Until Israel lifts its illegal, immoral blockade of Gaza, many more people, Palestinian and Israeli, will continue to live in fear of escalating hostilities and almost guaranteed casualties. This is the frame in which we need to centre any discussion of the Freedom Flotilla raid or any other incident that occurs as a consequence of furthering Israel’s unacceptable policy of collective punishment.
We in the US & Canada who recognize the insustainability of this ongoing moral calamity must pressure our leaders to cease enabling the Israeli government as it makes a mockery of human rights and international law — and, in the process, offers a stark vision of the most clear and present danger to the purportedly democratic character of the Jewish state.
American political scientist Norman Finkelstein: "During Israel's massacre in Gaza, December 2008 and January 2009 afterwards, Israeli officials were saying that they wanted to show the Arab world that they were capable of acting like a lunatic state and like mad dogs, that they wanted to restore the Arab world's fear of Israel. And, that's why they acted like a lunatic state and like mad dogs in Gaza.
But, after yesterdays events, we really have to ask the question: "Is Israel acting like a lunatic state, or, has it become a lunatic state? And, that's not just rhetoric. It's a very serious issue.
What happened with the Gaza Flotilla was not an accident. You have to remember that the Israeli cabinet met for fully a week. All the cabinet ministers discussed and deliberated how they would handle the flotilla. There were numerous reports in the Israeli press, numerous suggestions, numerous recommendations about what to do. At the end of the day, they decided on a night-time armed commando raid on a humanitarian convoy.
Israel now is a lunatic state. It's a lunatic state with between 2 and 3 hundred nuclear devices. It is threatening war daily against Iran and against the Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah in Lebanon has already stated on several occasions that if Israel attacks, it will retaliate in kind.
Things are getting out of control. We have to ask ourselves a simple basic fundamental question. Can a lunatic state like Israel be trusted with 2 to 3 hundred nuclear devices when it is now threatening its neighbours, Iran and Lebanon, with an attack?"
Watch the video at the link.
Naomi Klein speaks out about the flotilla incident at a rally in Toronto, Canada, May 31, 2010
Robert Fisk: Western leaders are too cowardly to help save lives.
It is a fact that it is ordinary people, activists, call them what you will, who now take decisions to change events. ...
Warren Goldstein writes this at HuffPo:
"Let's get this straight. Israel is enforcing a blockade against Gaza that is in blatant defiance of international law.
A flotilla of activists attempts to break the blockade and supply humanitarian aid to Gaza.
And Israeli commandos in international waters board some of the ships, in order to take them over, and have the nerve to complain when they are attacked?"
Read more at the link.
Egypt opens its border to Gaza
Irish humanitarian aid ship the MV Rachel Corrie is still sailing for Gaza, in spite of Israel's recent, devastating attack on other vessels in the Gaza aid flotilla, resulting in at least nine dead activists and hundreds of prisoners.
The ship, named after 23-year-old U.S. peace activist Rachel Corrie -- who was crushed to death in 2003 by an American-built bulldozer operated by the Israeli army -- has been pleading with the international community to pressure Israel into leaving them alone.
The Irish government, for its part, has threatened Israel with "the most serious consequences" if any Irish national, captured or currently aboard an aid vessel, is harmed.
Israel starts freeing aid activists
Anger in Turkey over Israeli raid
Israeli "friends" also to blame - by Mark Levine.
Global rallies continue
Passengers recount mid-sea horror
Live coverage from June 1, 2010