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Thursday, June 03, 2010

They prayed before they lynched

The Sydney Morning Herald has a reporter's account of the commando operation that is so unbelievably biased as to be laughable. Written by Paul McGeough, it is titled "Prayers, tear gas and terror."
The Israeli attack was timed for dawn prayers – when a good number of the men aboard the Mavi Marmara were praying on the aft deck of the big Turkish passenger ferry, as it motored steadily through international waters in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The call to prayer could be heard across the water – haunting chords made tinny by the ship's PA system, yet haunting enough amid tension sparked several hours earlier when the six ships' captains in the Free Gaza Flotilla rejected a demand radioed by the Israeli navy – change course away from the Gaza Strip or be confronted with lethal force.
Don't you love the imagery of innocent Muslims at prayer being surprised by stealthy evil Zionist killers? The fact that we have video of them waiting for the Israelis, with clubs and knives and slingshots and broken bottles in hand, is not mentioned. No, all night they were praying. (By the way, the Muslim times for prayer are almost literally all day and night - Isha'a is dusk until dawn, Fajr from dawn to sunrise.)

We have heard the warnings given by the Israelis and they never warned that they would use "lethal force." This is simply a lie.

They hunted like hyenas – moving up and ahead on the flanks; pushing in, then peeling away; and finally, lagging before lunging. But as they came alongside the Mavi Marmara, the dozen or so helmeted commandos in each assault craft copped the full force of the ferry's fire hoses and a shower of whatever its passengers found on deck or could break from the ship's fittings.

Suddenly sound bombs and tear gas were exploding on the main aft deck, where prayers were held five times a day.

See - it was a holy spot! Just like the Jews took away the Al Aqsa Mosque, now they took away the holy Mavi Marmara!

[A]ctivists on the upper decks rushed to the top level of the ship – grabbing the commandos even before they landed, disarming them; beating them until, according to some who were present, leaders demanded the Israelis not be harmed; but in one case, one of the Israelis was hurled from one deck of the ship to the next.

Wait - it gets better:

There were conflicting accounts of the first commando landing – some activists said he was injured and was being carried inside the ship for treatment by the flotilla doctors. However, a Serbian cameraman, Srojan Stojiljkovic, said some of the activists had armed themselves with lengths of chain and metal posts that had served as cordons around the ship's lifeboats.

"Some of the people caught the first commando before he touched the deck – a few started to hit him, but a lot of people moved in to shelter him with their bodies," the cameraman said. "Another soldier with a bleeding nose was brought in ... a few people threw punches, but not as many as I would have expected."
The brutal and merciless beatings caught from at least three different camera angles, including the cameras on the Mavi Marava itself, are ignored by this intrepid reporter who so loves Muslim prayer as to invoke it multiple times in the story. Instead, he takes utterly inconsistent and conflicting reports - which any decent reporter would question based on the video evidence - and takes them at face value.

It is not believable that McGeough had not seen the videos by now that show nothing at all corroborating his fanciful tale of caring Turkish aid workers nursing injured Israeli soldiers to health.

Another of the dead was said to be an Indonesian cameraman, Sura Fachrizaz, shot in the chest. Also among the dead was a Malaysian doctor who, activists said, was shot while treating the wounded.
Funny - the news today said that all of the dead were from Turkey (the one American citizen was from Turkey as well.) The reporter is again reporting rumors without checking the facts - just as he repeats the discredited flotilla lie that

Four of the ships carried 10,000 tonnes of emergency supplies for Gaza

...not quite true, closer to 1000 tons of useless supplies that Hamas has spurned.

But his characterization of the violent Hamas coup that killed hundreds of Gazans deserves perhaps the most derision of all:

Hamas retained control of Gaza in the face of an Israeli- and US-backed bid to oust the Islamist movement from power.
McGeough is not a reporter, he is an advocate. And - no surprise - his girlfriend is Palestinian Arab.

(h/t jk)