The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Bullshit alert: Haaretz

Haaretz, the sometimes leftish Israeli newspaper, ran a story with quotes from the Israeli soldiers who were involved in this morning's raid. Here's the beginning:

The left-wing activists on board a flotilla carrying aid to the Gaza Strip tried to lynch the Israel Navy commandos who stormed their Turkish-flagged ship early Monday, Israel Defense Forces sources told Haaretz.

The commandos, who intercepted the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara after it ignored orders to turn back, said they encountered violent resistance from activists armed with sticks and knives. According to the soldiers, the activists threw one of their comrades from the upper deck to the lower after they boarded.

Activists attacked a commando with iron bars as he descended onto the ship from a helicopter, the army said. The IDF said its rules of engagement allowed troops to open fire in what it called a "life-threatening situation".

The soldiers said they were forced to open fire after the activists struck one of their comrades in the head and trampled on him. A senior field commander ordered the soldiers then to respond with fire, a decision which the commandos said received full backing the military echelon.

To be verified, and I don't have a problem with that. They ran a the following picture and caption with the story, though:


I don't know about you, but that guy doesn't particularly look like a leftist activist and the reporters and photographers standing behind him (who are supposed to be on separate ship) seem pretty relaxed for a bunch of people who've just seen 10 to 20 people killed. Not to mention, what's he doing with that knife if the IDF is already in control of the ship? And why is there no attribution to the picture, unlike the others featured in the article?

Update: I've added the link to the Haaretz story above, and for another ludicrous version of events being fed to the Israeli media, see this story titled "A brutal ambush at sea" — yes, they mean the activists!!!