Israeli FM Orders Ambassadors to ‘Delegitimize’ UN Report on Flotilla Killings

Officials Eye 'Coordinated Response' Against Condemnation of Attack

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has established what is being called a “command post” in New York City and has issued formal orders to diplomats across the world, particularly in North America, about the government’s goal to delegitimize yesterday’s report by the UN’s Human Rights Council.

The report, detailing the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara aid ship on May 31, ruled that the killings of nine aid workers were “clearly unlawful” and described the strategy as “consistent with summary executions.

While the report appears largely in keeping with media reports of the incident worldwide, they run afoul of the official Israeli government story, which portrays the Israeli soldiers as brave heroes and the aid workers as “terrorists.” Israel’s government has been quick to angrily condemn the report as “bias” and part of a broader plot against them.

Yet while the report says there was clear evidence of violation of the Geneva Conventions by Israeli soldiers, the story itself seems to have relatively little traction in the media and Israeli efforts to mobilize what Israeli news site Ynet called a “coordinated response by all Jewish organizations” seems likely to prolong the story, much as their attempts to publicly denounce the Goldstone report as an affront and its author, a Jewish judge from South African, as a rabid anti-semite, brought that story a lot more attention than the report’s actual release did.

Turkey for its part praised the release and said that they hoped long-time ally Israel would learn to “act in line with” international law. Eight of the nine slain aid workers were from Turkey, while the other was from the US. US officials have praised the Israeli raid and have yet to comment on the UN release, but will almost certainly use it as an excuse to condemn Turkey.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.