Israel frees over 120 flotilla activists after bloody attack

Government defends itself from worldwide criticism


Israel has deported more than 120 of the almost 700 foreign activists it detained after its attack on an aid flotilla to Gaza. Nine activists, including four Turkish, died after Israeli commandos boarded a convoy on Monday that was intending to break the blockade of Gaza, leading the Turkish parliament to call for a review of its relations with Israel and call for a formal apology and compensation to victims. With trade worth over $3 billion between the two countries, there is much at stake. Activists were taken to Jordan, with another 506 people, most of them Turkish, set to be deported soon. Israeli officials said only a small number of Israeli Arabs on the aid flotilla would face charges in court. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barack thanked commandos who took part in the raid as he visited their base, just as the country’s government—despite criticism from around the world—insisted its forces were right to board the flotilla. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted the world “must understand that [the ability to bar ships from Gaza] is crucial to preserving Israel’s security and to the right of the State of Israel to defend itself,” the Globe and Mail reports. “Gaza is a terror state funded by the Iranians, and therefore we must try to prevent any weapons from being brought into Gaza by air, sea or land,” he said.

BBC News
The Globe and Mail

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Israel frees over 120 flotilla activists after bloody attack

  1. Deportation (according to dictionaries): the lawful expulsion of an undesired alien or other person from a state

    Clearly, deportation is not the right word. Israel brought these people to Israel from outside of Israel. They imprisoned them and now, they are releasing them… These protesters may very well be considered undesirable by Israel but the protesters had no desire to step foot into Israel, they were kidnapped and brought there.

    • Habitant, they were not kidnapped, these terrorists were given many, many warnings to turn around. Good for Israel!! We must get rid of terrorists, starting with these people!

      • Terrorists, according to ''David'' (who may be unfamiliar with the term ''libel''):

        – Edward Peck (Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Mauritania)
        – Mairead Corrigan (Nobel Peace Prize laureate)
        – Ulf Carmesund (Swedish Association of Christian Social Democrats)
        – Joe Meadors (survivor of the USS Liberty incident – real terrorism)
        – Denis Halliday (former UN Assistant Secretary-General)
        – Henning Mankell (Swedish crime writer)
        – many parliamentarians from across the world (including EU parliamentarians)
        – many members of the media (from across the world, including ''mainstream media'')
        – several members of ''mainstream'' Christian clergy

        David, are you familiar with Aesop's The Boy Who Cried Wolf ?

      • Enthic cleansing is the only answer!!

      • What synagogue do you attend.

    • "Kidnapped." Is there no end to the hysterical lying?

      • kidnap (according to dictionaries): to steal, carry off, or abduct by force

        Israel has absolutely no jurisdiction over the area which these boats were attacked. This is undeniable. Kidnapping it is…

        • False. The occupants on deck engaged in vicious and violent behaviour agains the IDF soldiers. They have every right to detain the "activists" who attacked the solidiers during the execution of their duty.

          Second, it seems the UN is wrong yet again. "Pursuant to the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in 1993, the Palestinian Authority was set up as an interim administrative body to govern Palestinian population centres, with Israel maintaining control of Gaza Strip's airspace, some of its land borders and territorial waters, until a final agreement could be reached. As agreement remained elusive, Israel unilaterally disengaged from Gaza in 2005, saying it was no longer the occupying power there. The UN, Human Rights Watch and many other international bodies and NGOs still consider Israel to be the occupying power of the Gaza Strip.[4][5][6] Israel disputes this.[6]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_Strip

          • Thanks Viva… You hit the nail on the head there…


            This was in international waters, not territorial waters.

          • Thank you. You've missed it, however. I'll write this in caps so you can better understand:


            Thank you for taking the time to Google the definition of "kinap", however. I'm sure the knuckleheads here at Macleans have now added a new word to their vocabulary.

          • Thanks for the capitalized letter, it reaffirms what I have said…


            (As for your google comment… Before Google, there existed (still does) a collection of defined words, typically sorted in alphabetical order, called dictionary. Each time I included a definition, I pointed out that it was from this that I obtained the definitions!!!)

          • You might want to look up The San Remo Manual on International Law to Armed Conflicts at SEA…Section ''V'' : Neutral Merchant Vessels Item # 67 item (a.) This applies to '' INTERNATIONAL WATERS " and is a very interesting, .. Basicly say's that the IDF were within there rights to board the ''peaceful'' activsts ships under International Laws of the Sea…….

          • Just curious as to why I was given a thumbs down on my comment?? It is based on fact , not emotions !

          • A cherry picked, manipulated (twisted, dare I say) fact, based on a NON-BINDING manual!!!!

          • Because most of the ones giving you the thumb down don't care about facts. They are either
            1. anti-semitic (no matter what you say/present, it will not dissuade them – Jews are bad)
            2. muslims (no matter what you say/present, it will not dissuade them – Jews and all infidel are bad)
            3. terrorists (no matter what you say/present, it will not dissuade them – everyone but terrorists are bad) :)

          • Oh, and by the way… Israel has considered a blockade against her an act of war and, consequently declared war on her neighbour (under the auspices of this blockade)… Ultimately though, it ended up being a land grab.

          • Also. Israel might claim they are no longer the occupying power. But they are. They control entry in and out of Gaza.

            Though, from what I understand Israel does have the right to embargo Gaza, because of the clear hostile situation with Hamas. It had the right to detain the Flotilla ships.

            As always: the problem is proportionality.

          • "As always: the problem is proportionality."

            I agree.

  2. It is interesting that the flotilla was headed by Turkish Insani Yardim Vakfi, who is listed by the CIA as an al Qaeda-linked Islamist terrorist organization.

    • Citizen_CA, stop quoting facts. You're getting nothing but thumbs down for your efforts, suspiciously followed by silence.

      • Well, the ones giving me the thumbs down are either terrorists, or support terrorism.

        • Of course,because everybody but you is a terrorist

  3. Armed commandos boarding civilian ships in international waters killing people armed only with primitive weapons… what kind of total idiot would put commandos in this kind of situation? Have the IDF completely lost their minds?

    • Ottawa_Centrist, using your "logic", what idiot would tresspass into Israel's waters even though they were warned many, many times??? You are reading The Toronto Star too often. Israel is defending itself. We should be supporting our allies!!

      • They weren't in Israeli waters. They were in international waters.

      • Who was Israel defending itself against? Guys armed with metal pipes? Deck chairs. I know the IDF isn't what it used to be, but come on.

        Israel over-reacted. It made a mistake which is exactly what the activists trying to provoke it wanted.

    • The Israeli press has been quite critical about this. There were many other options available other than a 4am raid with IDF commandos. They could have taken out the propeller system; attempted to block the ship when it was closer to shore; at least have sent in someone to negotiate as a sign of good faith before it reached this point. They chose the most aggressive (and illegal) option available to them.

      Nothing good will come out of this for anybody or any side. And everywhere I turn, public debate seems to be turning more sour and asinine by the minute.

      David: we should support our allies, but always be prepared to criticize them when they break international law. It sets a terrible precedent.

      • Firing on the ships (to destroy the propellers) would have been far worse. A riskier situation, and then they would have been blamed for really going out of the way in using too much force.

        • The Israel-Palestine situation has deteriorated to the point that the media treats any and all action by Israel as a double-edged edge sword. They are wrong if they act, wronger if they do not. Israel still maintains control over the Palistinian territories and has set up a secure way to bring humanitarian aid to the territories. The ship circumvented these security measures in hopes of causing an international stir and in order to die as martyrs and acheived their goal. It's such a puzzling enemy the Israelis, and much of the free world face, against the extremist Muslim enemy. Attack them and you give them what they want. Do nothing and it strengthens their delusions of grandeur and opens the door to unregulated terrorist activities. A terrible, lose-lose quandary.

          • I have no problem with them having all the martyrdom they want. The more the better.

          • It's too bad they take so many others with them when 'martyring' themselves.

        • I'm just relaying what I've read in the Israeli press: http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=17706

          But I definitely disagree that it would have been a worse choice. Surely damaging the ship is a better option than 10 dead and other's wounded? And I think they are already being blamed for using too much force!

          They had many options available to them to stop that ship, and they chose the most risky and eventually fatal one. You don't need to sympathize with dodgy Islamist humanitarian organizations to see that it was a tactical blunder.

    • Well, the plan worked swimmingly for the first 5 of the 6 (or was it 6 or the 7?) boats. The commandos encountered no resistance and the boats were taken over peacefully and re-directed to an Israeli port.

      So either
      (a) the last (and biggest) boat was the one with all of the sh!t-disturbers;
      (b) the protesters decided they'd better up the ante in order to get the reaction they wanted; or
      (c) the commandos were getting bored with ther lack of action and decided to start a firefight.

      I tend to believe it was (b) with maybe a hint of (a), but of course, your mileage may vary.

      • Interesting. I hadn't heard about the others boats among all the "ISRAEL IS AN ILLEGAL STATE OF MURDERERS!1!!! GET THEM OUT!!!11!!!" nonsense.

      • Detaining people and taking control of their property in international waters is not a peaceful process. It can be considered an act of war and is illegal under international law.

        • It was a peaceful process for the six or seven fleets Israel detained before it encountered this one. The peaceful peaceniks who begain hurling firebombs, wielded metal rods, stabbed knives, and fired the soldiers' own guns on them are the ones responsible for turning the tide red. It is unfortunate 9 people died; it is more unfortunate that this could have all been avoided had the flotilla taken heed of Israel's requests to bring the aid in themselves. After all, Israel controls its territories and Gaza forms part of its territories.

          • Both sides can be assigned some blame.

            One side broke international law and in that process killed civilians.

  4. After experiencing violent anarchist protest in Vancouver during the olympics in supposedly also to be a "peaceful" protest gone really bad plus anarchist bombing of Toronto's Royal Bank, I can't help but question the reliability of these so called "Gaza protesters". There is just something so fishy with their claims. I believe they were there to provoke so they can use it as a tool to their propaganda war against anyone whom they do not agree with.

    • Could you do me a favour and link up some articles detailing these alleged ''violent anarchist protest in Vancouver during the Olympics''. Its just that I nearly ODed on the Olympics and, I can't really recall those violent protests during the Olympics.

      (and the RBC firebomb incident was in Ottawa, about a 10 minute stroll from my place… But, I swear, i had nothing to do with it!!!!)

    • Yeah. Those Vancouver anarchists were pretty scary. Yesterday, in Toronto, I saw some graffite. I screamed and hid under the bed.

      And geez, you think the people on board those boats were trying to provoke Israel into a reaction. Wow!! You really have everything figured out.

  5. We all saw the videos of the peacable, peace loving, peace activists, bashing, stabbing and shooting at the first Israelis to step on the boat. Then came news of the peaceful peaceniks ties to terror organizations. Now here's a video of the ever peacful, peace inspiring, peace activists doing "death to jews" chants prior to the attempt to inspect.

    How peaceful.[youtube b3L7OV414Kk&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3L7OV414Kk&feature=player_embedded youtube]

    • Thanks for posting. It's too bad that our media does not show this side of the story.

  6. What's remarkable how the "international community" couldn't spare an ounce of condemnation for the death cries, beatings and terrorist ties…..

    of the peaceful peace loving, peace be upon us, peace activists.

    • To so do would be racist, chet. Don't you know the rules to this game?

    • Because, chet, most people recognize the difference between a 'death cry' and actually killing somebody. Today, British citizens onboard attested to the scene. I trust their reports about as much as I trust the Israeli government's.

      "When I was on the upper deck I saw an injured person being brought to the back of the deck being tended to by a doctor and someone who is trained in first aid. He was shot in the head. It was clear it was not some paint ball. It was a bullet."

      • Words can hurt as well Viktor. Words hurt.

  7. Imagine Israel which thinks that anyone who criticizes it has terrorist connection or is a terrorist and after all the ugly branding of these humanitarian activists as such tossing them out of the country. Maybe it occured to them that piracy in International waters is illegal or is it that the real focus of the flotilla which was to draw attention to the inhumane seige of Gaza is just getting to much attention or is it just that their propaganda machine crashed and burned .

    • They are not humanitarian activists. The whole thing was inspired by terrorists. See my earlier post.

      • Is is just a shame that you believe that no one is concerned about the inhumane treatment of the people of Gaza by Israel unless he or she is a terrorist. This was a colosal blunder by Israel by its own admission. It of course takes no responsibility for the nine dead and the dozens injured including its own IDF members. The rest of us shopuld be so lucky to not be held accountable for our screw-ups. The cause of this is Israel's brutal and corrupt blockade. An article by Yotam Feldman and Uri Blau. regarding their investigation of the embargo will shed some light on why good, honest people would risk their lives to make the world aware of the plight of the Gazans.

  8. Thankyou for answering my question, but seriously, If you would have just said that the San Remo Manual is a non binding document , and does not apply, I would have happily accepted it as fact, but then again I suppose you had to throw in the drama and sarcasim to make your point……Ah Whats the point,, thankyou for the answer,now I know…..

    • I hear you… Except, I really felt the devil was in the details (and how)!!! And I apologize if you felt it was spiced with a little sarcasm (and equally apologize for the Rob Anders-esque apology!!!!). It's a very natural turn of phrase for me!

      For what it's worth, I have never denied and always maintain the right of existence for Israel… But, certainly not as a Pariah state (one whose conduct is considered to be out of line with international norms of behavior). The UN Law of the Sea bit is appalling… It really is. I listed all of the countries who have not signed on and, seriously, that's bad company.

      • And I hear you also,There is a slight (just slight ) possibillity that I might have over reacted to your response, for that I apologize! Truce ?? I have also re-read the list of countries you had mentioned that had not signed on to the UN Law of the Sea.. and you are right ..it is appalling.

        • You know, truth be told, I do have a huge problem with another country on that list.. I sorta re-posted the long one over on the blog article dealing specifically with San Remo as justification. Since, I have been researching background and explanation on why that country is on that list. Most, I understand (even Israel as not signing on enables them to not suffer the consequences of breaking those Laws)… But Turkey???

          It's ironic to say the least. I think the EU seriously jeopardizes itself by extending membership to Pariah states (IMO, not signing on to such important Laws qualifies a state as a Pariah state).

          (the US has signed on but, as is usual with the US, it hasn't ratified it)



          After a couple hours of research, I'd be inclined to say Turkey's motivations must be related to their involvement/position on Cyprus. However, as Turkey's admittance into the EU is conditional to resolving/improving numerous issues (a 15 year plan), I suspect signing on to United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is one of them. Tomorrow, I will call the Turkish Embassy and the European Commission Embassy to confirm this.

          • I look forward to hearing about what their response will be…..

          • They are presently ''negotiating this matter''.

            It appears EU's position is that Turkey MUST sign on.

          • Negotiating this matter??…… LOL..The law of the Sea has been in effect since 1982…. Thats twenty eight years!!! But then again I suppose, 28 years in European Commission time is not the same as our time. Thankyou for the update…….

          • Ya… and as far I am concerned, the EU has no business negotiating admittance into its club to any Pariah State. Plain and simple… ''You want in? Come back when you ARE signed on''

          • Did you actually contact the embassy? Just curious.

          • Yup, the first statement is from the Turks, the second, from the ECC (well, they actually said ''ascension to the EU will require participation in such agreements as all other EU members – they didn't respond directly to the Law of the Sea, but I suppose it was implied as it is the only Law I mentioned).

            Though I researched it plenty online, I didn't exactly find the precise answers I wanted. However, I also like to hear it from their mouths!

          • That's great. Good of you to take the time to find all this out.

          • The EU embassy directed me to a website for much more info (related to prospective members/EU enlargement):

            In about a year or two, I should have the exact answers I want, lol!

          • Well I guess thats not to bad …it's only been 28 years so far, whats another two or three….or four or ?????….

          • Who has a right to tell ANY independent country what they must do? None of you will have any problem bowing to and licking the black boots of the $j$e$w$ Beast New World Order, will you?

  9. Why are some newspapers (Canberra Times, Irish Times, Montreal Gazette, Hamilton Spectator) reporting that the number killed by IDF soldiers was 19 where others (such as this magazine) are reporting it was 9. What are the real numbers? Can we please get some verified numbers about the total number of people killed or wounded by gunfire!

    • I think Maclean's is doing the right thing by being conservative with their reporting. A few years a go they did an article on someone in Gaza who the Palestinians said was dead (he was covered in blood and lying in the bucket of a front loader), when he was actually not. He was only posing as dead so that the media would capture it. He was found alive and well later. This happened many times in Gaza.

  10. So if I disagree with isreal I am anti-semite or worse a "terrorist" supporter……..and that's it then….shut down…WOW………well I will tell you for all your pretty words on here about how this was legal and how Isreal has a right to "defend" herself…….the optics are horrendous and I have completely lost respect for Isreal……they are comming across as bullies….and after 8 years of Bush the Bully I am EXCESSIVELY tired of bullies!

  11. No. That is silly.

  12. 'Activists' like the nine killed used to be called 'useful idiots' by Stalin. The terrorists almost pulled off a good propaganda coup with this operation, but rational adults have seen through the spin cycle and fake outrage of the protests.
    Everyone knows very well that Palestinians deliberately target Jewish civilians in rocket attacks, Palestinian 'freedom fighters' even shoot children in their beds – and there was no outrage. So of course Israel wants to inspect shipping.

  13. I think that you are being a tad harsh as to the motives behind the non-signing of the central Asian republics and the two European principalities.
    May be the reason why they didn't sign on is because they have no access to the sea.
    Becoming a Khazak pirate would be a tough venture to get off the ground.
    You might also like to cut E Timor a bit of slack, they have just emerged from some serious conflict and are trying to create governmental structures.

    • Fair enough!

      (despite my sarcasm, I'm with you on some of those)

  14. Here is some fun courtesy of what must be a very desperate (and/or lazy) Israeli foreign ministry and the good people on the internet. On said ministries official Flickr site, a number of pictures have been uploaded over the past couple of days revealing what are described as 'weapons found aboard the Mavi Marmara'. The only problem is, TIFF information embedded in the photographs show that many of these pictures were taken as far back as 2003!

    Heres a fun example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/israel-mfa/465959607

    Honestly, I would expect better lies from professionals like the IDF. Light. But indicative.

  15. Israeli terrorism will continue as long as leading countries in the world are not taking any action against this barbarian state. Is it out of fear? It's a shame that calls for human rights, justice… stop at Israel's door. Don't touch Israel! We are sick of hearing about the holocaust and right to defend. Now they are doing a new holocaust on the Palestinians and they have the right to attack anyone and anywhere. I'm afraid that all of us will be paying the price of our shameful silence. But there is always an end for every tyrant.

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