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My flotilla newslist, complete with Henning Mankell, Azmi Bishara, & Norman Finkelstein

This is my baby for tomorrow, all about the flotilla:

International campaign preparing new aid flotilla to Gaza
Majed Al-Zeer, the director general of the Palestinian return center, has revealed that the international campaign to end the siege on Gaza has started preparing a new aid flotilla to Gaza Strip.

Protest in Sydney tonight

Take Action
Take Action: Israel Attacks Gaza Humanitarian Aid Flotilla
Contact the U.S. Mission to the United Nations at 212-415-4062 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              212-415-4062      end_of_the_skype_highlighting right away and demand that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice vote to support a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s action and initiating an investigation.

Action alert: Call your governments, demonstrate support for Freedom Flotilla
Under darkness of night, Israeli commandos from at least 14 warships and military helicopters boarded the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began shooting. According to live video from the ship, at least two civilians have been murdered, and dozens injured. Israeli television is reporting 16 civilians killed.

Press Release: Israeli Attack on Free Gaza Boats Violates International Law, Shows Need to End U.S. Aid to
Washington, DC (May 31) – The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 325 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality, today condemned the Israeli navy’s attack on civilians aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, a convoy of aid ships attempting to deliver rebuilding and medical supplies to the besieged Gaza Strip.

Facebook Page: Protest Gaza Flotilla Massacre, Demand UN Investigation, End to Gaza Siege!/group.php?gid=121801321193432

More News/Information on Attack
IOF FOOTAGE: Flotilla Activists Disembarking at the Ashdod Port

Israel tows aid ships to Ashdod, detains 700 activists including Parliament members and dignitaries
After attacking a group of humanitarian aid ships, killing up to 19 passengers, Israeli naval vessels transported the ships to the port of Ashdod (formerly the Palestinian city of Isdud) in what is now Israel, 16 hours after the initial assault. There, the humanitarian aid workers were placed in a makeshift prison camp prepared in advance by the Israeli military, where they await deportation to their respective countries

US activist loses eye after being shot in face with tear gas canister
31 May 2010: An American solidarity activist was shot in the face with a tear gas canister during a demonstration in Qalandiya, today. Emily Henochowicz is currently in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem undergoing surgery to remove her left eye, following the demonstration that was held in protest to Israel’s murder of at least 10 civilians aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters this morning.

Wife: Israel sending American on seized ship home (AP)
AP – A former U.S. ambassador aboard a Gaza aid ship seized by Israel commandos is on his way home, his wife said Monday evening.*

Gaza Freedom flotilla carried world-renowned names and veteran activists

Australian shot in Israel ship attack: foreign minister (AFP)
AFP – An Australian man was shot in the leg during a deadly raid by Israeli commandos on a Gaza-bound aid ship, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said on Tuesday.*

Israeli police say 16 Gaza-bound activists sent to jail
Israel has said it will deport the roughly 700 activists in the flotilla. But those who refuse to cooperate will be jailed. About 80 activists have been brought to shore so far.

VIDEO ROUND-UP: Israel Kills 20 : Attacks Gaza Aid Fleet

Nineteen Activists Killed In Israel’s Attack On Freedom Flotilla
Under strict media blackout imposed by Israel on the number of casualties during the Israeli attack against the Freedom Flotilla, Israeli sources reported that 19 activists were killed in the attack and dozens were wounded.

Irish citizens ‘kidnapped’ in international waters
The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs has accused Israel of kidnapping Irish citizens in international waters.

Irish activists aboard aid ships
Eight Irish people were travelling on a flotilla of aid ships where 15 people were reportedly shot dead today by Israeli commandos.

Crime writer Mankell held in Israel after aid boat attack: Sweden
STOCKHOLM — Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell, author of the Wallander detective series, is one of nine Swedes held in Israel Monday after landing from a Gaza-bound aid flotilla attacked by Israeli commandos, Sweden’s foreign ministry said.  Mankell "has been detained … In all, nine Swedes have been detained," ministry spokesman Anders Joerle told AFP, adding that they were not all being held at the same place and some had been imprisoned while others had simply been taken into custody.

Inside Story – The Gaza flotilla
Carrying ten tonnes of medical equipment and other aid, the flotilla of ships to Gaza is considered the biggest effort to alleviate the three-year siege on the Gaza strip. Just are these missions of any real use? And what would it take to end Irael’s three-year blockade of Gaza?

Former US paratrooper & diplomat had joined Gaza flotilla
A retired U.S. diplomat, Edward L. Peck, was among 11 Americans who had joined the flotilla of activist ships that were forcibly diverted Monday from Gaza, where they were planning to unload humanitarian supplies and demonstrate their ability to break the years-long Israeli blockade on the impoverished Palestinian territory.
Peck is an interesting and controversial character. A former Army paratrooper, he was in the Foreign Service for three decades, serving in a number of posts in the Arab world, including as chief of mission in Baghdad under the Carter administration. In the Reagan years, he worked on terrorism issues in the White House. He has sinced emerged as an outspoken critic of U.S. and Israeli policies the Middle East. (Here’s the transcript of a 2006 interview he gave with Democracy Now, the left-wing radio show, in which he describes certain actions by the United States and Israel as fitting the defintion of terrorism.)

Reactions from World Leaders
Quotes from World Leaders

Israel faces condemnation, protests after raid (AP)
AP – Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Israel and called for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council as condemnations erupted across Europe and the Arab world over Israel’s deadly commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip.*

UN members decry Gaza boat deaths
UN Security Council members condemn Israel ahead of an emergency session on the Gaza aid flotilla raid, amid world fury.

UN Security Council members urge Israel to lift Gaza siege
Security Council convenes for emergency meeting session over Gaza flotilla deaths; Palestinians and Arabs call for independent probe.

NATO to hold emergency session at Turkey’s request
Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – NATO will hold emergency talks on Tuesday at Turkey’s request after an Israeli commando unit stormed an aid convoy en route to Gaza, killing at least 10 passengers, spokesman James Appathurai said.

UN Security Council to hold emergency session over Gaza flotilla deaths
UN calls for full inquiry; European Union condemns incident; Sweden summons Israeli ambassador; White House ‘deeply regrets’ loss of life on Gaza flotilla.

Arabs demand independent probe of Israeli raid (AP)
AP – The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting Monday on Israel’s deadly commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip, with the Palestinians and Arab nations demanding condemnation and an independent investigation.*

Erdogan: Aid ship raid is Israeli state terrorism
Turkish PM says raid on Gaza-bound aid flotilla ‘totally contrary to principles of international.’ Merkel speaks with Netanyahu, Erdogan in bid to ease tensions. Irish PM: Israel de facto occupying force in Gaza.,7340,L-3896963,00.html

Turkey recalls envoy, calls UN meeting on Israel (AFP)
AFP – Turkey recalled its envoy from Tel Aviv Monday and urged an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council after a deadly Israeli raid on aid ships, including Turkish vessels, bound for Gaza.*

Turkey vents fury at Israeli armed action
Turkey told Israel that it would "suffer the consequences" after at least 10 pro-Palestinian activists were killed when Israeli commandos boarded a convoy of aid ships heading to Gaza.

Israel aid ship attack is terrorism – Hezbollah
BEIRUT, May 31 (Reuters) – Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah guerrilla group said on Monday Israel’s action against Gaza-bound aid ships in which at least 10 people were killed, was a "terrorist act that deserves international punishment".  Israeli commandos stormed the ships before dawn and at least 10 pro-Palestinian activists on board were killed, unleashing fierce criticism from the Jewish state’s friends and enemies.

Hague ‘deplores’ Gaza aid ship deaths
The Foreign Secretary today "deplored" the loss of life during the interception of a flotilla of ships carrying aid to Gaza.

PM tells Netanyahu Israeli raid was ‘unacceptable’ (AFP)
AFP – Prime Minister David Cameron described Israel’s raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla as "unacceptable" and urged the Jewish state to "respond constructively" to criticism of its actions.*

US ‘regrets’ deaths in Israeli raid on Gaza aid boats (AFP)
AFP – The United States "deeply regrets" the loss of life during an Israeli raid on an aid convoy to the Gaza Strip and is looking into the details of the incident, the White House said Monday.*

Germany shocked by Israeli flotilla action
BERLIN, May 31 (Reuters) – Germany expressed shock on Monday at Israel’s interception of an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip and said it was seeking further clarification about the event.

Lebanon, Syria warns of regional war by Israeli attack
BEIRUT, May 31 (Xinhua) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Monday that Israel’s attack on a flotilla of aid bound for Gaza threatens to ignite a war in the region.  The two sides made a joint statement after Hariri’s pre-planned visit to Damascus on Monday, saying that they strongly condemn the heinous crime committed by Israel through the brutal attack on unarmed civilians on board of the Freedom Flotilla carrying relief supplies and humanitarian aid to the besieged Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

Nasrallah: Massive Condemnation in Lebanon of Israel’s Crime
Hezbollah MP Hasan Fadlallah denounced the Israeli massacre as a "crime against humanity" and called on the international community to take action.   "This is a premeditated crime against humanity by the Israelis," Fadlallah told AFP. "This crime illustrates to the world Israel’s savagery and the way they deal with unarmed civilians," he added.  Fadlallah said that the activists detained following the raid should be considered hostages and the UN Security Council and international community must act quickly to denounce Israel’s actions.  "If they fail to act quickly to lift the siege on the Palestinians (in Gaza) and to denounce Israel for its crimes as well as save the hostages, the situation in the region will get worse," he warned.

Tunisia condemns Israeli attack on Gaza aid ships
TUNIS, May 31 (Xinhua) — Tunisia condemned the Israeli raid on international aid convoy, urging the international community to take quick moves to stop Palestinians’ sufferings and broker a breakthrough in the Middle East peace process, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

Egyptian president denounces Israeli attack on aid ships
CAIRO, May 31 (Xinhua) — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak denounced on Monday Israel’s excessive use of force against a flotilla of aid ships heading for Gaza, a statement from the presidential palace said.  The president insists on Egyptians’ solidarity with the people in Gaza and that the inter-Palestinian reconciliation is the only way to lift the blockade and end the humanitarian sufferings in Gaza, the statement said.

Arabs furious over deadly Israel raid, demand UN action (AFP)
AFP – Arab countries slammed Israel’s deadly raid Monday against a Gaza-bound aid flotilla as a "crime" and "state terrorism" while they urged the United Nations to hold the Jewish state accountable.*

PA cabinet condemns assault on Freedom Flotilla
Ramallah – Ma’an – Reiterating Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s earlier statement, the Palestinian Authority cabinet condemned what it termed the "Israeli criminal attack" on the Freedom Flotilla and called for the immediate lifting of the blockade on Gaza.

At least 12 nations summon Israeli ambassadors
Bethlehem – Ma’an – As international condemnation over the killing of at least 10 activists by Israeli forces as they raided an aid convoy en route to Gaza, a host of governments have summoned Israeli ambassadors to provide a full explanation on the assault.

Reactions from Humanitarian/Rights Groups and Other Figures
Rights expert says attacks hard to justify under law
Behlehem – Ma’an – Human rights exterts say the attack on the ship was likely illegal according to international law and the customary law of the sea, noting that Israeli justifications in claims that the activists were armed do not render their actions legal.  "In international waters, the crew of a ship have the right to prevent others from boarding their ship without their permission; including by resorting to force," human rights and international law expert at the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza Mahmoud Abu Rahma told Ma’an.

Amnesty International: Israeli killings of Gaza ship activists must be investigated
Amnesty International has called for Israel to launch an immediate, credible and independent investigation into the killing by its armed forces of at least 10 activists on boats protesting the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.  Amnesty International has called for Israel to launch an immediate, credible and independent investigation into the killing by its armed forces of at least 10 activists on boats protesting the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories: "Those responsible must be held criminally accountable"
GENEVA – The UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk, urged Monday the international community to bring to justice those responsible for the killing of some 16 unarmed peace activist, when Israeli armed commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to Gaza.

An Excellent Video with Dr. Azmi Bishara, About the Freedom Flotilla Massacre (Arabic)

‘Israel is a Lunatic State’ – Finkelstein on Gaza Flotilla Attack
Political scientist Norman Finkelstein has spoken to RT to give his assessment of Israel’s raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Nobel-winning Elders deplore Gaza flotilla attack
The Elders group of past and present world leaders, including former South African president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, on Monday condemned as “completely inexcusable” the deadly Israeli attack on a flotilla carrying aid for Gaza.

Rights org condemns "hideous" attack on Freedom Flotilla
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the crime perpetrated by Israeli Occupation Forces earlier this morning, 31 May 2010, when Israeli naval forces attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters as it was sailing towards the Gaza Strip.

Stop the Wall: Israeli declared war against international solidarity
May 31st, 2010– The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign is saddened and outraged by Sunday night’s attack on the Free Gaza flotilla. Israeli elite navy corps stormed the ships filled with 700 civilians, killing up to 16 according to reports and injuring dozens.

Gaza responds to the freedom flotilla massacre
We Gaza based Palestinian Civil Society Organizations and International activists call on the international community and civil society to pressure their governments and Israel to cease the abductions and killings in Israel’s attacks against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla sailing for Gaza, and begin a global response to hold Israel accountable for the murder of foreign civilians at sea and illegal piracy of civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza.

Gazans unite in call for solidarity with Freedom Flotilla
We Gaza-based Palestinian Civil Society Organizations and international activists call on the international community and civil society to pressure their governments and Israel to cease the abductions and killings in Israel’s attacks against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla sailing for Gaza, and begin a global response to hold Israel accountable for the murder of foreign civilians at sea and illegal piracy of civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza.

Reactions to the Israeli Attack on Freedom Flotilla
Israel today stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid to Gaza, killing up to 20 activists and injuring dozens. The ships, several of them Turkish, were carrying medical equipment and other aid on a mission to highlight the three-year-old Israeli blockade of the Palestinian territory. The attack took place 40 miles out to sea, in international waters.

Alarmed by ‘military operation,’ rabbis’ group calls for end to siege

Protests Erupt Around the World
Al Jazeera English Video: World condemns Israel raid on Gaza aid convoy
People all over the world have protested against Israel’s attack on an aid-carrying convoy bound for Gaza that left several pro-Palestinian activists on board dead and many more injured. The Freedom Flotilla, a convoy of six ships carrying hundreds of activists, political leaders and journalists from around the world, was trying to deliver about 10,000 tonnes of basic aid including food, medicines, and construction material, in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza. While Israel has said activists with bats and knives were the first to attack the gun-wielding troops when they boarded the ship, the flotilla’s organisers said that Israeli forces were the ones to open fire first. Nonetheless, there is a unanimous agreement across the world that the assault was unjustly disproportionate. Ban Ki-moon, the UN chief, has said he is "shocked by reports of killings and injuries" and has called for a full investigation into the incident. Several countries have called for urgent meetings on Israel’s lethal use of force. Al Jazeera’s Nour Odeh and Nadim Baba report on the reactions of political leaders and ordinary people across the world. [May 31, 2010]

Protests erupt across world after Israeli raid
(AFP) – Tens of thousands of people joined angry protests across the world Monday after a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, demanding retaliation and showing support for the Palestinians.  In Turkey crowds took to the streets in several cities to vent fury after the storming of a Turkish passenger boat in the flotilla that left at least nine dead, most of them believed to be Turkish nationals.

Istanbul rally: Israel will drown in blood
Some 10,000 protestors hold demonstrations in Turkey’s main cities following deadly IDF takeover of Gaza aid flotilla, call to close down ‘Zionist embassy’.,7340,L-3896895,00.html

Bethlehem Protests Against Flotilla Deaths
Bethlehem – PNN – Around 100 Internationals and Palestinians gathered today in Bethlehem’s Nativity Square to demonstrate against Israeli attack on the Free Gaza Ships. The attack left up to 19 activists killed by the Israeli Navy during an operation to prevent the Gaza Freedom Flotilla from bringing humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip.  The protest began at 2 PM and was led by the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlement Construction. Protesters marched from Nativity Square through the old city toward the separation barrier that surrounds Bethlehem and separates the city from Jerusalem.

Riots in Umm al-Fahm over naval raid on Gaza aid flotilla
Two police officers lightly hurt from stones thrown at them during riots; Arab residents of Akko, Haifa wave PLO flags.,7340,L-3896946,00.html

Israeli Arabs call general strike over Gaza flotilla takeover
(Video) Acting Higher Arab Monitoring Committee head calls incident ‘massacre’. Deputy of Islamic Movement official Sheikh Raed Salah says ‘this was an assassination attempt’. Meanwhile, military sources say Salah found on one of ships, not seriously injured,7340,L-3896555,00.html

Several Israeli Arab protesters arrested in mass rallies over Gaza flotilla deaths
Israeli forces on high alert on Lebanon, Gaza and Syria borders; Hezbollah demands ‘international punishment’ of Israel.

Thousands of Iraqis protest Gaza aid ship deaths
* Several thousand Sadr followers protest killings
* Call for international community to take a stand

Thousands protest across Lebanon against flotilla killings
BEIRUT/SIDON: Thousands of activists gathered in Beirut, Tripoli and Sidon on Monday to lend their voices to the international outcry over Israel’s attack on an aid ship bound for Gaza, which killed at least nine aid workers.

Flotilla protest outside UN building, Beirut
Demonstrators gathered outside the main UN office in Beirut, ESCWA, today to protest against Israel’s attack on the humanitarian aid flotilla heading to Gaza. According to media reports, at least 19 people have been killed.

UAE condemns Israeli attack on humanitarian flotilla to Gaza
ABU DHABI, May 31 (Xinhua) — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday expressed strong condemnation of Israel’s attack on a humanitarian flotilla heading to Gaza, the state news agency WAM reported.  "The UAE strongly condemns the inhumane and criminal infliction of force carried out by Israel on the humanitarian convoy of civilians that has resulted in the death of at least 19 innocent aid workers and the wounding of several more," the report said.

The flotilla crisis seen from Cairo
It’s impressive to see such a forceful international reaction to this morning’s deadly raid on the flotilla of boats bringing aid to Gaza. Thousands have protested in New York, Istanbul, Ankara, Stockholm, Paris and many other places, in one of the biggest mobilizations on behalf of the Palestinian cause in years.  Even in Cairo, where pro-Palestinian demos have been very, very tightly restricted since the Gaza war — since the regime doesn’t want any reminders of its role in the Gaza blockade — today was a surprise. At first, the protest outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seemed disappointed, with only a few dozen participants. But this evening, thousands gathered at the al-Fath mosque on Ramses Square and staged an impressive protest, even if they were penned in by several hundred uniformed riot control troops and police officers, as well as tons of plainclothes security people and a bunch of baltiguiya (street toughs hired to intimidate, and need be, beat up protesters).

Thousands protest flotilla deaths, clashes in Athens
* Israeli action widely condemned in street demonstrations
* Protesters call for boycotts, recall of ambassadors

Massive protests in Sweden to condemn Israel for attacking Gaza aid flotilla
STOCKHOLM, May 31 (Xinhua) — Thousands of Swedes joined demonstrations to protest Israeli raid on Gaza aid flotilla in several Swedish cities on Monday.  In Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, around 6,000 protesters, chanting anti-Israeli slogans and waving Palestinian flags, gathered in a central square of the city. A number of speakers expressed their disgust and dismay over the Israeli attack.

One thousand protest against Israel in London (AFP)
AFP – More than a thousand pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated outside the Israeli embassy in London Monday to denounce Israel’s storming of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla which left at least nine people dead.*

Gaza aid ship protesters try to storm BBC Manchester
BBC Gaza protest A protester placed a Palestinian flag on top of BBC Manchester.  Protesters demonstrating against the Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid ship have attempted to storm the BBC in Manchester.

Gaza Freedom Protest pictures

Lowkey | Gaza Freedom Flotilla Massacre protest | London 31 May 2010

Paris: 2,000 protest flotilla deaths
French demonstrators wave banners saying ‘Long live free Palestine’ and ‘Criminal Israel’; In Athens, thousands rally outside Israeli embassy, chant ‘Hands off Gaza’.,7340,L-3897056,00.html

Media in the Service of Israeli Crimes
According to CNN, which has made itself into a mouthpiece for the Israeli Defense Forces, the flotilla massacre was a “skirmish”, which the dictionary defines as a “minor battle in war, as one between small forces.”

New York Times
Defensive ‘Times’ describes attack as ‘propaganda coup’ for ‘Israel’s foes’
The New York Times’ Isabel Kershner reports more than 10 dead and then offers the following grotesque commentary: "The criticism [of Israel over the attack] offered a propaganda coup to Israel’s foes, particularly the Hamas group that holds sway in Gaza."  A coup is a blow. Is it possible for the Times to report who has suffered a blow here? Is the Times capable of supplying disturbing information from Israel without seeking to couch it in criticism of others? P.S. Kershner is an Israeli.

NPR just now portrayed the flotilla raid as a legitimate response by Israel to resistance on board. Sheera Frenkel quoted Israel sources chiefly on the attempted "lynching" of Israeli commandos. (I think there was one statement attributed to a flotilla rep). Notice that Americans for Peace Now is incapable of condemning the action.

Israeli Criminals Defend Their Actions
FM says won’t recall ambassador from Turkey
Lieberman praises IDF, blames radical elements in Arab-Israeli sector of using event to voice their stance; estimates Gaza sail raid won’t affect proximity talks since ‘there was no Palestinian enthusiasm over negotiations even before the sail’.,7340,L-3897060,00.html

Israel to UN: Flotilla participants not peace activists
Deputy Ambassador Carmon tells Security Council emergency meeting, ‘What kind of peace activists use knives, clubs and other weapons to attack soldiers?’ Turkish FM: Israel’s hands are covered with blood.,7340,L-3897076,00.html

Demonstrators in Tel Aviv call Erdogan ‘fascist’
Hundreds protest outside Turkish embassy against Ankara’s involvement in Gaza flotilla, carry signs reading, ‘Provocation is not the path to peace.’ Likud MK: There are Trojan horses in the Knesset who support terror.,7340,L-3897091,00.html

Seizure of the Gaza flotilla: Press conference with Dep FM Ayalon
DEPUTY FM AYALON: Good morning, everyone. I want to report this morning that the armada of hate and violence in support of the Hamas terror organization was a premeditated and outrageous provocation. The organizers are well-known for their ties to Global Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror. On board the ship we found weapons that were prepared in advance and used against our forces. The organizers’ intent was violent, their method was violent,…… The maritime blockade on Gaza is very legal and justified by the terror that Hamas is applying in Gaza. …… Thank you very much.

Israeli Deputy FM Ayalon lies through his teeth about the flotilla massacre
It is impossible for one to maintain calm while reading lies. Today’s dosage of lies (called Hasbara, and from now on, when an Israeli is lying, I will start to use the very “to hasbara”, conjugated appropriately) was more poisonous than usual. It runs under the topic of “defending atrocities”, which is only slightly less frequent than the “defending racist policies” rubric. My comments to these obscene utterings from the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministy in Rabid Red.

Analysis/Op-ed on Attack of Gaza Flotilla
Robert Fisk: Western leaders are too cowardly to help save lives
Has Israel lost it? Can the Gaza War of 2008-09 (1,300 dead) and the Lebanon War of 2006 (1,006 dead) and all the other wars and now yesterday’s killings mean that the world will no longer accept Israel’s rule?–to-help-save-lives-1987989.html

Operation Mini Cast Lead, Gideon Levy
Like in "Mini-Israel," the park where there is everything, but smaller, Israel embarked yesterday on a mini Operation Cast Lead. Like its larger, losing predecessor, this operation had it all: the usual false claim that is was they who had started it – and not the landing of commandos from helicopters on a ship in open sea, away from Israeli territorial waters. There was the claim that the first act of violence came not from the soldiers, but the rioting activists on Mavi Marmara; that the blockade on Gaza is legal and that the flotilla to its shores is against the law – God knows which law.

Israel reveals its true face | Ahdaf Soueif
This will count. A flotilla of relief boats attacked in international waters. Armed commandos boarding a vessel carrying supplies for a besieged civilian population. More than 10 peace activists reported killed. This has to be made to count.

Israel’s ‘gunboat diplomacy’ provokes global outrage
Israel was struggling to contain a rapidly mounting diplomatic crisis last night after naval commandos killed at least 10 pro-Palestinian activists in international waters after storming their Turkish passenger ship as it attempted to reach the coast of the besieged Gaza strip.

Gaza: From blockade to bloodshed | Editorial
Nothing has done more to establish Israel’s status as a pariah state among its neighbours than the actions of its armed forces. If an armed group of Somali pirates had yesterday boarded six vessels on the high seas, killing at least 10 passengers and injuring many more, a Nato taskforce would today be heading for the Somali coast. What happened yesterday in international waters off the coast of Gaza was the work of Israeli commandos, not pirates, and no Nato warships will in fact be heading for Israel. Perhaps they should be.

Israel apologists and the Israeli national will, Paul Woodward
Depending on ones view of Israel, the deaths that occurred on the decks of the Mavi Marmara early today are either reprehensible, tragic, regrettable, or — a cause for celebration.  Someone just wrote to me: “Too bad you weren’t on that ship with the rest of the terror supporters. Anyone touching an IDF soldier deserves what they got.”

Israel’s latest brutal blunder, Stephen M. Walt
By now you’ll all have heard about the IDF’s unwarranted attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, a fleet of six civilian vessels that was attempting to bring humanitarian aid (i.e., medicines, food, and building materials) to Gaza. The population of Gaza has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2006. Israel imposed the blockade after Gaza’s voters had the temerity to prefer Hamas in a free election held at the insistence of the Bush administration, which then refused to recognize the new government because it didn’t like the results.

ANALYSIS / Whatever Turkey does, it will be bad for Israel and good for Hamas
One thing is already clear – the raid on the Gaza flotilla has dealt Turkey-Israel ties an official, public blow.

A Special Place in Hell / The Second Gaza War: Israel lost at sea
We are no longer defending Israel. We are now defending the siege, which is itself becoming Israel’s Vietnam.

International solidarity and the Freedom Flotilla massacre
Early this morning under the cover of darkness Israeli soldiers stormed the lead ship of the six-vessel Freedom Flotilla aid convoy in international waters and killed and injured dozens of civilians aboard. Israel had been openly threatening a violent attack on the Flotilla for days, but complacency, complicity and inaction, specifically from Western and Arab governments once more sent the message that Israel could act with total impunity.

Mourning the Dead of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza,  Cynthia McKinney
I am outraged at Israel’s latest criminal act. I mourn with my fellow Free Gaza travelers, the lives that have been lost by Israel’s needless, senseless act against unarmed humanitarian activists. But I’m even more outraged that once again, Israel’s actions have been aided and abetted by a U.S. political class that has become corrupted beyond belief due to its reliance on Zionist finance and penetration by Zionist zealots for whom no U.S. weapons system is too much for the Israeli war machine, and the silence of the world’s onlookers whose hearts have grown cold with indifference.

Israeli Butchery at Sea, Gilad Atzmon
As I write this piece the scale of the Israeli lethal slaughter at sea is yet to be clear. However we already know that at around 4am Gaza time, hundreds of IDF commandos stormed the Free Gaza international humanitarian fleet. We learn from the Arab press that at least 16 peace activists have been murdered and more than 50 were injured. Once again it is devastatingly obvious that Israel is not trying to hide its true nature: an inhuman murderous collective fuelled by a psychosis and driven by paranoia.

Israel’s Attack on Us All, JONATHAN COOK
It is quite astounding that Israel has been able to create over the past 12 hours a news blackout, just as it did with its attack on Gaza 18 months ago, into which our main media organisations have willingly allowed Israeli spokespeople to step in unchallenged.  How many civilians were killed in Israel’s dawn attack on the Gaza-bound flotilla of aid? We still don’t know. How many wounded? Your guess is as good as mine. Were the aid activists armed with guns? Yes, says Israel. Were they in cahoots with al-Qaeda and Hamas? Certainly, says Israel. Did the soldiers act reasonably? Of course, they faced a lynch, says Israel.

Pirates of the Mediterranean, Jeremy Salt – Ankara
The Turkish aid vessel Mavi Marmara (Blue Marmara) was in international waters when it was attacked by Israeli ships and helicopter-borne soldiers on Monday morning. According to the Israeli government spokesmen, it was the Israeli soldiers who were themselves attacked, with knives, axes and guns, but it was 16 people on board who were killed, according to the estimates of the dead and wounded being made by midday. In fact, as film taken from the Mavi Marmara showed, it was the Israelis who attacked, swarming on the deck and wounding the captain as they took the ship over. The passengers were not armed. They were all checked before they boarded the ship in Istanbul and Antalya and none were carrying weapons. According to a Turkish customs official in  Antalya: ‘Forty-two passengers boarded in Istanbul and 504 passengers got on the ship here.  We spotted no weapons and there is no such record in our logs. We did not notice anything suspicious about the Mavi Marmara. Had our officers had any suspicions they would have reported it’.

Israel’s Murderous Sea Piracy a Horrendous Moment of Truth for US Policy, Finian Cunningham
May 31, 2010 "Information Clearing House" — This time, the Israeli war machine may have gone too far for international public opinion to stomach.  In the early hours of 1 June, before daybreak, Israeli commandos stormed the international civilian aid convoy heading for Gaza. Between 20-24 volunteers onboard have been killed and at least 50 injured, according to various reports, but the number of casualties has risen rapidly from the initial reports of two dead. The final death toll could be greater.  The actions by Israeli forces have been condemned by governments around the world. European governments, including those of Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Norway and Sweden have summoned their respective Israeli envoys over the incident. Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan is reported to have cut short a trip to South America and his country is said to have recalled its ambassador to Israel in protest.

Belén Fernández – International activists cause their own deaths by attacking nonconfrontational Israeli commandos

At a press briefing this morning following the massacre by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commandos of passengers on board the Mavi Marmara, one of the boats pertaining to the Freedom Flotilla attempting to break the siege of Gaza, IDF spokeswoman Avital Liebovitch claimed that the passengers had engaged in “severe violence against our soldiers.”  According to Liebovitch, the violence was premeditated and was administered via live fire, sharp items such as knives, and weapons “grabbed” from the IDF commandos. While underscoring Israel’s unique ability to portray its armed forces as victims, the analysis failed to provide a compelling reason for why—if the alleged attack using grabbed weapons was indeed premeditated—the IDF did not throw a wrench in the works by simply refraining from raiding the ship.

Diana Buttu: Anger, angst and shock among Palestinians over Israeli attack on flotilla, Alex Kane
Angry protests have erupted all over the world, Israeli ambassadors have been summoned in many countries, and military exercises with Greece have been canceled in response to the Israeli Navy killing up to 19 Palestine solidarity activists that were part of the flotilla aiming to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Flotilla Massacre is a Reply to the Turkish-Iranian Relations, Kawther Salam
1 (7)The leaders of the Israeli gang of War criminals, the so-called “Israeli government” is currently engaged in inciting and planning to launch a nuclear war against Iran, was not able to do anything in response to the Turkish- Iranian-Brazilian agreement of last May 17 2010 to transfer 1.200 Kg of low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for nuclear fuel. In retaliation, they perpetrated the massacre on the Freedom Flotilla of humanitarian aid-carrying ships aiming to break the Israel genocide of siege on Gaza imposed since 2006. The Turkish-Iranian-Brazilian agreement stood as an obstacle against the Israeli ambitions to force the world to enter into a spiral of bloody nuclear war. It is wrong to believe that the Turkish government was not expecting the massacre against the Freedom Flotilla which carried 10.000 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Kourosh Ziabari – What if Iran had carried out the Gaza carnage?
Israel PalestiniansIt’s not unjustifiable to consider Israel as the absolute incarnation of fraudulence, relentlessness and brutality. Since its establishment, the Zionist regime has carried out actions which contravene the international regulations and cancel out the human rights in a way or another. Only a brief look into the account of Israel’s bloody interaction with the Palestinian people over the past years shows us that this fabricated regime does not deserve "the right of existence", as the U.S. and European officials put it periodically.

Donald Macintyre: Israel ruled the airwaves as it did the seas

Jonah’s Hill overlooking the port of Ashdod is rich in history, the look-out point from which British officers during the Mandate used to scour the sea below to prevent illegal Jewish immigrants from entering Palestine.

The Madness of Arrogance, Dr. Alan Sabrosky
Israel’s attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla on America’s Memorial Day was all too predictable, although the form it took surprised even me. And it confirms the old proverb that “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad,” for the attack was the kind of madness only unbridled arrogance can assume.  It wasn’t just that foreigners as well as Palestinians, flying flags other than that of Palestine, were attacked. Israel has a long history of doing such things, especially to the UN. But except for the USS Liberty incident in 1967, it has generally done that on inland sites — Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon — where it can largely block news and visual evidence, and control the spin it puts on events, counting on its friends in the US and other mainstream media to say little or nothing to contradict them.

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin: Israel’s Atrocity on Gaza Aid Ship Offers Obama Opportunity
Torture and terror, two terms peppered across the pages of newspapers, spouted from the mouths of news-anchors and stamped across countless websites throughout the first decade of the 21st century, but rarely used to describe the Israeli government’s policies towards Palestinians over the last six decades.

Carlos Latuff Cartoon

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