Al Jazeera's 45 minute-long documentary on the seizure of the ships and boats of the Gaza flotilla concentrates on events aboard the MV Mavi Marmara. This is because most of Al Jazeera's team (one of whom spent election day 2008 with my wife and I in Wasilla, covering the results in Palin's home town) was on the small cruise ship, and footage smuggled out by members of Cultures of Resistance came from that vessel. In the documentary there is evidence of war crimes by the IDF.
For instance, the very straightforward skipper of the Mavi Marmara states:
At around 6:30 in the morning [after the IDF had seized the bridge of the MVMM and bound all crew there but the captain], we were asked to start the engine and turn to the route 130 degrees. No matter how many times I asked the Israeli soldiers to provide first aid to the injured, until our doctors intervened, they kept on insisting that as long as the engine was not started and the route was not turned to 130 degrees, they would not provide first aid.
There are so many instances of Israeli soldiers just letting injured people or sick people just fucking die. The most pathetic recent incident occurred late last week, as Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem opened fire on the husband of an American citizen in his car. When he got out and sought to distance himself from the car in which one of his American daughters was cowered down, they shot him, let him bleed, then shot him again. Then, according to numerous witnesses, they danced around his body, in triumph.
Please watch this powerful Al Jazeera documentary. I doubt you will see such comprehensive reporting on the flotilla on any American TV network.
Will any American network provide coverage of the next Euro-American-Asian flotilla later this month, or in July?
I had friends on the last one, and several will be on this one. Yesterday evening, I got word that members of the London-based group Jews for Justice for Palestinians will participate in the Jewish boats that will attempt to break the blockade. JfJfP produced the 2005 performance of my work about Rachel Corrie, The Skies are Weeping, in London (after Alaska and New York performances had been canceled), and hosted my wife and me. I brought 20 pounds of Copper River Sockeye salmon I had smoked myself from Wasilla to London for my friends, and for the Israeli-Palestinian-people-from-all-over reception we had after the concert. We drank Palestinian and Israeli and British beer, even pouring suds from the three countries together into the same glasses.
Some of the Jewish peace activists on the German boat will be bringing musical instruments, which have been banned in Gaza.
The Al Jazeera documentary embedded here fairly clearly shows the benign intent of the vast majority of participants in the Memorial Day weekend flotilla. How will the Israeli press handle the European Jewish boats? What if the Jewish boats and the supposed Iranian boats meet up and exchange gifts, food, musical instruments, hugs?
This flotilla movement is more fascinating every day.