Monday, May 31, 2010

Protest Israeli War Provocation Against Gaza Humanitarian Flotilla

Last night, Israeli commandos stormed a peace flotilla headed for Gaza, killing at least ten and perhaps as many as nineteen, and injuring many others. The 600+ activists aboard the ships were attempting to bring tons of supplies to the devastated Gaza region, where 1.5 million Palestinians suffer the debilitating effects of a years-long Israeli blockade of their land. In late 2008, the Israelis attacked Gaza, supposedly acting to interdict "terrorists," killing hundreds.

As in the 2008-09 attack, the Israelis used the pretext of self-defense, when in reality they were the provocateurs and attackers. When some on the ship perhaps attempted to defend themselves from this hijacking on the high seas, in international waters, the Israelis apparently opened fire. Subsequently, the ships were "escorted" to the Israeli port of Ashdod, where hundreds are currently held incommunicado. Already, thirty-two have been incarcerated. Meanwhile the Israeli government attempts to dominate airwaves with its own propagandistic version of events. Indeed, Fox News is now "reporting" Israeli claims that the six-ship flotilla had "ties to Al Qaeda," or so says the Israeli ambassador to Denmark, who wins the first medal for chutzpah from this terrible event. Runner-up? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who attempted to make the entire affair about Hamas and Iran.

According to
Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Hanieyh has called on Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to terminate indirect negotiations with Israel after the flotilla attack, saying, "it is not reasonable to continue talks in light of this crime," Ma'an News Agency reported Monday.
The political fallout from the Israeli attack has been swift and ongoing. There have been many, many protests against the Israeli action, from a number of governments, and most notably Turkey, whose ship MV Mavi Marmara was boarded by the Israelis, and where it appears much of the attack took place. The Mavi Marmara was the lead ship in the flotilla. Turkey has withdrawn its ambassador and is considering a number of actions.

Elsewhere, the blatant criminality of the event brought thousands out into the streets, in London, in Paris, in Istanbul, and by leftists and antiwar activists in Tel Aviv, and activists certainly elsewhere.

But from Israel's number one patron, the response has been, per Reuters, "cautious":
President Barack Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he deeply regretted the loss of life in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on Monday and urged him to quickly get to the bottom of the incident.
But Netanyahu and the Israelis have already made it clear that they are going to lie through their teeth about this. Furthermore, it is difficult to believe that the U.S. was unaware of what the Israelis were planning, or that they don't have excellent satellite or drone video of everything that happened. Instead, this appears to be a provocation whose ultimate aim is to strengthen the hand of the anti-terrorism and "attack Iran" crowd in the United States, by stirring up the hornets nest, and directing the U.S. military and its junior Zionist ally to turn their military machines against Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran, and likely, Sryia as well. The break with Turkey has been brewing for some time, with the U.S. playing a double game with the Turks and the Kurds. (See this interesting article by Thierry Meyssan, who, I think, underestimates the possibility of another Gladio operation in Turkey.)

The world should condemn this criminal attack by Israeli commandos on the peace flotilla bringing humanitarian supplies to Gaza, and should defend those who in self-defense protected themselves against the military assault. Israeli must release everyone they are holding in custody from the flotilla now. Let the flotilla be freed to continue its mission.

AFP-TV gives the reaction from within Gaza:

Also, while sorting through the avalanche of messages over at Twitter, check the Google newsfeed for latest updates (H/T Jason Leopold).

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