Book of the Day: Midnight on the Mavi Marmara

Book of the Day: Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict, Moustafa Bayoumi, Editor.

Click on the hyperlink above to go to go to the OR Books web site, where you can order this volume of short trenchant essays on the incident, including one by yours truly. The book is not available via

‘ “We have been attacked while in international waters. That means the Israelis have behaved like pirates … The moment they start to steer this ship towards Israel, we have also been kidnapped. The whole action is illegal.”—Henning Mankell, aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Eastern Mediterranean, Monday, May 31st, 2010, 4.30am: Israeli commandos, boarding from sea and air, attack the six boats of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla as it sails through international waters bringing humanitarian relief to the beleaguered Palestinians of Gaza. Within minutes, nine peace activists are dead, shot by the Israelis. Scores of others are injured. The 700 people on board the ships are arrested before being transported to detention centers in Israel and then deported.

Within hours, outrage at Israel’s action echoes around the world. Spontaneous demonstrations in Europe, the United States, Turkey, and Gaza itself denounce the attack. Turkey’s prime minister describes it as a “bloody massacre” and “state terrorism.” Lebanon’s prime minister calls it “a dangerous and crazy step that will exacerbate tensions in the region.”

In these pages, a range of activists, journalists, and analysts piece together the events that occurred that May night, unpicking their meanings for Israel’s illegal, three-year-long blockade of Gaza and the decades-long Israel/Palestine conflict more generally. Mixing together first-hand testimony, documentary record, and illustration, with hard-headed analysis and historical overview, Midnight on the Mavi Marmara reveals why the attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla may just turn out to be Israel’s Selma, Alabama: the beginning of the end for an apartheid Palestine.

CONTRIBUTORS: Ali Abunimah, Eyad Al Sarraj, Lamis Andoni, Omar Barghouti, George Bisharat, Max Blumenthal, Noam Chomsky, Marsha B. Cohen, Juan Cole, Murat Dagli, Jamal Elshayyal, Sümeyye Ertekin, Norman Finkelstein, Neve Gordon, Glenn Greenwald, Arun Gupta, Amira Hass, Nadia Hijab, Adam Horowitz, Rashid Khalidi, Stephen Kinzer, Iara Lee, Henning Mankell, Paul Larudee, Gideon Levy, Alia Malek, Lubna Masarwa, Mike Marqusee, Yousef Munayyer, Ken O’Keefe, Daniel Luban, Kevin Ovenden, Ilan Pappé, Doron Rosenblum, Sara Roy, Ben Saul, Adam Shapiro, Raja Shehadeh, Henry Siegman, Ahdaf Soueif, Raji Sourani, Richard Tillinghast, Alice Walker, Stephen M. Walt, Philip Weiss, and Haneen Zoabi.

Publication September 1 2010 256 pages’

4 Responses

  1. Al Jazeera is reporting further blow-back from the Mavi Marmara and deteriorating US – Turkish relations. Washington’s latest threat concerning military assistance looks sure to further degrade the relationship. Geographic knowledge must be getting as rare as historical knowledge in the halls of Washington. As a keystone member of the NATO alliance, as well as being host to US forces, the current regime in Washington is playing with failure. Washington needs Turkey far more than Turkey needs the US which is playing the auld cut off your nose to spite your face game to satisfy an illegal regime in Tel Aviv that the US has been sheltering from the beginning. Keep this up and NATO if not Turkey’s treaty is history.

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    The neocon shower in Washington needs curbing and manners put on ’em.

  2. I’m glad you contributed to this publication. The idea from Gabi Ashkenazi that the Israelis are going to use snipers to shoot down unarmed resisters in a future event disgusts me. The British in 1948, unarmed, risked, and were, thrown overboard. If the Israelis shoot, in such a future event, I can’t imagine an event more cowardly, and more lacking in moral quality, than that.

  3. The book is wishful thinking, not to mention its premise is wrong, as so vividly illustrated by BBC’s Panorama program, “Death in the Med.”

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