Israelis confiscated all recording equipment from those on board, only showing their carefully edited version of events surrounding their assault on lead vessel in a widely circulated videotape.

Despite the participation of large numbers of pacifists on the ships, Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY) claimed that the flotilla “was really a Trojan Horse designed to attack the Israelis.”

The attack took place in international waters, roughly 85 miles from the Israeli coast.

There are conflicting reports of what happened when Israeli forces illegally boarded the Mavi Marmara, but what is known is that Israeli commandos initiated the attack on the ship using stun grenades, teargas, paintballs, and rubber-cased steel bullets. The initial response from those on board was to try to fend off the attackers off with water hoses while the ship’s passengers attempted to form a defensive cordon around the wheelhouse to prevent the attackers from seizing the ship.

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, acknowledged that the flotilla was simply “too large to stop with nonviolent means.”

I find the oppression of the 1.5 million people of Gaza unbearable. Our government’s defense of this action against the outcry of every other international body offensive.