- Freedom Flotilla II participants demand their lawful
right to deliver vital humanitarian aid to Gaza. However, an Israeli/Washington/Greek
conspiracy block them. Nonetheless, they persist, trying to overcome imperial
ruthlessness and succeed.
- A June 27 Jerusalem Post (JP) editorial called their
mission "Ships of fools," saying:
- Organizers "seem to be foolishly throwing caution
to the wind, and appear bent on pushing ahead with plans for a confrontation
on the open seas with the Israeli Navy."
- Of course, they want nothing of the sort. Israel's Navy
plans confrontation with them if they sail, perhaps intending another high-seas
massacre like in May 2010, and regularly through air and ground attacks
against occupied Palestinian civilians.
- Instead of blaming the villain, JP blames victims, including
saying Israel now lets "most everything into Gaza," when, in
fact, critical needs go unfulfilled. Virtually all exports are prohibited,
and Israel's siege is ruthlessly lawless.
- Operating as a pro-Israeli front group, the Jerusalem-based
NGO Monitor (NGOM) is equally biased, disseminating propaganda and hate.
Moreover, it debases legitimate human rights groups, independent journalists,
and other advocates for truth, equity and justice.
- Its director, Gerald Steinberg, is a Bar Ilan University
political science professor, a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public
Affairs, a steering committee member of the Forum on Antisemitism at the
Office of the (Israeli) Prime Minister, and various other organizations
promoting a one-sided pro-Israeli agenda.
- On June 29, NGOM's Jason Edelstein headlined a Ynet.news
article, "Gaza flotillas fill no great humanitarian void, clearly
designed to provoke Israel," saying:
- The "latest crop of flotilla participants - a fringe
group of extremists working alongside terrorists - is more concerned with
their own PR and promoting hate, violence, and chaos, rather than with
working with Israelis and Palestinians to find peaceful solutions to the
- What shocks is that Ynet News or any other publication
would publish this rot instead of trashing it where it belongs, and barring
further NGO Monitor submissions. They're long on hate and disinformation,
while scorning truths, rule of law standards and justice.
- In contrast, an April 7 Haaretz editorial headlined,
"The blockade is the problem," saying:
- The siege and plans to interdict flotilla aid "underscore
the folly that serves as the foundation of" Netanyahu's policy. Moreover,
Israel is "addicted to occupation and is unable to liberate itself...."
- In addition, the blockade "only perpetuates the
conflict and the hatred, and casts light on Israel as a cruel, occupying
power....Halting the second flotilla does not compensate for the total
failure of Israel's policy toward Gaza."
- Haaretz writer Yitzhak Laor agrees, calling Gaza's siege
"a moral blockade of Israel" in his July 5 article. Moreover,
on June 3, Haaretz's Gideon Levy said today's Israel is "a society
of force and violence," masquerading as a free and open democracy
for all its people equitably. In fact, it never was and isn't now, nor
is America, governed by powerful monied interests, operating with a license
- So far, Greece prevents Flotilla II vessels from sailing,
except the French boat, "Dignite al Karama," at sea en route
to Gaza. Expecting to arrive in a day or two, its July 5 statement said:
- "They are going to break the blockade in the name
of the Freedom Flotilla, in the names of all those who have supported this
mobilization, for justice and the law."
- In Athens, however, police harassed and arrested US boat
participants for protesting and fasting in front of Washington's embassy.
- On July 4, six were arrested "for sitting on a park
bench across from" the US ambassador's residence. "(P)ut into
squad cars," Ray McGovern, Linda Durham, Debra Ellis, Ridgeley Fuller,
Ken Mayers and Carol Murry were placed in "police station custody."
- Earlier its captain, John Klusmire, was arrested. At
noon Athens time, a July 5 hearing was held. Reports say he's free, though
no doubt warned not to sail or receive much harsher treatment next time.
- Greece, of course, is an Israeli/Washington enforcer,
breaking the law for its masters after selling out its sovereignty to foreign
bankers, despite mass public opposition. As a result, whatever legitimacy
it once had is lost, a nation state reduced to a shameless imperial tool.
- On July 4, the Canadian boat Tahrir defied Greece's prohibition
and sailed from Agios. However, four miles short of international waters,
it was intercepted, boarded and returned. Back in port, it's denied electricity
and permission to start its generator.
- As a result, its sanitary facilities are affected, punishment
for supporting international humanitarian law, in contrast to Greece trashing
it for Israel and Washington, using thuggery on their behalf.
- On July 5, the pro-Israeli Jewish Institute for National
Security Affairs (JINSA) headlined, "Greece is the Hero - and Maybe
Harbinger of Better Days for Israel," saying:
- Acting on Israel's behalf, both countries "have
become very much closer recently....deciding (they) have the most in common
and the most to gain from cooperation....The demise of the 2011 flotilla
isn't the end of (Israel's troubles), but it is a welcome success engendered
by (Greece's) willingness....to do the right thing."
- Meanwhile, Gaza TV said 500 overseas Palestinians plan
a "mass (July 8) fly-in" to Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport in solidarity
with others trapped by occupation, especially Gazans under siege.
- Fifteen organizations, including the International Solidarity
Movement, organized the initiative, believing flotillas aren't enough.
A July 3 press release said they hope to reach Gaza via Israel, adding:
- "Most of us are frankly a bit scared because of
one decision we've all made: to tell the truth that our plan is to visit
- In advance, they were warned they'll face "probing
questioning" on arrival, won't be allowed entry, and likely will be
harshly treated, then deported.
- On July 5, in fact, Israel's Public Security Minister,
Yitzhak Aharonovitch, said said "fly-in hooligan" activists will
be confronted and deported, adding:
- "In the coming days, hundreds of radical activists
from Europe (and elsewhere) are expected to arrive in order to cause provocations,
to demonstrate illegally and to damage our legitimacy in our country. I
want to make it clear that....we will not allow public propaganda, incitement
and illegal demonstrations to occur, not at the airport and not in any
- On July 5, Maan News said Israel made preparations to
block them on arrival, including by diverting European flights to a separate
terminal, then carefully screening all passengers. A statement from Netanyahu's
- "This planned event is a continuation of the attempts
to undermine Israel's right to exist and to attempt to breach its borders
and sovereignty by sea, land and by air."
- Nonetheless, some flotilla participants also hope to
reach Gaza via Ben-Gurion airport. It's not clear how many, when they plan
to leave, or if Greek authorities will let them.
- Israel, of course, is a rogue terror state. Its 44 year
occupation and Gaza siege are illegal. So are decades of land theft, home
demolitions, targeted killings, mass imprisonments, torture, and other
brazen abuses against Palestinians for not being Jewish.
- Whether or not flotillas reach Gaza, Israel lost the
war. The whole world knows what America's media won't report, and what
growing numbers of Jews condemn. Many, in fact, express disgust about a
lawless nation in their name. Sooner or later perhaps every Jew will know,
including fed up Israelis deciding to leave and renounce what no one should
- A Final Comment
- On July 3, the Free Gaza movement and Flotilla II organizers
learned that Greece offered to commandeer and deliver their aid. In a July
5 statement, they refused, saying:
- It "shows collusion with Israel's blockade as well
as a complete disregard for Palestinian human rights, reducing the issue
of Gaza and Palestine (to) one of humanitarian aid," not why it's
- If Greece wants to address that, they explained, their
"officials certainly know where to find us."
- Also on July 5, the Palestine Telegraph headlined, "Public
initiative invites flotilla 2 to sail from Egypt ports," saying:
- On Tuesday, Egypt Today newspaper launched "a public
initiative inviting the Freedom Flotilla 2 to sail toward (Gaza) via Egypt
ports. Its statement announced:
- Sailing "from Egypt ports will not only contribute
in breaking the Israeli naval blockade....but also create a new hope for
Egyptians and all Arabs."
- The publication asked Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and all Arab states to back the initiative. Most, however, including Egypt's
ruling junta, partner with Israel, Washington and other Western governments,
not beleaguered, isolated Palestinians.
- As a result, they're on their own with millions of global
supporters to keep working for what Israel and complicit regimes won't
allow, perpetuating their legacy of injustice.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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