Tag Archives: Gaza

While Denver activists hold six rallies in solidarity with Gaza, Colorado Springs is content to mourn the dead

cos-gaza-vigil-nmt
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.- A passing motorist can be excused for mistaking that gathering for a prayer vigil, and it’s typical of Colorado Springs, nothing escapes the Christian crutch. Notice how no one’s banners faced outward. This is what preaching to the choir looks like for the hearing impaired.

If Israel can intercept Hamas rockets, it can stop pounding Gazans

If the Iron Dome works, Israel won’t have to retaliate after each Hamas rocket! These acts of desperation by the besieged Gazans, victims of Israel’s occupation, will become like the rocks thrown by Palestinian youth, futile. Hopefully Israel will expand its dome of impunity to protect Gazans too, from whoever is striking at them.

Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi opens the gates of the US-Israeli created cage for Palestinians

Hurray, President Morsi! You continue to defy low expectations and continue to push the limits of the constraints that the US government has tried to put on you. Morsi has opened Gaza so that the Palestinians held prisoner there can perhaps now begin to leave! Israel will continue to try to enslave Palestinians or simply push them to elsewhere. Still, it is a great move for now, Morsi! Stand firm. Morsi meeting opens a door on Gaza blockade.

Do the 2012 London Olympics need extra security forces to protect Israeli athletes or to arrest them?

Organizers are worried about inadequate security for the Olympic Games set to begin next month in London. What security threat are they anticipating exactly? It’s true the Olympics have become a bullseye for globalization critics. More and more, both athletes and groupies represent the jet set. But other than past indigenous protests in the Commonwealth territories, which amounted to no more than nonviolent blockades, what does the UK need paramilitary forces to defend against this time? Another 1972 Munich massacre? At the summer Olympics in Munich, the Israeli wrestling team was murdered by PLO terrorists called the “Black September Brigade”, but the official narrative leaves off that the Israeli athletes were targeted because they were IDF soldiers who’d participated in the counter-insurgent near-complete rout of the PLO, known as Black September. So that raises an interesting question. Is London expecting to host Israeli athletes who were veterans of Operation Cast Lead or the attack on the Mavi Marmara, whose assassinations someone might want to avenge? British authorities could address that most handily with preemption, because this time the IDF campaign against Gaza was widely regarded to have violated international law. Warn Team Israel that any such veteran setting foot in England would face prosecution for war crimes. While London is at it, issue the same warning to Team USA. Yeah, and Team UK, and Team Germany, et cetera, for Afghanistan, Libya, now Syria. It’s become the 2012 NATO War Criminals Olympics, gone professional, no amateur status terrorists need apply.

Daily Gaza fishing flotilla blockaded by Israeli Navy, no fishing to supplement carefully measured aid starvation diet

Gaza fishermen being attacked by IDF gunboat with water cannon
The fishermen of Gaza are harassed daily by IDF gunships which shoot them outright when there are no Western witnesses present. The late Vittorio Arrigoni was one of the International Solidarity Movement who regularly accompanied fishing boats, forcing the Israelis to set aside their machine guns for water cannon when he was around. Of late activists have their own boat, the Oliva, to escort the fishing fleets. And today the Oliva was accompanied by another skiff commissioned by the Guardian. Their Jerusalem correspondent Harriet Sherwood tweeted the following adventure just now:

On boat heading out from Gaza port. Fishermen regularly fired on by Israeli military. Going to check.

Getting close to 3 mile limit for fishing. Israeli gunboat speeding towards us.

There are 7 boats in our group. 4 fishing boats, 2 press boats, 1 human rights group boat.

Israeli gunboat circling around. Siren sounding. Machine gun mounted at rear.

IDF coming very close. Sirens. Banking hard causing a lot of backwash for our small motor boat.

6 or 7 troops on bridge, all armed. We have cut our engines.

We are 2 or 2 and a half miles from shore so within fishing zone. IDF preventing us going further.

Phone signal going in and out. A 2nd IDF boat heading towards us.

Fishing boats are throwing lines. But very few fish this close to shore.

Guardian boat is flying under Barcelona FC flag….

Now 2 gunboats stopping us going further.

This is our GPS location: N31.5727176 and E034.37703. Can someone work out exactly how far we are from Gaza City?

Fishermen saying there are no fish. They want to go out another 50 metres. But that could provoke reaction. No boat willing to go first.

One fishing boat heading further out. But the guys are asking us (Guardian) to go in front for protection.

One IDF boat just circling our boats about 50m away. Other boat a bit further away.

A lot of resources devoted to a few tiny fishing boats.

Sea is calm today – except our little bit. Backwash creating lot of waves. They keep sounding siren. But we have all cut engines.

I’m told that the point of the IDF continually circling us is to create continuous waves and noise. Makes fishing harder.

One fishing boat just been swamped by backwash. They are giving up and going back to port.

One IDF boat appears to be heading away. The other coming closer.

Water canon military boat in distance. Maybe heading towards us. Hope not.

Both gunboats have moved off as water canon boat approaches.

Water canon boat maybe 200m away. Heading straight towards us. May have to put comms away for a bit.

Boats being water canoned. Very dangerous. The NGO boat almost went under.

Was mini hi-speed boat chase as we cut and run and the IDF chase.

IDF still firing on Oliva the human rights boat. They are trying to drown it says my translator.

We are keeping distance. Feel cowardly.

Amazing that the Oliva is still afloat.

We are within 3 mile limit so why is IDF doing this?

I will call them later to ask.

Other fishing boats yelling at us what are you still here. Go in, go in!

We are heading in. Water canon boat close behind.

All boats okay and heading back to port. No one hurt – but no fish either.

Water canon boat still firing its water into an empty sea.

Correction – one fishing boat passes and shows me its haul. 6 tiny ones. They are angry says my translator.

Water canon boat now firing on another group of fishing boats.

These fishermen are strangely euphoric – singing clapping dancing on their boats. Glad simply to survive I guess.

Back on dry land. 9.55am. Welcome back to safety says my translator, laughing ironically.

The Oliva, the water canoned boat, coming into port now with the other fishing boats.

The Oliva was rammed by the water canon boat and its engine damaged. The captain says all boats were within the 3 mile limit.

The fishing boats have gone back out. The Oliva’s captain is still bailing out his boat.

Captain says the engine fan is broken. It will cost around $4-500 to repair.

The gear is also damaged. This is the 3rd time the crew say.

Captain says they will go out again tomorrow if they can repair the engine. They have to find the parts, not easy in Gaza.

He says every time he goes out he expects to be attacked by water canon, live bullets, ‘whatever.’

That’s it from Gaza City port. I will be writing a piece for the Guardian and we have shot video. Over and out, as they say.

We’ll link to the Guardian article as soon as it’s out.

UPDATE: Rad the CPSGaza account.

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.

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.

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.)

In the struggle for Middle East land, Palestinian violence will always win

Israel can build all the new settlements it wants, take heart, it only takes one horrific Tate-Labianca-like crime scene to curb the Zionist homecoming charade. Israel can terrorize Gaza to smithereens, the Palestinians have nowhere to flee. American Jews on the other hand, are not going to leave comfortable digs, to relocate to Jerusalem where their 11-month-old might be slashed to death in her crib. Such dastardly strategy comes at a price of course, against a military willing to defy international law and exact collective punishment for the deed of one zealot, but Israel knows that even its US billions in weapons cannot compete with one Palestinian knife that finds its mark.

Odd, isn’t it? On the battlefield, Goliath can slay an entire West Bank of Davids, but when the contest is holding ground, you can take it, but if you can’t convince your people to settle it, the land will revert to its rightful inhabitants.

I’ll leave you to decide if the murder of an Israeli settler family is off-limits. They’re moved unto properties appropriated from Palestinians, illegal settlement of occupied land, they’re ferried by armored SUVs in military convoys, their rooftops, front gates, walls and streets are guarded by soldiers, their neighborhoods buffered by “sterile zones” purged of all inhabitants, the persistence of their habitation is used to advertise for more settlers and demoralize the non-Jewish native population in waiting of cleansing. Are settlers “innocent civilians,” irrespective old or young age? Who is to blame for putting settler children into homes whose previous inhabitants have been put out on the street, who can only assail their walls with stones?

Remember too, it’s the Israeli settlers, more than the IDF soldiers, who routinely raid Palestinian homes, orchards and farms, killing their neighbors with impunity. Where does any settler get to pretend they should be considered an innocent civilian?

Arab Palestine is confronted with a slow death by attrition. Israel has never disguised its plan to ethnically purge the entire of what it calls Judea and Sumaria. What does it matter then, if resistance violence begets occupier retaliation, if this brazen home-invasion-family-murder provokes an avenging of deaths ten fold? The Russian Partisans paid fifty to one. The Gaza massacre was 300 to one. The Gilad Shalit prisoner ratio is tens of thousands to one, still well shy of US military disproportional force.

Peace activists want to curb armed resistance in favor of nonviolence, calculating that peace will come when Palestinian martyrdom awakens the Israeli conscience, or whichever comes first, Palestinian blood runs dry. This suits Israel of course, its Apartheid State needs the Palestinians gone, for Jews cannot forever pretend they have a Democray while subjugating an inferior untouchable class. So long as one Palestinian remains who fights back, Israel will never conquer Palestine.

Israel can plan all the settlement construction sites it wants, the more beautiful the better, in the end the people of Palestine can claim them in partial compensation.

At the feet of Pan-Arabian Revolution, US activists show their stripes: yellow

So-called respected activists in the West are weighing in on what’s next for the pro-Palestinian struggle. Based on their informal survey of comments and tweets of unknown provenance, the conclusion being reached is that Egypt needs a breather, that Egypt’s new Junta needs time to show its hand, before international efforts to relieve Gaza should resume. This, in vivid contrast to the activists of Pan-Arabia who know to strike while the iron is hot. Not only do Americans and Europeans have naught a trace of the courage shown by our North African allies, we don’t even have the stomach to see them rise to the occasion again. Prudence we caution, but who are we to pretend expertise on the matter? Where have well respected organizers got the Gazans so far? No one’s questioning best intentions. Tahrir Square #Jan25 means you’ve been served. Stand the fuck up, or shut it.

Egypt = Gaza

It’s an open air prison, a police state where all opposition voices are arrested. Our press is reporting the arrest of foreign journalist, what about the murder or disappearance of the #Jan25 organizers. On Thursday after a leadership consultation with Mohamed ElBaradei, the internet coordinators of the Tahrir Square uprising were arrested as they left ElBaradei’s house, with four further members of the April 6 Youth, a list of missing which now includes: Amr Salah, Shady El Ghazaly Harb, Naser Abdel Hamid, Ahmed Doma, Amr Ezz, Mostafa Shawky, Mohamed Arafat, Amal Sharaf.

Wikileaks: US kept informed of Israel plan to starve Gaza, but not to death

A report just published by Physicians For Human Rights, entitled “Humanitarian Minimum,” is explained by a Wikileaks cable leaked by Norway’s Aftenposten from their cache of the heretofore Israel-cleansed Cablegate. This one from November 3, 2008 which reported that “Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.”

Gaza’s Youth Manifesto For Change!

From anonymous young voices in Gaza, reprinted from Facebook group:Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO), file under Jailhouse Literature.
 
Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community…

(Via THE GUARDIAN UK, which chose an incendiary if wildly inappropriate photo to represent the Gaza cyber rebels.)

GAZA’S YOUTH MANIFESTO FOR CHANGE

Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in; we are like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, homemade fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.
 
There is a revolution growing inside of us, an immense dissatisfaction and frustration that will destroy us unless we find a way of canalizing this energy into something that can challenge the status quo and give us some kind of hope. The final drop that made our hearts tremble with frustration and hopelessness happened 30th November, when Hamas’ officers came to Sharek Youth Forum, a leading youth organization (www.sharek.ps) with their guns, lies and aggressiveness, throwing everybody outside, incarcerating some and prohibiting Sharek from working. A few days later, demonstrators in front of Sharek were beaten and some incarcerated. We are really living a nightmare inside a nightmare. It is difficult to find words for the pressure we are under. We barely survived the Operation Cast Lead, where Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us, destroying thousands of homes and even more lives and dreams. They did not get rid of Hamas, as they intended, but they sure scared us forever and distributed post traumatic stress syndrome to everybody, as there was nowhere to run.
 
We are youth with heavy hearts. We carry in ourselves a heaviness so immense that it makes it difficult to us to enjoy the sunset. How to enjoy it when dark clouds paint the horizon and bleak memories run past our eyes every time we close them? We smile in order to hide the pain. We laugh in order to forget the war. We hope in order not to commit suicide here and now. During the war we got the unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the earth. During the last years Hamas has been doing all they can to control our thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. We are a generation of young people used to face missiles, carrying what seems to be a impossible mission of living a normal and healthy life, and only barely tolerated by a massive organization that has spread in our society as a malicious cancer disease, causing mayhem and effectively killing all living cells, thoughts and dreams on its way as well as paralyzing people with its terror regime. Not to mention the prison we live in, a prison sustained by a so-called democratic country.
 
History is repeating itself in its most cruel way and nobody seems to care. We are scared. Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. We are afraid of living, because every single step we take has to be considered and well-thought, there are limitations everywhere, we cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want, sometimes we even cant think what we want because the occupation has occupied our brains and hearts so terrible that it hurts and it makes us want to shed endless tears of frustration and rage!
 
We do not want to hate, we do not want to feel all of this feelings, we do not want to be victims anymore. ENOUGH! Enough pain, enough tears, enough suffering, enough control, limitations, unjust justifications, terror, torture, excuses, bombings, sleepless nights, dead civilians, black memories, bleak future, heart aching present, disturbed politics, fanatic politicians, religious bullshit, enough incarceration! WE SAY STOP! This is not the future we want!
 
We want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask? We are a peace movement consistent of young people in Gaza and supporters elsewhere that will not rest until the truth about Gaza is known by everybody in this whole world and in such a degree that no more silent consent or loud indifference will be accepted.
 
This is the Gazan youth’s manifesto for change!
 
We will start by destroying the occupation that surrounds ourselves, we will break free from this mental incarceration and regain our dignity and self respect.  We will carry our heads high even though we will face resistance. We will work day and night in order to change these miserable conditions we are living under. We will build dreams where we meet walls. 
 
We only hope that you – yes, you reading this statement right now! – can support us. In order to find out how, please write on our wall or contact us directly: freegazayouth@hotmail.com
 
We want to be free, we want to live, we want peace.
 
FREE GAZA YOUTH!

Thank God for Hoam Skewl.

With a courtesy tip o’ the fedora to somebody who calls himself “israel fucking rules” (what is that, a neo-nazi porn site, telling us how to have sex Israeli style? You know, their sex rules…) Dudes, I know you can’t read really fast so I’ll write this really slowly.
Warmongering is a very bad thing. Israel does Warmongering. That means, and I am sure you didn’t learn this in the Hoam Skewl books, they sell war. Literally. Not every Israeli and really not even most. We know this because we weren’t Hoam Skewled. We learned such Intelekshul stuff like Math. I was going to write Mathematics but y’all are only semi-literate so I had to shorten it. The Leader of the Israeli branch of the Bank of Blood Money, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also has Messianic dreams, didn’t get even 30% of the vote in their last elections and had to team up with other Right Wing Freak candidates to get a bigger Minority than the other Minority coalitions. For those of our visitors who are Hoam Skewled, that means he personally got less than three out of every ten votes. I had to keep it under ten because otherwise you would have to take off your boots to figure it out.

He also had to team up, again, with people who HATE blacks, American Liberals, Jewish Liberals, American Jewish Liberals and Arabs, not necessarily in that order, even more than he does. We’re talking about the Israeli version of extremists who would stone women for wearing a skirt that’s above the knees. They make the Likud party look like liberals.

Netanyahu acts more like the Real-Deal Nazis than the American Neo-Nazis do. The American skins usually limit themselves to a 5 on 1 stomp-down on any black, jew, hispanic, longhair white boy or Native American they catch walking alone late at night, after their punk bars close and they’re good and sloppy drunk enough to get brave enough to jump somebody even at those odds. And, they vote Republican straight ticket.

Only now they call themselves the Tea Party and Minutemen instead of Republican.

The Israeli Nazis like Netanyahu do what Hitler did, it’s not an exact match but there was a portion of Warsaw, Poland, the Jewish part of town, called the ghetto. It’s where the name comes from. With the help of Polish Nazis the German Nazis turned it into a prison much like Gaza has been turned into a ghetto-prison by the policies Netanyahu keeps going. He wasn’t the first racist hate freak in the world and unfortunately, won’t be the last. He also isn’t the only one who is both ethnically and religiously Jewish who is a Hate Freak. He hides his Nazi ways behind a cloak of “You can’t call ME a Nazi, because I’m Jewish and that means that I can’t possibly hate anybody except Blacks, Arabs, Liberal Jews, Liberal Americans, Liberal American Jews, and anybody else I can think of before my small brain gets too full to remember anything else”.

But of course, anybody who notices that and DARES to point it out must be a “fucking bunch of neo-nazis”.
According to the Hoam Skewl Dropouts.

Now, I’m sure that people who admire the IDF because they have such an awesome Weaponry and are “powerful” wouldn’t recognize that they are behaving just like those who admire the WaffenSchutzStaffel and the SpetzNaz and the Green Berets because they have or had Powerful Gangs to back them up. It’s called “Might Makes Right” and it’s a failed philosophy. A way of thinking that always leads to the defeat of those who trust in the strength of their armies. Just like Bibi Netanyahu and his starry-eyed Fanatic Worshipers.
Alle Sieg HEIL! am der Über-Fuhrer Ben Netanyahu! Heil! Heil! Heil!

If any of the semi-literates who want to call me or anybody else who doesn’t back up Ben Netanyahu’s racist ways and racist wars a “nazi” why not look for (and it’s written in Hebrew) a thread titled “Netanyahu is NOT Israel” on this website.

Meanwhile rejoice in Netanyahu threatening to kill more Jews than Hitler did merely by getting Israel into an apocalyptic Nuclear Exchange. Go on, semi-literate Hoam Skewlers, you know you want to…

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.