As the Freedom Flotilla heads for Gaza, the Israel hasbara machine is in full flight, with scary promotional vids peppering Youtube replete with powerdressing blue suit, gold tie and shifty eyes accompanied on twitter with a cascade of spammy tweets aimed at whomever brings up the flotilla term – messages of gourmet dining in Gaza abound.
Ban Ki-Moon, figurehead of the US owned UN puppet theatre, wags his finger and fails to counteract counteract the spin and outrageous lies about aid to Gaza spewing from all orifices of the glutaginous Israeli Foreign Ministry. As Ali Abunimah [@avinunu] points out, if Ban Ki-Moon had any integrity, he’d be on the flotilla instead of issuing empty statements. Israeli panderer, Cyprus refuses to allow the flotilla to enter its territorial waters – wouldn’t want to jeopardise the illicit irreligious Israeli wedding business.
Meanwhile, in the fascist-operated ziocolony, Amira Hass relates the terrible story of Palestinian children abused whilst detained after kidnapping by the Israeli IOF.
There’s protests against the Israeli government on the 3rd June outside every Israeli embassy in the world from 12.00 – 14.00. If you can’t make it, send an email, or phone the Israeli consulate in your country.
You can follow the journey of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza live on the web at http://witnessgaza.com/.
Several folks are, like us, watching the flailing desperate hasbara attempts of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. ISM counteracts the pernicious Zionism slime effectively:
Israel claims that there is no ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Every international aid organization working in Gaza has documented this crisis in stark detail. Just released earlier this week, Amnesty International’s Annual Human Rights Report stated that Israeli’s siege on Gaza has “deepened the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Mass unemployment, extreme poverty, food insecurity and food price rises caused by shortages left four out of five Gazans dependent on humanitarian aid. The scope of the blockade and statements made by Israeli officials about its purpose showed that it was being imposed as a form of collective punishment of Gazans, a flagrant violation of international law.”
Israel claims that its blockade is directed simply at the Hamas government in Gaza, and is limited to so-called ’security’ items. Yet When U.S. Senator John Kerry visited Gaza last year, he was shocked to discover that the Israeli blockade included staple food items such as lentils, macaroni and tomato paste. Furthermore, Gisha, the Israeli Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, has documented numerous official Israeli government statements that the blockade is intended to put ‘pressure’ on Gaza’s population, and collective punishment of civilians is an illegal act under international law.
Israel claims that if we wish to send aid to Gaza, all we need do is go through ‘official channels,’ give the aid to them and they will deliver it. This statement is both ridiculous and offensive. Their blockade, their ‘official channels,’ is what is directly causing the humanitarian crisis in the first place.
According to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter: “Palestinians in Gaza are being actually ’starved to death,’ receiving fewer calories per day than people in the poorest parts of Africa. This is an atrocity that is being perpetrated as punishment on the people in Gaza. It is a crime… an abomination that this is allowed to go on. Tragically, the international community at large ignores the cries for help, while the citizens of Gaza are treated more like animals than human beings.”
Israel claims that we refused to deliver a letter and package from POW Gilad Shalit’s father. This is a blatant lie. We were first contacted by lawyers representing Shalit’s family Wednesday evening, just hours before we were set to depart from Greece. Irish Senator Mark Daly (Kerry), one of 35 parliamentarians joining our flotilla, agreed to carry any letter and to attempt to deliver it to Shalit or, if that request was denied, deliver it to officials in the Hamas government. As of this writing, the lawyers have not responded to Sen. Daly, electing instead to attempt to smear us in the Israeli press. We have always called for the release of all political prisoners in this conflict, including the 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners languishing in Israeli jails, among them hundreds of child prisoners.
Most despicably of all, Israel claims that we are violating international law by sailing unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid to a people desperately in need. These claims only demonstrate how degenerate the political discourse in Israel has become.
In Counterpunch, in addition to annihilating the hasbara machine’s current claims, lawyer James Marc Leas refers back to Israel’s lies in November 08, when it attempted to justify its attack on Gaza.
However, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs own website “One Month of Calm Along the Israel-Gaza Border.” provides evidence that Israel successfully stopped rocket fire on June 19, 2008 with an Egyptian brokered ceasefire. Then the Israeli military launched an attack on Gaza on November 4, 2008 ending that ceasefire. Then, according to another Ministry of Foreign Affairs website , during the Israeli government’s 22 day Operation Cast Lead attack on Gaza that started on December 27, 2008, 776 rockets and morters landed in Israeli territory, a doubling of the intensity of rocket fire from Gaza from the previous peak, until a new cease fire was announced on January 18. Thus, it was Israeli government action that belies its supposed concern about the safety of Israeli civilians.
Finally, Jeff Halper from ICAHD clears up any doubts folks may have about Israel’s motivations:
“It is simply not true that there is no humanitarian crisis. Actually two-thirds of the people of Gaza live in what the World Health Organization calls food insecurity,” Halper said. “More than 10 percent of the children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Goods like bananas, chocolate, beans and fresh meat are prohibited in Gaza. Each person in Gaza gets about half of the required calories for a normal life.”
“There are great problems with babies, iron deficiency with pregnant women. This is a controlled experiment in how to keep people hungry, to punish them, to keep them just a centimeter above the line of starvation,” the activist said.
“The thing behind it – and it’s true of the West Bank as well – that Israel is trying to impose a permanent occupation. Everything that Israel is doing is attempt to break the resistance and the will of Palestinian people, so in the end they give up and accept whatever Israel wants. But that is not succeeding”.
Again we are comfortably esconced in our Facebook cranny along with our near 1100 friends, a number which is matched with 1100 odd twitter followers, who are not necessarily the same folks. It was an interesting process to be reinstated to Facebook and our re-emergence marks the commencementt of a new online experiment – self-branding rather than brand branding 🙂 Enjoy!