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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza


    by earwicga
    30th May, 2010 at 10:31 pm    

    Update 6am:  MSM has confirmed that Israeli commandos boarded ships in international waters.  Reports of between 2 and 10 deaths and over 30 wounded are still unconfirmed. 

    Update 4:35am:  Live streaming and contact from the flotilla are reporting the Turkish ships have been stormed by the Israeli navy and there are unconfirmed reports of deaths and injuries.  Contact has been lost with the smaller ships.  The BBC is reporting that ‘interception’ happened 150km from shore, which means the Freedom Flotilla was still in international waters and strongly suggests piracy if the unconfirmed reports are true.

    The Free Gaza Freedom Flotilla, carrying activists, media and humanitarian aid, is currently heading towards Gaza.  At present they are 80 miles away and already being harassed by Israeli warships despite being in international waters.

    The naval military zone is usually 20 nautical miles from shore but,

    organisers of the flotilla say that the state is rumoured to have extended its naval military zone from 20 nautical miles off the coast to 68 miles, which states usually do at times of war.

    Live streaming from  can be seen here and you can follow the twitter hashtag #flotilla for developments from the flotilla and also assorted hasbara.  Abbas Al Lawati, aboard the flotilla, has been blogging here and tweeting under the name @allawati.

    Edit: 
    A rundown of the six remaining ships in the flotilla can be found here.  H/T @TenPercent
    Some useful facts and links on the Gaza siege here and here.  H/T @NewLeftProject


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: Current affairs






    59 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. earwicga

      RT @sunny_hundal: New Post: Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza http://bit.ly/bDyu2l #flotilla


    2. Moonbootica

      RT @sunny_hundal: New Post: Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza http://bit.ly/bDyu2l #flotilla


    3. Ally A

      RT @sunny_hundal: New Post: Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza http://bit.ly/bDyu2l #flotilla


    4. inopinatum

      RT @thehooleys: RT @sunny_hundal: Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza http://bit.ly/bXfn0o


    5. sunny hundal

      Blog post:: http://bit.ly/bXfn0o


    6. sunny hundal

      New Post: Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza http://bit.ly/bDyu2l #flotilla


    7. thehooleys

      RT @sunny_hundal: Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza http://bit.ly/bXfn0o




    1. damon — on 31st May, 2010 at 8:33 am  

      I thought this would end badly.
      It was folly to think that Israel would allow these ships to break its blockade.

    2. Random Guy — on 31st May, 2010 at 11:01 am  

      Israel going that extra mile to be the shining beacon of peace and democracy…oh, wait.

    3. Vikrant — on 31st May, 2010 at 11:15 am  

      How does this help the Palestinians? Pissing off Israelis doesn’t really help anyone!

    4. Boycott Israel Today — on 31st May, 2010 at 12:45 pm  

      Israel has proven once again that it is a terrorist state. Only terrorism can kill innocent people even those who come to help others suffering, and Israel has today shown the whole world that not only does it massacre the residents of Palestine but anyone who come in aid to help them also meets the same fate.
      This is truly a sad day for humanity against evil. The governments need to voice their condemnation against Israel.
      BOYCOTT ISRAEL TODAY

    5. Notabloodyfeminist! — on 31st May, 2010 at 12:57 pm  

      Going out to buy anything Israeli I can lay my hands on!

    6. halima — on 31st May, 2010 at 1:39 pm  

      It is absolute affront to all civilized values that aid workers can be shot in this manner. No country claiming to stand up for human rights and the dignity of people across the world should get away without condemning this violence.

      I hope editors on this site can keep a reasonable hold on the nasty trolling that is of an Israel-Palestine nature, because the murdered aid workers deserve more respect and humanity than back biting from the comfort of our armchairs.

    7. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 2:02 pm  

      Initial response from the White House:

      The United States deeply regrets the loss of life andinjuries sustained, and is currently working to understand thecircumstances surrounding this tragedy.

      http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2010/05/31/aftermath-israels-attack-gaza-flotilla

      Response from William Hague, FCO:

      “I deplore the loss of life during the interception of the Gaza Flotilla. Our Embassy is in urgent contact with the Israeli Government. We are asking for more information and urgent access to any UK nationals involved.

      We have consistently advised against attempting to access Gaza in this way, because of the risks involved. But at the same time, there is a clear need for Israel to act with restraint and in line with international obligations. It will be important to establish the facts about this incident, and especially whether enough was done to prevent deaths and injuries.

      This news underlines the need to lift the restrictions on access to Gaza, in line with UNSCR 1860. The closure is unacceptable and counter-productive. There can be no better response from the international community to this tragedy than to achieve urgently a durable resolution to the Gaza crisis.

      I call on the Government of Israel to open the crossings to allow unfettered access for aid to Gaza, and address the serious concerns about the deterioration in the humanitarian and economic situation and about the effect on a generation of young Palestinians.”

      http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=22300485

    8. Jemmy Hope — on 31st May, 2010 at 2:48 pm  

      William Hague: “I call on the Government of Israel to open the crossings to allow unfettered access for aid to Gaza, and address the serious concerns about the deterioration in the humanitarian and economic situation and about the effect on a generation of young Palestinians.”

      Netanyahu: No!

      William Hague: Oh, alright then.

    9. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 2:51 pm  

      That’s about the shape of it Jemmy.

    10. Don — on 31st May, 2010 at 3:01 pm  

      Is Netanyahu conciously deciding to piss Turkey off as much as possible? Pretty much the only state in the region which seemed to want a positive relationship with Israel and he repeatedly kicks them in the teeth.

      Also, agree with Halima. Most decent people will be horrified by this, but some (on both sides) will be exulting. I am confident the mods will deal with trash talking comments.

    11. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 3:07 pm  

      Live blogging here covering IDF and other statements: http://www.promisedlandblog.com/?p=2759

    12. Vikrant — on 31st May, 2010 at 3:19 pm  

      Is Netanyahu conciously deciding to piss Turkey off as much as possible? Pretty much the only state in the region which seemed to want a positive relationship with Israel and he repeatedly kicks them in the teeth.

      I agree that Israel has basically scored a self goal here. Plus the blockade has effectively failed at what it was meant to do, bring Hamas to its knees. But at the same time running the blockade is was a bad idea, if anything it will just polarise domestic opinion in Israel, making it harder for the blockade to be actually lifted in near future. This doesnt help Israelis and certainly doesn’t help the Palestinians.

      BOYCOTT ISRAEL TODAY

      Lets start with not using computers shall we? Those intel chips in your computer were designed in Israel. At any rate talk of boycott just plays into the hand of Likud fellers in Israel, again not really helpful to Palestinians.

    13. Random Guy — on 31st May, 2010 at 3:51 pm  

      Um….off-topic but last I checked Vikrant, Intel is a U.S. company that has fabs located in quite a few different locations. Whats your point?

      Also, if you dig a little deeper about the microarchitecture developed in Israel, you will discover that it is a refined design with many influences taken from Intel’s main competitor, AMD, and developed by many different people of many different nationalities over the course of many years. Just sayin’.

    14. Shamit — on 31st May, 2010 at 4:09 pm  

      What a bloody disaster this is.

      Ehud Barak should resign and so should Yahoo. What kind of dumb idiots send commandos to deal with activists - they could have easily blockaded the ships but no they did a raid on ships full of activists.

      Stupid & disgusting. And this is very sad as Halima pointed out.

      **********************************

      However, one word of caution, why did the activists have to attack the commandos when they landed on the ships - why do something to provoke commandos and try to take weapons from them and shoot at soldiers who are trained to kill.

      When the soldiers landed on the ships - they should have let them search the ships and protested peacefully. But no someone wanted to be a hero and try to take weapons away from commandos and fire at them - that is stupid too.

      I am by no means supporting Israel`s action but when you take soldiers`weapons and shoot at them - you should expect to die because commandos are trained to kill.

      The soldiers should not have been there in the first place but they were ordered to go there and stop the ships and they did it. But attacking soldiers was not the right thing or the clever thing to do.

      **********************************************

      However, may be 26 - 11 may not have happened if Indian naval commandos were deployed in the seas when they had communication intercepts.

    15. Vikrant — on 31st May, 2010 at 4:16 pm  

      Yes I know Intel is a US company and most its fabs are in US. But its Israeli operations did basically design those Core 2 and the whole Intel Core microarchitectures which are used in most laptops sold today (though it might have been other teams too, Intel does have a habit of pitting its different teams against each other on a same project). But my broader point was it’s just dumb to suggest blanket boycott of Israeli products!

    16. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 4:21 pm  

      However, one word of caution, why did the activists have to attack the commandos when they landed on the ships – why do something to provoke commandos and try to take weapons from them and shoot at soldiers who are trained to kill.

      I’ve not seen evidence anywhere that they actually did this. Have you Shamit?

    17. Don — on 31st May, 2010 at 4:26 pm  

      Shamit,

      why did the activists have to attack the commandos

      Assuming that is what happened. You would have to be several kinds of stupid to take on Israeli commandos with whatever came to hand.

    18. Vikrant — on 31st May, 2010 at 4:40 pm  

      Ze evidence: http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DbU12KW-XyZE%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded

    19. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 5:17 pm  

      Ta Vikrant. I saw that video earlier and tbh don’t understand it. And in addition, it was reported from the ships that the navy came onto the boat firing. Israeli journalists have said the commandoes ‘were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests’ but have also said ‘IDF completed search of Navi Marmara, no weapons discovered except for the two pistols that were taken from the soldiers’. Israel decided to attack at night and interupt the live streaming and all communications from the flotilla so there is no absolute evidence readily available.. Obviously Israel and FreeGaza are going to have different versions of the events but as far as I know, the dead are all on the FreeGaza side.

      It remains the case that despite Israeli spokespeople’s statements, the UN describes the situation of the Palestinians in Gaza as “Dire”. Nothing excuses violence from either side.

      It also being reported that Turkey is saying it will send more aid ships accompanied by their Navy. I seriously hope they pursue this through the UN and not the route being reported.

    20. Arif — on 31st May, 2010 at 5:25 pm  

      A boycott is a very peaceful expression of values. As such it seems a positive way to express opposition to a regime, compared to violence.

      It may be more symbolic than effective, but as long as it is not counter-productive it may be all the enfranchisement we can wield as individuals.

      It also does not preclude positive engagement at a social or political level.

      An aid flotilla is also a peaceful expression of values. To be symbolically effective, they do to some extent need to create dilemmas for the authorities whose policies they wish to spotlight. Israeli forces seem either to welcome this symbolic clash, or to feel there is no alternative to having one.

      In some senses this isn’t surprising - most states want to make peace activism difficult and dangerous to deter opposition to their policies. Most of those on the aid convoy should be aware of this.

      I suggest other Governments such as the UK, which wish to ensure humanitarian aid gets to Gaza, should take the opportunity, while there is a temporary spotlight on the issue, to clearly say the modes and terms in which aid should be allowed to go - from which agencies, to which distribution centres under whose authority, on what routes, with what forms of checks and requiring what forms of cooperation from Israeli or Egyptian authorities. In addition to specify the routes for trade and capital flows for economic development they believe would be fair - which means allowing Palestinians a means of survival independent of Israeli and Egyptian political whims.

      States do not like to be seen responding to pressure, so it is a delicate matter, but diplomats can include some statements of how their proposal meets any legitimate Israeli concerns.

      Focusing too much diplomatic energy on getting inquiries into what happened is a distraction from the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza that is the underlying issue. Yes, an inquiry can document another crime by Israel which the Israeli Government can deny and then the issue becomes about the integrity of the investigator, and so on and on away from the basic humanitarian issues, until another atrocity is committed (by any side) and we all over start again.

    21. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 5:26 pm  

      Footage from the Mavi Marmara

    22. MaidMarian — on 31st May, 2010 at 5:35 pm  

      I actually think that Arif has got this one spot on. For all the bandwagoning by both sides here the answer is simple. The people on the flotilla wanted to make a point in full glare of the media. The Israelis wanted to do exactly the same.

      The Israelis have got what they wanted - the world has seen an uncompromising message. The Flotilla have what they wanted, a further and very public affirmation of victimhood.

      Everyone must be so proud and happy with their work here.

    23. Shamit — on 31st May, 2010 at 5:36 pm  

      Footage shows that IDF soldiers were attacked. And the footage of Israeli soldiers dropping on the ships and being attacked have been shown on Sky news, CNN, NDTV, BBC etc etc.

      And, I doubt that Israeli soldiers came on board firing because then you would have far more dead - and I am not going to buy the fact that IDF soldiers shot each other. No one on either side are denying that Israeli soldiers have received gun shot wounds and other injuries including skull fractures.

      Yes the dead are sadly all on the aid activists side - and that what happens when you attack commandos and try to snatch their weapons and attack them.
      *********************************************
      Earwicga - I am not supporting the Israeli action and their political decision making but if soldiers get attacked they would retaliate and soldiers by nature are disciplined - and you are talking about one of the most elite forces in the world.

      If they wanted to kill they would have killed many more.

      The soldiers should not have been there in the first place - and it was a political decision that caused this. Not the soldiers and it was stupid on part of the activists to attack the soldiers.

      It was IDF that airlifted all the injured and provided medical treatment. I do not hold the IDF soldiers responsible - I hold the Israeli cabinet responsible.

    24. Shamit — on 31st May, 2010 at 5:44 pm  

      Arif and Maidmarian are spot on.

      Some more idiotic politicians would be getting on the media and increase tensions and not resolve the underlying real crisis in Gaza.

      And if anyone thought Israel was going to let through the flotilla without any intervention was smoking dope - and i think the objective of the backers was to create a media firestorm at the expense of the blood of innocent activists.

      No one can walk away from this with their hands clean

    25. Random Guy — on 31st May, 2010 at 5:58 pm  

      ….but only one party will walk away with innocent blood on its hands. Tbh you would think its an imperative for the IDF - I think they go in wanting to kill and using that as a warning to anyone.

    26. MaidMarian — on 31st May, 2010 at 6:05 pm  

      Shamit - Yep. As I understand it, this aid could have been delivered to Palestine through conventional channels in either Israel or Egypt. That the activists chose not to do this betrays the political motive.

      I don’t know, but I would hazard a guess that most Palestinians would prefer to have got the aid, rather than having it used as a political stalking horse for media friendly protest.

      What part of, ‘twin-state solution,’ do both sides not understand?

    27. Shamit — on 31st May, 2010 at 6:10 pm  

      no one in their right mind after seeing footages on al jazeera can say that the soldiers were not attacked by the activists.

      When you attack armed soldiers - you expect them to take it? Don’t blame the soldiers blame those who sent them there.

      If Israeli soldiers wanted to kill indiscriminately - then you would have a lot more dead - the number would have been in hundreds.

      Lets wait for the facts to emerge like Barrack Obama said.

    28. Shamit — on 31st May, 2010 at 6:12 pm  

      Maid Marian - spot on as usual.

      I have received emails since last night from various parts of the world talking about protests today because Israel would raid the flotilla.

      So the backers and the so called concerned about people in Gaza knew exactly what would have happened - they did not want aid to go through. They wanted a political statement and again using human shields.

      Two state solution just got pushed back - I hope all those who have been blogging and raising the temperature since yesterday are happy now. Fucking idiots.

    29. Rumbold — on 31st May, 2010 at 6:23 pm  

      Harry’s Place manage to blame the demonstrators:

      http://hurryupharry.org/2010/05/31/israel-argue-away/

      Good points Shamit.

    30. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 6:43 pm  

      IDF video showing some of the ‘weapons’

    31. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 7:00 pm  

      no one in their right mind after seeing footages on al jazeera can say that the soldiers were not attacked by the activists.

      When you attack armed soldiers – you expect them to take it? Don’t blame the soldiers blame those who sent them there.

      I haven’t seen the coverage on Al Jazeera today - was watching it last night from the flotilla. I assume they are showing everything including the parts that weren’t shown last night when Israel cut the feed Shamit?

    32. Kulvinder — on 31st May, 2010 at 7:14 pm  

      If they were in International waters; and assuming they weren’t involved in drug smuggling or other highly illegal activities, the people on that ship had every right to fight back against armed men trying to board it.

      I’m sure those of you who disagree wouldn’t mind going to tell the somali ‘pirates’ that the euphemisms they use to seize vessels - anti-fishing patrols, or tax collection - are infact complete bollocks and that no responsible government would resort to the armed capture of civilian ships in international waters in peacetime.

      To answer David Aaronovitch’s whataboutery regarding Sunny and the the Ahmadi massacre; PP did cover it, we were outraged and in keeping with what i said in that thread; theres a repugnant tendency to blame the victim in any situation that challenges those we ‘support’. In Pakistan the islamist zealots and their bigoted supporters may well shrug and look the other way as the Ahmadi’s had it coming for having such non-conformist views; but those seeking to justify the deaths of twenty-odd civilians want to point out that it was perfectly acceptable to kill them for displaying fairly mediocre resistance when faced with highly armed commandos.

    33. Shamit — on 31st May, 2010 at 7:22 pm  

      earwigca - what is your point? To argue with me - then fine do that - trust me you are not going to win it.

      The soldiers were being helo dropped - and as soon as they got down they were attacked. Now, even a dumb person like me knows every elite force in the world are taught to shoot when they are dropping - so if they shot while they were dropping then there would have been many more casualties.

      The first video you put up where the Al jazeera reporter was reporting did not say that the soldiers were shooting while they were being dropped. And that he heard only 2 live rounds being fired at the time of his reporting.

      Footage from all the media outlets show that the soldiers were attacked -

      what is your objective? to prove israel was wrong in sending soldiers. I agree with you.

      If you are saying the soldiers weren’t attacked - i am not surprised - you have a tendency of not accepting the truth when it does not suit your agenda.

      finally, why did we need this grandstanding of aid which every sane person knew was not going to go through. Why not use the Egyptians and the Jordanians who have an agreement with Israelis in delivering aid?

      What is your point again? Al Jazeera has been running the same footage the whole world’s media is running. and that shows Israeli soldiers were being attacked -

      Yahoo and his cabinet fucked up big time - you can run a blockade without getting on the ship. But stop trying to paint the activists as being peaceful - all they had to do was stand aside let the soldiers search the ship and they would have been escorted to Asdoh.

      No they wanted to take on the IDF with iron clubs and attack one of the most elite forces in the world. You have to stupid and you have to be egged on by idiots sitting far away promoting that sort of thing. Snatching weapon from a soldier is the worst thing you could do - and they did that.

      I still don’t get your point about this entire post - what did you expect - that Israel would let them through? No you like everyone else knew that would not happen.

      So you wanted this tragedy to happen - well done. What happens to people in Gaza because of this stunt.

      By the way, Jordan and Egypt have so far said they would only comment after the facts emerge. Unless Mubarak and King Abdullah are working for Yahoo then i think their silence says a lot.

      How did this grandstanding help the people in gaza - except for some idiots in London and the world over feeling great about protesting etc etc etc while human beings died and IDF soldiers have gun shot wounds and one of them have skull fracture.

      You have a point to make - make - if you want to say Israel is wrong - fine no problem. But I still fail to see the point of this entire post when the whole world knows there is a mechanism in place to get aid through.

      Now tell me what should happen next? Lets have a real discussion - lets see whats next? The roadmap that was being discussed is now messed up - thanks to this stunt. Hamas would love it but I doubt the ordinary citizens in Gaza would.

    34. Kulvinder — on 31st May, 2010 at 7:24 pm  

      no one in their right mind after seeing footages on al jazeera can say that the soldiers were not attacked by the activists.

      Yeah and if some skiffs with the flag of puntland boarded an oiltanker in the indian ocean and shot several of the crew before taking the remainder as well as their ship to puntland for the administration of ‘justice’ they’d be completely justified in doing so if footage emerged of the tanker’s crew fighting back?

      By all means go ahead and advcate the various actors of soverign nations, whether recognised or not, seizing vessels that don’t contain arms or drugs in international waters but don’t suddenly act shocked when british people are on the receiving end of such treatment.

    35. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 7:38 pm  

      Shamit - I find your whole post at 33. very odd to say the least. I have no interest in ‘arguing ‘ with you and certainly don’t get self-worth from the thought of ‘winning’ an argument, which I think you do.

      Perhaps you could go find out what aid is permitted by Israel and what is not.

      I still don’t get your point about this entire post

      Why are you commenting then?

      you have a tendency of not accepting the truth when it does not suit your agenda.

      What is my agenda? I do not know what has happened as I was not there. I believe that the footage being shown does not cover everything that happened last night. When the activists are released from Israel then we will know more.

      What we do know is that Israel attacked an aid convoy in international waters. An unknown number of the activists are injured or dead. This has been condemned around the world by citizens and governments.

    36. KJB — on 31st May, 2010 at 7:47 pm  

      I’m glad that the whole ‘in international waters’ element of this has been raised, because apparently that is illegal.

      1.29pm:

      Alison Flood has learnt that the Irish activist Caoimhe Butterly was in the flotilla.

      Alison is at Hay festival, where she’s been speaking to the barrister Michael Mansfield.

      “The main thing is that it was done in international waters which is illegal,” he said.

      “And it was not a convoy carrying military personnel. Israel does exactly what it wants and nobody lifts a finger. It’s absolutely outrageous.”

      The Guardian’s liveblogging of this has been fairly clear and straightforward: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2010/may/31/israel-troops-gaza-ships

    37. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 7:55 pm  

      But Israel isn’t a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas. JPost has an interesting post on the legality of this attack:http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=177028

      I think the point that Israel attcked a Turkish ship and the repurcussions within NATO is going to be more significant.

    38. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 9:02 pm  

      I shall not be approving any more comments that blame the activists for being attacked and killed by Israeli commandoes in international waters. Not even William Hague agrees with you. Go post on Rumbold’s post.

    39. Noor — on 31st May, 2010 at 9:14 pm  

      Shamit
      “When you attack armed soldiers – you expect them to take it? Don’t blame the soldiers blame those who sent them there.“

      Yet apparently when armed soldiers attacked unarmed civilians, the civilians are expected to take it. Strange that.

    40. Lucy — on 31st May, 2010 at 9:40 pm  

      Inspired by #s 1, 26 & 33 on this thread.

      1/Ah, the ‘folly’ of sending in an aid convoy because the first writer on this thread knew it would ‘end badly’. So clearly that convoy should not have gone in. Obviously the face of tyranny should be respected (no, in case anyone reading the detail in ‘losing the plot’ [earlier thread] may get the wrong idea, I’m not talking about the variety of ‘tyranny’ Gita Sahgal describes, ie tyranny equals Amnesty International, no. not that). I mean the folly, the sheer folly, of self-respect and solidarity. That folly.

      26/It doesn’t betray a ‘political motive’ for the aid workers to want to take the aid in themselves. It betrays a ‘don’t trust the Israelis motive’ and quite rightly too.

      33/ I don’t know where you get it in your head that Jordan and Egypt have not commented. They have condemned the Israeli assault on the flotilla. Easy enough to find - all over the place, eg http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jTqPcDxEblk8X7_jF7VtxBDBS5-A

      A thousand Israeli soldiers descend on an unarmed aid convoy flotilla and you talk about the Israelis being ‘attacked’, #33. What kind of human stuff are you made of? What if the aid convoy were ‘seeking publicity’? Yeah, but no, but duh! You can turn everything into its jaded opposite if that is how you look at the world yourself. Well, you know, a show of solidarity isn’t a stunt. It is a show of solidarity.

      Maybe you should read ‘Alone in Berlin’ to see what prompts people to act in solidarity - even when the outcome is bound to ‘end badly’.

      Sometimes cream rises to the top. Often enough it’s the scum that rises.

    41. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 10:15 pm  

    42. Shamit — on 31st May, 2010 at 10:27 pm  

      I have read Alone in Berlin and the acts by the German couple in the book are by no means the same as these activists.

      I am more human than those who think political stunts are going to solve a 6 decade long problem - and I do not rejoice when innocents get killed.

      How did this act help ordinary people in Gaza?

      Who are you calling scum?

    43. Nick Malone — on 31st May, 2010 at 10:28 pm  

      So, Earwicga, you yourself have posted video evidence of the Israeli soldiers being battered with metal poles, and NOT shooting back, but your policy is to delete comments which note that that is what transpired and that the violent attack was initiated by the protestors. Shouldn’t you censor your own post? It contradicts your own official line.

    44. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 10:30 pm  

      If I had the ‘official line’ that you attribute to me Nick Malone, then of course I would censor my own post.

      More IDF videos can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk including more details of the weapons found.

    45. Nick Malone — on 31st May, 2010 at 10:36 pm  

      Do you now accept, then, that it was indeed the activists and not the Israelis who initiated the violent assault, as shown in your own video link?

    46. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 10:39 pm  

      Nick - the flotilla was attacked in international waters. Do you happen to know what type of guns are shown at 1 minute in?

    47. Nick Malone — on 31st May, 2010 at 10:52 pm  

      They are paintball guns, which can be used for riot control. Apparently the Israelis did not anticipate much resistance. They could not do much harm with them, though you can see they probably worked for a while as a bluff to hold off the protestors. Supposedly it was not till 30 minutes into the raid that the sidearms, which had live ammunition, were used. according to the Israelis that was after two of their own had been shot and one stabbed. That’s their account, and so far we only have their word for it. The video evidence so far does, however, bear out the Israeli account of the initial boarding, and trashes the claims that their commandoes came down the ropes shooting people dead.

      If you are treating the ‘attack’ as starting with the boarding of the flotilla, then I take your point, though that is as yet a matter for legal dispute - and whether it was an ‘attack’ depends in part on whether or not the boarding was legal. I certainly believe the boarding was unwise by the Israelis, and to an extent I understand the initial response by those on board. That doesn’t necessarily mean that those on board were legally in the right, or that they were merely defending themselves. The video clearly shows them trying to beat the outnumbered and barely-resisting Israelis into serious harm if not death.

      It’s clear the first actual use of physical violence was by the protestors themselves, as shown in the video, and that the commandoes were initially fending them off and not battering or shooting anyone in response. Hardly a conventional armed ‘attack’ against ‘peace activists’.

    48. earwicga — on 31st May, 2010 at 10:59 pm  

      I mostly agree with you Nick Malone. I thought they looked like paintball guns, as has been reported earlier before this video was released.

      This post links to a pdf with a partial list of items banned by Israel for entry into Gaza: http://www.fastforgaza.net/node/139

      The MV Rachel Corrie, which is carrying activists and aid of the banned variety like concrete and A4 paper, is still on it’s way to Gaza.

    49. Just Visiting — on 31st May, 2010 at 11:34 pm  

      Al Jazeerah has a a video of the convoy, the day before - singing songs celebrating the killing of jews by Mohammed : the Khaibar (aka Khaybar) massacre.

      And one women was interviewed saying ‘Right now we face one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza.”
      http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=676&fld_id=676&doc_id=2337

    50. samuel welsh — on 3rd June, 2010 at 10:32 am  

      imm crazy palastine supporters ,meep

    51. samuel welsh — on 3rd June, 2010 at 10:36 am  

      palastine is a harbour for terriosts .

    52. samuel welsh — on 3rd June, 2010 at 11:04 am  

      people wake up palastine is breeding racism .
      inocient no way .

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