MV Rachel Corrie heading for Gaza — with the full support of the Irish government

on 83 Comments

This is a major development. The MV Rachel Corrie cargo ship, whose passage to join the Freedom Flotilla may have been delayed because of sabotage by Israelis, is now heading for Gaza — and it has the full support of the Irish government. This is no longer just a question of how easily Israel can trample on the rights of a humanitarian organization.

The Irish prime minister, Brian Cowen, has warned Israel that it will face “the most serious consequences” in the event that any harm comes to Irish citizens on board the humanitarian relief vessel.

The Irish Times reports:

The cargo vessel is ploughing ahead with its attempt to deliver aid to Gaza despite yesterday’s deadly attack by the Israeli navy on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Mr Cowen called today called for the immediate establishment of “a full, independent international inquiry into yesterday’s events, preferably under UN auspices”.

He called on Israel to release “unconditionally” Irish citizens who he said had been taken to Gaza by the Israeli authorities and asked to sign papers allowing for their deportation.

Speaking in the Dáil [Ireland’s parliament] during Leaders’ Questions, the Taoiseach [prime minister] said the presence of Irish diplomatic personnel in Israel provided “better prospects” that the citizens would be released “sooner rather than later”

“But I will make this point. If any harm comes to any of our citizens, it will have the most serious consequences.”

Mr Cowen said Ireland’s longstanding position was that the Israeli blockade of Gaza was “immoral and counterproductive” and should be ended.

“Israel must listen and respond to the clear concerns of the international community on this issue. To do otherwise will only serve to reinforce the position of the extremists on both sides and jeopardise the hope of achieving some urgently needed political progress in the region, which the current proximity talks represent,” he said.

The Israeli army has warned that it will be stopped if it attempts to enter Israeli waters.

The Rachel Corrie, which has five Irish nationals and five Malaysians aboard, is due to arrive in Gazan waters over the coming days, a spokeswoman for the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said. It became separated from the main aid flotilla after being delayed for 48 hours in Malta due to logistical reasons, and is currently off the coast of Libya.

Mr Martin, who called Israeli Ambassador Dr Zion Evrony to a meeting yesterday, said the boat should be allowed through peacefully.

Mr Martin said Israel was also obliged to respect its international obligations under the Vienna Convention and ensure Irish citizens have access to full consular support. He also expressed his condolences to the Turkish government and the families of the people killed when Israeli commandos raided the Turkish registered Mavi Marmara aid ship in international waters as it travelled from Cyprus, killing nine people.

Five Irish campaigners – including leading activists Dr Fintan Lane and Fiachra Ó Luain – are being held in the Be’er Sheva detention camp, from where they face deportation. Dr Lane and Mr Ó Luain were on board Free Gaza boat Challenger 1 which was boarded by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, Haaretz reports that Colonel Itzik Turgeman, a senior Israel Defense Forces officer, speaking before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, hinted that the IDF had sabotaged the engines of all the ships in the Freedom Flotilla other than the Mavi Marmara, saying that “they took care of them.”

This is cross-posted at Woodward’s site, War in Context.

83 Responses

  1. potsherd
    June 1, 2010, 6:14 pm

    What a nasty, arrogant remark.

    Things like this make me understand the rage that a lot of people are expressing. Israelis just piss people off.

  2. Philip Munger
    June 1, 2010, 6:17 pm

    Does anyone know of a site that is giving position reports of the MV Rachel Corrie? I’m looking and getting nothing.

    • lysias
      June 1, 2010, 6:25 pm

      Irish Times last reported the Rachel Corrie is off Libya:

      The Rachel Corrie, which has five Irish nationals and five Malaysians aboard, is due to arrive in Gazan waters over the coming days, a spokeswoman for the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said. It became separated from the main aid flotilla after being delayed for 48 hours in Malta due to logistical reasons, and is currently off the coast of Libya.

      • Philip Munger
        June 1, 2010, 6:46 pm

        I read that earlier. And somewhere I read that they hope to arrive at Gaza early Wednesday afternoon. The last flotilla had position reports up at Free Gaza, on google maps, that even showed the distress signals, their times and lat/long positions to the second, until the Israelis seized the bridges.

      • Philip Munger
        June 1, 2010, 6:55 pm

        sorry, it was Witness in Gaza, not Free Gaza, that carried the google map position reports.

  3. lysias
    June 1, 2010, 6:26 pm

    Maybe the American public will take more seriously a seizure of an Irish vessel than of Turkish ones.

    I wonder if Ireland can challenge the special trading status Israel has with the EU.

  4. Cliff
    June 1, 2010, 6:37 pm

    Israel had vowed not to let the flotilla reach the shores of Gaza, held by Hamas, an organization sworn to Israel’s destruction.

    I just caught that line. It’s from the Kershner Pravda piece. Is that how she signs off?

  5. radii
    June 1, 2010, 6:54 pm

    Go Irish!

    You can bet they are much more careful with this vessel than the Turkish one they pirated

    • Shingo
      June 1, 2010, 7:59 pm

      I wouldn’t be so sure radii.

      Not only has Israel declared it will be using more force in future, but the mere mention of the name Rachel Corrie makes Zionists lose their shit.

      I expect Israel will perpetrate an act of war with Ireland and then accuse those on board as being Al Qaeda operatives

      • James
        June 1, 2010, 8:25 pm

        it will be some harbara bullshit response for sure……… that is what israel has descended into 24/7.

      • lysias
        June 1, 2010, 10:23 pm

        Ireland is EU.

      • demize
        June 2, 2010, 2:28 am

        They’ll claim its an IRA/Al-Queada offshoot.

  6. syvanen
    June 1, 2010, 7:22 pm

    As long as the American press presents this story through Israeli spokesmen, the American people will continue to see this as an act of aggression on the part of the Turks, peace activists, or now the Irish. We can’t expect that to change yet. What is changing is attitudes of many who have recently moved from Israeli supporters to people who began to question. Some of these will now be moved to anger. For the true believers, we should also expect to see an increase in zionist fanaticism as per the dynamics of cognitive dissonance. Each event, removes a little bit more support for Israel but it is a gradual process. As long as our government and MSM is in the hands of the lobby, there is not going to be any visible movement at that level.

    The important movement right now is in the demonstrations by activists in front of Israeli consulates, trade offices and even businesses. But don’t expect the NY Times to be on your side.

    • kapok
      June 1, 2010, 8:05 pm

      or the police

    • dalybean
      June 1, 2010, 8:05 pm

      Apparently the demonstration in NY today in front of the Israeli consulate that Phil posted earlier was far more well-attended than the counter-demonstration in front of the Turkish consulate. link to

      When are we going to find out whose citizens Israel killed in the Memorial Day Massacre besides those in Turkey?

  7. Duscany
    June 1, 2010, 8:01 pm

    If Israel disables the engines of every ship that tries to break the Israeli blockade, sooner or later the blockade runners are going to run out of ships (or people willing to commit a ship to the project). I guess that’s what Israel is counting om.

    I still don’t see though why Israel didn’t just let the ships dock and then send the local harbor master over for a chat with the captain about the alleged need to inspect the ship for contraband. In the meantime, Israel could have put up a tent on the dock to serve coffee and donuts to the passengers. This certainly would have nipped in the bud all the bad press Israel is getting now. It would have demonstrated that Israel is a civilized law-abiding country. Instead Israel looks like paranoid cockoo city with 200 nuclear weapons begging to be fired.

    • MRW
      June 1, 2010, 11:11 pm

      Exactly, Duscany.

      • radii
        June 2, 2010, 2:42 am

        israel is hell-bent on creating fear, remember?

        creating fear is all they have left and it is a one-way path to ruin … their insane hubris will bring much more suffering it appears

  8. Avi
    June 1, 2010, 8:21 pm

    I just wanted to drop by real quick and post a map I put together showing the location of the Freedom Flotilla in relation to Israel’s territorial waters:


    Feel free to do as you please with the map. I’m posting it for the benefit of everyone.

  9. Taxi
    June 1, 2010, 8:40 pm

    I love it that the WHOLE of Ireland will now know the beautiful name of ‘Rachel Corrie’.

    How her spirit has lived on and inspired such tremendous, heartfelt populist actions in the four corners of the world and in such a short period of time.

    Her courage and her purity of heart, now a powerful symbol, are an inspiration to every justice-loving world citizen of all colors and ages.

    R.I.P all activists the world over – we love you forever because you risk all to bring us truth and soul and pride, whereas our dastardly politicians deliver us heartless lies, humiliation and slavery.

    Good luck all yea sailors for freedom and human dignity, bon chance captains of our aspirations for a better world – be safe friends sailing on the Rachel Corrie.

    By great sails of Neptune I love you!

    • syvanen
      June 1, 2010, 9:36 pm

      Damn Taxi, that is nice tribute.

    • munro
      June 1, 2010, 9:47 pm

      nice – thanks

    • lysias
      June 1, 2010, 10:32 pm

      The Irish love martyrs. Kevin Barry. Thomas Ashe, from near my mother’s village.

      • MRW
        June 1, 2010, 11:06 pm

        The Irish love crying. When they wail they pardon their own unpardonable sins that they can’t tell the priest about, but which they justify for whatever reason.

        My maternal grandmother was an IRA sympathizer and supporter and I had to pay obeisance to it until I was in my teens. I couldn’t even own or wear anything orange in her presence. And I didn’t want to, or I would get the two-hour lecture about what the Orange did in the 17th C. And sometimes in Gaelic if she was really exercised.

      • Shmuel
        June 2, 2010, 12:50 am

        A tree-hugging mum and a Provo Gran. Tough childhood.

      • MRW
        June 2, 2010, 1:11 am

        You should have seen my father.

      • droog
        June 2, 2010, 4:43 am

        Are you implying the Irish share certain dramatic personality ‘themes’ with Israelis, and Palestinians?

      • Shmuel
        June 2, 2010, 4:47 am

        If the brogue fits …

      • droog
        June 2, 2010, 5:07 am

        It sounds about right to me, one of the few facets of this conflict that gives me hope is how much the cousins have in common.

  10. tommy
    June 1, 2010, 8:43 pm

    Protesters need to disable the engines on ships smuggling US weapons to Israel.

  11. MRW
    June 1, 2010, 9:47 pm

    As the residents of the Lower East Side understood, both Italian and Jewish, don’t piss off the Irish. The meanest sonofbitches that ever walked the planet Earth if you cross them.

    You want to the worse piece of shit facing you? You better hope it’s not Shanty Irish. They’ll smile, say hello, how are you, bow their heads, and you and your family will die two days later, and no one will connect the two events. They are the only group that the RUIM mafiyeh respect for their quiet, deadly, efficient ferocity.

    The difference is the Irish will not provoke, unlike the faux Israelis running the right-wing extremist Israeli govt, who are carried away with their own magnificence, and their appearance of power.

    Even Freud has something to say about them, which I’ve forgotten.

    • munro
      June 1, 2010, 10:29 pm

      a little racist stereotyping no? the Irish I know are verklempt all the time.

      • MRW
        June 1, 2010, 10:34 pm

        Then you dont know real Irishmen.

      • munro
        June 1, 2010, 10:35 pm

        i’m afraid I do… LOL but nevermind.

      • MRW
        June 1, 2010, 10:46 pm

        Munro, every serious serial killer in this country has Irish blood in him. Did you know that?

        I’m Irish. I know these people. I know what they’re capable of. I’m talking about the Irish from Ireland. I grew up in the Irish war between the Catholics and the Protestants. IN MY OWN FAMILY. Baseball bats, and all, to kill those who didn’t believe in what you did. Not injure them. Kill them.

      • munro
        June 1, 2010, 11:00 pm

        My ancestors came from Keel, Achill Island. They were gentle people.

      • Chu
        June 2, 2010, 6:39 am

        MRW: read ”the Westies’.

    • MRW
      June 1, 2010, 10:32 pm

      A little more….

      The Irish have an ON-OFF switch.

      If ON, you’re wonderful, you’re my friend, so you screw up, everyone makes mistakes, I’ll defend you to the end of my days (and they MEAN it) , don’t let the bastards get you down, I’ll back you, I have your back, you’re my friend forever, fuck ‘em.

      If OFF, you’re a dead man. I will slaughter everything you and your family stand for. And you won’t know it because I’ll make sure you’re too stupid to figure it out, which you are, because I’ve studied you the way Chinese Kung Fu priests study snow leopards for years in order to conquer them and render them docile.

      This ON-OFF switch is part of the Irish character. It comes with their mother’s milk. It stays with them whether they’re drunk or not, old or young. There’s a line: you cross it, you’re dead. It’s how they walk through life, right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot. You don’t cross an Irishman, because you don’t know how deeply, or when, you’ve offended him. If you have, he will pursue your demise until your dying day, and you will not understand what is happening to you.

      Israelis react to being called suckers or freiers. They’re surface putzes. With the Irish, it is something much deeper, and way more below the surface, unspeakable in their terms which is why it affects them so deeply, and deadlier. As I said, the Irish never provoke. They don’t do the ‘my dick is on the table, suck me’ routine. You have to offend an Irishman at a deep unknown level to activate these characteristics, and bring them to the surface.

      But god help you if you do.

      • thankgodimatheist
        June 2, 2010, 3:02 am

        This ON-OFF switch is part of the Irish character. It comes with their mother’s milk. It stays with them whether they’re drunk or not, old or young. There’s a line: you cross it, you’re dead. ”

        Sounds like the Corsicans to me..Think Eric Cantona..

      • thankgodimatheist
        June 2, 2010, 3:04 am

        Or the Lebanese..You don’t want to mess with the Lebanese. At least not the ones in Sydney. Oh, boy, oh, boy!

      • Shmuel
        June 2, 2010, 3:12 am

        Edward Said, in Culture and Imperialism, has some interesting things to say about Ireland, as a colonialised society within Europe.

    • Tobias
      June 2, 2010, 12:59 am

      MRW, with all due respect, and a bit off topic, but it sounds like you’ve watched The Quiet Man once too often. The Irish are a gentle people, and I sincerely doubt EVERY serial killer had Irish blood. Unless you mean their victims.

      Btw, believe the quote you’re possibly forgetting, wasn’t Freud but – per Anthony Burgess – Jung, who is said to have divided the world into, those that could be analyzed, and the Irish. Any truth to this may stem from when Jung treated Lucia Joyce and was quite eager to see her father, James, who was in equal measure not.

      • MRW
        June 2, 2010, 1:20 am

        Maybe the cultured ones, Tobias. I’m talking about Shanty Irish. Although I have dignified ones dotted throughout my lineage, ones with Lord in their name. But Shanty Irish, Black Irish, brilliant green or blue eyes, deadly handsome, nursing chips on their shoulders from childhood, that’s a different breed.

        All the name serial killers in the US had Irish in their background. In their lineage.

  12. VR
    June 1, 2010, 9:51 pm

    I can almost guarantee that the Israelis will not do the same thing to the Irish ship that they did to the Turkish. What the Israelis wanted to do to those “Muslims,” those so called “terrorists, Hamas, Al-Qaeda types,” sort of really confront them and slap them in the face. “How dare those Turkish scum do this?” They are trying to tried to cement it to the so-called “war on terror,” to show that Israel is the “master” of those inferior people. The other boats which had more anglo saxon white as the driven snow activists did not fit into that frame, so they just disabled the boats.

    This is why they will do nothing of the sort to the Irish boat, maybe they will disable it, there will be no confrontation – because the Irish do not fit into same false paradigm. I don’t care what they say, they will not do the same thing – no blazing guns, nothing close to the foul murderous treatment delved out to the Turkish. With the Turkish they want to show who wears the pants in the region, with the Irish who represent that bloc of trade they want to accomplish with Europe.

    Now you might say, they had a lot going with the Turkish – that means nothing to the racist mentality, they might trade with them but in comparison to their “image and false story,” they would just as soon spit in their face. It is similar to the Apartheid regime in South Africa, that would use the black population as workers, but keep them on their bantustan’s when they are done using them.

    • lysias
      June 1, 2010, 10:39 pm

      You don’t want to cross the Turks either. I’m Irish-American, and I’d be more afraid any day of crossing the Turks than of crossing my fellow Irishmen.

      I’m semiprofessional military (4 years active duty, 15 years reserve, retiring as lieutenant commander), and I’ve spent many months in Turkey. And I tell you, I respect the Turks as soldiers.

      • MRW
        June 1, 2010, 10:52 pm

        The key phrase being Irish-American. These are Irishmen.


      • VR
        June 1, 2010, 11:48 pm

        THE IRISH


    • Shingo
      June 1, 2010, 10:41 pm

      I take your point VR.

      In fact, I’m now inclined to agree with you for the following reasons.

      1.  Turkey has become increasingly critical of Israel, and we know that Israel will turn on anyone who dares to criticize them.
      2. Turkey is reaching out to the Arab states to forger unity and potentially revive Pan Arabism.
      3. Turkey just participated in the fuel swap deal proposal with Brazil on Iran, and Israel is hell bent on Iran’s destruction. 
      4. No one talks to Israel’s enemies if they want relations with Israel.

      So yeah, this was more than likely an example of Israel teaching Turkey a lesson.

      • RoHa
        June 2, 2010, 4:30 am

        And of course, at just the right time, “terrorists” attacked the Turkish naval base most likely to be able to lend assistance to the flotilla.

        I bet the Turks have noticed that.

      • RoHa
        June 2, 2010, 6:19 am

        They’ve noticed.

        link to

    • lareineblanche
      June 1, 2010, 10:58 pm

      Hmm, I hope you are right. But there is always fear that it can be even worse, and that there will be that “they didn’t just do that did they? my god, they did” moment where the fear becomes a tangible reality…

      A little Arthur McBride for our Irish friends, and bid them safe returning :
      And their old rusty rapiers that hung by their side
      We flung them as far as we could in the tide
      “Now take them out, Divils!”, cried Arthur McBride
      “And temper their edge in the morning”.
      And the little wee drummer we flattened his pow
      And we made a football of his rowdeydowdow
      Threw it in the tide for to rock and to row
      And bade it a tedious returning…

      link to

      • Dan Kelly
        June 1, 2010, 11:46 pm

        And some Yeats, in honor of the Palestinians:

        But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

  13. silencenolonger
    June 1, 2010, 11:50 pm

    What the Israelis have to understand is that Ireland has suffered occupation for centuries, they know what being dispossed means, and they
    are liked around the world because they are warm and generous, and willing to help others in times of hardship. They also remember those that help them, they stayed out of WW2, because Germans made food drops during the Great Famine. Also, they are very tribal, not wishy washy Anglo Protestant Congressmen and media types… think a few million Pat Buchanans with second highest standard of education in Europe after Finland and a love of fighting and standing up for the underdog, they will hurt you… seriously

  14. silencenolonger
    June 2, 2010, 12:02 am

    The Irish come from Turkish tribes, there are still regions of Turkey with fairskin Celtic types..also they are related to the Basques… just about the meanest groups in all of Europe, as the Mongols discovered in the 13th Century, and the Arabs discovered when they occupied Spain, and most of NYC police and firemen are of Irish descent….

    • MRW
      June 2, 2010, 1:28 am

      That’s correct. They are related to the Basques in language, at least the Celt part is. And I read in a book that all the Greek gods come from the Celtic gods. The Celtic God Aengus became the Greek God Eros, the God of Love. Aengus was the Celtic God of Love and Poetry.

      • Taxi
        June 2, 2010, 6:32 am


        Ever read the ‘White Goddess’ by the poet, Robert Graves?

        The origins of the Celts are in there – too involved to get into on this thread but a highly recommended and fascinating read.

  15. decentjew
    June 2, 2010, 12:10 am

    Not much talk here about ambassador Wolf’s absolutely appalling and repulsive statement before the Security Council, laying the blame for this massacre at the feet of the humanitarian passengers and organizers and absolving Israel. That’s America’s (ie OBAMA’S) official position on this crime.

    I want to hear Turkey (and other countries) denounce the disgusting and shameful United States with equal vehemence!

    • Shmuel
      June 2, 2010, 12:39 am

      I want to hear Turkey (and other countries) denounce the disgusting and shameful United States with equal vehemence!

      Should a perp and his lawyer be denounced with equal vehemence?

      • decentjew
        June 2, 2010, 12:58 am

        With Obama and Netanyahu, we have the strange, perhaps unprecedented case of a lawyer PAYING the perp’s salary, (rather than the other way around).

        as to your question, in this case, absolutely. The perp and his (Harvard) lawyer should be denounced with equal vehemence, because the lawyer is an un-indicted co-conspirator in the crime.

      • MRW
        June 2, 2010, 1:32 am


  16. Setanta
    June 2, 2010, 1:28 am

    What’s with all the ethnic chest-thumping here guys? Let’s keep this about the Palestinians. My father was a sociopath and he wasn’t as bad as your stereotype of the Irish. You certainly didn’t want to get on his bad side but he would hardly do a drive by on your whole family if you did, and neither would even the worst of the Irish I knew growing up. If I thought the Irish were that bad I certainly wouldn’t be proud of it.

    You might be interested to know there was quite a bit of cooperation and sympathy between the early Irish Republicans and the Zionists. Two Irish Jews fought in the Easter Uprising and later became leaders in the Zionist movement, though their names escape me. The Irgun was said to have borrowed its tactics from those of Michael Collins and even named their campaign against the Brits “Operation Michael Collins” in honor of him. Yitzhak Shamir took the codename “Michael” for a similar reasons.

    Robert Briscoe was an Irish Jew who was active in the IRA and Sinn Fein and helped to run guns to the movement. He later served as a parliamentarian.

    link to
    link to

    There is little sympathy among the Irish for the Zionists of today but at one point the Irish and Jews heavily identified with each other as fellow oppressed peoples.

    • MRW
      June 2, 2010, 1:40 am

      My mother claimed we were the 12th the tribe of Israel. ;-) And she was waaay more intellectual than I am. She read two books a day, and they weren’t romance books. They were history and the latest Booker Prize winners and what have you.

      There was once immense sympathy among the Irish for the Jews.

      • MRW
        June 2, 2010, 1:47 am

        Not 12th tribe, lost tribe. That’s what she said.

      • Shmuel
        June 2, 2010, 1:49 am

        There was once immense sympathy among the Irish for the Jews.

        An Irish member of my own family (don’t ask) once heard someone make an off-colour remark about Jews in the presence of his gran (grandad fought in the Easter Rebellion). Gran sharply replied: “Don’t you ever say anything bad about the Jews. The lord mayor of Dublin was a Jew, and he was a good man”.

      • MRW
        June 2, 2010, 2:17 am

        I used to hear the same from my grandmother. She was far more sympathetic to the Jews than the Protestants, by a long shot; they made up a considerable number of her friends. And her uncle was the Provost (Dean) of whatever the main university in Dublin is called. Trinity?

      • MRW
        June 2, 2010, 2:22 am

        That’s something few know. There are a lot of Jews in Ireland with a heritage that goes back 2,000 years. I remember the name Tara from my grandmother when I was young; stories about Tara (or some name like that) and ships sailing from the Holy Land. Too effing lazy to look it up now.

      • Shmuel
        June 2, 2010, 2:35 am

        My sister lived in Dublin for a few years, and was very involved in the small and dwindling Jewish community there. From what I gather, most Irish Jews are immigrants or descendants of immigrants from Eastern Europe (she also did her thesis at Trinity on Irish immigration policy). I wasn’t aware that there was an older Jewish presence there.

        If you’re talking about legends, there are a number of legends about the arrival of some of the “Lost Tribes” in various parts of the British Isles. I’ve always associated them with the legend of Joseph of Aramathea, in the sense of trying to create “historical” links with the Holy Land – kind of building “Jerusalem in England’s (or Ireland’s or Scotland’s) green and pleasant land”.

      • MRW
        June 2, 2010, 3:46 am

        I wasn’t aware that there was an older Jewish presence there.

        Yes, it actually predates monotheism in Judaism. Those were the altars my grandmother told me about, scattered about the county she came from in the west. Ireland was completely cut off from everyone, being an island. And they kept it that way. When I’m not so scattered as I am now, I’ll try to remember what she told me. She was a Bernadette Devlin type, a real firebrand. There are ship records and all sorts of stuff that predates Ireland’s Catholic roots by eons. It’s an ancient ancient country. No one thinks of Ireland that way.

        Your sister probably encountered some of the anti-semitism that the Eastern Europeans encountered, but that has to do with nationality, not religion, something we don’t understand here in the US.

      • MRW
        June 2, 2010, 3:59 am

        Another point, Shmuel, before I go to bed. No one thinks of Ireland that way.

        Because the Catholics did their level best to remove that history, and make it be that Ireland began when it found the Catholic God.

  17. Philip Munger
    June 2, 2010, 2:10 am

    What I’m getting from twitter and emails is that the MV Rachel Corrie is now planning on entering the contested waters early next week, around June 8th? Does anyone realize the import of that date?

    Has anyone asked the skipper if he has thought about radioing the Israeli Navy as he approaches at that time – if that is now the target date – asking to be able to lay a wreath at the site of what had happened there 43 years ago to the day?

    May I suggest the Free Gaza people, etc consider this? Ideally, the freighter would approach the scene of the 1967 battle slowly, with dignity, go to full stop for the length of time of the attack about 90 minutes), at the exact time of it, 43 years ago.

  18. thankgodimatheist
    June 2, 2010, 2:43 am

    Israelis opened fire before boarding Gaza flotilla, say released activists

    First eyewitness accounts of raid contradict version put out by Israeli officials
    The Guardian UK.
    Survivors of the Israeli assault on a flotilla carrying relief supplies to Gaza returned to Greece and Turkey today, giving the first eyewitness accounts of the raid in which at least 10 people died.

    Arriving at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport with her one-year-old baby, Turkish activist Nilufer Cetin said Israeli troops opened fire before boarding the Turkish-flagged ferry Mavi Marmara, which was the scene of the worst clashes and all the fatalities. Israeli officials have said that the use of armed force began when its boarding party was attacked.

    “It was extremely bad and very tough clashes took place. The Mavi Marmara is filled with blood,” said Cetin, whose husband is the Mavi Marmara’s chief engineer.
    link to
    link to

  19. thankgodimatheist
    June 2, 2010, 2:46 am

    “Plan Was to Kill Activists and Deter Future Convoys”
    by Jonathan Cook

    Nazareth –An Arab member of the Israeli parliament who was on board the international flotilla that was attacked on Monday as it tried to take humanitarian aid to Gaza accused Israel yesterday of intending to kill peace activists as a way to deter future convoys.
    Haneen Zoubi said Israeli naval vessels had surrounded the flotilla’s flagship, the Mavi Marmara, and fired on it a few minutes before commandos abseiled from a helicopter directly above them.
    Terrified passengers had been forced off the deck when water was sprayed at them. She said she was not aware of any provocation or resistance by the passengers, who were all unarmed.
    She added that within minutes of the raid beginning, three bodies had been brought to the main room on the upper deck in which she and most other passengers were confined. Two had gunshot wounds to the head, in what she suggested had been executions.
    Two other passengers slowly bled to death in the room after Israeli soldiers ignored messages in Hebrew she had held up at the window calling for medical help to save them. She said she saw seven other passengers seriously wounded.
    “Israel had days to plan this military operation,” she told a press conference in Nazareth. “They wanted many deaths to terrorise us and to send a message that no future aid convoys should try to break the siege of Gaza.”
    link to

  20. MRW
    June 2, 2010, 3:53 am

    Good stuff TGIA. I’m going to bed now with your posts front and foremost on my display to pursue and copy in the AM.

  21. thankgodimatheist
    June 2, 2010, 4:24 am

    Irish congress trade unions:
    Israel’s Assault akin to actions of a ‘Rogue State’

    Congress President Jack O’Connor and General Secretary David Begg have jointly condemned the Israeli assault on the Gaza aid convoy, during which at least 10 civilians were killed.
    The joint statement said: “This was a callous attack on innocent civilians which showed an utter disregard for all precepts of international law and human rights.
    link to

  22. Shmuel
    June 2, 2010, 4:34 am

    Deportation orders have now been issued for all of the FGM activisits. Another chapter in this tragic farce: kidnapping foreign nationals in international waters, taking them against their will to a country they never intended to go to in the first place, and then “deporting” them.

  23. thankgodimatheist
    June 2, 2010, 5:28 am

    “We have never had it so good,” said an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman in 2006. “The hasbara effort (propaganda) is a well-oiled machine.”

    Relentless propaganda that presents Israel as perpetual victim has seeped into western consciousness to such a degree an openly piratical attack on a ship carrying humanitarian aid is described by the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent merely as a “potential public relations disaster for Israel”.
    John Pilger on why he believes Israel is now a rogue state
    link to

    • Shmuel
      June 2, 2010, 5:38 am

      “We have never had it so good,” said an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman in 2006.

      LOL. That expression (in Hebrew: ) is notorious in Israel, attributed to Golda Meir on the eve of the 73 war (considered one of Israel’s biggest debacles). These hacks have no sense of history or irony.

      • Shmuel
        June 2, 2010, 5:40 am

        Anti-Semitic software omitted my Hebrew transliteration of the expression and decided my comment needed moderation.

      • Walid
        June 2, 2010, 6:21 am

        4 Syrians just arrived home with stories of Israeli barbarism and mistreatment at Ashdod. The Bishop of Jerusalem, Capoce, said he was thrown to the ground and beaten. All 4 said the Israelis landed on the ship with guns firing and it was evident that they were on a mission to kill people. All 4 said they would gladly get on another FGM voyage. The lady among them said something about bodies being thrown overboard by the Israelis.

      • Shmuel
        June 2, 2010, 7:03 am

        I’m surprised the Israelis haven’t made a big deal of the presence of Msgr. Capucci on board, as “proof” of the flotilla’s terrorist intentions.

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