To give an idea of how fair-minded the "Elders" who are now visiting Gaza are, I just found their press release about the Mavi Marmara raid, drafted within a few hours of the first sketchy news reports. I annotated it by pointing out just a few of their outright lies and false assumptions.
31 May 2010So we have a group of self-proclaimed "eminent global leaders" who immediately fire off anti-Israel press releases without even a modicum of fact-checking or waiting to find out the truth of what happened. But that's OK, because one of their strengths is "they are free to speak boldly and with whomever they choose on any issue, and to take any action that they believe is right." Truth is obviously not one of their criteria for speaking "boldly."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Elders have condemned the reported killing by Israeli forces of more than a dozen people [nine people] who were attempting to deliver relief supplies [Mavi Marmara had no aid; they refused offers to deliver the aid via Israel; their goal was political and not to deliver aid] to the Gaza strip by sea.
Meeting in Johannesburg, the independent group of eminent global leaders repeated their call for an end to the blockade on Gaza. They called for a full investigation of last night's incident and urged the UN Security Council to debate the situation with a view to mandating action to end the closure of the Gaza Strip.[So the Elders weren't upset at the deaths, they wanted to leverage them to pressure Israel to lessen its security.]
Overnight, Israeli troops stormed at least one ship in a flotilla of vessels carrying 10,000 tonnes of relief supplies to Gaza. [Closer to 1500 tons of mostly useless supplies] Around 600 people are on board the six cargo and passenger boats.
The Elders described Israel's attack on the aid shipment and the resulting killings and injuries as completely inexcusable. [This was written with zero knowledge of what happened on the ship, so the Elders assumed Israel was at fault without bothering to ascertain any real facts.] They said this tragic incident should draw the world's attention to the terrible suffering of Gaza's 1.5 million people, half of whom are children under the age of 18.[Again, they are almost applauding the deaths because of the greater good they perceive from them.]
The Elders reminded the world that under international law, the three-year blockade of Gaza by Israel is illegal collective punishment of its inhabitants. [No, it isn't, neither if you condider Gaza "occupied" and not if you consider it a separate hostile entity. - EoZ] They said that the treatment of the people of Gaza is one of the world's greatest human rights violations [This is one of the biggest lies ever stated, and the "Elders" know this better than most. Congo, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Yemen, China, Iran and other countries do far worse.] and that the blockade is not only illegal, it is counterproductive. This is because it creates unacceptable suffering, in the process empowering extremists and undermining moderate forces in Gaza.[Name the "moderates" in Gaza who have lost power because of the limits on items shipped there. Just one! - EoZ]