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Old 11-09-2009, 08:41 PM   #1
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Roadmap to HELL - One man caught on a barbed wire fence ....


Mohammed Khatib and his West Bank supporters hope to rally others to a peaceful campaign for statehood. But Israel's army is not amused.

Palestinians who see nonviolence as their weapon

By Richard Boudreaux

November 4, 2009

Reporting from Bilin, West Bank

Every Friday, Mohammed Khatib's forces assemble for battle with the Israeli army and gather their weapons: a bullhorn, banners -- and a fierce belief that peaceful protest can bring about a Palestinian state.

A few hundred strong, they march to the Israeli barrier that separates the tiny farming community of Bilin from much of its land. They chant and shout. A few teenagers throw stones.

Khatib helped launch the weekly ritual five years ago in an attempt to "re-brand" a Palestinian struggle often associated with rocket attacks and suicide bombers.

"Nonviolence is our most powerful weapon," says the media-savvy secretary of the Bilin village council. "If they cannot accuse us of terrorism, they cannot stop us. The world will support us."

The problem is, he doesn't get muchsupport from other Palestinians. After two uprisings in two decades, they seem largely indifferent to his quixotic call for a third.

His message is a hard sell: Khatib, 35, is a modern-day Gandhi in a culture that enshrines the language of the gun, even if most Palestinians have never used one. And the risks of his activism are enormous.

The Israeli army has targeted him. He was arrested, severely beaten and threatened with death during a series of midnight raids on the village this summer. He was freed on condition that he report to an Israeli police station each Friday at the hour of the weekly protest.

Although the village has persisted with its marches and become a widely acclaimed symbol of civil disobedience, his vision of the "Bilin model" being replicated on a large scale across the West Bank has not materialized.

A few thousand Palestinian activists have been taught nonviolent principles and tactics in the last five years, according to the independent Bethlehem-based Holy Land Trust, which conducts training. Their scattered initiatives have won limited relief from Israel's security restrictions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

But those efforts have not gelled into a mass movement, much less compelled Israel to move toward agreement on a Palestinian state.

Activists say they are hindered by Israeli crackdowns, resignation among ordinary Palestinians and a deep split in the political leadership between Hamas' advocacy of armed struggle and the Palestinian Authority's hope for a revival of U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel.

Relative calm prevails in the Palestinian territories, but Khatib says it cannot last long under the diplomatic impasse.

A trim, articulate man with closely cropped hair, he radiates a brooding intensity. In a long conversation, he spoke in rapid-fire sentences about his role models -- Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela -- while taking cellphone calls about the next move in a legal challenge to the barrier.

He believes Israel is trying to crush nonviolent activists because it would rather take on an armed insurgency.

"This doesn't make it any easier for us to convince people that our path of resistance is the right one," Khatib said. "It's going to be a slow process. There aren't many visible successes so far."

Khatib got his first taste of militancy as a teenager during the first intifada, the uprising that began in 1987. He blocked roads to try to keep the army out of his village, painted slogans on walls and flew the Palestinian flag, then an illegal act, at demonstrations.

The mass participation and relatively peaceful course of that uprising, when few Palestinians were armed with more than rocks, won sympathy abroad and a major concession: In the early 1990s, Israel recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization and began to consider the creation of a Palestinian state.

Today's nonviolence initiatives tap into nostalgia for the first intifada, in what Khatib calls a sober reaction to the armed uprising that bloodied the first half of this decade after peace talks broke down. More than 4,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis died.

Khatib, who dropped out when things turned violent, remembers the killings that changed him.

It was 2001. Khatib watched in horror as Israeli soldiers shot an unarmed friend at a checkpoint. Two weeks later, the militant Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade made a revenge attack on the checkpoint, killing seven soldiers.

"My first reaction was 'Good for Al Aqsa!' " Khatib said. Then he realized the dead soldiers belonged to a different unit, not the one on duty when his friend was shot.

"It made me wonder: This cycle of death, of violent action and reaction, how we can break it?"

His answer was to help organize a movement against the intifada's legacy: the barrier Israel built to protect against militant attacks but that also cut deep into parts of the West Bank, isolating Palestinians from 8% of the territory. The string of concrete walls, fences and patrol roads extends more than 280 miles.

He recruited Israeli and international activists to march every Friday with Bilin residents up to the fence, which is 14 feet high here. It protects a part of the sprawling Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit that was built on the village's land.

He made sure protesters carried video cameras to document the army's use of tear gas and rubber-coated bullets to keep them away. And he worked to enforce zero-tolerance of violence by the activists, failing to stop only the few teenagers who sling rocks and occasionally strike soldiers.

Michael Sfard, an Israeli lawyer retained by the village, credits Khatib with the "brilliant idea" that turned the tide in a landmark legal victory two years ago.

Under cover of darkness, Khatib led a clandestine construction crew across the barrier and built a makeshift hut on village land that had been usurped for a new neighborhood of the Jewish settlement. (The stealth maneuver mimicked Israel's expansionist strategy of creating "facts on the ground.")

When the army threatened to demolish the hut, the village went to Israel's Supreme Court and challenged the new neighborhood, which lacked formal government authorization. The court ordered Israel to stop building in the neighborhood, move the fence and restore about half the 575 acres of olive groves Bilin's farmers had lost.

Khatib then set up an alliance of 11 West Bank villages to share his strategies, and some have borne fruit. Six communities have successfully challenged the barrier's route across their land. Activists have linked up with outside supporters to sneak water trucks into parched communities cut off by the army and to protect olive harvesters from harassment by settlers.

But in Bilin, the legal victory gave way to setbacks.

The army has yet to comply with the ruling and move the barrier; the precise new route has been tied up in litigation. Meanwhile, soldiers began reacting with greater force to the protests, and most Israelis, who value the barrier as a shield against violence, remained indifferent.

In April, Khatib was standing a few feet away when a companion, Bassem Abu Rahma, was killed by a high-velocity tear gas grenade fired into a crowd of marchers.

Abu Rahma's death still haunts him. Twice, he says, soldiers have warned him that he'll "end up like Bassem" if he keeps resisting their presence in the West Bank.

Khatib and 27 other protest leaders and participants were arrested in their homes during the midnight raids that began in June. Seventeen are still being held. Khatib faces charges of inciting violence.

Asked to explain the crackdown, a battalion commander said protesters causing damage to the fence had been photographed and singled out for arrest. But after a week of requests, the army did not detail any damage claims.

On a recent Friday, the villagers had one visible impact on the fence, a Palestinian flag left hanging from barbed wire. After the marchers had gone home, a soldier tore it down, wiped his hands with it and stuffed it into a pocket.
I remember a few people in here posting that the Palestinians needed a Gandhi.
Well Gandhi is in the lock up.

Palestinians who see nonviolence as their weapon --

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

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Old 11-09-2009, 08:49 PM   #2
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Good for him. I really wish him luck though. Hey, you never know do you?

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Old 05-31-2010, 04:27 PM   #3
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Israel's deadly Gaza flotilla raid sparks diplomatic crisis

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a visit to the White House in the wake of the Gaza flotilla raid, in which Israeli forces killed at least 10 while preventing humanitarian ships from breaching Israel's blockade of Gaza.

By Joshua Mitnick, Correspondent
posted May 31, 2010 at 12:21 pm EDT

Tel Aviv —
An Israeli naval raid on a flotilla bent on breaking its blockade of the Gaza Strip with a cargo of humanitarian supplies is sparking an international diplomatic crisis for the Jewish state after at least 10 activists were killed and dozens wounded in clashes with soldiers.

The Gaza flotilla raid prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel a visit to the White House, while Israeli diplomats were summoned to foreign ministries across Europe.

Turkey, a departure point for the flotilla, has recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv for consultations and called for the convening of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the incident.

Israel, meanwhile, is bracing for the negative fallout.

"It will have a huge impact," says Alon Liel, a former Israeli diplomat. Mr. Liel said the incident could undermine peace talks with the Palestinians and lead to a freeze in relations with Turkey. "It’s a red light to the Israeli government that, if now you didn't understand, you are in the wrong direction.''

Israel on the defensive ...
Israel's right-wing government has been on the defensive on several fronts since taking office in early 2009.

It has been under pressure to from the US to reign in settlement expansion to promote fledgling peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, and the United Nation's Goldstone panel has accused the Israeli army of carrying out war crimes against Gaza civilians in a three week offensive to snuff out Hamas rocket fire.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on world leaders to exercise restraint in their response to the incident.

"The entire flotilla is a political and media provocation by anti-Israeli activists," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak at a press conference in Tel Aviv. "They have absolutely nothing to do with humanitarian aid."

The Gaza blockade
Israeli officials said that when the flotilla ignored calls from its naval forces to respect its closure of Gaza's territorial waters, soldiers boarded the ships from helicopters and from navy sea craft. The army said commandos encountered unexpectedly violent resistance from activists armed with knives, metal clubs, and live weapons on the Marmara, a ship with 600 activists.

There was no immediate response from the activists after the Israeli military jammed communications at the beginning of the operation around 4 a.m. After Israel's army evacuated the injured to Israeli hospitals, the ships were forced to sail to the port of Ashdod, where officials were waiting to deport the activists.

The six-ship flotilla -- the biggest attempt to bust the Gaza blockade in nearly two years of attempts -- is sharpening public criticism of Israel over its three year blockade of the coastal territory of 1.5 million Palestinians.

Israel has justified the blockade as necessary to prevent a weapons build up and argued that there's no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, while critics argue it amounts using collective punishment to pressure Hamas.

Violation of international law?
Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, condemned Israel's storming of the flotilla -- which took place in international waters -- as a violation of international law and called on the Security Council to discuss the incident. The Islamic militant organization, which the US, Israel, and the European Union consider a terrorist group, would get a political boost if international support for Israel's blockade eroded. Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat was unavailable for comment.

A spokesman for the White House expressed regret at the loss of life and said that it was reviewing the incident.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned "the disproportionate use of force" against the flotilla, the Associated Press reported. "All light must be shed on the circumstances of this tragedy, which underlines the urgency of resuming peace talks," he said in a statement.
Israel's deadly Gaza flotilla raid sparks diplomatic crisis -
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Old 05-31-2010, 04:57 PM   #4
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Will this blow over?
or will this have a very bad effect of an already deteriorating situation?

Outrage over Israeli attack

The flotilla comprised six ships carrying about 10,000 tonnes of aid for Gaza [AFP]

Shock and outrage has swept the globe after Israeli soldiers stormed a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza.

International powers have closed ranks in condemning the deadly raid.

Statement from the Turkish foreign ministry

The interception on the convoy is unacceptable ... Israel will have to bear the consequences of its actions.

We strongly condemn it and await an immediate explanation.

By targeting innocent civilians, Israel has once again clearly displayed that does not value human lives and peaceful initiatives.

We forcefully condemn these inhumane activities by Israel.

The incident that occurred in open sea which is a gross breach of international law, could cause irrevocable consequences for our relations.

We wish to express our condolences to the bereaved families of the deceased, and swift recovery to the wounded.

Statement from the White House

US President Barack Obama "expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today's incident, and concern for the wounded" in a phone call to Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.

"The president also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning's tragic events as soon as possible."

Ismail Haniya, Hamas leader in Gaza

The government of Hamas call on Palestinians to carry out a total strike in Gaza and West Bank to show solidarity and protest the Israeli crimes.

We request emergency session for the UN Security Council, Arab League and Islamic Conference and we demand the Palestinian Authority to stop all forms of negotiations.

The government decided to grant those on board Freedom ships the medal of honour.

We appeal to the UN to withdraw from the Quartet.

The government has decided to name the May 31 "the freedom day". We demand the Arab League to carry out all decisions to stop the siege of Gaza.

We say to those heroes that the essence of your honourable blood has reached us before the aids you are carrying to us.

We salute everyone on board the Freedom ships.

Salam Fayad, Palestinian prime minister

Israel went beyond all that could be expected.

This [attack] is a transgression against all international covenants and norms and it must be confronted by all international forums.

Statement from the Palestinian presidency

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the crime perpetrated by the occupation authorities against international solidarity activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla.

The Palestinian leadership is closely following the developments and the President calls on the United Nations to confront Israel, which is disregarding all international laws and norms.

The attack on the Flotilla is an attack against humanity.

This incident will have grave consequences in the region and the world.

Statement from the Arab League

Secretary General Amr Moussa has called for an emergency meeting at the League's headquarters in Cairo on June 1.

The attack clearly shows Israel's aggressive nature and its disrespect to international and humanitarian rules and laws.

We call on the international community to take immediate steps against Israel, a rogue state that practices all forms of terrorism and piracy, and instigates tension and instability in the region and in the middle of the Mediterranean sea.

Jens Stoltenberg, Norwegian prime minister

A military attack against civilian activists is totally unacceptable.

We are shocked at the news that Israeli naval forces have attacked ships bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza.

An independent international investigation into what has taken place, must be opened as soon as possible.

Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre will raise this issue with the UN Secretary General today.

Statement from Brazil's foreign ministry

Brazil condemns, in vehement terms, the Israeli action, given that there was no justification for a military intervention on a peaceful convoy of a strictly humanitarian character.

Brazil considers that the incident should be the object of an independent investigation that should fully elucidate the facts in the light of human rights and international law.

Saad Hariri, Lebanese prime minister

The Israeli attack on the aid convoy is a dangerous and crazy step that will exacerbate tensions in the region.

Lebanon firmly denounces this attack and calls on the international community, notably major powers ... to take action in order to end this continued violation of human rights and threat to international peace.

Spokesperson for EU's foreign policy chief

High Representative Catherine Ashton expresses her deep regret at the news of loss of life and violence and extends her sympathies to families of the dead and wounded.

On behalf of the European Union she demands a full enquiry about the circumstances in which this happened.

The continued policy of closure is unacceptable and politically counter-productive. She calls for an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of the crossing for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza.

Ambassadors from the 27 EU countries

The EU condemns the use of violence that has produced a high number of victims among the members of the flottilla and demands an immediate, full and impartial inquiry into the events and the circumstances surrounding it.

EU does not accept the continued policy of closure, it is unacceptable and politically counterproductive, we need to urgently achieve a durable solution to the situation in Gaza.

Guido Westerwelle, German foreign minister

I am deeply concerned about the events last night in the waters off Gaza ... These are disconcerting initial reports.

The foreign ministry is now working to establish the full facts of what happened.

Diego Lopez Garrido, Spain's secretary of state for EU affairs

The Israeli storming of a flotilla of activist ships heading for Gaza is unacceptable and very serious event.

We have have summoned the Israeli ambassador [to Spain] to give us explanations and, of course, we will investigate and will start handling this matter immediately.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Emir of Qatar

The Israeli act of piracy against Arab and foreign activists who tried to break an non humanitarian unjust siege imposed on our fellow citizens in Gaza Strip, for no reason but they exercised their democratic right of choice.

The crimes purportrated this morning against the civilians supporting the Palestinians remind us of the unjust siege the open bleeding wound in the Strip; and all those who preach freedom, justice and democracy are required now to move and act to break this siege so the bloods of those free men do not go down the drains.

This is also message addressed to the Arab states who were brought to the moment of justice by those free men on board.

Micheal Martin, Irish foreign minister

I am gravely concerned at the reports emerging of the storming of a Turkish ship this morning by Israeli commandos.

My department is seeking to establish the full facts of what has occurred and confirm the safety of the eight Irish nationals who sailed with the
Turkish-led flotilla.

The reports of up to 15 people killed and 50 injured, if confirmed, would constitute a totally unacceptable response by the Israeli military to what was a humanitarian mission attempting to deliver much needed supplies to the people of Gaza.

Statement from Britain's Stop The War Coalition

The action should see Israel condemned under international law.

Israel has repeatedly flouted law and public opinion worldwide in its treatment of the Palestinians.

The decision by Israel to attack the flotilla with such loss of human life shows it is arrogant and deadly intent in opposing any aid to the Palestinians.

Navi Pillay, UN high commissioner for human rights

I am shocked by reports that humanitarian aid was met with violence early this morning reportedly causing death and injury as the boat convoy approached the Gaza coast.

The blockade keeps undermining human rights on a daily basis.

The current situation falls far short of what is necessary for the population to lead normal and dignified lives.

I condemn once again the indiscriminate firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel.

Franco Frattini, Italian foreign minister

Italy deplores the loss of civilian life in Israel's raid on a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza.

Statement from the UN Relief and Works Agency

We are shocked by reports of killings and injuries of people on board boats carrying supplies for Gaza, apparently in international waters.

Such tragedies are entirely avoidable if Israel heeds the repeated calls of the international community to end its counterproductive and unacceptable blockade of Gaza.

William Hague, British foreign minister

I deplore the loss of life during the interception of the Gaza Flotilla. Our embassy is in urgent contact with the Israeli government.

We are asking for more information and urgent access to any UK nationals involved.

We have consistently advised against attempting to access Gaza in this way, because of the risks involved.

But at the same time, there is a clear need for Israel to act with restraint and in line with international obligations.

It will be important to establish the facts about this incident, and especially whether enough was done to prevent deaths and injuries.

This news underlines the need to lift the restrictions on access to Gaza, in line with UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1860. The closure is unacceptable and counter-productive.

There can be no better response from the international community to this tragedy than to achieve urgently a durable resolution to the Gaza crisis.

I call on the government of Israel to open the crossings to allow unfettered access for aid to Gaza, and address the serious concerns about the deterioration in the humanitarian and economic situation and about the effect on a generation of young Palestinians.

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Old 05-31-2010, 05:42 PM   #5
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I have great trouble believing that the shooting was needed.
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:47 PM   #6
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I woke up this morning and sat down with a cup of coffee to read news online. Just a few moments later it occurred to me that a nuclear bomb on this place might not be such a bad idea.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:17 PM   #7
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it's all very tense right now. hoping it doesn't escalate.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:29 PM   #8
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Here's video of Israeli soldiers being "welcomed" onboard the ship in question:

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Old 05-31-2010, 07:37 PM   #9
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just catching up on this, doesn't look good, there's this:

A Special Place in Hell / The Second Gaza War: Israel lost at sea
We are no longer defending Israel. We are now defending the siege, which is itself becoming Israel's Vietnam.

By Bradley Burston
A war tells a people terrible truths about itself. That is why it is so difficult to listen.

We were determined to avoid an honest look at the first Gaza war. Now, in international waters and having opened fire on an international group of humanitarian aid workers and activists, we are fighting and losing the second. For Israel, in the end, this Second Gaza War could be far more costly and painful than the first.

In going to war in Gaza in late 2008, Israeli military and political leaders hoped to teach Hamas a lesson. They succeeded. Hamas learned that the best way to fight Israel is to let Israel do what it has begun to do naturally: bluster, blunder, stonewall, and fume.

Hamas, and no less, Iran and Hezbollah, learned early on that Israel's own embargo against Hamas-ruled Gaza was the most sophisticated and powerful weapon they could have deployed against the Jewish state.

Here in Israel, we have still yet to learn the lesson: We are no longer defending Israel. We are now defending the siege. The siege itself is becoming Israel's Vietnam.

Of course, we knew this could happen. On Sunday, when the army spokesman began speaking of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in terms of an attack on Israel, MK Nahman Shai, the IDF chief spokesman during the 1991 Gulf war, spoke publicly of his worst nightmare, an operation in which Israeli troops, raiding the flotilla, might open fire on peace activists, aid workers and Nobel laureates.

Likud MK Miri Regev, who also once headed the IDF Spokesman's Office, said early Monday that the most important thing now was to deal with the negative media reports quickly, so they would go away.

But they are not going to go away. One of the ships is named for Rachel Corrie, killed while trying to bar the way of an IDF bulldozer in Gaza seven years ago. Her name, and her story, have since become a lightning rod for pro-Palestinian activism.

Perhaps most ominously, in a stepwise, lemming-like march of folly in our relations with Ankara, a regional power of crucial importance and one which, if heeded, could have helped head off the First Gaza War, we have come dangerously close to effectively declaring a state of war with Turkey.

"This is going to be a very large incident, certainly with the Turks," said Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, the cabinet minister with the most sensitive sense of Israel's ties with the Muslim world.

We explain, time and again, that we are not at war with the people of Gaza. We say it time and again because we ourselves need to believe it, and because, deep down, we do not.

There was a time, when it could be said that we knew ourselves only in wartime. No longer. Now we know nothing. Yet another problem with refraining from talks with Hamas and Iran: They know us so much better than we know ourselves.

They know, as the song about the Lebanon War suggested ("Lo Yachol La'atzor Et Zeh") that we, unable to see ourselves in any clarity, are no longer capable of stopping ourselves.

Hamas, as well as Iran, have come to know and benefit from the toxicity of Israeli domestic politics, which is all too ready to mortgage the future for the sake of a momentary apparent calm.

They know that in our desperation to protect our own image of ourselves, we will avoid modifying policies which have literally brought aid and comfort to our enemies, in particular Hamas, which the siege on Gaza has enriched through tunnel taxes and entrenched through anger toward Israel.

For many on the right, it must be said, there will be a quiet joy in all of what is about to hit the fan. "We told you so," the crowing will begin. "The world hates us, no matter what we do. So we may as well go on building [Read: 'Settling the West Bank and East Jerusalem'] and defending our borders [Read: 'Bolster Hamas and ultimately harm ourselves by refusing to lift the Gaza embargo']."

Hamas, Iran and the Israeli and Diaspora hard right know, as one, that this is a test of enormous importance for Benjamin Netanyahu. Keen to have the world focus on Iran and the threat it poses to the people of Israel, Netanyahu must recognize that the world is now focused on Israel and the threat it poses to the people of Gaza.

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Old 05-31-2010, 07:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sarit View Post
I woke up this morning and sat down with a cup of coffee to read news online. Just a few moments later it occurred to me that a nuclear bomb on this place might not be such a bad idea.

quite the pr machine
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post
Here's video of Israeli soldiers being "welcomed" onboard the ship in question:
They should have given them cookies and milk.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by deep View Post
I remember a few people in here posting that the Palestinians needed a Gandhi.
Well Gandhi is in the lock up.
Well said, Deep! Thanks for the article!

Bono himself idiotically blamed the Palestinians, in effect, for not adopting non-violence. Well, Moustaffa Barghouti has been doing it for years. He's been imprisoned by the Israeli government, and he reports being beaten at an Israeli checkpoint. He was nominated for the Peace Prize, so Bono has no right to talk like that or claim ignorance.

Besides, Ghandi was dealing with a declining British empire, not a colonizing force. Even Martin Luther King isn't an example of great success because King began to realize that the American Dream couldn't fulfill blacks' hopes of employment and ending discrimination in a meaningful way. He began to criticize US foreign policy and capitalism toward the end of his life. It's people like Bono who whitewash what really happened and insist that nonviolence is the only way. He didn't feel that way after September 11, 2001, when he encouraged the bombing of Afghanistan. It's funny how it's those not on Bono's donor list (for African funding) who must always turn the other cheek.

What happened yesterday to the flotilla is a perfect example of Israeli brutality. This isn't the exception, but the rule and the North American media just treats Israel's blockade as fair and just.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post
Here's video of Israeli soldiers being "welcomed" onboard the ship in question:

That video is heavily edited. The initial footage showing Israelis opening fire and killing at least one man before the retaliation began was taken out.

Besides, a blockade is inherently an act of war, and for it to have endured so long when Hamas has done so little since January 2009 is beyond the pale.

This massacre also occurred on international waters.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:27 AM   #14
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If those idiots wanted to stop the ship from reaching Gaza, there were other ways [1]. Why choose the worst? That’s what happens when generals switch to politics so easily. I’m trying to think what goes on in their heads and I just can’t come up with anything. I wonder if it was done on purpose as a pyromaniac act or that they are indeed just so incredibly stupid.

Unfortunately too many people here are busy with the confrontation on the ship itself, saying the soldiers had every right to open fire when attacked. They’re not even asking why they were sent there in the first place.

[1] I also believe that the siege is wrong.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:23 AM   #15
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Dear Friends,

Let me ask you a few questions.....when the U.S.A went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan did you hear a PEEP out of Israel? NO

When U.S. missile strikes accidently killed Afghan civillians and the world condemmed the U.S. - did you hear a PEEP out of Israel? NO

If Bin Laden wanted to sail his yacht into New York harbour, would the U.S, let him through or would they blow him to kingdom come? and if they did blow him up - would you hear a PEEP from Israel? NO

When the Hamas government sends us suicide bombers, shell our civillian population with morters and rockets, destroying our homes and infrastructures, should we just go on as if nothing happened and let them continue with their regular lives? When they hold one of our soldiers captive for nearly 4 years in a booby-trapped underground bunker without letting the Red Cross visit him - is there even a question about whether we should let aid into Gaza? (which we are anyway....).

If you are looking for someone to blame for the debacle, you need look no further than at two of the terrorist leaders: Ismail Haniya (the dictator of Gaza) and Haled Mash'al (who pulls the strings in Damascus). These two people, along with their henchmen, have been holding the Palestinian people hostage ever since they brutally seized power in Gaza. It is their actions that have brought Israel to declare a naval blockade of Gaza (which it is entitled to under International law).

Do not be fooled by the venom spouted by Hamas since this incident happened. They did exactly the same thing as they always do - put civilians in danger to serve their murderous purposes. Just like they did when they started the war with Israel in December of 2008 - they have no regard for human life. They knew very well that Israel wasn't going to let the flotilla into Gaza port and that there would be some sort of confrontation - but they didn't care: quite the opposite - the more people killed the better it looks on TV so then they can cry their crocodile tears and pretend to mourn their "brethren" who died 'courageously" against the "Zionist pirates". What baloney!

By the way, I find it interesting that both Ismail Haniya and Haled Mash'al chose not to be on board any of these ships which were supposedly headed to bring relief to their people. It could have been a huge PR coup for them but, of course, it's clear why they weren't there – why should they put themselves in danger? Better to let other people get hurt or killed, right? Just like during the Gaza war in 2008 when the Hamas leadership hid underground like cowards and didn't show themselves while their people were going through unspeakable suffering brought on by the actions of Hamas themselves.

The funniest thing is that they say it was a humanitarian flotilla bringing aid to Gaza - that's a load of BULL. People on a humanitarian mission don't carry knives and guns and DON'T violate international law by raiding a naval blockade which was legally imposed.

When the Israeli navy approached the ships, they clearly called out to them that they were entering a hostile area and that the captain was putting his passengers and crew at risk. The navy ordered the ships to change course and head for the port of Ashdod where their cargo could be unloaded and transported to Gaza by land – the way all goods have been transported into Gaza till now. The navy specifically told the captain of one of the ships that he was putting the people at risk – you know what the captain said? "Fuck you!!".

It was at that point that Israel took defensive action and ordered the soldiers to board the ships. The soldiers intentions were to take command of the vessel, sail it into Ashdod port, check the cargo for ammunition and banned goods and then unload it and convey the humanitarian aid to Gaza, at which point the ships could sail back to their home ports.

All in all, there were 6 ships in this flotilla. 5 ships were taken relatively peacefully, but the Turkish flagship "Marmara" turned out to be the rogue ship whose human cargo of bullies and terrorist supporters met the Israeli soldiers with small arms fire, knives, fire extinguishers, baseball bats – and even threw one soldier overboard. The Israeli soldiers didn't expect such a violent response from so-called "Humanitarians" and were forced to open fire to defend themselves or be lynched – as the video footage clearly shows.

The pictures shown on TV were shocking! These "humanitarians" came well-prepared to tackle the Israeli soldiers: they had knives, baseball bats and a few guns – just what the children of Gaza need, right? You can clearly see these bullies beating up the Israeli soldiers and the desperate situation the soldiers got into – which forced them to fight back.

With this action, Israel did exactly what the United States and any other civilized nation would have done – defended its border against illegal entry. If the world wants to condemn us for that then everyone is grossly misinformed and I'm sorry that they're buying into the anti-Israel propaganda that is rampant in the media these days.

What happened was a tragedy for the Palestinian people – for once again they were led astray by their leaders and once again Hamas caused unnecessary deaths among people who were supposedly there to help them.

As of now, all 6 ships are in Ashdod port. The navy and the Israeli police are checking the cargo thoroughly before unloading the ships and conveying the cargo on trucks to the Gaza strip for distribution – which was our intention all along if this provocation hadn't happened.

Whatever the eventual outcome of this unfortunate incident, I'm very sorry for the innocent people who joined this flotilla believing that they were on a mission of mercy when actually they were used as pawns in the hands of Hamas – and the blood of each and every casualty on board those ships is all on Hamas' hands.

By the way - I invite you all to check out the official IDF channel on Youtube where you can see all the raw footage and get the true coverage and story of what happened.

YouTube - idfnadesk's Channel

As a concerned citizen of Israel, and as a human being, I look forward to better times when terrorism is no longer a threat to anyone, when people of all nations and faiths learn to get along together for the good of mankind, and when the world is filled with love, joy, friendship and peace.

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