The Israelis had taken control of the upper deck and were moving to the lower floors. Their target was the press room, where most of us had been causing the bad PR that Israel had been getting. I was right next to the press room and had to rush down to one floor below as the commanders started coming down.
I left my backpack in the press room with my passport, two of my three phones, my laptop, my still camera, watch, car and home keys, wallet, press accreditation, and a lot of cash. As the Israelis took over the press room, I had a feeling I was never going to get any of that back.
UPDATE: Extensive collection of eye-witness accounts here, h/t malcontent.
Also note at the bottom that Israel has confiscated any and all evidence that would corroborate the witnesses.
Many details now coming through about the brutality of the Israeli commandos.
People shot in the head at point blank range. People thrown overboard. People shot while handcuffed. People attacked by dogs during detention.
Coordinated swarming with small boats, helicopters and warships. Smoke bombs and cut communications. Clubbing with rifle butts. Electric shocks.
However, despite the hundreds of witnesses, in a JPost story titled "We had no choice," commandos speak of their bravery and trauma as they were forced to kill all those people after two of their guys were injured (by friendly fire) and one was hit on the head by the "murderous mercenaries" which had the nerve to defend themselves from the unprovoked Israeli attack. Of course the commandos had no choice. Look at this incredible extrapolation of reasoning: http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=177445
T. said he realized the group they were facing was well-trained and likely ex-military after the commandos threw a number of stun grenades and fired warning shots before rappelling down onto the deck. “They didn’t even flinch,” he said. “Regular people would move.”
Each squad of the “mercenaries” was equipped with a Motorola communication device, the IDF said, so they could pass information to one another. Assessments in the defense establishment are that members of the group were affiliated with international global jihad elements and had undergone training in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Let me break that logic down for you:
bravery + cell phones = ex-military global AFPAK jihadis
therefore, ok to murder
JUST SO YOU KNOW. (And oh by the way the commandos said that they began using their weapons within a minute and a half after boarding, due to the extreme violence they faced.) Prepare to receive the medal of valor.
Honestly, if it weren't for them being such murderous assholes, the Israelis are so ridiculous they should be laughed off the planet. They have become a parody of themselves.
hey you guys forgot your CLOWN PANTS
Oh but they always remember their guns, don't they.
Do you hear the screeching?
"Israeli soldiers had every right to defend their lives against a lynch mob attacking them with knives and clubs." ~ Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL
"As the international community is engaged in a biased rush to judgment against Israel and a diplomatic lynching, now is the time for the United States to firmly stand with the Jewish state and its people. The US must show the world that it not only supports Israel's right to defend its borders and citizens against terrorism, but that it supports Israel's right to protect itself from people who pretend to be 'peace activists', and parade under the guise of humanitarians while supporting Hamas and violently attacking Israeli military personnel." ~ Abe Foxman, ADLThat last one sounds like a threat.
"The White House did not wish to stand with Israel against this mob [of Security Council members who condemned the Israeli attack] because it does not have a policy of solidarity with Israel. It would have been simple to stop the mob had the White House wanted to." (Emphasis in the original.) ~ Eliot Abrams, CFR
"If Obama decides it is in America's interest to make an example of Israel after the Gaza flotilla incident in order to win goodwill in Cairo, Beirut, Tehran and Ankara, then he must also recognize that the leadership in Jerusalem is going to conclude that it cannot trust the United States to safeguard its security, and that therefore it must take matters into its own hands on any number of issues, not the least of which is Iran's nuclear program. In effect, if the White House decides to come down hard on Israel now, it is the same as giving a green light for Israel to strike Iran." ~ Michael Rubin, AEI
Something must be done. The criminal is ready to make a deal. The criminal will tell us what it wants in return for stopping its illegal and murderous behavior.
Less hostile analysts, too, have suggested Israel must take another approach to Gaza in order to defend its interests. Guy Bechor, writing in Yedioth Ahronoth, said Israel could wrong-foot Western critics and rid itself of its Gaza problem. "The Israeli government must immediately announce that it is willing to lift the naval siege on the Gaza Strip in return for an international supervisory regime," he wrote. Such a move would allow Israel to close its land borders with Gaza, he said.The idea to internationalize the situation with the Palestinians is not new. Eighteen months ago the CFR put out a paper titled Change They Can Believe In: To Make Israel Safe, Give Palestinians Their Due -- an apologia for making things so awful that the international community will be forced to get involved, because we just can't lay all the blame at the Jews' feet.
Bho sends this in:
June 3, 2010^^^^^^^
I don't write poems but, in any case, poems are not poems.
Long ago, I was made to understand that Palestine was not Palestine;
I was also informed that Palestinians were not Palestinians;
They also explained to me that ethnic cleansing was not ethnic cleansing.
And when naive old me saw freedom fighters they patiently showed me that they were not freedom fighters, and that resistance was not resistance.
And when, stupidly, I noticed arrogance, oppression and humiliation they benevolently enlightened me so I can see that arrogance was not arrogance, oppression was not oppression, and humiliation was not humiliation.
I saw misery, racism, inhumanity and a concentration camp.
But they told me that they were experts in misery, racism, inhumanity and concentration camps and I have to take their word for it: this was not misery, racism, inhumanity and a concentration camp.
Over the years they've taught me so many things: invasion was not invasion, occupation was not occupation, colonialism was not colonialism and apartheid was not apartheid.
They opened my simple mind to even more complex truths that my poor brain could not on its own compute like: "having nuclear weapons" was not "having nuclear weapons," "not having weapons of mass destruction" was "having weapons of mass destruction."
And, democracy (in the Gaza Strip) was not democracy.
Having second class citizens (in Israel) was democracy.
So you'll excuse me if I am not surprised to learn today that there were more things that I thought were evident that are not: peace activists are not peace activists, piracy is not piracy, the massacre of unarmed people is not the massacre of unarmed people.
I have such a limited brain and my ignorance is unlimited.
And they're so fucking intelligent. Really.
Ghassan Hage is professor of anthropology and social theory at the University of Melbourne.
Meanwhile, Naharnet reports that organizers have lost contact with the MV Rachel Corrie.
"The situation is we lost all contact with the boat. We assume this was sabotage by the Israelis," said Audrey Bomse of the Free Gaza Movement.Other ships have also been sabotaged according to the Free Gaza Movement. The Israelis ADMIT to gray operations against the ships.
Six ships of the aid flotilla were raided by the Israeli navy on Monday morning in international waters. Nine activists, most of them Turks, were killed and dozens of others injured during the operation, prompting outrage from all over the world. Two other ships, Challenger 1 and 2, suffered mechanical problems as they sailed toward the rendezvous location south off Cyprus.Irish4Palestine has a list of passengers on the MV Rachel Corrie, Irish and Malaysian citizens.
"The ships have not reached their target...because covert action was taken against them," Israeli army Colonel Itzik Tourgeman on Tuesday told the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, Israeli news website isrealnationalnews.com reported.
In a statement e-mailed to Xinhua and other international media organizations, the organizers said they already had suspicions about what happened to the two boats, which had received regular maintenance. "(It) turns out we didn't have to prove it. Israeli mouthpieces did." said the organization.
An unnamed Israeli Defence Force source who briefed the Knesset's foreign affairs and defence committee on the widely criticized armed interception of the flotilla at sea, also spoke of "grey operations" being mounted against the flotilla, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported....Meanwhile, the Free Gaza Movement denied a report by Israel's Haaretz daily that quiet messages had been exchanged over the past few days between them and Israeli authorities, which offered to allow the ship to dock without incident at the Ashdod port in Israel, instead of Gaza. The organizers called it "sabotage with words."
5000 Malaysian have rallied outside the US Embassy and burned the Israeli flag. Malaysia does not recognize Israel.