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Jun. 3rd, 2010

While I am not making any blanket condemnation of its actions—the odds of a huge humanitarian shipment destined for the Palestinians not containing some quantity of weapons are, frankly, low—I would attach at least a small health warning to Israel’s claims of self-defence. I used to know a Palestinian woman whose brother’s body had been delivered to the family home by the Israeli army at night, with the command to have him buried by sun-up or they would take it away again. These soldiers, too, said that they had no choice but to kill him in self-defence. I can only imagine that he was particularly skilled in martial arts and had been in the middle of delivering a spectacular roundhouse kick, since his only wounds were several bulletholes in his back. It might prove useful to keep this in mind when the IDF says that activists on board the flotilla grabbed Israeli army guns and started firing them, producing as proof only two of its own pistols emptied of ammunition.

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