JERUSALEM – Israeli commandos rappelled down to an aid flotilla sailing to thwart a Gaza blockade on Monday, clashing with pro-Palestinian activists on the lead ship in a botched raid that left at least nine passengers dead.
Bloodied passengers sprawled on the deck and troops dived into the sea to save themselves during several hours of hand-to-hand fighting that injured dozens of activists and six soldiers. Hundreds of activists — many of whom were apparently Turkish — were towed from the international waters to Israeli detention centers and hospitals.
The high-seas confrontation was a nightmare scenario for Israel, which insisted its soldiers were simply unprepared for what awaited them on the Mavi Marmara, the ship carrying 600 of the 700 activists headed for Gaza. Instead of carrying their regular automatic rifles, the Israelis said they went in with non-lethal paintball guns and pistols they never expected to use.
"Clash," eh? As in, "There was a clash. No known aggressor."
"Hand-to-hand fighting?" As if the Israelis didn't have guns or anything? Did they have a pillow fight, too?
They had "paintball guns?" It's no wonder no one believes a single word out of the American news media. You really expect me to believe that Israeli commandos were armed with paintball guns? The same animals who drop phosphorus on Gazans? Uh huh. Do yourselves a favor: If an Israeli is speaking, it's a lie. Don't reprint it; you'll just pollute your audience's minds. ...unless that's what your intent is.
"Troops dived into the sea to save themselves." From the presumed aggressors, I suppose? The ones with sticks and iron bars?
The jury's still out on whether Israelis opened fire on sleeping passengers, but by any account the Israelis were the aggressors here. They boarded a ship in international waters and shot up the place. Exactly like pirates.
Here's my version:
"Today some pirates boarded a humanitarian aid ship in international waters. They shot up the place. Some of 'em got killed. No one actually cares how many of these masked men with guns got killed or wounded because they were just pirates, muttering something about how everyone hates them."
There's only one way to deal with pirates. You sink their ships.