By Omer Celik | 08 June 2010
The Israeli attack on an international aid flotilla to Gaza on May 31, which resulted in the killing of nine peace activists, is a turning point in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israel’s relations with the world. The international response to the raid and the worldwide condemnation of the Netanyahu-Lieberman government underlies that this is not only an issue between Turkey and Israel — but the relations between these two countries will not be the same going forward.
Let’s get the facts first. The Israeli government clearly violated international law when it attacked a civilian aid flotilla in international waters about 77 miles off the coast of Gaza. By taking over the ships and confiscating the property belonging to the aid group, Israel has committed piracy. Initial reports and eye-witness accounts confirm the brutal use of force against unarmed civilians coming from some 50 countries. The killing of nine people during the raid is a clear case of murder, while treatment of the injured by Israeli forces during and after the raid constitutes a violation of international law and the fundamental principles of human dignity. This whole incident must be investigated and tried at an international court without delay.
By ordering and defending the attack, the Netanyahu-Lieberman government has scored a moral low point, though perhaps not surprising given their support of an illegal and immoral continuation of the blockade of Gaza and the settlement activities in Palestinian territories. Efforts by the Obama administration, Europeans, and Arabs to stop the settlements have fallen on deaf ears in Israel. The destruction of Gaza at the end of 2008 resulting in the killing of more than 1,400 Palestinians remains a black stain in the history of Israeli occupation. By continuing the blockade of Gaza, the Israeli government has not only subjected 1.5 million residents of Gaza to an inhuman suffering, but also shown that it has no interest in peace. All reasonable parties around the world confirm that there will be no peace without including Gaza and Hamas in the process.
Excerpt reproduced with permission from Foreign Policy, www.foreignpolicy.com. Copyright 2009 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive LLC. Read the full article at [http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/06/08/israel_s_fatal_mistake]