Saturday, 5 June 2010

The world responds to Israel's Gaza Aid attack

Now that the Freedom Flotilla survivors from the Gaza Aid convoy are coming home and bearing witness to what happened during the attack, the overwhelming picture is of a military force that was firing live ammunition from helicopters before soldiers even landed. The footage Israel has been showing to narrate their version practically unchallenged in the Western media is not the beginning: it was scene two. What Israel presents as rampaging murderers are human beings fighting for their lives having already been shot at.

In one report:
Mattias Gardell, professor of religion and spokesperson for, said the Israelis shot live from the air, gave wounded no treatment. He said activists threw away Isreali weapons, and he fears activists drowned.

Abused, humiliated and beaten. People still missing. And Abandoned by Britain.

While international leaders dither and make excuses for Israel — refusing to condemn, colluding in their lies, and even demanding the aggressors conduct their own inquiry — other responses reflect our common humanity.

A French cinema chain cancels Israeli film, replaces it with one on RachelCorrie. (Via @Avinunu)

A Swedish port workers' union boycotts Israeli ships and goods.
(Via @TenPercent)

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Saturday Israel's blockade of Gaza was illegal and should be lifted.

Around the world there have been mass protests against Israel's illegal attack, including thousands today in London. But the bravest protesters must be the 6,000 demonstrating in Tel Aviv.

UPDATE: 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. Kidnapped by Israel, abandoned by Britain.


mantecanaut said...

This incident has been pretty eye-opening for me, watching the reactions and propaganda by both sides. Polarised, sides chosen long ago, all is black and white, good and evil, the most facile dichotomy. Neurology confirms that our mammalian brains prefer these kinds of simplistic answers, patterns that explain whether they actually exist or not.

People complain of dehumanisation, and then glibly dehumanise. Hypocrisy is rife. What hope for us primates?

Madam Miaow said...

It is surely only fair that, now Israel has dominated the media with its version for days, that the other side — the one with the fatalities and no firearms — has its say.

mantecanaut said...

Well, you completely miss my point, but still, it's nonsense to say that Israel's version dominated. It's instructive that that is your perception.
Everything I read spoke of Israelis shooting sleeping protesters. The first video footage was of the guy for Press TV on board (isn't that an Iranian channel? Hmmm, totally impartial then). I don't count myself as pro or anti anyone here, but the facts are always the first casualties.
Have you been to Gaza Madame? Or even Tienanmen Square for that matter. Darfur?
Oh forgive me... I'm just trying, in a round about way, to introduce you to the concept of sceptism, doubt and evidence. Could you entertain the idea, even for a second, that you may be biased?

Marion said...

Who cares? This fucking middle east thing is going to go on forever, even after we're dead. I used to have an angle - now FUCK IT.

I'm fucking fed up of the chit chat that still suggests we can do FUCK ALL about either side in this lunatic situation.

If you feel so strongly - go out there. Seriously go on. Go to Palestine. Do something. FIGHT. Throw some rocks. But STOP this endless yadda yadda yadda about a war you have ABSOLUTELY no power to influence AT ALL by blogging and wagging your fucking lefty fingers.

I repeat. Fuck off and fight if you feel that strongly.

I mean what reason have you not to? Or is that just the job of "the people"?

David Hillman said...

Thanks Madam Miaow for your link to the Guardian report. The only news anywhere on this. I've just got back to Oxford from a huge, angry and peaceful demonstration on one of the crucial problems of our time.Tired from helping with the stewarding I put a pizza in, searched for wine, and looked at the BBC website for their report. Not even a mention. I am astonished (yet again) even though it is consonant with their quoting of Israeli sources at a ratio of five to one over any others even in their reports of the recent piracy and murders. For me this is personal. This is censorship. Any none Zionist voice is silenced.
Thank you to all who shared their food and drink with me today - the demo somehow brought trust and sharing out, thank you my good companions of the day, and thank you to those young people with such loss and sadness in their eyes who shared their stories with me.
Lets all make the BBC tell some of this truth.

Madam Miaow said...

Cheers, David. Glad you had a good time in terms of solidarity and a feeling that world opinion has changed over Israel. Let's hope the blockade comes to an end soon.

Mantecanaut, yes, I am biased towards those without power who have to survive under the heel of a massively oppressive force, and with people who have just gone through a hellish situation.

Marion, if you can't be civil and hold a proper debate, you know what to do. Ranting abuse such as your comment above will be deleted.

Madam Miaow said...

David, I'm really sorry but that Guardian report was for the January protests. I can't find anything in the mainstream press about yesterday's protest. If you find something, could you please post it here? Thanks.

OK, about to read the Indy report that film evidence was destroyed.

mantecanaut said...

"For me this is personal. This is censorship."

No it's narcissism. Sorry David that the BBC isn't following you around "Ooh, look at David everyone... he's on a middle-class protest! Here's a special report on how much David is doing. And then back to his nice little house for tea."

Madam Miaow said...

That is such an absurd non sequitur, Mantecaunt. You know that's not what David is saying. Can't you argue a point without being infantile about it?

Oh, I forgot, That's not how the hasbara guidelines tell you how to argue.

Defending the indefensible.

David Hillman said...

Thanks Madam Miaow. Of course this is not all about me, me me! For me this is personal for reasons too important and emotional to be used as debating points.
One speaker on Saturday said that the murders were Israel's Sharpeville - not for the Palestinians who have had fifty years of Sharpevilles - but for the international community.
I want our media to cover the news and to tell the truth.

David Hillman said...


This morning at 11am peace activists returned to London Heathrow Airport from the Middle East having been aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

I attended and covered the event.

The video is available here:

There are also photographs available here:

PLEASE SHARE this content, so we can keep the momentum alive!

Feel free to embed the video on your website, or even download and use the video or photos in accordance with this simple license -

The event description:
"London Heathrow Airport - 11am Sunday 6 June 2010: Peace activists returned from the Middle East having been aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. We witnessed their return and heard their message. We heard extensively from Osama Qashoo, an award-winning documentary film maker, who described events aboard the Mavi Marmara, and heard his calls for further international action."

Many thanks,

Harry Fear

amjamjazz said...

Saturday's Protest in London was ignored because there was no trouble.
It was far too moving and human for trouble. The most moving demonstration I personally remember in 30 years.
Naturally there was anger. But that soon settled into pure human sympathy.