Archive | June 5th, 2010



The Freedom Flotilla Broke Through the Israeli Siege on Gaza via Egypt

June 5, 2010

by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

Gaza srip

Egypt has kept the Rafah crossing border point with the Gaza Strip opened for a fifth consecutive day

“We sailed to Gaza, broke through the siege…take a stand “says the slogan of the freedom flotilla that was headed towards Gaza. And that exactly what they did, they lived up to their pledge, they publicly sailed, bravely headed towards Gaza and confronted an immoral and armed Israeli commando raid in the dead of night in international waters.
The Free Gaza Movement organized the aid flotilla with the hope of sending a message to the world that Israel has no right to starve 1.5 million Palestinians by blockading the Gaza Strip.

That message was never heard clearer nor louder to the extent that revived the international community conscience as expressed in the following statement “Israel had no right to whatsoever to impede a humanitarian ship from trying to provide supplies to a population that’s facing, in the words of Amnesty International, a humanitarian crisis”
And even governments began to respond, to the fury and furor invoked by the ruthless Israeli raid on the freedom flotilla, but the most vital response, was the one that came from Egypt.
On Tuesday, Egypt suddenly decided to open Rafah terminal after the Israeli Navy seized the Gaza aid flotilla a day earlier. The opening was in part due to the pressure by Egyptians to end the three-year blockade imposed by Israel after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Rafah is Gaza’s only gateway to the rest of the world that is not controlled by Israel. Egypt, which has a 30-year peace treaty with Israel, has kept the Rafah border closed for much of the past five years
The Egypt-Israel blockade was tightened following the 2006 parliamentary election victory of Hamas, an offshoot of Egypt’s largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and even more so after Hamas’ complete takeover of the Strip in 2007.
EGYPT has undercut Israel by breaking its three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, as the international community heightened condemnation of Israel over its attack on the Gaza aid flotilla.

The mad rush of Palestinians to the Rafah crossing border point with Egypt

While ordinary Gazans have taken advantage of the border opening, it is not yet clear whether all goods will be allowed into Gaza from Egypt.

Egyptian officials have been quoted as saying there would be no restrictions on the movement of Palestinians nor on food, medical and humanitarian supplies being brought in.
However, reports suggest that concrete and steel, which Gazans desperately need to repair damage from last year’s Israeli offensive in the Strip, would still need to be transported through Israel, which restricts supplies of building materials as it says they could be used for military purposes.

Gazans have been streaming through the Rafah border with Egypt over the past four days, breaking through the inhumane Israeli siege, and fulfilling the pledge of the free Gaza movement that gave the world one of its finest chapters of human solidarity.

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June 5, 2010

by Michael Leon

Freedom Flotilla

The most recent attempt to highlight Israel’s criminal blockade and illegal occupation of Gaza was met with more Israeli piracy. See Al Jazeera and Witness Gaza for updates..

From the Free Gaza Movement:

Just before 9am this morning, the Israeli military forcibly seized the Irish-owned humanitarian relief ship, the MV Rachel Corrie, from delivering over 1000 tons of medical and construction supplies to besieged Gaza.

For the second time in less then a week, Israeli naval commandos stormed an unarmed aid ship, brutally taking its passengers hostage and towing the ship toward Ashdod port in Southern Israel.

It is not yet known whether any of the Rachel Corrie’s passengers were killed or injured during the attack, but they are believed to be unharmed.

The Corrie carried 11 passengers and 9 crew from 5 different countries, mostly Ireland and Malaysia. The passengers included Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire, Parit Member of the Malaysian Parliament Mohd Nizar Zakaria, and former UN Assistant Secretary General, Denis Halliday.

Nine international human rights workers were killed on Monday when Israeli commandos violently stormed the Turkish aid ship, Mavi Marmara and five other unarmed boats taking supplies to Gaza.

Prior to being taken hostage by Israeli forces, Derek Graham, an Irish coordinator with the Free Gaza Movement, stated that: “Despite what happened on the Mavi Marmara earlier this week, we are not afraid.

The 1,200-ton cargo ship was purchased through a special fund set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister and Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO) chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

The ship was named after an American human rights worker, killed in 2003 when she was crushed by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. Its cargo included hundreds of tons of medical equipment and cement, as well as paper from the people of Norway, donated to UN-run schools in Gaza.

According to Denis Halliday: “We are the only Gaza-bound aid ship left out here. We’re determined to deliver our cargo.” The Rachel Corrie had been part of the Freedom Flotilla, a 40-nation effort to break through Israel’s illegal blockade, before being forced to drop off late last week due to suspicious mechanical problems.

The attack on the Rachel Corrie may spell trouble for Israel’s relationship with Ireland. The Irish government had formally requested Israel allow the ship to reach Gaza. On 1 June, the Irish parliament also passed an all-party motion condemning Israel’s use of military force against civilian aid ships, and demanding “an end to the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza.”

Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire summed up the hopes of this joint Irish-Malaysian effort to overcome Israel’s cruel blockade by saying: “We are inspired by the people of Gaza whose courage, love and joy in welcoming us, even in the midst of such suffering gives us all hope.

They represent the very best of humanity, and we are all privileged to be given the opportunity to support them in their nonviolent struggle for human dignity, and freedom. This trip will again highlight Israel’s criminal blockade and illegal occupation. In a demonstration of the power of global citizen action, we hope to awaken the conscience of all.”

Israeli Pirates

Passengers aboard the Rachel Corrie include:

Ahmed Faizal bin Azumu, human rights worker, Malaysia

Matthias Chang, attorney, author & human rights worker, Malaysia

Derek Graham, Free Gaza Ireland

Jenny Graham, Free Gaza Ireland

Denis Halliday, former UN Assistant Secretary General, Ireland

Mohd Jufri Bin Mohd Judin, journalist, Malaysia

Shamsul Akmar Musa Kamal, PGPO representative, Malaysia

Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Ireland

Abdul Halim Bin Mohamed, journalist, Malaysia

Fiona Thompson, film-maker, Ireland

The Hon. Mohd Nizar Zakaria, Parit Member of Parliament, Malaysia


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Israel resists probe into Gaza ship raid, as new ship steams towards Gaza

June 4, 2010

by Michael Leon

Freedom Flotiilla

Put simply, Israel says to the world: We do what we want when we want, we’re entitled.

Illegal blockade: we’re entitled. Kill unarmed Americans and human rights workers: we’re entitled. Blind an American college woman in one eye: We’re entitled. It goes on and on.

As a new ship, the Rachel Corrie, is scheduled to arrive Saturday off Gaza in international waters, Israel now says it will stop the ship by any means necessary, and will resist international investigations into its murderous behavior.

Israel on Thursday resisted calls for an international inquiry to investigate its lethal seizure of a Turkish ship bound for blockaded Gaza.

The United States, less outspoken than most of Israel’s enemies and friends since nine people on the Mavi Marmara were killed on Monday, backed calls from the European Union, Turkey and the United Nations for some form of international inquiry.

US Vice President Joe Biden suggested an Israeli probe with international involvement.

Turkish and foreign pro-Palestinian activists arrived to a hero’s welcome in Istanbul from the government and levelled charges of “war crimes” and unjustified killings at the Israeli marines who stormed the cruise liner Mavi Marmara and five other ships in international waters under cover of dark.

The allegations, coming after activists were released from Israeli custody, were not possible to verify immediately.

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, speaking on Army Radio, said “there is a need for an investigation to draw lessons”, an apparent reference to a narrow Israeli inquiry into the operational details of the commando raid.

“As far as we are concerned there is no need for a commission of inquiry,” he said, using Israel’s term for a state panel, usually led by a judge, that would look into all aspects of the operation, including decisions made by political leaders.

Steinitz made no mention of any international participation.

Israelis have been shocked by military video of commandos being winched onto the ship’s deck from helicopters only to be outnumbered and set upon with sticks by activists.

Officers say their men opened fire to save their lives and that two of the ship passengers shot at them with pistols seized from marines.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an unrepentant defence of the four-year-old blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in a televised address on Wednesday, lambasting European and other governments for “hypocrisy” in challenging Israel’s efforts to prevent the Iranian-backed Islamists from arming.

He made no mention in his speech of any investigation.


Political sources in Israel said the issue for the government now was not whether to launch an inquiry but what kind would satisfy the very different demands of Israeli public opinion and that of the international community.

The Foreign Ministry dismissed a vote by the United Nations Human Rights Council, a forum Israel says is deeply biased against it, to form an independent fact-finding mission to look into what it called violations of international law.

Israel was stung by a UN inquiry into the three-week offensive it launched in the Gaza Strip in December 2008 which found evidence its forces committed war crimes, allegations Israeli leaders denied.

Three Turkish planes brought some of a total of about 700 people detained on the convoy from Tel Aviv to Turkey. They also carried the simple wooden coffins of the nine killed.

Their identities are still uncertain, though Israel has said it believes most of them were Turks.

“We’ve been scared, frightened, kidnapped and attacked with battleships,” said Mustafa Ahmet from Britain.

As activists disembarked they lifted their arms in defiance, but afterwards some were overcome with emotion and wept.

Several accused the Israeli army of destroying evidence: “The soldiers shot a doctor who wanted to surrender and they threw dead bodies into the sea,” said Bulent Yildirim, chairman of IHH, the Islamic charity which organised the convoy.

Kevin Ovenden of Britain said a man who had pointed a camera at the soldiers was shot dead through the forehead.

Many of those waiting at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport carried Palestinian flags and bore slogans such as “murderer Israel”.

The killings of Turks onboard the flotilla has brought the already strained relationship between the Jewish state and Turkey’s Islamist-leaning government close to breaking point.

Turkey recalled its ambassador and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, charging Israel with “state terrorism” has called for those responsible for the deaths to be punished.

Arab states will ask the UN Security Council to demand an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, the Arab League chief said.

The Council, with Israel’s ally the United States holding a veto, is unlikely to do that, although Western powers have been discussing how to pressure Israel to do more to let in supplies for the benefit of the 1.5 million people stuck in the enclave.

“Once again, Israel faces hypocrisy and a biased rush to judgment,” Netanyahu said.

“The international community cannot afford an Iranian port on the Mediterranean … The same countries that are criticising us today, should know that they could be targeted tomorrow.”

Egypt opened its Rafah border crossing to Gaza indefinitely on Wednesday — a step seen as an attempt by Cairo to deflect criticism of its role in imposing the Gaza blockade on Hamas, which is allied with Egypt’s main Islamist opposition.

US Vice President Biden on Wednesday backed Israel’s right to board ships bound for Gaza to prevent weapons smuggling, but said Washington was concerned about the plight of people there.

“Israel has an absolute right to deal with its security interest,” Biden told PBS television. He stressed President Barack Obama’s support for an impartial investigation.

“It’s legitimate for Israel to say, ‘I don’t know what’s on that ship. These guys are dropping eight — 3,000 rockets on my people,’” he said, referring to Hamas.

But Biden said the United States also needed to “put as much pressure and as much cajoling on Israel as we can” to allow in aid shipments such as building materials.

He said an Israeli investigation with international involvement might resemble this year’s probe in South Korean into the sinking of a warship, now blamed on North Korea


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Gordon Duff: Autopsy Shows Israel Executed Wounded, Worse Than Munich 1972

June 5, 2010

 by Gordon Duff



By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

The entire world joined with Israel in 1972 when Black September radicals murdered Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich.  The world was never told of the torture prisons in Israel or the truth about the 1967 War, the “land grab” and the ethnic cleansing that followed.  Even still, the Munich attack was an unthinkable horror, one Israel has now duplicated with the execution slaying of peace activists and humanitarian aid workers.  The Israeli paper, Hareetz has published the autopsy results.

Israel executed wounded, abused corpses and emptied automatic weapons into bodies at point blank range.  These were the acts of brutal animals, not humans.  Israel has bred a generation of monsters. 

 Israel has an obsession with monsters, the gollum, the sickness of the soul that has driven every nation that has embraced belief over humanity and myth over truth.  Israel is and has always been a nation of contradictions, the best and brightest sometimes led by the worlds worst con men, chiselers, torturers and yes, the exact same people the holocaust tells of.

Does the myth of the holocaust poison the souls of Israelis, fill them with anger, hatred and the capability of doing so much harm in the world?  Is it the Jewish religion and its teachings that non-Jews are subhuman?  This isn’t just Judaism that denies the inherent humanity of mankind.  Every belief system has these components, from Evangelical Christianity to radical Islam to the endless forms of Fascism that have hidden under the guise of neo-conservatism, Zionism or Islamic awakening.

No country has lost as much as Israel in this last week.  What Israel gave up is the holocaust and Munich, the cultural myths the storytellers used to twist a generation to accept Fascism in place of democracy and hate in place of decent lives. 

When millions in Saudi “blood money” flows into the extremist religious schools called madrassas or Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh or the vicious phony Christian thug John Hagee spew their poison, it is no different.  In Vietnam, 566 women and children died because poorly trained draftees were told they could kill “gooks” because gooks weren’t human.

Israel, the “flavor of the day” failed state assumed the mantle of international psychopathic criminal state out of hubris and paranoia.  Were people “out to get” Israel?  Maybe, but generally in retaliation.  What an interesting word.  It assumes that someone did something wrong. 

 What it never can explain is who and when.  With 6000 years to play with and religious texts that depict a super-being so flawed, so ignorant and so utterly inhuman as to justify what any sane person has to know is total insanity, the books so many accept, not only Jews but Muslims and Christians, tens of centuries of brutality are little but roadmaps for mayhem.

There is actually a “skeptics bible,” a compendium of criminality, sociopathic behavior, racism and outright thievery that fills the “holy books” that supposedly give land to the Jews, empowers the Taliban or allow kids thousands of miles away, in the safety of the good old USA, to murder families with “computer game” drones.

The Israeli ambassador to Spain put it interestingly yesterday.  He pointed out that 28 people died on Spanish highways and Israel only executed 9 people.  The death toll in Munich was roughly the same as the Israeli terror attack this week.  The Israeli athletes were innocent as were the Israeli victims.

In 1972, the Munich attack was  given two operational names, Ikrit and Biram.  In 1948, the Jewish terrorist group Haganah attacked these two villages, slaughtering the inhabitants, every man, woman and child.  Munich was a retaliation for this.  Few were told this, not that retaliation is an excuse.  What none were told is that the villages, Ikrit and Birham were Christian villages, not Muslim.  In 1948, Israel wiped out the Christian population of Israel first, they were a danger.  Muslims were allowed to live, they were useful workers.

What was also not told is that the Haganah was a Communist militia sworn to serve Stalin’s Russia.  While Americans back home were looking under their beds for Communists, Israel was full of them, armed to the teeth and pumped up on the politics of mass murder, straight out of their hero, Josef Stalin, a mass murderer that made Hitler look like an amateur. 

Oh, how we lie about history.  The communists we all knew had duped Harry Truman had pulled it off.  Israel was meant to be a Soviet enclave, Stalin’s perfect state in the Middle East, his “proxy state” to spy on America, penetrate the news media, indoctrinate the people and destabilize the west.  How did he do?

Is that Israel alive or has it been replaced with a theocracy, a radical state following a mindless religion based on hatred and inhumanity?  Are we describing Iran?  Are we describing half the United States?  What we are describing is simple “pop psychology.” 

 We all know about the experiments, you know the ones where people are told to give electric shocks to students, stronger and stronger until the screams of pain are deafening.  How we find monsters among us, inside of us, always ready to sacrifice our humanity for blood sport enjoyed while running with the pack.

A few countries, Japan and Germany in particular, recognized the disease and have tried to inoculate themselves.  65 years later and nobody has heard a Zero screaming down for a strafing run or the boots of SS kicking down a door.  America has taken over for them it seems, less efficient for sure, an odd mix of mass murder and social welfare program that the US has come to call “war.”

The last century was meant to end war.  100 million died, some actually knowingly sacrificing themselves for a better world.  Today it is Israel, the brutal dictatorship we ignore out of corruption.  Before them it was someone else and after them we can expect more.  Our ignorance of history, our personal failings of greed, hate and yes, religion, guarantee unending descent into barbarity.

And so it goes.

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Gordon Duff: What Israel’s Execution Of An American Teen Means (Plus Late Breaking…)

June 4, 2010

by Gordon Duff

American Citizen Teenager Furkan Dogan Murdered by Israel American Citizen Furkan Dogan Executed by Israel during Attack on Gaza Flotilla

We Can Kill Anyone, Anywhere

No Reason Needed, We Are Terrorists

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor 

Listen to USS Liberty Radio with Guests Jeff Gates and Gordon Duff 

Report: Autopsy shows Gaza activists were shot 30 times. Nine Turkish activistskilled in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound ship, including one with U.S. citizenship, were shot a total of 30 times and five died of gunshot wounds to the head, Britain’s Guardian newspaper says (Read Original Haaretz Article from Israel)


An American teenager was murdered by Israel commandos, pirates really, this week.  He was shot in the abdomen and, instead of being given medical aid, he was held down on the deck of a ship, probably by multiple pairs of combat boots and shot four times in the back of the head at close range.  Reports from the Israeli Knesset have Israeli boats approaching the unarmed flotilla, machine guns pouring lead across the decks. 

These facts won’ t be in any American or British newspaper or on the television news, not the corporate networks anyway.  Israel dictates what is reported, even by the BBC, an organization they control entirely. 

This isn’t the first time this has happened, an Israeli military force has gone after a ship in the Mediterranean.  The most glaring case is the attack on the USS Liberty in 1967.  With President Lyndon Johnson agreeing to support the Israeli invasion of Egypt and Syria, a quick land grab started by a Pearl Harbor type sneak attack, it wasn’t certain that the American military would support this kind of cowardly aggression. 

Thus, the American monitoring ship, the USS Liberty, had to be sunk and its entire crew wiped out to a man.  President Johnson approved, Admiral Sidney McCain agreed to cover it up and Israel sent wave after wave of bombers, torpedo boats and fighter

aircraft out but the USS Liberty never went down.  34 Americans were murdered by Israel that day. 

The USS Liberty incident should have taken down the Johnson presidency, ended the “special relationship” with Israel and opened the 6 Day War to real scrutiny for what it was, Israeli expansionism.  If the United States had reacted then, there would have been no 1974 oil embargo, no Ayatollah in Iran, no “war on terror,” no 9/11 and no world economic collapse. 

 A single act of treason 43 years ago changed the world for the worse, erasing our triumphs in World War 2 and erasing the economic boon the collapse of the Soviet Union should have brought the world. 


The current attack against the Freedom Flotilla deeply parallels the USS Liberty attack.  The attack on the Liberty was an act of war against the United States.  This required retaliation.  There was none.  What it wasn’t was an “accident.”  Israel now calls the murder of an American teenager “ 

Allowing Israel to get away with this, an attack on a US Navy ship in international waters was one of the worst acts of treason and cowardice in American history but it was also a more significant error.  America gave up its sovereignty to Israel.  Johnson had been bought and paid for long before, years of sexcapades in Hollywood, arranged by studio heads and, at the time of the USS Liberty attack, bedding an Irgun operative, Matilda Krim. 

Johnson had seen “the outfit” get rid of President Kennedy and knew he had to ”toe the line.”  Another Kennedy would die and, after that, no American leader would oppose Israel again, not without a plane crash, sex scandal or being removed from office through a massive deluge of cash. 


When an American citizen is murdered anywhere in the world, our embassy is involved, the FBI asks to assist in the investigation and the State Department monitors the case from beginning to end.  In 1812, we went to war over the kidnapping of Americans from ships at sea.  We entered World War I because of a German attack that killed Americans, an attack on a ship carrying arms during a war. 

Were a soldier from any army or police force in the world to shoot an unarmed American on their own territory, an apology would be offered immediately, reparations made and still, they would face military retaliation.  Such an incident is state terrorism by definition. 

USS Liberty Crew Members Buried at Arlington Cemetery

The idea of a member of a military group murdering an American, not an accidental shooting but an execution, not within their sovereign borders but during an act of piracy in international waters, America would have an obligation to respond militarily to a terrorist attack.  However, not only was nothing done, nothing has been said. 

 America is only admitting that it is no longer a sovereign nation.  It can’t, it won’t protect its citizens, it won’t even act in concert with the international community.  America is a colony of a police state, a colony of a terrorist evildoer. 

 YouTube – Veterans Today –  


The message Obama, Biden, Schumer, McCain and Lieberman sent out is clear.  If you want to spit on an American soldier in Germany or Italy, we don’t care.  If you rape an American woman in a hotel, kidnap an American child anywhere in the world, America isn’t concerned, not unless the child is a Jew.  America is obsessed with one thing and one thing only, protecting Jews, Israeli, American, it doesn’t matter.  Why is this? 

Only a kidnapped Jew gets news exposure.  Anyone else “had it coming.”  How can a large nation allow racial discrimination against its own majority Christian population?  If we didn’t see it, who would believe it.  We even allow our own military to be murdered and say nothing.  How can such a little country have so much power.  Did America really surrender her national sovereignty to Israel so many years ago? 


It is the American military that is reacting to this latest provocation with the most anger.  After years of conditioning to see Muslims as a less than human, years of deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan have mellowed even the most strident “Zionist Evangelical” crusaders bent on killing every Arab they could get their hands on, products of Rumsfeld’s Department of Defense propaganda machine. 

The America that only knew of the Middle East from watching villainous “greasy” Arab terrorist and Nordic looking Israeli “freedom fighters” with their blonde hair and aquiline features play out “comic book melodramas’ on television.  Each show always ends the same, credits that look like an Anti-Defamation League or AIPAC membership list, producers, directors, writers, editors, even the caterers. 

Decade after decade Americans were being fed a constant diet, are being fed a constant diet of race hatred.  Now Americans, particularly American soldiers, many of whom have spent years living with tribesmen in Afghanistan or playing with kids on the dusty streets of Iraq, our kids, our soldiers know better. 

 The picture now in their minds is that of an American teenager being executed by a criminal gang, protected by the Israel lobby in the United States, protected by cowards like Barak Hussein Obama, protected by a nation that has lived for decades above any law. 

Executing an American on a ship on the high seas is spitting on our flag.  This is how we see it.  This was a high school student planning a career in medicine, out on international waters, kept safe by the US Navy, traveling with a former crew member of the USS Liberty. 

Prior to the terrorist attack on the Freedom Flotilla, a remembrance of the USS Liberty, honoring the American martyrs to this earlier act of terrorism, was held.  Rememberance is no longer enough.  Years ago Americans were promised that their government would go anywhere in the world to find terrorists who attacked Americans.  It is time to keep that promise.

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The Electronic Intifada, 4 June 2010

You will have no protection

— Medgar Evers to Civil Rights Activists in Mississippi, shortly before he was assassinated, 12 June, 1963

My heart is breaking; but I do not mind.

For one thing, as soon as I wrote those words I was able to weep. Which I had not been able to do since learning of the attack by armed Israeli commandos on defenseless peace activists carrying aid to Gaza who tried to fend them off using chairs and sticks. I am thankful to know what it means to be good; I know that the people of the Freedom Flotilla are/were in some cases, some of the best people on earth.

They have not stood silently by and watched the destruction of others, brutally, sustained, without offering themselves, weaponless except for their bodies, to the situation. I am thankful to have a long history of knowing people like this from my earliest years, beginning in my student days of marches and demonstrations: for peace, for non-separation among peoples, for justice for Women, for People of Color, for Cubans, for Animals, for Indians, and for Her, the planet.

I am weeping for the truth of Medgar’s statement; so brave and so true. I weep for him gunned down in his carport, not far from where I would eventually live in Mississippi, with a box of t-shirts in his arms that said: “Jim Crow Must Go.” Though trained in the United States Military under racist treatment one cringes to imagine, he remained a peaceful soldier in the army of liberation to the end.

 I weep and will always weep, even through the widest smiles, for the beautiful young wife, Myrlie Evers, he left behind, herself still strong and focused on the truth of struggle; and for their children, who lost their father to a fate they could not possibly, at the time, understand. I don’t think any of us could imagine during that particular phase of the struggle for justice, that we risked losing not just our lives, which we were prepared to give, but also our children, who we were not.

Nothing protected Medgar, nor will anything protect any of us; nothing but our love for ourselves and for others whom we recognize unfailingly as also ourselves. Nothing can protect us but our lives. How we have lived them; what battles, with love and compassion our only shield, we have engaged.

And yet, the moment of realizing we are truly alone, that in the ultimate crisis of our existence our government is not there for us, is one of shock. Especially if we have had the illusion of a system behind us to which we truly belong. Thankfully I have never had opportunity to have this illusion. And so, every peaceful witnessing, every non-violent confrontation has been a pure offering. I do not regret this at all.

When I was in Cairo last December to support CODEPINK’s efforts to carry aid into Gaza I was unfortunately ill with the flu and could not offer very much. I lay in bed in the hotel room and listened to other activists report on what was happening around the city as Egypt refused entry to Gaza to the 1,400 people who had come for the accompanying Freedom march.

I heard many distressing things, but only one made me feel, not exactly envy, but something close; it was that the French activists had shown up, en masse, in front of their embassy and that their ambassador had come out to talk to them and to try to make them comfortable as they set up camp outside the building. This small gesture of compassion for his country’s activists in a strange land touched me profoundly, as I was touched decades ago when someone in John Kennedy’s White House (maybe the cook) sent out cups of hot coffee to our line of freezing student and teacher demonstrators as we tried, with our signs and slogans and
songs, to protect a vulnerable neighbor, Cuba.

Where have the Israelis put our friends? I thought about this all night. Those whom they assassinated on the ship and those they injured? Is “my” government capable of insisting on respect for their dead bodies? Can it demand that those who are injured but alive be treated with care? Not only with care, but the tenderness and honor they deserve?

If it cannot do this, such a simple, decent thing, of what use is it to the protection and healing of the planet? I heard a spokesman for the United States opine at the United Nations (not an exact quote) that the Freedom Flotilla activists should have gone through other, more proper, channels, not been confrontational with their attempt to bring aid to the distressed. This is almost exactly what college administrators advised half a century ago when students were trying to bring down apartheid in the South and getting bullets, nooses, bombings and burnings for our efforts.
I felt embarrassed (to the degree one can permit embarrassment by
another) to be even vaguely represented by this man: a useless voice from the far past. One had hoped.

The Israeli spin on the massacre: that the commandos were under attack by the peace activists and that the whole thing was like “a lynching” of the armed attackers, reminds me of a Redd Foxx joke. I loved Redd Foxx, for all his vulgarity. A wife caught her husband in bed with another woman, flagrant, in the act, skin to skin.

The husband said, probably through pants of aroused sexual exertion: All right, go ahead and believe your lying eyes! It would be fun, were it not tragic, to compare the various ways the Israeli government and our media will attempt to blame the victims of this unconscionable attack for their own imprisonment, wounds and deaths.

So what to do? Rosa Parks sat down in the front of the bus. Martin Luther King followed her act of courage with many of his own, and using his ringing, compassionate voice he aroused the people of Montgomery, Alabama to commit to a sustained boycott of the bus company; a company that refused to allow people of color to sit in the front of the bus, even if it was empty. It is time for us, en masse, to show up in front of our conscience, and sit down in the front of the only bus we have: our very lives.

What would that look like, be like, today, in this situation between Palestine and Israel? This “impasse” that has dragged on for decades. This “conflict” that would have ended in a week if humanity as a whole had acted in defense of justice everywhere on the globe. Which maybe we are learning! It would look like the granddaughter of Rosa Parks, the grandson of Martin Luther King.

It would look like spending our money only where we can spend our lives in peace and happiness; freely sharing whatever we have with our friends.

It would be to support boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel to End the Occupation of Gaza and the West Bank and by this effort begin to soothe the pain and attend the sorrows of a people wrongly treated for generations. This action would also remind Israel that we have seen it lose its way and have called to it, often with love, and we have not been heard. In fact, we have reached out to it only to encounter slander, insult and, too frequently, bodily harm.

Disengage, avoid, and withhold support from whatever abuses, degrades and humiliates humanity.

This we can do. We the people; who ultimately hold all the power. We the people, who must never forget to believe we can win.

We the people.

It has always been about us; as we watch governments come and go. It always will be.

Alice Walker is a poet, novelist, feminist and activist whose award-winning works have sold over ten million copies.

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1. A Glimpse Into Jewish Collective Morbidity-introduction By Gilad Atzmon

DateSaturday, June 5, 

As I was reading in the Guardian that nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara “were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head.” I came across “We Con the World’, a new Israeli video production. ‘The greatest bluff’ they call the Free Gaza humanitarian mission . Considering the emerging news regarding  Israeli execution on the Mavi Marmara,  one would expect the Israelis to restrain  their so called ‘Jewish humour’  for a while.

As it happens, the collective sickening  morbidity is spilling over. It can’t be contained anymore.

Our leaders better start to think seriously how to dismantle this lethal nation before they turn all of us into an ash cloud. 

2. Gaza flotilla activists were shot in head at close range by Robert Booth

Exclusive: Nine Turkish men on board Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times, autopsy results reveal The funeral of one of the Turkish victims of the Gaza flotilla raid Crowds at the funeral of one of the Turkish victims of the Gaza flotilla raid, at the Beyazit mosque in Istanbul. Photograph: Vadim Ghirda/AP

Israel was tonight under pressure to allow an independent inquiry into its assault on the Gaza aid flotilla after autopsy results on the bodies of those killed, obtained by the Guardian, revealed they were peppered with 9mm bullets, many fired at close range.

Nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head, according to the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, which carried out the autopsies for the Turkish ministry of justice today.

To read more:

 3. Anthony Lawson: The Voice of America — Part 2 The Treasonous Dollar Drain 

This message was sent from Gilad Atzmon to It was sent from: Gilad Atzmon, XXX XXX , London, XX 7 7 XX, United Kingdom. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below.


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BREAKING: MV Rachel Corrie approached rapidly by Israeli navy

By Jesse Bacon

I was interviewing Mairead Maguire, Irish Nobel Peace Laureate, when the MV Rachel Corrie was rapidly approached by the Israeli Navy, 65 miles from Gaza. We ended the call to keep the line clear. Hopefully the whole world really is watching.

Listen here:


Live from the Only Democracy? Exclusive: Denis Halliday aboard the Rachel Corrie

By Jesse Bacon

Contrary to some reports today, the Rachel Corrie is scheduled to arrive in Gaza about 10 pm Eastern Time. I will call back then, but had this conversation with an upbeat Dennis Halliday aboard the boat today.

Here is the audio; I will post a cleaned up version over the weekend.

Denis J. Halliday was the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq from September 1, 1997, until 1998. He is Irish and holds an M.A. in Economics, Geography and Public Administration from Trinity College, Dublin.

A 34-year veteran of the UN, Halliday resigned over the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq, characterizing them as “genocide“.

Presently, Halliday is on-board the Ireland-flagged humanitarian ship the MV Rachel Corrie, en route to Gaza

Huwaida Arraf detained

by Jesse Bacon

I called Huwaida Arraf for her second part of our interview to find she had been detained by Israeli police at the Friday Bil’in protest against the wall. Will check on a number to call. In the meantime, here’s her interview on Democracy Now!

More Recent Articles

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June 5 2010

Press Release: I’lam Expresses Serious Alarm over Parliamentary Silencing of Arab MK Haneen Zoabi and of Increasing Persecution of Arab Leadership 

I’lam Media Center for Arab Palestinians in Israel expresses serious alarm about the verbal, nearly physical, attack and silencing on the part of a number of Knesset parliamentarians of Arab MK and former I’lam Director, Haneen Zoabi on Wednesday June 2.

On May 31 2010, Haneen Zoabi was on board the Mavi Marmara when Israeli commandos took over the ship resulting in the deaths of nine activists on board. On June 2, following her release from police custody the day before, Haneen was delivering an address to the Knesset plenum, attempting to convey to the parliamentarians what she experienced on board the ship and the questions that she was subsequently forced to raise as a passenger, as a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a fellow Member of Knesset.

Instead of being allowed the space to freely tell the Knesset plenum of her experiences, that which should have been encouraged given multiple calls by the international community for an independent investigation by Israel into the issue, MK Zoabi was subjected to a series of verbal abuses as “traitor” and “terrorist” as well as a statement from one parliamentarian that the Israeli commandos acted with restraint in killing only nine.

MK Zoabi was asking questions such as why did Israel refuse journalists access to those passengers on board the Mavi Marmara, why did the government confiscate the cameras of journalists on board and why has it not released photos of the bodies? These are important questions that the Knesset is obligated to ask according to a UN presidential statement adopted by the Security Council (SC) as the SC called for a prompt and impartial investigation into the attack on this humanitarian aid ship that appears to have been conducted in violation of a number of rules and norms of international law.

In a press conference on June 1, Haneen Zoabi conveyed to the public what she experienced on board the ship during the Israeli attack. She asserted that Israeli forces began firing well before landing on deck, first from naval vessels, later from those descending from a helicopter onto the ship’s deck. She also recounted how she requested medical help from the Israeli forces for two persons seriously injured on board but that the forces did not respond, and the injured two bled to death. Following this first hand harrowing experience, she was effectively silenced from retelling it in the Knesset.

Since the attack in the Knesset, MK Danny Danon said the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation had agreed to debate a bill to allow for removing acting MKs from their position if they were found to have committed incitement against the State of Israel, while a request had been submitted to the Central Elections Committee to block MK Zoabi from being able to run in any future Knesset election. Interior Minister Eli Yishai is seeking the Attorney General’s permission to revoke her parliamentary immunity in order for Haneen Zoabi to be stripped of her citizenship!

The treatment of MK Zoabi and the violation to her freedom of expression is a gross violation of the freedom of expression of her political constituency, a significant portion of the Palestinian community in Israel. The political persecution that followed with the slew of bills being proposed is a serious assault on the freedom of expression of Palestinian citizens of the state.

We at I’lam are gravely concerned about such repressive actions of the Israeli government and the increasingly precarious position of Palestinian citizens of Israel in relation to it. It seems that any siding with ‘Palestinians’ is criminal, even if to provide food, medical aid, wheelchairs and other humanitarian assistance that made up the cargo of the Freedom Flotilla.

The attack and silencing of MK Zoabi is not an isolated one. On June 3 Mohammed Kana’neh, General Secretary of the political party ‘Abnaa Il-Balad’ was banned according to a 1948 Emergency Regulation from leaving Israel for a month. This move comes on the heels of the arrest, detention and likely torture of Palestinian community activists and citizens, Ameer Makhoul and ‘Omar Sa’eed weeks prior.

I’lam Media Center sees such attacks on the Arab leadership and civil society actors as fundamental violations of basic human rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of movement and freedom of assembly. These attacks come to limit the spaces of deliberation and democratic participation in Israel, especially for Arab leaders to debate fundamental policy issues related to basic human rights, especially those related to the Arab community.

In light of calls from the international community for a prompt and independent investigation, I’lam is of the opinion that Haneen Zoabi is strongly placed to head the independent investigative committee, or at least be one of its principal members, be the committee of Israeli or international initiative. This is because she was both a participant in the Freedom Flotilla and has first hand knowledge of events on the ship and she is also an Israeli member of Knesset and therefore acts in official capacity in Israel.

The fact that Haneen Zoabi was not allowed to probe questions to a plenum that should in fact themselves be asking those questions and demanding answers, tells of how the Israeli government is responding to the Freedom Flotilla incident in a knee jerk manner in order to deflect all blame and avoid accountability.

The siege on Gaza has met with international condemnation and its lifting has been called upon multiple times by the United Nations and even most recently by the US following the Freedom Flotilla attack. Nevertheless, charges of “traitor” and “terrorist” are leveled at those who attempt to lift the siege as a matter of international humanitarian imperative. This forces us to question – what are the values of a system that in official parlance and action equates humanitarian assistance to Palestinians with terrorism? Are these values in keeping with the values of the international community and the principle of human dignity that is meant to inform international human rights law?

I’lam Media Center demands that the government immediately cease and rectify these acts of political persecution of the Palestinian Arab citizenry and to lift the siege on Gaza, in keeping with international law. It also calls upon the international community to weigh in during this crucial moment where the position of Palestinian citizens in Israel is growing increasingly precarious.

Download the press release in English / Arabic

To see videos of the silencing of MK Zoabi in the Knesset see below:

For more on Mohammad Al-Kana’neh’s ban on travel, see Abnaa Il-Balad’s website here.

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Gordon Duff: Israel Says Gaza Attack “A Silly Misunderstanding”

June 3, 2010 

 by Gordon Duff


Gaza Flotilla and USS Liberty Survivors Apologize to Israel

Israel Claims Attack Authorized Personally by Lord Balfour

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

This week  “religious commandos” from Israel attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters.  Seven Israelis were injured during the attack with one member of the “Israeli Secret Police” thrown overboard by an 81 year old woman.  Jerusalem papers report that Israel is holding the woman for attempted sexual assault.

Is it illegal to rape a pirate on the high seas?  We are waiting for a ruling from the International Criminal Court at the Hague on this.

One “commando” tripped over a wheel chair in the dark and fell down a flight of stairs.  The injured commando, an Obergruppenfuhrer, a rabbinical rank with the IDF, said, “After shooting the man in the chair, I quickly ran over to get his watch.  Imagine how I felt, nearly giving my life for a stinking Timex.”

The helicopters and boats used by the “floating and flying rabbis” were paid for by the US as part of a USAID program funding health clinics in Gaza.  Israelis working with USAID on the project indicated that they the “Peace Flotilla” was mistaken for a “refugee resettlement cruise.”

Walter Rothschild, Founder of Israel, Riding his Tortoise

“It is our job to care for the Palestinians.  We were only there to do medical inspections, picking those that are healthy enough for labor and finding those who are unfit and need “special treatment.”  Sixteen were selected for delousing.  Relatives of those who received “special treatment” are waiting for a list of names and where to pick up the ashes.

The United States Senate, led by Josef Lieberman, John McCain and Charles “Chuckie” Schumer, voted unanimously to continue their unbroken support for Israeli efforts to provide a decent homeland for Palestinians, “no matter how many of these worthless Muslim bastards have to die in the process.”

Senator McCain was quick to point out, “My father, Admiral McCain helped organize a similar Israeli effort when the USS Liberty became stranded in international waters near the same area.  Israel expended four torpedoes, firebombed the ship 3 times using napalm, hit the ship with over 18,000 rounds of cannon fire and even strafed the lifeboats but was unable to save the 34 killed and 174 injured during this rescue attempt.”

USS Liberty survivor Phillip Tourney, when questioned about the incident said, “At least they didn’t try to steal my watch.”

Another USS Liberty survivor praised the Israeli actions, “ Although nothing was wrong with our ship, after the Israelis set it on fire and torpedoed it, every effort was made to by them to motivate our US Navy fire crews.  When the Israelis came up firing machineguns at our medical and fire rescue personnel from close range, we had an excellent battle simulation.  In fact, the Israeli’s “simulated” several of our medical personnel, treating the dozens of wounded and dying, to death.”

Senator Schumer was quick to point out, “The USS Liberty incident demonstrated the highest bravery any American ally can show.  The quick action of the Israeli crew, reloading weapons, putting the dodging and wounded crew in their sights and managing to deal with the guilt and stress for years afterward, the highest level of heroism and sacrifice a son of Zion can display.”

An Israeli press spokesman released the following statement about the Gaza Freedom Flotilla rescue effort:

In the name of the exalted Grand Rabbinical Conclave of Jerusalem and the Office of Judaic Racial Purity we offer our apology for any possible misunderstandings caused by our mission of mercy this week.  With our current programs to relocate thousands of elderly Jewish “financial workers” in emergency need for seasonal vacation residences.  Other settlers have come to us demanding a safe homeland free of criminal extradition and unencumbered by tax liens, court judgments, copyright laws and other common methods of oppression and victimization of “dual citizens.”

The Judaic Republic of Israel regrets the necessity of seeking “lebensraum” in areas that had been infected with Palestinians, some for a thousand years or longer.  We wish that the international community comes to understand that the welfare of the Palestinian people, a people we offered to ship, dead or alive, to any country ready to take them, is foremost in our hearts.

Toward that end, we have been forced to offer new housing, schools and hospitals to serve the Palestinian community.  Thus far, we have managed to eliminate 44,000 substandard homes, 86 inadequate schools and to eradicate more than a dozen hospitals along with other unacceptable structures.

During the next 5 to 10 years, with additional aid from the United States, we will begin studying the possibility of replacing the destroyed dwellings with temporary structures.  In the interim, the Palestinian residents of Israel are being offered healthful open air accommodations in a supervised environment with plenty of helpful Judaic overseers to render guidance and motivation.

When asked to explain the odd interpretation of international law that allowed military operations on the high seas, we were told that the British government had, in a codicil of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, an agreement between Lord Balfour and Walter Rothschild, a well known British banking enthusiast and amateur zoologist.

Why the Balfour Declaration Empowers Israel to World Rule

The founder of the State of Israel is Walter Rothschild, the man Lord Balfour addressed his famous declaration to.  What do we know of this great social visionary and founder of world Zionsim?

Whether Walter Rothschild was acting in his capacity as a zoologist or amateur banker when negotiating with Lord Balfour over Jewish settlements in Palestine is unclear as is the source of clear authority either party had to engage in any such endeavor.

When addressed by “Lord Balfour,” Walter Rothschild was not a “lord” or a “baron.”  He was only kept out of an insane asylum because of his wealthy family.  Walter Rothschild wouldn’t  know a Zionist from a Free Methodist if he found one in his porridge.

Walter Rothschild is best known for his carriage, drawn by six zebras, often seen in London’s streets and for his inability to speak in an understandable manner.  Rothschild’s banking career ended in 1908, when he was fired from the family bank.  From that point onward, his only activity was collecting photographs of animals and pasting them into a scrapbook.  During the years from 1908 through his participation in the Balfour negotiation, Rothschild managed to buy 200,000 bird eggs and over 30,000 beetles.

When Walter Rothschild found the Balfour Declaration in his morning mail at 148 Piccadilly, he had no idea of its meaning or why it had been mailed to him.  When questioned about the Balfour Declaration, Walter Rothschild said, ” Whrump wiffen pogel hoobob bobalpop.”   Thus, a man who owned two tons of dried “toad droppings” the only subject he expressed any lasting interest in, came to make his contribution to history.

 In 1932, Britain, as a reward for opening the letter containing the note from Lord Balfour named Walter Rothschild a Baron based on their belief that the Rothschild family was remotely related to Austrian royalty, which, of course, is not the case.

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