The Day In Israel: Tuesday June 8th, 2010

The IDF yesterday announced it will conduct its own internal investigation into the guerilla flotilla raid, with IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi appointing Maj. Gen. (res) Giora Eiland to head the probe charged with analyzing the failures of, and learning lessons from, it.

At the same time, the government awaits a green light from the United States and other sources on a separate proposal for how to investigate the incident. The proposal is to establish a panel of top jurists with experience in international and marine law, including two international jurists, to probe the raid independently of the IDF probe.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)?

11:00PM: Now that’s more like it, Tony!

Israel has the right to protect itself, former British prime minister Tony Blair said in an interview with Channel 10 on Tuesday.

Blair met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday to discuss the repercussions of last week’s flotilla raid.

“Any investigation has to be full and impartial, and there may be some sort of international element that could be part of it,” Blair said.

While Blair stressed the need to launch an international, impartial probe into the incident, he assured that he wholeheartedly supports Israel’s right to self-defense.

“There are no questions at all. There have been rockets fired from Gaza, there are people in Gaza who want to kill innocent Israelis,” the former UK premier said said.

“When it comes to security, I am one hundred percent on Israel’s side.”

Which is sure to piss off his sister-in-law.

8:50PM: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon admitted that last week’s flotilla raid was a failure, saying that “in a place where citations should have been given, someone failed to prepare a standard operating procedure.”

Speaking during a meeting with council heads from the Likud party, Ya’alon said that “the decision was right, but there is room for improvement –and I am not going to elaborate.”

Ya’alon, who served as acting prime minister at the time of the operation due to the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on an official visit to Canada, praised the commandos who took over the Gaza-bound flotilla. “The fighting on the deck was heroic and took place under impossible conditions,” he said, while adding that “there were some malfunctions during the planning and operational stages.”

“I warned of this before the incident,” the minister said

8:42PM: Do you remember Tali Fahima, the Israeli moonbat with a thing for palestinian terrorists with big guns?

Well, you won’t guess what she’s gone ahead and done.

tali fahima islam

Photo courtesy of pls48.net

Israeli left-wing activist Tali Fahima, previously convicted of aiding Palestinian terrorists, told Ynet that she had converted to Islam on Monday at a mosque in Umm al-Fahm in the presence of three sheikhs.

Sheikh Yusuf Albaz confirmed that Fahima converted. Fahima herself refused to comment, saying that she doesn’t give interviews to the “Zionist media.”

Fahima plead guilty in December 2005 to maintaining contacts with a foreign agent with the intention of harming state security, and was sentenced to three years in prison.

She was specifically convicted of aiding Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades terrorists, including the group’s leader in Jenin Zakariya Zubeidi, whom she had an affair with, and was released from prison in January 2007.

The Shin Bet security service claimed that Fahima, who resides in Wadi Ara, planned on becoming the first Jewish terrorist to act against her own people.

Sheikh Albaz, a senior member of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, accompanied Fahima throughout the conversion process. “I liked her mentality; I like anyone who prefers resistance to capitulation, and Tali Fahima is an example of resistance,” he said.

The issue of Islam was discussed during the meetings between the sheikh and Fahima. “I wanted to encourage her and I told her that she must continue along her current path. I also spoke to her about the ways of Islam and explained that the religion stands for resistance in the face of all that is evil in the world,” the sheikh recounted.

Fahima eventually informed the sheikh that he had convinced her, and told her associates that the head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Shiekh Raed Salah, was her model.

“Salah accepted her with open arms,” said Sheikh Albaz. “From this point on she is a full-fledged Muslim – there is no need for a special ceremony.”

Fahima visited Salah in Umm al-Fahm over the weekend. The sheikh was placed under house arrest for participating in the Gaza-bound flotilla.

The Islamic Movement praised Fahima’s decision to convert and was quick to publish the development on its website.

Her family must be so proud.

11:25AM: According to a new Rasmussen report, 49% of US voters believe the flotillarists raided by Israeli forces are to blame for the resulting deaths, 19% think Israel is to blame, and 32% are not sure (via Memeorandum).

11:06AM: It’s not every day that a country warns the Russians.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday warned Russia not to side with his country’s foes in a UN sanctions vote on the Iranian nuclear program later this week.

“[The Russians] must be careful not to be beside the enemies of the Iranian people,” Ahmadinejad said at a press conference in Istanbul, where was attending a summit alongside regional leaders including Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, the midgetized monkey has once again alluded to Israel’s destruction.

“Attacking the aid convoy was a big crime which brought the Zionist regime one step closer to its death,” Ahmadinejad said.

7:26AM: Separated at Birth?

6:18AM: Reuters has responded to accusations they deliberately cropped from photos flotilla “activists” holding weapons and bloodied IDF commandos.

Reuters on Monday rejected accusations of biased coverage, adding that it had reverted to the use of “the original set” of images, once the organization realized that the photographs it had published had been cropped.

A Reuters spokesman told Haaretz: “Reuters is committed to an accurate and impartial reporting. All images that pass over our wire follow a strict editorial evaluation and selection process.

“The images in question were made available in Istanbul in following normal editorial practice were prepared for dissemination which included cropping at the edges. When we realized that the dagger was inadvertently cropped from the images Reuters immediately moved to the original set as well.”

Wow, what a coincidence. Twice.

6:00AM: From the Land Down Under: Bipartisan support for Israel’s actions in intercepting the flotilla expressed by Australian Federal politicians.

5:56AM: Israel is not the only party concerned with Turkey’s stance in the wake of the guerilla flotilla raid.

The Palestinian Authority is concerned about Turkey’s increased support for Hamas, a PA official in Ramallah said on Monday.

The official said that the PA leadership was “unhappy” with Turkey’s policy toward Hamas, especially with regard to pressure to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip unconditionally.

“Turkey’s policy is emboldening Hamas and undermining the Palestinian Authority,” the official told The Jerusalem Post.

“Of course we want to see the blockade lifted, but Hamas must also end its coup in the Gaza Strip and accept an Egyptian proposal for achieving reconciliation with Fatah.”

The PA is also concerned the reopening of the Rafah border crossing to Sinai would enable Hamas to tighten its grip on the Strip.

“We wish to remind the Turkish and Egyptian governments that the border crossing was controlled by the Palestinian Authority before Hamas launched its coup in 2007,” the official added. “If the Rafah border crossing is going to be reopened, that should be done in coordination with us and not with Hamas.”

Azzam al-Ahmed, a top Fatah official in the West Bank, was quoted over the weekend as saying that he was opposed to the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip until Hamas agreed to end the dispute with his faction.

Ahmed stressed that there was no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip because the PA government was sending aid through Israeli border crossings.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who visited Istanbul on Monday, was said to have relayed to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan his concern over the rapprochement between Turkey and Hamas, the official revealed.

Erdogan, according to the official, offered to mediate between the PA and Hamas -an offer that Abbas accepted.

Erdogan declared that ending the power struggle between the rival Palestinian parties “is a must.” He claimed that Hamas had also welcomed a mediation role for Turkey.

Did you note in particular the sentence I highlighted in red?

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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