Raw Footage of Israeli Murders on Mavi Marmara, Gaza aid ship

Filmmaker smuggles out hour-long video of the deadly siege

By Cultures of Resistance

In the predawn hours of Monday, May 31, showing a terrifying disregard for human life, Israeli naval forces surrounded and boarded ships sailing to bring humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip. On the largest ship, the Mavi Marmara, Israeli commandos opened fire on civilian passengers, killing at least 9 passengers and wounding dozens more. Others are still missing. The final death toll is yet to be determined.

Cultures of Resistance director Iara Lee was aboard the besieged ship and has since returned home safely. Despite the Israeli government’s thorough efforts to confiscate all footage taken during the attack, Iara Lee was able to retain some of her video recordings. Below is the unedited footage from the moments leading up to and during the Israeli commandos’ assault on the Mavi Marmara. You can also download this footage by clicking here.

Another video from a different source (Ed.):

There is a 15-minute version of the footage that has been edited from the video above and it can also be viewed on our Vimeo.com page [or here]. [Ed. Note: You can also watch an interview by Democracy Now! with Iara Lee.]


Shortly after returning home, Cultures of Resistance director Iara Lee wrote an Op-Ed about the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that was published in the San Francisco Chronicle. Click here to read the article.

We are regularly updating the Cultures of Resistance page on Facebook with news updates and with action steps that you can take. Go to http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Cultures-of-Resistance/236643721652

Background: The Crisis in Gaza Continues

Since Israel’s military campaign of collective punishment against the Palestinian people in Gaza, waged in blatant violation of international law in late 2008 and early 2009, a devastating blockade of the area has remained in place. As a direct result, Gaza’s economy and infrastructure lie in ruins, with the vast majority of Palestinians there living on less than $1 a day.

Recently, Cultures of Resistance Director Iara Lee joined the Free Gaza Movement’s fleet of ships sailing to break the siege of Gaza. This flotilla, with 800 other activists from around the world aboard, is also carrying 10,000 tons of reconstruction and medical supplies in the hopes that basic humanitarian supplies can reach the people of Gaza. As Lee wrote in an Op-Ed that appeared in The Hill:

“Normally, such a goodwill mission would seem entirely innocuous. But in this case the crisis afflicting Palestinian civilians has been created by foreign policy: It is a product of Israel’s decision to besiege Gaza in defiance of international law and of United States support for this blockade.”

The Free Gaza Movement has attempted similar missions before—with the Israeli military halting the last three, including one that was rammed and nearly sunk—but none as large as this. The Israeli government has already vowed to stop the fleet from reaching Gaza, while activists remain resolute in the face of threats of force. Click here for updates on the flotilla’s progress.

Beyond the most recent flotilla, Cultures of Resistance, with support from the Lee and Gund Foundation and the Caipirinha Foundation, has long been involved with groups working in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Below are some examples of this work, as well as ways in which you can get involved.

Gaza Fishermen Under Siege

The Israeli government’s ongoing siege of Gaza has had particularly devastating consequences for Gaza’s roughly 3,000 fishermen. Although permitted by international law to fish within 20 miles of the Gaza coast, these fishermen are currently restricted to 3 miles by the Israeli navy, and as a direct result many have fallen into poverty. In addition, the fishermen report being frequently harassed by the Israeli navy. Cultures of Resistance investigated the situation in the following short film. [click here]

The Gaza Freedom March

During New Year’s week, Cultures of Resistance took part in the Gaza Freedom March, organized by the International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza to mark the one-year anniversary of Israel’s attack. The Freedom March brought more than 1,300 protesters from more than 43 countries to Egypt’s border with Gaza. While the Egyptian government allowed only a small delegation to cross into Gaza, the Coalition nevertheless staged high-profile, nonviolent actions at the French embassy and United Nations offices in Cairo, in concert with other demonstrations in Israel and in cities around the globe. The the Caipirinha Foundation sponsored a live satellite link to transmit news from the Freedom March, and Cultures of Resistance was also on hand with our own film crew to document the proceedings. Our short film about the Gaza Freedom March includes footage from the entire week of action. [click here]

If you would be interested in scheduling a screening and discussion of either of these films, including a call-in Q&A with our filmmakers, please contact us here or via email.

How You Can Help

Much critical work to promote human rights and uphold international law in Gaza remains to be done. The following organizations offer opportunities to join with others who are taking a stand on this important issue:

 The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) has worked for more than two decades to bring direct humanitarian aid to Gaza in the form of food, medicine, and financial support for local development projects. Recent highlights of their courageous work include a four-ton shipment of medical supplies and the installation of fresh water systems to provide clean drinking water in Gaza’s elementary and middle schools. Find out about the next opportunity to get together with other activists and help pack a shipment of goods.

Additional Organizations

We recommend the following additional organizations that are working in solidarity with the people of Gaza and bringing aid to Palestinians caught in the humanitarian catastrophe.

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights | www.mezan.org/en
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights | www.pchrgaza.org
International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza | www.codepinkalert.org
US Campaign to End the Occupation | www.endtheoccupation.org
American Near East Refugee Aid/ANERA | www.anera.org
CARE | www.carewbg.org
Gush Shalom | www.gush-shalom.org
Kinder USA | www.kinderusa.org
Palestinian Medical Relief Society/PMRS | www.pmrs.ps

9 responses to “Raw Footage of Israeli Murders on Mavi Marmara, Gaza aid ship

  1. I really am sympathetic and empathetic to the Palestinian cause, but I’ve yet to see anything captured on video that is damning of the Israelis. I’m expecting to see muzzle flashes and people being splattered hither and yawn, and I haven’t seen anything of the kind. Yet.

    What I did see in this video were several civilians firing slingshots at the helicopter hovering over the boat. This is not a non-violent act nor was it responsible behavior on the part of individuals hoping to portray themselves as victims of the IDF on the high seas.

    If something is unequivocal, fine, use it. But don’t waste political capital floating emotionally charged, ambiguous information as something other than what it appears to be. It damages the credibility of the cause.

  2. Not enough.

    It all happened in the dark. All of it.

    They need to flood these boats with bullet proof lights. We’re still in a “they said/we say” situation with the agents of a sovereign government. Add the language barrier and we’re screwed trying to make any of this stick.

  3. No doubt. The Israelis have much to answer for.

    I’ve gotten a couple “pokes in the nose” from some LA Jews with whom I am acquainted because of the nuanced position I took relative to Helen Thomas.

    I wish the fact that the bastard who set her up was a zionist/racist prick from out of nowhere got nearly as much press as the fact that Helen, who just had significant surgery a few weeks ago, spoke more from her place as a person of Lebanese extraction than from her occupation as a progressive aware of the reality of modern media.

    We need photos of Israeli cruelty that are every bit as unequivocal and damning as the ones they have been fond of parading out for the world to see whenever they like.

    The evidence that Zionist Israelis are every bit as evil as the bastard Nazis they are fond of maligning is out there. But they have a lock on it just like the Bushes’ have a lock on all of their misdeeds.

    The reality is the world needs simple evidence that can’t be talked around or explained away, and they need it all at once.

    When that evidence shows up, and in time it will, Israel as a state is toast. No amount of media control will matter when this happens.

    • the evidence coming out of gaza since Operation Cast Lead has turned me around 180 degrees.

      sorry you got punched in the nose, btw. I’ve been battling economic attacks for a few years now…

      best not criticize pschopaths, eh?

      • We need to change this attitude of walking away from psychopaths without tagging them for all to see. It’s how they’ve gained so much control since the French Revolution thinned the herd out in the 18th century.

        I was being metaphorical. I didn’t really get punched in the nose. Although I’d prefer a punch in the nose to the shunning that these people engage in. It’s like one giant coke party for them.

        The Kastner case, the book _Perfidy_ and the nonsense that author and journalist John Sack has been through provide a pretty clear case against zionist “victimization” viz. the Holocaust. We are all but completely assured that the Holocaust was manipulated by the rich, atheistic or agnostic Jews against the poor, true-Torah Jews. This doesn’t dismiss German and American elite culpability for placing an ideological maniac in control of Germany in the first place, but it does add a lot to the narrative of who devastate whom.

        The “homeland” narrative was born out of 19th century religious zealots’ interpretation of the Apocalypse. They began their “pilgrimages” to Palestine at this time and guess whose family was directly involved in one of these “conversion”/”invasion” missions?

        John Steinbeck’s. His grandfather and grand uncle were milleniarians (Protestants looking to hasten the return of the baby Jesus).

  4. Oh, and Rob probably had something to do with the crap I’ve eaten from these people as well. But that will work itself out as the diaspora chokes to death on the sheer volume of the evil….

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