Certain errors are difficult to fix, as the adjacent picture shows.
On May 28, 2013, a Merkava 3 tank found itself upside down in Tzeelim, a training base near Gaza. Loaded, the vehicle surpasses the 90 metric tones of weight (in violation to international agreements). A small navigation error that can be fixed only at a great cost. In the past, an M113 troops carrier sank in the Sea of Galilee while its amphibious capabilities were being checked; fixing this error was so difficult that it was left underwater.
A few days before the tank exposed its weakest point, Comoros sued Israel at the International Criminal Court. This was a direct result of an even greater navigation error committed by Benjamin Netanyahu
Netanyahu Destroyed Netanyahu
A few days after the apology, Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni was surprised when she spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu about the creation of the committee supervising the indemnification transfer to the victims and their families. “Turkey can undertake not to submit any charges against Israelis, but it is not legally possible [for it to] to cancel private proceedings that have already begun. The only thing is to try to persuade their families to withdraw their claims, but there is no way to force them to do so,” she was told.
“A serious error,” said Netanyahu’s main political partner, Avigdor Lieberman, on March 22, after learning that Israel had formally apologized to Turkey for the killing of nine of its citizens during the Gaza’s Freedom Flotilla incident. One is tempted to acknowledge Lieberman’s wisdom, but this is not the case. Lieberman being Lieberman, he spoke out of primitive nationalistic reflexes, without stopping to consider the issue rationally. He was right, but he didn’t know why.
In other words, the Israeli apology had admitted that the IDF upper echelon committed crimes. Israel is not trying its criminal generals; thus Turkey will. That is what the usually eloquent Lieberman had called “a serious error” on Netanyahu’s part. A trial against criminal generals will become a significant step forward towards Justice, of which neither Israel nor the West own a monopoly. Turkey had decided to continue its Nuremberg Trials against Israel.
Turkey placed charges against Admiral Eliezer Marom, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, Major General Amos Yadlin, and Major General Avishai Lev (no picture)
On November 6, 2012, Turkey announced that a court in Istanbul will try in absentia (“in the absence,” a trial at which the defendant is not physically present) four ex-Israeli military commanders over the IDF Freedom Flotilla raid in 2010. The Mavi Marmara was trying to break the blockade of Gaza and bring humanitarian aid to the refugees there. Nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli naval commandos (Shayetet 13), who had boarded the ship. Israel had in the past conducted no less questionable legal processes, thus it cannot oppose the Turkish decision on procedural grounds.
Benjamin Netanyhau could live with that. The IDF officers on trial were potential political competitors; if Turkey decided to do the dirty work for him, that was fine. However, the scandal didn’t end there. In one of Israel’s related investigations, the State Comptroller found Netanyahu guilty. In the words of the comptroller: “The decision making process regarding the dealings with the Turkish flotilla led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and under his responsibility was found to include essential and significant flaws.” The massacre wouldn’t have happened without the inept leadership of King Bibi the Great.
Comoros Attacks Israel
There is no question about the events; all the facts are acknowledged also by the IDF and the UN; both published reports on the violent event. The UN inquiry said that Israel’s decision to board the ship and the use of substantial force was “excessive and unreasonable.” By accepting to indemnify the victims, Israel acknowledged responsibility for what it defined “an operational error.” At this point, Netanyhau’s tank was upside down in the deepest point of the Mediterranean Sea. Power-drunken, he didn’t realize that.
After unfreezing several military deals with Turkey, Netanyahu felt safe. Who would dare to question his crimes? Accordingly, on May 13, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said that the indemnification agreement between Turkey and Israel would obligate the families of those killed during the May 2010 raid to drop their lawsuits against IDF officers in exchange for compensation.
Chocking on malevolent laughter, Netanyahu didn’t bother to keep reading. Turkish daily Zaman subsequently reported that the victims’ families “are determined to continue their legal struggle in trying members of the Israeli military responsible for the raid.” “They don’t have money for that,” the few Israeli government officials reading the news said and dismissed the issue. It was time to plan the next weapons deal with their old-new-best-friend (Buffet Completes Takeover of Israeli Company Active in Turkey).
Israeli Peace Plan by Latuff
“Where is Comoros,” was probably Netanyahu’s first reaction after he learned that they were suing his violent fiefdom. A group of independent islands, the Union of the Comoros is located between Africa’s mainland and Madagascar.
One of the world’s poorest countries, they are members of the African Union, the Francophonie, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Indian Ocean Commission, and the Arab League; this was fortunate for the victims’ families. One of the country’s few income sources is providing cheap home ports to ships sailing in international waters. The Mavi Marmara was registered under Comoros’ flag.
Sharon, Netanyhau and a few Belgian Waffles
While Netanyahu was busy signing apologies and new businesses with Turkey, the victims’ families took an astonishing step. Elmadag, a Turkish law firm representing the victims, approached the government of Comoros, offering it to relay in its name a lawsuit against the State of Israel. Comoros accepted.
In May, Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, said in a statement that she was obliged to open a preliminary examination following a referral from Comoros. The point was that only countries can request the opening of an investigation. Paragons of democracy, Israel, Sudan and the United States have informed the UN Secretary General that they are longer states parties in the Court. It matters little.
On February 15, 2002, the International Court of Justice halted a Belgian attempt to try Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians during the Sabra and Shatila Massacre in Lebanon in 1982 when he was Israel’s Minister of Defense, ruling that serving ministers are protected from prosecution. Yet, before that, Sharon had avoided visiting mainland Europe, specially the Belgian capital Brussels, due to a justified fear of being arrested and tried.
The new process Israel faces will run for years. Contrary to the Sabra and Shatila case, now there are formal Israeli sources incriminating Netanyahu. Unless the lawsuit is politically blocked by certain international players, Netanyahu would soon be banned from European land. Would the USA grant refuge to Netanyahu?