Warner Brothers of course, are the second half of the business entity Time-Warner, which also owns as part of its conglomeration of businesses CNN. In 2009, CNN tried to claim a copyright violation over the video shot by an individual of the Tea Partiers grilling then CNN “reporter” Susan Roesgen, until the guys at Founding Bloggers fought for their clip to be restored at YouTube.
And that’s what a lot of this is all about: by claiming copyright violations real or imagined, Warners and other entities can get clips pulled from the Internet’s largest host of videos for several weeks or months. These videos frequently wind up on smaller sites of course (such as the aforementioned Eyeblast), and those who initiate claims against them often lose their battles, if the video makers are prepared to fight back. But by then, much of the news value of these sorts of clips has dissipated.
So that’s at least three conservative clips pulled by Time-Warner-related entities. As a certain A. Goldfinger once said, “Mr. Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: ‘Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned that senior Obama administration officials have been telling foreign governments that the administration intends to support an effort next week at the United Nations to set up an independent commission, under UN auspices, to investigate Israel’s behavior in the Gaza flotilla incident. The White House has apparently shrugged off concerns from elsewhere in the U.S. government that a) this is an extraordinary singling out of Israel, since all kinds of much worse incidents happen around the world without spurring UN investigations; b) that the investigation will be one-sided, focusing entirely on Israeli behavior and not on Turkey or on Hamas; and c) that this sets a terrible precedent for outside investigations of incidents involving U.S. troops or intelligence operatives as we conduct our own war on terror.
And who’s responsible for this decision?
While UN Ambassador Susan Rice is reported to have played an important role in pushing for U.S. support of a UN investigation, the decision is, one official stressed, of course the president’s. The government of Israel has been consulting with the U.S. government on its own Israeli investigative panel, to be led by a retired supreme court justice, that would include respected international participants, including one from the U.S. But the Obama administration is reportedly saying that such a “kosher panel” is not good enough to satisfy the international community, or the Obama White House.
Kristol’s report comes just as Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed Israel’s representatives the world over that there were never any humanitarian supplies or equipment aboard the Mavi Marmara, where Israeli commandos were ambushed by armed mercenaries posing as peace activists. Of related interest are the videotaped statements of two Mavi Marmara crew members showing that preparations for a violent confrontation with IDF forces were put in motion about two hours before the boarding began, when the Israeli Navy hailed the ship and told it to halt; according to the statements, the atmosphere aboard the Mavi Marmara; IHH operatives on the main deck were cutting the ship’s railings with metal disks they had brought with them into lengths suitable to be used as clubs.
This decision will have repercussions well beyond Israel. Expect a lot of fallout from it – including in our hemisphere.
The response is telling, and not only for its gratuitous nastiness. First, the administration plainly thinks it’s achieved a grand success by toning down the UN resolution and downgrading it to a statement. And it lets on that, once again, some “compromise” is under consideration. Moreover, it only denies that the UN will not debate the resolution “next week.”What is missing is any determination to rule out an international investigation. Indeed, it advances the notion that an Israeli investigation would not be “credible.” No mention is made of, and there seems to be no interest in, investigating Turkey or the terrorists.
As thanks to the international community for supporting Hamas in breaking the Israeli military blockade, Hamas has looted and shut down the offices of international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) [added: including some affiliated with the U.N.] which provide services to poor and needy Palestinians
The mob that assaulted Israeli special forces on the deck of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on Monday was not motivated by peace. On the contrary, the religious extremists embedded among those on board were paid and equipped to attack Israelis — both by their own hands as well as by aiding Hamas — and to destroy any hope of peace.
What the videos don’t show, however, are several curious aspects Israeli authorities are now investigating. First, about 100 of those detained from the boats were carrying immense sums in their pockets — nearly a million euros in total. Second, Israel discovered spent bullet cartridges on the Mavi Marmara that are of a caliber not used by the Israeli commandos, some of whom suffered gunshot wounds. Also found on the boat were propaganda clips showing passengers “injured” by Israeli forces; these videos, however, were filmed during daylight, hours before the nighttime operation occurred.
The investigations of all this evidence will be transparent, in accordance with Israel’s security needs.
There is little doubt as to the real purpose of the Mavi Marmara’s voyage — not to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, but to create a provocation that would put international pressure on Israel to drop the Gaza embargo, and thus allow the flow of seaborne military supplies to Hamas. Just as Hamas gunmen hide behind civilians in Gaza, so, too, do their sponsors cower behind shipments of seemingly innocent aid.
This is why the organizers of the flotilla repeatedly rejected Israeli offers to transfer its cargo to Gaza once it was inspected for military contraband. They also rebuffed an Israeli request to earmark some aid packages for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas for four years.
In the recent past, Israeli forces have diverted nine such flotillas, all without incident, and peacefully boarded five of the ships in this week’s convoy. Their cargoes, after proper inspection, were delivered to non-Hamas institutions in Gaza. Only the Marmara, a vessel too large to be neutralized by technical means such as fouling the propeller, violently resisted. It is no coincidence that the ship was dispatched by Insani Yardim Vakfi (also called the I.H.H.), a supposed charity that Israeli and other intelligence services have linked to Islamic extremists.
The real intent of breaking the embargo is to allow rockets to be transported to Gaza from Hamas’s suppliers in Syria and Iran. Israel has already intercepted several such ships laden with munitions. Since Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005, Hamas has fired more than 10,000 rockets and mortars at our civilian population. This week, two Hamas rockets exploded near Ashkelon, one of Israel’s largest cities.
Set aside the troubling fact that the Jewish state alone gets this routine treatment. Israel should not be immune from criticism. But if the world’s powers unload like this only on relatively small, isolated nations like Israel, then clearly the keepers of the world order find it easier to be blowhards than statesmen. And that means we have a problem.
A problem that is larger than any one of the countries involved: I agree with David Foster, who says,
The worldwide attacks on Israel, in the wake of the Gaza event, are frightening in their venom and irrationality, and I fear that these responses mark a significant turning toward the abandonment of civilization’s ramparts and the appeasement of terrorist and rogue-state barbarism.
the flotilla was organized in large part by a radical Turkish Islamist organization named IHH (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi). The IHH, in turn, is part of a Saudi-based umbrella group called the Union of Good, which was created by Hamas. The U.S. Treasury Department designated the Union of Good a terrorist organization in 2008. Of course, Hamas itself was designated a terrorist organization many years ago.
The Union of Good’s leaders include Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, a top Muslim Brotherhood cleric, and Sheikh Abd al Majid al Zindani, who heads Yemen’s Islah party. Zindani and the Islah party have deep Brotherhood roots.
In other words, the IHH is an offshoot of the Union of Good, which is in turn an offshoot of the Brotherhood — as is Hamas. It is a matter of basic logic, then, that if the IHH was one of the prime movers behind the flotilla then that means the Brotherhood itself was.
On board the Mavi Marmara ship that arrived as part of the flotilla to Gaza was a group of approximately 40 people with no identification papers, who are mercenaries belonging to the Al Qaeda terror organization. This was disclosed by the Israeli Security Cabinet, which gathered on Tuesday evening (June 1) for a special meeting.
The Egyptian flotilla delegation included two members of the Muslim Brotherhood bloc in the Egyptian parliament: Muhammad Al-Baltaji and Hazem Farouq.
The Lebanese flotilla delegation, with six members, was headed by attorney Dr. Hani Suleiman, who also participated in a February 2009 Gaza flotilla. He was pro-bono attorney to Japanese terrorist Kozo Okamoto. In 2006, he signed a communiqué supporting armed resistance in Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq.
The Jordanian flotilla delegation included Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan activists such as delegation head Wael Al-Saka, a veteran Muslim Brotherhood member, and Salam Al-Falahat, who was general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan from 2006 to 2008. In an interview last year, Al-Falahat said: “We in the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan see Palestine as part of the Islamic and Arab land that must not be relinquished – on the contrary, defending it is a national and jurisprudential obligation… We see Hamas movement in Palestine as standing at the head of the project of the Arab and Islamic liberation for which the Muslim Brotherhood calls… The Muslim Brotherhood supports Hamas and every Arab resistance movement in the region that works for liberation.”
Prominent activists in the Yemeni flotilla delegation were three MPs from the Al-Islah party, an Islamist party that is close to the Muslim Brotherhood. One, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hazmi, was photographed on the deck of the Mavi Marmara brandishing his large curved dagger.
And let’s not forget a Catholic priest,
Another passenger on the Mavi Marmara was Bishop Hilarion Capucci, who in the 1970s was convicted and imprisoned in Israel for smuggling weapons from Lebanon to the PLO, but afterwards was freed at the request of the Vatican. According to Algerian flotilla participants, Hilarion said that he was “waiting for the day when he could return to Palestine and hear the church bells and the muezzins’ calls of ‘Allah Akbar,’ under the skies of a free Palestine.”
What was their goal?
Attorney Fathi Nassar of Jordan, said: “The Freedom Flotilla members are filled with determination to reach Gaza or die.”
Now that the thugs on board the Mavi Marvara have gotten the violence they wanted and instigated, the second stage of Hamas’s operation has begun: protests against Israel around the world. In Paris, peace activists throw rocks and “rip up gratings to be used as projectiles.” Later, they tried to break into the Israeli embassy.
John has several photos of the “peaceful” demonstrations around the world.
The Turkish IHH (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi in Turkish) was founded in 1992, and reportedly popped up on the CIA’s radar in 1996 for its radical Islamist leanings. Like many other Islamist charities, the IHH has a record of providing relief to areas where disaster has struck in the Muslim world.
However, the organization is not a force for good. The Turkish nonprofit belongs to a Saudi-based umbrella organization known to finance terrorism called the Union of Good (Ittilaf al-Kheir in Arabic). Notably, the Union is chaired by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who is known best for his religious ruling that encourages suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. According to one report, Qardawi personally transferred millions of dollars to the Union in an effort to provide financial support to Hamas.
In 2008, the Israelis banned IHH, along with 35 other Islamist charities worldwide, for its ties to the Union of Good. This was a follow-on designation; Israelis first blocked the Union of Good from operating in the West Bank and Gaza in 2002.
Interestingly, the Union of Good may not only be tied to Hamas. Included in the Israeli list of 36 designees was the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO). In 2006, both the U.S. government and the United Nations designated the IIRO branch offices in Indonesia and the Philippines for financing al Qaeda. French magistrate Jean-Louis Brougiere also testified that IHH had an “important role” in Ahmed Ressam’s failed “millennium plot” to bomb the Los Angeles airport in late 1999.
When will the Obama team speak up about this? “Ten thousand Turks marched in protest from the Israeli consulate to a main square on Monday afternoon, chanting, ‘Murderous Israel you will drown in the blood you shed!’ The protesters had earlier tried to storm the consulate building but were blocked by police. Earlier on Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan condemned the seizure of the Gaza flotilla ship, Mavi Marmara, as ’state terrorism,’ saying that Israel had violated international law and shown that it does not want peace in the region. The Mavi Marmara was flying a Turkish flag and most of the activists injured on board were Turkish members of the Islamic NGO IHH, which Israeli officials have said is linked to terrorist organizations.”
When the BBC runs amok and the world is at Israel’s throat, Melanie Phillips explains what’s afoot: “And now we can see that the real purpose of this invasion — backed by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a radical Islamic organization outlawed by Israel in 2008 for allegedly serving as a major component in Hamas’s global fund-raising machine — was to incite a violent uprising in the Middle East and across the Islamic world. As I write, reports are coming in of Arab rioting in Jerusalem. The notion — uncritically swallowed by the lazy, ignorant and bigoted BBC and other western media — that the flotilla organisers are ‘peace activists’ is simply ludicrous.”
which was trying to reach Gaza was organized by IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi – “humanitarian relief fund”), a Turkish aid foundation which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Free Gaza, which describes itself as a human rights group.
The IHH has known links to global jihadi networks, openly supports Iran-backed Hamas and maintains close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood movement, a global umbrella Islamic organization of which Hamas is a branch, as well as mujahideen groups in Afghanistan
Egypt also supports the flotilla, in spite of actually blockading Gaza with a border fence.
he Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid material which would then be transferred over land after undergoing security inspections.
During the interception of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.
As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, including live fire.
According to initial reports, these events resulted in over ten deaths among the demonstrators and numerous injured; in addition, more than four naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and some from various other weapons. Two of the soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries. All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners are currently being evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.
The bigger issue, however, is America’s leadership crisis.
Relations between Washington and Israel were already at near historic lows. Now it looks like we ain’t seen nothing yet. But the immediate headlines should not obscure the 3 trends which are driving up tensions in the region and threaten to drive them up further. The first is Iran’s continuing search for a nuclear weapon, a development which Israel views as near existential threat. The second is the buildup of Hezbollah missiles which can reach all the major Israeli population from launching sites Lebanon. And the third are the unintended consequences of President Obama’s diplomacy which has resulted in the singling out of Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal at the month long Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in New York. Like a circular-running torpedo it managed to miss its every intended target — missing North Korea and Iran — while hitting Israel.
Together those three developments — the shadow of the Iranian nukes, the missiles of Hezbollah and the loss of American support — may have fostered a regional perception that Israel is vulnerable. Certainly the flotilla organizers could not have been insensible to the rising pressure on Israel and were determined to exploit it, nor was it lost on the IDF that if they showed weakness in the face of the flotilla there would be more to follow. In one sense the flotilla put to sea on the perceived political tides and were met by IDF elements sailing on the contrary currents. The result was a clash inconsequential in itself, but not in the sparks that it may generate.