Zack Finer is a former UBC student who is now attending university in Israel. Finer previously served in the Israeli Defence Forces. He talked of his feelings about both the events that took place on the early morning of May 31st when a Turkish flotilla bcarrying aid supplies, journalists and activists, was intercepted by the Israeli naval forces as it attempted to pass through the Gaza blockade---and the world's reaction.
Initially, Finer said, he and most Israelis, blamed Israel completely for aggression. Presuming that “a situation got out of control and [we] killed some unarmed protestors," the incident seemed like another stain on Israel’s reputation in the conflict with Palestine that has been raging on for decades, he said. However, as details of the Mavi Marmara’s journey began surfacing, Finer said his concern turned to dismay, as the motives of the flotilla’s crew became increasingly complex, and the chain of events more convoluted.
While those aboard the Turkish Flotilla may have not expected or hoped for a confrontation of any kind, some troubling information is beginning to emerge... for example, a considerable number of videos depicting the passengers of the Mavi Marmara leaving Turkey chanting “Remember, Remember Jews Kahibar, the army of Muhammad will return”, referring to the 629 AD massacre of the last Jewish enclave in the Arab Peninsula.
One woman, interviewed prior to the incident on board the flotilla, describes the trip to Gaza as having “two possible happy endings, becoming martyrs or [reaching] Gaza”.
New photos which have been published show the aftermath of the attack on the flotilla: metal rods, slingshots, ammunition and marbles litter the decks.
An Israeli soldier describes the scene as commandos were lowered onto the flotilla: “We came down, using the rope, one by one, and every [commando] that descended was met by 3 or 4 people...and they just started beating him up, tearing him to pieces. It was like being lynched...they (the flotilla) just came prepared for a battle.”
“In response to the media coverage the incident is receiving in Canada and the sweeping condemnation of the Israeli state, Finer notes that “Israelis are very upset with what feels like completely one sided Israel bashing."
No one is more critical of Israel than Israelis and the Israeli media," Finer said. "I'm upset because I feel like issues and stunts like this pull the rug out on any possibility to really solve the issue at hand, which is this protracted conflict."