Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

May 2010

Tariq Ali speaking outside Downing Street after the attack on the aid flotilla to Gaza

Norman Finkelstein on Gaza Flotilla Attack (TV)

Israel’s regional allies froze military ties as angry protests erupted over the storming Monday of aid ships bound for Gaza, while Muslim leaders demanded swift U.N. action to punish the “criminal” assault. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was “shocked” by the navy assault on a convoy carrying hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, lawmakers and journalists through international waters toward besieged Gaza.

The Palestinian Human Rights Council condemns the unlawful assault by the Israeli navy on a flotilla of international ships bringing aid to Gaza early this morning. The assault is unprecedented and illegal under international law.

Demonstrations are being organized in Washington DC, New York, and Boston. Please join in where you can or organize your own. It is time to end the blockade of Gaza and the Israeli occupation of Palestine by ending US support for Israeli slaughter.

ALL EVENTS TODAY – 31 May 2010

New York – 3pm, Times Square
Washington, DC – 3pm, Israeli Embassy, 3514 International Drive NW (Van Ness metro) – Moving on to the White House at 5pm
Boston – 4pm, Park Street Station
Seattle (JVP): 1:00 pm – 5th Avenue and Broad St, Seattle Center, near the Experience Music Project
Miami (JVP): 5pm-7pm – Torch of Friendship (Downtown)

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the crime perpetrated by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) earlier this morning, 31 May 2010, when Israeli Naval Forces attacked the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” in international waters as it was sailing towards the Gaza Strip. IOF used excessive and lethal force in its attack on the ships, which left dozens of international civilian solidarity activists who were on board dead or injured.

The Alternative Information Center (AIC) places complete responsibility with the Israeli government and we request that the international, legal, political and humanitarian bodies move immediately to condemn this crime and to hold Israel accountable for its harsh actions. We also request the immediate lifting of the siege on Gaza so supplies can enter without any conditions.

The Israeli navy this morning massacred at least 10 peaceful, unarmed citizens from many different countries sailing to Gaza with humanitarian aid. The massacre took place in international waters, 65 km off the coast of Gaza. Over 700 other participants have been abducted to Israel by the Israeli military.


“Only a crazy government that has lost all restraint and all connection to
reality could something like that – consider ships carrying humanitarian aid
and peace activists from around the world as an enemy and send massive
military force to international waters to attack them, shoot and kill.”

“It should be known that we will not stay silent and unresponsive in the face of this inhuman state terror,” Erdoğan said in live televised remarks ahead of his departure from Chile to Turkey, cutting short a Latin American tour.

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon:
“I want to report this morning that the armada of hate and violence in support of the Hamas terror organization was a premeditated and outrageous provocation. The organizers are well known for their ties with global Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror. On board the ship we found weapons – prepared in advance and used against our forces. The organizers’ intent was violent, their method was violent, and the results were unfortunately violent.”

IOA Editor: Those of us who follow the actions and behavior of Israeli Occupation Forces already know that blaming the victims is an old Israeli trick. However, as the statements by Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon demonstrate, Israel is surpassing its own record of irrationality and criminal irresponsibility, and its propaganda machine has now reached well beyond its previous limits of the imagination.

The Elders group of past and present world leaders, including former South African president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, on Monday condemned as “completely inexcusable” the deadly Israeli attack on a flotilla carrying aid for Gaza.

Adam Shapiro: It is utterly absurd to think that we could face down a military with the strength and the kind of technology and weapons that Israel possesses. To even think for a second that we could use violence in any way that would be to our advantage, it’s utterly absurd. Israel has always tried to portray its victims, whether they be internationals like Rachel Corrie or Tom Hurndall or Palestinians, as — to present the victims as the perpetrators. And I think we’re seeing the response of the world today.

IOA Editor: Indeed. See our earlier comments on Israeli propaganda, past and present

The number of Palestinians under questioning by the Shin Bet security service who are not permitted to meet with an attorney is a state secret, the State Prosecutor’s Office told the High Court of Justice last week.

LVMH-owned Sephora has been taken to court by the Palestinian rights organisation CAPJPO-EuroPalestine over the sale of cosmetics brand Ahava, according to press reports. Separately, the US women’s peace organisation, CodePink, organised a boycott of the products.

The submarines of Flotilla 7… have visited the Gulf before. But the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels. The flotilla’s commander, identified only as “Colonel O”, told an Israeli newspaper: “We are an underwater assault force. We’re operating deep and far, very far, from our borders.” Each of the submarines has a crew of 35 to 50, commanded by a colonel capable of launching a nuclear cruise missile.

“It is disgusting that the Foreign Office is exaggerating the impact on the peace process to get a few people who are suspects of very serious international crimes off the hook,” said Daniel Machover, partner at the law firm Hickman & Rose.

And facing them on the seas has been the Israeli ship of fools, floating but not knowing where or why. Why detain people? That’s how it is. Why a siege? That’s how it is. It’s like the Noam Chomsky affair all over again, but big time this time. Of course the peace flotilla will not bring peace, and it won’t even manage to reach the Gaza shore. The action plan has included dragging the ships to Ashdod port, but it has again dragged us to the shores of stupidity and wrongdoing.

The word “Arab” is not mentioned in the legislation, but the bill is directed against the Arabs. Will anyone consider stripping Anat Kamm of her citizenship if she is convicted of espionage? … The problem is a viewpoint that considers a community, by its mere existence, ethnic origin, language and links with what are described as enemy states as the target for this legislation. Without Arabs there would be no need for such obscene bills, because only Jews can be loyal to the state.

A United Nations humanitarian relief agency is accusing Israel of deliberately disrupting the international community’s aid efforts for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. According to a special report released by the UN’s OCHA, Israel is not permitting construction of buildings for needy Palestinians and is encumbering on the freedom of movement of aid groups and their staffs.

How can we rely on those Palestinians? For 43 years, they have been building the settlers’ homes with the sweat of their brows, paving roads for them and building their fences, and then suddenly, out of the blue, a boycott? Is that the way for partners to behave? Is that how they pay us back after we educated them for so many years to be our hewers of wood and drawers of water?

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads to Washington in a much-feted effort to restore damaged ties with the United States, new tensions in East Jerusalem threaten to rekindle a diplomatic row over Jewish building beyond the Green Line in the city. On Saturday lawyers served eviction notices to two Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, a focus of clashes between Arab residents and settlers.

[Mubarak] has developed a partnership with Israel on trade and ‘security’ that is far more extensive than Sadat could have imagined. Their intelligence services work closely together, and Mubarak has supplied weapons and training to the Palestinian Authority in its war against Hamas. The government is also doing what it can to maintain the siege in Gaza.

Mr Makhoul’s arrest had angered many in Israel’s Palestinian minority, nearly a fifth of the population, who suspect he is being persecuted for his leading role in promoting internationally the boycott movement against Israel and his prominent opposition to Israel’s attack on Gaza nearly 18 months ago.