Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Privileged Slander: Why the Media Laps Up The Anti-Israel Lying Campaign

By Barry Rubin,Sunday,June27,2010

Israel is subject daily to scores of false claims and slanders that receive a remarkable amount of credibility in Western media, academic, and intellectual circles even when no proof is offered.Palestinian groups (including the Gaza and Palestinian Authority regimes), associated local and allied foreign non-government organizations, Western radical and anti-Israel groups, and politically committed journalists are eager to act as propaganda agents making up false stories or transmitting them without serious thought or checking.Others have simply defined the Palestinians as the “victims” and “underdogs” while Israel is the “villain” and “oppressor.”

Yet truth remains truth; academic and journalist standards are supposed to apply.While regular journalists may ask for an official Israeli reaction to such stories the undermanned government agencies are deluged by hundreds of these stories, and committed to checking out seriously each one. Thus, the Israeli government cannot keep up with the flow of lies.

So the key question is to understand the deliberateness of this anti-Israel propaganda and evaluating the credibility of the sources.An important aspect of this is to understand that Israel is a decent, democratic country with a free media that is energetic about exploring any alleged wrongdoing and a fair court system that does the same.

To demonize Israel into a monstrous, murderous state—which is often done—makes people believe any negative story.Some of these are big false stories—the alleged killing of Muhammad al-Dura and the supposed Jenin massacre—others are tiny. Some—like the claim Israel was murdering Palestinians to steal their organs-- get into the main Western newspapers while others only make it into smaller and non-English ones.

Taken together, this campaign of falsification is creating a big wave not only of anti-Israel sentiment but of antisemitism on a Medieval scale, simply the modern equivalent of claims that the Jews poisoned wells, spread Bubonic Plague, or murdered children to use their blood for Passover matzohs.Come to think of it even those claims are still in circulation. Indeed, on June 8, the Syrian representative at the UN Human Rights Council (oh, the irony!) claimed in a speech that Israeli children are taught to extol blood-drinking.

No Western delegate attacked the statement.Here are three actual examples of well-educated Westerners believing such modern legends reported to me recently by colleagues:--A former classmate, one told me, claimed that the Palestinians are living in death camps, being starved, etc. Asked to provide facts and provided with evidence to the contrary, he could provide no real examples. Finally, he remarked, `The truth is always somewhere in the middle.’”

--Hundreds of American college professors signed a petition claiming that Israel was supposedly about to throw hundreds of thousands of Palestinians out of the West Bank though there was zero evidence of any such intention and, of course, nothing ever happened.

--A British writer of some fame claimed, on the basis of an alleged single conversation with a questionable source, that Israel was preparing gas chambers for the mass murder of Palestinians. When asked if she was really claiming this would happen, she stated that it wasn’t going to happen but only because people like her had sounded the alarm to prevent it.

And what of the accusations of genocide contained in an article by sensationalist Israeli reporter Uzi Mahnaimi (even though his stories almost always prove to be wrong the Sunday Times never learns) and the respected Marie Colvin's November 1998 in The Sunday Times reporting Israel was attempting to build an "ethno-bomb" containing a biological agent that could specifically target genetic traits present amongst Arab populations?

Or the Guardian's more recent distortion of documentation to claim that Israel was selling nuclear weapons to South Africa?There is no limit. When stories are proven wrong, the damage remains, apologies are non-existent or muted, and no lesson is learned because the same process is soon repeated. (In the Guardian, it is repeated not only on a daily basis but sometimes several times a day!) But perhaps readers could learn to disregard what they have repeatedly seen has been untrue?

Here is one example plucked from today’s mail. The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry claim Israel has seized seven oxygen machines intended for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and paid for by the Norwegian government. It said that a protest was being made to Norway. The story was picked up by several European newspapers. No evidence or specifics—what Israeli agency held them up? What dates? What hospitals were these for?--was provided.Note, as in so many of these stories, the Israeli goal is said to be murder pure and simple.

The message conveyed is: What kind of people would behave this way? The Israelis (or Jews in general) not only don't deserve to have a state, they don't even deserve to live. Wiping them off the planet would be doing the world a favor. Hmm, where have we heard this before?Asked to look into the oxygen machine story, an Israeli official did so and pointed out that there are no controls over such imports into the West Bank so there would be no basis for holding up anything going there. As for Gaza, those directly involved in the process of sending in aid note that no applications to import such machines has been filed, there is no record of any such machines arriving, and thus nothing had been held up.In short, the story is completely false, presuming that the Palestinian Authority health ministry won't provide documents and specifics.

But that isn't going to happen as it will just be on to the next false story, hoping for a bigger media response.Having seen so many such stories disproved over the years—as Israel’s credibility, while not perfect, has compared favorably with that of any Western democratic state—one might think a lesson would be learned. But as the great American journalist Eric Severeid remarked many years ago, nothing can protect someone when the media sets out deliberately to misunderstand and report falsely about them.In addition, they should only repeat, report, or believe stories based on credible identified sources citing specific names, dates, and details.

In addition, stories or claims should be internally logical and make sense given known facts. The idea that Israel enjoys killing or injuring Palestinians for fun does not meet that test.Honorable journalists and scholars should take note and approach these false stories more skeptically.

They should also reexamine their stereotypes and remember that their political views should be kept as much as possible out of their professional work.Not so long ago, the above points would have been taken for granted as the most basic and obvious principles. They need to be relearned.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hamas Hoodwink Media with Free Gaza Flotilla

'Humanitarian' Stunt Reinforces Tyrannical Regime at Expense of
Palestinian People'

The "Free Gaza" flotilla of nine passenger and cargo ships heading towards
the Gaza coast "only serves to reinforce the tyrannical rule of Hamas at the
expense of ordinary Palestinian people," says Rev. Malcolm Hedding of
the International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem

The highly-profile sea convoy is expected to reach the waters off Gaza on
Saturday where the Israeli navy is preparing to use force to board the
vessels and steer them to the nearby port of Ashdod for unloading.

More than 1,000 pro-Palestinian activists and journalists from 40 countries
are aboard the vessels trying to draw attention to the Israeli blockade of
the narrow Hamas-run coastal strip that was set in place in the wake of the
jihadist militia's violent takeover of Gaza in the summer of 2007. The cargo
includes concrete for Hamas bunkers in order to strengthen their
stranglehold over the lives of ordinary Palestinians.

"Taking 10,000 tons of supplies to Gaza by sea is more about demonizing
Israel than helping the Palestinian people," says Rev. Hedding, Executive
Director of the ICEJ in Jerusalem. "Israel has been transferring more than
15,000 real tons of aid to the Gaza Strip every week for since the blockade
began. That's more than a million tons since January 2009 – one for every
man woman and child in Gaza.

"Let's be honest, the real aim of this stunt is to blame Israel for a
crisis in Gaza that has been caused by Hamas. Few journalists have enough
integrity to admit that Gaza's markets are full, and the governing elite
enjoy immense wealth and prestige.

"There is no shortage of food in the Gaza Strip. There is a shortage of

"What's more the aid convoy is actually smuggling in building supplies that
will directly help Hamas wage war against Israel. *Not only does the State
of Israel have the right to intercept this convoy, it has a moral and legal
duty to do so under international law.* If the Palestinians want to break
the blockade – they need to lay down their weapons and seek peace."


Humanitarian Aid Despite Hamas Attacks

Well over a million tons of humanitarian supplies entered Gaza
from Israel over the last 18 months equaling nearly a ton of aid for every
man, woman and child in Gaza.

Food and supplies are shipped from Israel to Gaza six days a week.
These items were channeled through aid organizations or via Gaza’s private

Large quantities of essential food items like baby formula, wheat,
meat, dairy products and other perishables are transferred daily and weekly
to Gaza.

Fertilizers that cannot be used to make explosives are shipped
into the Strip regularly, as are potato seeds, eggs for reproduction, bees,
and equipment for the flower industry.

In 2009 alone, more than 738,000 tons of food and supplies entered
Gaza. Pictures in local newspapers show local markets aplenty with fruit,
vegetables, cheese, spices, bread and meat to feed 1.4 million Gazans.

In the first quarter of 2010 (January-March), 94,500 tons of
supplies were transferred in 3,676 trucks to the Strip: 48,000 tons of food
products; 40,000 tons of wheat; 2,760 tons of rice; 1,987 tons of clothes
and footwear; 553 tons of milk powder and baby food.

In a typical week the IDF coordinates the transfer of hundreds of
trucks containing about 15,000 tons of supplies. During the week of May 18,
2010 there were more than 100 truckloads of animal food, 65 trucks of fruit
and vegetables; 22 truckloads of sugar, some 27 truckloads of meat, poultry
and fish; and 40 trucks of dairy products.

At holiday times, Israel increases transfers. During the Muslim
holy days of Ramadhan and Eid al-Adha, Israel shipped some 11,000 heads of
cattle into the Strip.

*2. Maintaining Medical Aid for All in Need*

*The Medical Corridor:*

No Palestinian is denied medical care in Israel. However, if the
Hamas regime does not grant permits for medical care, the Israeli government
can do nothing to help the patient. Israel will facilitate all cases of
medical treatments from Gaza, unless the patient is a known perpetrator of

Israel maintains a corridor for the transfer of medical patients out of
Gaza, and about 200 medical staff members go through the crossings every

Israel helps coordinate the transfer of Jordanian doctors into

In 2009 alone, 10,544 patients and their companions left the Gaza
Strip for medical treatment in Israel. Moreover, there were 382 emergency
evacuations from Gaza for medical purposes.

The Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem donates $3 million in aid annually to treat Palestinians in Israel.

Following fears of a swine flu outbreak, three Israeli hospitals
were assigned to treat cases in the Gaza Strip and 44,500 immunizations were
transferred to the Strip.

Since 2005, Palestinians exploited medical care arrangements more
than 20 times to carry out terror attacks.

*Medical Equipment:*

In 2009, app. 4,883 tons of medical equipment and medicine were brought

In the first quarter of 2010, Israel shipped 152 trucks of medical
supplies and equipment into Gaza.

A new CAT scan machine was recently shipped to Gaza.

In 2009, Israel coordinated the transfer of medical supplies for
the disabled including wheelchairs, crutches and first aid kits. Other
equipment shipped to Gaza include heart-monitors, baby feeding tubes, dental
equipment, medical books, ambulance emergency equipment, artificial limbs
and infant sleeping bags.

In a typical week (in May 2010), some 37 truckloads of hygiene products
were shipped to Gaza through the land crossings.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Support Israel: if it goes down, we all go down"

José María Aznar The Times June 17 2010

Anger over Gaza is a distraction. We cannot forget that Israel is the West’s best ally in a turbulent region

For far too long now it has been unfashionable in Europe to speak up for Israel. In the wake of the recent incident on board a ship full of anti-Israeli activists in the Mediterranean, it is hard to think of a more unpopular cause to champion.
In an ideal world, the assault by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara would not have ended up with nine dead and a score wounded. In an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship. In an ideal world, no state, let alone a recent ally of Israel such as Turkey, would have sponsored and organised a flotilla whose sole purpose was to create an impossible situation for Israel: making it choose between giving up its security policy and the naval blockade, or risking the wrath of the world.

In our dealings with Israel, we must blow away the red mists of anger that too often cloud our judgment. A reasonable and balanced approach should encapsulate the following realities: first, the state of Israel was created by a decision of the UN. Its legitimacy, therefore, should not be in question. Israel is a nation with deeply rooted democratic institutions. It is a dynamic and open society that has repeatedly excelled in culture, science and technology.
Second, owing to its roots, history, and values, Israel is a fully fledged Western nation. Indeed, it is a normal Western nation, but one confronted by abnormal circumstances.

Uniquely in the West, it is the only democracy whose very existence has been questioned since its inception. In the first instance, it was attacked by its neighbours using the conventional weapons of war. Then it faced terrorism culminating in wave after wave of suicide attacks. Now, at the behest of radical Islamists and their sympathisers, it faces a campaign of delegitimisation through international law and diplomacy.

Sixty-two years after its creation, Israel is still fighting for its very survival.
Punished with missiles raining from north and south, threatened with destruction by an Iran aiming to acquire nuclear weapons and pressed upon by friend and foe, Israel, it seems, is never to have a moment’s peace.

For years, the focus of Western attention has understandably been on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. But if Israel is in danger today and the whole region is slipping towards a worryingly problematic future, it is not due to the lack of understanding between the parties on how to solve this conflict. The parameters of any prospective peace agreement are clear, however difficult it may seem for the two sides to make the final push for a settlement.

The real threats to regional stability, however, are to be found in the rise of a radical Islamism which sees Israel’s destruction as the fulfillment of its religious destiny and, simultaneously in the case of Iran, as an expression of its ambitions for regional hegemony. Both phenomena are threats that affect not only Israel, but also the wider West and the world at large.

The core of the problem lies in the ambiguous and often erroneous manner in which too many Western countries are now reacting to this situation. It is easy to blame Israel for all the evils in the Middle East. Some even act and talk as if a new understanding with the Muslim world could be achieved if only we were prepared to sacrifice the Jewish state on the altar. This would be folly.
Israel is our first line of defense in a turbulent region that is constantly at risk of descending into chaos; a region vital to our energy security owing to our overdependence on Middle Eastern oil; a region that forms the front line in the fight against extremism. If Israel goes down, we all go down.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why I Defend Israel

Bernard-Henri Lévy June 7, 2010

Of course, my position hasn't changed.

As I said the day it happened, in a fierce debate with one of Netanyahu's ministers in Tel Aviv, I continue to find the manner in which the assault against the Mavi Marmara and its flotilla was effected off the Gaza coast as "stupid."
Had I had the least remaining doubt, the inspection of the seventh boat, carried out without a trace of violence this Saturday morning, would have convinced me there were other ways to operate to have kept the tactical and media trap set for Israel by the provocateurs of Free Gaza from snapping shut, in a spilling of blood.
That said and repeated, the flood of hypocrisy, bad faith, and, ultimately, DISINFORMATION that seems to have just waited for this pretext to flow into the breach and sweep across the media of the world, as is the case every time the Jewish State slips up and commits an error, is by no means acceptable.

The catch-phrase trotted out ad nauseum, of the blockade imposed "by Israel," when the most elementary honesty requires one to make it clear that it has been undertaken by Israel and by Egypt, conjointly, on both borders of the two countries that share frontiers with Gaza, and this with the thinly-disguised blessing of all the moderate Arab regimes, can only be described as DISINFORMATION. The latter, of course, are only too happy to see someone else contain the influence of this armed extension, this advanced base and, perhaps one day, this aircraft-carrier of Iran in the region.

The very idea of a "total and merciless" blockade (Laurent Joffrin's editorial in the June 5th edition of the French daily, Liberation) "Taking hostage, the humanity [of Gaza] in danger" (former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin in Le Monde, of the same date) constitutes DISINFORMATION. We mustn't tire of reminding others the blockade concerns only arms and the material necessary to manufacture them. It does not prevent the daily arrival, via Israel, of between a hundred and a hundred and twenty trucks laden with foodstuffs, medical supplies, and humanitarian goods of every kind; humanity is not "in danger" in Gaza, and it is a lie to state that people are "dying of hunger" in the streets of Gaza City.

It is debatable whether a military blockade is the right option to weaken and, one day, bring down the fascislamist government of Ismaïl Haniyeh or not. But the fact that Israelis who cover the checkpoints between the territories night and day are the first to make the elementary but essential distinction between the regime (that they seek to isolate) and the population (that they are careful not to confuse with the regime, even less to penalize them since, once again, aid has never stopped passing into Gaza) is indisputable.

DISINFORMATION: The utter silence, throughout the world, about Hamas' incredible attitude now that the flotilla has carried out its symbolic duty, which was to catch the Jewish State out and relaunch, as never before, the process of demonization.

In other words, now that the Israelis have carried out their inspection and mean to take the cargo of aid to those for whom it is supposedly intended, Hamas' attitude in blocking that aid at Kerem Shalom checkpoint, allowing it to slowly rot, is met with silence. To hell with any merchandise that has passed through the hands of Jewish customs! Chuck out the "toys" that brought tears to the eyes of good European souls but became impure because they spent too many long hours in the Israeli port of Ashdod! Gaza's children having been nothing more than a human shield for the Islamist gang who took power by force three years ago, or cannon fodder or media vignettes.

Their games or their wishes are the last thing anyone worries about there, but who says so? Who shows the slightest indignation? Liberation recently ran an awful headline, "Israel, Pirate State," which if words still mean anything, can only contribute to the delegitimization of the Hebrew State. Who will dare to explain that, if there is a hostage taker, one who coldly and unscrupulously takes advantage of people's suffering and, in particular, that of the children -- in sum, a pirate -- in Gaza, it is not Israel, but Hamas?

DISINFORMATION once again, laughable but, given the strategic context, catastrophic DISINFORMATION: The speech at Konyan, in central Turkey, of a Prime Minister who has anyone who dares to evoke the genocide of the Armenians in public thrown in prison, but who has the nerve, there, before thousands of fired-up demonstrators yelling antisemitic slogans, to denounce Israeli "State terrorism."

Still more DISINFORMATION: The lament of the useful idiots who, before Israel, fell into the clutches of these strange "humanitarians" who are, in the case of the Turkish IHH, Jihad enthusiasts, anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish apocalyptical fanatics, men and women some of whom, just days before the attack, expressed their wish to "die as martyrs." (the Guardian, June 3rd, Al Aqsa TV, May 30th). How can a writer of the calibre of Sweden's Henning Mankell allow himself to be taken advantage of this way? When he tells us he is thinking of forbidding the translation of his books into Hebrew, how can he really forget the sacrosanct distinction between a stupid or wrong-headed government and the masses of those who do not identify with it and whom he associates, nonetheless, in the same insane plan for a boycott? How can a chain of cinemas ("Utopia") in France decide to cancel the release of a film, A Cinq heures de Paris, in the same way, simply because its author, Leonid Prudovsky, is an Israeli citizen?

DISINFORMERS, finally, the batallions of Tartuffes who regret that Israel declines the demands for an international inquiry when the truth is, once again, so much simpler and more logical: What Israel refuses is an inquiry requested by a Council of Human Rights of the United Nations, where those great democrats, the Cubans, Pakistanis, and other Iranians reign. What Israel does not want is a procedure of the kind that resulted in the famous Goldstone report
commissioned, after the war in Gaza, by the same sympathetic Commission whose five judges, four of whom had never made a secret of their militant anti-Zionism, wrapped up 575 pages of interviews of Palestinian fighters and civilians conducted (an absolute and unprecedented heresy in this kind of work) under the watchful eye of Hamas political commissioners in a matter of mere days.

What Israel could not stand for is the masquerade of international justice such a botched inquiry -- whose conclusions would be known in advance and would only serve to haul, as usual and perfectly unilaterally, the sole and unique democracy of the region into the defendants' dock -- would be.

One last word. For a man like me, someone who takes pride in having helped invent, with others, the principle of this kind of symbolic action (the boat for Vietnam; the march for the survival of Cambodia in 1979; various and sundry anti-totalitarian boycotts and, more recently, the deliberate violation of the Sudan border to break the blockade that hid the perpetration of the massacres of Darfur), in other words, for a militant of humanitarian interference and the media fuss that goes with it, this pathetic saga has something of a caricature, a gloomy grimace of destiny. But, all the more reason not to give in. All the more reason to refuse this confusion of genres, this inversion of signs and values. All the more reason to resist this hijacking of meaning that places the very spirit of a policy conceived to counter the intent of barbarians at their service. Destitution of the anti-totalitarian dialectic and its mimetic reversals.

Confusion of an era when we combat democracies as though they were dictatorships or fascist States. This maelstrom of hatred and madness is about Israel. But it also concerns, as we should be well aware, some of the most precious things established in the movement of ideas in the last thirty years, especially on the left, and these are thus imperiled. A word to the wise is sufficient.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

'Peace convoy'? This was an Islamist terror ambush

Melanie Phillips


As the international community rushes to condemn Israel for the violence on board one of the ships in the Gaza flotilla, which left a reported 10 people dead and dozens injured, it is now obvious that the real purpose of this ‘armada of hate’ was not merely the further delegitimisation of Israel but something far worse.

Gaza’s markets are full of produce, thousands of tons of supplies are travelling into Gaza every week through the Israeli-controlled border crossings, and there is no starvation or humanitarian crisis. It was always obvious that the flotilla was not the humanitarian exercise it was said to be.
Here is footage of the IDF offering to dock the Marmara -- the main flotilla ship -- at Ashdod and transfer its supplies and being told ‘Negative, negative, our destination is Gaza’.

And now we can see that the real purpose of this invasion -- backed by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a radical Islamic organization outlawed by Israel in 2008 for allegedly serving as a major component in Hamas’s global fund-raising machine -- was to incite a violent uprising in the Middle East and across the Islamic world. As I write, reports are coming in of Arab rioting in Jerusalem.

The notion – uncritically swallowed by the lazy, ignorant and bigoted BBC and other western media – that the flotilla organisers are ‘peace activists’ is simply ludicrous.
This research by the Danish Institute for International Studies details the part played by the IHH in Islamist terror in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. According to the French magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere testifying at the Seattle trial of would-be al Qaeda Millenium bomber Ahmed Ressamin, the IHH had played ‘[a]n important role’ in the al Qaeda Millenium bomb plot targeting Los Angeles airport. It was also involved in weapons trafficking, and played in addition a key role in galvanizing anti-Western sentiment among Turkish Muslims in the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq. ‘Peace activists’ these people most certainly are not.

And this flotilla was but the latest jihadi attack, deploying the Islamists’ signature strategy of violence and media manipulation.
Here from MEMRI (via Just Journalism) is a clip showing the hysteria against Israel being whipped up on board before the ships set sail, with the chanting of intifada songs about ‘Khaybar’ – the iconic slaughter of Jews by Muslims in the 7th century which is used as a rallying cry to kill the Jews today -- and threats of ‘martyrdom’. This was not merely a propaganda stunt, but a terrorist attack.

This is what the
Jerusalem Post reported earlier today about what happened last night:
According to the IDF, the international activists ‘prepared a lynch’ for the soldiers who boarded the ships at about 2 a.m. Monday morning after calling on them to stop, or follow them to the Ashdod Port several hours earlier.

... Upon boarding the ships, the soldiers encountered fierce resistance from the passengers who were armed with knives, bats and metal pipes. The soldiers used non-lethal measures to disperse the crowd. The activists, according to an IDF report, succeeded in stealing two handguns from soldiers and opened fire, leading to an escalation in violence.

Also in the Jerusalem Post,
David Horowitz wrote:

Benayahu said soldiers, who had been dispatched to block the flotilla because of fears that it was carrying weaponry and other highly dangerous cargo into the Hamas-controlled Strip, were attacked with knives and bars and sharpened metal implements.

Benayahu said two pistols that had been fired were subsequently found aboard the one ship, the Marmara, on which the violence erupted. And, most dramatically, he said that one IDF soldier had his weapon snatched away by one of the ‘peace activists’ on board, that this weapon was then turned against the IDF soldiers, who came under fire, and that they had no choice but to shoot back in self-defense.

... What seems urgent now is to make publicly available footage that shows exactly what did unfold. In early afternoon, video footage screened on Israel’s Channel 2 appeared to show one of those aboard the Marmara stabbing an IDF soldier. Any such footage should have been made available hours earlier. Critically, if footage showing a soldier’s weapon being snatched and turned on the IDF troops exists, it should be broadcast, and the sooner the better.

Some of this footage is now available on the web but much of it is hard to follow: as ever, the Israelis have been far too slow in making the most telling images and information available in comprehensible form (including in English rather than in Hebrew, for heaven’s sake!).
This clip appears to show masked and armed flotilla activists beating Israeli soldiers (although here is the BBC report accompanying that footage, in which the voiceover appears to be claiming, perversely, that the people in masks were Israeli soldiers. That said, the report on Radio Four’s World at One was fair and balanced).

This clip shows an Israeli soldier being stabbed. This IDF clip and this one show attacks on the commandoes including throwing one off the deck, attacking others with a metal pole and a firebomb and an attempted kidnap of another.

It is also becoming clearer as the day wears on that, far from storming the boats in order to attack those on board, the Israelis were hopelessly ill-prepared for the violence they encountered. Israel’s Channel 10 and IDF radio have reported that the Israeli naval commandos were equipped with paint ball rifles to ensure minimum casualties among the flotilla terrorists, with their hand guns to be used only as a last resort. The terrorists tried connecting the steel cables from the overhead helicopters to the boat's antenna, in order to cause the helicopters to crash. Only when the terrorists beat the soldiers with iron rods, stabbed them with knives and tried to lynch them did the soldiers respond. The Israeli commandoes were pushed down stairs, thrown overboard, and shot at.

Here is a report by an Israel army radio reporter on board:
‘The activists had many things ready for an attack on the soldiers,’ Lev-Rom said, ‘including, for instance, a box of 20-30 slingshots with metal balls; these can kill. There were also all sorts of knives and many similar things. These are what they call “cold” weapons, as opposed to live fire. It was quite clear that a lynch had been prepared.’

Lev-Rom said, however, that it appears the army, ‘even though it prepared for many different scenarios, was not ready for this one. The army seems not to have known what type of people were there and what type of weapons they had. It was hard for Israel to conceive that the ship, sponsored by the country of Turkey, would have such weapons. Israel was prepared to deal with anarchists, and instead had to deal with terrorists – that’s the feeling here.’

Here** is an even more vivid account showing how unprepared the Israeli soldiers were:

Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.

However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.

One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other ‘don’t shoot, don’t shoot,’ even though they sustained numerous blows.

The Navy commandoes were prepared to mostly encounter political activists seeking to hold a protest, rather than trained street fighters. The soldiers were told they were to verbally convince activists who offer resistance to give up, and only then use paintballs. They were permitted to use their handguns only under extreme circumstances.

The planned rush towards the vessel’s bridge became impossible, even when a second chopper was brought in with another crew of soldiers. ‘Throw stun grenades,’ shouted Flotilla 13’s commander who monitored the operation. The Navy chief was not too far, on board a speedboat belonging to Flotilla 13, along with forces who attempted to climb into the back of the ship.

The forces hurled stun grenades, yet the rioters on the top deck, whose number swelled up to 30 by that time, kept on beating up about 30 commandoes who kept gliding their way one by one from the helicopter. At one point, the attackers nabbed one commando, wrested away his handgun, and threw him down from the top deck to the lower deck, 30 feet below. The soldier sustained a serious head wound and lost his consciousness.

Only after this injury did Flotilla 13 troops ask for permission to use live fire. The commander approved it: You can go ahead and fire. The soldiers pulled out their handguns and started shooting at the rioters’ legs, a move that ultimately neutralized them. Meanwhile, the rioters started to fire back at the commandoes.

It is becoming ever more clear that Islamist terror attacks like this are fiendishly staged theatrical events in which the western media – and beyond them, western governments -- play an absolutely essential role in the drama. If those media and governments refused to swallow the lies and instead called operations like this and the players behind it for what they actually are, such terrorist operations would not happen. The Islamist strategy of war against Israel is carefully calibrated to deploy the most effective weapon in its armoury in the cause of jihadi violence – the western media. Right on cue, western governments accordingly deliver their own script in condemning the victims of terror for defending themselves. And so, courtesy of the west’s fifth columnists, yet another nail is driven into the west’s own coffin.

Let’s see whether this time the western elites show any signs of waking from their lethal trance.