Archive for May, 2010

Video: the boarding of the Mavi Marmara

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The IDF soldiers who landed on the deck of the Mavi Marmara opened fire in self-defense after forty minutes of this:

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Update [12 Jul 2010 1050 PDT]: Initial reports which said that the IDF commandos waited 40 minutes to open fire are incorrect. Apparently the second soldier to land on the deck was fired upon with a gun taken from the first one — or perhaps his own gun was taken. The Israelis fired back within a few minutes of landing. All in all there were at least four cases of live fire directed at IDF soldiers. In one case a soldier was wounded in the knee by a non-IDF bullet, and cartridge cases from non-IDF weapons were found on the deck.

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What really happened aboard the Gaza ship

Monday, May 31st, 2010

I have copied this directly from YNet, without comment and without permission. Everyone needs to understand what really happened.
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A brutal ambush at sea

Ron Ben Yishai recounts bloody clash aboard Gaza-bound vessel: The lacking crowd-dispersal means, the brutal violence of ‘peace activists,’ and the attempt to bring down an IDF helicopter

Ron Ben-Yishai

Published:05.31.10, 15:44 / Israel News
Our Navy commandoes fell right into the hands of the Gaza mission members. A few minutes before the takeover attempt aboard the Marmara got underway, the operation commander was told that 20 people were waiting on the deck where a helicopter was to deploy the first team of the elite Flotilla 13 unit. The original plan was to disembark on the top deck, and from there rush to the vessel’s bridge and order the Marmara’s captain to stop.

Officials estimated that passengers will show slight resistance, and possibly minor violence; for that reason, the operation’s commander decided to bring the helicopter directly above the top deck. The first rope that soldiers used in order to descend down to the ship was wrested away by activists, most of them Turks, and tied to an antenna with the hopes of bringing the chopper down. However, Flotilla 13 fighters decided to carry on.

Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.

However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.

One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other “don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” even though they sustained numerous blows.

‘I saw the tip of a rifle’

The Navy commandoes were prepared to mostly encounter political activists seeking to hold a protest, rather than trained street fighters. 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.

The planned rush towards the vessel’s bridge became impossible, even when a second chopper was brought in with another crew of soldiers. “Throw stun grenades,” shouted Flotilla 13’s commander who monitored the operation. The Navy chief was not too far, on board a speedboat belonging to Flotilla 13, along with forces who attempted to climb into the back of the ship.

The forces hurled stun grenades, yet the rioters on the top deck, whose number swelled up to 30 by that time, kept on beating up about 30 commandoes who kept gliding their way one by one from the helicopter. 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 Flotilla 13 troops ask for permission to use live fire. The commander approved it: You can go ahead and fire. The soldiers pulled out their handguns and started shooting at the rioters’ legs, a move that ultimately neutralized them. Meanwhile, the rioters started to fire back at the commandoes.

“I saw the tip of a rifle sticking out of the stairwell,” one commando said. “He fired at us and we fired back. We didn’t see if we hit him. We looked for him later but couldn’t find him.” Two soldiers sustained gunshot wounds to their knee and stomach after rioters apparently fired at them using guns wrested away from troops.

2 errors

During the commotion, another commando was stabbed with a knife. In a later search aboard the Marmara, soldiers found caches of bats, clubs, knives, and slingshots used by the rioters ahead of the IDF takeover. It appeared the activists were well prepared for a fight.

Some passengers on the ship stood at the back and pounded the soldiers’ hands as they attempted to climb on board. Only after a 30-minute shootout and brutal assaults using clubs and knifes did commandoes manage to reach the bridge and take over the Marmara.

It appears that the error in planning the operation was the estimate that passengers were indeed political activists and members of humanitarian groups who seek a political provocation, but would not resort to brutal violence. The soldiers thought they will encounter Bilin-style violence; instead, they got Bangkok. The forces that disembarked from the helicopters were few; just dozens of troops – not enough to contend with the large group awaiting them.

The second error was that commanders did not address seriously enough the fact that a group of men were expecting the soldiers on the top deck. Had they addressed this more seriously, they may have hurled tear-gas grenades and smoke grenades from the helicopter to create a screen that would have enabled them to carry out their mission, without the fighters falling right into the hands of the rioters, who severely assaulted them.

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Gaza flotilla was a Children’s Crusade

Monday, May 31st, 2010

All the details are not clear, but it seems that the Israeli navy boarded the ships, and they were met with violent resistance — iron bars, bats, long knives, perhaps firearms. At least in one case a weapon was taken from one of the IDF commandos and turned against them. The commandos defended themselves, and the result was about 10 dead ‘activists’ and a large number of injured — including at least seven of the commandos, some of whom were injured rather seriously. The ships are now being taken to port.

The friends of Hamas are saying that the commandos landed on the deck shooting. This is nonsense, but it is what everyone in the Muslim and left-wing world will believe.

Once the violence started, the commandos had no option but to fight back.  But although Israel was entirely justified under international law in boarding the ships — they were attempting to violate a blockade of a hostile entity, Hamas, they were warned and offered various options — what occurred will be painted as another ‘vicious massacre’ of ‘peace activists’. That is, there will be at least ten new Rachel Corries.

The UN, various governments, NGOs, the Obama Administration, and every imaginable unfriendly group will immediately jump in with both feet to bash Israel. There will be demonstrations, condemnations, revenge attacks, resolutions, boycotts, sanctions, divestments, punishments, etc. Overall a disaster.

It’s easy to say in hindsight that this should have been handled differently. But apparently the planners on the Israeli side misread the intentions of the ‘peace activists’.

Everyone thought they understood that the real goal of the operation was not to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, which wasn’t in need of it, but to ‘break the blockade’.

But that was not the point either.

The whole purpose of the ‘peaceful’, ‘humanitarian’ effort was to provoke a violent Israeli response in order to create the very reaction that we are beginning to see. This was clearly a planned and deliberate attempt to provoke as much violence as possible, and Israel fell squarely into the middle of the trap. Despite the supposed cynicism of Israel’s leaders, this possibility seems to have gone right by them.

One almost feels sorry for those passengers who considered themselves peace activists, who, like Rachel Corrie, were used. It was a Children’s Crusade.

Almost. But perhaps it should have prompted some concern yesterday when some of the ‘peaceniks’ on the ship were shown on al-Jazeera chanting “Khaybar Khaybar ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad saya’ud“,

“[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!”

Khaibar is the name of last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad’s army and it [is said to mark] the end of Jewish presence in Arabia in 628. — Palestinian Media Watch

There was also evidence that some of the sponsors were less than committed to non-violence; and of course the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) has consistently employed the tactic of putting international dupes like Rachel Corrie in harm’s way.

Why were we surprised?

Update [1036 PDT]: Video is here showing how Israeli soldiers were viciously attacked as they landed on the ship.

This was a confrontation with terrorists, not humanitarians.

Update [1 June 0901 PDT]: Several minor changes were made to this post.

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Gaza flotilla a sign of mass derangement

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Tomorrow the so-called “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” is expected to reach the waters off the Gaza Strip. I am interested in what is in the heads of the ‘progressive activists’ that are on board or that support the goals of this operation.

They claim that it’s  all about ‘humanitarian’ aid to break the ‘siege’ and end the suffering of Gaza residents. It’s remarkably easy to show that there actually is no ‘siege’ and no ‘humanitarian crisis’. A siege is not a siege when the besieger permits 15,000 tons of food, medicine and clothing a week into the besieged area.  And the Hamas rulers of Gaza have options to ameliorate the minimal pressure that is being applied to them. Want the crossings open? Release Gilad Shalit, who’s been held hostage now for almost four years.

Only the very dumb ones believe their own propaganda. The smarter ones would probably admit the above. But they  would say that they are fighting a war against colonialism and racism. They would say that they are fighting on the side of freedom against oppression.

In other words, they are helping Hamas because Hamas represents freedom and opposes racism. Really?

The Western idea of freedom includes such things as freedom of speech, press, and religion. It includes the idea of equality between men and women, fairness to ethnic and religious minorities, gays, etc.

Hamas is violently (and I mean violently) opposed to those freedoms. It also believes that the land of Israel belongs only to Muslims, and that the proper behavior of a Muslim toward a Jew is to kill him (I call that racism, don’t you?)

None of this is hidden; it’s spelled out in the Hamas covenant, which also repeats traditional antisemitic themes.

It’s likely that some of our progressive friends would agree that Hamas is a little primitive, but it’s necessary to work with them in order to stand up for international law, which Israel supposedly violates in multiple ways.

In fact, Hamas  — and the massive anti-Zionist apparatus of delegitimization that’s been constructed over the past few years (financed by Arab money and built by Western ‘progressive’ intellectuals) — are doing their best to abet the violent destruction of a UN member state whose existence is more firmly grounded in international law than many Arab states.

Hamas itself controls Gaza after a violent coup against the Palestinian Authority in which many of its opponents were murdered. Hamas launched murderous suicide bombings to kill Israelis, and fired thousands of rockets into Israel. Insofar as anyone is violating international law, it’s Hamas.

Well, they say, now running out of arguments, “the Jews took the Arabs’ land.” This is a longer story, because you need to talk about the history of the land, the provenance of the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs in it, the various wars and who started them, the opportunities for coexistence and who rejected them, the behavior of the Palestinian and other Arab leadership, and — importantly — the way the Palestinian Arabs express their ‘frustration’ at the presence of Jews in ‘their’ land. But at the end of the day, the simple fact is that a Jewish state in the land of Israel is completely legitimate — and it has a right to defend itself.

What’s left for these ‘progressives’? Just that they really, really hate the Jewish state. They hate the idea that Jews, who are not even proper human beings, would have the audacity to insist on a state, as if they were France or something!

In their confusion they like to make analogies between the Jews of Israel and Nazi Germany, although it was the Palestinian Arabs that collaborated with Hitler. They compare ships that support Hamas to the ships that brought Jewish Holocaust survivors to this same coast before 1948. They like to use the words ‘apartheid’ and  ‘genocide’ to describe Jewish self-defense against murderous terrorism, when it is Hamas that actually advocates apartheid and even genocide. The more absurd the inversion, the more effective it seems to be as a propaganda device.

This mass derangement is caused by hatred. It is an old, old story and the Jews are familiar with it. Our response has finally been to create a Jewish state, like other states. Some may have expected that the simple fact of Israel’s existence would put an end to the hatred, but that was apparently a vain hope. But the state does provide us with a means to defend ourselves against the hate, as it waxes and wanes like a fever from generation to generation.

Today anti-Jewish hate is in a growth phase, and the ‘freedom’ flotilla is another expression of this. But it’s no more an expression of the love of freedom than the Nazi rallies at Nuremberg.

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Iran, Syria and NPT nations invert reality

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

News item:

The Prime Minister’s office on Saturday called the resolution adopted by the NPT Review Conference on a nuclear free Middle East in 2012 “deeply flawed and hypocritical,” saying it “ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world.”

The resolution singles out Israel, calling on it to accede to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to allow inspection of its nuclear sites…

“As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this Conference, which has no authority over Israel. Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation,” the statement concluded.

The double standard is truly breathtaking. India and Pakistan, also non-signatories to the treaty, are not mentioned, despite having come close to nuclear war on at least one occasion. And Iran — which has signed the treaty and is presently violating it with impunity — was not named either. Yet Iran (and Syria, which recently had to have its non-nuclear status enforced by Israeli F-15’s) both signed the resolution!

I wrote about the relationship of Israel to the NPT a few weeks ago (“Israeli nukes are legal and pro-peace“). One commenter on that article suggested that Israel should sign the NPT — but as a legitimate nuclear power like the US, Russia, Great Britain, France and China. Fat chance.

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