Flotilla turns violent - Latest


By Jonathan Hoffman
May 31, 2010
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IDF Announcement 9:24AM - at least 14 persons, soldiers and protestors, hospitalized, light to medium injuries, among them 6 soldiers

- Flotilla entered closed military zone with "unknown" contents
- Flotilla members at best do not condemn Hamas and at worst support them
- Flotilla members not real "human rights activists" as evidenced by refusal to assist plight of Gilad Shalit
- IDF invited flotilla to have aid inspected and distributed to Gazans. Flotilla members refused
- When soldiers boarded, passengers used violence, including trying to grab weapons off soldiers and even stabbing some

COMMENTS

Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 07:52

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Demo 2pm today - Whitehall next to Downing Street


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 07:53

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9:48AM - Roni Daniel (well-connected; Channel 2) - between 14-20 protestors killed


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 07:55

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http://switch5.castup.net/frames/mfa_live_archive

8.30 London time - Press Conference with Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 08:01

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BBC 8am news: Reporting ten pro-Palestinian activists killed. Hamas has called on Muslims to rise up against Israel. 4 Israeli officers injured.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 08:07

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Activists on the main boat armed with knives, clubs, metal rods, screwdrivers and attacked the IDF soldiers. They were able to seize a gun from one of the soldiers and began to beat him with their clubs, also shooting at other soldiers [Israeli Channel 10]. It was then that the soldiers returned fire. The latest report [chan. 10] puts the number of killed among the pro-Palestinian activists at 19.

There was also violent resistance on the deck where the wheelhouse is.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 08:09

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IDF Spokesman 10am

IDF Forces Met with Pre-Planned Violence when attempting to Board Flotilla

Early this morning, IDF Naval Forces intercepted six ships attempting to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. This happened after numerous warnings from Israel and the Israel Navy that were issued prior to the action. The Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid material which would then be transferred over land after undergoing security inspections.

During the intercept of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.

As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, including live fire.

According to initial reports, these events resulted in over ten deaths among the demonstrators and numerous injured, in addition, more than four naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and some from various other weapons. Two of the soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries. All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners are currently being evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.

Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that it seems as if part of the participants onboard the ships were planning to lynch the forces.

The events are ongoing, and information will be updated as soon as possible. Israeli Naval commander, Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom is overseeing the events.

In the coming hours, the ships will be directed to the Ashdod port, while IDF naval forces will perform security checks in order to identify the people on board the ships and their equipment. The IDF Spokesman conveys that this event is currently unfolding and further details will be provided as soon as possible.

This IDF naval operation was carried out under orders from the political leadership to halt the flotilla from reaching the Gaza Strip and breaching the naval blockade.

The interception of the flotilla followed numerous warnings given to the organizers of the flotilla before leaving their ports as well as while sailing towards the Gaza Strip. In these warnings, it was made clear to the organizers that they could dock in the Ashdod sea port and unload the equipment they are carrying in order to deliver it to the Gaza Strip in an orderly manner, following the appropriate security checks. Upon expressing their unwillingness to cooperate and arrive at the port, it was decided to board the ships and lead them to Ashdod.

IDF naval personnel encountered severe violence, including use of weaponry prepared in advance in order to attack and to harm them. The forces operated in adherence with operational commands and took all necessary actions in order to avoid violence, but to no avail.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 08:33

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The IDF soldiers were attacked upon landing by at least eight people, two of them soldiers (Turkish), one stole a gun from an IDF soldier.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 08:36

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This AP article identifies Huwaida Arraf, a leader of the ISM, as a spokesperson for the "freedom flotilla." Her husband Adam Shapiro, is also there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100530/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinian...

Here is ISM:

http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/ism_fact_sheet_radical_politics_endan...


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 09:26

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At least 2 pistols were found on the boat from which shots were fired. No sovereign country could - or should - tolerate an incursion like this into closed military waters.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 09:45

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Clip on Memri showing flotilla chanting against Jews, intifada songs

http://bit.ly/d3uQ0G


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 09:59

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Memri clip:

Khaybar Khayber ya Yahud
Jaysh Muhammad sa ya`ud

Khaybar Khaybar O Jews
the army of Muhammad will return.

Khaybar was a Jewish-populated oasis in northern Arabia. Muhammad and his forces attacked, defeated the Jews, murdering and enslaving them. Taking the Jews' wives as booty, etc ....


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:05

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http://hurryupharry.org/2010/05/24/hamas-ahoy/

Reminder of the Hamas links of IHH, the Turkish organiser of the flotilla


ibrows

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:11

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Jonathan, where did you get evidence of the pistols? Its nonsense, they were unarmed on the fortilla.

Hope the 75 year old Holocaust survivor who is part of the peace activists group is not injured, or it could prove rather difficult to claim he had a pistol


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:13

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she. and she isn't a survivor. she is a refugee.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:15

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"Jonathan routinely calls for people to be publicly removed if he objects to their statements"

Evidence?

Or withdraw.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:17

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http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/ngo_monitor_cautions_media_on_flotill...

NGO Monitor Cautions Media on Flotilla Violence Claims
NGO Monitor

May 31, 2010

Lessons from the “Jenin massacre” and other myths

Following conflicting and incomplete reports about the violence aboard the “Gaza flotilla” boats, NGO Monitor called on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and journalists who quote them, to carefully scrutinize allegations of “human rights violations” before repeating false claims and propaganda.

“In many instances in the past, NGOs have been responsible for repeating and amplifying false claims of Israeli ‘crimes,’ without credible evidence,” said NGO Monitor President Gerald Steinberg. “In 2002, an Amnesty International representative gave credence to the ‘Jenin massacre’ lie, and in 2006, Human Rights Watch did the same in the tragic Gaza Beach incident. The baseless NGO claims were publicized in the media, and then embraced as true by anti-Israel activists.”

NGOs were similarly responsible for promulgating false claims regarding Muhammad al-Dura (2000) and the Reuters cameraman (2008), and during the Lebanon and Gaza wars.

“Information provided by the flotilla organizers, who include International Solidarity Movement radicals, is particularly suspect. As videos on CNN and BBC demonstrate, the activists were armed and violent,” said Steinberg. “The videos disprove the version put forth by the Free Gaza Movement.”

NGO Monitor also noted that the flotilla was endorsed by EU-funded Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), EU- and European-funded Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), NIF-funded Coalition of Women for Peace, European-fundedAlternative Information Center (AIC), and Israeli groups New Profile, Bat Shalom, Yesh Gvul, and Zochrot. Jeff Halper, executive director of ICAHD, is on the board of advisors.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:26

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Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors Calls On President Obama To Demand Answers From Turkey Over Violent Pro-Hamas Gaza Flotilla

May 31, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Omri Ceren
Phone: 213-984-1918, omri@cjhsla.org

Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors is calling on the Obama administration to demand answers from the government of Turkey regarding Ankara's role in supplying the Gaza Flotilla that yesterday violently clashed with America's ally Israel.

The group of six ships departed from Turkey and attempted to violate Israel's internationally-recognized blockade on the Gaza Strip, the territory controlled by Iranian-backed Hamas Islamists who have repeatedly pledged to wipe out the Jewish State. Israel offered to allow the group to unload its ostensibly humanitarian cargo at the Israeli port of Ashdod, after which the goods would be inspected for weapons and sent to Gaza via overland routes. When the fleet explicitly declared its intention to run the blockade, they were intercepted and stopped by the Israeli Navy.

The ostensibly non-violent group of activists and militants then attacked the Israelis with knives and clubs, stabbing at least one soldier in the stomach. A firefight erupted after the gun of another Israeli soldier was torn from his hands and turned on the rest of the Israeli contingent. As of this morning dozens are reported wounded or killed, from both sides.

"Turkey is supposed to be one of our NATO allies, and President Obama has gone out of his way not to offend the Turkish people or the Erdogan government," said Doris Montrose, President and founder of the Los Angeles-based non-profit. "But here we have Turkey inciting anti-Israel violence, supplying anti-Israel thugs, and then spearheading an international campaign to completely delegitimize the Jewish State."

Montrose added: "now is not the time for the White House's famed delicate touch, which has already pushed Turkey into the Iranian orbit and away from America and the West. Over the last year we've seen an erosion of US power and influence across the Middle East, not least of all because this administration refuses to back our actual allies and call out our genuine enemies."

"Turkey's ambassador recently returned to DC after a month-long snit over the House's Armenian genocide resolution. If President Obama is truly a friend of Israel, the Ambassador will be spending today providing 'clarifications' as to why his government is providing succor to genocidal enemies of our ally Israel."

CJHS grounds its mission in the core insistence that the last Holocaust imposes upon all people of good will a moral and political imperative to prevent the next one. It works to bring public awareness to the diplomatic, geopolitical, and military dynamics that threaten the American way of life, the existence of the Jewish State, and the freedom of all Westerners. Find out more at www.cjhsla.org.


ibrows

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:26

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The Jenin massacre occurred and there is much evidence of that from international organisations around the world.

You too Jonathan should note this warning, and substantiate your claims of pistols on board, or doesn't this rule apply to you?


ibrows

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:28

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19 killed according to reports on Israeli army radio


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:28

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It was Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister who released the information abt the pistols - at his Press Conf 30m ago.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:31

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http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2010/Israel_Navy_warns_...

"Pistols found on flotilla activists: According to reports from sea, on board the flotilla that was seeking to break the maritime closure on the Gaza Strip, IDF forces apprehended two violent activists holding pistols. The violent activists took these pistols from IDF forces and apparently opened fire on the soldiers as evident by the empty pistol magazines."


ibrows

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:34

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Do your warnings also relate to official Israeli government statements that quickly seek to distance themselves from any responsibility for the deaths, regardless of what the actual evidence is


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:34

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Int’l Law Expert Dr. Robbie Sabel: IDF action in international waters legal

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 31 May 2010

IMRA asked Hebrew University international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel about the legality of the IDF action in international waters.

Dr. Sabel explained that a state, in a time of conflict, can impose an embargo, and while it cannot carry out embargo activities in the territorial
waters of a third party, it can carry out embargo activities in international waters.

Within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo and if in the course of detaining the vessel, force is used against the forces carrying out the detention then that force has every right to act in self defence.

Dr. Sabel noted that there is a long history of embargo activities in international waters.


Blacklisted Dictator

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:36

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JERUSALEM POST
http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=176970

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.

Next, it tackled the delegitimization effort. Stories were leaked by the government to the press about the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), the Turkish organization that is behind the flotilla, described as a “radical Islamic organization” that was outlawed by Israel in 2008 for allegedly serving as a major component in Hamas’s global fund-raising machine.

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.

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.

Israel had other options. One was to stop the ships far out at sea, inspect them, maybe even arrest a terror suspect or two if there were such aboard, and then let the ships sail freely into Gaza.

Another option was to simply let the ships through unchecked. In the absence of intelligence indicating that the ships were carrying arms, the risk might not have been that great. Yes, it could have paved the way for additional flotillas, but all of these could be inspected by the navy, which would be tasked with ruling out the possibility that arms were being smuggled in by sea.

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.


ibrows

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:36

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So lets get your story straight. We have hundreds of civilians and Israeli forces with military vessels and helicopters and you assume it was the civilians that instigated the trouble, obviously the armed soldiers had nothing to do with the killing of the peace activists. Nice try.


ibrows

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:40

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BUT WHY DID ISRAELI FORCES ATTACK THE FORTILLA IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS? surely that is illegal under international law, and when its proved they also killed peace activists that were unarmed, ISRAEL is gonna have some difficult questions to answer. The illegal actions of the Israeli state are undermining any type of reputation it sought to uphold as a just, democratic state


Blacklisted Dictator

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:46

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Interesting that Turkey has now decided to get involved. It seems that a Turkish/ Iranian/Hamas axis has emerged.

Btw, does anyone know when Turkey is joining The Euro?


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:47

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STANDWITHUS DENOUNCES ANTI-ISRAEL FLOTILLA GOALS AND LYNCHING ATTEMPT

SUPPORTS NEED FOR ISRAEL TO DEFEND HERSELF

We regret the violence, unnecessary casualties, and loss of life instigated by the anti-Israel flotilla when it defied national and international law, and provoked a confrontation with Israel early this morning.

It did not have to be like this.

Israel has sought peace and compromise with its neighbors for all of its 62 years.

However, Hamas activists and supporters, in an intentional provocation against Israel, violated international law, violently attacked Israeli military and security personnel with steel pipes, knives, rocks and, according to the most recent news reports, with gun fire, and provoked bloodshed.

It did not have to turn out this way.

The organizers of the anti-Israel flotilla claimed that their goal was bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza’s residents. Israel offered to accommodate them in any way possible, and deliver the donated goods through Ashdod, using normal search procedures. The activists rejected the offer.

The Israeli navy contacted the boats, and warned them not to proceed to Gaza, but to go instead to Ashdod. They refused.

Their refusal violated international law and directly attacked Israel’s sovereign rights. The Oslo Accords give Israel sovereignty over the Gaza coast, and international law allows countries to ask suspicious boats to identify themselves before entering their waters, and to require that they conform to the nation’s laws and security needs.

Israel cannot allow unknown goods and people to enter Gaza. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist regime that calls for the murder of Jews, the “obliteration” of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist theocracy. In the past, Israel has intercepted weapons-laden boats headed for Gaza’s coast.

No government allows unidentified people and goods to flout their border regulations and enter their countries freely. If these activists behaved similarly at passport and security control in the U.S. or any other nation’s shores, ignoring their official protocol and violently attacking security personnel, they would also have been stopped and arrested.

It should not come as a surprise that any country’s navy would find it necessary to board and search a vessel attempting illegally to enter their sovereign shores. What is surprising is that the Israeli security personnel were brutally attacked with knives, lead pipes, and other weapons when they carried out predictable and routine security procedures.

Israel has pressing security needs on its border with Gaza, which is controlled by a terrorist organization, and has become a center of other terrorist entities as well, such as Al Qaeda and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas was responsible for close to 40% of the suicide attacks against Israeli citizens, has launched over 8,000 rocket attacks at communities in southern Israel since 2005, and intensively smuggles weapons to continue its war. Israel could not give a free pass to vessels that might contribute to Hamas’ terrorist efforts.

It did not have to be like this.

The flotilla organizers claim they are “peace activists.” They should be very concerned that the Hamas government they seek to aid is an enemy of peace, opposes all compromise and negotiations, and systematically incites its people to hate and kill Israelis. They should be concerned that Hamas is a brutal regime that has tortured and murdered almost a thousand Palestinian rivals, summarily executes alleged Israeli “collaborators,” terrorizes and oppresses Gaza residents, and has held kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit incommunicado for nearly three years, violating all human rights standards. They should also be concerned that in supporting the Hamas regime, they endorse the murder of Jews and the genocidal threats of Hamas’ main sponsor, Iran.

It did not have to be like this.

The flotilla organizers could have sincerely sought peace by urging Hamas to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, accept past Palestinian-Israeli agreements, and reject terrorism and violence. Instead, the flotilla activists endorse Hamas’ current extremism and belligerence.

People of good will everywhere should condemn the flotilla’s goals and its violence.
--------------------------------------------------------

StandWithUs is a nine-year old, international, non-profit Israel education organization that ensures that Israel's side of the story is told in communities, campuses, libraries, the media and schools through brochures, speakers, conferences, missions to Israel, and thousands of pages of Internet resources that are distributed globally. www.standwithus.com and www.standwithus.co.il

Based in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and offices across the U.S., Israel and the UK.


ibrows

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:48

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So it was self-defence. haha, Jonathan its the Israeli forces, one of the strongest armies in the world against a hundred peace activists, did they really have to kill them? and to claim 'self defence' you insult my intelligence.

Not sure your so-called 'legal experts' view will hold up in an international court, highly dubious, and could you classify this as a 'conflict' prior to the Israeli attack, well, no! So self-defence is a poor attempt to remove Israeli responsiblity for the killing of civilians


ibrows

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:53

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'Israel sought peace and compromise for 62 years'

What like in Gaza in January 2009 when it killed 1,400 civilians, or in the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the massacre of Sabra and Shatila or in the six day war of 1967 when it illegally annexed Palestinian territory

So thats what compromise looks like


ibrows

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:55

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Spain summons Israeli ambassador over attack on Fortilla


Blacklisted Dictator

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:56

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It is quite likely that Hamas will now start launching some rockets against Israel.
I assume that there will be many more deaths.

I would imagine that this incident has been carefuly orchestrated between Turkey/Iran and Hamas. Is a wider war going to break out?

I wonder where all this is going.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 11:22

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Blacklisted Dictator

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 11:29

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Turkey's foreign ministry calls for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council over Israel's military operation.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 11:56

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHXzeFJxJgw

'Humanitarian activists' attack IDF soldiers on the ship


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 15:36

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU12KW-XyZE

Flotilla Guerillas Use Violence Against Israeli Navy Soldiers Attempting to Board Ship


Jon_i_Cohen

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 18:56

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Pistols, slingshots, metal ball-bearings, metal bars, wooden clubs, axes, knives.

This is now standard issue "kit" to "Peace" activists.

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