US flotilla passengers begin fast at US Embassy in Athens

Israel/Palestine
on 198 Comments

A release from the US Boat to Gaza:

Members of the U.S. Boat to Gaza have begun an open-ended fast calling
on the U.S. government to defend our right to sail out of Greece. The
fast has begun in front of the U.S. Embassy at 91 Vasilisis Sophias
Avenue in Athens. Fasters delivered an urgent letter to the Embassy
and plan to sleep overnight outside the Embassy gates.
Passengers and U.S. boat organizers participating in the fast are:
Medea Benjamin, Ken Mayers, Paki Wieland, Kathy Kelly, Ray McGovern,
Helaine Meisler, Nic Abramson, and Carol Murry.
Passenger Kathy Kelly said, “We call on officials at the U.S. Embassy
in Athens to publicly acknowledge our right to sail and to call on the
Greek government to free our ship and its captain immediately.”

There will also be a march in support of the flotilla beginning at 7
pm organized by Greek activists who have been protesting the
government’s austerity measures in Syntagma Square. The march will
include a demand on the Greek government to let all of the boats in
the Freedom Flotilla 2 sail to Gaza and to free the captain of the
U.S. ship, who has been held in jail.
The departure of the U.S. Boat to Gaza - The Audacity of Hope - was
first delayed by a complaint filed by the Israel Law Center and shown
to be frivolous. Greek authorities then inspected the boat but, until
the boat set sail five days later, the results of that inspection has
not been shared with the captain and his crew.
The Greek Coast Guard stopped The Audacity of Hope some 20 minutes
after it had left the dock on Friday, July 1. The Coast Guard ordered
the captain to stop the ship, which he did. Commandos with drawn
rifles ordered the ship to return.  It is now impounded at a military
dock in Athens and the captain has ben arrested.
Over the past two weeks, two boats of the international flotilla to
Gaza have been sabotaged while docked at Greek ports.  The potential
danger to the U.S. boat was obvious to the captain, the crew and the
passengers: there was a clear possibility that the U.S. boat would be
sabotaged next.

Greek consular officials in the United States, when besieged with
calls by angry Americans,  told callers that they should direct their
protest to U.S. officials because they were ultimately responsible.
“We know that the U.S. government has been supporting Israel’s
underhanded efforts to thwart the flotilla, and has been pressuring
the Greek government to stop us. This is a disgrace,” said
passenger/faster Medea Benjamin. “On July 4, it’s time for our
government to declare independence from Israel and start supporting
its own citizens.”

We note that on June 24, passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza visited
the Consul General in Athens, Deputy Consul General Kate Brandeis
agreed that the U.S. Boat “had a right to sail to Gaza.”

Ms. Brandeis assured the passengers that the consulate was there to
assist U.S. citizens that run into difficulty while in Greece.  To
date, we have received no assistance from the U.S. Embassy and the
captain of our boat, a U.S. citizen, remains in jail and has yet to be
visited by anyone from the U.S. Embassy.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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198 Responses

  1. kalithea
    July 3, 2011, 11:48 am

    Zionists are not only hijacking the flotilla, but they’re exposing how much power they really have to hijack the rights of citizens of any country. This is indeed threatening.

    The Flotilla is helping to create awareness of how Zionists operate thumbing their nose at the sovereignty and rights of others, democracy and the law.

    • seafoid
      July 3, 2011, 12:09 pm

      “The Flotilla is helping to create awareness of how Zionists operate thumbing their nose at the sovereignty and rights of others, democracy and the law.”

      And that is wonderful, Kalithea. Have you ever read “Publish it not” ? they have been doing this for over 100 years. How do you think they got the British to agree to the Balfour declaration ?

    • sandy
      July 3, 2011, 3:01 pm

      What are you talking about, “Zionists operate thumbing their nose at the sovereignty and rights of others”?

      It’s the Greek police upholding the law of Greece.

      But I guess you Antizionists only care about laws if you believe that Israel breaks them, not when it is *you* who need to follow them.

      • seafoid
        July 3, 2011, 4:24 pm

        Hi Sandy

        Is it warm in Kiryat Arba?

      • Shingo
        July 3, 2011, 4:45 pm

         It’s the Greek police upholding the law of Greece.

         

        What law of Greece are they upholding? Since when are entire passengers of a ship imprisoned because if a “faulty” air conditioner?

      • stevieb
        July 4, 2011, 8:56 am

        Sandy is right. Whose ‘commandos’ stopped the boat with the threat of violence? Whoever orders those Greek forces, and those forces themselves stopped the boat….,

      • James
        July 4, 2011, 12:17 pm

        why do something in violence( see flotilla 2010) when you can twist the halls of political power with a better end result – no flotilla to draw attention to israels gulag mentality… the zionist bozo’s here must think everyone who isn’t a zionist is a frikkin idiot…

      • kapok
        July 3, 2011, 5:12 pm

        Kristallnacht was legal.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 4, 2011, 4:15 am

        Yes! A two-day pogrom during which 90 people were murdered, 30,000 men sent to concentration camps and 267 synagogues set on fire is the exact moral equivalent of the Greek government preventing the flotilla from leaving port.

        It must be hard to type with your straitjacket on.

      • Citizen
        July 4, 2011, 5:01 am

        GF, the OP Cast Lead Israeli state-sponsored pogrom is better, I agree.

      • Citizen
        July 4, 2011, 5:17 am

        GF, the point you intentionally missed was that the unamed Greek law wasn’t good, even if it exists, and/or it wasn’t implemented correctly.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 4, 2011, 6:22 am

        The point that kapok was intentionally trying to make was another witless attempt at shoehorning Israelis into Nazi uniforms. A despicable act that dishonors the victims of the Nazis as well as the hundreds of thousands of allied soldiers who gave their lives in defeating them.

      • Citizen
        July 4, 2011, 6:35 am

        GF, it’s you who dishonor the victims of the Nazis by supporting Israel’s philosophy and its eggregious acts pursuant that philosophy.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 4, 2011, 8:37 am

        I do not accept your equating Israel’s terrible occupation with a carefully planned and executed system of racial genocide.

        Despite the continued claims of you and everyone else here, Israel and its citizens has no interest in harming Palestinians. Israel’s goal is one of pure self-interest. Israel wants peace and security for its citizens.

        I do not agree with the philosophies of my government or the way it sets out to achieve it goals of security, but I believe that the majority of Israelis want peace far more than they want to oppress and harm Palestinians.

        The goal of the Nazis was not peace and security for Germans. It was for a Judenrein Europe. The Final Solution was a plan to exterminate millions of people from the planet and wipe out all traces that they existed.

        There is no comparison with Israel’s policies either in intention or action.

        I will not defend my country’s aggressive siege of Gaza or its absurd kowtowing to the settler minority, but neither will I agree to inappropriate comparisons to a genocide which heartlessly murdered millions of Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals and other non-Aryans.

        Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is shocking and it has to end, but the constant repetition of the Nazi accusation is insensitive and ignorant.

      • Shingo
        July 4, 2011, 8:50 am

        Despite the continued claims of you and everyone else here, Israel and its citizens has no interest in harming Palestinians.

        Rubbish. From teh 1800’s, the Zionist pan was to steal the land from the Palestinians and drive them from their homes. Israel has inflicted collective punichment on the Palestinians for more than half a century as a matter of policy.

        Israel’s goal is one of pure self-interest. Israel wants peace and security for its citizens.

        The same for Hitler. If he could have achieved his aims without violence, he would have. Everyone wants peace, but peace is nothing without considering the terms. I imagine most Nazis probably wanted peace more than they wanted to harm Jews. I am sure, in his sick, derranged and twisted mind, Hitler believed the world would have been more peaceful without Jews in it.

      • eljay
        July 4, 2011, 8:57 am

        >> Israel wants peace and security for its citizens.

        And just a few of the very best ways to achieve peace and security are:
        – large-scale ethnic cleansing (a “required” evil, “currently not necessary”);
        – an ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder (which Israel can halt immediately and completely, but chooses not to);
        – an unwillingness to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace;
        – undertaking offensive military actions (i.e., “starting it”) designed to elicit a response which can then be used to justify “belligerent reprisals”; and
        – undermining democratic elections.

      • stevieb
        July 4, 2011, 8:58 am

        Hey GF – how far can you go with that?

        When Israel ups the ante’ and drops a nuke on somebody or kills tens or hundreds of th9usands of Palestinians or even millions?

        Because thats exactly the way it’s going.

        Will you still be making excuses then?

      • eljay
        July 4, 2011, 8:59 am

        >> I am sure, in his sick, derranged and twisted mind, Hitler believed the world would have been more peaceful without Jews in it.

        Had RW been around at the time, he would undoubtedly have “held his nose” and approved because, after all, he believes in “peace, not ‘justice'”.

      • seafoid
        July 4, 2011, 9:20 am

        I think keeping 270,000 shoah victims below the Israeli poverty line while sponsoring the settlers dishonors them, but when did Zionism ever mean honour ?

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 4, 2011, 9:34 am

        “The same for Hitler. If he could have achieved his aims without violence, he would have.”

        This kind of ignorance of history is beyond contempt.

        “From teh [sic] 1800’s…[sic]” This is a perfect example of someone at Mondoweiss being more rabid and extreme than any Palestinian negotiator in the past 40 years.

        No one cares about Zionism in the 1800s (it’s a plural, not a possessive or a contraction, lose the apostrophe!).

        There will be a negotiated two-state solution along 67 borders with a negotiated solution for Jerusalem and the Palestinian right of return.

        Kick and scream all you like in your angry attempts to discredit me and mention the Nazis in every single angry comment, but that’s the reality, sweetie.

        There will be plenty of people on both sides (particularly among regular commenters to MW) screeching about how “justice” hasn’t been served, but once there is peace, no one in Israel or Palestine will give a flying fug.

        If you’re fighting for justice, you’re missing the point. The point is that there are millions of Palestinians living in refugee camps. They don’t want justice. They want homes, jobs and schools for their children. In this regard, as in almost every other, they’re pretty much the same as Israelis.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 4, 2011, 9:40 am

        @stevieb

        “When Israel ups the ante’ and drops a nuke on somebody or kills tens or hundreds of th9usands of Palestinians or even millions?

        Because thats exactly the way it’s going.”

        Nonsense. Israel will not nuke anyone. Nor will it kill tens (or hundreds, ha!) of thousands of Palestinians, no matter how much your hatred of Israel wishes it so.

        “Will you still be making excuses then?”
        What excuse have I made? I deplore the occupation. I despise my Prime Minister. I call my government out on every bad decision they make. The only excuses being made are you guys making excuses for anybody with Internet access to sign up here and make wildly inappropriate (and historically inaccurate) comments about how Hitler’s goal was peace and how much he love bunnies

        Hey stevie, what’s it like making excuses for Adolf Hitler?

      • Citizen
        July 4, 2011, 10:00 am

        The desire of 1930’s German masses for peace was at least as real as any claimed desire of Jewish Israeli masses for peace; the Israeli masses are at least as receptive to their government’s claims of being security-minded & merely wanting the state’s rightful place in the world & righting past wrongs, at least as receptive to that fear-mongering spiel as the German masses were when the Nazi regime made the same claims. I do not accept your insensitive claim that Israel has not engaged in genocide & still is, and I am not alone, but think the same as many scholars of the holocaust and genocide: link to newdemocracyworld.org

      • sandy
        July 4, 2011, 10:41 am

        “I am sure, in his sick, derranged and twisted mind, Hitler believed the world would have been more peaceful without Jews in it.”

        Who knows.

        The comparison, however, is absurd.

        A naval blockade is not a holocaust. (Especially if it doesn’t prevent any humanitarian aid from being delivered.)

        And it’s not in the least a sign of a “sick, derranged and twisted mind” to understand that Israel is more secure if Iranian weapons shipments are intercepted before they reach the Hamas terrorists.

      • Ellen
        July 4, 2011, 11:04 am

        GuiltyF.

        From Genghis Kahn to the Roman Empire to the Ottman Empire, to the British Colonial Empire to the attempt at a 1000 Jahr Reich, to the American Military Empire — built on the ruins of a native people — and which now includes and embraces the colonial nationalistic Zionist enterprise, it is always the same ole’ ….same ole’

        The fascists National Socialistic movement in Germany was built on a sense of revived nationalism, ideas of race, blood and soil. Morally bankrupt, empty and the sign of deep weakness at the core. Like all Nationalistic movements everywhere. Nazism, Zionism, Serbian Nationalism, on and on….

      • Kris
        July 4, 2011, 11:20 am

        “Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is shocking and it has to end, but the constant repetition of the Nazi accusation is insensitive and ignorant.”

        I don’t see how the Nazi accusation is ignorant. Like the Zionists, the Nazis wanted both peace and lebensraum, at the expense of a despised population. A slow-motion holocaust, like the one Israel has been carrying out against the Palestinians for decades, and the daily pogroms against the Palestinians that are carried out by the “settlers,” are very much in the spirit of the Nazis, even though Israeli Jews are carrying them out. Operation Cast Lead was very much in the spirit of the Nazi massacre of the Jews trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto.

        “Insensitive,” I’ll grant you, since many Jews are very offended that anyone else’s suffering could be considered to be as important as their own.

      • RobertB
        July 4, 2011, 11:38 am

        GF

        What other zionist/Israeli trick have you got besides mentioning the holocaust, anti-semitism…??

        Zionist/Israeli deceptive methods/tricks are becoming more transparent to the world each day…!!!

        @@@@@@

        Click on link to watch interview with Shulamit Aloni, former Israeli minister:

        IT’S A TRICK, WE ALWAYS USE IT says former ISRAEL MINISTER

      • kapok
        July 4, 2011, 11:54 am

        There is no comparison

        except the patina of legality.

      • annie
        July 4, 2011, 1:07 pm

        Iranian weapons shipments? the motive behind the blockade is not primarily israel’s security. that’s already been established. try harder.

      • richb
        July 4, 2011, 1:44 pm

        When I visited Israel I heard a presentation by the Christian Friends of Israel, a group so pro-Israel that it shows up on some lists of the Israeli Lobby. But even they mentioned the extreme poverty of the Shoah victims. In addition to this, the anti-proselytizing laws kept them from helping the Shoah victims as much as they would have liked. So, they give them blankets (making sure they were not of enough “value” and thus breaking the law) and listen to their stories. They were so poor and so lonely that the gratitude for even this pittance was so evident.

        Many Zionists use the Shoah victims to pull on American (both Christian and Jewish) heart strings. Some do so for good motives like above but sadly for many others it’s all political opportunism beginning to end.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 4, 2011, 4:01 pm

        @RobertB,

        If you’re going to butt in, at least follow the thread. I didn’t start talking about the Holocaust, nor have I ever use it as a justification of Israel. All my grandparents were born in the UK and Ireland at the turn of the last century. I have no close relatives who lost their lives in that genocide.

        Nevertheless I am tired of the constant barrage of repeated, unimaginative comparisons of the siege of Gaza with the Final Solution. Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is wrong and must end, but there is no Final Solution being acted out here. In the past 5 years Israel has been responsible for the deaths of less than 5000 Gazans. It’s a despicable record to be sure, but it’s not genocide. During the same period tens of thousands of rockets were fired at Israel civilians, each one a war crime by itself. I am not saying this to justify Israel’s aggression or the siege of Gaza, but the continued comparison with Nazi Germany suggests by extension that the Jews of Western Europe were also committing war crimes against their murderers. This is a disgusting comparison.

        I have no problem dealing with criticisms of my country. I take offence at barbs which are designed to offend and at people whose aim is to upset with insults rather than persuade with arguments.

        Comparisons with the Nazis are designed to offend. That is the only reason they are used here. They are not useful. They make no political point about Israel’s intransigence or pig-headed Netanyahu’s inability to negotiate. They are written simply to cause as much offence to Jewish Israelis as possible.

        Just as it is wrong for Israelis to hide behind the Holocaust, it is dumb, childish and ignorant for commenters like the ones above to continue with this offensive comparison.

        No one compares Jewish Israelis to the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide, or to Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi or Assad. It’s always Hitler and the Nazis. The point is to give offence not to enlighten by comparison.

        It is simply the cheapest form of point scoring.

      • Eva Smagacz
        July 5, 2011, 4:34 am

        I never realized that there are anti-proselytizing laws in Israel. It does rather stand the concept of “freedom of expression in democracy” on it’s head, doesn’t it?

      • Citizen
        July 5, 2011, 5:20 am

        GF, nothing cheap about it at all. As you know, and I gave you the links to it twice already in the last couple of days here on MW, there is a split amongst Holocaust and Genocide Studies scholars of the highest credentials worldwide regarding whether or not Israel has and/or is conducting genocide against the Palestinian people.

        This dispute is based on historical examples, including Nazi Germany, Armenians, Rwanda, etc, and more current examples.

        The international definition of genocide is naturally involved too. The strict view, championed by an American Israeli in Israel, is that genocidal events, even if repeated to some extent, as Israel has done, does not amount to genocide (net). The liberal view of genocide disagrees because the contemporary definition of genocide is not modeled solely on the fast and furious and loudly proclaimed Nazi model, but adapted also to the post WW2 world covered with veneers of being civilized, basking in sometimes more subtle and slower forms of genocide.

        Not being stuck in Nazi Germany 1942 is not “simply the cheapest form of point scoring.” This is 2011.

      • Citizen
        July 5, 2011, 5:41 am

        Hi Eva,
        My understanding is that Jehovah’s Witnesses and various Christian evangelical sects get a hard time in Israel. I think there is an anti-proselytizing Israeli law, and I think sometimes it’s enforced and sometimes not. I also think the Mormons (Church of LDS) have some kind of agreement with Israel regarding the activity, but not the fundy Mormons, the FLDS (Church of Fundamental LDS).

      • patm
        July 5, 2011, 8:11 am

        Hi Eva, if there are such laws they don’t seem to be working.

        Yad Leachim has been battling Christian missionaries for decades.

        link to yadlachimusa.org.il

      • libra
        July 5, 2011, 8:19 am

        GF: “Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is shocking and it has to end, but the constant repetition of the Nazi accusation is insensitive and ignorant.”

        GF, the problem you have with Nazi analogies to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is self-inflicted in the sense that Zionism has deliberately conflated Nazism just with the Final Solution against the Jews. In doing this it ignores the bigger picture of Nazi policy for colonising the conquered territories in the east as defined in Generalplan Ost.

        This envisioned the ethnic cleansing of the majority of the (largely Slavic) indigenous population and their replacement with German settlers. Thus whilst it is largely false to compare the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians to that Nazi treatment of the Jews, there are distinct similarities with the Nazi treatment of the Slavs.

        Of course, their loss of the war meant the Nazis never had the opportunity to put their full plans into action. And obviously the scale of their plans was much bigger, but relative to population size Israel is not so far from their ambitions.

        I don’t really think the Nazis had really given much thought to the fates of the displaced Slavs. I imagine they assumed some would starve to death, and the rest would be shoved east of the Urals into Siberia. Here again, there seems to be a distinct parallel with Israel. As they gradually steal more and more of the West Bank, there doesn’t appear to be any interest or concern about the fate of the displaced Palestinians beyond the vague assumption (hope?) that at some point they will back their bags (with whatever possessions they still have) and go somewhere else.

        In case even this analogy with the Nazis is too offensive for you, then let’s drop that and dust of their original template – the Prussian Settlement Commission set up by Bismark in Poznán (formerly Posen). This operated pre-World War 1 with the goal of increasing land ownership by ethnic Germans at the expense of Poles in historic Polish lands in the eastern part of the then German Empire.

        As his Prussian great-grandfather hailed from Posen, I was hoping MW’s very own history buff Robert Werdine would be interested in researching this institution and report back to us. Maybe he looked into it but didn’t like what he found.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 8:37 am

        Sorry Citizen, I couldn’t follow your argument there at all. I must be a bear of very little brain.

        I think a simple test would be to ask if any reputable news agency has ever used the word genocide (without a question mark) to describe the plight of the Palestinians. I understand that this is not scientific, but I can’t imagine how the application of such a word could ever be unless you were to assign a murders-per-day minimum figure in order to qualify.

        In other words, we know that there was a genocide in Armenia and in Rwanda because that’s the word that has become acceptable to use in those instances.

        Outside of sites like this, no one in the media is using the word genocide to describe Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Perhaps that will change over the next few years, but I don’t think it will. I’m glad it’s being debated in academic circles (sorry I missed your links), but that just tells you exactly what the debate is — academic.

      • libra
        July 5, 2011, 8:46 am

        GF: “There will be a negotiated two-state solution along 67 borders with a negotiated solution for Jerusalem and the Palestinian right of return.”

        Gf, if by this you mean a two state solution at the 1967 borders, then Israel could quickly agree to the Saudi-led peace proposal and achieve peace with all its neighbours.

        But unfortunately here on MW, Richard Witty has devalued the currency of such reasonable sounding statements to the point that they really mean the Palestinians agree to the status quo with only very minor adjustments.

        I apologise for associating you with Richard Witty’s cynical abuse of the English language if this is not what you meant. In which case perhaps you could provide more details on what you envisage an agreed 2-state solution looking like.

      • Chaos4700
        July 5, 2011, 9:16 am

        In other words, we know that there was a genocide in Armenia and in Rwanda because that’s the word that has become acceptable to use in those instances.

        So let me get this straight — as long as AIPAC and the rest of the Israeli propaganda machine are successful in controlling the dialog concerning you and your activities, you can kill as many Palestinian families as you want and ethnically cleanse whole swaths of the Holy Land and snark, “Palestinians? There are no Palestinians!” and through the magic of lobbying, it never becomes genocide?

        Really?

      • richb
        July 5, 2011, 9:20 am

        Israeli apologists has tried to scare American Christians into thinking there is religious liberty in Israel and if not at least its better than what would happen if the Palestinians were in charge. The reality is a the insistence of having a “Jewish” state creates the lack of religious liberty both for non-Jews and the wrong kind of Jews. If you visit the West Bank you discover the Christians and Muslims living in peace with each other like they have for centuries. On the other hand, Israel is a repressive regime keeping Christians in Bethlehem from visiting holy sites less than 10 miles away in Jerusalem. As I said Israel discriminates against the “wrong” kind of Jews. Messianic Jews are a persecuted minority within a minority. Unlike the false description given in Christian Zionist tours the vast majority of Christians in Israel are Arab and not Jewish. There are less than 10,000 Messianic Jews who mostly emigrated from the former Soviet Union. Here’s what Yad L’Achim in concert with the Israeli Interior ministry does to them:

        link to youtube.com

        A Jewish state is the antithesis of religious liberty. America which claims to be for the principles found in the First Amendment should oppose a Jewish state because of it. It needs to be replaced by a state that protects the religious rights of Jews, Christians, Muslims, atheists, everybody in a written constitution, which Israel does not have.

      • Koshiro
        July 5, 2011, 9:35 am

        “They don’t want justice.”
        You asked all 4.5 million of them? Or just a representative sample.

      • Koshiro
        July 5, 2011, 9:36 am

        “No one compares Jewish Israelis to the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide, or to Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi or Assad. It’s always Hitler and the Nazis.”
        I frequently, cheerfully and sensibly compare Israel to 19th-century colonialist regimes. That okay?

      • Koshiro
        July 5, 2011, 9:40 am

        “What excuse have I made? I deplore the occupation. I despise my Prime Minister. I call my government out on every bad decision they make.”
        Really? Compared to your several hundred, often very verbose posts defending Israel on this site, how much effort have you spent on posts ‘deploring’ your government?

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 10:05 am

        @libra

        By a negotiated two-state solution, I mean, and I’ll try to be as precise as possible here, a two-state solution that is agreed by both sides as a result of negotiation.

        It doesn’t matter what I (or you) think it will look like. The point is the solution will be achieved through negotiation. Some people on each side will be unhappy with the solution. Perhaps you are one of them. Perhaps Richard Witty is too. It won’t matter. Whatever the Israelis and the Palestinians agree to, (pay close attention now) will be exactly what they agree to.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 10:22 am

        @Koshiro

        “I frequently, cheerfully and sensibly compare Israel to 19th-century colonialist regimes. That okay?”

        Hard as it may be for you to believe, not really. The reason being, you’re just anther chap on a rather extreme website hiding behind a username.

        Just like mine, your opinion doesn’t matter at all.

        There is no consensus at all that Israel behaves like Nazis or has perpetrated a genocide, just as there is no consensus that Israel can be cheerfully compared to a 19th century colonialist regime. Sorry.

        In contrast, there seems to be a growing consensus that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians resembles (or is) Apartheid. The opinions of people like Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu carry considerable weight and are helping to change the way Israel is perceived.

        I may not entirely agree with the definition of Israel as an Apartheid state but I am not offended by the accusation as it reflects something more substantial than the whines of a few MW kooks.

        As an Israeli I take the accusation of Apartheid very seriously. I discuss it with my children and my friends and I try to formulate a plan to refute the accusation over time, not through clever wordplay or propaganda, but through action, education and a desire for change. I don’t want my children to grow up in an Apartheid state, just as I don’t want them to be part of another generation of Israelis that denies the Palestinians statehood.

        My point is like most people (including most Israelis) I am able to consider valuable but difficult criticism and reflect on how to respond. The constant barrage of Nazi-based comparisons has no currency beyond the lazy insults of some fired-up blog commenters. These comparisons serve no purpose other than to offend. They are easy to dismiss even if they are hard to ignore. But make no mistake the reason they are hard to ignore is because they achieve their goal in being hurtful, not because they are cause for self-reflection.

      • Citizen
        July 5, 2011, 10:24 am

        Sorry, GF, that you somehow ignore the url I gave you twice already discussing whether or not its a service to truth-seeking readers trying to understand the I-P world to never apply the word genocide. So, for readers here, not you, here is the article again: Top Genocide Scholars Battle Over How To Characterize Israel’s Actions

        Read more: link to forward.com
        link to forward.com

        BTW, nothing is more political than academic discussion of “holocaust” and “genocide.”

      • patm
        July 5, 2011, 10:44 am

        GuiltyFeat: “What excuse have I made? I deplore the occupation. I despise my Prime Minister.”

        Koshira, you are right to point out Guilty’s hundreds of pro-Israel posts. She is a hasbarist (propagandist) for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

        If newcomers to mondoweiss think Israel is not using hasbarists on the web, check out this article:

        “Thought-police is here: Rona Kuperboim slams Foreign Ministry’s plan to hire pro-Israel talkbackers”

        Also, check out hasbarafellowships.org

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 11:02 am

        Careful, patm, by repeating your lies you end up looking like a silly troll again.

        Please stop telling lies about me. It’s rude.

      • Taxi
        July 5, 2011, 11:21 am

        If you’re so concerned for your children’s environment and the well-being of Palestinians (doubtful), then why don’t you just pack your colonialist settler bags and go back to England where you’re from.

        This would undoubtedly fix everything for everybody.

        Only a “kook” and a half would endanger their children the way you negligent, racist guys do.

        Just go back to England and enough with your hollow moralizing – we don’t care for it it the slightest – we’ve heard enough settler violins over time and it irritates the ear not soothes it.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 11:21 am

        @Citizen

        OK I’m all caught up now. Your links both went to the same article in the Forward, but I skipped ahead also and read Martin Shaw’s response to the article in their letters section.

        I’m not trying to be argumentative here, but I have to say that this article tends to prove my point rather than yours. It tells a lone story of a single exchange where one academic proposes extending the definition of the word “genocide” to include Israel’s treatment of the the Arab population of Mandate Palestine in 1948. The counter argument is that such an extension would have to include a number of other instances and that his would devalue the word entirely.

        Shaw is not presenting new facts and no one is suggesting that the things he writes about didn’t happen. He is making a purely semantic argument to include Israel alongside Albania, America, Australia and many more as a perpetrator of genocide. I don’t have any particular problem with his argument, but there’s nothing in your link to suggest this is being debated more widely among genocide scholars. Shaw is perfectly free to hold whatever opinion he wants. It doesn’t appear to carry much weight either way which was my earlier point.

        Let’s also be clear that the debate is over whether or not Israel committed genocide in 1948. I didn’t find anything to suggest that Shaw has even considered the term with regards to Gaza or Cast Lead. He is purely concerned with Israel’s action in 1948.

        All in all not a very convincing argument from you, I’m afraid.

      • Koshiro
        July 5, 2011, 11:24 am

        @ GuiltyFeat
        “Hard as it may be for you to believe, not really. The reason being”…
        … aaaand there we go with the ad hominem. Not even a pretense of having actual arguments. Nice going.

        “My point is like most people (including most Israelis) I am able to consider valuable but difficult criticism and reflect on how to respond.”
        Most people may be. People who discount criticism because the person bringing it forward is not important enough in their eyes quite evidently aren’t.

        Above, you have provided a textbook example of evading actual criticism. And then you talk about:
        “I try to formulate a plan to refute the accusation over time, not through clever wordplay or propaganda, but through action, education and a desire for change.”
        Well, at least it was good for a laugh.

      • patm
        July 5, 2011, 11:34 am

        Now, now, guilty sweetie, don’t get your knickers in a twist.

        Remember, mondo newcomers can look through my comments and through your comments and determine for themselves who the troll is.

      • Sumud
        July 5, 2011, 12:01 pm

        Just five years ago to suggest Israel was an apartheid state was greeted with incredulity, and now it is an idea that has entered the mainstream.

        Maybe you should stop dismissing the Nazi-comparisons and delve a little deeper GF. It is more than lazy insults.

        After the racist rabbis issued their edict forbidding renting property to non-jews Jewish Journal published an anti-BDS opinion piece acknowledging that the rabbi’s ruling reminded many jews of the Nuremberg laws:

        When prominent Israeli rabbis announce that Jewish law prohibits renting apartments or homes to Arabs within Israel, we don’t need our enemies to proclaim that Zionism is racism; we have rabbinical rulings endorsing a racial policy that reminds many Jews of German policy toward the Jews in the pre-exterminationist years.
        How best to support an imperfect Israel

        When even your best friends (ie. American jews) make the comparison maybe it’s time to start listening. Rallies in Jerusalem with mobs screaming “kill the arabs” and surveys of Israeli jewish school children where 20% think “death to arabs” is acceptable (45% among religious students) sets off alarm bells, believe me.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 12:02 pm

        Koshiro, I’m not evading the criticism of Apartheid, I’m accepting that it has a solid foundation in reality and trying to change that reality.

        Koshiro, sweetie, I’m sorry if you felt I was attacking you personally. I tried to include myself in the long list of people whose opinions count for naught.

        So apologies if you misread my tone. I have learned to be fairly thick-skinned on here between people telling me to just “go home” in the exact tone they used to say it to me on the streets of London and others repeating the same lies about me over and again ad nauseam.

        It doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it did when I first posted here.

      • lysias
        July 5, 2011, 12:33 pm

        The Turks continue to deny that what they did to the Armenians was genocide. Their apologists agree, and so, for a while, did the Israelis and their apologists. (In fact, now that Turkish-Israeli relations seem to have started to warm up again, I wonder if those Israelis and apologists will resume their denials.)

        Israeli denial of their own at least ethnic cleansing has about as much value.

      • libra
        July 5, 2011, 12:51 pm

        @GF

        GF, thank you for answering my question on a negotiated two-state solution. The new post on Akiva Eldar urgently needs the benefit of your insight in how negotiation really works.

      • pjdude
        July 5, 2011, 2:27 pm

        as Goebbels said everyone wants peace the only question is the terms.

      • pjdude
        July 5, 2011, 2:29 pm

        Israel should not be secure. oppressors should never be left secure to oppress.

      • Koshiro
        July 5, 2011, 5:45 pm

        @ GF
        “Koshiro, I’m not evading the criticism of Apartheid”
        You have just evaded criticism that compares Israeli policy to colonialism (no, that’s too soft… it is colonialism) by proclaiming yours truly to be insufficiently important to warrant an answer.

        “Koshiro, sweetie,”
        I’d appreciate it if you could stop coming on to me. I’m in a somewhat committed relationship for now and I doubt you’re my type anyway. Especially with me being straight and all. (patm’s speculation on your gender was vehemently denied by you, right?)

        “So apologies if you misread my tone.”
        Your tone is of secondary relevance. Your messages are important. And to me, you’re strongly sending the message of going through the motions of being ‘liberal’ while being comfortably entrenched in the colonialist mindset. You seem to be in the same class as Richard Witty. Only that you are at level 3 and he is at level 22 or so. (If post counts were equivalent to experience points, that is.)

      • Chaos4700
        July 5, 2011, 8:47 pm

        GuiltyFeat you are a BRITISH citizen who MOVED TO ISRAEL. You are the VERY DEFINITION of a colonist!

        Good. God.

      • Citizen
        July 6, 2011, 11:21 am

        GF, you are mischaracterizing the article’s reach; it give a few examples illustrating the split in two camps of holocaust/genocide scholars, referred to as the strict versus liberal application of those terms, “holocaust” and “genocide,” focusing more on the latter characterization term. And this differing POV obviously is mirrored in the mainstream versus alternate press–no use or refusal to use those terms is more politically weighted, although the term “apartheid” springs to mind as a contender of some weight.

      • RobertB
        July 7, 2011, 1:00 am

        GF…no need for the pale diversion attempts…the flotilla(s) passengers are helping expose Israel’s Nazi ways/treatment of the Palestinians.

        For the Palestinians…everyday is a holocaust under Israel’s brutal & oppressive occupation. For the people of Gaza…its even worse!!!

        NO WORDS NEEDED…WHEN PICTURES CAN SAY IT ALL…!!!

        Click on link below to view the similarities & click on pictures for larger image size…if desired:

        ~~~~~

        “The Israeli government repeatedly denies that its treatment of the Palestinians is anything like the treatment suffered by Jews under the Nazi regime. But the Nazis too denied that they were engaging in genocide and war crimes. ”

        link to sott.net

      • Citizen
        July 7, 2011, 6:41 am

        Robert B, in defense of GuiltyFeat, I don’t think I saw any swastika arm bands on those pics of Palestinians being oppressed by the Israelis. GF’s not only Popeye (He is what he yiz, & that’s all that he yiz), but also a strict constructionist when it comes to application of terms like “genocide.”

    • Ellen
      July 4, 2011, 11:46 am

      So the Zionist enterprise has hijacked Greece.

      This has been years in the making. Greece (or rather its leaders) is the same un-hinged country that backed and supported Milosovic and the Serbian aggressions against it’s neighbors on the Yugoslavian breakup.

      link to amazon.com

      Israel has lost Turkey as a supportive partner, and not only because Israel murdered Turkish citizens. But it now has Greece and Bulgaria on its side….and of course the USA.

      Here’s to hoping that Israel gets over it’s ethno-nationalism. We know where that always ends. And Israel will have no one other that itself to blame.

  2. annie
    July 3, 2011, 11:48 am

    some people might think this is ‘over’, it is not. the media teams are going at full swing and the movement is asking us to make calls to drop all charges against Captain John Klusmire who is sitting in jail right now:

    Contact your members of Congress and urge him or her to pressure the Greek authorities to drop the charges against Captain Klusmire

    Contact the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Greece. Insist that they fulfill their duty to advocate on behalf of Captain Klusmire and that they demand the release of the U.S. boat by Greece so it can freely sail to Gaza.
    Sect. of State Hillary Clinton: 202-647-5291
    Kim Richter, Consular Affairs, Overseas American Citizens Services, U.S. State Dept: 202-647-8308
    Greek Desk, U.S. State Dept: 202-647-6113
    U.S. Embassy in Athens: 011-30-210-721-2951, fax 011-30-210-645-6282, website: athens.usembassy.gov

    John is the brother of a good friend of mine.

    • seafoid
      July 3, 2011, 12:10 pm

      Of course it ain’t over. It’s as if God is revealing the true face of Zionism to the US.

      • Citizen
        July 4, 2011, 5:03 am

        Yep, some nasty golem, eh?

  3. tombishop
    July 3, 2011, 12:00 pm

    According to Agence France-Presse the captain of the U.S. boat is being held in harsh conditions. The U.S. embassy has been unresponsive. See:
    link to rawstory.com

  4. Richard Witty
    July 3, 2011, 12:11 pm

    Turkey conducted a preliminary investigation of the allegation of sabotage of the boat that was docked in Turkey, and declared that the boat was definitely NOT sabotaged in Turkish waters, and that the inspection of the damage likely did NOT result from sabotage.

    per Haaretz July 2.

    I doubt that they will fast for very long. I don’t see any path for this flotilla to succeed in fact.

    If they reach sea, the boats will then be minorly sabotaged and towed to port in Israel, where participants will be detained, the letters will be delivered.

    That the flotilla did not mention Hamas in its targets for dissent, only Israel, is the disaster.

    The blockade of Gaza is entirely dependant on Hamas’ policies and behavior. If it changed its policies and behavior, permanently, not just as a temporary tactic, especially if authority over Gaza were in the hands of the democratically elected PA, in a peace treaty with Israel, then it would be done.

    “We will NEVER recognize Israel”.

    ‘not a square mile’ (I don’t have a quote.)

    • Taxi
      July 3, 2011, 12:53 pm

      Poor israel, it’s white euro hands are always squeaky clean, always were and always will be – so just leave israel alone!

      • kalithea
        July 3, 2011, 9:51 pm

        ” if authority over Gaza were in the hands of the democratically elected PA”

        Where do you get off spreading this lie?

        Only Hamas was democratically elected by the majority of Palestinians.
        Only Hamas was democratically elected by the majority of Palestinians.
        Only Hamas was democratically elected by the majority of Palestinians.

        Has it sunk in yet? Never mind that it’s the truth!

      • sandy
        July 4, 2011, 10:45 am

        “Only Hamas was democratically elected by the majority of Palestinians.”

        And once it was in power, it abolished democracy and stayed in power as an authoritarian clerical regime even after it’s legislative term expired.

        So it’s definitively not a democratically elected government ANYMORE.

        Has THAT sunk in yet?

      • annie
        July 4, 2011, 1:08 pm

        And once it was in power, it abolished democracy and stayed in power

        it abolished democracy? would that have been before or after israel kidnapped their elected legislators?

      • Chaos4700
        July 4, 2011, 2:29 pm

        And once it was in power, it abolished democracy and stayed in power as an authoritarian clerical regime even after it’s legislative term expired.

        Lies. And then the truth.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 11:35 am

        Not sure what truth that link was supposed to prove.

        Do you have any inside knowledge of when Hamas intends to call an election?

        Do you even have any idea whether Hamas intends to call an election?

      • Chaos4700
        July 5, 2011, 8:49 pm

        Kind of hard when you and your nation of militant hoodlums are deliberately defunding the Palestinians whenever they talk about unity governance, GuiltyFeat. You know, maybe you left the UK before they taught you the whole democracy thing? But it elections require unity authorities across citizenship, and they also cost money.

        It’s not Hamas that are preventing Palestinian elections, it’s you. You and your mafia nation.

    • Mndwss
      July 3, 2011, 1:03 pm

      “The blockade of Gaza is entirely dependant on Hamas’ policies and behavior.”

      Obey orders from israel or die.

      • Citizen
        July 4, 2011, 5:05 am

        Witty will hold his nose and look the other way. Wait, he’s already doing that…

      • Donald
        July 4, 2011, 8:43 am

        ““The blockade of Gaza is entirely dependant on Hamas’ policies and behavior.””–RW

        “Obey orders from israel or die.”–Mndwss

        Yep. Richard operates on the assumption that Israel can commit any act of cruelty it wants to and he will blame Hamas for it. That word “entirely” shows you how he thinks.

    • Red
      July 3, 2011, 1:28 pm

      Richard, the flotilla has ALREADY SUCCEEDED! As Huwaida Arraf pointed out in the video interview that Phil and Adam posted up, the primary purpose of ALL the flotilla’s has been political not humanitarian, although they carry humanitarian aid. The primary purpose of the flotilla’s is to shine a spotlight on Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza and its human rights abuses and the current flotilla has succeeded brilliantly at doing this. It is totally irrelevant at this stage whether the flotilla actually sails or not because the political goal of the flotilla is being achieved even with the ships sitting in port in Greece. Israel’s “strategy” of trying intimidate and sabotage has resulted in wide media coverage of the flotilla and its goals. The majority of the coverage internationally has been positive and has focused on Israel’s bully tactics and on Israel’s blockade and human rights abuses. This has been pointed out by a range of Israeli and non-Israeli journalists, including Amira Hass, Larry Defner and Joseph Dana and others. Israel may have won the “battle” but it is fighting a losing “war” on many fronts, including the PR front and the boycott front.

      And the blockade is NOT totally dependent on Hamas policies and behaviour. This is an excuse made by Israeli and its apologists such as yourself. Israel has held Gaza under seige since 1967 and a blockade of Gaza was already effectively in place long before Hamas won th 2006 elections.

      As for whether Hamas has recognised Israel or not. It has recognised that Israel “exists”, it just does not recognise its “right” to exist – a big difference.

      Recognising Israel’s “right” to exist means recognising that Israel had the “right” to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people, to steal their land and the “right” to destroy Palestinian society. (see: link to csmonitor.com ) No Palestinian worth their salt, whether Hamas or not, will accept this. It also means, as Joseph Massad points out, recognising Israel’s “right” to be racist. (see: link to weekly.ahram.org.eg )

      • Citizen
        July 3, 2011, 11:42 pm

        Witty’s hilarious: “Imperial Japan has a right to exist & self govern.” Ditto 3rd Reich. Stalinist Russia. Apartheid S Africa. Confederate States.

        Here’s a couple of reasons why the Irish do not love Israel:
        link to theatlantic.com

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 4, 2011, 5:00 am

        Looks like the Irish have major problems with prejudice across the board.

        One out of five people in Ireland would not want Israelis to be given Irish citizenship which may seem like a lot, but two out of five wouldn’t accept a gay person in their family so it puts the whole thing in perspective.

        One in three would deny citizenship to drug addicts. link to irishtimes.com

        I don’t think Israel is Ireland’s biggest concern right now.

      • Citizen
        July 4, 2011, 5:39 am

        Yeah, GF, the Irish should give equal opportunity to the non-Irish in there midst regardless of gender or sexual preference, like the Jewish Israelis do–white phosphorous, or house demolishment, take your pick!
        And the Irish should institute their own ROR–but only for Irish in the diaspora from families who have not lived in Ireland since the snakes were kicked out.

      • Taxi
        July 4, 2011, 5:41 am

        At least the Irish ARE NOT OCCUPIERS committing war crimes and crimes against humanity on a daily basis like isrealis are.

        I’d rather be stuck in an elevator with an Irish citizen than an israeli – AND I’d rather have a beer with an Irish citizen too!

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 4, 2011, 6:08 am

        “I’d rather be stuck in an elevator with an Irish citizen than an israeli”

        What an odd fantasy. What about someone with both Irish and Israeli citizenship? Would that cause some kind of aneurysm?

      • Shingo
        July 4, 2011, 6:22 am

        Looks like the Irish have major problems with prejudice across the board.

        As opposed to one in two Israelis.

        One out of five people in Ireland would not want Israelis to be given Irish citizenship which may seem like a lot, but two out of five wouldn’t accept a gay person in their family so it puts the whole thing in perspective.

        More that half of Israelis believe that democracy is tyrrany of the majority. What perspective does that put the while thing in?

      • libra
        July 4, 2011, 9:32 am

        “I’d rather be stuck in an elevator with an Irish citizen than an israeli”

        GF, I couldn’t agree with you more on this one. Whenever I land in a new city and want a good time I always head straight to the nearest Israeli pub.

      • Ellen
        July 4, 2011, 11:10 am

        We know GF has a major problem with the Irish.

        Those statistics you spout are probably no different that what would be found in Great Britain, the US, Canada and most all countries in Europe.

        What percentage of Israeli citizens want to give a Irish person citizenship?

        Other than Israel does not concern itself with Ireland, what is your point?

      • Chaos4700
        July 4, 2011, 11:53 am

        I think what Dubai showed us, GF, is that someone with an Israeli passport and a European passport is really just an Israeli agent.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 4, 2011, 4:17 pm

        “We know GF has a major problem with the Irish.”

        Er… hardly.

        I didn’t “spout” any statistics, you silly billy. I linked to an article in the Irish Times which was presenting some of the findings in a report entitled Pluralism and Diversity in Ireland, compiled by Father Micheál Mac Gréil.

        I spent large parts of my childhood in Ireland and have visited many times on business since moving to Israel. As I’m sure you know, Dublin has a rich Jewish history and I have always been welcomed there as a Jew and as an Israeli.

      • Chaos4700
        July 5, 2011, 1:50 am

        You don’t even identify yourself as British anymore, do you?

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 8:56 am

        Not when I’m in Ireland I don’t! Experience has shown I get a better reception over there coming from Tel Aviv than coming from London.

        Chaos, sweetie, I know you like to harp on about this whole nationality issue, but I simply don’t understand why it’s a big deal.

        I was born and grew up in London, so I’m English… and British. I was issued a British passport when I was young so I could travel abroad. My parents do not have British passports despite living in London for over 40 years.

        When I was 26 I emigrated to Israel and took up citizenship. Israel has an agreement with many other countries which allows immigrants to hold dual citizenship. This is not unusual. Many countries have similar agreements. You can have a British and an American passport, for example.

        The only country I have discovered so far where it is a criminal offence to exercise citizenship of another country is Saudi Arabia.

        You can read more about it here: link to en.wikipedia.org

        As for me, I consider myself Israeli, although my Israeli friends consider me British. I support the Israeli Football team but the English Cricket team. After 15 years in Israel, the only things I still buy in the UK are teabags and underwear.

        If I had to choose between my two passports, I would surrender my British one without a second thought. Given the convenience of having both, I see no reason to give either up. I have also arranged for my children to have British passports as well as Israeli ones. I see nothing unusual or disloyal to either country in doing exactly as the law allows. I still don’t understand why you do.

      • Philip Weiss
        July 5, 2011, 9:35 am

        what do you think your kids would do with those passports?

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 9:57 am

        Whatever they want. Isn’t that what all parents hope for their kids?

        What will your kids do with their passports?

        Phil, I know there’s a point you’re trying to make in there somewhere, but you’re going to have to be more explicit.

      • eljay
        July 5, 2011, 10:14 am

        FWIW, I disapprove of the on-going personal attacks against GuiltyFeat. Even though I can’t say I agree with a good part of what he says, he is by far the most reasonable-sounding “pro-Zionist” (for lack of a better term) on this site.

        He puts an immoral hypocrite like RW and his more violent and hateful co-collectivist, eee, to shame.

        Just my 2¢… :-)

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 11:30 am

        ““pro-Zionist” (for lack of a better term)”

        I think the correct term would be simply “Zionist”. I am a Zionist.

        I know that for some people here that’s akin to me saying “I am a pedophile”, but as well as trying to live by the tenets of Judaism, I’m also a big believer in the words of the sailor/prophet Popeye – “I yam what I yam… ugg ugg ugg”

      • eljay
        July 5, 2011, 11:57 am

        >> eljay: “pro-Zionist” (for lack of a better term)
        >> GF: I think the correct term would be simply “Zionist”.

        I should have said “pro-Zionism”. Regardless, I stand corrected.
        :-)

      • Donald
        July 5, 2011, 12:20 pm

        “FWIW, I disapprove of the on-going personal attacks against GuiltyFeat. Even though I can’t say I agree with a good part of what he says, he is by far the most reasonable-sounding “pro-Zionist” (for lack of a better term) on this site.”

        I agree with this. I sometimes get mad about some of what GF writes (I’m remembering an example now), but there is a commitment to being reasonable in him (or her? I’m confused on the gender) that is largely lacking in RW.

        We should make a distinction between people who are dishonest and people who aren’t. I could imagine the Palestinians reaching a reasonable peace agreement with a government full of GuiltyFeats.

        On the genocide issue, I’ve seen legal arguments that the word “genocide” applies to what Israel does, but the popular, common understanding of the term involves the mass slaughter of a big fraction of a given ethnic group and Israel hasn’t done that. Whether they might do so in the future I couldn’t say. They have supported other governments that did it, such as Guatemala in the 80’s, as did the US, which is why the pretense that the US and Israel are “civilized” countries that don’t support terrorism is such a sick joke. Phrases like “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid” and “Jim Crow” fit the popular understanding when applied to Israel. And then it’s the Israel defenders who usually resort to nitpicking legalistic distinctions in order to avoid the comparison.

      • eljay
        July 5, 2011, 12:36 pm

        >> I could imagine the Palestinians reaching a reasonable peace agreement with a government full of GuiltyFeats.

        Ditto.

        Re. GF’s gender: I noticed after I posted my first comment that, in other threads, GF is referred to as ‘she’. If she is indeed a she, I apologize for my error.

        >> On the genocide issue, I’ve seen legal arguments that the word “genocide” applies to what Israel does, but the popular, common understanding of the term involves the mass slaughter of a big fraction of a given ethnic group and Israel hasn’t done that.

        That’s how I see it. Ethnic cleansing – yes. Apartheid – yes. Occupation, theft, colonization, wanton destruction, etc. – yes. Genocide, in the “generally-accepted” sense – no.

        >> Whether they might do so in the future I couldn’t say.

        To paraphrase the immoral “humanist”, RW: I cannot consistently say that “genocide is never necessary”.

        >> And then it’s the Israel defenders who usually resort to nitpicking legalistic distinctions in order to avoid the comparison.

        I understand the nitpicking to the extent that it’s utterly unnecessary to accuse Israel of more than it’s already doing. It’s not as though ethnic cleansing, apartheid and collective punishment don’t merit enough condemnation! Accusations of “genocide” just muddy the waters and add nothing to the arguments against Israel.

        (Similarly: The U.S. is guilty of tremendous crimes in this century alone – invasion, occupation, mass destruction, murder, torture, etc. – but I don’t see the point of accusing the U.S. of genocide when discussing its recent, current and on-going criminal track record.)

        Again, just my 2¢… :-)

      • Shmuel
        July 5, 2011, 12:48 pm

        I agree that the personal attacks should stop, but I disagree that GF is particularly reasonable or honest. He strikes a reasonable pose, conceding Israel’s ‘imperfections’, which he claims to abhor and combat, but always seems to find a way of dismissing criticism or action aimed at highlighting the very things he claims to abhor. I see dishonesty, sneakiness and a kind of tactical reasonableness in Israel’s defence. Give me a Wondering Jew, any day.

        Oh, and he is a he. Whether calling him a her was a genuine mistake or a misogynistic attempt to belittle him, please stop.

      • libra
        July 5, 2011, 1:26 pm

        @ Schmuel

        I share your doubts Schmuel. Unlike RW, GF has complete mastery of the English language so there is no question of interpreting what he says. In addition, as he lives in Israel he has a genuine stake in its future.

        However they have significant similarities. Both from time to time will say they criticise Israel’s behaviour but both are remarkably opaque on what actions Israel should take as opposed to the Palestinians to secure a peace settlement. When pushed to provide positive ideas or details on the future of Israel, both (and especially GF) hide behind “negotiations”.

        That said, I believe MW would be all the poorer without both their contributions.

      • MRW
        July 5, 2011, 1:40 pm

        The only country I have discovered so far where it is a criminal offence to exercise citizenship of another country is Saudi Arabia.

        It was the same here in the US until the last 15-20 years or so: you had to make a choice; you could not be a citizen of two countries. Except for Israel.

      • MRW
        July 5, 2011, 1:48 pm

        What about someone with both Irish and Israeli citizenship?

        The Irish person has to prove citizenship going back two generations. In other words, it would be an Irish Jew who went to Israel and got a passport. Not the other way around. And once you’re Irish, you’re always Irish. Irish Jews don’t ghettoize themselves like Elliot Abrams and his ilk, or view their ‘host country’ as something to milk and bilk as a separate nation within a nation.

      • Shmuel
        July 5, 2011, 1:51 pm

        libra,

        Something else that bugs me about GF’s apparent reasonableness is that it is flexible: one day the apartheid label is categorically rejected – the next (when the alternative is “genocide” – indeed a debated and debatable term), there might be something to it; one day the flotilla is categorically trashed – the next, it is “in danger of turning from something meaningful into something a little bit silly”.

      • lysias
        July 5, 2011, 2:04 pm

        When Ireland got independence, it gave equal rights to Protestants in Ireland. (A lot of them nevertheless left, since they felt unwelcome, and since they didn’t like to have to adjust to a situation where the Catholic Church was dominant, and where they were no longer a privileged caste with political power, but many remained, and even today they have a lot of the wealth of the country.)

        Despite the fanaticism of some of my Sinn Fein-leaning relatives, Ireland did not indulge in revenge.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 2:40 pm

        Shmuel and others.

        If I seem to flip flop it’s only because I’m flippy floppy.

        To be clear. When I first arrived here nine months ago I would have utterly rejected the term Apartheid out of hand. I have been presented with too much evidence to continue along that path.

        Currently I cautiously reject the term as I believe the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians is more complex than it was between white South Africans and the Black majority. Nevertheless, there are enough indicators that I am forced to carefully consider my part as a Jewish Israeli in the institutionalized racism that exists in parts of Israeli society. I don’t believe Israel is an Apartheid state, but I do believe we need to examine the reasons others think it is very carefully.

        My objection to the flotilla has been constant. It was an act of provocation not aid. It was designed to annoy Israel, not bring aid to the Palestinians. As the launch date arrived much of what I said was repeated by supporters of the flotilla.

        When I described the flotilla as “something meaningful” it was begrudgingly tongue in cheek. I think the flotilla achieved more than I anticipated in grabbing the world’s attention. I meant what I said when I wrote earlier that the failed flotilla was the best of all worlds as it avoided bloodshed while garnering headlines. If I was on the side of the flotilla supporters I would have ordered everyone to fly home immediately and talk to their local news outlets about how disappointed they were not to be able to deliver their letters. I think that would have been more effective than making unprovable (however probable) claims about Israeli saboteurs and announcing each day that the flotilla was still leaving… and then not. But who wants to listen to me?

        Furthermore, at the risk of sounding like Christopher Hitchens, I continue to find it disappointing that the supporters of the flotilla, like many of the supporters of the BDS movement continue to be silent on the subject of Hamas.

        Nevertheless, I remain opposed to the siege of Gaza and welcome constructive (rather than provocative) means for drawing the world’s attention to it and pushing Israel into ending it.

        As much as I oppose Hamas and reject the elements within the party that feed on hatred and death, I recognize that any successful negotiations will probably include them in some form.

        In summary, if I come across as conflicted, it’s only because I am.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 2:47 pm

        And finally despite patm’s repeated falsehoods and attempts at giving offence, I am a bloke. I have stated before, that I have no problem with being mistaken for a woman, but patm’s repetition is based on trying to prove me a liar for “claiming” to be a man. I am not a liar. She is.

        Furthermore, while some middle-aged men might be flattered that a 70 year-old woman took the time to track down their real name and follow them on Twitter, I believe it falls just the wrong side of stalking and so I blocked her. Sorry, patm, go follow someone else.

      • GuiltyFeat
        July 5, 2011, 2:55 pm

        @MRW

        “The Irish person has to prove citizenship going back two generations. In other words, it would be an Irish Jew who went to Israel and got a passport. Not the other way around.”

        Or, by your own logic, the son or grandson of an Irish citizen living in Israel who wanted to take up Irish citizenship. So it’s perfectly possible for a second generation Israeli to get an Irish passport.

      • Shmuel
        July 5, 2011, 6:18 pm

        In summary, if I come across as conflicted, it’s only because I am.

        That’s the thing. You don’t.

      • patm
        July 5, 2011, 6:27 pm

        guilty is a Web2 evangelist.

        link to bnet.com

      • alec
        July 7, 2011, 8:49 am

        The Irish hate the English on good historical grounds.

        Not surprised that when you come from Tel Aviv you get a better reception. The Israeli repression of the Palestinians has caused a lot of Irish to reevaluate their thoughts on Israel. Israelis and English are slowly being confounded in the Irish psyche.

        Touchdown Israel, touchdown GuiltyFeat.

      • Citizen
        July 7, 2011, 9:28 am

        Heh. Although my largest ethnic heritage is Irish, my parental home never did include those old American newspaper cartoons showing the Irish as not-white and as drunken violent baboons. Not even the ones showing “Irish need not apply” signs, etc. And I never saw Swift’s Modest Proposal until I had long left the home. Of course now, thanks to my own curious research I can understand easily why the Israelis and English are slowly being confunded in the Irish psyche. I notice on the Comedy Channel’s endless supply of stand-up comedians the Irish are always summed up as chatty/blarney drunks, and lately, the Catholics are summed up as pedophiles by comedians and satirists all over the boob tube. OTOH, there is River Dance, but it’s usually not run complete with the historic reason why the Irish dance without moving their upper bodies.

      • Taxi
        July 7, 2011, 9:38 am

        Do tell Citizen – why do the Irish dance without moving their upper bodies?

      • Citizen
        July 7, 2011, 10:22 am

        The explanation I was thinking of stems from the British occupation of Ireland during the 18th century when many Irish customs were oppressed. Once captive the Irish were locked in a room where the door was only open at its upper half hinge to allow soldiers to view their captives. To keep themselves occupied despite their oppression, Irishmen and Irishwomen would dance from the waist down appearing that they have not moved at all. Similarly it was also true that English troops would walk along the hedges by Irish homes, casting their security eyes at the windows of the Irish cottages. The hedges and windows were often at the same level, waist level. The Irish inside could be dancing and celebrating their culture otherwise, which was forbidden, but the guard didn’t see it or hear it from his position. Other explanations suggest poverty, that is, they were so poor they had to take down a door to get a place to dance & this limited movement. Another is that touching someone could lead to gossip of sexual suggestions, of things prohibited by the Catholic Church. Today, the consensus is that the stiff upper body is in honour of the oppression of the Irish culture, in language, dance and song.

      • Philip Weiss
        July 7, 2011, 10:40 am

        thanks for that one, citizen. interesting and inspired

      • Citizen
        July 7, 2011, 10:47 am

        Yes, River Dance (ing) is an inspiring show. Celtic Thunder is too for some folks. I think that’s the name of that show… The history of the Irish Race, as it used to be called, e.g., by Seumas MacManus, actually is instructive in many ways still contemporary.

      • Kris
        July 4, 2011, 11:45 am

        Thanks for the link to Dr. Joseph Massad’s article, “Israel’s Right to Be Racist,” link to weekly.ahram.org.eg It’s a great article; here’s an excerpt:

        “Israel is willing to do anything to convince Palestinians and other Arabs of why it needs and deserves to have the right to be racist. Even at the level of theory, and before it began to realise itself on the ground, the Zionist colonial project sought different means by which it could convince the people whose lands it wanted to steal and against whom it wanted to discriminate to accept as understandable its need to be racist. All it required was that the Palestinians “recognise its right to exist” as a racist state. Military methods were by no means the only persuasive tools available; there were others, including economic and cultural incentives. Zionism from the start offered some Palestinians financial benefits if they would accede to its demand that it should have the right to be racist. Indeed, the State of Israel still does. Many Palestinian officials in the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organisation have been offered and have accepted numerous financial incentives to recognise this crucial Israeli need. Those among the Palestinians who regrettably continue to resist are being penalised for their intransigence by economic choking and starvation, supplemented by regular bombardment and raids, as well as international isolation. These persuasive methods, Israel hopes, will finally convince a recalcitrant population to recognise the dire need of Israel to be a racist state. After all, Israeli racism only manifests in its flag, its national anthem, and a bunch of laws that are necessary to safeguard Jewish privilege, including the Law of Return (1950), the Law of Absentee Property (1950), the Law of the State’s Property (1951), the Law of Citizenship (1952), the Status Law (1952), the Israel Lands Administration Law (1960), the Construction and Building Law (1965), and the 2002 temporary law banning marriage between Israelis and Palestinians of the occupied territories. ”

        Here’s a link to another great article by Dr. Massad, “The Rights of Israel,” explaining why Israel does not have a “right to exist:”

        link to english.aljazeera.net

      • MHughes976
        July 4, 2011, 5:00 pm

        It was always part of the Zionist programme, going all the way back to Altneuland, to be generous. This was not – absolutely not!! – rapacious colonialism but a plan for everyone’s benefit. Many Palestinians could live in Palestine, and indeed have a share, a genuine and substantial share, in the economic development that was expected, so long as they would show the gratitude that true generosity deserves and accept that it is Jewish people who are there by right as natural heirs, others there only by the true heirs’ grace. No complete ethnic cleansing – that would be horrible, unthinkable among the enlightened. However, permanent minority status for Palestinians would be only reasonable. If some – all right, most – had to leave this should be accepted quietly and compensation could be discussed, though again it would seem only reasonable for the rich Arabs to help their cousins – anything else would be mean on their part.
        Plans where everyone is supposed to be a winner are often rather outrageous.

      • lysias
        July 5, 2011, 2:06 pm

        Nevertheless, they went ballistic when the UN General Assembly voted that Zionism is racism, something that seems to me to be clearly true.

    • pineywoodslim
      July 3, 2011, 1:34 pm

      Witty, how do Israel’s political issues with Hamas justify illegal collective punishment of the Gaza population?

      Do you agree that because Hamas does not recognize Israel, it is ok for Israel to engage in such punishment?

      Since you portray yourself as a religious person, what principles of whatever religion you practice permit such action?

      • mig
        July 3, 2011, 1:52 pm

        Just for a clearance Dick, tell us again, under what international law hamas MUST recognize Israel. Because there is no demand in international law to recognize any state.

    • Chaos4700
      July 3, 2011, 1:43 pm

      You know, Nuremberg Trials 2.0 really can’t come soon enough for me.

    • Shingo
      July 3, 2011, 4:28 pm

      ‘not a square mile’ (I don’t have a quote.)

      As is always the case with you. interesting that you used a smiley Witty. Are you feeling happy at not having to go into hiding like you dud last time?

    • dgs
      July 3, 2011, 6:05 pm

      Turkey conducted a preliminary investigation of the allegation of sabotage of the boat that was docked in Turkey, and declared that the boat was definitely NOT sabotaged in Turkish waters, and that the inspection of the damage likely did NOT result from sabotage.//per Haaretz July 2.

      Richard Witty spots incontrovertible truth in Turkish Flotilla sabotage investigation! There are many reasons that the Turkish report would say these things, not least because concluding that the boat had been sabotaged in Turkish waters could imply a breach of Turkish sovereignty, for which most fingers would point at Israel; I would expect there would be significant pressure, both domestic and international, to avoid that. It also does not seem far fetched to believe that the additional suggestion in the report that the damage may not even have been the result of sabotage–the fact that the damage done to one of the other boats in Greece was virtually identical makes it pretty hard to think that it arose out of general wear an tear, and I presume no-one is going as far as to suggest that the Flotilla participants did it themselves for some kind of gain?!–is also part of whatever deal has been done. The US, Israel (and others) have had a year now to work out the best way to neutralise Turkish government support for Flotilla type initiatives and they seem to have been fairly successful).

      If they reach sea, the boats will then be minorly sabotaged and towed to port in Israel, where participants will be detained, the letters will be delivered.

      Its all about the letters Richard! I wonder if they would read them first and release a sprinkling of selected and possibly invented quotes to show the world the true nature of Flotilla participants and supporters?!

      That the flotilla did not mention Hamas in its targets for dissent, only Israel, is the disaster.

      Are you trying to suggest that if the flotilla had targeted Hamas as well as Israel that it would not have been resisted to the same extent? Mostly ignored by the mainstream media to the same extent? That you might have been here lamenting the fact that the US Flotilla has been so effectively blocked, rather than writing the startlingly disingenuous comment that you have? I would think that anyone familiar with your postings on this site would find that incredibly hard to believe, and I don’t think for one minute that you really believe what you have written.

      The blockade of Gaza is entirely dependant on Hamas’ policies and behavior.

      This may or may not be the case, but it is an irrelevance. The blockade is collective punishment (of mostly minors as it happens)–There has been enough revelations by now for the UN, ICRC and many other bodies (Israeli and international) to be satisfied of this–and therefore illegal under international laws to which Israel is (supposedly) bound; it is therefore Israel’s responsibility to end it regardless.

      It is often convenient to forget that the blockade of Gaza started a good deal before the election of Hamas (though it became considerably more severe after that). It has also clearly strengthened Hamas, and so if the aim really is to weaken them, as has often been claimed, then the policy has so far been self defeating. (I actually think the aim has been more at further radicalization, to try to guarantee a next generation of Palestinians can be more effectively dehumanized, allowing Israel a freer hand in planning and implementing whatever in her view the end game must be–Further mass expulsions? Israel’s supporters in the West are also of course right at the forefront of efforts to dehumanize Muslims/Arabs in general, which fits in nicely with this as things conflate; and I guess this is likely too an unstated Western interest as otherwise things might just get too expensive on planet earth one day.

      If it changed its policies and behavior, permanently, not just as a temporary tactic,

      You know as well as anyone that politics (publicly at least) deals mostly with the short to medium term and is fundamentally about power: if Israel was interested in peace–I suggest that currently it has no reason to be (as not having peace continues to be a boon for her expansionism) and is not–there would be a REAL peace process right now; proposals such as Hamas’s numerous offers of a 10 year hudna/ceasefire–10 years is a long time in politics–in return for an end to the blockade and a withdrawal to something as close as possible to the 1967 lines (which pretty well go straight down the memory whole in the west, if they even get as far as needing to) would be taken seriously; given that Palestinians are *human and what Zionism/Israel has subjected them to over the last century, the need for magnanimity–that seems like your kind of word!–in the face of the occaisional but inevitable breaches to any accepted agreement that would occur would be fully appreciated; as would be what the impact on Palestinian society of Israel holding to its side of such a deal and acting in good faith for 10 years would very likely be: those advocating a return to violent conflict would be far fewer, and significantly marginalised–as you (unrealistically given *) regularly seem to demand should be the case now–a real mood for reconciliation would likely have emerged; discussion of federalisation could even be on the horizon (something which would provide a fairly painless way of dealing with the refugee issue).

      especially if authority over Gaza were in the hands of the democratically elected PA, in a peace treaty with Israel, then it would be done.

      Democratically elected PA takes power –> democratically elected PA is in a peace treaty with Israel! So simple! Maybe you would like to elucidate on what happens in between! Did Israel do anything, or was it up to the Palestinians to work miracles on her?

      Seriously: you know very well who the democratically elected (Hamas majority) PA is/was–the mandate has by now run out of course–and why/how the Hamas take over/exclusion of Fatah occurred. Have you treated us to your opinion on those in the US and Israeli governments who thought instigating a Fatah (strong man Dalyan) led coup to rout Hamas was a good response to satisfactorily free and fair elections before (an exercise for the interested to find that?).

      We will NEVER recognize Israel

      You could dig out many parallel quotes from Israeli’s who hold far more power than Hamas, and many more parallel statements from the mouths of the resistance in almost any documented struggle against injustice throughout history. You and Israel know very well that NEVER in these contexts almost never means never. It is simply a convenience (and sadly effective propaganda when you hold as much sway on the narrative in the West as Israel and her supporters do) to play dumb to that fact.

      Sorry (to readers who got this far) for any facetiousness in the above, despite taking the time to respond, I think the above comment is Richard Witty at his most obviously disingenuous, performing a simple exercise of giving a public airing to some easily digested, if-you-don’t-scratch-them-they-sound-reasonable to the uninitiated, talking points, presumably in the hope that the odd soul might stumble across and take something away from them.

    • Charon
      July 3, 2011, 6:21 pm

      No, the blockade is entire dependent on Israel’s policies and behaviors. And you know it, yet you repeat the exact same excuses over and over and over.

      I’ve read your blog. It is very hateful. The bottom line is Zionism is fascism and all Zionists, including yourself, are criminals. Criminals belong behind bars.

      You are trying to justify crimes. Israel is a country full of criminals. If you, your parents, your grandparents, your extended family, etc. get insulted when people point out a fact – that Zionism is criminal – this is a problem. It’s like defending your brother after he kills all of his coworkers. Sorry, you lose. You lose with every sentence your write. You lost. Game over. You must start over, you have no more lives or continues left.

    • anonymouscomments
      July 3, 2011, 10:58 pm

      maybe hamas would recognize israel fully, if israel recognized PALESTINE. very simple… people like you talk all day about what the (now fractured) palestinian leadership needs to do.

      israel has all the chips, and until ISRAEL wants to move towards a viable peace based on 1967 borders, it goes nowhere largely (which israel likes, as she keeps expanding).

      BTW hamas said they would uphold and stand by any peace deal the palestinians agree to by referendum. and polls show the majority would vote for 2 states with some reasonable amelioration to the refugee plight.

      focus all day on the hamas platform, and ignore the biggest issue…. israeli expansionism and their slide towards democratic fascism (and all the historic and ongoing israeli crimes).

      • Richard Witty
        July 4, 2011, 8:03 am

        The sequences of homework for the two communities is the simple truth. There are thousands of stimulating reactions for each side to evoke as proving that the other’s views are only lies.

        It is truth that the reactions are only distractions though.

        Again the sequence on the Palestinian side is:

        1. Sincere unification of the PA (there is no possible negotiation with Hamas unless Hamas declares that Gaza seeks to be an independant state, which would fall right into likud’s playbook)

        2. Assertive but sincere negotiation with Israel

        3. Palestinian sovereignty accompanied by a peace deal with Israel

        And the sequence for Israel:

        1. Sincere indication of intent to negotiate (a five-year settlement construction moratorium)

        2. Assertive but sincere negotiation with the unified PA

        3. Recognition of Palestine in the context of peace

        An #and# construction.

        The two-state solution remains the only plausible one and most democratic of those proposed. It is the only one capable of approaching justice if justice includes for Israelis, and not thought of as “justice for Palestinians only”.

        Eyes on the prize, eyes NOT distracted to complaints.

      • Donald
        July 4, 2011, 8:50 am

        What Richard means here is that Israeli settlers should be able to retain any and all pieces of land they have stolen and wish to keep in the West Bank and elsewhere, while Palestinians have no right to reclaim what was stolen from them. And Palestinians can only achieve peace by submitting to the demands that Witty and likeminded Israelis choose to impose. If Palestinians do not inconvenience Israelis in any way and submit to all of Witty’s demands, then he will generously allow them to exist on some small fraction of the land that was theirs. If not, they can continue to rot and any vicious action taken by Israel will be entirely the fault of Palestinians and people who criticize Israel.

      • Koshiro
        July 4, 2011, 9:09 am

        Bingo.

      • Citizen
        July 4, 2011, 9:46 am

        Witty, why only a 5-yr pause on settlements? Why would the Palestinians agree to the implied notion that Israel has a temporarily paused right to all Palestinian land?

      • libra
        July 4, 2011, 10:33 am

        Donald, your interpretation of Witty here is spot on. That is why he will never advocate for Israel to withdraw to it’s 1967 borders to conclude the Saudi-proposed peace deal with all its neighbours. Despite this securing the future of the “Jewish state” and being easier to defend than the current gerrymandered borders (as he, himself, recently admitted).

        Far from being a “liberal Zionist”, Witty has aligned himself with the settlers over the interests of Israelis as a whole. The only prize Witty has his eye on is the land the settlers have stolen.

    • stevieb
      July 4, 2011, 9:02 am

      They don’t need to ‘recognize’ Israel. They need to be willing to agree to peace after Israel returns stolen land. And they’ve already said that they will.

      • Richard Witty
        July 4, 2011, 9:59 am

        At least you acknowledge that they have to shift from unconditional rejection, to conditional acceptance.

        Thats progress.

        There is an infinitesimal chance that Israel will voluntarily cease to exist, that Israelis will not fight to continue as Israel.

        The only way that war can be avoided ultimately (or the slow incremental removal of Palestinians from key areas of land) is by peace.

        If you want to avoid that, urge that Hamas join the PA in earnest, permanently, and get on with the business of reconciliation.

      • eljay
        July 4, 2011, 1:01 pm

        >> The only way that war can be avoided ultimately (or the slow incremental removal of Palestinians from key areas of land) is by peace.

        War – AND the slow incremental removal of Palestinians from key areas of land – can be avoided ultimately if Israel:
        – halts its ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder (something it is able to do unilaterally, immediately and completely if it so chooses); and
        – agrees to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

        Israel is entitled to defend itself. Despite your best immoral apologetics, Israel is not entitled to occupy, steal, colonize, destroy, kill and commit ethnic cleansing…I mean, “slow incremental removal”.

      • Donald
        July 4, 2011, 1:57 pm

        Richard is here to distract attention from Israel’s responsibility for the conflict and to blame Hamas and to a lesser degree the people here, to the extent that we represent “dissent”. Has anyone ever seen Richard put some blame on AIPAC for the conflict? I can’t recall any example.

      • libra
        July 4, 2011, 2:19 pm

        RW: “There is an infinitesimal chance that Israel will voluntarily cease to exist, that Israelis will not fight to continue as Israel.”

        Goodness me Richard, you’ve become completely unhinged since the flotilla was stopped. All stevieb pointed out was that Israel needs to return stolen land for there to be peace. In other words return to its 67 borders, borders that you have already acknowledged are more defendable than the current gerrymandered borders. And you equate this with Israel ceasing to exist!

      • Chaos4700
        July 4, 2011, 2:33 pm

        At least you acknowledge that they have to shift from unconditional rejection, to conditional acceptance.

        You idiot. That’s what the rest of us have been saying the whole time! The only progress here is you stopped labelling us “militants” and “fascists” for wanting to feed and clothe Palestinian children and for wanting Israelis to give back what they stole!

      • lyn117
        July 4, 2011, 3:11 pm

        “The only way that war can be avoided ultimately (or the slow incremental removal of Palestinians from key areas of land) is by peace.”

        @RW,

        Thank you for noting that war can be avoided by peace. Not everything you say is totally without merit.

        Thank you also for providing the explanation as to why Israel is avoiding peace, it’s goal is the removal of Palestinians from all land in historic Palestine, slow incremental or otherwise, to turn it over for Jewish-only use.

        I also note your use of the threat of more ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians as an argumentative tool to get some of us to condone Israel’s previous ethnic cleansing, as you do. I see no reason why I should ever approve or condone mass murder and forced exile of civilians, which is what Israel’s ethnic cleansing entails, or even discrimination against the native people of Palestine most of whom are forbidden to live in their land of origin because Israel (and you) want their land for Jewish-only use. Note that acceptance of past ethnic cleansing by Palestinian leadership (Abbas, Arafat) has achieved only more than more ethnic cleansing.

      • Richard Witty
        July 4, 2011, 5:27 pm

        I post here to urge those that motivated to help the Palestinians, to actually do so, and avoid noise in favor of substance.

        The path to ending the occupation is clearly laid out.

        It requires that Hamas join the PA sincerely, unconditionally, and permanently. And, that the negotiate with Israel on the manner that the 67 borders will be the primary leg of peace.

        There is NOTHING in any of my comments to suggest that I support the occupation or suggest cover for continued expansion.

        I want teeth in the demand that Israel pursue peace in earnest, not the easy out’s that you give likud.

        You accomplish nothing, but stimulate the right. And, you call that success.

      • Donald
        July 4, 2011, 11:32 pm

        “There is NOTHING in any of my comments to suggest that I support the occupation or suggest cover for continued expansion.”

        False. You don’t think any Israeli should be removed from stolen land. Why shouldn’t they steal more if they are to be rewarded for theft already committed? You make no demands of Israel at all or of Israel supporters in the US–all of your comments and criticisms are aimed at Hamas and at “dissent”. You don’t criticize Israeli war crimes–you justify them. You only criticize Palestinian crimes. Your position is that Israel is under no obligation to cease its cruelty so long as it calls it “self-defense”and the onus is entirely on the Palestinians and dissent to make Israeli Jews and Israeli supporters like yourself feel good and happy and wonderful and only then do you think Israel should stop persecuting Palestinians.

        You should feel great, Richard. That’s been US policy for decades now.

      • Shingo
        July 5, 2011, 12:06 am

        I post here to urge those that motivated to help the Palestinians, to actually do so, and avoid noise in favor of substance.

        You urging others to “help the Palestinians” is like John Wayne Gacey urging his neighbors to think of the children.

      • Citizen
        July 5, 2011, 4:53 am

        If Israel will fight to continue “as Israel,” Dick Witty, and “as Israel” includes existing with any and all of the settlements it has established as “facts on the ground,” or will establish, at least since 1967 right up to any date of peace signing, then you have prescribed war bottled as a peace pill. And, since it is Israel, nukes will eventually be involved, and WW3 will originate for sure in the ME–even if Iran ignores it’s own defense. Witty, you will fight to the last American easily expendable, and drain the coffers of those same Americans to do it.

      • eljay
        July 5, 2011, 7:41 am

        >> I post here to urge those that motivated to help the Palestinians, to actually do so, and avoid noise in favor of substance.

        You post here as an immoral Zio-supremacist and as an apologist for Israel and its crimes.

        >> The path to ending the occupation is clearly laid out.
        >> It requires that Hamas join the PA sincerely, unconditionally, and permanently. And, that the negotiate with Israel on the manner that the 67 borders will be the primary leg of peace.

        The path to ending the occupation is very simple: Israel ends its occupation, immediately and completely.

        The path to peace is a separate matter, one which requires sincere intentions and efforts from both parties (Israelis and Palestinians) to negotiate a just and mutually-beneficial peace, and to be held accountable for crimes committed.

        >> There is NOTHING in any of my comments to suggest that I support the occupation …

        Israel has no right to occupy Palestinian land. Israel has the power to end its occupation immediately and completely if it chooses to do so…but it chooses not to. And yet you never fail to blame the Palestinians for the occupation. You validate the occupation and you excuse it. Essentially, you support it. (And, no, “holding your nose”, like crossing your fingers, doesn’t negate anything.)

    • Koshiro
      July 5, 2011, 5:27 am

      “especially if authority over Gaza were in the hands of the democratically elected PA”
      A democratic election was what brought about the tightening of the blockade (a less severe version of which had been in force since 2001) in the first place.

  5. richb
    July 3, 2011, 12:32 pm

    If the Greek Coast Guard was legitimately concerned about the safety of the American passengers they could do two things:

    1. Inspect the ship to make sure the Israelis has not committed terrorist acts against it. Being concerned about the air conditioning instead showed the passengers safety was not the real issue.

    2. Inspect the ship for smuggled weapons. Confirm the same to the Israelis so that they would have no legal right to stop it traveling to the neutral coastline of Gaza and can thus give it safe passage.

    Fat chance any of the above happening.

  6. tombishop
    July 3, 2011, 12:46 pm

    Richard Witty,
    Sorry, no matter what happens, this is not a “disaster” for the flotilla. That a humanitarian mission of civilians can send the Israeli and the U.S. government into such extreme measures has once again exposed Israel’s true intent. It once again shows they do not want peace with the Palestinians.

    When you say there should be a”democratically elected PA” (which, like it or not, Hamas is), you mean a puppet government controlled by Israel.

    The only way there can be peace is if a truly democratic, secular state is established where everyone regardless of religion or national origin can live as equals. The Israeli’s will never recognize the Palestinians right to exist as long as they keep trying to impose a theocracy which discriminates against the indigenous population of Palestinians in the region.

    • Richard Witty
      July 3, 2011, 2:35 pm

      The flotilla can only be construed as a success, by those that self-define success for propaganda purposes.

      The 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon was declared by Hezbollah as a success. Do you think so? Some in Hamas in 2009, declared operation cast-lead as a success.

      There is no success, as in what we planned, we achieved, or even made progress towards achieving.

      “We sought to end the occupation of Palestine” (probably a couple mini steps backward)

      “We sought to inform the world of the condition of Gazans” (the world was informed of the petulance/determination of a few activists, their willingness to nuisance until…., but until what)

      Its ok to fail. If what you are trying is important, feasible and kind, you try again.

      Here, its stated as a “WAR” of ideas, wars being one side wins one side loses.

      Elsewhere, the effort is for peace, both sides winning.

      Peace is the triumph. The Hamas MO is not the peace path though. Direct action.

      • eljay
        July 3, 2011, 4:01 pm

        >> Its ok to fail. If what you are trying is important, feasible and kind, you try again.

        If at first you don’t succeed – and by “succeed” I mean “ethnically cleanse (“necessary”, or a “required” evil) all the Palestinians out of your Promised Land” – try again:
        – undertake a 60+ years, ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder;
        – engage in offensive military actions designed to elicit a response which can then be used to justify violent and destructive “belligerent reprisals”;
        – refuse to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace;
        and, most important of all,
        – blame Hamas for everything.

      • Cliff
        July 3, 2011, 4:04 pm

        Why do you keep equating the flotilla to Hamas?

        Why do you characterize the flotilla as ‘propaganda’?

        The flotilla has 1 purpose. To bring light to Israeli crimes.

        The siege is an injustice.

        Israel is not at war with Hamas. It is at war with the Palestinian people.

        Israel is colonizing Palestinian land and continues to do so in 2011. No end in sight.

        You have no right to espouse the virtues of peace when your ‘side’ is actively colonizing another peoples’ land.

        That is the center of this issue – not Hamas. Hamas’s power pales in comparison to Israel. Hamas’s crimes pale in comparison to Israel.

        Israel has diplomatic immunity. The Palestinian people suffer for their refusal to accept a Swiss Cheese State solution, and Zionism.

        You are a dishonest, partisan hack, Witty.

        Stop issuing stale, moronic equivocations and stop your obsession with Hamas. We care about the Palestinians. We care about justice and peace.

        You care about maintaining the status quo and ethnic privilege.

      • RobertB
        July 3, 2011, 11:38 pm

        Cliff July 3, 2011

        “Israel is not at war with Hamas. It is at war with the Palestinian people.

        Israel is colonizing Palestinian land and continues to do so in 2011. No end in sight.

        You have no right to espouse the virtues of peace when your ‘side’ is actively colonizing another peoples’ land.”

        ~~~~~~~

        Cliff…Great Posts Indeed!!!

        Its not that hard to see right through rwitty’s deceptive hasbara. His pale attempts to keep using/bringing up “Hamas” for his Israeli/zionism’s PR & damage control methods on these threads…are not working out for him & his daily agenda.

        Israeli government’s crimes/atrocities against the Palestinians, Lebanese & other Arabs during Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Ariel sharon, Yitzhak Shamir, Ehud Olmert, Netanyahu and others … their IDF killing trails are brutal & horrific to this day.

        Yet rwitty…keeps plugging away just like a paid zionist troll…Hamas said & Hamas will not recognize Israel…and so on and on…

        Israel’s military grip on the Palestinian people is well planned & calculated … way before Hamas was around. Israelis want to keep the Palestinians under their boots & make life so miserable for them & their children so that they are forced to go somewhere else & not return. Israel’s plan is to bring more Jewish/zionist settlers in & force Palestinians out.

        Its not just a military control ; its also an economic stranglehold against a mostly helpless Palestinian population.

        rwitty…wants to talk about “Israeli style peace”… and those Israeli bulldozers, cranes, concrete trucks, construction crews …etc…are working non-stop in the Occupied Territories…gobbling more Palestinian land for more “For Jews Only” settlements & apartheid roads.

      • Cliff
        July 3, 2011, 4:06 pm

        Israel’s MO is to steal land, through force.

        Israel’s MO is exercised with diplomatic immunity and vastly greater force.

        Hamas is not special. Hamas is a symbol to attack the Palestinian peoples’ right to self-determination and justice and peace.

        You use Hamas to destroy peace and attack the Palestinian people.

        The 2SS is dead through Israeli crimes and continued colonialism.

        The Palestinians will never be treated fairly and any concessions will be made by them and not Israel.

        You are a liar Witty, a well-documented liar. Get lost.

      • Richard Witty
        July 3, 2011, 6:01 pm

        My goal is peace, not “justice”.

        And, in the sequence towards peace, mutual acknowledgement is a necessary step.

        However long it is delayed, that step prevents peace.

        So, for Hamas to state UNCONDITIONALLY, “we will never recognize Israel” makes everyone on the planet, near and far, wait.

        So, what actions encourage Hamas to participate fully and permanently in the PA, and negotiate with Israel in good faith and recognize Israel?

        Some say the confidence that the world loves Gazans contribute to their ability to make that next step. Others say the opposite.

        I see the flotilla as an ennabling. If others see differently, show me.

        Cliff’s statement scares me that the animosity is permanent, that there is no effort for peace, and no effort for mutual justice.

        If you state that “Palestinians will never accept Israel”, then all there is is permanent war. I hope you don’t have the imagination that 6 million Jews (5 million of them born in Israel) should leave, “go back where they came from”.

        They are there, and as they desire to self-govern, and are powerful, yes, then to not recognize their existence and right to self-govern is both delusional and cruel.

        Do you oppose ethnic cleansing? Real, current, that you have a current voice towards influencing (even if a small one)?

      • eljay
        July 3, 2011, 8:28 pm

        >> My goal is peace, not “justice”.

        “F*ck justice!” The mark of a real “humanist”.

        >> And, in the sequence towards peace, mutual acknowledgement is a necessary step.

        Great! I can’t wait for Israel to step up to the plate first and acknowledge the existence of a free and autonomous Palestinian state with clearly-defined borders.

        Some additional necessary steps toward peace:
        – Israel must end its ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder. It has the power to do so immediately and completely. But it chooses not to.
        – Both sides must be willing to engage in sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace. The Palestinians have demonstrated that they are. Israel has demonstrated that it isn’t.
        – The promise to hold criminals accountable for their crimes. I realize that justice and accountability are revolting concepts to Zio-supremacists, but they are very important to those who seek peace.

      • Haytham
        July 3, 2011, 8:32 pm

        Richard Witty July 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm
        My goal is peace, not “justice”.

        Beautifully and honestly stated. A perfect summation of your schizophrenia on this topic.

        This is the very reason that almost no one takes you seriously here and that in fact you are widely ridiculed and parodied.

        By the way, Witty, if the Nazis or some other loathsome group had successfully implemented “the final solution,” there would likely be peace in Palestine and the Middle East. In that event, how would you feel about someone advocating “peace” rather than “justice?” Problem solved, right? PEACE. Yay!

        And you have the audacity to talk about ethnic cleansing?? Hypocrite.

      • Shingo
        July 3, 2011, 9:02 pm

        My goal is peace, not “justice”.

        That’s odd. Last week, you were defending justice, and before that you opposed it. So are you back to oppsing it Witty?

        How does one have peace without justice Witty?

      • American
        July 5, 2011, 12:55 am

        O.K. witty…so someone kills your children and burns down your house and then quits and calls it Peace.
        Maybe we should try some of that peace on Israel and it’s supporters.
        Come to think of it that might also be Justice.

      • Shingo
        July 3, 2011, 4:38 pm

         The 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon was declared by Hezbollah as a success. Do you think so?

        So did Israel. Israel’s goal was to destroy Hezbollah, and not only did Israel fail, they were driven out of Lebanon (again) and Hezbollah thrived.

        Hezbollah’s goal was to survive and keep Israel out if Lebanon.

        One side achieved it’s objective and other failed to achieve their own.  That means Hezbollah succeeded.

        It’s OK to fail Witty.Israel learned to stick to murdering defenseless populations.

      • Haytham
        July 3, 2011, 5:40 pm

        Richard Witty July 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm

        The flotilla can only be construed as a success, by those that self-define success for propaganda purposes.

        The 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon was declared by Hezbollah as a success. Do you think so?

        Success? Are you joking? It was a clear military success for Hezbollah. From wikipedia:

        On 12 September, former defense minister Moshe Arens spoke of “the defeat of Israel” in calling for a state committee of inquiry. He said that Israel had lost “to a very small group of people, 5000 Hezbollah fighters, which should have been no match at all for the IDF”, and stated that the conflict could have “some very fateful consequences for the future.”[295] Disclosing his intent to shortly resign, Ilan Harari, the IDF’s chief education officer, stated at a conference of senior IDF officers that Israel lost the war, becoming the first senior active duty officer to publicly state such an opinion.[296] IDF Major General Yiftah Ron Tal, on 4 October 2006 became the second and highest ranking serving officer to express his opinion that the IDF failed “to win the day in the battle against Hezbollah” as well as calling for Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz’ resignation.[297] Ron-Tal was subsequently fired for making those and other critical comments.[298]

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        You may now stick your head back in the sand, Witty.

  7. eee
    July 3, 2011, 12:59 pm

    Finally, something that should have been done by you years ago. Since your complaint is largely with your own government, I never understood why you are not conducting something like a hunger strike in front of the US Senate or Congress. But the US consulate in Athens will do. I am interested to see how this move will be received by the US public and if anyone cares. I suspect not, but we will see.

    • Chaos4700
      July 3, 2011, 1:43 pm

      Why would talking to our Congressmen and Senators matter, eee? They aren’t the people who dictate American foreign policy.

      • eee
        July 3, 2011, 1:56 pm

        Ok, go stage a hunger strike in front of the State Department or AIPAC headquarters or whatever institution you believe dictates American foreign policy.

      • richb
        July 3, 2011, 4:40 pm

        The U.S. may not give a rip about its citizens but Ireland does.

        “In particular, I would expect that any interception of ships is conducted in a peaceful manner and does not endanger the safety of our citizens or other participants,” [Irish FM Eamon Gilmore] said after holding talks with Israeli Ambassador to Dublin Boaz Moda on Thursday.

        The Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation grants the flag country criminal jurisdiction over terrorist acts

        1. Each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the offences set forth in article 3 when the offence is committed:

        (a) against or on board a ship flying the flag of the State at the time the offence is committed

        These acts include:

        1. Any person commits an offence if that person unlawfully and intentionally:

        (c) destroys a ship or causes damage to a ship or to its cargo which is likely to endanger the safe navigation of that ship; or

        (d) places or causes to be placed on a ship, by any means whatsoever, a device or substance which is likely to destroy that ship, or cause damage to that ship or its cargo which endangers or is likely to endanger the safe navigation of that ship;

        So, it doesn’t matter what Turkey thinks rather what Ireland thinks. Any signatory to this treaty (including Israel) is required without exception to either extradite or try any of their citizens alleged to be involved with the above terrorist act.

        The State Party in the territory of which the offender or the alleged offender is found shall, in cases to which article 6 applies, if it does not extradite him, be obliged, without exception whatsoever and whether or not the offence was committed in its territory, to submit the case without delay to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution, through proceedings in accordance with the laws of that State.

      • Citizen
        July 4, 2011, 12:05 am

        Interestingly, the Irish do not love Israel, while the Northern Irish do. Makes a lot of sense, the Irish identifying with the Palestinians and the Northern Irish identifywith the UK.

      • Citizen
        July 4, 2011, 5:09 am

        But, eee, you assume without any warrant or grasp of reality in the US that the US MSM would cover a hunger strike in front of AIPAC HQ. Where do you live, again?

  8. Formerly T-Bear
    July 3, 2011, 3:17 pm

    Why is the statement that Gaza is receiving adequate supplies for the population allowed to go unchallenged when every report from Gaza notes hospitals are out of medical supplies? The fiction that zionist Israel is meeting its lawful responsibilities is disinformation at best, and no more than an egregious lie at its heart:
    link to english.aljazeera.net
    Why have these facts been concealed from widespread public knowledge? Who benefits by the ignorance? These are being done by those whose hearts are truly warped, and minds twisted by pure evil. This is the face of zionist Israel. They are known by the ‘friends’ they buy. They are on the wrong side of history and cannot last.

  9. Citizen
    July 3, 2011, 3:51 pm

    40-50 Americans being held in a barbed wire pen in Greece at behest of Israeli and (apparently) US g
    america-hijacked.com
    Via Twitter @MaxBlumenthal 40-50 Americans being held in a barbed wire pen in Greece at behest of Israeli and (apparently) US governments link to t.co #flotilla

    • seafoid
      July 3, 2011, 4:28 pm

      1.5 million Palestinians being held in a barbed wire pen called Gaza organised by Israel and (apparently) America.

      • tombishop
        July 3, 2011, 5:31 pm

        To see how Israel is using this barbed wire pen, see the video:

    • Shingo
      July 3, 2011, 4:43 pm

       40-50 Americans being held in a barbed wire pen in Greece at behest of Israeli and (apparently) US g

      Another example of the values the US and Israel share.

  10. seafoid
    July 3, 2011, 4:41 pm

    I am really looking forward to seeing what Code Pink get up to following this revelation to Medea Benjamin of what Zionism’s DNA looks like.

    The gloves are surely off now.

    I am also eager to hear what Phil Weiss’s mother makes of the whole shebang and of course the conversation at next year’s big seder.

    AIPAC 2012 should be a scream.

  11. longliveisrael
    July 3, 2011, 4:59 pm

    A fast is the wrong tactic here. Greece needs hard currency, so the members of the flotilla need to frequent restaurants in Greece to help them. After all, aren’t these people all about helping others?

  12. Philip Munger
    July 3, 2011, 6:17 pm

    Eight Americans fasting in front of the U.S. Embassy in Athens have just been arrested, according to USBoatToGaza on twitter.

    • kalithea
      July 3, 2011, 9:33 pm

      From USTOGAZA:

      Update: Update – 8:00 pm NYC,
      The 8 people listed below were detained. They were released a few minutes ago. They were not arrested.

      link to ustogaza.org

  13. Jan
    July 3, 2011, 6:41 pm

    Since it is the US under pressure from Israel that has put every obstacle in front of this courageous crew I ask the following question:

    On July 4, 1776 we declared our independence from Britain.
    When will we declare our independence from Israel?

    • Chaos4700
      July 4, 2011, 2:44 am

      Quote and frame that. Seriously.

      • Sumud
        July 4, 2011, 8:33 am

        Quote and frame that. Seriously.

        I second that Chaos & Jan!

        A perfect piece of copy: short, sharp and to the point. Should be on posters across the nation.

    • Citizen
      July 4, 2011, 4:34 am

      When we get our US Congress to launch a full-scale investigation of the malicious attack by Israel on the USS Liberty?

    • American
      July 5, 2011, 12:34 am

      Well, I flew my flag upside down today.

      When our guest asked what the deal was I directed them to mondoweiss.net and Steve Walt @ Foreign Policy as places to start.

      • libra
        July 5, 2011, 9:50 am

        American, an excellent idea. A much more subtle, thought provoking, and practical symbol for an America turned upside by Zionism than some attempt to merge the American and Israeli flags. More optimistically it suggests that this malign influence is something that can be righted. Let’s hope it catches as a symbol of protest.

  14. DICKERSON3870
    July 3, 2011, 11:14 pm

    Tomorrow promises to be my most g_dawfully depressing Fourth of July ever.
    Not even beaucoup extra-greasy, All-American Tater Tots® can change that!
    OK, I’ll move along now.
    The All-American Rejects: It Ends Tonight (VIDEO, 04:14) – link to youtube.com
    The All-American Rejects: Move Along (VIDEO, 04:04) – link to youtube.com

  15. traveller
    July 4, 2011, 4:18 am

    I emailed the ICRC regarding the Israeli claims about the humanitarian situation in Gaza:

    From: XXXXXXX
    To: “[email protected]
    Date: 02.07.2011 23:33
    Subject: Humanitarian situation in Gaza

    Dear Mr Hassan,

    I write to you in regard to an article published on the Israeli Defense Force’s website on 20 April, 2011. The article is titled “Red Cross official: There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza” and quotes Mathilde Redmatn, allegedly the deputy director of the Red Cross is Gaza, as stating that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

    However, an article on the ICRC’s website from 20-05-2011 which interviews Mrs Redmatn (her name is spelled Mathilde De Riedmatten in that particular piece) and is titled “Gaza: no end in sight to hardship and despair” seems to contradict the statement attributed to her on the IDF website. Can you please clarify what the Red Cross’s position is on the humanitarian situation in Gaza and whether or not she actually did make the comments attributed to her in the article on the Israel Defence Force website?

    Sincerely,
    XXXX XXXXXX

    Their response:

    Dear Mr XXXXX

    Thank you for your message and your interest. The official position of the ICRC is the one you saw in our web interview on the ICRC website. The way Mathielde way quoted on the IDF website does not reflect accurately and fully what she said. Please do consider that the position expressed on our website is the what we consider as more accurate.

    Hope this answers your question. In any case do not hesitate to contact me for further details

    Regards

    Hicham

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    IDF=liars, but no surprise there of course. Obviously it was too much effort for the world’s media to contact the red cross and verify the quotes in the IDF piece before regurgitating it.

    • Sumud
      July 4, 2011, 8:36 am

      Kudos traveller for writing to the Red Cross about that. No surprises at all that the IDF will lie.

  16. Citizen
    July 4, 2011, 7:14 am

    US Tea Party leader calls for the Israelis to kill Americans: link to veteranstoday.com

  17. patm
    July 4, 2011, 8:49 am

    Noam Sheizaf
    Hundreds to challenge restrictions on traveling to Occupied Territories (UPDATED) Sunday, July 3 2011

    link to 972mag.com

  18. Citizen
    July 4, 2011, 11:06 am

    PM, from Alaska: So, who’s not a shoah survivor? Why anybody on that US flotilla boat: link to progressivealaska.blogspot.com

  19. Ira Glunts
    July 4, 2011, 11:55 am

    Beware of Greeks Barring Boats!!!

    The Canadian flotilla boat Tahrir attempted to sail for Gaza. It has been seized by the Greek commandos.

    link to haaretz.com

  20. kalithea
    July 4, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Zionists are ready for the straight jacket, the padded room; the loony bin; their fanatical paranoia is proof positive of collective madness. I mean these Zio-dodo’s are KOO-KOO!:

    Here’s what they consider PUBLIC ENEMY NO. ONE!

    link to desertpeace.wordpress.com

    ROFLMAO!!

  21. Citizen
    July 4, 2011, 12:40 pm

    Iceland MP visits Gaza flotilla and urges others in government to do so:

    link to icenews.is

  22. Amar
    July 4, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Regardless of what Greece did or does, I dont think Israel is too worried about flotillas anymore. They now know what to do if any country is not as cooperative as Greece: to just disable or sabotage any boats whether in port or on sea. And they have many opportunities to do so. It will deflate much of the media focus. A sabotaged boat will hardly get a paragraph in the back pages of the media, unlike a serious entanglement on the high seas with deaths and injuries.

    • annie
      July 4, 2011, 2:44 pm

      A sabotaged boat will hardly get a paragraph in the back pages of the media

      they’ve already gotten quite a bit of attention.

  23. longliveisrael
    July 4, 2011, 1:48 pm

    Hitchens says it right

    link to slate.com

    • kalithea
      July 4, 2011, 6:35 pm

      Is Hitchens hitting the sauce again? Hitchens is a stupid narcissist. Here’s a quote from his article”

      “It seems safe and fair to say that the flotilla and its leadership work in reasonably close harmony with Hamas, which constitutes the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. The political leadership of this organization is headquartered mainly in Gaza itself. But its military coordination is run out of Damascus, where the regime of Bashar Assad is currently at war with increasingly large sections of the long-oppressed Syrian population.”

      Ahhhhhh, but he fails to mention that the opposition to Bashar is not all that peaceful, and as a matter of fact the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria represents a large chunk of that opposition supported by the equally OPPRESSIVE Saudi Monarchy! This must have slipped through his “selective” memory.

      Here’s another quote from this idiot:

      […] “There is something about this that fails to pass a smell test.”

      And I feel exactly the same about Hitchens. This article STINKS to high heaven like shitty Zionist propaganda.

      • Shingo
        July 5, 2011, 12:38 am

        And I feel exactly the same about Hitchens. This article STINKS to high heaven like shitty Zionist propaganda.

        Indeed Kalithea, it fails the smell test becasue it doesn’t smell like 12 year old malt whiskey.

      • American
        July 5, 2011, 1:03 am

        Hitchens is in ‘victim mode’ because he has throat cancer…from years of drinking. He’s feeling sorry for himself and identifying with the world’s best know victims.
        Hitchens is such a narcissist he thinks he has been unfairly stricken with a disease only the uneducated little people are suppose to get.
        Now that he has lost his voice and can’t talk anymore his writing will get even more bizarre.

    • Robert Werdine
      July 4, 2011, 6:47 pm

      Thanks for the link, longliveisrael.

      Hitchens is superb here, as always.

      He utterly nails the blatant, brazen hypocrisy of the whole “flotilla” cabal.

      Says he:

      “It seems safe and fair to say that the flotilla and its leadership work in reasonably close harmony with Hamas, which constitutes the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. The political leadership of this organization is headquartered mainly in Gaza itself. But its military coordination is run out of Damascus, where the regime of Bashar Assad is currently at war with increasingly large sections of the long-oppressed Syrian population. Refugee camps, some with urgent humanitarian requirements, are making their appearance on the border between Syria and Turkey (the government of the latter being somewhat sympathetic to the purposes of the flotilla). In these circumstances, isn’t it legitimate to strike up a conversation with the “activists” and ask them where they come out on the uprising against hereditary Baathism in Syria?”

      “…the Hamas leadership seems compromised at best by its association with this local Tehran-Damascus axis. Surely there must be some spokesman for the blockade-runners who is able to give us his thinking on this question, too? At a time of widespread democratic and pluralist revolution in the region, Hamas imposes its own version of theocracy on Gaza and seems otherwise aligned with the forces that stand athwart the hope of continued and deeper change. Who wants to volunteer time to make this outfit look more presentable? Half the published articles on Gaza contain a standard reference to its resemblance to a vast open-air prison (and when I last saw it under Israeli occupation, it certainly did deserve this metaphor). The problem is that, given its ideology and its allies, Hamas qualifies rather too well in the capacity of guard and warder.”

      I have been hammering at just this for some time here, as I know you and Hophimi have too. In a June 29 post I said:

      “If I could see some evidence of outrage at Hamas’ brutal treatment of the Palestinians, and outrage at their complete and demonstrable contempt for any law, freedom, tolerance, or humanity on the part of the flotilla advocates that is even remotely equal to their hysterical demonizations of Israel and Israel’s unfortunate, but lawful and legitimate, countermeasures, perhaps they could, at least in my eyes, escape the taint of hypocrisy. But they do not, and cannot. They are what they are: partisan hypocrites who hate Israel far more than they will ever care about the Palestinians.”

      In another post on the same day, I said:

      “The truth is, they would rather not discuss the fact that Hamas, like every other totalitarian regime in history, recognize no law but force and fraud and murder to achieve their barely concealed goals, and mock and deride the ethnic, religious, and cultural pluralism of Israel and the West.

      They would rather not discuss Hamas’ brutally medieval drive to “Islamicise” Gaza, where it forces women to wear the hijab and men to grow beards. Where it burnt down the last beer factory in Gaza and banned the sale of alcoholic drinks. Where bands of youths calling themselves “Brigades of Enforcing the Good and Combating Evil” raid homes in search of alcohol, Western music and videos, unIslamic T-shirts and other “sinful items”. Where young men and women found together in public, or even in private cars, are stopped and interrogated to make sure unmarried couples do not violate Sharia rules.

      They would rather not discuss Hamas’ media indoctrination where children are fed a diet of pure hate of Israel and Jews on a daily basis. Where they are taught to worship and pursue Jihad through violence, murder, and martyrdom. Where they are taught the use of weapons. Nobody wants to discuss this violently poisonous, criminally negligent brainwashing of youth for hatred and mass murder that is tantamount to a kind of mass child abuse.”

      Hithchens, it seems, would agree:

      “Only a few weeks ago, the Hamas regime in Gaza became the only governing authority in the world—by my count—to express outrage and sympathy at the death of Osama Bin Laden. As the wavelets lap in the Greek harbors, and the sunshine beats down, doesn’t any journalist want to know whether the “activists” have discussed this element in their partners’ world outlook? Does Alice Walker seriously have no comment?

      Hamas is listed by various governments and international organizations as a terrorist group. I don’t mind conceding that that particular word has been used in arbitrary ways in the past. But what concerns me much more is the official programmatic adoption, by Hamas, of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This disgusting fabrication is a key foundational document of 20th-century racism and totalitarianism, indelibly linked to the Hitler regime in theory and practice. It seems extraordinary to me that any “activist” claiming allegiance to human rights could cooperate at any level with the propagation of such evil material. But I have never seen any of them invited to comment on this matter, either.

      The little boats cannot make much difference to the welfare of Gaza either way, since the materials being shipped are in such negligible quantity. The chief significance of the enterprise is therefore symbolic. And the symbolism, when examined even cursorily, doesn’t seem too adorable. The intended beneficiary of the stunt is a ruling group with close ties to two of the most retrograde dictatorships in the Middle East, each of which has recently been up to its elbows in the blood of its own civilians. The same group also manages to maintain warm relations with, or at the very least to make cordial remarks about, both Hezbollah and al-Qaida. Meanwhile, a document that was once accurately described as a “warrant for genocide” forms part of the declared political platform of the aforesaid group. There is something about this that fails to pass a smell test. I wonder whether any reporter on the scene will now take me up on this.”

      • Shingo
        July 5, 2011, 12:37 am

        He utterly nails the blatant, brazen hypocrisy of the whole “flotilla” cabal.

        Yeah,. The way he nailed the facts about Iraq’s WMD, Saddam’s nukes and links to Al Qaeda.

        Hitchens lost his marbles after 911, and became a rampant and unhinged Islamophobe from that day. He’s masterful when discussing anything but the Middle East. Any sucbject that pretains to Syria, Iran etc is guarnteed to make him lose his marbles.
        The glaring weakness in his argument is that the situation in Gaza has existed for almost a decade before the trouble is Syria broke out, and unlike

        The saddest thing about Hitchens’ pathetic article is the perrenial blind spot he has for Western hypocrisy, double standards and double dealing. While he was hitting the sauce in the lead up to the Iraq invasion looking for clues of Saddam’s links to terrorism, he had his eyes and ears sealed to any suggestion that the US was supporting the MEK in Iraq. When the Senate Select committee on intelligence released a report that concluded Saddam had nothing to do with Zarqawi or his presence in Northern Iraq, Hitchens dismissed it – never bothering to cite any evidence to the contrary.

        I have been hammering at just this for some time here, as I know you and Hophimi have too.

        Yes you havem though neither of you have been able to present us with evince of Hamas dumping whtoe phosphorous on Palestinians, let alone massacring them by the thousands.

        “If I could see some evidence of outrage at Hamas’ brutal treatment of the Palestinians, and outrage at their complete and demonstrable contempt for any law, freedom, tolerance, or humanity on the part of the flotilla advocates…”

        I get it Robert. You want the flotilla advocates to demonstrate fairness and balance and then you would support their endeavours right?

        You, the mother of all hypocrites, would be willing to soften your criticism of the hypocrisy of the flotilla activists.

        You’re a complete an utter fraud Robert, not to mention an insufferable and repugnant blowhard.

        What you and Hitchens are trying so desperately to argue, in spite of no evidence, is that the flotilla is somehow a pro Hamas movement. That would be like suggesting that Hitchens is a supporter of the Sadrists in Iraq by opposing Saddam Hussein.

        t

        “The truth is, they would rather not discuss the fact that Hamas, like every other totalitarian regime in history, recognize no law but force and fraud and murder to achieve their barely concealed goals, and mock and deride the ethnic, religious, and cultural pluralism of Israel and the West.

        You might well have said that, but you would have been wrong. The West has been making these platitudes about the entire Arab world for decades. Contrary to your argument, fact is that Hamas have amply demonstrated that they do maintain law and order, and are capable of maintaining peace.

        The reality is that any territory under siege and blockade will be fertile soil for corruption. The days of prohibition made wealthy men of gangsters like Joe Kennedy, and prior to that, many wealthy families made their fortunes on the opinium trade.

        While forcing women to wear the hijab and men to grow beards is hardly progressive, it is far short of blowing up dozens of people at a time seeking refuge in a building from aerial bombardment. Yours is a typical example of he gross hypocrisy of the West, that is outraged over the images of a woman who’s nose has been cut off, yet think nothing of a wedding party of 60 being massacred by a drone attack.

        Where it burnt down the last beer factory in Gaza and banned the sale of alcoholic drinks.

        I can see Hitchens being particularly concerned about the scarcity of alcohol, but I never took you to be an heavy drinker Robert.

        Where young men and women found together in public, or even in private cars, are stopped and interrogated to make sure unmarried couples do not violate Sharia rules.

        Would you prefer that Hamas simply shot them on the spot or imprisoned them, a la IDF style?

        They would rather not discuss Hamas’ media indoctrination where children are fed a diet of pure hate of Israel and Jews on a daily basis.

        You’re hypocrisy and double standards on this matter has already been exposed Robert. Israeli Jews openly and unashamedly indoctrinate their children and feed them a diet of hatred of Arabs.
        After all, in what other country can a man be imprisoned for rape based on the charge that he misled his consenting partner about his ethnicity?

        “Only a few weeks ago, the Hamas regime in Gaza became the only governing authority in the world—by my count—to express outrage and sympathy at the death of Osama Bin Laden.”

        False. The government of Pakistan (a US ally) was the other.

        Needless to say, the only leader in the world who expressed approval for the 911 attacks was none other than Netenyahu.

        But what concerns me much more is the official programmatic adoption, by Hamas, of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

        Yes Robert.1,400 dead bodies doesn’t concern you, but the adoption of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion keeps you awake at night.

        The chief significance of the enterprise is therefore symbolic. And the symbolism, when examined even cursorily, doesn’t seem too adorable.

        Whereas a siege on 1.5 million people, inflicted entirely for the purpose of collective punishment, leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
        We get it.

        The same group also manages to maintain warm relations with, or at the very least to make cordial remarks about, both Hezbollah and al-Qaida.

        The US has maintained warm relations with the MEK (a terrorist group) and Jundulla (Kaleid Shek Mohammed’s old gang), but hey, let’s not allow the facts get in the way of of your BS and moral grandstanding.

  24. traveller
    July 4, 2011, 6:14 pm

    Oh dear, Mr Hitchens appears to have reduced himself to a 2-bit hasbarat. Even in his worst articles he can sometimes articulate his own original arguments yet it seems he’s lost the ability to even do that now, judging by the litany of copy-paster talking points which polluted my screen upon the clicking of your link.

    It’s a wonder anybody could consider him worthy of any e-real estate after his post 9-11 meltdown. By assuming the mantle of mindless-defender-of-the-tribe-no-matter-what-the facts he’s just reminded us that he’s another one of the easily duped who prefers the warm, delusionary glow of belonging to a ‘special’ club over honesty and ethics.

    • lysias
      July 5, 2011, 2:11 pm

      That’s what happens to people who feel obliged, for whatever reason, to say things that they don’t believe.

      It can also happen if they are obliged, for whatever reason, to sign their names to things that somebody else has written.

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