There is pretty vigorous debate about what to do next on the flotilla incident. That the incident needs to be investigated is not in doubt. The question is: who or what will do the investigating? 

 The United States, based on comments Deputy UN Ambassador Alejandro Wolff (and more importantly,  Joe Biden), is seemingly insistent that this be an Israeli investigation. Most of the world seems to think that there is a need to internationalize the investigation. That debate played itself out a at the Human Rights Council, which passed a resolution yesterday condemning the attack and calling for an international investigation of the incident. The United States was one of three countries to vote against the resolution. 

It is understandable why the Obama administration is chary about handing this over to a UN panel or some other international investigative body.  Back in 2008, the UN Human Rights Council appointed international legal-lion Richard Goldstone to probe alleged crimes during Operation Cast Lead.  His report led to a Human Rights Council vote, which led to a General Assembly vote, which led to another Human Rights Council vote, which led to another General Assembly vote. At each stage, the United States was among a small minority voting against the report.  Presumably, the Obama administration wants to avoid being backed into a lonely corner again.  The thing is, as far as I can tell, the United States (and maybe Israel) are the only countries in the world insisting that this incident need not be scrutinized by outsiders.  They are already fairly isolated in their view that Israel alone should investigate what happened aboard the Mavi Marmara. 

UPDATE: In a CNN interview Obama says that the investigation should be “up to international standards.” Note the lawyer locution. He emphatically does not say it should be an international investigation.  

Image: Flickr.

 

 

 

Get occasional updates from UN Dispatch

* indicates required

Want Our Social Media List?