Bill Kristol reports that senior Obama administration officials have been telling foreign governments that the administration intends to support an effort next week at the United Nations to set up an independent commission, under UN auspices, to investigate Israel’s behavior in the Gaza flotilla incident. Bill comments that the White House has apparently shrugged off concerns from elsewhere in the U.S. government that a) this is an extraordinary singling out of Israel, since all kinds of much worse incidents happen around the world without spurring UN investigations; b) that the investigation will be one-sided, focusing entirely on Israeli behavior and not on Turkey or on Hamas; and c) that this sets a terrible precedent for outside investigations of incidents involving U.S. troops or intelligence operatives as we conduct our own war on terror. The Obama administration is once again demonstrating its unerring instinct for opposing friends and supporting enemies.
Kristol’s report comes just as Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed Israel’s representatives the world over that there were never any humanitarian supplies or equipment aboard the Mavi Marmara, where Israeli commandos were ambushed by armed mercenaries posing as peace activists. Of related interest are the videotaped statements of two Mavi Marmara crew members showing that preparations for a violent confrontation with IDF forces were put in motion about two hours before the boarding began, when the Israeli Navy hailed the ship and told it to halt; according to the statements, the atmosphere aboard the Mavi Marmara; IHH operatives on the main deck were cutting the ship’s railings with metal disks they had brought with them into lengths suitable to be used as clubs.
Despite outward appearances, the Obama administration is not clueless. It has plenty of clues. Let’s just say now is a good time to meditate further on Dorothy Rabinowitz’s Wall Street Journal column on “The alien in the White House.”
Via reader John MacDonald.
UPDATE: The Standard has posted the White House response to Kristol’s report here. Senators Reid and McConnell have in addition circulated a joint letter to Obama for signature by their colleagues. The letter raises the role of the IHH in the incident and recommends investigation of the IHH for inclusion among the designated state sponsors of terror. The letter further states: “[W]e ask you to stand firm in the future at the United Nations Security Council and to use your veto power, if necessary, to prevent any similar biased or one-sided resolutions [such as the UN Human Rights Council’s] from passing.”
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