Israeli Anti-Freedom Flotilla II Propaganda

Stephen Lendman

On June 27, a Freedom Flotilla press release headlined, "GAZA, WE ARE COMING. Despite pressure and threats of violence, flotilla will sail."

On June 27, A US Boat to Gaza Audacity of Hope press conference reiterated a determination to sail despite threats, pressure and other measures used to stop it.

Participants on board all 10 ships haven't come this far to turn back or let imperial viciousness deter them, especially when their mission is vital and just.

In response to spurious claims that passengers may have chemicals to attack Israeli commandos, perhaps the same ones responsible for the May 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre, Flotilla participants signed a declaration of nonviolence. Spokesman Dror Feiler told Army Radio that if Israel has other information, it should inform Flotilla organizers.

He responded to IDF spokesperson Major Avital Leibovich, citing intelligence reports that dangerous chemicals may be used as weapons, and that extremist passengers were heard threatening "to spill the blood" of Israeli soldiers.

According to an unnamed defense official, "The picture emerging here is that some of the flotilla participants clearly intend a violent clash," when, in fact, he knows this is a bald faced lie, an Israeli specialty, regurgitated by major media flacks, while suppressing Israel's intention either to block or confiscate vessels it interdicts and all passenger possessions as it did against Flotilla I.

According to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, Israel may establish a special naval court to do it, Barak saying:

"There's no doubt that impounding vessels is a deterrent measure that could prevent the need to use force against future (flotilla) violations."

Destroying them works better, what Dror Feiler disclosed, saying a scuba diver examining one of the boats discovered its propeller shaft cut off. It was deliberate sabotage that can be fixed but may take time.

From Afghans to Gazans, Why Can't We Touch Your Faces?

Uploaded by ourjourneytosmile June 26, 2011

'From river to the sea, everyone should be free.'
~ Nabeel Raee, teacher of Jenin Freedom Theatre, traveling on the West Bank hills

We in Afghanistan sense
your loneliness.
It is hard to be born human,
and not be regarded as one.
It is hard to be a mother
who can't cook enough for meals
and laugh enough with her children.
It is hard to be a youth,
and not feel young at all.
It's hard to lose
the human capacity for happiness.
We share your anger too.

But let's not be angry for too long. Hasn't war taught us that love is needed to guide anger, the same way we've seen mothers shaking with grief but standing with grace? Don't be angry with your family and loved ones because they had snapped at you after the usual hard day. We should forgive, and try to stay as human as life allows.

Please stay together, and [do] not submit to human laws which pull humans apart. We can't expect people in the rest of the world to worry about us in Gaza or Afghanistan. It hurts more than we're willing to utter, but we'll find sufficient strength to accept that people are normally too busy to wonder if we're really such "terrible" human beings [like the Israeli government says].

It's irritating that politicians are universally well-dressed while making our world so socially distant and emotionally intolerable. We know that peace, equality and freedom will come when the politicians step aside and let the people converse. But they aren't going to step aside unless we persuade them with our dignity, like many people across the world are doing now.

In adversity, we share with you the occasional burden of being 'no-bodies', But surely, we must cling on to some meaning, cling on to the hope that God doesn't intend for us to be discarded ( like trash ), that there are such qualities as compassion, that human company exists.

To the people of Gaza and Israel, we are reaching out to you, as President Obama and world leaders keep extending their violence on their own people, and on us whom they don't see. They believe in force.

The Business of America is War

Stephen Lendman

Nations that live by the sword, die by it. America is no exception, nor any other.

Noted trends analyst Gerald Celente said it, and it's true. In fact, America's business is war, more war, multiple wars, permanent wars, pillaging one nation after another for wealth, power, and dominance, while homeland needs go begging.

America never was and isn't now the "land of the free and home of the brave." In fact, it's become a "Let 'em eat cake" society.

Whether or not Marie Antoinette actually said it, France's 1789-99 revolution was very real, delivering guillotine justice, not promised "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité," a status now destroying what's left of American freedom, heading for the trash bin of history if not already there.

Earlier articles discussed Washington's wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Yemen, as well as numerous proxy ones in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and at home against Muslims, Latino immigrants, and working households.

Combined, they represent a shocking contempt for rule of law justice, democratic values and humanity, notions now mere artifacts long ago abandoned to advance America's imperium.

As previous articles explained, out-of-control imperialism is heading America for tyranny and ruin. In her 1951 book, "The Origins of Totalitarianism," Hannah Arendt said it is

"never content to rule by external means, namely, through the state and a machinery of violence; thanks to its peculiar ideology and the role assigned to it in this apparatus of coercion, totalitarianism has discovered a means of dominating and terrorizing human beings from within."

Staying Human: Preparing to Sail to Gaza

Kathy Kelly

Stay Human: Convoy headed for Gaza (Vittorio Arrigoni)

Last week, newly arrived in Athens as part of the U.S. Boat to Gaza project, our team of activists gathered for nonviolence training. We are here to sail to Gaza, in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, in our ship, The Audacity of Hope. Our team and nine other ships’ crews from countries around the world want Israel to end its lethal blockade of Gaza by letting our crews through to shore to meet with Gazans. The U.S. ship will bring over 3,000 letters of support to a population suffering its fifth continuous decade of de facto occupation, now in the form of a military blockade controlling Gaza’s sea and sky, punctuated by frequent deadly military incursions, that has starved Gaza’s economy and people to the exact level of cruelty considered acceptable to the domestic population of our own United States, Israel’s staunchest ally.

The international flotilla last year was brutally attacked and the Turkish ship fired on from the air, with a cherry-picked video clip of the resulting panic presented to the world to justify nine deaths, one of a United States citizen, most of them execution-style killings. So it’s essential, albeit a bit bizarre, to plan for how we will respond to military assaults. Israeli news reports say that their naval commandos are preparing to use attack dogs and snipers to board the boats. In the past, they have used water cannons, Taser guns, stink bombs, sound bombs, stun guns, tear gas, and pepper spray against flotilla passengers. I’ve tried to make a mental list of plausible responses: remove glasses, don life jacket, affix clip line (which might prevent sliding off the deck), carry a half onion to offset effect of tear gas, remember to breathe.

Israel Defense Forces are reportedly training for a fierce assault intended to “secure” each boat in the Freedom Flotilla 2. As passengers specifically on the U.S. boat, we may be spared the most violent responses, although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has not ruled out such violent responses and has preemptively certified that any response we may “provoke” (in sailing from international waters to a coastline that is not part of Israel) is an expression of Israel’s “right to defend themselves.” Israel says it is prepared for a number of scenarios, ranging “from no violence” (which it knows full well to expect) to “extreme violence.” We are preparing ourselves not to panic and to practice disciplined nonviolence whatever scenario Israel decides to enact.

Flygtning i Beirut: Trapper uden trin og fængsler uden tremmer

Morten Lodberg
Dagbladet Arbejderen

Der er trangt og mørkt i de smalle gyder i Shatila-flygtningelejren
i Beirut.
(Foto: Morten Lodberg)

På en rejse gennem Libanons flygtningelejre der er hjem for den største procentdel af Palæstinensiske flygtninge udenfor deres hjemland, stødte jeg på mange unge, der stod og hang I gaderne.

Skønt stort set alle yngre palæstinensere har gået i en folkeskole og gymnasiet, er de fleste af dem arbejdsløse eller tjener kun lige til dagen og vejen gennem sort arbejde eller gennem tilskud fra udenlandske slægtninge. 

Alle smiler og er venlige, men under overfladen fornemmer man en fortvivlelse, der simpelthen bunder i magtesløshed.. Smilene blegner og skuldrene synker. når samtalen falder på deres situation og fremtid, samtalen skifter næsten altid spor eller bliver høfligt afsluttet.

I et kaffehus i det centrale Beirut mødte jeg dog en ung fyr, som jeg kort havde snakket med på mit besøg i en af lejrene. Han indvilligede modvilligt i at fortælle om sin og sin families problemer som tredjegenerationsflygtninge i Libanon.

Som et fængsel

Natten er faldet på, og jeg sidder sammen med Raed og hans venner på et fladt tag med udsigt til alle sider, taget er svagt oplyst af flakkende neonlamper, der dingler i den svage brise fra havet, som ligger gemt bag beton og osen fra tusinder af udstødninger fra trafikken.

Udsigten består af halvfærdige betonbygninger med små lys af neon eller brændende stearinlys hist og her i de sorte silhuetter, der står klart aftegnede mod den lyse nattehimmels stjernekort.

Omgivelserne virker på engang beroligende med deres ubevægelige ro, men for dem, som er født her og har boet her hele deres liv, virker det som et fængsel, der dog er hjem og alt de kender til.

Shatila-flygtningelejren, der er berygtet for de massakrer, som kristne falangister udløste mod den civile befolkning med hjælp fra israelske styrker i 1982, er hjem for en stor gruppe af unge palæstinensere.

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