Monday, June 14, 2010
Eye on a Crazy Planet Scoop - The Dishonesty of Canadian Floatilla "activist" Kevin Neish exposed!
A middle-aged British Columbia-based “activist” named Kevin Neish has been getting a lot of attention for himself recently.
Sorry.. the picture’s not of BC-based activist, Neish.
It’s Russian-based former activist V.I. Lenin. Whether the striking resemblance is anything other than coincidental is something you would have to ask Mr. Neish.
Mr. Neish’s recent notoriety comes from having been onboard the ship Mavi Marmara, the largest vessel in the floatilla attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Alternately referred to as “the Floatilla of Hope”, “The Jihadtilla”, “The Free Gaza Floatilla”, “The Floatilla of Fools” etc, depending on your opinions about who is more in the right in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
As anyone who follows the news recently is aware, the floatilla was stopped by Israeli military vessels, boarded and violence ensued resulting in the death of 9 of the activists on board. The Israelis have offered extensive video proof that the activists engaged in violence towards them, including attacking the boarding soldiers with metal pipes, chains, and knives.
On the other side, the activists claim the Israelis started the violence.
So, as those who have an understanding of legal processes would know, a lot of the resolution of this matter rests on credibility.
There is evidence, as Mr. Neish himself admitted in an audio interview with rabble.ca, the first that he gave after his release by Israel, that the activists were planning for violence by preparing weapons prior to the Israelis boarding the ship.
But Mr. Neish has consistently maintained that the violence was the fault of the Israelis.
There is video evidence of the “activists” stabbing Israeli soldiers. Not something one normally associates with what Mr. Neish has frequently referred to as “humanitarian aid workers.”
The second interview Mr. Neish did was with Carol MacNeil of the CBC. In this televised interview, Ms. MacNeil asked Neish to clarify some inconsistencies in his story and asked him what he could see with his own eyes. Mr. Neish seemed to take offense that Ms. MacNeil would question his version of events that he had not actually witnessed and accused her of “taking the Israeli position.”
The Israeli position being the truth about what actually happened, Mr. Neish?
Here is a link to the CBC interview of Neish by MacNeil.
(UPDATE: JUNE 17/10 - New link to the CBC/MacNeil interview of Neish:
What may shed some light on Mr. Neish’s credibility is statement to Ms. MacNeil at the 4:10 point of the interview. He says that he "didn't see any wounds" on the Israeli soldiers. At the 4:27 point of the interview with MacNeil, Neish says, "these two weren't hurt." At the 7:52 point of the MacNeil interview, he says they " were released unharmed from what I understand".
A few days after the CBC interview, a video that had been smuggled off the Mavi Marmara appeared online, and who would be the special guest star, but our old friend Kevin Neish.
Israeli Attack on the Mavi Marmara, May 31st 2010 // 15 min. from Cultures of Resistance on Vimeo.
Look at the 5:57 mark of the video above. You’ll see and hear Neish saying, “"they hauled two soldiers down here bleeding and wounded".
But hang on! That couldn’t be right! Neish had told Carol MacNeil some three days or so after the video on board the ship was filmed that "these two weren't hurt".
What could be going on??
Mr. Neish was aware that the Israelis confiscated all the pictures and video they could find from the Mavi Marmara activists. Did he think the video he was on would never see the light of day? Perhaps in all the excitement, he just got confused and forgot things? It couldn’t be that in his retelling of events, he wanted to portray his side in as favourable a light as possible while vilifying the Israelis, could it?
I can’t speak for Mr. Neish. I don’t know what goes on in his mind. But all this certainly suggests to me that he is not someone whose word can be accepted at face value.
Another interesting tidbit from the Mavi Marmara footage is Neish brandishing for the camera, with what seems to me as being near ghoulish pride, some documents that either he or someone else who gave it to him had pilfered from one of the wounded Israelis. This happens at the 5:11 point of the video.
Mr. Neish has complained about his treatment by the Israelis; Mr. Neish had no visible wounds that I observed. This stands in contrast to the pictures released of the Israeli soldiers taken below deck that he witnessed.
Mr. Neish could tell us if the Israelis who detained him found those documents on him later; I don’t know.
But is it possible that if the Israelis found documents on someone that were taken from their comrades who had been beaten and wounded by the “activists’, they might not be particularly well disposed towards that person?
One other media matter about all this. Kim Elliott, the publisher of the Marxist-leaning site rabble.ca, appears to be interested in orchestrating a campaign to complain about “Pro-Israel bias” at the CBC because of Ms. MacNeil’s interview with Neish.
Kim Elliott, from what I understand, is the spouse of Libby Davies.
Yes, you got it right, the same Libby Davies who is the NDP Member of Parliament who said Israel’s “occupation” began in 1948, the year of its birth. The same Libby Davies who introduced a petition to Parliament saying 9-11 was an inside job.
Ms. Elliott may think it is biased for a journalist to challenge someone who has obvious inconsistencies in their story. Maybe rabble’s idea of how journalists should act is to uncritically accept what interviewees say. Particularly when the interviewee is telling them exactly what they want to hear. I don’t know.
What I do know is that when people get offended by your asking questions, there's a good chance it's because they don't want you to know the answers.
UPDATE June 15/10: The National Post's writer Michael Ross used this info for his piece published here