Flotilla Incident Fades Fast

by

The May 31st incident off the (distant) waters of Israel, in which nine people, all of them civilians, were killed by Israeli commandos, has notably slipped off the main headlines. It should not.

The facts will probably never be accurately ascertained, but when there is a body count afterwards, it’s certain that some severe negligence took place, both on behalf of the Israeli Armed Forces and the bat-wielding civilians on the ship. Nothing less should but a thorough investigation, published to the world, should be acceptable.  Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak disagrees. Speaking to the Knesset–Israel’s legislature–Barak said:

I insist that soldiers not be required to undergo an investigation… We don’t plan to investigate soldiers in Hebrew or in English,”

He went on:

While individual soldiers will not face investigation, the incident as a whole should be looked into in order to assess IDF performance, Barak continued. By investigating IDF decisions, Israel is better prepared for future operations, he said.

The two above excerpts do not make sense when put together. The IDF soldiers who directly participated in the flotilla are indispensable to any meaningful investigation; their testimony about the events are, along with those that were on the flotilla, integral to piece together what exactly happened on that ugly day.

Could it be that Israel does not actually care about the civilians that were killed? Could it be that Israel merely cares about the bad press that the incident brought upon itself and its people? Given the following quote by Ehud Barak at the same Knesset meeting, you be the judge:

There are 1.5 million people living in Gaza and only one of them really needs humanitarian aid,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said to the Knesset on Monday. “Only one of them is locked in a tiny room and never sees the light of day, only one of them is not allowed visits and is in uncertain health – his name is Gilad Shalit, and this month four years will have passed since he was kidnapped.”

It is wrong that Shalit has been held against his will for such an extended period of time. It is also wrong that in the last conflict between Israel and Gaza–Operation Cast Lead– 295 Palestinian civilians were killed as opposed the exponentially smaller number of 3 Israeli citizens killed–and that is going by IDF’s estimate.

When Death violently sucks the life out of civilians–especially if it is children(they couldn’t have voted for Hamas)–it does not equivocate in who is to blame. Numbers speak for themselves. You can’t punish 1,500,000 people for one of your soldiers and expect the world to be gung ho about it.

Life should not be valued based on nationality; it should be valued on the fact that we are all humans. To make a different valuation, destruction and atrocities follow.

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