On Memorial Day, May 31, 2010, two young Americans were shot by Israeli authorities, killing one and causing the other to lose an eye. Have you been reading or hearing news stories about them? Do you know their names?
Reports of the Israeli raid on the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, have been in the news. There have been videos released by the Israeli government, and reports from Israel that the commandos rapelling onto the ship were met by armed terrorists and mercenaries. Israel had to retract this report for lack of evidence. Eyewitness reports have been coming in since the passengers were sent back to Turkey. Instead of mercenaries, Israel has changed the description to men carrying money, or without papers. A few phone calls, and Max Blumenthal was able to get this report changed. Blumenthal is a reporter for The Nation Magazine.
The mainstream media keep reporting that nine Turks were killed in the raid. That is not quite true. Eight Turkish citizens and one American citizen were killed. The American carried both Turkish and American passports, but is only a citizen of the U. S. He was shot four times in the head and once in the chest. He was 19 years old and lived with his family in Turkey where his father is a professor, though he was born here. He had finished his high school work, and was applying to college. He wanted to be a doctor. His name is Furkan Dogan.
After word of the raid was reported in Israel, demonstrations began in support of the aid mission and of the people of Gaza. One person attending one of these on the West Bank was an American exchange student from Cooper Union in New York, studying art at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. During the demonstration she was hit in the face with a tear gas grenade. She was taken to Hadassah University Hospital, where several surgeries were performed. Her left eye was removed. She is 21 years old. Her name is Emily Henochowicz.
For the sake of full disclosure, I am Jewish and pro-Israel and pro-peace. I was looking for as much information as I could find about this attack, and found video on YouTube from Al Jezeera English and from Turkish news sources that were on board, as well as the Israeli videos. I have seen interviews with several Americans who were part of the flotilla that included the Mavi Marmara, including former Ambassador Ann Wright, who is also a retired military officer. These interviews were seen on Democracy Now!, an alternative news show with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.
Where has the mainstream media been?
Since Henochowicz was a student in New York City, I checked the New York Times. The first few days of June they had not yet reported her story. I sent them a letter, and I probably was not the only person to do so. By the week-end, they had published a short article about her. Her story was reported in the Baltimore Sun since she comes from Maryland. I have been following her story in Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper. Despite eyewitness accounts to the contrary, the police officer who shot her said he had not shot directly at her, but the grenade had hit a wall and ricocheted, so the government is denying responsibilty and refusing to pay her medical bills.
I am aware that Israel is a close ally, but why have these events not been reported more in the American press?
Curiously, another American, who has been in an Israeli hospital since he was hit in the forehead with a tear gas canister during a peaceful demonstration against the separation wall in a West Bank village in March, 2009, finally returned home to California two days after the attack on the Mavi Marmara. He was a photojournalist covering the demonstration at the time. Again, Israeli authorities have found no fault in the shooting. He suffers from serious traumatic brain injury, and has a long path still in front of him to regain as much function as possible. His name is Tristan Anderson.
And why has our government not been more involved in seeking justice for these citizens? Or even an apology?
Where is our indignation?