#FlotillaFail Update01 Jul 2015
The Israeli Channel 2 has released footage of the raid on the Marianne of Gothenburg:
In the footage you can plainly see and hear that the Naval Commandos have no interest in violence or confrontation. First they engage in a dialogue with MK Basel Ghattas of the Joint List who was on the ship. He asked them to send one soldier, unarmed, to negotiate. Then, a commando says, “If you want no damage to be made, stop the ship and let us board peacefully because this is our intention.”
After the ship refuses to follow these orders, the video cuts to the commandos boarding the ship and tazing one passenger (it isn’t clear who). They didn’t board with guns blazing or lobbing grenades in every direction. They calmly entered the ship and used non-lethal crowd-control measures that are employed by police departments the world over.
The commandos go out of their way to be courteous to MK Ghattas even as he refuses to cooperate with them. A commando tells him, “You are our Member of Knesset. I respect you as an MK.” But Ghattas cuts off the soldier saying “you are attacking a ship in International Waters.”
The soldier then puts his hand on his back, he doesn’t push, the motion looks more like someone putting his arm around a friend. Then another soldier says, “Respected MK, we request that you listen to the Officer, please Respected MK.” The first soldier then tells him “We have prepared a place for you, as needed for a Member of Knesset, you don’t… we don’t want to hurt you, please move backwards.”
While watching this footage of Israeli soldiers confronting, in such a respectful and measured way, a member of their government that is acting on behalf of their enemy, I wonder how the soldiers of another country would act in a similar situation.
We know there are no pro-Israel members of the Palestinian governments (either PA or Hamas) that support Israel, but we have seen the brutal repression against anyone speaking out against the party line. This means jail and torture under Abbas in Judea and Samaria or jail, torture and public execution by Hamas in Gaza.
Imagine if an Egyptian MP decided he was going to help “end the blockade of Sinai” and was stopping by Egyptian soldiers on his way. Would they have called him “Respected Member of Parliament” and calmly put a hand on his back? No, they would arrest him, whisk him off to jail and then sentence him to life in prison for supporting terrorist organizations. But such an incident would probably never make it to Western news since Israel isn’t involved.
This scene, of an Israeli Arab MK betraying his country in support of Hamas and Israeli soldiers stopping him in the most respectful and restrained way possible, is what should define this incident. Unfortunately, the media once again tells the exact opposite of what really happens.