Issues with the Wikipedia article on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla: "Gaza flotilla raid" - Wikipedia

Tom Usher wrote or added | "Editing of this article by new or unregistered users is currently disabled until June 9, 2010.
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Oh, the Zionists got in as many distortions as they could as quickly as possible and then saw to it that the page was locked down while the story is hot and many people will visit for "facts" and "details." It's full of falsehoods and citations from neocon-Zionist media where facts don't matter much and spin is the important thing. Also, the article is written saying things as facts when they should be no more than said to be allegations or opinions. It's supposed to be an encyclopedia, not an op-ed page.

Right after the Table of Contents, it starts right in by conveniently leaving out that Israel and the US funded and equipped Fatah in a fight with Hamas. Fatah fell for it for the sake of money and power, etc. Then the article quickly says that Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel without mentioning the ceasefire and that Israel broke it, not Hamas, and without mentioning that Hamas had done an excellent job of stopping rogue elements in Gaza from firing rockets (that don't explode on impact anyway).

I went to the page to find ship/boat names and when they sailed. It was helpful for that. The article though says, "Prior to the flotilla's launch, some of the activists who would later die during the MV Mavi Marmara clash spoke of dreams of martyrdom. Ali Khaider Benginin told his family before leaving, "I am going to be a shahid; I dreamt I will become a shahid – I saw in a dream that I will be killed."[74] His wife also said that he "constantly prayed to become a martyr."[72]"

However, the actual source article ( qualifies it as follows:

"Yesterday the wife of one of the men, Ali Haydar Bengi, said he 'constantly prayed to become a martyr'. Mr Bengi, 39, who had four children, had studied at al-Azhar University in Cairo, a leading seat of Islamic learning.

'Before embarking on the journey, he said he desired to become a martyr,' his friend, Sabir Ceylan, said.

Ibrahim Bilgen, 61, a retired father of six, was said to be a charity worker.

Such descriptions would be regarded by many Muslims as evidence that they put religious duty before their lives, rather than an admission that they were heading to battle."

Leaving out that last bit is sneaky.

I'm not going to go through the whole article this way. You get the point. The battle of the Wikipedia is important, but it takes nearly full time, if not full time, effort to just keep several "controversial" articles even reasonably straight. There's tons of arguing behind the scenes between editors. One has to lobby and lobby and argue and argue just to include undisputed facts in some cases.

In addition, the Wiki points to this:

"The supporters of the Gaza-bound aid flotilla had more than humanitarian intentions. The Gaza Freedom March made its motives clear in a statement before Monday's deadly confrontation: 'A violent response from Israel will breathe new life into the Palestine solidarity movement, drawing attention to the blockade.'"

That does not indicate motive. It can just as easily be taken to say that if Israel is stupid enough to be violent against the Flotilla, which it has been, that, that stupid actions would "breathe new life into the Palestine solidarity movement, drawing attention to the blockade."

More importantly though in considering that piece as a source for an encyclopedia article, the source material is an editorial in the NYT ( It's pure opinion, and even false propaganda for the reason I just stated of being able to take the Movement's statement in a completely different manner than the interpretation, stated as fact, by the NYT editorialist. It's very poor oversight by the Wikipedia staff concerning such an important new event.

This though is an interesting part of the legal analysis:

"Former British Ambassador[198] Craig Murray said that the raid was not an act of piracy, as the Israeli vessels carried a military commission, but said that it would be 'an act of illegal warfare'. According to Murray, the Law of the Sea rules that, when an incident takes place on a ship on the high seas the applicable law is that of the flag state of the ship on which the incident occurred, so the Turkish ship was Turkish territory. If the Israeli commandos were acting on behalf of the government of Israel in killing the activists on the ships, Israel would be in a position of war with Turkey, and the act would fall under international jurisdiction as a war crime. If, on the other hand, the killings were not authorised Israeli military action, they were acts of murder under Turkish jurisdiction and if Israel does not consider itself in a position of war with Turkey, then it must hand over the commandos involved for trial in Turkey under Turkish law.[199] After being later told that the Mavi Marmara may have been sailing under a Comoran flag, Murray reiterated that Israel's attack was illegal regardless of what flag the vessel was sailing under. [200]"

Actually, Israel's attack was both piracy (since items were stolen and the ships have not been returned with the so-called "confiscated" materials) and acts of war against the flag states involved. This is the position I took right from the start and the point at which NATO enters in, since Turkey is a NATO member state. If none of the ships or boats were Turkey-registered or were flying false flags, that would change things.

Importantly, all of Israel's legal arguments fail because the ship cargos had been inspected by legally recognized customs authorities. Most importantly though is the fact that Israel itself is an illegitimate entity founded on lies, terrorism, land theft, ethnic cleansing, and unilateral declarations that I do not recognize for the aforesaid reasons.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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