Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Followup: Gaza boat passengers report brutal boarding, tasering by Israelis
by Larry Geller
Overnight Hawaii time, the so-called “Jewish Boat” that left Cyprus for Gaza was boarded by Israeli commandos. Early reports, from the Israeli military, were that the takeover of the ship had been uneventful. Later passenger reports contradicted that.
… However, testimonies by passengers who were released from police questioning later in the day seemed to counter the IDF's claims, with Israeli activist and former Israel Air Force pilot Yonatan Shapira saying that there were "no words to describe what we went through during the takeover."
Shapira said the activists, who he said displayed no violence, were met with extreme IDF brutality, adding that the soldiers "just jumped us, and hit us. I was hit with a taser gun." [Haaretz, Jewish Gaza-bound activists: IDF used excessive force in naval raid, 9/28/2010]
Reports of brutality by the passengers echo the results reported to the United Nations on the murder of nine passengers of the Mavi Marmara:
The mission, after thorough investigation, found that no arms or weapons were taken on board any of the vessels of the flotilla by the humanitarians or the crew. The investigators also conclude that the Israeli soldiers had used live ammunition on the passengers of the vessel Mavi Marmara, killing nine and injuring over 50; six of the dead were the victims of summary executions, two of whom were shot after they were severely injured. [Xinhua, Israeli raid on humanitarian flotilla disproportionate, excessive: investigators, 9/28/2010]
Check out the remark of the UN rep from Turkey at the end of this short film clip:
The brutality of Israel’s interception of Gaza-bound ships should inform future flotilla plans. They may have to weigh whether participating in these missions brings enough public reaction to justify the possibility of death or injury (a Taser is not a non-lethal weapon). From the Haaretz report:
Reuben Moscowitz, a Holocaust survivor who took part in the mission, expressed his disbelief that "Israeli soldiers would treat nine Jews this way. They just hit people."
"I as a Holocaust survivor cannot live with the fact that the State of Israel is imprisoning an entire people behind fences," Moscowitz said, adding that "it's just immoral."