Pro-IDF, Anti-Turkish Rally in Tel Aviv (or a Glimpse Into Collective Israeli Derangement)

Israel/Palestine
on 59 Comments

On June 1, 2010, thousands of Israelis gathered spontaneously in front of the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv to demonstrate in support of the Israeli Naval commando unit that killed nine passengers on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-backed boat from the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Egged on by the Israeli government and media, the demonstrators lashed out at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his support of the Marmara, accusing him and passengers on the ship of terrorist ties. Besides with the massacre of Turkish aid workers, the spectacle of massive Israeli protests against Turkey threatens to permanently rupture Israel’s ties to its closest Muslim ally and further isolate the country on the world stage.

The rally provided a clear window into the mentality of many Israelis after the raid. International condemnation has deepened the public’s siege mentality, leading many demonstrators to claim that anti-Semitism best explained the world’s motives. The belief that the Mavi Marmara was a terrorist ship with support from an assortment of Islamic evildoers including Al Qaida was nearly unanimous, and was offered by rally participants as an excuse for their killing. Many viewed the incident out in the shadow of the Holocaust, convinced that Marmara passengers had shouted at the commandos, “Go back to Auschwitz!”

Such convictions were understandable in light of the aggressive propaganda campaign the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli Foreign Ministry have waged in the wake of the flotilla raid. The IDF has claimed that it discovered 40 “Al Qaeda mercenaries” on the Mavi Marmara and blasted out an audio clip purporting to show flotilla passengers proclaiming to the IDF, “Go back to Auschwitz!” Even though the IDF retracted its claim about Al Qaida operatives and was forced to concede that its “Auschwitz” audio clip was doctored, Israeli and American media outlets that reported the army’s claims have not corrected their stories. Consequently, many Israelis are accepting their government’s view without a second thought. As one demonstrator said, “I believe every word our soldiers. Every word!”

The rally was organized through Israeli Facebook groups and by the notoriously anti-Arab football club Betar Jerusalem. It was only one of many spontaneous outbursts of extreme nationalism that have erupted across Israel since the flotilla raid. Many participants in the rally remarked that they had not seen the public so thoroughly united behind the government in all their lives. As one demonstrator put it, “I’m very happy [about] what happened because it united the country, and not all the Israelis, all the Jewish [sic]; all united for a cause, and it’s against the civil war that we always had.”

About Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.

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59 Responses

  1. Walid
    June 7, 2010, 3:23 pm

    What was there to unite? Since the assault on Gaza, the majority of Israelis has been of one mind against any concessions to Palestinians and as with that war, a recent survey showed the majority of Israelis backed their government’s actions on the Turkish ship. Those people in TA were not showing any newfound solidarity, they were having a party and showing us what the mentality of the majority of Israelis was all about.

  2. sherbrsi
    June 7, 2010, 3:33 pm

    Besides with the massacre of Turkish aid workers, the spectacle of massive Israeli protests against Turkey threatens to permanently rupture Israel’s ties to its closest Muslim ally and further isolate the country on the world stage.

    Turkey already issued an ultimatum saying that if Israel did not apologize for the incident and accept an international probe, it would sever ties.

    By all indications, Israel has no intention of doing either, and this rally further proves that Netanyahu’s intransigence will be popularly supported by Israelis.

    • MRW
      June 7, 2010, 4:07 pm

      Has everyone seen this video? Dont miss it.
      link to huffingtonpost.com

      • kapok
        June 7, 2010, 4:50 pm

        bandwidth too slow, how about a summary?

      • kapok
        June 7, 2010, 4:50 pm

        er, too narrow

      • Citizen
        June 7, 2010, 5:14 pm

        At the url MRW gave us: According to the Guardian, a spokesman for the Israeli government said that the video did reflect most Israelis’ view of the incident. “I called my kids in to watch it because I thought it was funny,” the spokesman said. “It is what Israelis feel. But the government has nothing to do with it.”

      • potsherd
        June 7, 2010, 6:20 pm

        Let’s see, when Palestinian kids watch TV shows that “incite against Israel,” it’s a heinous crime. When Israeli kids watch videos inciting against Muslims, it’s funny.

  3. MHughes976
    June 7, 2010, 3:54 pm

    Just to mention a few slices of UK newspapers’ reaction to the overall situation. Today’s FT has an editorial calling for ‘the siege of Gaza to be ended’, balanced – there is always balance – by an article by Josef Joffe (editor of Die Zeit) claiming that the Israeli navy had behaved in a ‘solicitous’ manner towards the flotilla, before it was so rudely rebuffed, and that we’re dealing with a Turkish effort to obtain regional hegemony at the expense of the United States. In the Independent, Tim Luckhurst, Professor of Journalism at Kent University, makes a casual reference to the ‘deliberately provocative’ nature of the flotilla.

    • MRW
      June 7, 2010, 4:08 pm

      We need sherbrsi’s multo-intelligent logic the other day to this: an article by Josef Joffe (editor of Die Zeit) claiming that the Israeli navy had behaved in a ’solicitous’ manner towards the flotilla, before it was so rudely rebuffed

      • Citizen
        June 7, 2010, 5:08 pm

        Well, we have Luckhurst; he probably thinks the Army should have shot more protest students back in the hay day of his University, Kent State. Or didn’t he even think of that Kent State history when he made his casual reference to the ‘deliberately provocative’ nature of the flotilla?

      • Citizen
        June 7, 2010, 5:11 pm

        Oops, I now see you mean Luckhurst, Professor of Journalism at the University of Kent, and the founding head of the university’s Centre for Journalism. Whatta guy.

  4. lareineblanche
    June 7, 2010, 4:18 pm

    When did Israel win the world cup?

  5. Citizen
    June 7, 2010, 5:28 pm

    Russia: List of Israel’s grows exponentially:
    link to english.pravda.ru

    The World is noticing. When will the Americans wake up? That crowded sea of Israeli flags at the anti-Turkish rally looks like a History Channel clip of the crowded sea of flags on either side of Adolph’s Mercedes as it made its way down the road that would one day end in disaster for the heartfelt German people.

    • eGuard
      June 7, 2010, 5:47 pm

      All flags are the same size. Don’t forget to bring them back to the Office, guys!

  6. Chu
    June 7, 2010, 5:28 pm

    Kind of reminds one of a giant rave. Only instead of laser lighting,
    there are Israeli flags, and instead of love, their is only hate.

  7. joer
    June 7, 2010, 6:19 pm

    I could understand the anger if it was the Turkish Navy that attacked an Israeli civilian ship, but why are they so angry at Turkey-Turkey’s the victim. Also, aren’t they embarrassed that their commandos in body armor and armed to the teeth were so terrified of slingshots, marbles, and paring knives?

    • potsherd
      June 7, 2010, 6:21 pm

      No, Israel is the victim. Israel has to be the victim, that’s the way the script goes. Israel is always the victim.

    • Chu
      June 7, 2010, 6:32 pm

      you underestimate the power of the state and the media. The ship was attacked by piping-wielding turks shouting go back to Auchwitz you kikes. Add selective night vision footage, and you got yourself a hate-filled rally. It doesn’t even cost anything, just bring a flag and your anger. (and hand out Lieberman election buttons)

  8. Richard Parker
    June 7, 2010, 6:25 pm

    The rally was organized through Israeli Facebook groups and by the notoriously anti-Arab football club Betar Jerusalem.
    ‘Nuff said.

  9. Avi
    June 7, 2010, 6:35 pm

    After the 22 day attack on Gaza in December 2008, human rights organizations in Israel were the only source of reliable information about the actions of the Israeli military, the destruction of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure and the number of the Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli troops. (The Goldstone report wasn’t published until September 2009).

    That B’Tselem, Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence and many more organizations reported the truth, coupled with the dozen or so Israeli soldiers who came forward and spoke of the crimes Israel committed in Gaza, did not bode well for the Israeli psyche and national morale.

    The repercussions of that Gaza onslaught which included renewed and widespread calls for Boycotts Divestments and Sanctions, made Israelis feel isolated. But, instead of looking inward with introspection and objectivity, Israelis – as usual – looked outward; “everybody hates us”, they said.

    Thus the so-called brazen attack on the flotilla, was not only an act to bring about national unity within Israel, but also an act that would result in the marginalization of the so-called fringe left. Since the government can’t maintain the illusion of a democratic state while it clamps down on Israeli human rights organizations, it decided to enlist the help of the Israeli public, the masses, the mob.

    Seeing such images and hearing the rhetoric that this video shows, begs the question, what sane human rights activist is going to risk his life to speak up against the government’s actions or in favor of Palestinian rights?

    Should incidents like the attack on Uri Avnery repeat themselves, the Israeli government could simply claim that it had nothing to do with it. “It was the act of a few thugs”, they’ll say. Ergo, the Israeli government would have the luxury to distance itself from such crimes, such attacks, and continue to officially pretend as though the country is a democratic one.

    The attack on the flotilla had several aims; besides acting as a deterrent to future aid ships and besides being used to send a message to Turkey – “Stay out of our business” – it was aimed at boosting Israeli morale and uniting Israelis. The moment I read that commandos were rappelling from a helicopter onto the ship, I knew this were a case for Israeli domestic consumption.

    Throughout history, at times of internal political crisis, Israel’s leaders have had a tendency to use southern Lebanon as a punching bag. Such actions had the effect of uniting the Israeli public, but, when Israel went too far in 2006 and later in 2008 when it destroyed Lebanon and Gaza respectively, the military campaigns had the opposite effect in Israel.

    • RoHa
      June 8, 2010, 6:05 am

      ““everybody hates us”, they said.”

      Well, Israeli lads and lasses, you’re right. Everyone does hate you. Now you have to figure out why.

      (And “because we’re Jews” isn’t the answer.)

  10. Richard Parker
    June 7, 2010, 6:41 pm

    Joer: They weren’t so terrified of slingshots, marbles, and paring knives, because all of those were found or planted for photographs by the Israelis.
    They are embarrassed by photographs in Hurriyet: link to warincontext.org
    of their captured elite commandos being led downstairs to safety and treatment. None of them have knife, slingshot or marble wounds.
    But some of them might just have encountered Muslims at dawn prayer who were rudely interrupted (deliberately) and were, justifiably, very angry.
    Imagine how you might be treated if you rappelled into a synagogue, with covering fire..

  11. Susan Johnson
    June 7, 2010, 7:06 pm

    Demonstration: what I saw on the video:
    All men except for one woman. Where are the women? If the demonstration is a statement of “unity” shouldn’t it include women? shouldn’t it reflect age groups in Israel?
    I saw a large, very large group of young men (late teems through twenties) “demonstrating”? Well, they could have won the world cup or a similar sporting event…those demonstrations too often turn into riots, especially when the alcohol kicks in, and there are almost always young men.
    A word about spontaneity: The internet is certainly an immediate means of communication…it can pass “news” to hundreds or thousands of people in seconds …saying meet at a certain destination at a certain time…and bring your flag while you at it. To me a spontaneous group just happens a small original group that keeps multiplying. If these young men planned to meet at the corner at an appointed time…it doesn’t fit my definition….and if it wasn’t planned… where did all those flags come from? Do they carry them in their pockets?
    Obviously, I am trying to discredit the statement that it was a spontaneous crowd of thousands signifying the unity of the Israeli people.
    People believe what they see and the accompanying narrative or more correctly what they think they saw and heard or what they’ve been told they saw and heard…..think of all the Israeli “news” put out during the past week that was fabricated.
    In no way am I saying that Max’s segment/videos/interviews are false. He is a journalist not a TV personality pretending to have a story.
    There is certainly a great deal of unity among the people of Israel that their country was right, the IDF was protecting Israel and thereby justified and the freedom flotilla was made up of terrorists.
    Saying the video shows or is proof the Israeli people are united is a stretch. I saw a group of excitable young men having a good time; seeing how much rowdy behavior will be accepted; loving being part of the group. There’s a name for it but I can’t remember it.
    Generally when a country or state wins or looses a “battle” the initial reaction of “the people” is showing support for country. My Country, right or wrong.
    Let me remind you: Mondowise readers probably don’t fall into the “the people” category.

    • Avi
      June 7, 2010, 7:59 pm

      Saying the video shows or is proof the Israeli people are united is a stretch.

      Have you ever lived in Israel? Ever stay there for an extended period of time, longer than say 5 years? Are you fluent in Hebrew? Did you understand the people around you?

      This video didn’t have to be posted for me to know the kinds of things going on in Israel at the moment because I lived through the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the first Intifada and the Gulf War, and all the other secondary events that accompanied them. Those experiences have taught me that what took place in the video is but a small sample, a microcosm of Israeli society as a whole. I wish this were not the case. And if it weren’t I probably wouldn’t have left that miserable place called Isra-hell.

  12. Judy
    June 7, 2010, 8:18 pm

    I’m sure these goons are the same ones who moan about Palestinians passing out sweets following an attack on an Israeli target.

  13. maximalistNarrative
    June 7, 2010, 9:09 pm

    I will respectfully ask that you do not moderate or censor my comments. I pledge to fully adhere to the comments policy, as I have done. There is no reason to censor me if I have not broken the comments policy.

  14. americangoy
    June 7, 2010, 9:27 pm

    “Even though the IDF retracted its claim about Al Qaida operatives and was forced to concede that its “Auschwitz” audio clip was doctored, Israeli and American media outlets that reported the army’s claims have not corrected their stories. ”

    Double take, cartoon style.

    Or, the Jon Stewart ‘Whaaaaaaaaaaa?!’.

    • Avi
      June 7, 2010, 10:52 pm

      Jon Stewart likened Hellen Thomas’ remarks to the remarks of anti-immigration racists in the US – “go back where you came from”.

      Stewart is confused and can’t see the reality on the ground from the inner sanctums of his ass. Either that or his Victimometer spikes every time someone mentions the word “Jews”, he sure loves mentioning the fact that he’s Jewish repeatedly, twice a week at the very least. I don’t think I’ll watch that show anymore.

  15. hayate
    June 7, 2010, 9:42 pm

    With 94% of israelis supporting both the war crimes in Gaza and now the terrorist war crime against the Gaza aide convoy, I’ve come to the conclusion israel can not be reformed to a level where it can join the community of civilized nations. No more than klu klux klan can be reformed. Eventually, this will have to be addressed.

    Strip Israel of its UN Membership.

    To: UN General Assembly

    Dear UN General Assembly Members:

    We, the undersigned citizens of the world, call on the United Nations General Assembly to rescind Israel’s membership in the UN, as a step toward ending Zionist apartheid.

    Israel’s attack on a humanitarian aid fleet on Monday May 31, 2010, its murder of 9 human rights activists in international waters and wounding 50 others demonstrate that Israel rejects the structural tenets of our shared humanity, manifested in a global moral consensus and international law.

    Countless UN resolutions call on Israel to respect international law. It abides by none of them. It should therefore lose its place among the global family of nations.

    Israel has been violating international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention in its building of settlements, displacement of the indigenous population of Palestine, invasion of surrounding countries, killing and ethnically cleansing civilians systematically through the use of massacres. Israel has never been held accountable for the massacres of Deir Yassin, Qibya, Sabra and Shatilla, Qana, Gaza, and Jenin, for murdering Rachel Corrie, nor, as of today, for its massacre on the flotilla of international peace activists hoping to break Israel’s siege on the Palestinian people. As of 2007, Gaza has been turned into an open air prison housing 1.5 million people. Since 1948, Palestinians who carry Israeli citizenship do not enjoy equal protection or rights under Israeli law for not being classified as “Jewish Nationals.” Palestinian survivors of ethnic cleansing are denied the right to return.

    We, the citizens of the world, call upon you to shape the 21st century with a new ethic, already enshrined in the United Nations. We call upon you to end Zionist apartheid and racial injustice by stripping Israel of its UN membership.

    Sincerely,

    The Undersigned

    link to petitiononline.com

  16. Psychopathic god
    June 7, 2010, 9:46 pm

    did Avigail Abarbenal write the script for this or what? She’s right on target.

    rather pathetic that Israelis are “unified” in glorifying their IDF for “vanquishing” a bunch of unarmed older men, and an American islamophobic rabbi is exultant over taking down an 89 year old woman.

    this is the 4th most powerful military in the world? the smartest people on the planet? the god-designated moral leaders of all mankind?

    Do us all a favor, luvs: that whole, “repairing the world” bit? We’d settle for STOP BREAKING IT!
    (and frankly, we’d prefer to do our own fixing, thanks just the same)

  17. thankgodimatheist
    June 7, 2010, 9:55 pm

    Knesset members celebrate after ’successful’ anti-Zoabi vote
    link to israeli-occupation.org
    “Knesset members toasting for the Israeli navy commandos (“Shayetet 13″) and for their parliamentary success, after a committee voted in favor of recommending the removal of MK Zoabi’s Knesset privileges in response to her participation in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.”

  18. thankgodimatheist
    June 7, 2010, 9:59 pm

    The Chomsky interview:
    link to israeli-occupation.org I ask you for a statement on Israel’s attack on the Freedom Flotilla this week while it was in international waters on its way to Gaza?

    Chomsky-Hijacking boats in international waters and killing passengers is, of course, a serious crime. The editors of the London Guardian are quite right to say that “If an armed group of Somali pirates had yesterday boarded six vessels on the high seas, killing at least 10 passengers and injuring many more, a NATO taskforce would today be heading for the Somali coast.”

    It is worth bearing in mind that the crime is nothing new. For decades, Israel has been hijacking boats in international waters between Cyprus and Lebanon, killing or kidnapping passengers, sometimes bringing them to prisons in Israel including secret prison/torture chambers, sometimes holding them as hostages for many years. Israel assumes that it can carry out such crimes with impunity because the US tolerates them and Europe generally follows the US lead.”
    link to israeli-occupation.org

    • eGuard
      June 8, 2010, 12:57 am

      Another great Chomsky lecture. OT here, but later on I’ll return to his “West Bank: colonialism into neo-colonialism” explanation. This is what Tony Blair is about when he says “developing the economy in the OPT”.

  19. Avi
    June 7, 2010, 11:05 pm

    It is worth bearing in mind that the crime is nothing new. For decades, Israel has been hijacking boats in international waters between Cyprus and Lebanon, killing or kidnapping passengers, sometimes bringing them to prisons in Israel including.

    I was reading a proposal put forth by the Israeli government that detailed Israel’s expectations in regard to joint cooperation between a future Palestinian state and Israel on matters of airspace and telecommunication.

    It’s a few years old, but the Israeli proposal states that Israel will not allow a Palestinian state to build airports within the occupied West Bank. It went on to explain that if the Palestinians of a future Palestinian state want airports, they’ll have to build them on the other side of the border in the country with which they share a border, like Jordan or Egypt. This, the proposal explained was due to Israel’s special security needs which must not be compromised. The same went for the electromagnetic spectrum. The proposal explained that the mountain tops of the occupied West Bank are good locations to jam the communications of the Israeli coastal region, thus the Palestinians must not be allowed to have full control over their airwaves and wireless infrastructure, instead the authority should be shared between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel should have the ultimate and final say on such matters.

    The bottom line is, no matter how you slice it, Israel does not plan on living like a normal state, like any other state, in the Middle East. The Middle East will always have to cater to Israel’s paranoid fears of WHAT IF hypotheticals.

    • Avi
      June 7, 2010, 11:08 pm

      “Accommodate” fits better:

      The Middle East will always have to cater to accommodate Israel’s paranoid fears of WHAT IF hypotheticals.

      • hayate
        June 8, 2010, 12:13 am

        I’m not convinced it’s paranoia, though zionist/israeli paranoia is legendary. Those controlling israelis policies/demands make sense from a colonial pov. You don’t want your colonials and probable future territories having the ability to counter you now or later. In any way.

      • Avi
        June 8, 2010, 12:28 am

        I tend to agree. The hypotheticals often advanced by Israel are merely tools the government uses to control its populace and gain popular support for certain policies.

        The same tactic is used in the US to get popular support for foreign invasions, occupation and torture; i.e. the nuclear suitcase scenario or the ludicrous ticking-bomb scenario. Bush had a President’s Daily Brief as early as August 6, 2001. But he sat on it and did nothing with the information.

      • VR
        June 8, 2010, 12:37 am

        I agree also hayate, and the bottom line, or the outcome is, Israel will never allow the Palestinians to have a viable state. So, you can forget their agreement to anything resembling an independent state, the solution is dead. The only answer is one state.

      • VR
        June 8, 2010, 12:39 am

        Ergo, Israel would never do what it proposes in regard to a so-called Palestinian state to a well integrated one state solution, it would never subject itself to such restrictions.

      • Avi
        June 8, 2010, 1:20 am

        I’ve just watched the Andrew Sullivan / Bill Maher thing on YouTube as I didn’t see it this past week.

        Long story short
        1. I’m glad I don’t have HBO
        2. Don’t waste your time.
        3. Sullivan missed a few big points and he did the truth a disservice when he agreed with Maher that Israel surrounded by people who hate it, some of whom – he said – are VERY anti-Semitic.

        I think Andrew Sullivan’s got a long way to go. Besides, who is he anyway? I mean, how did he get to be a writer for a magazine? The guy knows a little about the conflict, but he’s clueless overall on the historical and regional perspective.

        Maher opened with a “perspective” speech, giving the audience some background information on what led to last week’s events starting with the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the alleged goodwill gesture of allowing Gazan’s to hold elections.

        What a moron.

      • hayate
        June 8, 2010, 1:38 am

        Ari

        “The same tactic is used in the US to get popular support for foreign invasions, occupation and torture”

        Back in the 19th century and earlier they didn’t bother with such niceties. The policies against Native Americans were openly genocidal, with open calls for total extermination from politicians and newspapers. By the time of the amero-Philippine war, the “other” was “bandits” who had to be exterminated. Then, later, the “bandits” became “communists” who had to be exterminated. Now the “communists” are “Islamics”. Where before, in the 19th century, when anything was OK to expand empire, it was acceptable to to call for genocide and conquest, now days, the fascists have to be more circumspect and couch their crap in “feel good” propaganda like “war for democracy”. But the 21st century goals are pretty much the same as those of the 19th century.

      • hayate
        June 8, 2010, 1:45 am

        VR

        I agree. Like the usa has it’s monroe doctrine for the New World, israel has it’s own version for the Mideast and beyond.

      • hayate
        June 8, 2010, 1:48 am

        Ari

        One can pretty much write off maher as a zionist version of a klu klux klanner in a “liberal” white robe. It’s that cone shaped dunce cap that always gives them away….

      • Judy
        June 8, 2010, 5:54 am

        For all Sullivan’s weaknesses, he was worth his weight in gold when Maher got starry-eyed talking about how at least Israel fights “quick wars.”

        Sullivan’s reply “QUICK? Israel has been occupying the West bank and Gaza for 40+ years” forced Maher to abandon the subject.

  20. James
    June 8, 2010, 12:24 am

    i think i can see christopher hitchens in the pic… he has that deranged look about him…

  21. maximalistNarrative
    June 8, 2010, 1:01 am

    The people in this video are mainly very articulate and rational. There were a few people in the background that are clear zealots, yet the individuals interviewed are lucid and well on the mark. In fact the little boy was very impressive.

  22. Chris S
    June 8, 2010, 2:04 am

    You see, Israel really does want peace. And death to Arabs.

  23. Chris S
    June 8, 2010, 2:06 am

    Kill a Turk and rest, indeed.

  24. Homer
    June 8, 2010, 4:07 am

    Today’s Washington Post has an editorial entitled, “Managing the Gaza Blockade.”

    link to washingtonpost.com

    The WaPo editorial board writes that the Israeli blockade which has “choked off many consumer goods and supplies” has had a “worthy but futile purpose: to pressure Hamas to alter its refusal to recognize Israel” prior to a peace agreement and reciprocal recognition from Israel. Thus, according to WaPo, prolonged and brutal collective punishment of a civilian population for political purposes can be worthy. Worthy of what?

    But the political purpose Israel has had in mind for the blockade is not as described so misleadingly by WaPo. It has been to discredit the democratically-elected government of Hamas in the eyes of the Palestinian people, so as to prevent the formation of a unified Palestinian coalition government and the eventual unification of Gaza with the West Bank and East Jerusalem in a Palestinian state.

    As if to confirm this interpretation of their true meaning, WaPo continues:

    “Easing controls over Gaza runs the risk of giving Hamas a major boost at the expense of the rival Palestinian Authority…. The already-dramatic contrast between the West Bank and Gaza can continue to grow, to Hamas’s disadvantage, even if Gazans are a little less miserable.”

    Somehow I doubt that Fred Hiatt & crew are suddenly emoting over the fate of the unfortunate Gazans. Like those of neocons everywhere, their sympathies have been aroused by the plummeting moral support for Israel throughout the world.

  25. talknic
    June 8, 2010, 4:44 am

    It pays to read the actual conventions/Laws

    Israel has a right to intercept vessels in International waters.

    link to icrc.org

    It’s actions during the intercept are questionable. The propaganda issued afterwards, trying to justify those actions, is the usual Hasbara BULLSHITE. Easily disproven link to wp.me

    It does not have a right to intercept a neutral aid vessel, accompanied by a neutral war ship if it is headed for a neutral port and if the conditions are filled. Were Turkey or Iran or any other neutral warship to accompany any neutral aid vessel to Egypt and Egypt keeps the border open, Israel can not legally do anything to stop them

    At best is could cite casus belli and declare war on Egypt for a breach of the 2005 agreement (which is in turn a breach of their peace agreement)

  26. Richard Parker
    June 8, 2010, 5:34 am

    Israel, as a result of its total fuck-up (captured elite commandos, etc) of the Mavi Marmara takeover (it repatriated everybody within a day) has revealed itself as no longer sheltering beneath an all-powerful IDF, which hasn’t won a war since 1973, and barely won that.

    It can’t just bluster for much longer. It has opened up two new axes of power in the Middle East, which didn’t exist before.

    1 – Turkey – We have all seen the changes in relations between Israel and its closest Muslim ally over the past 18 months; the comments by Erdogan against Peres (about Gaza) last year, the shameful treatment by Israel of the Turkish ambassador recently, and now this, a massacre of Turks aboard an aid shipment. A whole (very large) nation roused to fury against Israel.

    2 – Egypt has, very quietly, opened the southern border of Gaza, indefinitely (the day after the attack). It hasn’t just flung open the gates, but it has very clearly separated itself from Israel’s total closure. Quite how long it will maintain this position is unclear. There will have to be a major incident to give Egypt an excuse to close down again.
    The political situation in Egypt is also unclear; Hosni Mubarrak is clearly falling off his perch, his son Gamal is not yet enthroned, and the Muslim Brotherhood has the strongest voter support amongst a mob of ‘liberal’ parties.
    link to foreignpolicy.com
    The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent of Hamas.

    • MarkF
      June 8, 2010, 8:08 am

      I agree. Talk about unintended consequences.

      Israel rushed to show video of the passengers attacking the commandos to prove they weren’t peaceful, but showing minimally armed protesters throwing commandos armed to the hilt overboard is almost comical to Israel’s enemies.

      So much for Krauthammer’s thesis about the region respecting force and power. Those commandos sure didn’t look terribly powerful falling overboard.

      I would also think the most moral army on the planet wouldn’t plant 4 bullets in a kid’s head. The mob has a higher morality claim.

  27. thankgodimatheist
    June 8, 2010, 5:49 am

    Amira Hass:
    They came from the villages to aid the orphans

    Two Turkish-speaking Israelis who helped translate for the passengers on the ‘Free Gaza’ flotilla reveal their up close and personal encounters.
    The border control questions were laconic. “Your first time in Israel? Did you know that there was a military closure on Gaza? Did you know that you had entered Israel’s territorial waters? Why did you set out on the journey? Why did you try to breach the maritime blockade? Where is your baggage? Do you feel well?”
    link to haaretz.com

    • talknic
      June 8, 2010, 6:23 am

      Amazing isn’t it. They DIDN’T enter Israeli territorial waters unless International waters are Israeli now. (amazing)

      They were captured and taken into Israeli territorial waters by the IDF.

    • Shmuel
      June 8, 2010, 6:29 am

      This is the article I referred to the other day as giving the Turkish members of the flotilla back their humanity.

  28. talknic
    June 8, 2010, 6:20 am

    “gathered spontaneously”? How did they know where to gather spontaneously? How did they know what time to gather spontaneously?

    Oh, I see…. The rally was organized through Israeli Facebook groups and by the notoriously anti-Arab football club Betar Jerusalem…

  29. muslim
    June 8, 2010, 6:52 am

    All the best to those jews that stand out against the Israel government

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