[This week's Toronto Torah is here]
Even though I am instinctively against subjecting Israeli soldiers to the hostility of biased investigators, I would love to see an international investigation of the raid on the Mavi Marmara – if it would truly look at both sides in order to determine the truth.
I tend to think that the truth about this ship is more complex than, “They are all terrorists.” Rather, I suspect that a few hundred of them were simply being used. They believed themselves to be on a humanitarian aid mission, knew nothing of the realities of Gaza, knew nothing of the rifle scopes and night vision goggles they were transporting, and knew nothing about the group lying in wait for the Israelis to board. This is the group that was down below when the initial boarding took place, and they sincerely believe that the Israelis must have shot first, because no one in their group would have dreamed of assaulting anyone. They were being used by the Turks, whose goals were anything but humanitarian.
Investigators could verify the above, and find out exactly what happened; all that is needed is a serious, impartial investigation, which would include:
• Subpoenas of the cell phone records of the travelers;
• Subpoenas of the text messages and emails sent in the month before the Flotilla departed Turkey;
• Subpoenas of the financial ties of the travelers on the boat.
This should be sufficient to clarify the intentions and roles of all of the seafarers.
Of course, this is exactly what would not appear in any international investigation. The presumption and basis for an actual international investigation would be that the IDF acted inappropriately, disproportionately, aggressively, and so on. In such an investigation, it is assumed that the travelers are the victims, the soldiers are the aggressors, and so there is no point in harrassing the poor victims and invading their privacy.
And then you wonder why Israel doesn’t want an international investigation?