Watchman Newsletter

Flotilla raid probe: IDF acted properly

YNet News (Link) - Aviel Magnezi (January 20, 2011)

Some eight months after the lethal IDF raid on the Turkish Marmara vessel, the Turkel Committee charged with probing the incident is set to submit the first part of its report.

The report�s first chapter, to be published Sunday, is expected to rule that IDF troops acted properly in taking over the Gaza-bound ship.

A source who is well familiar with the committee�s work said all its members, including the two foreign observers involved in the probe, agreed that Israel�s Navy commandoes did not violate international law, even after the operation aboard the Marmara encountered unexpected entanglements.

Professor Yossi Shain, an international relations expert at Georgetown University and the head of Tel Aviv University�s diplomacy program, said that any professional observer would view the Turkel Committee as a serious, distinguished team. He added that the Irish and Canadian observers appointed by the committee further boosted its credibility.

However, despite this, Shain said he expects the world to treat the committee�s findings with suspicion.

�Almost naturally, committees established by Israel draw a suspicious attitude in the world,� he said. �There will always be a perception whereby Israeli committees take Israel�s side.�

�In any case, the UN committee would have to address the Turkel report and examine the differences between its findings and UN decisions in order to find out the reason for this,� he said.

Shain stressed that in his view the Turkel Committee aimed to uncover the truth, and therefore its recommendations are expected to be accepted by bodies considered objectives. However, he added that in certain international forums the battle for Israel�s image is a lost cause.�The Turks and those who are hostile to Israel, who already rushed to draft their conclusions and rule that it was murder, will have no interest in the Turkel report,� he said.

Similarly, legal commentator Dror Arad-Ayalon said that in any case, regardless of Turkel�s findings, �Those who have a biased view to begin with or are a party to the de-legitimization campaign against Israel will likely not be impressed by the probe.� �