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Sunday, June 06, 2010

English: "IDF ruthless!" Turkish/Arabic: "IDF crybabies!"

There are three narratives of the first minutes of the raid on the Mavi Marmara: one by Israel, one by the leaders of the flotilla when speaking in English, and a third one - by the people who support the flotilla when speaking in non-Western languages.

The Turkish newspaper that published the pictures of the IDF soldiers today does not use the meme of ruthless IDF soldiers shooting from the helicopter and murdering civilians within seconds of landing on deck - nor do the pictures support that narrative in the least. Rather, they prove Israel's version of events completely. Yet the Turkish press, as we had seen Friday from some of the Arabic press, instead say how weak and ineffectual the IDF soldiers were, all but mocking them for not using lethal force initially.

The newspaper notes, with glee, the fear in the soldiers' faces captured in the photos. It discusses how the brave "humanitarians" fought the mighty IDF with sacks of onions. The article calls the soldiers "amateurish" and "incompetent."

To the supporters of the IHH and its partners, the IDF's reticence in using lethal force is a clear sign of weakness, not a sign of caring about human life.

This also indicates that the version of events that much of the world believes, in which the Free Gaza folks make outlandish claims like
Under darkness of night, Israeli commandoes dropped from a helicopter onto the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck. They fired directly into the crowd of civilians asleep.
are complete fabrications.

Interestingly, the Turkish article claims that the IDF erased these photos from the camera memory cards before returning them to their owners, and that the Turks recovered them with simple unerase software, in an attempt to hide the facts of the IDF failure. It seems equally possible that the photographers quickly deleted the photos before the IDF confiscated the cameras. In fact, as YNet notes, the IDF "expressed its satisfaction with the Turkish newspapers' decision to publish the photos. 'This is clear proof of Israel's repeated claims, that the boat was carrying mercenaries, whose sole purpose was to kill the soldiers.'" Their only problem was with showing the soldiers' faces.