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Friday, July 1, 2016

Israel Must Apologize to Its Citizens for Lying about Gaza Flotilla

Israel Must Apologize to Its Citizens for Lying about Gaza Flotilla

By Yael Marom
Now that Israel has signed a reconciliation agreement with Turkey over the Gaza flotilla incident, it must apologize to its own citizens for its lies and distortions. Five takeaways.
1. A Shayetet 13 combat soldier who was among those to raid the Mavi Marmara in May 2010 gave an interview to Ma’ariv Online on Sunday, in the run-up to the reconciliation agreement between Israel and Turkey, in which he said the following: “We were sent to stop the terror flotilla, that was the mission. How can we pay compensation to terrorists who tried to murder us?” 
“What kind of message does this send the other combat soldiers?” he asked. “Those who were wounded and thrown off deck by the terrorists who are now getting reparations? Will Shayetet soldiers also be compensated for the trauma they suffered?”
Yes, the soldiers who were sent by the state to take part in a violent action with no justification, who were exploited by cynical politicians — they need to demand compensation from the state for the senseless trauma they endured. For the lies and the fraud. Before all that, however, they must demand the state never send them on idiotic missions that have nothing to do with state security.
Perhaps now is the time for Israel to admit the truth: the Mavi Marmara was not a “terror flotilla,” and the reasons for stopping it had nothing to do with security — they were entirely political. The people on the flotilla did not sail for Gaza in order to attack Israel, but rather to break the siege on the Strip. They were not so naive as to think that they would be able to do so — they wanted to do direct action, a political act that would catch the world’s attention, and remind it that Israel is imprisoning millions of human beings in a narrow and crowded piece of land. In this sense, they succeeded immensely.

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