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The Zionist attack on the Free Gaza Flotilla

July 6, 2010

by Kiilu Nyasha

Black Panther Party veterans Malik Raheem from New Orleans and Kiilu Nyasha, who was active in both the East and West Coasts, meet up at a demonstration in San Francisco. Kiilu is wearing her keffiyeh, the scarf that symbolizes Palestinian resistance.
The vicious, premeditated and illegal attack on the six-boat Freedom Flotilla by Israeli Zionists on May 31 in international waters left nine humanitarians shot dead – one of whom was an American citizen – and over 40 wounded on the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, as well as many others traumatized and injured from being badly beaten, jailed and/or hospitalized.

Among the approximately 700 unarmed human rights activists, journalists, members of parliament and other civilians from 40 countries were Dr. Paul Larudee, co-founder of the Free Palestine Movement, Haneen Zuaby, member of the Israeli Knesset, Brazilian filmmaker Iara Lee, Kathy Sheetz, retired nurse from Richmond and veteran of 2008 and 2009 Free Gaza voyages, and former U.S. Army Col. Ann Wright, who noted in describing the predawn raid, “I think they anticipated and were prepared to kill innocent civilians.”

An initiative that took almost two years of grassroots organization, they were bringing 10,000 tons of medical and humanitarian aid, including toys, wheelchairs, construction supplies, paper, food and medicines for Gaza’s 1.5 million besieged residents.

While many have called the unprovoked attack piracy, it was really an act of war against a NATO (North Atlanta Treaty Organization) country, Turkey, that should have evoked a strong reaction by its member nations since they’re committed to defending one another. But of course the U.S. is the domineering ally, so this incident will likely be swept under the NATO rug.

In fact, it’s the so-called international community, a.k.a., the quartet that is responsible for the Zionist siege of Gaza in the first place. Consisting of the European Union, the United Nations, Russia and the U.S. – that doesn’t even sound right! – this so-called quartet is little more than a group of international flunkies for the U.S. and its Middle-East outpost, Israel. In short, these so-called leaders do not represent the world’s peoples. They are complicit in Israel’s criminality because they’re all in on the stakes – control of the flow of oil, the black gold of the latest, disastrous gold rush.

The Israeli government decided to put Gazans “on a diet” once they elected Hamas’ Ismael Haniya over the Palestinian Authority (Fatah) led by its president, Uncle Tom Abbas. In short, these international thugs deliberately authorized the collective punishment – through starvation – of 1.5 million Palestinians for exercising their right to vote. A majority of Palestinians are suffering malnutrition as a result, especially children.

To protest Israel’s raid on the Gaza Flotilla and other atrocities, Bay View arts editor Wanda Sabir and hundreds of others picketed on the Oakland docks at dawn on Sunday, June 20, to shut down the unloading of an Israeli ship. Many Black faces could be seen in the crowd. Wanda writes: “I thought about the famous work stoppage in San Francisco docks when the longshoremen refused to unload ships from South Africa during the height of the Apartheid regime over 30 years ago. … All I could hear was Paul Robeson's voice: ‘No more auction block for me, no more, no more.’ This is what it is, telling the multinationals that the people are willing to do without rather than support industry that kills and maims and robs nations as well as individuals of their sovereign and human rights, such as the right to peace and justice, land, homes, work and education.”
Israel’s vicious May offensive was in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and international law, not least because Security Council Resolution 1860, passed in January 2009 during the Gaza War, called for ending the blockade and opening unfettered access to humanitarian assistance throughout the strip. The so-called Gaza War – really a Gaza massacre – resulted in over 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis being killed during Israel’s three weeks of airstrikes and widespread destruction of buildings, homes, schools, mosques and hospitals. Yet Israel is constantly portraying itself as the victim of Palestinian rocket attacks requiring such overkill for its security.

The Free Gaza Movement began sending boats to break the siege of Gaza in August 2008 with 44 passengers from 17 nations. My friends, Donna and Darlene Wallach, were on this first boat that left from Greece. It did arrive in Gaza and they met with the duly elected leader of Hamas, Ishmael Haniya, who welcomed them with customary Palestinian hospitality.

However, when the Wallach twins accompanied Palestinian fishermen on their boats, they quickly got a taste of Zionist brutality despite being within Palestinian waters. Darlene was arrested, jailed in an Israeli prison, and deported. Needless to say, the treatment of Palestinians was much worse. They are systematically terrorized by the Israeli Navy while fishing their waters for survival.

Last year, the Free Gaza Spirit of Humanity attempted to bring humanitarian aid to the besieged Gazans. But the Israelis hijacked the ship, and all 21 passengers, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire and former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, were arrested and deported.

Ms. McKinney learned first-hand that a politician cannot remain in Congress or the White House without the support of the Zionist lobby, AIPAC (American Israel Political Affairs Committee). Earl Hilliard, D-Alabama, likewise discovered that support for Palestinian justice would cost your congressional seat.

The mainstream media’s parroting of Israel’s barefaced lies and cover-up clearly illustrate the power of AIPAC and Jewish control of the airwaves. In his book titled “The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy,” Edward Tivnan writes: “Before Israel existed as a state, it existed as a political lobby first in the capitals of Europe and then in Washington …. Indeed the Jewish lobby has become primarily a pro-Israel lobby, one so aggressive, omnipresent and influential … the denizens of Capital Hill refer to it simply as ‘the lobby.’”

Please note that the best that could be gotten from President Barack Obama in the immediate wake of Israel’s disastrous, unprovoked attack on hundreds of unarmed civilians, including the murder of an American citizen, was his “deep regret.”

Renowned White House correspondent Helen Thomas, 89, for example, made one off-the-record remark suggesting the Zionist occupiers go home and was fired, wiping out over 50 years of professional journalism.

The U.S.-Israel military connection

Israel’s blatant disregard for international law and White House opinion in its violent colonization of Palestinian territories looks like the tail is wagging the dog. Especially when its leaders continually ignore U.S. and/or U.N. admonishments, resolutions and advisements to cease its massacres of innocent civilians, including children, and stop its building of illegal settlements displacing Palestinians and destroying their homes. Israel also incarcerates tens of thousands men, women and children in notoriously horrid, tortuous conditions.

Drummers at the Oakland dock picket, the first against an Israeli ship in the U.S., are recorded in this frame from a historic video by filmmaker Oriana Bolden called “Oakland, CA Boycott of Israeli Ship: June 20, 2010.” Watch it below.
However, when you consider the multi-billions of dollars the U.S. provides Israel in annual aid, military equipment and technology, plus American reliance on the fourth largest army in the world to police the Middle East – your tax dollars at work – it’s easy to see that Israel is the U.S. surrogate or regional pit bull that occasionally bites the hand that feeds it with impunity.

Israel has at least 200 nuclear warheads, though it’s not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and refuses obligatory inspections. In 1986, Israeli citizen Mordechai Vanunu was arrested and spent 18 years in prison, 11 in solitary confinement, for whistleblowing on Israel’s nuclear plant. Released in 2004, he was recently returned to prison for three months in solitary for parole violation, i.e., meeting with foreigners.

Michel Chossudovsky wrote in his article titled, “Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?” posted to Global Research on Jan. 11, 2009: “A very large delivery of U.S. weaponry to Israel consisting of 3,000 tons of ‘ammunition’ is scheduled to sail to Israel. The size and nature of the shipments are described as ‘unusual.’

“The U.S. Congress approved in September 2008 the transfer of 1,000 bunker-buster high precision GPS-guided Small Diameter Guided Bomb Units 39. The GBU 39 smart bombs produced by Boeing were delivered to Israel in November. They were used in the initial air raids on Gaza.

“The stockpiling of U.S.-made bunker buster bombs by Israel has been ongoing since 2005: The United States will sell Israel nearly 5,000 smart bombs in one of the largest weapons deals between the allies in years.

“Among the bombs the [Israeli] air force will get are 500 1-ton bunker busters that can penetrate 2-meter-thick cement walls; 2,500 regular one-ton bombs; 1,000 half-ton bombs; and 500 quarter-ton bombs. The bombs Israel is acquiring include airborne versions, guidance units, training bombs and detonators. They are guided by an existing Israeli satellite used by the military.”

Israel’s Sharpeville?

The Zionist crimes against humanity are legion.

Taxi in Amsterdam
They include the unprovoked attack by Israel on the USS Liberty in 1967 that killed 34 American sailors and was immediately covered up by both governments. See http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/ussliberty.html?q=ussliberty.html.

The horrific massacre at Sabra and Shatila, Lebanon, in 1982 under orders from Ariel Sharon – who later became prime minister of Israel – then known as the Butcher of Beirut left at least 2,000 civilians dead.

And the deliberate bulldozer murder of Rachel Corrie: She was mowed down trying to defend a Palestinian home in March 2003. One of the Free Gaza boats bears her name.

But this latest brazen attack has provoked international outrage and the escalation of the boycott, divest, sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Zionist regime.

Eyewitness testimony from deported survivors tells a horrifying story of the use of electric shock, live ammunition, smoke bombs, gas canisters, beatings and seizure of nearly all evidence on cameras – as well as confiscation of everyone’s belongings – laptops, cameras, credit cards, cash etc. Greek activist Michalis Grigoropoulos said: “They took us hostage, pointing guns at our heads …. There was absolutely nothing we could do.” A Turkish woman, with her 1-year-old baby, recalls, “The ship turned into a lake of blood.”

South African activists describe this flagrant assault as Israel’s Sharpeville, referring to the 1960 massacre in South Africa that marked a turning point in international support of anti-apartheid resistance.

There certainly appears to be a great deal of active support for the BDS campaign. Let’s hope it culminates in the eventual realization of a one-state democracy inclusive of all residents, Arab and Jewish, living in peaceful coexistence under a secular, democratic government.

Free Palestine now!

Kiilu Nyasha, Black Panther veteran, revolutionary journalist and Bay View columnist, blogs at The Official Website of Kiilu Nyasha, http://kiilunyasha.blogspot.com/, where episodes of her TV talk show, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle, along with her essays are posted. She can be reached at Kiilu2@sbcglobal.net. Learn more about the struggle in Gaza at www.freegaza.org.

Oakland, CA Protest/Picket of Israeli Ship: June 20, 2010 from Oriana Bolden on Vimeo.

12 thoughts on “The Zionist attack on the Free Gaza Flotilla

  1. JS

    What are you smoking?! Do you read the news? Did you see any of the videos from the so called “attack”? The DEFENCE forces peacefully escorted 5 of the 6 Free Gaza Flotilla to the Ashdod port and delivered ALL aid. The Mavi Marmara’s passangers flat out ATTACKED the IDF soldiers, who on LAST RESORT pulled their wepons. What kind of “peace activist” attacks a soldier?! The Mavi Marmara set out to disobay international maritime laws and break the blockade, when they didn’t comply with Israel’s rsquest to reroute to the Ashdod port (5 other ships did) and did not PEACEFULLY accept the IDF soldiers as they boarded the ship… They asked for it. When you attack a soldier, what do you expect the outcome to be.

    Reply
  2. Lisa

    The passengers filmed an Israeli hit list (kill list) that fell from one of the Israeli terrorist and FILMED the list broadcasted on major international TV networks. I would imagine that none of the names on the hit list were aboard any of the other ships plus the other ships were much smaller than the Mavi Marmara.

    Even from an American or Israeli Jewish perspective, you have to reach from the bottom of a barrel of swill to defend this action of the IDF.

    Reply
    1. Stefano

      You are absolutely correct. I had a friend on that ship and very glad she survived. Israel committed another terrorist act and needs to be punished. I hope a coalition of Turkey, Syria, and Iran, along with freedom fighters, Hezbollah and Hamas, can be loosely formed to balance Israel's conventional military power. In the meantime, progressives, populists, humanitarians, American-firsters, and righteous Jews need to continue to apply the pressure on Israel, Zionism, and AIPAC.

      Reply
  3. Stefano

    Israeli attack on the high seas was an act of piracy and is illegal under international law. That was the real source of the problem in this incident. The blockade of Gaza is also illegal and barbaric.

    Reply
  4. Stefano

    Just a reminder to you 1960s liberal Democrats who supported "Little David–Israel": You were wrong! The non-Zionist part of the so-called radical New Left including the Black Panthers and even the reactionary Far Right had been correct about the Zionist entity all along generations ago. The current extremist regime of this rogue state though is really no worse than its earlier ones, including Golda's, This artificially and mythically created Zionist state has been built on lies, deception, racism, colonialism, militarism, imperialism, repression, genocide, and all other ideas and practices contrary to truth, justice, and peace. It is not too late though for you to remedy your earlier wrong-doings by supporting the Palestinians today, as does most of the world's peoples and nations.

    Reply
  5. ralph

    SINCE YOUR "PAPER" DOESN'T EVEN HAVE THE HONESTY TO MENTION THE NAME "ISRAEL" IT
    DOESN'T DESERVE MORE THAN BE USED FOR THE TOILET

    Reply
  6. Marco A

    @stefano

    It wasn't Piracy. It was enforcement of a blockade, which is legal – even in international waters. The relevant international legislation is the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.

    Paragraph 67 states that it is permitted for belligerents to attack merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States outside of neutral waters if they "are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and if after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture". Paragraph 146 states that it is permitted to capture neutral merchant vessels outside neutral waters if they are engaged in any of the activities referred to in paragraph 67.

    Hamas is at war with Israel (according to their own statements) and it is therefore legal under international maritime law for Israel to board a ship of any country (including the United States, Switzerland or Iran) that has stated that is reasonable suspected of breaching the blockade.

    Reply
    1. Elif Akyol

      If you wanna hear about a relevant international legislation you can check the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the delivery of humanitarian aid cargo to areas under blockade and/or occupation.

      As you mentioned San Remo Manual applies to Armed Conflicts. How can you apply that to an unarmed humanitarian aid ship? Especially when there are clear regulations on the free entry of humanitarian aid to war-stricken regions even in times of war. Is this IDF vs. children of Gaza? What is your problem w/ toys, food, medicine?

      There is poverty and destruction in Gaza, thanks to Israeli "Destruction" Forces. Confirmed by the UN's Goldstone Report.

      There was humanitarian aid cargo on those ships. Certified by the customs and security checks in the countries of boarding.

      Besides, they were in international waters.

      Come on, there is nothing you can do to justify Israel's brutality, even if you get paid thousands of dollars to do it on a daily basis, Hasbarah staff, I am calling out to you, quit your job, try to go into a better career, this one has no future.

      No more lies

      Reply
  7. Able Seaman

    "Ms. McKinney learned first-hand that a politician cannot remain in Congress or the White House without the support of the Zionist lobby, …" Do you have a good link to that? Please.

    These verbal eruptions and abuse of Israel are a good propaganda ploy to divert attention from the likes of Bashir and Mugabe. And your readers know it.

    Reply

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