The Day In Israel: Monday May 31st, 2010

The flotilla of fools headed towards Gaza has changed course after being taken by surprise by Israeli navy boats.

Three Israeli naval craft left a Haifa naval base just after 9 pm and approached the “Freedom Flotilla” after dark on Sunday, according to the Twitter page of Free Gaza, one organization participating in the flotilla.

Two hours later, Israel Radio broadcast a recording of one of the missile boats warning the flotilla, which is carrying humanitarian aid and pro-Palestinian activists, not to approach Gaza.

“If you ignore this order and enter the blockaded area, the Israeli navy will be forced to take all the necessary measures in order to enforce this blockade,” the radio message continued.

One tweet at about 11 pm said, “We didn’t expect them now,” adding that the participants thought Israeli forces would arrive Monday morning.<

This is a help message,” said one post from the flotilla on the Free Gaza website. “We have been contacted by the Israelis but are still fine, don’t worry.”

“The signals are going up and down,” the website said. “Israel is doing its best to block the satellite.”

An Al Jazeera reporter aboard one of the vessels said the flotilla’s organizers have decided to take a different route – far from the Israeli vessels – in order to avoid a confrontation during the night.

Looks like our brave “activists” are afraid of the dark.


Meanwhile, the flotilla passengers are revealing their true colors..and agendas.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon responded to what he called “anti-Semitic chants” that came from the ship’s passengers and were broadcast on Israel Radio.

Some of the passengers on the ships were recorded shouting chants to remember Haifa since the army of Muhammad will soon return.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

11:26PM: Some of the soldiers’ wounds, as well as the weapons found on board.

11:22PM: Scenes from a Leftie protest in Tel Aviv today.

11:08PM: Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev on the BBC this morning.

11:00PM: White House statement on today’s events:

“This morning between 10:00 and 10:15 AM CDT, the President spoke by phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu.  He said he understood the Prime Minister’s decision to return immediately to Israel to deal with today’s events.  They agreed to reschedule their meeting at the first opportunity. The President expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals. The President also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible.”

9:36PM: For those wondering about the legality of the IDF’s actions in boarding the vessel , see rule 67(a) of the San Remo manual.

9:28PM: Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Alfredo Mantica has called the international flotilla to the Gaza Strip a “provocation”.

“The manner of the response is debatable, but to think that it would all pass without Israeli action is naiveté on the part of the organizers. I believe someone wanted to see how harsh Israel’s response would be,” he said.

8:54PM: A Qassam rocket was fired into Israel earlier this hour.

8:42PM: Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni has criticized Israel’s PR effort in the wake of today’s crisis.

“I have been running around manically today between foreign studios in Jerusalem,” she said, “But I did not see a single official Israeli representative embark on a PR campaign.”

8:25PM: Top 3 things the “peace activists” were doing with knives, axes and clubs.

3. Performing a theatrical rendition of Pulp Fiction.

2. Cutting up tofu for their burgers.

1. Sleepwalking.

8:12PM: Father-in-law scheduled to appear on BBC World Service.

8:02PM: The flotilla terrorists and enablers’ version of events.

Under darkness of night, Israeli commandoes dropped from a helicopter onto the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck. They fired directly into the crowd of civilians asleep. According to the live video from the ship, two have been killed, and 31 injured. Al Jazeera has just confirmed the numbers.

Streaming video shows the Israeli soldiers shooting at civilians, and our last SPOT beacon said, “HELP, we are being contacted by the Israelis.”

You’ve all seen the footage. These people have no compunctions about lying.

7:48PM: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called off a planned visit to the White House to deal with the flotilla crisis.

He also said he regretted the loss of life but Israeli troops who opened fire were justified in defending themselves.

7:30PM: And now for another view of the “peaceful resistance.”

7:24PM: A bird’s eye view of the violence, which includes a kidnap attempt!

7:15PM: One of the flotilla “peace activists.”

knife man

I kid you not.

4:10PM: More on the “peace activists'” ambush, including these interesting facts:

  • The ” peace activists” tried to bring down an IDF helicopter
  • The “peace activists” pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked
  • IDF soldiers were equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, as well as handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations.
  • The soldiers were told they were to verbally convince activists who offer resistance to give up, and only then use paintballs. They were permitted to use their handguns only under extreme circumstances.
  • At one point, the attackers nabbed one commando, wrested away his handgun, and threw him down from the top deck to the lower deck, 30 feet below. The soldier sustained a serious head wound and lost his consciousness.
  • Only after this injury did troops ask for permission to use live fire.

Read the whole thing.

3:56PM: Free Gaza flotillarists on Twitter:

Israel has just announced that it will prosecute the #Freedom Flotilla members who “attacked” its soldiers.

I love the quotation marks around “attacked”, as if there is no footage showing the members attacking soldiers.

3:30PM: Video of an IDF soldier being stabbed with a knife on board one of the vessels this morning.

1:30PM: Major Avital Leibovitz of the army’s Foreign Press Branch:

“It was a planned lynch against IDF soldiers. They did not plan to enter a violent clash with the passengers, and unfortunately the passengers chose violence and used knives, spikes and even opened fire at the soldiers and snatched weapons.

“This is not a human rights organization. I know no human rights organization which uses such means.”

1:25PM: Some recent scenes from Turkey (first 5 photos).

Meanwhile, Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul.

1:18PM: More on the flotilla’s Hamas connection.

1:02PM: Via IMRA:

Monday, May 31, 2010
Law Expert Dr Robbie Sabel IDF action in international waters legal

Int’l Law Expert Dr. Robbie Sabel: IDF action in international waters legal

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 31 May 2010

IMRA asked Hebrew University international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel about the legality of the IDF action in international waters.

Dr. Sabel explained that a state, in a time of conflict, can impose an embargo, and while it cannot carry out embargo activities in the territorial waters of a third party, it can carry out embargo activities in international waters.

Within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo and if in the course of detaining the vessel, force is used against the forces carrying out the detention then that force has every right to act in self defense.

Dr. Sabel noted that there is a long history of embargo activities in international waters.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)

1:00PM: Some footage from Israeli television showing the “non-violent, peace activists” in action

The uploader of this video also notes:

Later in the video you see footage of them departing Turkey. They’re chanting “Khaybar Khayber ya Yahud, Jaysh Muhammad sa ya’ud,” which translates to “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return.” The reference is to the seventh century massacre and enslavement of Jews in the city of Khaybar by Mohammed.

More information on that here.

11:34AM: IDF’s statement on this morning’s events:

Early this morning, IDF Naval Forces boarded six ships attempting to break the maritime closure of the Gaza Strip. This happened after numerous warnings from Israel and the Israeli Navy that were issued prior to the action. The Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid supplies which would then be transferred over land after undergoing security inspections.

During the boarding of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.

As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, including live fire.

According to initial reports, these events resulted in over ten deaths among the demonstrators and numerous injured, in addition, more than four naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and some from various other weapons. Two of the soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries. All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners are currently being evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.

Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that it seems as if part of the participants onboard the ships were planning to lynch the forces.

The events are ongoing, and information will be updated as soon as possible. Israeli Naval commander, Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom is overseeing the events.

In the coming hours, the ships will be directed to the Ashdod port, while IDF naval forces will perform security checks in order to identify the people on board the ships and their equipment. The IDF Spokesman conveys that this event is currently unfolding and further details will be provided as soon as possible.

This IDF naval operation was carried out under orders from the political leadership to halt the flotilla from reaching the Gaza Strip and breaching the maritime closure.

The interception of the flotilla followed numerous warnings given to the organizers of the flotilla before leaving their ports as well as while sailing towards the Gaza Strip. In these warnings, it was made clear to the organizers that they could dock in the Ashdod sea port and unload the equipment they are carrying in order to deliver it to the Gaza Strip in an orderly manner, following the appropriate security checks. Upon expressing their unwillingness to cooperate and arrive at the port, it was decided to board the ships and lead them to Ashdod.

IDF naval personnel encountered severe violence, including use of weaponry prepared in advance in order to attack and to harm them. The forces operated in adherence with operational commands and took all necessary actions in order to avoid violence, but to no avail.

8:58AM: I need to step away from the computer for a while. Please post any updates in the comments.

8:55AM: According to Channel 10, IDF commandos were attacked with “axes and knives”

8:45AM: From commenter Michael:

As someone who watched the turkish footage, it was clearly shown members of the boat attacking the soldiers that descended from the helicopter with crude implements including pieces of metal and what appeared to be a folding char, in addition to another person trying to grab a soldier’s weapon. This portion has since been cut out of what is being shown currently on al jazeera, but it was shown repeatedly on turkish television.

8:32AM: From yesterday:

8:30AM: An IDF soldier was reportedly stabbed in the stomach after boarding one of the vessels. So much for “non-violent resistance”, huh?

8:00AM: Turkish TV is reporting at least 10 flotilla fools have been killed by the Israeli navy, with over 60 wounded. Other reports put the number of dead at two.

While this has the makings of a PR disaster for Israel (which I posit was the whole point of the flotilla in the first place), bear in mind that they were heading to Gaza with unknown contents on board, and are known to support Hamas. Furthermore, army radio reported that passengers tried to grab weapons away from soldiers boarding , starting the violence.

6:22AM: The flotilla of fools has tweeted that the IDF has killed 2 and wounded 31 on one of their boats.

Report from IHH boat..two killed, 31 wounded. No verification but medical emergency can be seen from ship

Of course, no verification.

6:00AM: Jewish-French writer and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy on Israel:

Referring to the IDF, Jewish-French writer and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy said, “Much can and should be learned from Israel.”

Addressing the French-Israeli conference on democracy in Tel Aviv Sunday, Levy said, “I’ve covered many wars, and I’ve never seen an army that asks itself so many questions related to morals.”

As for Israel’s status in the international community, the French philosopher said, “There is a demonization campaign against Israel all over the world.

“In a region where dictatorships and truly fascist regimes rule, Israel represents an island of democracy. Zionism is the only movement that has not failed and turned into a caricature. It is the only movement that has preserved its spirit,” he told the conference.

“Israel is a miracle because since its inception it has been in a constant state of war, yet it never gave up on the democratic values at its core,” according to Levy.

He added, “Democracy was created (in Israel) out of nothing. People had no experience in democracy, but through willpower and a miracle, they invented a functioning democracy. Israel is proof that democracy does not require time. In France a newspaper was shut down every two weeks during the war in Algeria.”

Levy also praised the Israeli government’s treatment of the Arab minority during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, adding that Arab-Israel villages he had visited during the war “were on the brink of explosion.”

“I am not certain that (governments in other countries) would have acted the same. I remember a terrible atmosphere and my admiration of the Israeli authorities’ level-headed conduct. Israel represents a secular miracle,” he said.

The renowned philosopher also said democracy was a Jewish idea. “The Talmud is democracy in practice. The Jewish nation invented the notion that the truth lies in the most heated argument,” he said.


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About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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Facebook Comments

  • sanane

    all people in flotilla were civilians. there were little children, a clergyman who is 80 years old, and so many women in there. these people were not soldiers. just innocent people who wanna help civilians of gaza. their ship was not full of weapons. they were just carrying food, medicine and this kind of stuff. but israel army started to shoot on them arbitraryly. for god's sake!! they did not deserve to be shoot by real bullets!! 2 innocent people has died, and nearly 30 people wounded. can't you see what happens .don't you have a heart…

    • israellycool

      Don't lecture to us about a heart, especially considering the flotilla's refusal to help the plight of Gilad Shalit.

      There is no verification of anyone being killed and I suggest everyone withhold judgment until the facts come to light.

    • Michael Zvi krumbein

      I'm sorry, but there were plenty of weapons, and they tried to grab sub-machine guns from the soldiers? What did you expect them to do, let themselves become more of Rabin's "peace sacrifices"?

  • GMan

    End the occupation – Arabs out.

  • walt kovacs

    watching the live stream from cnn turkey

    i love pallywood

    lots of shots of guys rolling around the deck….no blood

  • sanane

    maybe you just dont want to see the facts which have already come to light. anyway soon or later you will learn the numbers of death… and i just want you inform about what israel ambassador in turkey promise to turks. he said 'we dont want the flitto come to gaza but if it will come, then we will direct them to another cost ,hold their aid materials and then send our guests(he calls people in flitto as guests which are killed or wounded right now) to their country by a plane'. that is what israel would do if the flittos enter the territorial waters. however that was not what israel did and flittos did not even enter the territorial waters, they were just in international waters. what israel did this night was totally illegal. people in the flitto were not armed, just ordinary people who want to send some help(not as military help just food, medicine and building materials). just think about it..

    • walt kovacs

      repeat after me….flotilla


      oh, and jpost is reporting that according to army radio, some on board attempted to wrest the guns from the soldiers

      so it is possible that some are dead

      tell you what, if those were united states marines…every one of those bastiches on board wouldve been fragged had they attempted to take their weapons

      semper fi

      • juvanya

        its so true. we wouldve blasted on board guns blazing. probably dozens dead.

    • Andrew Brehm

      The fact is that a blockade runner has been stopped.

      Now explain why that is a problem.

      Why on earth would a blockade runner bring children???

      And how do you know what the materials were that the ships were carrying? They didn't allow anyone to check that. Did you check it?

      • Michael Zvi krumbein

        "Why on earth would a blockade runner bring children??? "

        Human shields. But you knew that.

        • Andrew Brehm

          Of course I knew that.

          But I was talking about a real blockade runner. If this was about bringing aid to the people of Gaza, why bring children?

  • AbeBird

    Clashes on the ships. Some Hamas operative terrorists attacked the soldiers and they responded with force. At least 10 protestors are killed !!!

    • Michael Zvi krumbein

      Baruch Hamokom Shehorgom.

  • walt kovacs

    still no confirmation of what happened

    but now claims are up to 16 dead

    made the headlines on bbc1…but the main story is the problems with potholes

  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    The radio reports that are are worried about demonstrations. If anyone is planning a demonstration in SUPPORT of the soldiers, please let me know.

  • Michael

    As someone who watched the turkish footage, it was clearly shown members of the boat attacking the soldiers that descended from the helicopter with crude implements including pieces of metal and what appeared to be a folding char, in addition to another person trying to grab a soldier's weapon. This portion has since been cut out of what is being shown currently on al jazeera, but it was shown repeatedly on turkish television. Also, there are reports of injured israeli soldiers being evacuated to hospitals including one that had been stabbed in the stomach. Now standing by to hear the propagandists spin this one into an "unprovoked attack."

    • walt kovacs

      would like to know where the ships were when the commandos landed…why the idf felt that they needed a show of force on the ships themselves

      i saw a brief shot of the people attacking the soldiers..then it was gone

      and they are going nutso i turkey

      i keep saying….nuke em from space…its the only way to be sure

    • rafrafUk

      I've just seen the footage on BBC and it also looks very heavily edited. However, it clearly shows soldiers begin attacked and beaten with metal bars.
      From the witnessgaza website, it is clear that they knew the israeli Navy was on its way and could have prepared themselves to get them on board. After all, if they were only carrying aid what was there to fear?

      As for the BBC (which as usual disgust me) claiming that the boat was only carrying aid (did they see it) advancing numbers on the death toll (as of now noboday really knows), failing to mention that eventhough the soldiers stormed the boat, they were attacked… I'll let you make up your mind !

  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    Yes, even on Israeli radio they seem to talk more about the condition of the attackers than the soldiers. I am a lot more interested in the soldiers'. I think we should pray for them.

    • Michael Zvi krumbein

      Sorry, OUR soldiers.

    • Michael Zvi krumbein

      Oh, they did talk about the soldiers. My Hebrew wasn't good enough.

      • juvanya

        I better start learning it soon. It gets harder with age. now I wish I had paid attention in hebrew school :(

        • Michael Zvi Krumbein

          Ulpan is pretty good, although not for everyone.

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  • Shy Guy

    I stand by my suggested strategy yesterday, of punching holes in the ships below the waterline with controlled weapons fire for a slow but sure sinking, and tossing them all the rafts and life vests they want.

    Not a single soldier of ours would have been at risk this way, unless there would have been live fire from the ships – in which case you blow the ship clear out of the water.

    • juvanya

      and the world would have been RARARARAR EVIL ISRAEL.

      At least with this, we might win the media battle or get a draw.

      • Shy Guy

        "Oh my!!!! What will the goyim think???"

        Pick up a morning newspaper. Any one will do.

        Stupid Jews.

      • Michael Zvi Krumbein

        Yes, but our soldiers were saved by a miracle.

  • Jeff

    Spent my weekend here in Australia watching the live footage and the tweets and their associated links…learnt heaps, and, well, I must say, Israel hardliners come out the loosers for me. I'm not there, but no countries people need to be harrassed like Israel is seen to do on TV to ordinary Gazan citizens…for goodness sake…what a crazy childish National Psychie….. a very insecure Nation with way too many fools with guns and bad attitude. TCH TCH. You will reap what you allow the mad ones with you sow. SO sad. No happy movie ending here. Jewish cause loses to Gaza citizens

  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    I agree with you, and I'm sure they considered it. I suspect that with 600 people aboard one ship they were afraid it wouldn't work, particularly since they had children as "human shields".

  • DarleneEC

    Upon boarding the ships, the soldiers encountered fierce resistance from the passangers who were armed with knives, bats and metal pipes. The soldiers used non-lethal measures to disperse the crowd. The activists succeeded in stealing the weapon from one of the IDF’s soldiers and reportedly opened fire, leading to an escalation in violence.

    “It was like a well-planned lynch,” one IDF officer said. “These people were anything but peace activists.”

    I agree. Anything BUT peace activists…

    • Michael Zvi krumbein

      Actually, this seems pretty normal behavior for "peace activists". I don't know if anyone here has seen the new evidence that has come out from an opening of the FBI files on the Kent State incident. NOT what we were taught in school….

      • Shy Guy

        If you wouldn't have said anything, I may never have known. Thanks.

        New light shed on Kent State killings

        Well, well…

        • jpl

          The FBI in 1970 was not trustworthy. J. Edgar Hoover was a reactionary, and reports of "credible" evidence have no credibility. And the article cites to a "conversation" with "unnamed" people.

          Don't get me wrong, I didn't and don't support the burning of the ROTC building, or any violence by any protester. But the building had been burned a day or two before the march, which the article acknowledges.

          The bottom line to me is that the victims of the Kent State shootings were not even the protesters. One was in ROTC. The National Guard was simply out of control.

  • Jim from Iowa

    I want to know a lot more about what happened on board the ship last night. I have yet to hear my government's reaction to these events (Obama seems slow to act on anything). I'll withhold judgment until I know more. I do regret the loss of so many lives on the Turkish boat and the injuries to the Israeli personnel.

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  • Michael in Florida

    So here is one of the images from Turkey from a Pro-Hamas rally:

    Correct me if I'm wrong but that old guy in the lower left appears in the lower right too! This photo has got to be doctored unless the guy is an identical twin. Sheezus!

  • Jonah


    This is from Israel's channel 2 news. It is a slow motion video of the raid and shows an Israeli soldier being stabbed. This video needs to be spread. Anyone who can translate the Hebrew and post to YouTube should do so immediately.

  • walt kovacs

    the raid still was stupid….why???? because they were bringing in weapons

    shouldve surrounded the flotilla, forced them into ashdod…arrested the whole lot, tried then executed them

    including that faux holocaust survivor

  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    OK, based on what we know now, I can only say two things:

    I hope that the soldiers and bystanders survive.

    I hope that as many of the attackers as possible do not.

    (BTW, I saw some of those ships in the harbor on Independance Day.)

    • juvanya

      Isnt there a passage in the Torah about how the angels were cheering the deaths of the Egyptians and were condemned for that?

      • Michael Zvi krumbein

        Yes, but the Jews sang praise. In fact, according to the Talmud, if Hezekiah had sang praise when Sancherivs forces were wiped out outside Jerusalem, he would have been the messiah and we wouldn't be having these problem.

        So what is the difference? In my opinion, it is different if you were the one who was saved. I think that applies here.

        Of course, in the long run it is a tragedy, because it was a waste of potential. But the waste started when they attacked our boys, not when they got what they so justly deserved.

        • juvanya

          I want to cheer their deaths too, but we have to be the better people. We should medically treat (and pray for) our enemies. Who knows, maybe theyll see our true side. It really wont cost us anything to care about the other side, especially when we need to show were better.

          Do you have the passage by the way? I couldnt find it.

          • Michael Zvi Krumbein

            It won't cost us anything, unless they do it again. I don't know if capital punishment is a deterrent for civilians, but it sure as heck works militarily. The muslims will give up if they see they cannot win; it is unlikely anything else will bring peace.

            As I quoted by the song of Devorah, "So may all of your enemies be destoryed ,Hashem".

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  • Michael in Florida

    Very good deconstruction of what has gone on by the always reliable Honest Reporting.

    • Jim from Iowa

      This article, if accurate, has very valuable information in trying to understand this incident. But why does Honest Reporting know more than apparently the Israeli government? Does it sound like the rules of engagement used by the Israeli forces reflect an accurate assessment of the intentions and identities of the members of this flotilla? If deadly force was needed to stop the flotilla, why board the vessel in a way that puts your own people's lives at risk? I hate second guessing when things don't go right, but I think the military leadership has a lot to answer for such a disastrous result.

      • Michael in Florida

        I thought it was clear from this article and Ron ben Yishai's article that the military completely underestimated who was actually on the ship. It was a gross miscalculation in the very least.

        It didn't sound like HR knew more than the Israeli government.

      • Michael Zvi Krumbein

        I guess I don't think like you do. Sure they miscalculated, but I don't see people getting killed by attacking our soldiers to be a disaster. Them ore the better.

        Global PR is something else, but like I isnisted at work, the people who like us will continue to do so; those that don't, won't.

        I must say I have not seen people so affected by a news story since I came here, excepting the war.

        • Michael Zvi Krumbein

          Of course they need to answer for risling our soldiers. It sounds like too much restraint was used.

        • Michael in Florida

          I don't think it was a disaster at all. PR disaster, yes, militarily and legally, not in the least.

          One of my friends in Israel is definitely indicative of your "affected" statement. He basically said that if war came as a result of this, he'd be ready.

          I'm just hoping that when I'm living in Akko this summer, nothing happens. Though, I was there during a lot of Cast Lead and didn't have any problems.

          • Jim from Iowa

            OK you two Michaels, we obviously see things very differently if you see this incident as anything but a disaster for Israel. It is a PR disaster. It is a diplomatic disaster. Even with no Israeli loss of life (I hope that remains the case) it is also a military disaster with 19 dead (as reported by the BBC) from the several hundred participants of this wrong-headed effort. Only bad things will accrue for Israel as a result of all this. A complete disaster for our friend and ally Israel.

            And if you two think this was a great success, you must have loved Bush's PR "Mission Accomplished" stunt on the aircraft carrier. We really do have a different approach in dealing with "facts."

            • Michael in Florida

              I can't think of any other response than lol.

              Bush's PR stunt is in no way analagous to this other than they were both PR disasters. The facts are this:

              The "activists" were waiting for this opportunity to present itself.
              The IDF grossly miscalculated that these people were of the non-violent variety.
              The IDF opened fire only after there was considerable attack by the mob.

              So I don't see it the way you obviously do, Jim. And that's okay. It is at this time a PR disaster. But I'll take facts and negative view in the world over letting these illegal "activists" to bypass Israel and make Israel appear to be more of an ass.

              It's what we call a catch-22. And Israel did what is absolutely legal. I'll take my lumps from a defensible position.

            • Michael Zvi Krumbein

              I did.

              Of course it was not a success. Our boys got hurt. I simply mean that I do not mourn the dead.

            • Norman B.

              Jim, this matter ain't over until it's over. The Israeli Navy has yet to inventory the cargo on the ships or finish questioning those on board. I expect the interrogations to be extensive and prolonged. Besides, the only opinion of this incident that really counts is that of the U.S. government, and it will not comment until all the facts are in.

            • Michael Zvi Krumbein

              I must add, the news where you are is not what the New York area is getting. My sister listens to the radio a lot, and she didn't even know about it. Of course, by chance she happened not to turn to NPR.

              I think it is clear here that we are in the right. This isn't worse than Goldstone. Those who believed Goldstone, will believe Free Gaza. Those who did not, will believe us.

          • juvanya

            I dont even think it will be PR in the end. Some Israel critics I know are saying Israel is in the right here. Of course some people are calling that video that clearly shows commandos being beaten biased. Im not kidding.

  • Michael Zvi Krumbein

    I just spoke to my sister is Jersey. This hasn't even hit the radio.

    • juvanya

      New Jersey? Whereabouts?

      • Michael Zvi Krumbein


        • juvanya

          Oh thats way up north. I am in Middlesex Co.

  • Viv

    Thanks, as always, for the reports and updates.

    The huge amount of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments on the various comments pages in the British MSM is truly stomach-turning.

  • faboutlaws

    The PR here in the States is pretty bad, but it could be worse. The videos captured from MSM and released by the IDF have softened the blow. It could be much better tomorrow as more video is found. The earlier video showing the troops being attacked as they were coming down the ropes defines the incident. The flotafloozies won't be able to counter it unless they hire the North Korean Ministry of Information to be their spokespersons(the video is all a fabrication).

    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

      By the North Korean Ministry of Information, do you mean CNN, the BBC, or NPR?

      • juvanya

        Speaking of North Korea, where are the freedom flotillas for North Korean people?

        • Michael Zvi Krumbein

          As Ghandi was supposed to have said, "when we lay down in front of the trains, we knew they would stop". The Soviets likely would not have stopped them.

          I would love to see them try. Good anti-NK publicity, and, as an added bonus, they all get killed!

  • faboutlaws

    The big stupidity out of the English speaking MSM is the contention that stopping the flotilla in international waters was some sort of crime. If you bother to read the San Remo Manual which covers the law on this, Israel's actions were flawless as far as the law is concerned. It might take a few days before anyone points it out to them and their stupid talk fades away, but don't ever expect them to publish a retraction or correct the error. They never do that and some damage will remain to Israel as a result.

  • Michael in Florida

    Thank you Alfredo Mantica! Its okay to question the execution of the response but its not okay to outright lie about the circumstances of what happened or the fact that it was absolutely in line with international law.

  • Michael Zvi Krumbein

    Maybe some good will come out of this; maybe that horrible man, Barak, who jails our boys for "following their conscience", will have to resign. Too much to hope for, I suppose.

    It is horrible what happened to our boys.

    I have no tears for those Turks who got what they deserved. Kain Yovdu Kol Oivecha Hashem.

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  • Jim from Iowa

    Kudos to the Israeli officials who have muzzled Avigdor Lieberman. This is the best thing to come out of this whole mess. Israel is in the middle of an international crisis and not a word from the foreign minister. I am encouraged.

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  • zsqpwxxeh

    Judging by the videos available at MEMRI, which show the crews chanting the usual "death to the Jews" and yearning for martyrdom before they embarked, it is already very clear that they were hoping to be fired on or sunk. This was a provocation designed for media effect. Those who died would go to Paradise. The others would brag of their inhuman treatment, etc. It's probably going to fail due to the video evidence of violent resistance.

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  • Norman B.

    As I wrote earlier, the only opinion that counts here is that of the U.S. government. If the Defense Ministry presents its case as well as Dave and the commentators here have done, Israel in the end should be in good shape. Obama is quite well aware that there is too much politically at stake for him to draw the wrong conclusions from the facts and the law.

    • Jim from Iowa

      I really hope you're right about Israel coming out of this in good shape. The UN Security Council will try to come down on Israel, but I think it will all be just more empty words. NATO will probably ignore Turkey's request for collective action against Israel. Some elements of the EU probably will organize some kind of economic boycott. Obama will present an even-handed response, neither criticizing or endorsing the Israeli actions. The American people will remain indifferent, seeing it as just another event in this never-ending foreign conflict.

      • Norman B.

        Your scenario is a victory for Israel. Tomorrow, the American public will regard this as yesterday's news and resume its interest in the oil spill and the bad economy.

  • stv

    This is turning into Jenin afloat.

    Typically the leftists in Britain are presenting a situation that bares absolutely no resemblance to the events in the videos, like they don't exist, unfortunately knowing Britain the way it will be remembered is inevitably the way it is told by the most anti-Israel person the BBC can muster up.

    This despite the fact I have sat watching the 'death toll' go tumbling down over the past hour.

    • Norman B.

      The British are pretty much a lost cause. I predict that within 50 years, a muezzin will be calling the faithful to prayer from the spire of St. Paul's.

      • juvanya

        You have to admit the call to prayer makes for nice listening.

        • stv

          As long as Elvis Costello isn't singing it.

        • Michael Zvi krumbein

          Well, I tried to use it in Turkey to tell when the Sabbath started, but it turned out the time was too late, or I misunderstood the rules. I ended up getting the time from by bargaining (yes!) for time in an internet cafe, but I'm afraid I had already misled someone.

  • RipVanBullwinkl

    Why didn't they just take their "relief supplies" to the strip via Egypt? This was a blatant and direct challenge of the Israellis. If those on board the vessels in the flotilla didn't expect at least this as a response they're damned fools that need to use this as a learning moment.

    • juvanya

      Because Egypt would blow them out of the water. ;)

      • Michael Zvi krumbein

        Of course, Egypt offered. They refused.

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  • bobbelvedere

    Thank you for doing the grunt work on this story [and thank Stacy McCain for introducing me to your site].

    Quoted from and Linked to at:
    ‘Angels Of The Antiworld’

  • walt kovacs

    anyone notice that while turkey was sponsoring this "peace flotilla" , they have been arresting and killing kurdish children, who they allege are terrorists?

    im sure you didnt, because the world has been silent on this

    interesting to say the least

    • juvanya

      Once I was talking to a Turkish guy who hated Israel. The minute I brought up Kurdistan, he went crazy and said they dont exist.

  • stv

    According to the BBC (I know, I know)
    "The UN security council has condemned Israel ahead of an emergency session."

    So…not even waiting to review the evidence then. Typical,
    Government PR had better come through on this better than they ever have before.

    • Norman B.

      There won't be an official condemnation without at least an American abstention, and Obama is not about to decide one way or another without receiving all the facts. He knows, or at least should know by now, that none of the flotilla's operators, crew or passengers entered into this incident with clean hands and I believe that he is aware that he will pay a serious political price if he glosses this over or otherwise makes the wrong call.

  • Lloyd S.

    Bravo and right on Dave! Once again a terrific job of setting the record straight. I hope Israel tries and convicts as many of these terror-supporting bastards as possible. They should be sent to the prison with the nastiest conditions possible, and live with the Hamassholes who are already there.

  • liars

    what a fake vids are they :D half of them are taken in the morning u can understand from the light but isreal attacked at night..

  • fistikcisahap

    o guyss!! you are really funny :) i've been just checking comments about israil attack to humanitarian aid ship. israil army went to ships with their very high technological weapons, boats and helicopters, they tried to enter and control the ship in international waters, people in the ship tried to prevent soldiers from entering the ship by using hoses, throwing chairs and anything they grab and they have knives. those of you who wanna see these stuff .these "so dangerous" weapons were used against the world's greatest army! and with these stuff unfortunetely they succed to wound many soldiers. i dont know you guys but i think it's a shame. not showing "the weapons" that harmed the army is a less humiliating way. a huge army against some knives ? and besides because they were international waters, they had the right to defense themselves against soldiers who tries to enter the ship, but israil did not have the right of killing them. and the wat israil justify himself! ahaha! this makes me laugh! we're in a so funny sitiuation

  • Guest

    It's always good to see you guys on the ropes (no pun intended) but this time I almost feel a bit sorry for Israel. I can understand why the IDF tried to stop the convoy but where was the PR risk assessment?

    When you decide you want the support of the right-thinking international public:
    1. stop building the settlements on stolen land
    2. stop whining about anti-semitism and equating the global war on terror with your territorial struggle, and start working towards a viable, just solution
    Until then, you're going to be the victim of "anti-Israel bias" – but oh yes, you enjoy that, don't you?

  • walt kovacs

    they call that collective punishment….cuz you cant blame a people for the actions of who they elect

    never mind that it is right in the hamas charter

    and never mind that to consolidate power….hamas democratically assassinated every pa official and their supporters who were in gaza at the time

  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    I think international law, for what it is worth, is in fact pretty clear that you can blame people for their leaders, even if unelected. Because otherwise it is impossible for anyone to defend themselves.

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