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Investigating the Flotilla Incident

In the orgy of second-guessing and yelps for an international inquiry into the flotilla incident — would that inquiry probe Turkey’s involvement as well? — many of the critics neglect to acknowledge that in Israel, there is no shortage of criticism, investigation, second-guessing, and scrutiny. That is how a vibrant democracy with a free press operates. Within a day, Israeli media and politicians were already debating and critiquing the tactics of the Israeli military.

When critics demand a “transparent” investigation and assert that it must be “credible,” they are implying and in some cases directly arguing that Israel is incapable of doing this. But open societies do this all the time — the U.S. and Britain on the Iraq war, the U.S. on the intelligence failures leading up to 9/11, etc. Transparent investigations occur when political opposition is free to criticize, when media is not run by the state, and when dissent is encouraged and not repressed. The notion that the UN, which is neither transparent nor credible, could do a better job than Israel is ludicrous. But “ludicrous” is the default setting for Israel’s critics these days.


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