Israel Pays High Price for Attack on Turkish Flotilla with Aid for Gaza

Israel has, in effect, arrested all of the flotilla members. This means that Israel is free to spin to the news media with little correction from the other side. All the same the damage for Israel is mounting.

  • The Greek government has decided to discontinue the joint military exercise currently under way and to postpone the visit to Athens of the Head of the Israeli Air Force General Staff, which was to take place tomorrow.
  • The Turks have withdrawn their ambassador and their Foreign Minister says that relations are irreparable.
  • Netanyahu had to cancel his Washington visit that was to be a photo opportunity and “kiss and make up” session.
  • Israel’s actions were the subject of an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting. It is incumbent on Washington to thwart Israel’s international isolation and to veto anti-Israel resolutions.
  • Obama will try to distance the US from Israel in due course. What choice does he have? Israel is increasingly a millstone around America’s neck.
  • Toni Karon in Time magazine points out that the Chinese exacted a high price for joining the US in sanctioning Iran. “The Chinese government won undertakings from Washington to exempt Chinese companies from any U.S. unilateral sanctions that punish third-country business partners with the Islamic Republic.” Negotiations will now become harder and more costly for the US as the world largely sees the US effort to punish Iran to be driven by Israeli concerns. Iran hardly threatens the US.

See Jonathan Cook: 3 Facts You Need to Know About the Israeli Attack on Peace Activists on the Gaza Flotilla and analysis by Issandr El Amrani, How Israel sets the TV agenda

El Amrana writes:

“For a couple of hours this morning AJE was going from one Israeli official or commentator for another, the IDF has scheduled several press conferences, as did the Prime Minister’s office and the Foreign Ministry. They controlled the news cycle by having their message dominate the airwaves in those early hours, the TV stations — starved for content since there was a communications blackout from the flotilla ships and Israel’s military censor was no doubt squashing other aspects of the story — were running the Israeli viewpoint non-stop.”

Israel’s latest brutal blunder By Stephen M. Walt

This latest act of misguided belligerence poses a broader threat to U.S. national interests. Because the United States provides Israel with so much material aid and diplomatic protection, and because American politicians from the president on down repeatedly refer to the “unbreakable bonds” between the United States and Israel, people all over the world naturally associate us with most, if not all, of Israel’s actions. Thus, Israel doesn’t just tarnish its own image when it does something outlandish like this; it makes the United States look bad, too. This incident will harm our relations with other Middle Eastern countries, lend additional credence to jihadi narratives about the “Zionist-Crusader alliance,” and complicate efforts to deal with Iran. It will also cost us some moral standing with other friends around the world, especially if we downplay it. This is just more evidence, as if we needed any, that the special relationship with Israel has become a net liability.

In short, unless the Obama administration demonstrates just how angry and appalled it is by this foolish act, and unless the U.S. reaction has some real teeth in it, other states will rightly see Washington as irretrievably weak and hypocritical. And Obama’s Cairo speech – which was entitled “A New Beginning” — will be guaranteed a prominent place in the Hall of Fame of Empty Rhetoric.

How might the United States respond?………

Israel’s official Explanation

DEPUTY FM AYALON: Good morning, everyone. I want to report this morning that the armada of hate and violence in support of the Hamas terror organization was a premeditated and outrageous provocation. The organizers are well-known for their ties to Global Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror. On board the ship we found weapons that were prepared in advance and used against our forces. The organizers’ intent was violent, their method was violent,…… The maritime blockade on Gaza is very legal and justified by the terror that Hamas is applying in Gaza. …… Thank you very much.

Issandr El Amrani has done some digging on the charge that Israel began to spread around several days before its bloody attack on the flotilla that IHH is linked to al-Qaida. Apparently most of the allegations about the IHH stem from an article written by a certain Evan Kohlmann, a self-proclaimed terrorism expert, back in the 1990s. Issandr notes that the IHH is legally recognized in many countries, works with other NGOs, and has consultative status with the UN.

UN: “Members of the United Nations Security Council on Monday urged Israel to lift its economic blockade of the Gaza Strip, in an emergency session to discuss the deadly Israel Navy raid on a convoy of international activists sailing to the coastal territory.

Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco said in his briefing to the UN’s most powerful body that Monday’s bloodshed would have been avoided if repeated calls on Israel to end the “counterproductive and unacceptable” blockade of Gaza had been heeded…

Adam Shapiro, cofondateur du Mouvement de solidarité internationale, qui a participé à l’opération navale, revient sur l’assaut israélien.

Q – Comment s’est déroulé l’assaut israélien contre la flottille ?

R – Selon nos informations, Israël a lancé l’assaut autour de trois heures du matin, heure locale. Un millier de soldats ont été déployés, ainsi que des navires de guerre, des hélicoptères et des avions. L’assaut a d’abord été lancé contre le bateau turc de passagers (Mavi Marmara, NDLR) qui comptait quelque 600 personnes à son bord. Les soldats y ont été lâchés à partir d’un hélicoptère. Selon nos informations, les soldats ont commencé à ouvrir le feu dès qu’il ont touché le pont.

Ya-t-il eu des avertissements ?

Le seul avertissement lancé par les autorités israéliennes était de faire demi-tour.

Le général Ashkenazi a déclaré que des activistes étaient armés.

Les bateaux ont été méticuleusement inspectés avant de quitter leur port de départ. Ils ont obtenu le feu vert pour partir, donc aucune arme n’avait été trouvée à bord. D’après nos informations, certains passagers, après que les Israéliens ont ouvert le feu, ont tenté de se défendre avec des bâtons et des barres de fer. Maintenant, je n’étais pas personnellement sur le bateau, je ne peux rien confirmer à 100 %. Mais les vidéos ne montrent aucun militant armé. Et Israël n’a avancé aucune preuve que les militants étaient armés. Et c’est à Israël d’apporter une telle preuve si elle existe.

Vous attendiez-vous à une réaction israélienne d’une telle violence ?

Nous sommes des activistes expérimentés, nous n’en sommes pas à notre première mission sur mer ou sur terre. Nous savions que les Israéliens allaient tout faire pour nous arrêter. Nous savions que des armes mortelles pourraient être utilisées par les Israéliens. Mais cela nous semblait peu probable. Les autorités israéliennes avaient déclaré que les commandos d’élite seraient envoyés sur cette opération. Si les soldats qui ont participé à l’assaut sont effectivement des commandos d’élite, alors on ne peut que conclure que l’ordre de tirer leur a été donné, car ce type de soldat ne cafouille pas.

Avant l’assaut, Israël avait dénoncé la mission comme étant un acte de provocation et mis en doute son caractère légal.

La flottille a été arrêtée dans les eaux internationales. Nous étions encore loin des eaux israéliennes ou de Gaza. Et nous avions eu l’autorisation de naviguer de la part des ports de départ. Quand les Israéliens nous ont arrêtés, nous étions dans la légalité. Par ailleurs, Israël part de l’hypothèse que son blocus de Gaza est légal pour dire que notre mission ne l’est pas. Or les Nations unies, la Croix-Rouge et beaucoup d’autres organisations ont dit que le blocus de Gaza est illégal car ce blocus est une punition collective, ce qui est illégal selon le droit international.

De nombreuses voix se sont élevées, au sein de la communauté internationale, pour fermement condamner l’assaut israélien. Que pensez-vous de ces réactions ?

De cette tragédie, nous espérons que naîtra un début de prise de conscience de la part de la communauté internationale sur la réalité du Moyen-Orient, en ce sens qu’Israël se présente toujours comme la victime alors qu’il est l’agresseur. Aujourd’hui, le potentiel existe pour une intifada globale visant à soutenir les droits des Palestiniens et à condamner l’occupation brutale israélienne.

State Dept Statement by Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC – May 31, 2010

The United States deeply regrets the tragic loss of life and injuries suffered among those involved in the incident today aboard the Gaza-bound ships. We are working to ascertain the facts, and expect that the Israeli government will conduct a full and credible investigation.

The United States remains deeply concerned by the suffering of civilians in Gaza. We will continue to engage the Israelis on a daily basis to expand the scope and type of goods allowed into Gaza to address the full range of the population’s humanitarian and recovery needs. We will continue to work closely with the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority,….

Flotillas and the Wars of Public Opinion
By George Friedman for Stratfor

On Sunday, Israeli naval forces intercepted the ships of a Turkish nongovernmental organization (NGO) delivering humanitarian supplies to Gaza. Israel had demanded that the vessels not go directly to Gaza but instead dock in Israeli ports, where the supplies would be offloaded and delivered to Gaza. The Turkish NGO refused, insisting on going directly to Gaza. Gunfire ensued when Israeli naval personnel boarded one of the vessels, and a significant number of the passengers and crew on the ship were killed or wounded.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon charged that the mission was simply an attempt to provoke the Israelis. That was certainly the case. The mission was designed to demonstrate that the Israelis were unreasonable and brutal. The hope was that Israel would be provoked to extreme action, further alienating Israel from the global community and possibly driving a wedge between Israel and the United States. The operation’s planners also hoped this would trigger a political crisis in Israel.
A logical Israeli response would have been avoiding falling into the provocation trap and suffering the political repercussions the Turkish NGO was trying to trigger. Instead, the Israelis decided to make a show of force. The Israelis appear to have reasoned that backing down would demonstrate weakness and encourage further flotillas to Gaza, unraveling the Israeli position vis-à-vis Hamas. In this thinking, a violent interception was a superior strategy to accommodation regardless of political consequences. Thus, the Israelis accepted the bait and were provoked.

The ‘Exodus’ Scenario

In the 1950s, an author named Leon Uris published a book called “Exodus.” Later made into a major motion picture, Exodus told the story of a Zionist provocation against the British. In the wake of World War II, the British — who controlled Palestine, as it was then known — maintained limits on Jewish immigration there. Would-be immigrants captured trying to run the blockade were detained in camps in Cyprus. In the book and movie, Zionists planned a propaganda exercise involving a breakout of Jews — mostly children — from the camp, who would then board a ship renamed the Exodus. When the Royal Navy intercepted the ship, the passengers would mount a hunger strike. The goal was to portray the British as brutes finishing the work of the Nazis. The image of children potentially dying of hunger would force the British to permit the ship to go to Palestine, to reconsider British policy on immigration, and ultimately to decide to abandon Palestine and turn the matter over to the United Nations.

There was in fact a ship called Exodus, but the affair did not play out precisely as portrayed by Uris, who used an amalgam of incidents to display the propaganda war waged by the Jews. Those carrying out this war had two goals. The first was to create sympathy in Britain and throughout the world for Jews who, just a couple of years after German concentration camps, were now being held in British camps. Second, they sought to portray their struggle as being against the British. The British were portrayed as continuing Nazi policies toward the Jews in order to maintain their empire. The Jews were portrayed as anti-imperialists, fighting the British much as the Americans had.

It was a brilliant strategy. By focusing on Jewish victimhood and on the British, the Zionists defined the battle as being against the British, with the Arabs playing the role of people trying to create the second phase of the Holocaust. The British were portrayed as pro-Arab for economic and imperial reasons, indifferent at best to the survivors of the Holocaust. Rather than restraining the Arabs, the British were arming them. The goal was not to vilify the Arabs but to villify the British, and to position the Jews with other nationalist groups whether in India or Egypt rising against the British.
The precise truth or falsehood of this portrayal didn’t particularly matter. For most of the world, the Palestine issue was poorly understood and not a matter of immediate concern. The Zionists intended to shape the perceptions of a global public with limited interest in or understanding of the issues, filling in the blanks with their own narrative. And they succeeded.

The success was rooted in a political reality. Where knowledge is limited, and the desire to learn the complex reality doesn’t exist, public opinion can be shaped by whoever generates the most powerful symbols. And on a matter of only tangential interest, governments tend to follow their publics’ wishes, however they originate. There is little to be gained for governments in resisting public opinion and much to be gained by giving in. By shaping the battlefield of public perception, it is thus possible to get governments to change positions.

The precise truth or falsehood of this portrayal didn’t particularly matter. For most of the world, the Palestine issue was poorly understood and not a matter of immediate concern. The Zionists intended to shape the perceptions of a global public with limited interest in or understanding of the issues, filling in the blanks with their own narrative. And they succeeded…..

The Turkish Flotilla to Gaza

The Palestinians have long argued that they are the victims of Israel, an invention of British and American imperialism. Since 1967, they have focused not so much on the existence of the state of Israel (at least in messages geared toward the West) as on the oppression of Palestinians in the occupied territories. Since the split between Hamas and Fatah and the Gaza War, the focus has been on the plight of the citizens of Gaza, who have been portrayed as the dispossessed victims of Israeli violence.

The bid to shape global perceptions by portraying the Palestinians as victims of Israel was the first prong of a longtime two-part campaign. The second part of this campaign involved armed resistance against the Israelis. The way this resistance was carried out, from airplane hijackings to stone-throwing children to suicide bombers, interfered with the first part of the campaign, however. The Israelis could point to suicide bombings or the use of children against soldiers as symbols of Palestinian inhumanity. This in turn was used to justify conditions in Gaza. While the Palestinians had made significant inroads in placing Israel on the defensive in global public opinion, they thus consistently gave the Israelis the opportunity to turn the tables. And this is where the flotilla comes in.

The Turkish flotilla aimed to replicate the Exodus story or, more precisely, to define the global image of Israel in the same way the Zionists defined the image that they wanted to project….

The Geopolitical Fallout for Israel

It is vital that the Israelis succeed in portraying the flotilla as an extremist plot. Whether extremist or not, the plot has generated an image of Israel quite damaging to Israeli political interests. Israel is increasingly isolated internationally, with heavy pressure on its relationship with Europe and the United States.

In all of these countries, politicians are extremely sensitive to public opinion. It is difficult to imagine circumstances under which public opinion will see Israel as the victim. The general response in the Western public is likely to be that the Israelis probably should have allowed the ships to go to Gaza and offload rather than to precipitate bloodshed. Israel’s enemies will fan these flames by arguing that the Israelis prefer bloodshed to reasonable accommodation. And as Western public opinion shifts against Israel, Western political leaders will track with this shift.

The incident also wrecks Israeli relations with Turkey, historically an Israeli ally in the Muslim world with longstanding military cooperation with Israel. The Turkish government undoubtedly has wanted to move away from this relationship, but it faced resistance within the Turkish military and among secularists. The new Israeli action makes a break with Israel easy, and indeed almost necessary for Ankara.

With roughly the population of Houston, Texas, Israel is just not large enough to withstand extended isolation, meaning this event has profound geopolitical implications.
Public opinion matters where issues are not of fundamental interest to a nation. Israel is not a fundamental interest to other nations. The ability to generate public antipathy to Israel can therefore reshape Israeli relations with countries critical to Israel. For example, a redefinition of U.S.-Israeli relations will have much less effect on the United States than on Israel. The Obama administration, already irritated by the Israelis, might now see a shift in U.S. public opinion that will open the way to a new U.S.-Israeli relationship disadvantageous to Israel…..

Opinion in Europe will likely harden. And public opinion in the United States — by far the most important in the equation — might shift to a “plague-on-both-your-houses” position.

While the international reaction is predictable, the interesting question is whether this evolution will cause a political crisis in Israel. Those in Israel who feel that international isolation is preferable to accommodation with the Palestinians are in control now. Many in the opposition see Israel’s isolation as a strategic threat. Economically and militarily, they argue, Israel cannot survive in isolation. The current regime will respond that there will be no isolation. The flotilla aimed to generate what the government has said would not happen. …

Israel is now in uncharted waters. It does not know how to respond. It is not clear that the Palestinians know how to take full advantage of the situation, either. But even so, this places the battle on a new field, far more fluid and uncontrollable than what went before. The next steps will involve calls for sanctions against Israel. The Israeli threats against Iran will be seen in a different context, and Israeli portrayal of Iran will hold less sway over the world.

And this will cause a political crisis in Israel. If this government survives, then Israel is locked into a course that gives it freedom of action but international isolation. If the government falls, then Israel enters a period of domestic uncertainty. In either case, the flotilla achieved its strategic mission. It got Israel to take violent action against it. In doing so, Israel ran into its own fist.

Comments (169)


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2. Badr said:

Amir & AP,

What is your defense of the Israeli government not allowing building materials to enter Gaza?

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June 1st, 2010, 2:22 am

 

3. Enlightened said:

Josh: “In doing so Israel ran into its own fist”

I beg to differ, the current Israeli government “would cut off its own nose to spite its face”

This incident might be what we call a “paradigm shift”, the world wide call for activists would be to organize a fleet, ten times as large then a hundred.

The mood here in Australia, is quite palpable, one of our female journalists was shot in the leg, and on top of the passports fiasco some parliamentarians and senators have requested that the government haul in the Israeli ambassador for answers.

Some how I cant see in the world of public opinion, the Israeli government is going to get away with this quite easily. The usual claims that they were armed, shot at etc wont wash.

Akbar and his mates will have their hands busy in the next few weeks!

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June 1st, 2010, 4:52 am

 

4. majedkhaldoun said:

The US position has a price,Neteyahoo has to pay

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June 1st, 2010, 8:15 am

 

5. Joshua said:

Enlightened, Good to hear from you. The Australian news may be hard on Israeli handling of the event, but here in the US, the coverage has been largely absent or about “competing narratives” and who the real victim is.

Fox News had an Israeli spokesperson explaining how brutal and dangerous were the “so called” activists.

When I turned on the news last night at 11:00 p.m. not one other station was covering the problem. Coverage was all about the Gulf oil spill. Even National Public Radio this morning is soft peddling it.

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June 1st, 2010, 9:08 am

 

6. almasri said:

Kuwait breaks moderate arabs taboo. Government approves parliament request to withdraw from arab peace initiative.

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June 1st, 2010, 9:13 am

 
 

8. Jihad said:

Mr. Majed Khaldoum, can you tell us what the price is? Even Khaled Machaal was so impressed by the White Man’s camera on “Charlie Rose” that he made the yet again one of his stupidest statements. For free. The US won’t pay any price as well as the colonial settler state called “Israel” that a former French ambassador described as “this shitty state” which now has a permanent representative in Abu Dhabi and renewed relations with Qatar. Is anyone really expecting the White Man in Washington, Barack Obama, to exact any price on this shitty state? What’s funny is this statement: “Obama will try to distance the US from Israel in due course. What choice does he have? Israel is increasingly a millstone around America’s neck”. Oh yes, that’s why Obama sent a letter a few days back saying that the US will guarantee the shitty state strategic superiority in the region.

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June 1st, 2010, 9:18 am

 

9. qunfuz said:

As a passionate anti-Zionist, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Netanyahu administration and the overwhelming majority of the Jewish-Israeli people for their contribution to the cause. I would particularly like to thank these people in occupied Tel Abib: http://pulsemedia.org/2010/06/01/celebrating-murder/ Really quite brilliant. A thousand delegations of pro-Palestinian activists to Ankara could not have done what you have done.

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June 1st, 2010, 9:36 am

 

10. Averroes said:

Qunfuz, and others,

I have heard expressions of tamed happiness at the mess that Israel has put itself into. I cannot support that. The lives of those brave activists were infinitely more important than the exposure of the true face of Israel. Israel has many many stooges in the press that can mute and suffocate any story including this one. The PR stage is an important stage, but to me, the loss of the lives of those brave activists cannot be called “good” under any circumstances.

I read AP’s comment about the one positive outcome of this being that we will see no more aid convoys. What an arrogant, reckless, and totally insensitive to loss of life comment to make. It is a mentality of a monster, and that is what Israel is being exposed to be.

In face of their increasing madness, our choice must be to stick to our values and our rights and maintain a cool head.

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June 1st, 2010, 10:49 am

 

11. qunfuz said:

Averroes – I think you have read my comment quite wrongly if you think it was meant to express happiness at the murder of the humanitarian activists in international waters.

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June 1st, 2010, 11:00 am

 

12. Averroes said:

Qunfuz,

I have no doubt that we’re on the same side. I just wanted to comment on the choice of expressions used, and to make a general statement.

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June 1st, 2010, 11:09 am

 

13. norman said:

Look at this , will make for the other media ,

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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June 1st, 2010, 11:31 am

 

14. qunfuz said:

but you also have to examine the style and context in which expressions are used, Averoes, and to take on board the concept of irony.

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June 1st, 2010, 12:10 pm

 

15. majedkhaldoun said:

I wonder what will happen if thousands of palastinian refugee leave the countries they are in, and get in a ship and go to haifa

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June 1st, 2010, 12:37 pm

 

16. Akbar Palace said:

Bursting Jonathan Cook’s Bubble

The legal case for the blockade as well as the boarding of ships:

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/385ec082b509e76c41256739003e636d/7694fe2016f347e1c125641f002d49ce

What is your defense of the Israeli government not allowing building materials to enter Gaza?

Badr,

Here is the GOI defense:

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/Israeli_humanitarian_lifeline_Gaza_25-May-2010.htm

I would particularly like to thank these people in occupied Tel Abib

Qunfuz,

And I would also like to thank you for showing that the “occupation” and the holy “green line” is just an excuse.

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June 1st, 2010, 1:08 pm

 

17. jad said:

AP, you are a coward and ignorant human being I never ever thought that people like you do even exist between human. Your comments are a reflection of who you are an evil soul.

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June 1st, 2010, 1:21 pm

 

18. jad said:

Robert Fisk: Western leaders are too cowardly to help save lives

Has Israel lost it? Can the Gaza War of 2008-09 (1,300 dead) and the Lebanon War of 2006 (1,006 dead) and all the other wars and now yesterday’s killings mean that the world will no longer accept Israel’s rule?

Don’t hold your breath.

You only have to read the gutless White House statement – that the Obama administration was “working to understand the circumstances surrounding the tragedy”. Not a single word of condemnation. And that’s it. Nine dead. Just another statistic to add to the Middle East’s toll.

But it’s not.

In 1948, our politicians – the Americans and the British – staged an airlift into Berlin. A starving population (our enemies only three years before) were surrounded by a brutal army, the Russians, who had erected a fence around the city. The Berlin airlift was one of the great moments in the Cold War. Our soldiers and our airmen risked and gave their lives for these starving Germans.

Incredible, isn’t it? In those days, our politicians took decisions; our leaders took decisions to save lives. Messrs Attlee and Truman knew that Berlin was important in moral and human as well as political terms.

And today? It was people – ordinary people, Europeans, Americans, Holocaust survivors – yes, for heaven’s sake, survivors of the Nazis – who took the decision to go to Gaza because their politicians and their statesmen had failed them.

Where were our politicians yesterday? Well, we had the ridiculous Ban Ki-moon, the White House’s pathetic statement, and dear Mr Blair’s expression of “deep regret and shock at the tragic loss of life”. Where was Mr Cameron? Where was Mr Clegg?

Back in 1948, they would have ignored the Palestinians, of course. It is, after all, a terrible irony that the Berlin airlift coincided with the destruction of Arab Palestine.

But it is a fact that it is ordinary people, activists, call them what you will, who now take decisions to change events. Our politicians are too spineless, too cowardly, to take decisions to save lives. Why is this? Why didn’t we hear courageous words from Messrs Cameron and Clegg yesterday?

For it is a fact, is it not, that had Europeans (and yes, the Turks are Europeans, are they not?) been gunned down by any other Middle Eastern army (which the Israeli army is, is it not?) there would have been waves of outrage.

And what does this say about Israel? Isn’t Turkey a close ally of Israel? Is this what the Turks can expect? Now Israel’s only ally in the Muslim world is saying this is a massacre – and Israel doesn’t seem to care.

But then Israel didn’t care when London and Canberra expelled Israeli diplomats after British and Australian passports were forged and then provided to the assassins of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. It didn’t care when it announced new Jewish settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem while Joe Biden, the Vice-President of its erstwhile ally, the United States, was in town. Why should Israel care now?
How did we get to this point? Maybe because we all grew used to seeing the Israelis kill Arabs, maybe the Israelis grew used to killing Arabs. Now they kill Turks. Or Europeans. Something has changed in the Middle East these past 24 hours – and the Israelis (given their extraordinarily stupid political response to the slaughter) don’t seem to have grasped what has happened. The world is tired of these outrages. Only the politicians are silent.

Diplomatic storms

*Goldstone report, November 2009
Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 with the declared aim of halting rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the three-week conflict along with 13 Israelis. The South African jurist Richard Goldstone’s report into the conflict found both Israel and the Hamas movement that controls the Strip guilty of war crimes, but focused more on Israel. Israel refused to co-operate with Goldstone and described his report as distorted and biased.

* The al-Mabhouh assassination, January-May 2010
Britain and Australia expelled Israeli diplomats after concluding that Israel had forged British and Australian passports used by assassins to kill a Hamas commander in Dubai. Israel has neither confirmed or denied a role in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in his hotel room in January. Britain said such misuse of British passports was “intolerable”. Australia said it was not the behaviour of “a nation with whom we have had such a close, friendly and supportive relationship”.

*Settlements row, March 2010
Israel announces plans, during visit by US Vice-President Joe Biden, to build 1,600 homes for Jews in an area of the West Bank annexed by Israel. The announcement triggers unusually harsh criticism from the United States. Washington said it damaged its efforts to revive the Middle East peace process. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the project was an insult. Netanyahu said he was blindsided by planning bureaucrats and apologised to Biden. Today’s meeting with Barack Obama at the White House, called off by Mr Netanyahu so he could return home to deal with the flotilla crisis, was supposed to be another part of the fence-mending between the two allies.

*Nuclear secrecy, May 2010
Israel, widely assumed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, has faced renewed calls to sign a global treaty barring the spread of atomic weapons. Signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) last week called for a conference in 2012 to discuss banning weapons of mass destruction throughout the Middle East. The declaration was adopted by all 189 parties to the NPT, including the US. It urged Israel to sign the NPT and put its nuclear facilities under UN safeguards.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-western-leaders-are-too-cowardly–to-help-save-lives-1987989.html

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June 1st, 2010, 1:23 pm

 

19. Akbar Palace said:

9 Dead “Peace Activitsts” vs. Saddam’s Mass Graves, the Hypocrisy Continues

And that’s it. Nine dead. Just another statistic to add to the Middle East’s toll.

JAD,

Are you just concerned about statistics related to Israeli actions or are you also concerned about statistics related to Arab actions?

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June 1st, 2010, 1:39 pm

 

20. jad said:

For evil people like you it’s just a matter of ‘numbers’ not ‘souls’ I wonder if the person who died that you want to call a ‘number’ was your kid your brother, your mother, your father, your wife, your sister or your self, what the reaction will be for that lost ‘number’?
GO TO HELL!!!

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June 1st, 2010, 1:52 pm

 

21. norman said:

Jad ,
you are missing the point !,
They just have to have the same religion that he has and the will be worth all the people of Gaza ,

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June 1st, 2010, 2:09 pm

 

22. why-discuss said:

I wonder how bad Turkey-Israel relationship is? Is Gaza being used by the Erdogan party to weaken further the turkish military?

Amy Teibel, AFP reports

“There were signs, however, that the long-term strategic partnership between Israel and its most important Muslim ally would endure: Turkey canceled three joint land and sea exercises, but appeared to be otherwise maintaining deep military ties that include the planned delivery of $183 million in Israeli drones this summer.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke to his Turkish counterpart as well as their chief of staff Monday, and they agreed that the raid wouldn’t affect weapons deals, defense officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing sensitive military ties.

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June 1st, 2010, 2:27 pm

 

23. Ford Prefect said:

Jad,

The criminal and racist thugs of Israel and their heartless supporters abroad always try to divert attentions away from their heinous crimes against humanity by invoking similar crimes by similar thugs.

Hmmmm, but I thought that the Western thugs of the likes of AIPAC and Daniel Sewage Pipes stood on higher moral grounds, didn’t they? Wasn’t God who directed them, through his faxed messages to parasites like Pat Roberston, that what they do in killing Arabs is actually the work of the Jad,

So only when it’s convenient, they invoke other crimes.

So here I go:

Attention Israel’s warmongers and its cronies and parasites everywhere: YOU ARE THE MOST DESPICABLE, SICK, AND IMMORAL THUGS OF THE LOWEST KIND. And you are right there, in same filthy swamp, as the worst murderers in history.

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June 1st, 2010, 2:36 pm

 

24. jad said:

Dear Norman,
He is one bad and evil person who reflect only himself and nobody else, I don’t even know what religion he is because simply I don’t care.
Our religion is not a reflection of who we truly are or who we might become, I’m only asking for people to use their brains and to notice that what just happened is a crime against every human on this strange planet, it’s a coward an aggressive action that shouldn’t happen at all, those people who died are good people and I don’t give a damn of what someone like AP or his evil army will call it or try to say to hide their hideous crime.
It’s an ugly crime and every politician trying to hide behind his political dreams is an accomplice in it.

R. Fisk:
“How did we get to this point? Maybe because we all grew used to seeing the Israelis kill Arabs, maybe the Israelis grew used to killing Arabs. Now they kill Turks. Or Europeans. Something has changed in the Middle East these past 24 hours – and the Israelis (given their extraordinarily stupid political response to the slaughter) don’t seem to have grasped what has happened. The world is tired of these outrages. Only the politicians are silent.”

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June 1st, 2010, 2:39 pm

 

25. BigB said:

As an American who supports this administration, I have to say that I am very upset about the handeling of the Arab/Israeli and Palestinian conflict. I thought for sure that in the Spring of 2009 the Obama administration had the wherewithall to finally pressure an Israeli administration, that needed to be pressed (a la 1996), to accept certain Arab terms and conditions. I am going to be watching the Obama administration closely on this recent Gaza matter because the balance is begining to tip away from Israel and towards the Arab cause. The Arab cause is begining to bring in other, militarily robust parties (i.e. Turkey). The U.S., who has always been on the side of the Israeli’s – rightfully so – needs to come to the realization that Israel has not always been there for the U.S., if not at all. I am begining to think that Asad was right in his calculations to not engage Israel because their recent actions show that with the U.S. on their side they can run roughshod across the Levant. It is practical for Syria to abandon its use of proxy forces to keep pressure on Israel, especially with TUrkey in the mix, now. As Walt said in his piece, this action by Israel was a boneheaded move. The U.S. should see it that way and respond in kind by taking a stand, telling AIPAC to take a hike for the time being, and pressure the Israeli government by way of military sanctions. However, I think, much like in 1998, the Israeli public is not going to put up with Netanyahu’s actions. If the opposition in the Kneset is strong enough, it might be time for a vote of no confidence.

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June 1st, 2010, 2:43 pm

 

26. why-discuss said:

AP

You can be proud of the fiasco of your special forces. If it wasn’t for the dozens of innocent dead, this whole operation would look more like a macabre and childish clownery.
Of course, these activist were “trained in Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, or Iran or Syria”, and the IDF naively did not know that: Another fiasco for your intelligence services.
Of course they were equipped with “lethal weapons”, but for once your special forces were not in tank or in the air to avoid confrontations as they did during the Lebanon war. So many of your special forces just jumped overboard to save their skin. A real proof of courage you should be proud of.
Well next time, your defence minister should just tell the activists that they are ‘misbehaving’. That’s all. Or maybe your IDF should get some training in Afghanistan, it will be more useful for the next confrontation with the next peaceful activists.

and please stop replying to a question by a question.

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June 1st, 2010, 2:48 pm

 

27. Alex said:

Yesterday “Amir in Tel Aviv” reacted to the news of his IDF’s murders by explaining to us how the Israeli people are much more civilized and human than us Arab animals who celebrate death. He said:

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=6603&cp=all#comment-237431

“Today (believe it or don’t) I didn’t see or witnessed any gloating in the streets of Tel-Aviv. On the contrary. I did see gloomy faces and worried people.”

Thanks to Qunfuz (and Ghat Albird by email) I will embed this video here again.

Israelis celebrating attack on Turkish Aid Ship – in front of the Turkish Embassy,… in Amir’s Tel Aviv

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June 1st, 2010, 3:16 pm

 

28. Alex said:

LEBANON SAID TO FIRE ON ISRAELI WARPLANES … (AFP)

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June 1st, 2010, 3:39 pm

 

29. Alex said:

Finkelstein asked a very important question: Is Israel acting like a Lunatic State (its declared mad dog policy behind its attacks on Lebanon then Gaza), or did it become an out of control, lunatic state.

As Israel routinely threatens to attack both Lebanon and Iran … can a veritable (and not merely acting) lunatic state like Israel be trusted with its 200+ nuclear weapons and with more advanced American military technology?

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June 1st, 2010, 3:51 pm

 

30. majedkhaldoun said:

AP said
9 Dead “Peace Activitsts” vs. Saddam’s Mass Graves, the Hypocrisy
this is what I call deceiving,you are deceiver.

What Israel did proved what I always say,ISRAEL IS BEHIND MOST EVIL THINGS IN THE ME.
The freedom ship massacre,falsifying passports to kill al Mabhoh, sending submarines to the gulf with nuclear heads ,this is only to mention few recent things.

Erdogan speech stating position,not issueing decisions yet,I am sure Turkey will make Israel accountable,and get even with the leaders of the zionist entity,Friday will come.

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June 1st, 2010, 3:53 pm

 

31. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

This all event should teach the Arabs a lesson.
When ever the Arabs use the language of force they fail and lose.
In those rare cases, that they resort to peaceful means (or means that are perceived as peaceful), they have a chance to succeed.

The South African Apartheid was abolished, not with the blacks there launching Jihad against the whites, or by threatening the existence of the white community, but by peaceful activity, and with a promise to assure the security and the rights of all the South African communities.

No wonder Mr. Mahmud Abbas stated a week ago, that the 2nd intifatha was the biggest Arab mistake ever. I humbly have to agree.
When the Arabs start to talk real peace to us (instead of a talk of ‘The Jews of Khaybar’), it will make our lives more “difficult”.

Alex, I don’t see this demonstration in front the Turkish embassy as “gloating” the deaths of the flotilla passengers. this is a contra to the Turks storming the Israeli embassy, and a message to the Turks to stay out of it.
.

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June 1st, 2010, 3:59 pm

 

32. jad said:

Here we go, one of those lunatic citizen (aita) from the lunatic state.
What is the moral of this BS the lunatic citizen is rumbling about? Anybody can translate?

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June 1st, 2010, 4:15 pm

 

33. Husam said:

Guys:

1- You keep getting hot-headed when you read AP’s comments; Long ago, I got it in my head that s/he is a paid parrot blogger. Try not to waste too much time thinking you are dealing with a human. He is a conditioned – loss case.

2- Nothing Israel does is without the explicit consent of Washington; that is the way things work. We all get carried away and view US/Israel as two entities forgetting the reality of who owns and runs the CFR and Congress.

3- The UN is nothing more than a circus put in place to make belief that there is somewhere to go and get some kind of justice. Not a single resolution against Israel has been enforced. So, we need to ask ourselves, why? Until the “owners” of such fake organisation are changed, the status quo will remain.

4- You can send a million flotillas, just like the millions who demonstrated against the Iraq Invasion, nothing will come of it. And, sadly, life goes on.

5- Turkey’s 180 Million Drone deal: If I were Israel, I would install a faulty code in its delivery and application system that can be remotely triggered to either become useless or fall from the sky. I think all of Israeli made component are already built that way with a last resort option: implosion.

6- The only way for Arabs forward is by strategic unification and power consolidation. It will take courage, time and heroes.

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June 1st, 2010, 4:17 pm

 

34. why-discuss said:

AMITA

It is a good sign that you now compare Israel to South africa, you are implictly admitting that Israel has become an apartheid state.

The difference though is that Israel is using the holocaust western guilt and the powerful jewish lobby and money to become immune of all its illegal acts, under the pretext of protecting a jewish safe haven created by colonial powers, that has become a fortress of hate and deceptions.
Peaceful demonstrations are received with guns.. do you suggest that more flotillas should come peacefully? until when?
Once Israel’s arogance will erode, then it will be able to talk sense, now it is hysteria and delusions that prevails as we have seen on the anti-turkish video demonstration.

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June 1st, 2010, 4:40 pm

 

35. Alex said:

31. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Alex, I don’t see this demonstration in front the Turkish embassy as “gloating” the deaths of the flotilla passengers. this is a contra to the Turks storming the Israeli embassy, and a message to the Turks to stay out of it.

Amir,

You are so right. In fact … this is just like when Palestinian demonstrators danced in the streets in 1991 when Saddam launched missiles at Israel during the Kuwait war … They were in fact celebrating what they hoped at the time would be a step towards a fair and just solution to the Middle East conflict that will bring peace and prosperity to everyone.

Lucky you … How nice it is to live in denial

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June 1st, 2010, 4:51 pm

 

36. Alex said:

I agree with Malley … we need to recognize the failure of Israel, Egypt and the United States as they insisted on advocating their failed “West bank first” policy.

“The policy toward Gaza is in need of thorough re-examination.”

http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/media-releases/2010/flotilla-attack-the-deadly-symptom-of-a-failed-policy.aspx

Flotilla Attack the Deadly Symptom of a Failed Policy
Brussels/Washington/Jerusalem | 31 May 2010

The International Crisis Group condemns Israel’s assault on a flotilla of humanitarian aid bound for Gaza, which resulted in a tragic loss of life.

At the same time, the incident is an indictment of a much broader policy toward Gaza for which Israel does not bear sole responsibility.

For years, many in the international community have been complicit in a policy that aimed at isolating Gaza in the hope of weakening Hamas. This policy is morally appalling and politically self-defeating. It has harmed the people of Gaza without loosening Hamas’s control. Yet it has persisted regardless of evident failure.

“The flotilla assault is but a symptom of an approach that has been implicitly endorsed by many”, says Robert Malley, Director of Crisis Group’s Middle East Program. “It is yet another stark illustration of the belated need for a comprehensive change in policy toward Gaza.”

International condemnation and calls for an inquiry will come easily, but many who will issue them must acknowledge their own role in the deplorable treatment of Gaza that formed the backdrop to today’s events. The policy of isolating Gaza, seeking to turn its population against Hamas, and endorsing a “West Bank first” approach was not an exclusively Israeli one. To focus on this recent tragedy alone is to miss the much wider and more important political lessons.

The policy toward Gaza is in need of thorough re-examination. The US, EU and Quartet as a whole have been calling for relaxing the siege on Gaza. That is welcome, but opening the humanitarian tap is not an appropriate answer to a policy whose fundamental premise is morally callous and politically counter-productive. Instead, Gaza should be open to normal commercial traffic with adequate international end-use monitoring.

“Today, we have witnessed the sad outgrowth of a failed and dangerous policy”, says Louise Arbour, Crisis Group President. “One hopes it can provide an opportunity for a long-overdue course correction.”

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June 1st, 2010, 5:02 pm

 

37. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

WD,

Be sure that with this kind of a talk, and this kind of a usage of words (“colonial”), the Israeli “arrogance” is guarantied for the next 62 years.

BTW Alex,

In one of the previous threads, you called me and Akbar “right wing”.
I don’t know about Akbar, probably a Republican, but I never in my life voted for Likud (or to the right of it), and I have no intention to start to do so. If speaking about denial, including me with the ‘right’, is a kind of denial too. In fact, economically and socially speaking, I’m far left, and foreign-affairs speaking, I’m center left. Most of Israeli Jews (I would say 70% of them) are situated to the right of me. The Arabs should ask themselves how did we all reach this point, and not blame all on Israel alone.
.

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June 1st, 2010, 5:29 pm

 

38. almasri said:

“I agree with Malley … we need to recognize the failure of Israel, Egypt and the United States as they insisted on advocating their failed “West bank first” policy.”

To a certain extent, I agree with Alex @36. The mood in Egypt is shifting towards challenging this same failed policy, there is a realization that Mubarak is becoming out of touch. Except for some public demonstrations yesterday, most of the opposition gatherings are taking place in the courtyards of mosques where security forces maintain distance, and some of these courtyards can accomodate tens of thousands. But that means very few media outlets get to report on these gatherings – most likely western media will never hear about them. There are three main demands made by the protesters: expelling the Israeli ambassador, opening the Gaza borders and suspending what are essentially Egyptian subsidized gas exports to the entity at prices well below market. Today, Mubarak gave in to one of the demands by opening the border (for the time being). Of course, it is a calculated move to absorb some of the pressure. People know that, even though they may say otherwise.

But the fact that opposition is squeezed into mosques reminds us of pre-Khomeini Iran. If the sequel will follow that path then most likely an MB version of Iran will emerge in Egypt and soon replicated in Jordan. Given the fact that the US is still insisting on its planned withdrawal from Iraq, so far with no government, most likely pro-Iranian government will emerge. All of a sudden the arc is completed with Syria surrounded by fundamentalists (if we use western terminologies). The present Turkish government, if it is still in power, or even another government, would probably welcome the change and would manipulate it to ride the wave into a new world order hoping to become its leader. The MB’s of Jordan and Egypt, even though are carefully watched by the authorities are the most organized and have representatives in parliament and sometimes even in government albeit without much real executive authority. I would imagine in this case that the ball would soon be back in Syria’s court.

What would in your opinion be the effects of such possible outcomes on Syria and particularly the government? Will the government of Syria accommodate the MB’s given that Syria’s government supports MB Hamas?

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June 1st, 2010, 6:24 pm

 

39. almasri said:

Hersh: US, Israel support PKK
Mon, 29 Oct 2007 02:38:48 GMT
PKK Kurdish rebel group and its sister organization, PEJAK, have been receiving support from the US and Israel, an American journalist claims.

“In the past months, Israel and the United States have been working together in support of PKK and its Iranian offshoot PEJAK, I was told by a government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon,” said Pulitzer Prize-winning, Seymour Hersh.

In an interview with Turkish gazette, Zaman, the leading American investigative journalist also revealed that the White House has lost control over PKK which has gone rogue.

Earlier, the renowned American journalist accused Washington and the Zionist regime of providing PKK and PEJAK with ‘training and equipment’ in a secret ploy to destabilize the region.

Commenting on PEJAK, Hersh asserted that Washington considers it as “part of an effort to explore alternative means of applying pressure on Iran.”

The Party for Free Life in Kurdistan (PEJAK) has been behind a string of deadly attacks on security forces in northwestern Iran. PEJAK is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union.

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June 1st, 2010, 6:51 pm

 

40. Akbar Palace said:

New Definitions for “Innocent”

You can be proud of the fiasco of your special forces.

WD,

I think there were probably better ways to handle the situation. When the next boat comes, I would imagine the IDF will employ better means.

If it wasn’t for the dozens of innocent dead, this whole operation would look more like a macabre and childish clownery.

Why-Discuss,

You recently brought up the subject of “DENIAL”, and then provided 15 examples of how you perceive “Israeli denial”. I really don’t have the time or patience to respond to that list except to point out YOUR denial above.

First of all, there were not “dozens of innocent dead”. There wasn’t even one dozen.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100601/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

Secondly, they were far from innocent. They disregarded warnings against running the blockade, they beat several soldiers to a pulp (4 in serious condition), and threw several off the deck.

The soldiers had every right to respond with lethal force.

Of course, these activist were “trained in Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, or Iran or Syria”, and the IDF naively did not know that: Another fiasco for your intelligence services.

Whatever they were, they were not “peace activists”. Apparetly, they were thugs intent on breaking a legal blockade of a government at war with the State of Israel.

Of course they were equipped with “lethal weapons”, but for once your special forces were not in tank or in the air to avoid confrontations as they did during the Lebanon war.

A steel wrench or pole is most certainly a “lethal weapon”, as witnessed by the dozen or so wounded soldiers. In fact, a fist could be a lethal weapon.

So many of your special forces just jumped overboard to save their skin.

WD,

That would be your 3rd example of being in denial. The video I saw showed the arab thugs grouped together throwing the soldier off.

A real proof of courage you should be proud of.

I agree.

Well next time, your defence minister should just tell the activists that they are ‘misbehaving’.

I think perhaps the best thing to do is to disable the prop or just scuttle the ship entirely per maritime law:

SECTION V : NEUTRAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND CIVIL AIRCRAFT

Neutral merchant vessels

67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;
(b) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;
(c) act as auxiliaries to the enemy s armed forces;
(d) are incorporated into or assist the enemy s intelligence system;
(e) sail under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft; or
(f) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy s military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and it is not feasible for the attacking forces to first place passengers and crew in a place of safety. Unless circumstances do not permit, they are to be given a warning, so that they can re-route, off-load, or take other precautions.

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/385ec082b509e76c41256739003e636d/7694fe2016f347e1c125641f002d49ce

That’s all.

Are you sure?

Or maybe your IDF should get some training in Afghanistan, it will be more useful for the next confrontation with the next peaceful activists.

If the IDF got training in Afghanistan, I would have to surmise that a lot more innocent civilians would be dead.

and please stop replying to a question by a question.

I’ll post whatever I deem necessary at the luxury of the owners here.

Amir,

Yashar Koach!

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June 1st, 2010, 7:59 pm

 

41. why-discuss said:

AP

You are not surprised that you seem to know better than the IDF what should have been done. Is your ministry of defence an amateur?

Illegal occupation of a boat in international waters is called piracy. Receiving pirates coming down from a helicoper with wooden stick is the least unarmed travelers can do. If they had lethal weapons, I believe there would have been more dead among the specially trained marines.
Who’d talking about illegality. You left Gaza, you have nothing to do in blocking them. If your millions dollars defense system offered by the US does not protect you, I guess you are smart enough to find something else, aren’t you? you have these advanced universities and research centers you are so proud of , why cant they find a solution? The other alternative is to re-occupy Gaza and jail all Hamas. Make up your mind!
Yes, you are free to answer wih another question, I am getting used to it.

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June 1st, 2010, 8:33 pm

 

42. norman said:

I do not know about you all , but i see no chance of peace with Israel as it is , Abba Eb an once said that the question is not if Israel is going to survive but what kind of Israel is going to , that was probably one of his last interviews on CNN , I am sure his family is relieved that he is not here to see what kind of country Israel came to be ,

The great leaders of Israel are long gone , for the detriment of Israel , The future is dim , May God help all the people of the Mideast ,

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June 1st, 2010, 9:07 pm

 

43. Enlightened said:

More boats are on their way!

The Australian PM has come out and roundly condemned the violence and the circumstances surrounding it, this is ground breaking given that Australia has been a staunch ally of Israel, and has requested that the siege of Gaza be lifted.

If only the US government were more honest and transparent in their handling of the matter!

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June 1st, 2010, 10:11 pm

 

44. almasri said:

It is worthwhile looking at the history of the commander of these pirates who was in charge in order to understand the event,

http://www.haaretz.com/news/idf-scandal-navy-chief-spotted-partying-in-tel-aviv-strip-club-1.271347

I am not suggesting that they should use him as a scapegoat to wash out the eposide, which they most likely will. But it would probably give you an insight into the type of so-called ‘elite’ units they brag about.

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June 1st, 2010, 10:55 pm

 

45. almasri said:

These two analyses (in Arabic) present a unique and very logical perspective of the possible actual motives behind the attacks. The analysts are very thoughtful and do not rely on any wishful thinking which has been the prevalent mode recently. You may have to copy and paste the seocond link into your browser and it works,

http://www.annahar.com/content.php?priority=10&table=makalat&type=makalat&day=Wed

http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionId=1556&ChannelId=36260&ArticleId=254&Author=ساطع نور الدين

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June 1st, 2010, 11:29 pm

 

46. Averroes said:

45. Almasri,

Thank you for this post. I think the writers are right, and that it was not a miscalculation on the side of the Israelis.

Israel has practically “killed” the possibility of a Turkish-mediated negotiations with Syria, and put Turkey on the spot … “your move” it signaled to Turkey. We can also conclude that the Israelis might be expecting a pat on the back from some US circles, because the Israeli action is a proxy reaction to Turkey’s involvement in the Iran Nuclear deal along with Brazil, which the US did not like too much.

However, the actions will be particularly sobering to the Turkish-Iranian-Syrian forming alliance, and will only lead to solidify the growing understanding that the nations of the regions should determine their own affairs. The relatively new doctrine of self sufficiency and self reliance in these countries will only grow bolder and more entrenched, as a result of this latest incident.

Not too far in the future Egypt, and then Arabia will join in this pact. Have no doubt about it, it’s going to happen.

If anyone thinks they can scare down the Turks, they’ve got a few things to learn.

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June 1st, 2010, 11:56 pm

 

47. majedkhaldoun said:

Erdogan will probably visit Syria and Saudia Arabia in the next few weeks

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June 2nd, 2010, 12:44 am

 

48. observr said:

Not surprising. These…”people” are well known to be cowardice and inclined to commit mega blunders. What happened exposed this entity (not like it needs more exposure) to what it really is.

Ships which left an EU country, Cyprus, with medical and foodstuff supplies for the Real-life (not the fiction and Hollywood produce) concentration camp, aka Gaza, are attacked in open international waters; it’s classic text book piracy- utterly inexcusable.

This despicable behavior didn’t only expose their vile attitude, but also exposed others in Europe and especially the US regime; it was an embarrassment even for those who bark pride about their servile behavior to such entity.

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June 2nd, 2010, 8:25 am

 

49. Akbar Palace said:

Norman knows Abba Eban’s Family

I am sure his family is relieved that he is not here to see what kind of country Israel came to be

Norman,

Perhaps Abba Eban’s family is relieved that the State of Israel has not become anything like Syria. An Arab-Israeli MK participated WITH the “peace activists” without any fear of retribution. That’s what I call freedom.

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June 2nd, 2010, 8:59 am

 

50. norman said:

Hey AP ,
I really appreciate it if you don’t out me like this , whom i know is not of any body’s business ,

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June 2nd, 2010, 9:25 am

 

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