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Reporting the Flotilla Massacre June 6, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics, Uncategorized.
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If you listen to the mainstream media narrative regarding the attack on the Gaza aid flotilla by Israeli forces, you would think that Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip is a necessary policy for protecting Israeli security aimed at disrupting the flow of weapons to Hamas, a benevolent Israel supplies all the aid Gazans need, and the killing of nine aid activists a legitimate defensive response to unprovoked attacks by the activists.  In other words, the mainstream media simply repeats Israeli propaganda.

The reality is a lot more complicated. While the blockade may be a security measure, it is much more as well. It is an attempt to undermine Hamas with the hope that a more moderate leadership might then take power. Meanwhile Gazans are starved of basic necessities of life and the massacre of nine activists a war crime. Via M.J. Rosenberg

Here are the facts about life in Gaza today — facts that only can be changed by breaking the blockade. These data come from the American Near East Relief Association (ANERA), which provides relief to Gazans to the extent permitted by the Israeli (and American) authorities. ANERA is neither “pro-Israel” nor “pro-Palestinian.” It has no political agenda at all. It merely determines what human needs are and tries to respond to them.

8 out of 10 Gazans depend on foreign aid to survive.

The World Food Program says Gaza requires a minimum of 400 trucks a day to meet basic nutritional needs – yet an average of just 171 trucks worth of supplies enters Gaza every week,

Clothes that were held in the port of Ashdod for over a year were released into Gaza but arrived covered with mold and mildew, unusable.

95% of Gaza’s water fails World Health Organization standards leaving thousands of newborns at risk of poisoning.

Anemia for children under the age of 5 is estimated at 48%.

75 million liters of untreated sewage are pumped into the Mediterranean Sea every day – because piping and spare parts are not permitted.

During the 2009 bombing:

More than 120,000 jobs were lost as Gaza’s industrial zone was destroyed… 15,000 homes and apartments were damaged or destroyed… 1/3 of all schools were destroyed.

None of these can be rebuilt, because construction supplies are kept out by the Israeli authorities.

As to the attack on the flotilla, eye witness supports suggest it was nothing but premeditated murder. Via Juan Cole,

As The Lede points out, the more Mavi Marmara passengers who talk to the press, the more the Israeli official narrative about their landing on the deck of the ship is challenged.

Accounts of Israeli troops shooting passengers between the eyes are particularly chilling.

Aljazeera English broadcast an interview with Jamal ElShayyal , a journalist aboard the Mavi Marmara. In it, he asserted that the Israelis opened fire as they were boarding the vessel, and that one passenger took a bullet through the top of his head. Many passengers have now confirmed that they were fired on even before the commandos had boots on the deck. Presumably it is this suppressive fire that killed or wounded some passengers and which provoked an angry reaction and an attack on the commandos.

And here are more eyewitness accounts:

Abbas al-Lawati says that Monday’s attack on the Mavi Marmara came in three stages– first stun grenades were tosed on deck; then an attempt was made to board from the sea, which failed. And then rubber bullets were deployed from above, which, however, killed or injured aid workers, enraging some of them…

Shane Dillon of Ireland, who was on one of the other ships, “said the Israelis had used stun guns, assaulted people with the butt ends of rifles, pushed people to the ground and stood on them.”

There has been world-wide condemnation of Israel for its intransigence and violence. And in Israel, there is actually a robust debate about the policies that led to the massacre.

But in the United States, discussion of our support for Israeli policy is muted by a press corps uninterested in publishing facts.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com



1. Asur - June 7, 2010

It would seem that Israel is placing pride above sense and judgment.

On the flip side, those killed in the flotilla are not victims; the flotilla hoped to create an incident that would bring international attention to Israel’s blockade and the human impact it has. The flotilla simply succeeded in its purpose, and this is the trade they made to do so.

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