Freedom for Gaza : The Thing About Waves Is They Keep on Coming

UPDATE MONDAY NOV 7

Messages for Michael – from John Pilger:

For Michael Coleman … Michael, try not to be deterred by the rogue regime that illegally detains you. They kidnapped you and your comrades because they fear the growing moral outrage of the world; all criminal regimes harbour this dread of a known truth. Be assured the great majority of humanity is with you in spirit; I personally am grateful to you for what you have done and for your courage. All power to you.

Solidarity Appeal: Protest Letter to the Israeli Ambassador: ‘The crew of the MV Saoirse and the Tahrir remain in custody in Givon Prison. Reports have emerged of violence used when the ship was hijacked by the Israeli Navy, and from a telephone conversation with Paul we have learned that the crew have been severely mistreated in prison .’
Israeli takeover of freedom boats violent and dangerous
Violent tactics by Israel almost sunk Gaza-bound boats

“It began with Israeli forces hosing down the boats with high pressure hoses and pointing guns at the passengers through the windows,” Lane, who was onboard the Saoirse, said. “I was hosed down the stairs of the boat. Windows were smashed and the bridge of the boat nearly caught fire.”

From FB: Zoe Lawlor phoned home this Sunday morning and both she and Mags O’Brien are in good spirits and looking forward to getting home very much. They also asked us all to put as much pressure on the Dept of foreign affairs as possible.

UPDATE SUNDAY NOV 6 EVENING

Confirmed that the two Irish women hostages are being held in Givon prison.

While there’s been no statement forthcoming or phone calls from the women hostages held by Israel, the Israeli spokesperson is a woman:

“There are 21 passengers detained who refused to be expelled immediately and are engaged in proceedings against their deportation before an Israeli judge,” interior ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP. … ‘She said the remaining 21 people were still being held at a detention facility in Ramla near Tel Aviv, after questioning by immigration authorities.’

4 easy ways you can help illegally detained Australian #FreedomWaves to Gaza delegate Michael Coleman (please RT!) – is.gd/fda1ky

Only 2 days plus a couple of hours after he was kidnapped, Michael Cole is allowed a phone call with his family.

“We have just spoken to Michael’s father who has just had a call from Michael.

He was supposed to have a 3 minute call but was cut off after a minute. He reported that 30 armed men forcibly boarded the Tahrir. He and others were assaulted on the boat and again when they were forcibly taken off the boat against their will into Israel.

He has not signed and will not sign any deportation order or ‘admission’ that he entered Israel illegally. He expects to be deported 72 hours after ‘the process’ began.’

Why haven’t we heard from the women who are gaoled in Israeli dungeons? ?The Irish Prisoners Committee

‘is seeking direct contact with the women prisoners. ,,,
Note:the two women from the Irish ship (Zoe Lawler and Mags O’Brien are held elsewhere) ‘

From the Irish Times:

‘But it is understood activists have refused to sign deportation orders as they were brought to Israel against their will.

They include Socialist Party MEP Paul Murphy, former Fianna Fáil TD Chris Andrews, Siptu official Mags O’Brien, artist Felim Egan, People Before Profit councillor Hugh Lewis, Sinn Féin councillors Pat Fitzgerald and John Hearne, and Zoe Lawlor, who teaches at the University of Limerick.’

‘Claudia Saba, spokeswoman, said there has been no contact from anyone onboard since it was hijacked, apart from a single text message from Mr Hogan’s mobile phone.

“Once again, as with the flotilla of June 2010, Israel has managed to gain a monopoly on the narrative of what happened when the Gaza-bound boats were hijacked by Israel at sea,” she said.

“The footage released by Israel of the boarding of the boats is vague and lacking in detail.

“Since we have no direct contact with our fellow citizens, and since they are not allowed to communicate with the outside world, we do not know exactly what happened or how those aboard were treated.”

Campaigners called on the Government to suspend Israel from the Euromed Agreement, end all arms trade with Israel and take steps to ensure no Irish state-funded institution engages in any cultural, academic, or economic cooperation with the state of Israel or its associated institutions.’

More update on the recalcitrant Occupy Wall Street mob who have failed to make the connections between racism, imperialism, neoliberalism, capitalism and zionism. :

‘The tweet was erased because there was discussion about how it was not appropriate to address this issue on these large public social media accounts until we had agreement from the group on our exact stance on these kinds of international conflicts.’ http://mondoweiss.net/2011/11/occupy-wall-street-responds-to-controversy-over-gaza-flotilla.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

As thought the NYT doesn’t shill for imperial interests: ‘In the wake of the #OCCUPYWALLSTREET movement, the New York Times has twice taken a swipe at Adbusters magazine, originators of the event. David Brooks led the charge in his October 10 column, The Milquetoast Radicals, falsely accusing us of being anti-Jewish. ‘

Here comes anonymous! ‘Anonymous said that if the siege continues and Israeli forces intercept additional flotillas, or if they conduct additional operations such as the commandeering of the Mavi Marmara, it will have no alternative but to launch repeated cyber-attacks on Israeli computer systems until the siege ends.’

Australian held after Israel navy intercepts protesters
Michael Coleman: Tahrir Take Two

UPDATE SUNDAY NOV 6 DAY

Journalists held as Israeli navy boards Gaza peace flotilla

Congratulations, Occupy Boston, for having the humanity to extend the 99% to encompass oppressed Palestinian people who suffer because of the Israeli apartheid regime, zionist hegemony which strides arm in arm with US imperial hegemony. Freedom Waves and BDS are unstoppable and they are the Occupy movement’s natural ideological partners, not racist zionism and US elites.

From Givon prison, Tahrir humanitarian from Canada, David Heap, has managed to release a letter via his lawyer.

‘Although Michael and I (among others) were transported in handcuffs and leg shackles, let me stress that we are neither criminals nor illegal immigrants but rather political prisoners of the apartheid state of Israel. Four from the Tahrir are imprisoned with 12 Irish comrades from the Saoirse, who have more experience with such issues. The four of us, Ehab and I (Cdn), Michael (Aus) and Hassan (UK) have joined with the Irish in their political prisoners’ committee in order to press our collective demands:

Association in the block – i.e. open cells
adequate writing and reading material
free communication with outside world – i.e. regular phone calls
information about shipmate women held at same prison’

We add one Tahrir-specific demand: that Israeli state recognize the professional status of Democracy Now journalist Jihan Hafiz in accordance with her credentials from the US government. All political incarceration is unjust but let me stress that in duration and conditions, our situation pales in comparison to the plight of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and to the open air prison of Gaza.

If you have energy to devote to solidarity actions in the coming days, please concentrate on them. We must get Tahrir back and hope Freedom Waves continue.
Free Majd Kayyal! Free all political prisoners! Free Gaza! Free Palestine!

Anishnabe-debuewin, restons humaine, stay human, in love and struggle,

David

Michael’s father John speaking early on Sunday morning said:

“We have had one call from DFAT. That is all. Michael has not been able to contact us. We have support from the organisers here and around the world but not from our Government.”

We understand that the delegates were asked to sign deportation papers testifying that they entered Israel illegally and waive their right to a court hearing. They were brought into Israel against their will; therefore they have refused to sign those papers. We also understand that this peaceful resistance is what is leading to ongoing punishment and communication restrictions.

Yesterday, the “Australia Foreign Affairs Department said it was trying to arrange a consular visit to Michael Coleman, 35, from the state of New South Wales.”

As for our Irish friends on the MV Saoirse,

The Derry Friends of Palestine received a phonecall from Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams office at about 10PM Irish Time last night (Friday). We were then advised that their office had been in touch with the Israeli authorities who were holding Belfast passengers John Mallon and Phil McCullough.

They were told both men were in custody and in good spirits. That they and the other passengers were believed to be in good physical condition. We were told they will be taken to court and charged with illegally entering Israel, if they agree to this “crime” and accept the charge they can go home immediately with voluntary deportation, if they refuse the criminal charge then they will be given a lawyer to appeal and ultimately be forcibly deported within 72 hours. The Israeli diplomat informed Mr Adams office that we could expect John Mallon home most likely on Tuesday.

We were told John was very concerned that people back home would be worrying, especially his 7 children and family members. So they were all overjoyed when the news came through last night about their Dad.

We can also confirm that Phil McCullough’s family has had a phonecall from the Irish Consulate just this morning (Saturday) And that Phil is in good spirits and, like the others, will be taken before the courts soon.

All passengers are being refused direct contact with family members; however, we can expect them to be back in Ireland most likely on Tuesday.

There’s two other big stories on the apartheid entity out today –

Israeli doctors ‘failing to report torture of Palestinian detainees’

“This report reveals significant evidence arousing the suspicion that many doctors ignore the complaints of their patients; that they allow Israeli Security Agency interrogators to use torture; approve the use of forbidden interrogation methods and the ill-treatment of helpless detainees; and conceal information, thereby allowing total immunity for the torturers.”

Palestinian Children Face Abuse in Israeli Military Courts

The legal apparatus of the Israeli military system does not endeavor to protect Palestinian children’s rights; the military courts, under which children from the OPT are tried, lack comprehensive fair trial and juvenile justice standards. In September 2009, Israel established the Military Juvenile Court, but the situation on the ground remains essentially unchanged. On September 27, 2011, the Israeli military authorities raised the age of majority in the military courts to 18 years old. Until this time, the age had been officially set at 16, which directly defied the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, in practice, children as young as 12 have been and continue to be tried in military courts, with those 14 years of age often being tried as adults.

As of the Second Intifada (which began in September 2000), Israel began to employ administrative detention against children. Since this time the arrest and detention of children has grown more rampant and systemic, with around 700 children detained each year, and frequently held with adults in detention. The most common charge is stone throwing. At the time of this writing, 164 Palestinian children are in Israeli detention, 35 of whom are between the ages of 12 and 15.

In addition to regularly suffering abuse and torture similar to that of adult prisoners (beatings, blindfolding, being painfully shackled, position abuse, solitary confinement, electric shocks, threats of sexual assault, coercion into signing documents in Hebrew despite being unable to read them), children in detention are routinely subjected to tactics designed to exploit their age and intimidate them into confessions. These illegally obtained admissions are often used as evidence in the military courts. In the overwhelming majority of cases before these courts, children are denied bail and ordered to remain in detention until the end of the legal process. Credible allegations of ill-treatment and torture are not investigated.

OLDER INFO

As I’ve tweeted, the thing about waves is that they keep on coming, until the rubbish of Israeli apartheid and oppression is washed away. The most recent wave of humanitarian passengers from the seized Tahrir and MV Saoirse are now in custody at Ashdod port, incommunicado for several hours.

Michael Coleman, Australian delegate on the Tahrir, left a pre-recorded message in the event of his capture.

Before the Israeli pirates boarded the two vessels, they sprayed them fiercely with water cannons. UN Human Rights Council independent investigation of the Israel’s May 2010 flotilla attack declared Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza illegal. Further, as Ali Abunimah tweeted: “Israel claims Gaza waters are “closed military zone” but that it “withdrew” from Gaza in 2005. Which is it liars?”

Israel’s blockade was not broken on this 12th flotilla attempt, yet the waves will keep rolling over Israel’s apartheid and oppression in solidarity with the people of Palestine until it ends.

Here’s some resources for action to support Aussie delegate Michael Coleman and the other #FreedomWaves activists while they are held captive by the Israeli brigands.

UPDATES

On Saturday, 21 of the 27 passengers

remained in costudy and are slated to board flights back to their home countries over the next few days.

The other six passengers were released, including 2 Greek crew members, an Egyptian citizen that was returned to Egypt and two reporters, American and Spanish, who were released under limiting conditions and commited to leave Israel on Sunday.

Israel begins deporting Gaza flotilla activists
The Immigration Authority has taken four out of the 27 flotilla activists to a hearing prior to their deportation from Israel. Onboard one of the ships were 12 passengers and another 15 on another, including one Israeli citizen

The remaining passenger, Majed Kayal from Haifa, was released on bail after a police investigation.

25 activists are STILL DETAINED in #Givon Israeli detention center. They are not allowed to call a lawyer. #FreedomWaves RT @PALWaves #

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Speaking at yesterday’s event, Palestinian refugee Leila Khaled drew parallels between South Africa’s apartheid regime and her own experiences in Palestine.

“I am optimistic, because in South Africa there was an apartheid regime and you ended your struggle with the support of the international community,” she said.

“I remember at school, rallying, demonstrating and calling for freedom in South Africa. I was brought up saying ‘when South Africa is free, Palestine will be free’.”

Khaled also called for the international community to boycott Israel.

Other issues discussed by the panel included the recent decision by countries such as the US to block funding to Unesco for accepting Palestine as a member country. Israel has also said it will block funding to the organisation.

US money accounts for nearly a quarter of Unesco’s funding.

Sourani, meanwhile, said this showed in a “clear-cut way that the US is providing full and clear diplomatic immunity to Israel”.

‘Four Knesset members have withdrawn their support for a private member’s bill that would subordinate democratic rule to Israel’s Jewish identity. Three of the MKs – Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor ) and Kadima’s Doron Avital and Shlomo Molla – have already formally removed their signatures from the draft for the new Basic Law. MK Nachman Shai (Kadima ) said he will remove his within a few days. ‘

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