Talk about Jurisdiction Shopping: Israel to Investigate Self with U.S. OK

Two weeks ago Israeli commandos attacked six boats with humanitarian activists in international waters – killing at least 9, injuring dozens more and kidnapping over 500 activists who were held in Israeli jails for days – with many beaten and abused and all their belongings stolen.

Now comes word that Israel has decided to ignore international calls for an independent, international investigation – and will instead investigate itself.

Israel last night flouted pressure for an independent international inquiry into the lethal assault two weeks ago on a flotilla of ships attempting to break the blockade on Gaza, announcing an internal investigation with two foreign observers.

The White House gave its approval for the Israeli formula, which will be confirmed by the Israeli cabinet today.

The inquiry into the raid, in which nine Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara were killed, will be headed by a former Israeli supreme court judge, Yaakov Tirkel. The foreign observers are the former Northern Ireland first minister David Trimble and a Canadian judge, Ken Watkin. They will have no voting rights.

Obama’s White House has said this is a great idea:

Statement by the Press Secretary on Israel’s investigation into the flotilla incident

Today, the Government of Israel took an important step forward in proposing an independent public commission to investigate the circumstances of the recent tragic events on board the flotilla headed for Gaza…

We believe that Israel, like any other nation, should be allowed to undertake an investigation into events that involve its national security. Israel has a military justice system that meets international standards and is capable of conducting a serious and credible investigation, and the structure and terms of reference of Israel’s proposed independent public commission can meet the standard of a prompt, impartial, credible, and transparent investigation.

“National security”? Six broken down boats with 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid constitute a threat to nuclear Israel with its warehouses full of U.S.-bought (and sold) arms? AIPAC’s money is apparently well spent.

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