Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Difference Between A UN Inquiry Into The Flotilla--and An Israeli One

Here is the predictable statement that came out of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on June 2 is predictable:
The Human Rights Council in its midday meeting adopted a resolution on the attack by Israeli forces against the humanitarian flotilla bound for Gaza in which it condemned in the strongest terms the outrageous attack by the Israeli forces which resulted in the killing and injuring of many innocent civilians from different countries, and decided to dispatch an independent international fact finding mission to investigate violations of international law resulting from the Israeli attack.

The Council adopted a resolution, by a vote of 32 in favour, three against, and nine abstentions, in which it deeply deplored the loss of life of innocent civilians and expressed its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families. The Council called on Israel to fully cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross to seek and provide information on the whereabouts, status and condition of the detained and injured persons and demanded that Israel release all detained men and material and facilitate their safe return to their homelands. It also called on Israel to immediately lift the siege on occupied Gaza and other occupied territories.
This is comparable to the mandate the UNHRC gave for the "fact-finding" committee to investigate Operation Cast Lead--the mandate singled out Israel. Even assuming the unofficial 2nd version of the mandate was actually binding, the fact that the council focused only on the results pertaining to Israel clarifies their intent all along.

Netanyahu has pledges a more objective investigation--going into the details that the UNHRC was so quick to ignore:
Israel's inquiry into its raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine last week will examine how "extremists" were able to board the convoy, as well as the actions of Israel's military and government, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday.

..."I want the whole truth to come to light," he said. "So it is important to include answers to questions that have until now been ignored by many actors within the international community."

..."We have to establish who stood behind this extremist group, who financed its members, and how knives, axes and other weapons were brought aboard," Netanyahu said.

He added: "We also need to ask what large sums of money found aboard the boats were doing there, and for whom they were intended."
The fact that the UNHRC did not hesitate to issue a condemnation in such one-sided terms is all the more obscene in light of the information that is readily available online and continues to be made known that clearly shows that members of the Mavi Marmara planned to attack the Israeli soldiers.

If that aspect is to be truly investigated and brought to light, having a UN-appointed committee is clearly not the way to go.

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