More than a week after the successful raid on the Mavi Marmara, the real picture of what took place there is increasingly being clarified. Unsurprisingly, what we’re seeing is very different than what the public was told at first.
Three main pieces of evidence have become largely unquestionable ever since the raid:
Firstly, it turned out that the decision to stop the ship was very appropriate, both because no sovereign state would allow its sovereignty to be violated without unequivocally stopping those who try to do so and because the ship was carrying major terrorists.
Secondly, it turned out that had Navy commandoes operated from the first moment in combat mode and as they should have done, according to our blabbering experts, we would see 50 bodies lying on the deck, while none of our fighters would have suffered as much as a scratch.
Thirdly, something in the understandings between Turkey and Israel regarding the type and intentions of passengers on board the ship went completely wrong, and the reason for it has not been clarified yet. In the days after the raid, many sources reported that before the flotilla headed to Gaza, both states engaged in contacts at the highest levels of government, in a bid to avert what ended up happening.
As the ties between the Turkish and Israeli army are very tight, we can assume that such contacts indeed took place, and therefore what ended up happening was a result of Israeli misunderstanding, or more likely, a Turkish trap.
No reason to apologize
There is a very small distance, if at all, between an inquiry into a state’s right to safeguard its sovereignty and an inquiry into that state’s very right to even maintain this sovereignty. Agreeing to any kind of commission of inquiry as result of international pressure paves the way for an inquiry into Israel’s right to maintaining its sovereignty – that is, looking into Israel’s right to exist as a state.
In the world of lies and hatred where Israel exists, all we need is a few more Goldstone-style committees in order to see a UN debate on annulling the 1947 partition decision.
Alongside the duty to undertake professional and operational probes, the Israeli government should have resisted any domestic or international legal probe. We are dealing with a simple and familiar case, where a state legally safeguarded its sovereignty; nothing more than that. There is no reason whatsoever to apologize for this, and certainly not apologize to those who sent the terrorists or support them.
In addition, regardless of whether we are dealing with a self-righteous ally or a wicked enemy, Israel must respond to any demand made of it with an immediate, identical counter-demand – this is how a sovereign state should act. Those who try to justify themselves make the accusers respect them even less, and this self-justification merely fans the flames of hatred.
The needless desire to prove to the world Israel’s righteousness via the establishment of yet another legal committee causes our government to back our own de-legitimization effort. This is not the way.
Colonel (res.) Yehuda Wegman is an instructor specializing in military doctrine and IDF history