Palestine/Israel Apartheid News: 6/27/11: Gaza Flotilla News

INDEX (stories follow)

EVENTS

Israel Law Center behind harassment of flotilla funded by homophobic End Timer Pastor John Hagee

from Max Blumenthal by Max

Far-Right Israeli NGO Brags It Induced Greece to Detain Audacity of Hope

Greece Colludes Against Gaza Flotilla on Behalf of Israel, U.S.

Gaza Flotilla Ships Depart Tuesday, U.S. Threatens American Flotilla Passengers With Prosecution

Congress members protest Clinton’s “green light” for deadly force against Gaza blockade busters

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report

The Audacity of the Gaza Flotilla

from Informed Comment by Juan

Flotillas to Gaza

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)

The Shame of It: State Department Warns U.S. Flotilla Members Israel May Kill Them

Anti-Flotilla video fraud linked to PM Netanyahu’s office, official Israeli hasbara agents (Updated)

from Max Blumenthal by Max

EVENTS

 

Israel Law Center behind harassment of flotilla funded by homophobic End Timer Pastor John Hagee

from Max Blumenthal by Max

Pastor John Hagee is a major financial supporter of Shurat Hadin, the Israel Law Center behind the legal campaign against the Gaza Freedom FlotillaPastor John Hagee is a major financial supporter of Shurat Hadin, the Israel Law Center behind the legal campaign against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla

On June 24, Joseph Dana, a journalist who will traveling aboard the US boat to Gaza, discovered that an anonymous private legal complaint had been filed against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. The complaint alleged that US boat, “The Audacity of Hope,” was not sea worthy and therefore was unfit to sail. In response, the harbor master in Athens, Greece, where the boat was docked, told the crew that he could not allow them to leave until the complaint was resolved.

Two days later, the Israel Law Center, Shurat Hadin, accepted responsibility for the complaint, which was essentially a baseless but startlingly successful exercise in legal harassment. Who is Shurat Hadin, and what is their agenda? According to the group’s website, Shurat Hadin is a Tel Aviv-based law center that specializes in lawsuits against “terrorists.” Its founder, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, describes herself in her bio as a “human rights activist.”

Darshan-Leitner began her harassment of the US boat to Gaza began weeks ago when it filed a civil actionagainst “perceived supporters of Hamas” on behalf of Alan Bauer, an American doctor who was injured along with his son in a 2002 Jerusalem bombing attack. The action also threatened maritime insurance companies with legal consequences if they insured any of the boats involved in the flotilla.

I have discovered that a major donor to Shurat Hadin is the homophobic far-right Pastor John Hagee. In March 2010, I reported that Hagee appeared beside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a major rally in Jerusalem to denounce the two state solution and announce the financial contributions he and his supporters were making to Israeli organizations. Among the organizations Hagee said he had bankrolled was Shurat Hadin.

Who Is Hagee Funding In Israel? from Max Blumenthal on Vimeo.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican Senator John McCain repudiated Hagee’s endorsement as soon as Hagee’s statements describing the Holocaust as a fulfillment of divine prophecy came to light. Hagee has also asserted his belief that the anti-Christ was “partially Jewish, as was Adolph Hitler.” As the researcher and reporter Bruce Wilson has documented, Hagee preaches that the Jewish Rothschild family controls the US economy through the Federal Reserve and conspires to attack the American middle class by devaluing the dollar. In his 2006 book Jerusalem Countdown, Hagee claimed that a lineage of “half-breed Jews,” descended from Esau and which included Adolf Hitler, have persecuted full-blooded Jews throughout history. Hagee prophesied that God intended to exterminate that “half-breed Jew” line.

These statements — and countless more demonizing gays, Muslims, and anyone else Hagee deems to be allied with “the Enemy”  – have been widely reported. However, nothing Hagee says or does seems to deter the “human rights activist” Darshan-Leitner and Shurat Hadin from embracing him and benefiting from his riches.

Far-Right Israeli NGO Brags It Induced Greece to Detain Audacity of Hope

Israel’s Galey Tzahal reports that the lawfare-oriented far-right NGO, Shurat Ha-Din, has taken credit for the “citizen’s complaint” to the Greek authorities claiming the Audacity of Hope is not seaworthy.  The complaint, totally bogus in nature, has frozen the plans of the U.S. boat to join the Flotilla.  To me it is simply incredible that this is all it takes to get Greece to throw a wrench into the Gaza flotilla.  Do they not investigate the source of the complaint to determine whether there is any validity to it?

Here’s the report, translated by Dena Shunra:

Sources in Shurat Hadin say they are behind the communication with Greek authorities, and claim that in it they indicated that the boats are seaworthy and are misleading, and that the flotilla will provide assistance to terror. They claim that several ships in Greece are being detained by the local Coast Guard, which prevents them from embarking. The organization also says that they had written a letter to 36 Americans who plan to take part in the flotilla and indicated to them that participation in the flotilla is a criminal offense under American Law.

Since when does an Israeli NGO warn American citizens about violations of U.S. law?  What if a the Pacific Legal Center, a right-wing legal advocacy group, were to send a letter to 36 Israelis telling them their actions in breaching the U.S. embargo of Cuba violated Israeli law?  What unbelievable chutzpah.  Let these shmoes worry about their own country’s laws and not stick their noses where they not only don’t belong, but where they’re interfering with the rights of American citizens.  And let them try to prosecute the American activists.  If the State Department or Justice Department ever dared to do it they’d be laughed out-of-town.

I think this also raises a serious question whether Shurat Ha-Din, also known as the Israel Law Center, is acting on its own or whether it may be coordinating its efforts with official elements in the Israeli government like the MFA or intelligence figures.  It is certainly in their interests to prevent the sailing of the ship so that Israel isn’t faced with the rather embarrassing prospect of engaging in an act of piracy on the high seas in order to prevent its reaching Gaza.  Further, as the State Department has threatened U.S. citizens with prosecution and Shurat HaDin has taken the same position, it seems clear that the State Department is closely coordinating its attack on the Flotilla with the MFA, which in turn is using Shurat HaDin as its stalking horse since the Israeli government would not want to officially appear to be engaging in such subterfuge.

UPDATEYnet reports (Hebrew) that indeed the MFA is collaborating with Shurat HaDin and other groups in the efforts described above:

The difficulties being faced by various boats are the fruit of a number of organizations around the world with the coordination of the MFA.

Given the legal extortion by Shurat HaDin against those who might facilitate various services for the Flotilla, the following statement by the ministry appears an outright lie:

We’re not talking about exerting pressure or threatening, but rather simply explaining (“hasbara”) the situation, the laws of the sea and international law and military orders.  The efforts of the ministry progressed greatly by exploiting the legal systems of individual countries [to frustrate the Flotilla] in order to delay [and frustrate the plans of] the activists.

And that ace diplomat, Danny Ayalon (who reminds me a bit of Jimmy Olsen, Superman’s junior sidekick) reveals his brilliant strategy for further frustrating the Flotilla:

The ministry has created a political strategy designed to delegitimize [there’s that beaut of a word coined by those lexicographers working dawn to dusk in the cubicles of the ministry] in the eyes of the international community.

Apparently he’s talking about the mendacious claims that the project is a “collaboration with Islamist extremist organizations, which constitutes an act against a friendly nation: Israel.”  This sure is going to do a cracker jack job of delegitimizing the Flotilla.  I can’t think of a diplomat or world leader who won’t buy the bulls(^t Ayalon’s peddling.  Ayalon added somewhat ominously that for any boats that succeeded in getting through “he was confident the navy would know how to deal with them in the best possible way.”

In the Ynet report, the MFA spokesperson appears to have earned an advanced psychiatric degree that allows him to use pseudo-psychological jargon to rebut claims by Flotilla activists that Israel was pressuring Greece to stop the boats by using economic leverage that exploited the latter’s dire financial condition.  ”Doctor” Yigal Palmor called those entirely reasonable theories “paranoid” and the product of “infantile” thought “divorced from reality.”  Funny he should mention paranoia and thought processes divorced from reality.  For a second there, I was thinking maybe he’d made a mistake and was thinking of the foreign policy of his own country as enunciated by his own ministry.  Paranoia and divorce from reality seems a trademark of much of Israeli government and military policy.

The Israeli media outlet claims that a total of six boats have been detained in Greek ports.  Of course, the tone of the article is unrestrained pride at the successes without any shred of objectivity in the reporting.  The reporters added that “sources in Jerusalem” confirmed the reports, which further reinforce the notion of a wide campaign utilizing pro-Israel forces like Shurat HaDin and others to sabotage the Flotilla.

It’s ironic that Ynet also reports the IDF is preparing to confront violence from the passengers, when far the most lethal violence offered in past sailings was from the IDF itself.  What these sources are really saying is that the IDF will use violence if, and when it deems violence appropriate, NOT that it will respond to violence from the activists who’ve consistently said they will not offer any.  If anything or anyone should be doubted here it isn’t those on the Flotilla, but the IDF.  The Israelis kill, the activists don’t.

Returning to Shurat HaDin, it’s also possible it is a group of braggarts and liars seeking to take credit for something they had nothing to do with.  Or the truth may lie somewhere in between.

Shurat HaDin also conducts guided Intellitours (you can go on the next one…aren’t you lucky!) of Israel for well-heeled pro-Israel types in which it offers them opportunities to be debriefed by Shin Bet and Mossad officials and learn how targeted assassinations and other counter terror operations are planned and implemented.  Sample itineraries:

Briefing by Pinchas Buchris, former Commander of the Elite Military Intelligence Unit 8200: “Intercepting Signal Intelligence (phone calls, radio TV, telex, internet, emails)…

  • Briefings by Mossad officials and commanders of the Shin Bet.
  • Briefing by officers in the IDF Intelligence and Operations branches.
  • Inside tour of the IAF unit who carries out targeted killings.
  • Live exhibition of penetration raids in Arab territory.
  • Observe a trial of Hamas terrorists in an IDF military court.
  • Inside tour of the controversial Security Fence and secret intelligence bases.
  • Meeting Israel’s Arab agents who infiltrate the terrorist groups and provide real-time intelligence.
  • Briefing by Israel’s war heros who saved the country.

The group has also unsuccessfully sued Arab banks claiming that they’ve supported Palestinian acts of terror.  American Thinker reports that the group has attempted to sue the sponsors of Audacity of Hope on behalf of an American Jewish terror victim alleging the ship somehow is responsible for a 2002 attack on the victim.  You get the idea of their fraudulent MO.  They’ve also mounted a campaign warning maritime insurers like Lloyd’s of London that if it insures a flotilla boat that Shurat HaDin will sue it for sponsoring terrorism.  It’s all of a piece with the lying, conniving of Gerald Steinberg and his NGO Monitor group.  On the upcoming Intellitour there will, of course, be a lecture from the distinguished Prof. Steinberg.

What’s most ironic about the group is that it employs precisely the same tactics as pro-Palestinian groups which Alan Dershowitz alleges engaging in lawfare, judicial/legal attacks on Israel’s legitimacy.  Perhaps we should call it Zio-lawfare.

Among the group’s donors is John Hagee ($100,000).  Donations to it are tax-deductible under U.S. law when funneled through the PEF Endowment Funds, founded, I’m ashamed to say, by Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Stephen Wise.

Shurat Ha-Din reeks of collusion with Israeli intelligence though I haven’t heard of any direct confirmation of that yet.

Related posts:

  1. Greece Colludes Against Gaza Flotilla on Behalf of Israel, U.S. The U.S. and Israel are afraid of Hope. Greece is…
  2. Israeli NGO Files Suit to Block IDF Chief of Staff Appointment The Israeli anti-Occupation NGO, Yesh Gvul, filed suit in Israel’s…
  3. Israeli NGO Wins Partial Lifting of Abusisi Gag A few days ago the Association for Civil Rights in…

Greece Colludes Against Gaza Flotilla on Behalf of Israel, U.S.

audacity of hope crewAudacity of Hope crew trains for Gaza Flotilla mission

The U.S. and Israel are afraid of Hope.

Greece is in a dire economic position, teetering on the verge of bankruptcy and threatening to bring down the entire EU currency in the process.  As a result, the government is particularly vulnerable to diplomatic blackmail of the sort Israel and the U.S. are employing to prevent the sailing of several ships of the Gaza Flotilla, in particular the U.S. Audacity of Hope:

Passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, are asking Greek government officials to clarify whether the[ir] boat…is being blocked from leaving Greece because of…a political decision has been made by the Greek government in response to U.S. and Israeli government pressure. They specifically want to know if the U.S. is using its leverage at the International Monetary Fund over the implementation of an ongoing bailout of European banks with massive Greek debts to compel the Greek government to block the U.S. Boat to Gaza from leaving Greece.

On the morning of June 23, the American passengers learned that a “private complaint” had been filed against the U.S. Boat to Gaza, which is part of an international flotilla scheduled to sail to Gaza in the next few days. This complaint, its origin still unknown to the Americans, claimed that the boat is “not seaworthy” and therefore requires a detailed inspection. On June 25 a police order declared that until the complaint is resolved the boat will not be permitted to leave.

[Is] Israel, which has extensive economic trade and investments in Greece…using its clout to pressure the Greek government…[Or is] the Obama Administration…using U.S. leverage at the IMF to compel the Greek authorities to stop the U.S. boat from leaving Greece.  Greece’s economic and political crisis is a result of extreme austerity measures imposed by the European Union and the largely U.S.-controlled International Monetary Fund…

As I’ve written here, Israel is known for using economic clout and blandishments to induce other states to do its bidding.  An Israeli source confirmed to me that Ukraine had agreed to the extraordinary rendition of Dirar Abusisi in return for various trade pacts and lobbying help and access in Washington DC.  Some are speculating that Israel might’ve agreed to lobby various European countries on behalf of Turkey’s candidacy for the EU in return for that country pulling the plug on its own contingent in the Gaza Flotilla.

Greece of course is stuck in a particular bind because it is hanging by a hair economically.  It doesn’t need the distraction of Israeli threats to its further damage its economy should it allow the U.S. boat to depart for Gaza.  It seems that at least in this particular matter, Israel and the U.S. have Greece by the short hairs and the Gaza Flotilla suffers the consequences of such bad timing.

Israel is attempting to play hardball by threatening international journalists covering the Flotilla with a ten year ban from entering the country and confiscation (that is, “theft”) of their equipment.  I’m wondering what they plan to do with the journalists like Amira Hass, Joseph Dana and Mya Guarnieri, who are Israeli citizens covering the trip.  Maybe they will ban them from their own country a la apartheid era South Africa or Soviet Russia?

Lest Israel crow about its victory, it should be remembered that generally Israel’s timing is pretty bad on similar matters and that the next time it gets into a similar scrape there may be others qvelling from the pain Israel inflicts on itself.

There is a saying I think I remember Bobby Kennedy using in his speeches about racial injustice: “Justice delayed in justice denied.”  In the case of the flotilla, even if the Israelis and Obama administration succeed by subterfuge to frustrate the aims of the Flotilla, they have not excused the fundamental injustice of the Gaza siege and Israel’s overall policy toward Palestine.  The nasty boil remains on the body politic.  Refusing the aggressive treatment offered by the Flotilla doesn’t conceal the fact that the Occupation and siege are part of a terrible illness that afflicts Israel.  The illness won’t go away.  It remains for all to see.  The Israelis will happily point to their success in cancelling the sailing of Hope.  But what sort of victory have they won?  At best, it’s Pyrrhic.

Show your support for the brave Flotilla activists and your opposition to the empty threats and lies of the U.S. and Israeli governments.  Make a donation to support the cause.  A friend of this blog, Mary Hughes Thompson sails on the Canadian boat, Tahrir.  You may support it here.

Related posts:

  1. Gaza Flotilla Ships Depart Tuesday, U.S. Threatens American Flotilla Passengers With Prosecution The Turkish daily, Hurriyet reports that ten Gaza flotilla ships…
  2. The Shame of It: State Department Warns U.S. Flotilla Members Israel May Kill Them Not for a few years have I felt quite this…
  3. Voice of Israel Anti-Flotilla Hasbara It’s simply amazing the power of the Israeli media to…

Gaza Flotilla Ships Depart Tuesday, U.S. Threatens American Flotilla Passengers With Prosecution

from Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place by Richard Silverstein

2 people liked this

The Turkish daily, Hurriyet reports that ten Gaza flotilla ships will embark from European ports in Greece and Italy on Tuesday.  Previous reports said they might sail Saturday.  The story notes that at least one ship will leave from Athens port, which would likely be the Audacity of Hope, whose passengers are now in Athens training for their journey and the possibility of IDF attack.

Hurriyet quotes yet another outrageous statement by Hillary Clinton to top the one which essentially warned the U.S. passengers that Israel might likely kill them and their government would take no responsibility if it did.  Here’s her latest outrage:

“We do not believe the flotilla is a necessary or useful effort to try to assist the people of Gaza,” Clinton was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse. “We think it’s not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions by entering Israeli waters and creating a situation in which theIsraelis have the right to defend themselves.”

Did you get that?  Gaza is Israel’s territorial waters.  Since when?  She’s got lawyers working for her who are experts in maritime and international law.  Does she even bother to vet such nonsense with them before saying it?  Or is it the lawyers who’ve come up with this?  Not to mention that Israel intercepts them on the high seas, making it an act of piracy since Israel isn’t protecting its own territorial waters when it hijacks a boat in the international zone.

Can anyone tell me why Israel should have a ‘right to defend itself’ against unarmed civilians fulfilling their rights to protest against Israel’s illegal siege against Gaza?  How is that “defense?”  What threat do these peace activists pose to Israel or Israelis?  By what right would any force be used against them?

UPDATE: And in case you thought it wasn’t possible, I’ve just read an even dumber, lamer State Department pronouncement which threatens Flotilla passengers who are U.S. citizens with prosecution for providing support to a terrorist entity.  Here’s Haaretz’s headline as reported by its Washington stenographer, er correspondent, Natasha Mozgovaya:

U.S. State Department says Gaza is run by U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization Hamas and Americans providing support to it are subject to fines and jail.

And here’s the actual quote by the State Department flack:

“We underscore that delivering or attempting or conspiring to deliver material support or other resources to or for the benefit of a designated foreign terrorist organization, such as Hamas, could violate U.S. civil and criminal statutes and could lead to fines and incarceration,” Nuland said.

This doesn’t inhibit participation or intimidate those in the Flotilla.  Just the opposite.  If I were a passenger I’d quote my former president: “Bring it on.”  When your government plays stupid, it infuriates you so much you are moved to act to oppose its lunacy.  There will be many more Americans who will want to go next time.  And of course there will be a next time, and a time after, till this insane siege is ended.

I wrote this in an earlier post tonight and I’m sorry to repeat myself, but this makes me goddamn ashamed to be an American.  Goddamn ashamed.

Related posts:

  1. First Gaza Flotilla Ships Depart Scotland Channel 10 Israeli TV reports (Hebrew) along with Israel Radio…
  2. Israeli Investigation of Gaza Flotilla in Disarray, Chairman Threatens Resignation, Bibi Relents After the Israeli NGO Gush Shalom filed a complaint with…
  3. Greece Colludes Against Gaza Flotilla on Behalf of Israel, U.S. The U.S. and Israel are afraid of Hope. Greece is…

Congress members protest Clinton’s “green light” for deadly force against Gaza blockade busters

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report

The US State Department issued the following terse warning on June 22:

The security environment within Gaza, including its border with Egypt and its seacoast, is dangerous and volatile. U.S. citizens are advised against traveling to Gaza by any means, including via sea. Previous attempts to enter Gaza by sea have been stopped by Israeli naval vessels and resulted in the injury, death, arrest, and deportation of U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens participating in any effort to reach Gaza by sea should understand that they may face arrest, prosecution, and deportation by the Government of Israel… On May 31, 2010, nine people were killed, including one U.S. citizen, in such an attempt.

read more

The Audacity of the Gaza Flotilla

from Informed Comment by Juan

1 person liked this

A new Gaza aid flotilla is set to take off from Greece on Sunday, including 600 persons representing 22 countries, on ten ships. Pulitzer-prize winning author Alice Walker is among them. (Swedish author Henning Mankell participated in the 2010 flotilla).

Yonatan Shapira explains why he is taking part in the new flotilla:

The US State Department shamefully fully supports the blockade and the collective punishment, and is threatening US citizens who participate in the attempt to break the siege of Gaza’s children (40% of residents are children). The Israeli Right wing portrays the blockade as a measure against the Hamas Party, which won the 2006 elections for the Palestine Authority. But blockading 1.5 million civilian noncombatants to get out a few thousand party activists and militiamen is illegal, especially for the Occupying Power (which Israel is, since it controls Gaza’s air and water and prevents Palestinians from entering a wide swathe of their own land).

Six congressmen wrote Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking her to protect American citizens on the high seas, after an Israeli commando attack on an unarmed aid vessel last year left 9 dead, including one American citizen. The letter came after the State Department issued its menacing statement against Americans who participated.

Since the blockade is both illegal and evil, and since the world Establishment, including the US government, is enabling it, it is only natural that upstanding Americans and members of other nations want to challenge it. It should be remembered that the Civil Rights movement in the United States was mostly illegal and its activists were frequently jailed, beaten, bitten by police dogs, and sometimes shot down by law enforcement.

Israel’s blockade of Gaza prevents the export anything produced in the Strip by the Palestinians that live there (including the 40% of residents who are refugees from Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign). It also steeply limits imports. Over half of Palestinians in Gaza are food insecure, and some die every year because Israel won’t let them get out in time for specialized medical care. Unemployment is estimated at 40 percent.

Numerous reports by Oxfam and others have detailed the unnecessary misery that the Israelis are inflicting on the Palestinians of Gaza. Wikileaks has released State Department cables detailing the Israeli plan to keep Palestinians there living on the edge of catastrophe, without quite allowing the situation to tip into a humanitarian disaster that would stir the world against the policy. But keeping people on the edge of a humanitarian disaster is a humanitarian disaster. The Oxfam report in pdf format is here.

On the ongoing medical issues see this report by Aljazeera English:

Popout

There is some money in some people’s hands in Gaza, because of remittances from Palestinian workers abroad and perhaps some surreptitious donations from Gulf oil sheikhdoms. Without NGO, EU and Arab charitable aid for those who are not entrepreneurs, the situation really would be dire. Most people have been thrown into deep poverty and unemployment by Israeli policies of collective punishment, which contravene the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949 and are a war crime that the State Department should be helping stop and punish, not supporting. State Department Foreign Service Officers asked to help contravene the Geneva Conventions should refuse and should blow the whistle on and sue whoever gives them that order.

Flotillas to Gaza

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)

How dare Hillary Clinton tell the Palestinians about which methods are good for Gaza and which methods are not?  Her advice to Palestinians about what is in the best interest of the Palestinian people is akin to Himmler offering advice on Jewish matters.

The Shame of It: State Department Warns U.S. Flotilla Members Israel May Kill Them

from Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place by Richard Silverstein

2 people liked this

audacity of hope shipAudacity of Hope flotilla ship

Not for a few years have I felt quite this ashamed of my own government.  As you know, 50 U.S. citizens have chartered a boat called The Audacity of Hope, to be part of the Gaza flotilla.  The name of the boat was an attempt to tie the effort to the most optimistic, progressive aspects of Barack Obama’s political career.  The ship is attempting to depart from a Greek port with the Greek government exerting extraordinarily intrusive measures to hinder its sailing, no doubt under pressure from the Obama administration and Israel.

Here is how Joseph Dana, who’s planning to join the U.S. boat described his understanding of the situation:

According to flotilla organizers…Israel has been meeting with Greek officials in a bid to persuade them to block Gaza-bound ships leaving from their ports. Israel, organizers say, could use economic incentives at a delicate time of EU-imposed austerity to put pressure on Athens. In recent years Greece and Israel have expanded trade ties, have carried out joint air force exercises and have begun discussions on a joint pipeline project that would exploit vast new Israeli natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean.

“Israel has pulled out the stops in trying to get the flotilla to stop before it begins by threatening the Greek economy,“ said Ann Wright, a retired State Department official and former Army colonel who is the main organizer of the US boat to Gaza. Sitting in the lobby of the noisy Athens hotel, she added, “Greece is caught in the middle. There is tremendous public support for the flotilla, but the government is getting pounded by the Israelis.” Not naming her sources, Wright, visibly exhausted from a year of organizing for the flotilla, contended that “Israel is going to try to sink the Greek economy if they allow the flotilla to sail from Greek ports.”

This general strategy has already worked successfully in persuading Ukraine to collaborate in the kidnapping of Dirar Abu Sissi on its soil, along with transferring him to Israel where he languishes in jail.  As I noted, an Israeli source confirms that Israel offered trade bait to Ukraine to seal the deal for Abusisi’s extraordinary rendition.  I’m wondering whether a similar sort of bargaining went into getting Turkey to renounce its support for the IHH participation in the flotilla.

Hillary Clinton’s State Department has issued a shameful warning for U.S. citizens not to participate in the Gaza flotilla.  Here is what it announced:

U.S. citizens are advised against traveling to Gaza by any means, including via sea, noting that previous attempts to enter Gaza by sea “have been stopped by Israeli naval vessels and resulted in the injury, death, arrest, and deportation of U.S. citizens.”

There was only one death of a dual nationality Turkish-U.S. citizen aboard the Mavi Marmara.  After his death, the U.S. embassy in Turkey did absolutely nothing on behalf of his family.  So for the State Department to warn other Americans they might suffer the same fate is beyond chutzpah (to quote Alan Dershowitz).  What did our government do to protect Furkan before he died or to console his family or seek compensation from Israel?  Nothing.

What are they doing to protect the lives of those Americans planning to sail now?  Are they warning the Israelis to behave themselves, not to harm U.S. citizens?  Of course not.  Can you imagine a situation anywhere else in the world in which an ally of a nation is preparing to arrest and possibly engage in violence against citizens of that nation, and the latter tells those individuals that if they are harmed it will be their own fault??

Israel reminds me of the monster from those science fiction B-flicks of the 1950s, about whom one characters says: “He’s killed once, he’ll kill again.”  Which usually is about the time all the potential victims organize to root out the killer in their midst.  Instead of doing the same and calling Israel to heel for its previous acts of murder and violence, the world tells the potential victims, “if he kills you it’ll be your own fault.”  For shame.

I’m also disgusted with the implied position of the Obama administration that the Gaza siege is an acceptable or even legal enterprise.  Under what rubric is our government making such an argument?  Even the UN secretary general warned peace activists to stay off the flotilla because aid should only be delivered via Israeli authorized means.  Since when?  Since when is this siege worthy of respecting?  Since when does the world’s leading institution representing human rights acceding to Israel’s punishing siege against 1.5 million civilians?  Since when don’t citizens of the world have the right to challenge patently immoral acts like this one?

Perhaps we can suggest to Ban Ki Moon that he move his headquarters to a Gaza refugee camp for one month just to see what that would be like.  I wonder then whether he’d be singing the same tune?  Would he then say to anti-siege activists that they should be good little boys and girls and leave it all to those nice fellows in the IDF to take care of the situation?

I’m disgusted with the Obama administration and their international shills.  They’re beneath contempt.

Just Foreign Policy, whose director, Robert Naiman will also be aboard the Hope, has secured the signatures of six (count ‘em) Congressmembers to a letter asking the U.S. government to work with Israel to ensure the safety of its own citizens.  Only six members of the U.S. Congress believe the safety of 50 Americans is worth making a public stink about.

Related posts:

  1. Greece Colludes Against Gaza Flotilla on Behalf of Israel, U.S. The U.S. and Israel are afraid of Hope. Greece is…
  2. Gaza Flotilla Ships Depart Tuesday, U.S. Threatens American Flotilla Passengers With Prosecution The Turkish daily, Hurriyet reports that ten Gaza flotilla ships…
  3. Wikileaks: State Department Lied, Denying Dubai Asked for Assistance in Tracking Mossad AssassinsList submitted by Dubai to State Dept. of credit cards…

Anti-Flotilla video fraud linked to PM Netanyahu’s office, official Israeli hasbara agents (Updated)

from Max Blumenthal by Max

3 people liked this

What is Netanyahu aide Guy Seemann's role in the anti-flotilla pinkwashing hoax?What is Netanyahu aide Guy Seemann’s role in the anti-flotilla pinkwashing hoax?

As the new Free Gaza flotilla prepares to sail to Gaza, a suspicious video has emerged by an unknown “gay rights activist” claiming that he was rejected by the flotilla activists because of his sexuality. The anonymous activist, who had no previous online history, produced no evidence to support his claim. Within minutes, Benjamin Doherty — the man who helped expose our friend Tom MacMaster — was able to cast serious doubton the video’s authenticity. It appeared pretty clear that the video was a pinkwashing hoax.

Since then, Doherty and I have gathered evidence suggesting that the video has links to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, or is at least being promoted through an official government hasbara operation.

The video was promoted early on — if not initially — by someone named Neil Lazarus, who shared it on Facebook (see screenshots here and here). I happened to have met Neil Lazarus during my Taglit/Birthright Israel trip in 2001. Lazarus was brought before my group to present the Israeli government’s hasbara and to demonize the Palestinian Authority. He was as slick as any good used car salesman. Since then, Lazarus has become a major figure in the world of hasbara. From Neil’s bio:

His client list is extensive and includes; The Prime Minister’s Office, The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Israeli Ministry of Tourism, Jewish Federations…

He acted as the Israel advocacy policy advisor for Israel’s leading reality television program, “The Ambassador

Earlier today, the Israeli Government Press Office promoted the apparent hoax video on Twitter. In the tweet, @GPOIsrael cited @guyseemann. I headed over to Guy Seemann’s twitter feed and found that he had only tweeted one item in his entire history: the pinkwashing anti-flotilla hoax. In fact, Seemann only joined Twitter on June 15, 2011. Then I took a look at Guy Seemann’s bio:

Guy Seemann studied government, international policy, philosophy and physics at American University in Washington, DC. Before moving to Israel, Guy worked for United States Senator Robert Menendez, and then as a special projects coordinator in the North Eastern campaign for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Since the campaign and moving to Israel, Guy was awarded a fellowship to work with international journalists and diplomats at the Prime Minister’s Office, served as the international director for Lev Echad, and volunteered for the IDF. Guy will soon begin a new job at the Prime Minister’s National Security Council working on Iranian, US and UN policy.

Why would the Israeli GPO have tweeted at Guy Seemann, a Netanyahu aide who seems to have created a Twitter account for the sole purpose of promoting the pinkwashing hoax? And what was Seemann’s role in the video’s creation? How did Lazarus know about the video before it had garnered any media interest — and only a small handful of hits? These questions remain unanswered. However, the video’s promotion by an exclusive cadre of official Israeli hasbara entities and figures suggest the hoax was part of a desperate government operation designed to discredit the Free Gaza flotilla. I will be updating here as I learn more.

Update: Guy Seemann’s twitter page has disappeared and his bio has changed. Seemann told Ali Abunimah that he promoted the hoax video but had no role in its production. Meanwhile, the character in the video has beenidentified by EI as Omer Gershon, an Israeli actor.


Advertisements
This entry was posted in Apartheid, Gaza, Human Rights, Imperialism, Israel, Israel Lobby, Obama, US Foreign Policy, War Crimes, Zionism. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s