3 June, 2010 — RT Top Stories
The spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister, Mark Regev, and former Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Autonomy Nabil Shaath debated on the fallout from the Gaza flotilla attack live on RT.
‘Israel is held to a standard no one else is held to,’ Regev observed, while Shaath recalled that Israel was fully informed that there were no weapons onboard the Gaza flotilla and yet the Israeli army attacked the ship in international waters.
‘It is very clear who is the aggressor here. It is a case that has its roots in the siege. The siege of Gaza has to end and 1.5 million Palestinians must get a chance to a decent life,’ Shaath declared.
‘The naval blockade has to continue. If we did not have a naval blockade you would have missiles coming in to the Gaza Strip and missiles that arrive one day will be shot at Israel the next day,’ Regev said, adding that the people on one of the ships had provoked the violence.
Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon stressed that Israel has nothing to hide regarding the raid.
‘Actually we are eager to expose all the details, especially about the organisation the IHH, which is an extreme Islamist organization, and everything else [regarding the raid],’ Ayalon told RT. Continue reading
4 June, 2010
4 June, 2010 — RT Top Stories
For decades some of the world’s most powerful people have come together to meet and discuss world affairs in secret.
The Bilderberg Group is an unofficial conference of around 150 invitation-only guests who are insiders in politics, banking, business, the military and the media. The group’s meetings are held in secret and are closed to the public; activities supposedly range from strategizing world affairs to playing golf. The current conference is being held at a hotel in Sitges, Spain under heavy security.
Many are still unaware of the group’s existence.
‘The number of times I’ve spoken to people who work in foreign news who simply go ‘the Bilderberg what, what are you talking about?’ and these are supposedly clued-up news journalists. I don’t think yet the Bilderberg Conference has broken out, but I think this is the year it is taking to the public conscience,’ said Charlie Skelton, a journalist with The Guardian.
One of the key issues journalists and activists have with the Bilderberg group is its high level of secrecy. Many of the attendees are public elected officials and world leaders, yet their involvement and activities with Bilderberg are hidden.
‘Why there is no agenda officially talked about to the press, why there is no press office, why there is no capacity at all for the public to learn about what goes on is quite astonishing,’ said Skelton.
Skelton began covering the Bilderberg Group because he was shocked by the lack of media attention devoted to the conferences. He has been arrested multiple times attempting to cover the meetings. As attention to the group grows, more and more mainstream journalists are beginning to join Skelton in his journalistic endeavors to learn more of the secrets of the Bilderberg Group.
‘People talk about the Bilderberg conspiracy, but it’s not a conspiracy. It’s a very important four-day meeting. The conspiracy is one of silence,’ said Skelton.
4 June, 2010 — RT Top Stories
In June 1967, the Israel military attacked the USS Liberty. A survivor of that attack was onboard the Gaza aid flotilla and has survived yet again to tell the story.
Joe Meadors is a pro-Palestinian activist and a survivor of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. That attack by the Israeli Air Force killed 34 Americans. Meadors was onboard one of the Gaza aid flotilla ships.
‘They [Israeli military] are very inept, to tell you the truth,’ said Meadors.
Israeli forces were unable to sink an unarmed US Naval ship and were unable to adequately engage the Turkish liner.
‘It was an illegal attack. We were on the high seas conducting legal activities. They admitted that they closed the area for military purposes but they, we tried to find out the boundaries of that area and they wouldn’t tell us,’ said Meadors.
Meadors said that they violated international waters both in the recent flotilla attack and in 1967 at the attack of the USS Liberty, stating that Israel also violated international law by using unmarked aircraft.
‘They’re just a bunch of rag-tag people who think they can do no wrong. Every time they speak they say they don’t break any laws, they always abide by international laws. But, they break them with impunity and the US Government is not going to hold them accountable, nobody is,’ said Meadors.
Meadors expects an investigation will show that Israel violated international law and should be held accountable for its actions. He holds the same hope for the USS Liberty case, which has yet to be settled.
‘We filed a war crimes report with the Department of Defense in 2005. They claim they already investigated the allegation we made, but they can’t show us where they have,’ said Meadors.
Meadors said that Israel was the aggressor in the flotilla attack and that the only story being portrayed is Israel’s version, because the Israeli forces confiscated all video and recording equipment from the flotilla passengers.
“Gilad Atzmon, a British writer and musician who was born in Israel and served in the Israeli army, believes that the raid will lead the world to see what Israel is all about”.
“They are convinced that the more people they kill, the more people will be deterred to jeopardise what they regard as their security,” Atzmon told RT.
The wild rhetoric flying around since Israel attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla shows that there’s nothing at all that defenders of Israel won’t jump to defend.
IT’S TIME the Israeli government’s PR team made the most of its talents, and became available for hire.
Then, whenever a nutcase marches into a shopping mall and guns down a selection of passersby, they could be on hand to tell the world’s press: ‘The gunman regrets the loss of life, but did all he could to avoid violence.’ Then various governments would issue statements saying, ‘All we know is a man went berserk with an AK-47, and next to him, there’s a pile of corpses, so until we know the facts, we can’t pass judgment on what took place.’
4 June, 2010 — Omar Barghouti
Only a few days since Israel’s illegal and fatal act of aggression against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, BDS-related reactions around the world were quick and qualitatively consequential.
Building on 5 years of international BDS activism since the Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS was launched on 9 July 2005, a year and a half since Israel’s war crimes in Gaza, when its base criminality and status was revealed to the world, and months after the watershed UN Goldstone report, international civil society’s tolerance of Israel’s impunity and war crimes has grown very thin.
The fact that this latest attack was categorically illegal, immoral and unjustifiable, that it targeted civilian ships in international waters, that it led to the murder and injury of tens of humanitarian relief workers and civilian activists from many countries, that among the siege-breaking activists were prominent intellectuals, a Nobel Peace Laureate, a Holocaust survivor, European and other parliamentarians, a former senior US diplomat, representatives of international media, etc., all triggered mass anger around the world and, unprecedentedly, widespread calls for boycotting Israel as a pariah state.
Below are some of the most significant developments that have every potential to carry the global BDS movement to the next qualitative level.
I am grateful to MRZine for inviting me to comment on ‘Israel in the current conjuncture, in the wake of the attack on the Freedom Flotilla and international reaction to it’. But in truth I have very little to add to the excellent comments and analyses that have been presented in various left-wing publications, both in print and online.
Perhaps I can just make an observation regarding the significance of Israel’s brazen attempt to depict its latest aggression against a humanitarian mission as ‘self-defence’, and the murder of peace activists by its commandos as a legitimate response to the ‘lynching’ of these heavily armed innocents who were set upon by a ‘mob of terrorists’.
This astounding piece of hutzpah is actually quite instructive, inasmuch as it typifies and constitutes a reductio ad absurdum of the age-old method of hasbarah, the propaganda machine of the Zionist project and its Israeli settler state.
4 June, 2010 — Jewish Peace News
Crimes against the Peace and Crimes against Humanity
During the pre-dawn hours of May 31, 2010, the Israeli Navy attacked the six civilian vessels of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. The attack took place in international waters against ships flying under national flags of countries with which Israel is not at war, namely Turkey, Greece and the United States. The ships were carrying civilians from more than sixteen countries.
Since no state of war existed at the time, the attack on these vessels constitutes an act of war against those governments under whose flags the vessels were sailing.
Thanks to Ali Abuminah, this website will give you all of the facts and figures and testimonies from the Freedom Flotilla. Greta
Co-founder and webmaster of Electronic Intifada has created an inspired website supporting the flotilla:
Includes fact sheets, media coverage, statements, videos, and protests. Great resource.
http://delegitimize.com/ is a new media library project that plans to publish a series of both topic-specific and current event-focused archive websites, with the help of the pro-Palestinian community and beyond.
The Gaza Flotilla archive-found at http://gazaflotilla.delegitimize.com/ -is a freely-available research resource on the events that took place in international waters off the coast of Gaza on 31 May 2010.
The http://delegitimize.com/ project was launched by new media activist and journalist Nigel Parry, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, former webmaster of Birzeit University, and an award-winning web designer.
Submissions and other collaborative input are welcomed. Contact http://gazaflotilla.delegitimize.com/contact/ or via contact [at] delegitimize [dot] com.
* UK Lawyers: In law Israel has a case to answer
* Interior Minister seeks to revoke Israeli Arab MK’s citizenship
* Moshe Machover: Colonizers’ Hutzpah
* Haneen Zoabi: Flotilla Interview on RT
* World Zionist Organization: Responding to the Consequences of the Flotilla Episode
* IOA editors: Israel Exposed
* Craig Murray: Israeli Murders, NATO and Afghanistan
3 June, 2010 — Taki’s Magazine
Anybody can support Israel when times are good and The Timeses in London and New York write about Israeli entrepreneurs in Herzliya, Nobel prizes for physicians, and the blooming desert. That’s easy. How about now, though, when Israeli forces have blasted a humanitarian convoy at sea and killed nine people bringing food, medicine, baby clothes, and building supplies? When the going gets tough, only a few get going. God bless Les Gelb, Alan Dershowitz and the other singular champions of Israelism for standing up now, when nine Turkish citizens lie dead and Israel’s reputation is once again, for a moment, in tatters. Gelb bravely asserted on The Daily Beast, “Israel had every right under international law to stop and board ships bound for the Gaza war zone late Sunday.”
Even if no international law, and certainly no Law of the Sea, actually permits armed soldiers to board unarmed merchant ships in international waters, it is good that Gelb had the guts to say there’s one. Israel can rely as well on Dershowitz, the Harvard Law professor who years ago proposed that Israel destroy Palestinian villages in retaliation for suicide bombings—his own “Lidice” solution for which the Nazis who destroyed the Czech village of Lidice in retaliation for the murder of Rheinhard Heydrich were hanged. His counsel on the Huffington Post will soon have the Israeli army storming Gaza, devastating Lebanon, nuking Iran, and sinking cruise liners. When push came to the shove of ethnically cleansing the entire West Bank of its Arab population, Les and Al would be there to tell us all that it was right and, of course, legal. That’s what lawyers, I mean real friends, are for.
4 June, 2010
“According to IHH official Omer Yagmur, who spoke to the doctors, 19-year-old Furkan Dogan was killed by four bullets to the head — all fired at close range — and one bullet into his chest, also fired at close range.
“The Mavi Marmara was bombed right in front of our eyes. They threw the wounded into the water” — Yücel Köse, ‘Israel killed more than 9, threw wounded into sea, witnesses say’, Zaman Today (Turkey), 4 July 2010
As the true nature of the massacre on the Mavi Marmara becomes apparent now that witnesses can speak out, so too is the scale of the pre-planned propaganda blitz conducted by the Israelis, a blitz that was launched in tandem with the armed attack.
Clearly planned well in advance of the attack (right down to paintball guns)—and with the able assistance of the Western media—Israel has shown how reality can be manipulated; day turned into night, wrong into right, black into white.
Just how well the Western media covers for the actions of the rogue state of Israel can be seen by comparing the BBC report, also from Turkey, with the Zaman Today article quoted from above.
Wikipedia has this to say to about Shayetet 13, the unit which carried out the Freedom Flotilla massacre:
“Shayetet 13…is an elite Israel Defense Forces naval Special forces unit. The unit (S’13) is considered one of the three main Israeli Special Forces units (along with Sayeret Matkal – the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit – and Shaldag Unit – the Air Force commando unit). S’13 is the unit that specializes in sea-to-land incursions, assassinations, counter-terrorism, sabotage, maritime intelligence gathering and maritime hostage rescue. Only a handful of Shayetet 13 missions have been publicized or otherwise missions publicly attributed to the unit.”
Wikipedia tells us that the team was “formed in 1949 by Yohai Ben-Nun”.
Wikipedia fails to tell us that Yohai Ben-Nun’s instructor, and the mind behind the team, was an Italian (non Jewish) Fascist by the name of Fiorenzo Capriotti, a former member of the Italian Decima Mas unit.
The story is told in a detailed essay on the relations between the nascent Israeli state and veterans of Mussolini’s Social Republic, by historian Gianni Scipione Rossi. Continue reading
4 June, 2010 — Today’s Zaman
Planes carrying 520 aid volunteers and nine dead bodies of activists killed by Israeli security forces on Monday returned home on Thursday, with many claiming mistreatment at the hands of Israeli military officers and other officials and additional allegations that not everyone has returned.
Activists say some people who were initially on the flotilla are missing. They are also telling stories of horror, carnage and pure barbarism at the hands of Israeli officials. In a shocking account, Humanitarian Aid Foundation (IHH) President Bülent Yildirim, who returned on Thursday, said a photographer, whose first name was Cevdet, was shot in the forehead by a soldier one meter away from him. “Our Cevdet [Kiliçlar], he is a press member. He has become a martyr. All he was doing was taking pictures. They smashed his skull into pieces. We soon made out that these were real bullets they were firing. Rubber bullets also kill because you shoot at very close range, between one-and-a-half and two meters.”
The head of Turkish charity the IHH, which organized the humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza, said Israeli commandos shot an Indonesian doctor in the stomach and a photographer in the forehead
Kevin Ovenden of Britain, an activist on the ship that arrived in Istanbul on Thursday, also said a man who had pointed a camera at the soldiers was shot directly through the forehead with live ammunition, with the exit wound blowing away back of his skull.
There were also claims that Israeli official reports on the number of people killed are untruthful. Yildirim said, “Until now they have returned nine dead bodies, but our list is bigger. There are people missing.” Speaking to journalists at Atatürk International Airport shortly after his return, Yildirim said: “We saw 38 injured who were brought back to us by doctors after the attack. Now they are saying there are 21 people who have been injured.” Yildirim was on the main passenger ship, the Mavi Marmara, which the Israeli navy attacked at the start of its raid.
Another witness, Yücel Köse, who was on the ship Gazze repeated Yildirim’s allegations of missing people. “The Mavi Marmara was bombed right in front of our eyes. They threw the wounded into the water,” he said. Köse said the soldiers were upset when some of their men were held by activists aboard the Mavi Marmara.
Forensic examination of bodies
‘They poisoned our food,’ claims Gaza activist
Ibrahim Musaji, a 26-year-old activist from England who was also on the Mavi Marmara, was asleep during the raid. He says he rushed to the deck immediately after being woken up by gunfire to see his friends lying in a pool of blood. He said the soldiers threatened to kill him if he attempted to help them. “They hate people, all they want was to shed Muslim blood.” He also claimed that there was poison in the food fed to prisoners.
Recai Kaya, a representative of the Enderun Association, said one of the activists on the ship was shot by a soldier when they were returning one of the injured Israeli soldiers to the raiding force. Kaya said he was hit with a rifle butt when he tried to help an older man, who could not pull his pants back up after using the bathroom because he was handcuffed. “He was so embarrassed.” Istanbul Today’s Zaman
Turkey’s Council of Forensic Medicine completed examining some of the bodies. The findings have not yet been announced. It will be a few weeks before the experts get back all the results, but initial statements from doctors confirm Yildirim’s account of the shootings at close range. According to IHH official Ömer Yagmur, who spoke to the doctors, 19-year-old Furkan Dogan was killed by four bullets to the head — all fired at close range — and one bullet into his chest, also fired at close range. He said Do?an was studying at a private high school in Kayseri and hoped to become a doctor in the future.
The council also confirmed yesterday that eight of the nine bodies brought back from Israel belong to Turkish citizens. The ninth person was identified as a US citizen of Turkish origin. More than 500 activists who were brought to Turkey were examined on Thursday by 120 forensic medicine experts and their assistants.
People thrown into the sea
Activist Idris Simsek, who also arrived on Thursday, claims that four wounded activists were thrown into the sea. Simsek also stated that there was immense psychological pressure on the activists. Simsek said they expected some harassment but had no inkling of what would happen, noting that they were not expecting an armed attack. He also mentioned that there were no weapons, including a small Swiss army knife that some foreign press organs claimed was on the ship. He stated, as many other activists have, that the person who was waving a white flag to surrender was shot by soldiers. He said that he saw many people lying in puddles of blood after the soldiers opened fire.
Erol Demir, another activist on the Mavi Marmara, said they had footage of the chaos and the carnage on the ship, emphasizing that the footage will show the real face of Israeli solders to the entire world. “They even shot those who surrendered. Many of our friends saw this. They told me that there were handcuffed people who were shot.” All activists stated that Israeli helicopters sprayed cold seawater onto the ship for three hours.
Hakan Albayrak, a journalist from the Yeni Safak daily who was also on the ship, said: “It was an outright massacre what Israel did out there. They attacked us in international waters. We protected our ship. We had no weapons. I think we lost more people.”
Activist Özlem Sahin Ermis said 60 soldiers took her hostage. The prisoners were harassed by violent attack dogs and some were badly bitten. She also noted that they were not fed any food or given anything to drink during their initial interrogation on the ship.
The IHH said the activists Çelebi Bozan, Osman Kurç and Aydin Ataç were definitely still missing. These individuals might still be in a hospital in Israel, IHH officials said. Meanwhile, the full list of the names of the nine Turks whose corpses were sent to Turkey and their hometowns were announced as Ibrahim Bilgen – Siirt, Ali Haydar Bengi – Diyarbakir, Cevdet Kiliçlar – Istanbul (IHH staff), Çetin Topçuoglu – Adana (national taekwondo team member), Necdet Yildirim – Malatya (IHH staff), Furkan Dogan – Kayseri, Fahri Yaldiz – Adiyaman, Cengiz Songür – Izmir and Cengiz Akyüz – Hatay. Dogan was only 19. He was killed with four bullets to the head and one to the chest.
Ahmet Aydan Beker from Kayseri (critically injured), Mehmet Ali Zeybek of Diyarbakir (critically wounded and under arrest) and Ugur Süleyman Söylemez from Istanbul are being treated in Israeli hospitals.
3 June, 2010 – Today’s Zaman
Gaza returnees share horror stories from Israel – Activists who were on the flotilla bringing aid supplies to Gaza that was attacked on Monday continued to recount the horror of the attack and its aftermath on Thursday. Many of them speak of a wounded Turkish citizen being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier.
Activists who were on the flotilla bringing aid supplies to Gaza that was attacked on Monday continued to recount the horror of the attack and its aftermath on Thursday. Many of them speak of a wounded Turkish citizen being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier.
Ali Buhamd, deported from Israel along with 18 other activists, was on the Mavi Marmara, a passenger ship in the flotilla that was attacked by Israeli naval forces in international waters on Monday. There are at least nine dead because of the attack according to Israeli officials, but witnesses, such as Humanitarian Aid Foundation (IHH) President Bülent Yildirim, say more people were killed and their bodies dumped into the sea.
Buhamd said: ‘I saw a soldier shooting a wounded Turk in the head. There was another Turk asking for help, but he bled to death.’