57 thoughts on “Israeli Deputy Prime Minister: Flotilla Sabotage Thanks to IDF – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Mr. Silverstein,
    The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported yesterday: “Initial inspection says no sabotage to Irish ship to Gaza within Turkish territorial waters”

    “According to initial findings of the inspection, the breakdown of the ship might not be a result of sabotage, a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News on Friday.”


    So no sabotage in Turkey, no complaint was filled with Greek Police regarding the incident in Greece,
    So how all these facts effect your conspiracy theory ?

    1. Hey, thanks for that bit of Hasbara. Can you tell me how a Turkish diplomat knows better than those aboard the Irish ship including the diver who discovered the damage whether it was sabotage. If you can tell me the diplomat is an expert diver and nautical engineer who can diagnose such matters, then I’d be happy to concede the truth of this claim. Till then, sorry, but I trust the witnesses to the crime more.

      Also, this would be a diplomat for the same government which pulled out of the Gaza flotilla & made an under the table deal with Israel and the U.S. in the process. So yeah, the Turkish gov’t’s got oodles of credibility on this subject. Oodles.

      1. Mr. Silverstein,
        Thank you for your Questions.
        No, the Turkish Diplomat is most likely not an expert diver, but in Turkey the flotilla people actually filled a complaint with the local authorities, and i assume that after they took the ship out of water, an expert examined the ship and concluded what later was portrayed by the Diplomat.
        a picture of the Ship out of the water is available over the internet, if you will not find it, please let me know, and I will be more then happy to search it for you, and provide you with a link.

        As for the second half of your msg, we are talking about the same Turkey which a year ago you praised her standings against Israel saying “It seems to me with the news that the Turkish dead may’ve been shot execution style during the assault on the ship that Turkey has no choice but to go down this road. All I can say is that if Obama doesn’t get religion on this and but quick he may lose an ally who he’ll need more in the long run than he will Israel. Not to mention that the Turkish demands are in Israel’s long-term interests as well (though no Israeli politician could admit this).” (https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2011/07/02/israeli-deputy-prime-minister-flotilla-sabotage-thanks-to-idf/#comments)

        and now you are claiming that they are Israeli Agents ?
        You offer more flip flops then the famous “ken Velo” of Shimon Peres in his glory days.

        1. i assume that after they took the ship out of water, an expert examined the ship and concluded what later was portrayed by the Diplomat.

          We have a saying in English: “Assume makes an ‘ass’ of ‘u’ and ‘me.’ Ha-mavin yavin. I don’t think such an assumption is warranted. I feel a whole lot more confident of yr assumption if you could tell us precisely what the Turks did to arrive at this conclusion, since just about everything the Turks, Israelis, Greeks & Americans are saying about the Flotilla is a sack of lies or pretty damn close.

          Yeah, we’re talking about the same Turkey. Funny thing, a country can be very good one year and not so good the next. One year S. Africa can be an apartheid state & the next it can be fully democratic. One yr Israel can be an Occupation strangled state & the next it can be living in peace & security with its neighbors. That day will come. The pt is that countries change, their policies change. Or didn’t you know that?

          1. Mr. Silverstein
            I see, you can come with your allegation towards the state of Israel based on rumors and innuendos, but who ever in the world (at least you are not discriminating) who will make a statement in Israel’s favor needs to prove it beyond any reasonable doubt, isn’t that the definition of double standards ?

    2. Turkey is trying to mend ties with Israel (or whatever) at the moment (see the withdrawal if IHH). On top of this it would be embarassing to admit Israeli units succeeded in sabotaging on Turkish territory. The Turkish statements do not mean much.
      Last time everyone in Israel was screaming that the boats should have been sabotaged, the propellors damaged etc. That is exactly what happened this year, and people are secretly proud, but if you say out loud that Israel had a hand in it, you are unjustly targeting the Jewish State.

      1. The enhancement of Turkey’s ties with Israel includes an exchange program for air force pilot cadets.
        Hebrew here: http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1233289.html

        “The cadets will be hosted by volunteer families as part of an international air force cadet exchange program which includes Israel’s air force.” And the bolded text in the first sentence: “Another step bringing Jerusalem and Ankara closer”.

  2. No, that is not what he said.
    I suppose it is hard for English speakers to understand Hebrew correctly.
    He said “preparing of operational plans by the IDF, than should provide solutions (answers) for different scenarios.”

    There is a big difference between the missquoted “operational work” and the actual “preparing operational plans”.

    1. I suppose it is hard for Hebrew speakers to translate properly into English. Your translation is a botched job which doesn’t make sense in English. You know as well as I he was taking credit for ALL the difficulties the Flotilla is facing including the sabotage. If you don’t admit this then you’re either lying to yrself or you’re just don’t care about the truth.

      1. Mr. Silverstein,
        I Think that Free Man stands correct, this is what ynet stated:

        לא סתם יש קשיים למארגנים להוציא לפועל את תוכניותיהם”. הדברים הללו נשמעו בסוף השבוע מפי השר לעניינים אסרטגיים, משה (בוגי) יעלון, ששיבח את עבודת ההכנה של ישראל לקראת המשט לעזה: “זה הודות לעבודת המטה שכוללת ריכוז מאמץ בתחום המדיני-דיפלומטי והכנת תוכניות מבצעיות של צה”ל, שאמורות לתת מענה לתרחישים השונים”.

        key phrase being תוכניות מבצעיות = operational plans.

        “There is a reason the flotilla organizers face difficulties executing their plans” this statement was made over the weekend by the Minister of strategic affairs Moshe (Bugi) Yalon who praised Israel’s preparation to confront the flotilla. “It is thanks to the preparation work within both the diplomatic arena , and preparing the IDF operation plans to handle the different scenarios”

        1. You don’t get it. Even that translation, which itself isn’t precise still fully supports the notion that Bogie is with barely a wink & a nod bragging that Israel frustrated the Flotilla diplomatically & militariliy & that the IDF’s “operational ability” is what caused the sabotage. Nothing above contradicts this in any way.

          Military operations which are frustrating the Flotilla at this time can ONLY be related to sabotage.

          1. No, he does get it.
            You jump into conclusions from things that were not said to blame Israel for something you have no proof of.
            Yaalon does not wink, he says openly that a diplomatic work has been done. He also said that plans were made for actions for different scenarios. Actions which as of now, are not needed and when the need arise will take place.

          2. Actions which as of now, are not needed

            This is a totally bogus statement. You know & I know that these words are not only not in the original article, but not even alluded to. Do NOT lie here. Do not make things up. You will be made to pay for it if you do this again.

          3. Mr Silverstein,
            My Translation isn’t precise, care to provide a precise translation ?
            As Ben Zoma states in Pirkai Avot:
            “איזהו חכם ? הלומד מכל אדם, שנאמר מכל מלמדי השכלתי”
            Who is a wise man? He who learns from every man. As is stated : “From all my teachers I have grown wise

            Be a teacher.

      2. It makes much more sense than yours.
        It say what the Yaalon said and not what you want him to say.

        1. “There is a reason the flotilla organizers face difficulties executing their plans”

          This is in the present tense. They are facing the difficulties NOW.

          “It is thanks to (other things than sabotage) …, and preparing the IDF operation plans to handle the different scenarios”

          So what is harming the flotilla NOW is “IDF operation plans to handle the different scenarios”

          What else than sabotage can that be?

          1. Elisabeth, are you that oblivious that what’s been happening in the last few days ? It wasn’t sabotage that stopped the flotilla it was the Hellenic Coast Guard & Special Forces.
            And both Bugi Yaalon and Ehud Barak attributes that to the Diplomatic efforts made by the state of Israel, and it has nothing at all to do with the IDF or it’s plans.

            Just FYI the passengers on board the AOH started a Hunger Strike this morning, in protest of lack of US pressure over the Greek government to release the sized boat and the Jailed Captain. Someone should tell them that the State Department, Secretary of State and the US president, all expressed their opinion against the flotilla, i do not think any of them will call Papandreo any time soon.


          2. It wasn’t sabotage that stopped the flotilla

            Another lie. The Irish boat Saorise was sabotaged & rendered inoperable & cannot join the Flotilla solely because of the malicious damage done to it & not due to actions of Turkey. It’s all over the news & if you didn’t know this you should’ve. I think I’ve reported it here as well.

            both Bugi Yaalon and Ehud Barak attributes that to the Diplomatic efforts made by the state of Israel, and it has nothing at all to do with the IDF or it’s plans.

            Again, a lie as Yaalon mention not only diplomatic efforts but IDF military efforts. I will not allow you to mistranslate or mangle things here. You will be precise & accurate about yr claims or you will not be making claims here. Understand me well.

          3. Hello Itai,
            Yaalon’s message refers to present time problems that the flotilla has, and he says these are organized by Israel.

            He mentions:
            1 Diplomatic efforts. We have seen the results with Greece. (And of course I am not oblivious to that, please don’t insult me. No need for that.)
            2 IDF operations.
            If you can think of other (present time) problems for the flotilla that are related to IDF operations OTHER THAN DAMAGE to the ships please tell me.

            (You are secretly proud, aren’t you?)

          4. [comment deleted–do NOT repeat your ideas or arguments verbatim–that’s tedious & a comment violation]

          5. How can IDF ‘plans’ refer to present time problems? Please explain.

            As to the value of the Turkish claims in the present situation between Israel and Turkey, see my earlier post.

            PS You are being insulting again, honey. How about if I say that Zionists think the world is flat?

            All the best.

          6. “And i didn’t say for a second that you think the world is flat, i created two logical groups:
            1. Those who think that Turkey is Israel’s servant.
            2. Those who think the world is flat.
            in no place and no time did i connect the two.”

            You made my evening darling. Cheers and good night!

          7. @Elisabeth,
            1. Yaalon talked about plans and not operations. You have to understand the difference. There is a big difference between “planned operation” and “operational plans”. Yaalon used the second term and not the first.
            2. As for the argument of present time. When he talked about the plans he specifically said “שאמורות”. This term does not describe present time but in future time.
            3. Why do you get all excited about what he might have said ? Israel had not been shy about stopping the previous flotilla. It looks to me like a drowning man and holding a straw. The flotilla, as of now did not deliver what Israel bashers expected of it and they are looking desperately for ways to show Israel as the big bad wolf.

          8. Yaalon talked about plans and not operations. You have to understand the difference. There is a big difference between “planned operation” and “operational plans”. Yaalon used the second term and not the first.

            First, Yaalon talked about operations & used the term explicitly. 2nd operational plans can be the ones implemented right now to sabotage the flotilla.

            Now you’re repeating Itai’s arguments & he himself repeated himself several times. You’re all done arguing about the translation. That little deal is hereby over. Move on.

    2. It’s quite interesting that you – yet again – challenge a translation from Hebrew as a way of trying to keep the dark doings of Israel from the attention of the world.

      The phrase in question is “avodat mateh” = עבודת מטה. Before putting in context, it means any work done at headquarters – in other words, stuff that is not done in the battlefield but rather, in planning stages.
      Used in that sense, Free Man, your (mis)translation would be correct.

      However phrases are not used like little pieces of lego that you can just plug into a sentence. In his statement Ya’alon was lauding the military for its prep-work, which was engaged-in to cover “the various scenarios”. In context, that’s just dripping with innuendo, which Richard’s translation picks up.

      Now, one reason an Israeli news reader would be blind to such innuendo (and object to a translation of it) is that translation has been defined a form of treason by Israel’s Supreme Court (in the Tali Fahima case). Under such circumstances, seeing such innuendo (let alone reporting it, in another language, in a place where everyone in the world can read it) would be most inadvisable. That would be in some conflict with the “Free” part of the nickname, but hey – “free” can mean “free speech” but also “free lunch” or “free beer”, so it, too, is subject to many interpretations.

      Another reason might be that the reader considers themselves invested (personally or professionally) in maintaining the fog of war, and therefore lies by mistranslation.

      I have not formed a a conclusive opinion about which option describes you. But I have indeed formed an opinion about Richard’s translation: it is accurate and contains the full force of innuendo from the Hebrew source text.

  3. “I propose that we begin a boycott of Greek tourism and Greek goods until Greece gets a bit of spine and stops being Bibi’s enforcer. If the Greeks are weak enough that Bibi’s blandishments enticed them to stop the boats, perhaps they’ll understand the import of a boycott against them by supporters of peace and justice around the world.”

    Mr. Silverstein I think that would be very unfair and not to mention seriously counterproductive, most Greek citizens hate their current gov. and support the Palestinian people.

  4. I think you have your musical references confused. That song was by Sonny and Cher not the Mamas and the Papas.

  5. The Hasbara can take the rest of the day off as far as the Flotilla is concerned. Even Ehud Barak claims that Israel is behind the non-departure.
    “We are seeing positive developments regarding the Flotilla. The government of Greece, Cyprus and Turkey are active in twarting it. This is the result of extensive work by the Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister”.
    (link to the JPost in Joseph Dana’s article):

    1. Do you know what Hasbara means?

      The idea of that quote from Barak is that Israel was able to present it’s case about the flotilla so effectively that the governments of Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey have acceded to the Israeli requests.

      He is, in fact, bragging that Hasbara has been effective.

      1. Yes, I know what ‘Hasbara’ means. The basic meaning is ‘explanation’ and it has become the equivalent of, let’s say, ‘Zionist/Israeli propaganda’. Hasbara comes in many colours and shades, Itai L, Free man and Ehud Barak are not belonging to the same ‘school of thought’, maybe.
        If you want to attend a Hasbara-course, there a new programme starting soon:
        If you think the Israeli relation with Greece, Turkey and Cyprus around the Flotilla has been restricted to ‘presenting its case’, free to you.
        No pressure, blackmailing etc – so far away from the Israeli way. How come Israel has been mentionned as a broker between the EU (of which it’s not even a member) and Greece ? Stay naive if you want. I lost my illusions about the morality of this country when I was about four years-old !

        1. Deir Yassin,
          Can you explain what type of leverage Israel has over Turkey ? whether kind of pressure Israel can apply over Turkey ? What can Israel use to blackmail Turkey ?

          Thank You.

          1. With economy declining in many of the EU states (Spain, Portugal, Greece & Italy to some degree) and prospering Turkish economy on one hand, and changes within the Arab world on the other, the Last thing Erdogan wants is to join the EU.
            Erdogan wants to position himself as a prominent player in the Arab world.
            Israel can’t assist with neither.

            My questions still stands.

          2. the Last thing Erdogan wants is to join the EU.

            And you got yr economics PhD fr. where? Was it LSE? Better look up those initials so you know what I’m referring to. Any far sighted leader knows not to make economic decisions based on next yr, but rather on the next 10 or 20 or 100 yrs. And Turkey is much better off tying its economy to Europe than standing alone as it does now.

            Unlike you, Erdogan knows that & will act accordingly.

          3. Very funny Richard,
            You claim that Israel will help Turkey get into EU.
            Israel itself would do anything to be admitted to the EU.
            If it cannot help itself, how can it help Turkey ?
            A claim that make no sense not to talk about any evidence.

        2. Based on the link and the information about Hasbara that you provided, it certainly seems that Barak’s statement is very much an illustration of Hasbara in action.

          One of the primary elements of Israeli PR (Hasbara) with relation to this flotilla is to promote the idea that these boats ought not to sail for a variety of different reasons (that they are a provocation or what have you).

          In Barak’s statement, he very much appears to be claiming that such a case was made (that the Hasbara was effective) and that the three countries he listed have been persuaded to assist Israel in its desire to prevent the flotilla from reaching Gaza.

          The pro-flotilla PR (anti-Habsara?) has been working aggressively to counter these claims from the Israeli side and has attempted to put pressure on Greece and others with protests, press conferences, marches, and the like in order to make their case more convincing.

          I think the anti-Hasbara side will actually score a victory here politically regardless of whether or not the flotilla is able to sail. I believe I have seen remarks from flotilla participants and/or supporters who have stated as much.

          Attention is placed on Gaza regardless of whether the flotilla ends up sailing there or not through these actions and through the effective use of propaganda on the part of those activists.

          1. Do you realy think Israel has any stand in France/Germany or UK ?
            You have been reading to many anti Jew propaganda books to think that.
            Do you think any of those countries would listen to Israel when their country interests are involved ?
            I can tell you what they would tell the Israeli PM had he tried to do so:
            “Go to your room and play with your toys, and don’t bother the adults”.

          2. I don’t know about the other countries (Germany is generally willing to stick out its neck for Israel though), but as to my country: Ministers Maxime Verhagen (economy) and Uri Rosental (foreign affairs) are well known as stauch Israel supporters, as is Geert Wilders whose support of the cabinet is crucial. Wilders even succeeded to get closer ties with Israel into the coalition agreement. (Israel is the only foreign country mentioned in the agreement.) I am convinced that they put pressure on Greece. They knew they had to pay, and I think they asked for something in return.

  6. @Itai L
    I would like to commend you on your input here אחי

    It is difficult for Richard to admit to such when he is not entirely right but I think that the important thing here is an exchange of ideas and not “Pilpul” (penetrating investigation, disputation, and drawing of conclusions and splitting hairs over the meaning of every word)

    Thank you for your reference to Ben Zoma in Pirkai Avot.


    From such universal wisdom everybody here can learn.

    איזהו חכם ? הלומד מכל אדם, שנאמר מכל מלמדי השכלתי”
    Who is a wise man? He who learns from every man. As is stated : “From all my pupils I have grown wise.

    And so Richard should,in order to become wiser, allow himself to be a pupil as well as a teacher.

  7. Itai, Daniel, Freeman, et al,

    All the hair-splitting apart, who do you think has damaged the boats? Do you think that there was no intentional act of sabotage?


    1. Leonid,
      the lack of information about the exact nature of the issues, and the equipment used, makes it almost impossible to answer your question.
      But….we know that both boats had issues with the propeller shaft (based on the pictures i have seen) and the propeller itself

      look at the following :

      The mechanic told him he found that his prop shaft was twisted and would need replaced. He also stated that Mercruiser would not cover this under warranty so he paid 1100.00 to have repaired.
      He then calls Lavey Craft boats and they tell him they had three other boats with a similar problem,Lavey craft told him that he was giving the boat too much throttle and the torque was twisting the prop shaft.”

      a twisted shaft can cause the shaft to brake, can damage the propeller etc.

      many possibilities for technical malfunction.
      Blaming Israel for the incident is kind of ridiculous, Seems to me that someone is suffering from serve paranoia.

      1. Oh my God. Itai L gives a link to a boat forum as a ‘proof’ of his statements. It’s like if I link to a commenter on another blog.

        “Seems to me that someone is suffering from severe paranoia” says the guy who posted various links on the false rumours about the non-existing arson of the non-existing synagogue in El Hamma.
        “Paranoia”, you said. Brainwashed, I claim.

    2. I don’t know if there was damage to the boats.
      Had there been damage, I didn’t see anything that show that some one did it. If there was intentional damage to the boats, I don’t see any proof it was done by Israel.
      To me it looks just like lynching a black kid 100 years ago cause some white girl called “rape”. It is not enough to say “We know he did it”. First you have to establish something was done, then that it was done by force then get the guy who did it.
      We can all see how the story of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is unfolding to realize that some times the truth is more elusive than first thought.

      1. You make me laugh. What a silly victim complex you have.
        The poor black kid in this case has all the powerful countries in the world behind it. And he has a history of assaulting people, and has been threatening the girl for months, telling her it will be dangerous for her if she ventures out of the house. But really this is actually too ridiculous to even react to.

        1. Thank you for the deep psychological analysis based on a few words.
          It looks like your ability to analyze whole countries based on fiction extends also to single humans.

    3. @ Leonid Levin

      Tavarish, please excuse the delay in answering you,

      I agree with most of the conclusions made by by MV Saoirse’s engineer, Pat
      Fitzgerald, http://irishshiptogaza.org/?p=742

      1) The boat was unlikely to have run over anything because….
      a) the gouge is not parallel to boat’s direction of travel.
      b) the gouge is higher in the water than the propeller is.
      c) the propeller shaft was not rotating at the time of damage ( as the gouge is not all
      the way around the propeller circumference ).

      2) The gouge has apparent plastic deformation in the surrounding shaft area which
      indicates that either an object of relatively large mass hit the shaft as it passed
      transversely underneath the boat or alternatively, an energy source roughly parallel
      to the gouge may have caused the damage.
      a) The passage of a relatively large mass underneath the boat in a confined berthing area
      is improbable.
      b) The shape of the gouge appears to be slightly more oval than the characteristic
      V shaped slash at the entry and exit edges of an impact gouge.
      Hence an energy source is more likely than a large mass to have caused the gouge.

      3) I could not clearly see the direction of the strain marks/ lines in the gouge.
      This is very important in determining the cause of the damage.
      Strain lines parallel to the gouge would indicate a collision, stretch and pockmarks
      more or less parallel to the shaft would be more indicative of an energy source, also
      streak/strain marks due to a collision would be more linear whereas the surface finish
      due to a relative compact energy source used on a robust 3” diameter alloy shaft
      would be softer and more pockmarked (linear tear marks vs a softer and irregular lunar
      type surface ).

      4) Forensic analysis of the metal inside the gouge would contribute to a definitive answer.

      5) If the damage was intentional,then the bending of the shaft would not cause loss of
      life as the bent shaft would cause the engine to vibrate heavily at a low RPM
      long before the shaft would start to distort or shear.If you have two flat tires when
      you start your car you will notice it long before you get to go very fast.

  8. In Crete, off to join our boat TAHRIR to learn what our plans are for today. Friday we appealed Israel’s (sorry, Greece’s) order not to sail, and we expect a response today. Assuming Israel doesn’t reverse its ruling, we and the other boats plan to leave anyway.

    Getting to Gaza was our goal, but it has become secondary to the fact we have proven once and for all the depths to which Israel and the U.S. will sink in order to facilitate Israel’s continued ethnic cleansing and collective punishment of all of the people of Palestine.

    Israel’s cover is blown for ever. It needs a new playbook now the world sees through the hasbara of a defenseless little state protecting itself against hordes of angry Arabs determined to drive all the Jews into the sea.

    Greece is pathetic, if helpless against the onslaught from America on behalf of Israel, the U.S. is becoming a laughing stock, and Israel is making itself more hated than ever before.

    So the Palestinians win again. Free Gaza. Free Palestine.

  9. Apologies, Richard, if this is the wrong thread. We have been without any real internet access for the past 24 hours or so because our generator was shut down and we had no power to charge our computers, phones etc.

    About a half hour ago we started up our generator, expecting to be stormed, but nothing happened, so now we have power.

    Three of our delegates have been arrested. One is the registered owner of TAHRIR, Sandra Ruch. Sandra was not on the boat when we took our little cruise yesterday, but she is facing three separate chargers. Two of our delegates were arrested for “obstructing the coastguard” by sailing a couple of kayaks beside our boat.

    The rest of us are basically on lock-down, and while we have been told any of us can leave the boat, there is no way to know what will happen to us after that. One of our journalists, Dalia from Moscow, just left because she has to return to Russia. The soldiers escorted her off the boat, telling her she would have to accompany them to the harbor master’s office.

    Coast Guard and Police are currently waiting to board in order to ask each of us individually for a statement. We will all give our names, citizenship, address, profession, and then say “No comment” to any question.

    Spirits are high, especially now we have power back on board.

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