The Day In Israel: Tuesday June 1st, 2010

The UN Security Council has sprung into action.

To condemn Israel’s actions yesterday of course.

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.

Palestinians and Arab nations used the forum of the emergency session called by Turkey to call for condemnation and an independent investigation into the incident which left at least nine international activists dead. Most members of the 15-nation body joined the call for an investigation.

Many council members echoed earlier statements by their governments in denouncing or criticizing the Israeli action, and said it was time for Israel’s three-year-old blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza to be fully lifted.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the raid murder conducted by a state and demanded an immediate Israeli apology, an urgent inquiry, international legal action against the authorities and perpetrators responsible, and an end to the Gaza blockade.

Following a 90-minute open meeting, the council went into closed-door consultations. Diplomats said envoys were negotiating the text of a proposed statement by the council.

Think about this for a second. A flotilla heading towards Gaza, which refuses to allow Israel to check the contents of their ships and generous offer to pass on the humanitarian supplies to Gaza, is subsequently found to contain weapons and people who have no compunctions about using them against IDF soldiers sent to intercept the ship. And this shows that the restriction of people and supplies into Gaza should be lifted?

Meanwhile, the Europeans are also acting true to form.

Sweden summoned Israel’s ambassador to explain the circumstances of the incident. Two Swedish citizens were on board the seized ship.

The European Union demanded an inquiry into the incident, with member nations voicing their own individual calls on the matter over the course of the day.

Germany, one of Israel’s most loyal allies, expressed shock at the deadly interception and questioned whether the action by Israeli commandos was proportionate.

Two members of the Bundestag lower house of parliament were among five Germans on board the ships, the foreign ministry said.

“The German government is shocked by events in the international waters by Gaza,” government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm told a regular news conference, adding the government was seeking further clarification about the incident.

“Every German government supports unconditionally Israel’s right to self defense,” said Wilhelm. But he added that Israeli actions should to correspond to what he described as the “basic principle” of proportionality.

“A first look does not speak in favor of this basic principle being adhered to,” he said. Berlin would await further details before judging the incident, he added.

Italy also condemned the killing of civilians during Israel’s storming of the aid flotilla as “very grave” and asked for an EU investigation to ascertain the facts.

“I deplore in the strongest terms the killing of civilians. This is certainly a grave act,” said Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

Referring to the European Commission, he said it was “indispensable that there be an inquest to ascertain the facts, which are still not clear.”

He also said he had asked the Israeli ambassador for clarification and hoped that it would not hurt efforts on the part of Israel and Turkey to cooperate in the search for Middle East peace.

Britain said on Monday that it was in urgent contact with the Israeli government to establish the facts about the interception of the Gaza flotilla while it “deplored” the loss of life in the incident.

“We have consistently advised against attempting to access Gaza in this way because of the risks involved,” Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.

“But, at the same time, there is a clear need for Israel to act with restraint and in line with international obligations,” he added.

Hague said Britain had asked Israel for more information and urgent access to any British nationals involved.

“It would be important to establish the facts about this incident and especially whether enough was done to prevent death and injuries,” said Hague.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

11:54PM: Free Gaza – the true story.

8:58PM: According to Israel’s Channel 2, some of the “activists” were mercenaries who were paid before boarding the ships to confront Israeli soldiers.

8:54PM: Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren is currently talking with Fred Thompson about the flotilla incident. Listen live here.

8:32PM: So many anti-Israel protester photos to make fun of, so little time.

If you are going to equate Israel with Nazis, at least learn how to draw a swastika.

protester

Reuters

Don’t look now but someone is ready to congure us.

anti-Israel protesters

AFP

This gentleman looks one virgin short of a Muslim afterlife (actually, I think he’s the same guy seen knifing himself earlier today at 4:18PM).

anti-Israel protester

AFP/Getty Images

8:16PM: There’s a few things in life that are certain. Death, taxes and media bias from the BBC.

8:15PM: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu comments on the flotilla incident.

6:40PM: Via PMW comes this proof that the flotillarists were planning on using violence all along: Dr. Abd Al-Fatah Shayyeq Naaman, lecturer in Shari’ah law at a university in Yemen and dead ringer for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a beard speaking with Hamas TV.

6:28PM: Another harrowing account by one of the Israeli navy commandos.

The Israel Navy commandos who on Monday raided a flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip with humanitarian aid had no choice but to defend themselves against the violent activists, a captain of the elite marines unit who carried out the operation said Tuesday.

“We knew there would be resistance, but not at such a strong level,” said Captain R., who led one of the teams and was wounded in the mission. “Every [activist] that approached us wanted to kill us.”

Captain R. was the second commando to be dropped from a military helicopter onto the Turkish-flagged ship. During the mission, a large mob of the activists hurled him from the upper to lower deck of the ship.

From the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Captain R. said that every commando who entered the ship was met by a number of activists who charged at the soldiers and attacked them. At least 75 percent of the activists took part in what the soldiers later described as a “lynch.”

“I was the second to be lowered in by rope,” said Captain R. “My comrade who had already been dropped in was surrounded by a bunch of people. It started off as a one-on-one fight, but then more and more people started jumping us. I had to fight against quite a few terrorists who were armed with knives and batons.”

The captain said that he was first forced to cock his gun and shoot once when one of the activists came toward him with a knife.

“At that point, another twenty people starting coming at me from every direction,” said Captain R. “They jumped at me and hurled me to the deck below the bridge. Then I felt a stabbing in my stomach – it was a knife. I pulled it our and somehow managed to get to the lower level. There, was another mob of people.”

The unit had seized control of the ship by that point, save for the lower-most level. “Another soldier and I managed to get out of there and jump into the water.”

The commandos had been well-prepared for the mission, said the captain, and had taken into account that the activists might respond with violence. “We thought it would be passive resistance, maybe verbal, but not at such strength,” he said.

Despite the tragic results, the captain said he felt his soldiers had operated in a justified fashion. “We worked in an outstanding way, with the values that were instilled in us,” he said. “We only turned our weapons against those who put us in danger.”

6:16PM: Interesting Fox News discussion on the crisis.

6:06PM: 2 more flotilla ships are planning to sail to Gaza.

Yeah, good luck with that.

5:32PM: Law Professor Julian Ku states emphatically that the IDF raid on the flotilla was not piracy.

4:18PM: Weird protester of the day:

pro palestinian protester

A pro-Palestinian protester slashes himself with a cutter knife during a protest against Israel's naval commando raid on a flotilla of ships carrying aid and hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists to the Gaza Strip, outside the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, June 1, 2010. Israeli commandos rappelled down to an aid flotilla sailing to thwart a Gaza blockade on Monday, clashing with pro-Palestinian activists in a botched raid that left at least nine passengers dead. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

What is his point? That the knives used by the “flotillarists” were harmless?

I’m looking forward to him firing a gun at himself next.

2:44PM: For those of you (like me) who were wondering why the IDF didn’t disable the boats:

The possibility of stopping “Marmara,” the largest vessel in the flotilla, because of its size, strength and speed, was considered. But doing this by stopping its engines was rejected because the tow to the shore would be too long. There were also fears that those on the boats would be left without water or food.

How ironic that Israel rejected this option partly due to humanitarian concerns.

Meanwhile, this from the same report:

The officer said that the two pistols were snatched from IDF troops and were found on the bodies of those killed. They were without bullets because they had been fired

2:40PM: Via my Contact Form:

willie wrote:
Just a short message…..ALL ISRAELI’S ARE THE SCUM OF THE WORLD.

So short, yet he still couldn’t spell correctly.

2:34PM: Via Second Draft comes this example of bad reporting of the flotilla incident.

12:20PM: Take that Turkey!

12:16PM: The blog of activists in Britain’s Conservative party has come out in support of Israel:

When William Hague released his first statement about the confrontation this morning we didn’t know a lot about what had happened.  With growing evidence that the conflict was driven by a violent attack on Israeli soldiers by the “peace activists” on the boat, he needs to issue a new statement that better reflects that reality.

While it is reasonable that the statement earlier today talks about discovering “whether enough was done to prevent deaths and injuries”, it does not properly balance that with a condemnation of attempts to force the Israeli Defence Force to use lethal force.  And it does not reflect the evidence that the soldiers were responding to a clear threat to their lives.

Hague’s current statement, despite the diplomatic language, is unfair on Israel and needs to be replaced.  By suggesting that Israel is diplomatically isolated, it will encourage Turkey in actions that would constitute a massive escalation, such as sending new ships under guard from the Turkish navy.  That would be incredibly dangerous and very much against Britain’s interests.

The evidence emerging suggests four important considerations that should inform a new statement:

  1. The activists on the boat were preparing for violence and described martyrdom as a “happy ending”
  2. The soldiers were seriously assaulted
  3. This was not “piracy” or anything of the sort
  4. The Israelis main mistake may have been to use insufficient force initially

Read the whole thing.

10:30AM: An IDF soldier describes the peaceful reception received by him and his comrades after boarding the Mavi Marmara.

10:22AM: Australia has joined the chorus of nations condemning Israel’s use of self defense aboard the flotilla vessel yesterday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has condemned the use of violence during a deadly raid by Israeli commandos, and called for the blockade of Gaza to be lifted.

At least nine people died on Monday when Israeli forces attacked a humanitarian flotilla on its way to the Palestinian territory.

‘‘The Australian government condemns any use of violence under the sorts of circumstances that we have seen,’’ Mr Rudd told reporters in Canberra today.

‘‘Furthermore, we are deeply concerned about the loss of life which has occurred.’’

7:25AM: Some of the weapons found on board the Mavi Marmara flotilla ship yesterday.

weapons flotilla

Looks like they were planning quite a BBQ.

6:32AM: I’ll have what she’s having.

iranian female anti Israel protester

An Iranian female protestor chants slogans, in an anti-Israel demonstration in front of the U.N. office in Tehran, Iran, Monday, May 31, 2010 (AP)

6:24AM: Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that despite recent events and Turkey’s recall of its ambassador from Tel Aviv, he has no plans of making a similar move.

“I do no intend to recall Ambassador Gabby Levy despite the Turkish decision. I have no intention of enflaming the relations. Nevertheless, the event’s repercussions are expected to be felt for a long time and our goal is to find a common ground with Turkey in order to maintain stability.”

6:20AM: David Horovitz of the Jerusalem Post asks why did the IDF underestimate the hostility of those it called terrorists?

6:15AM: Deputy head of Israel’s mission to the United Nations, Dan Carmon, to the UN Security Council:

dan carmonAlthough the flotilla was portrayed in the media as a humanitarian mission, it was anything but.  If that were truly the case, the organizers of the mission would have accepted weeks ago Israel’s offer to transfer the aid brought on the flotilla through the Israeli port of Ashdod and through the established Israeli procedures.  Much material and merchandise was entering Gaza daily through those mechanisms.  “I would like to stress there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.  The flotilla’s organizers had not only rejected Israel’s offer, but had stated that their mission was not about delivering humanitarian supplies, but about breaking the Israeli siege on Gaza.

“What kind of humanitarian activists demand to bypass the United Nations, the Red Cross and other internationally recognized agencies?” he asked.  “What kind of peace activists use knives, clubs and other weapons to attack soldiers who board a ship in accordance with international law?” he asked.  He asked what kind of activists embraced Hamas and terrorist organizations that openly shunned a two-State solution and called for Israel’s destruction.  “The answer is clear. They are not peace activists; they are not messengers of goodwill.  They cynically use the guise of humanitarian aid to send a message of hate and to implement violence.”

A state of armed conflict existed between Israel and Hamas, he said.  Gaza was occupied by terrorists that had ousted the Palestinian Authority in a violent coup, and arms were continuously being smuggled into the territory, including by sea.  A maritime blockade was a legitimate and recognized measure under international law that could be implemented as part of an armed conflict at sea.  It could be imposed at sea, including in international waters.  “Let me also stress that Israel provided, in due time, not only information about the existence of the blockade, but also appropriate notification to the relevant Governments and to the organizers of the Gaza flotilla.  The flotilla had turned down Israel’s repeated offers to transfer aid to Gaza, because they had had other plans.  The organizing group, the İnsani Yardım Vakfı, had a radical anti-Western orientation.  Alongside its legitimate humanitarian activities, it supported radical Islamic networks, such as Hamas.

When it had become clear that the protest flotilla intended to violate the blockade, despite repeated warnings, Israeli navy personnel had boarded the vessels and redirected them to Ashdod, he said.  The soldiers boarding one of the ships had been violently attacked with live ammunition, knives, clubs and other types of weapons.  The intention had been to lynch Israeli soldiers.  “Without any doubt, the soldiers acted in self-defence,” he said.  The injured had been evacuated and were currently being treated at Israeli hospitals.  The Israel Defense Forces, as part of standard operating procedures, would conduct a debriefing on the matter that would shed more light on the day’s events.

“Let me be very clear, this was not a peaceful protest.  The İnsani Yardım Vakfı people on-board one of the ships were not humanitarian activists,” he said.  The Israel Defense Forces’ operation had begun as a preventive measure to counter the illegal breakage of the blockade.  Any responsible Government would act accordingly in similar circumstances to protect its civilians.  Israel regretted the loss of innocent life, but it could not compromise its security.  While assessing that particular event, it was important not to lose sight of the bigger picture.  Council resolution 1860 (2009) tackled many aspects, not just humanitarian ones.  The threat to peace and security posed by Hamas could not be ignored.  It was necessary to continue to embrace positive developments in the past few weeks, so that the two parties could sit together in direct talks for their mutual benefit.

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About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder 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

comments

  • Michael in Florida

    A "friend" of mine from school today called Ron ben Yishai's article "towing the party line".

    I would assume his response to the logic and reason displayed above would be "your a tool of the zionist conspiracy!"

  • walt kovacs

    the flotilla was an extension of the ism, which used internationals as human shields during military operations in gaza

    i still wouldve preferred if the idf had fired warning shots across the bows of the ships and then towed them all into port

    the commando raid was poorly planned…and whoever was in charge better be given a good talking to

    my gosh, bibi was supposed to meet with obama today….werent they aware of that?

    and they ahd to know what couldve happened when they boarded the ship

  • JRmo

    imagine a world like this one, where the worst possible outcome is the best possible outcome. this is so surreal. it wouldn't be if the truth mattered to anyone. worse, it seems like most people/countries/entities really do know the truth, but prefer to ignore it. whoever shouts the loudest wins. it doesn't matter what you say. I do hope this time will be different, and the truth will get a chance at the light of day.

    • Norman B.

      The truth matters, or should matter, to Obama because he would face serious political consequences if he ignores it. We don't have the whole truth yet, since the IDF, to the best of my knowledge, is still taking inventory on the ships and questioning the passengers and crew.

  • http://www.missdynamite.com Sirkowski

    Kitchen knifes? Really? I heard they threw chairs as well. What if the terrorists got hold of some chairs? Surely it would spell the doom of Israel, right?

    • Michael Zvi krumbein

      How about throwing someone thirty feet. Perhaps you would like to test that?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/israellycool israellycool

      Are you really that ignorant or just pretending?

      Are you denying the "peaceful activists" used these knives as weapons?

      • Michael Zvi krumbein

        He is using a "straw man" argument. You were arguing that they obviously intended violence, ans he was pretending that your argument was that they were smuggling in weapons. Of course there is no shortage of weapons in Gaza, since Hamas considers that more important than food or medical care.

    • Andrew Brehm

      Only if the antisemites are allowed to use the knives with impunity. Better stop them at knife level.

    • walt kovacs

      remember 9/11….remember how the hijackers used box cutters and slit the throats of pilots and passengers?

      idiot

  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    I am trying to understand the reality, although I understand that to people on the left that is completely irrelevant.

    The only way these soldiers could have shown more restrain is if they put guns to their own heads and shot themselves, heaven forbid.

    Exactly what does the word want from us? Proprotionality. What is that? More dead Israeli soldiers.

    In other words, the only good Jew is a dead Jew. Ask the L.A. times.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/juvanya juvanya

      I think this incident can help finally expose the hypocrisy. Proportionality is probably doing nothing and just letting the ships through.

      • Michael Zvi krumbein

        I wish.

  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    I note that Ha'aretz called them "international activists".

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/juvanya juvanya

      Well they are 'international' and are 'active'

  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    I checked some things from yesterday to today. Nothing on Malkin and Coulter; they were probably out for the holiday. Little Green Footballs had the IDF footage. The L.A. Times was fascinating. The inflammatory headlines were contradicted by the articles they were supposed to be describing. Of course, guess which people read?

    • walt kovacs

      the times was one of the first american papers to print stuff just from the twitter…and you should read the comments section…which is not moderated….the amount of jew hate gibberish is amazing….guys still fuming over the liberty

      • Michael Zvi krumbein

        Start flagging :-)

      • Michael Zvi krumbein

        The CONTENTS of the articles was fine; it did not back up the headlines. For example, the EU did NOT condemn Israel.

        These "journalists" would be blocked from Wikipedia for faking their citations.

        • Michael Zvi krumbein

          were

      • Jim from Iowa

        I agree with you, Walt. The Comments Section on yesterday's Huffington Post was not only very critical of Israel's actions against the flotilla, but many comments were just plain anti-Israel and some exhibited anti-Jewish bias. This site is moderated (I assume on Memorial Day as well) with the most hateful comments removed. I was disappointed with yesterday's HP handling of the whole thing. Oh well, there's always IsraellyCool and its readership to counterbalance a lot of what's out there.

        • Michael Zvi krumbein

          The Media Research Center featured an article supporting Israel. It's pretty clear who our friends are, and who are enemies are.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/juvanya juvanya

        Werent they also the first newspaper to accept an advertisement for the front page?

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/juvanya juvanya

        I was jsut arguing with a guy about that.

  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    Update on the numbers from Tzahal:

    "The following is a summary of the number of injuries and casualties in today’s incident in which IDF naval forces were met with extremely violent resistance on board the Mavi Marmara. According to the most recent reports, a total of seven soldiers were wounded – four soldiers were moderately wounded, of which two were initially in critical condition, as well as an additional three soldiers who were lightly wounded. Among the violent activists, there were nine casualties as a result of the soldiers defending themselves."

    Our boys are all right, and nine of the people who tried to kill them are not. In a world not grounded in fantasy, this would be a good result.

  • gtc

    The Westerners who were involved in this really need to give a proper accounting for their actions. Were they aware of the links of the organisers to terrorism? Did they witness the anti-semitic war chants? Did they witness the calls by the participants to either break the blockade or win martyrdom? Were they aware of the weapons on board and the preperations for the attack on the IDF?

    In particular, I would like the Australian journalists (because I am an Australian) and the German politicians (for obvious reasons) to answer these questions. Unfortunately, it seems clear that the Australian government has no interest in asking these questions as our PM is courting Arab votes to win a seat on the UN Security Council. According to the SMH (the employer of the two journalists embedded on the flotilla) Kevin Rudd is calling for the blockade to be lifted and for an inquiry to be conducted, possibly without the involvement of Israel.
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/fury-follows-israels-

  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    Dave, has your PM gone balmy? From gtc's reference:

    ‘‘The Australian government condemns any use of violence under the sorts of circumstances that we have seen,’’ Mr Rudd told reporters in Canberra today"

    The Austrailian government is against soldiers trying to save their lives? I can only hope he is involved in a terrorist indcident, and the security forces follow his rules and refuse to "use violence". Perhaps his widow will feel otherwise.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/juvanya juvanya

      I guess he should dismantle the Aussie Police Dept or at least take away their guns.

  • walt kovacs

    what is the idf trying to prove with this vid? its worse than most of the stuff i have seen from pallywood
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9p5QT91QYs&pl

    suggestion…when you make a vid of wounded soldiers, dont have them wearing slings on the same arms….these guys look like twins

    and it sounds too rehearsed

    israel needs to hire spielburg to run their pr dept….better yet, hire rahm emanuel's bro

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DarleneEC DarleneEC

    Why would any organization proclaiming to be peaceful, proclaiming to be bringing aid, associate themselves with a recognized terrorist organization. To describe this convoy of ships as a "peace flotilla" is a gross distortion of the truth. Underscored when they provoked and attacked Israeli naval personal.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/juvanya juvanya

      When they consider them resistance or freedom fighters. ;)

  • ADB

    I have just seen some footage of the "peace activists" reception of the IDF commandos boarding the Mavi Marmara, and it looked very much to me like the pole-waving activists were trying their darnedest to beat a few soldiers to death. While I am in some ways no fan of Israel, may I just say that – as a person with a (rather tame) miltary background – the commandos showed remarkable restraint, as well as considerable guts in rapelling into a heaving mob armed only with paintball guns (and holstered pistols, for use only as a last resort). If i had witnessed a mate being remorselessly hammered while lying on the deck by , I'd have been seeking immediate permission to slot these peace activists between the eyes.

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  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    At last, Michelle Malkin caught up:

    All aboard the peace thug flotilla: “The army of Muhammad will return!”; Update: Israel is ready for the next jihadi ships; U.N. condemns Israel, of course

    (There are more coming?)

    • Jim from Iowa

      If Michelle Malkin is your voice of reason you might be looking a little too hard for a silver lining, Michael. Better to listen to your random crazy person repeating the things the voices in his head tell him to say. The participants on the flotilla who assaulted the Israeli commandos were not peace activists (agreed). They were looking for a confrontation with Israel (agreed). They were jihadis (not proven). They were Al Qaeda operatives (not proven). Try to stay with the facts, Michael, and don't drift off to Crazy Town with Michelle Malkin.

      • Michael Zvi krumbein

        What did she say that is not true, regardign this incident? What mainly learned there was that another ship is coming.

        She is extremely widely read. My point is, as I said above, that it is obvious who Israel's friends are, and it ain't your crowd.

        • Jim from Iowa

          There is some truth in what you say concerning the Left, Michael. But how is the "My Country, Right or Wrong" approach best for Israel? There needs to be an accounting for this operation so Israel might benefit in the future by learning from its mistakes. I defend the commandos actions to save their own lives against murderous intent by some on that Turkish ship. But I question Israeli leadership for putting those young men in such a perilous situation. There surely were better ways (nonviolent) to handle this flotilla. But is the Right too boneheaded to learn any lessons from this? Time will tell.

          • Michael Zvi krumbein

            What Right? The person in charge was Ehud Barak, of the Labor party.

          • Michael Zvi krumbein

            "I defend the commandos actions to save their own lives against murderous intent by some on that Turkish ship."

            This is the entire point. Not whether this was done correctly, but who was in the right, morally. Michelle Malkin backed us on this, in an extremely strong manner. If you had told me that Huffington Post had done so, I certainly would not have launched an attack on them. It's too bad that some people cannot get past their personal politics.

            • Michael Zvi krumbein

              I already said I hoped that Barak is forced to resign over this. And of course there will be an internal review – there had better be, as the Rachel Corrie is due in tomorrow.

              But hindsight is 20/20, and I don't like second-guessing every decision of people who have a lot more responsibility and information than I do.

              • Jim from Iowa

                Why stop with Barak? According to Ha'aretz it was a group of seven senior officials of Netanyahu's government who made this decision. What about Yishai (Interior) Liberman (Foreign Ministry) and Netanyahu himself? Funny how you complain about people who can't see beyond their own political biases and yet you single out the only member of the Labor Party for criticism. Hmm, funny indeed.

                • http://intensedebate.com/people/ShyGuy Shy Guy

                  Sounds great to me!

                  But Michael's right that the natural top of the chain here is the Defense Minister, Barak.

                  But again, I'd be happy to toss out everyone you listed.

                  • Jim from Iowa

                    OK, Shy Guy, I'm with you on this one. Now I realize that unlike the US, Israel has a parliamentary form of government. Unless I've been badly misled, a change in government under this system works very much like the voting in the European Song Contest. What is the text message to vote for Tzipi Livni?

                    • http://intensedebate.com/people/ShyGuy Shy Guy

                      What is the text message to vote for Tzipi Livni?

                      STFFM

                    • Jim from Iowa

                      Polka! That brings back memories for me. We had to learn polka in 5th grade gym class. They paired us up by height and I got stuck with that stupid Debbie Burgess. She had oily, stringy brown hair, thick glasses, and a bad case of cooties (which I'm certain she still has to this very day). I'm reasonably sure she grew up to become a Republican.

                    • http://intensedebate.com/people/ShyGuy Shy Guy

                      Yeh, I'll bet with you that Debbie Burgess grew up to be a Republican.

                      And good for her!

                  • stv

                    I'd like to remind people that Ehud Barak is a national hero for his parts in Entebbe, operation Isotope, operation bayonet, the Tunis raid and in operation spring of youth because of which he is a sex symbol in Lebanon.

                    But perhaps he should be put in charge of more lethal operations.

                • Michael Zvi krumbein

                  Because I didn't see the article, not that I would believe Ha'aretz if they said the sun was rising in the East.

                  Barak is the Defanse minister, so normally he would be involved. I had no idea they made such a big deal out of this. And you tend to toss out this "right-wing" business like candy.

                  But as I said, the question is the moral issue, not tactics. Hindsight is 20/20.

                  And if you think for 5 seconds that ANYONE in Israel will give any public official the benefit of the doubt about ANYTHING, then you don't know Israelis.

                  • Jim from Iowa

                    "And you tend to toss out this 'right-wing' business like candy."

                    Well, as they say in those Peter Paul Almond Joy/Mounds commercials: "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't." Sometimes you analyze issues in a totally dispassionate, well-reasoned and completely nonpartisan manner. And sometimes you don't. If you read Michelle Malken on a regular basis, you are probably in the latter category. I'm not saying Michelle Malken is a nut. After all, Glenn Beck is the Mayor McCheese of Crazy Town. But Ms. Malken has been given the keys to the city.

                    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

                      And you do? With Huffington Post?

                      I can tell bias in either direction. That doesn't mean I can't read opinions.

                      All I know is that if you had reported that HP had supported Israel, I would not have attacked them.

                      It's pretty clear who are friends are now, and who are enemies are. CNN is our enemy, and Fox is our friend, in this case at least. The American right is generally our friend, and the left is generally our enemy. But if American Jews don't start appreciating it when people stand up for us, we may be left without any friends at all.

                    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

                      And I think I understand the Israeli political spectrum better than you do, BTW.

                    • Jim from Iowa

                      I'm not so sure about that. The Israeli political system is too complex to be seen as a mere spectrum. Its more like a hologram and can only be fully appreciated by viewing it with 3D glasses. And I'll stop calling Lieberman oafish if you guys will stop calling Tzipi Livni fat.

                    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

                      This is what I am saying. There is the economic, the security, and the social-religious. Right-left is only used in Israel for the first two.

                    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

                      By the way, I once wrote a long letter to Michelle Malkin because I felt that the anti-Muslim rhetoric was going too far.

                    • http://intensedebate.com/people/juvanya juvanya

                      And if we lose the left, we lose Israel. Ive said this many times. Fortunately, I am working on the left to reverse this all and explain that the "palestinians" are just a shill for the Arab/Muslim Empire. There is no 'liberation' struggle at all. Which works great for the commies that are 'anti-imperialist'.

                      Ive already deconverted someone back to Zionism. Ive gotten a communist to accept that Israel might be in the right and the Arabs are imperialistic. Another project of mine today asked for the Israelly side, so Dave got another visitor. (oh wow I spelled Israeli wrong) and Ive seen a number of people inclined to say Israel might be or is right in this incident.

                      We have a strong argument for the left to think about:
                      -portray the other side as imperialistic, not liberating (I have a hypothesis of a 21st century imperialism may be what I call 'sapper imperialism': See Mexico/SW America, Arabs/Israel, China/Siberia, etc)
                      -explaining the socialist and legit communist (kibbutzim) ideals that Israel was founded upon and still guide Israel today, with changes.
                      -Israel helps give Arabs jobs, while their own countries do not make much effort to
                      -I cant remember my other points that I usually use, but I am planning to write a pamphlet about all this

                    • Michael Zvi krumbein

                      We've already lost not only the left, but the Democrats also. There was an organization called the NJDC that worked to change this, but now they just shill for the DNC.

                    • http://intensedebate.com/people/juvanya juvanya

                      Theres still somewhere around 45%. Its not too late. As I explained elsewhere, we cant have one party that supports Israel and one party that doesnt.

                      Im actually working on starting a third party in NJ and that is one of the warnings Ive gotten about how the big parties will try to hijack your efforts. I like to think I wont have my work similarly hijacked. And maybe I wont. I am a bit controlling and possessive of my creations.

                      At the least, we have to try. I think our bigger problem is the more apathetic people and apathetic Jews. I know plenty.

                    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

                      45% of what?

                      I agree about two parties, although you are way to the left of the average Democrat outside academia. I recall a commentator – I don't think he was conservative – stating that people like Buchanan felt free to speak up because Jews didn't respond to Republican overtures. Blacks can afford to be one-party, because the Republicans will always court them so the Whites don't think they are racist. Jews cannot afford to be one-party.

              • http://intensedebate.com/people/juvanya juvanya

                We should get our bulldozers ready!

            • Norman B.

              I don't agree with everything Michelle Malkin writes (for example, she opposes health care reform and I favor it), but when it comes to investigative journalism, I would trust her skill and accuracy before I would trust the New York Times, the Associated Press, or heaven forbid, the BBC. Honest Reporting has never had a problem with Malkin's stories or columns while they do with the latter three. Besides, she has repeatedly demanded that the Republican Party get its ethical act together, so she can't be all bad.

              • Michael Zvi Krumbein

                I will just say that between the media and the government, I would trust the latter.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/juvanya juvanya

      You guys should check out Drudge Report also, if you dont already. He has a slight conservative tilt, but does make some effort to show both sides. Even Ill credit him there.

  • faboutlaws

    The coverage in the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal wasn't too bad. Sure, it could have been much better, but I'm much relieved at the semblance of balance. It's hard to flat out deny all the video that was quickly released and went viral almost immediately. Far too fast to have been doctored. A lot of Europe will be forced to eat their hasty words. And those who are rabidly anti semitic will remain so with out regard to the truth. And the stupid will, not suprisingly, remain stupid.

  • faboutlaws

    I have a fear that Turkey has been using this confrontation as an excuse to disengage from its relationship with Israel to pursue dreams of reestablishing the Caliphate. There is nothing Israel can do about it except disengage quickly. Let's hope that Turkey is not so stupid as to have its warships accompany the next flotilla. It would be an act of war. It would seriously compromise its membership in NATO and surely end any chance of entry into the EU. Although these are things I would like to see happen, I don't want them to happen at Israel's expense. Write off Turkey.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/juvanya juvanya

      Lets hope the people vote with their brains next election, although I doubt it. MAkes you wish the army went through with its coup in 2005 or whenever.

  • Michael Zvi krumbein

    I was afraid that the American press was lying to the American people, once again. I see CNN did (FOX-basers, take note). How were the networks and FOX?

    • perat

      I didnt see fox, but eyewitness news on abc was pretty well balanced, except they tried overly hard to make the report about "balance" by saying Israel probably committed a crime by doing it in international waters (where Israel actually has any legal authority to implement the blockade. Had it gone into gazan waters, Israel wouldn't be able to stop them). I just wish reporters actually knew international law before they start spewing what people are claiming is true.

      But definitely, the fact that Israel was quick to release footage allowed for much more unbiased reporting because its clear that the "peace activists" were beating up soldiers. Israel is slowly learning their lesson from previous botched PR failures.

  • faboutlaws

    One of the problems with this whole mess is that there is a battle of lawful goals going on here. It is legal for the flotilla people to try to reach Gaza with their supplies. It is also legal for Israel to try to stop them, even to use deadly force under the right circumstances to accomplish that goal. It would also be legal for Turkey to have its warships accompany the flotilla. Everybody is obeying the law, yet the battle of wills leads to war. Not so tidy, evenly profoundly disturbing. I guess this is why we have treaties to bind countries to a specific course of conduct. And, no, I don't have any answers to the problem. That's just the way it is.

  • faboutlaws

    On a much lighter note, my wife saw your weird protester of the day and wondered why I didn't have hair on my chest that looked that good. She's one of those sort of blonde, blue eyed, light skinned northern European types. I honestly don't know what the attraction to those hairy Arab types is, but I remarked that he has back hair exactly like it. It was the fastest I ever got her to shut up. Women!? Geez.

  • Stan

    I know this is anti-Obama territory, but so far he has not joined the chorus. I wonder if anyone here will give him the credit that is due.

    Stan

    • Michael in Florida

      I will. He needs to atone for his sabre-rattling earlier this year and bring the paradigm back to facts and not propaganda. And he has done the right thing so far, much like with Iran's protesters. My only hope is that he will continue on this positive track he has laid out before him. If he handles this right, he could really return the peace process to where it should be and not this one-sided condemnation of Israel it has become.

    • Michael Zvi krumbein

      I will give him credit if he defends Israel, not if he stays neutral. This is the U.S. we are talking about, not Europe.

      The real question is what happens AFTER the U.S. elections.

    • Norman B.

      Whatever Obama actually thinks of this, he knows by now that he is dealing with political dynamite. I believe he is also aware that his peace process postures hurt him politically. To use a baseball analogy, he has been like a starting pitcher who realizes that he doesn't have his good pitches working for him in the early innings and now he has to make in-game adjustments to his delivery to keep his team in contention.

  • stv

    Lets be very clear, there were NO 'innocent civilians' on the deck of that ship.

    The video shows that the moment IDF personnel landed on the deck of that ship there was a clear effort made by the militants to use lethal force. Knives, clubs and improvised devices of an explosive and flammable nature were used, as well as two stolen handguns both of which had their magazines emptied.

    Only after two soldiers were critically wounded and five others badly injured and after a reported period of over half an hour did Soldiers respond with deadly force in order to prevent their own lives from being taken.

    I am curious to what exactly are some people 'morally outraged'?
    Not only was an incredible amount of restraint shown but the facts are weighed extraordinarily in favour of the commandos.

    Israel's' boarding was perfectly in line with the action of many naval actions around the world, including currently the UK, US, Russia and others in international waters off Somalia to prevent the loss of trade and life from piracy and the UK, US and others in international waters in the Caribbean in order to prevent the smuggling of drugs.

    • perat

      Exactly. And if you look at the San Remo Manual, which dictates international law on foreign vessels and aircraft during a state of war, Israel acted in accordance of the law and in fact showed restraint with regard to the law.

      The same UN screaming about crimes committed by Israel drafted the manual that Israel abided by to the letter. The only thing the UN can say against Israel was the possibility that Israel used disproportionate force in attacking the flotilla because they can't find Israel culpable of any real crimes.

      Here's a link to the law if you're interested: http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/385ec082b509e76c41256

      And also, even humanitarian ships are required to be checked by the belligerent state according to the international law to ensure that the supplies are truly humanitarian.

  • faboutlaws

    Saw your post from Fox. It doesn't get better than that in the US. It's certainly better than Haaretz and they're yours.

    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

      Ours? Take them, please!

  • Michael Zvi Krumbein

    For those tired of anti-Israel comments, take a look at Pajamas Media. While the articles are not exactly rah-rah-Israel (although basically supportive), the comments are pretty uniformy positive.

    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

      Speaking of PJTV, there is an interesting interview of Richard Landes by Roger Simon. The interesting point is that, in fact, seven of the ships did contain peaceful "activists", who surrendered right way. The eigth ship was different. Of course, they let them join them….

  • Michael Zvi Krumbein

    Sorry for another post.

    Since Dave posted the legal column, I thought I would check my favorite legal blog, Legal Insurrection. He makes an interesting point as to the real purpose of the flotilla.

    "And that is the rub, only sea-based shipping would provide Iran with the mechanism for almost unlimited armament of Hamas. There is a limit to the quantity and size of missiles and other armaments which can be smuggled through tunnels from Egypt. That is why the sea blockade must be broken for Iran to get what it wants."

    By the way, he linked to this blog..

  • Michael in Florida
  • Kapois

    I am Greek and have been very supportive of Jews my whole life, and still am, I have been to many demos to support Jews and Israelis being attacked by neonazis and racists in my country. This just to explain my political stance: solidarity to all the opressed.

    The acts by the Israel state I have seen today are shocking…

    The state of Israel killed civilians carrying aid to other civilians.

    Killed …

    are you people so accustomed to deaths, killings and bloodshed that you actually support a state, that is definatelly not under theat to, kill?.

    • Norman B.

      Yes. I saw the World Trade Center site burn from my office window, so I know the human filth that Israel is up against. As Edmund Burke said, evil triumphs when good men do nothing.

    • Michael Zvi krumbein

      Those "civilians" were trying to kill them. Did you read anything here, or are you just a troll?

      We are not under threat? Missles fell in my home city. Missles come all of the time from Gaza. Hamas' rules speak all of the time about desroying us. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

  • knives dont hurt

    if you don't think the commandos were hurt then send me a video of yourself getting stabbed with kitchen knives and letting me know how good it feels.
    On the other hand these commandos shot and killed 9 peaceful knife brandishing activists.