The Day In Israel: Sunday June 13th, 2010

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abbas obamaPA President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly told United States President Barack Obama he is opposed to lifting the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip because this would bolster Hamas.

Which puts him to the right of so-called human rights organizations, the Israeli Left and, heck, the US administration.

It also indicates that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Either that, or Abbas is not too perturbed.



Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)?

8:00PM: Code Pink’s US Army Col. (Ret.) Ann Wright, who bills herself as an eyewitness to the IDF raid on the Mavi Marmara and the “murder” of “nine innocent civilians,” admits she did not actually see the clash between the IDF soldiers and the armed passengers (via IMRA).

7:48PM: Photo of the day.

12:06PM: PJTV’s Richard Landes discusses Hamas’ blocking of humanitarian aid into Gaza (hat tip: Michael).

11:56AM: So-called “human right activist” and sister-in-law of Tony Blair, Lauren Booth, is finding it increasingly difficult to contain her hatred of Israel. Here’s her latest screed, replete with conspiracy theories, antisemitism and invective.

And lies, of course.

Lauren BoothShocking Testimonials from the Mavi Marmara survivors. And one Israeli fembot.

(LONDON) – One of the most striking trends following the flotilla attack has been how quickly Israeli hasbara is being exposed by internet journalists. The doctored IOF audio clips, where amateurs with mock Arab accents hiss ‘Go back to Aushwitz’ to Israeli naval officers.

Well they didn’t take long to pull apart did they? Then there are the (so-pathetic-they’re-almost-funny claims the flotilla was linked to Al Quaeda.

I laughed out loud to read in an Israeli paper that humanitarian activist (and former US marine) Ken O’Keefe was going to Gaza to; ‘train a commando unit in Hamas.’

I know Ken fairly well. Quite frankly I’m not sure who should be more insulted by this stupidity, him or Hamas? Either way, flinging the words ‘Hamas’ ‘Jihadists’ and ‘Israel’s security’ around is no longer having the same shock and awe effect on journalists or the public at large.

The internet now shapes the world’s story, not the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Meanwhile, like a soccer star caught cheating on his wife. Instead of saying ‘I messed up big time, forgive me’ Israeli government sources and other shysters are screaming; ‘it’s not fair to watch us all the time, that’s mean!’ and ‘this is our business, leave us alone!’ Bad luck for them that as it stands, more of the IDF’s minging dirty washing is being aired in public than ever before, via facebook and twitter. The Zionists sobs of ‘no faiirrrr!’ are sounding ever more bizarre. But more about the Isra-bots later on.

Israeli Intelligence (some mistake surely?) have been busy since the massacre. Erasing the memory sticks and hard disks of what my premiliminary research estimates to be some 800 video cameras, around 1200 mobiles and 600 lap tops. All items, looted from the passengers of the Freedom Flotilla, whilst they kneeled, handcuffed and in stress positions, on the hot deck of the Mavi Marmara for up to 12 hours after the attack. Before the bots cry ‘why so much money on board, why so many cameraaas!’ Let me explain, the good individuals on board had been raising money for months in the local communities around the world to take useful gifts to the people, schools and children of the besieged Gaza Strip. Besides which – the cameras were the only ‘weapons’ those on board had with which to arm themselves in the event of an attack at sea.

Now, evidence is emerging, that having been forced (by Turkish hard line diplomacy) to release all of the kidnapped passengers sooner than it would have liked; Israel is (as usual) taking revenge on the Palestinian relatives of activists on board. Those who seek to non violently oppose Zionist policies of Apartheid violence are having loved ones interrogated by the Shabak as you read this for merely sailing with the Freedom Flotilla. I am not at liberty to say much more for fear of even further reprisals on innocent people. But as you should by now be aware, the Israeli machine specialises in collective punishment. This week a spokesman in the US said live on air that ‘Children in Gaza were under siege because their parents voted Hamas.’ Too much to say on that, so I’ll leave it hanging for you to take in…

Last night in London, as in so many cities this week, Freedom flotilla passengers addressed a packed open meeting. At the Conway Hall in Central London, half a dozen British survivors looked in turns spaced out and hardened by their experience, eleven days ago (is that all it is? How the world turns!).

Jamal El Shayyal, is the Al Jazeera reporter who kept broadcasting as gun shots rang out behind him on the upper decks of the Mavi Marmara. I honestly thought I had heard, read and seen the worst about the Israeli attack on the fleet’s passengers. I hadn’t. Believe me, nor have you. Those three-minute clips, miraculously broadcast live or smuggled out beneath tongues, reveal the merest inkling of the horrors these brave people witnessed. And suffered.

El Shayyal, told an utterly silent audience he ‘had been invited by IHH to film every inch of the ship.’ So he did. From the bowels of the hull to the uppermost decks, he filmed.

‘I checked and filmed’ he said ‘there was not 1 weapon on board. Not one gun, no lethal artillery. The most lethal things on the ship were fruits and vegetables.’

When the Israeli commandos attack began, Jamal was wearing his pyjamas under a life jacket as were so many of the allegedly ‘prepared terrorists on board.’ Helicopters caused a near hurricane on the decks, all satellite phones were jammed (deliberately to stop SOS calls to the rest of the world). And, so the IDF hoped, any factual reports of what was about to occur.

At this point, just after four thirty am, Jamal saw a Turkish passenger shot in the top of his head. He spoke slowly and clearly to make sure he was understood by us all in the hall.

‘No Soldier was on the ship at this time’.

Quickly another passenger removed a white t-shirt from a bag and used it as a white flat of surrender. When gun shots rang out, greater numbers fell. It was clear calls for mercy were to be ignored. That a shoot to kill policy was in place.

An Israeli member of the Knesset and Lubna (an activist who also speaks Hebrew) took turns making announcements over the tannoy in English and then Hebrew. Announcements made atleast 8 times;

‘We have critically injured people here, please can you come and get them. We are NOT armed. We SURRENDER!’

Soon the tannoy connection was cut off.

Sarah Colborne of the PSC and another passenger negotiated with soldiers for the evacuation of some at least, of the mounting injured. Many of the bleeding would not go with the Israelis. Fearing they would be less safe getting ‘treatment’ from the troops, than below decks being operated on without anaesthetic.

‘The Israelis were asked for a stretcher’ continued Jamal ‘for a man with severe internal bleeding to be moved. Use a sleeping bag we were told.’ The man was moved in agony on a blanket no doubt increasing his injuries. And his immense pain. Did he survive? We’ll never know.

As the shooting gave way to the enforced imprisonment of the passengers, or, let’s give it its right name – kidnapping, Jamal was pushed to the floor, cuffed and beaten. His posessions taken from him. It was morning on a bright, sunny, summer’s day by now. Hundreds of shocked men were taken on deck, hands bound behind their backs. Three, then four hours passed. Pleas were made to use the toilet. No water was given, they were kicked, spat at and punched by soldiers who passed by every few minutes. Eventually Jamal pursuaded one soldier to let him go to the toilet, ‘with my hands still bound behind my back.’ One man in his eighties trying to get back to his family in Gaza, was jeered at by soldiers, in his discomfort. After many hours, he suffered the indignity of urinating on himself, in front of both friends and fiends.

At some point Jamal was taken back downstairs. The area had been thoroughly ransacked.

‘There was no respect for human rights or dignity. Holy books of all faiths had been thrown about, possessions strewn everywhere”.

He remembers one quietly spoken Muslim brother asking soldiers gently several times for his cuffs to be loosened, just slightly. The third time he asked one of them tightened them so much that ‘he gave a scream of agony that made us all feel sick to our stomachs.’

In the afternoon the ship was forced into Ashdod port. Pushed ashore by armed guards, Jamal was greeted with the words; ‘Welcome to Israel. Are you enjoying your time here?’

The Al Jazeera journalist wanted us all to understand something very clearly. That the civilian passengers were not ‘detained’ nor ‘arrested.’ They were plainly and in every legal definition of the word ‘Kidnapped, abducted.’

In Beersheva prison, he was placed in a cell, with a leader from the Turkish human rights group, IHH. They had no food for 24 hours, just a few sips of water. They had no idea if the world knew where they were – or what had happened. In other parts of the prison, consular reps from Greece, France, Spain and Macedonia could be heard shouting at the Israeli captors demanding the release of their compatriots. Yelling that rights were not being respected, yelling for food, water, access to legal representation. From the British consul.

Nothing.

Finally, when every other consul had visited the abducted civilians, a British rep turned up. Jamal described the obsequious nature of the visit in terms that make one cringe. Bowing and scraping to the Israelis, the British diplomat didn’t even push for the right to see the victims in a private area. A legal imperative for all detainees during such visits. He didn’t demand water, or food, or a release time for those he was supposedly representing. Under the gaze of Israeli soldiers he asked just two questions: ‘what is your name and what is your home number in the UK.’ Then our citizens were left wondering about their fate and that of their comrades; hungry, afraid, shocked, alone.

When the Israelis knew the game was up, that the world had indeed seen clips of their murderous attack, the Turkish abductees were given the chance to leave quickly, in an hour.

Did they go? No. They refused point blank to leave ‘before every other nationality has left before us.’ We salute them.

Jamal, Osama, Alexandra, Sarah, Kevin, and four hundred other internationals were released ONLY because of Turkish support for them. Not because the international community stepped in. Not because of action by the UN or (God forbid), the UK government. Because of the Turkish government.

In all his time as a prisoner, some forty hours plus, Jamal, like all the other Brits, had no legal visit, no phone call home and no proper British representation.

Finally at Ben Gurion airport being deported from a place he never wanted to enter in the first place. Jamal was given a piece of paper with a photo of himself on it and Hebrew writing.

His interrogator smirked at him and led him towards the plane ‘Congratulations’ the man said. ‘This is your new passport.’

‘I want my old passport!’ Said Jamal.

‘Sue me!’ Came the reply.

There was more, much more from the survivors, which was videotaped and I will post it as soon as it comes online. But let’s get back to the Zio-bots now. For alongside Press TV cameras and PSC workers filming the testimonies, there was the compulsory, sulky-faced Zionist, shooting footage of the event for some organization opposed to justice, and free speech. Curiously, as the survivors described their horrors in depth, this woman’s camera was aimed NOT at the stage. But at my Press TV colleagues.

I went outside for a cigarette and there she was again. Instantly recognisable as a tight lipped Proto Zionist. She asked if I was with Press TV and would I speak to her for “Israeli TV?” Clearly she was not from any broadcaster – as no valid news channel accepts shaky, amateur, hand-held footage of the sort she was producing. Curious about her real intentions, I said ‘with pleasure.’

‘So do you think Press TV has done enough to give the Israeli side of events concerning the flotilla?’

Did I pause? It felt like I must have, just to have the time to process that after an hour of harrowing testimony about a massacre, this woman, had heard and felt – nothing.

‘The BBC has given Mark Regev enough space for your cause don’t you think..” I replied

‘Yes but don’t you think Press TV ought to….’ and then it happened. The white rage. I heard children crying in Gaza, saw fishermen being shot along the coast, phosphorous plummeting onto schools and UNWRA food stores. I saw the massacre on the Freedom Fleet, the torture, the needless, avoidable death.

‘Go f*ck yourself’ I heard myself saying. And to make sure I couldn’t be misquoted I added.

‘Just f*ck off.’

11:12AM: The family of assassinated Hamashole Mahmoud al-Mabhouh has welcomed the arrest of the alleged Mossad agent in Poland.

According to the Mabhouh family “the whole world rejects these cold blooded murders.”

I guess the irony escapes them.

9:48AM: On Friday, a palestinian driver ran over two Israeli border patrolmen in East Jerusalem’s Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, apparently with intent to kill. After trying to flee the scene and ignoring calls to stop, he was shot.

Now here’s how the palestinian press chose to report the incident.

A report conducted by a Jerusalem rights center following the shooting death of a Palestinian man in East Jerusalem on Friday by Israeli border guards suggests he was shot point blank.

Ziad Al-Julani, 38, was shot and killed after he allegedly failed to stop at a checkpoint in the Wadi Joz neighborhood in the occupied part of the city.

According to testimony compiled by the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, an initial shot knocked Al-Julani to the floor, after which Israeli Special Forces “fired shots in the face and abdomen at close range.”

Witnesses said Friday he was in serious condition as he was taken to hospital, with Israeli news sites reporting that the man died en route.

Israeli media reports said the man drove toward border guards setting up in the neighborhood, crashed his pickup truck and fled on foot, at which point he was shot dead.

Sa’d Hamed As-Silwadi, from Silwan and the father of a child injured during the shoot-out, told the center he parked his car beside a butchery and saw Al-Julani driving toward the Al-Hadmi neighborhood in Wadi Joz, where he was killed.

He said he saw Al-Julani get out of his vehicle when he was first shot by Israeli forces. A relative of Al-Julani tried to help him, As-Silwadi said, but was kicked by Israeli forces. As-Silwadi returned to his vehicle to find his five-year-old child with a rubber bullet wound to the neck and head, and rushed him the Maqased Hospital on the Mount of Olives.

Ahmad Qutteneh told the center he saw Al-Julani running from four members of Israel’s Special Forces, approaching him and opening fire at close range. “Then I saw one of them come near him and shoot him in the face and body,” Qutteneh told the center.

Mahmud Othman Al-Julani, 34, his cousin, told the center that he was home when the incident happened, near the site of Al-Julani’s death, he said. “I went out of the house to see him laid on the floor, 15 meters away from me. When I tried to help him they [Israeli forces] beat me with sticks,” the center quoted him as saying.

Others told the center the shooter was seen “dancing beside the body singing and cheering ‘I killed an Arab, I killed an Arab’.”

The center called on Israeli authorities to investigate Al-Julani’s death.

A spokesman for Israel’s border guards did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the Jerusalem center’s report on Saturday.

On Friday, other testimony has the man speeding toward the hospital with an injured man in his truck. Two border guards were reportedly injured in the incident.

Notice how Ma’an does not even mention that Israeli media reports indicate he ran over the border guards, only that he drove towards them!

This, plus the far-fetched reports of the shooter’s rendition of The Cure’s Killing an Arab, should give you an indication of the trustworthiness of such news sources.

9:02AM: Poland has arrested an alleged Mossad agent involved in killing Hamashole Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, with Germany’s top prosecutor issuing an extradition order to Polish officials because he provided “false information” to obtain a German passport.

The man, using the name Uri Brodsky, is suspected of working for the Mossad in Germany and helping to issue a fake German passport to a member of the Mossad hit squad that allegedly killed Mabhouh in January, a spokesman for the German federal prosecutor’s office told the Associated Press.

The spokesman from the federal prosecutor’s office told the Post that two men appeared in Cologne to apply for a German passport. He added that the man currently in custody of the Polish authorities works for an intelligence agency and was present during the passport application process.

According to foreign media reports, an Israeli with the name of Michael Bodenheimer secured a German passport in June 2009 from Cologne authorities.

The spokesman said the alleged intelligence agent in Poland was not the individual who traveled with Bodenheimer’s German passport to Dubai in January.

A man using that name was among the assassins who killed the Hamas operative, according to Dubai police.

Brodsky was arrested in early June upon his arrival in Poland because of a European arrest warrant issued by Germany, which is now seeking his extradition, the spokesman said, declining to be named in line with department policy.

The spokesman had no estimate of how long it could take for Brodsky to be extradited from Poland to Germany, saying “the matter is now in the hands of the Polish authorities.”

If Brodsky agrees, the extradition could take a few days, but that isn’t likely, the spokesman said.

Beyond confirming that an Israeli citizen had been arrested at the beginning of the month in Warsaw, and that he had requested consular assistance, the Foreign Ministry refused to say anything else about the matter Saturday night, including whether Israel was trying to stop Brodsky’s extradition to Germany. The ministry also refused to discuss the reasons for – or circumstances surrounding – his arrest.

The Prime Minister’s Office, which has authority for the Mossad, refused to discuss the matter.

In Warsaw, Monika Lewandowska, a spokeswoman for Polish prosecutors, confirmed that the suspect, identified only as Uri B., was arrested at the city’s international airport on June 4.

She told the AP that the arrest warrant was made “in connection with the murder of a Hamas member in Dubai.”

The suspect appeared before a Polish court on June 6, and was ordered to remain in temporary arrest for up to 40 days, she said. Lewandowska had no information on his possible extradition.

Police in the United Arab Emirates said the elaborate hit squad linked to the Jan. 19 slaying involved some 25 suspects, most of them carrying fake passports from European nations.

Dubai’s police chief, Lt.-Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, has said he is nearly “100-percent” certain that the Mossad masterminded the killing.

The brazen assault in a luxury hotel and its alleged perpetrators were widely captured by security cameras. Some footage, released by Dubai’s police, showed alleged members of the hit squad disguised as tourists, wearing baggy shorts, sneakers and baseball caps, and carrying tennis rackets.

At the time, Israel said it didn’t know who was responsible for the killing but welcomed it, claiming Mabhouh was a key link in smuggling weapons to Gaza and a possible middleman with Iran.

The German news weekly Der Spiegel reported that the arrest in Poland has already led to some diplomatic friction. The Israeli Embassy has urged Polish authorities not to extradite Brodsky, the magazine reports in its issue to be published tomorrow.

When asked if the Federal prosecutor’s extradition order has caused a diplomatic row between Israel and Germany, a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry declined to comment, telling the Post that the Justice authority is handling the investigation. The country’s top investigating unit deals with all cases affecting internal or external security, including terrorism or espionage.

8:28AM: Excellent German television expose of the Gaza flotilla, and in particular its sponsor the IHH.

Some random observations:

  • Doesn’t Annette Groth, shown from 0:35, look like she’s dressed for a Star Trek convention?
  • Isn’t the man standing behind Inge Hoger at 1:20 a dead ringer for Head Hamashole Ismail Haniyeh?

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