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August 19, 2010

p.s. Response from the BBC to Rifat’s letter about Death in the Med

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Death in the Med : follow up on the Panorama show

Says Rifat : I called the BBC today and registered an official complaint and had them open a case # for it. I was on the phone with them for quite some time and let them know many points and that I was on the ship when we were attacked as well. I then followed this up with a written complaint on the forms on their website, and also submitted it to the blog page. FYI, my follow-up written comments are below

“I was on the Mavi Marmara ship when we were brutally and illegally attacked by the Israeli military in international waters. The episode of Panorama: “Death on the Med” was nothing more than a disgusting piece of Israeli propaganda to put it very mildly. At 2:20 into the show, Jane Corbin states quite bluntly “We got hold of new Israeli military video of the operation”. Yes, that’s exactly it; ISRAELI MILITARY VIDEO. So the only question is, was Jane Corbin in particular and the BBC in general a willing puppet and mouthpiece of the Israeli military or were they just duped into it?? And which of these two possibilities is worse, I’m not even sure.

This Israeli military video and narrative dominated the entire episode. Panorama did not see it fit to refer to the illegality of this piratical attack, involving killing, injuring, hijacking, kidnapping and theft, in international waters. Nor did it challenge any Israeli spokespeople with the illegality of this or question them on it. Further, the program and its so-called reporter did not question the illegality of the Israeli siege on Gaza either, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians.

The program referred to “thousands of rockets” being fired from Gaza into Israel but of course fails to mention the bombardment of Gaza with banned white phosphorous and other weapons that killed over 1400 civilians.

The program and its producers which can undoubtedly only have an agenda, did not question the Israeli spokespeople on why they confiscated all of our footage and tapes if they have nothing to hide. On the contrary, Panorama went ahead and appallingly used doctored tapes given to them by the Israeli military, and presented these as fact.

Why didn’t Panorama mention any of the other ships in the flotilla, or mention that citizens from over 40 countries and various religions (including Jews, Christians and even atheists) and ethnicities participated in it and that many organizations collaborated with IHH on this flotilla? Instead, Panorama was despicably trying to play on people’s fears due to their ignorance of Islam and portray this flotilla as being driven by extreme “Islamists”. There were many British citizens aboard the ship as well, but for some strange reason, Panorama opted not to show a single one of them.

Why didn’t Panorama mention the autopsy reports or challenge the Israeli spokespersons on the fact that the dead victims were shot many times and at close range, thus negating the claim of ‘self-defense’ by the Israeli commandos? More importantly, why didn’t Corbin challenge the simple fact that when you attack and board a civilian ship in the dead of the night with fully armed commandos, helicopters, live rounds, warships and Zodiac boats, the self-defense argument is automatically negated because YOU ARE BEING THE AGGRESSOR.

Why wasn’t the footage shown of the Israeli assaults on the activists? We were able to continue broadcasting for a short period of time even as the Israeli military tried to execute a blackout on their crimes after they started attacking, and some of us were able to smuggle footage out that was uploaded on the internet. This footage shows the Israeli commandos killing the activists, but this was probably incompatible with the agenda that BBC has in mind. Why wasn’t this footage shown and why weren’t the Israelis questioned on this, in the same manner Corbin was showing the Israeli footage to Bulent Yildrim and questioning him on it?? Or do the Israelis get a free pass?

The true evil, Nazi-like, fascist, racist nature of the Israelis came through loud and clear when approximately 26-27 minutes into the show, the Israeli spokesperson incredibly stated “I don’t think the force was excessive”. Within an hour, they had committed a massacre killing 9 people and wounding dozens. How many more before the Israelis think the force is excessive?! And in the same clip, we see there is no response by Panorama’s reporter to this outrageous statement, and no pressing further as to why the deaths of 9 innocent civilians is so cheap to him. Merely meek, repugnant, submissive complacency by Panorama.

As someone who’s been involved with the media for many years now and who helped established a media watchdog group in the USA that was quite influential, I can honestly say that this is one of the shoddiest pieces of “journalism” I have ever seen.”

Returning to the Mavi Marmara

reminder : A Voyage of Life and Death

Police: Soldiers looted flotilla ships

Ynet learns military police suspect officer, soldier sold laptop computers stolen from aid ships while they docked in Ashdod, after controversial IDF raid. Officials say investigation likely to prove ‘highly shameful’ for Israel

Hanan Greenberg
Published: 08.18.10, 22:20 / Israel News

An officer and a soldier are suspected of selling goods they took from the highly controversial aid flotilla to Gaza, which was raided by the IDF on May 31, Ynet learned from the military police on Wednesday.

One of the suspects in court (Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yeshuv)

Investigators say they are currently trying to ascertain whether laptop computers were sold by a soldier to three other soldiers, and whether they were initially taken from the flotilla vessels by an officer.

A high-ranking officer familiar with the case said the suspicions are highly likely to prove true. “The investigation has just begun, but as it appears now it will prove embarrassing and shameful,” another official said. “These are soldiers who don’t understand what their uniform represents.”

The investigation could prove extremely harmful to Israel as the state strives to fend off global criticism for the raid, which resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish citizens. Recently the Turkel committee, which is investigating the raid on behalf of the state, has called various leaders to testify before it, and a UN committee is not far behind.

The soldier suspected of selling the computers was arrested late Monday night, along with three soldiers suspected of buying them. In the process police say they discovered additional stolen goods in the soldier’s possession, including more laptop computers and cellular phones.

Later an officer was arrested on suspicion he sold the goods to the soldier. The officer, a second-lieutenant in rank, is a commander of an army unit who had access to the ships while they docked at Ashdod port, awaiting their return to Turkey.

Police say the officer stole 4-6 laptops from the ship and then sold them to the soldier, who in turn sold them to three other soldiers two months ago. The three have already admitted to making the purchases during questioning, and the computers were confiscated by police. They were found to be brand new, and not meant for sale in Israel.

They also told interrogators that the soldier who sold them the goods told them they had been stolen from the flotilla ships, yet they did not pass the information on to their commanders.

Activists complained of theft

The soldier and officer have yet to appear before the court for a hearing on the remand of their arrests. Police say other soldiers are yet to be arrested, but refuse to give further details.

Meanwhile investigators are intent on discovering where exactly the goods came from, and whether they were stolen from flotilla passengers. One investigator said that if indeed the goods were found to belong to activists on board, they would be recompensed.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Office confirmed reports of an investigation Wednesday, but said that it was “not at all certain the equipment was taken from the flotilla”.

Complaints by flotilla passengers about stolen equipment surfaced not long after the raid. Activists told the British Guardian in June that credit cards confiscated by the IDF had been used.

The Guardian reported that soldiers had used the cards to purchase various items, including iPod accessories. Claims regarding calls made from confiscated cell phones followed.

The IDF responded to the claims by stating that all of the personal effects brought by the activists to Israel had been placed aboard planes that transported them from the country, but that audio and video cassettes had been confiscated for security reasons.

Source : Ynetnews

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