Home Media Action Alerts2010 Special Alert: Flotilla Battle Unleashes Anti-Israel Wave (May 31, 2010)

Special Alert: Flotilla Battle Unleashes Anti-Israel Wave (May 31, 2010)

by Mike Fegelman

 
Special Alert: Flotilla Battle Unleashes Anti-Israel Wave
May 31, 2010
 

Will the Canadian and International media report accurately and fairly as anti-Israel activists violently resist an IDF naval boarding with tragic results?

Background:

In the early hours of Monday 31 May, Israeli naval commandos boarded a flotilla of vessels heading for Gaza. What happened next has created a major media storm as, according to reports, over a dozen anti-Israel activists have died and many more injured, including Israeli soldiers.

Israel’s critics have been quick to condemn the incident, using it to inflame anti-Israel sentiment. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has already termed what is undoubtedly a serious incident as a “massacre”. Will this be the latest in a long list of incidents that have been distorted and misrepresented to cause Israel the maximum amount of damage to its image?

Connected to Terror: Who is Behind the Flotilla?

The organizations and passengers behind the Gaza flotilla have been variously described as “peace activists” and “humanitarian organizations”. This could not be further from the truth. The primary objective of this flotilla was not to deliver aid packages to Gaza but to spread anti-Israel propaganda in cooperation with Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Playing a central role in the flotilla is the Turkish IHH organization, which besides its legitimate philanthropic activities is also, according to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, a supporter of radical Islamic networks, including Hamas, and at least in the past, even global jihad elements.

See here and here for detailed information on the IHH.

Amongst the other organizations involved in the flotilla is the International Solidarity Movement. The ISM has a shameful record of placing foreign nationals in danger through encouraging ‘direct action’, which resulted in the death of American citizen Rachel Corrie. In 2003, ISM’s extreme ideology was underscored when terrorists, originating from the UK, used ISM as a cover to attack Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people. More recently, ISM has been a leading force in the violent protests against the security barrier at Ni’lin, while an ISM activist has been jailed in the US, charged with “giving about $20,000 to a group he knew supported Hamas.”

An Al-Jazeera report from May 28, translated below by PMW, shows activists on board before departing for Gaza, chanting Intifada songs aimed at Jews and praising martyrdom. Chants include “Intifada, intifada, intifada! Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!” relating to a seventh century massacre of Jews in Khaybar by early Muslims.

“Peace” Activists Used Deadly Violence

Despite claims that the activists on board were only prepared to resist the IDF peacefully, the reality was quite the opposite. Upon boarding the Marmara, owned and operated by the extremist IHH, Israeli naval personnel were attacked by activists who had prepared themselves with weapons including knives and clubs. This, despite the following statement from a Free Gaza spokesperson:

We were not going to pose any violent resistance. The only resistance that there might be would be passive resistance such as physically blocking the steering room, or blocking the engine room downstairs, so that they couldn’t get taken over. But that was just symbolic resistance.

Is the clip below showing an IDF soldier being attacked with a crowbar “symbolic resistance”?

In addition, IDF forces apprehended two activists holding pistols. The activists took these pistols from IDF forces and apparently opened fire on the soldiers as evident by the empty pistol magazines. This goes some way to explaining the number of casualties as live fire was exchanged as IDF forces found themselves under severe threat as evidenced by the number of injured Israeli soldiers and the types of injuries. One soldier suffered a serious head injury, two others were injured by gunshots and one more was stabbed.

A First-Hand Account

Israeli journalist Ron Ben-Yishai gives a first-hand account of the incident:

Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.

However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.

One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other “don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” even though they sustained numerous blows….

During the commotion, another commando was stabbed with a knife. In a later search aboard the Marmara, soldiers found caches of bats, clubs, knives, and slingshots used by the rioters ahead of the IDF takeover. It appeared the activists were well prepared for a fight.

Read the full account here.

See the IDF video footage taken from above the boarded vessel, showing Israeli soldiers under attack by clicking on the image below.

See more at the IDF’s YouTube channel.

 

Propaganda Not Humanitarianism

If there was any doubt that these organizations were unconcerned with universal human rights, this was confirmed by the rejection of a request from the family of Gilad Shalit for activists to pressure Hamas to allow international organizations to bring letters and food packages to the kidnapped soldier in exchange for the family’s support for the international expedition’s attempt to dock in Gaza.

In fact, Israel offered to transfer the supplies on the flotilla to Gaza from Ashdod port through official channels, an offer that was rejected in favor of confrontation on the part of the anti-Israel activists. As flotilla organizer Greta Berlin stated: “this mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it’s about breaking Israel’s siege.”

The flotilla was clearly warned by the Israeli Navy in advance of the boarding and the offer repeated by the IDF.

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