Gush Shalom questions credibility of flotilla inquiry

Will petition the Supreme Court to prevent the inquiry.

gush shalom 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
gush shalom 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The left-wing group Gush Shalom on Monday announced it will petition the Supreme Court against the opening of the commission of inquiry into the Gaza flotilla raid, arguing that the makeup of the group’s members and the rules under which it will operate makes its credibility questionable.
Among its points of contention, Gush Shalom said the committee won’t be allowed to contact soldiers or officers to testify and instead must rely solely on investigative information handed over by the IDF. Gush Shalom also expressed doubt that the commission would take into account eye-witness testimony from the activists aboard the ship, mainly because the government considers a large number of them to be terrorists.
In a press release issued Monday, Gush Shalom said: “It is clear in advance that the Terkel Commission would not conduct the investigation which needs to be undertaken. The commission was established primarily as a desperate attempt to placate international public opinion, but it is very difficult to believe that this goal would be achieved, or that a report clearing the government of Israel from all blame and fault would gain much credibility in the world.”
Gush Shalom also takes issue with the appointment of 1998 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Northern Ireland politician David Trimble, mainly due to the fact that two weeks ago he joined “Friends of Israel,” a pro-Israel group linked to Netanyahu associate Dore Gold. He is also a member of the Henry Jackson Society, which Gush Shalom refers to as “an international organization linked with the American ‘neo-conservative’ circles and which advocates the ‘spreading of democracy’ by way of military incursions and invasions.”
The society includes among its members such neo-conservative icons as Richard Perle and William Kristol.
Gush Shalom also took issue with the inclusion of Ken Watkin, due to the Canadian JAG’s links to the Afghan Detainees affair, in which Canadian forces in Afghanistan were accused of transferring Afghan detainees to Afghan security services where they were tortured and in some cases extra-judicially executed.
Gush Shalom said that Watkins’s unwillingness to testify before the Canadian parliament on the issue “does not bode well for Watkin’s willingness or ability to participate in exposing facts which might prove embarrassing to the Government of Israel.”
The press release added that it was unlikely that the “kosher certificate” Watkin and Trimble will bring to the commission “would greatly enhance the credibility given to its conclusions.”