Devil's Advocate and Gaza's Flotilla
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Twisting the meaning of “Devil’s Advocate” was natural while choosing the title for this article. After all, Israel is consistently twisting facts with regard to Gaza’s Freedom Flotilla. During the canonization process of the Roman Catholic Church, the Devil's Advocate opposes God's Advocate, his task being to argue against the canonization of the candidate. In sharp contrast, the IDF Military Advocate General, Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit, did appear before the Turkel Committee on August 26, 2010, and became the Devil’s Advocate in the sense that his testimony was diabolically twisted.
In another part of his testimony, he said that “We have no desire to punish the civilian population” and “we won't fire in an unguided manner into a civilian population.” For those finding these dubious, he added “no one in the IDF would think to violate international law.”
Mendelblit, did you bother reading the Goldstone Report? Or at least the Beit Oranim Transcript? The last is in Hebrew, it should be easy for you. Please, let me humbly remind you a few articles from the first:
In article 1674, the report states that Israel policies in Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territory did violate international human rights and humanitarian law.
Article 1675 defines Israel’s policy of blockade in the three years prior the attack as a collective punishment intentionally inflicted by the Government of Israel on the people of the Gaza Strip. It also claims the military operations and the manner in which they were conducted considerably exacerbated the blockade effects. The result, in a very short time was unprecedented long term damage both to the people and their development and recovery prospects.
In Article 1678 the report describes the visible destruction of houses, factories, wells, schools, hospitals, police stations and other public buildings. During the committee’s visit, families, including the elderly and children, were still living amid the rubble of their former dwellings, no reconstruction possible due to the continuing blockade. The following article states that women were affected in significant ways. In this issue, the report states in article 1683 “that deeds by Israeli forces and words of military and political leaders prior to and during the operations indicate that as a whole they were premised on a deliberate policy of disproportionate force aimed not at the enemy but at the ‘supporting infrastructure.’ In practice, this appears to have meant the civilian population.”
As if we could think otherwise, article 1688 states that “It is clear from evidence gathered by the Mission that the destruction of food supply installations, water sanitation systems, concrete factories and residential houses was the result of a deliberate and systematic policy by the Israeli armed forces. It was not carried out because those objects presented a military threat or opportunity but to make the daily process of living, and dignified living, more difficult for the civilian population.”
Eventually, the committee had no other option but to define Israel as a terrorist entity in article 1690: “The operations were carefully planned in all their phases. Legal opinions and advice were given throughout the planning stages and at certain operational levels during the campaign. There were almost no mistakes made according to the Government of Israel. It is in these circumstances that the Mission concludes that what occurred in just over three weeks at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 was a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.”
Mr. Mendelblit, the Beit Oranim Transcript is no less disturbing. It describes the cold-blooded assassination of grandmothers, mothers and their children by IDF soldiers and officers. Eventually, the Human Rights Council of the UN adopted the Goldstone Report on October 16, 2009, thus defining Israel as a terror organization. Mr. Mendelblit, you are a terrorist. The least you could do is to stand bravely in front of the Turkel Committee and recognize the brutal behavior of the organization you represented. At least, be honest.
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