Ship Attacked: “To Large To Stop By Non-Violent Means!”

The Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, stated that in an interview, on the NPR Diane Rehm show this morning, 2 June 2010.  “Particular ship was too large to stop by non-violent means.”. The discussion with the ambassador starts at about the 13:40 point in the show, at around the 30:22 min mark is when he makes the statement above near the end of that discussion, it was picked up quickly as they came back to the other guests and it was commented on.

Israel and Aid Ships to Gaza

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 International condemnation and protests follow a deadly confrontation between Israel and Gaza-bound aid ships. Guest host Frank Sesno and our panelists explore what the crisis could mean for U.S. relations with Israel and other allies.


Hisham Melhem Washington bureau chief for Al-Arabiya TV, and Washington correspondent for “An-Nahar”

Aaron David Miller public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; former adviser to six U.S. Secretaries of State on Arab-Israeli negotiations; author, most recently of “The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace.”

Adam Shapiro co-founder, Free Gaza Movement

Michael Oren Israeli ambassador to the U.S. former senior fellow at the Shalem Center; author of “Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East”

To listen to the discussion:

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Listen to the full show or just the section interviewing the Ambassador, you can slide the play button once completely loaded.

With just that statement, added to those made since the tragic incident, many changing story lines from the Israeli’s to say the least, tells me that the attack on that ship was premeditated, i.e. all planned ahead, a military operation not a police action, which also means so were the orders for the live fire, reason there was live ammunition in the weapons of the Israeli commando’s as they dropped from the troop gunships to board the ship. That also means that there was no provocation for the Israeli commando’s to justify the rappelling onto the ship armed and ready for confrontation, which once started would have put into the minds of those on board that they were being attacked not for security but to do physical harm to as many as possible to gain control of the ship!

This all took place in International Waters which would mean that the planned attack was against International Law in possibly many area’s.


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    • TMC on June 2, 2010 at 21:18

    a dressing down

       ELIOT SPITZER: Now let’s bring in Glenn Greenwald from who calls Israel’s actions quote, “heinous and repugnant” and, well let me just ask you, you have ships approaching Gaza, controlled by Hamas; Hamas is a terrorist organization, Israel did (I don’t think this is disputed) offer to have the ships inspected, if there was no contraband on board, let the ships continue on to Gaza.  Why was that not a reasonable offer, why should Israel not intercede to stop the flow of contraband?

       GLENN GREENWALD: Well, first of all, international waters, which is where this ship was, is not owned by Israel.  It is a crime, a war crime, to attack a ship in international waters that has not engaged in any aggression, and no one claims that these ships were.  I mean, what you’re describing is absolute anarchy, that any country can just say, “no ships can go here, and if you disobey our order, we’re going to attack you, board your ship forcefully, and kill anybody who does resist.”

       SPITZER: Well, let me interr…

       GREENWALD:  No, let me just finish because you just had on 10 minutes of uninterrupted pro-Israeli propaganda filled with falsehoods.  The blockade is one of the most brutal and inhumane blockades that we’ve seen in the last generation.  Look at UN reports that are objective, not Netanyahu aides, that say that 60% of the babies in Palestine have anemia, 65% of the population is food insecure; the entire Palestinian economy has collapsed as a result of this blockade.  Israel routinely refuses to permit all sorts of imports including food, chocolate, french fries, anything but the barest necessities to keep those prisoners – which is what they are – alive…

       SPITZER: Glenn, I hear you.  Hold on one second.  Let’s go back to Ruth Wedgewood, who is really a top-flight intellect and scholar of international law, said that nations that are a war are permitted in international water to enforce a blockade and to check to see if contraband is on board.  Now, nobody has said that Israel has prevented humanitarian materials to flow through to Gaza.  You may be saying there’s not enough…

       GREENWALD: I just said that, the UN has said that, everybody says that.  Israel constantly prevents humanitarian aid from going through to Gaza, and that’s why the claim, “oh, you just give us the cargo and we’ll take care of it for you,” is an absolute absurd joke.

       For the last three years, the Israeli prime minister’s aide –  top aide, when the blockade was first imposed  – said, “The purpose is to put the Palestinians on a diet.”  That’s what the Israeli prime minister’s top aide said about the reason this blockade was instituted. It is a completely inhumane blockade; that is that it starves the people of Palestine, as the UN says, not as I say, or as Hamas says, or as you say, or as Netanyahu aides say.  Look at the objective reporting about what’s happening to that population.

       SPITZER:  OK, can we…let’s step back for one second.  Let’s see if we can agree on one thing.  Is Hamas, in your view, a terrorist organization?

       GREENWALD: Hamas is the democratically-elected leadership of the people in Gaza and they’re recognized in fair and free elections as having been elected by everybody across the world, so that’s what they are.  Have they engaged in terrorism?  Yes.  Have the Israelis, who founded the Israeli government and the Israeli state, engaged in terrorism?  Yes, they have. Turkey says that what Israel just did is an act of terrorism itself.  But Hamas is the democratically-elected government of the Gaza Strip and is the chosen government and is to be represented.  Has Israel been brutally occupying the Palestinian people for the last 40 years?  Have they or haven’t they?

       SPITZER: Does it affect your analysis Hamas has as its stated policy the destruction of the State of Israel? And, in fact, Egypt as well is blockading Gaza and Hamas because Egypt as well views Hamas as a terrorist organization. So, both Israel and Egypt here are agreeing that only humanitarian materials can go through and both have as a stated objective to prevent more material from going through over this border by land or by sea. And so it would have…

       GREENWALD: What you’re referring to is the Egyptian dictator that is the leading recipient of US aid, several billion dollars, billions of dollars a year, right after the Israelis.  So, yes, the Egyptian dictatorship, along with the Israeli government under the patronage of the United States, all agree that the people of Gaza should be suffocated and closed off into a prison. And if you’re going to cite actions of the Egyptian dictatorship, as though that lent moral authority to this horrendous blockade. That’s pretty bizarre.  Now yet…

       SPITZER: Wait.  In all fairness, I think, Glenn, I think what you also need to acknowledge is that Egypt is in form a democratic government as well, as is Israel, of course. And so when you say that that alone…

       GREENWALD: As is Hamas. As are the Gazans.

       SPITZER: Hamas has – again, let’s get agreement where we can – Hamas has stated very clearly that it wants…that the destruction of Israel is what it seeks, and therefore it is rational for people to say they are trying to get armaments, they have been shelling into Israel for many, many years, so Israel has a legitimate reason, in terms of self defense, to check to make sure that armaments are not flowing through with humanitarian resources. I assume agree with that.

       GREENWALD: Nobody ever claimed or thought until today that those ships had arms, and they didn’t have arms. Not even the Israeli government claims they have arms. Everybody knew that the purpose of that flotilla was to try and deliver humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people, which is not being allowed to pass through by the Israeli government as a means of dramatizing what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians. That was the entire purpose of that flotilla, and nobody ever claimed, “oh, this is a terrorist organization trying to deliver arms.”  That’s an absolute, after-the-fact lie and the entire world knows it.

       SPITZER: OK.

       GREENWALD: So I was just saying, you could have as many Netanyahu aides on your show as you want, but the entire world outside of the United States is condemning Israel. Democracies all over the world…

       SPITZER: Glenn. I appreciate your participating. I think there are startling, divergent views here about both the morality and the legality of what we’re seeing. I think, to a certain extent, you assume your conclusion when you say there are only humanitarian materials…only humanitarian materials are on those ships. That is precisely what the Israeli government said it wanted to verify.

    h/t Jane Hamsher at FDL

  1. Episode 3


    Part 3 of this 6 Part series called Ghetto looks at the creation of Jewish ghettos in Poland, such as the ones in Krakow and Warsaw, and the mass deportation of Jews from all over Poland into them. Examines conditions and life in the ghettos, and how many succumbed to disease and hunger, before the later planned deportations to concentration camps such as Treblinka. Watch This Episode

    Timely indeed!

  2. Israel is Committing Genocide in Gaza

    02 June 2010 `What we’re seeing in Gaza now, is pretty much slow-motion genocide against the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in Gaza…. If you read the 1948 Genocide Convention, it clearly says that one instance of genocide is the deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a people in whole or in part,” stated Francis A. Boyle, professor of International Law at the University of Illinois in Champaign. “And that’s exactly what has been done to Gaza, since the imposition of the blockade by Israel; then the massacre of 1,400 Palestinians, two-thirds of whom were civilians, in Operation Cast Lead. And that also raises the element in the Genocide Convention, of murder, torture, and things of that nature.”

    Boyle spoke to {EIR} on Jan. 15, 2010, giving his assessment of Gaza, one year after the Israeli attacks. He stressed that he was speaking only for himself.

    While the Israelis stopped the artillery bombardment and air strikes just before the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009, the deaths of Palestinians continue–from lack of medicines, infrastructure, clean water, and everything else that the world community–as shown in emergency aid to Haiti–{knows} is necessary to sustain human life. Continued

  3. Most TV news reports  are close to being stenographers of the official Israeli view, the views of others involved are are almost always shown after the propaganda segment.

    • banger on June 3, 2010 at 16:36

    I say nothing will change. I say nothing will change even if the entire Knesset is televised eating and raping children. All this furor will pass.

    Israel is a U.S. security and intelligence asset. It is intricately involved in U.S. politics each side using the other. American and Israeli policy has been and continues to be to maintain tensions for political purposes. In Israel to keep people fearful and supporting the right and in the U.S. to keep tensions with the Islamic world in order to make real the bogus “terrorist” threat which allows the government to destroy the Constitution and impose martial law easily and enforce our status as serfs.

  4. for a decade most of it under a Democratic president. The damage done to a society of people civilians mostly, does what exactly? Breaks their will? kills them off? Makes them so powerless that they can’t and won’t fight back?I only see one reason collective punishment to a minority that has no place to go no escape no power and to add insult to injury is told to say uncle to the nation state we recognize and arm. Why do they have such a powerful lobby which empowers them and treats the Palestinians like terrorists squatters.  Where and what are these people supposed to do? Recognize Israels right to exist and then what? What about the right of all people to exist? Seems to me this is a universal right and does not depend on either Hama’s position or the Israelis largess.          

    • TMC on June 4, 2010 at 01:19


    Clusterf#&k to the War House – Korean Peninsula & Middle East

    Whatever you may think of the respective leadership of Israel or Hamas, whatever Gods you may pray to or whatever direction you may  pray to then in, if you can’t even look at Gaza and agree that there is suffering there that needs to be alleviated no matter who is to blame for it, then your heart is so dead, tourists flock to it to float on their backs in it.

    Thank you, Jon

    • TMC on June 4, 2010 at 01:40

    The Israeli flotilla attack: victimhood, aggression and tribalism

    One of the primary reasons the Turkish Government has been so angry in its denunciations of the Israeli attack on the flotilla is because many of the dead were Turkish citizens.  That’s what governments typically do:  object vociferously when their citizens are killed by foreign nations under extremely questionable circumstances.  Needless to say, that principle — as all principles are — will be completely discarded it comes to the U.S. protection of Israel:


    A U.S. citizen of Turkish origin was among the nine people killed when Israeli commandos attacked a Gaza-bound aid flotilla . . . An official from the Turkish Islamic charity that spearheaded the campaign to bust the blockade on Gaza identified the U.S. citizen as 19-year-old Furkan Dogan . . . . Dogan, who held a U.S. passport, had four bullet wounds to the head and one to the chest . . .


    (My emphasis)

    Where is your outrage at this, Mr. President?

  5. The MV Rachel Corrie carries forward the Freedom Flotilla Movement

    June 3,2010 Details about the Freedom Flotilla captured by Israeli warships in international waters continue to develop. Many in the international community are describing the incident as an act of piracy, others as an act of state terrorism. The six vessels that were seized were only the first wave of what is shaping up to be an ongoing Flotilla Movement intent on breaking through Israel’s naval blockade to deliver humanitarian aid to the suffering people of Gaza.

    The MV Rachel Corrie, named for the American activist who was crushed by Israeli bulldozers in 2003, was originally intended to be the first ship to reach the coast of Gaza but unexpected mechanical problems forced her to stay behind. Continued

    Students at Rachel Corrie’s alma mater urge divestment

    June 3, 2010 (JTA) — The student body of Rachel Corrie’s alma mater voted to urge the college to divest from companies that supply equipment to Israel’s military.

    The student body at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. passed two resolutions. The first, which passed with nearly 80 percent of the vote, “calls for The Evergreen State College Foundation to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, as part of instituting a socially responsible investment policy.” The second resolution, which passed with nearly 72 percent of the vote, “calls on the College to ban the use of Caterpillar, Inc. equipment from campus.”

    Student divestment bills did not pass in recent months at the University of California, San Diego and the University of California, Berkeley. At those universities, however, the bills were voted on by the student governments, whereas the Evergreen bill was voted on by the entire student body. In any case, the vote does not carry any actual authority; it merely urges the college do divest. Continued

  6. resolving conflict, many of our problems would be solved quickly. I personally have come to believe (after 50 years wrestling with the Israel-Palestinian refugee issue) that

    ideally the single state solution would be the best. But this is out of the question now, and probably for a few generations.

    But it shouldn’t stop the critical need for both parties to work on constructive, joint projects with international support. There must be  serious cultural engagement. Thus, it is essential to create a bicultural hospital and school zone at the Gaza Israel border with international support. They need to start now, start small, start smart and start working and living together. Nothing else will work.

  7. On June 8, 1967, military forces of Israel, primarily fighter jets, attacked the USS Liberty in international waters. The attack which lasted for well over an hour left more than half of the ship’s crew of 294 dead or wounded, 34 were killed.

    This landmark event is rarely ever mentioned. There was no US congressional inquiry into the event.

    The Israeli forces attacked with full knowledge that the Liberty was an American ship, yet survivors have been forbidden to tell their story under oath to the American public.

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