Gaza flotilla: Anti-Israel propaganda vs. the evidence

100531 Gaza flotilla 'humanitarians' attack Israel Defence Force boarding party during attempt to run blockade against Hamas terror organization. (IDF photo)

100531 Gaza flotilla 'humanitarians' attack Israel Defence Force boarding party during attempt to run blockade against Hamas terror organization. (IDF photo)

UPDATED June 17/11 — In 2010 Israel was heavily criticized for killing so-called ‘humanitarian activists’ who attacked Israel Defence Force personnel legally boarding a ship trying to run Israel’s anti-weapons blockade against the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.   

Here are some alternate points of view to counter the allegations that the IDF ‘massacred’ innocent, peaceful activists on a ship that only wanted to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.   

The evidence clearly shows that Israel’s version of the incident has what lawyers and judges call ‘the ring of truth’ compared to the hysterical accusations against it by anti-Israel groups.   

Furthermore, it is also clear that Israel had the legal right to blockade ships heading for Hamas-controlled territory, and the right to board the ship in international waters.   

Finally, the evidence also shows that the government of Israel is NOT, as alleged, preventing aid from reaching Gaza, and that the ‘humanitarians’ could have off-loaded their cargo along with other ships at an Israeli port where it would have been inspected for weapons and then delivered:    

Key sources 
Note: I am not asking readers to blindly accept, at face value, the statements by Israeli government or Israeli-friendly sources. I am asking readers to use the information provided here to critically analyze media reports and anti-Israel statements by those sworn to destroy it and their supporters.
  • Intelligence & Terrorism Information Centre report, June 10/10: Additional information about the violent intentions of the IHH operatives during the voyage of the Mavi Marmara and the weapons found in their possession [CIC PDF, 16p]
  • IHH
  • StandWithUs: Flotilla Facts (recommended by Canada-Israel Committee; excellent one-stop source)
  • IDF blog:
  • Committe for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA): Middle East Issues – Gaza (collection of articles back to 1994)

Turkel Commission report 

Important stories 

A short history of Israel’s fight to survive   

For those unfamiliar with the basic history of how Israel came into existence (by UN vote) and how it has been the victim of repeated aggression by Arab states attempting to destroy it I recommend the following:   

To learn how Palestinian media and schoolbooks encourage hate and genocide against Israel see the shocking material on this site, especially the material directed at children:  

For a complete list of links to key information and intelligence:  

Stand with the Jewish people and Israel in their time of need   

I believe the Jewish people have the right to live free from the threat of terror and extermination, and that Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself against such aggression. Click to join the Star of David Campaign for Bloggers. VoC Star of David Campaign for Bloggers   

For bloggers who want to stand with Israel against the threat of terror, anihilation in the face of relentless, growing, anti-Israel/anti-Semitic propaganda I ask you to join VoC in wearing a digital Star of David or Israeli flag armband/badge:   

2inch_voc_logo-url.jpg Mark Vandermaas, Editor



9 responses to “Gaza flotilla: Anti-Israel propaganda vs. the evidence

  1. Thanks for the great links 🙂

    VoC REPLY: You’re welcome, Mr. Binks. Thanks for writing. Mark

  2. I am curious why you would suddenly change from a small local issue to a major issue which may people in the complex issue of international politics have being trying to resolve for many years. I do not support either groups terrorist appearing actions, and apparent piracy on the high seas by a soveriegn nation is a stretch. You have never been there, and neither have I so we cannot understand the depths of the problem.

    It would appear that Israel is practicing the same type of two-tier justice that your group is accusing the local police of practicing.

    VoC REPLY: Hello Laurie.

    1. You think the terrible crimes committed in the name of ‘aboriginal sovereignty’ that have traumatized thousands of innocents in Caledonia, Ipperwash, Deseronto, Hagersville, Cayuga with the aid of Canada’s 2nd largest police force and Canada’s largest province is a “small local issue” and is unrelated to Israel & Gaza?

    2. Not only are do the two situations mirror one another in important ways, they are actually intertwined:

    The same groups and individuals who have been supporting and/or showing ‘solidarity’ for native extremism in places like Caledonia are also supporting anti-Israel actions and/or terror groups in Gaza.

    What is happening in Gaza/Israel is simply further along there than it is here. Innocent people in Israel have been repeatedly attacked by racists who are trying to exterminate them and destroy their country as evidenced by the Hamas Charter.

    In Canada native extremists are attacking innocent people in order to create areas free of the rule of law. Native extremists have their own unwritten version of the Hamas Charter which says they are not subject to Canadian law and can, therefore, attack, destroy and intimidate anything and anyone they wish to get what they want.

    3. Of course, you’d understand all this, including my motivation for getting involved if you’d simply read the VoiceofCanada feature (Israel’s fight for Survival: a short history) that I linked to in this article, and in my ‘Star of David Campaign for Bloggers’ from which I also linked to it. Here’s how I know you didn’t bother:

    If you had simply clicked on that link, you would have seen these words opening the article:

    “My parents lived in Nazi-occupied Holland and watched Jews taken away to be murdered. I grew up learning about the Holocaust and, while in my teens, read Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous poem, ‘No one was left to speak for me.” (I once had the honour of meeting Niemoller’s widow at a Holocaust Remembrance Week event in 2007.)

    “This, and my experiences as a UN peacekeeper seeing the aftermath of war due to a lack of rule of law in the Middle East (where the VoC header photo was taken) are the key reasons I gave up my real estate career in 2006 to work full time as a volunteer opposing native extremism and racial policing in Caledonia.”

    So, there are my motivations for defending Jews and the victims in Caledonia from aggression.

    So, contrary to your assertion that I “have never been there” I HAVE been there. I have driven through the old minefields, seen the burnt out tanks and climbed Mount Sinai to watch the sun come up. I have driven through Gaza before the civil war when Hamas murdered Gazans. I’ve seen what the destruction of the rule of law can lead to. You really wouldn’t want to live somewhere where the rule of law doesn’t exist.

    3. Now that we’ve established that I HAVE been there, let’s talk about you. You managed to reach your opinion without having been to the Middle East. The vast majority of those who criticize Israel have never been there.

    I have been to Israel, Egypt, Gaza and Caledonia. Caledonia is an issue which I am deeply involved with on a day-to-day basis, and I understand it intimately with all its nuances and players. I, and the people I work with, are recognized as subject matter experts. That’s why I/we were invited to speak at Mount Royal University last month at the 2010 New Directions in Aboriginal Policy forum.

    Israel/Gaza is an issue which I understand from a broader perspective, but I must choose to rely on others for information who are experts, who are intimately acquainted with the issue, others who I can generally trust to tell the truth, and whose information has the ‘ring of truth’ to it.

    I choose not to listen to those who I know are telling outrageous lies about Caledonia and/or showing solidarity with those who have supported crimes against innocents there. I choose not to listen to those who demand that I understand Palestinian suffering while they show no compassion whatsoever for the innocent Israeli civilians deliberately targeted by Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Israel is not perfect. It makes mistakes, but its actions are defensive, not aggressive. In this particular case, it had the legal right to impose a blockade and to stop ships in international waters to ensure arms are not reaching an organization which has declared war on her (read the Hamas Charter!). The so-called ‘humanitarians’ were more interested in attacking IDF personnel and becoming ‘martyrs’ than in delivering their ‘aid’ of slingshots to Gaza.

    From the broader perspective, when Arab groups begin to care more about their own people than in destroying Jews, Israel will have no more need to defend herself. She has already proven she is willing to make peace with those who are willing to put down their weapons.

    Sorry, Laurie, but I suggest that you really do need to read the material listed on this page. Thanks for writing, Mark.

  3. Thank you for you very detailed reply with many references. I will read them again.

    I apologize for assuming you had not been to Gaza, before the serious trouble began, I believe, for I thought you had just been stationed Egypt for a period of time.

    You also made one very correct statement and one very seriously incorrect assumption in your reply. I leave you to find what they are and will be discussing them later. It is too late now.

    I am pleased to see on the late news that the Israels have changed their tactics on the high sea and are not acting like thugs.

    More soon.

    VoC REPLY: No problems. Thanks for the reply.

    1. I’ve been through Gaza several times on my way to/from Tel Aviv when it was under Israeli control in 1978. The time there didn’t make me an expert, but it did help me understand the ‘closeness’ of the parties that poses such a threat to Israeli civilians when Hamas launches rockets, and to the very existence when Arabs have launched or precipitated wars against her which occurred long before what you call ‘the serious trouble.’

    (Sorry, I don’t mean to nitpick, but people really have to understand that the ‘serious trouble’ began the day after the state of Israel (created by a 1947 UN vote of the General Assembly) was declared in 1948 when Israel was attacked by 5 Arab countries whose goal was to destroy the Jewish state. Readers who want a short history of Israel’s creation and her fight against Arab aggression should see this post: I also suggest the resources on the main ‘Israel & Anti-Semitism’ menu)

    Imagine if the Golden Horseshoe area was surrounded by terror groups who were sworn to exterminate us and our state and were launching rockets at civilians. I’m pretty sure you, me, all of us would be screaming at our government to do whatever it took to stop it, including enforcing a lawful blockade to ensure weapons weren’t getting to those who wanted to destroy us.

    It’s easy to sit here and criticize Israel from the safety of our snug homes (just as it’s easy for those who also support native extremists in Caledonia to dismiss the suffering of innocent victims there, and criticize those of us who speak out for them) and argue the finer points of of the conflict, but if the terror rockets were landing on our heads, we’d do whatever it took to make it stop.

    2, Sorry, but your ‘facts’ are wrong: it wasn’t Israel that stopped acting like thugs that prevented violence on the Rachel Corrie, it was the ‘humanitarian activists’ who decided not to repeat their attacks on IDF personnel enforcing a lawful blockade to keep weapons out of the hands of the Hamas terror group. The video evidence proving who the thugs were is in this post:

    As for my wrong assumption, sorry, but – respectfully – I don’t have time to guess, I have too much to do. So, you’ll have to make your point clearly for me, OK? If I was wrong, I’ll apologize, just as you did. Thanks for writing. Mark

  4. “You really wouldn’t want to live somewhere where the rule of law doesn’t exist.” Very correct – who in their right mind would want to? Yet I have – your wrong assumption
    I spent 18 months in the Middle East (Egypt) and during some of that time the situation was extremely dangerous. So I have direct experience with the real lack of the rule of law.

    VoC REPLY: If that’s true, why did you say in your original comment, “You have never been there, and neither have I so we cannot understand the depths of the problem.”? What else was I to assume by that statement? Why didn’t you just say outright what your experience was so we wouldn’t have to play silly games? Mark

  5. I meant Gaza and the east side of the canal. I thought you were just stationed in Egypt and did not get as far as Tel Aviv. My apologies for the misunderstanding.

    VoC REPLY: No problem. Some miscommunication, that’s all. 🙂 Would be interesting to hear about your experiences in Egypt. Mark

  6. I can tell you that Israel acted legally. As a former member of The Inns of Court London UK, I am shocked at the lack of legal knowledge displayed by the UN and many others. Under SRM 1994 the law of blockades and Naval combat at sea, Israel has the right of self defense against Hamas controlled Gaza. This blockade is an acceptable tool against a belligerent area. Hamas openly vows to destroy Israel.

    The only question is the damage to Pals too great given the military advantage from the blockade ? 3 year old blockade seems not too excessive from what I have been told by Pals and Jews? fact is they recently built a new Gaza City mall and the shelves are full of world goods. They have a water park and their lawns are green. All require water. I have seen the recent photos.

    Also their are approx 100 tunels from Egypt along it;s 113 K border through which banned goods are brought into Gaza. Some of the items are cars.

    The blockade appears to be legal and has been challenged without success. Ask yourself why Egypt also blocks it Muslim brothers!

    The SRM 1994 has provisions including sec 67 which allows a territory to defend it’s blockade by intercepting neutral vessels in int waters to search them and redirect them if headed to breach the blockade. Very understandable! If the ship resists they are allowed to use force which could be far worse than was used by the IDF. warnings must be given which they were several times. Also Israel notified all that the Gaza was under a blockade. They fulfilled all legal requirements under SRM.

    The main legal question is was excessive force used? Again from the videos, ship to ship communications I also see the events being legal.

    Another important thing is that when IHH militants arm themselves they i9n the eyes of the law become combatants. Iranian Press TV had a video which was quickly removed from the internet shows clearly the IHH planning to attack the IDF long before they arrived. The UN called it showing BRAVADO . The UN also called the clubbing and stabbing of IDF a fight. I call it deadly force with intent and subject to like retaliation as the IDF lives were under threat.

    I have investigated all sides of this situation,> I am not Jewish or a zionist. I am a Canadian born and raised, educated in law in the UK. I find it very hard to believe that the UN is so biased. We even have an up hill fight because our country has sided with Israel traditionally, to gain a temporary seat on the security council.

    If you read the latest report of the UN Humanitarian Council you can see obvious bias by the 3 so called humanitarian experts. They are so biased as most humanitarians are. Absolutely disgusting and a new low for the UN.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for the observations, Tom. I had read other material explaining the legalities of Israel’s blockade that supports your statements. As for the anti-Israel crowd, we’ve seen the exact same kind of propaganda in Caledonia where those who side with people who terrorized innocents never allow the facts to get in the way of their twisted, anarchistic goals. Thanks for writing. Mark

  7. Mark
    You facts and logic are very true.
    Unfortunately we see this twisted logic in our daily lives. The G 20 is an example of how terrorists infiltrate well meaning albeit naive activist protests.
    Keep up the good work !

  8. This is the relevant law that Israel relied on. SRM 1994 is the current law of blockades and naval conflict at sea. It is a compilation of all humantitarian law and laws of warfare that was created to reflect modern conflicts.

    San Remo Manual 1994
    “67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

    (a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture; ”

    Israel acted and quotes SRM to justify what they did and they are correct. Mussies are quoting Maritime law which is a totally different body f law.

  9. Note that a vessel was just boarded in International waters by Israel. The vessel followed orders and was diverted to Ashod. Aid will be delivered over land and no one was injured.

    The difference is that there were no militants spoiling for a media event and they obeyed the Israelis warnings. It is all over the news here !!! 9 activists died for nothing except martyrdom and a few months of media attention!!!