Sunday, June 06, 2010

A "deadly raid"?

Israel we are told is defying "mounting international pressure" to subject its "deadly raid" on a Gaza-bound aid ship to international scrutiny, when it rejected calls for a UN-backed investigation.

This, presumably, is the Telegraph's idea of objective reporting – shared by most of the Western media. But since when was a boarding party carrying out action to enforce a blockade ever been considered a "raid"? Even in a technical sense, the description is wrong.

Further, while the Gaza-bound ships were carrying "aid", that does not make them aid ships. Technically, they were blockade runners. The intention of their owners was to embarrass the Israeli government, to which effect aid materials were also being carried, as a transparent ploy to legitimise the action.

Given that the media cannot even begin to get it right, Israel has every reason to expect that a UN-back investigation will be equally prejudiced and – almost certainly – fail to conduct an impartial investigation. Under the circumstances, therefore, the Israeli government is right to resist demands for "international scrutiny".

However, it should commission its own investigation, it should ensure that work proceeds quickly and is well conducted, and it should publish the results in full.