Turkel Commission Has Already Made Its Decision
Middle East News Service comments: If I were to be an enemy of Israel, I would really rejoice at the way the Turkel Commission is turning into a sham. Like the author, I never had great expectations of the commission but the description below make it worse than my darkest expectations. This, IMO, reflects a further whittling down of what Shulamit Aloni has described as democratic culture. It has never been Israel's strongest point, but the situation is getting worse. To me it is part of the path towards being a failed state where norms and values get replaced by an "anything goes" environment. Sad for Israelis like me, great news for Israel's enemies.
Blogger Mitchell Plitnick was co-director of the US Jewish Voice for Peace and later the Washington B’Tselem representative.
Turkel Commission Has Already Made Its Decision on Flotilla
October 14, 2010 by Mitchell Plitnick
Israel has, in the past, conducted some reasonably credible investigations of itself. Sure, there is always an issue of credibility when a country investigates itself, and on many, maybe most, occasions (most recently, the investigations Israel launched into its own conduct in Operation Cast Lead) such investigations have been whitewashes designed to cover up, rather than seriously examine, Israeli misdeeds.
Still, there have been some counter-examples, such as the Kahan Commission, which investigated the Lebanon War and Sabra-Shatilla massacre of 1982-83 and the Or Commission which investigated the killings of 12 Palestinian citizens of Israel and one other Palestinian at the beginning of the second intifada. Both of these, especially Or), but rare indeed is it that any country investigates itself as honestly as these two commissions did. That’s back-handed praise for Israel; it is more illustrative of how the United States in particular (since it has the most to investigate by far) does so poorly in this regard.
So I’m willing to give an Israeli commission a chance if it is not an obvious sham. The Turkel Commission, investigating the killing of nine people aboard the Mavi Marmara at the end of May, did not begin as an obvious sham. There was plenty of reason for scepticism (not the least of which is the consistency with which Israel has turned to such shams with regard to Gaza), but some seriousness was possible.