June 2, 2010, Page 2

EDITOR: The Lunatic State of the Jewish State

In Israel, as well as abroad, the full lunacy and vileness of this latest Israeli war crime is becoming clear to all who can read. Israeli propaganda has worked overtime, based on the kidnapping of the activists, isolating them from the whole world, confiscating all their material evidence, on top of the brutalities of maiming and murdering many of them. This meant that for the last few days, only the the voice of Israeli propaganda was available to the international media. Fictional narratives, more complex than most Hollywood scripts, were woven and reinforced by what must be the largest propaganda machine anywhere.

Of course, this matter little now. The facts are now coming out, and many inquiries will be conducted and will establish the full horror of this murderous piracy. The world will not be fooled by this anymore. In Israel, however, the public, and the elites are fully behind this latest crime, as they always were behind the ones committed before. They no longer matter, of course. Anyone waiting for internal transformation must be seriously delusional; there shall be no such change ever – the change will come from outside, from the outraged millions, who watch disbelievingly as their own governments, yet again, do nothing to stop mayhem, murder and lawlessness by the Israeli regime. It is interesting to note that the public support of the Israelis for the war crimes committed in their names everywhere – in Beirut, in Gaza, in the rest of Palestine, in Dubai, and now on the high seas, not for the first time – is much higher than that enjoyed by the apartheid regime in its heyday! Israel is a Jewish military democracy, for Jews only, and as such, all its Jewish citizens are responsible for what is done in their name, unless they act against the crimes. Because of this continued unstinting support, there is no hope for change in Israel, and we should not expect it or try to bring it about. It is a waste of time and effort – Israelis are living in a parallel universe, where normal legalities do not exist, and morality is absent, where racism and apartheid are still ruling the day.

The change will come from us, from the enraged and caring millions, angry with the duplicity of their own governments and their collusion with Israeli crimes; the international community is now realising it is up to all of us to do what many did during the apartheid days – to isolate and ostracise and isolate this pariah military and piratical regime, this State of Lunacy and lawlessness. We will all need to stop any relationship with this entity of crime: no products to be purchased, no touring in Israel, no conferences there, no invites and collaboration with Israeli academics and institutions who do not declare their unequivocal opposition to the occupation and its iniquities. The resolution of this conflict will only be reached by the annulling Zionism and its racism, its military and ‘civil’ racist machineries, the total removal of all settler communities, and the return of Palestinian refugees, as well as the payment of full compensation to all those who were hurt by the Zionist enterprise over the last few decades.
The way to achieve this is by the careful and thoughtful but total BDS – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, that will lead to a Just peace and a stable and long-lasting political order in Palestine. Anything else will just lead to more murder, and to a likely destabilizing of the region, and towards exporting militant radicalism and possibly terrorism to all parts of the globe, as a result of an obvious failure of the west to deal with this colonial and imperialist abscess.

Haim Bresheeth

Patrick Cockburn: PR dangerously distorts the Israeli sense of reality: The Independent

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

An old Israeli saying describing various less-than-esteemed military leaders says: “He was so stupid that even the other generals noticed.” The same derisive remark could be applied almost without exception to the present generation of Israeli politicians.

Such healthy scepticism among Israelis about the abilities of their military and political leaders has unfortunately ebbed in recent decades. As a result, Israelis are left perplexed as to why their wars, military interventions and armed actions have so often ended in failure since the 1973 war, despite the superiority of their armed forces.

The latest example of this is the assault on the Gaza aid convoy by naval commandos, a confrontation initiated by Israel which thereby ensured that the convoy’s organisers achieved their objectives to a degree beyond their wildest dreams. By using assault troops in a police action against civilians with predictably bloody results Israel managed to focus international attention on its blockade of Gaza, which the world had hitherto largely ignored. The Israeli action infuriated Turkey, once its strongest ally in the region, and strengthened the claim of Hamas to Palestinian leadership.

The capacity of Israel to shoot itself in the foot needs explanation. From the beginning the operation was idiotic, since Israel was always likely to look bad after any confrontation between élite troops and civilian protesters. Even more ludicrous is the Israeli explanation that their élite and heavily armed soldiers were at risk of their lives because they had to use thick gloves to protect their hands when sliding down cables from a helicopter and therefore could not use their weapons.

The nature of the fiasco should cause little surprise because such botched Israeli military actions have been the norm for years. The 1982 invasion of Lebanon was discredited by the massacre of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Christian militias loosed on them by Israeli army commanders. Syria, not Israel, became the predominant power in Lebanon. In south Lebanon, the Israeli army fought a long and unsuccessful guerrilla war against Hizbollah. The bombardments of Lebanon in 1996 and 2006 left Hizbollah stronger, and a similar attack on Gaza in 2008 failed to weaken Hamas.

The problem is that nobody believes Israeli propaganda as much as Israelis. Pro-Palestinian activists often lament the fluency and mendacity of Israeli spokesmen on the airwaves and the pervasive influence of Israel’s supporters abroad. But, in reality, these PR campaigns are Israel’s greatest weakness, because they distort Israelis’ sense of reality. Defeats and failures are portrayed as victories and successes.

The slaughter of civilians is justified as a military necessity or somehow the fault of the other side. Opponents are demonised as bloodthirsty terrorists. Comforted by such benign accounts of their activities, Israeli leaders are consumed by arrogance because they come to believe they have never made a mistake. Denial that errors have occurred makes it extremely difficult to sack generals or ministers, however gross their incompetence or record of failure.

Many Israelis privately take their own propaganda with a pinch of salt, though the number is diminishing. But abroad, the most third-rate Israeli politicians strut before fawning audiences as heroic defenders of the state. Not surprisingly they return home with a dangerously inflated idea of their own abilities and in a perilously self-important mood.

The Israeli propaganda machine, official and private, has been running full throttle in the last few days justifying the assault on the aid convoy to Gaza. Probably spokesmen feel they are performing well given the weakness of their case. In fact, they do nothing but harm to Israel. The greater their success in denying gross and culpable mistakes, the more likely it is that the perpetrators will hold their jobs – and the more likely it is that the mistakes will be endlessly repeated.

Gaza flotilla activists deported to Jordan claim Israeli mistreatment: The Guardian

Israel deports 124 pro-Palestinian activists to Jordan and transfers 200 more to Tel Aviv airport amid increasing calls for independent inquiry into deadly assault
Wednesday 2 June 2010 09.15 BST
Israel today started deporting all the detained activists seized during its botched raid on an aid shipment to Gaza, as some of the first to be freed spoke of their mistreatment at the hands of the Israelis.
A group of 124 pro-Palestinian activists from 12 Muslim nations crossed the border in five Jordanian buses. Another 200 activists have been transferred from a holding centre to Israel’s airport near Tel Aviv, a prison service spokesman said. The remaining activists will be released throughout the day, the spokesman said.

Yesterday Israel had indicated it might prosecute some of the activists.
The decision to free the detainees came as more accounts from those on the ships began to emerge.
One Briton who was on one of the boats heading towards Gaza arrived back in Britain last night.
IT professional Hasan Nowarah, from Glasgow, described the moment the aid flotilla was stormed by Israeli troops.
He told Sky News that the Mavi Marmara ship was surrounded by helicopters and Zodiac assault craft.

“All you could see was screaming and bullets. Out of the blue as I looked around our ship, all I could see were hundreds of Zodiacs. Hundreds of Zodiacs full of soldiers, and big ships, lots of ships, and I believe as well submarines in the sea.”
The assault left nine dead and dozens wounded and has led to criticism of Israel and increasing calls for an independent, impartial inquiry.
One of the group deported to Jordan today, Walid al-Tabtabai, a Kuwaiti politician who was on board one of the ships with other activists from Muslim countries, said: “The Israelis roughed up and humiliated all of us, women, men and children.

“They were brutal and arrogant, but our message reached every corner of the world that the blockade on Gaza is unfair and should be lifted immediately.”
Like many passengers on the flotilla he insisted there were no weapons on any of the ships.
Algerian Izzeddine Zahrour said Israeli authorities “deprived us of food, water and sleep and we weren’t allowed to use the toilet”.
“It was an ugly kidnapping and subsequently bad treatment in Israeli jail,” he said. “They handcuffed us, pushed us around and humiliated us.”

Mauritanian Mohammed Gholam said Israel “wanted us to sign documents saying that we entered Israel illegally”.
An Algerian activist, who only gave her first name as Sabrina, accused Israeli commandos of taking a one-year-old child hostage.
“They point a gun to his head in front of his Turkish parents to force the captain of our ship to stop sailing,” she said.

A Jordanian government spokesman said there were 30 Jordanians in the group. Jordan is one of two Arab nations with a signed peace treaty with Israel. Kuwaiti ambassador Sheik Faisal Al Sabah said the group included 16 Kuwaitis. He said the other activists came from Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Yemen, Oman and Bahrain.

Turkey has led criticism of the raid, accusing Israel of committing a “massacre”, and the UN security council demanded an impartial investigation. There were reports in the Israeli media today that Israel had ordered the families of its diplomats in Turkey to leave that country because of Turkish anger at the raid.
Washington blocked an attempt at the UN security council for an international inquiry yesterday, issuing a mild statement regretting the loss of life. Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, later called the situation in Gaza “unsustainable”.

“Israel’s legitimate security needs must be met, just as the Palestinians’ legitimate needs for sustained humanitarian assistance and regular access to reconstruction materials must also be assured,” she said.
Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, said this morning that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was “an absolute humanitarian catastrophe” that was “not in Israel’s own long-term self-interest”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that Israel had “every right” to protect its people from terrorist threat, but said: “What I ask my Israeli friends and Israeli politicians and officials I meet is: what’s the strategy, where do you go next, how are you going to secure in the long term, not just day to day, the security which you rightly crave?”
Last night, the foreign secretary, William Hague, said 31 British nationals and a further 11 with dual nationality were known to have been detained after the seizure of the vessels as they attempted to breach the Israeli blockade of the territory.

The Foreign Office confirmed that 29 of the Britons had received a visit – with no complaints about their treatment.
Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, said that the detainees were being treated in line with international practice.

“We are not charging them with anything, we have detained them and we will help them leave our country,” he told the BBC.
There was concern among friends and relatives in the UK who complained that they were unable to establish contact with the detainees.

Rachel Bridgeland, whose partner, Peter Venner, 63, from Ryde, Isle of Wight, was on the Mavi Marmara, said that the government should be putting more pressure on Israel.
“It’s absolutely terrible not knowing what has happened to him and it’s terrible that the British government hasn’t done more, but they don’t want to fall out with Israel,” she said.

Flotilla attack: full UN statement: The Guardian

UN security council calls for impartial investigation into Israel’s assault on a flotilla carrying aid supplies to the Gaza Strip

Members of the UN security council meet in the wake of the Israeli raid on the Gaza aid flotilla. Photograph: Louis Lanzano/AP

The full text of a formal presidential statement adopted today by the United Nations security council on Israel’s action against an aid flotilla heading for Gaza:
The security council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza. The council, in this context, condemns those acts which resulted in the loss of at least 10 civilians and many wounded, and expresses its condolences to their families.

The security council requests the immediate release of the ships as well as the civilians held by Israel. The council urges Israel to permit full consular access, to allow the countries concerned to retrieve their deceased and wounded immediately, and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance from the convoy to its destination.

The security council takes note of the statement of the UN secretary-general on the need to have a full investigation into the matter and it calls for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards.

The security council stresses that the situation in Gaza is not sustainable. The council re-emphasises the importance of the full implementation of Resolutions 1850 and 1860. In that context, it reiterates its grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and stresses the need for sustained and regular flow of goods and people to Gaza as well as unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.

The security council underscores that the only viable solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement negotiated between the parties and re-emphasises that only a two-state solution, with an independent and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours, could bring peace to the region.

The security council expresses support for the proximity talks and voices concern that this incident took place while the proximity talks are under way and urges the parties to act with restraint, avoiding any unilateral and provocative actions, and all international partners to promote an atmosphere of cooperation between the parties and throughout the region.

Gaza flotilla raid: ‘We heard gunfire – then our ship turned into lake of blood’ : The Guardian

One of the seized Gaza relief ships in Ashdod. Photograph: Jim Hollander/EPA
Some formed human shields, others fought back with makeshift weapons, while a few of the most vulnerable hid below deck and prayed for the violence and killing to stop.

But what united every survivor who spoke out today about yesterday’s pre-dawn assault by Israeli commandos on the pro-Palestinian aid flotilla to Gaza, was a sense of deep shock at the speed, aggression and lethal force of the Israeli response to what they reiterated was nothing more than a humanitarian aid effort.

Speaking on arrival back in Berlin, wrapped in an airline blanket from the Israeli national airline El Al, Norman Paech, a 72-year-old German pro-Palestinian activist described waking up to hear “striking explosions” as the assault began on the Mavi Marmara, the flotilla’s informal flagship.

“I hurried up and dressed myself and colleagues said to me ‘we’re under attack, the Israelis are here’,” he said. “The aggression came from the sky, from helicopters from which soldiers came down by ropes. We waited in the fore room and saw them carrying an Israeli soldier who looked to me like he’d had a breakdown. Then the second and third came, but after these three injured soldiers then I saw a lot – maybe 10 – passengers who were severely hurt, injured, covered in blood. They were treated in the salon next to me. One was so badly injured I am sure he must have died soon after. I didn’t even consider going upstairs as it was just too dangerous.”

One of the strongest condemnations of Israel’s actions came from the Swedish novelist Henning Mankell who had been aboard the Swedish aid ship Sofia. Mankell, the author of the Wallander series called for global sanctions against Israel to put pressure on it to lift the blockade of Gaza. “I think we should use the experience of South Africa, where we know that the sanctions had a great impact. It took time, but they had an impact,” Mankell said. He also denied there had been any weapons aboard the aid ships. “I can promise there was not a single weapon aboard the ships,” he told a reporter who was returning to Sweden with him after the writer had been deported by Israel.

Nilufer Cetin, a Turkish activist, and her baby boy hid in a bathroom below deck as stun grenades, live ammunition and teargas exploded above them. Speaking on her return to Istanbul, she described how “the ship turned into a lake of blood”.

“We stayed in our cabin and played games amid the sound of gunfire,” she said. “I protected him by staying in my cabin, then went to the bathroom. I put a gas mask and lifejacket on my son. They used smoke bombs followed by gas canisters. They started to descend on to the ship with helicopters.” She added the clashes were “extremely bad and brutal”.

Iara Lee, a Brazilian filmmaker who was also on the Mavi Marmara, claimed the Israeli troops had invaded the ship after cutting all communications and “started shooting at people”. She spoke to Brazil’s TV Globo from the prison in southern Israel where an estimated 600 foreign activists, including around 40 Britons, were being held. Israeli officials said tonight that they would all be freed immediately.

Lee said: “[The attack] was a surprise, because it happened in the middle of the night, in the darkness, in international waters, because we knew there would be a confrontation but not in international waters. Their first tactic was to cut all of our satellite communications and then they attacked. All I witnessed first hand was the shooting. They came on board and started shooting at people.”

She said the commandos then sent the women to a lower level of the ship.

“They said we were terrorists – it was absurd. They came into the part where the women were, lots and lots of them, dressed in black and with gigantic weapons as if they were in a war. They confiscated all of our telephones and all of our luggage and took everything out of the bags and put it on the floor.”

“We expected them to shoot people in the legs, to shoot in the air, just to scare people, but they were direct,” she said, in a separate interview with the Folha de São Paulo newspaper. “Some of them shot in the passengers’ heads. Many people were murdered – it was unimaginable.”

The released activists gave varying accounts of the level of resistance mounted by the passengers.

Annette Groth, a German politician, described at a press conference how she had seen Israeli soldiers outside her cabin, after they had stormed the ship.

“They were shooting without warning,” she said. “It was like war … They had guns, Taser weapons, some type of teargas and other weaponry, compared to two-and-a-half wooden sticks we had between us. To talk of self-defence is ridiculous.”

Footage of the assault shown on Turkish TV and images released by the Israeli military clearly showed some commandos being beaten with sticks by passengers.

However, Paech said he saw no arms being used by the activists. “There were only two men with short sticks but no knives, iron rods, pistols or any real weapons,” he said. “Throughout our planning of the mission we said: ‘no arms, no explosives’, we said we’d only resist politically, with normal means.”

An Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, Hanin Zoabi, who was on board the Mavi Marmara, said “not a single passenger …raised a club”.

At a press conference in Nazareth, she said: “A clear message was being sent to us, for us to know that our lives were in danger. We were not interested in a confrontation. What we saw was five bodies. There were only civilians and there were no weapons … Israel spoke of a provocation, but there was no provocation.”

According to a spokeswoman for the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), Avital Leibovich, its warships gave the activists several warnings before commandos were dropped from helicopters on to the deck of the Mavi Marmara.

“We found ourselves in the middle of a lynching,” she told reporters in the Israeli port of Ashdod. About 10 activists had attacked commandos, taking their pistols, she said. “It was a massive attack. What happened was a last resort.”

The violence was not confined to the Mavi Marmara. Speaking at Athens airport, Mihalis Grigoropoulos, crew on one of the other five vessels, said the Israelis came down from helicopters and threw ropes from inflatable boats, climbing aboard using teargas and live ammunition.

“We did not resist at all, we couldn’t even if we had wanted to,” he said. “What could we have done against the commandos who climbed aboard? The only thing some people tried was to delay them from getting to the bridge, forming a human shield. They were fired on with plastic bullets and stunned with electric devices.”

Greek activist Dimitris Gielalis, aboard a third vessel, the Sfendoni, gave a similar account. “Suddenly from everywhere we saw inflatables coming at us, and within seconds fully equipped commandos came up on the boat. They came up and used plastic bullets, we had beatings, we had electric shocks, any method we can think of, they used,” he said.

The tough treatment did not end after they were taken into custody in Israel, others said.

“During their interrogation, many of them were badly beaten in front of us,” said Aris Papadokostopoulos.

“There was great mistreatment after our arrest,” added Grigoropoulos.

Israeli MP’s terror on aid ship: Jonathan Cook on IOA

By Jonathan Cook, www.jkcook.net/ – Nazareth,  1 June 2010

‘Plan was to kill activists and deter future convoys’

Haneen Zoabi

An Arab member of the Israeli parliament who was on board the international flotilla that was attacked on Monday as it tried to take humanitarian aid to Gaza accused Israel yesterday of intending to kill peace activists as a way to deter future convoys.
Haneen Zoubi said Israeli naval vessels had surrounded the flotilla’s flagship, the Mavi Marmara, and fired on it a few minutes before commandos abseiled from a helicopter directly above them.
Terrified passengers had been forced off the deck when water was sprayed at them. She said she was not aware of any provocation or resistance by the passengers, who were all unarmed.
She added that within minutes of the raid beginning, three bodies had been brought to the main room on the upper deck in which she and most other passengers were confined. Two had gunshot wounds to the head, in what she suggested had been executions.
Two other passengers slowly bled to death in the room after Israeli soldiers ignored messages in Hebrew she had held up at the window calling for medical help to save them. She said she saw seven other passengers seriously wounded.
“Israel had days to plan this military operation,” she told a press conference in Nazareth. “They wanted many deaths to terrorise us and to send a message that no future aid convoys should try to break the siege of Gaza.”
Released early yesterday by police, apparently because of her parliamentary immunity, she said she was speaking out while most of the hundreds of other peace activists were either being held by Israel for deportation or were under arrest.
Three other leaders of Israel’s large Palestinian Arab minority, including Sheikh Raed Salah, a spiritual leader, were arrested as their ships docked in the southern port of Ashdod. Lawyers said that under Israeli law they could be held and questioned for up to 30 days without being charged.
Contradicting Israeli claims, Ms Zoubi said a search by the soldiers after they took control of the Marmara discovered no arms or other weapons.
It was vital, she added, that the world demand an independent UN inquiry to find out what had happened on the ship rather than allow Israel to carry out a “whitewash” with its own military investigation.
Ms Zoubi spoke as Palestinians inside both Israel and the occupied territories observed a general strike called by their leaders. A statement from the High Follow-Up Committee, the main political body for Israel’s Palestinian citizens, described the raid on the flotilla as “state-sponsored terrorism”.
Demonstrations and marches in most of the main Palestinian towns and villages in Israel passed off quietly. Local analysts described the mood as angry but subdued, not least because of the openly hostile climate that has developed towards Palestinian citizens since crackdowns on their protests during the Israeli attack on Gaza 18 months ago.
However, police were reported to have been put on high alert, with thousands of extra officers drafted into the north, where most Palestinian citizens live.
On Monday, clashes between protesters and police broke out close to the al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City and in the northern town of Umm al Fahm after false rumours circulated that Sheikh Salah, the leader of Israel’s main Islamic Movement, had been killed in the Israeli naval operation.
Even before the attack on the flotilla, the country’s Palestinian minority, a fifth of the population, had been braced for a backlash from the government and Jewish public for its leaders’ participation in the flotilla. As the ships set sail, Ynet, Israel’s most popular news website, had asked whether Ms Zoubi was an “MP in the service of Hamas”.
But faced with the severe diplomatic fall-out from Israel’s killing of peace activists, Israel’s Palestinian leaders warned that they were likely to come under even fiercer criticism in coming days.
Yesterday right-wing parties launched their first attacks on Ms Zoubi, demanding the revocation of her immunity and her expulsion from the parliament. Danny Danon, a member of the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, called for her to be “tried for treason”.
In her statement on the attack, Ms Zoubi said that at 4am on Monday she had seen at least 14 Israeli boats surround their ship 130km out at sea, in international waters.
She said the passengers had been gripped with fear at the noise and confusion as the commandos abseiled on to the deck. “I did not believe we were going to survive more than five minutes,” she said.
Taleb al Sana, another Arab MP, supported Ms Zoubi’s contention that Israeli claims that the commandos shot only at the passengers’ legs were false. “I have visited the wounded in hospital and they all have shot wounds to the head and body,” he said.
Adalah, a legal centre for Israel’s Arab minority, said nine lawyers had been given limited access yesterday afternoon to the hundreds of activists detained in the southern city of Beersheva and were trying to take testimonies “in very difficult circumstances”.
Its lawyers and human rights groups were also trying to track down who had been injured and where they being treated.
“Our view is that Israel is intentionally trying to obstruct this work and is enforcing an information blackout,” said Gaby Rubin, a spokeswoman for Adalah.

EDITOR: From the Horse’s Mouth

He is right, below, only he did not mention that Israel has become a burden to all living humans, a burden we no longer wish to carry.

Mossad chief: Israel gradually becoming burden on U.S.: Haaretz

Meir Dagan says Israel has turned from an asset to a burden; Senior IDF officer says the IDF didn’t sabotage a Gaza aid ship in bid to avoid humanitarian crisis.
Dagan said that the U.S. government has recently examined the possibility of coercing a settlement on Israel and the Palestinians, but retreated from the idea after realizing it would not lead to a peace agreement.
Meanwhile, a senior Israel Defense Forces officer also spoke at the committee meeting on Tuesday, explaining the details of the IDF’s operation on the Gaza flotilla on Monday.

He said that the army had decided against sabotaging a ship in the Gaza flotilla at the center of Monday’s deadly clashes, out of fear that the vessel would be stranded in the middle of the ocean and at risk of a humanitarian crisis.

The flotilla, carrying tons of aid, had set sail from Turkey on Sunday, with the intention of breaking Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip. Israel said Monday that it had repeatedly asked the convoy to turn back, and offered to deliver the aid via land, both of which were rejected by the convoy. Israel Navy troops boarded five of the six ships without incident before dawn Monday, but clashes erupted on the sixth boat, and nine passengers were killed.

During his briefing on the operation to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Colonel Itzik Turgeman hinted that the IDF had sabotaged the engines of the other five ships, saying that “they took care of them.”

He also noted that soldiers found pistols in the hands of two of the activists who were killed, along with empty casings.
Turgeman said that at 4:20 A.M. local time Monday, IDF troops had observed the Mavi Marmara and as the deck seemed quiet, assessed that the passengers on board were sleeping. In reality, the activists were waiting for the soldiers armed with clubs and other weapons.
The committee also heard further details about the naval operation, including that the officer in charge had photographed the head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, and sent the photo to Israel in order to refute rumors that he had been wounded or killed during the clashes. Turgeman also said that Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zoabi had tended the wounded on the ship.

EDITOR: The Only Piratical Jewish Democracy in the Middle East Speaks

For those not acquainted with Israeli ‘democracy’, which is realy a mix of Jewish theocracy and an Ethnocracy, please read the piece below. Enjoy.

Likud MK to Arab party counterpart: Go to Gaza, you traitor: Haaretz

Heated debate erupts in Knesset over Gaza flotilla; Miri Regev from Likud tells Hanin Zoabi: ‘Go to Gaza, you traitor… We don’t need Trojan horses in the Knesset.’
Stark confrontations erupted in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday between Knesset members and MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad),, after she took part in the Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zoabi (left) and Likud MK Miri Regev (right).

MK Miri Regev (Likud) said Zoabi is “responsible for a double crime: Joining terrorists, and a moral crime against the state of Israel.” Regev then called at her in Arabic: “Go to Gaza, you traitor.”
“She sat here over a year ago and pledged allegiance to the state of Israel and its laws,” Regev claimed. “I have no intention of stifling free speech, but in the case of MK Zoabi – it is not freedom of speech. The Gaza flotilla was a terrorist flotilla and MK Zoabi needs to be punished. We don’t need Trojan horses in the Knesset.”

Hadash-Ta’al MK Mohammed Barake called the Israeli government “a gang of pirates” during the discussion, saying “you are crazy – you swim against the world and harm your nation, driving it down the drain.”
“The two people responsible for the crime ran out of the room,” said Barake regarding Netanyahu and Barak. “We stand behind our friend Mohammed Zeidan, the head of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, and of course our friend MK Hanin Zoabi, we see their acts as noble deeds.”
In response, MK Regev yelled at Barke “hypocrite, traitor.” MK Ben Ari (National Union) also confronted Barake calling: “Where is Gilad Shalit? Traitor, your day will come.”
A number of Knesset members announced their intention to demand an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the violent confrontations during the IDF’s raid on the Gaza aid convoy.


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