- On June 27, its press release headlined, "GAZA,
WE ARE COMING. Despite pressure and threats of violence, flotilla will
- On June 27, A US Boat to Gaza Audacity of Hope press
conference reiterated a determination to sail despite threats, pressure
and other measures used to stop it.
- Participants on board all 10 ships haven't come this
far to turn back or let imperial viciousness deter them, especially when
their mission is vital and just.
- In response to spurious claims that passengers may have
chemicals to attack Israeli commandos, perhaps the same ones responsible
for the May 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre, Flotilla participants signed a
declaration of nonviolence. Spokesman Dror Feiler told Army Radio that
if Israel has other information, it should inform Flotilla organizers.
- He responded to IDF spokesperson Major Avital Leibovich,
citing intelligence reports that dangerous chemicals may be used as weapons,
and that extremist passengers were heard threatening "to spill the
blood" of Israeli soldiers.
- According to an unnamed defense official, "The picture
emerging here is that some of the flotilla participants clearly intend
a violent clash," when, in fact, he knows this is a bald faced lie,
an Israeli specialty, regurgitated by major media flacks, while suppressing
Israel's intention either to block or confiscate vessels it interdicts
and all passenger possessions as it did against Flotilla I.
- According to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Justice
Minister Yaakov Neeman, Israel may establish a special naval court to do
it, Barak saying:
- "There's no doubt that impounding vessels is a deterrent
measure that could prevent the need to use force against future (flotilla)
- Destroying them works better, what Dror Feiler disclosed,
saying a scuba diver examining one of the boats discovered its propeller
shaft cut off. It was deliberate sabotage that can be fixed but may take
- Anti-Flotilla Agitprop and Misinformation
- The Washington Post lists a Gaza Flotilla 101 section,
vilifying humanitarian activism with vicious disinformation. For example,
- -- Flotilla I "participants came aboard armed, with
some declaring they were prepared for martyrdom; the same is expected this
- -- It describes organizers as a broad coalition and umbrella
organization of pro-Palestinian, pro-Hamas participants, as well as an
officially designated "terrorist organization," the Turkish IHH
charity Ankara pressured not to come; it also cited Israeli intelligence
saying the Free Gaza Movement includes "dangerous organizations with
- -- It listed a litany of lies about Gaza, including life
there now eased, saying: "Israel now permits almost all goods (in)
except items it fears could be used to stage attacks."
- -- It said many 2010 Mavi Marmara participants came armed
with "guns, knives, metal pipes and chains - not humanitarian goods...There
was no humanitarian aid on the (ship), and organizers stated their violent
intent on the record."
- -- It claims "international legal authorities consider
(Israel's) blockade legal" during an armed struggle Israel instigated
and sustains, blaming Gazan victims for its own crimes, including the lawless
- All the above claims are maliciously false. The section,
in fact, supports Israeli crimes of war and against humanity by substituting
brazen lies for vital truths.
- On June 28, Israeli Foreign Minister/Deputy Prime Minister
Avigdor Lieberman included his own, saying participants plan "confrontation
and blood," adding:
- "They are clearly there to create a provocation,
looking for confrontation and blood and for many pictures on television
screens....hard core....terror activists" are among them.
- At the same time, his Foreign Ministry and Israeli security
and defense officials told a June 26 cabinet meeting that no information
indicates terrorists or anyone affiliated with terror groups participating.
- Those coming, they said, include EU, US, and Canadian
human rights activists, not bomb-throwing, gun toting, knife wielding,
chemical carrying extremists planning violence. Moreover, they added that
peaceful participants present a "more difficult public diplomacy challenge"
if clashes with Israel soldiers occur.
- Lieberman, however, implied that Israel exerted enormous
pressure on foreign officials to deter the mission. Responding, French
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero called the flotilla:
- "a bad idea that can only exacerbate tensions and
we don't need more reasons for conflict at the moment," omitting that
French aircraft slaughter Libyan civilians daily, while adding:
- "We don't have the legal recourse to stop boats
leaving, but with others, including the UN Secretary-General, we have made
clear we are against this."
- On June 28, Israel National News writer Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
headlined, "Flotilla for War or Peace? Charges of Plot to Kill,"
- "Israel is in the midst of a massive diplomatic
and (dis)information campaign to scuttle the planned attempt to break the
- In fact, it's using whatever it takes to do it, including
agitprop, sabotage, political pressure, the Israel Law Center Shurat HaDin
filing irresponsible lawsuits, and military interdiction in international
waters, perhaps a repeat of 2010 if things get out of hand.
- According to Jerusalem Post writer Yaakov Katz in his
June 28 article headlined, "Analysis: A season of flotillas and marches:"
- Better prepared this time, "Navy commandos have
developed new techniques on how to fast-rope onto the ships' upper decks
quickly. They also have new equipment such as water cannons, attack dogs,
(and) riot control specialists from the Prison Service's elite Masada Unit."
- At the same time, Israel hasn't "formulate(d) a
clear strategy or policy" to "handle" the media other than
steady disinformation to discredit the mission and its participants. The
message long ago wore thin.
- The pro-Israeli Stand With Us organization launched a
new Flotillafacts.com site, accessed through the following link:
- Maliciously misstating truths, it says:
- -- "Flotilla Violates International Law, Intends
to Provoke Violent Confrontation;
- -- ....these flotillas are anti-peace;
- -- ....international pressure should be placed on the
terrorist group Hamas which rules Gaza;"
- -- In 2010, "anti-Israeli extremists and Turkish
jihadists organized a flotilla to violate Israel's naval blockade....;"
- -- Mavi Marmara "jihadists brutally attacked (Israeli
commandos) with knives, metal bars, and guns. Nine jihadists were killed.
- -- This year, the same anti-Israel extremists are planning
another international flotilla battalion....purportedly to bring humanitarian
goods to Gaza."
- The site also includes a section called "Facts -
2011 Flotilla II: 9 Basic Facts," regurgitating brazen Israeli lies,
suppressing truths it's too cowardly to state.
- Notoriously, America's Anti-Defamation League also dispenses
pro-Israeli propaganda and smear campaigns against Israeli critics, under
the guise of fighting anti-semitism and supporting human rights equitably.
- On June 24, its web site (adl.org) headlined, "Background
on the 2011 Gaza Flotilla," saying:
- -- Anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist, pro-Hamas participants
are coming, including the Free Gaza Movement, allied with others responsible
for violent 2010 clashes. Omitted was explaining that Israel instigated
violence against unarmed, peaceful activists.
- -- Israel's "blockade is primarily a defensive measure
(against) the ongoing barrage of rockets targeting Israeli civilians and
the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit." In fact, Shalit is
a war prisoner, victimized by IDF aggression against Gaza civilians. Moreover,
Hamas homemade "rockets" respond to Israeli attacks using sophisticated
- -- "Israel enables the flow of goods into Gaza each
day, and particularly ensures the transfer of food, medicines, fuel and
electricity." In fact, siege restrictions eased modestly. Shortages
of everything exist. Poverty, unemployment and depravation are extreme.
Most construction materials are banned, deterring rebuilding Cast Lead
destruction, and a recent report indicated
- critical shortfalls of medicines and other medical supplies
because Israel blocks them.
- -- "There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza."
In fact, it's been ongoing for years, exacerbated by Israel's longstanding
slow-motion genocide policy ADL chooses to ignore.
- -- In May 2010, "Israel and the IDF made several
attempts to avoid confrontation with" Freedom Flotilla I vessels.
In fact, IDF commandos rehearsed a well-planned terror attack, using photos
of targeted Turkish activists on board the Mavi Marmara mother ship to
murder them in cold blood, forensic evidence showing them shot multiple
times at close range, including in the head.
- -- Nonetheless, Israel's "independent panel of inquiry,
the Turkel Commission....investigate(d) and assess(ed) Israel's action.
(It) found that the Gaza blockade and the use of force during the (interdiction)
were legal under international law." It lied, whitewashing Israeli
crimes against humanity against nonviolent participants in international
- Like 50 other US Zionist organizations, ADL is an Israeli
front group, demagogically supporting its worst crimes and spreading malicious
Islamaphobic hate-mongering, including smear campaigns against pro-Palestinian
groups, supporting liberation and justice.
- In a June 4 letter The New York Times disgracefully published,
ADL called it "an abomination for American (Flotilla) participants....to
liken themselves to the Freedom Riders who challenged segregation in the
American South....(They) were pacifists who were on the right side of history;
the flotilla organizers (challenge Israel and) align themselves with Hamas,"
a Palestinian "terror(ist)" organization.
- In fact, Flotilla activists indeed are modern-day Freedom
Riders, coming by sea and/or land, courageously challenging Israeli terror
against besieged Gazan civilians, under the government they fairly elected,
maliciously called a terrorist organization.
- They're coming like others earlier and many more until
Gaza's siege ends, and all Palestinians are liberated on their own land,
in their own country, free from occupation. Neither ADL hate or Israeli
terror will stop them.
- A Final Comment
- On June 29, Haaretz writer Amira Hass said the French
ship "Dignity" and Irish one "Freedom" set sail to
rendezvous at sea with others delayed from departing Greece, one needing
its sabotaged propeller repaired.
- On June 28, New York Times writer Scott Sayare headlined,
"Israeli Advocacy Group Helps Delay Departure of Gaza-Bound Flotilla,"
- The pro-Israeli Shurat HaDin "suggest(ed) that seven
of the ships might be lacking insurance or were improperly registered."
Laughably calling itself a "civil rights organization," it also
threatened 30 maritime insurers, warning that covering the vessels leaves
them vulnerable to suits for "aiding a terrorist organization."
- On June 27, Max Blumenthal explained that pro-Israeli,
Islamophobic hate-monger Pastor John Hagee is one of Shurat HaDin's major
funders. His ideology, in fact, includes a totalitarian Christian ethic,
white Christian supremacy, racial hatred, gay-bashing, male gender dominance,
and waging preemptive war against Islam.
- Nonetheless, Shurat HaDin gratefully takes his money,
suggesting perhaps they're soul mates, for sure behind efforts to prevent
humanitarian aid from reaching Gazans.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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