BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

What will Israel's Gaza flotilla inquiry achieve?

11:27 UK time, Monday, 14 June 2010

Israel has set up an internal inquiry into its deadly raid last month on a convoy of Gaza-bound aid ships. What is your reaction?

The three-man panel, all Israeli, is led by ex-Supreme Court judge Yaakov Tirkel. Israel rejected a UN proposal for an international probe, but has agreed to include two foreign observers - David Trimble of Northern Ireland and Ken Watkin of Canada.

The panel will consider how nine Turkish activists were killed when Israeli commandos stormed a convoy of six ships carrying aid towards Gaza on 31 May. They will also adjudge whether Israel's naval blockade of Gaza is allowed under international law.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says the blockade is a clear violation of humanitarian law, describing the situation in Gaza as "dire". But while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly promised peace envoy Tony Blair he will turn the list of items permitted into Gaza into a list of prohibited goods, there is no sign of an end to the blockade itself.

What is your reaction to Israel's inquiry? Are you satisfied with the make-up of the panel and the terms of the investigation? What is the future of the blockade of Gaza? What should the UN, Tony Blair and the international community do next?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 9

  • Comment number 1.

    Oh, come now. Seriously? When has a self-investigation ever resulted in anything meaningful? The only solution is to scrap the UN security council and make all General Assembly resolutions binding. But that still won't solve the problem if those resolutions are not enforced. Nothing meaningful will come of this "inquiry." Same story, different day.

  • Comment number 2.

    If you look at this as a 3rd person without allowing bias for or against israel you have to feel sorry for how israel is criminalised for defending its people.

    I hope the video footage of the boarding is put on every news channel to show how the 'aid workers' were the aggressors and how people died becease they attacked the commando's.

    Israel should show the results of the blockade. Show the world what weapons have been found and how the peaceful aid ships are being abused as a supply line of weapons

  • Comment number 3.

    This will achieve absolutely nothing, just a cover up.

    If Turkey have the navy man power, they should blockade Israel and board Israeli bound ships in international waters, exactly as Israel blockades Gaza and treats everyone else. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Then we'll see Israel whinging and whining, and the USA ordering Turkey to back down! Double standards.

  • Comment number 4.

    What a joke that will be then.

    Anybody anywhere seriously expect the Israelis to say anything against what they did?

  • Comment number 5.

    It will ensure that Israel sees itself as a victim and was defending itself when it's IDF commandos stormed an aid ship in international waters.

    And the West will give Israel more money as a reward for what the rest of the world sees as atrocities committed by Israel.

    Evil has no shame or boundaries.

  • Comment number 6.

    Ha ha!! Theres no way this enquiry will be free of bias, and an even smalller chance any meanignful revelations appear.

    I wouldn't say the Gaza blockade is unjust- Israel has a right to defend itself from potential rterrorism in Gaza- but its stupid because it just doesn't work.

    Having said that, I do have a small element of sympathy with the Israelis. This was a "routine raid" and the only difference between the one which killed nine, and the others with no violence was that some of the Turkish journalists actively fought the Israelis.

  • Comment number 7.

    This is a get out by Israel - they have already been shown to have altered the "evidence". There should be a proper speedy impartial international inquiry

  • Comment number 8.

    probably more truthful and less biased to rediculous leftist-drivel that i have seen in the media about "impoverished & staving palestinians". never mind rightfull conclusions on a flotilla hell-bent on political rather than humanitarian agenda's !

  • Comment number 9.

    This Inquiry will help US and politicians under Israel's support, to justify Israel's action. In short to turn black into white and allow Israel to carry on killing aid workers, reporters and gaza civilians.

  • Comment number 10.

    Well the last UN investigation,into the most recent incurssion into Gaza, came back with the wrong result - it was highly critical of Israel.

    By ducking this inquiry Israel ensure they will get the right conclusion - probably that Israel was the real victim of the shootings.

    They also reinforce the concept that Israel is simply not subject to the same international laws as other countries. Maybe the Israeli government is hoping that one day we'll get so used to it that we will stop questioning it.

  • Comment number 11.

    What will Israel's Gaza flotilla inquiry achieve?

    Smug satisfaction by Israel that they are behaving reasonably as per normal and it's ok to ALWAYS tread on everyone instead of communication.

    Therefore nothing!

  • Comment number 12.

    White wash for israel - the murders will get away with it and we will do nothing against them.

  • Comment number 13.

    What is the objective of the inquiry? What are the specific questions that the inquiry team has been instructed to answer? I doubt this inquiry will bring us any closer to what really happened, and to be honest I don't think it will placate either side who believe they are right whatever happened.

  • Comment number 14.

    Paul wrote "The only solution is to scrap the UN security council and make all General Assembly resolutions binding."

    So Paul, are you saying the General Assembly was right to condemn Israel without having any of the facts that have been revealed since the incident ? Fair and impartial that was, wasn't it ?
    More to the point, why does Israel need to have any investigation at all ? How many civilians do you think our armed forces and their coalition colleagues have killed in Iraq and Afghanistan who weren't even trying to kill our soldiers and what do we get, "ooops, we made a mistake".

  • Comment number 15.

    2. At 12:29pm on 14 Jun 2010, in_the_uk wrote:

    Israel should show the results of the blockade. Show the world what weapons have been found and how the peaceful aid ships are being abused as a supply line of weapons.

    ---

    If they'd found any weapons destined for terrorists they would have published full details immediately.

    The fact that they have not and that they have seized all non-state santioned video footage of the events speaks volumes...

  • Comment number 16.

    7. At 12:42pm on 14 Jun 2010, RonaldK wrote:

    This is a get out by Israel - they have already been shown to have altered the "evidence". There should be a proper speedy impartial international inquiry

    -------------------------

    What altered evidence? I know nothing of this.

  • Comment number 17.

    As usual any inquiry will just show Israel as being whiter than white!

  • Comment number 18.

    WHITE-WASH

  • Comment number 19.

    Pointless exercise, the Pro-Israel lobby will hail it as a shining example of Israel's democratic credentials, everyone else will see it as a whitewash.

  • Comment number 20.

    What a joke. I want to see all evidence of what happened on the flotilla raid, not just the Israeli video justifying the commandos actions. This evidence will not be seen since the 'activists' videos & phones were removed when they were captured by the Israelis & probably destroyed to prevent anyone getting a balanced view. Israel will yet again paint itself as a victim & we (& the USA) will continue to send them funds. SICK SICK SICK. No other nation has been allowed to so flagrantly disregard UN resolutions in the way Israel has without being at least sanctioned. The hypocracy of western governments defies belief.

  • Comment number 21.

    If Israel hadn't committed so many atrosities against the Palestinians they wouldn't have needed to defend their borders in the first place. Some how Israel has to find with itself a moment of calm not paranoia to give back what they have stolen recognise Palestine as a separate state and make reparations after which the Palestinians can reciprocate but they have to be big enough to do this. Of course it won't happen but until they do they must stop making out they're the victims.

  • Comment number 22.

    The problem with any form of enquiry is that the anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian Left Wing will never accept the truth, if the truth showed that the "Aid Workers" had been the aggressors in this piece.

    I can sense their indignant hand-ringing as I write this.

    I saw the video of the Commandos landing, I also saw the "aid Workers” (Come on, who are they trying to kid!) waiting for the commandos, who they set upon with bars and clubs. Only a fool could watch those videos and say that those "aid Workers" were not spoiling for a fight and instigated it.

    I do have every sympathy for the people of Palestine and hope that one day this situation sorts itself out. Alas, I don't think it will ever happen in our life time.

    But I am 100% pro-Israeli on this and all other issues. Both the Christian West and the Islamic East owe the Jews the right to a peaceful homeland and Jerusalem and Israel is it.

    Both Christians and Muslims have treated the Jews so appallingly through out history with the holocaust and the various forced conversions and periods of aggression and oppression under Islam. Indeed, even the Islamic prophet Mohammed waged war against the Jewish Tribes, the Banu Qurayza in particular is a story of note.

    The fact is that even if this investigation is carried out with 100% transparency, there is such a dislike for the Israelis that those (usually Left Wing) will refuse to accept it as truth and will continue to press on with their agenda. During the war with Lebanon a few years ago, the Left-wing media reported that Israel had fired on a school in Southern Lebanon. What the left wing media didn't tell you is that Hezbollah had been firing rockets from the roof of the school. So of course Israel looked like the bad guy.

    The unpleasant irony of this whole situation though is that if the Palestinians laid down their arms, there would be peace tomorrow. Where as if the Israelis laid down there arms, there would be no more Israel.

    You know full well that is a fact….

  • Comment number 23.

    Absolutely nothing except how Isreal is whiter than white

    WHITEWASH WHITEWASH WHITEWASH WHITEWASH WHITEWASH WHITEWASH

  • Comment number 24.

    So when are we abolishing investigating criminals by the police and judging them in the courts by judges?
    Norm will be Inmates in the prisons will investigate and the criminals will judge them.

  • Comment number 25.

    15. At 12:56pm on 14 Jun 2010, Wasting my time and yours wrote:

    If they'd found any weapons destined for terrorists they would have published full details immediately.

    The fact that they have not and that they have seized all non-state santioned video footage of the events speaks volumes...

    --------------------------

    Shortly after this incident was reported there was an article (not sure but may even have been on the BBC) of how weapons such as rockets, launchers, rifles and ammo was found on one of these ships days before the incident.

    Also there are reports of the aggressors on the aid ship being martyrs.

  • Comment number 26.

    Pure posturing.

    No wonder everyone except our politicians have had enough of the Israelis.

  • Comment number 27.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of Israel boarding this vessel I hope one thing that will emerge clearly from this enquiry, as the film shows very clearly, is that the people onboard the vessel were dressed as best they could be for a fight and immediately attacked with hand weapons the boarding Israelis as they touched the deck. Who knows the fine line between being overwhelmed and retaliating with guns in what was potentially a life threatening situation - as the "peace" protestors showed clearly that they were giving no quarter. It is terrible that lives were lost but I don't think these so called peace protestors can claim a lot of moral high ground here.

  • Comment number 28.

    The dead will remain dead, the Israel inquiry will justify the attack and other inquiries will prove it unnecessary.

    Post-mortem inquiries are necessary to learn lessons but unfortunately the lessons have different interpretations, are biased and lead to no change.

  • Comment number 29.

    Thats like a murderer being his own judge and jury.I cant believe thia is happening.It's a bad joke.Where the hell is the so called international community investigation?

  • Comment number 30.

    What will it achieve? A whitewash - nothing more, nothing less. Only an independent internation inquiry will do.

  • Comment number 31.

    Seriously does anybody expect this farce to cary any weight?
    PLEASE READ THE TIMES Yesterday israeli explanation to Warshav so they dont extradite Israeli Agent to germany was that HE ONLY BORROWED the guys identity. So Identity theft became borroving a cup of sugar only. Think about what new inventions will be made at this inquiry if Israel makes it with full support of United States of Israel (Pardon America)?
    It may even be waste for any comment when there is no respect to all human race with their attitude.
    PS in the meantime Lets see how much BBC supports this farce of an investigation?

  • Comment number 32.

    Israel can conduct a self inquiry with about as much fairness and accuracy as BP can conduct their own investigation. Both "brands" use PR as their weapon to cajole people towards their innocence when they are insensitive, destructive clowns.

  • Comment number 33.

    16. At 1:04pm on 14 Jun 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    7. At 12:42pm on 14 Jun 2010, RonaldK wrote:

    This is a get out by Israel - they have already been shown to have altered the "evidence". There should be a proper speedy impartial international inquiry

    -------------------------

    What altered evidence? I know nothing of this.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surely you are not that stupid, the radio evidence from when the Isrealis were trying to stop the flotilla, they doctored it three times and released three different versions, The evidence the Isreali prime minister stood up and said we had to do it three times, They had voices on the film of people that were not even on the flotilla.

  • Comment number 34.

    Israel will exonerate itself from responsibility in the same way it has done in the past for any issue. Its shocking as a westerner that this country can be repeatedly allowed to break international law under the guise of terrorist attacks.

    There comes a time when the bullied, becomes the bully. Israel has certainly passed that point.

    There actions are no longer justified and are out of control.


    The next aid convoy should be supported by the navies of the supporting countries.

  • Comment number 35.

    14. At 12:52pm on 14 Jun 2010, newsblogger wrote:
    Paul wrote "The only solution is to scrap the UN security council and make all General Assembly resolutions binding."

    So Paul, are you saying the General Assembly was right to condemn Israel without having any of the facts that have been revealed since the incident ? Fair and impartial that was, wasn't it ?

    ------------------
    What Israel did in international waters was an act of piracy, plain and simple. However, the GA condemnation without all the facts was wrong as well. What the UN needs to do is apply international law fairly to everyone after all the facts have been obtained. That being said, the problem arises when countries, and Israel has been a big offender of this, do not co-operate with the UN. What's the point of belonging to an organization when co-operation is absent?

  • Comment number 36.

    5. At 12:38pm on 14 Jun 2010, Wu Shu wrote:

    It will ensure that Israel sees itself as a victim and was defending itself when it's IDF commandos stormed an aid ship in international waters.

    And the West will give Israel more money as a reward for what the rest of the world sees as atrocities committed by Israel.

    Evil has no shame or boundaries.




    Evil? Get a grip. What about Iran? Or what's going on in Sudan, Kyrgyzstan and Somalia? Zimbabwe, North Korea, Libya, Chad, etc?

  • Comment number 37.

    What about Turkey? Did not Turkish citizens die? The raid left numerous wounded and resulted in the shooting deaths of nine pro-Palestine activists - eight Turks and one American.
    To head the probe, Netanyahu appointed former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Yakov Tirkel, along with Shabbtai Rosen, an international law professor and former Israeli diplomat, Major-General Amos Horev.
    Due to the "exceptional circumstances", the commission will also receive oversight by two international observers
    - Irish Nobel Prize laureate David Trimble and
    - former Canadian military prosecutor Ken Watkin,
    to ensure impartiality. I don't know about David Trimble, but on June 13, 2010, the Israeli Government APPOINTED Ken Watkin to be one of two international observers.
    In any case, Mr Trimble and Mr Watkin will NOT have the right to vote in relation to the proceedings or the conclusions of the commission.
    As well, it's highly likely that the two will be denied access to documents or information that might cause
    - substantial harm to Israel's national security or
    - to Israel's foreign relations.
    The UN Security Council had called for an “impartial” investigation into the incident, stopping short of calls by Turkey and other countries for an independent, international investigation. Why? Turkish citizens died.
    Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had said that Israel should accept an international inquiry if it wanted to restore Israeli-Turkish relations.
    The Israeli statement said the commission would examine
    - Israel's naval blockade of Gaza
    - its legality under international law and
    - the “actions taken by Israel to enforce the naval blockade as well as
    - the actions taken by the organisers of the flotilla and its participants (including national identity).
    The report itself will cover a number of issues, including:
    1. the security circumstances surrounding the imposition of the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip
    2. the conformity of the actions taken by Israel with the rules of international law, and
    3. whether the mechanism for examining and investigating complaints in accordance with international law.
    The United Nations originally proposed to establish a panel comprised of representatives from Israel, Turkey, and other unnamed countries, but this was rejected by Israel.
    How come Israel gets to reject?
    Israel officials have insisted that Israel has the ability and the right to resolve matters through internal investigation and does not require international oversight.
    From whence comes this exclusive right?
    Last week Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched an internal investigation. This investigation will study the outcomes of the incident, "establish lessons," and present its findings in @ one month.
    Apparently (and additionally) Netanyahu and Israel's seven senior ministers also decided to establish a panel of jurists to investigate the attack. The panel's inquiry will be independent from the IDF investigation.
    What is your reaction to Israel's inquiry?
    Ho-hum, here we go again.
    No country can seriously judge its own actions; what tends to happen is that the country minimizes investigation and maximizes jusatification.
    Are you satisfied with the make-up of the panel and the terms of the investigation?
    No, the United Nations should have gone forward with the appointment of its own panel, but then Israel would have wailed: "Prejudice! Other countries don't understand Israel's need to defend itself!"
    What is the future of the blockade of Gaza?
    The question answers itself: "the future"...It will go on and on until not one Gazan is left alive because even one Gazan can attack Israel.
    What should the UN, Tony Blair and the international community do next?
    The United Nations on behalf of the international community (not just Israel) should go forward with its own panel.
    As things stand the inquiry will achieve nothing, except anpther exercise in public relations for Israel...and well...We've heard it all before.

  • Comment number 38.

    Nothing. Israel will exonerate itself as usual. Israel will never apologise nor take the blame for any of its aggressive actions. Israel assumes that it has a divine right to break its own agreements and the Geneva Convention. It doesn't even draw a distinction between international and territorial waters.

    Israel holding an enquiry into its own behaviour is the guilty holding an enquiry whether it's guilty or not.

    Interestingly, Israel is not a member of the (toothless) UN whereas Turkey is. I have yet to see a sign of the UN defending its members in this particular case.



  • Comment number 39.

    It's utterly pathetic. Israel turned down an international independent inquiry for obvious reasons.

    It's time Israel were held accountable. An independent inquiry should be forced upon Israel, with threat of sanctions for non-compliance. This kind of arrogance will take Israel further away from any form of peace and seriously damages it's currently flimsy reputation.

    It just not good enough.

  • Comment number 40.

    To solve all this, Lawrence would have expected us to get on & move the UN from New york to Jerusalem, under 252; Micah prophesied it & Constantine, would undoubtedly endorse it: let it be done!

  • Comment number 41.

    If they could wait until next week we could send them the entire Saville Enquiry team. They will manage to ensure that the enquiry lasts for as long as possible, costs a fortune and produces enough hot air to run a power station for years.

    I believe I can save everyone involved a a whole lot of time and money by announcing the enquiry results right now.

    1. The Israeli Government DID not sanction the violence.

    2. It is not known who fired the first shot.

    3. It is believed that an unknown Israeli soldier, believing himself to be in danger, fired a warning shot in the air, which was mistaken for an all out assault.

    4. Other Soldiers believed they were in danger and panicked, firing shots at the crowd.

    5. There were unidentified activists among the 'innocent' ship protesters, who fired at the soldiers, or not.

    6. It has been impossible to properly identify anyone involved.

    7.Lessons have been learned



    There I think that clears it all up.

  • Comment number 42.

    It will achieve nothing whether publicly or politically. Israel will continue to be slandered while the Arab League and Turkey, who are the real culprits, will enjoy further political leverage in that useless consortium at the UN at the expense of the Palestinian people in order to pursue their anti-Israel agenda.

    Israel had every right to do what they did.

  • Comment number 43.

    I wonder where the credibility will be when a man is the judge in his own case. Cases like this show to us how weak the UN is becoming. God help weak nations.

  • Comment number 44.

    The findings will validate the Israeli actions, nothing more.

  • Comment number 45.

    A very satirical and interesting take on the whole flotilla incident: http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/israel-just-making-it-easier-for-guardian-readers-to-look-good-201006012778/

    Reminds me very much of some of the people who post on Have Your Say's Israel-related topics.

  • Comment number 46.

    how many civilians have the brits killed in afghanistan?? should the international community investigate that?? its exactley the same, so why should Israel be investigated??

    also...this enquiry is an internal Israeli affair, its not designed to tell the world who was right or wrong, rather its an enquiry to find out what went wrong and how can Israel learn from it, just like how england would carry out an enquiry following a train crash. Its not for political purposes, hence its non of our business.

  • Comment number 47.

    The inquiry is a joke, Israel justifying murdering unarmed civilians yet again.

    If America is against terrorism why does it support Israel, The attack on the ships was an act of terrorism against unarmed civilians.


    Why wont the UN imposed sanctions on Israel ? What is the point of the UN if not to protect the civilians ?

    Israel will very soon run out of friends, especially if it keeps killing its allies......

  • Comment number 48.

    An inquiry by the Nazi party into the building of the walls and the blockade that formed the Warsaw ghetto would have as much validity!

  • Comment number 49.

    Get Serious
    who is making the inquiry and more important what is the real purpose of the inquiry.
    1- Israel ( investigating themselves )
    2- United States of America ( question: how many time or when did they find Israel wrong in the past 30 years even though only world found Israel wrong)
    3- Canadian will do what he is ordered no doubt
    4- Trimble They don't come any more friendlier than that without sayin Israeli.

    Purpose of investigation: To find out everything about activist and see what information could be manipulated to use against them, to show how dangerus they were, and how aggressively they beat poor, defenceless, Armed Israeli commandos and how they throw themselves infront of the accidentally fired live rounds again and again and managed to get shot 4-5 times each.
    In the light of this investigation how 30+ nation under the pretext of humanitarian help was going to Liberate Gazza and overthrow Israeli goverment. Therefore any force used by Israel was justified because It was defending itself in International waters from those Extreemly dangerous activists of mixture.

  • Comment number 50.

    33. At 1:25pm on 14 Jun 2010, pauldconnell wrote:

    Surely you are not that stupid, the radio evidence from when the Isrealis were trying to stop the flotilla, they doctored it three times and released three different versions, The evidence the Isreali prime minister stood up and said we had to do it three times, They had voices on the film of people that were not even on the flotilla.

    -----------------------------------

    I aint stupid thanks (my IQ is probably above yours).

    As for the radio evidence I aint heard it. I have however seen a video of the assault and it was assault. The 'aid workers' showed no mercy as they attacked like animals. In that situation I would expect people to be shot.

  • Comment number 51.

    So what happens when these Iranian aid boats arrive with their military escort will Isreal attack them in international waters ??

  • Comment number 52.

    The BBC HYS questions is 'What will Israeli's Gaza flotilla inquiry achieve'? Obviously this flotilla was intended to be provocative?

    All sides, and all 'representatives' of all sides, are guilty, and have been manipulating and failing ordinary people in their own way for decades and generations? If islamic neighbours surrounding Israel actually wanted peace and integration - they would be interested in trade and co-operation?

    Gaza and Israel is not unlike the religious war suffered in Ireland? In fact, crime gangs and extremism thrives in all areas, globally, on suffering that the same criminals perpetuate? So a destructive criminal and self-perpetuating cycle?

    The global media are also to blame and should hang their heads in shame?

    There is no such thing as an impartial media - they are all financed by those with an agenda with no concern or duty of care for those receiving their exploitative broadcasts?

  • Comment number 53.

    Nothing.

    Except if a bunch of people wave sticks and knives at professional soldiers, then they are going to get shot at. If it stops these do-gooding, but naive people trying to get involved in someone elses business, then lesson learned.

    There are two sides to every story.

  • Comment number 54.

    36. At 1:28pm on 14 Jun 2010, herecomesthemirrorman wrote:
    Evil? Get a grip. What about Iran? Or what's going on in Sudan, Kyrgyzstan and Somalia? Zimbabwe, North Korea, Libya, Chad, etc?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Why should we do something about thezse countries ??
    What should we do about these countries ???
    Its easy for us to say we need to do something about these countries, but just what exactly can we do,

  • Comment number 55.

    Israel cannot be trusted to Police itself. Boycott all Israeli companies and tell your MP why you are doing so.

  • Comment number 56.

    in_the_uk "Shortly after this incident was reported there was an article (not sure but may even have been on the BBC) of how weapons such as rockets, launchers, rifles and ammo was found on one of these ships days before the incident."
    No, on another ship, not on one of the ships in the aid flotilla.
    The Israelis released that information to smear the aid flotilla and it has worked too.
    If the Israelis had found weapons or anything they could pass off as weapons among the aid flotilla's carge, it would have been on every news outlet in the world. They found nothing because there was nothing to find.

  • Comment number 57.

    So they are againm rejecting UN proposals. About time that the UN was able to disbar Israel from the UN and that sanctions were employed against Israel. That means not supporting companies with strong Israeli links, a control of weapons and the UN should demand Israel comes clean about nuclear capability. Israelis should need visas to visit Europe and Britain and Israeli religious institutions should be monitored like those of the Arab world. Bout time that Israel relised that we in the west mean business. And then theres reality....... the US, the Jewish lobby and the financial power they wield.No change there then.

  • Comment number 58.

    16. At 1:04pm on 14 Jun 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    7. At 12:42pm on 14 Jun 2010, RonaldK wrote:

    This is a get out by Israel - they have already been shown to have altered the "evidence". There should be a proper speedy impartial international inquiry

    -------------------------

    What altered evidence? I know nothing of this.


    At least one of Israel's lies was that the IDFs dropped onto the boat with just hand guns and tear gas. Unfortunately one of the photos/video clips that did evade the Israelis showed one of those soldiers carrying a Uzimatic, pointing from the hip.

  • Comment number 59.

    David Trimble is a long-time supporter of Israel. This dates back to the Troubles, when the IRA did deals with Palestinians in order to acquire arms.
    One can guess why he was chosen for this enquiry.

    The report of this enquiry is a foregone conclusion, just like the 1972 Widgery enquiry.

  • Comment number 60.

    The proposed inquiry has international observers picked by Israel who are unable to ask questions and cannot influence the report. I cannot see this as remotely satisfying the requirements of an independent international inquiry. Its report will inevitably be seen as a whitewash.

    Having said that, correspondents are right to point out that other country's involved in official and unofficial wars regulary 'mistakenly' kill civilians with less international outcry. Though there is rampent hypocracy in criticising Israel for what other states do, this does not excuse their actions.

  • Comment number 61.

    2. At 12:29pm on 14 Jun 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    If you look at this as a 3rd person without allowing bias for or against israel you have to feel sorry for how israel is criminalised for defending its people.
    -----------------------
    That's not a 3rd person perspective, that's Israel's perspective.

    From a neutral perspective, Israel has control over the area. It had many choices it could have made. It made a grievous error. Not only that, but it demonstrated not having learned from it's error by repeating the exact same thing days later.

    It isn't DEFENCE to murder 9 people 100 miles out in international waters.

    Just because Israel uses past engagements to justify itself, does not mean they are justified. What was tolerated in the days of Yore, aren't tolerable by modern ethics.

    If you call this "just defending it's people", were the israeli assassins in Dubai just "defending it's secrets"?
    Make all the excuses you want, but Murder is still Murder.

  • Comment number 62.

    Too little, too late, not good enough, and not credible. An impartial international investigation would be the only way to produce anything but a total whitewash. Perhaps we could have representatives from countries that are not primarily Christan, Muslim, or Jewish? I would like to see all the photgraphic and video coverage from both sides posted on the internet, so that any individual could decide what the truth was.

  • Comment number 63.

    What will it achieve? How about a whitewash the same as every other Israeli investigation into theie violence in protecting their aparthied state.

  • Comment number 64.

    "David Horton wrote:
    Nothing.

    Except if a bunch of people wave sticks and knives at professional soldiers, then they are going to get shot at. If it stops these do-gooding, but naive people trying to get involved in someone elses business, then lesson learned.

    There are two sides to every story."


    Ah a man of conviction. Someone who believes in something, anything, justice for example. You be blase, I'd rather admire those who fight for what is right. Naivity has nothing to do with it. You continue to sit in your armchair doing nothing. Yes there are two sides to a story but you don't say what they are.

  • Comment number 65.

    56. At 1:54pm on 14 Jun 2010, LeftieAgitator wrote:

    in_the_uk "Shortly after this incident was reported there was an article (not sure but may even have been on the BBC) of how weapons such as rockets, launchers, rifles and ammo was found on one of these ships days before the incident."
    No, on another ship, not on one of the ships in the aid flotilla.
    The Israelis released that information to smear the aid flotilla and it has worked too.
    If the Israelis had found weapons or anything they could pass off as weapons among the aid flotilla's carge, it would have been on every news outlet in the world. They found nothing because there was nothing to find.

    -------------------------------------

    Thats what I said/ment. The fact that previous ships had been smuggling weapons shows that the blockade is necessary to reduce the flow of weapons given to terrorists.

    You are right that this flotilla was carrying aid, but they were sufficiently armed to attack commando's, offering the the only option to shoot. There is evidence that this flotilla had been looking for trouble with the blockade.

    If israel presents the evidence of previous weapon shipments and the video of the commando assault they should be able to justify their actions. But israel has a history of not justifying their actions (right or wrong) and not admitting to a lot of actions which are certainly theirs.

    Its a fantastic psycological warefare. Certainly keeps their enemies uncertain.

  • Comment number 66.

    It will achieve nothing as it's being carried out by the apartheid state of Israel thus it will be a complete whitewash.

  • Comment number 67.

    14 Jun 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    "If you look at this as a 3rd person without allowing bias for or against israel you have to feel sorry for how israel is criminalised for defending its people."



    Israel is criminalised because they are criminals. If you violate human rights, kill children, blow up schools and hospitals and imprison people in slums with barely any drinking water, don't expect people to tell you how wonderful you are


  • Comment number 68.

    58. At 1:58pm on 14 Jun 2010, doctor bob wrote:

    At least one of Israel's lies was that the IDFs dropped onto the boat with just hand guns and tear gas. Unfortunately one of the photos/video clips that did evade the Israelis showed one of those soldiers carrying a Uzimatic, pointing from the hip.

    -------------------------------

    Where are these statements to be found? Unfortunately the other news site I regularly read has ignored this event (it is an IT news site so cant blame em) and the BBC had a couple of articles.

  • Comment number 69.

    "you have to feel sorry for how israel is criminalised for defending its people.

    I hope the video footage of the boarding is put on every news channel to show how the 'aid workers' were the aggressors and how people died becease they attacked the commando's."


    EH? Defending Israel? There are rules for engagement. These boats DID NOT enter Israeli waters, nor were they going to. So NO justification. Piracy.

    The aid works were the aggressors? Well, on you own boat in international waters you are attacked/taken over by univited pirates, then I think you have the right to fight back. But then again we have seen Israelis using bullets against stones and sticks before.

    The soldiers would NOT have been hurt had they not been there. Indeed had they folowed internation laws in relation to shipping. They instead chose piracy and assuch were fair game when they landed on the ship.

    Someone attacks me in my house with guns and grenades I sure as hell will fight back.

    It is time that Israel was held to account and that the guilt over the 2nd World War was not used as an excuses any longer.

  • Comment number 70.

    This self-serving inqiry will solve nothing. Expect a whitewash! It's run by the Israelis and the neutral observers have no input. Are we to believe that a hastily cobbled agreement reached between Israel and the US over the weekend, is anything more than a smoke screen, with the US once again saying to Israel - "go ahead, act as you like, and we'll support you and do nothing".

  • Comment number 71.

    3. At 12:30pm on 14 Jun 2010, Brian wrote:
    ...
    If Turkey have the navy man power, they should blockade Israel and board Israeli bound ships in international waters, exactly as Israel blockades Gaza and treats everyone else. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

    If Turkey tried that, Israel would blow every single last Turkish ship out of the water, level Ankara, and pee on the embers to put the flames out. Israel far and away out guns Turkey.

  • Comment number 72.

    I have a better idea let us investigate the 6 Palestinians who were killed by the Israel Navy a week after the "peace" flotilla wearing wet suits and SCUBA gear at 4 AM carrying bombing and automatic weapons just off Israels coast near their Beach Front Hotels.
    Or is Israel not supposed to say anything until after the slaughter then complain to the UN and than have a dozen Islamic countries object?

  • Comment number 73.

    What will Israel's Gaza flotilla inquiry achieve? It will praise Israel and those who carried it out.

  • Comment number 74.

    55. At 1:53pm on 14 Jun 2010, NoMoreInsideJobs wrote:
    Boycott all Israeli companies and tell your MP why you are doing so.
    --------------------------------------

    Great, no more rants on HYS for you then ! If you've got an intel chip in your PC, there's about an 80% chance it was developed or even made by Intel Israel.

  • Comment number 75.

    14 Jun 2010, herecomesthemirrorman wrote:
    5. At 12:38pm on 14 Jun 2010, Wu Shu wrote:

    It will ensure that Israel sees itself as a victim and was defending itself when it's IDF commandos stormed an aid ship in international waters.

    And the West will give Israel more money as a reward for what the rest of the world sees as atrocities committed by Israel.

    Evil has no shame or boundaries.




    "Evil? Get a grip. What about Iran? Or what's going on in Sudan, Kyrgyzstan and Somalia? Zimbabwe, North Korea, Libya, Chad, etc? "





    Yes, evil indeed. Almost equal with Israel, except Israel commits most of its atrocities OUTSIDE its own borders

  • Comment number 76.

    61. At 2:08pm on 14 Jun 2010, Rob wrote:

    That's not a 3rd person perspective, that's Israel's perspective.

    From a neutral perspective, Israel has control over the area. It had many choices it could have made. It made a grievous error. Not only that, but it demonstrated not having learned from it's error by repeating the exact same thing days later.

    It isn't DEFENCE to murder 9 people 100 miles out in international waters.

    Just because Israel uses past engagements to justify itself, does not mean they are justified. What was tolerated in the days of Yore, aren't tolerable by modern ethics.

    If you call this "just defending it's people", were the israeli assassins in Dubai just "defending it's secrets"?
    Make all the excuses you want, but Murder is still Murder.

    ---------------------------

    If the world is so black and white then the following must also weighed up-

    Israel didnt start the war with palestine and palestine has yet to negotiate/surrender.

    While an attempt at negotiation is taking place, terrorists kill many civilians and are supplied by these 'aid' supply routes.

    The aid ships occupants were looking for a fight and were very aggressive to the commando's resulting in shootings.

    These aid ships have been proven to carry weapons to the terrorists attacking israel and its civilians.


    So murder is murder, why are the palestinians continuing in this war? Why do the terrorists murder innocent civilians in a war they have lost?

  • Comment number 77.

    67. At 2:24pm on 14 Jun 2010, Kevin Orr wrote:

    14 Jun 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    "If you look at this as a 3rd person without allowing bias for or against israel you have to feel sorry for how israel is criminalised for defending its people."

    Israel is criminalised because they are criminals. If you violate human rights, kill children, blow up schools and hospitals and imprison people in slums with barely any drinking water, don't expect people to tell you how wonderful you are

    --------------------------------------

    So you count the palestinians as criminals? Or do you only criminalise the defenders in a war they didnt start?

  • Comment number 78.

    '22. At 1:12pm on 14 Jun 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    The problem with any form of enquiry is that the anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian Left Wing will never accept the truth, if the truth showed that the "Aid Workers" had been the aggressors in this piece.

    The unpleasant irony of this whole situation though is that if the Palestinians laid down their arms, there would be peace tomorrow. Where as if the Israelis laid down there arms, there would be no more Israel.

    You know full well that is a fact….'



    Sorry mate. I know full well that it is NOT. I am a Jew and I deplore Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people, as do all decent humanitarians. Am I anti-semitic? A self-hating Jew perhaps? Caring about the Palestinians' plight doesn't automatically set you against Jews, it sets you against the actions of the state of Israel and I'm sick of people like you screaming 'anti-semitism!' to stifle any rational debate on the subject. Israel relies on it's policy of provocation to elicit a reaction from Palestinians so they can then use brutal force against them and call it 'self-defence'. What about continuing to build illegal settlements in the occupied territories? Denying young Plaestinians access to higher education? Forced evictions from their homes in East Jerusalem and Israel's ADMITTED policy of pushing out Palestinians from areas they want to claim for themselves? And you're saying the Palestinians should do nothing, lie down and take it? I'd like to see you try in the face of such provocation.

  • Comment number 79.

    It will achieve nothing...because does not want to know the truth they already know what happened.

  • Comment number 80.

    50. At 1:46pm on 14 Jun 2010, in_the_uk wrote

    I aint stupid thanks (my IQ is probably above yours).

    As for the radio evidence I aint heard it. I have however seen a video of the assault and it was assault. The 'aid workers' showed no mercy as they attacked like animals. In that situation I would expect people to be shot.

    ---------------------------------------------

    If they'd had guns on the ship I'm sure they would have shot the Israeli pirates, however they only had sticks so had to make do with them to fight back against the boarders.

    The first act of aggression though comes from Israel who boarded the ships with armed personel from helicopters in international waters.

  • Comment number 81.

    Never second guess the soldiers, it is better to second guess the politicians who are seeking mileage and advantages out of this situation. The flotilla was deemed to have weapons and other contrabands, hopefully the inquiry will throw light into the contents list which was being sold-off as humanitarian aid. In any case it is a internal matter within the operational borders of Israel, just like the Arabic countries have many barbaric rules and laws of punishment, Israel can also guard its borders under stringent standards. If there are any mouths that are shooting for UN inquiries into the incidences, they should remember that the Middle-East is still centuries behind in fair treatment of humans...so please change that first. This in itself will benefit the Arab population more than any other AID.

  • Comment number 82.

    69. At 2:28pm on 14 Jun 2010, john wrote:

    EH? Defending Israel? There are rules for engagement. These boats DID NOT enter Israeli waters, nor were they going to. So NO justification. Piracy.

    The aid works were the aggressors? Well, on you own boat in international waters you are attacked/taken over by univited pirates, then I think you have the right to fight back. But then again we have seen Israelis using bullets against stones and sticks before.

    The soldiers would NOT have been hurt had they not been there. Indeed had they folowed internation laws in relation to shipping. They instead chose piracy and assuch were fair game when they landed on the ship.

    Someone attacks me in my house with guns and grenades I sure as hell will fight back.

    It is time that Israel was held to account and that the guilt over the 2nd World War was not used as an excuses any longer.

    ----------------------------

    Why is it that the 1 boat did not comply? Why is it that boat had people wanting to be martyrs? Why is it that previous aid ships had been carrying weapons to the terrorists?

    You say-

    "Someone attacks me in my house with guns and grenades I sure as hell will fight back."

    Israel are fighing back. This is a war they didnt start. Their enemy negotiates on one hand and terrorist attacks still happen against the civilians. Israel are probably in their rights to bomb their enemy to death but they dont. Maybe if the aggressors negotiate they will have a better place to live. But the terrorists will have none of it.

    You say-

    "The soldiers would NOT have been hurt had they not been there."

    Yet if the soldiers didnt search these convoys, many israel civilians would be dead from smuggled weapons. So the soldiers are protecting the innocent.

  • Comment number 83.

    Let me get this right:
    9 People are Murdered = No sanctions, accountability or blame
    Oil spills into the sea= all hell breaks loose, World leaders calling for fines , accountability, blame
    Looks like the world leaders have got their priorities just right putting OIL higher than human life
    An then we asked what an internal cherry picked flotilla inquiry achieve?....give me a break

  • Comment number 84.

    The inquiry will achieve nothing, apart from justifying Israel's action. I suspect that the UN would have reacted differently if Palestinians had blocked weapons coming into Israel.

    I don't really see the point of any discussion. Israel and the USA can do whatever they want, wherever they want. There is no point getting worked up about it, as it isn't going to change.

    The whole issue is fraught with hypocrisy. There are people who go on marches against Israel and then campaign about British troops getting out of Afghanistan. It seems that it is wrong to exert power over the Palestinians, but OK to let the Taliban take over the Afghans. It's a pity there isn't more joined up thinking on this one.

  • Comment number 85.

    I suspect that what Israel wants to find out is how two of its "elite" commandos, armed with automatic Uzis, and backed up by a helicopter gunship full of armed commandos, could be disarmed by a group of peace activists armed with "wrist rockets" (not actual rockets, but what British would call catapults, and Americans slingshots), deck chairs, and "iron bars" (presumably construction materials being carried to Gaza.

    Europe should demand a full and impartial international inquiry. Until that is accomplished, to protect both Israel and Gaza, enforce a blockade so that none of the forbidden materials can be delivered to either Gaza or Israel. After all, the blockade is "just a defensive action" and "not punitive"

  • Comment number 86.

    Why do nations of the world fund Israel? They should deny cash to them. The Israelis will agree to international aid for Gaza if stripped of their money.

  • Comment number 87.

    on 14 Jun 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    67. At 2:24pm on 14 Jun 2010, Kevin Orr wrote:

    14 Jun 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    "If you look at this as a 3rd person without allowing bias for or against israel you have to feel sorry for how israel is criminalised for defending its people."

    Israel is criminalised because they are criminals. If you violate human rights, kill children, blow up schools and hospitals and imprison people in slums with barely any drinking water, don't expect people to tell you how wonderful you are

    --------------------------------------

    "So you count the palestinians as criminals? Or do you only criminalise the defenders in a war they didnt start?"



    --------------------------------------------
    No, I include any Palestinian who fires a rocket. However, Israel started this conflict as soon as they invaded Palestinian land, and, let's face it, their weaponry is far more sophistsicated, as is their determination to ethnically cleanse an entire population

  • Comment number 88.

    As a Turk, I believe our government just wanted this to happen, they wanted Israel to attack that ship. They put the most radical, aggressive people to that boat so Israel would respond. Then there would be outrage in Turkey after Israel attacks the ship.

    Now I don't know if Israeli soldiers were innocent or not. Maybe they overreacted or they were really attacked and defended themselves. What I'm sure is our government was not innocent.

  • Comment number 89.

    The majority of decent thinking/feeling human beings know how this Israeli "enquiry" will turn out. It will be the same old claptrap saying poor Israelis defending themselves, no-one will be taken court and convicted on murder charges which should be easy enough to do considering all the video footage, and we will all have to watch as our useless governments go along with it all.
    If this is yet another whitewash by the Israelis then maybe we should all take to the streets around the world and DEMAND THAT OUR GOVERNMENTS IMPOSE STRICT SANCTIONS ON ISRAEL AND THAT THEY FACE WAR CRIMES TRIBUNALS FOR ALL ATROCITIES THEY HAVE COMMITTED AND GOT AWAY WITH FOR YEARS. In the meantime we can impose our own sanctions on ALL ISRAELI GOODS, I have for years as I did re.South Africa and apartheid, this is no different.Look what people power did for South Africa ----come on we can do it!

  • Comment number 90.

    80. At 2:49pm on 14 Jun 2010, Fitz13 wrote:

    If they'd had guns on the ship I'm sure they would have shot the Israeli pirates, however they only had sticks so had to make do with them to fight back against the boarders.

    The first act of aggression though comes from Israel who boarded the ships with armed personel from helicopters in international waters.

    --------------------------------

    I am sure they would have used guns if they had them but I am pretty sure they didnt have guns because they wanted to be martyrs but appear to be aid workers.

    Yet armed with knives and metal poles they attacked well enough to warrent being shot.

    Had the ship dome what ALL the other ships (it was 1 of 9?) had done there would have been no problem.

  • Comment number 91.

    Bad people did bad things, Israel is exonerated, it was the others!

    How come these inquiries take so long, I can write the answer in 30sec!

    That’s why I do not have a state job I can work.

  • Comment number 92.

    There's a bucket of whitewash going on our local freecycle. The investigation is meaningless unless undertaken by independent investigators with free access to everything (including to all the phones/cameras/etc stolen by the Israelis).

  • Comment number 93.

    87. At 3:07pm on 14 Jun 2010, Kevin Orr wrote:

    No, I include any Palestinian who fires a rocket. However, Israel started this conflict as soon as they invaded Palestinian land, and, let's face it, their weaponry is far more sophistsicated, as is their determination to ethnically cleanse an entire population

    -----------------------------------

    How did israel start it? They fairly bought the land. It was accepted by the UN as an independant. Then the arab countries waged war against it. After successful defence, israel pushed the enemies back and most of them negotiated peace. Palestine wont negotiate.

    So how is this israel being bad?

  • Comment number 94.

    In the meanwhile Fergana is igniting again but then who can really knows who are Uzbeks, Kirgiz, or Khazaks - probably just a few Borat characters... but everyone knows who the Jews are and that they are guilty of everything from tsunamis to oil spills to "invading" Palestine with "sophisticated" weapons; as if what is on this forum cannot be outright predicted.

    Boring ladies and gentlemen, boring!

  • Comment number 95.

    I will react when I read the conclusions of this Inquiry, assuming I am allowed to see a copy of course.

  • Comment number 96.

    One word: whitewash.

  • Comment number 97.

    I dont think this will be a white wash, because I dont think its intended to be the sort of enquiry everyone else thinks it will be. Most peoples posts are along the lines of how this inquiry wont change the Israeli stance.
    I dont think they have any intention of changing their stance, or probably of changing their blockade policy. I think any inquiry will be more along the lines of how their professional soldiers got into the situation they did, then Israel will change its training/boarding methods. There will probably be some sort of concession I would guess in regards to how commando raids look on tv, but in all honesty I dont think they care what the world thinks of them too much

  • Comment number 98.

    We know that this, or any other inquiry concerning Israel, will ultimately let Israel off the hook.Even an International one would favour them as their power and influence is International.

    More than half of Conservative MP's, and particularly Cameron and Hague, are "Friends of Israel". Their response to the Flotilla was to appoint the UK's first "Envoy for Post Holocaust Issues".It really is sick that part of his job is to "aid the return of Real Estate stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners or heirs". I want to know why?! If thats the case for the Jews, then how come it doesn't apply to Palestinian Real Estate stolen by Zionists? You know - those houses, Farms and whole villages, bulldozed, buried, wiped off the map, often with families still inside them! Why not dig up Israels National Parks - the proof is all their buried beneath the surface - bricks and bones!
    And why allow Israel to send 3 subs equipped with nuclear cruise missiles to take up permanent residence off the coast of Iran?

  • Comment number 99.

    The committee that investigated the killing of former US president John Kennedy came up with a conclusion that a bullet once shot could twist in different directions. This panel of inquiry will do the same.

  • Comment number 100.

    Welcome to Israel/Palestine debate part three.

    The title of this HYS should have been "Do you think this Israel/Palestine debate is getting a little tedious?

    Moderators what do you want me to say?

    Everything that can be said on this issue has already been debated 1,000 ways from Sunday, meaning there is nothing new left to say.

    The same bloggers are recycling the same old comments from both sides of the aisle on this issue, that they used in the two previous debates.

    It reminds me of the 9/11 investigation, no matter what conclusion is arrived at, one side or the other will claim it is a fix.

 

Page 1 of 9

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.