Northern Ireland Condemns Israeli Raid on Rachel Corrie,
“Completely unacceptable Use of Force”

In what N. Irish Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described as a “raid,” the Israeli Navy again commandeered an unarmed, peaceful ship in international waters, the Rachel Corrie, in a bid to prevent wheel chairs from reaching the blockaded people of Gaza, an Occupied Territory of which Israel controls the borders, air and sea.

The Irish government (the ship took off from Ireland) is furious. And for once it is agreed with by Northern Ireland in the UK, with the deputy first minister condemning the raid as a “completely unacceptable and unjustified use of force”.

McGuinness insisted, “The Rachel Corrie should have been allowed to proceed to Gaza without Israeli aggression,” adding, “This is an attack on an Irish flagged vessel and it demands a strong response by the Irish government.”

Note: an earlier version of this posting omitted the “Northern” in Northern Ireland. Regrets for the confusion.

20 Responses

  1. thank you to all who participated in this dangerous humanitarian event. And thanks Juan for keeping us updated.

    I have been letting people know for years that Informed Comment is one of the best places in the blog world to get verifiable information on the middle east.

    Thanks for all of your work Juan

  2. Gaza flotilla activists were shot in head at close range

    Exclusive: Nine Turkish men on board Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times, autopsy results reveal

    link to
    “He calculated that during the bloodiest part of the assault, Israeli commandos shot one person every minute. One man was fatally shot in the back of the head just two feet in front him and another was shot once between the eyes. He added that as well as the fatally wounded, 48 others were suffering from gunshot wounds and six activists remained missing, suggesting the death toll may increase.

    The new information about the manner and intensity of the killings undermines Israel’s insistence that its soldiers opened fire only in self defence and in response to attacks by the activists.”

    Wondering when Israel will release the tapes of these executions so that Chris Matthews and the rest can show those clips 9 times in seven minutes.

    • Notice that no one from our mainstream press has said that Israeli naval commandos were being criminal for gunning down unarmed aid workers aboard the flotilla. The most negative thing our mainstream press has to say about these commandos is that they were being stupid.

      But if evidence emerges that these killings were done premeditatively — and they probably were given that all of the dead were Turkish nationals, or of Turkish descent — and if evidence emerges that most of these killings were done execution style — and they probably were given that most of the dead were shot in the head at close range, then the Israeli commandos weren’t merely being criminal, they were acting as cold-blooded killers! But this truth will be never be known because the head honchos of the Israeli government went to great lengths to make certain that all incriminating evidence against their naval commandos, from the planning stages to the actual execution, was thoroughly destroyed.

  3. That’s Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister McGuinness. I agree with him; but, his opinion is not likely to sway top officials in the Republic of Ireland. One would hope that they would speak out, though.

  4. Dr. Cole,

    Thanks for alerting us about it. Google News has nothing on Ireland’s reaction to the boarding of the “Corrie.” I did a Google search on “Ireland”, and all I got was soccer and old news about the “Corrie”

    link to

    Same thing with Turkey, which besides old, rehashed, and pro-Israel news, it has completely disappeared from Google. You can find only a couple of new pieces,

    link to

    while Turkey is breaking news in no less than Israel’s Haaretz (via

    link to

    I started doing this last night with Turkey, and just added Ireland to my curiosity. The media manipulation is of gigantic proportions.

  5. Europe of course is going ballistic; we haven’t heard much from the Arab states, which may not be surprising since their regimes don’t like Hamas much more than Israel does. But I haven’t seen any reaction from Iran either.

    • Phud1:in the light of your last two comments I am led to believe you might have an understanding of Hamas that comes from the MSM. Would you read these:

      link to

      link to

      link to

      None of these are from particularly radical sources. Indeed the first is from the Murdoch press.

      Of course the other Arab regimes don’t like Hamas – it is a democratically elected Islamic government. That would threaten pretty well all of them.

  6. Turkey and Ireland should send Naval ships to accompany the next flotilla.

  7. Attention now needs to focus on the seized ships and their cargoes. The Israelis should come under pressure to release the cargoes into Gaza as intended, and to release the ships to their legal owners once unloaded.

  8. Forg

    otten in all this is the real reason Israel is making Gaza an issue…..

    The Gas…….

    Offshore, within Gaza Territorial waters lies massive gas deposits, Israel needs…
    hence the about face regarding sovereignty….

    If Gaza is sovereign the gas belongs to the Palestinians.. not to Israel…. the revenue
    goes to Palestine.. not to Israel….

    Israel needs the gas… will do anything to get the gas…. murdering a few civilians
    is just the tip of the iceberg…..
    What I don’t understand is why Hamas doesn’t use an aid flotilla to set a trap for Israel… They have shown their hand regarding tactics… If a ship like the Turkish ship was equipped with 155 mm recooiless rifles, one in each window, with 50 cal machine gouns on every flat in the superstructure, and shoulder fired SAMs, and a few homing torpedoes to boot, they could sucker Israel into surrounding the ship to seize it, and use the firepower to sink the Israeli Navy. Setting several of the homing torps to 20 m depth would suppress any subs around. Action should be over in 10 mins..


  9. Ilan Pappe on Israel mindset:

    The international response is based on the assumption that more forthcoming Palestinian concessions and a continued dialogue with the Israeli political elite will produce a new reality on the ground. The official discourse in the West is that a very reasonable and attainable solution is just around the corner if all sides would make one final effort: the two-state solution.

    Nothing is further from the truth than this optimistic scenario. The only version of this solution that is acceptable to Israel is the one that both the tamed Palestine Authority in Ramallah and the more assertive Hamas in Gaza could never ever accept. It is an offer to imprison the Palestinians in stateless enclaves in return for ending their struggle.

    Thus even before one discusses either an alternative solution – a single democratic state for all, which I support – or explores a more plausible, two-state settlement, one has to transform fundamentally the Israeli official and public mindset. This mentality is the principal barrier to a peaceful reconciliation in the torn land of Israel and Palestine.

    Please read the whole analysis here:

    link to

  10. Shameless Mainstream media plays Israel’s game.

    Deported ???

    Kidnapped and released.

    All IC readers should write to their “favorite” news outlet to set the record straight.

  11. dr. cole,

    do you see a connection between gaza’s off shore natural gas resources and israel’s insistence that israel controls gaza’s ocean area – it seems to me that the establishment of this ownership claim – a claim expressed by military intervention against the aid flotilla might be more important than how many pencils and wheelchairs find their way into gaza.

    thank you,
    penelope kelly

  12. Unfortunately ‘Northern Ireland’ is a rather meaningless entity, a non-functional subordinate entity in which mortal enemies are bound together in the trappings of power. Martin McGuinness as Deputy First Minister speaks for Sinn Fein which is traditionally sympathetic to the Palestinians. But as a government minister he is part of an artificial coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party, which is traditionally sympathetic to the Israelis. If the First Minister, the ‘Democratic Unionist’, Peter Robinson, had made (or even approved) this statement then it would have been very significant. I’ve done a brief Google search and so far as I can see he hasn’t. A proposal to call a special meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly to discuss the matter was dismissed by DUP spokesmen as a ‘stunt’.

  13. Repeating an earlier comment re Gas Fields Off Gaza Coast here is The Guardian’s report:
    link to
    Pay particular attention to WHO is involved, WHAT is involved, WHEN this took place, HOW MUCH the gas is worth and quantity involved, WHO BENEFITS.

    How come reading comprehension is so dismal? When did Hamas win a democratic election?, when did the propaganda quarantine against Hamas start?, when did the attempted coup by Fatah (Abbas & Co.) against Hamas take place?, what were the public reasons given for these events?, would the control of this gas be the actual underlying cause?. Occam’s Razor is your friend.

  14. Martin McGuinness? Isn’t he the high school drop out who heads up that rump province’s education ministry?

    And isn’t Mairead Corrigan the one who won a Nobel Peace Prize for decrying the very terrorist organization Martin used to propel himself into a decent job?

    If the pair of them have made peace, there’s hope for us all.

  15. I Think alot of posters are nibbling around the underlying truth here: those in power generally, but specifically in Israel, really JUST DO NOT CARE about starving (palestinian) babies, or bulldozed engenues like Rachel Corrie. At a dinner party following these incidents I suspect all you’d see in the way of reactions would be resigned sighs and eyerolls.
    Maybe these people are empowered somewhat by these purported gas deposits, or god-given righteous, or maybe only by the primal need to never give on anything (otherwise we’d be on the way to holocaust II, after all). However, I suspect the mindset that these passive resisters hope to influence is a great deal different than the crumbling colonial mindset of post WWII Britain……Maybe we should accept the evidence that these people REALLY just do not care…….?

    As to 30 gunshots and nine fatalities. The boarders were NOT customs or police people: they were specially trained to kill without hesitation. At Kent State there was an accident, due to national guard folks who as easily could’ve shot over the students heads. There was no real control. Militaries have an ongoing problem training troops to kill without hesitation, even in the most desperate and bona fide combat situations; hence the endless peacetime training, bonding, indoctrinations, etc, etc. In this case, shooting “over their heads” or whatever, was precisely what the leadershop (Ehud Barak, Defense Minister, a blooded and veteran commando himself), did NOT want to have happen: THAT sort of thing would have been the Disaster these people really would have feared.
    It would be FAR more realistic and rationale for the instructions to be, Kill anyone who gets in your way. In real life, shooting to injure is NUTS: it only serves to motivates to resist in effective (lethal) ways, rather than just talk. People with real experience know this. Special Forces, and especially guys like this, are imprinted with a 1-2 shot patterned-reflex: one shot to the trunk, since its the biggest area, in order to stop/freeze a target, followed immediately by a “double tap” to the head, since its a smaller target and easily missed by only one bullet under stress. With that opponent confidently dispatched, its on to the next smuck. Sure, they’d be able to adapt somewhat, knowing these people were there to make a PR statement and would be unarmed. But, make no mistake, this was all intentional, and in those same salons with the eyerolls, you WOULD, in all reality now get a few resigned, “well, just MAYBE, that’ll teach them a lesson”.
    Its high time for people to revisit their premises about this situation and how to best handle it.

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