The following piece was co-written by myself and the outstanding journalist/blogger Alex Kane and was originally published on Mondoweiss under the headline: "Zuckerman rag prints bald-faced lies on upcoming flotilla to Gaza."
I have added some more of my own observations on the New York Daily News editorial below.
Zuckerman rag prints bald-faced lies on upcoming flotilla to Gaza
by Alex Kane and Nima Shirazi
It comes as no surprise that a newspaper owned by Mort Zuckerman, an ardent Zionist, would be anti-Palestinian and that it would strongly oppose efforts to break the Israeli naval blockade by sending a flotilla of ships to Gaza. But a recent editorial printed by the Zuckerman-owned New York Daily News is a particularly egregious example of U.S. media's aversion to the facts on Israel/Palestine. The bald-faced lies--which follow recent Israeli pronouncements about the "terrorists" organizing the upcoming international flotilla to break the Israeli blockade--printed would be laughable only if it wasn't going to be read by thousands of people.
The editorial states:
Sponsors of the flotilla are happily playing with fire, as they did a year ago in sailing into the blockade under the guise of delivering medicines and the like to Gaza. In fact, some of those ships carried suicidal fighters instead of useful goods. Nine of the brigands died when Israeli commandos were forced to board and came under assault.To claim that those aboard the Mavi Marmara were the aggressors is to completely invert reality. The attack was conducted in international waters after Israel cut off all communications from the ships and surrounded the flotilla with over 20 naval vessels and warships, along with multiple helicopters. In addition to the 45 highly-trained and heavily-armed commandos who rappelled onto the largest ship, the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, murdering 9 civilians and wounding about 60 more, about 650 other Israeli troops, including surveillance and support troops alongside those who actually boarded the ships, took part in the illegal assault on the flotilla.
And then there's these howlers:
No one of any credibility disputes that Israel's blockade is legal under international law. In coordination with Egypt, Israel barred sea-going shipments into Gaza in 2009 after years of Palestinian mortar and rocket attacks on Jewish soil.First of all, the naval blockade has been in place since 2007, along with the land and air blockade--not 2009 as the editorial claims. The "board of inquiry" the Daily News refers to is the Turkel Commission, the name for the Israeli investigation into the flotilla events--hardly a neutral source of facts about the blockade of Gaza.
As a board of inquiry put it:
"Israel imposed the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip for military-security reasons, which mainly concerned the need to prevent weapons, terrorists and money" from entering.
The UN has recognized the blockade's legitimacy under international law. Now, it must prevent this perilous propaganda ploy.
And finally, it appears that Zuckerman's newspaper likes to make up facts. The UN has not "recognized the blockade's legitimacy under international law." In fact, various UN reports have labeled the blockade illegal. The UN fact-finding mission on the 2008-09 Gaza conflict, known as the Goldstone report, stated that the blockade was a form of collective punishment and that it was therefore in "violation of the provisions of article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention." The UN report on the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara also clearly states that the blockade is illegal. In 2009, the Associated Press reported that "U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay has accused Israel of violating the rules of war with its blockade stopping people and goods from moving in and out of the Gaza Strip."
Alex Kane, a freelance journalist based in New York City, blogs on Israel/Palestine and Islamophobia in the United States at alexbkane.wordpress.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.
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In addition to the points made above, the Daily News editorial is littered with deliberate falsehoods, absurd implications, and libelous accusations. Even the most cursory research reveals the shameful ignorance and heavy propaganda of the authors and their despicable intent.