Rep. Sherman: prosecute U.S. citizens involved with Gaza flotilla

On a press call hosted by a pro-Israel organization, Rep. Brad Sherman, Democrat of California, told reporters that he intends seek the prosecution of any U.S. citizens who were aboard or involved with the Freedom Flotilla.

“The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 [PDF] makes it absolutely illegal for any American to give food, money, school supplies, paper clips, concrete or weapons to Hamas or any of its officials,” Sherman said on the Israel Project call, conflating Hamas and Gaza’s civilian population. “And so I will be asking the Attorney General to prosecute any American involved in what was clearly an effort to give items of value to a terrorist organization.”

Sherman also said that he plans on working with the Department of Homeland Security to make sure that any non-U.S. citizen involved with or aboard the Flotilla are excluded from entering the U.S.

Hamas, considered a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, won Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006 and has held de facto rule over the Gaza Strip since it took the area by force in 2007 in anticipation of an impending U.S.-backed coup d’etat by the rival Fatah faction.

The Freedom Flotilla was organized by the Free Gaza Movement to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza — in place since Hamas’s takeover — and deliver tons of food aid, medical and school supplies and building materials to repair buildings damaged in the month-long Israeli assault of Gaza in Dec. 2008 and Jan. 2009. The Flotilla was raided by Israeli commandos in international waters during the early hours of Monday morning, leaving at least nine people, including one U.S. citizen, dead.

Though the nine were killed by the IDF, Sherman criticized the Obama administration for not directly blaming Hamas, using the logic that the militant movement brought the blockade on itself: “I think the U.S. could be better now about condemning Hamas as responsible for those nine deaths.”

The blockade and the land siege (by Israel and Egypt) have, by international consensus (leaving out Israel and its hard-line American allies) caused a humanitarian crisis among Gaza’s civilian population.

The Congressman, known as a pro-Israel stalwart who has, in the past, joined as the sole Democrat on Republican criticisms of Obama’s foreign policy toward Israel, denied that there was a “hunger crisis” or “humanitarian crisis” in the Gaza Strip. “The health circumstances in Gaza are better than they are in many American cities,” he added later.

Questions about the legality of the Israeli blockade and its enforcement in international waters were quickly dismissed by Sherman, who said that the U.S. had itself blockaded Germany in both World Wars, Japan in the Second, Cuba during the missile crisis, and, curiously, the Confederacy during the Civil War.

The irony of the last example was, I’m sure, lost on Sherman. It was in that war, of course, that another man named Sherman, a Union officer, led a scorched-Earth campaign against the blockaded Confederacy. There are similar examples from the recent Gaza War, which I’d bed Rep. Sherman also had no problem with. (And are we really reduced to using a conflict from 150 years ago to justify military actions of the IDF?)

While Israel alleges ties between IHH, a Turkish relief organization involved in the Flotilla, and terror groups, many credible doubts have been raised about that assertion (see LobeLog contributors Marsha Cohen and Max Blumenthal’s pieces on the subject). Nonetheless, Sherman insisted the group has “clear terrorist ties.”

The California Congressman also blamed the media for the harsh criticisms of Israel since the incident on the Med (even from tiny Central American countries). Sherman employed what he called the “Kent State Rorschach Test” — referring to a generation of journalists who grew up in the Vietnam War-era and viewed Western governments critically because of incidents like the 1970 Kent State massacre.

“The liberal media is misled by that Kent State Rorschach Test that is a belief that those who are poorer, less technological, and more scruffy looking are right,” he said, alluding to skepticism of “Westerners, Europeans, and the U.S.”

All of Israel’s problems, said Sherman, are a distraction from Iran’s nuclear program, which he alleged is aimed at nuclear weapons. If Iran acquires those weapons, he said, the U.S. itself will be in danger: “You could smuggle one into the States in a bale of marijuana.”

“What really matters is the Iran nuclear program and we have a short amount of time to stop that program,” Sherman went on. “And our failure to take all the action to stop that program could force Israel to take an action far more controversial than what they’ve done this week.”

This post originally appeared here on LobeLog, where Ali is a regular contributor.

Posted in Israel/Palestine

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  1. javs says:

    the usa should make it illegal to give money to state sponsored terorism by the aparthied, and all thoise settlement charities people giving to the charities should be jailed mr sherman. whats good for the goose is good for the gander. If they can give our taxes to a terrorist entity called israel we can give whatever we please to anyone, who he or any politician thinks they are is beyond me, however they can stuff it in their ears!! you freely give our taxes without us having a say so, in what it is used for and demand to jail americans.,,,,,who support helping people…go f@#$%k yourself SHERMAN and the dogs you stand with.

  2. javs says:

    We are simply giving to civilians not an organization or entity like the aparthied you support without any citizens having a say in the matter, let alone spinning the story that because a people decide to fight back against an evil that was started by the usa and backed by the usa is obsurdity. I supposed you will next try and say the moon is made of cheese too, and expect people to believe it. the dogs have no shame whatsoever!!

  3. Seham says:

    Oh god. Why did I read this? I just called and left a message, you can do so at this number. Please note that even though the recording does not indicate that you can leave a message, you still can.

    Washington, DC Office
    Brad Sherman 2242 Rayburn HOB
    Washington, D.C. 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-5911
    Fax: (202) 225-5879
    San Fernando Valley
    Brad Sherman 5000 Van Nuys Blvd., Suite 420
    Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
    Phone: (818) 501-9200
    Fax: (818) 501-1554

  4. Avi says:

    Is he Jewish?

    Was his family involved in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s?

    Is he abusing democracy?

  5. Bumblebye says:

    Could be interesting. Weren’t the goods to be handed over to UN representatives first? That’s the Hamas argument down the tubes.

    If there were to be prosecutions, the legality of occupation and siege not sanctioned by the UN could indeed be brought into play. And the governments failure to act over numerous incidents. What the hell is it doing giving $3bn + to a criminal state anyway?

  6. Avi says:

    I think he’s missing more than just hair:

    link to washingtonindependent.com

  7. Avi says:

    I bet if we looked hard enough and played with the language a bit, we could find a law that allows for the prosecution and incarceration of bald Jewish nerds with a history of inadequacy.

  8. Seham says:

    What a complete and absolute asshole. It’s amazing how I can spend hours a day putting together a damn news list which lists all of the crimes of the usurping entity, but, not get as pissed off doing that as I did reading this pile of crap from Sherman. It’s amazing how these Democrats get away with this crap. Douche bag!

  9. sherbrsi says:

    “The health circumstances in Gaza are better than they are in many American cities,” he added later.

    Really? Are there any American cities, where 70% its residents have to rely on foreign relief aid for survival?

  10. Colin Murray says:

    Brad Sherman is such a clown. :) Sherman “plans” and Sherman “says” … to TIP. Who gives a frak what they think? The Obama Justice Department is going to do what President Obama wants it do to, not what Sherm wants. Keep howling at the moon, Sherman! ROFLMA

    • potsherd says:

      Don’t dismiss him. There are dozens of these guys in Congress, and the rest of them know that they speak on AIPAC’s behalf.

  11. potsherd says:

    The fact that there is such a law is an indictment of Congress and a measure of its corruption, disseminated by rabid Zionists like Sherman. There are too damn many of these people in Congress, who hold US office for the purpose of advancing the interests of a foreign power.

    • RoHa says:

      The role of the US towards Israel can best be understood by first thinking of what vacuum pumps do, and then contemplating a particular bird of which it is well known that one does not make a summer.

  12. Oscar says:

    Who do I send campaign money to so we can defeat this traitor to America in November?

  13. melka says:

    “illegal for any American to give food, money, school supplies, paper clips, concrete or weapons to Hamas or any of its officials”

    Concrete, money and weapons, I can understand. But food ? Do they plan on starving Hamas to death ? Oh sorry, it’s not really the elected government they want to starve, but the people who voted for them.
    And what about paperclips and school supplies ? They want them to be unable to classify some top secret files (plans for deadly cardamome bomb) ?

    After hearing the “audio recording” and seeing all those dumb photos, I’m amazed people still believe in Israel’s government.

  14. This a one of the numerous examples of how the Isarel generated lies become facts in US.

    There was this article by Michael Rubin stating why US might be forced to allow Isarel to strike Iran after this incident on the sea-”In effect, if the White House decides to come down hard on Israel now, it is the same as giving a green light for Israel to strike Iran. ” { Forget for a momnet how stupid the argument is}

    WSJ has spun it to make it look like an evolving US concept-”Some Western officials fear that if Israel feels isolated and cornered, it may be more likely to turn to unilateral force to confront threats from enemy states such as Iran”
    Wall Street Journal-06/03/10

    • Duscany says:

      ”Some Western officials fear that if Israel feels isolated and cornered, it may be more likely to turn to unilateral force to confront threats from enemy states such as Iran”

      That reminds of one of the arguments against Reagan’s Star Wars program–it would make the Soviet Union feel so besieged and beleaguered it would resort to nuclear war. Instead the Soviet economy collapsed along with the Berlin wall.

  15. Since the Mitchell peace in Ireland, Irish tribalism has been pretty much dormant in the US, however, attacks of dual-nationalists like Brad Sherman against the Rachel Corrie, could ignite the passions of Americans of Irish descent. And unlike, Turkish Americans, Irish Americans are Christian and numerous.

  16. Les says:

    What are the chances of him going after the murderer of American Furkan Dogan or after the person who shot out the eye of American Emily Henochowicz? How patriotic is it for an American Congressman to be an Israeli agent?

    • Duscany says:

      Brad Sherman is from Sherman Oaks. Given his district’s demographics, I doubt if accusations of his being an Israeli agent would hurt him in any way.

  17. hayate says:

    “Rep. Sherman: prosecute U.S. citizens involved with Gaza flotilla”

    I say prosecute this sherman quisling for treason. And since israel considers itself literally to be at war with every country in the world, including the usa, the country of the people this sherman quisling is supposed to be representing, make that prosecution for treason and aiding the enemy in time of war. And if he doesn’t hang for that, then go after him for all the other war crimes he’s been committing.

  18. hughsansom says:

    Two things:

    1. Sherman evidently identifies being Palestinian, or being Gazan, with being a member of Hamas. That’s Sherman crime 1 — libel and racist hatred.

    2. Sherman evidently places the security of Israelis over that of Americans. That’s crime 2 — treason.

    • lysias says:

      If American law makes criminal any attempt to provide relief to Palestinians, doesn’t that mean that the U.S. is in violation of all sorts of international law provisions?

  19. americangoy says:

    What about Americans serving in the IDF, and then coming back to USA?

    Lets start with the trained in Israel, superb agent of influence Rahm Emanuel…

  20. javs says:

    Yes, yes, and another yes !! I do believe the rain is mainly in the plains.
    I was always wondering if it was just a new allied policy though I hadn’t seen any other allies doing the same training together or should I say brainwashing. And the emanuel connection with so many of the congress etc being loyal to only the aparthied makes me wonder if history is not replaying itself out again with the zionist that infiltrate others countrys and then they crumble soon after due to economical collapse…meanwhile the aparthied was stewing and alive and well in texas that fateful day for kennedy, then theres wellstone who was also targeted for his views from what I gathered. There is a lot of archival documents which have been downloaded with proof of the infiltrations, these people were not all just voted into an office by public merit, as with all these politicians today we should try and reform the length of time given.

  21. javs says:

    Treason could be used to prosecute the majority of our politicians immediately, including the presidents past and present.
    Foriegn loyalties over that of your own sheer insanity. Though true.
    I have always noticed the eyes seem a bit darker just before or after taking office or positions in which the puppet must be lead into a room and threatened by the overwhelming controls that are shown to that individual and what he and his or her family can look forward to if they do anything against the aparthied government of terror. TREASON is the way to go, do we have enough paper???

  22. demize says:

    I’m convinced this man is a performance artist. No-one could be so purposely absurd. I here he wants to co-sponsor a bill with Sen.Lieberman the revokes the citizenship of any American citizen killed by Israel I wish I could take credit for that:(

  23. Citizen says:

    Sherman has been catagorized by his stand on many issues as a “hard core liberal.” The Irony is thick–he wants to toss Code Pink and Solidarity Americans in jail for critizing Israel.
    link to ontheissues.org

  24. This sucker should be banned from entering any non-US country other than Isarel.

  25. Prosecute those Congressional members who voted for continued funding of terrorist nations (until then at least vote the bums out).

  26. Continetal airline refused to serev wine to Ed Peck , was toled “No. You are not allowed alcoholic beverages. You are a threat to national security.”
    link to weblogs.baltimoresun.com

    link to amconmag.com

    My question who decided it / Who told Continetal and its crew what and how to treat Mr Peck , an US citizen , a veteran of war , and US ambassador

    What was the nature of the chain of commands? Where did this directive and description and justification come from?

    • demize says:

      Some of the responses to the article bewilder me. If that’s a sampling of how your average Joe views the situation, then we are in big trouble. Looks like the complete brainwashing effort was successful. I couldn’t keep reading after a few so maybe I’m wrong.

      • Absolutely. I’d like to think that comments like that aren’t representative of the population, just some of the types of people that would post on that site – but, having made a recent tour in the States, and having watched some of the “debate”, I’m just not sure anymore.

      • for the sake of your sanity, demize, I caution you against browsing littlegreenfootballs or redstate. dailykos can cause a severe headache (and heartache) as well.

        then there are the comments on Israeli newspaper blogs. you don’t want to go there. it’s ugly.

        • demize says:

          The first two, immediate head explosion. I guess I have to keep to my own little ghetto so I don’t get terminal agita or worse.

  27. Sherman will show up on the next fund raising event of IDF in NY. I am sure , he will. Some of those commandos decorated with medals will schmooze with Sherman over a bottle of Continental wine.