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Death in the Med - Join in the debate

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Eamonn Walsh | 16:31 UK time, Monday, 16 August 2010

As controversy over Israel's blockade of Gaza still rages, Jane Corbin asks what really happened on the Mavi Marmara, when Israeli commandos seized the ship and nine people died?

Panorama's film Death in the Med features exclusive new video and interviews with Israeli soldiers and activists involved.

We welcome your comments on the programme. Please use this blog as a forum for your comments.


Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    We welcome your input via our team blog. Please join the debate and tell us your thoughts on Death in the Med.

  • Comment number 2.

    How does this story warrant thirty minutes of prime time TV

  • Comment number 3.

    Israel is defending itself; the intentions of the I.H.H. were clear as they went on about Auschwitz and 9/11.

  • Comment number 4.

    An excellent account of a clearly complex situation, finally some clarity. Would have been good to get an expose of Ken O'Keefe as some of his previous statements and actions make him look far less innocent then he'd like us to believe!

  • Comment number 5.

    I've just sat through 30 minutes of the most outrageously biased reporting on the storming of the mavi marmara. No mention of the fact that Israel only eventually capitulated rather than willingly volunteered to UN pressure to co-operate with an investigation. It was an utter disgrace. I shall never watch Panorama again.

  • Comment number 6.

    It is extremely disappointing to see Panorama allowing itself to be used in this way by the Israeli military and intelligence services. Panorama has had a distinguished history and a proud name in British political journalism. That history and those standards were betrayed this evening.

  • Comment number 7.

    After watching this program I have swayed very much towards the Israelis, a so called peaceful flotila sawing off bars to confront soldiers who had warned them to stop? It's not the actions of peaceful people, and the way they mobbed the soldiers coming onto the ship, absolute disgrace.

    I'm all for aid going to gaza and helping people which could have happened peacfully which Israel was not denying. I think the world should stop for once and realise that Israel has the right to defend itself when attacked.
    These soldiers were attacked!

  • Comment number 8.

    Tonight's Panorama program was an attempt to clear Israil's name and completely biased.

  • Comment number 9.

    Shame on Panorama and the BBC for showing blatant Israeli propaganda

  • Comment number 10.

    #The Israeli Mistake

    Attacking an unarmed ship (carrying peace activists or anyone else) in international waters is an Act of Piracy under international maritime law. Israel committed a serious crime from the outset, never mind the heinous murder of activists that happened during the incident.

    There is ZERO justification for what has been done and what has been done was ordered by the top echelon of Israel.

    The only acceptable reponse from the international community is a court room in The Hague.

    Failing that, citizens will continue to support Universal Juristiction and one day, the criminals will be brought to book.

    This Panorama programme is not one of your finest moments. The UN even label Israel as a terrorist state. Personally, I blame the current regime. Netanyahoo is a nut job who should be put out to pasture.

    Jim

  • Comment number 11.

    I am really quiet worried that the whole reasoning behind the fact that they think this ship wasn't on a humanitarian mission is because half of the meds onboard were out of date!! For people that have nothing out of date means nothing.
    They tried to make people defending themselves out to be terrorists!!! Lets remember who got on the ship!! They were not attacked until they became the aggressors, I am not a terrorist, or radicalist, or militant but I like millions of others all over the world wonder why?? WHY is this being allowed to happen and why, if anyone dares to rebel they are gunned down and branded a terrorist.
    Lx

  • Comment number 12.

    another showing of how the pro palestinian lobby has been foiled again, lets all cry israels disproportianate violence and then show the truth. Jenin sounds familiar

  • Comment number 13.

    The BBC is financed by the TV licence payers so I think that we deserve a fair balance in the news. This panorama program is a clear Israeli propaganda, similar to that used in the Second World War to deny the Holocaust. Shame on you Israel, shame on you Panorama, shame on you BBC. I feel disgusted.

    Hopefully, the rest of the world keeps seeing what is done to thousands of civilians in Gaza. They are civilians. Remember that!!

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    A simply astonishingly biased BBC report on Israel's illegal raid on the Mavi Marmara in international waters.

    By using only footage provided to the BBC by the Israelis as well as disputed fake audio, the BBC has presented a wholly unbalanced view, precisely the view that the Israeli authorities wanted it to present.

    Presumably, the BBC is aware that Israeli commandos stole all footage shot by accredited independent journalists on board (along with all communications equipment, videos and stills cameras, laptops, identity documents, credit cards (some of which have since been used in Israel) and cash estimated at $3m)?

    Where were the interviews with British nationals present on the boat? Surely they were relevant to a BBC report?

    This was investigative journalism of the very poorest quality and those responsible for making this programme should hang their heads in shame.

  • Comment number 16.

    The program didn't even mention the fact that the Mava Mamara was boarded in international waters, which makes it an act of piracy. If a Turkish ship had intercepted and boarded an Israeli ship and killed members of its crew in international waters I feel that this would have been reported entirely differently... What an absolute waste of airspace.

  • Comment number 17.

    This was an absolutely disgracefully biased documentary - from the very first minute it was obvious this was going to be a pro-Israeli piece of propaganda. Shame on you BBC!! And not a solitary mention of the circumstances pertaining to the nine deaths despite strong evidence in other media of execution-style killings. Was the remit of the Panorama team to exclude any investigation and analysis of the actual killings!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    As a license payer, I'm thoroughly embarrassed by this shameful piece of pro-Israeli propaganda. Jane Corbin presented the story against the backdrop of the 'thousands of rockets launched into civilian areas' by Hamas, but fails to present that within its context of the illegal occupation and the associated subjugation of the Palestinian people, or to mention the miniscule casualty and mortality figures associated with these rocket attacks.
    Shoddy journalism with a flimsy baseless conclusion.

  • Comment number 19.

    I am shocked when the BBC shows bias in its presentation of events. Tonight's Death in the Med is one of those occasions. The only 'acceptable facts' came fom Israel's point of view and Jane Corbin contested only the Free Gaza organisation's views of the events. If the IDF had been Somalis boarding a ship and stealing its cargo they would have been called Pirates. Yet the people onboard were called terrorists for defending themselves from attack from the sea by an armed military force outside its terretorial waters. The BBC has made either yet another mistake in its attempts at balance where Israel is concerned or it is doing the dirty work of Israel's supporters. It was unforgiveable when the BBC refused to show the DEC appeal for the people of Gaza and this just shows the BBC has learned nothing from that error.

  • Comment number 20.

    Badly made. Poorly argued and totally unconvincing pap. A complete failure to address the Israeli's agressive and unjustified blockade. A sad day for Panorama. How it has declined. The desperate attempts to to prop up the flimsy propaganda inspired argument that the ship was a terrorist plot did not stand up at all. Out of date drugs are better than no drugs as doctors will tell you. The death count wrought by the armed troops speaks for itself.

  • Comment number 21.

    I have been watching Panorama for thirty years now and have always admired its truth and honesty, even during Thatcher's time. But tonight I witnessed some of the crudest israeli propaganda I have ever seen. I was bemused by the biased reporting until the credits rolled. An israeli producer to help with the propaganda!! LOL!!

    I will never believe anything Panorama produces from this moment on. I will be posting this on my facebook page and in other forums for comments. I will also be making a complaint to the BBC and the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

  • Comment number 22.

    If the BBC is to sink any further into its quagmire of shame as a mouthpiece for Israeli propaganda, then it should relinquish its license fee and look to its Zionist friends for funding.Tonights Panorama was unbelievable! I am disgusted!

  • Comment number 23.

    I have to say I am very dissapointed with this Panorama programme as it was extremely biased. I suppose its not suprising, as Israel would never let army personnel take part in a programme that was going to criticize it. At the end of the day 9 protesters ended up dead, but no army personnel were killed. Also the programme made no mention of the fact that the ship was in international waters at the time. I agree that some of the passengers aboard the ship may not have been there for purely humanitarian reasons, but they had not broken any law when Israel boarded the ship, and there was no firm evidence that they were going to commit any terrorist acts. Also the out-of-date drugs are perfectly normal aid donations. Drug companies often give these drugs free to developing countries, and you will find out-of-date drugs being handed out across Africa, Asia and Latin America by charities. I have always defended the BBC against critics that claim it is biased, but I will not be able to do that in future.

  • Comment number 24.

    I have been a huge fan of Panorama for many years but tonight's edition was shocking. Jane Corbin, in the face of countless reports from the UN co-ordinator John Ging and numerous, very well respected NGOs as to the true situation in Gaza has decided that there are no shortages of food and medicine and that none of the aid the Free Gaza movement is attempting to bring in is at all necessary. Tell that to the 1000s deprived of clean water; to the children suffering chronic malnutrition; to the 49% of patients denied exit in the last year for medical care not available in a situation where 48% of the 122 health facilities were damaged or destroyed in 'Operation Cast lead'; tell that to the families of those who have died due to lack of medical care; to the 20,000 plus still displaced following the war due to lack of equipment to repair or rebuild their homes. Tell that to the children, who if they have a school to go to, have to take turns in 3 shifts and above all tell that to the approximately 80% of the population who are reliant for handouts from the UN, the very UN that constantly complains Israel does not allow sufficient supplies into Gaza. But then the Israelis themselves have said they just want to put the Palestinians on a diet - so obviously they too know not enough food is being provided!
    It just beggers belief that Jane should be so taken in by the Israelis as to be the only person to go to Gaza (or did she really go?) not to see what Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Tutu and Mary Robinson saw for themselves and reported respectively 'Tragically, the international community largely ignores the cries for help, while the citizens of Gaza are treated more like animals than human beings" (Carter). " My message to the international community is that our silence and complicity, especially on the situation in Gaza, shames us all (Tutu). " Their whole civilisation has been destroyed, I'm not exaggeratiing....its almost unbelievable that the world doesn't care what is happening ( Robinson).
    In the face of such statements how can Jane Corbin effectively dismiss the idea that there is a need for a flotilla to highlight to the world what is happening and to try and focus the world's attention on the inhumane and totally illegal behaviour of Israel.
    As for the rest of the documentary - unlike Jane I will wait for the UN enquiry to make its report before I come to a judgement of what happened that night. However, by her comments on the situation in Gaza and her belief there is no rationale for the flotilla she effectively de-legitimises the activities of those many brave and principled people who have refused over the years to turn their backs on the people of Gaza. They are our conscience and if it turns out some of them had their own agenda that does not change the essential facts of the case that Israel is maintaining an illegal and inhumane siege of Gaza and that the work of the Free Gaza Flotilla is the only thing keeping the spotlight on Israel's horrific human rights abuses in Gaza.

  • Comment number 25.

    I am utterly appalled. Shame on Panorama and on Jane Corbin for this 'real' account of what happened on board the Mavi Marmara and for questioning the validity of the mission and the motives of those on board. The majority of those on board were genuine peace activists. And even those who engaged in violence, although it wasn't the right action to take, acted in self-defence.
    The conflicting reports from the Israeli authorities: first they say they didn't expect violence. Then, they release audio of mysterious provenance, with anti-semitic taunts, saying they knew to expect the worst when they hear this prior to approaching?
    The weapons? They had knives on board - even galley kitchens would need these surely???
    A propaganda stunt that cost nine lives? Come on.
    Jane Corbin: "At the end of the day the bid to break the Naval blockade wasn't really about bringing aid to Gaza - it was a political move designed to put pressure on Israel and the international community" Such flagrant Israeli bias. Shame on you.

  • Comment number 26.

    such biased reporting....shame shame

  • Comment number 27.

    What a pity to see such a long standing, once venerated BBC powerhouse, embarrass itself with this kind of confectionary journalism.

  • Comment number 28.

    Some clarifications:

    Several commenters claimed that boarding the ship in international waters was an act of piracy. It wasn't. By the San Remo Manual, it is permitted board and even attack ships believed to be attempting to breach a naval blockade.

    philipclewis787 claimed that the fact the Israeli soldiers were unwilling to show their faces on television meant they had something to hide. What exactly can their faces prove? These are commandos, no army in the world allows it's commandos to show their faces on television, including the British army. So?

    As for the ex-military officer conducting the investigation: That was an internal military inquiry, these are always conducted by ex-military officers. There is also an external board of inquiry chaired by experts in international maritime and military law (with two international observers) checking the legality of that act.

    LesleyH, expired medicine are dangerous. That's why medicine has expiration dates! Besides, there is no lack of medicine and medical equipment in Gaza, these are regularly supplied to Gaza through (and often by) Israel.

  • Comment number 29.

    HALELUYA HALELUYA AND HALELUYA Again
    BBC Ware balance in the program.
    I think to make people understand better the BBC should of showed the other boat that came at the same time and nothing happened (surprise surprise no HHL only real peace activists)
    The HHL ware informed by the Turkey government that had an understanding with the Israelis that the army will not use the guns.
    I think it's time for Panorama to look in to Turkey killing Kurds with chemical weapons (where are the human wrights activist now.

  • Comment number 30.

    How can some people on here claim israel was defending itself when they were the ones attacking an aid ship in international waters? As far as im concerned the people on these ships had every to fight back at an army with a deploreable track record litterd with human rights abuses

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    This is the last straw for me, I'm not paying a license fee to be fed Israeli propaganda by the BBC. "Jane Corbin asks what really happened.." No she did not. No attempt was made to address the killing of 9 people or the wounding of dozens of others. This was a collaborative effort with the IDF to whitewash a murderous assault on humanitarian aid workers. She should be ashamed of herself.

  • Comment number 33.

    @stellasuperstar the voices about 9/11 and Auschwitz didn't sound genuine to me.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    The camera doesn't lie?? Did the IDF not confiscate all camera's and footage aboard the Mavi Marmara? So was all the footage released to the BBC to make this program or just what the IDF deemed suitable - this might give some indication as to the neutrality of the program. In my opinion this came across as the most one sided documentary I have ever seen on the BBC.

  • Comment number 36.


    Like so many commenting here, I am horrified at this Panorama coverage being so favourable to the Israeli military actions it described - and so far from the international rule of law and the consensus of opinion in the wider world, which almost universally condemns their illegal assault on the Gaza flotilla.
    What can you as journalists have to gain from this truly bizarre bias?
    This piece of work is a disgrace to the BBC and will appall even white westerners like me looking on who have no personal or ethnic affiliation to the Palestinian cause.

  • Comment number 37.

    @ Stella Superstar ... Your "respondents must all be muslim to see bias" posting is really rather crass and does nothing other than revealing your own prejudices.

  • Comment number 38.

    To 'Stellasuperstar' might I respectfully suggest that she avoids such inappropriate sweeping generalisations. I am not Muslim, I am a white Christian incensed by inaccurate reporting on a programme that puported to tell the truth when failing quite shamefully to mention some fundamental issues relating to Gaza. These concerns have nothing whatsoever to do with being Muslim, Israeli or from the moon-but has everything to do with proper balanced reporting giving viewers ALL of the facts.

  • Comment number 39.

    I think this is the most biased documentary I have ever seen on the BBC. It was carefully edited to seem imparshail and the flotilla volunteers came across more believable then the IDF. But the BBC reporter made a few comments about the mission being not humanitarian but a political trap for Israel that showed her true blue and white colours. Jane Corbin should be challenged to travel on the next flotilla and see how the documentary looks when the idf take their tapes. 

  • Comment number 40.

    Jane Corbin had no justification for her assertion that the flotilla only had a political purpose, and was not to bring aid. It had both purposes, as Gazans are suffering appalling hardships from the illegal siege. There was reference to hundreds of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza. There was nothing about the Israeli bombings, shootings, and use of white phosphorus on unarmed civilians causing 1400 deaths and injuries, and massive destruction in January 2009. There was nothing about continuing unreported killings of Gazans by Israeli forces. If Britons on the boat had been included in the programme, viewers would have learned that the deaths of passengers on board the ship were caused by shots from helicopters. Why was so much coverage given to passengers trying to defend themselves from the attack by Israeli commandos, in international waters? Why such cursory comments from Jane Corbin, apparently walking along, giving the impression that life is not too bad in Gaza? It obviously suited the BBC's purpose in creating this programme, to crow about exclusive access to Israeli commandos' training, and to paint the Israelis as the victims. An opportunity to inform viewers about the reality of the attacks on the boat’s passengers, life under siege in Gaza, and life under occupation in the West Bank, was missed. Those who want to know more might like to visit The Palestine Telegraph, http://www.paltelegraph.com

  • Comment number 41.

    By broadcasting this appalling propaganda piece, the BBC and Panorama in particular, have lost all credibility. The shocking bias shown by this report has forced me to re-consider the value of my license fee. I will be making a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

  • Comment number 42.

    Having been one of the first to comment I was surprised to come back and see so many negative views on the programme. The footage showed the violence from people on the ship, the IHH members said they wanted to be martyrs on a number of occasions and the Mavi Marmara was clearly not primarily about aid (or they would have used more of the space for aid and less for passengers).

    Why the assumption that Jane Corbin (who I gather is both senior and well respected) has been duped/taken-in by the Israeli's or is part of some wider BBC bias and agenda. Pro-Israel people always complain the BBC is anti-Israel and it seems anti-Israel people see the BBC as being too pro...looking at all the evidence on this occasion a senior documentary maker came out with a particular viewpoint and that was that some people on board the Mavi Marmara were intent on violence.

    It's also important to keep some perspective on what a 30min documentary can do - this was about the flotilla and what happened on board, not all the context around it. Jane Corbin did seem critical of the Israeli blockade/embargo but was questioning whether aid was the primary intention of the core 40 or so IHH activists who took over the ship and acted violently.

  • Comment number 43.

    BBC you failed as investigative reporters. You forgot to ask these questions:
    1. Why were the murdered activists riddled with bullets?
    2. Why did Israel confiscate the journalists cameras, videos and film allowing only what Israel wants to be shown
    3. Why did you not show the footage of Furkan Dugan the American being murdered four bullets in the head and one in the chest!


    Israel is a terrorist state,it was israel who broke the ceasefire and it is israel who is ethnically cleansing palestinians from homes they've lived in for generations in East Jerusalem. Israel carries out extra judicial murders in Dubai and elsewhere using British, irish and other countries passports and identities. They are a rogue country with nukes and not signers of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, they jail their own scientists for telling the truth about their nuclear arsenal.


    stop supporting terrorism

  • Comment number 44.

    I think one of the main resosn that the BBC is accused of bias is due to the fact that alot of people belive that Israel can never be in the right, so much so that even when facts prove them wrong they attempt to attack the facts.
    In addition the issue here being discussed is the Marmara and less the blockade itself.
    For those who doubt that the video and recordings, i am sure that the BBC made sure they were real as had Israel provided fake footage the BBC would have a frenzy over it.
    People need to remember that the Marmara is the only ship out of a dozen or so that sailed to Gaza that had a violent clash with the Israeli army.
    Also to those who say it wasnt a pulicity stunt need to remember that Israel also offerd all the ships to dock and see all the goods transported to Gaza under the supervision of the aid groups.
    Even those who critical of Israel need to understand that there is no black and white, and even if one side is "wrong" overall, it dose not mean they cant sometimes be "right".

  • Comment number 45.

    I can't believe how many people can still support the people (majority) on the Flotila after watching today's Panorama. The coverage is quite clear. Just because it favours Israel does not make it pro Israeli. Perhaps it's just that Israel is in the right here. It is quite clear that the boat was carrying predominantly anti Israeli terrorists who wanted to provoke Israel. Innocent people do not carry weapons and out of date medicine. Innocent people to not say that the will through the Israeli's into the water and fight them. These are not peaceful people. Unfortunately Israel has been forced into enforcing this blockade because terrorists (as shown here) try and bring weapons into Palestine to attack Israel. People always ask why Israel has to 'cut off Palestine.' The reason is because many Palestine's wants to destroy Israel and will do anything include killing themselves to try and achieve this. Please tell me why Egypt has also closed it's border? It's quite obvious after reading many of the post that people don't want to see the truth which is really the most worrying thing of all!

  • Comment number 46.

    Aside from the main facts about bias here, It is known to me that the EX Marine Ken O' Keefe who was interviewed for the programme clandestinely recorded his entire interview and on that recording he made it a condition of his interview that they included the information that states the IHH had three commandos and let them go. Instead they made it out that the commandos escaped! This is not true, on the programme you see the IDF soldiers being protected by the IHH, then are we supposed to believe that they would find themselves miraculously alone and able to escape..
    The recording will soon be made public and we will hear the blatant lie of a promise from the programme makers and it will prove they misrepresented the facts..

  • Comment number 47.

    It is interesting that after a deluge of media condemnation against Israel’s involvement in the securing of the Mavi Marmara , one report presenting facts gets such strong and vehement opposition.
    It is clear that from reading many of these posts, people are not interested in the facts and simply want to portray Israel as the aggressors.
    One of the points that keep on being used as the justification against Israel’s actions is that Israel should never have boarded the ship in the first place. In other words, Israel’s action of the blockade and also its boarding of the ship is in itself a crime. The use of words such as “international waters” and “piracy” is powerful and emotive argument.
    Unfortunately such an argument collapse when you consider that Israel is under its own siege on a daily basis. Hamas is not interested in peace and as part of its charter wishes to obliterate Israel, which is why it has sent thousands of random missiles to Israel in the past year alone. Before the wall was built suicide bombers would blow up bus loads of Israeli children or attack weddings and shopping malls.
    However it seems that this is not important, any attempt by Israel at self defence is flipped, somehow Israel by defending its people becomes the aggressors.
    If England was being bombarded by thousands of missiles sent by a neighbour such as Ireland, would the government and the English people simply sit back and allow its country to be attacked? Would the English media accept the situation? I can guarantee that there would be calls to war from every newspaper and within a week there would be a full scale military operation, with a military and naval blockade.
    The crew on board the Mavi Marmara could have avoided any bloodshed by simply docking at Israel’s port and allowing the aid to be transported to the Gaza. They chose to carry on their path despite a number of warnings from the Israelis. When the commandos boarded the ship the crew again could have avoided bloodshed, however If It is clear that provocation was the aim from the onset. By creating a situation where people died in the name of “martyrdom”, the crew of the Mavi Mavi Marmara were successful in feeding the anti- Israel sentiment that is so prevalent in these posts.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    The storming of the Mavi Marmara was an illegal act of armed piracy in breach of international law. I’m furious the BBC swallowed Israeli propaganda and portrayed it as a reasonable act. Just compare the BBC’s criticism of Somali pirates and its condemnation of the Iranians who seized a British ship (in Iranian waters) a few years ago.
    Shame on Panorama and the BBC for its biased pro Israel coverage!

    Patrick

  • Comment number 50.

    I have made a formal complaint to the BBC & Broadcasting Standards Auth. To all those other sane & balanced people-please do the same or nothing will be changed or achieved, not just on this programme, but any others that purport to be 'investigative journalism'.

  • Comment number 51.

    Israel wins - the camera doesn't lie.

  • Comment number 52.

    Well done Panorama. For once the truth. It obviously sticks in the throats of those who blindly believe Palestinian propaganda. Shame you didn't show the new Olympic sized swimming pool, 5 star hotel and sparkling new shopping mall they just opened in Gaza. So no building materials available for housing eh ? I suppose these were all made out of cardboard. Just shows what their "government" thinks of their citizenry : )

  • Comment number 53.



    The BBC should be utterly ashamed of this poor excuse for journalism, this report was a disgusting and a blatant abuse of the BBC's position of trust.

    This 'report' was fundamentally biased towards, and unquestioning of, the Israeli version of events.

    The footage used was released (read selectively approved) by the Israeli state/military, the context of the flotilla let alone the blockade of Gaza was barely mentioned and the fact that the ships were in international waters was all but forgotten. The Israeli military’s intention and actions were completely down played - 'the commandos board the ship with non-lethal weapons' oh...and hand guns... which would seem quite lethal to the 9 dead activists. What about the widely reported gun fire from Israeli aircraft? If you can use google you can find reports from independent and mainstream news agencies of gun fire by the Israeli's from aircraft. Surely in the interests of (some) balance this warranted a mention to counter the Israeli claim that the commando's were very surprised that people on the boat where worked up enough to resist (despite the odds)...

    What has happened to all the film footage gathered by activists on the boat(s) that was confiscated by the Israeli's? The report's pro-Israeli line seemed to be nearly entirely based on video evidence (selectively) released by the Israeli state and a few interviews of serving Israeli soldiers!

    Much was made of the fact that some activists had gas masks (against tear gas) and protection vests (against bullets and other projectiles) and these were paraded at the end of the report as (unquestioned) evidence that weapons where used by the activists. These are NOT weapons and why Jane didn't you display the array of weapons used the Israeli commandos (and their fleet of boats and aircraft)? In the interest of balanced reporting that might have been a good reasonable thing to expect...

    The ship was attacked far in to international waters and little attention was paid to the widely accepted (even by the conservative UN reports) catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza at the hands of Israel. At worst the activist on-board defended themselves from an act of piracy.

    In light of her unbalanced effort tonight perhaps Jane Corbin should consider applying for Mark Regev's job as spokesperson for the Prime Minister of Israel...

  • Comment number 54.

    come out...come out... HASBRA its time to get your game on..

    but remember the more outrageous the claims that israel were in the right the more people are going to turn away from the main stream media and you don't want people searching the net...what would they find...maybe the real news....????

    and BBC at a time when the tory government is trying to tear you apart and dedicated activist groups are trying to save you. SHAME ON YOU

    You don't seem to get it!! People are still seething with your refusal to show the Gaza DEC appeal and the awful ZIONIST propaganda you rolled out while UN schools were getting bombed spoiling our xmas hoildays..

    but on the spin it was a 30 minutes commerical for the next convoy it may catch more peoples eyes now my understanding it departs around the 13th september from the 4 corners of the globe...

    It was around 50,000 people watching the live feeds of what was actually happening on the Mavi Marama wonder how many will be watching the next convoy...

    maybe the Revolution will be the Internets scoop not the television's...

    BDS
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]


  • Comment number 55.

    Weel done BBC, I expect the IDF & the Isreali Govt Propoganda Dept were beside themselves with joy after seeing the transcripts of Panorama put out tonight.

    Gave you unique access to Isreal's Naval Commando? You bet they did!

    Come on, admit you have been totally duped. The Isrealis have fed you their carefully edited, altered, one sided, untruthful story and you have put it out. They got you hook, line and sinker.

    Marc Regev would be proud.

    As far as I am concerned Panorama doesn't have a shread of credibility left.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    I am saddened and disappointed with the BBC (Should be rebranded IBC Israeli Broadcasting Corporation). You have set low standards when you refused to air the DEC appeal for Gaza, now you have stooped even lower than can be imagined possible.

    The BBC does it again; it is without a doubt the mouth piece of the Israeli government.

    Panorama used to be investigative journalism at its best, now it is turning out to be a propaganda machine for the Israelis. Have some respect for your profession for god sake. Not only are you embarrassing yourselves, you are also embarrassing the Grate British nation. You should be impartial and inquisitive, relying mainly on your own investigations, findings and recordings. Instead, all I see is selective Israeli army footage, Israel forces training and looking professional killing machines, while on the other side you practice movie like vilification with both imagery and dramatic sounds to describe the peace activists. These activists are the remnants of our caring humanity and you are destroying them with your lies.
    Jane Corbin has basically followed the script sheet issued by the Israeli government propaganda machine. One of the many questions that could have been useful to shed light on the incident involving the shooting to death 9 people;
    HOW & WHERE WERE THEY SHOT?

    She failed to highlight this fact because, you can never justify the killing of innocent people, but you can taint their memory with false allegations that may not stick but will leave a mark. In any case, Jane Corbin is counting on people remembering the BBC so called “investigative” lies even after the truth comes out.

    I am always cautious of those having easy access to restricted areas such as Gaza and Israeli army. Jane Corbin or her facilitators seem to have that privilege, perhaps for a reason. I do believe this program to be a calculated and intentional piece of propaganda that was instigated and timed by a powerful Israeli hand in the BBC. This should be investigated by an external body in order to cleanse the BBC from external national influences with foreign loyalties.

  • Comment number 58.

    The BBC should be utterly ashamed of this poor excuse for journalism, this report was a disgusting and a blatant abuse of the BBC's position of trust.

    This 'report' was fundamentally biased towards, and unquestioning of, the Israeli version of events.

    The footage used was released (read selectively approved) by the Israeli state/military, the context of the flotilla let alone the blockade of Gaza was barely mentioned and the fact that the ships were in international waters was all but forgotten. The Israeli military’s intention and actions were completely down played - 'the commandos board the ship with non-lethal weapons' oh...and hand guns... which would seem quite lethal to the 9 dead activists. What about the widely reported gun fire from Israeli aircraft? If you can use a web search engine you can find reports from independent and mainstream news agencies of gun fire by the Israeli's from aircraft. Surely in the interests of (some) balance this warranted a mention to counter the Israeli claim that the commando's were very surprised that people on the boat where worked up enough to resist (despite the odds)...

    What has happened to all the film footage gathered by activists on the boat(s) that was confiscated by the Israeli's? The report's pro-Israeli line seemed to be nearly entirely based on video evidence (selectively) released by the Israeli state and a few interviews of serving Israeli soldiers!

    Much was made of the fact that some activists had gas masks (against tear gas) and protection vests (against bullets and other projectiles) and these were paraded at the end of the report as (unquestioned) evidence that weapons where used by the activists. These are NOT weapons and why weren't the array of weapons used the Israeli commandos (and their fleet of boats and aircraft) displayed? In the interest of balanced reporting that might have been a good reasonable thing to expect...

    The ship was attacked far in to international waters and little attention was paid to the widely accepted (even by the conservative UN reports) catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza at the hands of Israel. At worst the activist on-board defended themselves from an act of piracy.

  • Comment number 59.

    Panorama has lost all credibility through its one sided pro-israeli propaganda. I was appalled at what I was watching and waited in vain for some balance. The totally discredited IDF presented as a fair investigator- don't make me laugh! Wonder if there'll be such effort when the UN inquiry reports! Totally Islamophobic, biased editing. Programs like this incite racism in the UK.

    CNN offers a much more balanced perspective.

  • Comment number 60.


    I would like to know why the programme is accused of Israeli bias, just because it is reporting facts which were:
    Israel offered all the ships to dock and after checks of the aid on board and let the aid be transported to Gaza. The other ships did this and there was no problem. If those on board the Mavi Marmara had the Gazza peoples best interest at heart, surely they would have done as the other ships had, to ensure the aid got to the people. The fact that the aid was obviously not their priority sums us their agenda to me. So why is Panarama being accused of Israeli bias for stating these facts?

  • Comment number 61.

    Daveb perhaps you should check out some myths in more detail including the one about destroying Israel:
    "In an enormous concession to Israel, Palestinians have long accepted the two-state solution. The elected representatives of the Palestinian people in Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had since the 70s recognized the state of Israel and accepted the two-state solution to the conflict. Despite this, Western media continued through the 90s to report that the PLO rejected this solution and instead wanted to wipe Israel off the map.

    The pattern has been repeated since Hamas was voted into power in the 2006 Palestinian elections. Although Hamas has for years accepted the reality of the state of Israel and demonstrated a willingness to accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip alongside Israel, it is virtually obligatory for Western mainstream media, even today, to report that Hamas rejects the two-state solution, that it instead seeks “to destroy Israel”.

    In fact, in early 2004, shortly before he was assassinated by Israel, Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin said that Hamas could accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Hamas has since repeatedly reiterated its willingness to accept a two-state solution.

    In early 2005, Hamas issued a document stating its goal of seeking a Palestinian state alongside Israel and recognizing the 1967 borders."

    It was Hamas that Palestinians voted for and who might have some chance of controlling or stopping violence but instead Israel locked up 39 elected MP's following their election. Israel seems bent on a path to its own destruction and guess what? It will try to blame someone else...

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    50. At 11:05pm on 16 Aug 2010, HSB69 wrote:

    I have made a formal complaint to the BBC & Broadcasting Standards Auth. To all those other sane & balanced people-please do the same or nothing will be changed or achieved, not just on this programme, but any others that purport to be 'investigative journalism'.

    HSB69 I totally agree with you, I too have complained about the clear bias of this program and will follow it up.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    Chances are there is still far more hidden from both parties that we are unaware of.

    However fair it is to express views that the show has become biased in favor of Israel.... If this was the other way around then the vast majority here would be praising and saying how accurate the show is...

  • Comment number 66.

    As one of passengers interviewed for this program I was very much aware of BBC's role in justifying war and hiding Israeli crimes. I am in no way naive about this, my reason for doing the interview was an agreement between the BBC producers and myself that the program would include the fact that we disarmed, captured and ultimately released three Israeli commandos, after giving them medical attention no less. Yes they were beaten, just as any invader into your home would be, in truth they should thank us for their lives. If we invaded an Israeli's home, would they have let us go? The question is rhetorical.

    Instead of BBC honouring its agreement with me and its integrity it turned captive/released commandos into escaping commandos. That is what they call a bald-faced lie, plain and simple. It is not that BBC does not know the truth; it is that their storyline is about creating the illusion that we are the aggressors and killers. If we had the commandos and let them go, it is impossible to sell that illusion, that is precisely why Panorama left blatantly lied about it.

    The rest of the story was equally dismal, half-truths, omissions and blatant lies. Thank you BBC, you have just recruited that many more to where real journalism lives, on the Internet with independents who answer to no one but their conscience. In your own perverted way you have helped the cause of justice by delegitimizing yourself that much more.

    Hats off to you.

    Ken O'Keefe
    PS - I write this knowing it will likely only see the light of day elsewhere... and indeed it will. 'Awaiting moderation' as you say.

    TJP

  • Comment number 67.

    What a shock! The truth is shown to be at odds with the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign/Stop The War Coalition/George Galloway/Socialist Workers Party propaganda machines.

  • Comment number 68.

    For those suggesting that Panorama gave a true and balanced picture of events - how is it that the focus was on the two Israeli 'Defence' Force 'victims', and not on the 19 year old American shot 4 times in the head, or the 9 dead in general, as well as many others who were injured? And for those who say the camera never lies - would you kindly ask your Israeli friends for the release of footage filmed by journalists on the boat - and will you then remember that 'the camera never lies' when you see unarmed civilians being shot dead at point blank range?

  • Comment number 69.

    I think this programme is shocking and the behaviour from both sides is not good. I am naturally sympatheic to the palestinian plight but this shows it was certainly not as clear cut as originally reported. What i am wondering is what impact, if any, this programme will have on those that matter?

  • Comment number 70.

    come out...come out... HASBRA its time to get your game on..

    but remember the more outrageous the claims that israel were in the right the more people are going to turn away from the main stream media and you don't want people searching the net...what would they find...maybe the real news....????

    and BBC at a time when the tory government is trying to tear you apart and dedicated activist groups are trying to save you. SHAME ON YOU

    You don't seem to get it!! People are still seething with your refusal to show the Gaza DEC appeal and the awful ZIONIST propaganda you rolled out while UN schools were getting bombed spoiling our xmas hoildays..

    but on the spin it was a 30 minutes commerical for the next convoy it may catch more peoples eyes now my understanding it departs around the 13th september from the 4 corners of the globe...

    It was around 50,000 people watching the live feeds of what was actually happening on the Mavi Marama wonder how many will be watching the next convoy...

    maybe the Revolution will be the Internets scoop not the television's...

  • Comment number 71.

    As someone who likes to see arguments and evidence from both sides presented in a factual way, which puts the viewer in a position to make an impartial informed judgement, I found the programme entirely biased to the point where it was no more than an Israeli propaganda event.

    Whilst the programme focussed on the action of activists on the Mavi Marmara no mention whatsoever was made that the Israeli boarding of a ship in International waters was in any circumstances a contravention of International Law and an act of piracy.

    Similarly, no mention was made of the illegal Israeli blockage of Gaza in contravention of various UN Resolutions and the enormous amount of deprivation and human suffering to the innocent civulians of Gaza. Neither was any mention made that the collective punishment of civilians is contrary to International Law and UN Resolutions.

    The progamme suggested that “Activists” on the Mavi Marmars were terrorist allthough the only “evidence” was video footage showing activists cutting metal railings for the purpose of makeshift weapons. The suggestion that people armed with metal rods were in any way a serious threat for the elite Israeli Marine Commando 13 armed with automatic weapons was in my view entirely ridiculous.

    The proportinality of the actions of the activists and the Israeli’s was not questioned in any independent meaningful way.

    Video footage shown appeared to be carefully selected in order to support the Israeli version of events whilst there was no footage whatsoever of what the Israeli Commando’s action that culminated in the loss of life. Indeed there was no evidence presented to show that those individuals that were killed had even been resisting the
    Israeli’s.



    The programme started by recounting by way of an introduction the usual Israeli propaganda line that Hamas refuses to accept Israels right to exist. This is factually incorrect, indeed in 2006 when elected to power Hamas offered Israel a 10 – year peace deal, Israel refused it.

    Similarly reference was made to the thousands of rockets fired by Palestinian extremists, whilst this is correct, no mention was made of the fact that the Palestinians and Israeli’s signed a 6 month Peace deal in 2008 and the rocket attacks ceased and only resumed when Israel broke the terms of the ceasefire. Israel then retaliated by invading Gaza with brutal and totally disproportionate force. The Golstone report for the UN is a damning indictment on Israeli actions in the invasion including detailing numerous breaches of International Hamanitarian Law and a lengthy list of docomented War Crimes.

    In addition no attempt was made to look at the proportionality of the actions of either side.

    As an example the number of Israelis killed by Hamas rockets is reported to be in the order of 13, in roughly the same time period September 2000 to November 2008 it is reported that the Israeli’s killed 5000 Palestinians many, if not the majority, being innocent civilians and children.

    I have to conclude by saying that I was absolutely appalled by the shockingly biased nature of the Panorama report, I expected better standards of inpartiality and factual researched journalism from the BBC. It is a sad day when the BBC is reduced to a mouthpiece for Israeli propaganda.

  • Comment number 72.

    In tonight's Panorama, Jane Corbin visited various 'witnesses' from the raid on MV Mavi Marmara.

    Corbin's archival footage is unrepresentative and only once did it explicitly mention that the authenticity of footage provided by Israeli sources was in dispute.

    Corbin's style has been disputed (on the issue of impartiality) before, as late back as 2007. The footage used heavily is currently being investigated by the UN to prove or disprove its authenticity.

    As a journalist, Corbin has a duty to remind viewers of the status of authenticity of this footage, something which the BBC and a veteran journalist such as herself are aware of.

  • Comment number 73.

    A shockingly biased piece of Israeli propaganda paid for by BBC licence payers.

    * why was only video vetted and approved by the Israeli authorities used in this programme?

    * why was no reference made to the fact that Israel had confiscated all video shot by independent journalists on board the Mavi Marmara (in contravention of international law)?

    * why was no reference made to the fact that a journalist was executed by Israeli commandos, with a bullet through his forehead, whilst carrying out his profession?

    * why was no reference made to the manner in which the aid workers were shot (e.g. a 19-year-old shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back).

    * why was highly disputed false audio used in this programme?

    * why was it necessary to have an Israeli producer?

    * why were none of the British nationals present on the Mavi Marmara interviewed for this programme?

    * presumably Israeli commandos only agreed to appear following guarantees that they would be portrayed by the BBC in a positive light?

    * why was no mention made of the fact that the Mavi Marmara was intercepted on the high seas, in international waters?

    * why was no mention made of the fact that, when organisers of previous aid convoys to Gaza have agreed to surrender the aid to Israel for safe conveyance to Gaza, most of that aid is never then subsequently permitted to transfer to Gaza (this alone would explain the ferocity of the resistance of some of those who spent months working hard to raise millions of dollars' worth of aid)?

    * why wasn't it made clear that the aid workers released the Israeli commandos?

    * why was reference made to Hamas rockets without any wider contextual reference to Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory?

  • Comment number 74.

    First-class research from Jane Corbin. The information revealed made compelling TV. Israel has been castigated up to now but it is fairly obvious that the Mavi Marmara was no innocent "aid" ship and that there were people aboard seeking martyrdom.

    Thank you to the BBC and Panorama for setting the record straight, where no other source has succeeded. Well done!

  • Comment number 75.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 76.

    A biased report on Panorama for the Israeli Defence Force. Jane Corbin claims she is an expert. She flexed her journalistic 'muscles' by reporting on the 'Islamists' on board the Mavi Marmara and nodded to the term 'terrorists' who were defending their own ship! Oh, She did like to highlight some expired drugs that were donated to the people of Gaza. How stuck-up of her. When a People have nothing, they will use anything to cure themselves.

  • Comment number 77.

    @ London-er: "Would have been good to get an expose of Ken O'Keefe as some of his previous statements and actions make him look far less innocent then he'd like us to believe!"

    What exactly are you insinuating with reference to Mr O'Keefe?

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    "HSB69 I totally agree with you, I too have complained about the clear bias of this program and will follow it up."

    I have also complained - although last time just got a whitewashed response so not expecting anything!

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    I urge anyone who felt this was bias to make complaints about it. I know i have

  • Comment number 82.

    Well done Jane and Panorama. I'm sure that the Israelis will be very pleased with you. I'm not.

  • Comment number 83.

    Missinfo, perhaps you should check your facts.
    I think you are confusing the PA with Hamas.
    Hamas clearly rejects the two state solution and refuses to negotiate with Israel. The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel. There are plenty of quotes to back this up.
    “ We will not rest until we destroy the Zionist entity" stated Hamas leader Fathi Hammad in Gaza on Friday January 2nd 2009
    As for the facts, thousands of missile attacks against Israel and suicide bombs speak for themselves.

  • Comment number 84.

    to b_p: There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Yes the situation is far from good but you do not have people starving there as in many parts of africa or asia who could have made much better use of the aid, for more proof you can see that a new luxury mall and hotel have opend there. the main issue they suffer from is the blockade and having a very limitid future. i would also debate other issues but you seem to be willing to belive all the claims of the IHH and anyone who says otherwise is baised.
    I will correct you that no gubfire was used from aircraft abd to prove this: 1)Israeli ships were too close (as can be seen in the footage) for shooting at the ship without putting the troops at risk and 2)All the autopsys (Conducted by turkey) show that those who died from gunfire died from low calliber rounds.
    To missinfo: The original willing of the PLO and Hamas to accept a two-state solution were under the following conditions: 1) A FULL withdrawl to the 67 border (meaning that Israel would lose its holy sites in Jerusalem). 2) massive sums of compinsations to be paid to them. 3) Israel allowing the right of return to ALL those who fled Israel since 48 and all the decendants of those who flld, and this would affectivly end the jewish state as it includes over 4million people.
    So as you can see these "concession" mean nothing.
    To Ken O'Keefe: The San Remo Manual says the raid was justified even if you want to debate the legitimacy of the blockaid. Also all the activists who were injured got treatment in Israeli hospitals.
    The BBC said that not all the people on the Maramara were violint, only some.
    And i would like to ask you some questions:
    1) If the Gazans were your main concern why not dock and a Israeli port and oversee them transport the aid?
    2) Why was the Maramara the only ship where violince occurred?
    3) How can you say that people acted in self defence when we all heard the recordings of how they responded to Israels request and saw how they were carrying wepons even befor the commandos borded?
    4) If they wre the aggressors how did only 9 people died when we all saw them being attacked by alot more then 9 people?

  • Comment number 85.

    I am appalled that in this programme, obviously edited down to 30 minutes, and purporting to be about what happened on the Mavi Marama could fail to mention the fact that the flotilla was in International waters when boarded and that this act could be viewed as an act of piracy under international law. Also failing to mention the outcome of the autopsies showing that the nine killed were shot execution style. The soldiers would not show their faces; where was the questiona bout the stolen still cameras/laptops/video cameras taken before the Mavi Marama was docked. Where was the questions asking why the ship was repainted before its return. I expect more from such an experienced journalist than to allow herself to be hoodwinked by the Israeli propaganda machine.

  • Comment number 86.

    The interview shown with Cevdet Kiliclar, made long before he was shot dead, showed him proudly telling the camera that he hoped to be a 'muslim martyr' (i.e. dead in battle with the infidels) in the forthcoming voyage to Gaza. How much more evidence is required by some of the readers and writers here - including the extreme 'activist' Ken O'Keefe - that violence was always part of the agenda for at least the 80 or so IHH activists - and other Islamist hardliners - on board from Turkey and elsewhere?

  • Comment number 87.

    shame on the BBC for boardcasting a totally one sided account of the piracy carried out on the mavi Marmara.
    I will now never except that pamorama is a progame to be trusted for its investgative jounalism and i dont feel i can watch this progam again as it seems to be lacking in truths facts or research . Does the BBC think we are unable to judge for ourselves as to how the facts dont add up or do they think we will only except the BBC's view on this subject which is clearly extremly bias.
    from a very concerned christian who hates unfair reporting

  • Comment number 88.


    This programme pushed the Israeli government line through a highly selective use of material. It wasn't just bad journalism by BBC standards, it was bad journalism full stop. It is a core requirement that BBC reporting be fair and balanced - on this occasion Panorama didn't even try. I have lodged a complaint and would urge others to do the same (just type BBC Complaints into your Internet search engine for the link).

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    Re - Response 61 missinfo states "Daveb perhaps you should check out some myths in more detail including the one about destroying Israel:Although Hamas has for years accepted the reality of the state of Israel...."

    I don’t know where this information comes from missinfo should go to the ‘horses mouth’ and read the Hamas charter. Apart from very crude anti-Semitism (NOT just anti-Zionism), the Hamas charter states:

    Article 7 - The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!

    Article 11 - The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it

    This is the status [of the land] in Islamic Shari’a, and it is similar to all lands conquered by Islam by force, and made thereby Waqf lands upon their conquest, for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection.

    Article 13 - [Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion;

    ……….There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad.

    Article 28 - Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims

    Hamas have declared war on Israel and on Jews everywhere (see Article 7 above) and have glorified suicide bombers. They have also massacred many Palestinians from Fatah who dared question their fanaticism.

    This is the context of the blockade and until they change their murderous strategy why should Israel be expected to help them? DaveB was absolutely correct - but I would not expect those to whom Iseal is Satan incarnate to be swayed by facts

  • Comment number 91.

    am just shocked at this very very poor journalistic approach i feel that Jane is sucking up grateful to having some sexy access to the soldiers training to kill without questioning why and who are they to go over international law .. this is just proof that Jane and her team lack and will never understand the culture of Islam and that for the reflection of this film is disgraceful i feel ashamed of every pinny i paid for my TV license how dare you fooling us

  • Comment number 92.

    1) If the Gazans were your main concern why not dock and a Israeli port and oversee them transport the aid?

    Because as you even saw in the programme the supplies are not given to the people they are intended for. Wheelchairs ect not given to Gaza, and clearly shwon on the prgramme, is it any wonder they do not want to dock at an Israeli port, when the supplies do not get through.

    2) Why was the Maramara the only ship where violince occurred?

    It depends what you call violence, all the ships were invaded, and stun grenades used, that is seen as violence. Alas the violence was unneccery and regretable.

    3) How can you say that people acted in self defence when we all heard the recordings of how they responded to Israels request and saw how they were carrying wepons even befor the commandos borded?

    Those recorded are disputed if they happened or not, as if you have read on here you would have seen. The people did defend themselfs against a hostile attack on internationa waters. And yes it is hostile when you throw stun grenades onboard and open fire using paintball guns.

    4) If they wre the aggressors how did only 9 people died when we all saw them being attacked by alot more then 9 people?

    If the activists were the aggressors how did no Israeli troops die? lame answer but when you talk about 9 ppl dieing as a nonaggressive act its what you shoudl expect

  • Comment number 93.

    The programme had to be very carfully crafted to tell the fabrication that Isreal would like us to believe.

    The aim was to show that Isreal were inocently trapped into killing by extremists. In other words.. It was all the victims fault!

    First the visit to Gaza with brief shots of woman in burka(fundementalist Islam), link Hammas and it's "refusal to recognise Isreal's right to exist". Link terrorism and Hammas and Hammas to Turkey. Mention IHH and possible links to terrorism. No mention of Gazans suffering or any context to the awful injustice they have suffered.

    I could go on and on. The showing of the discredited Auschwitz/911 "radio response" from the flotilla. The concentration of interviews with injured Isreali soldiers etc. The use of Isreali edited seized footage. No footage of the Isreali soldiers shooting the civilians you notice (I wonder where that's gone?).

    Isreal would like us to believe that a few extremists caused these deaths. The whole programme was carefully contructed to show this.

    Either Panorama were duped, or they were complicit. Being English I prefer to believe the former.


  • Comment number 94.

    One big lie made by almost everybody here is this idea that boarding a ship in international waters is against international law.

    It's amazing to see so many people thinking they are experts in international law. International law is profoundly complex. But not if you are pro-Palestinian apparently. Then, internaitonal law is whatever is necessary to help the Palestinian cause.

    I'm a lawyer. The truth is, international law permits an army to take control of a vessel in international waters if that ship had made it clear it intended to breach a navel blockade. There is nothing sacred about international waters in that respect. This is all hot air by people interested more in hard left / arabist propaganda than truth.

  • Comment number 95.

    Panorama, I am totally appalled at the so called journalism, and programme I watched earlier tonight, It is dispointing to see one of the few programmes that would have an almost impeccable record for journalism to stoop so low, and allow such a piece to have been aired. from the moment the flottila started it's journey, The IDF had threatened they would do something and they would never allow the aid to get through, the bbc response to the flottilla was slow to begin with and only when the IDF boarded and killed nine aboard did the bbc mention, the flottila, at all.
    where was the image of the IDF soldier shooting at the activists aboard the ship?
    where was the image of the IDF Soldiers shooting from the helicopter?
    why was it never mentioned about how many bullets went into the nine activists lying dead?
    why was it that their was there little to no images showing the Activist who were injured?
    why were these people not intertviewed?
    There are hundreds more questions some are already asked above others will likely soon follow

  • Comment number 96.

    Sebastian is right in his accessment, but to avoid this outrage the Israel could have boarded the ships in their own territorial waters, saving that major issue. However, they did not and as a result they killed 9 civilians in international waters. Although, even in their own waters these deaths would have been likely, itw ould not have become such a major issue.

    I would hope you would at least agree however, being a lawyer, that without the release of all the infomation, the tapes ect, then it is very hard to make such a sweeping judgement like they did. Especally when they did not balence their view, for example looking at the injuries and causes of death of the activists. (yes cause of death gunshot, but the entry point would be important)

  • Comment number 97.

    Ken O'Keefe

    You said that you were very good to the captured soldiers, disarming, captured and ultimately releasing three commandos after giving them medical attention.

    If you were so good to them, how is it that at the first possible opportunity and despite their stab wounds and "wonderful medical attention", they jumped into the sea hoping to be rescued?

    Did you not also realise that the IDF medical facilities were far better than your medical facilities?

    But ultimately, why did they jump? You don't dispute that do you? Or do you claim you chucked them into the sea?

    It seems to me that by dragging these guys below deck, you deliberately put their lives in danger and were absolutely not acting in the best interests of the health of those soldiers. And capturing elite commandos is not something "innocent civilians" should be doing, no?

  • Comment number 98.

    @ Sebastian, the international lawyer:

    Let's take it a stage further...

    Is the blockade legal under international law (given Israel's assertion that it no longer occupies Gaza)?

    And, if not, how does that affect your answer regarding taking control of a vessel in international waters?

    Also, isn't one of the conditions of a legal blockade that you have to permit the passage of humanitarian assistance?

  • Comment number 99.

    I don't think anybody really thinks this documentary was pro-Israel.

    The Palestinian activists are simply upset that the truth does not support their "evil Israel" narrative. That's the story they want. Anything else is bias. They just want a kangaroo court to rule Israel is guilty of every bad thing under the sun and if the truth disagrees with their "evil Israel" narrative, then the truth must be be ignored. The BBC is therefore "pro-Israel" for making the decision to tell the truth.

    Anybody interested in the truth can see the evidence eg the videos. People say there may be more footage. But what more does one need? We have seen the important parts. It is undeniable that the IHH were not peaceful protesters. What am I missing when i see a big man smashing a soldier's head with a lead piping?

    People say the footage is "doctored". But they have no evidence that the images were "doctored". They can analyse the images if they want. It's fairly easy to prove if a recording was "doctored". But nobody of crediblity has put their reputation on the line to support this claim.

    All the evidence points clearly to the truth that the Israeli soldiers were attacked by violent extremists. If the truth does not support the "evil Israel" narrative then the BBC is obliged to tell the truth.

    The BBC made the effort to research the truth. Having done that research, it must state what it found even if it does not support the "evil Israel" narrative. Anything else is blatant pro-Palestinian bias.

  • Comment number 100.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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