Bloody clash off Gaza coast leaves 10 dead

posted at 10:43 am on May 31, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The preferred media headline so far this morning has been “Israelis kill 10 peace activists in Gaza flotilla,” but that’s not quite what happened.  The IDF attempted to head off a number of boats attempting to run the blockade on Gaza, a blockade necessitated by Hamas’ repeated attacks on Israel.  They boarded the lead ship by helicopter, expecting to either convince the occupants to turn back or to commandeer the boat themselves.  What they didn’t expect was to find armed “peace activists,” and a bloody melee ensued:

The left-wing activists on board a flotilla carrying aid to the Gaza Strip tried to lynch the Israel Navy commandos who stormed their Turkish-flagged ship early Monday, Israel Defense Forces sources told Haaretz.

The commandos, who intercepted the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara after it ignored orders to turn back, said they encountered violent resistance from activists armed with sticks and knives. According to the soldiers, the activists threw one of their comrades from the upper deck to the lower after they boarded.

Activists attacked a commando with iron bars as he descended onto the ship from a helicopter, the army said. The IDF said its rules of engagement allowed troops to open fire in what it called a “life-threatening situation”.

The soldiers said they were forced to open fire after the activists struck one of their comrades in the head and trampled on him. A senior field commander ordered the soldiers then to respond with fire, a decision which the commandos said received full backing the military echelon.

At least 10 people were killed and several more wounded after the Israel Navy troops opened fire on the six-ship flotilla. Unofficial reports put the death toll at between 14 and 20.

Ynet has a more detailed timeline of the confrontation:

A few minutes before the takeover attempt aboard the Marmara got underway, the operation commander was told that 20 people were waiting on the deck where a helicopter was to deploy the first team of the elite Flotilla 13 unit. The original plan was to disembark on the top deck, and from there rush to the vessel’s bridge and order the Marmara’s captain to stop.

Officials estimated that passengers will show slight resistance, and possibly minor violence; for that reason, the operation’s commander decided to bring the helicopter directly above the top deck. The first rope that soldiers used in order to descend down to the ship was wrested away by activists, most of them Turks, and tied to an antenna with the hopes of bringing the chopper down. However, Flotilla 13 fighters decided to carry on.

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.

Ynet notes that the IDF should learn two lessons from this. First, paintball rifles won’t work against so-called peace activists when they’re armed and inclined to fight. That’s probably even more true in an in-close confrontation, such as on a boat. Paintballs sting, as anyone who has played war games with them attest, but once antagonists understand that’s all they do, they won’t provide any deterrent value at all.

The second lesson Ynet takes is that the soldiers should have considered the fact that their arrival was hardly a surprise and planned accordingly, but really, the IDF and the Israelis were foolish to assume that these activists had non-violent intentions in the first place. The demonstration was in support of Hamas, hardly a group dedicated to non-violence and peaceful coexistence. That assumption put their soldiers’ lives at risk unnecessarily and allowed planners to eschew a more muscular entry to the boat — which could have saved lives on both sides of the equation with an initial use of overwhelming force.

The world will blame Israel for this, but the blockade exists to keep weapons out of the hands of Hamas, which continually attacks Israel despite the latter’s withdrawal from Gaza years ago. It’s a legitimate and necessary military response to Hamas’ terrorism, and the flotilla knowingly sailed itself into a military conflict — and carried arms into it as well. That makes them legitimate antagonists in the conflict and fair game for Israeli’s military.

Update: Say, it’s probably a good thing the IDF had its video cameras rolling:

Update II: Via Cubachi, the group behind the flotilla has a history of supporting violent jihad and anti-Westernism:

Prominent among the coalition organizations participating in the aid flotilla scheduled to arrive in the Gaza Strip in the coming days is the Turkish IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi, IHH, “humanitarian relief fund”). It is a radical Islamic organization which was established in 1992 and formally registered in Istanbul in 1995. It is headed by Bülent Yildirim.  …

In practice, besides its legitimate humanitarian activities, IHH supports radical Islamic terrorist networks. Inrecent years it has prominently supported Hamas (through the Union of Good). In addition, the ITIC has reliable information that in the past IHH provided logistical support and funding to global jihad networks.

IHH’s orientation is radical-Islamic and anti-American, and it is close to the Muslim Brotherhood(Hamas’ parent movement). IHH supports Hamas and does not hide the connection between them. Hamas also considers its links to IHH and Turkey to be extremely important, and regards Turkey as a target audience for its propaganda network (Palestine-Information, Hamas’ main website, has a Turkish version, and as of the end of 2009, the website of its military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has also appeared in Turkish).

In recent years, especially since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, IHH has supported Hamas’ propaganda campaigns by organizing public support conferences in Turkey. At those conferences, which featured the participation of senior IHH figures, the heads of IHH expressed their support for Hamas and its strategy (including the armed struggle it favors), in defiance of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas’ rival.

IHH is a member of the Union of Good, an umbrella organization of more than 50 Islamic funds and foundations around the globe, which channels money into Hamas institutions in the Palestinian Authority-administered territories. As a Union of Good member IHH has connections with other worldwide Islamic funds and foundations which support Hamas. Among other things, the support includes initiating and conducting joint projects whose objectives are to bolster the de facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip and Hamas’ civilian infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, which also supports terrorism (the infrastructure is under pressure from the Palestinian Authority security services). IHH, which has become an important factor in global fund-raising for Hamas, transfers significant amounts of money to Hamas institutions in Judea and Samaria, including the Islamic Charitable Society in Hebron and the Al-Tadhamun Charitable Society in Nablus (Hamas’ two central “charitable societies,” both outlawed by Israel).

IHH operates widely throughout the Gaza Strip. To promote its activities it opened a branch there, headed by Muhammad Kaya, who recently stated that IHH intended to send other aid flotillas to the Gaza Strip (See below). In January 2008 an IHH delegation met with Ahmed Bahar, a senior Hamas activist who is acting chairman of Hamas’ council in the Gaza Strip. At the meeting the delegation revealed the extent of the aid it had given Hamas in the Gaza Strip during the preceding year and said it intended to double the sum in the future. In January 2009 IHH head Bülent Yildirim met with Khaled Mashaal, chairman of Hamas’ political bureau in Damascus, and Mashaal thanked him for the support of his organization.

Israel expelled IHH from Gaza in 2008, along with 35 other organizations associated with the Union of Good.

Update III: And here we have a “peace activist” repeatedly stabbing an IDF soldier, via Orit Sklar on Twitter:

Yup, a really good thing the IDF brought along its video cameras …

Update V: A few commenters point out that this took place in international waters, not in Gaza’s waters, and therefore consider Israel’s actions illegitimate.  However, the flotilla had already announced their intention to run the blockade, making them belligerent and giving the Israelis a reason to interdict them.  And are we to believe that the “peace activists” would have surrendered peacefully had this action taken them within the 12-mile limit?  I see no reason to believe that; indeed, it looks as though they were prepared for armed confrontation.

Update VI: Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters takes a look at the news coverage of the incident.


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It seems very appropriate today to remember the troops of the USS Liberty, and the US sailors murdered by Israel.

How Israel claimed they did not know it was a US ship, despite their pilots being heard on radio confirming it was flying US flags. How Israel paid only a pittance to the families of those killed, and to the injured survivors.

Extra Special Prosecutor on May 31, 2010 at 1:50 PM



I believe the reason for the attack on the USS Liberty was a lack of coordination between the Israeli Navy and the Israeli Air Force. The Israeli Air Force attack, to help out their Navy, was a friendly fire incident. Plenty of historical precedents, as Air Force pilots of every nation tend to have poor ship ID skills. The US flag was not a factor in warding off the attacks. 

The best book, and one that convinced me after years of thinking otherwise, is the very well researched “The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Israeli Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship”. by Jay Cristol (2002). ISBN 1-57488-414-X. Jay Cristol is a former US naval aviator and lawyer. I have a family interest in the attack, so I’ve researched it as much as a non-cleared individual outside government could.

NaCly dog on May 31, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Is Israel in conflict with Turkey?

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Turkey is in conflict with Israel.

Tav on May 31, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Don’t underestimate them. That’s how we lost 3000 people.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:28 PM

So you wanted Israel to go even further than they did?

What’s your angle?

Otis B on May 31, 2010 at 2:33 PM

They were flying a Turkish flag, not a flag of Hamas. Is Israel in conflict with Turkey?

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Erdogan isn’t a friend of Israel.

a capella on May 31, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Hamas controls Gaza, so any shipment going there is correctly assumed in support of hamas.

the_nile on May 31, 2010 at 2:28 PM

I can buy that argument. And if they felt they were dealing with arms smuggling terrorists with links to Al Qaeda (latest information coming from Israel) why would they send commandos one by one rappelling down a rope heavily outnumbered?

They made a grave tactical mistake.

In the future I bet they will make it known they view advancing ships as a hostile force and that they will be fired up. And I’d be okay with that. Sink the ships.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:34 PM

They were flying a Turkish flag, not a flag of Hamas. Is Israel in conflict with Turkey?

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Your middle name is “naive” . Btw watch the video . There was at last one pal flag seen on board. Spin at your will.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:34 PM

portlandon on May 31, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Heh.

BallisticBob on May 31, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Don’t underestimate them. That’s how we lost 3000 people.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:28 PM

These people are on a boat with very few people(most of which are their own friends).

You seriously are LAUGHABLE.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I’d be okay with that. Sink the ships.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Yeah, sink the ships that are touted as humanitarian convoys.

Brilliant.

Otis B on May 31, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Brilliant.

Otis B on May 31, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Shoot first ask questions later is surely a recipe for success especially in a world where the press is overwhelmingly in the tank for your enemies.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Your middle name is “naive” . Btw watch the video . There was at last one pal flag seen on board. Spin at your will.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:34 PM

There is no “Palestinian” nation, so there is no such thing as operating a vessel under the Palestinian flag.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Isnt the gaza strip under the sovereignty of Israel? If so, cant they determine what goes into their country? Does USA allow anything to come into thier borders without inspection? Arizona border not included…..????

WyoMike on May 31, 2010 at 2:41 PM

After watching the last video on the other thread, it is clear to me that I was wrong by thinking of anyone on the boat as an innocent civilian. She clearly makes it known it’s either martyrdom or Gaza.

So, I’ll admit I was wrong about their intent.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:43 PM

You solve this problem by killing everyone on the ships. Simple.

If these activists never are seen again, people will sooner or later get the hint or at least a clue.

Tim Burton on May 31, 2010 at 2:45 PM

There is no “Palestinian” nation, so there is no such thing as operating a vessel under the Palestinian flag.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:39 PM

1. That is not what I said

2. I said there was a Pal flag on board.

Quit with the lies and distortions. Again tell us about your brilliant idea about sinking the ship./

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:47 PM

1. That is not what I said

2. I said there was a Pal flag on board.

Quit with the lies and distortions. Again tell us about your brilliant idea about sinking the ship./

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:47 PM

My “brilliant” idea is SOP for any ship ramming a blockade. You sink it.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:49 PM

So, I’ll admit I was wrong about their intent.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Intellectual honesty is a beautiful thing. Kudos to you ButterflyDragon!

AsianGirlInTights on May 31, 2010 at 2:50 PM

So, I’ll admit I was wrong about their intent.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Gee good for you . We all knew it but it took you hours…sheesh Sherlock.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:52 PM

My “brilliant” idea is SOP for any ship ramming a blockade. You sink it.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Again that would go over well in a media that already is in the bag for your enemy…hell look at the crap they are already receiving from the press filled with douche bags like yourself.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Gee good for you . We all knew it but it took you hours…sheesh Sherlock.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:52 PM

No. I deal with facts. You “knew it” because your gut told you.

I knew it after watching video of a woman on the ship who came right out and said it was either martyrdom or Gaza.

That is conclusive proof that there was intent to see someone die.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:55 PM

For those complaining that the IDF must have been wrong to enforce Israel’s borders because it stopped the flotilla in international waters: when the Karine A was captured by the IDF in 2002 en route to deliver weapons to terrorists, it, too, was seized in international waters. This does not violate that nebulous entity known as “international law”.

DKCZ on May 31, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Again that would go over well in a media that already is in the bag for your enemy…hell look at the crap they are already receiving from the press filled with douche bags like yourself.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:54 PM

You’re a rather unpleasant person that finds more interest in attacking people instead of their opinions. I’ve been civil to you throughout our “discussion”. Not once have I attacked you on a personal level because you disagreed with my opinion.

So piss off.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:57 PM

That is conclusive proof that there was intent to see someone die.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Mr. Obvious is lost on you. That is their M.O.

How stupid do you have to be?

Deal with it.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:57 PM

My “brilliant” idea is SOP for any ship ramming a blockade. You sink it.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:49 PM

That’s not how we did it in the gulf – we had vessel boarding teams, just like the Israelis did here, and we rounded up vessels that tried to get through.

Put them in “bullpens.”

I think you are thinking about the Civil War and the CSS Alabama or something.

We don’t do that stuff anymore.

Otis B on May 31, 2010 at 2:57 PM

So piss off.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:57 PM

You just lied and distorted throughout this thread. Wow aren’t you a great person./

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Israel meeting sticks with guns, what else is new?

ernesto on May 31, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Israel meeting sticks with guns, what else is new?

ernesto on May 31, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Yeh paintball guns. You’re an idiot.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Seriously, think about it, there is about 1.5 million people living in Gaza. Do people really believe all 1.5 million of those people are terrorists intent upon destroying Israel? If you believe that, you’ve fallen for propaganda.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 12:25 PM

The propaganda here is coming from you. They are taught by Islam and it’s books and by their Imams and teachers to hate Jews (aka Pigs and Apes) since birth. No, not every single one of them is a terrorist intent upon destroying Israel but that is a Red Herring on Steroids on your part.

Tav on May 31, 2010 at 12:37 PM

When you consider that Palestinian children are taught from birth that Jews are apes and pigs, are bloodthirsty ghouls, and are drinking the blood of Muslim children, you might surmise that a good portion of those children will grow up to hate Israel and her people and desire their destruction.

When you consider the God-awful cartoons that are shown to Palestinian children; when you consider the daily dose of anti-Israel and anti-America propaganda that is drummed into their heads every day of their lives from beginning to end; and when you consider that Hamas is directly influenced, trained, and funded, by devious elements of the Iranian regime including the Quds Force and the Rev*lutionary Guard, you might come to the conclusion that Israel, a tiny country surrounded by hostile elements of which many express their desire for the destruction of Israel, has every reason to err on the side of caution when dealing with provocateurs intent on propping up Hamas and intent on defying the Israeli blockade.

hillbillyjim on May 31, 2010 at 3:00 PM


ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010

I’ve peeved off another naive pompous liar…wow that suckxx/

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Working with other democrats on their statist agenda as is his norm I would think.

Tav on May 31, 2010 at 2:04 PM

And how is Rand-y’s KKK racist agenda working for you, Tav?

Ed Snyder on May 31, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Israel meeting sticks with guns, what else is new?

ernesto on May 31, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Yeh paintball guns. You’re an idiot.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:59 PM

CW, as of late I agree. ernesto, during the elections was/seemed more reasoned. All contemporary comments from him are just pure liberal tripe. Talking points. College level discussions not even rising to a level of colherence that makes me think this kid has seen anything of the real world.

Abstracts from what some professor told him to think.

Ernesto, if you can’t even look at this one event and conclude the IDF was justified in their actions, then there’s not much hope for you as a measured thinker. But then, you fit right in with the rest of the liberals. Go with your feelings and not the facts.

I myself stand with Israel and their defense of their country and security.

hawkdriver on May 31, 2010 at 3:16 PM

rogerb on May 31, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Ever been on a zip line? Nah, didn’t think so. Only way you can shoot is using the Australia method of descending head first. One hand controls the descent and the other firing a semi or automatic weapon to suppress any fire at you.. You are not going to be able to shoot a knife out of someone’s hand while descending on a zip line.

chemman on May 31, 2010 at 3:17 PM

I myself stand with Israel and their defense of their country and security.

hawkdriver on May 31, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Bravo. Bravissimo. What you said.

Ed Snyder on May 31, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Ernie watch the third video on the other thread.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 3:17 PM

ernesto on May 31, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Still torturing electrons I see. Don’t care much for the environment do you sucking on the teat of big energy like you do.

chemman on May 31, 2010 at 3:19 PM

No. I deal with facts. You “knew it” because your gut told you.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:55 PM

‘gut’ is intuition, a subconscious synthesis of observation resulting in a prediction.

Those who see the entire pattern, the context, have much better intuition than those who only try to focus on one or two minor details at a time.

A good intuition is a very useful thing. You should try to develop one; it will be a great complement to your intellectual honesty.

AsianGirlInTights on May 31, 2010 at 3:23 PM

They were flying a Turkish flag, not a flag of Hamas. Is Israel in conflict with Turkey?

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:25 PM

The flagging is irrelevant, all that matters is the destination within a conflict zone.

ray on May 31, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Why was a flotilla of community organizers (like Code Pink) attacking Israel?

faraway on May 31, 2010 at 3:25 PM

So, I’ll admit I was wrong about their intent.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:43 PM

If this was the first time they used this type of behavior my guess is a lot more grace would have been shown for you. Given that they do this all the time in their other actions it stands to reason that this was what they intended in this action. Not a gut feeling but an interpretation from past data.

chemman on May 31, 2010 at 3:26 PM

NaCly dog on May 31, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Thanks for the reference. I just went to Amazon and added it to my cart. Maybe it’s revealing of Amazon that they start off the list of reviews with two one-star stinkers–something I’d never seen before–when there are 30 five-star reviews versus only 11 of the one-star kind.

Like I said earlier, folks, I’m in the Navy. Been in for 18 years, the last 10 of which have been in the Chief’s Mess. My previous command was a CVN. There were two observances, outside of fedral holidays, that were carried out without fail every year:

-Pearl Harbor
-Battle of Midway

In other words, we paused to remember the day when our shipmates who were killed by cowardly attackers, and the day when we extracted revenge for those attacks.

The LIBERTY incident is not included because does not fall under either category.

Ed Snyder on May 31, 2010 at 3:33 PM

If this was the first time they used this type of behavior my guess is a lot more grace would have been shown for you. Given that they do this all the time in their other actions it stands to reason that this was what they intended in this action. Not a gut feeling but an interpretation from past data.

chemman on May 31, 2010 at 3:26 PM

If one would read the articles in the press before this incident anyone with a half a brain could tell this flotilla was hunting for trouble and by gawd they got it.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Chumpy more crickets. You took the little boy’s way out. Not surprised in the least.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Hey, I don’t choose to spend all day sitting around reading the 95% crap on this blog.
If you think my original post was an attack on Israel, then you have serious reading comprehension problems. As such, your post about the other countries was completely irrelevant to the topic and not worth wasting my time on.
Why don’t you stop trying to “win” and engage the topic?

chumpThreads on May 31, 2010 at 3:35 PM

So, I’ll admit I was wrong about their intent.

ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 2:43 PM

You’re a bigger man than most. Kudos.

BadgerHawk on May 31, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Israel meeting sticks with guns, what else is new?

ernesto on May 31, 2010 at 2:58 PM

And with that, most of the a$$hats have responded to the A$$hat Alarm; anyone seen Rywall yet?

Midas on May 31, 2010 at 3:50 PM

I’m in the Navy, mother******, and I don’t blame Israel for that. Mainly because it’s always promulgated by the same antisemites who live to see the Jewish people wiped off of the face of the earth.

Got military service? I do.

Ed Snyder on May 31, 2010 at 1:55 PM

You say that you hold Israel blameless for 34 dead American soldiers, and 174 wounded. Your response makes me wonder, whose navy do you serve?

Israel’s unprovoked attack on the USS Liberty in international waters was of course far worse than this current attack. That you do not blame Israel for the deaths of those American soldiers is curious.

I doubt the families of the 34 dead Americans, and the 174 wounded, share your perspective as an Israeli government apologist. What a curious justification you propose for the murder of Americans.

Extra Special Prosecutor on May 31, 2010 at 3:55 PM

You say that you hold Israel blameless for 34 dead American soldiers, and 174 wounded. Your response makes me wonder, whose navy do you serve?

Israel’s unprovoked attack on the USS Liberty in international waters was of course far worse than this current attack. That you do not blame Israel for the deaths of those American soldiers is curious.

I doubt the families of the 34 dead Americans, and the 174 wounded, share your perspective as an Israeli government apologist. What a curious justification you propose for the murder of Americans.

Extra Special Prosecutor on May 31, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Oh horseshit. Come up with a good motivation as to why they would do that and whether US government would cover it up – otherwise STFU.

Hilts on May 31, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Extra Special Prosecutor on May 31, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Any Air Force mission that asks for ordnance to hit ships is fraught with potential danger. WWI, WWI, and Vietnam all have incidents of friendly fire. In WWII, the USAAF, the RAF, the IJA AF, and the Luftwaffe all hit their own ships.

ESP, the book I cited (“The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Israeli Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship”. by Jay Cristol (2002)) walks you through the entire process, minute by minute. His arguments ring true, based on my own experiences in the Navy on a DD off Beirut and in the Eastern Med in the early 80′s.

NaCly dog on May 31, 2010 at 4:17 PM

hillbillyjim on May 31, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Changing strongly held positions in a population is very difficult without a high body-count.

NaCly dog on May 31, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Ed Snyder on May 31, 2010 at 3:33 PM

My father was a LDO with orders to the USS Liberty, just after the incident. He never said why the orders were canceled.

NaCly dog on May 31, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Ever been on a zip line? Nah, didn’t think so.
 
chemman on May 31, 2010 at 3:17 PM

 
Ha. I wish. I have to use a special contraption to take a shower and a ramp to get out of my house. Most days it’s easier to just stay inside and look out of the window.
 
Scroll back and read it once more with emphasis on the total movement of all the variables and in relation to the “why would The Joos use guns when the peaceful peace activists just had peaceful knives” statement I was responding to.

rogerb on May 31, 2010 at 4:26 PM

This is going to be like Honduras, or Arizona. All the facts on one side of the argument, but the left will trudge forward with the narrative anyway.

BadgerHawk on May 31, 2010 at 11:04 AM

It’s a new world. With YouTube and Twitter, maybe the truth will out this time.

Paul-Cincy on May 31, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Oh horseshit. Come up with a good motivation as to why they would do that and whether US government would cover it up – otherwise STFU.

Hilts on May 31, 2010 at 4:14 PM

ESP sees black helicopters, wears a tinfoil hat, and still has voices from out of nowhere talk to him.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Why don’t you stop trying to “win” and engage the topic?

chumpThreads on May 31, 2010 at 3:35 PM

You first.

Actually Chumpy you used my charge of Anti-Semitism to WIN.

The fact that Israel is surrounded by about 350 million people in countries that not only hate their country but also in general abuse their own people’s rights brings no protest from the likes of you in my opinion proves my point and is very relevant.

Hey, I don’t choose to spend all day sitting around reading the 95% crap on this blog.
chumpThreads on May 31, 2010 at 3:35 PM

No you simply disappeared after responding lamely to my contention. If I called you an anti semite without backing it up that would be one thing but I backed it up—or — prove me wrong and tell me about the times you have slammed Iran, Syria, and on and on and on. Yes you are an anti-semite.

CWforFreedom on May 31, 2010 at 6:13 PM

The preferred media headline

as if the media matters.

bloviator on May 31, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Islam teaches that compassion is the Achilles Heel of western culture and western religion and should be exploited at every opportunity. “You don’t need compassion, you have Allah. Compassion is his job not yours.” This includes the use of “humanitarian” ANYTHING, in term or deed. With Islam, it will ALWAYS be nothing more than a tactical ploy.

Pole-Cat on May 31, 2010 at 9:05 PM

“If the Israeli rifles contained only paintballs, then how could the activists have taken those rifles and shot the Isrealis with bullets?”

How embarrassing, for you! If you had read the story this would not be a mystery to you. Didn’t stop you from jumping right in anyway, did it? You don’t really want facts, you just want to argue for your ill informed point of view. Like I said, embarrassing.

ncjetsfan on May 31, 2010 at 10:18 PM

Ha. I wish. I have to use a special contraption to take a shower and a ramp to get out of my house. Most days it’s easier to just stay inside and look out of the window.

Scroll back and read it once more with emphasis on the total movement of all the variables and in relation to the “why would The Joos use guns when the peaceful peace activists just had peaceful knives” statement I was responding to.

rogerb on May 31, 2010 at 4:26 PM

My first thought when I read your earlier comment was, “Sure as the world, someone is going to think he’s serious.”

Shooting the guns out of people’s hands is only done in the movies. Of course, I would have also said that shooting someone’s legs to disable them was also only done in the movies, but it seems the commandos did actually try that tactic.

Frankly, I’m amazed there were only 9 lives lost. The only really safe approach for the commandos was to shoot for center of mass, but they took some very big chances to keep down the loss of life.

There Goes The Neighborhood on June 1, 2010 at 12:49 AM

Interdiction in International waters is not illegal according to the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994
SECTION V : NEUTRAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND CIVIL AIRCRAFT

Neutral merchant vessels

67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;
(b) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;
(c) act as auxiliaries to the enemy s armed forces;
(d) are incorporated into or assist the enemy s intelligence system;
(e) sail under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft; or
(f) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy s military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and it is not feasible for the attacking forces to first place passengers and crew in a place of safety. Unless circumstances do not permit, they are to be given a warning, so that they can re-route, off-load, or take other precautions.

wtng2fish on June 1, 2010 at 1:07 AM

12

garydt on June 1, 2010 at 1:14 AM

To all you Jewish haters you must realize its a miracle of God that it exists surrounded by so many enemies that its goal is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Since 1948 the enemies of Israel have stated a goal to destroy it and they make no secret of it. Sorry to say but Israel will lose battles but non of her enemies will destroy it. Don’t say how Israel stole the ground because you can’t name a continent in the world that has not had a nation conquered over by another one. Face facts and realize Israel is here to stay.

garydt on June 1, 2010 at 1:17 AM

Say, it’s probably a good thing the IDF had its video cameras rolling

No kidding!

Dollayo on June 1, 2010 at 3:14 AM

To all you Jewish haters you must realize its a miracle of God that it exists surrounded by so many enemies that its

goal is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Since 1948 the enemies of Israel have stated a goal to destroy it and they make no secret of it. Sorry to say but Israel will lose battles but non of her enemies will destroy it. Don’t say how Israel stole the ground because you can’t name a continent in the world that has not had a nation conquered over by another one. Face facts and realize Israel is here to stay.

garydt on June 1, 2010 at 1:17 AM

Amen to that.

Am Israel Chai. The Nation of Israel Lives!

Say, it’s probably a good thing the IDF had its video cameras rolling

Nowadays, if it ain’t on film it didn’t happen.

Chaz706 on June 1, 2010 at 3:28 AM

When it is determined this ship was funneling weapons into Gaza, ButterflyDragon on May 31, 2010 at 12:25 PM

It is determined after the ship has been searched.

Analogy.

Cop sees car weaving in and out of traffic.
The cop thinks, JDLR Just doesn’t look right, The driver could be drunk or have some medical problem, either one the cop has to pull to car over to determine what’s going on.

In this case the ships declared they were going to run the blockade.
The blockade is in effect due to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.

Oh and back to the Analogy, if the driver, then pulled over, got out of his vehicle with baseball bat in hand, charging at the cop, odds are the cop will shoot him dead.

DSchoen on June 1, 2010 at 4:54 AM

Cop sees car weaving in and out of traffic.
The cop thinks, JDLR Just doesn’t look right, The driver could be drunk or have some medical problem, either one the cop has to pull to car over to determine what’s going on.

In this case the ships declared they were going to run the blockade.
The blockade is in effect due to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.

Oh and back to the Analogy, if the driver, then pulled over, got out of his vehicle with baseball bat in hand, charging at the cop, odds are the cop will shoot him dead.

DSchoen on June 1, 2010 at 4:54 AM

Thus ends the debate…

right2bright on June 1, 2010 at 8:16 AM

Israel meeting sticks with guns, what else is new?

ernesto on May 31, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Pandejo making stupid statements like a slow-witted child.
What else is new?

TexasJew on June 1, 2010 at 11:31 AM

I have two things to offer:
One, what could have been the peaceful purpose of all of those bars being used as bludgeons? And why were there so many available on such short notice?
Second, to add to the post above:
1. A maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza. Such blockade has been imposed, as Israel is currently in a state of armed conflict with the Hamas regime that controls Gaza, which has repeatedly bombed civilian targets in Israel with weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza via the sea.

2. Maritime blockades are a legitimate and recognized measure under international law that may be implemented as part of an armed conflict at sea.

3. A blockade may be imposed at sea, including in international waters, so long as it does not bar access to the ports and coasts of neutral states.

4. The naval manuals of several western countries, including the US and England recognize the maritime blockade as an effective naval measure and set forth the various criteria that make a blockade valid, including the requirement of give due notice of the existence of the blockade.

5. In this vein, it should be noted that Israel publicized the existence of the blockade and the precise coordinates of such by means of the accepted international professional maritime channels. Israel also provided appropriate notification to the affected governments and to the organizers of the Gaza protest flotilla. Moreover, in real time, the ships participating in the protest flotilla were warned repeatedly that a maritime blockade is in effect.

6. Here, it should be noted that under customary law, knowledge of the blockade may be presumed once a blockade has been declared and appropriate notification has been granted, as above.

7. Under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no boats can enter the blockaded area. That includes both civilian and enemy vessels.

8. A state may take action to enforce a blockade. Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked under international law. The US Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations sets forth that a vessel is considered to be in attempt to breach a blockade from the time the vessel leaves its port with the intention of evading the blockade.

9. Here we should note that the protesters indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade by means of written and oral statements. Moreover, the route of these vessels indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade in violation of international law.

10. Given the protesters explicit intention to violate the naval blockade, Israel exercised its right under international law to enforce the blockade. It should be noted that prior to undertaking enforcement measures, explicit warnings were relayed directly to the captains of the vessels, expressing Israel’s intent to exercise its right to enforce the blockade.

11. Israel had attempted to take control of the vessels participating in the flotilla by peaceful means and in an orderly fashion in order to enforce the blockade. Given the large number of vessels participating in the flotilla, an operational decision was made to undertake measures to enforce the blockade a certain distance from the area of the blockade.

12. Israeli personnel attempting to enforce the blockade were met with violence by the protesters and acted in self defense to fend off such attacks.

LarryG on June 1, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Perhaps the IDF solution for future blockade runners should be to redirect the “peace activists’ships” to Davy Jones Locker.

juanito on June 1, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Israel meeting sticks with guns, what else is new?

ernesto on May 31, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Well, dumbazz, the idea is for them to have second thoughts about hitting people with clubs – they’re not sticks, idiot. You would prefer equal weaponry so they can wallop on each other and even more people are killed. We know that you’re an antisemite who thinks the world owes you everything.

Blake on June 2, 2010 at 7:59 PM

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