The BBC has produced an explosive documentary about the Israeli raid of the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010. And it has pro-flotilla activists seething.
Kossacks in the UK can watch the documentary online here. The rest of us can watch the documentary at Youtube.
The film includes a lot of the footage that we are familiar with--IHH activists taunting the IDF over the radio, Israeli soldiers being attacked as they reached the deck--but it also included footage that I've never seen before, most of it shot by IHH activists and footage captured by the ships closed-circuit cameras. In addition, the BBC interviewed a number of IDF soldiers and IHH activists.
Among the new details that I found most striking:
- The BBC uncovered footage showing passengers using tools to cut railings to create clubs.
- The BBC also showed video of passengers throwing bottles, chairs, and other objects at the Israeli boats. They were unable to board the ship using boats so they were forced to use helicopters. From IHH activist Ergun Trabzon
As the Israelis came close, they threw their hooks onto the bottom decks. Our friends down there cut them off. From above we threw chairs and anything we could find down on them, and after a while they moved away.
- An interview with a crew member of the Mavi Marmara said that 40 IHH activists took control of the ship on the evening of May 31st and restricted access to the deck. Israeli Maj Gen (Retired) Giora Eiland believes that these forty people were the troublemakes, while the remaining passengers were largely innocent, peaceful bystanders.
- Two injured Israeli soldiers were taken captive. They had to jump overboard to escape their captures.
- As for the cargo the "peace" activists wanted to deliver, this is what Jane Corbin had to say:
So what about the aid the IHH said was the reason for their mission? Some of it has arrived in Gaza from Israel and is sitting in a warehouse: mobility scooters, hospital beds and drugs. But I found that two thirds of the medicines are out of date and useless.
What do the coordinators of the flotilla really think about the those who lost their lives? Don't take it from me. Listen to the words of Lubna Masarwa, Co-coordinator of Free Gaza:
C (interviewer): 9 people died but was that a price worth paying to get attention on Gaza?
LM (Lubna Masarwa): I was scared, really scared when I saw all the blood, and I didn’t want anyone to die. But there is no resistance, there is no freedom without paying a price.
Indeed nine people lost their lives, but Jane Corbin believes that the flotilla was largely a success.
At the end of the day, the bid to break the naval blockade wasn’t really about bringing aid to Gaza. It was a political move, designed to put pressure on Israel and the international community.
The price was high. Nine people died. But the outcry assured that the flotilla achieved its aim and the IHH presented the dead as martyrs for the cause of Gaza.
The flotilla activists are predictably outraged by this piece of authentic journalism and are planning protests at the BBC this Sunday. The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign is urging its supporters to call the BBC to complain about the documentary. Among the complaints is that the BBC didn't show any footage of Operation Cast Lead?
Even if you are steadfast in your belief that the Israeli military is entirely to blame, these findings, by an independent European journalist, demonstrate that many on board the Mavi Marmara did not have peaceful intentions and that the IDF is once again the victim of a rush to judgment by the international community.