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Israel deports five Free Gaza activists

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    Israel deports five Free Gaza activists Ireland calls for release of Nobel Peace Prize winner 03 / 07 / 2009
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 2009
      Israel deports five Free Gaza activists
      Ireland calls for release of Nobel Peace Prize winner
      03 / 07 / 2009

      Gaza - Ma'an - Five Bahraini citizens participating in the Free Gaza Movement's voyage to Gaza were deported on Friday, following their Tuesday afternoon seizure by Israeli forces in international waters off the Gaza coast.

      Coordinator of the Palestinian International Campaign to Lift the Siege Amjad Ash-Shawa confirmed that one of the Bahraini nationals is a reporter for the Al-Jazeera network. All five are expected to be escorted to Ben Gurion International Airport where other Al-Jazeera journalists will be awaiting their arrival.

      Two Palestinian activists and organizers with the Free Gaza Movement were released Thursday, and reported being held in unsanitary warehouse quarters and were questioned by Israeli intelligence.

      A report from the New York Times said the Bahrainis were kept in a separate facility from other imprisoned solidarity activists like former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Irish peace activist and Nobel laureate, Mairead Corrigan Maguire.

      Ireland demands release of nationals

      Ireland's Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin called for the swift release of two Irish nationals detained from the ship including the Nobel Peace Prize winner and a second man identified as Derek Graham.

      In a statement received by the Free Gaza Movement, Martin said his department has been closely following the situation and was in ongoing contact with Israeli authorities.

      "My immediate priority is ensuring the safety and welfare of Ms Maguire and Mr Graham and securing their release as soon as possible," the minister said.

      "I have been assured by the Israeli authorities that they are both well and are being properly treated. An officer from the Irish Embassy in Tel Aviv visited yesterday with Ms Maguire and Mr Graham to provide assistance and will endeavor to make a further consular visit today."

      "I would again renew my call for the release of Ms Maguire and Mr Graham as well as the other nineteen passengers detained on The Spirit of Humanity," he added.

      "I would also call upon the Israeli Government to ensure that the humanitarian supplies for the people of Gaza being transported on The Spirit of Humanity are made available as soon as possible to the Palestinian authorities for distribution."

      The minister called the current Israeli blockade of Gaza "completely unacceptable" and called for all border crossings into the coastal salient to be opened to humanitarian and commercial traffic.

      The Free Gaza Movement's ship, the Spirit of Humanity, was overtaken by eight Israeli naval warships in international waters on 30 June. All 22 crew members aboard the vessel were detained and most will be deported, Israeli authorities said. The Israeli navy threatened to fire on the boat, which identified itself as a civilian ship bringing supplies to the Gaza Strip, and noted they had been cleared for sail by Cyprus customs authorities.

      The ship was nonetheless boarded and taken over, then brought to the Israeli port of Ashdod where activists were taken to prison facilities.


      By Stephanie Nebehay

      GENEVA, July 2 (Reuters) – A U.N. human rights investigator on Thursday called Israel's seizure of a ship carrying relief aid for the Gaza Strip "unlawful" and said its blockade of the territory constituted a "continuing crime against humanity".

      Israeli authorities on Tuesday intercepted the vessel, which was also carrying 21 pro-Palestinian activists, and said it would not be permitted to enter Gaza coastal waters because of security risks in the area and its existing naval blockade.

      Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said the move was part of Israel's "cruel blockade of the entire Palestinian population of Gaza" in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibiting any form of collective punishment against "an occupied people".

      Falk, an American expert on international law, said Israel's two-year blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza restricted vital supplies such as food, medicine and fuel to "bare subsistence levels".

      The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a report this week that Israel was also halting entry to Gaza of building materials and spare parts needed to repair damage from its 22-day invasion late last December.

      "Such a pattern of continuing blockade under these conditions amounts to such a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions as to constitute a continuing crime against humanity," Falk said in a statement released in Geneva.

      Prior to leaving Cyprus, the ship was inspected by Cypriot authorities in response to Israeli demands to determine whether it carried any weapons, according to the U.N. investigator. "None were found and Israeli authorities were so informed."

      "Nonetheless, the 21 peace activists on the boat were arrested, held in captivity and have been charged with `illegal entry' to Israel even though they had no intention of going to Israel," Falk added.


      Israel's ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Aharon Leshno-Yaar, rejected the remarks by Falk whom he said was "known for his bias against Israel and anti-Israel statements".

      Israel is allowing relief aid to reach Gaza in coordination with Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, Leshno-Yaar said. "Clearly the purpose of that ship was to create a buzz and serve as a propaganda vehicle against Israel," he told Reuters.

      Activists from the U.S.-based Free Gaza movement said that Irish Nobel peace prize laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. congresswoman Cynthia McKinney were among those aboard.

      Falk, who is Jewish, has had his own difficulties with Israeli authorities in trying to fulfil his independent mandate for the U.N. Human Rights Council.

      Last December, he was detained and turned back from Israel, forcing him to abort a planned mission to Gaza — a deportation denounced by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

      In a report last March, Falk said Israel's year-end military assault on the densely population coastal strip of 1.5 million appeared to constitute a grave war crime.

      Amnesty International said in a report on Thursday that Israel inflicted "wanton destruction" in the Gaza Strip in attacks that often targeted Palestinian civilians [IDnL2307109].

      A U.N. inquiry into alleged war crimes by both Israel and Hamas militants in the recent conflict held public hearings in Gaza this week and will also hear testimony in Geneva next week. It is led by former U.N. war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone, a South African jurist.


      Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire Speaks from Israeli Jail Cell After Arrest on Boat Delivering Humanitarian Aid to Gaza
      Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman

      Irish Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire speaks to us from her jail cell in Israel. She was taken into custody along with twenty others, including former US Congress member Cynthia McKinney, when the Israeli military boarded their ship in international waters as it tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. [includes rush transcript]

      Rush Transcript

      JUAN GONZALEZ: We begin today with the latest news of the ship that was seized by the Israeli military Tuesday as it tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. Israeli forces boarded the ship and towed it to the Israeli port of Ashdod. The twenty-one activists on board include former Congress member and presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney and the Irish peace activist and Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire. Huwaida Arraf and Lubna Masarwa were released, while the other nineteen remain in detention.

      AMY GOODMAN: Huwaida Arraf is the founder of the Free Gaza movement. She joins us now on the phone from Israel.

      Huwaida, welcome to Democracy Now! Explain why you took this boat trying to get to Gaza and then what happened to you on board.

      HUWAIDA ARRAF: [inaudible] Hello to you all.

      The purpose of our mission was to highlight to the international community that what Israel is doing to Gaza is blatantly illegal, and our government isn't doing anything about it. Israel constantly claims that their policies are based on security, but what they're doing—imposing collective punishment on an entire civilian population.
      We were carrying on our very, very small boat some medical aid, some rebuilding supplies, because after the January—December-January assault on Gaza, thousands of homes have been destroyed, tens of hospitals and schools all demolished. And, you know, the donor community supposedly pledged [inaudible] Gaza, but no one is saying anything. Not one country is saying anything about the fact [inaudible] the entire Gaza Strip, and not one bag of cement [inaudible]—

      AMY GOODMAN: Huwaida, we're going to interrupt for a minute, because, Juan, it sounds like we have someone else from a jail cell in Israel.
      JUAN GONZALEZ: Yes, it sounds like we have Mairead Maguire, the Nobel Prize winner, on the phone from her jail cell.

      Welcome to Democracy Now!

      MAIREAD MAGUIRE: Thank you very much, indeed. Thank you.

      JUAN GONZALEZ: Could you tell us what is going on right now with you and the others who are being detained?

      MAIREAD MAGUIRE: Yes. We have just been locked into our cells now for a couple of hours. We are currently going through their process. We are being charged with entering illegally into Israeli—near Israeli shores. We are going, it looks like, to be deported from Israel. We did not choose to come to Israel. Our little boat was boarded by the navy combat soldiers, and they came in in full riot gear onto our boat when we were just twenty-five miles off the shore of Gaza. We were under gunpoint, forcibly taken to Ashdod, held in the detention center overnight. And then I was removed from Ashdod detention center, handcuffed in a military vehicle, and brought here to the prison, where we're currently being held. All of us, all nineteen—there were twenty-one, but Huwaida and Lubna are out—but the rest of us are being held here in detention in this prison.

      AMY GOODMAN: What is your response, Mairead Maguire, to Mark Regev, the Israeli spokesperson, who said aid is free to pass into Gaza?

      MAIREAD MAGUIRE: No, that is wrong. I mean, we know it is not free. I mean, Gaza is like a huge prison, but—because its borders are closed. The sea pass into Gaza, which has been closed for over forty years by the Israeli government—we are only the seventh ship to get in to the port of Gaza that tried to break the siege.

      And as we do that, it's very interesting, we pass the gas fields of Gaza. You know, Gaza has huge gas deposits, which Israel is now beginning to use. So it's very important that there is the issue of who owns the gas in the Gazan Strip. And also farmers—fishermen, who try to go out without—in about twelve miles to fish for their families, are shot up and have been killed by the Israeli navy in that area.

      So, Gaza is a huge occupied territory of one-and-a-half million people who have been subjected to collective punishment by the Israeli government. That breaks the Geneva Convention, every international law in the book. And the tragedy is that the American government, the UN and Europe, they remain silent in the face of the abuse of Palestinian human rights, like the freedom, and it's really tragic.

      And it is also tragic that out of ten million Palestinians of a population, almost seven million are currently refugees out in other countries or displaced within their own country, particularly after the horrific massacre by Israeli jet fighters after just earlier this year. Twenty-two days Israel bombarded Gaza, Gazan people, civilians. And we're not sure what kind of weapons were dropped. We need the scientists. We need people to go in to see: is it depleted uranium in the very soil of the Gazan fields now? Unfortunately, Israel does not want human rights activists in there to see what they've done and what they're doing. Even the representative of [inaudible]—

      JUAN GONZALEZ: Mairead Maguire—

      MAIREAD MAGUIRE: —is not allowed in.

      JUAN GONZALEZ: And, Mairead Maguire, I'd like to ask you, to your knowledge, has your government or the government of the United States, in the case of Cynthia McKinney or some of the others, attempted to visit with the detainees or to lodge protest with the Israeli government?

      MAIREAD MAGUIRE: Yes, we have had [inaudible] our consulates in the different governments come here to see us. And we are concerned about the five people who came from Bahrain, and—because they don't have—their government doesn't have the same links with Israel, and we are concerned for their safety. We have asked that all those who were—who were hijacked—we were hijacked on the seas of Gaza—that they be all given freedom and their goods returned, because we have got to look out for each other.

      AMY GOODMAN: Mairead Maguire, what will happen now? And we understand that some people were injured.

      MAIREAD MAGUIRE: Yes, indeed. I mean, when as were the combat troops in masks and fully armed came on board our small boat, some people were injured. And even during—that happened during the day. But our life was put at risk even more, because the previous night, during the night, when we were in international waters, we were—a couple of Israeli naval ships came up around us. Over the radio, they told us if we did not turn back into Cyprus, they would shoot at our boat. They cut off our communications, including our satellite communications. So we were in grave danger of actually being killed at that point.

      The second thing was, when actually the navy combat forces came on board our boat, they wouldn't allow the captain to take the boat to Ashdod; instead, they took over. And, you know, I really thought that we were all going to drown, because when we got near, when we were sailing to Ashdod, there was heavy winds, there was water coming in, and it was—really we were in a very, very dangerous position. So we were literally hijacked, taken at gunpoint by the Israeli military. And now we are here in prison, and they are threatening to deport us. We were brought here against our will. We didn't come here by choice, and we are not here by choice.

      AMY GOODMAN: Mairead Maguire, what jail cell are—what jail are you in now?

      MAIREAD MAGUIRE: We're in Giv'on Prison, and we're—the women here are on one side, and the men are on the other side.

      AMY GOODMAN: Mairead Maguire, I want to thank you for being with us, Irish peace activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, speaking to us from her jail cell, redefining the cell phone. Huwaida Arraf before her, founder of the Free Gaza movement. Mairead is one of nineteen people who remain in jail. Huwaida just got out.


      Dear President Obama,

      My friend, Cynthia McKinney and Nobel laureate, Mairead Maguire and 20 other people were trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, which, as I understand, is something that you have encouraged Israel to allow.

      The Honorable Cynthia McKinney served six terms in the US Congress and she was the Green Party candidate for the office that you eventually won. It is an outrage that the Israeli Navy would block the boat that she and 21 others were on in international waters and board the boat and kidnap the crew and humanitarian aid workers.

      President Obama, when an American captain was kidnapped by Somali "pirates" US Navy SEALS were sent in to rescue him. He was the captain of a private, for profit, ship and the US military was used to rescue him.

      What Israel did, outside of its waters, to an unarmed boat filled with aid for Gazans who have been trapped in a concentration camp by Israel, is an act of international piracy and you must demand that Israel release Ms. McKinney and her fellow captors with all haste.
      I just received word that the illegally detained captives have been moved to another prison and may be charged with trying to enter Israel illegally, when they were trying to get aid to Gaza and were not even in Israeli waters.

      I can't even express my immense outrage at this overt breach of international law that has been perpetrated by Israel.
      Use your influence as the greatest dispenser of military aid to Israel to force that rogue state to release Ms. McKinney et. al., then we can talk about their immoral occupation of Palestine and the inhumane blockade of Gaza.

      With urgency,
      Cindy Sheehan


      Israeli Piracy of Greek Ship, American Congresswoman, Blacked Out in US Media
      Editor Jul 01, 2009

      Former U.S. lawmaker and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, whose relief boat was seized by an Israeli naval ship Tuesday for the second time in a year, is demanding the immediate release of her and 20 other activists.

      McKinney, a longtime supporter of Palestinians, said her Greek-flagged boat, the Spirit of Humanity, was carrying medical supplies, cement, olive trees and children's toys to Gaza when it was boarded by the Israeli navy.

      "This is an outrageous violation of international law against us," said McKinney. "Our boat was not in Israeli waters and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip. President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that's exactly what we tried to do. We're asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey."

      The Israeli military issued a statement Tuesday saying that the boat had attempted to break a blockade of Gaza and was forced to sail to an Israeli port after ignoring a radio message to stay out of Gaza waters.

      The statement said navy personnel boarded the freighter Arion without any shots being fired, and those on board were to be handed over to immigration authorities. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Israel was planning to free the crew and passengers.

      "Nobody wants to keep them here," he said. "They will be released as soon as they are checked."

      The humanitarian cargo was also to be trucked into the Gaza Strip after a security check.

      In a statement released by the Green Party, McKinney said she had sent appeals to Obama and the State Department for assurances of protection for the relief mission. She said the boat was sailing in international waters when it was seized.

      The White House nor the State Department was immediately available for comment.

      This isn't the first time a boat carrying McKinney has clashed with an Israeli navy ship. In December, McKinney was among 16 people aboard a medical supply boat that collided with an Israeli naval ship as it tried to enter coastal waters around Gaza.

      At the time, the group claimed the Israeli military fired machine guns into the water in an attempt to the stop the boat's progress. But a spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry said "physical contact" was made only after the aid boat failed to respond to radio contact and he denied any gunfire had occurred.

      Israel launched an offensive in December against Gaza in an attempt to halt years of Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel. The two sides reached a cease-fire in January.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.


      Two Free Gaza members released, others await deportation
      Ma'am News Agency
      Jul 02, 2009

      Bethlehem - Ma'an - Two of the 21 Free Gaza ship crew members were released without charges Wednesday, both Palestinian citizens of Israel, following interrogation by intelligence officers.

      Nineteen other crew members, including a former US congresswoman and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, remain in prison cells at Israel's Ashdod jail facility awaiting deportation.

      The group was overwhelmed by eight Israeli naval warships as they steered a small ferry carrying reporters and humanitarian supplies toward the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. According to the capturing officers the ship was in violation of the Israeli blockade of the area, which was a closed military area as a consequence.

      Free Gaza members on the Spirit of Humanity were threatened with live fire on two occasions, they said, and have pledged to continue their efforts to secure the safe release of the 19 remaining imprisoned crew members, and to continue efforts to break the Israeli siege on the coastal strip.

      The two members released from prison Wednesday were Lubna Masarwa and Huwaida Arraf, both organisers of the Free Gaza Movement.

      In an interview with the Israeli news agency Ynet, Arraf, who is also a citizen of Israel, said that authorities "put us in a warehouse, where we slept on a cockroach-infested cement floor, as armed soldiers were monitoring us.

      "They didn't say a word to us. They confiscated all our personal belongings and phones, and they didn't let us contact anyone. A day later they left us at the Ashdod central bus station without any money or belongings," Ynet quoted her as saying.

      "What they did to us is unforgivable, but we're not the story here," she added. "The fact they threatened us with violence because we wanted to transfer medical supplies and drawing equipment for children is simply absurd."


      Activist on boat seized by IDF laments world apathy to Gaza
      By Barak Ravid and Anshel Pfeffer
      Haaretz News Agencies

      One of the international activists who sought to sail to Gaza on Tuesday lamented the world's "apathy" to the plight of the Hamas-ruled territory shortly before the Israel Navy seized control of the vessel.

      "We didn't come with guns and weapons, but with just humanitarian aid, in an attempt to break the siege of Gaza and to tell the apathetic world about what is happening in the Strip, especially after the last war," said Huwaida Araf in an interview with the Nazareth-based radio station Al-Shams.

      She added: "I was born in the United States to a family of immigrants from the [Arab Israeli] village of Ma'ilia, and still have relatives in Israel, and I'm sure that everyone supports my step."

      The voyage's organizers, the Free Gaza Movement, said the vessel, renamed the Spirit of Humanity, left the Cypriot port of Larnaca on Monday bound for Gaza with three tons of medical supplies.

      The activists were attempting to break a blockade of Gaza, imposed by Israel after the Islamic group Hamas took over the territory in a bloody 2007 coup.

      Early Tuesday, the navy surrounded the vessel, which was also carrying humanitarian aid, and told the activists to turn back because of security risks in the area and the blockade, according to the IDF.

      But the boat later entered Gaza's coastal waters, the IDF Spokespersons' Office said in a statement, after which a naval force boarded it.

      No shots were fired during the boarding of the boat, and the crew was to be handed over to the appropriate authorities, the IDF said.
      In the statement, the IDF Spokespersons' Unit added that it "would like to emphasize that any organization or country that wishes to transfer humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, can legally do so via the established crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip with prior coordination."

      The army said humanitarian goods found on board the boat would be transferred to the Gaza Strip, subject to authorization.

      The 20 passengers include former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire and other activists from Britain, Ireland, Bahrain and Jamaica.
      The ship was flying a Greek flag, but no Greek citizens were aboard. The Greek government issued a statement saying it sent a message to Israel demanding that it release the ship, crew and passengers.
      Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Israel was planning to
      free the crew and passengers."

      Nobody wants to keep them here," he said. "They will be released as soon as they are checked."

      The Free Gaza Movement has organized five boat trips to Gaza since August 2008, defying a blockade imposed by Israel when the militant group Hamas seized control of the territory from its Palestinian rivals in June 2007.

      Two other attempts were stopped by Israeli warships during Israel's three-week offensive against Hamas in the territory in December and January. Nobody on board was harmed.

      Israel tightened a blockade on Gaza in 2007 after Hamas seized control of the territory, home to some 1.5 million people.


      McKinney & Free Gaza Activists Won't Sign Statement Of Guilt;
      Will Remain In Prison Longer
      by Ronald Hardy

      Latest news on the McKinney front:

      About an hour ago an associate of Cynthia McKinney spoke with an official at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv who stated that Cynthia McKinney and the other 20 human rights activists can be released from prison if they sign a statement of guilt in violating Israel's territorial waters, which of course they are refusing to sign.

      Apparently Israeli law states that if the 21 do not sign the admission of guilt they must be held for 3 days before the Israeli Government can either choose to release them or continue to detain them.


      BREAKING: McKinney refuses to sign deportation order

      With every act of defiance, my respect for this amazing woman increases even more!

      From: Don DeBar

      We just received a report that Cynthia refused to sign a deportation order which contained a statement that she violated the Israeli blockade. The US Embassy said that Israeli law requires that inmates who refuse to sign a deportation must be kept in jail for 3 days before they are sent away.

      By this measure, It will be Sunday before we know when and if she will leave Israel.

      Don DeBar
      dondebar@optonline. net


      Gaza aid activists transferred to immigration authority ahead of deportation
      07.01.09, 13:20
      Israel News

      The 19 foreign peace activists, who were arrested on Tuesday after trying to sail to the Gaza Strip, were transferred to the immigration authority's detainment facility ahead of their deportation from Israel.

      The activists will board airplanes back to their native countries as soon as possible. (Efrat Weiss)


      Israel Kidnaps Peace Boat Crew
      Pirates of the Mediterranean
      July 1, 2009

      On June 30, the government of Israel committed an act of piracy when the Israeli Navy in international waters illegally boarded the "Spirit of Humanity," kidnapped its 21-person crew from 11 countries, including former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Laureate Mairead MaGuire, and confiscated the cargo of medical supplies, olive trees, reconstruction materials, and children's toys that were on the way to the Mediterranean coast of Gaza. The "Spirit of Humanity," along with the kidnapped 21 persons, is being towed to Israel as I write.

      Gaza has been described as the "world's largest concentration camp." It is home to 1.5 million Palestinians who were driven by force of American-supplied Israeli arms out of their homes, off their farms, and out of their villages so that Israel could steal their land and make the Palestinian land available to Israeli settlers.

      What we have been witnessing for 60 years is a replay in modern times, despite the United Nations and laws strictly preventing Israel's theft of Palestine, of the 17th, 18th, and 19th century theft of American Indian lands by US settlers. An Israeli government spokesman recently rebuked the President of the United States, a country, the Israeli said, who stole all of its land from Indians, for complaining about Israel's theft of Palestine.

      I knew the "Spirit of Humanity" would fall to Israeli piracy the minute I received on June 25 from an official of an Israeli peace organization a "public advisory" that the government of Cyprus had withheld permission for the "Spirit of Humanity" to leave for Gaza.

      The US State Department had advised that "The Israeli Foreign Ministry informed U.S. officials at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv that Israel still considers Gaza an area of conflict and that any boats attempting to sail to Gaza will not be permitted to reach its destination." The "Spirit of Humanity" obtained permission to leave Cyprus when all aboard signed a waiver absolving Cyprus of all responsibility for the crew's safety at the hands of the Israelis.

      As President Obama has called for humanitarian aid to be sent to Gaza, and as the International Red Cross has damned the inhumanity of Israel's blockade of Gaza, the question that immediately comes to mind is why did not the United States send sufficient US Navy escort to see the "Spirit of Humanity" safely through international waters to Gaza? We send ships against Somalian pirates, why not against Israeli ones?

      We all know the answer. The US talks a good "human rights" game, but never delivers--especially if the human rights abuser is Israel. After all, Israel owns the US Congress and President Obama. Israel even has an Israeli citizen and former member of the Israeli Defense Forces as the Chief-of-Staff in Obama's White House. Israel owns millions of American "Christian Zionists" and "rapture evangelicans." When it comes to Israel, the American government is a puppet state. It does what it is told.

      Macho Americans might stand tall, but not when Israel snaps its fingers.

      Israel, of course, will get away with a mere act of piracy. After all, Israel has been getting away with its war crimes and violations of international law for 60 years. If the UN tries to do anything, the US will veto it, as the US has done for decades.

      What will happen to the kidnapped foreign nationals? Most likely they will be released and sent back to their respective countries. Israel, of course, will keep the stolen "Spirit of Humanity" to foreclose any further attempts by human rights activists to run Israel's inhumane blockade of Gaza.

      On the other hand, Israel might declare its captives to be terrorists on the ground that the Gazans elected in a free election Hamas as their government. Hamas, unlike Israel, is declared to be a terrorist organization by the puppet American State Department in Washington.

      Thus the human rights activists onboard the "Spirit of Humanity" are aiding and abetting terrorists by delivering goods to them. The US Department of Justice (sic) prosecutes American citizens and charities for sending aid to Palestinians on the grounds that Palestinians, if not everyone a terrorist, are governed by terrorists.

      I wouldn't be surprised if a Nobel Laureate and a former member of the US House of Representatives, along with the rest of the crew, are handed over to the Americans for indefinite detention and for torturing and waterboarding in the American torture facility at Bagram. I am certain that "Homeland Security" and the US Government are desperate to be rid of all of critics, and knocking off a Nobel Laureate and a member of the House sets a precedent for getting rid of the rest of us.

      Meanwhile, California, which has become a failed state, has been denied bailout money from Washington. Israel, which has been a failed state for 60 years, can, unlike the American state of California, always count of Washington to deliver the money and the weapons to keep Israel going.

      The same week that "our" government in Washington told the Governor of California "not one red cent," President Barak Obama handed over $2.775 billion to Israel.

      Online Journal (June 29) reported that the handover to Israel of the unemployed Americans' tax dollars took place in a "tiny Capitol room" to which members of the press were denied access. I mean, really, who wants the media writing about US taxpayer dollars for Israel's nuclear weapons while Americans are being kicked out of their homes.

      Not that, of course, the "Christian" supporters of Israel would mind.
      Unlike every other recipient of US military largesse, Israel is permitted to bypass the Pentagon and to deal directly with US suppliers. Consequently, the Israel Lobby's influence multiplies, because military suppliers fight for Israel in congressional committees in order to get Israel's business. This lets Israel turn the screws on Iran. According to Grant F. Smith writing in Online Journal, Republican US Representative Mark Steven from Illinois has received $221,000 in campaign contributions from Israel political action committees (PACs). Therefore, it was a sure thing that he would introduce legislation preventing the Import-Export bank from providing loan guarantees to countries doing business with Iran.


      Americans think that they are a superpower, but in fact they are a stupor-power. A puppet state if truth be known.

      There is a great deal of evidence, even in Time magazine
      [ http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1906664,00.html ] that Israel is a child abuser. "God's Chosen People" routinely abuses captured Palestinian children. The Israelis also abuse Palestinian children by shooting them down in the streets.

      Don't take my word for it. The Geneva-based Defense for Children International says, according to Time Magazine, that "the ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian child prisoners appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized, suggesting complicity at all levels of the political and military chain of command."

      According to Time Magazine, "Often, children suffer lasting traumas from jail. Says Saleh Nazzal from the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoner Affairs, `When soldiers burst into a house and drag away a child, he loses his feeling of being protected by his family. He comes back from prison alienated from his family, his friends. They don't like going back to school or even leaving the house. They start wetting their beds.' Says Mona Zaghrout, a YMCA counselor who helps kids returning from prison: `They come out of prison thinking and acting like they are men. Their childhood is gone.' And they often turn to another father figure--the armed militant groups fighting the Israeli occupation.'"

      And so it goes. There's no money for California, or for Americans' health care, or for the several million Americans who have lost their homes and are homeless, because Israel needs it. Israel need the Americans' taxpayers money to that it can create even more enemies, and, therefore, need more American money to spend with the American armament industries to oppress more Palestinians and to make more enemies, requiring more American money to protect Israel from its folly and its evil.

      And the brainwashed American public goes along year after year.

      Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@...



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