Friday, September 23, 2011

Abbas whines at the UN

Some people really have no shame.

Abbas could have had a great moment at the UN. Imagine coming in, and declaring "As a result of successful negotiations, and a strong infrastructure in cooperation with the Jewish State of Israel, I am proud to declare the establishment of the State of Palestine" or something just as kumbaya-ish.

Instead, we got this (PDF text in link).

Notice how there is no mention of Hamas or terrorism. No mention of Jews.
Just perpetual whining.

He even talks about Arafat's 1974 UN appearance with his famous ""Do not let the  olive branch  fall
from my hand", failing to mention that the other hand held the proverbial "freedom fighter's gun".
Just as all of his narrative, he glosses over anything the Palestinians may have done wrong, because they are just perfect citizens, aren't they?

The more things change the more they stay the same

Ahmadinejad's speech at the UN

Last night was nice for some snark but here are a few serious things regarding Mad Moody's speech at the UN General Debate yesterday.

Take a look at the delegations who've left the assembly room. Can anyone tell who they are?

Here's the speech if you want to read along

Erdogan at the UN

Our dear friend Tayyip Tantrum Erdogan's speech at the UN General Debate.

Since when does he care about the plight of African countries?

The text of his speech isn't available on the UN website yet... Soon enough...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ahmadinejad through the years at the UN

He doesn't change his clothing style much, does he? He did dare that light grey suit once, but it probably didn't seem ominous enough, so he went back to this usual dark suit...

 He's also very didactic. Notice how he's always using his hands to make sure we understand.

2005 - First time at the UN

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Define Irony?

Has anyone noticed the theme of this year's UN General Debate?

"The role of mediation in the settlement of disputes by peaceful means."

I kid you not. You can't make up stuff like this.

While we wait for the agenda of the General Debate to see when Israel and the Palestinian delegation will speak, here's a little piece of nostalgia.

Ariel Sharon at the General Assembly in September 2005. Six years just flew by...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Who actually has legal rights to Palestine? Part 2

Now that we've established the legal framework in place before the creation of the State of Israel, we can discuss the agreements, rights and obligations which followed it, particularly UN Security Council Resolution 242.
(If you haven't read Part 1 yet, I highly recommend it, it's good for your health)

Is Israel always in the UN's cross hairs?

United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 does not call for the return to 1967 borders

I assume most of you were already familiar with this concept. Still, it never hurts to be reminded of the context around this resolution. There are many points of discussion in regards to this resolution:
  • Does every single word matter?
  • Which version actually counts, the English or the French version?
  • Is this resolution legally binding?

Who actually has legal rights to Palestine? Part 1

With all this media frenzy about the Palestinian unilateral state bid at the UN this coming week, does anyone ever stop to think whether this move will have any legal ramifications? What's more, does anyone even care what previous commitments state and what they oblige their parties to uphold?

Well, the Mainstream Media (MSM) sure doesn't. Furthermore, President Abbas knows very well that the MSM has a selective amnesia when it comes to these subjects, and he exploits that to the max.
Why yes, contracts are legally binding. Unless you signed a contract with Israel obviously.

Points to keep in mind which we'll be developing in this post:
  • United Nations General Assembly Resolutions are not legally binding.
  • Rights in regards to Jews and Arabs in Palestine were created in International law during the British Mandate of Palestine (in other words, a long time ago)
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 does not call for the return to 1967 borders
  • Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed legal agreements, or contracts, which give both parties not only rights but also obligations.

United Nations General Assembly Resolutions are NOT legally binding.

Wait, what? No way.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Why do Jews wear Kippas?

To breakdance of course!

Gotta say, I'm really loving these Jewish holidays creative videos that have been popping up the past year. This "Rosh Hashanah Rock Anthem" is by Street Art Production. Cool stuff!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Two weeks to 5772

With just two weeks to go until Rosh Hashana, I'd like to share with you the colorful song which I've been singing in the shower the last few days.

Dip your apple by the Fountainheads (what a great name!) definitely makes me less grouchy!

If you're anything like me, you'll want to sing along, right? Here are the lyrics (after the jump):

What present to get for a BDS friend?

Bored kids seeking to experience self-righteous indignation and then pretending that that indignation is useful to anyone. I'm sure we all know at least one person who fits that description. I have quite a few friends who do.

Now, the problem is, what do you do when their birthdays come around?

Yesterday, we had a little get-together for a close friend's birthday. Now to be totally fair, this friend isn't really active in the Palestinian arena of her organization, she concentrates mostly on developing countries in Africa (good on her!).  However, this doesn't stop her from randomly posting her organization's messages about the Arab-Israeli conflict on facebook, and to have simplistic four-word opinions such as "Palestinians live under oppression" or "Jewish settlers prevent peace" or even "Israel is exaggerating. Again". While she doesn't actively seek to BDS (She has no idea that all of the herbs she buys at the supermarket are from Israel), she knows her organization does a lot of propaganda for it, and she agrees with their reasons to do so.

She's not a bad person, though she does have some very enlightened thoughts such as that Jews wear funny little hats and that they don't integrate well, and they're really obsessive about their kitchens. (She babysat to a religious family once, and thought it was okay to bring her frozen lasagna and heat it in their oven. Let's simply say that hilarity did not ensue, and that the oven spent a week disassembled in the garden.)

Again, to be really fair, it's understandable that with what the medias here show of the conflict, it's almost impossible to have a different opinion, and it takes a great mind to be able to question oneself and search beyond the available platitudes.

I digress.

Her organization is very active in boycotting all things Israel, including open hearings and debates if they include anyone from Israel "with an agenda". They are definitely not in the business of understanding. Few people who proselytize about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict believe there is any value in listening to the other side.

I could have given her a little set of Ahava creams, or a basket filled with bamba, bissli and other Israeli calories, or perhaps an Israeli music CD (who doesn't love Idan Raichel?). But would she have felt differently about Israel's policies after feeling her super soft hands? Doubtful. I want something that will get her thinking, something that will start a debate. I don't need to convince people and to have everyone agree with me, but I do want their horizons to spread beyond their comfort level. Progress is made when ideas clash together. Or something.

Getting her a heavy duty geo-political book about the situation, or some historical analysis wouldn't be quite right. I'd obviously pick for something "from my side", and she'd be very wary reading it (if she ever would). I decided to give her an illustrated book called "How to understand Israel in 60 days (or less)" by Sarah Glidden.

It's the story of Sarah, a young American Jew, who goes to Israel for the first time, expecting it to fit her preconceived notions of it. It didn't. The tension in the story is based on the fact that progressive Sarah, like many of her cohorts, is critical of the State of Israel, particularly its treatment of the Palestinians. But what she sees is a reality much different from what she believed. Not all of it is good, which is probably the book's strongest point. It doesn't have all the answers. Heck, it doesn't even have all the questions. But she does question herself, and in that she does a grand job. It takes a very strong personality to say "I was wrong, I learned something new."

There are a few points in the book on which I wish she would have dug deeper, but on the whole I feel it's a very nice starting point for a more civilized discussion than random shouting of slogans. I hope that after reading this book my friend will see that there are no easy answers, and that not everything can be divided into "good" and "bad". Just because the loudest voices she hears seem to be so certain doesn't mean that they're right. It just means that they're the loudest.

I hope that after reading it, we'll have some interesting conversations where she'll be more open to hear my thoughts (right now, I can't possibly be objective because I'm Israeli and therefore too involved).

Hasbara doesn't always have to be directed at the masses, this type of hasbara is one person at a time. The book is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Dutch. I'm sure you all know a person who could benefit from a book like this as a light introduction to the subject. Don't wait and make a lovely gift to your favorite BDS friend today!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Of course Erdogan acts this way - you let him!

Erdogan now thinks that he can say words in Latin and look intelligent.

He thinks the Mavi Marmara incident can be considered as a casus belli. He wants to use international law to attack Israel, all the while ignoring the international law whose verdict was that Israel's actions were completely legal.

Does NATO not care that its ally is openly threatening to enforce a legal blockade?

Why do you think Turkey's Erdogan feels such freedom to publicly express his heinous and hypocritical opinions?

The world exploded with headlines about Israel's excessive force and refusal to apologize, but was predominantly silent in regards to Turkey's faults. The world gave Erdogan a welcoming stage for his fury, while chastising Israel for its refusal to apologize for legally acting in self defense.

Why shouldn't Erdogan feel free to expell the Israeli ambassador? To threaten to cross the blockade? To send warships to the Mediterranean? After all, he learned from the best didn't he?

Were there gigantic headlines when Ahmadinejad insisted that the Holocaust was a myth? Did Iran get any backlash from the UN for threatening to wipe out Israel, another member of the UN? Their chronic terrorism founding?

Erdogan has seen that for years Ahmadinejad can get away with whatever the hell he wants. Why on earth shouldn't he do the same? Why should he hide any longer behind some pseudo politically correct mask?

The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Daniel Lewin - First victim of 9/11

I wrote a little earlier about Daniel Lewin as a side note. I feel he deserves a full post.

Born in the US, he encouraged his family to make Aliyah while he was still at school. After a brilliant IDF service, followed by studies at some of the most prestigious institutes on the planet, Daniel founded akamai, an Internet content delivery network and worked in the US.
He was aboard Flight 11, the first of the hijacked flight to come to attention. Daniel Lewin was on board that flight, in business class. As the hijacking started to take place, Daniel's Sayeret Matkal instincts came into action. Unfortunately, he probably didn't imagine that there were more than a couple terrorists on board, let alone five. One of the terrorists was sitting behind him and stabbed him. He was the first to stand up and fight terror, and was also its first victim.
How symbolic that in what was to become the worlds largest terror attack, the first to fight would be the Israeli.

(if the video about Daniel doesn't work on your browser - you can see it here)

A reminder that Israel is always in the front line in the war on terror. But what gets past the Israeli defense will indubitably end up barging through the front door of the rest of the civilized world.

11 September 2001 - where were you?

It's almost funny how some things haven't changed since that Tuesday morning 10 years ago. Headlines still talk about US Open results and the latest politician sex scandals. Except that today's headlines will be overshadowed by 9/11 stories: What happened, what changed, what will happen, new Al Qaeda threats, analysis about what should have been done, what could have been done, where did we go wrong...

Where were you and what were you doing when you heard about it all? Did you see it unfold live? What where your first thoughts?

We had recently landed in Rome, and after a smooth taxi ride we got into our hotel room. We turned on the TV and started channel surfing. I called my grandmother to let her know I landed safely. My grandma asked me if I had seen New York and the plane and all that. I gently reminded her that I was in Rome, not New York. "No, no, on the television". Just then, the channel surfing showed images of one of the two trade towers with black smoke and flames coming out of it. Funny, I thought, they're showing the same movie here. It took me a few seconds to realize that it wasn't a movie. I told her I'd call her back, and sat on the bed, hypnotised by the screen. It was a little before 3 PM in Rome.

As we watched the images, the black thick smoke coming out, we listened to the narrator explaining that there's more and more fire, I try to comprehend how many people are stuck there.

Then, a black silhouette of a plane charges right at the fire. Everything happened so fast, an explosion, the narrator stopped mid-sentence to find his words which sound something like "Oh my god... a second plane". 3:03 PM. This is now officially no longer an accident.

You couldn't ply me away from that television with a crowbar. I remember saying "If this turns out to be Palestinians, that's it for them, they'll never get anything now". I couldn't be further from the truth. I didn't feel the time go by, just watching those images, and CNN showing again and again the plane that flew into the second tower. Then they start talking about the Pentagon. What? A plane flew into the Pentagon? Total mayhem. Every channel is contradicting everyone else and even itself. A plane! A missile! An explosion! What?

Images, horrible images on television. People jumping from unimaginable heights. Theories already running rampant all over the place. Then that second tower to be hit starts cascading down on itself. Papers flying everywhere. In a matter of seconds, a whole building is gone. Inconceivable.

Reports of a fourth plane, brought down in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania. How many more planes are there? The first tower to be hit goes down as well, people on the streets are covered with thick grey dust, running in every which direction. Both buildings completely gone. Where do you even begin with the recovery efforts? How do you assist in a disaster of such magnitude? We stayed glued to the television for a few more hours.

Later that night, we strolled around Via Veneto. The American Embassy was surrounded by Italian soldiers forming a human barrier around the compound. This was just the first of many security measures which would change in the coming years.

A few days later, we learned that the uncle of a family friend was on board flight 11, the first flight to hit the towers. His name was Daniel Lewin, and other than being a brilliant entrepreneur, he was a graduate of Sayeret Matkal, an elite IDF unit. He was the first victim of what was to become the biggest terror attack in history. From various recordings, there is a high degree of certainty that he tried to foil the hijacking, before getting stabbed by a terrorist who was behind him.

The rest is, as they say, history.

Where were you?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Palestinians celebrated 9/11 with candy

As we near the somber anniversary of the greatest terror attack ever perpetrated on US soil, take a moment to remember how you reacted. Take a moment to remember how your fellow citizens in your respective countries reacted.

How did people in East Jerusalem react?

The Palestinians danced joyfully in the streets, distributed candy, and flashed V for victory signs.

Remember this in a couple of weeks as these same Palestinians insist to the UN on their right to a state, in the very same city whose destruction they celebrated.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Erdogan's Israel hate started long before the flotilla

Turkey suspends all defense ties with Israel today, which adds to the already long list of ridiculous actions by Turkey trying to prove that they don't have to listen to reason.

But in fact, reason's ship has already sailed long long ago from Istanbul's port. (Ankara doesn't have a port).

Here's an oldie but goodie, Erdogan's temper tantrum at the honorable Shimon Peres during Davos 2009.

"One minute! One minute! One minute!"

Erdogan would have taken any excuse to cut ties with Israel.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Flotilla hypocrisy excessive, but raid still legal - part 2

(continued from part 1)

So, though the Palmer report confirms that
  • the blockade was legal
  • that the flotilla tried to breach it
  • that Israel must enforce its blockade for it to be effective
  • that the flotilla had ties to terrorist organizations
Now here comes the brain fart: The Palmer report also says that the IDF soldiers used excessive force in response to the violence they encountered on board the Mavi Marmara, and that Israel should apologize to Turkey.

So, let's rewind a little to analyze why the IDF soldiers used the force they used.
The take-over began with an attempt to board from two speedboats. These withdrew when faced with resistance from Mavi Marmara passengers. IDF naval commandos were then landed on the vessel by fast-roping from three helicopters. Starting at 4.29 a.m. 15 IDF personnel began to fast-rope onto the roof of the vessel from the first helicopter and met with violent resistance from a group of passengers. 
Violent resistance? That's somewhat of a euphemism, isn't it?
The Naval commandos who abseiled on the vessel were Shayetet 13 soldiers. It is an elite naval commando unit of the Israeli Navy, considered to be among the world's special forces. These people are not easily subdued, it takes a lot of violence to do that. They were armed with paintball rifles in their hands, plastic bullet riot dispersal handguns at their sides, and hidden firearms. They were beaten with metal pipes and chairs as they were coming down, remember?

The passengers on board were separated into two groups, the "soldiers" on deck, and the "others" below deck. The "soldiers" were well prepared, with gas masks, bullet proof vests, metals bars, knives, chains, and organized into positions.
Three of the commandos were captured and taken below deck. Do you realize the intensity of the Mavi Marmara "soldiers" violence if they managed to neutralize three elite Shayetet 13 commandos? To reduce them to this?

After seeing three of their soldiers get captured and taken away (they couldn't guess that people below deck weren't as violent as the people above), the soldiers got serious.
IDF personnel involved in the operation needed to take action for their own protection and that of the other soldiers.
The Israeli report concluded that IDF personnel acted professionally in response, and switched back and forth between lethal and “less-lethal” weapons as appropriate during the incident, consistent with their rules of engagement and the exercise of self defence.
This is where the Israel Double Standards strike once more. 
Imagine, if you will, a bunch of hooligans, doing something illegal, who start to hit the police officers who come to arrest them. The hooligans manage to capture three police officers, basically holding them hostage, and they continue with their rage and violence, and face to face combat. What do you think would happen? No shots would be fired? And at the end of the day, who do you think would have the most "damage"? The trained, armed police officers, or the overweight hooligans who tried to hit armed soldiers with metal pipes? 

But replace "police officers" with "IDF soldiers" and "hooligans" with "flotilla activists", and of course the IDF used "excessive force".
And the metal pipes and knives the flotilla activists were using? Your light everyday stuff..
These are not butter knives

Gas masks always spell "peace" to me

Yeah, I would stop to consider non-lethal options when a knife that size approaches
 Once the soldiers saw that their non-lethal weapons weren't getting results, of course they weren't going to just stand there, and they had to escalate the situation to get back the advantage. Yes, 9 activists died, as a result of thinking that attacking soldiers while wearing flip-flops might actually have a positive outcome. Which makes the Palmer report state  this:
Israeli Defense Forces personnel faced significant, organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers when they boarded the Mavi Marmara requiring them to use force for their own protection.  Three soldiers were captured, mistreated, and placed at risk by those passengers.  Several others were wounded.
The loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force by Israeli forces during the take-over of the Mavi Marmara was unacceptable.  Nine passengers were killed and many others seriously wounded by Israeli forces.  No satisfactory explanation has been provided to the Panel by Israel for any of the nine deaths.
Forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range has not been adequately accounted for in the material presented by Israel.
What is this secret mathematical equation that makes this excessive? Wasn't the flotilla activists' reaction to the IDF on-boarding even more excessive?

But anyway, Israel has adopted the report, with a reservation.
At the same time, Israel does not concur with the Panel’s characterization of Israel’s decision to board the vessels in the manner it did as “excessive and unreasonable.”  [...] Israel feels that the Panel gave insufficient consideration to the operational limitations which determined the manner and timing of the boarding of the vessels and to the operational need for a covert takeover in order to minimize the chances for resistance on board.
As to the actions of Israel’s soldiers, given the panel’s conclusions regarding the resistance that they encountered when boarding the Mavi Marmara, it is clear that the soldier’s lives were in immediate danger.  [...]
Given these circumstances, Israel’s soldiers clearly acted in self-defense and responded reasonably, proportionally and with restraint, including the use of less-lethal weapons where feasible.  The Panel's characterization of the circumstances which led to the nine deaths on board the Mavi Marmara does not adequately take into account the complexities of what was clearly a chaotic combat situation.[...] Given the close range combat that clearly took place aboard the vessel, wounds sustained at close range do not in themselves suggest wrongdoing by Israeli soldiers. 
And while Israel refuses to apologize (and rightly so), they have not undertaken and steps to cut diplomatic relations with Turkey, and hope they can return to path of cooperation.
The Turkish reply?
All this, because Israel didn't apologize. I see. Turkey doesn't need to accept the Palmer report criticism of the support of IHH and their failure in stopping the flotilla, but they can embrace the tiny portion which is critical of Israel. Hypocrites.
Grow up Turkey, and take it like man, now move on with your life. Don't you have some Kurdish massacres to cover up?

It's Israel Double Standards time! Don't worry, it's only on days that end with a 'y'.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Flotilla hypocrisy excessive, but raid still legal - part 1

And no matter how many articles concentrating on Israel's use of "excessive force" are published, you can't change the fact that the raid was legal.

I wonder how many people actually bothered to read the 105-page report (notice the "Strictly confidential" at the top). It can easily be summarized with: The Gaza blockade is legal, the flotilla was provocative and without justification - all because Gaza won't pacify and come to negotiation tables (they prefer communication through the wonders of rocket technology). The report amazingly recognizes Israel's right to self-defense even though Gaza's legal status is undefinable.
The report reviewed the national investigations conducted by both Turkey and Israel, and then came to its own (lengthy, footnote-filled) conclusion.

Here's a little "best-of" from the report: (emphasis mine if present)
There was little need to organize a flotilla of six ships to deliver humanitarian assistance if only three were required to carry the available humanitarian supplies. The number of journalists embarked on the ships gives further power to the conclusion that the flotilla’s primary purpose was to generate publicity. 
That's what I've been telling friends since the 31st of May 2010, when I found myself to be the spokesperson of the Israeli position following the rampant ignorance flowing all around me. The flotilla was not humanitarian, it was a propaganda tool (with dubious IHH ties to boot). There was very little humanitarian cargo on three of the six ships, and quasi none on the Mavi Marmara, and it was all unnecessary given the large quantities of aid coming in regularly from Israel.
There is a further issue. No adequate port facilities exist in Gaza capable of receiving vessels of the size of the Mavi Marmara. It appears that arrangements had been made to offload the cargo onto smaller vessels at sea, which no doubt would be awkward and inefficient. Yet the flotilla rejected offers to unload any essential humanitarian supplies at other ports and have them delivered to Gaza by land. These offers were made even during the voyage. The conclusion that the primary objective of the flotilla organizers was to generate publicity by attempting to breach the blockade is further reinforced by material before the Panel that suggests that a reception for the flotilla had been arranged by Hamas.
Well, gee. Shocker, right? And since the blockade wasn't breached, Hamas didn't care so much about the so-called humanitarian aid. In fact, Hamas refused the flotilla's humanitarian aid when it was being delivered on land by Israel. Sure smells fishy...

It was foreseeable to the flotilla organizers as it was to the Turkish Government that there was a possibility of force being used against the ships to enforce the blockade. While the level of lethal force that was actually used may have been unforeseen, the organizers did anticipate that there would be an altercation with Israeli forces. The Panel is concerned that not enough was done to inform the participants in the flotilla (including the almost 600 passengers on the Mavi Marmara) of the risks of personal injury that the journey may have involved.
Are you kidding me? The participants were more than well informed, they were prepared for it, they were asking for it. Yes, there are videos of them doing so, why do you ask?

Then comes the report's main incoherence. They agree, in theory, that Israel is allowed to defend itself. But in practice, they don't agree with the method. Do they have other solutions? "Try less lethal next time". So no solutions, just empty words from people who've never been in a dangerous situation.
For Israel to maintain the blockade it had to be effective, so it must be enforced. That is a clear legal requirement for a blockade. Such enforcement may take place on the high seas and may be conducted by force if a vessel resists. To this point in the analysis no difficulty arises. But the subsequent steps taken raise serious questions as to whether the enforcement was executed appropriately in the circumstances.
Yes, because you would have taken out your magic wand and with a flick and swish said "Petrificus totalus" and the whole incident would be over.
The Panel questions whether it was reasonable for the Israeli Navy to board the vessels at the time and place that they did. [...] The distance from the blockade zone was substantial—64 nautical miles. There were several hours steaming before the blockade area would be reached. 
But - you JUST said - never mind.
Then there is the fact that the boarding attempt was made by surprise, without any immediate prior warning.
If you watch the youtube clip above, there was plenty of warning, and the boats were being shadowed for a while before they were boarded. Was the IDF supposed to forgo all tactical advantage and inform the Flotilla of their every move? Where is that written in the San Remo Manual?

Then, we get to the actual use of force on the Mavi Marmara, all that in the upcoming part 2!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Media doesn't like Palmer report

Israel isn't your all time evil oppressor the media loves to portray according to the latest UN Inquiry Panel, dubbed the Palmer Report, so what is the media to do?

Why, spin the story and skew the information so that only the negative things about Israel come to light!
Have you seen the newspapers around you? What's the headline?

I mean, if you look at the report, Jpost sums up quite nicely the 5 main points:

According to Israeli officials, the 102-page report comes to the following conclusions:
  • Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza was legal, as was the interception of vessels trying to break the blockade.
  • The IHH activists behind the flotilla were looking for a violent provocation.
  • Turkey had a role with the IHH in the flotilla setting sail.
  • The IDF soldiers defended themselves after coming up against premeditated violence by those on the ship.
  • The IDF soldiers used excessive force.
Now, the first four points were obvious and known since day one, though it's nice to have recognition from the UN about that (for what little their opinion counts). 
That last point, that's where you see that these inquiries are done by people wearing suits who've had a nice, safe, desk job all their life.

The report admits that the IDF faced significant premeditated violence, yet concludes that its response was disproportionate, due to the dead being shot at close range, multiple times, etc. Given the fact that the commandos were being attacked at close range, wouldn't it make sense that they defend themselves in the same manner?

I mean, what is this whole shtick about "disproportionate force" anyway? In a battle, there's always one side stronger than the other, no? The stronger side will use all it can (especially at moments of distress such as the  Mavi Marmara attack) in order to have the upper hand. And when it comes to life and death (the "peace activists" on board were going to kill them, were they not?), the commandos will obviously use that upper hand in order to not die. Since when does the enemy have the right to dictate what force you should use? If the "peace activists" only use iron bars and knives, what advantage is permitted to the commandos? Thicker bars? Or are the commandos supposed to make a quick estimation of the level of the forces attacking them, and then resort the their elementary Krav Maga courses (but nothing after the third course, because that would be disproportionate).

If the UN would do an inquiry about police shooting in the US, most would be deemed "excessive" by these standards. Officers are allowed to shoot at anybody who threatens them directly, or even just seems to be. If you didn't know this, let me warn you: Do not jokingly threaten a police officer with a realistic looking plastic gun (let alone an iron bar or a knife). You will not live to tell the tale, and will be instantly nominated for a Darwin award for having the grace of removing yourself from the gene pool. (No one thought to nominate the Mavi Marmara 9 for a Darwin award? Dang.)

Now, I know the UN suffers from a serious Israel Double Standard ailment, and I've come to terms with it. (In fact, Turkey is rebuffing the findings... didn't see that one coming, now, did we?)

So, all things considered, I find that it's almost a balanced report, coming from them. (Well, except for the fact that The report recommends that Israel make “an appropriate statement of regret" and pay compensation to Turkey. Why don't the Turks need to apologize for creating this mess? And doesn't the fact that Israel has already said it would pay compensation through a fund set up by the Turkish government count for something? I digress.)
So anyway, a somewhat balanced report, which goes against the general media narrative that Israel is a cruel diabolical oppressor. What's the mainstream media to do? I know! Let's spin the story so that only Israel's faults are highlighted! We refuse to let tiny, insignificant details such as facts get in our way of demonizing Israel!

So here are the headlines around here (no links because I don't want to give them traffic, but you know where to find them)

UN judge Israeli raid on Gaza flotilla to be "excessive" - France24

Gaza Flotilla: UN judges blockade to be legal but criticizes Israeli raid - Le Monde

Flotilla: UN report judges Israeli raid as "excessive" (with a picture of Israeli supporters at a soccer match, wtf?) - La Libre
BBC News - the link to the story on the main page

BBC News - the headline after people bothered to click

How, when so much of the report is about the legality of the blockade AND its enforcement, the premeditated violence which was on board, the implication of the Turkish government, etc. how is the main attraction of the article "the excessive force used by Israel"?

Now many people just sort of skim through the headlines, and that's how they get a general idea of what's going on in the world. For the people actually bothering to click and read more, it doesn't get better. It gives details about how brutal the Israeli commandos were on board, how unnecessary the force was. Ridiculous. I'm guessing they would have approved if we just torpedoed the bloody boat? Doesn't the fact that nothing happened on the other boats give you a clue as to where the real problem was?

Anyway, it's business as usual for those busy demonizing Israel.

If you see incredibly slanted headlines/news pieces from so-called respectable news reporters, don't forget to give a heads up to our friends at Honest Reporting, who always do a great job.

And now for something completely different...

Honest Reporting's spin on Monty Python - the Light Side of Life

And they're giving away Life of Brian DVDs! Enter here to try
(This way I can end this post on a less depressing note :) )

Related links:
Foreign Ministry preparing for release of Palmer Report