Tag Archives: Freedom Flotilla

Dignite Al Karama nears Gaza waters, reconnoitered by unidentified swiftboat UPDATE: Ship boarded, towed to Israel


3AM UPDATE: Israeli Navy has jammed communication, boarded Dignité, taken 16 into custody, and is towing vessel to Ashdod, Israel, actually occupied Palestine. Israel’s enforcement of illegal blockade of Gaza confirms Gaza occupation.

Facebook image of Vedette of unknown nationality which approached the French Freedom Flotilla participant before speeding off
Sole remaining vessel of the “Say Human” Freedom Flotilla II, Dignite Al Karama, is expected to enter Gazan waters after daybreak Tuesday, July 19. The French leisure craft left yesterday without unanimous approval of flotilla steering committee, but carries passengers from multiple international delegations, intent to let nothing delay breaking the siege of Gaza. See latest pictures.


The Dignite was boarded on international waters, at coordinates: 33º25 E, 31º25 N.

The Flotilla II steering committee apparently wanted to close the books on the 2011 aid convoy, in line perhaps with the US Audacity of Hope’s own five hour tour that left activists deserted on the Greek isles. Bravo to the Dignity for deciding that the freedom of Gaza doesn’t need postponing until the next stillborn mission.

Aboard the DIGNITY:

Stéphan Corriveau, Coordinator of Canadian boat to Gaza; Dror Feiler, spokesperson of Ship to Gaza-Sweden, President of the European Jews for a Just Peace, artist, musician, composer; Jérôme Gleizes, France, Europe Ecologie Les Verts; Jacqueline Le Corre, France, Médecin-Collectif 14 de soutien au peuple palestinien, member of Parti communiste francais; Jean Claude Lefort, former MEP, French Communist Party –PCF, president France-Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS); Claude Léostic, spokesperson of Un bateau français pour Gaza; Yamin Makri, France, Collectif 69 de soutien au peuple palestinien; Omeyya Naoufel Seddik, Tunisian, Fédération des Tunisiens pour une citoyenneté des deux rives (FTCR), and Ligue tunisienne des Droits de l’Homme (LTDH), Phd in Political Science; Thomas Sommer-Houdeville, spokesperson of Un bateau français pour Gaza, Researcher, Political Sciecnce, Middle East Studies, at the Institut francais du proche Orient; Vangelis Pissias, spokesperson of Ship to Gaza-Greece, Professor at Technical University of Athens; Amira Hass, Israeli journalist – Haaretz; Ayyache Derradji, Journalist from Al Jazeera; Stéphane Guida, Cameraman from Al Jazeera; with Zacharia Stylianakis, Captain; Hilaire Folacci, Mariner; Yannick Voisin, Mariner; Jo Leguen, Navigator

Knesset makes BDS movement illegal, says boycotts, divestment & sanctions threaten Apartheid right to exist

BDS movement - Boycott Divestment and SanctionsFollowing their no hamfisted holds barred blocking of the Gaza aid flotilla, Israel yesterday declared illegal the rising domestic support for the BDS movement. The free speech ban extends even to non-Israelis in the occupied territories. Suggesting it’s not going to be BDS activistists who ultimately delegitimize Israel.

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

Swedish-Greek Ship to Gaza JULIANO of the 2011 Freedom Flotilla II
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.

Check these allied organizations to see how you can join the next voyage:

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

Freedom Flotilla II, Stay Human
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.

Flotilla for Gaza: The “Dignity” intercepted by Greek coast guard.

For two hours, late Wednesday afternoon, the “Dignity” is moored at Ormos Kouremenos, a small port in the far east of Crete. It needs to replenish fuel one last time before sailing to Gaza.

Suddenly, as it has already replentished 1,000 liters and is awaiting a second delivery, a gunboat of the Greek coast guard emerges. The passengers immediately understand. In this small bay where there are only fishing boats made of wood, they know it is there for them. The gunboat approaches, also an unmarked car.

The Coast Guard ask politely for our papers. Thus began a two-hour discussion and document control board where everything is carefully checked. Activists trample board.

“It’s too bad”, everyone is thinking. This was the last step before the big crossing. A dozen men in uniform, very polite, surround the Dignity. The phone calls multiply, presumably to refer to a distant authority. The Coast Guard require passports, they carefully register the names.

They don’t find much wrong with the boat. The captain didn’t have a logbook and the marina’s entry fee, 30 euros, hadn’t yet been tendered. Except that in this small fishing harbor, there was no place to declare one’s arrival. We must wait. Passengers prepare to eat, the menu that night, chicken pasta, coppa and lentils.

“We’re Very Sorry”

Eventually the Coast Guard announced that we must follow them to another port to sign authorizations and that the “Dignity” will be able to leave the next morning. It’s 10PM.

In the meantime they keep the boat’s papers to make photocopies. They ensure that there is no problem. One of them apologized repeatedly: “Sorry.” Omeyya Seddik, one of the passengers replied, “You’re doing your jobs, that’s normal.”

The “Dignity” is off again into the night toward the port of Xinthya, escorted by the Coast Guard boat which heads off without delay. Too fast. Many times it seems to disappear into the night as if really she doesn’t want to be followed.

The passengers do not know how to react. What to do? Keep a slim hope? Or immediately broadcast our circumstances and risk making it certain we will not be able to leave as promised. They doubt, they got the impression there were only Greeks among the Coast Guard and the people who were roaming around taking pictures.

Three days they are at sea, three days playing cat and mouse without knowing really if there was a cat. The dignity might perhaps not get to Gaza. It was the only ship of the “Freedom Flotilla” that managed to sail and keep up the hope of getting to Gaza. It went a little further than others, probably not enough. “We remain committed” they declare. “Tomorrow if we can go, we will continue to Gaza.”

RADIO INTERVIEW: Quentin Gerard explains: “This boat has become a strong political symbol.”

AWAITING CONFIRMATION: Swedish aid ship JULIANO still hopes to make a convoy. (Broadcasting live at http://ustre.am/zQHM)

As it stands, authorities have blocked or sabotaged 9 of the 10 vessels known to be sailing in the aid convoy. They are: The Audacity of Hope, Tahrir, Saorise, Juliano, Guernica, Louise Michel, Dignite Al Karama, Stefano Chiarini, Freedom for All, and the Methimus II.


Aboard the DIGNITE: Activists: Olivier Besancenot, Annick Coupé, Nabil Ennasr, Jacqueline Le Corre, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Osama Mouftah, Julien Rivoire, Omeyya Seddik; crew: Hilaire, Vincent and Yannick; not pictured: photographer/reporter Quentin Girard.

See their pictures at Liberte.fr.

Updated Facebook page statement of DIGNITY delegation:
La déclaration des camarades à bord du bateau

Message of the French delegation on board the Dignité Al Karama: The Freedom Flotilla is not dead!

Our presence at sea, on the Dignity-Al Karama, permits us to carry on the message of the international campaign of the Freedom Flotilla II and of the French Un Bateau Pour Gaza campaign. The statements by the Israeli authorities proclaiming the end of the Freedom Flotilla II, praising the Greek government acts as freedom of expression and actions of a civil society are now dead words.

We are at sea, and the collected national coalitions are not giving up.

States should no longer be complicit in this criminal blockade, and cannot silence the urge of civil society that simply demands, through this nonviolent action, the enforcement of law by permanent lifting of the blockade of Gaza.

We call on all justice-loving citizens to strengthen the effort, to allow the Dignity-Al Karama and all boats of the flotilla to go to Gaza.

Girard latest Tweets:

July 6, 3:36
Besancenot at the helm, small salad, sea of oil. Nickel.

July 6, 3:37
On the boat we wonder about the latest of the mercato and of the Tour de France. Any news?

July 6, 5:29
@JAntiwilders Dignity Is still heading to Gaza.

July 6, 5:29
@yanouz FT1 will not be on the boat evidently.

July 6, 6:19
@GirardTh Not too much wind, calm sea, it’s a change from the Atlantic.

July 6, 6:33
@JpKphotographer Yes, will you follow me? We need press agency photos.

July 6, 11:09
Did the Greek-Swedish ship manage to leave the port of Athens? Really?

In the original French:

3:36 – 06.07
Besancenot à la barre, petite salade, mer d’huile. Nickel.

3:37 – 06.07
Sur le bateau on s’inquiète des dernières nouvelles du mercato et du tour de France. Des news?

5:29 – 06.07
@JAntiwilders dignity is still heading to Gaza.

5:29 – 06.07
@yanouz F1 ne viendra pas sur le bateau apparemment.

6:19 – 06.07
@GirardTh pas trop de vent, mer calme, ça change de l’Atlantique.

6:33 – 06.07
@JpKphotographer oui, tu me rejoins? Ils ont besoin de photographes dagence de presse.

11:09 – 06.07
Le bateau greco suédois aurait réussi à sortir du port d Athènes? Vrai?

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

French cabin cruiser La Dignite - Al Karama
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.

The French vessel escaped Greece on a technicality, as a pleasure craft, the Dignity is not confined by the regulations being used to block the larger Flotilla participants. Aboard the Dignity with Girard, are Olivier Besancenot, Julien Rivoire, Omeyyaa Sedic, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Annick Coupé, Nabil Ennasr. (Both Coupé and Besancenot are registered on Twitter, but neither has communicated yet.)

Girard’s most recent tweets, translated:

July 5, 3:02
All is well thank you 🙂 but we were in an area where reception was bad.

July 5, 3:15
Despite what we can read, the Dignity is still in international waters. It will be there in one hour.

July 5, 7:41
The passengers of the Dignity have finally come to the decision (only now really) to go to Gaza.

July 5, 8:19
TF1 should attempt to rejoin Dignity and embark.

July 5, 8:43
We’re moving again after a “media” pause on the high seas. 15 hours of sea left before I might go silent. Kisses!

July 5, 12:19
Into the night the DIGNITY continues its advance. In the distance, small lights.

July 5, 13:38
Not really enough beds for everyone, so I sleep under the stars on the upper deck. beautiful sky.

In their original French:

05.07 3:02
tout va bien merci 🙂 mais on était dans un endroit où ça captait mal.

05.07 3:15
Malgré ce qu’on peut lire le Dignité n’est pas encore dans les eaux internationales. Il y sera dans une heure.

05.07 7:41
Les passagers du Dignité viennent de prendre enfin (seulement maintenant vraiment) la décision d’aller jusqu’à Gaza

05.07 8:19
TF1 devrait tenter de rejoindre le Dignité et embarquer dessus

05.07 8:43
On bouge à nouveau après une pause “média” en haute mer. C’est parti pour 15h de mer, où je risque d’être silencieux. Des bises.

05.07 12:19
Dans la nuit le dignité avance toujours. Au loin, des petites lumières.

05.07 13:38
Pas vraiment de couchettes pour tout le monde, donc je dors à la belle étoile, sur le pont supérieur. Beau ciel

Below is the Girard’s July 5 article in the LIBERTE.FR (auto-translated, sorry, until I can review it)

En route to Gaza, “Dignity” is appealing to the media

The French ship of the “freedom flotilla” sailing in international waters off the coast of Greece. The crew decided to go to Gaza.

By QUENTIN GIRARD special envoy on the “Dignity”

16 hours in Greece, somewhere in international waters, on Tuesday afternoon. After much discussion, the Dignity passengers finally made their decision. They will go to Gaza. A bit surreal moment where the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, they set up banners and make an official statement.

When they left the industrial port of Salamina, Monday morning, they did not really know how far they try to go. There, as they finally arrived in international waters a little to 15 hours – after wet night in a small cove – they say they are determined. “We’re going to Gaza. The French and international community officially announced that they supported us regardless of our decision, “enthuses Julien Rivoire, one of the spokesmen of the campaign. “But to get there, we also need the media, as TV join us to show our work and safety issues,” he continues.

In the distance we see no island, not even a few freighters, these little black spots that usually reassuring scattered throughout the year. “We wanted to show that we could block the Greek blockade, says Julien Rivoire. It once was that we wondered what we were doing then. ”

Return to France? Impossible

That same morning, the discussion was intense as ever on the Dignity. What to do? Return to France? Impossible for them. Go to another country such as Tunisia symbolic to wait, to show that it is a stopover? Why not, it’s better, they say. But no. The only viable solution they think is necessary. Go to Gaza. “You have the dignity to the end represents French and international committees,” argues Olivier Besancenot.

“The important thing that determines the political feasibility, technical feasibility, must be as representative as possible and supported,” Nabil Esnari continues, President of the Association of Muslims in France. “We do not want to be seen as Islamic-leftist Khmer-green-act in our corner,” says the MP-Europe Ecology Nicole Kiil-Nielsen.

“My preference would be to go to Gaza without delay,” takes on Olivier Besancenot position as others. “Our protection is proof that we exist, we continue to move forward. We can not afford to become a ghost ship. ”

There remains the question of technical means. The Dignity is a small yacht of 15 meters long, categorized craft. It was originally one of the smaller boats in the fleet. He has no self to go off the ridge to Gaza. It would necessarily need to be refueled and water en route. Hence the difficulty that there will in the coming hours to coordinate the political ambitions and technical means.

A small creek, goats, and … Sea

But they want confident. The twelve passengers (1) are refreshed by their two days at sea after a week of pitfalls in Athens. Although the coup, the Greek landscapes provide a particular coloration to the adventure. In the capital locked up in meeting rooms to multiply the points and plan protests, the mood was serious and solemn. Not even have time to visit the Acropolis.
There hard to escape the Greek islands. On the night of Monday and Tuesday, the Dignity was anchored in a cove of a small island. In the morning, passengers were woken up by goats with bells tinkle merrily. A shepherd ran along the cliff, the whoop, some small white houses with blue shutters, of steep cliffs, the water so beautiful … “In the morning, you go through three stages,” said Olivier Besancenot. “First you wake up, you do not know where you are, then you look around you and you say,” oh yes, it’s beautiful. ” And just after you wonder what’s next meeting, what is the plan that will be put in place. ”

The Plan: Gaza, having embarked with TVs. Maybe he will change in the coming hours. Meanwhile, the Dignity vogue. Engine noise makes deaf. The smell of fuel oil a little drunk. In front, nothing. The sea, just the sea.

(1) On board were three crew members, eight activists – Olivier Besancenot addition there are Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, MP, Europe-ecology, Annick Coupe, spokesman for the union Solidarity trade union, or Nabil Ennasr, President the Collective of Muslims in France – and a journalist, the author of these lines.

The earlier July 4 Liberte.fr article:

On board the “Dignity”, en route to Gaza

A French ship with a few activists on board, including Olivier Besancenot and Annick Coupé, eventually left Athens and headed to Gaza despite the obstacles. The “flotilla to Gaza” is reduced to its simplest expression. The story of our special correspondent on the deck of “Dignity.”

By QUENTIN GIRARD special envoy on the “Dignity”

“The pins in the plastic, it will not be possible,” said Olivier Besancenot, in full session yourself. 11 hours on Monday, in a small Greek port. The Dignity Al Kamara, one of two ships of the French committee for Gaza, left at dawn the creek near the industrial town of Salamina, where he had hidden for three days. In another cove where he made a first step, the passengers – including Besancenot, so – try to install the satellite antenna to communicate with the outside world.

3 o’clock this morning, Julien Rivoire, a member of the NPA and a spokesman for the campaign called “Wake the captain, we’re back.” Between them and the small annex that links with the boat, watchdogs of the port or adjacent businesses. They bark violently at night. They fail to wake the whole neighborhood. Tunisian Omeyyaa Sedic and Julien Rivoire, equipped with the latest load required, can not pass. Latest in a series of tragicomic events that marked the week of the fleet. “We’re not James Bond, it is OSS 117” is trying to be amused Julien Rivoire finally climbing on Dignity.

Plaisance

Sunday evening, the decision was made. It was long in coming, interspersed with calls to Iniohos Hotel where the rest of the delegation. A consensus is emerging: the Dignity attempt to leave no matter what. This small yacht 13 meters long, having left France ten days ago, has a status of “craft” and is theoretically not subject to the same prohibition to start than other boats of the delegation.

On Friday, an American ship tried starting one. Saturday, the captain was imprisoned. It could several years in prison for having left without permission. After several announcements bullies, to show their determination and their will as strong as ever to go to Gaza to bring humanitarian assistance, the committees have defected last one after the other. Masters of Spanish ships and Canada have announced that they did not want to take as many risks as they were sure they could not be more than thirty meters. The former president of Greenpeace France, Alain Connan, captain of the main French ship Louise Michel, after long hesitation, agreed with this position, some attracted by the Greek jails.

He went to ask permission to start at the harbor. Refused of course. The passengers were then organized a demonstration on the deck of Louise Michel. They simulated a departure. They should all file a complaint for obstruction of freedom of movement in the afternoon.

Parano

5 o’clock this morning, the Dignity springs. The sun is not up yet. Some cargo ships moving in the distance. Around him, two or three carcasses that rust for too many years, the ferry may be ready to leave but which seem, at dawn, desperate still. Twelve boats, twenty-two different nationalities and several hundred passengers announced, the fleet is now reduced to three crew members, eight militants – Olivier Besancenot addition there are Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, MP europe-ecology, Annick Coupe, spokesman for the union Solidarity trade union, or Nabil Ennasr, president of the Collective of Muslims in France – and a journalist, the author of these lines.

The Dignity enters the channel. In the distance, lights, shadows indistinct, but no coastguard. Surprise among the passengers. They believed they were identified and a small star suddenly arise between two cargo ships to stop them. For two days, each gull, each fishing boat, each jet-ski with the big guys who spend every man piss in the night under the white lights of the port is an opportunity when paranoid.

To starboard there. A port, nothing. In the distance behind, already, the lights of Athens. The sun appears between two hills. After a week of failure or disruption, and the blows of fate have joined forces to keep them in port, for the first time the French committee actually managed something in Greece. They feel like defeat stress, even if they are tired, even if the tension is palpable at times between them, although discussions and waiting endlessly sometimes not.

Determination

Of course, they know that this little boat is not much. That Israel, obviously, has won the game this time and that the only issue that remains is to show that they have tried everything, it’s not a “fucking failure”, as stated Besancenot. Certainly they know that it is unlikely to go to Gaza, especially alone. Unless a Greek ship to join them. The committee led by Vengelis Pissias announced that they had a new, third, a “surprise” that the authorities do not know. But they have promised so many things since the beginning of last week …

The Dignity vogue. It will reach international waters in a few hours if not arrested by the Coast Guard before. There, passengers will make official statements. They expressed their determination against the blockade of Gaza and denounced the attitude of the international community against them. They then announce the next steps. If there is a sequel.

June 25 Le Monde article:

Gaza flotilla II imminent departure

A year after the arrest of a murderer off the first convoy of Israel, a new international fleet prepares to sail to Gaza to try to break the blockade imposed on the Palestinian enclave. Unlike last year, two French ships involved in the operation.

The first of these ships, the “Louise Michel”, is currently in Greece. The second, “Dignity-Al Karama” sailed this morning from the Ile-Rousse in Corsica. I get on one of them and try to deliver on this blog Monde.fr the story of the expedition.

A campaign launched in October 2010

This project, called “A French boat to Gaza” would not be possible without the 600,000 euros of the money raised during the campaign launched in October under the leadership of the combined platform of French NGOs for Palestine and the National Collective for a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Nearly 70 organizations (associations, political parties and unions) were involved in mobilization. From Lille to Marseille via Strasbourg, Toulouse or Alencon, speakers and activists around the country. Three-week tour in February. “It was a real success,” testifies Julien Rivoire, a member of the New Anti-Capitalist Party and the coordinating committee of the campaign. “It happened in the markets with a sound truck, banners, leaflets and a bank. In Toulouse, the Mirail, 600 euros were collected in two hours. It was during the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. There was a particular climate, people were saying ‘it is possible to make a difference “.

SNOWBALL EFFECT

Driven by this momentum, mobilizing snowballed, quickly exceeding traditional activist circles. Events, exhibitions, film screenings or symbolic release of paper boats … In the end, more than 1,500 events are held across France. Donations tributary. “We never imagined that the movement would take on such a scale,” comments Maxim Guimberteau, communications officer of “A French boat to Gaza.”

“I feel that this campaign has awakened people. A real fervor has replaced the fatalism that had won many former activists involved in the pro-Palestinian,” observes Alain Bosc, and member of the Cimade Coordinating Committee of “A boat to Gaza”. Very relayed in associations, the initiative has been enthusiastically received in poor neighborhoods and in particular “to the French families of Arab origin, sensitive to the Palestinian question and the fate of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip.”

90% of individual donations

Many structures such as the Christian Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development (CCFD-Terre Solidarity) or the Christians of the Mediterranean have also mobilized their networks. An appeal, launched at the initiative of the Archbishop of Sens-Auxerre and bishops of Troyes and La Rochelle, was sent to all dioceses to encourage the faithful “to a special place in their personal prayer and a community for the second flotilla of freedom to achieve its objectives in the service of peace. ”

The result of all collected 600 000 euros, 90% of donations come from individuals. According to organizers, “most people participated at 5, 10 or 50 euros.” Added to the contributions of the signatory organizations, grants from several local and payment of the foundation “A world for all.” All support checks were made payable to the Movement against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples (MRAP), which opened a special account to centralize. “Everything was done in a transparent, ensures the collective. We have not accepted money from foreign countries or associations.”

46 PEOPLE IN FRENCH VESSELS

The funds raised were allocated to the purchase of two vessels, the formation of crews, and communications expenses. “Chartering vessels is what has been the most difficult in the end, recognizes Alain Bosc. We’re not owners, there have been some setbacks.”

Finally, 46 people are expected on board. Alongside the militants of the various associations involved in the campaign, carrying several personalities from the political or voluntary, as Olivier Besancenot (NPA), the Communist deputy in Le Havre, Jean-Paul Lecoq, MEP Nicole Kiil-Nielsen (EELV) the Breton sailor Jo Le Guen, or Julien Bayou, the collective “Out of colonialism.”

From June 25 FRANCE3

The “Dignity-Al Karama”, a 19-meter boat flying the French flag, left the waters of the Ile-Rousse to 11:15. It must join in the next ten to twelve days boats that make up the flotilla to Gaza.

“The entire fleet will sail next week from various Mediterranean ports,” Julien Rivoire told AFP a committee member coordinating the French countryside. Ships, including two freighters carrying medical supplies, “should reach the port of Gaza at the end of next week,” he added. Among them, a cargo bought a quarter of France and the rest of Sweden, Norway and France, making the “Dignity” the only boat in the fleet entirely French.

“We hope we can do it so as to breach the blockade,” said Omeyya Seddik, a passenger on the “Dignity”, reached by telephone by the AFP, for whom “joy is the feeling that dominates the time of departure. “This fleet is part of “the natural continuation of the revolution for freedom and democracy,” in Arab countries, said Seddik, of Tunisian origin.

Before taking off, a passenger on the boat at the stern hoisted a Palestinian flag and made the “V” for victory.

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.


Arrest of those who blocked the wheel house.


A sweet photo of the Canadian activists looking forlorn, for a brief moment. However unceremoniously, by this weekend’s blocking of the Freedom Flotilla II, the cause of freedom for Palestine and for Greece is well advanced.

And best news, precious activists didn’t have to die by the hand of Israeli commandos, and live to repeat their promise, Gaza We Are Coming!

Banner day for IMF: enslaves Greece, blocks Flotilla II to free Gaza & rapes Strauss-Kahn accuser for second time


JULY 1, 2011- US Boat THE AUDACITY OF HOPE defies Greek Authorities, immediately blocked. Shortly after this photo was taken, the Audacity of Hope was surrounded by Greek coast guard ships, blocked by the same government that just voted twice against the will of its own people.

Irish MV Saoirse becomes 2nd victim of sabotage, cannot sail with Gaza Flotilla

So how do nonviolent, unarmed humanitarian activists protect themselves from weapons-wielding attackers? Not very well.
 
But they don’t have to. Afterward, they don’t even point a finger. And it’s working.

Via too many flat screens to stop, the world audience sees that Israel will stop at nothing to starve off its remaining Palestinians, neither violence, lawsuits, attempted murder, or slander, is too much to keep humanitarians from hindering Israel’s designs on Judea and Samaria.

Now I admit I favor just a little finger pointing, particularly when it’s too early to say, concrete evidence-wise, because that brings out something even less attractive. Accuse Israel immediately and guess what, they’ll indignantly try to put the blame on others. That’s ugly.

And they accuse you of antisemitism, even if you love Jews, but don’t favor the Zionist, mass-murdering variety.

Getting aid to the beleaguered Gazans may prove more difficult than a beeline Mediterranean cruise, but this mountain of a greater Palestinian cause is coming to Mohammed.

Delegitimizing Apartheid Israel is becoming as easy as taking candy from a baby-candy-taker. While the internet hasbarapocalypse foams at the mouth applauding what may or may not have been IDF divers who rigged the MV Saoirse to sink in mid voyage, or what may or may not have been Mossad undercover agents who relieved flotilla participants of their cellphones, the eagerness of Stand-With-Israel fans to stand with such tactics is compounding with self-antisemitism.

It’s becoming more and more clear, with obstacles like the corporate media stacked against critics of Israel, that a nonviolent strategy is tantamount to success against a lawless foe. Remember our TSA considers nail-clippers to be a weapon. your average ocean-going cabin cruiser arms itself with at least a speargun or two if there becomes a need to fend off would-be petty pirates. God forbid the Gaza Flotilla be caught with tools like that.

So how do flotilla activists keep a 24-hour watch against underwater demolition teams? How do elderly activists protect themselves from paid-hoodlums holding them up? The next flotilla will need an entourage of protectors I suppose, if this what happens to this flotilla doesn’t break the blockade of Gaza for good.

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

Flotilla2 boat to GazaYou’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.

Whodunnit? Sooner than point the finger at whoever took the intelligence contract, better to focus on the flotilla’s irrepressible forward momentum. Notice how the Hasbara themes want to presage the relief effort’s dwindling relevance? Sabotage would grant Israel too easy success. You can’t kill activism but in the shadows.

Fortunately the flotilla vessels are arrayed at various Mediterranean ports, and the identities are being kept secret, much as the internet chorus would like to track them by satellite. So far the flotilla organizer strategies have been impeccable.

Media reports of nonviolence classes counter Israeli anticipation of violence.

The American boat’s decision to bring only a cargo of letters appears to have been a savvy maneuver around the US DOJ’s predictable enforcement of its anti-terrorism statutes. Yes, Hamas was democratically elected, but on the books it’s a terrorist entity and supporting it materially will result in charges. It seems inconceivable, but surprise seems to be a recurring judicial theme. The US delegation comprises the antiwar movements most luminary, I have to credit them now for not being too reckless. Where would the rest of us be, if they are behind bars?

Next I expect we will see the wit behind naming their boat after President Obama’s bestseller Audacity of Hope. What’s that going to do for his Google-metrics? Obama won’t be able to mention it again, without drawing reference to the Gaza relief mission he didn’t support.

The flotilla2 organizers don’t hope to provoke Israel, nor shame the IDF to “Stay Human,” they want to sail the the people of Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israel asserts its right to besiege Gaza, to starve, harass and demoralize the Palestinians in hope that eventually they’ll just want to leave. And that’s why the flotilla must not pass.

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

Gaza Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human - Aid Convoy
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.

Aboard the DIGNITY headed for Gaza: Olivier Besancenot, Julien Rivoire, Omeyyaa Sedic, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Annick Coupe, Nabil Ennasr, and AFP reporter Quentin Girard.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human - Aid Convoy
The second French vessel, the LOUISE MICHEL, named for the famed leader of the Paris Commune.

Tweeting from the already sailing DIGNITY is Thomas Sommer.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human - Aid Convoy
Irish activists pose before embarking on “Staying Human” Flotilla 2.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human - Aid Convoy
Team Ireland’s MV SAOIRSE whose departure point is being kept secret to circumvent pressure being brought to bear on local port officials, as is happening with the US and Canadian vessels.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human - Aid Convoy
USBoatToGaza participants rehearse nonviolent training in anticipation of IDF commando intervention.

Both the Canadian and US organizers are insisting on a media moratorium on images of the TAHRIR and AUDACITY OF HOPE respectively, in hopes of limiting opportunities for sabotage efforts. There is of course the conflicting motive of circulating images as early as possible to have visuals with which to better promote and nurture media interest in the international aid effort.

The Canadian boat TAHRIR will be covered by Toronto journalist Jesse Rosenfeld and Haaretz reporter Amira Haas.

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

Freedom Flotilla II - Stay HumanIt 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.

We’ve seen water hose on Freedom Riders before, only this time the blastees will be activist-squires. You might wonder what kind of sympathy they’ll garner, that is if an audience will see it at all. Will there be an independent media vessel cruising alongside the flotilla, with footage and equipment outside the jurisdiction of an Isreali commando raid? In the past the IDF was able to confiscate every scrap of evidence which could be used against them, at least until their doctored video could shape the official narrative.

Then too, with the absence of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Palestine-champions like Ken O’Keefe, the IDF’s interdiction may meet no resistance at all. Remember the MV Rachel Corrie, surrendering themselves with nary a ripple of media coverage?

Another less provocative strategy adopted by the US boat was not to carry any aid cargo, simply letters of support from American donors. I’m not sure why, except that the IDF cannot accuse them of smuggling anything past the blockade. But what does that make the Audacity of Hope exactly? The Freedom Flotilla is what, if it’s not a relief convoy?

There’s time before the flotilla leaves from Greece, please please please put something aboard to take to Gaza. Break the siege with SOMETHING. You can’t very well assert that Israel wouldn’t otherwise grant entry to all these American activists, many of the Jewish, through the formal border crossings, with or without stacks of correspondence.

I’ll spare further critique for now and wish Team Nonviolence the best success. NotMyTribe has complied a Twitter list of who to follow on the Freedom Flotilla II. Here is an incomplete listing of the passengers on three ships, Ireland’s MV Saoirse, Canada’s Tahrir, and USA’s The Audacity of Hope.

Ireland – MV Saoirse
National Coordinator Fintan Lane, Skipper Shane Dillon, John Hearne, Pat Fitzgerald, Paul Murphy, Hugh Lewis, Rik Walton, Mags O’Brien, Gerard Barron, Jim Roche, Zoe Lawlor, John Mallon, Charlie McMenamin, Philip McCullough, Hussein Hamed, Aine Joyce, Former Fianna Fáil TD Chris Andrews, Senator Mark Daly, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó’ Snodaigh, Sinn Féin councilor Gerry MacLochlainn, artist Felim Egan, rugby international Trevor Hogan. Representing the Irish Ship to Gaza campaign, the Free Gaza Movement, Irish Anti-War Movement, and Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Canada – Tahrir
Rifat Audeh, Stéphan Corriveau, Karen DeVito, Bachar Elsolh, David Heap, Miles Howe, Soha Kneen, Irene MacInnes, David Milne, Marie-Eve Rancourt, Jase Tanner, Kevin Neish, Dylan Penner (Independent Jewish Voices Canada), Vivienne Porzsolt (Jews Against Occupation in Australia), Harmeet Singh Sooden, Muhammed Hamou (the London Muslim Mosque), Robert Lovelace (Former Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and professor of Indigenous Studies at Queen’s University), Lyn Adamson (Canadian Voice of Women for Peace Co-Chair), Manon Massé (Quebec Solidaire representative), Sue Breeze, Kate Wilson, filmmaker John Greyson, Mary Hughes-Thompson, co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement), Sofia Smith, Amira Haas

US Boat – The Audacity of Hope
Medea Benjamin, Hedy Epstein, Ray McGovern, Kathy Kelly, Ken Mayers, Richard Levy, Henry Norr, Gail Miller, Ridgely Fuller, Robert Naiman, Linda Durham, Brad Taylor, Nic Abramson, Alice Walker, ?Libor Kožnar?, Hagit Borer, Kit Kittredge, G. Kaleo Larson

French
Two boats: Louise Michel & Le Dignité-El Karameh
Julien Bayou (co-founder, Black Thursday), Olivier Besancenot (NPA), Alain Bosc (Cimade), Annick Coupé (porte-parole et déléguée générale de l’Union Syndicale Solidaires), Ismahane Chouder (Participation et Spiritualité Musulmane), Jean-François Courbe (département international de la CGT), Nabil Ennasri (président du Collectif des Musulmans de France), Raymond Fabrègues (Coalition contre Agrexco et Confédération paysanne), Patrice Finel (Parti de Gauche), Georges Gumpel (membre du bureau national de l’UJFP et représentant de l’EJJP), Nicole Kill Nielsen (députée européenne EE-LV), Claude Léostic (vice présidente de l’AFPS), Jean-Paul Lecoq (député du PCF), Catherine Lecoq (Mouvement de la Paix et le Collectif 13 Un bateau pour Gaza), Jo le Guen (navigateur), Yamin Makri (Collectif 69 de soutien au peuple palestinien), Oussama Mouftah (Collectif 59 Palestine), Marie Jo Parbot (auteur de BD), Eugène Riguidel (navigateur), Thomas Sommer (CCIPPP), Henri Stoll (Collectif Palestine 68), Omeyya Seddik

Norway
Torstein Dahle, Stine Renate Haheim, Aksel Hagen, Mina Boldermo Eriksen, Bjørn O. Bjørnsen, Tove Henny Lehre, Bard Vegar Solhjell

Denmark
Gitte Seeberg
John Ekebjaerg-Jakobsen
Adam Qvist

(NOTE: This post will be updated an appended as more information becomes available.)

Gaza we are coming

Gaza we are comingPlans 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?

Meanwhile another flotilla is in the works for September, which may include Spanish footballers. Canadian activists have announced efforts to contribute a Canadian ship, and US activists are raising funds for an American ship, to be named “The Audacity of Hope,” after President Obama’s autobiographical self-promotion. Personally I think the pay-it-forward Nobel Prize to Obama paid squat. Obama couldn’t even muster outrage over Israel’s murder of the Freedom Flotilla activists, nor would he sanction an international investigation. Why credit him with any part of the rescue of the Palestinians of Gaza?

Naji Al Ali docked in LebanonThe naming of “Maryam” or Mariam, after the Virgin Mary is already being resisted by the Israeli press, which is referring to the ship by its previous identity JUNIA. No doubt the all-woman ship will present a challenge to the brutality-prone IDF.

The confusion over the identity of Julia/Junia may be part of the subterfuge meant to evade Israel sabotage which succeeded in hampering the Freedom Flotilla’s CHALLENGER I and II.

GAZA WE ARE COMING is the title of a documentary made about the earlier attempts to break the siege of Gaza by sea. The project is more complicated than you might think, having to avoid the MOSSAD at every turn. Each successive wave has involved bigger ships, so far, taken as prizes by Israel. Will a sovereign government finally step forward to provide official escort to a convoy?

The United Nations has ruled the siege of Gaza to be illegal. Israel itself pretends that Gaza is autonomous, thus the naval blockade cannot be a pretext to protect Israeli waters. Debates in the media about who’s in the right are merely charades.

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.

Israel was able to exert international pressure on various fronts to try to prevent the departure of the humanitarian cargo ship. It’s flagged in Moldova, and had to port in Greece before making its run to relieve the Siege of Gaza.

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.
Infiltrators aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, seen on thermal video purporting to depict Israeli commandos being beat by Turkish peace activists
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?

That would be a “pretext” in hindsight of course, because the record is emerging that the Israeli commandos were firing on the ship well in advance of attempting a boarding party. One of the objectives Israel had in detaining the activists was to prevent their account of the raid from reaching public eyes before the IDF could inundate Youtube with clips of what it planned to pretend had happened.

From the video spread round by the IDF, one gets the impression the Israeli soldiers were pummeled to within an inch of their lives. But in reality the soldiers emerged nearly unscathed. Is it possible the pipe-wielders were striking against the deck and serving also to keep the genuine activists at bay?

In fact the video footage which the activists succeeded in spiriting past their IDF jailers show the same scene devoid of what Israel described as a “lynch.” What may have looked like beatings, from Israel’s thermal camera aimed from beside the Marmara, did not register at all from up close. Curiously stealthy choreography.

While we look for the incriminating names, here are the US senators and congressmen who’ve signed on to letters drafted by AIPAC to show their support for Israel’s raid on the humanitarian convoy, and to urge President Obama to use the Security Council veto power to block any effort to investigate the killings.

Signatories to the Reid-McConnell Letter
on the Gaza Flotilla Incident

Total Number of Signatories: 85

As of June 18, 2010

Senator State Party
Alexander, Lamar TN R
Barrasso, John WY R
Baucus, Max MT D
Bayh, Evan IN D
Begich, Mark AK D
Bennet, Michael CO D
Bennett, Robert UT R
Bond, Christopher MO R
Boxer, Barbara CA D
Brown, Scott MA R
Brown, Sherrod OH D
Brownback, Sam KS R
Burr, Richard NC R
Burris, Roland W. IL D
Cantwell, Maria WA D
Cardin, Ben MD D
Carper, Tom DE D
Casey Jr., Bob PA D
Chambliss, Saxby GA R
Coburn, Tom OK R
Cochran, Thad MS R
Collins, Susan ME R
Conrad, Kent ND D
Corker, Bob TN R
Cornyn, John TX R
Crapo, Mike ID R
DeMint, Jim SC R
Dorgan, Byron ND D
Durbin, Richard IL D
Ensign, John NV R
Enzi, Mike WY R
Feinstein, Dianne CA D
Franken, Al MN D
Gillibrand, Kirsten NY D
Graham, Lindsey SC R
Grassley, Charles IA R
Hagan, Kay NC D
Hatch, Orrin UT R
Hutchinson, Kay Bailey TX R
Inhofe, Jim OK R
Inouye, Daniel HI D
Isakson, Johnny GA R
Johanns, Mike NE R
Johnson, Tim SD D
Kaufman, Ted DE D
Klobuchar, Amy MN D
Kohl, Herbert WI D
Kyl, Jon AZ R
Landrieu, Mary LA D
Lautenberg, Frank NJ D
LeMieux, George FL R
Levin, Carl MI D
Lieberman, Joseph CT I
Lincoln, Blanche AR D
Lugar, Richard IN R
McCain, John AZ R
McCaskill, Claire MO D
McConnell, Mitch KY R
Menendez, Bob NJ D
Mikulski, Barbara MD D
Murkowski, Lisa AK R
Murray, Patty WA D
Nelson, Ben NE D
Nelson, Bill FL D
Pryor, Mark AR D
Reed, Jack RI D
Reid, Harry NV D
Risch, Jim ID R
Roberts, Pat KS R
Schumer, Charles NY D
Sessions, Jeff AL R
Shaheen, Jeanne NH D
Shelby, Richard AL R
Snowe, Olympia ME R
Specter, Arlen PA D
Stabenow, Debbie MI D
Tester, John MT D
Thune, John SD R
Udall, Mark CO D
Vitter, David LA R
Voinovich, George OH R
Warner, Mark VA D
Whitehouse, Sheldon RI D
Wicker, Roger MS R
Wyden, Ron OR D

Colorado’s on board!

Signatories to the Poe-Peters Letter
on the Gaza Flotilla Incident

Total Number of Signatories: 292

As of June 21, 2010

House Member Party State
Ackerman, Gary D NY
Aderholt, Robert R AL
Adler, John D NJ
Akin, Todd R MO
Alexander, Rodney R LA
Altmire, Jason D PA
Andrews, Rob D NJ
Arcuri, Mike D NY
Austria, Steve R OH
Baca, Joe D CA
Bachmann, Michele R MN
Bachus, Spencer R AL
Barrett, Gresham R SC
Barrow, John D GA
Bartlett, Roscoe R MD
Barton, Joe R TX
Berkley, Shelley D NV
Berman, Howard D CA
Biggert, Judy R IL
Bilbray, Brian R CA
Bilirakis, Gus R FL
Bishop, Rob R UT
Bishop, Sanford D GA
Bishop, Tim D NY
Blackburn, Marsha R TN
Blunt, Roy R MO
Boccieri, John D OH
Boehner, John R OH
Bonner, Jo R AL
Bono Mack, Mary R CA
Boozman, John R AR
Boren, Dan D OK
Boswell, Leonard D IA
Boyd, Allen D FL
Brady, Kevin R TX
Brady, Robert D PA
Bright, Bobby D AL
Broun, Paul R GA
Brown, Corrine D FL
Brown, Henry R SC
Brown-Waite, Ginny R FL
Buchanan, Vern R FL
Burgess, Michael R TX
Burton, Dan R IN
Buyer, Steve R IN
Calvert, Ken R CA
Camp, Dave R MI
Campbell, John R CA
Cantor, Eric R VA
Cao, Anh “Joseph” R LA
Capito, Shelley Moore R WV
Cardoza, Dennis D CA
Carnahan, Russ D MO
Carney, Chris D PA
Carter, John R TX
Cassidy, Bill R LA
Castle, Michael R DE
Castor, Kathy D FL
Chaffetz, Jason R UT
Chandler, Ben D KY
Childers, Travis D MS
Coble, Howard R NC
Coffman, Mike R CO
Cohen, Steve D TN
Cole, Tom R OK
Conaway, Michael R TX
Cooper, Jim D TN
Costa, Jim D CA
Crenshaw, Ander R FL
Critz, Mark D PA
Crowley, Joseph D NY
Cuellar, Henry D TX
Culberson, John R TX
Davis, Artur D AL
Davis, Geoff R KY
Davis, Lincoln D TN
Davis, Susan D CA
DeLauro, Rosa D CT
Dent, Charlie R PA
Deutch, Ted D FL
Diaz-Balart, Lincoln R FL
Diaz-Balart, Mario R FL
Djou, Charles R HI
Donnelly, Joe D IN
Dreier, David R CA
Driehaus, Steve D OH
Ehlers, Vern R MI
Ellsworth, Brad D IN
Emerson, JoAnn R MO
Engel, Eliot D NY
Fallin, Mary R OK
Flake, Jeff R AZ
Fleming, John R LA
Forbes, Randy R VA
Foster, Bill D IL
Foxx, Virginia R NC
Frank, Barney D MA
Franks, Trent R AZ
Frelinghuysen, Rodney R NJ
Gallegly, Elton R CA
Garrett, Scott R NJ
Gerlach, James R PA
Giffords, Gabrielle D AZ
Gingrey, Phil R GA
Gohmert, Louie R TX
Goodlatte, Robert R VA
Gordon, Bart D TN
Granger, Kay R TX
Graves, Sam R MO
Grayson, Alan D FL
Green, Gene D TX
Griffith, Parker R AL
Guthrie, Brett R KY
Hall, John D NY
Hall, Ralph R TX
Halvorson, Debbie D IL
Hare, Phil D IL
Harman, Jane D CA
Harper, Gregg R MS
Hastings, Alcee D FL
Hastings, Doc R WA
Heinrich, Martin D NM
Heller, Dean R NV
Hensarling, Jeb R TX
Herger, Wally R CA
Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie D SD
Higgins, Brian D NY
Himes, Jim D CT
Hodes, Paul D NH
Holden, Tim D PA
Holt, Rush D NJ
Hoyer, Steny D MD
Hunter, Duncan D. R CA
Israel, Steve D NY
Jackson, Jesse, Jr. D IL
Jenkins, Lynn R KS
Johnson, Sam R TX
Johnson, Tim R IL
Jordan, Jim R OH
Kagen, Steve D WI
Kildee, Dale D MI
King, Peter R NY
King, Steve R IA
Kingston, Jack R GA
Kirk, Mark R IL
Kirkpatrick, Ann D AZ
Kissell, Larry D NC
Klein, Ron D FL
Kline, John R MN
Kosmas, Suzanne D FL
Kratovil, Frank D MD
Lamborn, Doug R CO
Lance, Leonard R NJ
Langevin, Jim D RI
Larsen, Rick D WA
Larson, John D CT
Latham, Tom R IA
LaTourette, Steven R OH
Latta, Bob R OH
Lee, Christopher R NY
Levin, Sander D MI
Lewis, Jerry R CA
Linder, John R GA
Lipinski, Daniel D IL
LoBiondo, Frank R NJ
Lowey, Nita D NY
Lucas, Frank R OK
Luetkemeyer, Blaine R MO
Lummis, Cynthia R WY
Lungren, Dan R CA
Mack, Connie R FL
Maffei, Dan D NY
Maloney, Carolyn D NY
Manzullo, Donald R IL
Marchant, Kenny R TX
Marshall, Jim D GA
Matheson, Jim D UT
McCarthy, Carolyn D NY
McCarthy, Kevin R CA
McCaul, Michael R TX
McClintock, Tom R CA
McCotter, Thaddeus R MI
McHenry, Patrick R NC
McIntyre, Mike D NC
McKeon, Howard “Buck” R CA
McMahon, Michael D NY
McMorris Rodgers, Cathy R WA
McNerney, Jerry D CA
Meek, Kendrick D FL
Mica, John R FL
Miller, Candice R MI
Miller, Gary R CA
Miller, Jeff R FL
Minnick, Walt D ID
Mitchell, Harry D AZ
Moore, Dennis D KS
Moran, Jerry R KS
Murphy, Patrick D PA
Myrick, Sue R NC
Nadler, Jerrold D NY
Neal, Richard D MA
Neugebauer, Randy R TX
Nunes, Devin R CA
Nye, Glenn D VA
Olson, Pete R TX
Ortiz, Solomon D TX
Owens, Bill D NY
Pallone, Frank D NJ
Paulsen, Erik R MN
Pence, Mike R IN
Perlmutter, Ed D CO
Peters, Gary D MI
Peterson, Collin D MN
Pitts, Joseph R PA
Platts, Todd R PA
Poe, Ted R TX
Polis, Jared D CO
Posey, Bill R FL
Price, Tom R GA
Putnam, Adam R FL
Quigley, Mike D IL
Radanovich, George R CA
Rehberg, Dennis R MT
Reichert, Dave R WA
Reyes, Silvestre D TX
Roe, Phil R TN
Rogers, Harold R KY
Rogers, Mike R MI
Rogers, Mike R AL
Rohrabacher, Dana R CA
Rooney, Tom R FL
Roskam, Peter R IL
Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana R FL
Ross, Mike D AR
Rothman, Steve D NJ
Royce, Ed R CA
Ruppersberger, C.A. Dutch D MD
Ryan, Paul R WI
Salazar, John D CO
Sanchez, Linda D CA
Sarbanes, John D MD
Scalise, Steve R LA
Schakowsky, Jan D IL
Schauer, Mark D MI
Schiff, Adam D CA
Schmidt, Jean R OH
Schock, Aaron R IL
Schwartz, Allyson D PA
Sensenbrenner, James R WI
Sessions, Pete R TX
Sestak, Joe D PA
Shadegg, John R AZ
Sherman, Brad D CA
Shimkus, John R IL
Shuler, Heath D NC
Shuster, William R PA
Simpson, Mike R ID
Sires, Albio D NJ
Skelton, Ike D MO
Slaughter, Louise D NY
Smith, Adrian R NE
Smith, Christopher R NJ
Smith, Lamar R TX
Space, Zack D OH
Spratt, John D SC
Stearns, Cliff R FL
Sullivan, John R OK
Sutton, Betty D OH
Teague, Harry D NM
Terry, Lee R NE
Terry, Lee R TX
Thompson, Glenn R PA
Thornberry, William R TX
Tiahrt, Todd R KS
Tiberi, Pat R OH
Titus, Dina D NV
Tonko, Paul D NY
Turner, Mike R OH
Upton, Fred R MI
Walden, Greg R OR
Wamp, Zach R TN
Wasserman Schultz, Debbie D FL
Waxman, Henry D CA
Weiner, Anthony D NY
Westmoreland, Lynn R GA
Whitfield, Edward R KY
Wilson, Joe R SC
Wittman, Rob R VA
Wolf, Frank R VA
Yarmuth, John D KY
Young, C.W. Bill R FL
Young, Don R AK

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

Israel Knessit member Hanin ZoubiAfter 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.

By ours I don’t mean the us of A. I mean people of conscience.

Ken O’Keefe is the former US marine who renounced his citizenship after fighting in the Gulf War. Among many actions he’s participated in since then, O’Keefe led the bus caravan to Iraq during the lead up to that war, when it was hoped dotting Iraq with Westerners would be the human shield that deterred a US=British attack.

O’Keefe was among those on the Mavi Marmara, in particular fending off the commandos. He recounts how he helped disarm the soldiers and stash their sidearms for later use as evidence. The clips weren’t “emptied” into the Israelis at all, but stashed separately to prevent anyone from using or being accused of using the guns.

If anything O’Keefe served as provocateur to the activists’ courage, to step up a try to avert Israel’s interception of the humanitarian aid.

But on the theme of provocateurs, there are some schools of thought worth deliberating. (to be continued)

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.

At 4AM GMT one of her support groups Tweeted that the MV Rachel Corrie had passed Alexandria. Curious geometry that. By latitude, I could be said to round Malta everyday. The Corrie passed nothing and no one.

Is it a testament to the Zionist influence over not just the US media but the international media, that there are no live correspondents awaiting the Rachel Corrie? Even paparazzi stringers could make a fortune if they hired a boat to accost what must surely be the most famous ship since the maritime misadventure of the Sea Shepherd Society’s Ady Gil.

Free Gaza Freedom Flotilla flagship leaves Ireland for GazaThe MV Rachel Corrie set off from Ireland in darkness, prohibiting a public sendoff and certainly any good pictures. Their strategy to confront the Israeli navy during daylight presumes they will be able to cache whatever footage they get of their interception. Without third party witnesses, whatever befalls the relief ship will never see the light of day, even in the light of day.

I’ll admit it, we held a local protest on Monday in response to Israel’s violent attack on the Freedom Flotilla. It was a decent turnout for having been spontaneous, but I didn’t take any pictures, and we got no press. The only evidence that it happened rests with the cars which drove by, the passersby who approached us to defend Israel being right no matter what, and our own memories of feeling like we did something. I hate that kind of activism.

If an activist pushes a tree over in the woods, but nobody is there to see it, that gesture hasn’t activated anyone.

Photos of the Rachel Corrie have been so sparse that media outlets are still using the image used on the Corrie’s unveiling, featuring a Photoshopped logo on her stern. Her previous name was still the Linda, but enthusiastic activists no doubt wanted to get the ball rolling.

UPDATE 6/5: And there she is finally, we can now see her being guided into port by Israeli pilots. If the IDF account is to be believed, the activists offered the boarding party a ladder. So there it was, broad daylight, not a reporter present, in international waters where observers would have had every right to be.

Was all the reaction to the violence visited upon the Mavi Marmara all bluster? Did the various Free Gaza enterprises receive additional donations or no? Italy ad Greece are teeming with multimillion dollar motor yachts with helipads which could have steamed to the scene.

Apparently online fans didn’t get the memo that the cruise of the Rachel Corrie was to come to naught. Neither Al-Jazeera, Russia Today or Press TV were preparing for breaking news. To say nothing about CNN or Sky. Not even in Gaza were authorities preparing for an auspicious arrival.

Did it happen? I was beginning to wonder if the MV Rachel Corrie existed at all. Imagine donors and well-wishers and even the seasick crew told this is about aid, not publicity. It’s about one shipload, not the hundred ships Gaza needs. It seemed a cruel joke to make Gazans hopeful based on an effort that was never tangable, and then ultimately would never reach them.

Did the Rachel Corrie really want to get through? Is it enough to travel the ocean to place your offering at the feet of the wall, as opposed to trying to pierce what you accuse to be an illegal blockade? What do you gain by submitting to your assailant, especially if no one’s watching? This humanitarian effort for the people of Gaza became like a Frisbee thrown vaguely in their direction. Except the Palestinians aren’t at liberty to run and catch it. From afar we can only shout, “Sorry!”

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…

The Neocon cabal of Israeli-Americans: Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Dov Zakheim, George Tenet, Michael Chertoff, Michael Mukasey, Marc Grossman, Philip Zelikow, Ari Fleischer, Elliot Abrams, “Scooter” Libby, William Kristol, Henry Kissinger, Keneth Adelman, Robert Satloff, Richard Haass, Robert Zoellick, James Schlesinger, David Frum, Joshua Bolten, John Bolton, David Wurmser, Eliot Cohen, Mel Sembler, Steve Goldsmith, Adam Goldman, Joseph Gildenhorn, Christopher Gersten, Mark Weinberger, Samuel Bodman, Bonnie Cohen, Ruth Davis…

And in the diplomatic corps: Daniel Kurtzer, Ambassador to Israel; Cliff Sobel, Ambassador to the Netherlands; Stuart Bernstein, Ambassador to Denmark; Nancy Brinker, Ambassador to Hungary; Frank Lavin, Ambassador to Singapore; Ron Weiser, Ambassador to Slovakia; Mel Sembler, Ambassador to Italy; Martin Silverstein, Ambassador to Uruguay…

And the previous administration’s Lincoln Bloomfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs; Jay Lefkowitz, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council; Ken Melman, White House Political Director; Brad Blakeman, White House Director of Scheduling.

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?

IDF raid on Mavi Marmara, Freedom Flotilla
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.”

We may view and review the IDF night vision tapes which recorded the hardly nonviolent reception given Israel’s would-be swashbuckling commandos. Those convoy defenders delivering the first blows may appear to be having way too much fun for our sense of propriety. But it’s hard to begrudge men who’ve suffered under the Israeli boot, perhaps even Israeli torture, who’ve never gotten closer to their oppressors than an Israeli sniper’s range would allow. Perhaps they have loved ones to avenge, or ideals higher than secular humanists can credit. Whatever hatred or anger, the bravery it took to lift metal pipes against modern firepower is undeniable. And just like the stone-throwers of their youth, this is the indomitable spirit that buoys their survival. Without this fight, their numbers would entropy to servitude and attrition, lifeless bodies suspended on their invader’s web, to feed the occupier’s young until they are gone.

From our church pews and academic perches we can supplicate they heed the road most honorably traveled. What do Westerners know of pragmatics? At best our reality is theoretical. Really, who are we, we are always wrong. We can neither elect presidents who matter, nor pass legislation that does not agree with our corporate landlords. And we presume to advise on struggles that mean life and death.

Am I saying that there is no efficacy to nonviolent action? Not at all. But I do say, give human nature and righteous anger its due. Nonviolent passivity is for sheep. It will lead us all to an unceremonious death. Wolves count on sheep that don’t bite back. If humans can be divided between wolves and sheep, be upfront with the sheep and perhaps you’ll rouse in some of them a wolf’s courage. That is what will lift your collective humanity.

At this moment a second wave of the Freedom Flotilla is poised to make a second go at Gaza. The MV Rachel Corrie waits in mid Mediterranean for reinforcements to join it, whereupon it too will push Israel’s buttons. Rumors are already circulating that a diplomatic compromise may already have been reached to divert the aid supplies through Egypt. Of course that rumor was spread about the recent flotilla. From the horses mouth however, the Rachel Corrie crew are expressing the desire to avoid a similar disaster, they vow to sit peaceably with arms raised lest IDF interlopers mistake resistance.

This may be the false pacifist bluster that led Israel to underestimate the fighting spirit of the Mavi Marmara’s above deck. Or it may be genuine. Which Israeli game theorists will be eager to plug and play. The MV Rachel Corrie wheelhouse will be handed to the IDF just as a harbor pilot boards to guide a ship into port, IDF gunboats serving as tugboats, aid supplies unloaded at Ashdod, then transferred through an approved border crossing with as much fanfare as collaboration with occupiers will garner. Humanitarian relief delivered but no blockade breached. A Pyrrhic victory that means private interests will forever subsidize the bill which Israel owes.

I have more faith than that in the Free Gaza Movement, they’ve played their cards superbly, if of course lacking the visual aids which it would seem would greatly enliven media coverage. But I’m second guessing there too. Perhaps an imagined picture is better than the reality mundane. The public knows enough about what happened on the Mavi Marmara with just a sliver of video coverage. Even with IDF fine-tuned selective snippets, the public imagination can run with the truth. And organizers are not at liberty to praise the Marmara martyrs. So I will.

I was dismayed when heard on the Marmara’s last video stream, someone pleading with the “brotherhood” to cease their resistance because the activists were facing live ammunition. The admonition was in English, meaning most of the brotherhood would not understand it anyway. If you watched the continuous broadcast, it was almost exclusively in Turkish, suited to its main audience in Turkey. When participants wanted to testify in another language, many onscreen slunk their shoulders until the Turkish was back. Bilingual announcers who asked the hosts which language they should speak were always advised against English. So when the final plea was made to the “brotherhood,” the language seemed deliberately aimed at the Western viewer, a telltale conceit that would bolster Israel’s version of events.

For the most part, what Israel says happened is what happened, to the most significant degree. A lot of damning gunfire may have been omitted from the IDF tapes volunteered to skew public perception, but what pretext more did the brotherhood need to defend the ship against the surprise nocturnal invaders? None.

Just as Israel insists on its right to defend itself, it can hardly deny the convoy the same right.

What is utterly clear is that the Muslim brotherhood didn’t raise its arms chanting Kumbaya, neither did they lock arms to be trampled afoot. As the Israeli special-ops came down from the helicopters, the brotherhood gave them their best wallops. They had no guns, nor swords nor explosives nor booby-traps. They showed amazing restraint for the anger they carried. Yet in the face of overwhelming firepower they ran straight forward, some of them armed only with a plastic chair. I had practically to sympathize with the soldiers coming one at a time down the ropes. That brave first one certainly caught the brunt of a violent ride. Only an inhumanly ardent partisan could not feel pain for that solitary first Israeli battered like a rag doll. We are certainly never treated to videos which have shown that IDF soldiers might feel the pangs in the face of what the violence they are committing.

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?”

Every modern military with a propaganda office, when it suffers a setback, attributes it to an ambush. When the US and Israel do it, it’s an attack; when our dastardly adversaries do it, it’s an ambush. Let’s set aside that the night watch on the Mavi Marmara’s deck might have been defending themselves. For the moment the IDF version of events is the only one Israel is allowing.

Ambush, trap, beating, getting jumped, wouldn’t these be appropriate descriptions for what Israel is asserting its night-vision video depicts? To lynch someone -it’s a verb- implies a hanging, extrajudicial, usually perpetrated by a crowd against a lone victim, unarmed. So where does the IDF get “lynch?”

To my mind, the Israeli-accented tender of “lynch” is feigned bad English, stuttered -I hope in shame- as perpetrator blames victim, but stuttered conveniently, to make the accusation less preposterous. Isn’t a rape victim who is too well versed in the crime perpetrated against her, less convincing than a victim who fumbles to comprehend the outrage she suffered? Poor Israel, its soldiers stepped into a, a, a lynch.

Emitted from military spokespeople however, one projects a reflexive followup “-that’s the ticket.”

I’m guessing grasping a straws like “lynch” is played for sympathy. And while I deconstruct the false unfamiliarity of otherwise precisely crafted English: PM Netanyahu’s mention of “Love Boat” had a bumbling Bush “the internets” ring to it. Anyone old enough to know the television show about the enchanted cruise ship knows there’s not “a Love Boat” but The Love Boat.

If the newly nouned “lynch” is intended to define a hate crime unique to anti-Semites, the motive fits with Israel’s insistence that first genocide, now holocaust, can only apply to Jews. Such an implication is aided by Netanyahu’s suggestion that the lynch was “plotted.” Because common understanding of mob misbehavior precludes a premeditated plot. This may reflect a naive dismissal of the responsibility of authorities who manipulated the lynch mobs and witch hunts, but dictionaries seldom chronicle the injustice of the victors who write the history. Conventional wisdom holds that lynchings were improvisational.

Perhaps the English speaking viewers are meant to associate the implicit racism of the term. Ambush after all doesn’t conjure the slightest whiff of antisemitism. But here’s where Israel’s liberal arts wordsmiths may have outsmarted themselves. While it’s true that thousands of African Americans were lynched through our nation’s history, to the average American who dwells not very often on shameful pasts, the definition of lynching encompasses simply an execution in lieu a trial. Even an unfair trial, or kangaroo court, can be called a lynching. A lynch mob is an enraged crowd meting vigilante justice, hanging high what to them is an indisputable wrongdoer. The overwhelming number of lynching victims in America’s lawless west were hunted criminals. While xenophobia may always have skewed the mob’s judgment against Indian, Chinese, Mexican, or Black, a lynching was not by definition about racial prejudice.

If the beating of the Israeli commandos illustrated a hatred, was it racist? One is meant to assume the motive was anti-Semitic, but I wonder if Arab-Israelies serving in the IDF, or foreign nationals or mercenaries, don’t garner antagonism as vociferous. The historic prejudice decried by ADL and holocaust remembrance stalwarts has been against Jews, but the world today reviles Israeli arrogance. The US has become universal despised, but American tourists are still assured the world hates America, not its people. It’s what we’re told, if even if it is untrue. I do not know of course if Israelis are proffered the same polite assurance.

Did Israel mean that the Freedom Flotilla was an attempted lynching of Israel’s international reputation? In that case, Israel’s predictable militant reaction made such a hanging a matter of assisted suicide. If the Israeli national character suffers irreparably, who’s going to be to bame?

Presuming to paint its soldiers into a lynching scene, which character does Israel assert they played? Were the IDF the horse thieves? Bandying about the connotations of lynchings makes for an interesting turning of the tables. Were the convoy defenders the ones pronouncing hasty judgment upon their dark-of-night assailants? Or were Israel’s commandos declaring themselves judge and jury on the alleged arms smugglers?

In cases of breaking and entering, the home field advantage is accorded the right to self-defense. A SWAT team might make the argument that identifying itself as law enforcement preempts a homeowner’s recourse to armed resistance, based on the principle that an arresting officer’s safety is inviolate. Israel may assert it was policing its border, but unfortunately last Monday it was operating beyond its border. What protection can a law enforcement function claim if outside its jurisdiction?

It might be well and good to say Israel reserves the right to protect itself from enemies anywhere in the world, but it can’t pretend its badge should command universal obeisance.

The Mavi Marmara had declared her intention to run Israel’s blockade, but hadn’t yet attempted the crossing. In fact the Freedom Flotilla was moving away from the contentious area at the time of Israel’s attack.

Who then was the victim of this “lynch?”

I’ll tell you why it’s lynch and not lynching. Because Israel’s soldiers weren’t killed, they were beaten. Not to diminish what might have been their adversaries’ worst intentions, but the gantlet the IDF commandoes received was not a hanging specifically, and not very effective in terms of proving fatal. On the other hand, the outcome was the killing of an as yet undisclosed multitude of civilians, unarmed to an extent that the killings can be defined as executions, the entire result already adjudged to have been a massacre.

Israel’s invention of “lynch” is an utterance which I believe betrays the sign of shame the world longs to see from Israel. Even as the public revels in watching the Israeli hubris on self-destruct, empathy has us hoping to see Israel grasp for its lost humanity. To describe the events on the Turkish passenger ship as a “lynch” is to fail to summon the chutzpah to bear false witness, to accuse the dead of capital murder. Neither does Israel dare to raise the specter that summary executions were committed that night at all.

There is a term to describe

a) Israel’s taking the law into its own hands by pirating a ship belonging to another nation while it sailed in international waters,

b) Israel’s soldiers not being a police force but an ideology-deputized posse,

c) opting in a confused fervor to punish outlaws thought to have been caught red handed,

d) issuing on the spot death sentences.

It’s called a mass lynching.