Ahmet Dogan, Furkan Dogan's father, writes about his son today in the Albany Times Union. It's really worth reading the whole article "A father speaks for his son."Dogan is currently on a speaking tour in the US.
Furkan's particular sensitivity was always for the children, especially those killed and injured despite their obvious innocence. The killing of more than 300 Palestinian children during the 2008-2009 Israeli assault on Gaza profoundly influenced him and motivated him to participate in the humanitarian flotilla to Gaza. He was determined to find a solution to their need -- to do something, to not look away as too much of the world was doing.
He never got the chance. While filming the Israeli takeover of his ship, he was shot five times and died on board.
Though Furkan was an American citizen born in Troy, American officials jumped to take Israel's side, notwithstanding clear evidence that Israel selectively released footage to exonerate its soldiers for the deadly mayhem they unleashed while storming the humanitarian ship in the dead of night.
The Obama administration's failure to support my son and my family's humanitarian concern for Palestinians comes from the same misguided policy that has led to decades of support for Middle East autocrats and Israeli governments that have long oppressed Palestinians.
And the American position seems oblivious to the findings of the fact-finding mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The mission determined that the "circumstances of the killing of at least six of the passengers were in a manner consistent with an extra-legal, arbitrary and summary execution." My son's name was included among the six.
Faced with such facts, what family would not push Furkan's government to take up his case? I am in Washington and New York City this week, not only to champion justice for my son, but also to remind Washington that the U.N. mission concluded that "a humanitarian crisis existed" in May 2010 in Gaza and that "for this reason alone the blockade is unlawful."
Furkan, though young, also saw the bigger picture. He sought not simply humanitarian relief for Palestinians, but also freedom from Israeli subjugation. With freedom advancing in Tunisia, Egypt, and around the Gulf, Palestinians' long efforts to free themselves from Israeli domination are also worthy of recognition and support.