A report by Israel’s state comptroller is taking the country’s top political leaders to task over the botched May 2010 raid on a Turkish aid ship defying the naval blockade of Gaza. The incident led to the deaths of nine activists and severe injuries to several Israeli soldiers.
The New York Times highlights the major findings of the report:
In the report, the state comptroller — Micha Lindenstrauss, a retired judge — concluded that the decision-making process before the raid, under the leadership and responsibility of Mr. Netanyahu, was flawed and had “substantive and significant shortcomings.” Among them, the comptroller wrote, were a lack of orderly preparation, proper coordination or documentation. He also said warnings that the commandos could meet violent resistance on the ship went largely unheeded.
While the Lindenstrauss report carries no legal repercussions for Netanyahu, nor jeopardizes his coalition, it does call into question his judgment and leadership.
The public release of such a critical report also shows that democracy, despite the contentions of many critics, remains very healthy in Israel. Nevertheless, the raid was a major public relations disaster and continues to strain its relations with Turkey. Repairing that damage should be a high priority for Israel, although changes in Turkey mean the old love will not soon return. A pragmatic and sensible Israel-Turkish relationship, however, is a realistic goal.