Israel President Claims Soldiers Did "Nothing" to Dead Passengers

Jun 03, 2010 | Updated May 25, 2011

Israeli President Shimon Peres views an incident in which Israeli commandos killed some unknown number of activists in international waters and injured dozens more to constitute a "humane" response to the flotilla's attempts to deliver aid to the civilian population of Gaza.

"Any other army would have immediately used their guns. What we saw was an exemplar of troops who preferred getting hurt over hurting someone else.

"If there is one humane thing, it is this kind of trial by fire - to stand there, being shot at, and do nothing. I do not wish that on anyone."

First of all, it is demonstrably untrue that "any other army would have immediately used their guns." Just like the Israelis, other populations are perfectly capable of producing armies that practice decent restraint; for instance, the British did not routinely mow down every Irish boy that threw rocks at their armored vehicles, and when hundreds of Jewish refugees attacked British troops who attempted - wrongly - to deter the voyage of the S.S. Exodus, the British did not immediately use their guns either, and, unlike the Israelis, managed not to kill over a dozen passengers in the process.

Peres and other hawks may argue that the Israeli army's conduct was justifiable if they are willing to stick to the demonstrable facts in trying to make such a case. That Peres can stand in front of an Israeli crowd and characterize the soldiers who killed and injured a great number of people in the process of commandeering a ship filled with humanitarian aide as having done "nothing" in response to being "shot at" (which they were not) ought to indicate to any honest person that the Israeli "investigation" of the incident will be absolutely worthless, and that neither the American and Israeli governments can be trusted in this or any other matter.