Commentary Magazine


Turkel Commission Report: Israel Followed Law During Flotilla Raid

The Turkel Commission, an investigation launched by the Israeli government into the flotilla raid, has found that Israel acted in accordance with international law during the incident.

Nothing in the report comes as a major surprise, since it was what we all knew at the time: Israel’s enforcement of the naval blockade was legitimate, and IDF soldiers had the right to board the ship. The soldiers were attacked with deadly force by flotilla members and it was appropriate for them to defend themselves.

And while the commission heard testimony from all sides — including left-wing human-rights groups — it found the charge that Israel committed war crimes to be without merit.

Of course, the impact of the findings will probably be pretty inconsequential, at least from a public-relations perspective. Anyone who looked at the flotilla situation honestly and objectively already knew that Israel handled it appropriately. And the people who claimed that Israel’s acts of self-defense were “war crimes” are unlikely to be convinced by any investigation that disproves that notion — especially one that was carried out by the Israeli government.

In fact, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Erdogan, has already dismissed the findings, telling the press that the inquiry has “no value or credibility.”

With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if this report incites renewed calls for an “independent” investigation of the incident, probably led by the same NGOs that helped fund the flotilla in the first place.

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