First, lets look at the facts:
1. The flotilla consisted of Israel's enemies and was obviously intended as a publicity ploy (it worked).
2. Israel offered to inspect the contents aboard the ships and then transport any "aid" into Gaza.
3. Israel gave the flotilla hours to either stop or peacefully follow their ships into port. The flotilla refused both options.
3. Israel boarded the ships with a small number of soldiers and attempted to disperse the crowd which was, in reality a lynch
mob armed with knives, pipes and at least two guns (one report stated that the guns were taken from the soldiers), and
began firing on the soldiers.
4. Israeli soldiers ended up having to defend themselves and in the process, 15 deaths ensued.
Those are the facts. What amazes me, is the fact that the organizers of the flotilla knew exactly how this sequence of events would play out and were perfectly willing to sacrifice lives in the effort to gin up favorable media reports. The lack of consideration to human life is unthinkable, but we see it every day.
For years the terrorist groups have been willing to sacrifice innocent families as they launched missiles from civilian areas knowing that Israel retaliation would end up harming innocent lives, but apparently its worth the loss of lives to receive MSM-favorable news reports.
Predictably, the media will immediately jump on board and give the terrorists what they want. Already being called a "massacre", the portrayal by the MSM is that Israel "attacked" these innocent people, on an innocent mission to supply "humanitarian aid" (although interestingly there was no consideration to Israeli soldiers held hostage by Hamas, but I digress), and murdered these innocent people on the ships.
The whole story is painfully predictable. And that's what is so maddeningly frustrating about these episodes. The terrorists set up these scenarios - knowing exactly what will happen - they then sacrifice lives - and blame Israel. Then the MSM - in lockstep - falls in line and reports lies fed to them for the political purposes of Israel's enemies. Here we go again:
"Flotilla organizers to blame for 15 dead activists"
Defense minister says soldiers tried to disperse Gaza protesters peacefully; deputy FM makes first official Israeli response on IDF raid; PM updated in Canada.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a press conference on Monday that while he was sorry for lives lost, the organizers of the Gaza-bound protest flotilla were solely responsible for the outcome of the fatal IDF raid earlier in the day. Fifteen activists were killed and dozens wounded in the violent clashes.
Barak said that the soldiers tried to disperse the activists aboard the ship peacefully but were forced to open fire to protect themselves.
He called the flotilla a provocation, specifically called the IHH, an Islamic aid organization, "extremist supporters of terror."
Speaking at a Jerusalem press conference on Monday morning. "It was a premeditated and outrageous provocation" and its organizers had ties to global Jihad, al Qaida and Hamas, said Ayalon.
"Their intent was violent, their methods were violent and their results were unfortunately violent," Ayalon said.
"Israel regrets the loss of life and did everything it could to avoid this outcome," Ayalon stressed, adding that Israel had offered to transport the humanitarian cargo on board the ship to Gaza.
"The organizers on the ship did not heed the calls of our forces this morning to peacefully follow them and bring a peaceful closure to this event," said Ayalon, iterating that the successful arrival of the flotilla in Gaza would have created "a corridor of arms smuggling."
"Police on highest state of alert across country"
Israel Police and Prison Service raise state of alert following complication of naval raid on flotilla to Gaza. Police to block roads, prevent entrance to Temple Mount.
In addition, the Foreign Ministry urged all Israelis staying in Turkey or planning to travel to the country, to return to Israel or cancel their trip
.Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will hold an emergency meeting on Monday morning at his office in Jerusalem. The Foreign Ministry plans to call on Israeli tourists in Turkey to return to Israel immediately.
Al Jazeera network reported that Turkey warned Israel of "unprecedented consequences." The network also reported a series of anti-Israel protests were taking place throughout the country. Protests were reported in front of the Israeli consulate in Istanbul and the Israeli embassy and the ambassador's house in Ankara.
The following article sadly reports the truth regarding the expected backlash - expected because we have seen this play out time and time again:
Analysis: Media defense washed away by flotilla"
In the end, after all, the flotilla is just another chapter in an int'l campaign to chip away at Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself.
Israel likely lost the battle over the flotilla of international aid ships on their way to the Gaza Strip even before the activists left their home countries and gathered in Cyprus late last week.
From a global media perspective, the story is pretty clear. Hundreds of international activists, some of them parliamentarians from Europe and Israel, are trying to bring thousands of tons of supplies to the Gaza Strip, and Israel is stopping them.
For the international media and its consumers, the reasons behind Israel’s decision do not make much of a difference, since what Israel is doing fits the way it is already widely perceived – as a violent aggressor abusing a weak and poor Palestinian people.
In its defense, Israel, this time, did not stand by idly as it was slammed throughout the world. It launched a diplomatic initiative aimed at explaining to the world why it planned to stop the ships.
First, it made the claim that the Gaza Strip was not suffering from a humanitarian crisis and that the thousands of tons in supplies that the ships were carrying were not really needed, since it was all already supplied to the Palestinians by Israel. The IDF went so far as to invite media down to the Kerem Shalom crossing to videotape the hundreds of trucks that transfer supplies daily from Israel to Gaza. At the same time, Israel offered to transfer the shipments on the boats to the Gaza Strip after they were unloaded at the Ashdod Port and inspected.
In addition to this effort, the long-standing claim was restated that if this flotilla were allowed to enter Gaza, it would open the door to unsupervised shipments that could contain not just flour, cement and medical supplies but also explosives, Kalashnikov rifles and Iranian-made, long-range Fajr-5 missiles.
Ok, enough about FACTS....Now we see the coming backlash:
In the end, though, none of this official Israeli counter-effort will really make a difference, since what will ultimately determine the impact of the flotilla saga will be the pictures and videotapes published and broadcast around the world.
All that is needed for the flotilla to “succeed” is a single picture of an Israeli soldier applying a headlock to an international activist. And no matter how hard Israel tries to block broadcasts from the ships, the pictures will get out. Facebook and Twitter are already full of snapshots, around-the-clock updates and even a live streaming video.
Let’s not fool ourselves. Even if Israel allowed these ships and all such ships to dock in Gaza City’s harbor, it would still be accused of laying siege to the Palestinians in the Strip since, albeit along with Egypt, it controls the land crossings.
In the end, after all, the flotilla is just another chapter in an international campaign to chip away at Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself.
And below we see the painfully predictable international "backlash" - a backlash that borders on "pavlovian", as the MSM takes the side of "AAI" (Anybody Against Israel) before any facts can emerge. But when it comes to Israel, we already know that facts are irrelevant.
"Strong int'l backlash to flotilla raid"
Turkey summoned the Israeli ambassador Monday to the foreign ministry to discuss the storming of the flotilla in the international waters off Gaza, which heightened tensions between Turkey and Israel to new levels.
"Israel has violated international law and will answer for the outcome of its actions," a spokesperson from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
European Union Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton has called for an international inquiry into the clashes that took place between Israeli soldiers and international activists aboard Gaza-bound protest ships on Monday.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner also spoke out on the events, condemning Israel and adding that he was shocked that the IDF would attack the ships, reported Army Radio.
Sweden, Greece and Jordan summoned their Israeli ambassadors to their respective capitals later on Monday to explain the loss of life in the IDF storming of the “Free Gaza” flotilla.
If the assault occurred in international waters, “there will be serious repercussions,”Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stated.
"We were not expecting such an operation in international waters," Omer Faruk Korkmaz, an official of the pro-Islamic aid group, IHH, that led the aid shipment said in Turkey. "Israel has been caught redhanded and the international community will not forgive it."
Aside from facts vs lies, we have a more important perspective on this situation, prophetically. Questions that now arise:
- Will this event serve as the "triggering mechanism" for remaining events in the Middle East?
- What will be the response by neighboring terrorist groups?
- How will Turkey respond? Lebanon? Syria?
This may go nowhere - as stated above in one of the articles, perhaps this will simply be "just another chapter in an international campaign to chip away at Israel's legitimate right to defend itself".
One last thought. It is "interesting" to me that almost every day we receive reports of peaceful Christians being tortured and brutally murdered, simply for practicing their faith - and we get zero news stories. Zero coverage. No outrage, no public condemnation, no concern, no press.
It must be part of the age in which we are living. The truth is elusive and lies predominate.
Just more proof that although we are "in" this world, we are not "of" this world.
The videos are being released and they tell the story. The Israeli soldiers who were not allowed to even take their assault rifles, boarded these ships and were immediately attacked - in a vicious brutal manner. This was quite clearly self-defense. Not that the truth will matter to the MSM and the people who hate Israel -- but for those of us who care about the truth, it is found in these videos.
This link: "They came for war" further clarifies (including a video clip). This was indeed a lynch mob, who was well prepared for violence as soon as Israeli's entered the ship:
“They came for war,” was how one Israeli Navy commando described the activists aboard the Mavi Marmara Turkish passenger boat where clashes erupted early Monday morning and ended with at least nine activists dead and dozens others, including eight IDF soldiers, injured.
“Operation Sea Breeze”, as it was called by the IDF, actually began several hours earlier at about 11 pm Sunday night as the Navy made its initial contact with the Mavi Marmara and the other five ships which were part of an international aid flotilla on its way to try and break the Israel-imposed sea blockade on Gaza.
After several hours of radio communications and warnings that the Mavi Marmara would be boarded if the captain did not change his ship’s course, at 4 am Monday, OC Navy Vice-Admiral Eliezer “Cheney” Marom, who had set up a command post on the INS Victory, gave the order to Flotilla 13 to board the ship.
The three Israeli Air Force Blackhawk Helicopters hovering nearby made their approach above the Mavi Marmara’s upper deck. Sitting on board, the naval commandos could just make out the few dozen activists gathered below. Carrying non-lethal weapons as well as pistols, the last thing the soldiers thought they would walk into was a well-planed lynch.
“As the 15 of us slid down the ropes, 30 of them were waiting for us on the deck,” one of the commandos later told reporters. “They charged us and threw a few of the soldiers off the deck to the floor below. We did not expect to find ourselves in such a situation.”
As the rope fell from the helicopter onto the Mavi Marmara’s deck, some of the Turkish activists grabbed it, tied it to an antenna likely hoping that it would bring down the helicopter. The Navy commandos decided to still go ahead with the operation and began sliding down onto the ship.
Armed with rifles that could shoot paintballs – which can hurt but not kill – the soldiers landed on the ship and immediately came under attack by dozens of activists armed with knives, bats and metal pipes. Activists grabbed soldiers and tried to hold them hostage, stripping them of their helmets and equipment.
One of the soldiers tried to protect a commando who was being lynched by a group of activists. They were instructed by the flotilla commander to refrain from using their sidearm unless their lives were at risk.
Soldiers feared for their lives, asked permission to open fire
The force threw several stun grenades but the violent attacks continued. Two soldiers were injured and some of the activists succeeded in stealing one of the soldier’s guns. Shots were fired and one of the soldiers fell to the ground unconscious. Fearing for their lives, the soldiers asked and received permission to open fire, first taking aim at the activists’ feet.
In one corner of the ship, the commandos saw a gun flash. They returned fire and started chasing the shooter but could not find him.
As the clashes intensified, additional commandos boarded the ship as well as members of the Border Police’s Yasam unit who are experts in riot control and crowd dispersion. After less than an hour, the ship was in Israeli hands. The price though was steep – eight soldiers were injured, several of them seriously and at least nine activists were killed.
The videos taken by the IDF were passed around throughout the defense establishment and made their way to other special forces, including the Israel Police’s elite counter-terror unit Yamam, which had fought to participate in the mission but had been left on the sidelines due to legal complications involving police operations out at sea.
“The soldiers acted with the utmost nobility,” said one police source close to the Yamam. “They engaged in hand-to-hand combat, sustained injuries, but only opened fire after one of them was lying on the ground unconscious and two others had been shot. This was an unbelievable demonstration of restraint.”
More video links here: Video: Flotilla Muslims Club Navy Commandos"