Free Gaza activist admits they initiated violence aboard Mavi Marmara in 2010 incident

This is astonishing news and puts paid to the lies of people like Leslie Bravery and Roger Fowler over the incident involving the protestors using the ship Mavi Marmara to attempt to breach Israel’s legal blockade of Gaza.

A leading pro-Palestinian campaigner involved in the flotilla that attempted to enter Gaza in May 2010 has appeared to corroborate Israel’s version of the events which led to the bloody confrontation on board the Mavi Marmara.

Ten Turkish activists died after IDF commandos boarded the ship — the largest in the six-vessel convoy — as it sailed towards the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave in defiance of an Israeli security blockade designed to prevent the terror group importing weapons.

In newly revealed posts from a secret British Facebook group, Greta Berlin, the co-founder and spokesperson of the Free Gaza Movement, states that the Israeli troops did not open fire until after Ken O’Keefe, a former US marine aboard the Mavi Marmara, had seized a gun from one of them.   

During a heated online debate, in the safety of a Facebook group of pro-Palestinian activists who had all been approved or invited to join, Berlin repeatedly challenged comments from other members praising O’Keefe.

“He was responsible for some of the deaths on board the Mavi Marmara. Had he not disarmed an Israeli terrorist soldier, they would not have started to fire. That’s enough. Most of you have no idea what you’re talking about,” she wrote.

Berlin’s comments, posted in 2014, were made on the Palestine Live group.

They also threw an Israeli soldier overboard.

Last week, a report by researcher and blogger David Collier uncovered a raft of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel material on the site, whose members once included the leader of Britain’s Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn.

But Collier’s examination of the Facebook group also seems to throw new light on the events which unfolded in international waters off of the Gazan coast nearly eight years ago, which provoked a fierce diplomatic spat between Turkey and Israel and the severing of ties by Ankara.

Pro-Palestinians have always blamed the Israelis, but this now matches the narrative of Israel.

Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara by descending on ropes from helicopters. The IDF later said that its forces were attacked with clubs, knives and metal rods as they began to land from the first helicopter, with three soldiers taken captive. It stated that soldiers opened fire after a protester grabbed a weapon from one of the commandos.

“Unfortunately this group were dead-set on confrontation,” the then Israeli government spokesman, Mark Regev told the BBC shortly after the clash.

“Live fire was used against our forces. They initiated the violence, that’s 100 percent clear,” he said.

The activists, however, claimed that Israeli forces began firing as soon as they hit the deck.

One of their first accounts came from Berlin, who was not sailing on the Mavi Marmara. Speaking from Cyprus just hours after the raid, she told the New York Times that the commandos “opened fire on sleeping civilians at four in the morning.”

It was a line which she repeated to other international media outlets throughout the day, thus helping to shape a widespread narrative of Israeli aggression.

Intense international condemnation of the violence followed, with several countries summoning the Israeli ambassadors serving there.

During demonstrations in London, Corbyn, then a backbench Labour MP, accused Israel of committing a “war crime” and “an act of piracy” and branded it a “rogue state.”

It was nothing of the sort. Geoffrey Palmer actually investigated this and concludes that Israel was operating legally. Berlin was obviously lying now that she has admitted the truth in a private Facebook group. The public statements from her and others were nothing but lies.

Berlin’s post, Collier argues, suggests “there was no Israeli fire while the soldiers were coming down from the helicopters, nor any at all until after the unexpected level of resistance had been encountered and soldiers had been taken ‘prisoner.’

The Israeli report submitted to a 2011 UN panel established to investigate the incident, he continues, was “accurate.”

“It is difficult to logically read Berlin’s comment any other way,” he notes. “[She] clearly knows that what really happened isn’t the way they told it.

And now they are busted.

Collier, though, uncovered further posts from Berlin on the Facebook group which appear to back Israel’s description of how the confrontation unfolded.

You think it was smart that he took the gun away from these crazies on board the MM [Mavi Marmara]? Then ran around the deck saying he had the gun? Then hid it so that the Israelis could say they found a gun on board? Right,” she wrote in one thread.

In another, she charges that O’Keefe, a fellow member of Palestine Live, was “not a hero and his actions put others on the Mavi Marmara at risk.” She also refers to “Ken’s crazy ideas to attack crazed and armed soldiers.

Now we know the truth, and we know that Israel told the truth and the pro-Palestinian protestors lied.

 

-Times of Israel


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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