Detailed Information on the Sabotage to the MV Saoirse, Turkey Denies Support for Thwarting the Flotilla

Detailed Information on the Sabotage to the MV Saoirse “It looks very much like underwater explosives, probably plastic explosives, were used on the shaft.”

In Al Jazeera’s latest Inside Story, “Outsourcing the Gaza blockade” , it is highlighted that pressure is being brought to bear on Greece by Israel and its undying friend the US, and as well by countries in the EU. Huwaida Arraf and Mustafa Barghouti insist to Akiva Eldar that the truth of apartheid and denial of Palestinian human rights must be acknowledged despite the lily-livered Israeli faux left thinking it is not palatable to the Israeli public.

Turkey Rebuts Barak’s Claim It Supported the Prevention of the Flotilla

@Levent Basturk: ”Ibrahim Kalin, the chief foreign policy adviser to PM Erdogan, has recently sent a twitter message saying that Barak’s statement regarding Turkey’s cooperation to prevent flotilla is A FABRICATION. The Turkish Foreign Ministry will soon deny what Barak said regarding Turkey’s role in thwarting the mission of the flotilla.” #

Translation of confirmation in TRT.NET.TR:

Turkey rejected the Israeli minister’s statement that Turkey has been in positive attitude in the attempts to thwart the mission of the flotilla.

Publication Date: 07/04/2011 12:19:23
Updated: 4/7/2011 12:19:23

The statement of the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak with respect to Turkey’s “positive position” in thwarting the mission of the Gaza flotilla was denied by Ankara .

Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said the participants of the fleet going to Gaza was entirely composed of international non-governmental organizations, therefore, was not affiliated in any way with the Turkish government.

“Flotilla, Totally A Civilian Initiative …”

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Selcuk Unal emphasized that the flotilla was totally a civil initiative.

Unal said “the news about a group of countries that tried to prevent this civilian initiative does not reflect the reality and is groundless with respect to Turkey.”

Israeli Defense Minister Barak has said previously Greece, Cyprus and Turkey had positive approaches in efforts to thwart the mission of the flotilla heading to Gaza.

I’ll end with a diversion to the past :

“And Phrygia shall with earthquakes groan again
Wretched. Alas, alas, Laodicea”

Book X11 Sibylline Prophecies

Related Links

Geoffrey Palmer, the head of the commission that’s investigating the incident that led to the death of nine Turks as they tried to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, has said he intended to issue his committee’s report on Thursday – regardless of whether Israel and Turkey came to a prior agreement on a statement on the matter
Israeli hasbara site CAMERA seems to think the Palmer report has been released already too.
If a compromise is not reached soon, the UN report will be released as is, and bilateral ties will likely be frozen for a long period, the source said. If a compromise is reached, the report will be reworded and toned down.

Equally as important were the recent comments of Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon,

who nearly two years ago humiliated the Turkish ambassador to Israel by deliberately placing him in a lower chair during a televised meeting. In a meeting last month with seven Turkish journalists, Ayalon said he never meant to humiliate the ambassador, that he had meant it as a joke, and that he had immediately sent a letter of apology to him.

He told the journalists that the time was ripe to restore Israeli-Turkish relations and that he supported Turkey’s decision to have talks with Hamas in an attempt to forge a unity government with the Palestinian Authority.

“We would kiss the hands of every Turk if Hamas said they accept the Oslo [Treaty], condemn terror and recognize Israel,” Ayalon said.

Greece blocks Gaza banned boat with 30 ‘captains’ on board

Israeli peace groups support the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla

The Gaza Flotilla is indeed a courageous act of political protest, an expression of worldwide solidarity with the Palestinian people and rejection of Israeli practices of oppressive occupation, as manifested in the continuing siege and blockade of Gaza and the imposition of collective punishment upon a mass of civilians.

Flotilla II: Brave Activists, Spineless Politicians
Icelandic MP visits Gaza aid flotilla and calls on others to do same
Greek consulate, governor confirm ‘powerful’ pressure on Greece led to flotilla ban
Since when do humanitarians, one quarter of whom ARE Jewish, bearing aid and letters of compassion equal ‘kill-the-Jews’? This obnoxious hasbara is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Palestine / Israel Links

MKs to ask Knesset: Disqualify Tibi bill on Nakba denial : Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin expressed doubt over whether it was legal to disqualify Tibi’s bill, but said the bill is an act of provocation against the state.
Letter to Israeli left: Choose one state, not apartheid ‘The solution to this conflict will not be the separation of both people into two different states, but rather, it is living together and coexisting with equal rights that will bring an end to this conflict.’
Hundreds of settlers break into Yousef’s tomb
Gaza border opening holds less opportunities than hoped for
Top Israeli pol meets far-right German millionaire

Israeli Likud politician, Ayoub Kara, deputy minister for Development of the Negev and Galilee, has no qualms about meeting with ‘Patrick Brinkmann, a Swedish right-wing extremist who has supported neo-Nazi and right-wing populist parties in Europe’. Building islamophobia is a shared interest.

Blast hits Egyptian gas pipeline – more motivation for the Israelis to steal gas from the offshore Gaza gas fields
Now is no time for ASEAN to stop supporting Palestine
IDF: Netanyahu OK’d transfer of terrorist bodies – did Yehuda Hiss keep the skulls?
Rabbi promotes ‘modesty wounds’ Why doesn’t the Israeli state fire this rabbi who is on a state paid sinecure and teaching self-mutilation to young women? Nutanyahoo made it clear in another article yesterday by Rachlevsky what the evil purpose of these messianic villains are:

‘They are the elite commando unit leading the nation and paving the way’.

This as an extremely telling quote illustrating Nut’s cynical use of myth and it verifies the mechanism of expansionism – how the secular zionist gameplayers utilise messianic settlers, and why these extremist rabbis are supported by government.

Israel’s strategy, tactic and aim is always expansionism and each supports the other. This is the nexus which underlies what Jeff Halper describes as the ‘matrix of control’. The settlers advance, which requires military backup. The next beachhead/hilltop is taken, then rinse and repeat. The infrastructure follows, all justified by the hasbara of ‘security’ to protect the ‘civilians’. Obviously, these ‘elite commandos’ aren’t civilians.

Equal rights for all as a principle, contained in BDS, attacks the basic zionist strategy, tactic and aim. This might be the main reason why the zionists hate BDS so much. From the ongoing zionist wailing about it, BDS appears more effective than a settlement freeze. Equal rights for all as a principled aim also has more chance of resounding in the working class who after all are the puppets of the international elite, the main beneficiaries of the government-assisted religious bigotry/apartheid/racism/elitism and other societal divisions.

There’s a distinct sociopathy in the sheer malevolence of the design and practice of the governmental gameplayers who use these rabbis to inspire and lead settlers to steal Palestinian land.

The rabbis are cultists, which means that some are not technically insane, they are delusional, but since their delusion is supported by the government, it’s probably better to examine those who are the malignantly narcissistic gameplayers at the top who cynically use the rabbis and who farm them, paying for their delusional education and employment as the part of the strategy of expansionism, as a tactical vanguard commando unit to achieve military and political goals.

Egypt Links

Hillary Clinton announces Brotherhood talks
Tahrir’s journey to Palestine

Turkey Links

Five generals, one colonel put behind bars on coup charges

Australia Links

Repressive ASIO law extensions passed – ASIO gets wider investigative powers – ASIO can now spy on WikiLeaks along with anyone who forms groups to campaign on political and social issues.
Police make vicious attack on Palestine solidarity protest

Max Brenner Chocolates was targeted because it is owned by the Strauss Group, the second largest Israeli food and beverage company. The company boasts on its website that it has supported the Golany reconnaissance platoon of the Israeli Army for more than 30 years.

The Daily Danby

Danby said: “There was no meeting with Danny Danon in the Knesset during my recent visit. Many Knesset members attended a session at the International Conference of Jewish Parliamentarians with myself and other Jewish Mps such as Irwin Cotler ( Canada) and Gary Ackerman ( Democrat of New York). I have not discussed with Mr Danon the possibility of Australia taking refugees from Israel. I did not meet him. I have no such power as the Jerusalem Post claims to bring this before parliament, and I was never contacted by the Jerusalem Post to check the validity of the claims made in the article. There was no meeting, no discussion and no agreement. Danny Danon is a nice guy. He must have been misquoted. The last time I saw him was at the leadership forum in Israel in December, where I made a public speech outlining the recent history of Australia’s immigration policy. I deplore the use of terms like ‘Muslim infiltrators’. I publicly told the forum then that the Israelis had to do what we did, and that is make an assessment of asylum seekers status and background. I said publicly then and restate that it is impossible for any one country, Australia or Israel to forcibly return people who have good grounds for fearing for their lives. That is not to say that Australia or Israel cannot return people to their countries of origin if they have agreements with those governments and that the people being returned have not been assessed as refugees or have legitimate fear for their lives.”

Danby’s judgment is suspect. Danny Danon is not a ‘nice guy’. Recently in his NYTimes Op Ed he proposed Israel annex all West Bank settlements and uninhabited lands.

‘Moreover, we would be well within our rights to assert, as we did in Gaza after our disengagement in 2005, that we are no longer responsible for the Palestinian residents of the West Bank, who would continue to live in their own — unannexed — towns.

These Palestinians would not have the option to become Israeli citizens, therefore averting the threat to the Jewish and democratic status of Israel by a growing Palestinian population. ‘

Why Israel’s Blockade on Gaza is Illegal

From Samah Sabawi, Palestinian Advocate for Australians for Palestine.

Who says Israel blockade of Gaza is illegal and is a violation of international humanitarian Law? Here are a few and there are many more where these come from:

1) U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay “Israel’s blockade of Gaza is illegal and should be lifted” “International humanitarian law prohibits starvation of civilians as a method of warfare and…it is also prohibited to impose collective punishment on civilians” http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/06/05/us-israel-flotilla-un-idUSTRE6541JD20100605

2) UN Panel of Human Rights Experts published report compiled by by a former UN war crimes prosecutor Desmond de Silva, a judge from Trinidad, Karl Hudson-Phillips, and a Malaysian women’s rights advocate, Mary Shanthi Dairiam. They reiterated “the Israeli blockade of the Palestinian enclave is illegal because of the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/23/un-panel-israel-war-crimes

3) Amnesty International “As a form of collective punishment, Israel’s continuing blockade of Gaza is a flagrant violation of international law.” http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/suffocating-gaza-israeli-blockades-effects-palestinians-2010-06-01

4) Gisha “The closure of Gaza is neither a siege, nor a blockade, nor an economic sanction – it is an illegal act of collective punishment and stands in violation of both international and Israeli law.” http://www.gisha.org/UserFiles/File/publications/GazaClosureDefinedEng.pdf

5) The International Committee of the Red Cross “the blockade violates the Geneva Convention, which bans “collective punishment” of a civilian population.” The ICRC called on Israel to lift the blockage. http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Red-Cross-Israels-Gaza-Blockade-Breaks-International-Law-96280463.html

6) Human Rights Watch “The blockade, which amounts to the unlawful collective punishment of Gaza’s civilian population, has severely damaged the economy, leaving 70 to 80 percent of Gazans in poverty and dependent on humanitarian aid.” http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/05/31/israel-full-impartial-investigation-flotilla-killings-essential

7) Center for Constitutional Rights “Israel’s position is that a lawful maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza. International law recognizes blockades in the context of armed conflicts, but it does not recognize a blockade by a country against a territory which it is occupying” http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/ccr-condemns-israel%26%23039;s-killing-freedom-flotilla-participants

8) OXFAM “Though Israel has the duty to protect its citizens, it cannot impose a blockade on every civilian in Gaza. This constitutes collective punishment, which is illegal under international law. The EU should make any future upgrade in economic and political relations dependent on the end of the blockade.” http://www.oxfam.org/pressroom/pressrelease/2010-03-17/eu-foreign-policy-chief-gaza-blockade

9) The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.Mr. Richard Falk “In the Gaza Strip, the illegal blockade continued to violate the human rights of Palestinians in Gaza, despite the much proclaimed “easing” of the blockade by Israel in 2010.” http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10871&LangID=E

10) Ambassador Craig Murray, an internationally recognized authority on maritime jurisdiction and naval boarding issues. He is former Alternate Head of the UK Delegation to the United Nations Preparatory Commission on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. He was deputy head of the teams which negotiated the UK’s maritime boundaries with France, Germany, Denmark (Faeroe Islands) and Ireland. “San Remo only applies to blockade in times of armed conflict. Israel is not currently engaged in an armed conflict, and presumably does not wish to be. San Remo does not confer any right to impose a permanent blockade outwith times of armed conflict, and in fact specifically excludes as illegal a general blockade on an entire population.” http://www.freedomflotilla.eu/en/information/13-opinion/130-the-blockade-is-illegal-no-matter-what-israel-claims

11} UNSC Resolution 1860 “Calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment” http://daccess-dds ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N09/204/32/PDF/N0920432.pdf?OpenElement

12) The United Church in Canada http://www.countercurrents.org/uc110610.htm

13) Other groups who signed on a report (see link below) calling the blockade illegal:

  3. CAFOD
  11. ICCO
  16. MERLIN
  21. Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT )
  25. UCP

“Dashed Hopes” published by the above organizations about Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza

Related Links

Freedom Flotilla 2 Assailed by Piratical Scuttlebutt – other relevant international law

International Terrorism by Israel Against the Irish Boat to Gaza?

Dr. Fintan Lane from the MV Saoirse: “If this boat had gone to sea, it’s almost certain we would have lost lives – this boat would have sank.”

From Haaretz:

“This was done by hostile divers and identical sabotage was carried out to the Swedish ship, Juliana,” ISG spokesman Raymond Deane told DPA. “The inference is that the saboteurs were Israeli,” he said.

“This is attempted murder. The damage done to the propeller means that the ship could have sailed but the propeller would have come up through the hull after some time. We are a small ship and we would have gone down,” Deane added.

The Israeli embassy in Dublin said it had no connection with the incident and no information on it, Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE reported.

Six of the 20 crew and passengers who intended to sail on the MV Saoiree will transfer to another ship in the flotilla, ISG said. Those include former Ireland rugby player Trevor Hogan and Paul Murphy, a Socialist Party Member of the European Parliament, as well as ISG campaign coordinator Fintan Lane. They are joining activists on board the joint Italian and Dutch ship in the flotilla.

State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said Thursday the U.S. has seen no independent confirmation of the ships having been sabotaged, yet nevertheless stated that “our opinion that’s been stated very clearly from the State Department, both from the secretary down to this podium, is that these flotillas are a bad idea.”

The sabotage against the Irish and Swedish boat, both of whose propeller shafts were similarly damaged, could just as well have been done by US navy divers, as a favour to Israel.

The Irish government is showing some spine, with Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore backing calls for an investigation into damage.

Minister Gilmore said he takes the matter seriously.

“I do have concerns about it, and that is something that is going to have to be investigated initially by the Turkish authorities,” the Tánaiste said.

“I would take a very serious view of it, if it turned out that there was sabotage of that vessel.”

Mr Gilmore last week told Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Boaz Modai, that any interception of the flotilla must be peaceful.

He said while the activists were well intended and well motivated, they had been warned it would it would be dangerous to travel on the MV Saoirse vessel and on the mission.

“I met with a delegation from the people who are travelling a couple of weeks ago and subsequent to that I met with the Israeli ambassador and made it clear to him both what our travel advice was but also our expectation that there would not be a repeat of last year and that people who engaged in what is essentially a form of peaceful protest activity, that there is not to be a disproportionate response to that activity,” he added.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has also called for a probe into the incident.

“The Irish government has a responsibility to protect Irish citizens abroad and must demand answers from the Israeli government on this matter,” Deputy Adams said.

“I would also urge the government to ask the Turkish authorities to carry out a full and thorough investigation into what has occurred.”

Sign the petition for an independent inquiry into the sabotage.

Related Links

Sabotage of MV Saoirse in Turkey: ‘An Act of International Terrorism’
Israel army uses fabrications to assert flotilla financial links to Hamas
Gaza flotilla activists: Queers welcome aboard aid ships
Alice Walker : “Settlers are the Klan,” she says definitively, referring to the notorious white supremacist terror organization. “They don’t have their white sheets because I guess they don’t need them.”
Warding off the evil eye in the Eastern Mediterranean
Why breaking Israel’s illegal blockade on the people of Gaza is essential.
Political Zionism has always been an ideology of force and violence. Israel has become a society of force and violence

This is a recurring pattern: first demonization, then legitimization (to act violently ). Remember the tall tales about sophisticated Iranian weaponry coming through arms-smuggling tunnels in Gaza, or those about how the Strip was booby-trapped? Then Operation Cast Lead came along and the soldiers hardly encountered anything like that.

The attitude toward the flotilla is a continuation of the same behavior.

British Parliamentarians add support for Flotilla to Gaza
Peaceful flotilla essential step to win freedom for Palestinians

Palestine / Israel Links

Insane racism update: Danny Danon: Send African migrants to Australia

“The arrival of thousands of Muslim infiltrators to Israeli territory is a clear threat to the state’s Jewish identity,” Danon told The Jerusalem Post.

“The refugees’ place is not among us, and the initiative to transfer them to Australia is the right and just solution.

“On the one hand, it treats the refugees and migrants in a humane way. On the other hand, it does not threaten Israel’s future and our goal to maintain a clear and solid Jewish majority,” he explained.

U.S. Senate passes resolution threatening to suspend aid to Palestinians

The PLO General Delegation to the U.S. said in response that while it respects the right of Senate members to pass resolutions expressing their views, “we urge them to use an even-handed, fair, and unbiased approach when addressing their concerns on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”

The delegation added that “the Israeli government has failed to reciprocate, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly chosen a policy of land grabbing and settlement expansion over a just solution to the conflict and an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

Janan Abdu on the detention of her husband, political prisoner Ameer Makhoul

What’s Next for Roberta?

JDL Australia

Roberta Moore has left the extreme right EDL (Jewish Division) complaining about Nazis.

‘Ms Moore had attempted to co-ordinate her efforts with those of the far-right American Jewish Task Force, whose leader Victor Vancier has been imprisoned for terrorism offences. The move, in February, was heavily criticised by the EDL leadership.

In a statement which she posted on Facebook, the Brazilian-born Ms Moore said she had been offered work on “an international level” elsewhere and so had decided to step down from the Jewish Division.’

Ms Moore came into conflict with the EDL recently – the leadership of the English Defence League “has distanced itself from the group’s Jewish Division, because of its partnership with the far-right American group Jewish Task Force”.

In an Australian JDL Facebook group now secret or defunct and assisted by Meir Weinstein from the Canadian JDL (which collaborates with the Canadian EDL), Ms Moore offers Australian JDLers assistance lining up Australian Defence League honcho Martin Brennan with the Australian Jewish Defence League, which is supporting a demonstration against an Islamic Conference early in July. Only 17 people have said they are attending.

The Australian Jewish Defence League has a very spotty history. JDL groups arose from and maintain an association with the Jewish extremist Kahane movement.

Related Links

On Hoffman, Harvey Garfield and Moore
Raymond Wolf
Martin Brennan


UPDATE: Terrorist saboteurs of the Irish Boat to Gaza did cut the propeller shaft
Irish Gaza aid ship damaged in dock

Dr Fintan Lane, co-ordinator of Irish Ship to Gaza, said the damage to the propeller shaft was a potentially murderous act.

If pressure had been put on the shaft, which was weakened by a piece gouged out, it could have snapped, damaged the engine room and flooded the boat at sea, he said.

“This wasn’t designed to stop the ship from leaving its berth. Instead it was intended that the fatal damage to the ship would occur while she was at sea and would have resulted in the deaths of several of those on board,” he said. “This was a potentially murderous act.”The damage is said to be identical to damage suffered by the Greek/Swedish ship, the Juliano, in recent days.

Dr Lane demanded that the Irish and European governments condemn the attacks despite Taoiseach Enda Kenny warning the Irish human rights activists against trying to break the blockade.

“Israel has no right to interdict the flotilla and even less right to carry out attacks against vessels in Greek and Turkish ports,” he said.

Israel has not commented on the allegations.

We Demand an Independent Investigation into the Sabotage of the MV Saoirse
Irish Ship to Gaza SABOTAGED by Israeli agents: Protest & sit in today
Irish ship will not sail to Gaza after ‘sabotage’

“This was the type of sabotage that endangered human life,” Mr Lane said last night. “They put divers under the boat who cut a piece out of the propeller shaft. That means that the damage would have happened gradually and what would have happened eventually is that the propeller would have come up through the bottom of the boat, caused a flood in the engine room and would have caused the boat to sink.”

Mr Lane said that, due to the extent of the damage, the MV Saoirse would not be in a position to sail, adding that just six of the 20-plus crew who had been due to set sail would be able to take part in the flotilla by joining an Italian-based vessel today.

Those passengers who intend to board the Italian vessel include Mr Lane, former Munster and Ireland rugby player Trevor Hogan, Socialist Party MEP Paul Murphy, Libyan-born Irish citizen Hussein Hamed, Derry-based Sinn Féin councillor Gerry MacLochlainn, and Zoe Lawlor, who teaches at the University of Limerick and is a member of the national committee of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Hasbaroids are out in droves – here’s a partial list of propaganda sources and outputs:

Jerusalem Center – looks like they are attempting to cast the Freedom Flotilla 2 as engineered by Khhhhhammmmasssss and IISSSSSMMMM
Stand With Us launches website against new flotilla
Peace Now, which shills for ziolites

Max Blumenthal debunks the IDF ‘sulphur’ propaganda:

Then, watch Ali Abunimah defumigates the hasbara in a lively debate with UNRWA’s Chris Gunness and Jerusalem Post’s Yaacov Katz.

One quarter of the Freedom Flotilla 2 humanitarians are Jewish. By threatening attack of the Flotilla 2 , zionists and their white supremacist allies demonstrate their intrinsic anti-semitism.

Hysteria, ‘hasbara’ and the flotilla

Lacking in credibility? You don’t say! I’m still waiting for the IDF to release all the videos confiscated from the Mavi Marmara – not just those that show the people aboard beating the commandos sliding down the ropes, but the stuff that happened before and after, too, especially the footage of the commandos killing those nine people.

Why won’t the IDF let us see that? Why do “senior officials in Jerusalem” make up scare stories about the flotilla? Why does Benny Gantz try to portray Gaza as a horn of plenty? Why does Israel twist and distort and cherrypick its way through the truth about Freedom Flotilla 1, Freedom Flotilla 2, Operation Cast Lead and everything else that has to do with its treatment of Palestinians?

Related Links

Roberta Moore escapes punishment – ‘Jewish extremist linked to US bomber acquitted amid UK prosecution “shambles”’
Lack of support for Irish flotilla ship a ‘capitulation’
Israeli Army can’t provide me evidence of flotilla’s violent plans, story unravels
Activists determined to sail despite sabotage, threats
Trevor Hogan: Anxious, sleepless time on Gaza ship, but it’s not my safety I fear for
Israel ministers slam flotilla threat as ‘spin’
Gaza flotilla sails on despite technical difficulties
Sol Phryne : telephone call received by the Associated Press claimed the attack for the Jewish Defence League
Irish flotilla ship will not sail to Gaza due to extensive sabotage
The Way It Was : more aquatic form by Israeli terrorists

Palestine/ Israel Links

Israel passes draft law requiring Palestinians to pay for their own home demolitions
Jello Biafra cancels his Tel Aviv gig
The State of the Struggle: Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Arab World – on how Middle Eastern and North African civil society movements have initiated, expanded, and given peoples across the region the motivation to rise up to join this “Arab Spring.”
Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar cancels Israel appearance in a slam-dunk for BDS
IOF troops fire at citizens homes south of Gaza
Made before his death, this film follows human rights activist Vittorio Arrigoni as he tries to help the people of Gaza.
An Israeli trap for Britain : In arresting Sheikh Raed Salah, the UK authorities support the persecution of Arab citizens of Israel
From UK prison, Palestinian leader Sheikh Raed Salah says he will fight deportation
Australian surgeons operate in Gaza
‘Listen, I can’t play in Israel when the Palestinians have no access to the same fundamental benefits that the Israelis do.’ I think the best approach is to boycott a government that seems hell-bent on very destructive policies.

Despicable racism: Israel seeking to dump its ‘surplus non-human’ African refugees on Australia.

The new plan was developed by a committee headed by MK Danny Danon (Likud), head of the Absorption Committee, who presented the plan to Australian parliamentarians who were visiting the Knesset. The leading parliamentarian who is leading the efforts from the Australian side is MP Michael Danby, who heads one of the relevant committees there and is considered very close to Israel.

The Australian representatives agreed to push the initiative and are scheduled to return to Australia this weekend to discuss the Israeli proposal. “The place for refugees from Africa is not in Israel,” said MK Danon. “If we don’t deal with this problem, we will find ourselves in a few years with a large Muslim refugeecommunity living among us. The proposal we’ve made would give a humanitarian answer [to the problem] without harming Israel’s fabric of life

Blog Wars: Pamela Geller vs. Gates of Vienna and the EDL?

Other Links

Leaks, sources and passing the salt

Scuttlebutt Downunder: Australia Betrays Its Citizens on Israel’s Directive

Australian flotilla participants ‘have been told by DFAT that Israel will deny and restrict consular assistance to them should Israel board their boats and detain them and the Government is accepting this without any protest. The Australian delegates are angry at the failure of the Australian Government to stand up for their rights or Australian sovereignty.’

Sylvia Hale, former Greens NSW MP and on board the Gaza Freedom Flotilla 2, said via satellite phone:

“I find it … perturbing that the Israeli Government should propose to deny consular access, not only to Australian nationals but also to nationals of other countries.

“….[C]ould you please explain why the Australian Government has remained silent in the face of the possible injury, imprisonment or deportation of Australian citizens from Israel, especially as they have absolutely no desire to set foot, willingly or unwillingly, on Israeli territory,” Ms Hale said.?
Audio recordings of Ms Hale’s comments are available on request.

Jake Lynch, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at University of Sydney, said:
“The Australian government has a responsibility to protect its citizens against illegal military aggression, especially with prior knowledge of Israel’s plans.

“Both Australia and Israel are signatories to the Vienna convention, under which consular access must be allowed to detained persons. For Australia to waive this right at Israel’s behest shows our government places greater importance on supporting Israel’s flouting of international law than it does on the safety of Australians.

“With this decision, DFAT legitimises both the siege and naval blockade, both of which contravene Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, forbidding collective punishments.

“Australian diplomacy places our government on the extreme pro-Israeli fringe of world political opinion. The international community opposes the illegal siege of Gaza, the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and the ongoing expulsion of the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem. On all these issues, Australia is one of a tiny minority of countries which routinely provide diplomatic cover”, Associate Professor Lynch said.

Our muppet politicians seem to have forgotten that even drug runners, rapists, murderers and ‘terrorists’ like David Hicks are supplied consular assistance. The four Australians participating in the flotilla are peaceful humanitarians engaged in a principled action to break the villainous Israeli blockade, collective punishment of a civilian population of 1.6 million people, half of whom are children. The blockade of Gaza is illegal under international law.

If Australian politicians want to put the wishes of Israel first before the welfare and lives of Australian citizens, then they should go live there.

UPDATE 30/6/11

Kate Ausburn: No Diplomats For Gaza Flotilla

Australians taking part in the second Freedom Flotilla to Gaza have been told not to expect consular assistance should they be detained by Israeli authorities.

The Australian contingent of the Flotilla has been told through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) that Israel intends to deny or limit consular access to foreign nationals if they are detained during the Flotilla.

DFAT said that Israeli authorities had told the meeting that, “if it appears that a vessel intends to breach the blockade, it will be seized and escorted to Ashdod Port.”

Further, DFAT said that the meeting was told:

“Ashdod Port will be declared a closed military zone and no consular access will be possible. Participants will either be deported or transferred to one of three prisons. Limited consular access will be afforded to Australian consular officials to participants at the prison and no consular access will be permitted to participants at the airport prior to deportation. Journalists will be considered to be participating in the Flotilla and will not receive special treatment.”

DFAT told Hale that the Australian Government felt “concerned” about the apparent lack of consular access, however concluded, “the extent to which we will be able to help you will ultimately be determined by the Israeli government.”

Dear Aunty ABC comes good :))

DFAT warns of limited consular assistance for Australian activists

PM has seen emails from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which say the department has contacted Israel but can’t do any more.

STATEMENT FROM DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE (Voiceover): Australia will not be denying consular assistance to any of its citizens involved in the flotilla. On the contrary, Australia has made it clear to Israel that we expect that consular access will be made available in the event that any Australians are detained.

If any Australians are detained, consular officials will endeavour to provide appropriate consular assistance. However, access to those detained by Israeli authorities will ultimately be determined by the Israeli government.

CONNIE AGIUS: DFAT also advised PM that the Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv has written to Israeli authorities expressing concern following the briefing.

But that’s not good enough for Sylvia Hale.

SYLVIA HALE: The Australian Government says that it will do what it can but it’s inhibited by Israeli local laws. But I expect my government to at least, if it cannot physically intervene to ensure our safety, to issue a public statement saying that it finds the Israeli attitude offensive and one that is worthy of condemnation.

Australians in Gaza flotilla fear limited consular help

Australian activists sailing in a flotilla to Gaza have been told they will have little or no consular assistance if Israel detains them.

Four Australians will be aboard one of the vessels which aims to challenge Israel’s blockade of Gaza and deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has contacted former NSW Greens Upper House member Sylvia Hale, who is one of the four Australians making the voyage.

She says she was told the department had been briefed by the Israeli government earlier in the month about plans to intercept the flotilla and limit consular access to the activists.

“I gather the Israelis more or less said what they were proposing to do, namely to intercept the flotilla, to force it to divert to the port of Ashdod, which would be declared a closed military zone, at which there would be no possibility of consular access,” she said.

“Then participants would either be deported immediately or they would be taken to one of three prisons, at which there might be the possibility of consular access.”

Last year a similar flotilla was intercepted by the Israeli Defence Force.

Nine people were killed and hundreds arrested.

Ms Hale and legal experts say they are critical of DFAT’s response to Israel’s plans.

ABC Radio’s PM program asked the department to clarify what it would do if Australians were detained.

A statement in response said Australia would not deny consular assistance to any Australians involved in the flotilla.

It also said the Australian embassy in Tel Aviv had written to Israeli authorities expressing concern over the flotilla briefing.

In emails from DFAT seen by PM the department said it had contacted Israel but could not do any more.

Ms Hale says that is not good enough.

“The Australian Government says that it will do what it can but it’s inhibited by Israeli local laws, but I expect my government to at least, if it cannot physically intervene to ensure our safety, to issue a public statement saying that it finds the Israeli attitude offensive and one that is worthy of condemnation,” she said.

Lawyer’s concern

Legal experts are also concerned about the Australian Government’s position.

Australian Lawyers’ Alliance director Greg Barns says activists may be subjected to abuse in the time it takes the Australian embassy to reach them.

“People could be held incommunicado for a number of days before seeing anybody from the Australian embassy,” he said.

“It could mean that people are subjected to physical and mental abuse; it could mean that people are subjected to interrogation which wouldn’t be allowed if they had access to lawyers or to consular access.

“And it could mean that those people then are forced to make false statements or seek to cut some form of deal so they can just get out of the detention they’re being held in.”

Mr Barns says DFAT should take a tougher stance.

“What we have here is Israel – which is a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which is the international instrument that governs the way in which diplomatic relations are to be conducted between countries, and including it looks at the issue of consular access,” he said.

“Australia should not tolerate Israel simply saying, ‘well we will drag people into a closed military zone and have no consular access’.”

Israel has signed the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations but it has not been ratified.

The flotilla is scheduled to depart in the next few days.

What you can do

Contact your Australian Federal MP and demand they ask a question in Parliament regarding Australia’s abandonment of its citizens on directives from Israel.
Contact your local media and ask that they highlight the issue.
Viralise the issue through through your choice of social media.
Phone DFAT and your local Consulate and complain on behalf of the Australian flotilla participants.
Insist that the peaceful humanitarian activists must be protected from Israeli violence and piracy.

Related Links

Gaza-bound / From Aborigine to Palestinian rights

Sylvia Hale: “But whoever asks us ‘what about the Aborigines,’ are not the ones who are interested in their rights, and not the ones fighting for those rights. They are using this as a diversionary tactic for evading the debate over Israel’s policy, or to delegitimize criticism of Israel.”

No Turkish boat to Gaza as Ankara, Tel Aviv mend fences

What does fraudulent “anti-gay flotilla” video tells us about Israeli hasbara strategy?
Gaza flotilla organizers demand Greek police provide security for ships
Freedom Flotilla doing what government won’t: supporting Palestinian human rights
If any Australian MPs support the Gaza flotilla, the press here isn’t reporting them
Freedom Flotilla Ready to Sail Despite Threats and Sabotage
Harper Should Support Canadians Safe Passage to the Gaza Strip on Freedom Flotilla Two
Socialist Party Member of European Parliament joins Palestine “Freedom Flotilla II” — Aim of Flotilla to break siege and highlight blockade impact on Gaza population
Gaza Freedom Flotilla organizers dismiss Israeli lies they plan to “attack” Israeli hijackers as they board ship “The organizer of the Gaza-bound flotilla dismissed Tuesday Israeli allegations that extremists aboard the ships plan to harm Israeli soldiers who would be dispatched to stop them. ”
The deep reach of Zionist lobby in the Australian Parliament and society

We now have, thanks to Greens leader Bob Brown, the list of politicians and journalists who took the junket last year. The fact that so many were willing to be taken on a propaganda tour (and how many even thought of visiting the West Bank for longer than five minutes, let alone Gaza?) shows the level of obedience to the Zionist agenda in Australian elite circles. Thankfully, studies prove that the general public are increasingly supportive of the occupied Palestinians.

Israeli Hasbara Alert

Last night, the propeller of the Swedish ship with the Freedom Flotilla was sabotaged in Greece. This morning, Israel has obscured this crime with a barrage of propaganda alleging that some participants on the flotilla are intending to use chemical weapons against the Israeli military if (when) they attempt to board.

Notwithstanding that it is illegal for Israel to board vessels without permission in international waters and vessels under attack in such a manner have a right to defend themselves, this shameless rubbish, quoting the usual unnamed ‘defence sources’ that signify the mouthing of Israeli hasbara, projects Israel’s own persistent chemical crimes – its use of skunkwater and CS gas against non-violent protestors against Israel’s illegal apartheid wall in demonstrations held weekly in the West Bank, and its criminal use of white phosphorus in its Operation Cast Lead massacre in January, 2009. Israel also denies the people of Gaza access to clean water – an insidious form of chemical poisoning.

according to the Jerusalem Post today, Israel is preparing to commit more crimes against the peaceful Freedom Flotilla..

Navy commandos have developed new techniques on how to fast-rope down onto the ships’ upper decks quickly. They also have new equipment such as water cannons, attack dogs from Oketz and riot-control specialists from the Prisons Service’s elite Masada Unit.

Above: Video of the damage to the Swedish flotilla boat’s propeller.

Related Links

ANNOUNCEMENT of the Initiative Ship To Gaza regarding the sabotage of the Greek ship
Israel’s Defense Ministry proposes confiscating boats that breach Gaza blockade
Gaza-bound: A mystery worthy of Henning Mankell

Swedish author Henning Mankell, who took part in last year’s flotilla and is joining the currently planned one, said that the flotilla was not a declaration of war, but a declaration of peace.

Fact-checking the State Department on Gaza aid channels
Spirits of Justice Going to Gaza

Palestine / Israel Links

Israel’s draconian anti-boycott bill targeting individuals, corporations and NGOs who support BDS is approved for its final reading.

This bill is politically motivated and unfortunately it is not the only bill promoted in Knesset these days that stands in contrast to democratic values. A boycott by consumers is a legitimate tool of protest and falls within the protection of freedom of expression. It is ironic that this bill will further enhance the criticism voiced against Israel”. A representative of Coalition of Women for Peace, who was present in the committee debate, quoted Rotem as saying “international law is not of my interest.”

The Israel lobby playbook – rewritten by J Street
Israel refuses citizenship for gay man married to Jewish immigrant – so Israel is a welcoming, gay-friendly place?
Israel’s chief clergy decries arrest of top rabbi who called for killing gentiles – rabbis in Israel are employees of the state.
Glenn Beck to address Knesset panel in July – Israel uses anti-semites to legitimise itself? what a joke.

Israel using phone spam promising rewards to recruit spies in southern Lebanon
How Israel nobbles Palestinian students’ education : Israeli Army Detains Tawjihi Students in Bethlehem
The Palestine Entries: Today I saw Hamas for what it’s worth
UNESCO censures Israel over Mughrabi Bridge : UNESCO’s censure calls for the immediate cessation of all renovation work done on the Mughrabi Gate bridge, which leads from the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem to the to the al-Aqsa Mosque and Temple Mount.
Pinkwashed : Solidarity between liberation movements is essential
BOYCOTT! Issue 59
Australian denies being Hamas recruit
Israel remains a Tier 2 country for Human Trafficking in US report [pdf]

inadequate at identifying and protecting labor trafficking victims, prosecuting and convicting labor trafficking offenders … Some agencies for migrant workers require recruitment fees from $4,000-20,000 : these migrants are vulnerable to debt bondage and sex slavery.

Australia Links

Human rights complaint: moral victory the only hope – the current Australian government stance on David Hicks’ case is deplorable