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Flotilla Falsehoods Corrected

Jul 11, 2011 | Jamie Hyams

Flotilla Falsehoods Corrected
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Moammaar Mashni, a co-founder of Australians for Palestine, had the following letter published in the July 8 Australian Financial Review:

 

There is only one reason Israel sought to ban journalists who took part in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla – so no independent verification could be presented to the world if there was a repeat of the 2010 massacre on board the Mavi Marmara. If there were not an illegal blockade of Gaza, there would be no need for a humanitarian aid flotilla It is precisely because there were independent journalists on board the flotilla last year that the truth was revealed about what Israel did and not what Mr Burd (Letters, July 7) would have us believe.

 

The following letter from me appeared in today’s edition in response:

 

Moammar Mashni completely misrepresents the circumstances surrounding the so-called Israeli proposal to ban journalists who take part in the flotilla, and the flotilla itself (Letters, 8 July) Israel’s blockade of Gaza is legal under international law, as Gaza’s Hamas rulers are in at a state of war with Israel. What is illegal is flotillas that try to breach the blockade – they are giving support to Hamas, a terrorist group. The Israeli sanction against any participant on the flotilla is exclusion for up to ten years. Israel simply warned journalists this was the case, before Israeli PM Netanyahu intervened to exempt them. Mashni claims Israel was banning journalists to prevent independent reporting, but international journalists were always going to be on the Israeli vessels enforcing the blockade. Furthermore, Israel only excludes goods with military uses. The flotilla is simply a cynical political stunt designed to provoke confrontation.

 

The Financial Review edited the letter for length. The original version was as follows:

 

Moammar Mashni completely misrepresents the circumstances surrounding the so-called Israeli proposal to ban journalists who take part in the flotilla, and the flotilla itself (Letters, 8 July). Israel’s blockade of Gaza is completely legal under international law, as Gaza’s Hamas rulers are in at a state of war with Israel. What is illegal is flotillas that try to breach the blockade, both because the blockade is legal, and because they are giving support to a terrorist group – Hamas. The Israeli sanction against any participant on the flotilla is exclusion for up to ten years. Israel simply warned journalists this was the case, before Israeli PM Netanyahu intervened to exempt them. Mashni claims Israel was banning journalists to prevent independent reporting, but international journalists were always going to be on the Israeli vessels enforcing the blockade. Mashni also claims that the flotilla is “humanitarian”, necessitated by the blockade, but both Greece and Israel have offered to transfer all humanitarian goods to Gaza Furthermore, Israel only excludes goods with military uses and it is clear to any objective observer that Gaza is far from suffering a humanitarian crisis. The flotilla is simply a cynical political stunt designed to provoke confrontation, to support Hamas, to hamper Israel’s efforts to keep arms out of Gaza and to demonise the Jewish state. 

 

 

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