Through his lawyers in Turkey, Ahmet Dogan, the father of Furkan Dogan, the 19-year-old American citizen who was executed by Israeli commandos, has challenged the U.S. government’s lack of concern regarding his son’s killing during the May 31, 2010 attack on the Mavi Marmara. Commandos shot Furkan Dogan twice in the head and three times in other parts of his body.
“Up to this moment, I still do not understand why the United States government is deaf to what has been done to my son, an American citizen.† I urge the U.S. government to act to defend the rights of my son. I also would like to know why the U.S. voted against the Gaza Flotilla Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission at the Human Rights Council last week, as that report included information about the execution of my son,” said Dogan.
The United States has not conducted its own investigation into Furkan Dogan’s death, but instead is relying on Israel to conduct “a thorough investigation” into his death and to “share its findings” with the U.S.
A report released last week by the International Bureau of Humanitarian NGOs (IBH) and the Friends of Charities Association (FOCA) found that several of the videos the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Defense Force released to support their version of events were digitally enhanced, computer-manufactured or fraudulent. The report provides screen shots of examples of the computer-generated segments within videos released by the Israeli government, several of which, although already exposed as false, were integrated into the Israeli military report.
The IBH-FOCA report – based on publicly available accounts from flotilla organizers and participants, ships’ logs, photos and video released by the Israeli government,†news reports from around the world, the report of the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), and the United Nations Human Rights fact-finding mission report panned by the U.S. ñ provides a minute-by-minute timeline of the Israeli military attack on the Gaza Flotilla.
The United States’ willingness to accept Israel’s accounts of the incident despite mounting contradicting evidence reflects a pattern of denial already evident in its status as the only country to vote against acceptance of the U.N. report.
Mark Kornblau, a spokesman for the US mission to the United Nations, said the report’s “language, tone and conclusions are unbalanced.”
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office called it “biased” and “distorted.” In a radio interview, Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon said the report was “a big lie.”
According to the Washington Post, another senior US official said the Human Rights Council had rushed the establishment of the reportís panel and had “not made adequate efforts to get Israeli cooperation in the investigation,” although the report itself details the numerous attempts by the fact-finding mission to gain cooperation from the Israeli government.
Affected parties continue to organize to resist the U.S. and Israelís tactics. On October 6, Ahmet Dogan joined the U.S. passengers on the Gaza Flotilla in their letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The letter stated that they “are appalled at the lack of any visible, active effort on the part of any agency in our government to conduct and release an independent investigation of the killing of one and assaults on other Americans by a foreign military force, the Israeli commandos.”
The U.S. passengers also challenged the Obama administration’s protection of criminal actions by Israel at the expense of American citizens. “Protecting Israeli actions, particularly the complete reliance on its reports on the acts of its own military at the expense of American citizens, is an absolute dereliction of the responsibilities of our government. The State Department has allied itself with Israel, ignoring its responsibilities to its own citizens. We have been abandoned by our own government, and we demand an investigation of why and how the Department of State and the American Embassy in Tel Aviv have totally failed in their responsibilities to us,” they wrote.
Four months after the attack, passengers’ video and photo evidence of the attacks on the Mavi Marmara and the five other ships of the flotilla are still in the hands of the Israeli government. “We are also angered by lack of any concerted effort by the State Department to secure our possessions,” the passengers wrote. “We appreciate the efforts of junior and mid-level officials, but without the full weight of the senior leadership of the State Department, the Israeli government will continue to ignore our concerns.”
While investigations continue concerning the Israeli attacks on the Mavi Marmara and on the Jewish German boat Irene on September 26, 2010, citizen activists from around the world are fundraising to challenge the Israeli blockade of Gaza with another flotilla that may comprise as many as 10-12 ships.
The Audacity of Hope is a US ship