Posts Tagged ‘flotilla’

Update: Freedom Flotilla Foiled, Or Were They?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Israeli naval commandos seized control of a French yacht – the last remaining ship from the Freedom Flotilla 2 – as the crew attempted to finalize a protest against Israel’s sea blockade of the Gaza Strip.

No one was hurt during today’s seizure – a stark improvement from last May when nine activists were murdered during a similar demonstration.

Israel’s navy brass have claimed success from the military operation, saying the blockade is necessary to prevent arms from being smuggled into Gaza.

So Israel can claim success, but how about the activists from the Freedom Flotilla? Can they claim success as well?

Yes. Absolutely!

While they admittedly failed to attain their primary goal to bring humanitarian aide to the oppressed peoples of Gaza, the Flotilla’s overall act of protest was designed to call attention to the continuing injustices perpetrated by the State of Israel – a goal which has been a resounding success.

Today’s Flotilla interception garnered massive headlines, capturing top billing on many news sites, which will ultimately help the Palestinian cause.

Now, a small percentage of the people who happen to come upon these articles might just wonder why foreign professors, journalists and other upstanding citizens would take such dramatic and daring actions.

Then, they might even stumble upon a new perspective for the Israel-Palestine situation, and perhaps even go on to gain sympathy for the Palestinians who have to endure Apartheid-like conditions every single day.

And that is exactly what needs to happen for the situation to improve – Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinian people will only cease once the world comes together to stop it, and that will only happen when enough people know what is going on.

Freedom Flotilla: And Then There Was One

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Of the 10 ships in the humanitarian Flotilla bound for Gaza, just one lone ship remains. A French yacht has successfully eluded the Israeli subterfuge which saw the rest of the fleet locked down in port.

The yacht and crew of 16 pro-Palestine protestors are expected to reach Gaza by noon tomorrow, if they aren’t first intercepted by Israel’s security forces.

While one wonders what supplies, if any, could be stored on the luxury ship, they still carry the symbolic struggle of the entire Freedom Flotilla.

Most importantly, the French ship (and the entire Flotilla) have successfully drawn attention to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, and to the continued human rights violations perpetuated by the State of Israel.

Good on them! The more these injustices are exposed to the global spotlight, the more pressure will mount from the international community. As sanctions continue to come into place, Israel will have little choice but to capitulate to the rest of the world, and finally cease their apartheid upon the Palestinian people.

Update: Freedom Flotilla Foiled For Now

Monday, July 4th, 2011

In a frustrating turn of events, the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla II – a humanitarian mission bringing supplies and aide to Palestine – has been stifled by Greek authorities. 8 of the 9 remaining ships have been detained in Greece ports, caught up in red tape, and the passports of passengers and crew have been seized.

Greek authorities have blocked the boats’ departure as a result of a complaint lodged by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli law center. This goes to show the global reach of the Zionist movement.

Yesterday, Greece told organizers of the Flotilla it was willing to transfer any aid on the ships to the Palestinians themselves, an offer supported by Israel.

This solution won’t likely appease the aid ships, since the whole mission is an act of civil disobedience intended to protest an illegal blockade. Handing over their supplies and trusting Greek and Israel to safely deliver it to Palestine would negate much of the group’s purpose.

Instead, the Flotilla will see if they can leave Greece headed for a third-country port, after which they’ll  continue on to Gaza.

Safe Journeys!

Freedom Flotilla Gaza-Bound

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

(Yonatan Shapira, former Israeli Air Force pilot, describes why he joined the Gaza Freedom Flotilla)

Defying threats of litigation and incarceration, and despite encountering (potentially) state-sponsored sabotage, over 1500 activists are now bound for Gaza as part of Freedom Flotilla II. The Gaza Flotilla is a 10 ship humanitarian mission designed to bring aide to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

Even though these ships are likely to meet heavy Israeli resistance, the mere act of trying will effect positive change for the Palestinian people. Ending Apartheid in Israel will take mounting pressure from the International community, and increased awareness of the issue – exposing the atrocities committed by the State of Israel – is vital to preventing further injustices.

To the brave people aboard the Flotilla, and for all who stand against oppression and injustice, stay strong, and try to make enough noise for the whole world to hear you.

Hillary Clinton OKs Attack on Humanitarian Flotilla

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

When it comes to attacking the humanitarian flotilla bound for Gaza, it’s green lights go, says US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Here’s what Clinton said in remarks at the State Department on 23 June:

We think that it’s not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions by entering into Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves.

Of course, few nations consider Gaza or its waters to be sovereign Israeli territory, not that it would stop the Israeli Defense Force. Last May, the IDF attacked a similar Gaza-bound flotilla in INTERNATIONAL WATERS, killing 9 activists and imprisoning hundreds more.

Apparently, it’s an act of war just to try and help the people being held captive by the State of Israel. So, regardless of whether or not the freedom flotilla enters Israeli space, they’re likely to meet with heavy resistance.

Best of luck to these brave freedom fighters. Here’s hoping for no casualties and that the world hears of their courage.


Canadians Join Gaza Flotilla

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Freedom Flotilla II: 30 Canadians aboard the Tahrir are set to sail alongside 22 other ships, all on a humanitarian mission due for Gaza.

9 activists were killed last May during a similar Flotilla which sought to bring food and supplies for the beleaguered Palestinian people.

The Israeli Defense Force have begun preparations to stop the Flotilla, running drills that focus on intercepting and boarding large ships.

The hundreds of protesters taking part in this protest are very brave. They know full well the likelihood of making it to Gaza is slim, and that they might be arrested or killed just for trying. But to them, it’s a worthy cause.

As soon-to-be-Tahrir-passenger Kevin Neish says “the illegal blockade of Gaza is still in place.” Neish states that no matter what happens to him, the Palestinians have gone through “much, much worse, for years and years on end.”

Multilateral actions like these, even if they don’t prove immediately fruitful, still play an integral part in bringing attention to the plight of the Palestinian people.

Much as Apartheid came to an end in South Africa, Israel will be forced to stop their atrocities when the international community mounts enough pressure.

Here’s wishing these freedom fighters a Bon Voyage!

Israel Finds Themselves Not Guilty

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Remember last year when a Turkish humanitarian flotilla bound for Gaza was raided in International waters by Israeli commandos who shot and killed 9 civilians and wounded dozens more? Well, it turns out that an Israeli commissioned report shows “the actions taken were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law.”

Surprise, surprise. Israel has found themselves not guilty of any legal wrong doing in last May’s attack. Case closed, right?

Forget that the UN’s own inquiry found an “unacceptable level of brutality” or that Turkey claims the attacks were “tantamount to banditry and piracy”, the perpetrators of said crime have done some deep soul searching and found themselves inculpable.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s says the report has “no value or credibility”. This sentiment echoes what most people with common sense know: there exists an inherent bias when someone tries to hold themselves accountable. This is why we don’t allow accused criminals to handle their own prosecution.

The Israeli report goes on to state “The imposition and enforcement of the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip does not constitute ‘collective punishment’ of the population of the Gaza Strip.”

How convenient is that? The ‘open air prison‘ that kept millions of innocent Palestinians on the brink of economic collapse – the same blockade that was eased precisely because of International pressures like those of the raided flotilla – was deemed kosher by the very same group blamed for the human rights violations.

In other news, the kettle just called itself white.