Archive for May, 2010

Israel Forces Fired On Sleeping Civillians Under Cover Of Darkness

May 31, 2010

Israel  Forces Fired On Sleeping Civillians Under Cover Of Darkness  310510attack

Heavily armed soldiers “began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck”

Steve Watson
Prisonplanet.com

Monday, May 31st, 2010

While the Israeli government is praising it’s soldiers as heroes and saying they were acting in self defence by firing on unarmed civilians flying a white flag in international waters, one group involved with the Freedom Flotilla has a quite different story.

A spokeswoman for Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Avital Leibovich, claims that Israeli officers gave several warnings before boarding the the Turkish boat, the Mavi Marmara.

Somehow, according to Leibovich, when the soldiers did board the boat, they were then attacked by unarmed activists and relieved of their guns – a claim that is not backed up by video footage of the ambush.

Leibovich told reporters “We found ourselves in the middle of a lynching,”

“We didn’t look for confrontation but it was a massive attack,” she said. “What happened was a last resort.”

This story is on its face ridiculous.

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Gilad Atzmon: Israeli Butchery at Sea

May 31, 2010

Middle East Online, May 31, 2010


The massacre that took place was a premeditated Israeli operation. Israel wanted blood because it believes that its ‘power of deterrence’ expands with the more dead it leaves behind. The Israeli decision to use hundreds of commando soldiers against civilians was taken by the Israeli cabinet together with the Israeli top military commanders, says Gilad Atzmon.

As I write this piece the scale of the Israeli lethal slaughter at sea is yet to be clear. However we already know that at around 4am Gaza time, hundreds of IDF commandos stormed the Free Gaza international humanitarian fleet. We learn from the Arab press that at least 16 peace activists have been murdered and more than 50 were injured. Once again it is devastatingly obvious that Israel is not trying to hide its true nature: an inhuman murderous collective fuelled by a psychosis and driven by paranoia.

For days the Israeli government prepared the Israeli society for the massacre at sea. It said that the Flotilla carried weapons, it had ‘terrorists’ on board. Only yesterday evening it occurred to me that this Israeli malicious media spin was there to prepare the Israeli public for a full scale Israeli deadly military operation in international waters. Make no mistake. If I knew exactly where Israel was heading and the possible consequences, the Israeli cabinet and military elite were fully aware of it all the way along. What happened yesterday wasn’t just a pirate terrorist attack. It was actually murder in broad day light even though it happened in the dark.

Yesterday at 10 pm I contacted Free Gaza and shared with them everything I knew. I obviously grasped that hundreds of peace activists most of them elders, had very little chance against the Israeli killing machine. I was praying all night for our brothers and sisters. At 5am GMT the news broke to the world. In international waters Israel raided an innocent international convoy of boats carrying cement, paper and medical aid to the besieged Gazans. The Israelis were using live ammunition murdering and injuring everything around them.

Today we will see demonstrations around the world; we will see many events mourning our dead. We may even see some of Israel’s friends ‘posturing’ against the slaughter. Clearly this is not enough.

The massacre that took place was a premeditated Israeli operation. Israel wanted blood because it believes that its ‘power of deterrence’ expands with the more dead it leaves behind. The Israeli decision to use hundreds of commando soldiers against civilians was taken by the Israeli cabinet together with the Israeli top military commanders. What we saw yesterday wasn’t just a failure on the ground. It was actually an institutional failure of a morbid society.

It is no secret that Palestinians are living in a siege for years. But it is now down to the nations to move on and mount the ultimate pressure on Israel and its citizens. The massacre was committed by a popular army that followed instructions given by a ‘democratically elected’ government.

Considering the fact that Israel stormed naval vessels sailing under Irish, Turkish and Greek flags, both NATO members and EU countries must immediately cease their relationships with Israel and close their airspace to Israeli airplanes.

Considering yesterday’s news about Israeli nuclear submarines being stationed in the Gulf, the world must react quickly and severely. Israel is now officially mad and deadly. The Jewish State is not just careless about human life, as we have been following the Israeli press campaign leading to the slaughter; Israel actually seeks pleasure in inflicting pain and devastation on others.

Gilad Atzmon (gilad.co.uk) is an Israeli-born writer and jazz musician living in London. He had previously served in the Israeli military but he is currently an anti-racism campaigner. His latest CD is In Loving Memory of America.

Cohn: Israel Murders Human Rights Workers Delivering Humanitarian Aid

May 31, 2010
by Marjorie Cohn,  CommonDreams.org, May 31, 2010

On Sunday, Israel murdered human rights workers who were attempting to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, because Gaza has been virtually cut off from the outside world by Israel. At least 19 people were reportedly killed and dozens injured when Israeli troops boarded the 6-ship Freedom Flotilla convoy in international waters and immediately fired live ammunition at the people on board the ships. The convoy was comprised of 700 people from 50 nationalities and included a Nobel laureate, members of parliament from Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Turkey and Malaysia, as well as Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset and a Holocaust survivor.

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Turks march against Zionist Israeli attack

May 31, 2010
Al Jazeera, May 31, 2010
Israeli security forces fired tear gas at protesters in the occupied West Bank [AFP]

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in the Turkish city of Istanbul and around the world to denounce Israel over its attack on the convoy of Gaza-bound aid ships that left at least 19 people dead.

Around 10,000 people marched from the Israeli consulate in Istanbul towards the city’s main square shouting slogans and waving banners saying “Killer Israel”.

Bulent Arinc, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, said there were up to 400 Turks among those aboard the Mavi Maramara, the Turkish cruise vessel which was leading the so-called Freedom Flotilla.

Other demonstrations denouncing the Israeli raid have been held in many cities around the world, including the capitals of Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and the UK.

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CPD: PROTEST ISRAELI ATTACK ON GAZA FREEDOM FLOTILLA

May 31, 2010
CAMPAIGN FOR PEACE AND DEMOCRACY

CPD urges you to join the protest!

From United for Peace and Justice
Last night the Israeli navy attacked humanitarian ships in international waters in the middle of the night. Reports indicate that 10-16 humanitarian activists were killed and 50-60 were injured. The ships were seized by the Israeli navy and taken to Haifa to avoid press at Ashdod. UFPJ condemns the Israeli Government for their brutal attack on unarmed civilians. Protests have taken place across the world and a number of Governments are taking action.

The U.S. arms Israel to the tune of billions of dollars a year and hence shares responsibility for this atrocity.  How many more must die before the Obama Administration cuts off the aid we give to Israel each year?

On board were 750 people of conscience from 40 different countries, including 35 international politicians intent on breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade. We offer our sincerest condolences to family and friends who have lost loved ones in the attack. One of the boats was named after Rachel Corrie, to honor this strong young woman killed by the Israel Defense Forces in April 2003.

Demonstrate!

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.

New York – 3pm today (Monday, May 31), Times Square

Washington, DC – 3pm today, Israeli Embassy, 3514 International Drive NW (Van Ness metro) – Moving on to the White House at 5pm

Boston – 4pm today, Park Street Station

Use Memorial Day to memorialize all the brave activists, show our outrage, and let the world know we are not sleeping!

Contact the White House!

Call or email to demand an immediate cutoff of U.S. aid to Israel.
Email the White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact.
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Contact the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and demand that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice vote to support a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s action and initiating an investigation.    212-415-4062

Background

The UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk, urged Monday the international community to bring to justice those responsible for the killing of some 16 unarmed peace activist, when Israeli armed commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to Gaza.

“Israel is guilty of shocking behavior by using deadly weapons against unarmed civilians on ships that were situated in the high seas where freedom of navigation exists, according to the law of the seas,” Mr. Falk said. “It is essential that those Israelis responsible for this lawless and murderous behavior, including political leaders who issued the orders, be held criminally accountable for their wrongful acts.”

By sailing directly to Gaza, outside of Israeli waters, with cargo banned illegally by Israel, such as the 10,000 tonnes of badly needed concrete, toys, workbooks, chocolate, pasta and substantial medical supplies, the flotilla is exercising international law and upholding article 33 of the Geneva Convention which clearly states that collective punishment is a crime against humanity.

The hardships of Israel’s closure of Gaza have been well documented by all human rights groups operating, most recently by Amnesty International in their Annual Human Rights Report concluding that the siege has “deepened the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Mass unemployment, extreme poverty, food insecurity and food price rises caused by shortages left four out of five Gazans dependent on humanitarian aid. The scope of the blockade and statements made by Israeli officials about its purpose showed that it was being imposed as a form of collective punishment of Gazans, a flagrant violation of international law.”

For updates go to http://witnessgaza.com/ and http://www.freegaza.org/

UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
http://www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545
PO Box 607; Times Square Station; New York, NY 10108

To subscribe, visit http://www.unitedforpeace.org/email

Israeli troops slaughter 19 aid activists to Gaza

May 31, 2010

Israeli commandoes have stormed a flotilla of ships carrying activists and aid supplies to the blockaded Palestinian enclave of Gaza, killing as many as 16 [latest number: 19] of those on board.

By Richard Spencer, Middle East Correspondent and Matthew Kalman in Jerusalem
Telegraph/UK, May 31, 2010

Link to this video

Fighting broke out between the activists and the masked Israeli troops, who rappelled on to deck from helicopters before dawn.

A spokeswoman for the flotilla, Greta Berlin, said she had been told ten people had been killed and dozens wounded, accusing Israeli troops of indiscriminately shooting at “unarmed civilians”. But an Israeli radio station said that between 14 and 16 were dead in a continuing operation.

“How could the Israeli military attack civilians like this?” Ms Berlin said. “Do they think that because they can attack Palestinians indiscriminately they can attack anyone?

“We have two other boats. This is not going to stop us.”

The Israeli government’s handling of the confrontation was under intense international pressure even as it continued. The Israeli ambassador to Turkey, the base of one of the human rights organisation which organised the flotilla, was summoned by the foreign ministry in Anakara, as the Israeli consulate in Istanbul came under attack.

One Israeli minister issued immediate words of regret. “The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities,” Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the trade and industry minister, told army radio.

But he added that the commandoes had been attacked with batons and activists had sought to take their weapons off them.

Israeli military sources said four of its men had been injured, one stabbed, and that they had been shot at.

“The flotilla’s participants were not innocent and used violence against the soldiers. They were waiting for the forces’ arrival,” they were quoted by a news website as saying.

The flotilla had set sail on Sunday from northern, or Turkish, Cyprus. Six boats were led by the Mavi Marmara, which carried 600 activists from around the world, including Mairead Corrigan Maguire, the Northern Ireland peace protester who won a Nobel Prize in 1976.

It came under almost immediate monitoring from Israeli drones and the navy, with two vessels flanking it in international waters. The flotilla, which had been warned that it would not be allowed to reach Gaza, attempted to slow and change course, hoping to prevent a confrontation until daylight, when the Israeli military action could be better filmed.

But in the early hours of this morning local time commandoes boarded from helicopters.

The activists were not carrying guns, but television footage shown by al-Jazeera and Turkish television channels show hand-to-hand fighting, with activists wearing life-jackets striking commandoes with sticks.

The Israeli army said its troops were assaulted with axes and knives.

The television footage did not show firing but shots could be heard in the background. One man was shown lying unconscious on the deck, while another man was helped away.

A woman wearing hijab, the Muslim headscarf, was seen carrying a stretcher covered in blood.

The al-Jazeera broadcast stopped with a voice shouting in Hebrew: “Everyone shut up”.

Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza after the strip was taken over by the militant group Hamas in 2007. It has allowed some food and medical supplies through, but has prevented large-scale rebuilding following the bombardment and invasion of 2008-9.

The flotilla is the latest in a series of attempts by activists to break through the blockade. The boats were carrying food and building supplies.

Activists said at least two of the other boats, one Greek and one Turkish, had been boarded from Israeli naval vessels. Activists said two of the other boats in the flotilla were American-flagged.

The confrontation took place in international waters 80 miles off the Gaza coast.

It was attacked by the head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh.

“We call on the Secretary-General of the U.N., Ban Ki-moon, to shoulder his responsibilities to protect the safety of the solidarity groups who were on board these ships and to secure their way to Gaza,” he said.

Turkish television meanwhile showed hundreds of protesters trying to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. The incident will be particularly damaging for Israel’s relations with what had been seen as its closest ally in the Muslim world.

“By targeting civilians, Israel has once again shown its disregard for human life and peaceful initiatives,” a Turkish foreign ministry statement said. “We strongly condemn these inhumane practices of Israel.

“This deplorable incident, which took place in open seas and constitutes a fragrant breach of international law, may lead to irreparable consequences in our bilateral relations.”

Japan party quits coalition over US base

May 30, 2010
Press TV,  May 30,  2010
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A US Marine helicopter takes off from Futenma air base in Okinawa.

Japan’s Social Democratic Party, SDP, has decided to leave the ruling coalition government amid a row over the controversial presence of the US military in the country.

SDP chief Mizuho Fukushima informed reporters about the decision on Sunday after meeting with party executives. The move follows a dispute within the cabinet over the US airbase in Okinawa.

Fukushima, who calls for the immediate relocation of the base, has slammed Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s decision to keep the US compound on the island — despite his campaign promises to relocate the base.

The airbase has been under US command since after World War II. More than half of some 47,000 US troops in Japan are stationed in Okinawa.

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The Coming Iran War

May 30, 2010

MJ Rosenberg, The Huffington Post, May 28, 2010


It’s happening again.

The same forces — with a few new additions and minus a few smart defectors — who pushed the United States into a needless and deadly war with Iraq are now organizing for the next war.

This time the target is Iran, which, just like Iraq, is said to be on the verge of creating weapons of mass destruction.

Also, just like Iraq, its president is a supposed madman determined to destroy Israel.

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Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran

May 30, 2010

The Sunday Times, May 30, 2010

Uzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv

Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.

The first has been sent in response to Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, a political and military organisation in Lebanon, could hit sites in Israel, including air bases and missile launchers.

The submarines of Flotilla 7 — Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan — 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.

The vessels can remain at sea for about 50 days and stay submerged up to 1,150ft below the surface for at least a week. Some of the cruise missiles are equipped with the most advanced nuclear warheads in the Israeli arsenal.

The deployment is designed to act as a deterrent, gather intelligence and potentially to land Mossad agents. “We’re a solid base for collecting sensitive information, as we can stay for a long time in one place,” said a flotilla officer.

The submarines could be used if Iran continues its programme to produce a nuclear bomb. “The 1,500km range of the submarines’ cruise missiles can reach any target in Iran,” said a navy officer.

Apparently responding to the Israeli activity, an Iranian admiral said: “Anyone who wishes to do an evil act in the Persian Gulf will receive a forceful response from us.”

Israel’s urgent need to deter the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance was demonstrated last month. Ehud Barak, the defence minister, was said to have shown President Barack Obama classified satellite images of a convoy of ballistic missiles leaving Syria on the way to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, will emphasise the danger to Obama in Washington this week.

Tel Aviv, Israel’s business and defence centre, remains the most threatened city in the world, said one expert. “There are more missiles per square foot targeting Tel Aviv than any other city,” he said.

Gujarat: All’s Not Well With Your Home, Chief Minister Modi

May 29, 2010

Tehelka Magazine, Vol. 7, Issue 22, June 5, 2010

NARENDRA MODI HAD ONCE BRAZENLY UPHELD SOHRABUDDIN’S FAKE KILLING. NOW, AS THE CBI  ARRESTS TOP COPS,THE DIRT BEGINS TO UNRAVEL IN GUJARAT, SAYS RANA AYYUB

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Present continuous TEHELKA has persistently tracked the unraveling of the ‘encounter’ killings by Gujarat Police

IS THE noose tightening around Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi over his administration’s alleged complicity in the 2002 massacre of Muslims? Is nemesis, as the cliché goes, finally catching up with him for a string of allegedly fake encounter killings of “terrorists” by his police? It may be too early to call curtains for arguably India’s craftiest politician that Modi has turned out to be over the last eight years. Yet, the arrest of a top police officer in Gujarat by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may well begin to unravel the Modi era.

Indeed, so thoroughly alarmed are the Bjp, Modi, and others implicated in the Muslim massacres and the encounter killings, that there is a clear last-ditch attempt at preventing the CBI from establishing the truth. The latest round started on january 12 this year when the supreme Court ordered the CBI to reinvestigate the 2005 encounter killing of Gujarat businessman sohrabuddin shaikh, his wife Kauserbi, and an associate of his, tulsi prajapati. sohrabuddin, a small time extortionist, was killed in a joint encounter by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in November 2005 when he was travelling with his wife Kauserbi, on charges of being a Lashkar-e-tayyeba member on his way to Gujarat to assassinate Modi. A similar theory was given at the time of the Ishrat jahan encounter a year before and later proved as fake by the justice tamang Committee.

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