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Israel and Turkey Near Final Deal on Compensation for Gaza Flotilla Victims

World  (tags: Israel, Turkey, flotilla, Gaza, compensation, deal, payment )

- 1841 days ago -
After meeting in Jerusalem, Israeli and Turkish officials formulate draft agreement on criteria that determines eligibility for compensation, but actual amount for payment yet to be finalized.

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Angelika R (143)
Monday May 6, 2013, 3:48 pm
Israel and Turkey are close to signing an agreement on compensation payment to the families of the victims of the Israel Defense Forces' 2010 raid on a Turkish-flagged aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip.

A second round of reconciliation talks between the two former allies took place Monday in Jerusalem, after which the Prime Minister’s Bureau announced that a draft agreement had been formulated “but a number of clarifications are needed on a few issues.”

Ankara's delegation to the talks, headed by Turkish Foreign Ministry Director General Feridun Sinirlioglu, arrived Monday morning for talks at the Foreign Ministry with Israel's National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror and former Foreign Ministry Director General Yosef Ciechanover.

Officials in the Turkish Foreign Ministry said an agreement had been reached on the formulation of the criteria according to which eligibility for compensation would be determined. Other than the families of the nine Turkish victims, compensation will be paid to a few dozen Turkish nationals who were wounded during the Israel Navy’s takeover of the Mavi Marmara.

The deputy head of the Turkish delegation, Bulent Arinc, confirmed that an agreement had been reached on the eligibility criteria, but said that the amount for compensation has yet to be finalized.

A senior official in the Prime Minister’s Bureau in Jerusalem said that the parties were expected to reach a final agreement in the coming days. The Turks want to show progress in talks with Israel before Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan goes to Washington on May 16.

It seems at this point that there will be no need for an additional round of talks and that the next meeting will be to sign the agreement. Immediately after the signing, the parties will set a date for the return of ambassadors to Ankara and Tel Aviv and on a number of other normalization steps between the two countries.

The negotiations for reconciliation between Turkey and Israel began in April, exactly a month after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and apologized for the fatal raid. During that conversation, which was endorsed by U.S. President Barack Obama, the two prime ministers agreed to restore normal relations between their countries and return their ambassadors to each other's countries.

Angelika R (143)
Monday May 6, 2013, 3:58 pm
That " number of clarifications on a few issues.” that "are needed" might just include those mentioned in this article here >,7340,L-4376943,00.html
("Israel has also demanded that any lawsuits against IDF soldiers and officers would be dropped.

Last month the families of the victims announced they would not drop the lawsuits filed against former Israeli military commanders they hold responsible - even if they are compensated". )

JL A (281)
Monday May 6, 2013, 4:48 pm
May justice prevail.

Alexander Werner (53)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 9:28 am
For the justice to prevail, Turkey has to pay compensation to Israelis, wounded while trying to stop an illegal Turkey move to support Hamas terrorists who are at war with Israel.

Sheryl G (363)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 7:07 am
Thanks for the update.

Viola Steinbeck (12)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 9:38 am
Ditto your other readers. Thanks for the update.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 11:35 am
Isn't it funny when someone asks the victim to pay compensations to the killer ? Thanks Angie for the update. What is USA,Turkey and Israel setting the stage for? A lot can be said but I prefer to wait and see.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 12:32 pm
Very wise decision Abdessalam, so do I! As for the topic here, I do hope the victims' families will insist on the charges, this was certainly no "defense" case.

Charles W (60)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 1:00 pm
Seems to be right=wing Israeli website ... No Thanks ...

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 1:03 pm
Absolutely wrong Charles!

Gary L (138)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 1:27 pm
of course bob algeron would blame the victims the facts are clear and only a moron or paid scum would blame the victims which were turkish

Birgit W (160)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 5:12 pm

Alexander Werner (53)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 9:27 pm
Bandits jumping on unarmed soldiers with knives and metal rods fully deserved what they've got. They weren't victims throwing unconciousness Israeli over the board to die.

No, Gary, "nly a moron or paid scum would blame the victims which were " Israelis.

Obama twisted Israeli arm, as usual. He is very brave beating up American friends and shy with the enemies.


Syd H (48)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 5:23 am
Well, whatever Israel pays, it will come out the US tax dollars they get each and every year...

paul m (93)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 5:36 am


Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 11:45 pm
I still believe that Israel did nothing morally or criminally wrong to those aboard the Mavi Marmara, and that had it been a NATO blockade acting strictly in accordance with customary practice and international law, the Mavi Maramara would be on the bottom of the Meditarrenean and all of the hundreds of people aboard would be dead rather than just nine. That said, I am very glad to see a reconcilliation between the two countries, for both of their sakes, and for that of Syrians between them.

Gary L (138)
Friday May 10, 2013, 8:56 am
realy bob then why did Netanyahu apologize ? he did so because it stopped futher investagation so Isreal gets away with murder again your assertion that Isreali soldiers were unarmed is laughable bob they were armed to the teeth but you keep spreading your lies so the un-informed will be duped not on my watch

Alexander Werner (53)
Friday May 10, 2013, 10:10 am
No Gary, the Israeli general Barak sent Israeli soldiers armed with PAINTBALL guns! If Israelis had read guns, this whole nonsense would be stopped before it became bad.

Gary, " they were NOT armed AT ALL but you keep spreading your lies so the un-informed will be duped. not on my watch"


Gary L (138)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 9:38 am
what a lair you are bob you dupe the only one lying here is you bob Isreal is a police state and as such needs fools to keep blowing smoke so the rest of the world wont see well it's not working but you keep collecting those checks with blood all over them

Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 2:10 pm
Hi Gary and Bob :)

The Israeli soldiers were sent in with paint-guns drawn (because rubber bullets at close range were deemed too dangerous), but real firearms on them in case those failed to suppress violent resistance. They boarded by helicopter, climbing down two at a time, deploying too slowly for the non-lethal suppression to work, so when they met violent resistance, matters escalated to the point where lethal force was required before resistance could be suppressed. Then they drew their standard guns.

This was, in fact, contrary to internationally recognized standard procedures for handling a blockade-runner. Standard procedure is to issue warnings and order the ship to surrender, as Israeli forces did. Then it is to fire a warning shot and order the ships to deactivate their engines, again as the Israelis did. However, the next step is ordinarily NOT to board the boat while it is still mobile. The next step, normally, is to fire upon the ship to forcibly disable the engine, regardless of who is aboard or the type of vessel. After that, though this part would have meant nothing to those aboard the Mavi Marmara, the vessel is seized by tugboat and brought either to port or a ship from which it is boarded, or destroyed if resistance makes that impossible. There are some variants where blockading vessels attempt to disable the bridge of the runner first and then order it to surrender, but again, that would have meant nothing because many of the hundreds of people aboard the Mavi Marmara would have been dead anyways.

The Mavi Marmara was not sectioned by bulkheads and not built to survive battle-damage. Any attempt to disable the engines or bridge by firing upon the ship would have sunk it, and likely kiled more than a few people directly. Night-time rescues of survivors of shipwrecks are notoriously ineffective, especially when the blockading force does not have ships immediately available to pickup survivors. (No, the tiny missile-boats and boarding-vessels were not suitable for the task at all, and could not have taken on any survivors.) Hundreds would have drowned or, if they were wearing life-jackets, been floating in the Meditarrenean for at least a few hours until sunrise. The water-temperature in the relevant area is about 22 C during the day in May. Before sunrise, with the water at its coldest, even healthy adults in their prime might have died of hypothermia.

My information regarding standard procedure comes from an officer of the Royal Canadian Navy who commented on operations after the incident. That's Canada, the country often found most effective at defusing military situations with minimal loss of life, and the one that designed NATO doctrine for working with local power-structures to minimize violence during occupations. (U.S. forces are apparently less effective at following the doctrine.)

Angelika R (143)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 3:12 pm
Stephen, I appreciate and thank you for your non-biased, objective contribution here. It distincts pretty clearly between "normal procedures" and what happened back then.

Past Member (0)
Monday May 13, 2013, 4:21 pm
the entity played it real smart here. they've given themselves a freer hand in syria and they will eventually bring the turks all in on the destruction of assad.
and no assad, no hezzbollah.

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 3:02 pm
UPDATE: International Criminal Court opens initial probe into Gaza flotilla raid
The International Criminal Court's prosecutor said on Tuesday she would open a preliminary examination into the events surrounding the 2010 Israel Navy raid on a Turkish-flagged aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip.

Jelica R (144)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 9:10 pm
I've posted this before, and I'll do it again, since this piece of info is mainly ignored:

Automatic Identification System (AIS) data transmitted by the Mavi Marmara: Mavi Marmara route May 30-31, 2010

"The ship Mavi Marmara was not heading toward Israel or Israeli territorial waters when it was attacked, boarded and comandeered by Israeli forces in the early hours of 31 May in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea approximately 85 miles west of Haifa. Had it stayed on its heading at that time it would not even have approached Gaza's waters.

Once the attack began, Mavi Marmara apparently attempted to take evasive action, but Israel pressed on with its violent takeover of the ship nevertheless. Nine people were killed and dozens wounded...
The ships, including the Mavi Marmara, and all their navigational equipment and logs, remain in Israeli possession.

At a certain point during the Israeli attack, the Mavi Marmara turned sharply west and sped up significantly, directly away from Israel and the Gaza Strip. It is unclear whether the Israelis already controlled the ship at that time or whether its change of course was an attempt by the crew to escape the Israeli attack. If the Israelis controlled the ship already it seems more likely that they would have turned east, toward Ashdod, rather than west.

Automatic Identification System (AIS) data transmitted by the Mavi Marmara and captured on the web site Marine Traffic indicates that prior to the Israeli attack, the Mavi Marmara, and presumably the rest of the flotilla in close formation, were traveling due south, parallel to the coast of Israel at a distance of more than 80 miles -- well outside Israel's 12-mile territorial limit. At 00:56:46 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), or 3:56 am local time (UTC+3), according to the AIS data, Mavi Marmara was at coordinates N 32° 47' 37.3518", E 33° 31' 34.14" and moving south southwest on heading 184 at 7.4 knots.

The exact moment the Israeli assault on the Mavi Marmara began is difficult to pinpoint, but most eyewitnesses have said it occurred roughly between 4 and 4:30 am local time (01:00 to 01:30 UTC) and coincided with the performance of fajr (dawn) prayers by a number of the ship's Muslim passengers.
Source: Ali Abunimah Blog: Mavi Marmara was fleeing west at full-speed at time Israel claims "rioters initiate confrontation with IDF soldiers," and had already been under sustained attack for some time.


Stephen Brian (23)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 11:18 pm
Here is the data-source for the GoogleMaps route given by Jelica:
"Daily Vessel's Itineraries: No Records Found"

It's entirely possible that the archives just aren't kept indefinitely, but as there was a propaganda-campaign immediately after the incident, I am not inclined to trust it. I remember the propaganda: There were videos supposedly of the boarding where sunlight was clearly visible despite the fact that the everything happened well before dawn that day. Al Jazeera even had a video where the reporter said the activists were peaceful as one carried a bloody chair across the camera's field. The blood was along the frame, as would be expected if someone were hit with the chair, rather than spread across the seat as would be expected if a bleeding person sat in it. Even in the video from "Cultures of Resistance", the activists aboard initiated violence, throwing stuff at the small open-top Israeli boats (and soldiers aboard those boats) well below the Mavi Marmara's deck, including at least one projectile that caused a flash upon striking the Israeli boat. That does not look like the attitude normally present when fleeing to avoid confrontation, so I am very sceptical of the claim that the Mavi Marmara was heading West.

Stephen Brian (23)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 11:25 pm
Hi Angelika :)

I'm almost surprised that the ICC is even bothering to investigate. Its findings don't matter in any legal sense because Israel never signed the treaty granting it authority to prosecute Israeli soldiers. The ICC has no jurisdiction over the case. It looks to me like the investigation may be a matter of a supposedly non-partisan judicial body trying to play politics.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Wednesday May 15, 2013, 12:52 am
Thank you Jelica for the valuable information you provided about the rout of Mavi Marmara.We all know that IDF pirates committed a crime against the ship and the honorable activists on board.No matter how true this information is,Stephen will ,as usual,try hard to justify the Zionist entity crimes. Shame.

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday May 15, 2013, 1:04 am
The Maritime AIS does not keep data forever. Boats of all sizes have GIS installed and there could be millions of them on the seas worldwide. I accessed Mavi Marmara AIS data on Marine Traffic in October 2010, about 4 months after the piracy, and it was listed in port of Ashdod. The site indicated that the ship sent its last position after it arrived in Ashdod. The link I gave was Mavi Marmara route on May 30/31 2010, saved on Google Maps on June 6, 2010 and covers the period from May 30, 3:26 AM to May 31, 3:17 AM; slightly more than 24 hours.

I am aware of propaganda which followed this bloodbath. Since Israel kept all passengers cameras, phones and computers and used recordings to fit the Israeli official narrative, we were submitted to one side of the story until the first activists were released and landed in Athens, Rome, Stockholm and other airports. Only months latter it was possible to reconstruct the actual timeline.

Rushing to justify the death of 9 activists, Israel threw all their PR forces in action before they synchronized their statements. Here is my favourite, which is too good to be forgotten:

According to The Times (UK), one commando killed six civilian activists; he received a “medal of valor” for his supposed bravery in shooting in the head multiple civilians. This spotlight on Staff Sergeant S, as he is called to protect his identity, gives him a marvelous opportunity to earn himself an actual award — for helping to prove IDF lies.

In his testimony, he explains how he came to murder so many people. As reported by The Times:

"As he landed on the ship’s top deck, he said he saw three of his superior officers who had landed ahead of him lying wounded, one with a bullet wound to the stomach, another shot in the knee and the third beaten unconscious. Taking charge, he formed his men in a perimeter around the wounded, pulled his 9mm Glock pistol and opened fire on passengers."

Let me repeat: He told The Times that he pulled out his 9mm Glock pistol.

However, we were informed by a navy officer that navy commandos don’t carry 9mm guns, and that the empty 9mm casings were proof that the humanitarian activists had brought guns with them. Oops, someone forgot to tell Sergeant S. Then, of course, Michael Oren parroted a recital of this “evidence” on the op-ed pages of the New York Times, unchallenged by any differing opinions or contradictory testimony, as usual.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Wednesday May 15, 2013, 1:06 am
Thank you Angie for the update regarding the ICC investigation. As for Stephen comments about tis,we all know that both USA and the Zionist entity did not sign the ICC agreement to avoid accusing their soldiers who may be involved in war crimes or crimes against humanity. Both countries speak a lot about human rights but when it comes to taking their citizens to ICC they deny the right of international law to try and punish who are are accused of crimes against humanity or war crimes. For Stephen it doesn't matter and it is waist of ICC time. For me and millions around the world unveiling facts about this crime and announcing the findings is enough for the future . Time changes and what the Zionist entity and US control nowadays will change one day and these crimes are not dropped. A day will come when they will be tried even if they were not alive. This is how I read history.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday May 15, 2013, 3:46 am
Yes, we all know that. Stephen, have you read the link? Then you would know that the ICC is following its legal obligation once they receive a claim filed when both countries involved are members. This is regardless of any outcome and not a matter of "bother" but simply a legal duty of the court. And yes, it is also for the sake of history record !

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday May 15, 2013, 5:15 pm
Hi Angelika :)

In 2002, Israel withdrew from the Rome Statute of the ICC, rendering it neither a current member nor one at the time of the incident. The ICC's legal obligations do not apply to the case.

Hi Jelica :)

I'm not surprised that the site does not hold data indefinitely. I went looking for an exact timeline of events to compare to the records to which you linked, but I could not find one. Israel's PR definitely went into high gear with the Mavi Marmara. Unfortunely, I could not access to the Times article to which you linked because it requires a login. Did the soldier call his weapon a Glock,or did the reporter? Journalists regularly misidentify guns.

Interestingly, not only do Israelis use 9 mm pistols (though I suspect that Israeli commandos normally don't use pistols, except in cases where those are backup weapons like aboard the Mavi Marmara), but, according to Wiki at least, that is the only calibre of pistol in the Israeli military arsenal. It is still possible that the casings were unlike anything used by Israeli forces, if the lengths were different, but you're right: The fact that these were 9mm calibre actually suggests that they were Israeli rounds, not from guns brought by activists. I am suspicious of undocumented claims by both sides after the fact. I don't entirely trust the recodings of the radio-conversations released by Israel either. The audio on those could easily have been redubbed, and in some of them at least, the voices of Israeli soldiers do not seem to have Israeli accents.

Jelica R (144)
Thursday May 16, 2013, 9:58 pm
Stephen, this is precisely the reason to conduct a full independent investigation. Not only that families of killed activists deserve to know the truth, we all need to know what happened. I think that nobody sane wants to see anything like that tragedy again.

RE Glock: at first, Israeli "navy officer (said) that navy commandos don’t carry 9mm guns, and that the empty 9mm casings were proof that the humanitarian activists had brought guns with them." Then "Staff Sergeant S ... explains how he came to murder so many people... He formed his men in a perimeter around the wounded, pulled his 9mm Glock* pistol and opened fire on passengers."

* It is clear to me that Sergeant S said that he himself brought his Glock.

In September 2010, Turkey issued final report on Israeli attack on a humanitarian aid convoy that killed eight Turks and an American of Turkish origin and injured +70 others. The report, prepared by Turkish National Commission of Inquiry, has been submitted to the Panel of Inquiry set up by the UN Secretary-General in August 2010, in accordance with the Presidential Statement issued by the UN Security Council in June 2010 which called for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards.

The 93 activists testified that (the Report, page 4): "... elite combat troops heavily armed with machine guns, laser-guided rifles, pistols and modified paintball rifles. ...".

Israeli Commission Report, page 259: "... The less-lethal weapons used during the operation included both impact weapons (paintball guns and beanbag rounds) and conducted-energy weapons (in this case, Tasers). ..."
Page 260: "... “Flash bang” grenades were used as a warning device. ..."
Page 261: "...weapons carried by the Israeli soldiers: the Glock 9mm handgun, the 9 mm mini-Uzi and M-16 assault rifles. The weapons carried by the helicopter borne force were holstered, either attached to the equipment vests or to the legs of the soldiers (in the case of the 9mm handgun) or strapped to their backs (for the mini-Uzi and M-16s)" ...
... "Estimating the number of shots fired that actually hit their target is very difficult. From the military debriefings, it appears that, during the course of the operation on the Mavi Marmara, the Israeli forces discharged 308 rounds (from the soldiers' testimonies, it appears that 110 rounds were shot aimed at persons; an estimated 39 hits were identified by the soldiers; out of which an estimated 16 participants were injured by shots to the center of mass), 87 bean bags, and 264 paint ball rounds."

Angelika R (143)
Friday May 17, 2013, 4:25 am
I am not the court nor an investigator, but to me it is and has been clear all along and the reports provided here by Jelica leave no room for doubt.-

@ Stephen-as for your repeated remark about Israel not being a member of ICC- which we all know and never claimed differently- it suggests to me that you still have not read the article . ..? The claim was made by COMOROS which IS A MEMBER STATE of the ICC. The Mavi Marmara was registered to Comoros. ICC's legal obligations therefor fully apply and are being adhered.

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday May 17, 2013, 3:38 pm
Hi Angelika :)

I had understood that the ICC's obligations extended only to cases where both the state making the complaint and the one accused of wrongoing were members, and the accused country gives jurisdiction to the ICC. For example, as the U.S. does not recognize any ICC authority over its soldiers, the ICC would not be required to investigate any complaints made against them (as it could take no action on the matter regardless of findings, rendering the investigation effectively useless).

Hi Jelica :)

I wish there could be an independent inquiry, but all of the raw data that any investigation could use comes from parties to the incident. Something tells me you're not about to take the Israeli soldiers' claims at their word. Why should anybody believe the activists any more than the soldiers? The usual argument raised is that one side has a track-record of lies, but which side that is depends upon which side a person has previously believed, and then the logic gets circular. It's the same problem throughout the conflict: Everybody who is interested, both among those present and those investigating, has picked a side so there can be no neutral inquiry. I tend to believe the Israeli military primarily because it is a public, centrally commanded organization so any dirty operations and lies would have to get past at least dozens of whistleblowers whom those behind a dirty operation could not possibly vet. That, and because often their oppositions' stories don't add up or contradict their own presented evidence.

I am sure Seargent S. carried a 9 mm weapon (though the Israeli report says they used mini-Uzis in single-shot mode, and not Glocks, so I suspect the weapon was misidentified by the reporter). I am also fairly confident that Israeli commandoes don't normally carry Glocks. This was a special operation requiring non-lethal primary weapons (as opposed to commandos' normal jobs, which I understand involve only lethal weapons) and lethal backups (which a commando would not normally need as the primary weapon is already lethal). I don't think the standard Israeli soldier loadout is relevant here because the commandos carried a special weapon-set for the mission. For example, in the videos, the soldiers clearly carry only one large gun, and those non-lethal weapons are large, so they could not have been carrying both those and M-16s, regardless of what the activists said. (They probably mistook the paint-guns for M-16s.)

Jelica R (144)
Friday May 17, 2013, 5:14 pm
"Why should anybody believe the activists any more than the soldiers?" Ahem, perhaps because 9 activists were killed and 20 or 70 wounded (depends of which report one choose to trust, Israeli or Turkish), and 9 commandos were wounded. So, pick your suspect here.

Have you read my previous comment, Stephen? I do not understand why you keep questioning the Glock issue. To save you from scrolling up, I will copy related part here:

"Israeli Commission Report, page 259: "... The less-lethal weapons used during the operation included both impact weapons (paintball guns and beanbag rounds) and conducted-energy weapons (in this case, Tasers). ..."
Page 260: "... “Flash bang” grenades were used as a warning device. ..."
Page 261: "...weapons carried by the Israeli soldiers: the Glock 9mm handgun, the 9 mm mini-Uzi and M-16 assault rifles. The weapons carried by the helicopter borne force were holstered, either attached to the equipment vests or to the legs of the soldiers (in the case of the 9mm handgun) or strapped to their backs (for the mini-Uzi and M-16s)" ..."

I wish there is a way to emphasize parts of text with bold font but, alas, I can only ask you to read that quotation directly from the Israeli Commission Report; which specifies assault weapons carried by the commandos on page 261. If you still have any questions about weapons, I can only recommend you to clarify this issue directly with chairman of the commission Justice Emeritus Jacob Türkel; members Ambassador Reuven Merhav and Prof. Miguel Deutch; and observers Lord David Trimble and Brigadier-General (ret.) Kenneth Watkin.

mag.w.d. Aichberger (34)
Friday May 17, 2013, 5:20 pm
> "Why should anybody believe the activists any more than the soldiers?"
Er, Ahem, amongst other reasons because (self-)deception/neuro+psycho-ses/"doublethink" is essential for the 'profession' of soldier whereas activists tend to be from the opposite (i.e. more-than-average-SANE, honest, etc.) side of the spectrum of personalities

mag.w.d. Aichberger (34)
Friday May 17, 2013, 5:22 pm
> May justice prevail.
I bet it won't. State-sanctioned+backed-up terrorists (like soldiers & police-thugs & SS) are usually (is it 99 of 100 or 999 of 1000 cases?) 'above' the law ...

Angelika R (143)
Friday May 17, 2013, 5:45 pm
Hi Stephen, let's just wait and see if the preliminary examination the ICC has initiated will bring about enough indication to open an investigation. We have no officially accused party here yet but the Turkish activists
could also be regarded "accused" by Israeli officials and Turkey is of course a state party. So is the Union of the Comoros which would regard their ship as their territory on which the incident occured. At least this is my understanding of the situation.

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday May 17, 2013, 5:48 pm
Hi Jelica,

I just realized that I erred. I did read the report to which you linked (or the relevant sections, at least), and I believe you're right. I believe I misinterpreted what it meant by "these" in Section 228 (which includes the passage to which you referred on page 261). I thought it referred to the mini-Uzis specifically, and not lethal weapons in general. Thanks!

Body-counts really don't say anything about which group is more trustworthy. Part of the problem is that there is no disagreement over who was shot, only whether the shots were justifiable. If we always favour the victims in this way, then we condemn everybody who ever acts effectively in self-defense, defense of another, or harms anybody for any other justifiable cause.

Hi "Frack",

Whether or not that "doublethink" is required depends upon the force and the task in question. Most modern Western militaries actually enforce rules of engagement which forbid their soldiers from killing except when under direct threat. They also teach soldiers to disobey kill-orders unless they have good reason to believe that leaving the target alive would result in the deaths of others. Israeli forces are unlike most Western forces because they are mostly conscripts, but that still makes it practically impossible to condition troops in the way that you describe. When such conditioning occurs, the bulk of it is already done before the soldier joins the army, and the army selects those suceptible to the last bits of the process. If the army taes everyone it can get, rather than picking and choosing among volunteers, it can't do that. Also, activists tend to be far from the saner side of the spectrum.

Angelika R (143)
Friday May 17, 2013, 6:35 pm
Wow Stephen, that's a bold statement you're making there.. I have always liked to think that we all here at Care2 are activists in one or another way... do you consider yourself one, may I ask?

Jelica R (144)
Friday May 17, 2013, 7:14 pm
Now we are going to argue about the proper definition of "sane". In the meantime, Israel-Turkey negotiations topic (remember it?) went down the drain here. Why, oh why this happens so often when a topic has "Israel" in it's title?

BTW, I prefer an activist over a couch-potato with TV turned on and brain turned off. Both permanently.

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday May 17, 2013, 9:29 pm
Hi Angelika :)

It's not really that bold a statement. Most ideas out there are bad, and they all have their ardent supporters. Even those who push really, really hard for good causes mostly don't really understand what it is they support, or how and whether the initiatives they push will actually help reach their goals. Many just got lucky when they picked what should catch their obsession. Really, the bulk of activism has more to do with obsession, or taking passions to potentially self-destructive degrees, than it does with fully understanding an issue and rationally deciding that the best thing to do is, say, risk one's life to speak out in the hopes of having any impact (like MLK Jr., or loads of other people who died before they accomplished much), or disrupt operations at a harbour with a ship so dirty it's probably not legally seaworthy to protest water-pollution (like Greenpeace).

Am I an activist? I am a bit of one, I guess. Just today, I went to a conference on public policy and research on that topic, rather than spend my time editing a fitting-function in the Space Weather Modeling Framework software-package for compatibility with another change I made. I have spent eleven years helping about a thousand students run politics-simulations (mostly keeping my bias and that of all other staff out of their research and simulations) to educate themselves about global issues, and have little interest in a career in politics, or political education. I helped a friend get into politics and now she's at a point where she told me yesterday that she will talk to a few people about closing the labeling-loophole in the Genocide Convention .. because she feels like it. (It will be a while before anything goes public, but watch for news about government not being able to get away with calling stuff "ethnic cleansing" or whatever else instead of "genocide" to get out of Convention-obligations.) I guess some of my activism is good, but it's probably not rational for me to be doing it. Then there are my friends whom I support in their political careers. I also chat on Care2 and another forum I call the "anti-Care2", taking abnormal positions on each. (I'm not quite one of the seriously hardcore liberals there, but I'm definitely not on the conservative end of the spectrum, kind of mirroring how I am here.)

Hi Jelica :)
I think it's because people are mostly neutral on a lot of other topics. I think the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is kind of an exemplary case of the core of political division in Western civilization. It's a case of strong inequity and the question is whether it's due to an unfair system holding back the weaker side, or an internal problem preventing its prosperity despite adequate opportunity. I used to watch for every Care2 editorial involving Israel or Palestinians and just count the comments before it turned to the conflict, and with how passionate so many Care2 posters are about politics, I have only found one in two years that did not get derailed.

On a brighter note, it looks like the negotiations are proceeding quite well. :)

Angelika R (143)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 7:29 am
I assume that Stephen's optimistic assessment (last sentence above) basically stems from the headline of this post, which is of course Israel's reading of the matter.
Personally, I would not necessarily share this view as reports from the Turkish side tend to sound a bit differently. Following Netanyahu's apology in March, (for "any mistakes that might have led to the loss of life or injury”) Turkey has always said the coming meetings would be"a multi-step diplomatic process that could finally reinstate bilateral ties between the former allies".
According to Ankara, so far " "initial parameters" were set and a framework was established, but the amount was still to be discussed". Turkey has also insisted on a lift of the Gaza blockade in order to restore full diplomatic relations with Israel.

While visiting Washington this week, Erdogan pointed out that "a Palestinian-Israeli peace is not achievable without Hamas-Fatah reconciliation" so I believe we will have to wait and see what might come out of Erdogan's visit to Gaza and the West bank in June. Meanwhile, compensation talks continue despite criticism from the victim's families and voices of "“first lifting the blockade” .

Angelika R (143)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 7:44 am
* sourced from some recent news articles:,7340,L-4380706,00.html
(note the Israeli national press is speaking of "so-called victims")

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 8:48 am
Hi Angelika :)

I actually checked some more recent news and found reports about trade, mutual interests regarding Syria, effective U.S. encouragement of both to resume ties, and some other stuff. There was also a lot of stuff about Erdogan refusing to allow prior relations to be restored without a peace-deal between Israel and the Palestinians, but I expect him to soften on that: Part of his party's base makes a show of supprting Palestinians, but it really doesn't care that much, so while formally they may not end up recognizing each other as such great allies, everything below the surface could easily be the same without a peace-deal with Palestinians. I'm guessing Erdogan's tone will change after his upcoming visit to Gaza, which will placate that part of his party''s base enough to keep it from causing trouble with restoration of relations.

Angelika R (143)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 9:11 am
Probably so, Stephen. I've also read all the other news but made no point in including this here as not directly topic related, although of course closely tied . Syria is another subject on its own and so are trade deals.
And we know there is stil much much more behind it all but let's not get into long term strategic and geopolitical aspects now.

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 11:23 am
Hi Angelika :)

Yeah, there is probably no point in really getting into long-term strategic and political stuff in the Middle East. The whole region is too volatile for much of that. Between predictions by policy-experts that Egypt is slipping towards another violent rebellion, the changing situation with oil and gas as Israel raises production, and, I suspect, a serious cultural change in the works among Palestinians (Westernizing them and hopefully leading to compatible frameworks of conflict-resolution between them and Israelis), there really is no telling which way anybody will jump next. That, and nobody there is really all that rational: Iran and Israel have extensive common interests, and their relations are less than friendly.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 12:04 pm
To avoid the accusation of its soldiers,USA held bilateral agreements with the counties where its troops exist like Iraq and Afghanistan nd some other countries which receives aid from US. To the best of my knowlege any country can file a complaint against any criminal deed from soldiers and/or citizens of any country.The ICc may start investigation . Once investigations are completed,the ICC can start procedures against the criminal. The problem is that the other party will not cooperate with ICC.

Angelika R (143)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 12:56 pm
That's right Abdessalam, for without these mutual agreements, e.g. Afghanistan, being also a state party to the ICC, could and likely would have already filed tons of charges for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by US troops on their soil, even if there would have been no cooperation from US side. The ICC however, could not have exercised jurisdiction over the US because US national courts were able and willing to prosecute the convicted soldiers.

Jelica R (144)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 7:13 pm
I have a hunch that Syria might be the sole reason for Israeli apology for Mavi Marmara, after Netanyahu spent almost 3 years categorically rejecting any possibility that IDF had perpetrated even a slightest mistake in conducting that operation. Turkey is a major player in resolving the Syrian peaceful-protests-turned-civil-war hot spot, from accommodating refuges to looking away from various militias' supply lines and Erdogan can get almost everything right now. Turkey chose the normalization of diplomatic relations with Israel. So Netanyahu had to make that phone call.
Also, Erdogan has announcing his upcoming visit to Gaza for quite a while. This has yet to be seen ...

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 8:34 pm
Hi :)

Let's check the relevant article of the Rome Statute of the ICC:
Article 53 governs whether the court will initiate an investigation. It has no legal requirement to do so as the matter is left to the discretion of the prosecutor. Part "c" is pretty clear: If the court can do nothing effective regardless of the findings of the investigation, then that investigation cannot serve the interests of justice. Idependently from that, Israel has carried out genuine investigations under Article 17, rendering the case outside of the court's jurisdiction. As Israel has a history of legally finding guilt among criminals within its forces, the investigating body is not partial to the case. The politics of the matter actually suggest that the Israeli government would, had it interfered, have encouraged a finding of guilt as that would have let it dump all of the trouble on those soldiers and eliminate political consequences for itself. Two of the three criteria in Article 53 independently dictate that the prosecutor should not initiate investigations.

The U.S. is mostly in the same situation, as Angelika noted: While the ICC claims jurisdiction over events in the territory of any state which is a party to the Rome Convention, regardless of the nationality of the accused, the U.S. is known to legitimately prosecute war-criminals and other criminals within its armed forces. Article 17 then places its soldiers outside of the ICC's jurisdiction. Aside from that, clause "c" in Article 53, combined with the American Service-Members' Protection Act, would, probably disqualify any accusations against U.S. soldiers from investigation. (On the ther hand, I might consider the destruction of the ICC to serve the interests of justice, but that is another matter.)

Hi Jelica :)
I agree. Syria and the possibility of foreign intervention probably had more than a bit to do with it. There was a concern in Israel for a while that Turkey might squash both sides in Syria and set up along the Israeli border, presenting Israel with a potentially hostile and more powerful neighbour. Israelis were worried there might be a Hezbollah-like situation (with an effectively state-approved aggressive militia), but where an Israeli strike against the militia would be deterred by the danger of war with an army far more powerful than that of Lebanon. There is also the U.S.'s desire that one of its major non-NATO allies in the region get along with its NATO ally nearly next door (which I think is also a major factor in maintaining peace between Egypt and Israel, as the Egyptian army likes having Abrams tanks).
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