What did Obama know about flotilla raid and when did he know it?

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 48 Comments

This is something. Did Netanyahu give advance notice to Obama of the flotilla raid and was he given assurance that the U.S. would not criticize? Haaretz on Netanyahu’s public testimony to a committee investigating the flotilla raid in Israel:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu evaded the questions put forth by members of the panel probing Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla on at least six different occasions on Monday, saying he would only address those issues behind closed doors….

The PM again evaded the issue when asked about his trip to North America, which
took place a few days prior to the flotilla’s arrival. "I had a very important
meeting with the U.S. president and I would like to elaborate on that later on
[during the testimony to be held behind closed doors]."

48 Responses

  1. potsherd
    August 9, 2010, 9:13 am

    He obviously promised that if US citizens were executed by the IDF while lying wounded and helpless on the deck of a ship, the US would ignore this.

    • Chaos4700
      August 9, 2010, 9:51 am

      Yeah. All I know for sure is, my US passport isn’t worth the paper its printed on, now.

    • Psychopathic god
      August 9, 2010, 10:39 am

      if some justice doesn’t start happening in the US pretty darn soon, the people will take it into their own hands.
      What’s trebly disturbing is that Americans do not half the moral character and courage as the Green Movement in Iran. What does it take to get Americans to say, ENOUGH!

    • Les
      August 9, 2010, 11:47 am

      The Israel Lobby has clamped down on any Congressperson even suspected of being an American patriot.

  2. Richard Witty
    August 9, 2010, 9:21 am

    Behind closed doors is not innappropriate.

    The response of the passengers of the Mari Mavmara were not known in advance. Whether he was made aware of the proposed potential responses is irrelevant.

    ‘We can’t trust Obama’, now. ‘They’re all alike’. ‘What we need is a radical in the White House, to REALLY represent US interests’.

    • AM
      August 9, 2010, 12:27 pm

      LOLOLOL….the response of the passengers on the freedom flotilla were not known in advance? Could you go around and spread any more FUD? They planned resist non violently to the IDF. They expected Israel to try to stop them in some way. Try something in broad daylight, wait till they entered Israeli or Gazan waters, pull it off in broad daylight, and pull them in to the port of ashdod.

      The key point is that most of the passengers had NO idea that the response of the Israeli Govt was going to be parachuting commando style in darkness and firing arms with the intent to kill. That never entered their minds that Israeli aggression would be to treat the the way they treated Gaza, and it left 9 people dead Witty. The IDF soldiers ignored requests to save those who were mortally wounded, otherwise, the number of lost lives could have been less. The IDF then interrogated and tortured many of the activists (handcuffs so tight your hand turns black), stole their footage that they didn’t return so the Israeli Govt could try to spin spin spin (look at these knives we found in the kitchen!!! it must be a weapon, and not used for meal preparation!) , stole personal belongings like criminals (what other word is suppose to be used, especially when people wallets and cellphones were never returned), and then audaciously claim they were defending themselves (the right to claim defense ALWAYS belongs to those who are attacked…especially unarmed peace activists)

      Of course, if you read _any_ of the testimony of those brave souls (which is wonderfully cataloged in ‘Midnight on the Mavi Marmara’) you would know this. But, in the end, it would seem easier for you to make up your own fantasies…I suppose it comes from being influenced by Zionism, as that is simply one massive fantasy.

      • Citizen
        August 9, 2010, 4:47 pm

        Maybe the Israelis thought they’d prevent the bad PR image that would come if they boarded the boat in daylight and met with peaceful non-resistance? They figured they’d come in the dead of night from above, shinny down and takeover under cover of darkness.

    • Philip Munger
      August 9, 2010, 12:41 pm

      Mr. Witty,

      I believe I’ve given you a couple of chances at this blog to acknowledge that the IDF raid on the Mavi Marmara in the middle of the night was both dangerous and unnecessary. So far, you haven’t taken up this important issue.

      The vessel could have easily been stopped and boarded early in the morning, and stopped in broad daylight by tugs or other unarmed service vessels in a matter of a few minutes.

      • Richard Witty
        August 9, 2010, 4:20 pm

        If you read my blog, you’ll see that I acknowledge that the raid was stupidly conducted, for both the dissenters and for the Israeli commandos.

        We agree on that.

        What we don’t agree on is the non-violence of the resistance.

      • Citizen
        August 10, 2010, 8:32 am

        So you agree the commandoes came down shooting from G-D’s midnight heaven?

  3. MHughes976
    August 9, 2010, 9:41 am

    Presumably long rigmaroles based on the San Remo manual were promised. You would think that Western, particularly American, politicians would inwardly hate having their strings pulled in the utterly humiliating way that seems to be normal by representatives of a foreign power.

  4. Jim Haygood
    August 9, 2010, 10:20 am

    If Netanyahu gave advance notice to Obama about the flotilla raid, it was in his meeting on May 26th with Rahm Emanuel, during Emanuel’s visit to Israel. Netanyahu’s subsequent meeting with Obama had been scheduled for June 1st, but was cancelled after the flotilla raid, while Netanyahu was in Canada.

    From a national security perspective, it is unbelievable that Emanuel, who served in the IDF and who may be an Israeli citizen, would be permitted to meet unsupervised with Israeli leaders. Emanuel’s transparent excuse that ‘I’m in Israel for my son’s bar mitzvah’ looks like a thin cover for an essential personal meeting with his handlers, given that Emanuel can’t possibly risk transmitting state secrets electronically from the U.S.

    The Netanyahu/Emanuel meeting never should have taken place. A non-captive Congress would be demanding Emanuel’s resignation and an FBI investigation. But O’Bomber’s ‘no space between U.S. and Israel’ rhetoric renders such gross security breaches unmentionable.

    Likely, Emanuel gave Netanyahu the same blank check for ‘all necessary measures’ against the flotilla that pending H.R. 1553 would give Israel to attack Iran. As a result, the scheduled June 1st meeting with Obama served as a de factodeadline for the attack on the Mavi Marmara, since embarrassing the U.S. president during or after the meeting would be a rather graver offense on Israel’s part.

    In a functioning Congress, such a provocative set of circumstances, which resulted in the death of American citizen Furkan Dogan, would be the subject of major House and Senate investigations. But our co-opted legislators now function as accomplices and material witnesses to Israel’s capital crimes.

    • LanceThruster
      August 9, 2010, 10:33 am


    • Psychopathic god
      August 9, 2010, 10:35 am

      Phil posted this piece about a year ago.
      Ought to activate it. link to mondoweiss.net

      there’s a link in Phil’s article to an M J Rosenberg piece in Huffpo that wraps up with the socko boffo line:

      “For the record, Rahm Emanuel is not a freier. That is one of the reasons President Obama is not backing down in the face of the pushback from Israel on settlements. I can just hear him tell Obama, “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times. You can’t be a freier when you deal with the Israelis. Trust me on that one, sir.””

      ok, so more than one line. I lied. Sue me.

    • Psychopathic god
      August 9, 2010, 10:47 am

      PressTV did not do itself any favors by twisting the facts:

      “The incident occurred after an Israeli patrol unit on Tuesday breached a border fence while attempting to uproot a tree on Lebanese soil.”

      makes PressTV look pretty ridiculous: how do you uproot a tree from the top, in a bucket?

      • Chu
        August 9, 2010, 10:50 am

        yeah, should be trimming bushes! :o

      • Psychopathic god
        August 9, 2010, 11:49 am

        eeeek! Phil, your website has been hacked.

        Chu knows that I SHOULD BE TRIMMING BUSHES right this minute.

      • Shafiq
        August 9, 2010, 2:07 pm

        PressTV has gone downhill ever since the elections of last year – it long abandoned the pretence of balance and is now no different to mainstream US media organisations. Al-Jazeera English is by far the best news station around.

      • Chu
        August 9, 2010, 5:03 pm

        shafiq, thanks for the note…

    • Psychopathic god
      August 9, 2010, 10:52 am

      former CIA director Mike Hayden was on C Span Wash Journal. Hayden is now a member of the Chertof Group, consultants.

      Hayden did his level best to tip C Span viewers to accept and endorse US war with Iran.

      C Span has more and more Colin Powell moments in its CV. Willing dupes, enablers of the murderers.

      • Chu
        August 9, 2010, 11:26 am

        and what a team they are:
        meet the team players

      • Psychopathic god
        August 9, 2010, 11:48 am

        what gives with all the “The Honorable …..” stuff?

        is that how one says Spy is Deceitland?

      • Chu
        August 9, 2010, 12:04 pm

        and there are 30-40 czars in the current government of the US. about the same as the previous president.
        current czars
        why is czar the popular title today?

      • LanceThruster
        August 9, 2010, 4:20 pm

        I think because it denotes “accountable to no one” giving the impression of cutting through bureaucratic red tape to get things done. The first US “czar” was energy czar William Simon appointed by Nixon. Ronald Reagan appointed the first drug czar.

      • Chu
        August 9, 2010, 5:23 pm

        yeah, checked it out, there were actually 11 czars for FDR, but only made it’s reappearance until reagan and so on.

        FDR had a rubber czar, Bill Jeffers.

      • RoHa
        August 10, 2010, 2:09 am

        Honourable? Wierd. To be a Hon. you have to be one of the younger sons of an Earl, a Count, or a Baron, or any son of a Viscount.

      • RoHa
        August 10, 2010, 2:10 am

        More czars than Eastern Europe over the last few centuries!

  5. David Samel
    August 9, 2010, 10:48 am

    I’m not sure there is anything here. If Bibi told Obama anything about the flotilla in advance, it was what we all knew, that one way or another, he would stop the flotilla. He probably said he hoped the incident would go peacefully, but it may not, and the IDF would apply force if need be. I don’t think it conceivable that he told Obama that they would kill some passengers to set an example. It’s hard to read anything into Bibi’s desire for a closed-door session. He is such an accomplished bullshitter that it is a matter of speculation whether he said that for public consumption, whether he has some dark truth he wants shielded from the public, or whether he is intending to lie in private and doesn’t want his lies exposed to the public. He could simply be manipulating Obama by declaring that they had a meeting at which secret things were discussed. Who knows? I think taking this remark seriously is a mistake.

    • Chu
      August 9, 2010, 11:02 am

      I agree. Netanyahu is not going to look for Obama’s approval
      for his military blunders at sea. Obama is probably disgusted by Netanyahu, as he’s made him look like a weak and ineffectual leader. There contempt for each other must be mutual.

      • potsherd
        August 9, 2010, 2:26 pm

        There apparently wasn’t a discussion along the lines of, “We’d appreciate it if your goons wouldn’t go around murdering our citizens while you’re at it.”

      • Chu
        August 9, 2010, 5:17 pm

        or as obama would say, ‘your goons are sacrosanct
        and our bond is unbreakable. Now can you gesture to the money donors here, so we democrats don’t get wiped out in the next election cycle?’

    • MHughes976
      August 9, 2010, 11:07 am

      Presumably there was an assurance, which was not seriously questioned, that everything would be done in accordance with a defensible interpretation of international law.

  6. Tuyzentfloot
    August 9, 2010, 10:56 am

    And what did Turkey know in advance? There were six missing persons afterwards, and I don’t recall anyone reporting missing.(Did I miss something?) If they were undercover agents, chances are Turkey knew not to look for them. You know, Israel expressing their concern – we are worried about terrorists- about the boat and asking Turkey to look the other way as they slipped a few undercover agents aboard. Turkey saying look we already checked that but it’s a reasonable request so you can have your people on board …

    • Taxi
      August 9, 2010, 11:56 am

      Yap, the ‘unclaimed-missing’ are israeli infiltrator agents.

      You surprised?

      Naaaaaah! Business as usual.

  7. Les
    August 9, 2010, 11:44 am

    For those who believe in the illusion of a “limited war” by the US against Iran, there is likely to be “a level of casualties on American armed forces not seen since the Second World War.”

    link to juancole.com

    • kapok
      August 9, 2010, 1:16 pm

      This is priceless:

      Ben H’midi, the captured political leader of the FLN, is asked by a French journalist how he could justify murdering innocent French civilians. In a reference to the French use of napalm and carpet-bombing in the countryside, H’midi replies: ‘Let us have your bombers and you can have our women’s baskets.’

  8. Psychopathic god
    August 9, 2010, 11:51 am

    what’s the status in Great Britain of arrest warrants of volk like Tzipi Livni?

    • Taxi
      August 9, 2010, 12:00 pm

      Nothing’s changed despite Cameron’s ‘promise’ to change the laws of the land in favor of Tzzzzzzipeeee!

      I should think the Brits have more urgent business at hand than to wipe her arse with their much loved legal manifestos.

    • MHughes976
      August 9, 2010, 3:41 pm

      In the spring there were defiant statements from Livni that she would visit anyway ‘to test our law’, but she seems to have thought better of that. It is very discreetly reported (only in an Israeli source, as far as I can see, but credibly enough) that the Government has assured Livni that it intends to change the law some time in the new session of Parliament, ie from October. There will be some fun over that.

  9. kapok
    August 9, 2010, 1:11 pm

    Wasn’t this all a conspiracy theory not long ago? Some theory!

  10. traintosiberia
    August 9, 2010, 1:42 pm

    Mr R Witty
    This is why it is important to find out what varying and changing assurances contingent on the outcome ,were given to Nethnayho by Axelrod/Emmanuel/Liberman/Harman/Wexler/Illena-Roth as representative of Obama.They must have searched all the scenarios of US reactions and what would be the US/Canadain/UK international maneuver if this happened or what would be the response if that happened.

  11. alexno
    August 9, 2010, 3:18 pm

    Somewhat OT, but I’ve been noticing a decline in the activity of the hasbarists recently. There are less defences of Israel than there used to be.

    I’ve been wondering why it is. It is not only here. Is it that blog owners like Phil exclude hasbara more successfully? Or is it that the hasbara controllers have given up on blogs like Mondoweiss as irremediable, and are concentrating on blogs where someone is likely to listen? Such as Washington Note.

    • LanceThruster
      August 9, 2010, 4:32 pm

      I think it’s because they regularly get their @sses handed to them. They’ll populate sites such as DKos or HuffPo in large numbers but the more astute ones realize that here they’ll be called out on their misrepresentations. The less astute ones continue in their attempt to command the waves to halt.

    • Chu
      August 9, 2010, 5:11 pm

      after a while, even trolls get tired of their half-baked justifications for the murder of Palestinians.
      They wake up one day and see themselves for the con-artists they are. Not likely to happen, but that would be something good.

    • traintosiberia
      August 9, 2010, 9:35 pm

      The Hasbara is focussing on Iran. Hasabara will demand withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Iran ( after the attacks if there were any ground invasion) to create a balkanized version of Mesopotemia mired in civil wars and will focus on Pakistan to steal or dismantle its nukes.US media ( Israeli) will then welcome “wikileaks” and its copycat to persuade US public to support immediate troop withdrawal.Vietnam will start being incanted by FOX and CNN.

  12. midnightschild
    August 9, 2010, 6:50 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if BiBi told Obama, and got assurances, that the US would continue with the Negroponte Doctrine. Remember, all we saw were the flotilla members weilding sticks at the commandos. No US press would show the Brazillian reporters footage. And it was the Turkish President that made Obama seem like a wimp, when he stood up for his citizens, while there wasn’t a peep from Obama. Now BiBi is going to pull out of the UN inquiry, if the UN questions the commandos involved. Big surprise there. Then they should go with the information provided by the survivors of the Mavi Marmara, and what the bullet holes on the ship tell them. I also wonder how the UN is going to find Hezbollah at fault for killing the Lebanese Prime Minister. Hezbollah is providing evidence that Israel had the capability, since they have assassinated others on foreign soil. Let’s see if the UN is owne by Israel as our Administration and Congress are.

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