Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Israel Freedom Flotilla attack: eyewitness accounts begin to emerge

The UN Security Council condemns the raid on the Freedom Flotilla but refuses to name Israel in a grotesquely absurd bit of politicking.

Meanwhile, Cameron's weasel words: he describes the attack as "unacceptable" and calls for a "constructive" response to "legitimate criticism" of its actions. Ooh, tough! It's obviously having an impact because the Jerusalem Post now reports the Israel Navy as pledging to use more force next time.
"We boarded the ship and were attacked as if it was a war," the officer said. "That will mean that we will have to come prepared in the future as if it was a war."

Everyone except Turkey is placating Israel while 700 international civilians remain kidnapped and held in isolation while the Foreign office dithers.

Eyewitness accounts are beginning to surface as activists are deported, describing how armed IDF rappelled onto the ship shooting as they dropped. Confirmed by three German current and former MPs. Statement from the Greeks. Reports of one Briton injured. Viva Palestina now Tweeting that journalist Kevin Ovenden is missing along with truck driver Sakir Yildirim and presenter Hassan Ghani who is the English commentator on the long video of the attack.

UPDATE: Who started attacking? Arab Knesset member on board the Mavi Marmara says from the magnitude of the attack, Israel wanted maximum number of deaths as a deterrent.

More Britons still missing.

Like Joe Pesci out of control in Goodfellas, plucky little Israel throws its midget weight around like it's steroided up on US dollars and an armoury that includes "unregulated nuclear, biological and chemical programs outside UN observation or control, plus a history of state sponsored assassination". (Thnx, Bob O.)
In March, a visit to the Holy Land by Joe Biden, the American vice president, was spectacularly overshadowed by an announcement that Israel would expand a Jewish settlement in Arab East Jerusalem, a move that precipitated one of the deepest rifts in US-Israeli relations since the 1970s.
On Tuesday, Mr Netanyahu was supposed to be meeting President Barack Obama at the White House to smooth things over. Instead, fearing a repetition of the dressing down he received last time he was in Washington, the Israeli prime minister has been forced to cancel his trip at the last moment.

And that's from the Israel-friendly Daily Telegraph. Yikes!

UPDATE 2: Looks like another protest planned for Saturday which should be bigger than yesterday's.
Protest over the massacre on the Gaza Flotilla
Saturday 5th June
Assemble Trafalgar Square 1.30pm then march to Downing Street and on to the Israeli Embassy
Organis by Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Viva Palestina, British Muslim Initiative and CND

Craig Murray's speech in Whitehall at yesterday's protest plus FT leader

UPDATE 3: Beatings and electric shocks.
“Suddenly from everywhere we saw inflatables coming at us, and within seconds fully equipped commandos came up on the boat,” said Greek activist Dimitris Gielalis, who had been aboard the Sfendoni. He was among six Greeks returned home Tuesday. "They came up and used plastic bullets, we had beatings, we had electric shocks, any method we can think of, they used,” he said. He said the boat’s captain was beaten for refusing to leave the wheel, and had sustained non-life-threatening injuries, while a cameraman filming the raid was hit with a rifle butt in the eye,“ he said. “Of course we weren’t prepared for a situation of war.“ ... Several people who tried to stop the Israeli forces from getting to the bridge were hit by electric shocks and plastic bullets ... “We didn’t’ resist at all. Even if we had wanted to, what could we do?”

UPDATE 4: Is this why everyone's being nice to Israel? Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran

UPDATE 5: Sunday 6th June. Gaza Aid convoy survivors tell of shooting from helicopters before the soldiers landed, contradicting Israel's account. Aid activist's film footage missing.


Gwei Mui said...

I have a very bad feeling about this, I hope I'm wrong. But t'was ever thus when it comes to Israel the UN has always been reluctant to speak out (could it be because The League of Nations started the ball rolling?)

Madam Miaow said...

The Israelis do seem drunk on power and appear to have abandoned all civilised values. The Israelis who demonstrated against the attack are very brave.

Nevin said...

Israel is the spoiled child of the United States. It seems they can do what ever they want to whom ever they want and no one will hold Israeli government accountable! After all USA has their back!

claude said...

The most disgraceful bit is the words coming from Netanyahu. We got on board, he said, and we found that these people had a hammer, metal bars, even a gun!

Wow.So you blitz a ship and you justify the fact that you kill 10 people and injure dozens on the basis of a hammer (!) being found on board.

What next. Machine gunning people on the basis that their arms and hands that can be potentially used as fists?

Madam Miaow said...

SHHHH! They may not have thought of that one. If it gets used, it should be called the Claude Defence. (Or the Claude hammer. Geddit? Oh dear.)

VenerableSage said...

They also had deckchairs on board. Vicious, deadly deckchairs. Never forget the deckchairs.