If you read the New York Times, please read something else in addition. I know it is the “paper of record.” But if you are following the story of the aid flotilla, here are some other things you might want to know.
- The flotilla was originally supposed to leave from the Greek side of Cyprus. Until Greece withdrew permission. There was a delay as they scrambled to the Turkish side. Israeli-Turkish relations are extremely chilly right now, so they were more than happy to host.
- The leader of Hamas gave a press conference before the flotilla left, saying (and I’m paraphrasing–it was in Arabic, but covered and translated by the Israeli media): “If the flotilla succeeds, it’s a victory for Gaza. And if the flotilla doesn’t succeed, it’s also a victory for Gaza!”
- The thousands of tons of humanitarian aid were invited to come ashore at the Israel port of Ashdod, be inspected (for weapons), and be sent to Gaza on trucks. This offer was, clearly, refused. But if humanitarian aid was the real purpose, why would they refuse? (Far less sexy, no? The Navy is trying to steer the ships to Ashdod; PM Netanyahu has said the aid will get to Gaza.)
- On Israeli news channel 10, yesterday morning, MK Haneen Zoubi appeared from one of the boats, pleading with viewers to believe her claim that the boats were unarmed and they came in peace on a humanitarian mission. (In contrast to this account.)
Israeli coverage (please note the picture of the nice man holding the extremely large curvy knife) from the most left-wing (i.e., pro-Palestinian) paper in Israel. Not what you get from the NYT.
I really don’t like to do politics here, because I have a very hard time wrapping my head around everything; I am not an expert and am easily overwhelmed by it all. But I want to make people aware there gaps in the coverage.
PS Major props to my ulpan teacher, Idit, who tapes the 7:00 am news every day and makes us watch it.
PPS The Israeli Navy’s announcement to the flotilla.
PPPS If you have a YouTube account (I don’t, so I can’t link) you can watch footage of the Navy boarding the ships and see what happened. Hint: the officers are attacked and an officer gets thrown overboard.
And of course if you think the Israeli accounts are all overblown, this is Israel and you’re never far away. The cousin of Taxman’s secretary was part of the Navy commando unit and was shot twice.