Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Book By Eyewitness Turkish Journalist: Mavi Marmara Militants Planned Attack on Israeli Soldiers to Force Confrontation

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By Barry Rubin

We now have the definitive source on the Mavi Marmara affair and it proves Israel was right. The ship was controlled by radical Jihadists who planned to attack Israeli forces and provoke confrontation. The source is a book, including photos, by a Turkish journalist named Şefik Dinç who was on the ship.

Dinç is sympathetic to the militants but also points to the responsibility of the Turkish government and the IHH, the sponsoring Islamist group, for the crisis. His text and pictures show the Jihadists taking out iron bars and clubs, preparing for battle, beating Israeli soldiers, and trying to throw one of them into the sea. Dinç also reports that Israeli soldiers opened fire only trying to rescue soldiers taken hostage. His account corresponds in almost every detail with that given by Israel.

He writes: “When everyone who had been assigned a task reported to their stations, clubs were taken out of a hiding place….In addition to the wooden clubs I’d seen earlier, there were now iron bars as well.” Those passengers not choosing to participate in the attack went down to lower decks. The first three soldiers who landed were beaten and dragged to the upper deck. When they tried to throw a soldier overboard, some non-Jihadi passengers intervened and stopped them; others sought to stop the beatings.

You can see extensive quotes and photographs from his book HERE

The report from a very reliable Israeli research center that translated extracts from the book also contains more detailed information than I’ve seen before from the Israeli side about what happened:

“IHH operatives and their supporters fired live ammunition as soon as the first soldiers descended from the helicopter. One IDF soldier suffered a knee injury from a non-IDF weapon as soon as he came on board the ship….IHH operatives used three weapons taken from the Israelis against other IDF soldiers. It appears that two of them were thrown into the sea, as were one or two non-IDF [guns], at least one of which was used to fire on the commandos descending from the helicopter.”

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports,

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