The Gaza Flotilla – an update

Someone much more famous than Bart Simpson once said, “you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t”.

 This is how I felt as I watched the confrontation between Israeli naval officers and the supposed peace activists on Monday.

 Either Israel did nothing, in which case potentially dangerous items would be allowed free passage into Gaza, thus contributing to Hamas’ continued campaign of terror against the State of Israel.

 Or Israel stopped the ship, thus giving the activists the headlines they were so desperately searching for, showing the world that Israel will not allow humanitarian aid to reach Gaza.

 Israel attempted to take a middle option. They called out to the ship, offered for it to dock at the port in Ashdod, check the boats and deliver the items deemed safe directly to Gaza. This would not be difficult seeing Israel transfers aid to Gaza on a daily basis.

 Unfortunately, as footage has shown, one of the ships refused. And as other footage has shown, there was a more sinister reason why; the boat contained violent activists wielding weapons ranging from metal clubs, knives and firebombs. There was no chance this boat was ever going to dock at the port in Ashdod.

 We have all now seen just how it played out (see more here, here and here), and how the world, including our own government here in Australia, has been so quick to condemn Israel despite the obvious proof that Israel was provoked. The US has declined to condemn Israel at this stage, preferring to wait to see what information an investigation will bring (see more).

 Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd declared that the Government “condemns any use of violence under the sorts of circumstances we have seen”. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith declared, “there are of course concerns, not just expressed in Australia but throughout the international community, of the use of force and the possible use of disproportionate force” (see more). (I have been waiting for someone to use the word “disproportionate”, so thanks Australia!) Rudd then perpetuated the myth about humanitarian aid by saying “such a blockade should be removed. We believe that the people of Gaza, leaving aside the whole question of the long standing dispute and a long standing war, the people of Gaza should be provided with humanitarian assistance” (see more). Prime Minister Rudd, like so many others in the world, is routinely ignoring the fact that 10,000 tons of aid is delivered weekly to Gaza, despite constant attacks by Hamas. Please also click here, to see the latest video of Israel delivering the aid from the flotilla to Gaza.

 The Herald Sun online is now carrying a story which started filtering out yesterday entitled ‘Witnesses dispute Israeli claims that activists had knives, clubs’. People that were on the ship are now trying to assert that there was nothing more on board than a few wooden sticks. A former member of the German parliament, who was on the ship stated, “Personally I saw two and a half wooden batons that were used… There was really nothing else. We never saw any knives”. He continued, “we had not prepared in any way to fight. We didn’t even consider it… No violence, no resistance – because we knew very well that we would have absolutely no chance against soldiers like this.”

 Hang on a minute. Even before the ships departed for Gaza video footage came out with participants chanting “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews the army of Muhammad will return”. One participant declared, “We are now waiting for one of two good things – either to achieve martyrdom, or to reach Gaza” (see more).

 The facts to me seem as clear as day. There were terrorists on board whose intention it was to create a violent confrontation and who were in possession of and used weapons such as slingshots, metal clubs and knives in order to initiate the violence. This is clear and unequivocal from the vision available and no amount of rationalising from other participants (many of who have become dupes of the violent activists on the ship) will change the reality that this was a deliberate and intentional attempt to create the violence and bloodshed that took place. The violent activists are members of a group which is associated with al Qaeda and other terror organisations throughout the world including Hamas (see more).

 That being said, I will not be surprised if more stories like this come out about this being a fabrication by the Israeli army once all of the participants are released. All 680 will be released today (see more).  

 Today’s local papers were full of articles on the issue. I will list them all in this mail for those that do not subscribe to our local papers. There is too much in the international press to even start referencing them here. Please visit our “Gaza Flotilla” page as it is being constantly updated and has links to some articles of interest.

(Please note, some articles could not be found online)

 The Age:

Front page

Pressure mounts on Israel – By Simon Mann and Kirsty Needham

We want them to have a very good experience – Jason Koutsoukis  

The front page also contains still images from the Israeli footage of soldiers being beaten with metal rods and a soldier being thrown overboard

Page 12-13

Showdown likely with more Gaza boats – Jason Koutsoukis

Israeli sergeant gives his version – Jason Koutsoukis

Activists got ball rolling – Andra Jackson (online version is a lot longer)

This is an illegal aggressive move’ – Richard Edwards

Q& A – Facts about the flotilla and Gaza

Comment & Debate

Flotilla sailed for confrontation, not for aid – Bren Carlill 

Israel all at sea on Gaza – Bradley Burston (taken from Haaretz)

Letters to the Editor

Israel cannot shift blame for flotilla deaths – The Age editorial

Cartoon – By Michael Leunig

Cartoon – By John Spooner

 The Australian

Front page

New high-seas clash looms as two vessels get set to sail – John Lyons and Paul Maley

Blame enough for all to share as Israel gamble turns deadly – Cameron Stewart and Abraham Rabinovich

The front page also contains still images from the Israeli footage of soldiers being beaten with metal rods and a soldier being thrown overboard

World Commentary – Page 8

Israel justified, but result was a fiasco – Max Boot (originally from the Wall Street Journal)

Only a judicial commission will suffice – Ze’ev Segal

Gaza Convoy Crisis – World News Page 9 – 11

How the drama unfolded

Rudd calls for end to Israeli blockade – Paul Maley

Flotilla months in planning – Jodie Minus

Pressure builds to lift blockade – The Times, Agencies

Bibi faces his biggest diplomatic headache – Wall Street Journal

Turkish PM curses Israeli ‘killers’ – The Times, AFP

Commando attack not a success: ambassador – AFP

Two shot dead after incursion – Abraham Rabinovich

Grotesque theatre succeeded brilliantly – Greg Sheridan

Media split in blame game – Agencies

Front Page of A Plus section

Israel all at sea on Gaza tactics – Abraham Rabinovich

Commentary

The world must take a stand against Israel’s killing of civilians – Bassam Dally

Military might is not all Israel needs to survive – Editorial

Letters

 Herald Sun

Op-Ed – Page 24

Don’t fall for Islamist PR – Andrew Bolt

Peace is the first casualty – Editorial

The Herald Sun also had a two page spread on the issue but none of it appears online.

 Additionally, The Sydney Morning Herald, the sister paper of The Age published two other opinion pieces:

A cynical and politically motivated political stunt – Yuval Rotem, Israel’s Ambassador to Australia

A deadly act of state-sponsored terrorism – Moammar Mashni, Australians for Palestine.

 Keep checking our “Gaza Flotilla” page on the website as it is being constantly updated.

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