Constituents aboard Audacity of Hope challenge Sen. Mark Kirk’s call for US to ‘disable flotilla vessels’

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Several weeks ago, Mark Kirk, the Republican senator from Illinois who inherited Barack Obama’s seat with the help of wads of pro-Israel cash, called for the American government to supply special ops forces and “naval support” to Israel to help stop the flotilla. In a report titled “The Future of Israel’s Security and the U.S.-Israel Relationship” that Kirk drafted this past June after a junket, er, trip to Israel with the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, the senator urged the US to

… make available all necessary special operations and naval support to the Israeli Navy to effectively disable flotilla vessels before they can pose a threat to Israeli coastal security or put Israeli lives at risk

This is a stunning comment, not only because it blithely puts US lives at risk to protect Israeli ones, but because it bluntly advocates that the US break international and maritime law by knowingly endangering civilians and assaulting foreign flagged boats in international waters.

Well now, Max Suchan, Kathy Kelly, and Robert Naiman –three flotilla participants who also have the good fortune of being Senator Kirk’s constituents —
have written an open letter to the senator asking him to reconsider his call for the US to join in the violence.

Senator Kirk, we are your constituents. It’s not too late for you to acknowledge that your earlier call for military action against us jeopardizes our safety and to reverse your claim which insinuates that we are dangerous people. We write with utmost respect for our collective responsibility to secure a better world, breaking the irrational cycle of military aggression and upholding basic human rights of all people.

The full, eloquent letter can be found here.

So far, there’s no sign that the senator has reconsidered.

And yes, Mark Kirk did once state publicly, “I’m OK with discrimination against young Arab males from terrorist-producing states. I’m OK with that.”

About Lizzy Ratner

Lizzy Ratner is a journalist in New York City. She is a co-editor with Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss of The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict.

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