Monday, May 31, 2010

Israel attacks humanitarian flotilla

The Hindu: 20 humanitarians killed by Israel soldiers:

Press statement:

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla, comprised of a number of ships, over 700 international passengers, and some 5,000 tons of reconstruction and humanitarian aid materials, while sailing to Gaza to break the crippling siege on the 1.5 million Palestinians living there, was attacked by Israeli military vessels, helicopters and commandos in international waters in an unprovoked act of piracy on the high seas. Israel has used military force on the peaceful, humanitarian flotilla and murdered several unarmed civilians. ISRAEL'S ACTIONS CANNOT GO UNANSWERED!

1. Global - CALL the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem and DEMAND that the U.S. Government take immediate action to safeguard innocent lives!
2. Tel: +972 2 622 7207/21/30
3. Fax: +942 2 625 9270/627 2233
4. Global - Call your elected officials and make Israel's violent actions against the peaceful, unarmed internationals an issue.
5. Global - Call your Israeli embassy and demand they stop using military force on unarmed internationals.
6. GLOBAL - Contact news agencies to ensure they are adequately and properly covering the flotilla:
'Bombard' the BBC with requests to report on the flotilla
Suggest the flotilla as a debate topic for the "World Have Your Say" program
Call MSNBC to demand they cover the attacked flotilla: 1 (212) 664-4444
Call CNN to demand they cover the attacked flotilla: 1 (404) 827-2600
7. Global - Join officials' Facebook Pages and comment regarding the Flotilla.
Click here for some sample text
Click here for Facebook Pages for officials in each country. You can join and comment on them all!
8. GLOBAL - Protest in front of your nearest Israeli embassy. This includes a planned protest at all Israeli embassies (and beyond) from Thursday, May 27 onwards to coincide with the arrival of the Flotilla in Gaza coastal waters! In the event that Israel launches any military attack or naval blockade on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, our demonstration will be a powerful protest to demand that it be allowed to pass in peace!
Confirmed regions include:
Chicago, Washington DC, Toronto, Boston, Rome, New York, Philippines, St. Louis ,London, Boulder (CO), Stockholm, Dublin, Ankara, Istanbul, Cairo, Belfast, Houston,
>> To add your protest, please email us at: or register your event.
Petition signatures, signed letters, demands, messages, etc are available for delivery and protest, hunger strike and/or sit-in at the embassy.
9. US - CALL White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and DEMAND that the Obama Administration immediately cancel Tuesday's scheduled visit with Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu, and support the creation of an unbiased international commission to investigate and hold the Israeli government accountable for the murder of unarmed civilians!
10. Tel: +1 202 456 6798
11. Fax: +1 202 456 2461
12. US - Contact the White House and ask Obama to do something to ensure the safety of the Free Gaza flotilla and its cargo of badly needed medicines, medical supplies, and reconstruction materials, and the peaceful passengers of those ships, among them several US citizens, including Ret. US Army Col. Ann Wright and Joe Meaders, a survivor of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty (1967). The White House comment line may also be reached at +1 202-456-1111.
13. US - Send an email and fax to your elected officials, including the US President and Congress, calling on them to prevent Israel from using US military aid against peaceful, unarmed citizens.
14. UK - Email the Foreign Commonwealth Office at , ,
15. Global - Send an email and fax to all Israeli embassies and consulates worldwide.
16. US - Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
17. Global - Sign the petition demanding that Israel allow safe passage for the Flotilla.

* * * * *

I sent the following fax and email message to my Congressional delegation: [I modified the text of a message drafted prior to the attack that can be found at . You can substitute your own personal message.]

The "Freedom Flotilla" of unarmed humanitarian aid vessels sailed for Gaza with more than 700 passengers to deliver thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people who have been under a blockade since 2007.

Passengers on these boats included Parliamentarians from several countries. There were also be a number of Americans on board including former State Department official Ann Wright and Hedy Epstein, an 81-year-old Holocaust survivor.

In an act of unprovoked violence, the Israeli Navy attacked at least one of the ships in international waters. Late reports indicate that from 10-16 people were killed and as many as 70 others were wounded or injured by Israel commandos and assault helicopters firing on these unarmed civilians.

This is an act of piracy under international law. It violates all of the internationally accepted norms governing use of the high seas.

YOU are complicit in this barbarism if you voted for any of the generous military and financial aid packages Congress continues to annually bestow on the Israeli government. Those who died or were wounded very likely were casualties of arms either provided directly or paid for by the U.S. government.


There is no acceptable justification for shooting unarmed civilians and particularly in non-territorial waters.

I call upon you as a taxpayer, a citizen, a Jew, a person of conscience and a member of the human family to demonstrate the moral fortitude, personal courage and political integrity that we should be able expect from those elected to represent us. DO THE RIGHT THING!

Michael Eisenscher

I sent the following message to the Israeli Ambassador (modifying the text of a message drafted prior to the attack that can be found at - you can substitute your own message).

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla, comprised of a number of ships, over 700 international passengers, and some 5,000 tons of reconstruction and humanitarian aid materials, while sailing to Gaza to break the crippling siege on the 1.5 million Palestinians living there, was attacked by Israeli military vessels, helicopters and commandos in international waters in an unprovoked act of piracy on the high seas.

Over 50 countries are represented on this Flotilla, including parliamentarians, medical professionals, and peace activists. These individuals have every right to sail into Gaza's sea port and deliver the much needed humanitarian, medical, and construction materials necessary for Palestinians in Gaza to rebuild their lives after Israel's brutal assault on the Strip in December 2008 - January 2009.

I write to call upon Israel to immediately cease all hostile military activities against unarmed civilians, and present all those who conceived of, planned and executed this criminal assault to the International Criminal Court or other neutral international tribunal to answer for their crimes.

Israel seems intent on making itself an international pariah, or what President Bush was fond of calling a "rogue state." It appears to be devolving into a criminal enterprise masquerading as a government.

As a U.S. citizen whose government has helped to underwrite and equip Israel's military, I have called upon my government to cut off all aid to Israel until the perpetrators of these crimes are held to account.

I do this as a Jew who is first and foremost a person of conscience and member of the human family.

I hope the Israeli people assert their own humanity by putting an end to this entire Apartheid project.

Michael Eisenscher


Cynthia McKinney Mourns the Dead of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza: People of the U.S. and the world must end Israeli impunity now!

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.

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.


Silence is the deadliest weapon of mass destruction.

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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