This is a set of small essays and articles written in the aftermath of the attack on the unarmed flotilla of ships attempting to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza in May, 2010. The book begins with a set of eye-witness accounts. The ships were attacked by Israeli commandos at about 4AM while the ships were approximately 80 miles outside Israeli territorial waters. The people on board, approximately 600 political and human-rights advocates, were unarmed. Nine or ten of then were killed by the Israeli soldiers, at least two of whom seem to have been executed by shots to the back fired from clase range.

When the Israelis seized the ships, they took the passengers into custody, relieving them of their cellphones, computers, cameras and credit cards. Many, if not most of the passengers have not had their property returned to them. The Israeli government held the passengers incommunicado for several days so that it could spin up its propaganda machine. Absurdly, Israel claimed that the Israeli forces were acting in self-defense. They tried to claim that the ships were armed and that the Israeli forces met armed resistance. This was an outright lie. The Israeli government attempted to portray the flotilla as a terrorist act. Eventually the truth came out. This was essentially an act of piracy carried out by armed thugs.

The majority of the book is devoted to post facto analysis of the significance of the attack. After reading this, my own view is that Israel’s own policies pose a threat to its existence as a state. The entire world, outside the US and Israel, sees Israel as a rogue state that carries out a program of apartheid and land theft in violation of international law. The attack on Gaza on December 2009 and the attack on the aid flotilla in May 2010 merely add evidence to that perception. The nearly unanimous view of the countries that condemn Israel’s policies (which is every country except the US, Israel, and the island nation of Pulao) is that Israel must abide by multiple UN resolutions calling on Israel to return to the 1967 borders, and cease the appropriation of Palestinian land and property, and cease the occupation of Palestine. With those conditions in place, even the Arab League is willing to initiate normal diplomatic relations with Israel. But I see little prospect that Israel will ever willingly adopt such policies. Its failure to do so will certainly lead to the ultimate destruction of the Israeli state, with much loss of life. The increasingly violent and aggressive behavior of the Israeli government is evidence of their desperation. They have to take another course or perish.



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict
  • Author: Moustafa Bayoumi
  • Published: 2010
  • ISBN: 1608461211
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 4.0 stars