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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,

Judge not lest ye also be judged…

Which is a distillation of the basic part of Jewish law. When one brings an accusation against another in before the priests (judges) both parties are supposed to be judged. Equally. Leviticus goes on and on about using the same measurements to sell as you use to buy. Standardized weights in every facet of life especially, in cases before the priests. Israel says Hamas has Anti-Aircraft missiles. Sure, if I had hostile people in multi-billion dollar attack aircraft flying low over my family and friends and occasionally SHOOTING at us I'd perhaps want some way to shoot back and maybe keep the Rich Murderers from killing me or my family or friends or for that matter ANYBODY. It's a huge leap of arrogance for Ehud Barak to go all crybaby and say Waaaahhh those people we've been steadily killing in their own country which doesn't waaaahh actually belong to waaaaah Israel and Israel has no legal authority to waaaaahhh use high-tech terrorism against their people, mostly civilians, have gotten a waaaahh waaahhhh wahhhh way to keep from doing it sometimes. No Fair!! Waaaahhhh Waaahhh we're the only ones allowed to kill waaahh waaaaaaaaaaahhhh!" By the same measure with which ye judge shall judgment be measured out to ye. People who want to argue the point can talk to Moses about it. Or God. You're not going to have it both ways, an unlimited Magic Ticket to killing anybody anywhere in the world as Mossad claims the right, and nobody else having the right to stop you from doing it. If you say God gave you that authority then you're simply LYING and using God's Name in vain. There's two of the Commandments right there. Since the commandments given to Moses extend far beyond the ones Charlton Heston dragged down the mountain, the "Ten", and the first part of it is that you're sworn to keep the whole law, and you have to have kept the whole law in order to judge any to death... (which is impossible by the way) you either have to actually live by the Law or quit saying that you do. It's not all that difficult to understand. 613 mitzvoh (plural of mitzvah, laws you're sworn to obey on Bar Mitzvah for young Jewish men and Bat Mitzvah for the ladies) isn't all that much. Lots of traps in there if you want to just arbitrarily declare yourself to be a judge but that's the way they're set up. There lies the arrogance of doing it. Aside from all else, eagerly seeking any excuse or "commandment" that allows you to KILL people marks you off as very strongly wanting to kill people and looking for a loophole to the "thou shalt not kill" from God's Top Ten Hits There are a lot of Christians and Jews and people who don't even give a fat flying ferret about what God had to say, but want to KILL.. and Kill PEOPLE, and "get away with it" as far as any laws in predominately Jewish or Christian

Gaza we are coming

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

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. The 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,

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.

Egypt lifts blockade from their end. temporarily.

While Bibi does a little dance of combined sabre rattling and appeasement. And of course part of that is to promise full investigation and prosecution of the Guilty Parties. Pig Code for "we're going to destroy all evidence and make a fake investigation where the Pigs were cleared in advance". Just like the people aboard the Flotilla were convicted in advance of being Terrorists. The investigation will "prove" that of course. Meanwhile there's that little issue of Israel having the fourth largest military in the world and Nuclear Weapons. The David v Goliath routine won't play out very convincingly with those.

Condemnation of Israeli state piracy

COLO. SPRINGS- Join IMPROMPTU PROTEST OF US-ISRAEL MILITARIZED REPRESSION. Protest Israel's deadly raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Called by Coloradans For Peace, Colorado Springs, Acacia Park, NOON. Pro-Palestinian, Free-Gaza, and all anti-imperial voices welcome. This Memorial Day, remember the USS Liberty!

If you really don’t want to kill civilians, don’t point loaded guns at them.

I tell you what, if Bibi actually gets away with this shit, based on the defense he's mounting, then Death Row inmates across America will be rejoicing. What's the difference between Armed Robbery and Capital Murder? A twitch of the finger. Israel and the U.S. have this habit of (AFTER killing usually large numbers of Civilians in "accidents") insisting that they trained their Soldier/Cops to "minimize the risk" of blowing away civilians. That's a God-Damn lie. If they were to do "everything we can" to not kill civilians, one of the first and the most important elements of such a policy would be Not Shooting In Their Direction. When IDF blew away KIDS in Gaza they accused the Palestinians of the murders that were committed through bullets coming from Israeli Galil Rifles (a reworked AK-47 that fires U.S. standard .30 caliber rounds) held by Israeli soldiers. In an action where the IDF were actively invading a country they themselves had formally recognized as being Not Israel. Guess that when you declare a region to be SEMI autonomous it's like what my cousin used to laugh about in advertising... a Semi-Boneless Steak. Does it have bones in it or not? But a Semi-Autonomous country is one in which the Ruling Imperial Nation tells the peasants they won't get any benefits of Citizenship but still have to obey King Benjamin Netanyahu. And if the Peasants dare object to being declared not second, third or ANY class of citizen, but declared to be Subject to the governing whim of the IDF Master Race... then it's Their Fault that the IDF Gestapo/slash/TotenKopfSchutzStaffl murder their Kids. Bibi is calling the Murders aboard the relief ships a "Botched Raid". Oh, and King Bibi is having who, exactly, handle the evidence, as in the shot up boats, the bodies of the victims, the Murder Weapons? Why, Good Righteous Courageous King Benjamin is having the Murderers Themselves do the investigation. This is like when American Pigs murder somebody, who gets to investigate the Police Claims of "suicide by cop"? The Internal Affairs Division, of course. Let me remind our readers (and Our Readers should recognize that I'm not actually asking their permission to say anything) that having the Police in any form, including the IDF Commando Murder Teams, investigate murders committed by their Fellow Cops will GUARANTEE that the Murderous PIGS will be acquitted and the victims blamed for their own deaths. Look for, in the next three weeks, an IDF "investigation" to Clear The Commando MURDER Team of any wrongdoing. It's the way PIGS always do it, their Pigs and Our Pigs.

Unusual mechanical failures delay, but fail to scuttle, Gaza Freedom Flotilla

First the MV Rachel Corrie suffered a breakdown shortly after leaving port. Then the Challenger I lost its steering mechanism and another Greek ship has to return to port. Though derided by Israeli critics as "tin buckets," the ships had been certified sea-worthy before the convoy set sail. Suspicions about system failures can wait until proper investigations. Cyprus denied the Challenger permission to harbor for repairs, so its passengers were transshipped to the Mavi Marmara, and the convoy delayed its rendezvous. The revised timing will deny the Israeli navy a chance to attack during the night. The relief ships will not be approaching the contested waters off Gaza until after daybreak. As it did during earlier relief convoy efforts, Cyprus responded to pressure from Israel and refused to allow convoy ships to assemble at its ports. This time the Greek Authority of Cyprus enforced a ban against the Freedom Flotilla vessels from entering its waters. WitnessForGaza has a video of a Cypriot helicopter keeping the Challenger I at bay, even though it was becoming increasingly disabled and need to reach a safe harbor. What can you do to protect the convoy? Subject: Call For Action As The Flotilla Faces Serious Threats From Israel “People are very aware that the Israeli authorities and indeed others are playing all sorts of mind games, with threats alternating with so called offers, which would include surrendering the aid into Israeli hands, something which the participants of the flotilla find entirely unacceptable” Speaking from the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, Kevin Ovenden from Viva Palestina outlined some of the concerns and realities currently been faced by over 750 people on board the 9 ships sailing towards Gaza. The last of the ships departed from Turkey at midnight last night, and they are all currently in International waters in the Mediterranean Sea. Their journey is faced with incredible danger, given the threats that have been issued by the Israeli Government. They have stated that they will stop this Flotilla at all costs, even by force if necessary. Their safety is in grave danger, and the time has come for the international community to stand up for their safety and well being. Tomorrow, Saturday, the flotilla should be sailing into Gaza, however, given the threats issued, the likely hood of this happening is looking uncertain at this stage. We are calling on everyone to contact various political leaders to ask them to do everything in their power to ensure the safety of these brave people, and to stand up and add their voice in support of this humanitarian flotilla.

The Gazan People’s Front or People’s Front of Gaza less funny than Nazirene

A Gaza Flotilla PR mishap, as minor as a participant speaking out of place, was seized upon by one reporter to suggest rivalry between co-sponsors of the relief convoy due to convene Saturday at Gaza's door. When an interviewee said "Free Palestine Movement" instead of "Free Gaza," the reporter recalled scenes from Monty Python's Life of Brian and the mortal rivalry between the "People's Judean Front" and the "People's Front of Judea," often understood to lampoon the PLO and it splinter groups. Haha. But why didn't the reporter mention Python's other irreverent terrorist gang also fighting the Roman occupation: the uber-Zionist Nazirene? Because Otto and the Nazirene, that's right, not Nazarene, were cut from the video when control was wrestled from Monty Python for the rights. Why the offense? Because they wore swastika-like Stars-of-David and they goose-stepped? Because they followed a small-mustached leader named Otto who dreamed of a racially pure state for Jews only? I'm surprised that more Monty Python fans aren't livid at the suggestion the classic has been censored for all posterity. But only those who saw Life of Brian in the theater, or can pick up an out-of-print paperback of the screenplay, would know what lines successive viewers don't hear to memorize. Lines like these between Eric Idle and Graham Chapman: OTTO: It’s time, you know ... Time that we Jews racially purified ourselves ... We need more living room. We must move into the traditionally Jewish areas of Samaria. BRIAN: What about the Samaritans? OTTO: Well, we can put them in little camps. And after Samaria we must move into Jordan and create a great Jewish state that will last a thousand years. Imagine a Zionist depicted using Hitler's expression "living space!" Lebensraum meant a homeland where the German people could live unmolested, with room for their population to grow. Associating Zionists with Nazis has always meant courting trouble. Does it sound incredible that defenders of Israel would take a knife to Monty Python's work? Know any other blockbuster movies of the late 70s which mysteriously shed memorable scenes when they reemerged on video? Criterion recently released a DVD with extras that purport to include the deleted scenes, you can see them on Youtube, but they are actually outtakes with bits missing still, in particular the lines above. I wrote about this at length in an earlier post, when I came upon the missing dialog just by chance. In that post I also transcribed the full text of the censored scenes. Back to the joke made at the Free Gaza Movement's expense. Hopefully the organizers can laugh it off. Really Jerusalem-based reporter Jackie Rowland was making hay of an email shown to her by a participant being compelled to switch the word "Palestine" for "Gaza" because they were not authorized to speak officially for the "Free Gaza Movement." With any improvised collection of activists, only those tasked should speak for the whole. Especially someone who may have been admonished beforehand not to present themselves as a spokesman. I cannot presume to know what were the

With Daniel Pearl Act, US warns others to respect press freedoms, of WSJ only

President Obama signed off on the Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act, surrounded by friends and colleagues of the former WSJ reporter who was slain in pursuit of al-Qaeda, while infiltrating Pakistan as if working for one of America's loudest War-on-Islam propaganda drummers wasn't pushing it. Taking the theme of don't-kill-journalists at face value however, are there provisions in the act to exclude the US and its allies? Because our forces have intimidated or outright killed I think what amounts to the high score of journalists in our war zones. If we're concerned exclusively with reporters who've been decapitated, I'm sure those victims of our high caliber overkill outnumber Daniel Pearl too. No, I suppose we're only talking about protecting our journalists, the embeds, the only ones of which we approve. What have embeds proven to be but the new Army Press Corps? This is the same indemnity we claim for our soldiers. Try to shoot one of those and we obliterate entire clans based on rumors of who did it. If we capture someone alive, we put them on trial for combating us illegally. We dismiss laws of war that spell out that belligerents may only shoot at opponents shooting back. If they're unarmed, or surrendering, or leaving the battle unarmed, or eating dinner with their family, they are not fair game. But we do it, and when journalists try to document our crimes we kill them. Daniel Pearl worked for the WSJ. It's the leading Neocon pro-war mouthpiece, only just ahead of the NY Times and the Washington Post, among newspapers with authority. If Pearl's tracking of al-Qaeda didn't help US intelligence outright, his reports were certainly serving the war propaganda machine. When the Jewish community highlights the plot line that Pearl was killed because he was a Jew, it unveils a purposeful vaguarity the Israeli lobby likes to pretend is a distinction between American Jews and Zionists. The argument has it that all Jews may or may not support Israel, and yet critics of Zionism are accused of being anti-Semitic. Because, I'll assert, AIPAC, the ADL and Simon Wiesenthal are determined to behave as if they have everyone's support. Was Daniel Pearl a Zionist, he worked for it, and aimed to assail its declared arch-enemy under the pretext of journalist objectivity. You can't make the same accusation of the independent journalists being silenced wherever our military is operating. In our own country America is even keeping its own photo-journalists from being able to document the oil spill in the gulf. The Daniel Pearl Act mandates that reports of inhibitions to journalists, especially if they are suspected of being systemic, be investigated and condemned with all the ensuing world police bells and whistles. I think that language smacks of the mandate to label "genocide" only where the US sees it. Darfur, for example. Or the Balkans. Examples with which few fellow nations agree. To justify our interviention. Never Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, and of course I could go on. This ACT

West Bank purge of settlement goods: boycotting your own pantry hurts who?

The Palestinian Authority's issuing stickers to West Bank houses who've destroyed their goods from Israeli settlements reminds me of wingnut hate-mite Michelle Malkin in 2007 instructing her viewers to scour their homes for products to "boycott." The technique brims with spirit, but misses the point of bringing economic pressure to bear. Foregoing what you've already paid for is to boycott what's yours. How convenient for Fatah to put the burden on Palestinians themselves, meanwhile endorsing no interruption of trade with Israel. IE's Ali Abunimah suggests Mahmoud Abbas aims to undermine the BDS campaign. Israel is certainly pleased to publicize the settlement businesses placed in jeopardy, as well as divert international energy from the spreading BDS movement.

Live webcam on Gaza Freedom Flotilla Turkish passenger ship Mavi Marmara

GAZA FREEDOM FLOTILLA- DAY TWO. You can follow events from a live webcam on the Turkish passenger ship MAVI MARMARA, with camera pointing over bow. The Swedish/Greek cargo ship SOFIA is still livestreaming her loading in Athens. We await details of Algerian cargo AL-JAZAIR, Turkish cargos GAZZE and DEFNE Y, German passenger yacht CHALLENGER I and the Irish MV RACHEL CORRIE. (Details on each relief convoy ship at this post.) We probably cannot expect the webcams to broadcast as the flotilla nears the Israeli Navy. This is explained in article on Media Line which interviewed FreeGazaOrg's Greta Berlin: In an attempt to curtail a public relations disaster of armed troops confronting the civilian ships, the Israel Navy is expected to jam the satellite transmission and otherwise use electronic warfare to quash all coverage and photos of the event. “They have turned off our satellite phones. They have blocked our transmissions. We have live stream videos and we will continue to broadcast as long as we can. As long as it is on live and the signal suddenly goes out, then I think the world clearly knows what is happening and what Israel is doing.” Aboard MAVI MARMARA SOFIA in port.

T -6 for humanitarian convoy to Gaza

FREEDOM FLOTILLA UPDATE- As the MV Rachel Corrie steams past the Straits of Gibraltar, loading operations quicken in Istanbul and Athens and Gaza. Israel announces a counter-protest fleet to carry banners which finger Hamas and harangue Turkey for its Armenian genocide. The ships will not meet as Israel reasserts its intention to enforce a military zone to block the relief convoy. Flotilla plans a floating city until they are let through. Wouldn't a Venezuelan warship or two be just the escort the relief supplies would warrant?

Semite vs. anti-Semites in Jerusalem

Our Zionist critics can accuse us of highlighting virulent anti-Semitic caricatures, but the sneering visages above are no artist's creation. This photo was taken last week in East Jerusalem, of young Jewish settlers mocking a Palestinian woman whose home is now occupied by Israelis. They came to the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah to celebrate Jerusalem Day in the face of those being displaced.

John Pilger: Gaza flotilla is one of most important direct actions of our lifetime

Still waiting for aerial photos of MV Rachel Corrie leaving Ireland for the Mediterranean. Feel like you're missing out? This quote from Journalist-superstar John Pilger won't help: "The Freedom Flotilla is one of the most important direct actions of my lifetime. With its desperately-needed supplies and range of people from all over the world, representing sheer human decency, it sends a message of disgust to Gaza's oppressor and, above all, reaches out unreservedly to the people of Gaza." --John Pilger, 8 May 2010 Besides releasing the photo above, the latest update from the Rachel Corrie came at GMT 14:23 today, reported by @FreeGazaOrg: Leaving the coast of Ireland on her way around the bottom of England. All is well, weather is excellent The Israeli press is beating the war drum against the convoy's arrival, lampooning the would-be Gaza rescuers as International Peace Schlamazels. On the seas, the Ma'an News Agency echos reports of preparations Israel is undertaking to battle the relief convoy: "About half of the Israeli naval forces will participate in an operation that was approved by the cabinet. [Israeli] Defense Minister Ehud Barak will supervise the operation," an Israeli official told the Arabic-language satellite TV station Al-Hurra. An Israeli security source told Ma'an that authorities will prevent the arrival of the boats "at any price." This lead Freedom Flotilla followers on Twitter to strategize that if the Free Gaza blockage runners could double their numbers, the Israeli navy would be forced to deploy ITS FULL FORCE to maintain the siege. A marginal increase in the convoy size would thus prove a bigger flotilla than Israel could repel! Meanwhile Israeli border patrol gunships continue to strafe Palestinian fishing boats. UPDATE: Noam Chomsky, just denied entry into the West Bank, sends best wishes to the Freedom Flotilla: "I have been deeply impressed with the courageous and honorable efforts to break through the savage and criminal siege of Gaza, utterly lacking in credible pretext, designed to crush any hope of meaningful Palestinian independence. My best wishes for your success in this critically important undertaking, which I hope will also help to awaken the consciousness of the world." -- Noam Chomsky, 10 May 2010

Freedom Flotilla flagship off to Gaza

The rechristened MV Rachel Corrie sails today from Dundalk, Ireland, to join the Freedom Flotilla intent on running the blockade of Gaza. Israel is already warning Cyprus against allowing the humanitarian convoy to shelter in its ports, rehearsing plans to intercept, and Turkish supporters are rebuffing Israeli threats to bomb relief ships which attempt to reach Palestine. In other news, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has accepted Israel's membership, cementing First World culpability for Israeli growth from conquest. Critics had urged Israel's disqualification because its capitalization has been owed to the occupation and illegal appropriation of Palestinian resources, but could the OECD ultimately disown the US-European joint colonial venture? What a coincidence that today's date in 1949 marked the end of the siege of Berlin, when an international effort was mounted by world governments to fly relief convoys of supplies to the besieged population of Berlin. Today western governments won't abide the expressed will of their citizens and so the people themselves are having to save the Palestinians abandoned in Gaza. The MV Rachel Corrie has been repainted with a giant Irish flag on its side, and the words "FREE GAZA" along its top. The cargo ship retains its original IMO 6715281 for communications and tracking. Bloggers and journalists will be charting the flotilla's progress online. Among the participants on the Free Gaza project are Ken Fleming, Nobel Peace Prize winner; Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize winner; Denis Halliday, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq; Matthias Chang, Perdana Global Peace Organizer; Aengus.O’Snodaigh, Sinn Fein; Chris Andrews; Free Gaza Movement co-founder Greta Berlin, Caoimhe Butterly, Ewa Jasiewicz, Fintan Lane, and Niamh Moloughney.

Simon Wiesenthal Center makes best case against Israel colonial legitimacy

Give Israel credit for answering their critics head on, but that is the Zionist hubris. Simon Wiesenthal is propagating the latest Hasbara crib sheet to counter the ten most threatening lies about Israel. We couldn't have summarized the arguments better ourselves. One man's "lies" are his victim's desperate appeals to confound systemic myopic denial. Here it is in their own nutshell:   Israel was created by European guilt over the Nazi Holocaust. Why should Palestinians pay the price? ... Had Israel withdrawn to its June 1967 borders, peace would have come long ago. ... Israel is the main stumbling block to achieving a two-state solution. ... Nuclear Israel, not Iran, is the greatest threat to peace and stability. ... Israel is an apartheid state deserving of international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns. ... Plans to build 1,600 more homes in East Jerusalem prove Israel is "Judaizing" the Holy City. ... Israeli policies endanger U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. ... Israeli policies are the cause of worldwide anti-Semitism. ... Israel, not Hamas, is responsible for the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza. ... Goldstone was right when he charged that Israel was guilty of war crimes against civilians. ... The only hope for peace is a single, binational state eliminating the Jewish State of Israel. Even dissembled, the case weighs hard against Zionist mendacity. OK, a tad capricious To Wiesenthal's credit, the arguments are loaded with a laudable reserve of disingenuity: 5,500 MORE HOMES have been zoned for East Jerusalem, not 1,600, (and yes, Jerusalem's mayor has set quotas, a Jewish to non-Jewish target ratio to counter a higher Arab birthrate). Israeli policies are the cause of [PROLIFERATION] of worldwide anti-Semitism, The Gaza "humanitarian catastrophe" soft-pedals the critics' real accusation: MASSACRE. Imagine referring to the Holocaust as befalling its victims with the ambivalence of a tsunami. JUDGE Goldstone isn't the only accuser who's documented the criminality the world witnessed WITH ITS OWN EYES. Apartheid legitimizers blink Further demonstrating the disintegrating global support for a Jewish haven-state, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has all but dropped its cover as Holocaust-remembrance-sledgehammer to directly shore up the supposed public grant of legitimacy to Zionist colonialism. Trying to turn the argument on Israel's "de-ligitimizers" couldn't be more out of touch. While the US fights in expanding but downward spirals against the entropy of Pax Americana, Western public support for empire-building erodes for even the pretext of "globalization." White Man's Burden has smartened to Carbon Debt, missionary zeal evolved to indigenous and environmental protectionism. Religious crusades haven't held water for centuries, but what an Auld Testament to Zionism's xenophobic tenacity to posit the Jewish People as "chosen" to revive God-manifested destiny. What part of "Apartheid is for Neanderthals" do Palestine's neo- Afrikaners fail to understand? Even an 18th Century South African settler categorization gives the mid-twentieth century European transplants in Zion too much credit for pretended genealogical roots in the Middle East. Only State Solution Not very well concealed in Wiesenthal's framing of the "Top Ten Lies" is a specious conceit formed by straw arguments three and ten, which presume

Gaza Freedom Flotilla building steam

The Free Gaza Movement's FREEDOM FLOTILLA III is assembling itself ship by ship at European ports. Departure is set for later this month. You can already track the passenger ship MS Mavi Marmara and cargo ships Gazze, Sofia and MV Rachel Corrie on Google Earth. Will the humanitarian relief convoy succumb to Israel's blockade? UPDATED: photo-profiles of the IN v. FGM maritime contenders: The blockade runners: M/S Mavi Marmara, Turkey, IMO: 7083956, MMSI: 271002151 Currently in Sarayburnu, Istanbul, heading to Tuzla shipyard. Gazze, Turkey, IMO: 7806192, MMSI: 271002042 Currently in Haydarpasa, Istanbul. VM Rachel Corrie, Ireland, IMO: 6715281, MMSI: 515886000 (Formally: Linda) Currently at Brown's Quay, Dundalk, Ireland. Sofia, Sweden / Greece, IMO: 6713752, MMSI: 239219000 Currently docked in Piraeus Roads, Athens. Itinerary: Tromsö - Göthenburg - Great Yarmouth - Bilbao - Lisbon - Barcelona - Marseilles - Genoa - Athens - Istanbul - Gaza City. UPDATE 5/23 Defne Y, Kiribata, IMO: 7725518, MMSI: 529239000. Currently loading in Istanbul. VERSUS... The Israeli blockade Free Gaza has launched eight relief flotillas to Gaza since 2006, but according to Intifata Palestine: The last three voyages were illegally stopped by the Israeli navy when, in December, 2008, they rammed the DIGNITY in international water, turned back the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY by threatening to shoot all on board, then hijacking the SPIRT on July 1, 2009, kidnapping the passengers and throwing them into prison for a week. Israeli Super Dvora Mk III gunship intercepts Freedom Flotilla cargo ship The Brotherhood Ship in 2009, forcing it to return to Lebanon. Israeli coastal patrol accosts Palestinian fishing vessels which stray beyond an Israel-imposed six mile fishing limit. Israeli Dabur class Coastal Patrol Craft sets water hose on Palestinian fishing vessel before making arrests. It was a Dabur in 2008 which rammed the Free Gaza relief ship Dignity.

AIPAC student DC junkets paying off

This year's AIPAC conference targeted university student body officers in an effort to fend off BDS campaigns at campuses nationwide. Did the controversial strategy just pay off at UC Berkeley? When the student council voted 16 to 4 to divest, student body president Will Smelko vetoed the measure. Intense pressure from Israeli lobby groups were able to prevent overturning the veto. AIPAC said they were going to do it, and they did it. Here's what AIPAC's Leadership Development Director Jonathan Kessler told DC conference attendees: How are we going to beat back the anti-Israel divestment resolution at Berkeley? We’re going to make certain that pro-Israel students take over the student government and reverse the vote. That is how AIPAC operates in our nation’s capitol. This is how AIPAC must operate on our nation’s campuses. Though the Berkeley bill SB118 proposed divestment from General Electric and United Technologies only, two military industries which profit from Israel's subjugation of the Palestinians, it's true perhaps that the measure opened the door to further BDS inroads to fight Israel Apartheid. The divestment proposal had the backing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu among many activists. Against was the Israeli lobby. Students were warned that prospective Jewish students would avoid enrolling, etc. Can we imagine the suggestion was made that the current students would be denied jobs? There probably is a corporate future for "made" students who've shown their fealty to AIPAC. Worth reprinting is the statement read by UCB Professor Judth Butler trying to warn the students against AIPAC's disreputable coercion: Let us begin with the assumption that it is very hard to hear the debate under consideration here. One hears someone saying something, and one fears that they are saying another thing. It is hard to trust words, or indeed to know what words actually mean. So that is a sign that there is a certain fear in the room, and also, a certain suspicion about the intentions that speakers have and a fear about the implications of both words and deeds. Of course, tonight you do not need a lecture on rhetoric from me, but perhaps, if you have a moment, it might be possible to pause and to consider reflectively what is actually at stake in this vote, and what is not. Let me introduce myself first as a Jewish faculty member here at Berkeley, on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace, on the US executive committee of Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, a global organization, a member of the Russell Tribunal on Human Rights in Palestine, and a board member of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin. I am at work on a book which considers Jewish criticisms of state violence, Jewish views of co-habitation, and the importance of 'remembrance' in both Jewish and Palestinian philosophic and poetic traditions. The first thing I want to say is that there is hardly a Jewish dinner table left in this country--or indeed in Europe and much of Israel--in which there is not enormous disagreement about the status of

MV Rachel Corrie to run Gaza blockade

Final preparations are underway at Brown's Quay in Dundalk, Ireland, to launch the Free Gaza Movement's next run against Israel's blockade of Gaza. FGM were able to acquire the 1,800 ton MV Linda impounded by the ITF for failure to pay its Latvian crew. Anyone who wishes to embark on the freighter's urgent relief mission to Palestine is enjoined to submit an application. Supporters with deeper pockets could consider adding tonnage to the flotilla. Riga's bankrupt Forestry Shipping abandoned two similar ships in Holland, the MV Defender and MV Fairland, available for the cost of the back-wages due their sailors. There are of course an already unending list of activists, journalists, victims and martyrs of the Palestinian struggle for whom additional ships could be named, but I like the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society model of christening ships after benefactors, Steve Irwin, Bob Barker and Ady Gil. But the best example to follow is the Whale Warriors' TV contract. If any edge could tip the balance in the maritime face-off with the Israeli destroyers, it will be the prospect of an attack being televised. At least that's what we used to think would deter the IDF. This next attempt to break the siege follows eight previous efforts, five of which were successful. I am curious how so little footage reaches the independent media, even after the fact. Boats have been rammed, forced back, or impounded, even with luminaries like Cynthia McKinney aboard, with very little incriminating video, and certainly without raising real time internet alarm. The warnings which FGM provides about conditions for participation are fairly direct as to the risks posed by Israel's armed responses, here is the background information required to apply: Background Information   Please list your experience working in Palestine, and with Palestinian organizations or campaigns in your local community   What is your profession?   What are your areas of expertise? (please be specific)   Please list all the languages you speak   Please list all your affiliations (political, professional, or activist-based)   Please provide us with a one paragraph biography of you that we can post on our website in the event you travel with us to Gaza   Do you have a preference for which dates you would like to travel to Gaza on?   Are you applying as part of a delegation? (preference will be given to delegations, such as doctors, lawyers, students, teachers, musicians, labor activists, et al, who are traveling to Gaza for a specific purpose, such as do an assessment, consult with colleagues in Gaza, or build on solidarity campaigns)   If yes, who is the primary contact person for your delegation?   Are you planning on staying in Gaza long-term?   If you are planning to remain in Gaza, then you MUST have already made contact with organizations working in Gaza and have a clear plan for what you will be doing there. Please describe the contacts and plans you have already made.   Do you have health insurance that will cover you during your trip to Gaza?   Please provide us with your insurance information, in case of a medical emergency (policy name, number, and insurance contact

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