Gaza Roundup 2: State-sponsored villains and emerging heroes

pirates-of-the-mediterranean.jpg

By now, it’s widely acknowledged that state-sponsored piracy did not die when Captain Kidd was hanged (thanks, Jim, for that illuminating comment). It’s alive and well, and not just off the coast of Somalia or the Straits of Malacca. The Mediterranean is a thriving hub for high-seas crime, and as in the case of merry old England, there are state-sponsored buccaneers out there plying the waters, terrorizing the ships, and sending innocent souls to Davy Jones’ locker. But the pirates aren’t who you think they are. They don’t wear billowy shirts or big feathered hats, nor do they strut around with parrots on their shoulders. They don’t have wooden legs or eyepatches. They wear modern military uniforms. And they do their vile deeds (which can well be classified as terrorism) under the flag of a nation:

According to a report in The Guardian, an Algerian activist, who gave her name as Sabrina, revealed that Israeli troops pointed their gun at a one-year-old Turkish child in front of his parents to force the captain of the Mavi Marmara to stop sailing.

Many reports have emerged from among the 124 activists who crossed over into Amman, Jordan, yesterday.

In an interview with Sky News, IT professional Hasan Nowarah, from Glasgow, described the moments as the Israeli troops descended on the ship.

“All you could see was screaming and bullets. Out of the blue as I looked around our ship, all I could see were hundreds of Zodiacs. Hundreds of Zodiacs full of soldiers, and big ships, lots of ships, and I believe as well submarines in the sea.”

Kuwaiti MP Walid Al Tabtabai said the Israelis were “brutal and arrogant”.

“Israelis roughed up and humiliated all of us, women, men and children,” he said.

Algerian Izzeddine Zahrour said Israeli authorities “deprived us of food, water and sleep and we weren’t allowed to use the toilet”.

“It was an ugly kidnapping and subsequently bad treatment in Israeli jail,” he said.

“They handcuffed us, pushed us around and humiliated us,” Egyptian MP Hazem Farouq, who was also on the boat, said and added what he witnessed on the ship “defied his imagination”.

“It was hell on the sea. I saw Israeli soldiers killing activists in cold blood and then walking on their bodies,” Farouq, who was one of more than 700 activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla attacked by Israeli commandos, said on Tuesday in Cairo.

“The Israeli soldiers sprayed bullets as if they were a mafia in an American film.”

But the piracy is not going unremarked. Many heroes are speaking out against it:

Monia Mazigh, wife of Canadian abduction/torture victim Maher Arar. She worked tirelessly to secure his release and get the facts out into the public eye. His eventual return was not the end of her activism, but a beginning. Now she’s engaged on behalf of the Palestinians, and was out yesterday demonstrating against the siege of Gaza and the piracy of the IDF.

Robert Scheer. He calls it an act of terrorism, and demands that Palestinians be treated the same as Jews. He also notes how hard it is to get major media, and even some “progressive” media, to be honest about Israel’s crimes.

Ann Wright, former US army colonel and now peace activist and human-rights advocate. She was apparently seen being led off the ship by the pirates-in-uniform. Her cellphone is on, but so far, no one’s answered. What do you bet it was one of the ones confiscated by the IDF to keep the facts from leaking out until the hasbara came out and was making the rounds?

Greta Berlin, a US-based co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement. And one of the first to dispel the hasbara lies.

Swedish author/activist Henning Mankell, who singlehandedly showed just what a joke the IDF’s claims of a weapons cache on board the ships really is.

Rather surprisingly, Reporters Without Borders. The org has taken some time out from its usual Venezuela-bashing, and accurately reported the Israeli military’s efforts to stifle independent reporting. A brief aberration from their usual pattern, I’m sure. They will probably soon enough issue an IDF-dictated “correction” and express “regret” for the “error”. (Remember, you saw it here first.)

And if you’re really in the mood for a good laugh, guess what this astute netizen found! “Weapons cache” photos dating back to 2003, 2006 and who knows when else. Gosh, who knew the Mavi Marmara could travel through TIME, as well as the Mediterranean? (Note: The IDF has since “corrected” the dates on the “incriminating” photos. Too late, the truth is already out!)

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5 Responses to Gaza Roundup 2: State-sponsored villains and emerging heroes

  1. 88 says:

    why all the talk about jews on the hi seas. it s happening everywhere. the U.S> is under jewish control and they have far reaching plans. Obama can only dance the tel-aviv two step. don’t expect much media coverage because that monolopized by hebes. what are they afraid of??
    88

  2. In case you haven’t noticed, Hitler-code-boy, there are Jews speaking out AGAINST this sort of thing. One of them is on the entry immediately below this one, and I put her there for a reason–to show what REAL Jewish ethics in action look like. Peddle your fascist conspiracy theories elsewhere.

  3. Joseph Cannon says:

    “In case you haven’t noticed, Hitler-code-boy, there are Jews speaking out AGAINST this sort of thing.”
    Yes, I know that this is true. But: Numbers count. Percentages count.
    Look at it this way: There were numerous Germans who opposed Hitler, both before and even after he rose to power. Yet the MAJORITY of Germans eventually came to support the Nazi party. Thus, it became acceptable for people around the world to offer collective condemnation of the Germans, without making note of the exceptions.
    At a certain point, it became permissible to say “the Germans are guilty of aggression” or “the Germans have committed atrocities” even though, as a matter of strict accuracy, there were Germans who hated both the aggression and the atrocities.
    Similarly — and speaking as someone of Italian heritage — it is perfectly permissible to decry “Italian” aggression against Ethiopia — even though many Italians would have hated Mussolini’s ghastly war if they knew the true facts of the matter.
    And speaking as someone of largely Sicilian heritage, I always thought it was ridiculous to deny that the mafia was a Sicilian creation. Yes, I think that it is permissible to blame Sicilians collectively. There was (and perhaps still is) something wrong with Sicilian culture.
    Speaking as a white American who grew up in the early 1960s, I have no problem with anyone who says that white America was a racist culture in that time period. True, not all whites were racist. But let’s face facts: The majority of whites at that time were willing to tolerate or to practice or to espouse some form of racism.
    Numbers count. Percentages count.
    The percentage of racists in American culture in (say) 1962 was high — high enough that one can fairly state that American culture as a while was racist.
    So in light of the above paragraphs…
    …and in light of the current propaganda efforts by Israel’s defenders (the above-linked photo hoax being a prime example)…
    …the time has come to ask a hard question: At what point is it permissible to say that “Jews lie”?
    Not ALL Jews lie. I know that.
    But at what point do the lies become so numerous and so monstrous that the rest of the world says to all Jews as a collective entity: “We simply refuse to believe what you say, at least on the subject of Israel?”
    At what point does collective blame become permissible? Above, I said that something was wrong with Sicilian culture. At what point do we say “Something is wrong in Jewish culture”?
    Numbers count. Percentages count.
    I don’t know if the tipping point has been reached yet — but we are closing in on it.

  4. Actually, Hitler never got more than 38% support from Germans, and that was early on. How do I know? Well, having German parents helps. And knowing what Germans are like in general helps a lot. Being one, I know what really happened. Germans went along because they were terrorized into it, not because they approved or secretly were all that bad. My late grandfather was threatened with execution when he complained about not being able to get decent shoes in Germany anymore since that Austrian bastard got into power. Then he went on to say he hadn’t voted for Hitler, he didn’t know anyone else who had either, and that it was a wonder to him how that bastard had hung onto power when he should have been out on his ass.
    Well, an allegation of vote fraud (probably true!) didn’t go down well. Someone, he never knew who, squealed on him to the Gestapo. The Gestapo man threatened him by simply mentioning his four kids, and then letting his voice trail off ominously. And this was in a culture that supposedly valued children so much! Well, that was all it took to shut my usually mouthy grandpa up for the duration of that reign of terror. Good thing it was only twelve years, and not the hyperbolic thousand.
    That’s where the going-along came from; the Germans were thoroughly cowed, and that went on progressively over just twelve years (or a bit more if you count the rise of the Nazi party in the Weimar era). I see Israelis now going that same way. They’re conditioned to fear the Enemy, and often the Enemy is sitting right in the Knesset. Not in the shape of an Arab, but in the shape of another Israeli, one from a hardline right-wing party.
    It’s not the Jewish culture that’s at fault here, it’s the fact that the Likudniks have taken over the Israeli government. And they have a hardline reaction to everything. One thing about the people of Israel heartens me, and that’s that there are still plenty of leftists, and these protest vigorously against their Likudnik overlords. They’re not cowed like my ancestors so sadly were. They don’t believe the lies coming out of Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, etc. And they’re not afraid to say so.
    And their counterparts on this side of the pond are just as vocal and just as committed to social justice. A lot of my friends are Reform Jews. They’re not about to go back to the Promised Land and bow down to Likud; they’d rather do the decent thing wherever they are, and support the Palestinians, recognizing in them the ghosts of their ancestors and relatives in the concentration camps. This empathy is very characteristic of leftist Jews, and as a German gentile, also of the left, I have learned a lot from them. Still am.

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