By Belen Fernandez
At a press briefing this morning following the massacre by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commandos of passengers on board the Mavi Marmara, one of the boats pertaining to the Freedom Flotilla attempting to break the siege of Gaza, IDF spokeswoman Avital Liebovitch claimed that the passengers had engaged in “severe violence against our soldiers.”
According to Liebovitch, the violence was premeditated and was administered via live fire, sharp items such as knives, and weapons “grabbed” from the IDF commandos. While underscoring Israel’s unique ability to portray its armed forces as victims, the analysis failed to provide a compelling reason for why—if the alleged attack using grabbed weapons was indeed premeditated—the IDF did not throw a wrench in the works by simply refraining from raiding the ship.
Apparently not satisfied with sporadic violations of logic, Liebovitch reiterated that the IDF had not desired a confrontation with the activists but that the justness of the confrontation— which she herself admitted occurred “not in Israeli territory”—had since been proven given the passengers’ alleged reaction. The Israeli tendency to award retroactive justification to its actions was also evident during the 2008-2009 attack on Gaza, which Israel advertised as a defensive war against Palestinian rockets by severing the portion of the cause-and-effect timeline that involved deliberate Israeli violations of the ceasefire agreement with Hamas. The inversion of aggressor and victim did not of course prevent Gazan civilians from perishing in this particular confrontation at a rate of approximately 400:1 vis-à-vis their Israeli counterparts.
As for the inversion of aggressor and victim aboard the Mavi Marmara, a communiqué on the website of the Israeli Foreign Ministry this morning confirmed that pre-planned “life-threatening and violent activity” against the IDF commandos could have been averted had the humanitarian vessels heeded the invitation of the Israeli Navy to dock at Ashdod, “where they would be able to unload their aid material which would then be transferred over land [to Gaza] after undergoing security inspections.” Such charitable offers regarding the fate of 10,000 tons of international aid have yet to be reconciled with the continuing Israel denial that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, or with the fact that pencils and laundry detergent have not in recent Gazan history been eligible for overland transfer. The naval invitation to Ashdod has meanwhile been called into question by Liebovitch’s declaration this morning that the purpose of the confrontation on the Mavi Marmara was simply to prevent the passengers’ entrance to Israel.
Other finishing touches to Liebovitch’s post-massacre performance include her announcement that it was fortunate that the commandos participating in the raid “had those guns” to defend themselves during the attack, despite her earlier claim that said weaponry had been a critical feature of the premeditated violence. We can only assume that the same sort of fortune is awaiting the IDF in the event that it is forced into another confrontation with Gazan civilians, whose fabricated humanitarian crisis is of course the root cause of the plot by international activists to attack Israeli soldiers.
– Belen Fernandez is the author of Coffee with Hezbollah. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.