The quality of mercy is not strained when the IDF judge their own
The release of General Giora Eiland’s report into the actions of the IDF when stopping the flotilla bound for Gaza confirms what we all know: the quality of mercy is not strained when the IDF judge their own.
To the General’s “relief, the investigation found no negligence or failures on any significant matters”. There were, you see, only “mistakes” in this operation- no errors and certainly no serious ones. The commandos displayed “professionalism, bravery and resourcefulness”. Yet nine Turks lie dead.
How can we reconcile the General’s suggestion that there was no “failure on any significant matter” with those nine body-bags? Perhaps their deaths are not significant to the IDF? Or perhaps Eiland has wrapped himself in a faith so blind that he can no longer recognise negligence, failure, responsibility- or murder.
It appears to my eyes that this report is largely what it was expected to be: a whitewash. Phrases like “bravery” in connection with the IDF on this occasions, suggest the General has prostituted his integrity to defend what, by most accounts of the incident, was largely indefensible. In so doing he has done his country, his army and the notion of Israeli justice a disservice.
The whole affair has been marked by appalling machination, cover-ups and out-and-out deception on the part of his government. First came the imputed links between the dead men and terrorist groups; then the suggestion that the commandos were “probably” fired on first by the passengers; and now this egregious report full of praise for the “bravery” of trigger happy soldier.
This is Israel going deeper and deeper into a quagmire of its own making, each lie pulling it down further and further, each attempt to prove its infallibility having only the opposite effect. There is a real danger that they begin to appear like the thief who enters a house a burglar and leaves it a murderer, having killed the family which surprise him in the act. If they wish to avoid this fate, not draw further opprobrium from the world, then it is time for the notion of truth and fairness to re-enter Israeli consciousness.
For too long the notion of justice seems to have been a dualism, applying differently to Israelis and non-Israeli. Access to meaningful justice too often seems to be predicated on your passport, religion or ethnicity.
Let us hope that report by former Supreme Court Justice Yakov Tirke into the political implications of the flotilla incident will display the “bravery” lacking from General Giora Eiland’s report and demonstrates a unified and equal conception of justice.
Samuel Muston is a freelance journalist and former aide to Zac Goldsmith MPTagged in: IDF, israel
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