Thursday, June 10, 2010

Freegaza - Survivor testimonies

“The Israeli navy fired on the ships five minutes before commandos descended from ropes that dangled from helicopters. “Freegaza - Survivor testimonies - Haneen Zuaby - Minister Israeli Knesset

Sunday, June 06, 2010

According to video released by the IDF...

There were two attempts by Israeli troops to board the Mavi Marmara. The first a water assault, was repelled by the passengers.

This video record of the failed assault establishes certain facts:

1) The passengers intended to keep the IDF commandos off the ship.
2) The passengers had sticks and metal rods which they shook in the universal warning, "Come here and I got something fo' yo' ass!"
3) The IDF was not prepared for the resistance they met.
4) At this point, no one has gotten hurt.

There is now a lull in the action and the IDF has lots of choices including:

a) Ask to inspect the ship's cargo at sea
b) Try to negotiate a non-violent helicopter boarding.
c) Warn the folks on the deck to drop their sticks and pipes and kitchen knives and announce that if they impede the troops' landing the IDF intends to use deadly force.
d) Wait until the ship is closer to Gaza and in shallow water then disable it thus reducing the danger to passengers should the ship itself be damaged and sink.

As always, there were lots non-violent alternatives and then there was:
z) Use more force.

Having chosen a hostile helicopter landing the chopper hovered above the Mavi Marmara and according to the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, The boarding party had real-time photographs of the ships from IDF helicopters hovering overhead,

So they could see (if they could not figure out) that the folks waving the sticks and bars who had repelled the first boarding attempt had not gone away.

The IDF still had all the nonviolent options available to them. They could have postponed, cancelled, rethought the attack. They could again have warned the folks on the deck that resistance would be met with deadly force. But, again according to the Haaretz report.

a decision was made to board the Marmara with 14 commandos, some of whom rappelled from a helicopter. They carried rifles loaded with paint balls for crowd control, as well as loaded pistols, but the latter were not supposed to be used.

Former Israeli Navy chief Ami Ayalon said in Highland Park last week, "Professional soldiers know that anytime you send warriors into an operation among civilians you are sentencing a certain number of civilians will die. Whatever politicians may say, professionals know that civilians will die."

Knowing all this some IDF commander gave the order, "go!"

As the video shows,

After the first paratrooper was captured and disarmed the commanders were able to break off the attack and begin negotiations for the captured soldier. But they chose to continue and send more young Israeli soldiers into a gauntlet of angry people violently defending their boat.

The Torah warns against placing a stumbling block before the blind, which the rabbis interpret to mean that you may not take an action that would tempt a normal person to sin.

At every point in the confrontation and despite clear warnings from the passengers, decisions to escalate force were made by IDF commanders with easily predictable results and tragic results for the victims and for Israel.

"War is the remedy my enemy has chosen, I say let him have as much of it as he wants." - Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman