The Day In Israel: Tuesday June 15th, 2010

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has “taken note” of Israel’s announcement about its probe of the flotilla raid, but is pushing for a full international investigation.

ban ki moon“The Secretary-General takes note of the Israeli announcement on their inquiry,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.

“A thorough Israeli investigation is important and could fit with the secretary-general’s proposal, which would fully meet the international community’s expectation for a credible and impartial investigation,” he said.

But Haq added that Ban’s “proposal for an international inquiry remains on the table and he hopes for a positive Israeli response.” He said Israel had not rejected Ban’s idea.

Diplomats said Ban urged Israel to accept a neutral inquiry panel led by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and the cautious UN reaction may indicate that Ban had doubts about whether an Israeli-led probe would suffice.

Perhaps if we added Richard Goldstone to the panel, then the UN would be placated?

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top



11:42PM: Bill Maher on why the media takes an anti-Israeli stance.

I think he has a point.

9:20PM: Excellent piece on the lies of Canadian flotilla guerrilla, Kevin Neish (hat tip: Blazing Cat Fur).

You know things are particularly rotten in Denmark when the people over at the left-wing website rabble.ca accuse the CBC of pro-Israel bias. Surely this had to be what passes for a joke at the normally bland and satire-deprived rabble.ca . Are memories so short over there that they have forgotten Neil Macdonald?

On June 8th I wrote an article in the Full Comment section of the National Post about the strangely selective peace activism of Victoria resident Kevin Neish. In that article I expanded on how he and his knife-wielding and iron-bar swinging flotilla shipmates represent a brand of narcissistic do-gooders that are both Israel-obsessed and embarrassingly naïve about the reasons for the blockade to the Hamas-controlled Gaza by both Israel and Egypt.

Subsequent to that article, I was contacted by a sharp-eyed scanner of left-wing media sites known as “John Watson” who like his partner, Sherlock Holmes, keenly noticed a number of spurious inconsistencies in Mr. Neish’s interview with the CBC’s Carole MacNeil and another video recently released and posted by one of the “activists” on the Mavi Marmara. When queried in detail by MacNeil as to what Neish saw or did not see given his many positions described on the vessel, Neish immediately bridles at MacNeil and huffily accuses her of “taking the Israeli position.”  In his interview with Ms. MacNeil, Neish expressly says, at the 4:10 mark to be exact, that he “didn’t see any wounds” on the Israeli soldiers.  At the 7:52 mark of the interview, he says that the soldiers were released “unharmed as far as I understand”.

In a second video made by Mr. Neish’s friends on the Mavi Marmara, Mr. Neish addresses the camera below decks during the hostilities, and at the 5:57 mark says very clearly that he’s seen “two soldiers hauled down here bleeding and wounded”.  He even appears quite excited by the fact.

So, it’s unclear to me why he would tell the CBC a different story than the one he gave to a fellow camera-wielding activist? As he knew they were bleeding and wounded, why would he say that they were released unharmed? Furthermore, at the 5:30 mark of the same video, Mr. Neish is holding a laminated booklet used to identify the flotilla’s ships and various parties thereon which he or someone else removed from one of the soldiers.

My very well-trained eye recognizes this booklet to be authentic which would be carried within the soldier’s vest. I wonder if during his or one of his cohort’s rifling around the wounded soldier’s pockets, Mr. Neish decided at that point that he’d ignore the stab wounds and report to the Canadian media that he didn’t see any injured Israeli soldiers?

In their protest and pursuant dissembling, it is clear that many of these activists are either lying about events or changing their stories to portray themselves as hapless innocents and surprise, surprise, the IDF as brutal aggressors. I know this IDF unit very well. It’s known as “Shayetet 13” and akin to the U.S. Navy SEALS with whom it often trains. Neish’s claims of rampant shooting are as ridiculous as his other claims. This is a well-known tactic known in counter-terrorism circles; terrorist organizations carefully brief their training cadres to claim to have been tortured and brutalized as it plays well with western media audiences. I have no doubt that this is clearly a case of strategic lying and with the exception of Ms. MacNeil; it’s working in front of the television cameras every day.

One of the most interesting footnotes to this story is that NDP Deputy Leader, Libby Davies’ spouse, Kim Elliot, is the publisher of rabble.ca , the very same website that so stridently accuses the CBC of a “pro-Israeli bias”. Watching any species of animal devour its young is never a pretty sight but in this case it’s just bizarre. Interestingly,

Ms. Davies is one of those ahistorical souls I alluded to earlier given her belief that Israel’s occupation began in 1948, the year that the UN recognized Israel as a member state and a full 19 years before the Six Day War when Jordan, Syria, and Egypt “occupied” Palestine.

Sadly, Ms. MacNeil was clearly alone in her journalistic due-diligence in questioning Kevin Neish’s veracity. Clearly, if there are any charges of media bias to be made in this case, the CBC is the last place anyone should be pointing their finger.

8:10PM: According to the fifth annual Survey of Contemporary Israeli Attitudes Toward World Jewry conducted on behalf of the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem:

  • 65% of Jewish Israelis believe US Jews should criticize the Obama administration’s policy toward Israel
  • 12% said American Jews should support Obama’s current policy on Israel
  • 46% believe American Jews are reluctant to criticize the Obama administration’s Israeli policy due to fear of being accused of dual loyalty.
  • 36% said that type of accusation has no effect on them.
  • 54% believe that Jewish advocacy groups who work with foreign governments and call themselves “pro-Israel” should always support Israeli government policy.
  • 55% believe a two-state solution to the conflict is essential to the survival of Israel as a Jewish democratic state.
  • 49% disagree that settlements pose a threat to Israel and “feed the delegitimization process” that Israel currently faces.

8:00PM: My favorite Hollywood actor with a brain (granted, it’s a small field).

7:45PM: A heartfelt message from a young Arab-Druze man living in Israel.

5:30PM: What do Duke, Israel and the Yankees have in common?

3:25PM: After making all sorts of unfounded accusations against Israel in this piece, terror enabler and sister-in-law of Tony Blair, Lauren Booth, is now accusing Israel of stealing up to $3.5 million worth of money, electrical equipment and other items from the Gaza flotilla passengers.

On Iran’s Press TV, of course.

1:05PM: With the EU pressuring Israel to lift the naval blockade on Gaza, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin has warned of the dangerous repercussions.

Speaking at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting, Diskin said that lifting the blockade, put in place three years ago when Hamas wrestled power over the Gaza Strip in a bloody coup, would be a “dangerous development for Israel.”

“It would be a huge security breach, even if ships are inspected along the way in international ports en route to Gaza,” he warned. The port of Nicosia was mentioned during the meeting, as it was the port where the ships of the Gaza-bound aid flotilla docked last month before Israeli navy commandos clashed with activists aboard one of the ships in international waters.

Diskin added that terror organizations in Gaza are continuing to arm themselves and gain strength, both by independent production of weapons and by smuggling.

“The Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are in possession of 5,000 rockets in the Gaza Strip, with a range of up to 40 kilometers,” Diskin explained. “Of those rockets, 4,000 belong to Hamas.”

“Hamas also possesses several rockets that can reach central Israel,” Diskin went on to say.

The director of the Shin Bet also addressed Israel’s willingness to ease the general blockade on Gaza, saying that “there is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. I don’t have any problem with easing the transfer of goods from Israel. But weapons are being smuggled right now from Sinai.”

12:50PM: Excellent expose on the lies and fabrications regarding the Gaza flotilla being thrown around in the media.

10:00AM: Israel has denounced comments made yesterday by former Cuban president Fidel Castro, who compared Israel’s treatment of palestinians to the Nazi extermination of Jews.

“The hatred felt by the state of Israel against the Palestinians is such that they would not hesitate to send the one and a half million men, women and children of that country to the crematoria where millions of Jews of all ages were exterminated by the Nazis,” the ex-Cuban leader said.

“It would seem that the Fuehrer’s [Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s] swastika is today Israel’s banner,” the 83-year-old Castro declared in the latest of a series of articles dubbed “reflections” in the communist-ruled island’s media.

In other news, Fidel Castro is still alive.

6:18AM: Middle East Quarter envoy Tony Blair said he believed Israel will ease its blockade of Gaza “in the next days” by allowing in commercial goods and construction materials.

6:15AM: The Israeli navy is bracing itself for flotillas from Iran and Lebanon.

6:10AM: University of California, Irvine, has suspended the Muslim Student Union (MSU) for one year and placed it on disciplinary probation for an additional year for disorderly conduct, obstructing university activities, furnishing false information and other violations of campus policy arising from their heckling of Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren.

MSU attorney Reem Salahi had this to say about the decision:

“It really does have very lasting constitutional implications…It’s a chilling effect for Muslims on campus and their right to associate.”

Funny, because I would reserve the word chilling for something like this:

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