
During the past four years I cannot recall once hearing any of the radical anarchists, unionists, anti-Israelists, terror group supporters and other pseudo-leftists who have given aid and comfort to aboriginal extremists in Caledonia acknowledge the terrible injustices committed against the innocent victims. They criticize Christie Blatchford’s historical account of Caledonia’s misery for not telling ‘both sides’ of the issue but they themselves never miss an opportunity to ignore the victims they helped to create by deflecting criticism and open debate with personal smears against those who speak out, and vague accusations about ‘white privilege’ and the need to correct ‘past injustices’ – all code for ‘the victims deserved it’ because they were white.
Furthermore, not once has any critic of our work in Caledonia dared to address the reality of aboriginal victims created by their proxies, an issue we have repeatedly raised in our writing and presentations. They vigorously criticize our voice on behalf of non-native victims, but are strangely silent on the native ones. One can only suppose that to acknowledge native victims would destroy the racist ‘justification’ logic in their twisted ideology.
Negative reaction to Turkel Commission Report IS anti-Semitic
The silence by left wing radicals about Caledonia’s innocent victims – native and non – is deafening and their hypocrisy mind-numbing. And so it is with their reaction to the Turkel Commission Report. Despite the astounding credibility of having the entire proceedings and evidence monitored and reviewed by no less than a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a former head of the Canadian Forces judiciary rabid Israel-haters are rushing to condemn the report a whitewash, as evidenced by many of the (at the time of writing) 88 comments to this CBC story:
- CBC News, Jan 23/11: Israeli troops acted legally in ship raid: report
Anti-Israel activists claim that criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic. The reaction to the Turkel Commission Report however, clearly shows this is hardly the case. I reviewed every negative comment to the CBC story and found not one anti-Israel commenter who expressed any concern whatsoever for the innocent victims of Hamas – Jewish civilians. This is keeping with the pattern of virtually all debate on the Palestine/Israel subject by Israel haters.
Hamas terrorists have launched thousands of rockets into Israel’s populated areas in attempts to kill civilians in keeping with their charter which explicitly rejects peaceful solutions to the Palestinian-Israel conflict and calls for the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel.
- United Nations Human Rights Council, July 06/06, A/HRC/S-1/NGO/4: Joint Statement on Hamas Charter [UN download PDF; VoC download PDF] (condemnation of Hamas Charter for calling for jihad against Jews)
- Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre: The Hamas Charter (1988)
Palestinian institutions regularly incite their citizens to hate and violence against Jews:
- Palestinian Media Watch: ( http://palwatch.org – Israeli NGO w/extensive documentation re encouragement of hate and genocide against Jews in Palestinian media and schoolbooks)
- Palestinian Authority: Death to Arabs who sell land to Jews
- Palestinians honour mother of 4 terrorists
- Palestinians honour planner of 1972 Olympics massacre
- Abbas comments show Israeli military strength only hope for peace
Despite this incitement and persistent attempts, since Israel’s creation by the United Nations in 1948, by Arabs to wage war against Israel with the express purpose of committing genocide against Jews, so-called ‘liberals’ wilfully ignore Jewish victims and the need for their state to defend them. Enough is enough. The knowing use of baseless, reactionary, dogmatic criticism of the type now leveled at the Turkel Commission to delegitimize Israel’s defence of Jewish victims against those sworn to exerminate them IS racist. It IS anti-Semitic, and it IS an affront to humanity.
- Moose & Squirrel, Jan 24/11: The usual “rabid Israel-haters” react predictably
Mark Vandermaas, Editor