The Other Side of the Story

From the Times:

On Thursday, Today’s Zaman, an English-language newspaper in Turkey,reported that the president of the Turkish aid group that helped to organize the flotilla said that a photographer working for the group “was shot in the forehead by a soldier one meter away from him.” Bulent Yildirimhe, the president of the aid organization Insani Yardim Vakfi (known in English as the I.H.H.), told the newspaper on Thursday after he returned from Israel: “Our Cevdet [Kiliclar], he is a press member. He has become a martyr. All he was doing was taking pictures. They smashed his skull into pieces.” The newspaper added:

Kevin Ovenden of Britain, an activist on the ship that arrived in İstanbul on Thursday, also said a man who had pointed a camera at the soldiers was shot directly through the forehead with live ammunition, with the exit wound blowing away back of his skull.

In another report, the newspaper said that Israeli officials had confiscated images taken by one of its photographers in the flotilla:

A photojournalist from Today’s Zaman Kursat Bayhan who was on board an international aid convoy for Gaza said he tried to hide a flash disk which included the photos from the moments of Israeli attack on the convoy under his tongue to prevent Israeli authorities from seizing it but his effort failed during a medical examination.

The report added, “Bayhan said the journalists in the ship including him tried to protect the video footage and photos they took,” after the ships were seized by Israeli commandos, but “all the materials of the press members, including their passports and identity cards, were taken away.”

The way these accounts diverge from that of Israel’s military would seem to make an independent investigation into the events crucial. That is particularly true since, as The Lede noted on Wednesday, Israel is apparently in possession of much more video evidence than it has yet released.

In a post making the case that Israel should not conduct that inquiry, Noam Sheizaf, an Israeli journalist and blogger, pointed out that journalists in the flotilla seem to have left Israeli custody without any of the video they shot during the raid that might bolster their accounts.

Israel has confiscated some of the most important material for the investigation, namely the films, audio and photos taken by the passengers [and] journalists on board and the Mavi Marmara’s security cameras. Since yesterday, Israel has been editing these films and using them for its own PR campaign. In other words, Israel has already confiscated most of the evidence, held it from the world and tampered with it. No court in the world would [trust] it to be the one examining it.

5 thoughts on “The Other Side of the Story

  1. If there were an independent investigation, I’m certain that Israel would not make the unedited confiscated materials available.

  2. The piracy and murders took place in the middle of the night 40 miles beyond their self imposed boundary. If Israel had a shred of legitimacy for their actions, they would have done it in broad daylight with every media camera available watching it.

  3. This is sickening to read, but it is par for the course when Israeli military finds reporters documenting them doing what they don’t want the world to see. They shoot at or kill the reporters and photographers, videopgraphers. This has been going on for years now.

    One of the problems is that we, the US military and our governments, have been doing much the same thing. Kill and remove the reporters. Well, those that aren’t playing by our rules and parroting our propaganda.

    Do we have war criminals running our nation, our government?

    If we say yes, what do we do about it?

  4. So, my guess is that Israel starts shit with Turkey, Pakistan joins in, US goes psycho on Pakistan. Or Pakistan goes psycho on Turkey. One way or another, Mideast goes up in flames and here goes WW III. US, with its imperial city in Baghdad is think it can ride it out and get the oil. But Israel has nukes, and maybe Pakistan can get it up quick enough in return.
    Sing it with me!
    “Boom goes London, Boom Paree…”

  5. montag,

    There are so many factual inaccuracies in your one little statement, it’s hard to know where to start.

    The piracy and murders took place in the middle of the night 40 miles beyond their self imposed boundary.

    First of all, there was no piracy and there were no murders. By the very definition of those words, it’s impossible to apply them to the IDF actions aboard the Mavi Marmara..

    Piracy is attacks on the high seas by stateless privateers. The legal boarding of the Mavi Marmara by Israel (a state) obviously doesn’t fit that definition.

    Also, by the laws of every civilized country, there can be no murder when it is a clear cut case of self-defense. Video evidence and eyewitness accounts FROM the activists themselves clearly prove beyond any doubt that the deaths of the violent activists were the results of self-defense.

    As for being 40 miles beyond their self-imposed boundry?? The IDF was dealing with a flotilla of ships. Military factors determined that the fleet needed to be stopped further out from the blockade zone. The San Remo Manual, which is the law governing this issue, clearly states that the blockading party can set up the exclusion zone accordance to military needs.

    Nay, by international law, Israel didn’t even have to wait at all. By law, Israel could have stopped the IHH fleet as soon as it cleared Cyprus waters.

    This is what the law says. You know, the law?? That thing ya’all always (with great inaccuracy) throw in Israel’s face??

    If Israel had a shred of legitimacy for their actions, they would have done it in broad daylight with every media camera available watching it.

    You have never served in any military have you?? The Israeli military, or any military for that matter, doesn’t base it’s tactics on the wants and desires of terrorists and violent activists…

    You can bet that if there had been a media presence and it was broad daylight, there would have been hundreds more activists casualties.

    Is that what you want??? Many MANY more people dead??


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