- Suffocating besieged Palestinians, Israel is committing
slow-motion genocide. Global activists are determined to stop it and hold
Israeli officials accountable for decades of crimes of war and against
humanity - unspeakable atrocities financed by criminal co-conspirators
- In May 2010, Israeli commandos illegally interdicted
six Freedom Flotilla ships in international waters, massacring nine activists
aboard the Mavi Marmara mother ship.
- Nonetheless, global activists are determined to break
Gaza's siege, the first step to ending it altogether and freeing nearly
1.7 million people, isolated in the world's largest open-air prison.
- They're coming, Freedom Flotilla II, heading to Gaza
with vitally needed humanitarian aid. Planning more high seas barbarism
and piracy, Israel will again interdict. In preparation, mobilized reserve
combatants held drills, focusing on riot-control measures, including brute
force and "surprises" if needed.
- On June 19, Israeli Admiral Eliezer Marom said:
- "The Navy has prevented and will continue to prevent
the arrival of the 'hate flotilla' whose only goals are to clash with (Israeli)
soldiers, create a media provocation, and delegitimize the State of Israel."
- Besides interdiction, imprisonment awaits participants,
Israeli authorities saying blockade violators will be arrested and jailed,
treated harshly, then deported. All of it, of course, is lawless, including
seizure of humanitarian supplies and personal belongings like Flotilla
I was pillaged, the way pirates have done it for centuries.
- Israel is a rogue terror state. Activists know the risks.
They're coming anyway and will keep coming, no matter what Israel plans.
- A June 23 "Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human"
press release headlined, "Sailing to Gaza," saying:
- Within days, 10 participating ships will sail. Two carry
cargo. Hundreds of activists from 20 countries are aboard the others, including
politicians, writers, religious figures, journalists, TV crews from major
broadcasters, doctors, lawyers, holocaust survivors, artists, and various
other distinguished and ordinary committed activists for justice.
- On June 18, Turkey's IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation
pulled out, yielding to government pressure at a time Israeli and Ankara
officials are holding secret rapprochement talks.
- Despite Israeli threats, lies, pressure, blackmail, and
governments not supporting their own citizens, preparations are nearly
complete to sail.
- A June 24 Free Gaza.org press release headlined, "Israel
proves that Flotillas work," saying:
- Israel's recent authorization of token aid amounts, including
construction materials for 1,200 homes and 19 truckloads of medicines,
shows pressure works even though not enough. Key is stiffening it until
Gazans and all Palestinians are free. It's coming because global millions
support it. For now, "Freedom Flotilla 2: Stay Human" sails for
Gaza next week. "(O)ur destination is freedom."
- Organized by 14 national groups and international coalitions,
a US Boat to Gaza is included, named "The Audacity of Hope."
Participants call this "an important moment in history." They're
defying Israeli US ambassador Michael Oren describing organizers as "radical
anti-Israel organizations known also for anti-American activities,"
and Netanyahu saying the mission is a "provocation." Earlier,
he told European ambassadors in Jerusalem, "This flotilla must be
stopped." Responding to it, he mounted a PR stunt to pretend Gaza's
siege is eased.
- Like other global activists, Americans are determined
to help, despite Washington's efforts to deter them. On June 14, passengers
wrote Obama, saying:
- "We are writing to inform you that 50 unarmed Americans
will soon be sailing....to Gaza....challeng(ing) Israel's (illegal) blockade
(in) friendship (and solidarity) in support of the Palestinian people and
their human rights."
- Telling Gazans they're not alone, "it will call
attention to the morally and legally indefensible collective punishment
of a population of civilians....As US citizens, we expect our country and
its leaders to help ensure the Flotilla's safe passage (and) demand that
the Gaza blockade be lifted. This should begin by notifying the Israeli
government in clear and certain terms that it may not physically interfere
with" any participating vessel. We "expect no less from our President
and your administration."
- On June 24, Audacity of Hope participants "expressed
profound disappointment" by the State Department's June 22 response,
issuing a scandalous "travel advisory," advising Americans against
coming by sea or other means. Saying previous attempts were "stopped
by Israeli naval vessels and resulted in the injury, death, arrest, and
deportation of US citizens," it didn't warn Israel that interdiction
won't be tolerated, especially if on board activists are harmed.
- Participating in the mission, University of Southern
California Professor Hagit Borer said:
- "Apparently, the State Department subscribes to
the view that Israel's anticipated violence against unarmed protesters
is an immutable act of nature. This is a remarkable attitude, coming from
a government that provides the Israeli government with billions of dollars
in military aid and routinely uses its veto to protect (its) government
from censure of its occupation policies by the UN Security Council."
- In fact, Washington officials are legally bound to protect
US citizens. Nonetheless, they plan nothing to do it, effectively green-lighting
Israeli commandos to lawlessly interdict, brutalize, and kill again if
if they choose, perhaps with funding, weapons and munitions America supplies
for that purpose.
- A Final Comment
- On June 24, Israel's UN ambassador Ron Prosor said:
- "Israel is determined to stop the flotilla. Israel
has the right to self-defense. The flotilla has nothing constructive. There
is nothing humanitarian in the shipments," calling the mission a "provocation."
- In fact, it's bringing vital humanitarian aid Israel
lawlessly restricts or blocks entirely for nearly 1.7 million besieged
people, ruthlessly persecuted for not being Jewish and electing the wrong
government. Abhorrent by any standard, under international law it's illegal
but continues because global leaders are complicit for doing nothing to
- In America's Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson
endorsed citizen action against destructive government policies. Flotilla
participants are acting in the best tradition of his message, challenging
Israeli repression for justice.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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