Sunday, July 03, 2011


Mavi Marmara. Haaretz photo

"Saoirse" is the Irish language word for "freedom".

Saoirse is also the name of one of the ships that was slated to take part in the anti Israel Flotilla II's current Mediterranean propaganda exercise but according to today's Sunday Age, "the Saoirse pulled out of the mission after it was damaged in an attack while moored in Turkey" - Greece halts boat to Gaza.

As if on cue, the publicity seeking activists behind the flotilla lost no time in blaming Israel for sabotaging the Saoirse and another ship moored in Greece "and for a campaign of harassment and dirty tricks against activists."

According to this Huffington Post article - Irish Boat Abandons Gaza Flotilla, Citing Israeli 'Sabotage', "[A]ctivist Huwaida Arraf told Israel's Army Radio that the ship's engine was damaged while in port and could have lead to deaths on board". She claimed that, "if this would have happened (while out at sea), if it would have bent in this way, the boat would have started taking on water and it could have led to fatalities."

Arraf is the co-founder of the Palestinian ISM movement whose objective is to bring about an end to the Jewish State allegedly by "non-violent" means. Despite such claims, Arraf's organisation has a track record of aiding suicide bombers and directly assisting violent Palestinian terrorist initiatives - STOP THE ISM.

The same Huwaida Araf (aka "Heidi Arraf") was one of the "movers and shakers" who was covered in Paul McGeough's notorious piece of agitprop in a November 2010 edition of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald's "Good Weekend" that paid homage to the promoters of the Free Gaza movement without so much of a mention of Hamas and its autocratic rulers who have lorded over Gaza since its violent putsch against the Palestine Authority in 2007.

Unsurprisingly, McGeough's piece provided no balance whatever to the stories spun by the rogue’s gallery of terrorist enablers who he so lovingly painted as 21st Century Mother Teresas.

Like the other side of the story of the Flotilla, the other side of Huwaida Arraf never emerged in McGeough's fluff piece (so much for balanced journalism at Fairfax). The other story, and a more credible one, can be found in BIRDS OF A FEATHER ENABLE MURDERERS TOGETHER.

"Away from Western cameras and microphones, however, Arraf has stated that suicide bombings are a 'noble' means of 'legitimate resistance' to what she deems Israeli oppression. She has stated (along with her husband, Adam Shapiro) that the Palestinian 'resistance movement' must be violent if it is to be effective. Toward that end, ISM activists frequently serve as human shields for armed Palestinian terrorists; many act as couriers for terrorists, smuggling explosives and bomb-making materials into Israel for the PLO."

So here is one of McGeough's "movers and shakers", a person who has no qualms about lying about her movement's "non-violent" objectives, now making claims about alleged Israeli "sabotage" of the Saoirse.

Paul McGeough won a Walkley Award for an earlier article he wrote for the Fairfax press about the first flotilla. It was based on "eye witness" reports from activists like Arraf who had every reason to lie about the events that took place on the Mavi Marmara on that fateful day on which nine IHH members and supporters died after they attacked Israeli soldiers boarding the ship.

A BBC Panorama programme aired last year provided evidence by word and on film that strongly suggested McGeough's "eye witnesses" are liars. Needless to say, Fairfax has done little to provide at least the balance which the evidence of Panorama demands. See here and here.

This, even after a recent Age editorial lectured Israel on matters of press freedom and journalistic integrity - Israel should uphold press freedom (apparently the Age has never seen fit to examine press freedom under Palestinian rule).

"Yet press freedom is at the heart of true democracy. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes this clear: 'Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.'"

The editorial even has the chutzpah to praise McGeough for his Walkley winning article despite the fact that its credibility now lies in tatters.

Moreover, it's abundantly plain that McGeough's "mover and shaker", Arraf, has not stopped lying to this very day. Her claims of sabotage without any evidence have now been discounted by a Turkish newspaper - Initial inspection says no sabotage to Irish ship to Gaza within Turkish territorial waters.

It's true that today's Sunday Age article states, "Israel has flatly rejected accusations of skulduggery as 'paranoid'" but one wonders whether the Age will come clean on the Turkish revelation and expose Arraf's lying ways.

Here's Arraf's partner and co-founder of ISM speaking of the movement's true intentions:

It's clear these people aren't interested in a humanitarian solution but rather, a very disturbing outcome for Israel. The time is right for the Age to stop treating the Palestinians as "Bambi" and the Israelis as constant villains. It's time to ditch the Palestinian propaganda subterfuge and tell the truth about Gaza, of why Israel considers it necessary to maintain its weapons stopping blockade and to inform its readers about weapons carrying ships apprehended en route to Gaza.

In the spirit of promoting true freedom and peace for Palestinians and Israelis, isn't it time for the Age to provide some balance so that Palestinians can taste the true feeling of Saoirse? This item from a Palestinian journalist could be the basis for a new start from the Age.

Democracy and press freedom is not about subterfuge and enabling terrorists and their supporters. This is the essence of press freedom -

Life for Palestinians in Gaza Strip Improved, So Why Send Flotilla There?


Anonymous said...

You have to be kidding about Al Age coming clean. McGeough just got kicked upstairs to a more cushy gig with more power to push his one-sided views. The Age is sinking faster than the flotilla it supports.

Anonymous said...

I heard Fairfax were one of the Flotillas sponsors.

EMO said...

Most unlikely anonymous.

The way Fairfax are traveling financially, they wouldn't even be able to help out the flotilla folk with their ration of knives, slingshots and knuckledusters.

Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised that today's al Age Palestina has failed to cover the story that shows Arraf lied when she accused Israel of sabotaging the damaged flotilla ships?