The Gaza Flotilla:Facts and Reactions / Manfred Gerstenfeld


The Israeli Investigation

Amid the international outrage, Israel conducted its own military investigation of the IDF operation. On 11 July, a detailed report was delivered to the chief of staff, Lieut.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, and nonclassified sections were made public the following day. The report listed a number of "mistakes" that had been made in the planning stage of the operation, but said there was no evidence of operational failures.

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, who headed the probe, said: "There were mistakes, also on the high military levels, but happily, they were not the result of negligence." He censured the navy for not preparing a backup plan for the operation, saying the navy should have reconsidered rappelling commandos onto the Mavi Marmara's upper deck after noticing that there were several dozen activists on board prepared to resist violently. According to Eiland, the navy did not have technology that would have enabled it to stop the ship ahead of the operation without putting soldiers on board its upper deck to take control of the bridge.[120]

In parallel, a civilian commission has been set up by Israel. It is headed by retired Israeli Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel, after whom it is also named, and includes two international observers, namely, Nobel Peace Price laureate David Trimble of Northern Ireland and Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Ken Watkin of Canada. The Turkel Committee is investigating the security circumstances behind the Gaza blockade and the international legality of the blockade as well as of the actions of May 31.[121]

Countries Taking Diplomatic Measures

Twelve Latin American countries condemned Israel's actions: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.[122] Ecuador also recalled its ambassador, while Nicaragua cut all its diplomatic ties with Israel.[123]

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez stated in reaction to the flotilla events: "Israel is a damned, terrorist and murderous country. Long live the Palestinian people!"[124]

Holocaust inverter former Cuban president Fidel Castro said in a statement issued to the United Nations: "The hatred felt by the state of Israel against the Palestinians is such that they would not hesitate to send the 1½ million men, women and children of that country to the crematoria where millions of Jews of all ages were exterminated by the Nazis," adding, "It would seem that the Fuehrer's swastika is today Israel's banner."[125]

South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel in protest of the flotilla raid, but returned him to Israel almost two months later on 20 July.[126]

IV. Conclusion

The Gaza flotilla was a well-thought-out provocation against Israel. One of the undeclared aims of the main organizers was to support the Hamas regime that rules Gaza. Hamas in its charter promotes genocide of Jews. In January 2006, Hamas gained a majority of the seats in Palestinian elections that former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and others said were democratic.[127] Hamas's victory thus expressed the wish of the Palestinian people. In 2007, Hamas forcefully took sole power in Gaza while using great force against other Palestinians including the murder of many civilians. The way in which the flotilla organizers operated showed that they were allies of a Palestinian party with a genocidal charter.

The flotilla also aimed to further blemish Israel's international image, in which it broadly succeeded. The flotilla was presented as an enterprise of humanitarian aid to a needy population. In reality, a totally different picture emerges behind the humanitarian mask of the flotilla propaganda:

The main organizers of the Gaza flotilla were the IHH, a body for which there are strong indications of having terrorist links. There were also others on board with terrorist links.
Several of the participants on the main ship, the Mavi Marmara, prepared for violence with weapons and attacked the Israeli soldiers. The weapons found were far from normal for a ship purporting to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza.
The Mavi Marmara and two other ships transported people only and no aid. Seven of the nine Turkish dead had expressed their wish to die as martyrs before they departed on the journey.
The flotilla organizers refused to bring the aid to an Israeli port for transfer to Gaza after it had been checked.
Part of the aid such as camouflage netting was clearly meant for Hamas's military purposes.
Some samples of the aid, such as medicines, were past their sell-by date. True humanitarians would have avoided such a situation.
The organizers refused to bring a letter from his parents to the captured soldier Gilad Schalit.
Part of the aid was sent from countries where the living standard is lower than in Gaza.
The provocative nature of the flotilla was also stressed by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who considered the flotilla a win-win situation.

European Reactions
The bona fides of many of the reactions of international institutions and various countries are largely doubtful for a number of reasons:

Several elements of the provocative nature of the flotilla were well publicized in the media. (These include the refusal to bring the aid to an Israeli port, the refusal to act in favor of Schalit, and the enthusiasm with which terrorist leader Haniyeh welcomed the flotilla.)
Negative opinions about Israel were hurriedly expressed by senior officials of various countries. They did not care to wait until a reasonable amount of facts were known. If today one analyzes their statements one finds many fallacies in them.
In view of many other actions by some Western countries on various occasions, the claim about disproportionality expressed double standards.
Within this framework of double standards, certain specific questions emerge concerning the accusations about Israel's possible disproportionate use of force in this case. If it existed at all, how small was this disproportionality compared to the actions of many European countries at present or in the past in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. These Muslim countries had not launched any military attacks or terrorist acts against the European countries providing Western forces. This issue gains even more weight in view of the killing by Western soldiers or their allies of many civilians in both countries.

The German attitude in the flotilla affair merits a special investigation. This country has by far the most genocidal past in Europe. The Holocaust stands out as the major crime in modern history. During past anti-Israeli demonstrations, shouts of "Death to the Jews!" have again been heard on the streets of Germany.[128] This drew much less attention than Israel's action against the Gaza flotilla. The German historian Susanne Urban asserts that there is blindness in Germany about the current anti-Semitism, which has changed and been adapted to fit the twenty-first century. She adds that there are no large-scale activities by German non-Jewish activists against leftist anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.[129] The Bundestag's unanimous vote on the statement must also be seen against this background.

As mentioned, last year German troops were involved in an incident in the town of Kunduz, Afghanistan, that led to the killing of 142 people, of which an estimated eighty were civilians.[130] There were, however, no calls for an international investigation anywhere.

One often hears that there are many German declarations of solidarity with Israel. It would, however, be wrong to offset the onetime anti-Israeli position by the Bundestag with these multiple positive declarations. Taking the moral high ground toward Israel while looking away from many far more severe incidents, in which both Western states and dictatorships are involved, is one of many signs of a mentality change taking place in Germany and should be carefully monitored.

Neither should one offset this attitude with the large number of activities in Germany honoring the Holocaust and its victims. These concern dead Jews, whereas the critical attitude toward Israel relates to living Jews. This is not a uniquely German phenomenon but rather a widespread one. In addition, there are counterforces in Germany trying to undo the honoring of its victims. In July, neo-Nazis hacked into the website for the Buchenwald concentration camp. They put Nazi slogans on its welcome page and redirected visitors to a revisionist site.[131] There have been a number of similar attempts to damage memorial sites.

Britain and Sweden
UK prime minister Cameron made highly biased statements against Israel. During his visit to Turkey he strongly criticized Israel's actions against the flotilla, and described Gaza as a "prison camp."[132] He was thus mainstreaming a word that is commonly used by radical anti-Israeli inciters.

Three years ago at the annual luncheon of Conservative Friends of Israel, Cameron said that attacks against Israeli often slid into anti-Semitism. He added, "If by Zionist you mean that the Jews have the right to a homeland in Israel and the right to a country then I am a Zionist." He also said support for Israel is "in the DNA" of members of his party.[133]

The harsh condemnation of Israel by Swedish foreign minister Bildt was in line with his frequent support for anti-Israeli organizations.[134] There are parliamentary elections in Sweden in September. If the present right-wing coalition remains in power, the level of anti-Israeli actions will depend to a substantial extent on whether Bildt remains foreign minister. If the Social Democrats and their allies win, official incitement against Israel is likely to increase greatly.

The extremely hostile Turkish reaction to Israel's action against the flotilla cannot be seen solely as a reaction to the killing of the Turkish nationals. Most had joined the flotilla to become martyrs and the Turkish authorities were aware of this. Several years ago Turkey had already started promoting hateful policies against Israel, one of which was whitewashing Hamas with its genocidal charter. At the same time it tried to improve its international image by being a mediator in Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations.

The Turkish reaction to the flotilla incident has to be seen mainly as part of a long-term policy change by the AKP under Erdogan's leadership. In this process Israel is, for the Turks, mainly a pawn and scapegoat.

This change of direction in Turkish politics was summed up by Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the AKP did not share the dream of a liberal, Western Turkey. In his view the party "used the EU accession process only as a tactical ploy to shed its Islamist image, gain Western legitimacy and curb the power of the secular military. Having thus made the AKP palatable for Brussels bureaucrats and liberal Turks alike, the AKP dropped the EU accession process as soon as it was expected to implement, and not just pass, tough reforms."[135]

Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA), noted that "the deterioration of relations between Ankara and Jerusalem is a Turkish initiative, over which Israel has no influence." He gave a number of examples where Turkey had turned away from the West, only one of which was its support for Hamas.[136]

One can only hope that the UN investigation of the flotilla incident will research in depth a number of key issues where Turkish-government involvement is suspected. Questions have to be asked such as, who financed the flotilla? Were any official Turkish bodies involved? Since there are many indications that the IHH has terrorist links, its interactions with the Turkish government should be investigated. How much did the Turkish authorities know about the violent plans of many of its nationals on the Mavi Marmara? Did the Turkish authorities try to prevent the flotilla or did they encourage its initiators? Did they try to convince them to accept the Israeli offer to transmit the aid via an Israeli port?

The Turkish government may in the coming months send out contradictory messages to the Western world on a variety of issues, thus trying to create confusion about where it is headed politically. Its attitude toward Israel should be followed as it is likely to be an indicator of the overall direction of its policies.

The Demonizing of Israel
Many reactions to the flotilla incident must be seen against the background of the increasing delegitimization and demonization of Israel in the world by a large number of perpetrators. Senior members of various European governments have participated in this delegitimization. Frequent demonization of the Jews in past centuries has led to major murders and genocide. These crimes were often committed by Europeans after they had demonized Jews. In today's complex postmodern society, the biased European condemnations of Israel and their other contributions to the country's delegitimization may help others who wish to murder Jews.

There are at present two identifiable avenues that may lead to the mass murder of Jews, primarily Israelis. The first current of the ongoing aggression against Israel by Arab and Muslim states, organizations, individuals, and their many allies is one of physical violence. This includes wars, initiating warlike incidents such as rocket attacks, and acts of terrorism. In combating this physical warfare and other violence, Israel to date has been very successful.

The second current of anti-Israeli aggression consists of non- or low-violent actions. In this Israel's enemies are helped by various allies, Western and others. Some are Israeli and other Jews. The aggression comprises a great variety of activities such as legal actions, boycotts of Israelis and Israeli produce, attacks on shops that stock Israeli products, pressure for divestment of shares of Israeli companies and of suppliers to Israel, anti-Israeli demonstrations, sending ships with pseudo-humanitarians to Gaza to provoke Israel, using biased semantics, promoting sanctions, disrupting lectures by Israelis, providing false information to the media, media attacks on Israel, distorted academic teaching, preaching hate in churches, and so on. In the fight against such activities the Israeli government and authorities have often behaved as incompetent amateurs.

Former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler has referred to the anti-Israeli endeavor as the method of the "thousand little cuts."[137] All these little bruises together are aimed at bleeding Israel to death. Or, more likely, they could force Israel to accept concessions in the name of an agreement that semantically would be called a "peace treaty." This would bring Israel back to what Abba Eban called the Auschwitz borders. If such an agreement is broken by the Palestinian side, Israel might find itself in a situation where it can no longer defend its citizens.

Breaking All Taboos
The blowing out of all proportion of an event as internationally insignificant as the action against the Gaza flotilla is indicative of Israel's situation as a country toward which all taboos are increasingly breached. The reactions are also representative of the attitudes of those who cause larger incidents, who commit major war crimes, and who severely transgress human rights. The reactions to the flotilla incident provide a deep insight into the mental state of Europe. They tell us much more about the European Union, with the confused norms and values it represents, than about Israel.

In 2005 Jeffrey Gedmin, now president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, said:

The typical European approach to Israel is to wait until Israel reacts to an attack and then criticize it. The Israeli government states that it is important to clean out terrorists from Jenin. The Europeans react by calling it a "catastrophe" or a "massacre." Then Israel decides that an alternative approach to stopping terror is killing the leaders of the Palestinian terrorist groups. Europeans then react by saying, "That is against international law." Thus the Israeli government decides it is more peaceful and civil to build a fence to cordon off the terrorists. Then the Europeans say that is not a good idea.
One would expect the Europeans to say at least once, "This is what we would do. Our proposal is credible for a number of sound reasons. We will support it in the following ways. If you accept it and it fails, we will protect you by taking a number of major actions." On that front, however, the Europeans are totally absent.[138]

The European attitude is also indicative of a new type of racism. None of the countries that condemned Israel on the Gaza flotilla systematically condemn Muslim nations for much more serious incidents as they do Israel. They do not ask for investigations of the multiple, major human rights violations by these countries. This represents in part fear of Muslims - including those who have immigrated to their countries - as well as realpolitik.

However, there is also a major underlying worldview in the West that can be called humanitarian racism. This is defined as explicitly or implicitly attributing reduced responsibility to certain people. These can be ethnic or national groups or even layers within society, such as the socioeconomically weak. Though this tacit mindset is of a different nature than the old, open, "ugly" European racism, it is racism nevertheless.[139]

Israel's Reactions
Often Israeli military actions are well prepared as far as the physical aspects are concerned. However, the results of these actions are often diminished by the political and media aftermath. This time, however, there was a clear failure to understand who the people on the various ships were and how they would react to an Israeli attempt to take over their ships.

The Israeli military action encountered major problems partly due to faulty intelligence. Though Israel's dealing with the media was far from perfect, it certainly was much better than in the past. Videos showing the violent nature of the so-called humanitarians were made available to the press for the evening news on the same day the flotilla was intercepted. Videos posted on YouTube that were provided by the IDF or other pro-Israeli organizations received millions of hits within a relatively short time. These viewings of the videos far outnumbered the live coverage of Al Jazeera that made its way into mainstream media in the early hours after the flotilla.

Far more, important, however is that the enemies of Israel can continue to develop additional provocations. If some do not work they may move on to others. The flotilla initiative was well thought through. It involved nationals from many countries and thus created a certain necessity for many governments to refer to the issue. For Israel it thus becomes crucial to prevent the development of further sophisticated and effective provocations. This cannot, however, be dealt with on an ad hoc basis; only a systemic approach will do. The continued large-scale ignoring of this fact adds to the major risks Israel is facing from external forces.

Can the Situation Deteriorate Further?
Some additional observations have to be made. To begin with, the current prevailing Western perception of both the Palestinians and Israel needs to be taken into account. As far as the former are concerned, an imaginary Gaza has been created that is part of a Virtual Palestine. In it live only innocent people who are victims. They are passive and do not undertake any harmful actions against anybody else. The suffering of the people of Gaza is blamed almost totally on Israel even though the blockade is the direct consequence of the state of war Hamas initiated against Israel.

The large support for Hamas in the Palestinian elections enabled it to take power in Gaza. The democratic character of the elections in Gaza is not contested. Yet the responsibility of the people who elected a genocidal party is denied even though its murderous charter was known to them. The blockade was not a result of what is written in the charter but of the raining-down of thousand of rockets on Israel and the abduction of Gilad Schalit.

As far as Israel is concerned, at present the European approach consists largely of strong rhetoric and one-sided condemnations with few concrete actions on the ground. These frequent condemnations, and the accompanying attitude, have a cumulative demonization element. In classic anti-Semitism, demonization always preceded actual deeds against the Jews. For instance, in the Netherlands today the three left-wing parties - all in opposition - which together comprise more than one-third of the seats, all favor a suspension of Israel's association treaty with the European Union if Israel does not make concessions to the Palestinians.

Another aspect is: do all the positive remarks by European governments about Israel offset the criticism? The positive remarks are mere general declarative statements, though one should be happy they too are made. But all this does not offset the unfounded assertions about disproportionality and the operational consequences of demanding that the blockade be lifted. Media by nature stress the negative remarks and many may even have deleted the positive ones. The pressure on Israel that led to the lifting of the blockade was revealed as counterproductive when Hamas treated it as a victory and once again rockets were fired at Israeli civilians.

Sustainability is a fashionable new word in Middle Eastern politics, taken from the world of environmental studies. In recent months it has been repeated often, with many in the West claiming the situation in Gaza is not "sustainable." Those who apply pressure to abolish the blockade, however, do not ask themselves whether this leads to a more sustainable "situation." There are many so-called "unsustainable" situations in the world where those in charge are muddling through, because alternatives would be worse. A typical one is the immigrant problem in many West European countries. This has been allowed to develop by various governments, and the present situation concerning some of these immigrants in several countries is not sustainable either.


Below are reactions to the flotilla incident by a number of additional countries:


Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said:

(1) "I am dismayed over the bloody escalation of events on the main ship of the ‘solidarity fleet' for Gaza. Such bloodshed is shocking...."

(2) "I expect a quick and full investigation."

(3) "Israel must end the counterproductive blockade policy toward the Gaza Strip, as this has been firmly and repeatedly demanded by the UN Security Council in New York and by the European Union."[140]


Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere was "outraged" to learn of the tragic consequences of the Israeli military operation.

(1) "Nothing can justify the disproportionate use of force against a civilian humanitarian initiative aiming to improve the living conditions of Gaza's people," commented the minister. He has invited the Israeli ambassador to provide an explanation.

(2) The foreign minister "advocates a fast, clear reaction by the European Union and supports the decision of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton to call an emergency meeting of the Policy and Security Committee."

(3) "Belgium is very worried about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and has made several appeals to the Israeli government for permission to provide the humanitarian aid and supplies needed by the civilian population. Steven Vanackere wanted to make a humanitarian visit to the people of Gaza during his recent trip to the region, out of concern over the situation. He deeply regrets the Israeli government's refusal to provide him with the assistance required to gain access to Gaza."[141]


(1) Bulgaria summoned the Israeli envoy over the raid.[142] President Georgi Parvanov stated that the strong international reaction in Europe and of the United Nations was fully justified.[143] "Bulgarian EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, will make a visit to the Gaza Strip sooner than scheduled after the crisis caused by an Israeli raid on 6 vessels carrying aid for the Palestinian territory."[144]

(2) Prime Minister Boyko Borisov declared that Bulgaria's position coincided with that of NATO and the European Union, demanding a quick investigation of the attack.[145] Bulgaria's Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Policy is joining the international community, represented by the United Nations and the European Union, in the request for an independent investigation of the incident in Gaza.

(3) The Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Policy also stated that humanitarian aid must reach the Palestinian population without any radical activities. "These people are very poor and poverty is a breading ground for extremism; they must receive any humanitarian aid," committee chair Zhivko Todorov stressed.[146]

Czech Republic

Czech Senate president Premysl Sobotka stated that "the Turkish flotilla was a planned provocation designed to entrap Israel." He went on to say that "many in the European Community feel as I do but they are afraid to speak out."[147]


Foreign Minister Lene Espersen said:

(1) "No matter what, I deeply regret the tragic loss of life. My thoughts go to the dead and wounded. Regardless of what happened and who is responsible, disproportionate use of force is not acceptable."

(2) "It is of the utmost importance that this tragedy be thoroughly investigated. This point was made absolutely clear to the Israeli ambassador when he was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to explain the events."

(3) "Today's confrontation once again highlights the need for a full opening of the flow of humanitarian aid, persons, reconstruction materials and commercial goods in and out of Gaza. It is a Danish and European priority that conditions for the civilian population improve rapidly. Today's tragic events underline that this is also in the interest of Israel."[148]


(1) "Estonia condemns the incident that took place with the ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip."

(2) "Like all European Union member states, Estonia demands the thorough investigation of the attack and the clarification of all aspects of the event."

(3) "Estonia shares in the concern over the continuing humanitarian situation in Gaza. This incident only emphasizes the need to find a sustainable solution for removing the blockade. All the EU member states, including Estonia, call for the border points into Gaza to be opened to humanitarian aid, goods and people."[149]


Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb said:

(1) "I condemn the use of violence. This must not be repeated.... The Ambassador of Israel has been summoned to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs."

(2) "The event must be investigated thoroughly and reliably by an impartial body...."

(3) "As the EU has long demanded, the blockade against Gaza must be brought to an end."[150]


Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said:

(1) "I am profoundly shocked by the tragic consequences of the Israeli military operation against the ‘Peace Flotilla for Gaza.' We do not understand the human toll, which is still provisional, of such an operation against a humanitarian initiative that was known about for several days. Nothing can justify the use of such violence; we condemn this violence. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims who were so cruelly attacked."[151]

France summoned the Israeli ambassador over the raid.[152]

(2) "Full light must be shed on the circumstances of this tragedy and we hope that a detailed investigation will be initiated immediately. We are fully mobilized alongside the French nationals taking part in this operation."[153]

(3) "These events remind us that the current situation in Gaza is intolerable and that it requires an urgent political response. We will take all the necessary measures to prevent this tragedy from leading to a new escalation of violence."[154]

Kouchner additionally suggested that the European Union take responsibility for oversight of materials entering Gaza from the sea.[155]


Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said:

(1) "There can be no justification for the use of such extreme violence. We condemn it."

The government summoned the Israeli ambassador and decided to discontinue the joint military exercise currently underway and to postpone the visit to Athens of the head of the Israeli Air Force General Staff, which was to take place the next day.

(2) "...from the very outset we have been in contact and coordination with our European partners. As you will know, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Catherine Ashton, has already asked the Israeli Foreign Minister to carry out an in-depth investigation into the conditions under which these incidents occurred."

(3) "Greece has from the very outset called for an immediate end to hostilities and the maintaining by Israel of corridors for the transport of humanitarian aid.... NGO activities should be unhindered as long as they're are not illegal. And allow me to add that it is obvious that the legality or illegality of such an activity cannot be judged unilaterally by anyone."[156]


The Foreign Ministry stated:

(1) "We express concern over the use of military force and its consequences, and, at the same time, extend our condolences to the families of the victims."

(2) "We support international efforts to demand a prompt and thorough investigation into the matter."

(3) "We call on Israel to provide adequate channels for the safe delivery of aid to the Gaza strip."[157]


Foreign Minister Micheál Martin said:

(1) "Ireland condemns the actions by the Israeli military as completely unacceptable and disproportionate,

(2) calls for a full, independent and international enquiry into yesterday's events, preferably under UN auspices,

(3) [and urges Israel to end the] illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza."[158]


(1) Foreign Minister Franco Frattini expressed his deep sense of sorrow for the victims in the belief that nothing can justify the loss of human life.

(2) Italy voted against the UN resolution, noting that Israel is a democratic country, able to conduct credible and independent investigations.[159]

(3) Italy called for aid to begin flowing again to Gaza. "The situation in the Gaza Strip is becoming untenable," Frattini said. [160]


The Foreign Ministry stated:

(1) "Latvia considers that the Israeli troops during a military operation in international waters have applied disproportionate force causing the loss of lives and injuries of a large number of activists on board a humanitarian aid flotilla."

(2) "Latvia stands for a prompt, thorough and impartial inquiry into the circumstances of the Israeli military operation."

(3) "Latvia, together with other Member States of the European Union believes that the situation in Gaza requires an urgent and sustainable solution, and urges to open the borders without delay for the deliveries of humanitarian aid and for the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza."[161]


The Foreign Ministry stated:

(1) "Lithuania is following with deep concern the situation that has emerged after Israel's military forces raided a flotilla of aid-carrying ships bound for Gaza Strip on 31 May.

(2) Lithuania calls for an investigation of the human casualties and expresses condolences to the families and relatives of those who perished. Lithuania will consult its partners in the European Union about the common reaction to these events."[162]

Only one week after the flotilla incident, on 7 June in Vilnius, Lithuania announced that it aimed to intensify political, economic, and cultural cooperation with Israel.[163]


(1) Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn regretted that human lives had to be sacrificed in the attempt to lift the blockade.

(2) His preferred option for investigating the event would have been a commission under UN auspices.[164]


Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Dr. Tonio Borg said:

(1) "Malta condemns the disproportionate use of violence

(2) and demands a full inquiry into the attack."

(3) "The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains a source of grave concern. We need to urgently achieve a durable solution to the situation in Gaza."[165]


Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said:

(1) "I want clarification today from the Israeli ambassador in The Hague.... I was shocked to hear of the fatalities."[166]

(2) "The Netherlands is in complete agreement with the UN Security Council's call for a thorough, prompt and impartial investigation of the events surrounding the convoy of ships carrying aid bound for Gaza. The initial responsibility to investigate lies with Israel. If desirable, it can also be done by the flag states of the convoy ships. Only after these investigations have taken place may a role for the UN or other international bodies be appropriate."[167]

(3) "The Netherlands would like Israel to open the borders fully to humanitarian aid, trade and human traffic."[168]


Poland's Foreign Ministry stated:

(1) Poland is "deeply concerned over the incident"

(2) and "calls on Israel to carry out an independent inquiry without delay."[169]


(1) The Portuguese government expressed its "deep concern" over the Israeli storming of an aid flotilla heading for Gaza, condemning the "excessive use of force against civilian targets"

(2) and called for an "impartial" investigation into who was responsible for the Israeli military operation.

(3) Portugal also expressed "deep concern" over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, calling for the respect of humanitarian law.[170]


(1) Romania's Foreign Ministry "expresses its concern over the negative impact it [the action against the flotilla] might have on the regional peace and stability, including the evolution of Israeli-Palestinian relations."

(2) Romania "calls on all those involved to show restraint and responsibility so that the situation does not get out of control resulting in the further loss of human life"

(3) and "is equally concerned about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip; in this respect, it calls for the identification of a lasting solution conducive to an improvement in the living conditions of the local population."[171]


Slovenia's Foreign Ministry stated:

(1) "Slovenia condemns the killing and wounding of civilians during the Israeli military operation and offers condolences to the families of the victims."

(2) "Slovenia calls for an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation of facts, including the international law aspects of the operation."

(3) "The continued policy of closure of Gaza is unacceptable. Crossings should be opened immediately and unconditionally for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons."[172]


The government of Spain stated:

(1) "The Government of Spain condemns the military action carried out against the crew of the flotilla of activists and members of NGOs.... The Government considers that the action was completely disproportionate."[173] Spain summoned the Israeli ambassador.[174]

(2) Spain "fully supports the EU's request to Israel to conduct an investigation and to assume responsibility."

(3) Spain "reiterates its request that the blockade of the territory of Gaza be lifted."[175]

(C) Non-EU Countries


(1) The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs "expresses its very serious concern following an incident of the coast of the Gaza Strip resulting from an assault by Israeli forces on an international convoy of ships bringing humanitarian supplies to the people of Gaza." The Israeli ambassador was summoned.

(2) Switzerland "asks that a humanitarian inquiry be conducted to cast light on the circumstances of this tragic event."

(3) Switzerland "considers it is necessary to find a lasting solution to meeting the supply needs of the civilian population in Gaza and the reconstruction of the territory. It has proposed on several occasions that an international mechanism be put in place to allow regular access to the Gaza Strip while taking into account Israel's security needs."[176]


Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre stated:

(1) "Norway is shocked that Israeli naval forces have shot and killed civilians while boarding a convoy carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza. I condemn this use of military force against civilians."[177]

(2) Norway voted in favor of the UN resolution on an international investigation of Israel's boarding. Støre added that "it is important that the mission establishes the facts and examines the international law aspects of the boarding."[178]

(3) According to Støre, "Norway has repeatedly called for an end of the blockade of Gaza so that humanitarian aid and other necessary assistance can reach the Palestinian population."[179]

"Norway's military...has cancelled a special operations seminar because the Defence Ministry objected to the inclusion of an Israeli army officer in the program. Military spokeswoman Maj. Heidi Langvik-Hansen says the Defence Ministry was unhappy that the Israeli officer, identified only as Col. Toledano, would be delivering a talk in Oslo only weeks after Israel's deadly commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla."[180]


In a press release, the Foreign Ministry stated that it

(1) "voices condemnation and profound concern in this connection, especially in view of the deaths and injuries among the ‘humanitarian convoy' participants."

(2) "There is a need for clarification of all the facts of what happened."

(3) "We consider the incident as confirmation of the need for an early end to the siege of Gaza by Israel and for the implementation of real steps to alleviate the humanitarian and social situation for the people of the Strip."[181]

* * *


*With many thanks to Marieke Enghusen and Tamas Berzi for their assistance in the research for this essay. The comments of Leslie Wagner on this text were most helpful.

[1] "Flotilla Incident as Presented by Eiland Team of Experts," IDF Spokesperson Blog, 13 July 2010,

[2] "Q&A: Israeli Deadly Raid on Aid Flotilla," BBC, 14 June 2010,

[3] "Summary of Equipment and Aid aboard the Gaza Flotilla," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 7 June 2010,

[4] "The Freedom Flotilla Fraud," Washington Times, 1 June 2010,


[6] "Weapons Found on the Flotilla Ship Mavi Marmara Used by Activists against IDF Soldiers," IDF Spokesperson Blog, 31 May 2010,

[7] Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff, and Anshel Pfeffer, "Israel Navy Commandos: Gaza Flotilla Activists Tried to Lynch Us," Haaretz, 31 May 2010,

[8] " Video: Weaponry Overview and Footage of Mavi Marmara Passengers Preparing Weaponry, 3 June 2010," IDF Spokesperson Blog [video], 3 June 2010,

[9] "Gaza Flotilla Organizer Admits Activists Seized Weapons from Israeli Soldiers," Haaretz, 3 June 2010,

[10] Yaakov Katz, "IDF Probe: Army Didn't Have ‘Plan B'," Jerusalem Post, 12 July 2010,

[11] Evan F. Kohlmann, "The Role of Islamic Charities in International Terrorist Recruitment and Financing," Danish Institute for International Studies, Working Paper No. 2006/7,

[12] Ibid.

[13] "Portrait of IHH," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 26 May 2010,

[14] Matthew Levitt, David Makovsky, and Jeffrey White, "Fallout from the Gaza Flotilla Tragedy," Washington Institute for Near East Policy, PolicyWatch #1662, 1 June 2010,

[15] Ibid.

[16] "Background Information: Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH)," Independent Media Review Analysis, 27 May 2010,

[17] "U.S. Investigating IHH," The Investigative Project on Terrorism, 8 July 2010,

[18] Benjamin Weinthal, "Italian Lawmakers: Put IHH on EU Terrorist List," Jerusalem Post, 28 July 2010,

[19] "U.S. Investigating IHH," The Investigative Project on Terrorism, 8 July 2010,

[20] Thomas Joscelyn, "Flotilla Organizer Has ‘Clear, Long-Standing Ties to Terrorism and Jihad'," Weekly Standard, 4 June 2010,

[21] "Profile: Free Gaza Movement," BBC, 1 June 2010,

[22] "Specific Flotilla Passengers Linked to Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Other Terror Organizations," IDF Spokesperson Blog, 6 June 2010,

[23] "Deutsche Linke in einem Boot mit türkischen Islamisten und Rechtsextremisten," ARD Report Mainz, 7 June 2010, [German]

[24] "Israeli Navy Soldier Describes the Violent Mob aboard Mavi Marmara," IDF Spokesperson Blog, 1 June 2010,

[25] "Photos from Turkish Aid Ship Shows Blood and Chaos," Reuters, 6 June 2010, htm

[26] "IHH Leader Tells Gaza Flotilla Activists to ‘Throw IDF Soldiers Into the Sea'," Haaretz, 18 June 2010,

[27] "Anyone Who Does Not Stand alongside Palestine - His Throne Will Be Toppled," MEMRI, 4 June 2010,

[28] "Video: Flotilla Passenger: ‘I Want to Be a Shahid (Martyr)'," IDF Spokesperson Blog, 3 June 2010,

[29] Yaakov Katz, "7 Flotilla Victims Wanted to Be Martyrs, Report Says," Jerusalem Post, 14 July 2010

[30] "Israel and the Blockade," New York Times, 1 June 2010,

[31] Barry Rubin, "Gaza Flotilla's Leader Explains: It was a Jihadist Attack not a Humanitarian Operation," Global Politician, 4 June 2010,

[32] "Hamas Refuses to Allow Flotilla Aid into Gaza Strip," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 June 2010,

[33] "Most of the Injured in the Confrontation on Board the Mavi Marmara Positively Identified as Activists of IHH and Turkish Organizations," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 6 July 2010,

[34] "Turkey's Erdogan Bears Responsibility in Flotilla Fiasco," Washington Post, 5 June 2010,

[35] Aviel Magnezi, "Gaza Mission Activist: It's Just like Facing Nazis," Ynetnews, 26 May 2010,,7340,L-3894282,00.html.

[36] "Haniyeh: Gaza Flotilla a Triumph," Jerusalem Post, 29 May 2010,

[37] Yaakov Lappin, "Gaza Flotilla: Go Back to Auschwitz," Jerusalem Post, 5 June 2010,

[38] Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdick, "Flotilla Participants Chanted Islamic Battle Cry Invoking Killing of Jews," Palestinian Media Watch, 31 May 2010,

[39] "Is Turkey Turning?," The Economist, 10 June 2010,

[40] "Turkey's Erdogan Bears Responsibility in Flotilla Fiasco," Washington Post, 5 June 2010,

[41] "IHH Preparations for a Violent Confrontation with IDF Soldiers aboard the Turkish Ship Mavi Marmara," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 7 June 2010,

[42] Soner Capagtay, "Hamas Visits Ankara: The AKP Shifts Turkey's Role in the Middle East," Washington Institute for Near East Policy," PolicyWatch #1081, 16 February 2006,

[43] Peter Cave, "Turkey Discusses Peace with Hamas," ABC News, 20 July 2010,

[44] "Turkey Talks to Hamas about Healing Fatah Rift," Reuters, 21 July 2010,

[45] Josh Rogin, "Turkish Ambassador Calls for Engaging Hamas," Foreign Policy, 4 June 2010,

[46] Jessica Elgot, "Turkey and Hamas to Sue Israel Flotilla Officers," Jewish Chronicle, 10 June 2010,

[47] Josh Rogin, "Turkish Ambassador Calls for Engaging Hamas," Foreign Policy, 4 June 2010,

[48] "Russia, Turkey Back Role for Hamas in Peace Process," Middle East Online, 13 May 2010,

[49] Soner Cagaptay, "The AKP's Hamas Policy I: How Turkey Turned," Hurriyet, 29 June 2010,

[50] "Q&A: Sharon's Gaza Plan," BBC, 21 June 2005,

[51] "Hamas Takes Control of Gaza," The Guardian, 15 June 2007,

[52] Glenn Kessler, "Takeover by Hamas Illustrates Failure of Bush's Mideast Vision," Washington Post, 15 June 2007,

[53] "The Hamas Charter (1988)," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 21 March 2006,

[54] "Hamas Exploitation of Civilians as Human Shields," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 January 2009,

[55] Ahiya Raved, "Schalit Family's Offer to Back Gaza Flotilla Declined," Ynetnews, 27 May 2010,,7340,L-3895077,00.html.

[56] "Behind the Headlines: The Israeli Humanitarian Lifeline to Gaza," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 May 2010,

[57] "Country Comparison - Infant Mortality Rate," CIA World Factbook, July 2010,

[58] Ben-Dror Yemini, "The Humanitarian Show," Jerusalem Post, 11 July 2010,

[59] Ruth Lapidoth, "The Legal Basis of Israel's Naval Blockade of Gaza," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Jerusalem Issue Briefs, Vol. 10, No. 4, 18 July 2010,

[60] Jonathan Saul, "Q&A: Is Israel's Naval Blockade of Gaza Legal?," Reuters, 2 June 2010,

[61] Dan Izenberg, "Mandelblit: ‘Gaza Blockade Is Legal',", Jerusalem Post, 27 August 2010,

[62] Alan Dershowitz, "Israel Obeyed International Law: Legally, the Gaza Flotilla Conflict Is An Open-and-Shut Case," New York Daily News, 2 June 2010,

[63] Ruth Lapidoth, "The Legal Basis of Israel's Naval Blockade of Gaza," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Jerusalem Issue Briefs, Vol. 10, No. 4, 18 July 2010,

[64] Christian Rath, "Israels Angriff könnte zulässig sein," taz, 14 June 2010, [German],

[65] Jonathan Saul, "Q&A: Is Israel's Naval Blockade of Gaza Legal?," Reuters, 2 June 2010,

[66] Alan Dershowitz, "Israel Obeyed International Law: Legally, the Gaza Flotilla Conflict Is An Open-and-Shut Case," New York Daily News, 2 June 2010,

[67] Jonathan Saul, "Q&A: Is Israel's Naval Blockade of Gaza Legal?," Reuters, 2 June 2010,

[68] "Security Council Condemns Acts Resulting in Civilian Deaths during Israeli Operation against Gaza-Bound Aid Convoy, Calls for Investigation, in Presidential Statement," UN Security Council 6325th & 6326th, 31 May 2010,

[69] Jordana Horn, "UN: Aid Convoys to Gaza Don't Help," Jerusalem Post, 22 July 2010,

[70] Yaakov Katz, "‘Flotilla Probes Are out of Line'," Jerusalem Post, 25 July 2010,

[71] "EU Condemns Violence Used during Israeli Military Operation against Gaza Flotilla," EU News, External Relations and Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2010,


[73] European Parliament resolution of 17 June 2010 on the Israeli military operation against the humanitarian flotilla and the Gaza blockade,

[74] Organization of the Islamic Conference website,

[75] Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference,

[76] "OIC Secretary General: Israeli Aggression on the Relief Convoy Heading for Gaza Is a Crime and Blatant Violation of All International Laws Norms and Standards," OIC, 31 May 2010,

[77] "Arab League Calls Israel's Raid a ‘Terrorist Act'," FOXNews, 31 May 2010,

[78] "Arab League to File lawsuit over Aid Convoy Attack," Malaysian National News Agency, 3 June 2010,

[79] George Mitchell, "Remarks on the Situation in Gaza Following the Flotilla Tragedy," U.S. Department of State, 3 June 2010,

[80] "Gaza: Forderung nach umfassender und transparenter Aufklärung," German Foreign Ministry, 3 June 2010, [German],

[81] "Merkel: Mideast Quartet Should Help Flotilla Probe," Ynetnews, 3 June 2010,,7340,L-3898806,00.html.

[82] "Ereignisse um die Gaza-Flottille aufklären - Lage der Menschen in Gaza verbessern - Nahost-Friedensprozess unterstützen," Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache 17/2328, 30 June 2010, [German],

[83] "‘Israel muss Gaza-Blockade beenden," FAZ, 2 July 2010, [German],

[84] Henryk M. Broder, "Einigkeit und Recht und Gaza," Der Spiegel, 4 July 2010, [German],,1518,704501,00.html.

[85] Benjamin Weinthal, "Germany Smacks Israel with Critical Resolution on Flotilla Raid," Weekly Standard, 6 July 2010,

[86] Press Release: Resolution des Zentralrats der Juden zur Gaza-Solidaritätsflotte, der geplanten interfraktionellen Auträge der Bundestagsfraktionen und der aktuellen Entwicklung im Nahen Osten, 30 June 2010, [German],.

[87] "Hypocrisy and Double Standard (Im)Morality Won the Day in the Bundestag," Simon Wiesenthal Center, 1 July 2010,

[88] Dean Grunwald, "Kommentar: Resolution des Deutschen Bundestages gegen Israel," European Info Press, 3 July 2010, [German],

[89] Gert Weisskirchen, "Anmassende Abgeordnete," Jüedische Allgemeie, 8 July 2010, [German],.

[90] Benjamin Weinthal, "Germany Bashing Israel to Ease Guilt," Jerusalem Post, 6 July 2010,

[91] John Goetz, Konstantin von Hammerstein, and Holger Stark, "Kunduz Affair Report Puts German Defense Minister under Pressure," Der Spiegel, 19 January 2010,,1518,672468,00.html.

[92] "Israel's Ambassador Summoned to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs," Government Offices of Sweden, 31 May 2010,

[93] "Carl Bildt: Break the Isolation of Gaza," Government Offices of Sweden, 13 January 2009,

[94] "Speech at the International Conference to Support the Palestinian People, Sharm El Sheikh," Government Offices of Sweden, 2 March 2009,

[95] Mats Tunehag, "Iran's Swedish Protector," Wall Street Journal, 21 July 2010,

[96] "Swede Bites Dog," Wall Street Journal, 7 July 2010,

[97] Gil Hoffman, "Swedish FM Likens Netanyahu to Hamas," Jerusalem Post, 10 April 2007.

[98] "When Does Interest Become Obsession?," 8 August 2010,

[99] Mats Tunehag, "Iran's Swedish Protector," Wall Street Journal, 21 July 2010,

[100] "Foreign Secretary's Statement to the House of Commons on Gaza Flotilla," British Foreign Ministry, 2 June 2010,

[101] Ibid.

[102] "EU soll sich im Gaza-Streit engagieren," Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 7 June 2010, [German],

[103] "David Cameron: Israeli Blockade Has Turned Gaza Strip into a ‘Prison Camp'," The Guardian, 27 July 2010,

[104] "Is Turkey Turning?," The Economist, 10 June 2010,

[105] "Press Release Regarding the Use of Force by the Israeli Defense Forces against the Humanitarian Aid Flotilla to Gaza," Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2010,

[106] Ibid.

[107] Sebnem Arsu, "Turkey: Apology from Israel is Sought Before Envoy Post is Filled, Official Says," New York Times, 29 June 2010, world/Europe/30briefs-TURKEY.html

[108] "Q&A: Israeli Deadly Raid on Aid Flotilla," BBC, 14 June 2010,

[109] "Security Council Condemns Acts Resulting in Civilian Deaths during Israeli Operation against Gaza-Bound Aid Convoy, Calls for Investigation, in Presidential Statement," UN Security Council 6325th & 6326th, 31 May 2010,

[110] "Turkey Calls for International Inquiry to Israel Flotilla Raid at CICA," National Turk, 8 June 2010,

[111] Hilary Leila Krieger, "‘Turkey Has Embraced Iran, Hamas'," Jerusalem Post, 4 June 2010,

[112] "Turkish PM: Raid ‘a Massacre'," Jerusalem Post, 1 June 2010,

[113] Hilary Leila Krieger, "‘Turkey Has Embraced Iran, Hamas'," Jerusalem Post, 4 June 2010,

[114] Ibid.

[115] Marc Champion, "Rift Arises in Turkey over Reaction to Raid," Wall Street Journal, 8 June 2010,

[116] Daniel Pipes, "Turkey in Cyprus vs. Israel in Gaza," Washington Times, 19 July 2010,

[117] Barry Rubin, "Turkish Regime Changes Sides, West Averts Eyes," GLORIA Center, 6 June 2010,

[118] "Erdogan droht PKK-Rebellen mit Härte," Welt, 20 June 2010, [German],

[119] "Turkey's PM Erdogan Vows to ‘Annihilate' PKK Rebels," BBC, 20 June 2010,

[120] Yaakov Katz, "IDF Probe: Army Didn't Have ‘Plan B'," Jerusalem Post, 12 July 2010,

[121] Dan Izenberg, "Terkel C'tee Begins Flotilla Probe," Jerusalem Post, 28 June 2010,

[122] "Israel Rejects International Investigation of Flotilla Raid: New Photos of Attack ," Examiner, 8 June 2010,

[123] "Ecuador Recalls Envoy; Chavez: Israel a Murderer," Ynetnews, 3 June 2010,,7340,L-3898523,00.html.

[124] Ibid.

[125] Luisa Yanez, "Fidel Castro's Statements on Israel Called Anti-Semitic," Miami Herald, 15 June 2010,

[126] "‘South Africa to Reinstate Israel Envoy, after Recalled over Gaza Flotilla'," Haaretz, 20 July 2010,

[127] "The January 20, 1996 Palestinian Elections," Final Report, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, The Carter Center, 1997.

[128] "Antisemitismus in Berlin und Duisburg," Kontraste, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, video, 15 January 2009 [accessed: 2 March 2009], [German].

[129] Susanne Y. Urban, "The Jewish Community in Germany: Living with Recognition, Anti-Semitism and Symbolic Roles," Jewish Political Studies Review, No. 21, Vols. 3-4 (Fall 2009): 45.

[130] "Rot-Kreuz-Bericht erhöht Druck auf Guttenberg," Stern, 10 December 2009, [German],

[131] www.the

[132] Nicholas Watt and Harriet Sherwood, "David Cameron: Israeli Blockade Has Turned Gaza Strip into a ‘Prison Camp'," The Guardian, 27 July 2010,

[133] Assaf Uni and Amiram Barkat, "Tory Leader Calls Himself ‘Zionist'; U.K. Jews Campaign against Boycott," Haaretz, 13 June 2007,

[134] "Swede bites dog," Wall Street Journal, 7 July 2010,

[135] Soner Cağaptay, "Turkey Lost Turkey," Wall Street Journal, 12 July 2010,

[136] Efraim Inbar, "Turkey Says Good Bye to Israel and the West," BESA Center Perspectives Papers, No. 108, 6 June 2010,

[137] Irwin Cotler, personal communication.

[138] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with Jeffrey Gedmin, "Experiencing European Anti-Americanism and Anti-Israelism," Israel and Europe: An Expanding Abyss? (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2005), 153-54.

[139] For a description of humanitarian racism, see Manfred Gerstenfeld, Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2008), 22-23.

[140] "Foreign Minister Spindelegger on the Gaza Ship Convoy," Austrian Foreign Ministry, 31 May 2010,

[141] "Steven Vanackere on the Tragedy off the Gaza Coast," Belgium Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2010,

[142] "Bloody Navy Raid Puts Israel in the Eye of Storm," Global Times, 1 June 2010,

[143] "Bulgarian Journalists Nabbed in Gaza Meet Diplomats in Israel," Novinite, 1 June 2010,

[144] "Crisis Makes Bulgarian EU Commissioner Hurry for Gaza Strip," Novinite, 31 May 2010,

[145] "Palestinians in Bulgaria Rally against Israeli Blockade in Gaza," Novinite, 1 June 2010,

[146] "Bulgaria Joins UN Request for Investigation of Gaza Incident," Novinite, 4 June 2010,

[147] "ECI Salutes Czech Senate President for Standing Up for Israel," Right Side News, 4 June 2010,

[148] "Statement from Danish Foreign Minister Concerning Israel," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, 31 May 2010,

[149] "Statement of Foreign Minister Urmas Paet Regarding Incident with Aid Ships Headed to Gaza," Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2010,

[150] "Foreign Minister Stubb's Statement on the Situation in Gaza," Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, 1 June 2010,

[151] "Operation against the ‘Peace Flotilla' for Gaza - Statement by Bernard Kouchner," French Foreign Ministry, 31 May 2010,

[152] "Bloody Navy Raid Puts Israel in the Eye of Storm," Global Times, 1 June 2010,

[153] "Operation against the ‘Peace Flotilla' for Gaza - Statement by Bernard Kouchner," French Foreign Ministry, 31 May 2010,

[154] Ibid.

[155] "European FMs: We'll Monitor Ships," Jerusalem Post, 7 June 2010,

[156] "Alternate FM Droutsas's Briefing of the Parliament on the Israeli Military Operation," Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2010,

[157] "Foreign Ministry Statement Regarding the Israeli Military Action against the ‘Freedom Fleet'," Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1 June 2010,

[158] "Minister for Foreign Affairs Briefs Government on Flotilla Crisis," Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland, 1 June 2010,

[159] "Informativa urgente del Governo sull'azione condotta da militari israeliani nei confronti di una nave recante aiuti umanitari diretta a Gaza che ha causato la morte di dieci civili," Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 3 June 2010, [Italian] ,

[160] "Italy, U.K. Call for End of Gaza Aid Blockade," Calgary Herald, 8 June 2010,

[161] "Foreign Ministry: Israeli Troops Have Used Disproportionate Force against Flotilla Carrying Aid to Gaza People," Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Latvia,

[162] "Statement of Lithuania's MFA Regarding Israel's Military Operation against Gaza-Bound Flotilla," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, 31 May 2010,

[163] "Lithuania Aims to Intensify Political, Economic and Cultural Cooperation with Israel," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, 7 June 2010,

[164] "Statement of Lithuania's MFA Regarding Israel's Military Operation against Gaza-Bound Flotilla," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, 31 May 2010,

[165] "Statement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Tonio Borg," Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta, 31 May 2010,

[166] "The Netherlands Requests Clarification from Israel on Violent Interception of Ships to Gaza," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, 31 May 2010,

[167] "Netherlands Supports Security Council Call for Gaza Convoy Inquiry," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, 2 June 2010,

[168] Ibid.

[169] "Statement by Foreign Ministry of Poland on Israeli Aid Convoy Raid," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, 31 May 2010,,by,Foreign,Ministry,of,Poland,on,Israeli,aid,co....

[170] "Portugal Condemns ‘Excessive Use of Force' by Israel," Earth Times, 31 May 2010,,portugal-condemns-excessive-use-....

[171] "Israeli Military Operation against Flotilla Heading for the Gaza Strip," Romania Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2010,

[172] "Slovenia Condemns Israeli Military Operation against the Gaza Flotilla," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, 31 May 2010,

[173] "40-2010 Communique," Foreign Ministry of Spain, 31 May 2010, [Spanish],

[174] "Bloody Navy Raid Puts Israel in the Eye of Storm," Global Times, 1 June 2010,

[175] "40-2010 Communique," Foreign Ministry of Spain, 31 May 2010, [Spanish],

[176] "Switzerland Asks for an International Inquiry Following the Israeli Armed Assault," Switzerland Federal Department of Foreign Affairs,

[177] "Norway Calls for an International Investigation of Israel's Boarding of the Convoy Carrying Humanitarian Supplies to Gaza," Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2010,

[178] "Norway Voted in Favour of UN Resolution on an International Investigation of Israel's Boarding," Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2 June 2010,

[179] "Norway Supports the Security Council's Demand for a Transparent, Impartial Investigation of the Israeli Operation against the Gaza Convoy," Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1 June 2010,

[180] "Norway Cancels Military Seminar Slated to Include Israeli Officer Following Gaza Flotilla Raid," The Record, 4 June 2010,

[181] "Incident with ‘Humanitarian Convoy' for Gaza," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 31 May 2010,

* * *

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is chairman of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is an international business strategist who has been a consultant to governments, international agencies, and boards of some of the world's largest corporations. Among the eighteen books he has published are Academics against Israel and the Jews (JCPA 2007), Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews (JCPA and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, 2008) and The Abuse of Holocaust Memory: Distortions and Responses (JCPA and ADL, 2009).

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