This is reminiscent of the reaction of the 6 major western powers to Israel’s brutal attack on Gaza: “Israel has a right to defend itself,” said they! Turned my stomach.
Imagine someone doubting that the United States or Britain or any European country had the right to access of its waterways! Just imagine!
We’ll have to double, triple, quadruple our efforts to launch a strong grassroots movement for justice for Palestinians and peace and security for all in this sad region whose situation is getting worse and worse thanks to the lies of Shimon Peres, et al., and the right wing fascist moves of the present Israeli government (not that previous Israeli governments were anything to brag about).
And now that the US is unshamefully playing tootsies with the worst of Israeli governments the only thing that we really can hope for is to work as hard as possible on bds, to inform as many as we can, and to bring people-power to bear on stupid idiotic governments that care nothing about the welfare of human beings and everything about keeping their tushes warm on the seats that give them power!
And as for bringing Gilad Shalit home—well, I feel for his parents and family. I understand their fear and pain. But he was not an innocent bystander. He was a soldier in an armored unit fighting in Gaza. He was not kidnapped. Soldiers are not kidnapped. They are captured. And so he was. And anyhow, what about the 9,000-11,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails?
Some as young as 12 years, some on administrative detention, many not guilty of anything more than ‘guilt by association’ (i.e., knowing the wrong people, maybe). Don’t their families want them home—children, mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, grandfathers, etc etc etc languishing in Israeli jails? Some of my best Palestinian friends have experienced this, the fear, the lonesomeness when a loved one is torn from their midst for no reason at all.
What right has Israel to steal 5 years from a young man’s life, a young man whose family has been striving for years for non-violent resistance, and he, too. Bring them all home, and Shalit, too. But not without the Palestinians.
And all of this hullabaloo about Shalit but not a word about the Palestinians who also have families who care!
WASHINGTON – The US State Department on Thursday released a statement against additional flotillas to the Gaza Strip, calling them “irresponsible.”
The statement said: “Mechanisms exist for the transfer of humanitarian assistance to Gaza by member states and groups that want to do so. Direct delivery by sea is neither appropriate nor responsible, and certainly not effective, under the circumstances.”
The statement added, “We, along with our partners in the Quartet, urge all those wishing to deliver goods to do so through established channels so that their cargo can be inspected and transferred via land crossings into Gaza.
“There is no need for unnecessary confrontations, and we, along with our partners in the Quartet, call on all parties to act responsibly in meeting the needs of the people of Gaza.”
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday discussed the matter with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. On Thursday he met with US officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Advisor James Jones, and senior officials in the US military and defense establishment.
Meanwhile, organizers of an Iranian flotilla to Gaza on Thursday announced that the ship that was meant to set sail on Sunday will not be departing.
In a statement the organization said the main reason for the cancellation was “the violent and inhumane attitude of the Zionist regime to humanitarian aid.”
Also Thursday, hundreds of people in New York City took part in what organizers called the “True Freedom Flotilla” for the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit marking four years since he fell captive.
The event included a sail along the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty and the UN headquarters. The flotilla included two vessels, each carrying 600 people.