The NY Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief, whose objectivity was cast into doubt because his son actively serves in the IDF, has just published a detailed article on the flotilla massacre.
The second paragraph jumps off the page:
"The crack of an Israeli sound grenade and a hail of rubber bullets from above were supposed to disperse activists, but instead set them into motion. And when three Israeli commandos slid down ropes out of helicopters to take over the ship, a crowd set upon them."
The “newspaper of record” (of all places!) finally cuts through all hasbara coming out of the IDF Press Office and Israeli Foreign Ministry.
The activists did NOT attack first (something that anyone listening to any eyewitnesses other than the IDF already knew). The commandos shot stun grenades and rubber bullets from above. Only THEN did the activists attack them after they descended.
It's important to know which side started the trouble. If it wasn't for the blockade around Gaza, initiated by Israel after Hamas won the elections, then there would not be any need to send humanitarian supplies to the Palestinian people.
However, having said that, one would have also thought that the activists/crew onboard the relief ship would have stood down when faced with gun toting commandos. There was no way to win and fighting back just made the situation worse.
[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, June 5th, 2010.]