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Learning from Israel


Israeli sunbathers felt so threatened by the impending arrival of aid to Gaza in May 2010 that they organized a 16-boat protest against the flotilla, complete with banner depicting the Turkish prime minister (Photo: Reuters)

With the release of the first part of the report from its investigation into the May 2010 attack on the humanitarian aid flotilla en route to Gaza—in which nine Turkish activists were murdered by IDF commandos—the Israeli Turkel Commission has underscored Israel’s capacity for democratic introspection.

The commission’s findings include that the commandos in question acted in self-defense and that the Israeli blockade of Gaza is not in contravention of international law. According to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the report proves that Israel is “a law-abiding country”.

I’ve made a short list of ideas for possible commissions in other countries interested in attaining a similar status:

1. The United States.

Commission to investigate inordinate number of civilian casualties of U.S. drone attacks on Pakistan.

Possible conclusion: Drones were acting in self-defense.

2. Colombia.

Commission to investigate the “false positives” phenomenon during the administration of Alvaro Uribe, in which members of the Colombian army—reportedly in thousands of instances—murdered civilians and then disguised the corpses as FARC guerrillas in order to receive bonuses and additional vacation time.

Possible conclusion: Military killing of civilians is permissible as long as it is accompanied by an investigation.

3. Peru.

Commission to investigate the 2009 massacre by Peruvian police of indigenous protesters opposed to the exploitation of local resources by multinationals. President Alan García reportedly accused the indigenous of committing genocide against the Peruvian police force, instead.

Possible conclusion: Police are an endangered ethnic group.

4. Tunisia.

Commission to investigate the killing of scores of citizens protesting the regime of Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Possible conclusion: Protesters would have killed themselves anyway via self-immolation.


The Palestinian Authority is meanwhile advised to experiment with new tactics— aside from ceding critical portions of Jerusalem—to seduce the Israelis. Perhaps a Palestinian Turkel Commission to determine that Gaza provoked the humanitarian aid flotilla by requiring humanitarian aid?



  1. bt says:

    drones were acting in self defense 🙂

  2. russell says:

    What else could we expect from a country having illegitimate birth on encroached land based on racism? That has driven out millions of its native inhabitants patronized by world’s most powerful state rouges and still continuing its atrocities as before. That has committed every count of human rights and international law violations; disregarded every international and UN charter unless it favours its vicious scheme. What logic could any of the rational beings on earth could show for Israeli occupation now beyond 1967 border recognised by international charter? It is another addition to their pile of lie, treachery and perpetration that underpin the very existence of Israel.

  3. hayate says:

    “the Israeli Turkel Commission has underscored Israel’s capacity for democratic introspection.”

    Something like 94% of Jewish israelis approved of the war crimes done against the aide workers on the Mavi Marmara. The same percentage approved of the war crime done to the people of Gaza a year before. This is a complete and total failing of a society. A society beyond repair. It’s a country where the vast majority of Jewish israelis are essentially the same as hard core klu klux klan members.

    When a Palestinian state is finally created, and I believe it will be, what can be done with these people.

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