Netanyahu faces criticism of Turkish flotilla raid, and NY Times piles on (AMERICAN THINKER) Leo Rennert / Blog 06/14/12)
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Israel´s state comptroller has released a lengthy report that is
highly critical of Israel´s decision-making in the run-up to a 2010
Turkish flotilla raid that ended in bloodshed on both sides. Nine
Turkish provocateurs aboard the Mavi Marmara, the largest of six
ships that sought to breach Israel´s blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza,
were killed; nine Israeli commandos were wounded.
The comptroller´s report faults Prime Minister Netanyahu for failing
to include more cabinet members and security officials in the
planning of the raid and for underestimating warnings that the
encounter could turn violent. At the same time, it acknowledges
that, even if there had been more thorough and wider consultations
among Israeli security officials, the outcome would not have been
In a June 13 dispatch posted on the NY Times website, Jerusalem
correspondent Isabel Kershner lays out in detail conclusions of the
comptroller´s report, but then proceeds to provide historical
context with some glaring anti-Israel spin.
Kershner tells readers that "when the (Israeli) commandos reached the
deck of the ship, they met with resistance and killed nine pro-
Palestinian activists." Israel, she later adds, maintained that
they acted in "self-defense and as a last resort."
The commandos met with unspecified "resistance."? Really, was that
all? And what about their need to act in "self-defense" - why would
that be necessary? But that´s all Kershner deigns put in her
article. She leaves readers completely in the dark about what sort
of resistance the commandos encountered.
For what really happened when the commandos rappelled down on the top
deck, the Associated Press sheds a more informative light. Its
dispatch doesn´t mince words about what kind of "resistance" was met
by the commandos.
According to the AP, Israeli "naval commandos opened fire in self-
defense after pro-Palestinian activists attacked them. When the
commandos stormed the ship, they were attacked with clubs and metal
rods, and opened fire in response." Quite a different set of
circumstances from what Kershner buries with a few puzzling allusions
to "resistance" and "self-defense"
Unlike the Times, the AP clearly shows that Turkish provocateurs
aboard the ship initiated the violence. Kershner´s article hides
this crucial fact -- and thus blanks out the source of culpability
for the violence.
In another anti-Israel spin, Kershner reports that a UN report had
criticized Israel for using "excessive and unreasonable force" aboard
the Mavi Marmara. To round out the picture, however, the AP again
supplies an important component about the encounter, which Kershner
omits -- namely, that "flotilla participants acted recklessly" in
initiating the violence.
The AP doesn´t spare the flaws and shortcomings of Israel´s raid on
the Turkish flotilla. But neither does it hide the Turkish
provocateurs´ critical role in initiating what turned into a bloody
melee aboard the vessel. A balanced AP report versus a one-sided
Not for the first time that history takes a beating in the pages of
the New York Times.
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