Thursday, June 10, 2010

Smuggling Gaza Floatilla Footage Out of the Israeli State

I remember the anti-Communist Reaganism of the 1980s. One of conservativism's points of evidence against Communism was the Soviet State's attempt to suppress free expression. Book, photos, film footage had to be smuggled out of the Soviet Union.

Conservatives regarded it as a "given" that if people had to smuggle information out of a country, that alone was enough to indict the country's government. Didn't matter how accurate the information was -- that was for the viewer or reader to decide. Free nations did not suppress information.

Shortly after Israel attacked the Gaza Aid Floatilla, killing 9 aid workers, talk radio in Los Angeles, almost unanimously, defended Israel's attack. Soon afterwards, Israel released footage of the attack, which its defenders claimed "proved" that armed Israeli commandos were merely defending themselves against civilian aid workers.

But as The Guardian reports:

"Michalis Grigoropoulos, who was at the wheel of the Free Mediterranean, said: 'We were in international waters. The Israelis acted like pirates, completely out of the normal way that they conduct nautical exercises, and seized our ship. They took us hostage, pointing guns at our heads; they descended from helicopters and fired tear gas and bullets. There was absolutely nothing we could do … Those who tried to resist forming a human ring on the bridge were given electric shocks.'

"Grigoropoulos, who insisted the ship was full of humanitarian aid bound for Gaza 'and nothing more', said that, once detained, the human rights activists were not allowed to contact a lawyer or the Greek embassy in Tel Aviv. 'They didn't let us go to the toilet, eat or drink water and throughout they videoed us. They confiscated everything, mobile phones, laptops, cameras and personal effects. They only allowed us to keep our papers.'

Now, you can prove almost anything depending on how you edit footage. Israel had all the footage -- its own and that which it confiscated. Any conservative, or libertarian, who is consistent, would at least doubt the footage released by any government, especially if that government had confiscated its opponent's footage.

Fortunately for the truth, some footage has been successfully smuggled out of Israel. (And what does it say about a nation, that one must "smuggle" footage out of it?)

Here's some of it now:

And part two: