Accounts, videos of flotilla assault continue to conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Mary Beth Sheridan, Scott Wilson - June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Under a moonlit sky, Huwaida Arraf, a graduate of American University's law school, watched from a small ship early Monday as Israeli commando boats pulled up to the Mavi Marmara, a vessel filled with about 600 activists hoping to breach an Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Israel and the Blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The supporters of the Gaza-bound aid flotilla had more than humanitarian intentions. The Gaza Freedom March made its motives clear in a statement before Monday’s deadly confrontation: “A violent response from Israel will breathe new life into the Palestine solidarity movement, drawing attention to the blockade.” There can be no excuse for the way that Israel completely mishandled the incident. A commando raid on the lead, Turkish-flagged ship left nine activists dead and has opened Israel to a torrent of criticism.

Abbas urges world to protect Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday praised activists who took part in an aid sail to the Gaza Strip, which left nine people dead following an Israel Defense Forces raid of the ships. Abbas lauded the passengers killed in the raid and said that the act of solidarity with Gaza was "very respectable". Speaking at the Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem, the Palestinian president said that just like the sail, which was aimed at breaking the blockade imposed on the Strip, the conference was a sail aimed at breaking the economic siege on Palestine.

After Raid, Videos Carry On the Fight
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Brian Stelter - June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

When Israeli commandos attacked the so-called Freedom Flotilla, both sides were well armed — with video cameras — and both sides have released a blizzard of video clips as evidence that the other side was the aggressor in the conflict on Monday, which left nine activists dead. Once again, the political power of the moving picture is on display, as it was last year when a video showing the death of a young protester in Iran, Neda Agha-Soltan, became a symbol of resistance in that country.

Why Israel's narrative of the flotilla attack is failing so badly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) June 1, 2010 - 12:00am

To most of the world, this is a very simple story: elite Israeli counterterrorism commandos stormed an unarmed, civilian ship carrying aid supplies in international waters, in order to enforce a morally indefensible and politically counterproductive blockade, and as a consequence 10 civilians were killed and many others injured. The entire Israeli effort since these realities became known has been to try to complicate the picture and shift the responsibility for the bloodshed away from the military commandos who stormed the ship, or their commanders, and onto the passengers themselves.

'Next time we'll use more force'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - June 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel will use more aggressive force in the future to prevent ships from breaking the sea blockade on the Gaza Strip, a top Navy commander told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. "We boarded the ship and were attacked as if it was a war," the officer said. "That will mean that we will have to come prepared in the future as if it was a war." The anonymous comment came the day after the Israeli Navy raided a flotilla of international aid ships headed to the Strip. Nine activists were killed in the raid, and dozens were injured.

Flotilla attack: 'First the shots, then the ship was turned into a lake of blood'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Ben Lynfield - June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The first accounts of activists involved in Israel's devastating raid on a flotilla of aid for Gaza sharply contradicted Israel's official version of events, with one passenger insisting that commandos opened fire before they boarded. Nilufer Cetin, a Turkish woman who had been on the Mavi Marmara, which bore the brunt of the Israeli raid, said that the ship had "turned into a lake of blood" and she and her one-year-old child had to hide in a bathroom.

Turkish Funds Helped Group Test Blockade of Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael Slackman, Sabrina Tavernise - June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

ISTANBUL — Since 2007, a small group of hard-core activists has repeatedly tried to sail cargo-laden ships into Gaza in an effort to thwart Israel’s blockade. But when the Free Gaza Movement teamed up with a much wealthier Turkish organization to assemble a flotilla, it became more than a nuisance, supercharged by the group’s money, manpower and symbolic resonance into what Israel sees as a serious and growing threat.

Patrick Cockburn: PR dangerously distorts the Israeli sense of reality
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
(Opinion) June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

An old Israeli saying describing various less-than-esteemed military leaders says: "He was so stupid that even the other generals noticed." The same derisive remark could be applied almost without exception to the present generation of Israeli politicians.

Can Israel see itself through the eyes of others?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Once Israel is done with its internal debate about whether it applied the wrong tactics in boarding the Mavi Marmara and killing civilians, it might do some soul-searching. Here, a history lesson would be helpful. States that keep a large group of those among them separate, and deny them equal treatment, rarely end up on the right side of history.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017