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The IDF lied about the flotilla
June 29 2011
There is no information that there is going to be a group of radicals on board that will form a hard core of violent resistance against IDF soldiers. Nor is there any clear information about live weapons that will be onboard the ships. It is very reasonable to assume that this is one working assumption, alongside of many otherscenarios and working assumptions that have come up in the brainstorming sessions in the army and the various intelligence services in advance of the upcoming flotilla. But when a working assumption of that sortis turned into a fact by the Israeli public relations machine that is liable to prove to be a boomerang that couldcast Israel as unreliable. That’s the way it is in Israel. Before the previous flotilla no one bothered even to enlist people who speak Turkish to monitor the publicly-available information in Turkish, which indicated precisely what was going tohappen. In advance of this flotilla they’re digging up the most marginal information, some of which is basedon unreliable sources and some of which has not been verified. Take, for example, the report about chemicalsthat supposedly are going to be used against IDF troops: The issue at hand are sacks of fertilizer that havebeen loaded onto one of the ships. Some of the fertilizers are phosphate-based. Israel has banned substancesof that sort from entering Gaza since those organic fertilizers can be used as rocket fuel and in bombs.Hamas no longer needs to use fertilizer for those purposes, since it now obtains standard explosives via thetunnels. There is no argument: the IDF needs to be prepared for the worst case scenario. It needs to be prepared for asituation in which someone on board the ships opens live fire. But the dramatic announcements by Israelabout preparations being made on board the ships to fight to the death and to kill IDF soldiers are strongly redolent of propaganda. Smart PR work most certainly has the capacity of embarrassing the other side inpublic opinion. In the meantime, the more sober situation assessment is that IDF troops are liable toencounter intense physical resistance on two of the ships -- the French vessel,Le Dignité-El Karameh , and an Arab boat that was bought by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. The flotilla, which was supposed to set forth yesterday, has been delayed by two days. Some of the ships havebeen damaged unexpectedly. The Israeli diplomatic effort this time was successful in persuading thegovernments of Greece and Cyprus to prevent -- or, at the very least, to delay -- the departure of the ships.Every day that passes in which the flotilla does not set sail increases the chances of it becoming even moredepleted. Quite a number of the people who are supposed to take part in the flotilla -- people fromSwitzerland, the United States and Holland -- flew in at their own expense, and are now stranded and waiting at their own expense. Thus far, Israel has been quite successful in its efforts to buy time and to deplete theflotilla. Out of the 15 ships that originally were supposed to take part in the flotilla, the number is now downto six. It is not inconceivable that the current delay is not the last one either. The organizers of the flotillakeep on discovering new problems every day
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