The truth about the Mavi Marmara begins to emerge

This is a guest post by AKUS

While video from various people who were on the boat is plastered all over the internet including, of course, the Guardian which so far has not managed to publish anything that reflects Israel’s position, Israel is slowly releasing video that shows its side of the story.

Ha’aretz has just posted this stunning debriefing of the English-speaking Captain of the Mavi Marmara by Israeli intelligence in which he explains how the IHH took control of his boat and used disk saws to cut off railings and chains with which to attack the Israeli SEALs, over his attempts to persuade them not to use violence:

The Chief Officer of the Mavi Marmara gave a corroborating report in Turkish and Israel’s “Malam” private intelligence group has the video of The Chief Officer‘s report and transcript in English here:

Q: You seem to be saying that the people from IHH were in control of the ship. Did the crew need their permission to move around the ship?
A : Definitely, they [i.e. IHH operatives] didn’t let people they didn’t know move around.
Q : Did they prevent anyone they didn’t know from moving freely around the ship?
A : Yes, definitely.
Q : And was that from the first moment they went up on deck?
A : Yes, definitely.
Q : How did the IHH operatives communicate with one another?
A : When they [the IHH operatives] got on board in Istanbul they brought walkie-talkies with them. They were handed out to the IHH operatives and the crew.
Q : Did you [the crew] get them as well?
A : Yes, each one worked on a different frequency.
Q : I don’t understand, they didn’t let the passengers and crew go from one deck to another?
A : They could go anywhere except to the control center they set up on the bridge.
Q : How many IHH operatives were there on the upper deck.
A : Forty.
Q : The same forty all the time or did they change?
A : More of less the same forty.
Q : You’re referring to the group that joined the ship in Istanbul?
A: yes.

Malam also provided the intelligence for Ha’aretz to write the following report (the full report is available here):

Probe: Erdogan knew Gaza flotilla would be violent

Files found on activists’ laptops pointed to strong ties between the Islamist IHH movement and Turkey’s prime minister.

Referencing the violence, the report continues with the following, which explains how the non-IHH participants in on the ship were kept away from the IHH activities, and why some of those naive “activists” who probably did not want violence can now be paraded on TV claiming that they saw no preparations for a violent confrontation:

According to a witness aboard the ship, a confrontation broke out when the ship’s crew heard IHH members sawing the railing into metal rods, but they were unable to confiscate them from them.

IHH activists also gathered all the knives from six cafeterias on the ship, as well as axes from fire extinguishers on the deck, all of which served as weapons against Israeli commandos .

Before the takeover, IHH ordered all other passengers into the hold of the ship and told them to remain there. Only journalists and security personnel were allowed access to the deck.

Meanwhile, the Guardian continues to play video that was smuggled out by some on the ship – but not a word about these interviews. Just as with its false, one-sided reporting of the massacre that never happened in Jenin, the Guardian continues to feed the fires of hatred though one-sided reports from only those it chooses to side with.

Categories: Guardian

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38 replies »

  1. AKUS, Hawkeye, this is brilliant. You are currently the best news conduit for this whole filthy escapade.

  2. The truth about the Mavi Marmara begins.

    Sadly a tad too late,the horse has already bolted.

  3. The public has a very short attention span,before they move on to the next piece of news.

    Israel usually wakes up when everyone else has already gone to sleep.

    Our public diplomacy is dismal and depressing,states like the Arabs,the Turks,and Iran,who have terrible human rights records,or none at all.
    Are making mince meat of us.Doesn’t say much for us.

  4. benorr – what I cannot understand about Israel’s reaction, for example, in this case, is that obviously these video come from the intelligence services and must have been available within hours of the ship docking.

    Why are they so blinkered that they cannot realize that these reports should have been available within hours of being recorded???

  5. The ‘Forces of Darkness’ will be trying to narrow down the frame of reference of the investigating committee. They will try to concentrate on the moment Israeli commandos warned the flotilla and the attack methods and results.

    They will try to make it all but impossible to consider the Turkish governments part in all this and the part of the IHH.

    The frame of reference is one key while the ‘actors’ is another key.

    When it comes, it will not be a repeat of the Goldstone fiction. Far too much video evidence available and in the public domain.

    Possibly the sudden appearance of the video of the captain of the Marmara is to allow the ‘holy peace activists’ to spout their ‘unbiased’ stories, get it into the public domain and then show either how they lied, (gasp), or were duped by the jihaddis. A common theme amongst ‘the righteous’ seems to be that they saw no violence on the part of other ‘peace activists’.

    Possibly because they didn’t want to.

    They will pay a high price for their participation in the Marmara escapade. They have devalued the expression ‘peace activists’. It no longer has the aura it had before the Marmara incident.

    Those talking about a PR disaster may soon be turning that expression on the ‘peace activists’.

    Attention span. Normally short. Yes but there is a lot of spinoff which will parade itself in front of the public’s attention during the coming months.

    Turkey is not the same Turkey as was perceived to be before the Marmara affair. Edrogan has attracted the attention of the Euro public who will be more than ever against Turkey joining the EU. I feel the Edrogan had given up on it anyway. Edrogans’s Achemdinejad-like tirades against Israel in the Turkish Parliament was transmitted to Europe realtime. I witnessed it on ‘France 24’. The prick is not fooling anybody. He had no words about the Muslim children starving in Darfur. really starving.

    In short. This is far from over.

  6. The IDF has made the same mistakes again and again,it is always behind the eight ball.We are in an age where news is sent around the globe at the speed of light,so why are we lagging in this media war that is being waged against us.

    We invent these new electronic devices,and others get them to use against us

    As to Hasbara,for a start the word itself is wrong,not everyone speaks Hebrew and understands what it means,Cif posters have turned it around to mean propaganda.

    If the world wants a circus,then that is what we should give them.Our enemies are well on their way to giving them what they want.

    The palestinian’s culture of victim hood is working wonders for them.

  7. Whatever happens Israel must make sure that we don’t get goldstoned from that inquiry,and that inquiry needs to done and published as soon as possible,before everyone forgets what it was for.

  8. Turkey needs to get the hell out of Kurdistan,and the Turks need to go back to where they came from.That Turkish occupation siege,and apartheid against the kurds of Kurdistan has been going on for far too long,and needs to cease immediately.

  9. benorr

    The IDF has made the same mistakes again and again,it is always behind the eight ball.We are in an age where news is sent around the globe at the speed of light,so why are we lagging in this media war that is being waged against us.

    I am not a PR person but I can see two arguments.

    One. Get everthing into the public domain as quickly as possible. Try to use it to mould the public perception to ‘your’ version of events. This is what the Palestinians and their extreme left enablers do

    Two. Let the Palestinians make their case and then put in the public domain noncontroversial evidence that what the ‘peace activists’, in this case, have said, is at best, mistaken, and at worst, exposes them as lying bigoted turds.

    That is the only explanation that I have for the interview with the captain of the Marmara being put in the public domain yesterday and not the day it was made.

    An impartial observer will see the relaxed attitude of the captain of the Marmara and even if he retracts his ‘appearance’ at a later date saying he was coerced into saying what he did, it will almost certainly be put down to Turkish/terrorist pressure on him and his family.

    I notice that The Guardian has suddenly lost interest in the Marmara affair.

    I don’t wonder why.

    This affair and how it was presented by The Guardian may well be a watershed for them.

    The BBC has not been pro Israel, But, it did broadcast, time after time, the initial video released 36 hrs after the event, which shows Israeli commandos being clubbed by ‘peace activists’ with iron bars as they climb down ropes from the helicopter. The pro Palestinians were furious and have made various accusations. That the video is forged, that it is not complete, that it is from another place and time.

    To their sorrow, none of this has stuck and what ‘they’ termed an Israeli PR disaster may be completely transformed to a ‘peace activist’ PR disaster. And a Turkish PR disaster.

  10. AKUS, brilliant work!

    pukimak, it is unclear whether your comment is serious or parodic.

  11. benorr

    so Israel’s PR is abysmal????
    – but when Israel does something so brillant that one swoons with admiration, does it get spread (unless it’s a video of course)?

    I think it was at Elder of Ziyon that I read that Israel offers the World Cup in Arabic for free so that Gazans (and others?) who can’t afford to be fleeced by AlJazeera can watch it. Arabs found something wrong with that.

    As you can tell from the above – there is something wrong with OUR behaviour PR-wise. Because would the story get the publicity it needs it would be all over the our screens in whatever medium and I would know it down to the most minute detail.

    Israel’s PR abysmal????
    It is the only truly truly reliable source I have found out there these post two weeks and all the bloggers who have been trustworthy relied heavily on it.

    The truth takes time to find out and I can’t tell you how many people who I judged to have a sound mind have lost all their credit with me these past weeks and that, alas, includes a lot of truly smart basically pro-Israel people.

    Whoever comes up with botched + Israel BEFORE Turkey (not just Erdogan the state of…) exports terrorism has lost it for me, not because he/she is heinous but because he/she has his/her priorities wrong. (I am guilty of that too, it took me till Thursday morning Last week to get that straight.)

    (I consistently write this awkward his/her because I am a woman and especially with this I want to avoid to imply that it is just you guys to blame i.e. this time around female nutters have shown they might soon outperform males in “humantiarian” evil doing)

  12. terry malloy

    where is the pool where on can place one’s bets?

    maybe just maybe the nutters on the other side are so deluded that one can get rich by betting that there is a clone of Goldstone around or maybe Goldstone steps up to prove his expertise with all the NGO in tow who see a chance to mend their tattered reputation.

    Which in my book is tattered mostly because they don’t rat on IHH.

    Do all these outfit not go to work-shops and symposiums?
    and if they do, don’t they have coffee breaks?
    and if they have those are they talking only about the weather not about stuff from the field?
    … nothing about this or that weird outfit or bizarre incident which one thought nothing of at the time but which now since IHH came out of the closet should be remembered and told to us or if they prefer to share it with countries’ counter terrorism agencies they should prove that to us.

    As far as I am concerned until they don’t come out about all of their encounters with IHH they are in with them.

    There are situations when even for a super-ethical humanitarian ratting is a virtue.

  13. benorr
    … the Turks need to go back to where they came from.

    brillant idea
    – I remember distinctly from the first years after the Soviet Union broke apart that everybody betted on Turkey wanting to create a union/”empire” of the Turk people – I forgot which ones are all considered to belong, but Turkmenistan is one of them – look at a globe it would create a Muslim/Turkish “embrace” of Russia and if Iran granted them a corridor …

    So you may be up to more than just a to me very astute and funny in a bitter way remark.

    If that is their real goal i.e. embracing Russia’s hinterland than what was that threesome love-fest of Erdogan, Putin and A’jad on Tuesday in Istanbul really about. England and France once divided the Middle-East between them. Are they maybe dividing the whole European/Asian landmass between them (Halford Mackinder anybody?)

    – I am convinced that Turkey will always want hegemony over ALL Turks
    – I am convinced that Russia will always want to own or at least have free passage through the Dardanelles – Russian submarines in the Mediterranean!!!
    – I am convinced that the Orthodox Church will always want Hagia Sophia back and thus am keen on any new favour Putin does them
    – I am sure that Iran wants dominance of Mekka and/or Medina i.e. settle that old bill with the Sunnis

    But I am truly baffled what China is up to at the Greek harbour of Piraeus? One item these days said they have substantially increased the amount they want to spend getting in return from desperate Greek economists exactly what???

    Looked at it like that all that Israel hatred is just PR which doesn’t mean that a huge mass murder is in the offing.

  14. whether this Saudi voice is as powerful as Ignatius says or not, at least it indicates that in this field of the PR war they are way ahead of our punditry

    “What’s striking is that the fatwa specifically attacks financing of terrorism. ”

    let’s hope that the Saudis are so energetic about it that they manage to break up that strategy of hiding funders in plain sight, a strategy which my own attempts at sleuthing the issue made clear to me is used wherever you poke.

    Recently Naomi Pass at Yaacov’s proved her “total” transparency by claiming that NIF was vetted by 2 rating agencies – haven’t these people realized that rating or vetting or whatever agency has become a dirty word these days?

    Also despite her proclaimed TOTAL NIF transparency her computer didn’t know anything about a cooperation with German state sponsored Heinrich-Böll-Foundation.
    – Please support NGO-Monitor by spreading the word (I am not a member nor have I ever donated to them)

  15. If Turkey has ideas about uniting all the ‘Turk’ peoples, it is going to have a serious problem with the Kurds.

    In fact, the Kurds give me hope of serious disruptions in Turkey.

    Only problem is, they are as bloodthirsty and mad as the next Muslim terrorist. They also have extensive cultural baggage that would encourage me to keep my distance. There is a video out there of a Kurdish girl 17 years old being stoned to death by the people, (men), around her who carefully exposed the upper part of her bare thigh while the execution was taking place. Not a pretty site.

    Not a people to become too closely associated with.

    Now the Armenians are something different. But they are small and weak.

    Still. Turkey’s ‘new direction’ is going to bring it a lot of head aches and the ‘prize’ that will be shown is the glory of the past history of Turkey. (Without the bad parts which doesn’t leave much else).

  16. JerusalemMite
    don’t forget Churchill buddied up with the SU for the sake of his country in WW2 and in all 5 of his WW1 books there was only one group he maligned whole heartedly and those were the Bolsheviks (he admired Ata Turk as a soldier btw)

    War is War, it requires strange bedfellows and highly volatile alliances (I forgot how many times Romania switched sides during WW1)

  17. Silke, Israel’s PR is indeed abysmal. It relies upon people who are interested to spread the word and often it doesn’t tell them much at all.

    This is an excellent article, AKUS with excellent timing. Watch out, though, for the usual “I spoke under duress so what I said doesn’t count” – the bog-standard al-taqiyya default value of most Muslims who put themselves into this position.

    I will apologise for saying that if this captain does buck the trend.

    As for pukimak’s post, it may be a send-up but something tells me that it’s been left unsupervised for a moment and managed to log on to us.

    Editors, I find this post offensive (although I believe the poster to be somewhat “challenged.”) If there are more of the same, may I respectfully ask that the sender be banned?

  18. Silke

    Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites

    It would certainly solve a lot of ‘transport’ problems but one has to wonder if it is true.

    The US has control of the air so they have the final say whether we like it or not.

    On the other hand, Obama would be taking a terrible political risk if he gave the order to interdict Israeli planes on their way to destroy Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.

    Perhaps the US pilots would refuse the order. If it ever came.

  19. I’m with JerusalemMite on this. Like many others, I groaned inwardly when the news of the deaths came in, followed by the really quite delighted commentators that finally, Israel had demonstrated its inferred barbarity against innocents to a watching world. But with inevitable momentum, the truth, as it always does pokes its way in, and the crestfallen conspirators in mendacity shrink away, livid, and dreaming of revenge. Why the accumulated libels against Israel and their refutation, easily within the means of independent study, consistently fails to convince the usual crowd, suggests a hatred of a kind impervious to truth.

  20. Mitnaged

    I am not criticizing AKUS, very very far from it, I am just trying to keep my very outside fringe perspective intact

    and viewed from that fringe almost all reliable news I came across sourced from Israeli (IDF) PR

    … for example Israel’s German embassy did a very good job

    of course government sources are hampered in their efforts in so far they can’t (at least not detectably) seen to be feeding the fighting rumour with rumour crowd

    in that field Israel is falling short as I perceive it but I know too little on how to do that to judge whether that could be done any better.

    As to how much substance there is in the Saudi deliberations remains to be seen, but as a PR move towards Iran it has its merits IMHO
    (also no matter how much it is in their own Sunni interest to put up a front against Shia aspirations it will not be beyond them to try to demand a high price from Israel and the US for it)

  21. Israel and PR? It doesn’t matter what the “PR”, certain factions are not interested in what actually happened, only what they choose to believe. Let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that there is such a thing as good Israeli PR? People who identify men bashing other men over the head w/metal poles as peace activists are going to accept Israel PR? Realistically(spelling?), Israel should do what it needs to do, the same groups will support, the same groups will oppose ….no matter.

  22. thank you Jane

    if I could get granted one wish it would be that all those who claim to know all about the Flotilla incident would think back just one moment before May 31 and would ask him/herself earnestly and honestly if he/she could have imagined in her wildest dreams that the STATE of Turkey would be complicit in sending out a bent on killing and/or hostage taking commando of jihadists and/or terrorists.

    And not only sending such a commando to the western world to NATo-friendly shores to boot but also that its prime minister proclaimed himself to be proud of it.

    I must admit that such a thing would have been still on May 30 beyond my wildest imagination and that applies probably to all the punditry, which, however, for them doesn’t make one hoot of a difference and on which fact, if it should occur to them, they all decide to keep mum, because they have to keep their “we are all knowing all the time”-image intact.

    My take hasn’t changed since I saw in the first ever posted video the “stick” wielding guy’s style of swinging it. Then and only then I realized that there were no experienced free-lance football/soccer hooligan street fighters*) on board of that blasted ship but well-trained paramilitaries or even ex-soldiers.
    *) google them they are a fearful bunch

    Nothing that has come out in the meantime has changed that first impression/gut reaction I got. That the IDF made that error in not expecting true and probably specially for the occasion trained professionals I forgive them any day. After all I have a very well functioning wild imagination.
    But what did almost all the pro-Israel voices do, go out and bash the IDF as if nobody had ever heard that there is a well known fact like the “fog of war” and preach, let’s wait and see a bit before we jump to conclusions. All who jump to conclusions are no-nothing propagandists. Instead the big mea culpa broke out.

    And now ?
    that the PR isn’t better is again all Israel’s fault? – it beggars belief!

  23. Silke – ‘But what did almost all the pro-Israel voices do, go out and bash the IDF as if nobody had ever heard that there is a well known fact like the “fog of war” and preach, let’s wait and see a bit before we jump to conclusions. All who jump to conclusions are no-nothing propagandists.’

    Not true Silke.

    The public reaction was to embrace the commandos and to put the blame on bad intelligence and over sensitivity to casualties. Many people expressed it like an apology that Israel had sent its finest into a combat situation with their ‘hands tied behind its backs’.

    The anger is directed at the faulty interpretation of intelligence.

    Not at the commandos

  24. JerusalemMite
    you are perfectly right
    – I misformulated by throwing it all into the same pot
    (I am far away therefore I don’t differentiate – all I see is the Israelis bashing their own and as long as I guess they are from the patriotic side I want them to be unequivocally pro their own – and in my worldview there are always other angles by which one may approach a story.)

    – but the substance of my defence of the Israelis stands including their intelligence department
    – yes they did miss something and yes it is an old story and has happened innumerable times before, quite often when an assault manages to cloak itself in ridicule

    Read just the reviews and/or excerpts of this book and marvel at how the stunt could work and create the desired result. There were so many holes in the gimmick and still it did what it was supposed to do. I think Malcolm Gladwell had a perceptive comment on why these incredibilities happen in the New Yorker

  25. Progress with various enquiries

    August 2010
    Panel of Inquiry is created by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, chaired by former New Zealand prime minister Jeffrey Palmer, with Colombia’s outgoing president, Alvaro Uribe, as Vice Chair and official representatives from both Israel and Turkey.
    – nothing more found by Google

    27/9/10 UN News referencing both UN enquiries

    27/9/10 UNHCR report

    4/11/10 Turkel Committe website

    14/12/10 Hansard: Israel’s investigations [Tirkil enquiry]
    No other updates found by Google

  26. Richard, can you find out what’s missing from paragraph 17?

    Middle East

    17. Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the state of relations between the UK and the countries of the middle east. [30278]

    Alistair Burt: Strong relationships with Middle East countries are a priority for the Government. In particular we will continue to work with the United States and the Quartet as well as with our Arab partners to secure progress towards a two state solution to the

    14 Dec 2010 : Column 637W
    Arab-Israeli conflict. We are also working to elevate our links with the Gulf, and will engage strongly with the new Iraqi Government when formed. We are co-operating strongly with international partners to support the Government of Yemen in its efforts to tackle al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and to ensure urgent reform and development in Yemen.

    Gaza Aid Flotilla
    18. Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on the progress of Israel’s investigations into the deaths aboard the Gaza aid flotilla. [30279]

    Alistair Burt: The establishment of an independent Israeli Commission of inquiry into the Gaza flotilla tragedy was an important step forward. My officials are in regular contact with the Israeli authorities on this issue. As we have made clear it is important that the Commission is able to proceed swiftly, transparently and rigorously, with access to the full evidence available. We have also been in touch with the Commission regarding British witnesses giving testimony.