… what the F… is going on!?
The much vaunted Flotilla 2 failed to get beyond Greek waters. The Mavi Marmara, star of Flotilla 1 was withdrawn under pressure from the Turkish government and the original 1500 became only a few hundred which rapidly dwindled to nothing.
Israel actually succeeded in bringing Greece and Turkey together in preventing a confrontation at sea!
And now the ongoing aerial assault on Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, know as ‘Flytilla’ or ‘Airtilla’ has also foundered as France, the Netherlands and others prevent ‘activists’ intent on causing trouble, from flying to Israel.
Meanwhile at Ben Gurion, those who have managed to land find themselves at a remote terminal, well away from the main tourist area, and are either put on the next flight or arrested.
Israel has every right to deny entry to anyone it pleases, for whatever reason it chooses as a sovereign nation. These ‘activists’ are intent on challenging Israel’s sovereignty, not helping Palestinians.
You can find it in their rhetoric; they are flying to ‘Lyd’ airport in ‘Palestine’. Get it? Israel is Palestine. They are not coming to protest blockades, sieges or occupation, they are coming to delegitimise Israel itself.
Those taking part in both fiascos are a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites. They wouldn’t even allow their so-called fig-leaf humanitarian aid to be shipped to Israel and then taken by the Israelis into Gaza.
They came intent on breaking one blockade and then ended up having to contend with two as the Greek port authorities blocked their departure or chased them as they tried to slip away.
There was even the irony of Gazans staging demonstrations against the Greek blockade.
Following the hashtags #flotilla2 and #flotilla or #freedomfllotilla required enormous will power not to put two fingers down one’s throat one minute and the same two fingers at their tweets the next.
All sorts of hilarious conspiracy theories floated like so much flotsam to the surface of the twitosphere: The Israelis bribed the Greeks who needed the money; the Israelis had sabotaged two boats even though the Turks, of all people, denied this; the Greeks had to do what the EU wanted because of their debt crisis; yada, yada.
They convinced themselves that the Greek people were with them and their government had been suborned by those dirty Zionists.
They are a bunch of whining hypocrites. They fly into the only country in the region that tolerates free speech, almost to the point of stupidity, to try to prove that Israel is an apartheid state. Then they act in a way, and with a declared intention, that guarantees they will be expelled or arrested or both so they can whine a bit more about how Israel is a ‘police state’ not a ‘true democracy’, and closes down free speech. You get the idea? They are excrement-stirrers.
This is an extension of the assault on Israel’s borders on the ‘Naksa’ demonstrations in the Golan. Let me repeat: they are coming from foreign countries to demonstrate, demonise and delegitimise the state. Why should they be tolerated? Which country would tolerate this?
Let me see them fly into Lhasa not Gaza and see what happens. Let them try to fly to Grozny. Let’s see how much luck they have in Damascus or Beirut or Alexandria.
The irony is that Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv is one of the few places where they know they are safe to fly to because they know, despite their declarations, that Israel is not a police state, that it will not treat them as harshly as other states. They pretend to be brave but they are really cowards.
There is a tremendous feeling in the pro-Israel community that this time Israel used diplomacy well and played the activists’ game better than they did. No-one has been hurt, let alone killed; no real confrontation and best of all, the flotillards have gone home (well apart from a small boat that evaded the Greeks) as sick as a Captain Flint.
Yes, the futile flytillaniks still arrive at Ben Gurion as dozens continue to be killed in Syria every day.
Here are some others’ views of this week’s events:
Stephen Pollard on CiF in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/08/gaza-flotilla-israel-diplomacy
even better from Israel’s perspective, the attempt at a second flotilla has prompted the arrival of a new ally: Greece. The Greek coastguard has been vigilant in intercepting three would-be flotilla boats and watching the remaining seven in Greek ports. Last week, IDF helicopters were part of a large military exercise with the Greek army, after which Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu thanked Greek PM George Papandreou for all his help.
Some activists have responded with pure antisemitism, arguing that the impoverished Greeks have caved in to Israel’s financial power.
The Greeks’ behaviour has not escaped Erdogan’s notice and has resulted in a form of bidding war between the two leaders to help Israel stop the flotilla. As a senior IDF officer told the Jewish Chronicle this week: “We will make peace with the Palestinians long before the Greeks and Turks resolve their differences.”
Emanuele Ottolenghi in the Commentator http://www.thecommentator.com/index.php/article/292/gaza_flotilla_flops
He speculates about why Flotilla 2 has failed where Flotilla 1 succeeded. He puts Turkey at the centre of the reasons for failure:
With Turkey unwilling to play along and a coming UN report endorsing Israel’s blockade as legal, the Greek government similarly had enough cover to go after the boats and their activists. If the blockade is legal for the UN, blocking the flotilla in Greece is just as legal.
And he also notes elements of anti-Semitic canards in the flotillards pathetic excuses:
Angry flotilla participants have variously blamed the Greek government for preventing their departure – with one activist bordering on the usual anti-Semitic imagery and saying that Greece caved in to Israel due to its economic circumstances.
The idea that helping Israel against the flotilla could bring financial respite to the Greek economy is ludicrous – Israel would have to single handedly control the IMF, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank– and possibly the Bundesbank too – in order to deliver the additional help that Greece may need to avoid default.
That this idea was voiced at all reveals the activists’ conspiratorial mind set.
Yes, folks. The blockade of Gaza is legal. The UN says so. And if the flotillards want to ignore the UN they can’t accuse Israel of doing the same without an enormous dollop of hypocrisy.
Which is exactly their position.
Whilst the world rushes to judgement on Israel’s interception of the Freedom Flotilla and the deaths of 9 Turkish nationals, the actual humanitarian aid languishes in Israel.
MissingPeace have just issued a report after they inspected the aid along with members of the media at the Tzifrin army base.
Their report is vital in understanding the true intentions of the Turkish organisers and also the disgusting way that the IHH hijacked the cause of the real humanitarians in the convoy.
Journalists including international news media were taken to Tzifrin on June 7th. Only the cargo of one of the ships was at the stage where it had been processed and unloaded and awaiting delivery. Other ships’ cargoes had already gone through this process and 45 trucks of aid had been loaded ready to be sent, but not delivered, of which more later.
Most of the unloading of other ships was completed.
The ship in question was the Defne Y.
So you are thinking, ‘ three ships? But there were six ‘ (Rachel Corrie arrived later). So here goes:
A breakdown of the cargo found on the ships shows that of the six ships of the flotilla only three had humanitarian aid aboard:
Gaza ship: building materials, cement, iron – The ship has not been fully unloaded.
Sofi ship: building materials, iron
Defne Y ship: clothing, humanitarian aid (roughly 40 trucks worth), and games, building materials, wheelchairs.
The “Marmara”: carried only passengers and their personal belongings. Many passengers carried large sums of money on their body. There was no Humanitarian aid on this ship.
The other two ships did not carry humanitarian aid as well.
There were 600 people on board the Mavi Marmara, mainly Turkish, but no aid. What then, was their purpose? This was the largest boat by far. Why fill it with hundreds of people and their belongings but no aid? Why was the aid, the real aid from the Free Gaza Movement, on the small ships only? No aid whatsoever on the largest, Turkish boat. It could have taken hundreds of tonnes. Nothing. Why? Because it was never an aid ship, it was a blockade-breaking ship. It was an IHH propaganda weapon. It was a political demonstration. Well that’s fine if that is your purpose.
But this ground, the intention of the ‘activists’ [read: terrorists] who had taken over the Mavi Marmara in Istanbul and the subsequent lethal confrontation, is now the subject of an enquiry and has already been covered ad nauseam.
Let’s look at the fate of the cargo.
The humanitarian aid on all the ships was not packaged and not placed on the ship in an organized way, as one would expect from an organized humanitarian aid cargo. Everything was in individual units thrown on to a pile on the ships. This was not only unsafe, but it also caused a lot of damage to the objects, since the weight crushed a lot of things and since a lot of the things were just thrown on board.
So even where there was aid, no great care was taken. No-one thought to make use of an experienced aid agency to advise on loading. Hundreds of people gave money and aid items which were carelessly loaded. Does this tell us anything about the real priority of those involved?
And now what rogue/terrorist/racist/apartheid Israel does:
To deal with the cargo on the ships, here are the stages that it must undergo by Israel:
- Israel scans all the cargo and sifts out the humanitarian aid. The aid is then placed on trucks.
- The aid goes through x-ray machines to see that everything is indeed safe.
- Since nothing was packaged and organized, Israel did this.
This entire procedure costs a lot of time and a lot of money.
They actually package it up!
When asked how many tons of aid was on all the ships, the spokesman said they don’t know yet, since the only way one can weigh something is, if it’s packaged, compressed and sealed. He showed a stack of wood boxes with labels and said that this was done by Israel …
But Hamas still try to smear Israel, accusing them of taking batteries out of the electric wheelchairs (part of their excuse, no doubt for not letting the aid through).
The spokesman said that first of all, Hamas can’t know what Israel is doing because they are not allowing the aid into the Strip. Secondly, one needs to take out the batteries from the wheel chairs because if they are stored for a long time in the heat with the batteries, the batteries get ruined. He then took the journalists to the inside storage space, which is kept cool. There all the batteries were neatly placed in boxes all lined up. He said that the minute they will get a green light from Gaza, Israel can transfer everything into the Strip. Then the batteries will be transferred together with the chairs.
The batteries for the electric wheel chairs are gel batteries. Hamas says that Israel does not allow the entry of batteries into the Gaza Strip. Asked what the problem is with batteries the spokesman said the problem is not with gel but with liquid batteries. This is because 1 liter of this battery liquid can produce 50 kilos of nitroglycerin which is an active ingredient in the manufacture of explosives, specifically dynamite.
One can’t avoid the conclusion that Hamas invented a serious need for wheelchairs specifically because they wanted the liquid batteries to make explosives and if Israel didn’t allow them in they can accuse them of callousness. But this time Hamas weren’t quite clever enough. They should have been more specific when they asked for wheelchairs.
For me the story of the wheelchairs shows exactly why there is a blockade and exactly why even items that look innocent, such as wheelchairs, have to be checked and why Israel insisted that the ships dock at Ashdod.
Some of the cargo was expired medicine and worn goods. Only 1 per cent of the goods by weight was medicine.
A Japanese reporter who visits Gaza regularly, said that what is needed in Gaza is hospital/medical equipment and medicine. He said that if the flotilla would have been really concerned about what is needed in Gaza, they would have made sure to send more medical things.
Indeed. But even these expired medicines were being stored by Israel in a cool indoor space.
And finally a complete fiasco as to what to do with the aid because Hamas refuses to accept it. Hamas says the aid is tainted by passage through Israel even though hundreds of tonnes come through via Israel every day. The other reason is that they are waiting for Turkey to decide what to do with it.
The Japanese reporter was trying to unravel the reasons for the delay in delivering this so-called vital aid.
He spoke with the PA civil-committee about this issue. They said that it is the responsibility of UNRWA. Then he called UNRWA and he was told that they are not in contact with Israel and that it is not in their power to decide, but that it is the responsibility of UNSCO.
UNRWA also said that they received a message from Hamas telling them that they should not allow any humanitarian aid from the flotilla to enter the Gaza Strip. UNSCO also said that they are not in charge of the flotilla aid. They said that UNRWA deals with it, when confronted with the UNRWA reference to them, the man on the phone laughed and said this is not the case.
Next was COGAT, they first refused to give specific names and said “you can imagine who these international authorities are”. When pressed they said they are in touch with UNRWA, the Red Cross and “other powerful players such as the USA”, The COGAT official did not want to get more specific because he did not want to blame any particular organization until things are sorted out. The International Red Cross in Gaza told that they have their own projects and bring in their own aid.
They said they have nothing to do with the flotilla. When asked if they have met with Hamas about the flotilla, IRC said that they have had discussions with Hamas who told them not to accept any of the aid…
… [The Japanese journalist] said that if there is a real need for humanitarian aid in Gaza then everyone would work quickly to allow the entry of the aid into the Strip. Furthermore he said that if in Africa they need food, no one waits to deliver it.
Yet these very same international relief agencies are the first to accuse Israel of causing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
This is beyond belief.
Update: *See also the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs report http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2010/Equipment_aid_Gaza_flotilla_7-Jun-2010.htm
Dear Secretary General
On June 1st you issued a statement about the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ in which you condemned “the acts which have led to this tragedy”.
It was not clear what those acts were, but most would conclude that you were condemning Israel. You then called for an International Enquiry. This seems to represent a pattern in enquiries about Israel’s conduct; first the members of the UN’s Goldstone report accused Israel of war crimes and then made their investigation; now you are also condemning Israel before any investigation is carried out.
I am also amazed that you have stood by whilst the Turkish government, a NATO member, embraces the vile Iranian regime and the dictator of Syria who is supplying arms to Hizbollah in Lebanon.
The Turkish Prime Minister also claims that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation.
Why have you not condemned Turkey for allowing a bunch of jihadis to board a ship in a Turkish port without passports with the intention of confronting the Israeli navy with murderous intent whilst the Israelis were legally seeking compliance with their maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip?
You issued your statement on June 1st. I think you should withdraw your condemnation in light of overwhelming evidence of a prepared ambush on soldiers whose intent was not lethal but who found themselves in fear of their lives and resorted to lethal force as a last resort.
You should at least revise your statement to reserve your condemnations until an appropriate investigation has been carried out.
How can Turkey remain a member of NATO whilst its government pursues political alliances with regimes totally inimical to NATO?
Surely Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, would be a worthier member.
Listen to this exchange between the Israeli Navy and the Rachel Corrie.
Israel offers to grant a compromise to give the Rachel Corrie a PR coup by getting cement sent through to Gaza by an NGO or the UN.
Offer must have been rejected or the Rachel Corrie new that Hamas would block it anyway.
To anyone that has half an unbiased brain to think and at least one unclouded eye to see, the evidence supporting Israel’s account is mounting.
Sadly, there is now a long history of Israel’s many accounts of its actions not being accepted.
The unrelenting propaganda as well as Israel’s often lamentable ability to make its case or explain its actions mean that Israel has to change. The government must find a different way to defend Israel and one that shows up its enemies to be what they are. Israel must engage with those who claim to be its friend and let them put there actions where their mouth is.
But first, even before any investigation, internal or otherwise, is cobbled together to appease world opinion, this is my version of what happened garnered from a growing body of evidence:
Whether you like it or not and whether you think it legal or not, Israel has imposed a maritime blockade on the Gaza Strip. The single most important reason for the maritime blockade is fear of arms smuggling from Iran. Israel has repeatedly said that it will not allow Iran to have a port a few tens of kilometres from Tel Aviv. This article about the Francop shows you the size and extent of such arms smuggling. This would be considered an act of war by many countries. Note that the ship was flying the Antiguan flag. This is not an isolated case. Iran supplies Hamas through Somalia and Egypt and Hizbollah, a Hamas clone, in Lebanon via Syria.
The Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish-based IHH (both ostensibly and evidentially aid organisations) organised a flotilla, loaded it with aid and set out with the expressed intention of ‘breaking the blockade’. The delivery of aid was secondary and here’s why:
There is an impression given that Gazans are starving, but they are not. The UN claims that only between one quarter and one fifth of goods previously entering before the blockade gets through Israel’s and Egypt’s border checkpoints.
It should be noted that Egypt also imposed a ‘blockade’ and has built a 30ft deep steel barrier across its border with Gaza.
Whilst there is no doubt that Gazan’s are suffering economically, it is in the interests of Israel’s enemies to use overblown and inflammatory claims. Sometimes, the truth does get out. May I refer you to this article in the Daily Telegraph: Dispatch: Just how hungry is Gaza?
“There is no starvation in Gaza,” said Khalil Hamada, a senior official at Hamas’s ministry of justice. “No-one has died of hunger.
But it is, however, true that there is hardship. This cannot and should not be denied. What is often lacking is context and moderate language. The moral issues at stake here, and your view of them, depend on your particular bias or understanding of the conflict. You may simply hate Israel and be prepared to do anything to destroy it or to blacken its name internationally. You may support Israel and be blinkered to, or underplay, Palestinian suffering.
Given the difficulties of the Gazan people, aid organisations which support Palestinians and Gazans in particular, and reject Israel’s security concerns, have sought to make political capital by attempting to run the blockade with the express intention of breaking it. At the same time they load up their ships with aid, including food and building materials. Their mission, they believe, is a moral one and they are motivated by their sense of outrage to pursue their goal.
Such activists have a right to protest. They can even try to break the blockade, but they know they will not be allowed to do so. They know, however, that this will be a propaganda victory. They know that the aid will still get through.
But their main motivation, as expressed many times in the recent Freedom Flotilla disaster is to break the blockade. One pebble cannot break a wall but eventually you will chip away enough to get through. It must also be said that these same people would never attempt to run a blockade by Iran or North Korea because they know they would be risking their lives. They know, if they are honest with themselves, that Israel may use force, but it will not be lethal. So why did it become lethal?
It is now becoming clear that at some point the flotilla was infiltrated by activists with links to terror and who had planned confrontation with Israeli forces. They brought on a board an assortment of knives, clubs and slingshots. They may have brought firearms, although there is no conclusive evidence. They were filmed by reporters on the boat chanting there intention to kill the Jews. They gave interviews stating it was Gaza or martyrdom. They did not care that they were about to risk the lives of hundreds of people including women and children (why would you bring children!)
Israel spent 6 hours trying to negotiate that the ships divert to Ashdod for inspection. The flotilla leaders refused. 6 hours! If they had real murderous intent they would have just sunk the ships.
Israeli commandos, include females, successfully boarded 5 of the 6 flotilla boats without encountering any resistance. There may have been some rough handling, but no-one on either side was injured. When Israel commandeered the 7th, delayed boat, the Rachel Corrie, yesterday, there was no resistance and no-one was injured.
But when the Mavi Marmara, the large lead ship, was boarded something went wrong.
Israel botched the Mavi Marmara assault. They used the wrong kind of troops and the wrong tactics. However, it is also clear, if you open your eyes even to what may be unpalatable to your viewpoint, the commandos came on board with a paintball gun and a Glock pistol. As each commando landed on the top deck wielding their paintball gun they were assaulted extremely violently with metal bars and knives. The ‘activists’ even had stun grenades, apparently.
The activists took two pistols from the Israelis and shot them. One was hit in the stomach. Another soldier was thrown over a guard rail and suffered serious head injuries. Three soldiers were taken hostage and moved below decks.
As his comrades lay on the deck injured, an Israeli Staff Sergeant dragged them to the side, stood in front of them to protect them, and took out his semi-automatic pistol. Given the Turkish autopsy evidence, 9 ‘activists’ were then shot and killed by 30 bullets suffering shots to the legs, lower body and lethal shots to the head, including the back and side of the head. Several others were injured.
Those looking for atrocity stories and who don’t understand how lethal force is applied will see this as disproportionate. Just think. You are that Israeli. You have seen your comrades beaten unconscious and shot. There is a mob advancing on you with clubs and knives and maybe guns. Your life is in danger. You try to disable your assailant by shooting him in the leg, it’s dark and you are on a heaving ship. Some leg shots may hit the lower abdomen. He keeps coming. He is about to stab you or shoot you or beat you. You are in fear of your life. You have asked for and been given permission to use your firearm. Your training tells you you have to shoot twice in the head. You keep doing this until they stop coming. You have been joined by a comrade who is doing the same thing. 9 men are dead and your assailants stop coming at you. At last there are enough of you to take charge of the boat.
They have their victory. Israel has committed another ‘atrocity’. The IHH infiltrators, with links to terrorism have won. They have provoked the tiger. Now the lies and distortions that an all too willing world wants to hear can begin.
Claims that the Israelis opened the firing from deck or even from the helicopters do not make sense. Why fire live rounds them come down a rope with a pop-gun? If the activists were unarmed surely live rounds would have cowered them? Maybe they fired stun grenades or even tear gas, who knows. We do not even know where the dead fell and whether all casualties were on deck.
The non-Turkish flotilla leaders have not acknowledged this infiltration. They either refuse to accept the evidence either because there is some form of cognitive dissonance going on, or they are deliberately ignoring it because it doesn’t play to their political preconceptions. They have already demonised Israel and nothing Israel does in national self-defence or individual self-defence will make them tell it otherwise.
Israel must recognise that it has lost the battle for world opinion long ago. A combination of its poorly thought out strategies and its opponents successful manipulation of public opinion has turned the only redoubt of democracy in the Middle East to a pariah state with a lower standing than genocidal Iran. Israel was once surrounded by neighbouring enemies who wanted to destroy it. Now most of the world is either its enemy or wants it to give in to those who would destroy it.
Israel must now stop trying to fight battles as if it were still the 1970′s. In this century of mass communication and instant sound bites, so-called human rights and NGO’s, Israel has to be more humble and a lot cleverer; it has to be less defensive diplomatically and fight back not with weapons but with diplomacy and legal instruments. It must make the same use of international courts and UN bodies as its enemies. It has to show the world more forcefully what it is up against.
What Israel must not do is lift the maritime blockade. It should get together with its ‘friends’ and the UN and ask a simple question: how do we stop Iran arming our enemy and rebuilding its capability whilst, at the same time enabling Gazans to rebuild their broken homes and lives? How will you help us? How long will Gilad Shalit rot in some hole in Gaza (if that’s where he still is?) What pressure will the UN bring on Hamas to allow the Red Cross or the Red Crescent visit him? Where are the pro-Israel NGO’s fighting to tell Israel’s story?
Israel has to agree to some form of international enquiry not because it should but because it is diplomatically the right thing to do. This should be the start of a new strategy for Israel and its fight back in the propaganda war that could destroy it. If it stops acting as the victor and starts acting a bit more like the victim the tide could turn.
Here are links to material which support the article above.
For some videos see my post http://www.raymondcook.net/blog/index.php/2010/06/03/col-kemp-israel-and-double-standards/
All news and videos about the flotilla see http://www.jta.org/bigstory
Last week I was approached by the London Evening Standard to write a letter about the Israeli interception and boarding of the Freedom Flotilla and its aftermath.
This is what was published:
THE deaths on the Freedom Flotilla and the international outcry resulting from Israel’s interception and boarding are the result of a carefully calculated plan by the convoy’s organisers.
If they were allowed through they would have scored a victory; if they were stopped, the Israelis would undoubtedly be vilified for preventing “humanitarian aid” entering Gaza. This was a win-win situation for the organisers, the Turkish-based IHH charity which is also a covert supporter of Hamas and international terrorism.
The refusal to dock at Ashdod for inspection and the expressed intention to head for Gaza was deliberately confrontational. Israel was unaware that an ambush awaited its commandos as they landed on the lead ship.
The commandos had paintball guns and pistols and had orders only to use their weapons in extremis. Israeli video clearly shows they were attacked, beaten, stabbed, thrown over a deck rail and fired at. They were in danger of their lives.
But it is now the default position internationally to blame Israel first and let the facts be buried. Israel can no longer take any action to defend its citizens against a murderous neighbour and its fanatical supporters without international condemnation.*
*Letters to the London Evening Standard June 1st 2010
I wish I wasn’t in the middle of my day job when the request came in as the letter would have been a little diffrent, but it’s nice to be approached for your opinion.
The ‘Freedom Flotilla’ organised by the Free Gaza Movement was bringing vital aid, right?
Nine people were tragically killed trying to deliver it, right?
Israel has been embroiled in an international incident. Angry mobs have attacked Israeli targets all over the world and demonstrated in Turkey.
But when the aid does finally arrive in 20 trucks (Israel delivered over 30,000 truckloads in 2009, that’s about 100 a day by the way) they have been stopped at the Rafah checkpoint by Hamas as the IDF blog reports:
As of right now, the State of Israel has loaded 20 trucks with various types of aid found onboard the flotilla. Expired medication, clothing, blankets, some medical equipment and toys were among the aid found on the ships.
Unfortunately, the Hamas terror organization is unwilling to accept the cargo and the trucks filled with humanitarian aid have not been allowed to enter the Gaza Strip. It appears that Hamas is in fact stopping the transfer of the humanitarian aid.
CNN has a little more on this:
Palestinian sources confirmed that trucks that arrived from Israel at the Rafah terminal at the Israel-Gaza border were barred from delivering the aid.
Ra’ed Fatooh, in charge of the crossings, and Jamal Khudari, head of a committee against the Gaza blockade, said Israel must release all flotilla detainees and that it will be accepted in the territory only by the Free Gaza Movement people who organized the flotilla.
So first of all the sum total of aid (I believe 8 trucks had already been delivered yesterday) was about one quarter of what is delivered daily through Israel and the organisers bleat:
Those held illegally by the Israeli government have committed no crime, they have simply attempted to avert a humanitarian disaster by bringing much-needed medical supplies into Gaza. (Betty Hunter, general secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
Much-needed out of date medication which could do more harm than good. But the way the ships were carelessly and chaotically laden bears witness that the aid was just a front; a front for confrontation. As the Jerusalem Post reported yesterday:
In a statement to reporters at the port on Tuesday, Colonel Moshe Levi, commander of the IDF’s Gaza Strip Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA), said that none of the equipment found on board the three cargo ships was in shortage in Gaza.
“We have been working non-stop for the last twenty-four hours examining the cargo holds of the three large cargo ships and I can say with great assurance, that none of the equipment on board is needed in Gaza. The equipment that we found is all equipment that we have regularly allowed into the strip over the past year,” said Levi. “This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the whole premise of the voyage was for propaganda and provocation and not for humanitarian purposes.”…..
Gidi Gofer, head of the Defense Ministry’s international transport division, said that the equipment that arrived in the cargo ships did not have proper transport manifests or any of the paperwork required to legally ship cargo by sea. “The cargo did not meet international safety or operational standards,” said Gofer.
Many in the flotilla who thought that they were on a genuine humanitarian mission were duped by the IHH who were behind the attempted lynching of the Israeli commandos; the real purpose of the flotilla for them was to cause an incident, kill some Israelis or become martyrs (see my post here).
So Hamas think so little of these 20 trucks that they are holding their own people to ransom in order to win some pathetic battle to release people they know will be released anyway. These are the people the poor misguided humanitarian organisations are really supporting. Their people are so deprived of medicine and a bit of food that they can afford to use them as bargaining chips in some obscene political game.
If this doesn’t tell us the true nature of Hamas or the the true intent of the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ then what will.
I am grateful to a friend who alerted me to this Channel 4 news item where Jon Snow interviews a British Naval analyst, Peter Cook, whose dispassionate description of the Israeli video material shows that, despite what the liars on board are now saying, the Israelis went in armed with paintball guns and holstered pistols and were met with murderous assault.
As predicted the BBC couldn’t keep up the good work for long in their little run of fair play.
Yesterday they ran a headline on the ‘eye-witness’ accounts aboard the flotilla: Witnesses cast doubt on Israel’s convoy raid account”, which was emblazoned across their home page.
Robin Shepherd had it absolutely spot on:
So, members of a virulently anti-Israeli convoy whose friends, colleagues and soul mates launched a violent attack on Israeli soldiers which ended in bloodshed have a different version of events from the Israelis, their sworn enemies? That’s a quotable lesson in BBC propaganda: people whom the average 11 year old could see have a conflict of interest are passed off as objective “eyewitnesses”.
But this is par for the course. And why not when the UN itself treats actors in the conflict who are terrorist organisations (Hamas) as if they were UN members, giving them credence, legitimacy and succour whilst they actively seek to destroy an actual UN member (Israel).
Please read Robin Shepherd’s article, he is at his brilliant best.
Have you noticed the BBC News website’s reporting of the flotilla incident? It’s so good (relatively speaking) that Israel’s enemies have noticed (see my previous post). They are actually reporting the Israeli side with impartiality – for an example see this from Paul Reynolds
OK, there have been the occasional lapses but overall this is much better – keep it up Auntie. Somehow I don’t think they will.