from turkish tvA letter in today’s Australian from Harold Zwier , an AJDS member
AS the party boarding the ships to enforce their naval blockade of Gaza, the Israelis had a duty of care in dealing with civilians. The death of nine civilians and injury to more than 30 others is a clear indication that the Israelis failed in that duty of care.
Nevertheless, there are questions which need to be asked of the Free Gaza Movement. In their mission statement they state, “We agree to adhere to the principles of non-violence and non-violent resistance in word and deed at all times.” Quite clearly some of the activists on board the Mavi Marmara did not adhere to the principles of non-violence. And their decision to resist the Israeli soldiers contributed to the tragic outcome. Putting aside the hype, it is not credible that the Israelis deliberately sought this outcome.
But the degree to which some of Israel’s supporters have attempted to defend Israel, as if it bears no responsibility for the deplorable outcome, is a profound disappointment to this Israeli supporter. There are times when it’s better to acknowledge failure and work to avoid it in future than to defend that failure and lay blame elsewhere. This is one of those occasions.