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Monday, October 11, 2010

Interview with Mavi Marmara witness contradicts UN report

The Turkish author of a book about the Mavi Marmara, Şefik Dinç, who was on board the ship, gave an interview with Israel's Channel 1 and further confirmed Israel's version of events - and contradicted the extraordinarily biased and false UNHRC report about the ship.

The UNHRC claimed, for example, that the IDF used live ammunition from the helicopters before the soldiers landed. This means that the IHH supporters were just standing on deck, being picked off one by one, without running away. Of course, not a single video of the incident shows a Turkish passenger down while the IDF troops descend to be mercilessly beaten.

Şefik Dinç confirms the IDF version of event, that troops only opened fire when they saw their comrades' lives were in danger.

Interviewer: According to your eyewitness account, IDF soldiers only opened fire when they felt that their own lives or the lives of their fellow soldiers were in danger.

Dinç: As you know, I was on board the ship. I saw with my own eyes that when the soldiers came on helicopters and started landing on the ship, they did not fire. It wasn’t until the soldiers were met with resistance and realized that some of their friends’ lives were in danger that they began using live ammunition.

Interviewer: Did you notice anyone using knives or iron bars?

Dinç: Actually, I saw no knives being used. I did see iron bars being used.

The UNHRC report allows that the IDF did not treat elderly or women passengers harshly, but claims extreme abuse of the men, as well as insults to the women.

134. In the process of being detained, or while kneeling on the outer decks for several hours, there was physical abuse of passengers by the Israeli forces, including kicking and punching and being hit with the butts of rifles. One foreign correspondent, on board in his professional capacity, was thrown on the ground and kicked and beaten before being handcuffed. The passengers were not allowed to speak or to move and there were frequent instances of verbal abuse, ncluding derogatory sexual remarks about the female passengers.

The account of Dinç, who is a man, is quite different:

Interviewer: In your book, you describe cases of humane treatment from IDF soldiers [of the detained ship passengers], such as removing their handcuffs, and even an interesting encounter in Israel with a Jew of Turkish descent who gave you his mobile phone.

Dinç: The soldiers uncuffed some people who were having difficulties, particularly older people, women, and people who did not act aggressively. As for the Israeli policeman, his Turkish was excellent, we spoke, and he said that he had immigrated to Israel from Istanbul. He asked me if I contacted my family and whether I had a telephone to make a call. I told him I didn’t, and then he gave me his own mobile phone so that I could call my family. I thank him again.
The "witnesses" interviewed by the UN had motive to lie - after all, they were motivated to go on a mission to demonize Israel to begin with. Even so, the UN believed their testimony over video evidence that contradicted their stories, saying that the already biased witnesses were more reliable than the video that was released (para. 20.)!

Yet here is a real witness who had no incentive to lie, and whose account corroborates the IDF's version of events in almost every detail.

Don't expect the UNHRC to acknowledge that their very methodology of gathering evidence was flawed from the start.

(h/t Joel)