Though Israel’s Turkel Commission report and the UN Palmer Committee report, which both investigated the May 31, 2010 incident on board the Turkish (MV Mavi Marmara) flotilla to Gaza, in which nine passengers were killed and ten Israeli soldiers injured, differed on some key determinations, they overlapped on three main conclusions:
- Contrary to a mind-numbing number of accusations that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was “illegal” both reports concluded that the IDF blockade is fully consistent with international law, and that IDF Naval forces have the right to stop Gaza-bound ships in international waters.
- Contrary to reports that the IDF attacked “peaceful” activists, both reports concluded that when Israeli commandos boarded the ship they faced “organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers” (many of whom were linked to Hamas and other Islamist terror groups) and were therefore required to use force for their own protection.
- The IHH sponsored flotilla “acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade.”
These facts of course made a mockery of the Guardian’s obsessive coverage of the Mavi Marmara violence – which included no less than 71 separate reports and commentaries in a period of only four days following the incident – and their frantic rush to judgement. A June 1 cartoon by the Guardian’s Steve Bell was indicative of the overall Guardian narrative automatically imputing Israeli guilt and malevolence:
Whilst the Guardian’s Chris McGreal did report on the Palmer Commission findings on Sept 1, 2011, an official Guardian editorial published a few days later only grudgingly noted that the UN report determined that Israel’s blockade was in fact legal, and it failed to mention the more important conclusions regarding flotilla activist culpability for the violence. Instead, it focused on the question of whether Israel would offer an apology to the Turkish government:
Here’s the key passage:
In the end, that report, which criticised Israel for using excessive force but upheld its right to blockade Gaza, was itself leaked. In offering regret and compensation but refusing to apologise, Binyamin Netanyahu’s government made a conscious decision: once again Israel chose a tactical victory over a strategic relationship.
Recently, the Turks and the Guardian got what they wished for. On Friday, March 22 it was reported that a phone call by Israeli PM Netanyahu to Turkey’s PM Erdogan included an expression of Israeli regret for the loss of Turkish life and an apology for any mistakes which led to their deaths – part of a US brokered agreement which reportedly dealt with issues such as compensation, normalized diplomatic ties and a cancellation of legal steps against IDF soldiers.
The Guardian’s report on the apology, ‘Netanyahu apologizes to Turkish PM for Israeli role in Gaza flotilla raid’, by Harriet Sherwood and Ewen MacAskill, included the following video.
Interestingly, missing from the video was the following evidently insignificant segment (which you should have seen immediately following the opening 12 seconds of the Guardian clip) showing Israeli soldiers being brutally beaten by passengers who were armed with sticks, iron bars and knives:
The selectively edited clip of the incident (as with the subsequent text by Sherwood and MacAskill) would leave the reader unaware that Israeli soldiers, who were enforcing a legal blockade against Hamas, were ambushed by terror-abetting activists determined to instigate a bloody confrontation.
The video, as with the Guardian’s coverage of the incident and it’s aftermath, more resembles the propaganda of pro-flotilla activists than anything approaching serious journalism.