Hurriyet photos of disarmed Israeli commandos receiving medical care
by Paul Woodward
(Photo via Ali Abunimah)
On the Mavi Marmara, the ship that Benjamin Netanyahu has dubbed “the hate boat”, Israeli soldiers who had been hurt were given medical aid. But some of the civilians who had been shot ended up dying because the Israelis refused to have them evacuated.
Accounts provided by activists on board claim that the first Israeli commandos to land on the ship were forcibly disarmed and then taken below deck for their own safety. Photographs now published by Turkey’s leading newspaper, Hürriyet, support this claim.
Soldiers from any military force rely on their weaponry to maintain their image of power. The Israeli military is no different from any other in wanting to avoid having the vulnerability of its own elite soldiers highlighted. What these photographs reveal, however, is that once these particular soldiers were no longer able to defend themselves, they were not lynched. On the contrary, they were taken out of harms way.
Given the terror that Israelis experience when faced with the risk of having soldiers taken hostage, it appears that one element in the over-reaction of the remaining armed commandos was that they thought it inconceivable that any of their comrades could be held without coming to further harm.
Humiliation and fear.
Was this the context in which enraged soldiers decided that they would then set about teaching their adversaries a lesson?
Were the deaths on the Mavi Marmara the result of a few soldiers demonstrating their military muscle in a desperate effort to restore their tattered pride?