Seeing your own soldiers getting lynched with knives and crowbars, and thrown onto the ship's deck(10 meters height) while they can do nothing about it is a tough sight, and the force commander deserves a lot of respect for wating until live ammunition was used against his soldiers before ordering to open fire.(to the legs of the protesters btw)
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
Bow before the might of objective inquiry:
On August 23 the ships arrived in Gaza. The Israeli navy did not stop them but both boats had great difficulty with their communications, a problem they blamed on jamming by Israel in an attempt to prevent the human rights watchers from getting to Gaza.Source: WikipediaThe second sailing occurred in late October. The movement's 66-foot yacht, named Dignity, arrived at a Gaza port on October 29. The ship carried 26 activists and medical supplies. Although Israeli officials initially announced that they would stop the ship, a last minute decision was reportedly made to allow the ship to enter Gaza. Among the passengers were 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan and Palestinian Legislative Council member Mustafa Barghouti.
So Israel had allowed such ships to run the blockade before without incident. This changed after the Gaza War, but is there any real reason why it should have changed? Israel certainly has a right to inspect the cargo to insure there are no weapons or other materials, but then that is not what Israel said it was going to do (they indicated the people onboard would be taken to Israel and detained) and it is not what they have done in the past:
On December 29, 2008, Dignity set sail from Cyprus, headed for Gaza, attempting to deliver 3.5 tonnes (3.9 short tons) of medical supplies to its residents. The boat, which was boarded by Caoimhe Butterly, Cynthia McKinney, journalists from Al Jazeera and CNN, three surgeons including Dr. Elena Theoharous, was forced to turn back after being intercepted by Israeli naval vessels off of Gaza. According to The Free Gaza Movement, Israeli warships rammed their vessel then fired machine guns in the water. Israel claims that the boat had failed to respond to Israeli naval radio contact and was attempting to out maneuver the warships when the vessels collided. Not having enough fuel to return to Cyprus, the boat docked in Lebanon severely damaged.Also Hedy Epstein was not on board any of the ships. I doubt any of the notables were on the Turkish ship either. Keep in mind there two U.S. ships, two Greek ships, and one Irish ship and it is likely most of the notables were on board those ships.On June 30, the Israeli Navy commandeered the vessel off the coast of Gaza. The Israeli military later issued a statement saying the boat had attempted to break a blockade of Gaza and was forced to sail to an Israeli port after ignoring a radio message to stay out of Gaza waters. The Spirit of Humanity was towed to Ashdod and the crew was detained pending deportation proceedings. After a security check of the humanitarian supplies, Israel officials promised to deliver them to Gaza by ground. Greta Berlin, a representative of the Free Gaza Movement in Cyprus, said: "We are outraged, they just stole our boat and kidnapped our people." Israeli officials blame the group for the controversy, saying they were looking for confrontation to attract publicity.
The videos getting thrown about should also be seriously questioned. They come from the IDF and ultimately only seem to show part of it, the very beginning. Nothing is shown to actually justify the use of lethal force. Also, we do not know if the IDF acted differently concerning the Turkish ship than the others. Given that the others flew flags from the U.S. or from EU Member States it is quite possible they were much more measured in their treatment of those ships and more aggressive concerning the Turkish ship.
While the Turkish charity that helped sponsor the expedition is known to occasionally be involved with terrorist groups this in no way means their intentions were anything but humanitarian in this case and certainly doesn't equate to the expedition being sponsored by a terrorist group.
Let us consider the circumstances of this event. While the videos shown indicate there was violence from people on the ship it is the kind one often finds in any large protest action, which is what this was. They were launching a protest action against the Israeli blockade of Gaza and had success in the past as Israel did not even stop some past expeditions. So while there was violence it is what one might expect. None of the videos show what sparked the use of live ammunition and the number of casualties causes me to doubt that they merely targeted those who posed a serious threat. Even according to the IDF only three pistols were taken from soldiers and the small number of injured on the IDF side does not seem to warrant the current figures for how many died. To be clear the IDF were not helpless or outnumbered. Undoubtedly they could have restrained most of these people without the use of lethal force.
While I think they had a legitimate claim to some self-defense the soldiers probably overreacted resulting in an unnecessary loss of life. Labeling these protesters as "thugs" and various other accusations to portray them as violent instigators is just the typical apologetics in these cases of overzealous restraint of violent protest.
Source: Today's ZamanMain opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Bursa deputy Onur Öymen, himself a former diplomat, says Turkey should have deployed war ships to accompany the aid convoy.
“There were statements that Israel was going to resort to violence to stop the flotilla. What did Turkey in light of these statements? Did Turkey take an initiative considering the possibility of such an attack?” Öymen asked in an interview with Today's Zaman. Stating that the current situation shows that Turkey did not take necessary steps to protect these ships, he added that what is upsetting is that the government neither deterred Israel from an intervention nor properly protected the convoy.
So if the opposition had its way this could have been a far more serious incident and much more damaging to Turkish-Israeli relations. You really need to educate yourself on Turkish politics. The CHP's roots go back to Ataturk who built Turkey as it is today by ethnically cleansing and massacring the Greeks who weren't exterminated by the Ottoman genocide. Secularists in Turkey are actually even more likely to align themselves against Israel and the West. Erdogan may be hostile to Israel, but that is something which has developed over time as a combination of Israel's actions and Turkey's improving relations with Iran. The AKP is more pro-Western than the secularists and that just shows the seriousness of their geopolitical shift away from the West. Israel should begin counting Turkey among its enemies.
"For what is Evil but Good-tortured by its own hunger and thirst?"
- Khalil Gibran
I will let the video speak for itself. The soldiers did not start the violence.
YouTube - Demonstrators Use Violence Against Israeli Navy Soldiers Attempting to Board Ship
The ghost of Jack Kevorkian for President's Physician: 2016
There is no such thing as a “Natural Born Dual-Citizen“.
Originally Posted by PogueMoran
I didnt have to read the article to tell you that you cant read.
George Monboit "Neoliberalism is inherently incompatible with democracy, as people will always rebel against the austerity and fiscal tyranny it prescribes. Something has to give, and it must be the people. This is the true road to serfdom: disinventing democracy on behalf of the elite."