- First the good.
- On June 22, the International Middle East Media Center
reported that the UN Human Rights Council (that established the Goldstone
Commission) approved "forming an international committee to probe
the deadly Israeli" Flotilla attack, massacring and injuring dozens
of nonviolent activists on board. Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak
urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to shelve it, saying:
- "We expressed our view that for the time being,
as long as....new flotillas are in the preparation, it's probably better
to leave (an investigation) on the shelf for a certain time" - in
other words, postpone it long enough to forget, letting Israel's self-examination
whitewash top officials' culpability, a vain hope given world outrage,
mushrooming toward universally branding Israel a pariah rogue state.
- The Human Rights Council (HRC) said committee officials
will include lawyers and international law and human rights experts, the
body to present its findings in September.
- The European Campaign Against the Siege said the International
Committee will contact Israel, Greece, Turkey, and the Freedom Flotilla
coalition. It will also visit Gaza and urge Tel Aviv's cooperation, what
wasn't given the Goldstone Commission, nor will be this time. However,
with or without it, the investigation will proceed, exposing Israel's culpability.
- On June 1, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RTP) responded
to the Flotilla massacre headlining, "All States and the international
community must urgently take measures against Israel's violations of international
law," explaining that:
- Throughout its history, Israel has willfully, arrogantly,
and repeatedly violated core international law principles without accountability.
"These violations....involve Israel's international responsibility,
its obligation to make reparations for the damage resulting from these
violations and the obligation of all States to prosecute and punish those
responsible for these violations when they concern crimes against international
law," especially ones against peace - the supreme international crime.
- RTP "insists" on the immediate and unconditional:
- -- "lifting of the blockade by Israel of humanitarian
aid," what Fourth Geneva and other international laws prohibit;
- -- ending the Gaza siege, also lawless and prohibited;
- -- "full and independent inquiry into the"
- -- "suspend(ing) of the EU/Israel Association Agreement
in accordance with" its provisions; and
- -- implementation of the Goldstone Commission conclusions
- Global human rights organizations agree, including BRussells
Tribunal Executive Committee member, Dr. Ian Douglas, saying:
- "Israel simply cannot face up to its own bloody
origin. It is a settler state, founded in violence by individuals who came
from outside Arab countries," under rogue governments that support
and instigate "terrorism." The solution:
- "The international community must cut all economic
ties, all defense coordination and contracts, and all diplomatic, intellectual
and cultural links with Israel until Zionism is recognized as racism. Until
this happens, Israel continues to be the single biggest threat to world
peace. The possibility of a better society will keep being suffocated by
the black hole of Israel's insistence on perpetuating injustice against
the Palestinians," - partnered with Washington, "indistinguishable
from Tel Aviv, or vice versa. Obama is either unwilling (or) unable....to
break from that....Palestinians have no hope in (him). He won't help them,
and never intended to."
- More good news - a first in America against Israel.
- On June 20 in Oakland, CA, over 800 longshoremen pickets
blocked the unloading of an Israeli ship, the ZIM Shenhen, chanting:
- "Free, free Palestine. Don't cross the picket line.
An injury to one is an injury to all - the Israeli apartheid wall will
- An ad hoc Labor/Community Committee in Solidarity with
the People of Palestine organized the action. Allied groups included the
Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, several Palestinian solidarity
groups, the Bay Area ANSWER Coalition, and local labor activists.
- Their boycott followed the earlier June International
Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 motion condemning the Flotilla
massacre, "call(ing) for unions to protest (by) any action they choose
- Organizations supporting the boycott included the Oakland
Educational Association, San Francisco Labor Council, Alameda County Labor
Council, Cuban Labor Federation, Labor for Palestine, the Palestinian General
Federation of Trade Unions, and numerous other groups - in solidarity with
- Good news from Sweden - another boycott
- On June 23, the Swedish Dock Workers Union announced
a weeklong nationwide blockade in all unionized ports, refusing to handle
goods from or to Israel until June 29, and demanding more, including lifting
the Gaza siege and allowing an independent international investigation
of the Flotilla massacre.
- Still more - cancellation of Turkey's water sales to
- On June 20, Israel National News.com's Maayana Miskin
reported that Turkey "cancelled the planned sale of 1.75 billion cubic
feet of water per year to Israel," a 20-year agreement abandoned over
the Flotilla massacre, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Taner
Yildiz, saying sales have been halted unless Israel "apologizes and
expresses its regret."
- Turkey also recalled its ambassador and froze a plan
to supply Israel with Russian natural gas through an underwater pipeline.
- Now the bad - a litany of Israeli crimes, some recent
ones explained below.
- On June 10, Palestine Think Tank.com contributor Kawther
Salam headlined, "107 Israeli Crimes Against Palestinian Journalists,"
- Since January 2010, Israeli attacks included beatings,
"breaking their cameras, preventing them from covering events, shooting
at them deliberately, arresting and jailing them, fabricating serious charges,
fining them, imposing high financial fines before releasing them from detention,"
denying them access to East Jerusalem and other areas, and let "dozens
of armed extremist settlers assault them and damage their cameras."
- This is how a police state operates when not waging all
- More bad news.
- On June 22, the Palestine Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
headlined, "Continued Ethnic Cleansing and Measures Aimed at Creating
Jewish Majority in Occupied Jerusalem," in fact, an agenda to make
all Jerusalem exclusively Jewish, dispossessing all non-Jews living there.
- PCHR responded saying:
- It "strongly condemns aggressive (Israeli) measures
in East Jerusalem, which are part of a series of (others) aimed at ethnic
cleansing," and have included:
- -- bulldozing Palestinian houses on lands between Pisgat
Ze'ev and Neve Ya'kov settlements to build 600 new units - approved a year
earlier to link the two communities;
- -- the June 21 implemented "Israeli Municipality
in Jerusalem decision to demolish 22 houses in al-Bustan neighborhood in
Salwan village (to) establish 'King David's Garden' " on expropriated
Palestinian land; on June 23, Haaretz writer Nir Hassan reported that East
Jerusalem settlers "threatened to (hire private security firms to)
forcibly evict four Palestinian families they claim are living on"
Jewish Silwan property; East Jerusalem, in fact, is Occupied Palestinian
territory, not belonging to invaders who have no business being there or
legal right to the land;
- -- the June 20 Israeli High Court ruling, affirming the
deportation of PLC member, Mohammed Abu Tir, a member of the Hamas-affiliated
Change and Reform Bloc;
- -- the June 20 closing of the Ilaf Association for Education
Support in Jerusalem, using falsified documents to claim Hamas held meetings
- -- Israel's ongoing lawlessness in violation of international
law, including expropriating Palestinian land, what, so far, the international
community won't stop.
- More bad.
- On June 20, the US State Department Bureau of Consular
Affairs warned Americans against traveling to Gaza, stopping short of saying
those doing it will be prosecuted, but calling it "infiltrating"
by flotillas or other means.
- The warning "applies to all US citizens, including
journalists and aid workers," with no mention of the illegal siege,
the Flotilla massacre, or repeated attacks against defenseless civilians.
A week earlier, Britain issued a similar alert, suggesting UK citizens
doing it wouldn't be welcomed back home. Israel endorsed both statements
from its closest allies, together comprising the real axis of evil.
- Still more.
- On June 20, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid exposed Netanyahu's
bogus siege easing, headlining "Netanyahu: Security blockade on Gaza
will get stronger," quoting him saying that despite letting in more
- "civilian" goods:
- The "security closure will be tightened from now
on (to) keep (weapons and "dual use" goods) out of Gaza,"
claiming "Our friends around the world are getting behind our decision
and giving international legitimacy to the security blockade on Hamas."
- So though designated foods, housewares, writing implements,
mattresses and toys can enter, cement and shoes (among hundreds of other
non-military items) remain banned, Israel bogusly calling them "dual
use," meaning materials potentially for violence and conflict.
- On June 24, Gaza Gateway.org reported "no significant
change in the volume of trucks entering Gaza," despite the supposed
easing - last week, 654, fewer than before the Flotilla massacre when 662
entered; this week through four of five allowed crossing days, 567, "consistent
with the (imposed) policy since June 2007."
- Gaza Gateway said only one crossing operates at near
capacity of about 110 trucks a day, five days a week permitted - Kerem
Shalom (Kerem Abu Salam). Karni Crossing, Gaza's commercial lifeline, able
to handle 1,000 trucks per day, remains closed.
- The Obama administration and virtually all members of
Congress support the most lawless Israeli policies, including the siege,
subsidizing them with billions of dollars annually, the latest weapons
and technology, and virtually any special requests - to wage war, commit
violence, maintain an illegal occupation against Palestinian civilians
and the legitimate Hamas government, bogusly called terrorist.
- Confirmation of PA/Israeli/Washington Complicity
- According to a June 22 Asa Winstanley Electronic Intifada
(EI) article headlined, "Exclusive: Leaked documents show PA undermined
Turkey's push for UN flotilla probe:"
- "A document sent to Ibrahim Khraishi, (PA UN) representative
in Geneva," shows its officials tried but failed to "neutralize
a (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution condemning" the Flotilla
massacre, by preventing an independent investigation and endorsing an Israeli
one - a thinly veiled scheme to whitewash premeditated murder and absolve
high-level culpability. Turkey rejected it out of hand. HRC approved an
independent committee proceed and report back by September.
- EI's article and one document can be accessed through
the following link:
- Last year, Fatah officials tried to undermine the Goldstone
Commission's findings, proving they ally with Israel against their own
- Last October, however, when the Commission's findings
were adopted, Mahmound Abbas "was forced into a humiliating U-turn
after an outpouring of disgust and protest from Palestinians around the
world," not diminishing his contempt for his own people. Perhaps theirs
now for him enough to elect a new president serving them, not their oppressive
occupier in league with its Washington paymaster/partner.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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