This extraordinary passage is from the State Department’s Daily Brieifng yesterday:
QUESTION: Mr. Crowley, it is the Israeli’s actions that need to be investigated. So how can Israel, too ?” best investigation ?” why is the United States opposed to UN investigation?
MR. CROWLEY: As we’ve said, we are completely supportive of an impartial investigation that helps us understand what happens ?” what happened on these ships, and more importantly, working collectively, how we can meet our common objectives of increasing the international support for the people of Gaza, and at the same time, supporting Israel with its legitimate security concerns.
We believe that Israel is in the best position to lead this investigation. But as the Secretary said yesterday, this has to be credible. The international community will be watching this very closely as it unfolds. We want to see this done in a way that meets international standards. We’ll be talking to Israel about how best to accomplish this. We’ll be talking to other countries that may want to play a role in this. And as we ?” as the Secretary said, we are open to ways of making this as credible as possible, including international participation. And that is our view.
QUESTION: Why ?” I think his question, though, was essentially why? And can you explain why Israel is in the best position to lead the investigation (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: Israel is a vibrant democracy. It has effective, competent institutions of government, and Israel is fully capable of investigating a matter that involved its forces. And so can Israel conduct a fair, transparent, credible investigation? The answer is yes.
At the UN Human Rights Council, the USA was joined by only Italy and the Netherlands in voting against a motion condemning the murderous Israeli attack in international waters. (The UK abstained on the pathetic grounds that we should await the outcome of the independent investigation, in the full knowledge that there will be no independent investigation).
Berlsconi’s support for the US and Israel is no surprise, but the Netherlands deserves remark. It has gone on a remarkable journey in the last decade, from a liberal society to one as poisoned with fascism as their Flemish neighbours.