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  • More reaction to Israel’s Flotilla attack

    by Sunny
    4th June, 2010 at 9:32 am    

    This is mostly just a link-dump…

    1. Max Blumenthal: The Flotilla Raid Was Not “Bungled.” The IDF Detailed Its Violent Strategy In Advance.

    Statements by senior Israeli military commanders made in the Hebrew media days before the massacre revealed that the raid was planned over a week in advance by the Israeli military and was personally approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak.

    (via @GuyAitchison)

    2. Jack Straw speaks out. And he’s not mincing his words (via @psbook), while recounting a previous experience at the border:

    All very ordinary but for the fact that the Israeli authorities made no disguise that they had ‘organised’ the crossing in a way designed to maximise the humiliation of and delays endured by the Palestinians. There was no shelter from the rain; no tarmac. None of this was remotely necessary. Indeed co-operation from the Palestinians would have been that much better if the Israelis had treated them with even a modicum of respect and dignity.

    But that was not on the agenda.

    3. George Packer in the New Yorker: Israel takes the bait

    Obama’s strategy of engagement is based on the notion that America, its allies, and its opponents have certain mutual interests that self-interest will lead them to identify and embrace. This notion has not been borne out with Iran, where the rulers of the Islamic Republic believe that self-interest—their own survival—depends on a climate of perpetual crisis and permanent demonization of the U.S. and Israel. And it hasn’t been borne out with Israel, which has just acted in a way that blurs self-interest into suicide.

    4. Reuben: A UK activist gives an eyewitness account of the raid. Reads out a list of absurd charges Israel has pressed against survivors.

    5. A demonstration is happening this Saturday in London at 1:30pm outside Downing Street (I won’t be around I’m afraid, in Oxford this weekend).

                  Post to del.icio.us

    Filed in: Current affairs,Middle East

    48 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Sonia Ali

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: More reaction to Israel's Flotilla attack http://bit.ly/bcM1Wu

    2. sunny hundal

      Blog post:: More reaction to Israel's Flotilla attack http://bit.ly/bcM1Wu

    1. damon — on 4th June, 2010 at 10:40 am  

      Did Matthew Parris have a point on Question Time last night?

      He said he was just bored with Middle East Politics.


    2. Cauldron — on 4th June, 2010 at 1:10 pm  

      #1 - agree. To my knowledge, Hamas has never attacked British interests and the Likud party (or its precursors) haven’t since the late 1940s. So where’s our dog in this fight?

      Kind of interesting how many of the people who are getting into a huff over Israeli ‘piracy’ don’t say much when confronted by a real pirate culture in the Horn of Africa, except perhaps mumble a few words about the poisonous legacy of imperialism.

    3. cjcjc — on 4th June, 2010 at 1:25 pm  

      Here’s the other Hitchens (P not C).

      “But I have a nagging suspicion that those who now adopt the cause of Gaza (and have swallowed whole the propaganda narrative of the ‘Aid Convoy’ versus the ‘Wicked Zionists’) are much, much more interested in undermining Israel’s long-term right to exist than they are in the undoubted plight of the Gazans. And why, exactly is that? What is the reason for this selective outrage against one nation among dozens, by no means perfect but also by no means the most oppressive or violent or ill-run state in the world, let alone the Middle East? You tell me.”


      Well, I have far more than a “nagging suspicion”.

    4. Sunny — on 4th June, 2010 at 3:18 pm  

      cjcjc - let me know when you have something new to say

    5. HNIT — on 4th June, 2010 at 4:11 pm  

      Anyone who buys into this is a fool. I mean, Trukey complaining about human rights abuses and illegal occupations?

      Any thoughts about Cyrpus or the brutal treatment of Kurds. On the latter issue, Turkey went so far as to illegally invade Iraq in order to kick kurdish ass.

      Come to trhink of it, Turkey’s very existence comes down to an illegal occupation.

    6. damon — on 4th June, 2010 at 4:12 pm  

      Sunny, it seems to me that you don’t like it when people try to break down these walls that exist between the left and right arguments on cases such as this.
      You say that I’m an agitator, which I suppose is much better than being called a troll.
      I think cjcjc makes fair points, and that the Chistopher Hitchens article - although I’m generally against the man’s views .. is legitimate here, and quite interesting too.

      The Joys of Selective Outrage
      Modern Leftism takes a high moral tone about many subjects, which these days often leads it into supporting allegedly noble wars, in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan (though funnily enough it used to mean opposing wars under almost all circumstances).

      I understand though, that it clashes with the kind of opinion that will be making itself heard tomorow outside Downing Street.

      I just spent a sunny couple of hours (with no sun screen) on Belfast’s Shankill Road where the funeral of this man shot there last week was taking place.

      There were thousands of people out to pay their respects, and to (I think) say no to political violence.

      And as much as I felt some affinity with this working class Shankill Road community, it would be foolish to think there was only one side to this conflict between Irish Nationalism and Unionism.

      I am completely frustrated by the impass between Irish Republicanism and Ulster Unionism, and I’m also frustrated by the way that left blogs can’t get beyond their own ideology and allow the debate to go a bit wider.

    7. Sofia — on 4th June, 2010 at 4:17 pm  

      Why do you think that anyone who is against the agression meted out by Israel is automatically absolving Turkey of any of the human rights abuses it has committed?

    8. cjcjc — on 4th June, 2010 at 4:23 pm  

      While the Israel bashing is oh-so-original is it?!

    9. boyo — on 4th June, 2010 at 5:04 pm  

      @ 7, I did a quick search and as far as I can see there has never been a PP item about the plight of Turkish Kurds, although it is quite analogous to I/P.

      Naturally PP goes with the news flow, but it is a fair observation to make when Turkey comes over all high and mighty - plainly one the reasons it has always been so pally with Israel is because, pre-Islamist election, they had so much in common.

    10. halima — on 4th June, 2010 at 5:04 pm  

      Sunny well done.

      Time will show yet again Israel’s actions to be pre-mediated and violent.

      The fact that some people would want us to suspend our respect and tolerance for human rights and aid conveys - to this point, shows yet again that Israel is repeatedly excused until the very concept of international law is called in question, and disintegrating. As Israelis inside Israel are saying, first they’ll come for the aid conveys and then they’ll come for everyone else. By allowing Israel to get away with this behaviour is to send signals to other countries that it is, indeed, alright to massacre aid conveys in international waters.

    11. earwicga — on 4th June, 2010 at 7:17 pm  

      You say that I’m an agitator, which I suppose is much better than being called a troll.

      Noted damon :)

    12. Jemmy Hope — on 4th June, 2010 at 8:35 pm  

      Jack Straw criticises Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Is this the same Jack Straw who was a government minister a few weeks ago? Surely not, or he would have made his criticism then.

    13. damon — on 4th June, 2010 at 9:35 pm  

      …the Chistopher Hitchens article…

      I meant Peter of course.

      Earwicga, do you think I was trollish this afternoon on this Irish political site? @post 139

      The Unionist guy @140 seemed to think I wasn’t.

      What makes talking about things in England or Israel so different?

    14. boyo — on 4th June, 2010 at 9:52 pm  

      Whether Earwicga agrees with you or not? ;-)

    15. Censored by Faisal Gazi — on 4th June, 2010 at 9:59 pm  

      The comment below was censored by Faisal `Heresy is another word for freedom of speech` Gazi at Spitoon. Hopefully it will find refugee status on here


      I don’t care if you’re from Burkanu Fasu.

      It`s “Burkina Faso“, idiot and you clearly DO care as you wrote
      “And since Pakistanis like you are not going to criticise your brethren “

      But I see that you insist on calling them “Qadianis”, which is a derogatory term used by Pakistanis for Ahmadis.

      Yet you don’t mind using or defending the use of derogatory terms like ` Ìslamists` for those you disagree with, do you ?

      How hypocritical

      “You’re on record on this site for writing incredibly hateful comments againstBangladeshis,“

      No I`m not. I did not write those comments - you did.

      You have a habit of posting extremely hateful messages in the name of people who dare disagree with you,-(while writing articles on others` “morality bypass“!!!!) or deleting their posts or removing the vowels (which, being the blog owner, you can easily do).

      while simultaneously not allowing your opponents freedom of speech or allowing their `heresy“ (e.g. divergences from your opinions or sacred cows)

      I swear by Allah that I did not write those comments and may Allah curse me if I am lying. And the curse of Allah is on the liars.

      Wonder if you`ll have the morality to not delete or edit this post. I seriously doubt it.

      “A minor point but Qadianis arent Muslim.”
      That’s what all Jamaat-e-Islami say.

      No -there is absolute consensus amongst all Muslims, Sunni AND Shia, that Ahmedis ? Qadianis are non-Muslim. Someone who doesn’t believe Prophet Muhammed (salAllahu alayhi wasalaam) was God`s last prophet is not a Muslim any more than someone who doesn’t believe God is one is.
      Perhaps we should ask Spitoon contributor Bananabrain whether he considers the analogous group `Jews for Jesus`to be followers of Judaism ? well ?

    16. earwicga — on 4th June, 2010 at 10:08 pm  

      damon - forgive me, but life is too short for me to click into your link and decifer your intentions.
      (p.s. - my comment at 11 was an attempt at humour)

    17. damon — on 4th June, 2010 at 10:53 pm  

      I know it was Earwicga.

      And my point was, while you are spending so much time pouring over what Israel did the other day, I spent this afternoon (in the sunshine) at an equally contentious event.

      Is what happened in the eastern Mediterranean so much on your agenda that you’re deleting posts over it, but this event on your doorstep is not even worth a click of your mouse?
      Because life is so short?

      I can see that there are barriers to open discussion all over Pickled Politics Earwicga, and I’m sure you’ve seen some of the criticism of yourself as being a drafted in bootgirl to shake things up perhaps.
      That style of confrontaion isn’t to my liking particularly.

      Is it legitimate to be scornfull of the whole flotilla agenda? And if you were to see the demonstration tomorow in Whitehall, to roll one’s eyes at it and think they were a bunch of SWP/Respect loving Hamas and Hezbollah supporters?

      I’m less interested in the events in the eastern Med, than I am about the way such things are discussed on sites such as this.

    18. Naadir Jeewa — on 5th June, 2010 at 1:04 am  

      Also, this:

      Obama reacted with typical caution after the flotilla raid. He accepted Netanyahu’s cancellation of their scheduled meeting. His press office expressed regret for the “loss of life” in the raid and noted that many of the wounded are “being treated in Israeli hospitals.” He deferred all condemnation of the raid by expressing “the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible.”

      Withholding blame may sound to the international community like tacit support for Israel. But in Netanyahu’s Start-Up Nation, the international community can either support Israel or it can be ignored. And if the man in the Oval Office hasn’t given him carte blanche, Netanyahu can take comfort in the prospect that an emerging rightist trend in America provides him with other options.

      But if that trend doesn’t appeal to a majority of American voters, or if the politicians who manage to ride it into power dismiss it when governing, then Netanyahu will have committed a historic error. Israel is a regional superpower, not an international one. Its military relies almost exclusively on American military partnership, even if US policymakers pay a price for pressuring Israel. For Netanyahu to place the basis of the US-Israel relationship on a foundation that rests with a faction of one American political party, no matter how strong, is more deleterious to the Israeli client than to the American patron. The consequences of that destabilisation may not emerge after the flotilla raid. But ultimately Israel has a great deal to fear from its new rightist turn.

      Also, I don’t normally read The Spittoon, but bananabrain’s got a great first-hand post on the domestic situation inside Israel.

    19. damon — on 5th June, 2010 at 10:41 am  

      If there was an edit function that I could use this morning, I’d change most of my last post.
      I must have got too much sun yesterday.

    20. cjcjc — on 5th June, 2010 at 11:09 am  

      Why change a thing?

      In sole veritas!

    21. Rumbold — on 5th June, 2010 at 11:16 am  

      Is that some sort of foot fungus?

    22. fatima.ahtesham — on 5th June, 2010 at 12:17 pm  

      I agree with boyo

    23. Hasan — on 5th June, 2010 at 2:54 pm  

      Dear Israel… thank you

      Thank God for Israel. We should be sending them bouquets right now. Great big arrangements of tube-roses and gladiolas, with a little card pinned to a leaf. Inside should be a cute drawing of a teddy bear with hearts popping around him and a hand-written message saying “Dear Israel, stay villainous! You make us look good! Love, Pakistan.”


    24. Sunny — on 5th June, 2010 at 9:19 pm  

      cjcjc and damon - when you guys ask Harry’s Place why they’re obsessed with Muslims then I’ll bother paying attention to things that have become rather predictable coming from you.

      I blog about the things I like blogging about. It’s a blog written by people driven by passion and interest. We actually have no obligation to be balanced. See?

      Take it up with the PCC if you have any issues :)
      And please stop boring me. Say something original once in a while.

    25. damon — on 5th June, 2010 at 10:53 pm  

      I don’t like Harry’s Place because I think they are right wing Israel supporters.
      Pickled Politics are to the left of them and so am I.

      What you just said above Sunny to me is a (boring to you) faultline though.

      I despise the state of Israel for what it has become - which is a brutish local imperialist.

      But because I don’t like the opposition either - like the protesters today in London which you flagged up as a demonstration worth going on, even though you were in Oxford or something, then that puts me in the position you just described.

      I hope you know that there are different types of leftism, and that having ‘flashmobs’ having newspaper sword fights in Parliament Square is just one way of looking at things and being progressive.

      But I think this is one of these fault lines that run through leftist liberal (librrtarian) politics.

      And that people are not prepared to put their toe over the line saddens me somewhat.

    26. Sunny — on 5th June, 2010 at 11:27 pm  

      But because I don’t like the opposition either – like the protesters today in London which you flagged up as a demonstration worth going on

      What was wrong with it?

    27. boyo — on 5th June, 2010 at 11:32 pm  

      Damon, this IS the left, as is Harry’s Place. As is Lenin’s Tomb, Normblog etc. That’s the problem.

      I suppose that’s why New Labour came in to existence, in fact. God help us.

    28. damon — on 6th June, 2010 at 12:17 am  

      What was wrong with it?

      Because they are dominated by MAB, SWP/Respect, Hamas, Hezbollah types. I did go on these London marches in the last couple of years and know their mentality.
      On both the Lebanon and Gaza protests.

      My (boring) opinion is that these actions by the flotilla protesters and those that have seized the muslim world these last days, are dishonest and underhand because this was a disired outcome.

      I just said something similar to Earwicga on another thread about Gaza, but I seem to be getting held up on some filter that Earwicga has admitted is in use.
      To approve posts before releasing them.

      Sunny, I know that Rod Liddle was probably not the man for the Independent job, but you never got this Millwall Online website did you?


    29. earwicga — on 6th June, 2010 at 12:27 am  

      I seem to be getting held up on some filter that Earwicga has admitted is in use.
      To approve posts before releasing them.

      You *seem* to have no idea what you are talking about. With reference to this specific claim - Pickled Politics has a spam filter - that it thinks your comments are spam is rather apt, but has nothing to do with me.

    30. damon — on 6th June, 2010 at 1:00 am  

      Well sorry, I see my post went through after 20 minutes or so. I’m not up on all this technical stuff but you can understand how people might wonder if that was happening when you have said yourself that you will release posts about Gaza as you see fit.

      If you think my comments that I don’t like the Israeli government and blockade of Gaza, and that I also don’t like the flotilla people’s politics for reasons that I have already made clear, are trollish or just agitational for the sake of it, then I see we are miles apart on almost everything.

      And for me, this polarised way of approaching politics really upsets me. As much as the Unionist/Republican divide does here in Belfast.

    31. Ben — on 6th June, 2010 at 9:03 pm  

      The rulers of Gaza are criminals.

      They are the planners and instigators of bombings that killed and injured thousands of Israelis. They attacked restaurants and buses, markets and busy thoroughfares, targetting and felling civilians. They launched thousands of rockets at Israeli towns and kibbutzim, killing, maiming and terrorizing whole communities.

      The rulers of Gaza were elected by the people of Gaza, and the people of Gaza therefore must be deprived of the means to resume their campaign of bestial murder. When they renounce violent aggression, accept previous agreements with Israel, and recognize Israel, then it should be possible to remove the blockade. But not before.

    32. Sunny — on 6th June, 2010 at 9:49 pm  

      Because they are dominated by MAB, SWP/Respect, Hamas, Hezbollah types.

      The banners may have been made by them but the pics don’t show that. Unless you assume all Muslims are Hamas/Hezbollah types and all whites are SWP/Respect types.

    33. damon — on 7th June, 2010 at 1:41 am  

      A fair point, and my statement was somewhat banal I admit. But there’s something about those anti-war type demonstarations that turned me off after going to several of them.

      You remember that ”Hell no, we won’t go, we won’t fight for Texico” dirge of a slogan that SWP supporters would chant about the first Gulf War?
      There’s only so many times you can hear that and read their paper before you’re sick of that shallow analysis.

      It’s the same for me with much of the Gaza protest stuff now.
      Although I would make an exception for Halima. She always says things that you have to take notice of.

      And I do understand why so many muslim people take such a particular interest in this tiny part of the world.

    34. Javid — on 7th June, 2010 at 1:53 am  

      “Because they are dominated by MAB, SWP/Respect, Hamas, Hezbollah types.“

      Like these people you mean


    35. Sarah AB — on 7th June, 2010 at 6:36 am  

      I’m responding to comments made by Refresh and Lucy on the Pirates thread which is now closed. I’ve read that the ‘go back to Auschwitz’ jibe was spoken by someone on another ship because there was an open channel allowing the other ships to participate in the exchange. So - it was misreported, yes, but it wasn’t precisely a fake.


      Of course it is always possible that the article I’m linking to is itself mistaken!

    36. Sarah AB — on 7th June, 2010 at 6:55 am  

      And here’s an interesting example of apparent editing …


    37. douglas clark — on 7th June, 2010 at 8:40 am  

      Sarah AB @ 35 & 36,

      To be honest with you whatever ‘truth’ there is out there is going to be almost impossible to discover. Because neither side is interested in ‘truth’, they are each thurled to their own ‘narrative’ of events, which is what this incident has become. A PR war.

      Getting to the bottom of some of the more odd media releases will keep conspiracy theorists occupied for years.

    38. Lucy — on 7th June, 2010 at 8:42 am  

      I can’t make out what little green footballs is demonstrating as evidence of apparent editing…
      Ben Cohen [cross-posting in Cif Watch] in the link provided above, speculates that “I’ll bet Blumenthal hasn’t met that many foreigners, so he doesn’t get that one person can speak with American, Arabic, Francophone and many other inflections in their voice”. That comment is presumably [from what I have seen of what Max Blumenthal has written so far on this matter] a response to Max Blumenthal’s observation: ‘… the reply from the Mavi Marmara sounded like an impersonation of an Arab by a mentally challenged pre-adolescent’. Is it that which leads Ben Cohen to cast doubt on Max Blumenthal’s alleged inexperience with foreign voices? If so what is the basis of that particular observation of his fellow journalist ? I am sure Ben Cohen has travelled and heard foreign voices. Is he saying that he knows that Max Blumenthal has not? And that Max Blumenthal has not heard foreigners speaking in parts of the world in which he has travelled [and written about] or heard at home from foreign visitors? More clarification from Ben Cohen would be helpful.

    39. cjcjc — on 7th June, 2010 at 8:58 am  

      which is what this incident has become. A PR war.

      Indeed it has.

    40. Sarah AB — on 7th June, 2010 at 9:43 am  

      Lucy - it *seems* that Reuters edited out knives carried by aid activists from two pictures of wounded soldiers. This certainly looks like an attempt to soften the presentation of the activists. I think LGF described the knife as ‘large’ though - whereas to me it looks pretty small, and more like a kitchen knife than a weapon - which isn’t to say it couldn’t do a lot of damage obviously.

    41. bananabrain — on 7th June, 2010 at 9:53 am  

      Perhaps we should ask Spitoon contributor Bananabrain whether he considers the analogous group `Jews for Jesus` to be followers of Judaism ? well ?

      the halakhically jewish ones are jewish heretics. the others are christians. the whole thing is financed by evangelical christians specifically for the purpose of converting jews to christianity.

      i am very, very rude about them and their dishonest activities, but if anyone proposed firebombing one of their synagogues, beating them in the street or removing their civil rights by systematic discrimination this would be a far worse crime. heresy is not a crime against humanity, but a crime against G!D and, as far as we are concerned, it is up to G!D, not us, to take action.



    42. Refresh — on 7th June, 2010 at 10:30 am  


      I am not sure what you’re cifwatch link is supposed to show. It doesn’t really cover the clarification. The clarification itself is what you should be looking at. If it was so minor why has the IDF bothered to make it at all?

      As it was over an open radio channel, can you categorically say it was not an interloper who made those comments?

      Until Israel releases all confiscated evidence, and the complete recording for analysis by experts, you should not rely on it. That said, by time we get to that (if ever), we will be onto the next disaster and related series of controlled media releases.

    43. Sarah AB — on 7th June, 2010 at 1:13 pm  

      Refresh - I did allow for the possibility of some other explanation in my comment. I thought the quality of sound seemed better in that offensive remark FWIW - I have an open mind, but just wanted to offer what seemed to be an update/refinement of the earlier position.

    44. Refresh — on 7th June, 2010 at 1:15 pm  


    45. bananabrain — on 7th June, 2010 at 1:19 pm  

      in other news, the next ship co-operates with israeli demands for a security inspection and no violence whatsoever ensues.

      cue the tumbleweed….


      meanwhile, the unpopular turkish pm decides to bring the election date forward so he can profit from the crisis.

      cue the tumbleweed…

      and the iranians spot an opportunity to exploit the situation by sending some of their own ships, including the revolutionary guard as security.

      anyone else think that this might not in fact help?



    46. damon — on 8th June, 2010 at 1:13 am  

      Javid @34

      “Because they are dominated by MAB, SWP/Respect, Hamas, Hezbollah types.“

      Like these people you mean


      No, not particularly them. But you know how going to a football match is not everyone’s idea of a nice day out? And particularly amongst black and minority ethnic people if they feel there is a certain culture there that they feel uncomfortable amongst?
      Not to say that all football fans are white boozy Sun reading ignoramuses .. but still, many BME people avoid that part of British culture and don’t like to be caught up in it, ….. on public transport on a match day for example.

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