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Next Gaza Freedom Flotilla will be an anti-globalist, anti-Apartheid Armada

Israel successfully defended its inhumane illegal siege of Gaza against the 2011 Freedom Flotilla, currently regrouping in Greece. Let's recap: the French Dignite Al Karama awaits permission to leave Crete, the Swedish/Greek MV Juliano overcame sabotage which crippled the Irish MV Saoirse and unconfirmed others. The Canadian Tahrir was boarded by Greek commandos and towed back to Athens. The US Audacity of Hope repelled a shouting match with the Greek Coast Guard then surrendered into custody. Ready to form the next flotilla are the Spanish Guernica, French Louise Michel, and the Stefano Chiarini, Freedom for All and Methimus II. In the wings of course await the Mavi Marmara and the Rachel Corrie. Will this grow to an Armada? Israeli intransigence and its Hasbarapocalypse guarantee it. 25519

Solo Gaza relief ship Dignite Al Karama presses on for the dignity of Palestine

Not only have nation states refused to sanction humanitarian relief missions to illegally besieged Gaza, events this week prove they are unanimous in prohibiting even citizens doing it themselves. Yet, one brave vessel has eluded sabotage, lawsuit, bureaucracy, and Greece's Coast Guard paramilitaries. French Freedom Flotilla II participant DIGNITE AL KARAMA presses on alone to break the siege of Gaza. Without media escort, television cameras or witnesses, the crew of eleven, joined by print reporter Quentin Girard, will have only their cellphones to apprise the world audience of their progress against the bellicose reception which Israel has promised awaits any transgressors of its 63 year occupation and subjugation of Palestine, including its open-air prison called Gaza.   UPDATES: Dignite incercepted by Greek Coast Guard while refueling in Ormos Kouremenos, Crete. Taken under escort to Xinthya, where it's promised they will be able to leave in the morning. Translation of French article below. 25380

French craft DIGNITY breaks for Gaza, leads Flotilla II until rest allowed to go

UPDATED-- In a flurry of conflicting tweets, French Flotilla II member DIGNITE AL KARAMA made for the open sea, beyond the reach of Greek authorities currently detaining the AUDACITY OF HOPE, TAHRIR, LOUISE MICHEL, GUERNICA, JULIANO and others. Reporter Quentin Girard has been communicating the DIGNITY's progress, its eight activists electing last night to complete their run all the way to Gaza. 25333

Solidarity rally for Gaza Aid Flotilla II called off in Christian-Zionist Springs

Humanitarian rights activists aboard the Canadian Flotilla II aid ship bravely try to block the pilot's view as Greek forces commandeer the TAHRIR before it reached international waters. While Greece is denounced for its complicity with Israel, the international press offered no live coverage, so few Americans knew it was happening. Meanwhile predominantly Christian-Zionist Colorado Springs urged Team USrael to #sinktheflotilla! Sorry local Judeo-Christo-holes, no dialog.   While the maritime aid convoy looks sunk, to the degree it received attention, the Flotilla II did raise awareness about the besieged Gazans. But more, the blocking of the aid ships, by USA, Greece, Turkey, litigious NGOs and unknown intelligence operatives, suggests that Israel is not a rogue state after all. The Flotilla II revealed the illusion of democracy, the farce of sovereignty, and the inhumanity of our global governors. By international humanitarian aid being denied Gaza by state power we see: this is what a police state looks like, globalized. 25243

First look! US Boat to Gaza, Flotilla II blockade runner The Audacity of Hope

Democracy Now Producer Aaron Maté took a quick photo of the American boat scheduled shortly to sail with the upcoming aid flotilla to Gaza. How will President Obama respond to an effort named after his presidential campaign bestseller Audacity Of Hope? I'd suggest, by renaming his book, which he has to do anyway, the Audacity of Empty Promises. Obama has urged Palestinians to remain nonviolent, yet condemns the nonviolent convoy sailing to break Israel's illegal siege and relieve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

IDF’s Anarchist Bible, Old Testament: sulfur as a weapon, mind you it stinks

FOR HOW-TO FANS: Israel's IDF says sulfur can be poured unto its soldiers to immobilize them, even used "to light them up like human torches" supposedly. Uh, sounds promising. References please? The Old Testament of course! Literally the proverbial fire and brimstone, I kid you not. The IDF is publicizing the biblical war making technology because it is accusing the Gaza Flotilla II activists of harboring this plan. The drawback, Israel disingenuously omits --because hey, who needs to explain the obvious-- a would-be victim can smell this attack coming. The smell of sulfur is inescapable, you wouldn't even have time to blame it on the police search dogs.

Press intimidation, frivolous lawfare, and sabotage, it’s hasbarapocalypse

You're looking at an underwater photo of the starboard propeller of the passenger ship "Juliano" berthed in Piraeus, Greece, waiting to sail with the "Stay Human" Freedom Flotilla II departing soon to break the siege of Gaza. Reports of sabotage babelfished, even as some flotilla participants quickly issued a retraction. As diver video documented, someone assailed the propeller shaft casing, luckily repairable, but Greek authorities could seize on the incident to delay the activists with an investigation, or insist on further inspections, using anticipation of sabotage to delay or forbid the voyage. 25079

French boat Dignite Al Karama first of Gaza Freedom Flotilla 2 to leave port as Greeks try to dash US Audacity of Hope

French humanitarian activists aboard LE DIGNITÉ-EL KARAMEH left Corisca today, bound for Greece, where they will join compatriots in sloop LOUISE MICHEL and the Freedom Flotilla II codenamed "Stay Human" which includes two cargo ships carrying aid to besieged Gaza. The departures of the US AUDACITY OF HOPE and the Canadian TAHRIR are threatened by private complaints of unknown origin, flagging the vessels as unseaworthy, causing Nation reporter Joseph Dana to declare Israeli assault on the Flotilla is well underway. 25021

Freedom Flotilla II faces Shayetet13 in showdown at the naval siege of Gaza

It promises to be quite a showdown. Israel has repeated that it will let no ship through to Gaza, the IDF has promised "surprises" for the would-be blockade-runners, while this relief convoy is upping the ante with luminaries political and literary. The US boat is carrying novelist Alice Walker and a who's who of peace activists, no less than Medea Benjamin, Kathy Kelly, Ray McGovern, and Ann Wright. There will be journalists from CBS, CNN and NPR, so you'd think Israel wouldn't dare jam their signal and superimpose its own news package like it did with the Mavi Marmara, but maybe it won't have to. 24699

Gaza we are coming

Plans are once again underway for another attempt to run the blockade of Gaza. Two ships are set to sail from Lebanon today or tomorrow, despite intimidation from Israel --which worked to prevent the aid ship INFANTS OF GAZA scheduled to leave from Iran. As a result, the Israeli navy is maneuvering to intercept, as it did for the recent Libyan AMALTHEA, and the Irish RACHEL CORRIE before that. Israel is even preparing "Flotilla 13," the Shayetet commandos who killed nine activists on the Mavi Marmara in May. If it does leave, the Lebanese convoy will consist of a ship named MARYAM, carrying only women and nuns, and the JULIA (the Naji Al Ali) carrying journalist and Reporters Without Borders. It's hard to imagine what reception the journalists are intent to document, Israel can hardly surpass itself with brutality, so will it be news? 18196

Libyan humanitarian aid ship to Gaza undaunted by Israeli Navy death threat

While Israel releases redacted portions of its internal investigation of the Mavi Marmara Massacre, another aid ship steams toward the Gaza Blockade. The cargo ship Amalthea carries humanitarian aid from Libya and is due to cross into Gazan waters on Wednesday, barring interception by the Israeli navy in international waters. 18666

Accounting for IDF missing intelligence

The results of Israel's self-investigation of the Mavi Marmara Massacre are in: surprise, the IDF commandos did no wrong, but were set back by a deficiency of intelligence. It's what many of us were already thinking, but there's another punchline which Israel invites by pairing the deadly raid with IDF "intelligence" assets gone missing. Six passengers of the humanitarian convoy are still unaccounted for. Rumors spread they may have been tossed off the ship, or languish in Israeli detention, but the trouble is, the six are also lacking for anyone missing them. Without friends or families registering concern, the convoy organizers can now deduce that the six were agents of Israel, who elected obviously to stay behind in Israel. Might this be because they were the principal provocateurs brandishing the pipes to give the IDF boarders pretext to fire upon the activists? 18116

Gaza Flotilla & Knessit member Haneen Zoabi faces Facebook mob death threat

After her participation in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla aboard the Mavi Marmara, Palestinian-Israeli Knessit member Haneen Zoabi came home to a Facebook page which called for her death. "Execute MP Haneen Zoubi" it screamed with the graphic at right, and angry Israelis were friending the effort by the thousands. Making such a threat is of course illegal. An Israeli storekeeper has been reprimanded for offering free groceries for life to whoever would murder Ms. Zoabi. Shouldn't Facebook members who add their personal endorsement to Kill U with a "join", "friend" or "like", be considered accomplices to attempted intimidation?

Was Gaza flotilla infiltrated by agent-provocateurs? Plausible, but whose?

It's convenient to surmise that unexpected violence between activists and authorities must be the work of undercover provocateurs. With the fallout of the Mavi Marmara massacre reaching fever pitch, it's hard to believe Israel would have engineered it thus; and far easier to imagine IDF infiltrators trying to steer flotilla organizers clear of headline-grabbing provocations. I have a theory that terrorism-suspect and ultra-activist Ken O'Keefe is without doubt a provocateur. Working for whom? You and me. 17848

Mavi Marmara security camera footage released by Israel raises two questions

Following their murderous raid on the Gaza Flotilla, Israel seized everyone's photographic footage and released only a fragment which pretended to support the IDF version of the engagement. This clip from a surveillance camera on the Mavi Marmara purports to show activists preparing to batter the Israeli commandos. But the time stamp at the top edge indicates 4:31 AM, which means the sequence is actually after the flotilla reported its first casualties, a full half-hour befre Israel began its violent overtures. I chose this frame also because it depicts a convoy cameraman. Where are the media inquiries for HIS video evidence?

MV Rachel Corrie outsmarts Israeli navy, Hasbara pundits, US media, itself

All eyes are on the MV Rachel Corrie, but where are the pictures?! There hasn't been a photograph of the relief ship since she left Ireland, even then in darkness. Worrying everyone that her attempt to run the Gaza blockade would be cloaked like the USS Liberty, the Freedom Flotilla straggler has pulled a fast one and approached Gaza from the East, visible from the coast of Egypt, not really. 17770

Flotilla video evidence escapes Israel, IDF has to conduct pantie raids now

Norman Finkelstein mentioned anticipated photographic footage that may have escaped confiscation by Israel which has been monopolizing the narrative with their selective accounts. A released Irish activist recounts how nonviolent resistance on the Challenger allowed time for an Australian journalist to secret what she had filmed. We await the unveiling of her evidence in Istanbul. In the meantime some video has escaped from the Mavi Marmara.

19-year-old American killed on flotilla did not hold Israeli dual citizenship

Among the nine martyrs shot by the IDF as they attacked the Mavi Marmara --in Israel's nighttime preemptive enforcement of the enstranglement of Gaza-- was 19-year-old American Furkan Dogan, shot in the back and four times in the face. Well the US media is diligent to describe the doctor's son as "Turkish-American," holding dual citizenship with Turkey, and not "American," which might risk provoking nationalist indignation that IDF troops may have executed one of ours. Interesting distinction. The same pundits never disclaim the curious proportion of American government officials who hold dual citizenship with Israel. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Israeli-American, springs to mind, and... 17751

Flotilla massacre then Old Testament: Israel exacts girl’s eye for its black eye

Palestinian solidarity volunteer Emily Henochowicz was protesting Israel's brutal raid on the Gaza relief convoy, to be more precise, she was acting as Western observer to protect the Palestinian right to protest, and she lost her eye when she was hit by an IDF teargas canister. You might have hoped Israel forces would temper their tactics after having shocked world opinion with the Mavi Marmara massacre, but no. Only the day after, IDF policemen aimed high velocity teargas rounds directly at the faces of the solidarity activists. Emily lost her eye and requires metal plates to reconstruct her face.

Which was more awesome: power of nonviolence, or right of self-defense?

Give praise to Allah where praise is due   As the Freedom Flotilla made its slow approach last week, a popular Huffpo article pronounced the convoy a testament to the awesome power of nonviolence. That sentiment went about as viral as activist-geeks can get. But the blockade running denouement proved something of the opposite, didn't it? I hope the sanctimonious pacifist will be brave enough to admit it. The Muslim Brotherhood bravely charging the Israeli navy was surely the definition of martyr, if anyone has ever earned it. Without pushing the IDF to bare its authoritarian fangs, there would have been no story, no outrage, the end. An entirely compliant convoy would have been led by the nose to Ashdod and diplomatic compromise. Neither Gandhi nor King nor Mandela gained without a massacre they didn't provoke. It's a slander to their legacy that nonviolent movements have been co-opted by religious purists who subordinate social justice to self-fulfilment, generally in the guise of your post-earthly reward. Labor organizers used to curse the industrialists' first line of union busters, the churches which practiced appeasement and promised "pie in the sky when you die, by and by." 17721

Flotilla not a Love Boat, it was a lynch, says Netanyahu, describing beating of IDF soldiers, not deaths of aid workers

What's a lynch? I find it intriguing that Israel's spin machine can drop an American pop culture reference like Love Boat, and simultaneously flub basic usage with "a lynch." According to Israel, that describes what befell their crack-troop Mavi Marmara party-crashers. What does "a lynch" mean? Apparently someone feels at liberty to shorten Lynch Mob, or Lynching, to coin a new threat to Israel. But doesn't it stretch credulity to imagine the IDF has never claimed to have been baited into an "ambush?" 17684

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