|Progressive Calendar 05.31.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 21:22:44 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 05.31.10 1. Vs Israeli terror 6.01 4pm 2. Palm oil bad/CTV 6.01 5pm 3. Torturing democracy 6.01 6:30pm 4. Amnesty Intl 6.01 7pm 5. China: Com/Cap? 6.01 7pm 6. Jonathan Cook - Raid on the Gaza flotilla/ Israel's attack on us all 7. Gilad Atzmon - Israeli butchery at sea 8. Cynthia McKinney - Latest murder of humanitarian activists 9. Dr Alan Sabrosky - Israel's attack the madness of arrogance 10. Stephen Lendman - Slaughter at sea/ Israel attacks the Gaza Flotilla --------1 of 10-------- Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 16:00:18 -0500 From: Jordan S. Kushner <kushn002 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Vs Israeli terror 6.01 4pm For Immediate release Minnesotans Condemn Israeli Attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Demand an Immediate End to U.S. Aid to Israel Contact: Women Against Military Madness : Sarah Martin 612-437-0222 MN Break the Bonds: Sriram Ananth 612-214-1619 Demonstration Tuesday June 1, 4:00-6:00 PM In front of Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar, 1200 Washington Avenue, Minneapolis On Sunday May 30th, Israeli Navy special forces attacked with live ammunition the Free Gaza Flotilla in international waters killing numerous humanitarian aid workers and peace activists, and wounding many more. The flotilla which sailed from Ireland was bringing desperately needed food, medicine and building supplies to the people of Gaza. For the past 5 years Gazans have been living under a brutal Israeli siege and blockade which has resulted in intolerable and escalating rates of malnourishment, unemployment and homelessness. The vicious Israeli bombing and military assault on Gaza in December 2008 - January, 2009 killed over 1400 people, mostly civilians, and destroyed the civilian infrastructure. A report by the United Nations Human Rights Commission found that Israel deliberately attacked the civilian population and infrastructure, and committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. Israel has now committed a brazen military attack on defenseless civilians in international waters. Israel's criminal actions cannot be permitted to continue. The United States directly supports Israeli atrocities with billions of dollars of military and economic aid every year. All of our Senators and Congressional representatives have supported this aid. This must stop. We call for an immediate end to U.S. ties to Israel. Specifically as people in Minnesota, we call for an end to Minnesota economic ties and financial support of Israel's atrocities. Sponsored by; Coalition for Palestinian Rights (CPR), Women Against Military Madness (WAMM), AntiWar Committee (AWC), International Jewish anti-Zionist Network - TC (IJAN-TC), MN Break the Bonds (MN BBC), Teachers Against Occupation (TAO) --------2 of 10-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Palm oil bad/CTV 6.01 5pm Stupendous St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on SPNN Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm, midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am, after DemocracyNow! Households with basic cable may watch. Tues, 6/1 @ 5pm & midnight + Wed, 6/2, 10am "The Problem With Palm Oil: Global Issue, Local Solution?" Activists from the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) explain the devastating impact of palm oil production on the world's last remaining rainforests. We follow the story from Indonesia to our local supermarkets and learn how local companies are implicated in rainforest destruction and what local consumers can do to stop it. (May) --------3 of 10-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Torturing democracy 6.01 6:30pm Pax Conversational Salon: Documentary Screening: "Torturing Democracy" Tuesday, June 1, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 West Seventh, St. Paul. "ÓThe documentary 'Torturing Democracy' tells the story of how the United States government circumvented tradition and law to adopt torture as official policy. The film, produced by award- winning filmmaker Sherry Jones, draws on interviews, archival footage, and recently declassified documents to piece together the development and dissemination of torture tactics from Bagram in Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib - and the document trail leads right to the top of the chain of command." Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Call 651-227-3228. --------4 0f 10-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 6.01 7pm Saint Cloud Area Amnesty International meets on Tuesday, June 1st, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the St. Cloud Public Library, 1300 W. St. Germain, Saint Cloud. For more information contact Jerry Dirks, 320-251-6491 or jerry.dirks [at] gmail.com. --------5 of 10-------- From: Socialist Appeal <new [at] socialistappeal.org> Subject: China: Com/Cap? 6.01 7pm A Discussion of China Communist or Capitalist? In Minneapolis, MN, on June 1st, Fred Weston of Marxist.com and the International Marxist Tendency will be discussing the genesis of the Chinese Revolution and perspectives for the future. Come with your questions and contributions to this important discussion on the future of 1/5 of humanity! June 1st, 2010 7pm May Day Books (301 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN) --------6 of 10-------- Raid on the Gaza Flotilla Israel's Attack on Us All By JONATHAN COOK May 31, 2010 CounterPunch Nazareth. It is quite astounding that Israel has been able to create over the past 12 hours a news blackout, just as it did with its attack on Gaza 18 months ago, into which our main media organisations have willingly allowed Israeli spokespeople to step in unchallenged. How many civilians were killed in Israel's dawn attack on the Gaza-bound flotilla of aid? We still don't know. How many wounded? Your guess is as good as mine. Were the aid activists armed with guns? Yes, says Israel. Were they in cahoots with al-Qaeda and Hamas? Certainly, says Israel. Did the soldiers act reasonably? Of course, they faced a lynch, says Israel. If we needed any evidence of the degree to which Western TV journalists are simply stenographers to power, the BBC, CNN and others are amply proving it. Mark Regev, Israel's propagandist-in-chief, has the airwaves largely to himself. The passengers on the ships, meanwhile, have been kidnapped by Israel and are unable to provide an alternative version of events. We can guess they will remain in enforced silence until Israel is sure it has set the news agenda. So before we get swamped by Israeli hasbara let's reiterate a few simple facts: * Israeli soldiers invaded these ships in international waters, breaking international law, and, in killing civilians, committed a war crime. The counter-claim by Israeli commanders that their soldiers responded to an imminent "lynch" by civilians should be dismissed with the loud contempt it deserves. * The Israeli government approved the boarding of these aid ships by an elite unit of commandoes. They were armed with automatic weapons to pacify the civilians onboard, but not with crowd dispersal equipment in case of resistance. Whatever the circumstances of the confrontation, Israel must be held responsible for sending in soldiers and recklessly endangering the lives of all the civilians onboard, including a baby and a Holocaust survivor. * Israel has no right to control Gaza's sea as its own territorial waters and to stop aid convoys arriving that way. In doing so, it proves that it is still in belligerent occupation of the enclave and its 1.5 million inhabitants. And if it is occupying Gaza, then under international law Israel is responsible for the welfare of the Strip's inhabitants. Given that the blockade has put Palestinians there on a starvation diet for the past four years, Israel should long ago have been in the dock for committing a crime against humanity. Today Israel chose to direct its deadly assault not only at Palestinians under occupation but at the international community itself. Will our leaders finally be moved to act? Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net. --------7 of 10-------- Israeli Butchery at Sea by Gilad Atzmon May 31st, 2010 Dissident Voice As I write this piece the scale of the Israeli lethal slaughter at sea is yet to be clear. However we already know that at around 4am Gaza time, hundreds of IDF commandos stormed the Free Gaza international humanitarian fleet. We learn from the Arab press that at least 16 peace activists have been murdered and more than 50 were injured. Once again it is devastatingly obvious that Israel is not trying to hide its true nature: an inhuman murderous collective fuelled by a psychosis and driven by paranoia. Watch live streaming video from insaniyardim at livestream.com For days the Israeli government prepared the Israeli society for the massacre at sea. It said that the Flotilla carried weapons, it had "terrorists" on board. Only yesterday evening it occurred to me that this Israeli malicious media spin was there to prepare the Israeli public for a full scale Israeli deadly military operation in international waters. Make no mistake. If I knew exactly where Israel was heading and the possible consequences, the Israeli cabinet and military elite were fully aware of it all the way along. What happened yesterday wasn't just a pirate terrorist attack. It was actually murder in broad day light even though it happened in the dark. [But then it was our dear little Israel and our gotta-have-an-apartheid-Zionist-Homelend (Reich) Jews whose ancestors suffered so much decades ago their offspring can kill anyone they want and take anythng they want and we will stand there nodding our heads and smiling. We are patsies for evil. -ed] Yesterday at 10 pm I contacted Free Gaza and shared with them everything I knew. I obviously grasped that hundreds of peace activists most of them elders, had very little chance against the Israeli killing machine. I was praying all night for our brothers and sisters. At 5am GMT the news broke to the world. In international waters Israel raided an innocent international convoy of boats carrying cement, paper and medical aid to the besieged Gazans. The Israelis were using live ammunition murdering and injuring everything around them. Today we will see demonstrations around the world, we will see many events mourning our dead. We may even see some of Israel's friends "posturing" against the slaughter. Clearly this is not enough. The massacre that took place yesterday was a premeditated Israeoperation. Israel wanted blood because it believes that its "power of deterrence" expands with the more dead it leaves behind. The Israeli decision to use hundreds of commando soldiers against civilians was taken by the Israeli cabinet together with the Israeli top military commanders. What we saw yesterday wasn't just a failure on the ground. It was actually an institutional failure of a morbid society that a long time ago lost touch with humanity. It is no secret that Palestinians are living in a siege for years. But it is now down to the nations to move on and mount the ultimate pressure on Israel and its citizens. Since the massacre yesterday was committed by a popular army that followed instructions given by a "democratically elected" government, from now on, every Israeli should be considered as a suspicious war criminal unless proved different. Consider the fact that Israel stormed naval vessels sailing under Irish, Turkish and Greek flags. Both NATO members and EU countries must immediately cease their relationships with Israel and close their airspace to Israeli airplanes. Considering yesterday.s news about Israeli nuclear submarines being stationed in the Gulf, the world must react quickly and severely. Israel is now officially mad and deadly. The Jewish State is not just careless about human life, as we have been following the Israeli press campaign leading to the slaughter, Israel actually seeks pleasure in inflicting pain and devastation on others. Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. He lives in London and is the author of two novels: A Guide to the Perplexed and the recently released My One and Only Love. Atzmon is also one of the most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe. He can be reached at: atz [at] onetel.net.uk. Read other articles by Gilad. --------8 of 10-------- Latest Murder of Humanitarian Activists by Cynthia McKinney May 31st, 2010 Dissident Voice I am outraged at Israel's latest criminal act. I mourn with my fellow Free Gaza travelers, the lives that have been lost by Israel's needless, senseless act against unarmed humanitarian activists. But I'm even more outraged that once again, Israel's actions have been aided and abetted by a U.S. political class that has become corrupted beyond belief due to its reliance on Zionist finance and penetration by Zionist zealots for whom no U.S. weapons system is too much for the Israeli war machine, and the silence of the world's onlookers whose hearts have grown cold with indifference. I recently visited the offices of IHH, the Turkish humanitarian organization that sponsored one of the Freedom Flotilla boats, and that was targeted by the Israelis for its murderous rampage. Reports are still coming in as to the full extent of the senseless Israeli violence. Of course, I expect Israel's apologists in the press and in the United States government to shift into high gear to support Israel's lying machine. Take note of their names. The 12,000 internet squatters/written word grenade throwers, hired by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to defend Israel and attack peace activists online, are already busy spreading their orchestrated disinformation in cyberspace. Be very careful what you read and believe from special interest press and the internet. You could be reading one of Israel's hired hacks. As a news diversion from what Israel has just done, I suspect that we can also expect to see a lot of historical footage of war's atrocities on television: today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day long ago set aside to remember the sacrifices of U.S. war dead. I encouraged and supported U.S.S. Liberty veteran Joe Meadors's participation in the Freedom Flotilla. Unfortunately, the fate of the U.S.S. Liberty innocents on the high seas, while in international waters, has now been visited upon the participants in the Freedom Flotilla, in large measure because of the Congressional- and Presidential-level cover-up of the 1967 Israeli attack on that U.S. surveillance ship. Combined with the failure of just about every other effort to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and crimes against the peace. Belgium and Spain changed their domestic laws of universal jurisdiction after Israeli appeals to do so. The entire musical chairs gang of rotating Israeli leadership are war criminals. During my imprisonment in Israel for attempting to take crayons to the children of Gaza, I called Israel a failed state. If Israel is threatened by unarmed, humanitarian activists to the point of massacring them, then Israel is a failed state. Israel is a failed nuclear state. Obama's most recent granting of an additional $205 million for Israeli "missile defense" is unconscionable, when in the same week, reports revealed for the first time, Israel's offer of nuclear weapons to apartheid South Africa. Just last week, a paper bearing the signature of former Israeli Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, was released by South Africa, revealing that in 1975, Israel could offer South Africa nuclear weapons "in three sizes". South Africa's then-Minister of Defense, P.W. Botha, was South Africa's signatory to the letter. This information would make the entire Obama Administration look sadly farcical as it points an accusing finger at Iran, except that U.S. obeisance to the Israeli bloodthirst is deadly serious. With deadly outcomes. Earlier this month, Israel was granted admission to the Organization of Economic and Community Development (OECD), a direct affront to ongoing Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) efforts across the world. Once again, Israel has thumbed its nose at the global community - with bloody results - because it can. I am proud to serve on the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Palestine. Its next sitting will be in London, where we will examine corporate complicity in Israel's crimes against Palestine. The Tribunal will sit from November 5-7. Please put this on your calendar. We all must do what we can, where we are to end wars against the people at home and wars against human rights abroad. Finally, a friend just sent a message to me saying that the Israelis had lost their minds. Sadly, based on the past, the Israelis could very well conclude that they can do anything - imprison me for trying to take love to the children of Gaza and kill humanitarian activists trying to do the same - because they know, in the end, they'll get away with it. Instead, I would suggest that we are the ones who have lost our minds, our souls, our spirits, and our human dignity if we allow the Israelis to get away with murder - again - and we do nothing. [Amen. ed] I am calling on the people of the United States to change course now. On this Memorial Day 2010, I am stunned and outraged beyond belief while mourning the dead of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. Cynthia McKinney was a presidential candidate for the Green Party in the 2008 election. --------9 of 10--------- The Madness of Arrogance Israel's Attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla by Dr. Alan Sabrosky May 31st, 2010 Dissident Voice Israel's attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla on America's Memorial Day was all too predictable, although the form it took surprised even me. And it confirms the old proverb that "Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad," for the attack was the kind of madness only unbridled arrogance can assume. It wasn't just that foreigners as well as Palestinians, flying flags other than that of Palestine, were attacked. Israel has a long history of doing such things, especially to the UN. But except for the USS Liberty incident in 1967, it has generally done that on inland sites - Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon - where it can largely block news and visual evidence, and control the spin it puts on events, counting on its friends in the US and other mainstream media to say little or nothing to contradict them. The Attack Reprised Not this time. An attack on the open seas, in acknowledged international waters, against unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid with passengers and crews from many countries - especially a direct attack against a Turkish ship - is a different matter, and potentially an explosive one. The number of shipboard casualties indicates that once fighting started, the Israeli commandos simply sprayed automatic weapons fire into the people around them - another of their long-standing habits. And technology is their enemy here, just as it became in an earlier day the enemy of communist regimes in the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries. Too many images and videos were taken, and some sent, and too many witnesses reported what was happening, before the Israelis were able to suppress communications from their victims. Bad for their victims, but also potentially very bad for Israel, and the initial Israeli public-relations damage control efforts show that they are at least dimly aware of that fact. Trying to cast the attack in international waters as an exercise in self-defense would be ludicrous in the best or worst of circumstances - has anyone ever seen wheelchairs used as offensive weaponry? And for the Israeli spokeswoman to try to spin an assault by warships and armed commandos as defense against a "lynch" (I guess she was trying to push an American "hot button" for Obama - someone should tell her it is "lynching" or "lynch mob") would have embarrassed even her public relations soulmate, Dr. Josef Goebbels. But desperate do what desperation dictates, I suppose, although this time they may well have gone way too far. A Judging, Long Overdue And that is what the initial responses appear to affirm. All of the major US and many other media outlets are carrying this story, and even with the slant from many Jewish correspondents based in Jerusalem or Ashdod, the bloody particulars are slowly coming through to at least a general American audience for the first time: 1. The unarmed ships with unarmed passengers were trying to ferry humanitarian and reconstruction aid to ravaged and embattled Gaza. 2. Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza, probably if not certainly in violation of international law, supported largely by US vetoes in the UN Security Council. 3. Israeli warships and commandos intercepted and attacked the aid flotilla in international waters - which is an act of war, piracy or state terrorism, depending on one's view of the details. 4. Under attack, some of the passengers tried to defend themselves, scores were killed or wounded, and some Israeli commandos were also wounded - doubtless a surprise to them, but then their usual run of victims may have made them a bit too cocky. 5. Many governments and publics around the world - not only in Arab capitals - are openly outraged, and the discussion forums on US news web sites carrying the story suggest that much the same is happening at a public level in this country. 6. But for Israel, this is just another "we are the misunderstood victim" incident in a long, sordid and utterly unbelievable litany of such things - except that this time, they may not get away with it. Seizing the Moment This is a time for those interested in justice for Palestine to seize the moment and act, building on the promise engendered but not fulfilled after the submission of the Goldstone Report to the HRC. I would like to think that President Obama would take a stand, and perhaps he will, but if he does it will be with words and not with deeds. Neither the Congress nor Rahm Emanuel would let him do much more, whatever his predisposition - and who knows, he may believe the "lynch" metaphor, or pretend to do so. Americans shouldn't bother with letters or emails to US Senators or Representatives, or Obama; AIPAC will be there ahead of you with more letters and money than you can generate. Go instead directly to the local offices of US Senators and Representatives, stay until you speak personally to the senior person there, and make your case as forcefully as you can. Make sure as many people hear you as possible - but be polite, and leave your signs at home. For the world community, now is the time and this is the incident to drive home the UN "Uniting for Peace" Resolution, in both the Security Council and the General Assembly as needed. The nationalities of the victims will at least neutralize many European countries that might have opposed it before. Sanctions, embargoes, even the suspension or expulsion of Israel from the UN itself, do as much as quickly and as forcefully as possible. Press the BDS campaign everywhere hard. And for the US armed forces, on this Memorial Day, it would be well to reflect on the meaning of duty and service to country and people. Oaths of allegiance, obedience and loyalty are important to professionals in the armed forces, in or out of uniform. They were to me when I was in the Marines, and later as a civilian at West Point and the Army War College. I'm sure serving professionals today are no different. But the elected and appointed civilians overseeing the armed services have also taken their own oaths, and many have violated them by serving the interests of Israel rather than the US, itself, and especially by spending American lives and treasure furthering Israeli interests rather than safeguarding American ones. This, to me, is clearly treason, and utterly negates any loyalty anyone else owes to them. Remember that the cornerstone of our oaths is not to obedience, but to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic". Think about it on this Memorial Day. Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a writer and consultant specializing in national and international security affairs. In December 1988, he received the Superior Civilian Service Award after more than five years of service at the U.S. Army War College as Director of Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, and holder of the General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research. He can be reached at: docbrosk [at] comcast.net. --------10 of 10-------- Israel Attacks the Gaza Flotilla Slaughter at Sea By STEPHEN LENDMAN May 31, 2010 CounterPunch Even America's major media can't duck a crime this grave - attacking and slaughtering up to 20 Gaza Freedom Flotilla activists and injuring dozens more. New York Times writer Isabel Kershner headlined "At Least 10 Killed as Israel Intercepts Aid Flotilla, saying: "The Israeli Navy raided a flotilla carrying thousands of tons of supplies for Gaza in international waters on Monday morning....The incident drew widespread international condemnation, with Israeli envoys summoned to explain their country's actions in several European countries....The killings also coincided with preparations for a planned visit to Washington on Tuesday (June 1) by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." Late word is it's postponed. The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times carried similar reports, trying, but hardly able to downplay a major crime. The UK-based Stop the War Coalition called it "Yet another act of Israeli barbarism" in announcing an "emergency demonstration" at 2:00PM near the prime minister's Downing Street residence, saying spread the word and come. In Gaza, thousands protested, expressing anger, outrage and sympathy, carrying banners condemning willful crimes, and calling for Arab solidarity. Similar demonstrations turned out in Amman, Cairo, Damascus, Tehran, Ankara, Istanbul, Beirut and other regional cities. Defense Minister Ehud Barak blamed the Flotilla organizers for inciting the attack, while his deputy, Danny Alalon said they were connected to international terrorist organizations and were trying to smuggle in arms. Weapons were found on board, he claimed. At a hastily called news conference, sparsely attended, he referred to "the armada of hate and violence in support of the Hamas terror organization," accusing peaceful activists of a "premeditated and outrageous provocation," saying "The organizers are well known for their ties with global Jihad, Al Qaeda and Hamas. (Their) intent was violent, their method was violent, and the results were unfortunately violent." Shameless lies from a criminal caught red-handed, Haaretz's Gideon Levy saying: "The Israeli propaganda machine has reached new highs (distributing) false information. It embarrassed itself by entering a futile public relations battle....There is nothing to explain, certainly not to a world that will never buy (its) web of explanations, lies and tactics." In Washington, of course, they're echoed along with toned down pious indignation publicly, but privately, assurances of solid US-Israeli relations are affirmed. [We know in whose butt-crack the US nose is sunk deep. -ed] On May 31, White House spokesman William Burton said: "The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained, and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy," stopping short of condemning crimes too grave to ignore and demanding harsh measures in response to premeditated slaughter. Much the same from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (a reliable Israeli ally) stating: "It is vital that there is a full investigation to determine exactly how this bloodshed took place. I believe Israel must urgently provide a full explanation," stopping short of demanding it and full accountability. Saying he "deplored in the strongest terms the killing of civilians," Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, like his EU counterparts, said it was "indispensable that there be an inquest to ascertain the facts, which are still not clear." They're very clear. Israeli forces planned and executed a premeditated attack against peaceful humanitarian activists, trying to deliver essential to life aid to Gazans under siege - to break Israel's attempt to suffocate and starve them. The Wall Street Journal online headlined "More than 10 Dead After Israel Intercepts Gaza Aid Convoy," saying (like most US media reports) that "An Israeli military spokesman said later in the day that some activists 'appeared' to be armed with guns, and fired at the Israeli soldiers, though it wasn't clear who fired first." The activists, in fact, were unarmed civilians, delivering vitally needed humanitarian aid to 1.5 million Gazans, trapped under siege for three years this month. Without provocation, they were maliciously and willfully attacked in international waters by armed Israeli commandos with orders to open fire if the convoy failed to abort its mission. The best Journal writer Joshua Mitnick could say was "whether the military action was warranted or not (it) threatens to further sully Israel's international reputation, after a series of recent diplomatic setbacks." No mention of the Gaza war, daily West Bank and East Jerusalem incursions, the three-year siege, a 43-year occupation, daily killings, targeted assassinations, homes bulldozed, mass arrests, torture, and Palestinian communities throughout the Territories and in Israel threatened by daily terror. No mention by European nations either, the EU merely calling for a full inquiry, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner (a staunch Israeli supporter) saying he was "deeply shocked by the 'tragic' consequences of Israel's military operation (against) a humanitarian initiative," but little else. The same hypocrisy echoed from most European capitals, much like already from Washington. Turkey's Communist Party's press statement, in contrast, said: "The pirate commandos trained by Israel Naval Forces mounted an operation this morning to capture the flotilla carrying aid to Gaza and slaughtered unarmed civilians in the course of this outrageous operation." Calling the attack "barbarous," it "demanded" immediate deportation of Israel's diplomatic mission, cancellation of Turkish-Israeli military and other agreements, and Israel held fully accountable for its crime against humanity - its specialty against civilians and nonviolent activists. Al Jazeera reported that "Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news (shouting) 'Damn Israel' as police blocked them." It also said Israeli radio confirmed at least 19 were killed and dozens injured, quoting IDF spokeswoman, Avital Leibovich, saying, "This happened in waters outside Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves," - the usual response from scoundrels caught red-handed. Video footage on board the Turkish passenger ship Mavi Marmara showed Israeli commandos opened fire during the assault, activists saying it began immediately after storming on board. Al Zazeera's Jamal Elshayyal, on the ship, said "a white surrender flag was raised (and) there was no live fire coming from the passengers." The Free Gaza Movement reported that "Under darkness of night, Israeli commandos dropped from a helicopter onto the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck." No action on board provoked it. It was premeditated, willful slaughter. The Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement expressed sorrow in denouncing the attack, citing it as further "proof that despite claims to the contrary, Israel never 'disengaged' from the Gaza Strip but rather continues to control its borders - land, air and sea....hermetically (cutting off) 1.5 million human beings (from) access to the outside world" and vitally needed humanitarian aid. Netanyahu's spokesman, Mark Regev, claimed "They initiated the violence," and the IDF insisted it responded when its forces "were attacked with knives, clubs, and even live fire." Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said soldiers were forced by violent acts to respond with live fire. They lied. Viewing the video footage, Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin reported that: "All the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical (and other humanitarian) supplies on board." Other footage showed black-clad commandos descending from helicopters, then immediately opening fire on deck against peaceful activists. Israeli forces seized the ship and a smaller one, took them to Israel's port of Ashdod, and censored all information on the assault. The Flotilla, with 700 activists, left Cyprus at 3:00PM (1200 GMT) Sunday, on the last leg of their journey, heading for Gaza, hoping to arrive by daylight. Six hours after departure, three Israeli missile boats left Haifa to interdict it, according to reporters on board before being ordered to turn off their cell phones. The convoy hoped to break the siege and deliver over 10,000 tons of vitally needed aid, including food, medicines, educational, construction, and other materials. Israel warned it would intercept and abort the mission, giving no details except to say ships would be seized, then taken to Ashdod. A May 31 Gaza Freedom March.org press release called for a "global response to killings on the Freedom Flotilla," saying: "We, Gaza based Palestinian Civil Society Organizations and international activists, call on the international community and civil society to pressure their governments and Israel to cease the abductions and killings....against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla....and begin a global response to hold Israel accountable for the murder of foreign civilians at sea and illegal piracy of civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza." "We, from Gaza, call on you to demonstrate and support the courageous men and women on the Flotilla and join the many now murdered on a humanitarian aid mission. We insist on severance of diplomatic ties with Israel, trials for war crimes and the international protection of the civilians of Gaza. We call on you to join the growing international boycott, divestment and sanction campaign of a country proving again" to be an international outlaw. "Join a growing critical mass around the world with a commitment to the day when Palestinian are entitled to the same rights as (all) other people, when the siege is lifted, the occupation over and the 6 million Palestinian refugees are finally granted justice." Stand in solidarity for their freedom in peace, and demand nothing less, including full accountability for Israeli officials responsible for high crimes of war and against humanity. On board the Flottilla are over 700 activists from 40 countries, including 35 politicians and a Nobel Peace laureate, Mairead McGuire, who protesting with Bil'in village activists against Israel's Separation Wall, in April 2007, was shot and injured with a rubber bullet, then tear-gassed, overcome, and had to be taken by stretcher to an ambulance. Again, she and 700 others risked their lives to deliver vitally needed aid. In solidarity, people of conscience everywhere must support them and demand full accountability for the latest Israeli crimes too grave to ignore. Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 Research almost any topic raised here at: CounterPunch http://counterpunch.org Dissident Voice http://dissidentvoice.org Common Dreams http://commondreams.org Once you're there, do a search on your topic, eg obama drones
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