Sunday, July 04, 2010

Government Throws Turkel a Bone


The Israeli Government has thrown the Turkel Committee a bone.

According to today's Haaretz:
The government unanimously voted Sunday to expand the authority of the Turkel Commission investigating Israel's raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
According to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office, new powers will allow the commission, headed by Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel, to subpoena witnesses and receive sworn testimony. The decision excludes Israel Defense Force soldiers.
Well of course that last sentence undercuts the demands made by so many - including Judge Turkel himself - to give this committee some teeth. In addition the government refused to broaden the committees mandate, to look into more than the legal issues and the behavior of the Turkish flotilla organizers. You can read why an expanded mandate and powers were needed here, as well as my previous blog entries on the issue.

This bone is just that: a bone with no meat. It shouldn't fool anyone. The committee, as is, is a joke and a smokescreen, designed to get world opinion off Netanyahu's back while confirming the Israeli government's pre-existing position: we were right, they were wrong.


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