Freedom Flotella

Two weeks ago, and under the cover of darkness, “Israeli” soldiers stormed the lead ship of the six-vessel Freedom Flotilla aid convoy in international waters, that killed and injured dozens of civilians aboard.

All the ships were violently seized by “Israeli” forced, but hours after the attack, the fate of the passengers aboard the other ships remained unknown.

The Mavi Marmara was carrying 700 civilian activists from around the world, including Canada, when “Israeli” warships flanked it from all sides as soldiers descended from helicopters onto the ship’s deck.
The activists were over 10.000 tons of aid including food, medicines, medical equipments, reconstruction materials and equipment, as well as various other necessities arbitrarily banned by “Israel”.
Reports from activists on board the ship backed up by live video feeds broadcast on Turkish TV show that “Israeli” forces used live ammunition against the civilian activists, some of whom resisted the attack with sticks.

The Freedom Flotilla was organized by a coalition of groups that sought to break the “Israeli”-led siege on Gaza strip that began in 2007. As of 6:00 p.m, Yaboos time, most media were still reporting that up to 20 civilian activists had been killed, and many more injured. However, “Israel” was still withholding the exact numbers and names of the dead and injured. News of the massacre on board the Freedom Flotilla began to emerge worldwide.

However, the Jerusalem post reported that the “Israeli” soldiers who boarded the Flotilla in International waters were fired upon by activists.
Quoting anonymous “Israeli” military sources, the Jerusalem post claimed that the Flotilla passengers had setup a “WELL PLANNED LYNCH” (IDF: “soldiers were met by well-planned lynch in board raid”).

The “Israeli” daily Haaretz also reported that the “Israeli” soldiers were “ATTACKED” when trying to board the Flotilla.

“Israeli” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon stated in a press conference that the “Israeli” military was acting in “SELF-DEFENSE”. He claimed that “at least two guns were found” and that the “incident” was still ongoing.

Ayalon also claimed that the Flotilla organizers were “well-known” and were supported by and had connections to “INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS”.

It is unclear how anyone could credibly adopt the “Israeli” lie of “SELF DEFENSE”, when “Israel” had carried out an unprovoked armed assault on civilian ships in International waters.

Surely, and right of SELF-DEFENSE would belong to the activists on the ship. Nevertheless, the Freedom Flotilla organizers had clearly and loudly proclaimed their ships to be unarmed civilian vessels on a humanitarian mission.

The “Israeli” media strategy appeared to be to maintain censorship of the facts such as the number of dead and injured, the names of the victims and on which ships the injuries occurred, while aggressively putting out its version of events which is based on a dual strategy of implausibly claiming “SELF-DEFENSE” while demonizing the Freedom Flotilla passengers and intimating that they deserved what they got.

As news spread around the globe, foreign governments began to react.

Greece and Turkey, which had many citizens aboard the Flotilla, immediately recalled their ambassadors from Tal el Rabee , which is known as “Tel Aviv”.
Spain strongly condemned the attack. France foreign minister Bernard Kouchner expressed “profound shock”.

The European Union’s foreign minister Catherine Ashton called for an “enquiry”.

What should be clear is this: No one can claim to be surprised by what the Palestinian Centre of Human Rights correctly termed a “hideous crime”.

“Israel” had openly threatening a violent attack on the Flotilla for days, but complacency, complicit and inaction, specifically from Western and Arab governments once more sent the message that “Israel” could act with total impunity.

There is no doubt that “Israel’s” massacre of 1400 people, mostly civilians, in Gaza on December 2008 and January 2009 was a wake up call for International Civil Activists to begin to adopt boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against “Israel” similar to those applied to apartheid era South Africa.

Yet, governments largely have remained complacent and complicit in “Israel’s” ongoing violence and oppression against Palestinians and increasingly International Humanitarian Workers NS Solidarity Activists, not only in Gaza, but throughout historic Palestine.

We can only imagine that had former “Israeli” foreign minister Tzipi Livni indeed been arrested, had the International community begun to implement the recommendations of the UN Commissioned Goldstone Report, had there been a much firmer response to “Israel’s” assassination of a Mahmud al Mabhooh in Dubai and Haj Imad Moghneieh in Damascus, it would not have dared to act with such brazenness.

As protest and solidarity actions begin in Palestine and across the globe, this is the message they must carry: ENOUGH IMPUNITY, ENOUGH COMPLICITY, ENOUGH “ISRAELI” MAASSACRES AND APATHEID.
GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRIES.

(Published Hewar)

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