Gaza aid flotilla massacre – points arising

Posted by on May 30, 2010 at 7:21 pm.

Some thoughts from the day’s discussions that arose on Facebook:

Jane asked: What I want to know is – how does dropping from a helicopter onto an aid ship constitute being “ambushed by activists bent on violence” ?

This is key. I am sad to see the Israeli footage of some of the people on the boat using sticks. This is being used to suggest violent intent on the part of the volunteers. But they were using them to fight against heavily armed and armoured soldiers who had already shot at them, and NOT with paint-ball guns as one ridiculous story goes, but with M-16 and M-4 assault rifles with live ammunition. Someone I know personally saw somebody in front of them shot in the head. In such circumstances – in the dark, in fear for their lives – it is hardly surprising they defended themselves. Not everyone is Ghandi himself.

The attack happened at approximately Latitude:32.64113, Longitude:33.56727, which is outwith Israeli territorial waters (by a good 40 km). The Israelis brought the fight to them, without question.

It has also been reported that the Israelis offered an alternative docking opportunity in Israel. This would however have been akin to throwing the aid in the sea, so little would have been passed on. (The regulations allow kitchen cleaning cloths, but not paper or pencils for schools, not dental amalgam… it is a ridiculous token list of permitted items designed not to help Gazans but to allow the Israeli government to claim they are helping.)

Additionally it would not address the issue of breaking the blockade overall. Gaza mustn’t be a place that depends upon humanitarian aid.

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