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Swedish Author, Henning Mankell, Held in Israel After Attack On Aid Convoy

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  • Pietro_Mercurios
    Eternal Champion
    • Oct 2004
    • 5801

    Swedish Author, Henning Mankell, Held in Israel After Attack On Aid Convoy

    Spare a thought for the renowned crime author, Henning Mankell, writer of the Wallander series, who is being held in Israel, after being captured by Israeli commandos, during their attack on the Turkish led, international aid convoy, heading for Gaza, the other morning.

    http://www.swedishwire.com/politics/...er-ship-attack

    Not forgetting, the dead, the wounded and the other peace activists, caught up in the whole farrago.
  • Pietro_Mercurios
    Eternal Champion
    • Oct 2004
    • 5801

    #2
    More info on the passenger list, here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010...sengers-israel

    Comment

    • Nathaniel
      Champion of the Balance
      • Nov 2006
      • 1989

      #3
      I have been following this story and it really does seem rather appalling.

      Comment

      • Oren
        Guardian of the Grail
        • Dec 2003
        • 488

        #4
        Peace activists mingling together with terrorists (ready with knives, clubs and other weapons) and convicted weapon smugglers. And who is behind the entire operation? The Free Gaza Movement, monetarily supported by people like Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who claims that the US faked 9/11 and that Jews hold whole European governments to ransom. Sorry, but this entire "humanitarian" campaign stinks of anti-Semitism.

        And was the purpose of the operation really to bring aid to Gaza? Israel agreed for the aid to be handed over the usual channels, but the organizers refused. The operation wasn't really about giving aid. Let me quote:

        Free Gaza Movement leader Huwaida Arraf said that while Palestinians appreciated the aid, their main concern was for the siege to end and their suffering to cease.


        Huwaida: `If we just keep giving aid, the suffering will go on forever. We must address the root cause’


        “A lot of people think that Gaza is a charity case. If we just keep giving aid, it (the suffering) will go on forever. We must address the root cause.
        The "root cause" is, of course, Israel, as always.

        Pity that Israel has fallen into this trap, with a completely inappropriate reaction to the situation.

        Comment

        • Rothgo
          Champion of the Unbalanced
          • Aug 2006
          • 6663

          #5
          I get very, very, very angry that anyone criticising Israel is immediately labelled anti-semetic. We all know this "argument" (see, I can use inflammatory inverted commas too) it is rooted in our horror of the holocaust - but is often used to deflect criticism of the Israeli state - a horrific emotive land-grab that I find abhorrent in itself - one which denigrates the memory of those that so suffered. Land-grab eh? I didn't even intend that pun, but I'll leave it.

          Obviously I'll not be wearing a moderator's hat regarding this thread.

          Comment

          • Prof. Faustaff
            I knew I should have turned left at Albuquerque
            • Feb 2007
            • 416

            #6
            This is all a bit of a mess, isn't it? As ever, it's the 'same old, same old' allegations from both sides of the argument - and the same voices repeating the same arguments - so there's a despairing sense of 'here we go again' about this incident.

            Analysis of the situation is futile because the pro-Isreali side point-blankedly refuses to accept any version that doesn't tally with their own. I mean, what's the point of posting the following article from the BBC...

            There is widespread agreement in Israel and around the world that, whatever the rights or wrongs about the Gaza flotilla, something went badly wrong with the operation to stop it.

            One commentator in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz remarked that "my six-year-old son could do much better than our current government."

            So, what went wrong?

            The interception took place about 40 miles (60km) off the Gaza coast, some 25 miles beyond the formal limits of the maritime blockade Israel is maintaining on Gaza.

            A maritime blockade is a legal device under international law. It has to have a reason (Israel's is that Hamas would import arms), it has to be formally declared (it was) and it has to be enforced (it is).

            By intercepting beyond the blockade limits, Israel took a risk that the action would be challenged under international law, but the issue is at least debatable.

            Israel argues that the flotilla clearly intended to try to run the blockade, and indeed the lead ship said its destination was Gaza when told to stop over a radio channel by the Israelis in the formalities at the start of the action.

            Five of the six ships in the flotilla did stop, but the main one, the Mavi Marmara, did not.

            'Unexpected'

            Warnings having predictably failed, the Israelis decided to use force.

            It did so using members of its seaborne special forces, Flotilla 13, with helicopters and speed boats.

            There has also been debate within Israel as to whether this was the right unit to use. It is trained for combat, not crowd control.

            The best account so far of what happened has come from Ron Ben Yishai, a reporter with the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot, who was an eyewitness.

            He says the plan was to land a team on the top deck and rush the bridge and take control. The assessment, he reports, was that the passengers would show "light resistance and possibly minor violence".

            The soldiers, he says, were told to confront protesters verbally, use crowd control tactics and use firearms only to save their own lives.

            However, as the first troops rappelled down, one by one, "the unexpected occurred. The passengers... pulled out bats, clubs and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked".

            You can see some of this on a video taken by the Israelis. Individual soldiers landing on deck are outnumbered and set upon. One protester using a club is wearing a gas mask. Other videos released by the Israelis show the catapults, marbles, metal rods and a knife they recovered.

            'Rioters fired'

            Ron Ben Yishai mentions the bizarre use by the soldiers of paintball guns. You can see one of them in profile on the video. These, he said, were not effective. One wonders whether paint was actually in them or some other substance, but in any case they did not work.

            The commandos were unable to rush the bridge as planned and a second troop was sent in from another helicopter. By now about 30 activists were confronting about 30 troops on deck.

            But something more serious was happening. The reporter states that the protesters "attempted to wrest away [the soldiers'] weapons". They got hold of one handgun, he says, when one soldier, seen on the video, was thrown from the upper deck on to the lower.

            The soldiers, who had started to use stun grenades, then asked for permission to use their firearms. They were given the go-ahead.

            However, this is not seen on the video. Indeed, it stops just as one soldier can be seen levelling his pistol at the protesters. One wonders what happened next. Why did the video stop there?

            The Israelis claim that the activists got hold of two pistols and must have fired them as their magazines were found to be empty when recovered. Ben Yishai also quotes one commando as saying that the Israeli forces fired at someone holding a rifle, but no such rifle has been produced.

            He says that two soldiers were wounded after "rioters apparently fired at them".

            Unclear events

            What is not clear at this stage is why so many died and in what circumstances. Did they all die on deck? In a group or one by one?

            We do not see any of this on the video and one must ask whether any such video exists and if it does, then why it has not been produced. The reporter says the troops fired at "the rioters' legs". That may have been so, but it must have gone beyond that as well.

            And of course, we have not yet heard any eyewitnesses from among the activists, especially the wounded.

            Ron Ben Yishai says the Israeli forces made two mistakes. They underestimated the extent of the opposition and they failed to quell it from above, by using tear-gas and stun grenades before they landed.

            The general assessment in Israel at this stage therefore is that the troops went in ill-prepared and not in sufficient numbers.

            They were put into a position from which they felt they had no option but to open fire and that is not a good position for commanders to place their subordinates in. Hence so much of the criticism within Israel.

            It is also clear that the Israelis had little intelligence about what was being prepared on the ship.

            It is reminiscent of the British assault in 1947 on the Exodus, a ship carrying Jewish refugees hoping to break the then British naval blockade on Palestine.

            In that incident, too, the assault force underestimated the opposition, resorted to force, and three of the passengers died.

            That event did much to undermine British rule in Palestine and increase support for a Jewish state.
            ...which seems reasonable and balanced in its consideration of the 'facts', particularly when it concludes "[the commandos] were put into a position from which they felt they had no option but to open fire and that is not a good position for commanders to place their subordinates in" - which essentially acknowledges that opening fire was a 'last resort' option for men who were in fear of their lives - when when we'll no doubt hear the charge that the BBC is a biased news organisation because it sometimes/frequently (delete according to personal bias) takes a different line from the official Israeli government's.
            "They went into the house and were soon rolling about in bed together." - The Wrecks of Time, James Colvin, 1966

            Comment

            • Oren
              Guardian of the Grail
              • Dec 2003
              • 488

              #7
              Originally posted by Rothgo View Post
              I get very, very, very angry that anyone criticising Israel is immediately labelled anti-semetic.
              Do you agree that Mahathir Mohamad, the main money-raiser behind the operation, is an anti-Semite? Doesn't that put the entire operation in a different light?
              Last edited by Oren; 06-01-2010, 05:36 AM.

              Comment

              • thingfish
                sairfecht
                • Sep 2007
                • 15756

                #8
                Appalling brutality that could have been avoided.
                Why is this 'blockade' in place at all?
                If there was no 'blockade' this would not have happened.
                It doesnt matter who is or isnt an anti-semite,if they are stopping aid getting into any country they are in the wrong.
                It seems to me that Israel is trying to slowly commit Genocide.
                Is that what they want?
                Doesnt that ring any bells?
                "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

                Hunter S Thompson

                Comment

                • Oren
                  Guardian of the Grail
                  • Dec 2003
                  • 488

                  #9
                  Originally posted by thingfish View Post
                  Appalling brutality that could have been avoided.
                  Why is this 'blockade' in place at all?
                  If there was no 'blockade' this would not have happened.
                  It doesnt matter who is or isnt an anti-semite,if they are stopping aid getting into any country they are in the wrong.
                  It seems to me that Israel is trying to slowly commit Genocide.
                  Is that what they want?
                  Doesnt that ring any bells?
                  Moderators: is there a place on these forums for somebody who blames Israel for Genocide?

                  And here's some reading regarding the number of casualties:

                  http://www.mideasttruth.com/forum/vi...3cb4893c66f56c

                  The number of Arab casualties in the entire Arab-Israeli conflict is 60,000, only a fraction of which are Palestinians. The number of casualties in conflicts between Arabs and Muslims and themselves is millions upon millions. It's ridiculous. Looking for Genocide? Try Darfur.
                  Last edited by Oren; 06-01-2010, 06:08 AM.

                  Comment

                  • L'Etranger
                    Veteran Moorcockista
                    • Dec 2003
                    • 4772

                    #10
                    Gentlemen, please!

                    The events off the Gaza shore are deplorable and cause emotions to boil over. I suspect we don't have all details yet (and perhaps we never will have). While I am sure that also Israelis regret the bloodshed the will also be people on the Hamas side (not necessarily the persons who were on the ships) who will triumph over the occasion to turn this into a propaganda victory. You will find cynics on either side.
                    The convoy was meant as a provocation from the start, I'm sure, and as a means to draw attention to an yet unresolved problem (which I find is legitimate to do) - why if not for this reason did the boats carry so many international observers? Israel (or rather the current government of Israel) was in a no-win situation - so are the Palestinians. I would have preferred if Israel had opted for the "bloodless" option of her no-win situation - letting the boats arrive unscathed and deliver their goods and thereby show some unhawkish flexibility.


                    Not knowing the full story yet my personal assessment is that a foreseeable AND unnecessary tragedy involving the deaths of at least a dozen human beings has occurred. And this is sickening.

                    I take it as a blood-stained reminder that there is yet something to solve, and solve properly and with courage and vision! All peace-loving people - which I am certain we all are at Miscellany - should channel their shock into demanding agreements all the more, it is little helpful if we accuse each other of anti-semitism or in turn denounce Israel with the one adjective - genocidial - that describes the very core experience of what lead to her creation.

                    In the meantime let us hear one another out.
                    Google ergo sum

                    Comment

                    • Prof. Faustaff
                      I knew I should have turned left at Albuquerque
                      • Feb 2007
                      • 416

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Oren View Post
                      Originally posted by thingfish View Post
                      It seems to me that Israel is trying to slowly commit Genocide.
                      Moderators: is there a place on these forums for somebody who blames Israel for Genocide?
                      However clumsily thingfish may word his concerns, the argument that the victims of injustice perpetuate injustice upon others is not - in and of itself - an invalid one. I'm sorry if you don't like it but there it is. Perhaps we only see what we choose to see; do you not think that the course of action that Israel is pursuing against the inhabitants of Gaza is immoral? (And yes, the bombardment of Israeli settlements - and the psychological cruelty that engenders - is also certainly an immoral act as well, before anyone goes there.)

                      On the question of Genocide: Genocide has specific definitions; Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines Genocide as:

                      ...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

                      (a) Killing members of the group;
                      (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
                      (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
                      (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
                      (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
                      I think some people would, not unreasonably, argue that what is happening in Gaza certainly coincides with items (a), (b) and (c). It can, of course, be argued whether Gazans are "a national, ethnical, racial or religious group" distinct in and of themselves any more than Londoners or New Yorkers could, collectively, be described as "a national, ethnical, racial or religious group". We must, therefore, be very careful when describing what is happening in Gaza as, say, 'a Genocide in waiting'. Nonetheless, it is difficult for outsiders not to look at what (appears) to be happening within and to Gaza without being very, very uncomfortable.

                      Originally posted by Oren View Post
                      What's the percentage of casualties in the entire Arab-Israeliconflict (60,000; only a small fraction of which are Palestinians) as opposed to the number of casualties in conflicts between Arabs and Muslims and themselves (millions upon millions)? It's ridiculous.
                      I must say, it's a peculiar mindset that attempts to excuse one crime because it's not in the same order of magnitude as another crime.
                      Last edited by Prof. Faustaff; 06-01-2010, 06:34 AM.
                      "They went into the house and were soon rolling about in bed together." - The Wrecks of Time, James Colvin, 1966

                      Comment

                      • Oren
                        Guardian of the Grail
                        • Dec 2003
                        • 488

                        #12
                        Israel withdrew from Gaza out of of its own volition. It has no intention to harm the people of Gaza. Israel is the one supplying electricity and other necessities to Gaza on a daily basis. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, an extreme Islamtic group whose manifest calls for the destruction of Israel and for the punishment of all Jews. Hamas' response to Israel's withdrawal from Gaza was constant rocket fire on Israeli towns. Egypt also closed its border with Gaza, understanding the threat Hamas (who's backed up by Iran) poses to the moderate nations of the area.

                        Now please cut the Genocide crap talk out of this thread.

                        Comment

                        • zilch
                          Hisashiburi
                          • Aug 2006
                          • 644

                          #13
                          Basically the IDF have just committed an act of war against Turkey, which is a member of NATO, so they have risked starting a war with NATO.

                          The IDF, big guns, small brains.
                          http://final-frame-final.blogspot.com/

                          Comment

                          • Rothgo
                            Champion of the Unbalanced
                            • Aug 2006
                            • 6663

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Oren View Post
                            Do you agree that Mahathir Mohamad, the main money-raiser behind the operation, is an anti-Semite? Doesn't that put the entire operation in a different light?
                            Yes he is indeed anti-semetic. But to tar everyone who critisises Israel immediately with that moniker is a disgrace.

                            Comment

                            • Oren
                              Guardian of the Grail
                              • Dec 2003
                              • 488

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Prof. Faustaff View Post
                              Originally posted by Oren View Post
                              What's the percentage of casualties in the entire Arab-Israeliconflict (60,000; only a small fraction of which are Palestinians) as opposed to the number of casualties in conflicts between Arabs and Muslims and themselves (millions upon millions)? It's ridiculous.
                              I must say, it's a peculiar mindset that attempts to excuse one crime because it's not in the same order of magnitude as another crime.
                              Have people actually heard about all the crimes and deaths of Arabs and Muslims by their brothers that are listed in the article I linked above? Probably not, as everyone is obsessively concentrated on Israel. Now, that is what I would call a peculiar mindset.

                              Comment

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