The Israeli military attempted to confiscate and erase the photographic and video evidence of its brutal asault on the Mavi Marmara aid ship on Memorial Day. But it turns out that digital images can often be recovered after erasure, and can be put on small memory sticks that can be hidden in nooks and crannies of luggage. So some images are in fact surfacing.
The most damaging is a film of an Israeli soldier kicking an American citizen while the latter is on the ground,and then executing him. This film completely refutes the rightwing Israeli government’s narrative of besieged lightly armed troops haplessly fending off naked aggression on the part of the aid workers.
I can’t make out very well what’s actually going on in this video. Try it yourself. There is no graphic gore visible.
JERUSALEM – Israeli commandos on Monday stormed six ships carrying hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists on an aid mission to the blockaded Gaza Strip, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens
Twice in this story there’s a claim by the Israelis that the civilians on the ship used weapons seized from Israeli commandos. I’m trying to figure out how the civilians seized weapons from soldiers who hadn’t attacked them yet. I’m really trying to figure out how the civilians seized weapons from Israeli commandos at all.
Does this make sense to anyone? A little help here?
An Al-Jazeera reporter on one of the Turkish ships said the Israelis fired at the vessel before boarding it. The Israelis, who had declared they would not let the ships reach Gaza, said they only opened fire after being attacked by activists with sticks, knives and live fire from weapons seized from the Israeli commandos.
The Israeli military said troops only opened fire after encountering unexpected resistance from the activists. Activists attacked troops with knives and iron rods, and opened fire with two pistols seized from the forces.
Response so far:
The tough Israeli response drew condemnations from Turkey, France and the U.N.’s Mideast envoy, while Greece suspended a military exercise with Israel and postponed a visit by Israel’s air force chief.
About 10,000 Turks also marched from Israel’s Consulate in Istanbul toward the city’s main square, shouting slogans denouncing Israel. The protesters earlier Monday tried storm the Consulate building but were blocked by police.
The Israeli ambassadors in Sweden, Spain, Denmark and Greece were summoned for meetings, and the French foreign minister called for an investigation.
In neighboring Jordan, hundreds demonstrated in the capital Amman to protest the Israeli action and demand that their government breaks diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.
The United Nations expressed “shock” and condemned the killings. “We are in contact with the Israeli authorities to express our deep concern and to seek a full explanation,” said a statement from the highest-ranking U.N. official in the region, Robert Serry.
Presumably the US response will be, “Israel has a right to defend its territory.” What do you think?
UPDATE: the AP story at the link now is not the same story I linked to this morning. Additional information has been added and quotes have been removed. Sorry about that; I have no control over altering the news.
UPDATE: Swedish novelist Henning Mankell was on board one of the ships and is reported to be fine.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is publishing some editorials highly critical of the raid. I wish we would publish such things here in the US. A couple of titles:
Israel blames Hamas for primitive homemade rocket attacks on the nearby Israeli city of Sederot. In 2001-2008, these rockets killed about 15 Israelis and injured 433, and they have damaged property. In the same period, Gazan mortar attacks on Israel have killed 8 Israelis.
Since the Second Intifada broke out in 2000, Israelis have killed nearly 5000 Palestinians, nearly a thousand of them minors. Since fall of 2007, Israel has kept the 1.5 million Gazans under a blockade, interdicting food, fuel and medical supplies to one degree or another. Wreaking collective punishment on civilian populations such as hospital patients denied needed electricity is a crime of war.
The Israelis on Saturday killed 5% of all the Palestinians they have killed since the beginning of 2001! 230 people were slaughtered in a day, over 70 of them innocent civilians. In contrast, from the ceasefire Hamas announced in June, 2008 until Saturday, no Israelis had been killed by Hamas. The infliction of this sort of death toll is known in the law of war as a disproportionate response, and it is a war crime.
The US, which for some odd reason holds an irrational hatred of the Palestinians, branded the dead Gaza policemen “thugs” and blamed the massive aerial strikes solely on Hamas, the fundamentalist Muslim party that controls Gaza.
I wish I could say that I hope for better under an Obama administration, but realistically, I don’t.
I changed the title because I realized not everyone would realize I was being sarcastic.