World Condemns Brutal Israeli Assault on Humanitarian Convoy

Israel faced a wave of global condemnation over its military assault on a humanitarian aid convoy in international waters. Everyone from the UN Secretary-General to the Pope came down hard on the Israeli government. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was constrained to cancel his planned visit to Washington, D.C., since that trip would have forced him to face questions from American journalists on why the Israeli navy could not have simply blocked the aid convoy.

The convoy’s passengers included a wide range of European and American activists as well as Turks and others.

Since American television news is predictably slighting the story, here is a report by Russia Today on the Israeli attack.

Russia Today interviews Israeli-American anthropologist and peace activist Jeff Halper on the Israeli strangulation of Gaza and the goals of the aid flotilla that was brutally assaulted by Israeli commandos early Monday morning.

Halper’s account of the dire effects on Palestinian health and well-being of the Israeli blockade of Gaza is supported by a recently released World Health Organization study.

Halper is the founder of the Israeli Coalition against House Demolitions and author of An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel

Here is a footage from the deck of the Mavi Marmara in the aftermath of the violent boarding, in Arabic, English and Turkish. The israeli commandos deployed stun grenades and tear gas, attacking in international waters. “Despite the raising of white flags, the Israeli army is still shooting.”

32 Responses

  1. Turkey is member of NATO. What responsibility do other members of NATO have to defend a Turkish flagged vessel? Or if Turkish Navy decides to escort the next aid vessel?

    • The same “shared response” the US Empire demanded regarding Afghanistan. By that logic, Israel ought to be visited by immediate “shock and awe.”

  2. Except Hilary , the state dept and all those inside the beltway are quiet on this particular day , in particular WaPo. Can’t offend AIPAC…………and there is the Bilderberg meeting at the end of this week :(

  3. It’s a shame but as long as the $Billions keep flowing from U.S. taxpayers to the Israeli treasury the Israelis won’t give a rip what the rest of the world thinks.

    • When do we wakeup? Since Vietnam virtualy all our wars have been against Muslims ,who we really don’t have a quarrel with per se. Let us immediately tie our iresponsible aid to Israel with their good faith attempt to make peace with their neighbors and , more importantly,come to an agreement leading to an end of their occupation of Palestine and Gaza.

  4. Yup. Everyone from the UN Secretary-General to the Pope has condemned the attack. Everyone — except the President of the United States of America. He is still “studying” the facts.
    Note that there has been a complete blackout of news from the internationals on the ships since their capture. Nothing. The al Jazeera reporter present on a hill about two miles from the port of Ashdod was attacked by Jewish demonstrators, and al Jazeeral has discontinued their reporting from there because of constant heckling and threats, which could easily be heard in the background of their last report. There has been an absolute blitz of Israeli spokesmen on TV, from the iron-teethed Mark Regev to the Minister of Finance to the Minister of Trade and Industry. An absolute chorus line of comedians.

    • “al Jazeeral has discontinued their reporting from there because of constant heckling and threats, which could easily be heard in the background of their last report.”

      Pity they aren’t keeping it up then. It’d be interesting to see the Israelis’ response when they realized just how explicitly they were telling the world (in their own words no less) that it’s not just okay for them to kill arabs, but that’s it’s okay for them to kill people who try to help the arabs as well.

  5. Cole: “Everyone from the UN Secretary-General to the Pope came down hard on the Israeli government. ”
    For those who foolishly believe that Obama is pursuing the same relationship with Israel as Bush did or McCain would have, please note that Obama has condemned this attack in the harshest terms. This event even forced Netanyahu to cancel his visit to the White House (or perhaps Obama told him he wasn’t welcome, hmmm…).

    “The president expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident, and concern for the wounded,” the White House said in a summary of Obama’s phone call with Netanyahu.
    Obama has also immediately called for an investigation.
    “The president also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible,.”
    Netanyahu can’t be happy about that.

    • wingbat: “..please note that Obama has condemned this attack in the harshest terms.”
      Oh, really? Will you kindly tell me where this has been reported? I’ve been following this very closely since it happened around 3 am this morning (PST), and I have yet to see any “condemnation” from the White House — only from the rest of the world, including the U.N. Please, show me, I’d very interested to see this.

      See my coverage of this on my (non-commercial) website: link to

    • “…Obama has condemned this attack in the harshest terms. ”
      True but I think we’re all tired of strong statements that is not backed up by strong actions. Obama is a wonderful speaker. His rhetorical ability is outstanding. Let’s see some action.

      • You, Mr. Ray, agree with wingbat that “…Obama has condemned this attack in the harshest terms,” but you proffer no proof of this statement as I requested of wingbat originally. I challenge you to show me any news report whatsoever which states that Obama has “condemned” the Israeli interference, etc. with the humanitarian aid flotilla. SHOW ME — WHERE IS IT? ANY IDIOT CAN MAKE ANY CLAIM THEY WANT TO (AND ON THE INTERNET, THEY CERTAINLY DO). PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

        Prof. Cole, perhaps they’ll believe you. Will you kindly clear this up?

        • Juan provides the evidence you requested in today’s post. “Harshest terms”? He calls it “brutal”. You would never hear this from Bush or McCain.

          “In a rare public denunciation of Israel, the United Nations Security Council on Monday condemned the Israeli raid on the Gaza aid flotilla and deplored the loss of innocent life that attended it. The world body insisted that Israel immediately release the 480 humanitarians it had taken captive, and demanded that it also let their ships go. The UNSC also instructed Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip, calling the siege “not sustainable.” Although the statement was weaker than the text urged by Turkey and the Arab world, it was brutal compared to the anodyne language usually insisted upon by Washington when it comes to Israel.”

          Juan Cole June 1, 2010

    • It doesn’t seem any other world leaders need any more investigation to condemn it outright. Given that even boarding the ship was unjustifiable.

  6. It is a testament to the degraded condition of our Democracy that we have to access a history professor from U of M to get a true account of the Israeli terror attacks.

    • Actually, in a real democracy the people would always look first to their university researchers, whom the people have funded to find out the truth for them. That journalists and policy makers go first to the paid-for think tank denizens of the wealthy right wing is what tells us that the condition of our democracy is degraded.

      • The condition of our democracy is certainly degraded, and you’re right about the msm’s dependence upon think tank interpretations of reality, but university researchers, like all historians, generally depend on first-hand reports, including news reports, to provide the factual basis for their analysis as well. I think the gradual shift from professional reporting to citizen journalism is more significant in the long run than the dominance of right wing analysts like Krauthammer, for example, on so-called news shows. Citjour on the web is providing historians and news analysts of all kinds with a fresh look at the real world.

  7. “Since American television news is predictably slighting the story,” – J. Cole

    The question is why, exactly why, is US TV news not giving the story the coverage it deserves?

  8. Israel is bravely defending one and a half million Palestinian prisoners from the ravages of humanitarian aid. Abraham wept.


  9. Our president and goverment are waiting for investigations? By whom? Israel? We have seen where that goes. Our president who’s an activist for human rights would still fear even a condemnation statement after such a provacation from Israel. And to keep thinking he is going to take a stand once and for all. Continuing settelments was not enough defiance by israel. This is an in your face to Obama on a personnal level.

  10. We must keep these trivial deaths in perspective, and
    remember how important it is to Israel’s security to deny Palestinian women the opportunity to purchase Kotex on the open market.

  11. Some mismatches in the news stories that I would like to know more about.

    If this is the narrative..
    A small boarding party of Shayetet 13 commandos arrive in Blackhawk helicopters.

    to board a Turkish flagged passenger ferry with 600 idle passengers in international waters link to

    who traveled under the organization of an Istanbul-based interest group.
    link to

    after radioing their intentions to board in advance.
    link to

    oh, and at the last minute they decided to pack live rounds instead of paintball guns.

    So, my questions in the context of recent Iran Turkey nuclear fuel processing offers, why does this look like deadly theater intended to disrupt and fracture all Turkey Israel connections?

  12. Look at the statement that came out of the UNSecCouncil. Everyone else was calling for an investigation by impartial UN elements. The US was holding out for an investigation by Israel (!). The statement compromised on something vague saying that an investigation should be caried out according to “international standards”, which the Izzies of course can interpret as they wish.

  13. On another theme, it has been repeatedly pointed out here that Turkey is a NATO country, and the Mavi Marmara is a Turkish ship sailing under the Turkish flag. Art. 5 of the NATO Mutual Assistance Pact states that if one NATO country is attacked, other NATO countries are duty bound to go to its aid. So?

  14. Condemnations ?

    Not really the words used were as usual : deplore, regret, excessive use of violence and the Zionist Propaganda Staffel à la Sky, Fox, etc. went into full gear by stressing on the iron bars (sic) that this so called (resin) pacifist were carrying and on Sky even doubting that the correspondent of al-Jazeera, PressTV were real unbiased journalist reporting facts (resic).

    This said what strikes me on this site (both yourself prof and the comments) is that nobody mentioned the USS Liberty – I copy the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry (note the “incident”)


    The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter planes and motor torpedo boats, on June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War. The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two Marines, and a civilian), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship. At the time, the ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, about 25.5 nmi (29.3 mi; 47.2 km) northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish.[1]


    It is also to be noted that the deliberate attack was done on the US Memorial day which tells you that beside the U.S., the Zionists don’t give a hoot about what the rest (including Europe) of the world thinks including its wave of condemnations…

  15. Dr. Cole,

    Could you please explain your comment that the American TV news is underplaying this story? Why is that the case and how is it predictable?

    • The response of the US press is predictable because it is consistent. They are responding to this event in much the same way as they have responded to previous Israeli provocations — by minimizing the time and space devoted to the coverage, and maximizing the fraction of that time and space devoted to presentation of the official Israeli position, the statements of Israeli apologists here, and to irrelevant information and misinformation.

    • The MSM in the states has been shut down for decades about the I/P conflict…decades. This goes on until today. Oh NPR will throw a few truthful reports the publics way but spin that news by calling Israeli violence necessary and referencing Hamas as “terrorist” The organization FAIR did a study and report on NPR’s bias.

      The most recent examples of our MSM’s black out is Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann etc did not even touch or mention the Goldstone Report. Nothing. Silence

      Most recently none of these programs even whispered about the International flotilla last week when they began their voyage…not a whisper. But tonight you will either hear spin on the massacre or silence on MSNBC. Spin or silence.

      Israeli forces took the activist recording devices, computers etc. Probably have destroyed. They do not want evidence…no evidence…

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