Livni Denounces U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for Investigating Raid on Flotilla
Isareli opposition leader Tzipi Livni on October 6 accused the United Nations of intervening in Israel’s affairs through its probe into an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
Livni told U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that his decision to appoint a panel to investigate the May 31 commando raid, which left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead, was “unacceptable.”
“Any international intervention in military operations carried out by Israel is unacceptable, just as it would be unacceptable to any other country fighting terrorism,” Livni told Ban in a meeting at his office at the U.N. building in New York.
Israel has launched its own examination of the flotilla raid, which saw navy commandos rappel onto the deck of the flagged aid boat Mavi Marmarma, where they clashed bloodily with Turkish activists.
“Israel is investigating the events of the flotilla itself, and that is enough,” said Livni, who leads Kadima, the second largest party in Israel’s Knesset.
An Israeli panel lead by Jacob Turkel and overseen by two international observers has already heard testimony from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and army Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.
Livni also slammed the U.N. for hosting speeches by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction.
“You must stop giving a platform to Ahmadinejad. His last speech at the U.N. was dangerous and showed that economic sanctions [against Iran] are not enough,” she told Ban.
“There need to be added diplomatic sanctions that will prevent Iran’s leaders from gaining a platform for their extremist views.”
In his remarks to Livni, Ban focused on Israeli building in the West Bank, reiterating U.N. pressure on Israel to re-impose a freeze on settlement construction. The prior freeze expired in late September, bringing to a near-standstill the new peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.