The latest atrocity by Israel

There is nothing that I can add to Glenn Greenwald’s description of Israel’s descent into becoming a brutal nation that ignores international law and just plain human decency, as it continues its strangling of the people of Gaza with their blockade. This blockade, imposed after the deadly assault on Gaza in December 2008, destroyed a lot of its infrastructure such as water and power supplies and hospitals, and the aid flotilla was trying to both ameliorate the awful conditions as well as draw attention to the plight of Gaza’s.

Of course the US government and Congress and major media in the US, enablers of Israel’s out-of-control belligerence, will downplay this appalling crime by giving huge amounts of coverage to the Israel government’s justifications for its appalling actions which will consist of claiming that they are the true victims. Watch how Obama and Clinton will dance around this issue, just after expressing anger at North Korea and threatening punishment for the sinking of a South Korea warship Cheonan that killed 46 sailors.

As Greenwald says, “Just ponder what we’d be hearing if Iran had raided a humanitarian ship in international waters and killed 15 or so civilians aboard.”

Recall how these same groups downplayed, covered up, and sent down the memory hole even the 1967 Israeli attack on an American warship the USS Liberty that killed 34 US servicemen and reduced that state-of-the-art intelligence gathering ship to scrap. This 2005 report, prepared on behalf of the survivors of the attack, gives with footnotes the details of what happened. Note that the Liberty was not equipped for fighting and so could not defend itself.

On June 8, 1967 while patrolling in international waters[2] in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was savagely attacked without warning or justification by air and naval forces of the state of Israel.[3]

Of a crew of 294 officers and men[4] (including three civilians)[5], the ship suffered thirty four (34) killed in action and one hundred seventy three (173) wounded in action.[6] The ship itself, a Forty Million ($40,000,000) Dollar state of the art signals intelligence (SIGINT) platform, was so badly damaged that it never sailed on an operational mission again and was sold in 1970 for $101,666.66 as scrap[7] .

Israel acknowledged the following facts without qualification:
a. USS Liberty was an American ship, hence a neutral vis-à-vis the June 1967 war between Israel and its Arab neighbors.[8]
b. USS Liberty remained in international waters at all times on June 8, 1967[9] .
c. The attacking Israeli forces never made a positive identification of the nationality of USS Liberty before unleashing deadly force in their attack on the ship.[10]

At approximately 0600 hours (all times local) on the morning of June 8, 1967 an Israeli maritime reconnaissance aircraft observer reported seeing “a US Navy cargo type ship,” just outside the coverage of the Israeli coastal radar defense net, bearing the hull markings “GTR-5”.[11] This report, made to Israeli naval HQ, was also forwarded immediately to the Israeli navy intelligence directorate.[12]

Throughout the remainder of the day prior to the attack, Israeli reconnaissance aircraft regularly flew out to USS Liberty’s position and orbited the ship before returning to their bases in Israel. A total of no fewer than eight (8) such flights were made.[13]

At approximately 1050 hours, the naval observer from the early morning reconnaissance flight arrived at Israeli air force HQ and sat down with the air-naval liaison officer there. The two officers consulted Janes’ Fighting Ships and learned that the ship reported earlier in the day was USS Liberty, a United States Navy technical research ship.[14]

From 0900 hours on June 8, 1967, until the time of the attack five hours later, USS Liberty maintained a speed of approximately five knots and a generally westerly-northwesterly course.[15]

At 1400 hours, while approximately 17 miles off the Gaza coast, USS Liberty’s crew observed three surface radar contacts closing with their position at high speed. A few moments later, the bridge radar crew observed high speed aircraft passing over the surface returns on the same heading.[16]

Within a few short moments, and without any warning, Israeli fighter aircraft launched a rocket attack on USS Liberty. The aircraft made repeated firing passes, attacking USS Liberty with rockets and their internal cannons. After the first flight of fighter aircraft had exhausted their ordnance, subsequent flights of Israeli fighter aircraft continued to prosecute the attack with rockets, cannon fire, and napalm. [17]

During the air attack, USS Liberty’s crew had difficulty contacting Sixth Fleet to request assistance due to intense communications jamming[18]

The initial targets on the ship were the command bridge, communications antennas, and the four .50 caliber machine guns, placed on the ship to repel boarders.[19]

After the Israeli fighter aircraft completed their attacks, three Israeli torpedo boats arrived and began a surface attack about 35 minutes after the start of the air attack. The torpedo boats launched a total of five torpedoes, one of which struck the side of USS Liberty, opposite the ship’s research spaces. [20] Twenty-six Americans in addition to the eight who had been killed in the earlier air attacks, were killed as a result of this explosion.

Following their torpedo attack, the torpedo boats moved up and down the length of the ship (both the port and starboard sides), continuing their attack, raking the ship with cannon and machine gun fire.[21] In Malta, crewmen were later assigned the task of counting all of the holes in the ship that were the size of a man’s hand or larger. They found a total of 861 such holes, in addition to “thousands” of .50 caliber machine gun holes.

Survivors report that the torpedo boat crews swept the decks of USS Liberty with continuous machine gun fire, targeting communications equipment and any crewmembers who ventured above decks.[22]

Damage control firefighters, who had already risked their lives merely by appearing on deck, had to abandon their efforts because their fire hoses had been shredded by machine gun fire.[23]

Survivors also report that the torpedo boat crews fired on the inflated life boats launched by the crew after the captain gave the order “prepare to abandon ship.”[24] This order had to be rescinded because the crew was unable to stand on the main deck without being fired upon and the life rafts were destroyed as they were launched.[25]

The defenseless crew, initially unable to report their plight or summon assistance and with only themselves to rely upon, fought heroically to save themselves and their ship. In recognition of their effort in this single action, they were ultimately awarded collectively one Medal of Honor, two Navy Crosses, eleven Silver Stars, twenty Bronze Stars (with “V” device), nine Navy Commendation Medals, and two hundred and four Purple Hearts. In addition, the ship was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

Many countries have been retaliated against and even invaded by the US for far less provocation, but this attack, so brazen and outrageous, did not provoke any serious reaction.

If such a deadly and unprovoked attack by Israel on a US ship did not result in any repercussions, should we be surprised that Israel takes the view that it can do anything it likes to anyone anywhere and that the US will support it?


  1. Jared A says

    I would like the American media to start referring to Gaza for what it is: a concentration camp.

  2. Eric says

    1) “downplay” the incident? This has been on the front page of for the past 24 hours; by contrast, the South Korean ship was on there for barely half a day.

    2) It was not 15 or so civilians; CNN reports it at 9. Not that the body count should determine how much of a tragedy the incident was, but it does indicate how much distortion is going on.

    3) The aid flotilla was stopped after receiving 3 days of warnings from the Israeli ships that, if they did not change course, they would be searched for contraband. This was based on the fact that this group had, in the past, smuggled arms into Gaza.

    4) International law indicates that a nation cannot stop and search a vessel in international waters…unless probable cause exists to believe that it is carrying dangerous contraband into one’s own country. See above for the showing of probable cause.

    5) International law also gives individuals the right to defend themselves against an attack with appropriate force. The Israeli soldiers (of whom 7 were injured BEFORE they opened fire) were attacked with knives and sharp instruments, and two pistols were recovered from the “unarmed” activists after the incident.

    6) Jared -- there are a couple of crucial differences between Gaza and a concentration camp, chief among them being that you can’t leave a concentration camp. Israel has been trying to get the original holders of the West Bank and Gaza (Jordan and Egypt, respectively) to accept the Palestinian refugees (who are their citizens, or descendants thereof) for over 40 years. They won’t take them, nor will any other nation in the area.

  3. says

    These Israelies, are they the same people that Hitler tried to exterminate? shame on them, how can they behave in the way that they do after the tragedy of the 2nd world war? how can they claim that they are religious atall when they are such hypocrites? Is it any wonder that they engender so much hatred in the world?.

  4. Tim says


    3. Do you have any evidence that they received any warnings? Do you have any evidence that they smuggled arms before?

    5. Do you have any evidence that the weopons even came off the boat? Some of those “weopons” were just kitchen knives.

    6. Do you have any evidence that the soldiers were attacked? Can you be sure their injuries were not sustained by the activists defending themselves from an unprovoked attack? Some witnesses claim that the soldiers opened fire before they even boarded.

    Basically everything you are stating as fact is just from the statements made by the Israeli government. If you just want to swallow everything they say then fine but don’t spout it back out as if you were an eye witness.

    And before you counter that know that I don’t automatically believe the activists either. Just acknowledge one of the points Mano was making, that Israel have known history of unprovoked attacks.

  5. Eric says

    3) Yes, the IHH have acknowledged 3 days of hails prior to the raid. They are on both CIA & IDF watch-lists as weapons smugglers.

    5) being “just” kitchen knives isn’t much of a consolation to the guys getting stabbed with them. A lethal weapon is a lethal weapon.

    6) Yes, the IDF has released a video, authenticated by CNN (and the IHH) of the initial steps of the raid, which shows commandos rappelling onto the deck and being immediately attacked and mobbed. If they had opened fire prior to boarding, they probably would have boarded in anticipation of a fight (by dropping tear gas or smoke bombs first, for example).

    Israel’s history of unprovoked attacks isn’t any worse than (for example) ours. I can’t comment on the Liberty incident, because it happened 13 years before I was born, but one tragedy 43 years ago isn’t a pattern. I don’t mind Israel being judged by the same standard as other nations, but I do mind a higher one.

  6. Jared A says

    Eric --

    You said that “there are a couple of crucial differences between Gaza and a concentration camp, chief among them being that you can’t leave a concentration camp. Israel has been trying to get the original holders of the West Bank and Gaza (Jordan and Egypt, respectively) to accept the Palestinian refugees (who are their citizens, or descendants thereof) for over 40 years.” Don’t you mean that you can’t voluntarily leave a concentration camp? I think that is the case in Gaza.

    You also said “I don’t mind Israel being judged by the same standard as other nations, but I do mind a higher one.” Most people who are criticizing the Israeli government for these things also criticize the American government. And the Iranian government. The entire point is that the same standards should be applied to everyone. And that’s what we are trying to do.

    I think it is worth remembering that are actually quite a few Israelis who protest the actions of their government and military. They will tell you very similar things that you are hearing here.

    The point is that when the Tel Aviv says “these guys are weapons dealers” we should take this very skeptically. When they say, “they attacked first,” we should be skeptical. I am especially skeptical because I can’t see why someone armed with a knife would fight heavily commandos unless in self defense.


  7. Tim says

    3. That proves it, they must be guilty. Eric, you missed my entire point. I was not trying to condemn for their actions as I do not know if they are guilty. I was pointing out that what they say cannot be taken as fact given their previous actions. Let’s not forget they only admited using white phosphorous in their atrtacks on Gaza (after first denying it) when it was proven that they had. This is a clear track record of giving bare faced lies in regard to their military activity.

    I watched the video you metioned. It does show violence used by the activists after reading your post(as I said before I didn’t automatically believe the activists), after seeing it I am unconvinced that this action justifies the killing of 9 people. The “stun grenade” and “firebomb” are especially unconvicing.

    But be honest with yourself you jumped to the conclusion that Israel was right before you even saw that video.

    And lastly where were the suggled weopons they were lokking for. They didn’t exist did they? The ship was on a humanitarian mission.

  8. Eric says

    (addressing in the order they appear for ease of reading)

    Jared -- that is not the case in Gaza -- the refugees there are free to go to any country willing to take them. They stay because they’re still hoping to retake the land and drive Israel out.

    Also, you should probably add on to your list of governments to criticize Turkey, who has unlawfully occupied Cyprus (from whence the flotilla was launched) for 35 years, Russia for its treatment of Chechnya, Saudi Arabia for its treatment of women… no government is run by angels, but it seems like Israel tends to get singled out by the international community for a little more than its fair share.

    Tim -- I said the IHH (that’s the flotilla group) acknowledged receiving 3 days of hails, and acknowledged denying the order to turn around or be searched. That doesn’t make them “guilty” of anything except attempted smuggling, which we already know. But it does mean that the raid didn’t come without warning.

    “jumped to the conclusion that Israel was right?” There is no “right”; there’s two populations fighting for survival, who’ve been having this fight in some form or another for 5,000 years. I don’t know who’s right; nobody does, because there is no such thing. There’s just people. Israel isn’t the Galactic Empire, Gaza isn’t the Rebel Alliance, and the story doesn’t end when the credits roll. Both sides have done horrible things to each other, and even just to imply that there are only 2 sides is a gross oversimplification.

    The best I can hope for is “legal” & “illegal,” and while I’m not an expert on maritime law, I think that question is a lot less cut & dried than Mano has made it out to be when he titled the post “The latest atrocity by Israel.”

  9. Tim says


    You did exactly the some thing again. You cannot just say they are guilty of smuggling as fact. To do so you would already have to accept the legitimacy (in the legal sense rather than the right and wrong sense) of the blockade.

    Also this conflict has not gone back 5000 years as this is between Israel & Turkey (who is technically Israel’s ally) and some European nations. Ireland is also sending a ship of aid to Gaza, which Israel has already said it will turn away, so unless you are going to accuse my government of arms smuggling what is their excuse this time? (Relations between our nations are already strained thanks to a recent discovery that an Israeli security offical in their embassy was involved in copying Irish passports for the use in assassinating a top Hamas man, and I’m pretty sure that passport fraud is illegal)

    Lastly, I know this point was not directed at me but I find your arguement that all governments do bad things therefore bad things should be allowed/ignored is a bit morally dubious. And I’m pretty sure people do protest those things you mentioned.

    P.S. I will admit that I also think that Mano jumped to the conclusion about Israeli guilt without knowing all the facts but you are doing the same thing in reverse (in calling the activists guilty of arms smuggling). My orginal point was that given Israel’s past actions (the ones I mentioned and probably more) you cannot assume that their side of the argument is fact.

    P.S.S. Something interesting about the video was pointed out to me. It does not show how the 9 people were killed. Which is highly suspicious given that a video of that must exist and in Israel’s hands. If the the force they used was truely self defence then why not release that part of the video. (Again note that I am not assuming that it was not self defence merely that the suspicion exists). I guess what I am trying to get you to say is that there is a possibility that Israeli forces commited a crime here and they it needs to be investigated by an independent investigator (i.e. not Israel, USA or Turkey) and the Israeli government needs to co-operate or face concequences (via diplomatic sanctions).

  10. Tim says

    Correction: The aid ship is Irish owned not sent by the Irish government but the government does back it.

  11. Eric says

    I didn’t say “arms smuggling,” I said “smuggling,” which is (in brief) the shipment of any goods into or out of a state in violation of its import/export laws. Pardon the pun, but I think regarding that question, the ship has already sailed.

    I didn’t say that all crimes should be ignored; I just think that there is a distinct pattern of ignorance and oversight, which seems to be applied rather selectively.

    There is the possibility that Israeli security forces committed a crime, and an investigation certainly is warranted. But there seems to be a general assumption that:
    1) the crime is international, rather than under Israeli domestic military law -- i.e., similar in nature to when U.S. forces kill Afghan civilians -- they face court martial, not the Hague.
    2) this incident of enforcement renders the entire blockade unlawful.

    Let me make this clear: I, personally, think the blockade of Gaza is a miserable failure. It’s hurt the wrong people, strengthened Hamas’s support internally by feeding the Gazans’ paranoia about Israel, strengthened them worldwide by making Gaza a victim, and done almost nothing to curb Hamas’s violence. I don’t know if there is a way to keep both Gaza fed and Israel safe at the same time, but I know this isn’t it.

    But that doesn’t necessarily make the blockade illegal.

  12. Jared A says


    Please stop being so obtuse.

    Of course I would and have criticized Russia. I criticize turkey all the time. How about their genocide of several million Armenians at the beginning of the 20th century. I could have mentioned that, but it sort of off topic, isn’t it? Do you really think I’m going to make an exhaustive list of every evil act by every county? Was my point (that you should challenge everyone in power) really that veiled, or are you willfully misunderstanding me?

    That Star Wars nonsense is just revolting. I think that all commenters here have made it clear that that you should NOT even think in “good guys and bad guys”. Instead, it is the people with the guns who deserve the closest scrutiny. It’s the people with the power and authority who should be challenged on every point. Because they have control over writing history but they don’t have the right to it. This doesn’t mean the “underdogs” in a situation are always in the right, either. It seems like you agree on most of these points, but for some reason when it’s applied to Israel you get upset and imply that everyone is being hypocrites.

    If you go back and read what most of the posts have been saying, I think you will see that they are coming from this standpoint -- that no government has the right to utter control over the narrative. No one is singling out Israel any more than we would single out any government that may have just committed a serious crime. Part of the analysis of a situation like this is to put it in context.

    The reason there is so much conflict on this particular point is there are many people who will say that ANY challenge of the Israeli government on any point is unacceptable. It seems like you’re letting yourself be affected by these guys too much.


    PS -- I think it’s not really accurate to say the history of this struggle goes back 5000 years. Palestinian Jews, Christians, and Muslims did in fact live in relative peace for many centuries before the specific conflicts we’ve seen in the last 6 decades. The connection between Palestine now and Palestine in 3000 BC is probably even less than the connection between the United States of America and the Iroquois League.

  13. Tim says


    Yes you did, from your first post:

    “This was based on the fact that this group had, in the past, smuggled arms into Gaza.”

    And you keep doing the same thing and assume everything Israel does is legitimate. Many countries, including my own, consider the blockade to be illegal, so anything done to enforce it is also illegal. If this is shown to be the case then the raid was an act of piracy.

    Also, American soldiers accused of war crimes then they SHOULD be tried in the International Criminal Court. The US asked for exemption for their soldiers. Do you happen to know if the soldiers who killed those unarmed civilians in Iraq on the video previosly posted by Mano were court martialed or was nothing done. I would be willing to hazard a guess. No country should be able to try themselves for the crimes they are accused of. This would make them defence and prosecution, hardly unbiased.

    Israel already said that they consider this raid to be legal (obviouly) but as I said before this is in dispute and exactly why we need an independent international investigation. What would the world be like if we just went to the accused, asked then if they they were guilty and took them at their word. Actually you would get exactly what is happening now.

    At this point I am going to throw my hands up in the air. You obviously will not except that Israel can do wrong.

  14. Eric says

    Jared --

    Why is it that the people who are more heavily armed deserve the closer scrutiny? Does this mean the US was the villain in the Cold War because we had better nukes than the USSR? I’m trying not to think in terms of “good guys” & “bad guys,” but once again, I point you to the heading of this original post.

    I don’t think Israel’s maintaining utter control of the narrative anywhere (except possibly Fox News). I haven’t found any respectable newsgathering organization taking the Israeli government statements at face value, nor should they. NO government statement should be taken unquestioningly. But neither should any other statement, and when the title of today’s post is “the pro-Israel propaganda machine,” I have to wonder whether bias exists in another direction.

    Tim --

    I should clarify: IHH has, in the past, (I should have added) allegedly smuggled arms into Gaza. I do not know if they were doing so this time, but when I said they were guilty of smuggling, I meant the current blockade run. My misstatement.

    How is the blockade illegal? If you accept the idea of a Palestinian state, then that state has been at war with Israel, and a blockade is a legal act of war. If you don’t accept the idea, and believe Gaza is Israeli territory, then Israel is only blockading their own territory, which is certainly legal. The only way the blockade can be considered illegal is if you consider there to be a Palestinian state NOT at war with Israel, which is patently ridiculous.

    I agree that, in an ideal world, there should be stronger international law, and that ALL governments should be far more accountable for their actions against foreigners, occupied civilians, and their own people. This includes North Korea, China, Israel, Iran, and the U.S. -- equally. But it just keeps seeming to me that Israel gets a disproportionate share of the criticism.

  15. Tim says


    Hamas are criminals not soldiers. What what they do is criminal and should be treated as such.

    We had a similar siutation before here in Ireland and the UK. Loyalist terrorists would bomb and kill and Nationalist terrorists would bomb and kill but the UK and Ireland were not at war with each other. Some of these terrorists even had ELECTED officals in both countries, just like Hamas. None of these actions would give either country to right to blockade the other.

    The blockade is illegal because it blocks the human rights of the many innocent palestinians every bit as much as the few guilty ones. Perhaps even more so, as what aid that does get through probably goes to the Hamas people first. I have no problem with Israel searching ships that enter its territorial waters for contraband (illiegal drugs, weapons, etc), confiscating them and arresting people involved. What I have a problem with is stopping ships in international waters that had nothing in them but humanitarion aid and turning them away. This act can only be described as a punishment for the Palestinian people. It is wrong in every sense of the word.

  16. Eric says

    Tim --

    You had a blockade there, during the Troubles. The UK controlled what went into Northern Ireland. You mean to tell me that a suspect ship coming in to Belfast wouldn’t be subject to search & seizure by the Royal Navy?

    If your only problem is with the fact that the raid took place in international waters, there’s not much to it -- from a legal standpoint, once the flotilla declared their destination, it stopped mattering much where they got boarded.

    The ships were not told that they couldn’t deliver aid -- it’s undisputed that they were told to EITHER go to the port of Ashdod, where the International Red Cross could ensure that the aid got into Gaza, or turn back. The only assurance the Israeli government had that their cargo was humanitarian was that of the Turkish government.

  17. Tim says


    Now you are talking to me about what happened in my own back yard as if you know better than me. There was never a blockade around NI and you just said it as if it was a fact. 1. there is no way the Royal Navy would have gotten away with seizing anything that was not illegal. 2. the smuggling was over a land border. So you clearly made that up.

    Secondly, it not just my “only” problem, it is a pretty major problem. And now we are getting more physical evidence about what happened on the ship, and what appears to be one person who was shot four times in the head and once in the chest. Can you not even ask the question, “was this an execution?”. Seriously just ask the question and wait for answer, expect an answer and don;t give up until someone proves to you that this was not the case. Why will you not even ask?

    Lastly, Israel does not hand over the aid dropped off at Ashdod. It limits the amount that goes in. This is why the flotilla was trying to run the blockade.

    So I’m signing off on this. Now knowing you are willing to make things up to win an arguement there is not much point in bringing this further.

  18. Eric says

    Please, Tim, explain, because obviously I’m exceedingly stupid: what’s the legal difference between smuggling over a land border & over sea?

    The aspect of being in international waters is not as major of a problem as you might think, and if you would like to get into the massive digression on why this is the case, I’ll be happy to debate the finer points of maritime law with you. It is an element, but does not make the action illegal per se. If you would like to see a good, neutral analysis of both sides of the argument, I suggest Wikipedia’s article:

    As more evidence is coming to light, and more information is being made available to the media, serious questions are definitely being raised about what happened, and I want to know as much as anybody. But once again, I point you to the title of this blog post, and ask if there wasn’t a certain level of bias going in?

  19. Tim says

    Fine, one last post.

    I only mentioned the land border as proof that you completely made your point up.

  20. Jared A says

    Eric, you’re doing it again.

    I didn’t say the more heavily armed group is the villain. I said they should bare the most scrutiny.

    Certainly the US and the USSR were both very powerful during the cold war. Both governments deserved to be challenged in there writing of history. What’s the problem here?

    Stop doing this: You seize on a minor detail that you think you get someone on. Usually it comes from a misreading of someone’s argument and it is always irrelevent. In the process you ignore all the major points that are really being argued. This way you never have to concede anything.

    It’s really obnoxious.

    As for you point that only Fox is pro-israeli government in US news media, I don’t have time to dredge up a full rebuttal with evidence. So regrettably I have to just say we disagree here.


  21. Eric says

    Who shot who in the what now?

    You said the more heavily armed party deserves more scrutiny, I asked why, and then gave an example. I agree that both governments’ versions of history should be challenged, but I don’t see the causal link between level of arms & level of scrutiny. Being better armed doesn’t automatically make someone the villain; willingness to use those weapons, and the targets of them, does. But that’s not what you said.

    Again, I did not say that only Fox is pro-Israeli government; you put words into my mouth. I said that I don’t think the Israeli government is maintaining unilateral control of the narrative anywhere, except possibly on Fox, which has more to do with Fox being more willing to pick a side in any argument and downplay/ignore any others. I’ve checked CNN, AP-Reuters, the NYT, and MSNBC, all of whom seem quite willing to explore the possibility that Israel acted in the wrong. A possibility which I am increasingly prepared to accept, as more information is coming to light. But I don’t believe their wrongness is unilateral, which seems to put me in the minority here.

  22. says

    I never imagine the situation became worst right now. Pity the kids at Palastine whom having malnutrition problem. What happen to this world?

  23. Jared A says


    I am sorry if you felt I was putting words in your mouth. I actually felt the same way with some of your earlier comments, so I know that it frustrating.

    I see how I misinterpreted your statement about American news media. It is probably true what you say about Fox vs. other news channels. My perspective is that while the other medias mentioned, specifically CNN and MSNBC, are willing to report things that are not on message with the Israeli government, they seem to never stray from the core message that Israel are “the good guys”. In other words the message seems to be that this must be at WORST a well-intentioned but botched raid. HOWEVER, I don’t watch much news on tv, so I am willing to admit the possibility that I missed the more balanced stuff.

    I see that you also have a problem with the premise of framing things as “the good guys” and “the bad guys”. If I haven’t been making it clear, I assure you that that is how I feel, too. Really, fighting that type of simplification is the context I am primarily operating in.

    Let me try to explain my philosophy about dissidence and challenging authority once more. I think that generally the people with the most power have the most control over how an event is framed, both as a “news event” and as a “historical event”. Because of this asymmetry, it is the responsibility of the public to challenge the authorities.

    The mention of weaponry is a specific application. I don’t want to say that the people who are better armed are “the bad guys”. What I want to say is that when you have a conflict between two groups and one group greatly overpowers the other, and then takes them prisoner, the captors are “the powerful ones”. Thus, when you have a boatload of people boarded and taken prisoner by commandos, and the commandos tell us that they were attacked first, you should take this with a hefty grain of salt. It doesn’t mean it is necessarily false, but it is highly suspicious so you should start investigating their past credibility right away. What bothers me is that whenever I try to do this and the target happens to be Israel, I find myself under attack for “singling out Israel”. I’m really not.

    I am sorry if I got a little too emotional in my last comment. If you try to give me the benefit of the doubt, I will do the same for you.

    very best,

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