Gaza Flotilla Ship Al Awda Violently Seized by Israelis; USS Liberty Survivor Amongst Those Captured

UPDATED: Israeli forces have violently boarded a ship, being followed by Consortium News, that was headed to Gaza bringing humanitarian aid. A survivor of the USS Liberty is now in Israeli custody.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Israeli soldiers in international waters boarded the Al Awda ship headed to Gaza to deliver relief supplies on Sunday, detaining everyone on board, including a USS Liberty survivor, after beating and tasering some passengers, according to an eyewitness account.

Al Awda leaving Norway in May. (Photo by Elizabeth Murray)

Only two of the 22 passengers on the ship have been released, with the rest being held in Givon prison in Israel, the flotilla’s organizers said on Monday.

One of those released, Zohar Chamberlain Regev, an Israeli citizen, contested an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) statement that the ship had been captured “without exceptional incident.”

People on board were tasered and hit by masked IOF soldiers. We did not get our passports or belongings before we got off the boat. Do not believe reports of peaceful interception,” Regev said in a statement to the organizers, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. Regev referred to the IDF derogatorily as the Israeli Occupation Force.

She said she saw “blood on the deck of the Al Awda as the last participants were being dragged off the ship,” according to the coalition’s statement. Regev and a second Israeli passenger, Yonatan Shapira, were charged with attempting to enter Gaza and conspiracy before being released.

Consortium News reported on July 9 that Joe Meadors, a survivor of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty,  joined the 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla as the delegate from the United States. He boarded the Al Awda  in Palermo, Sicily for  the final 1,000 miles to Gaza and is now in Israeli custody. Meadors pre-recorded this video message in the event that he was captured:

Meadors was a signalman on the bridge of the USS Liberty, a surveillance vessel operating in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea near Gaza during the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israreli war when it was attacked by Israeli war planes and submarines, killing 34 U.S. sailors.

Speaking of the seizure of the Al Awda, the flotilla organizers said:A military attack on a civilian vessel is a violent act and a violation of international law. Taking 22 people from international waters to a country which is not their destination constitutes an act of kidnapping, which is also unlawful under the international Convention of the Law of Sea.”

Consortium News has been following the progress of the flotilla in two reports by passenger Elizabeth Murray. Murray left the Al Awda (The Return) before it approached Gaza and was not onboard when it was seized by Israeli forces.

We call on national governments, civil society and international organizations to demand that Israeli authorities immediately release our boat so that we can deliver our much-needed medical supplies on Al Awda and the fishing boat itself to the rightful recipients in Gaza,” the Flotilla organizers said.

Our second boat Freedom will follow Al Awda within a day or two, and the Freedom Flotilla will continue until the blockade ends and Palestinians of Gaza regain their full freedom of movement,” they said.

Besides delivering aid, the flotilla’s aim has been to bring attention to the illegal blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza since 2007.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

If you valued this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

143 comments for “Gaza Flotilla Ship Al Awda Violently Seized by Israelis; USS Liberty Survivor Amongst Those Captured

  1. William Bigelow
    August 10, 2018 at 23:20

    Thank you for following and publishing this story about the current flotilla to protest and non-violently fight against the illegal and hurtful Israeli blocade of Gaza. But what about the follow-up? The second ship mentioned that was to arrive in a few days, the fate of the crew and the ship itself that were illegally seized? Etc. I am signing up for your ongoing email information service.

  2. Skip Scott
    August 6, 2018 at 13:38

    This is a follow up report from a doctor that was aboard the Al Awda. The evil of the IDF knows no bounds.

    • William Bigelow
      August 11, 2018 at 00:16

      Thank you for this incredible report of the doctor of the seizure of the ship and crew on way to Gaza. I sent it out to a group of personal friends and colleagues.

  3. Carol Barsh
    August 4, 2018 at 09:12

    I am calling my congressman Lou Barletta on Monday! This has got to stop. While men women and children are thirsty and hungry these people continue with this constant bullying. Dear Jesus help the people in Palestine and the heroes of the Floatilla

    • Stefano R. Baldari
      August 4, 2018 at 17:49

      Ms. Barsh;

      You are absolutely right, this has got to stop! This is cruel, inhumane, and constitutes crimes against humanity. Palestinian children, women, and men in Illegitimate Israel are thirsty and starving, and being maimed and murdered with impunity on a daily basis by the IDF (Haganah). The IDF evolved from the Zionist terrorist organization Haganah.
      Joe Meadors, a man who is supremely courageous, and who survived the July 8, 1967, attack by Illegitimate Israel on the U.S.S. Liberty, has put himself in harms way for the Palestinian cause, the cause of humanity and justice. Unfortunately, the U.S., the host, subsidizes Illegitimate Israel, the parasite, to the tune of 38 billion dollars, that’s right 38 BILLION dollars, a year to prop up this Nazi-like state. And this is because American Jewish Zionist organizations such as AIPAC, the ADL, B’nai B’rith, CoP, WINEP, even J Street, a sham organization, et al want it that way. For these organizations it is Israel First!
      I am also planning to contact my U.S. Senator, the unctuous Charles Schumer, and voice my displeasure at the piracy of the Al Awda, and holding captive American citizens against international law.

    • Hank
      August 7, 2018 at 10:17

      The fact that the USA ALWAYS steps in to protect Israel after it commits yet another crime against humanity sickens me to the core! What the heck am I paying taxes for, to support this bullying racist apartheid entity called Israel? NO! If Trump truly wanted to make “America Great Again” he would grow some balls and tell Israel where it can stick its demands. All the anti-Iran fuel is coming from Netanyahu and his clique of dinosaur Likudniks! I tend to think that the world would be much more at peace WITH Israel being held to account for its most inhumane policies. Someone has a small protest in Iran(orchestrated by the West) and it goes full-blown headlines in the Western media. Israel guns down PEACEFUL UNARMED protestors and the USA give them 38 billion dollars while USA “leaders” cheerlead the slaughter of innocent Palestinians. get used to it people- the USA IS on the side of the “bad guys”!

  4. August 3, 2018 at 17:46

    What “the Israeli Gov’t” is doing, with U.S. complicity, re Gaza and the Palestinians is morally repugnant and a disgrace , especially to the memory of the USS Liberty which they tried to sink with all hands in June 1967 When will we get our Senators and Reps back from AIPAC-AmericanIsraeli Public Affairs Comm, which should be AmericanIsraeli Political Action Comm because they represent Israel and puts it first over the U.S. as do previously mentioned Senators and Reps. SHAME on them!!! William J. McCarthy LCDR Ret’ USNR

  5. Jeremiah
    August 3, 2018 at 09:53

    This is really an international crime.

    Joe, it would be interesting to know who is financing these relief ships. Do you know? They must be good and brave folks.

  6. Tom W Harris
    August 2, 2018 at 04:23

    Ahh yess…the David Duke Left is on the case, haw haw haw.

  7. August 1, 2018 at 17:40

    Absolutely no mention of this in the news! What do foreign journalists do? They certainly don’t report the news what do they report on?

    • Wendy
      August 4, 2018 at 12:19

      All of our news is censored. I lived in the Middle East in 2004 and you have no idea what actually goes on or only told one side. Truly heartbreaking.

  8. Sam F
    August 1, 2018 at 16:33

    Very well said, and to the point.

  9. Stefano R. Baldari
    August 1, 2018 at 16:03

    Sadly, Israel commandeered the Al Awda because it knew that it could, and it knew that it could and get away with piracy, assault, and if need be murder. In the past, as your article states, Illegitimate Israel, via the IDF (Haganah), on July 8, 1967, intentionally, and premeditatedly, bombed and torpedoed the U.S.S. Liberty killing 34 sailors and injuring 171; though their original intent was to sink the ship and kill everyone on board.
    On March 21, 2003, an IDF (Haganah) soldier bulldozed to death the American peace activist Rachel Corrie.
    On May 31, 2010, Illegitimate Israeli IDF (Haganah) soldiers boarded another Freedom Flotilla boat, the Mavi Marmara, and murdered, at point blank range, the American Furkan Dogan.
    In all of the above instances, not a single IDF (Haganah) soldier was prosecuted and found guilty of murder. In addition, all of the above could only have happened with the unswerving and unbending political and financial support of the United States (the host) toward Illegitimate Israel (the parasite).
    Though the Palestinians, without question, receive the absolute worst of the barbaric inhumane treatment by white supremacist Jewish Zionists, anyone in Illegitimate Israel who is not a white Jew is subjected to inhumane treatment and murder, be they Ethiopian and Sudanese refugees, Christians, Druze, Muslims, et al.
    White supremacist Jewish Zionists can perpetrate these crimes against humanity because they believe they are superior to everyone else in the world racially, ethnically, and religiously. And because of this belief in their “so-called” Zionist superiority over everyone else in the world it justifies everything they do.
    It is utterly despicable that this continues. And it continues because the “Freedom Loving” United States, along with those cowards who dominate Congress, permit it to continue. Change will not occur because of Illegitimate Israel or the United States, change will only occur when the rest of the world takes a stand against Illegitimate Israel, regardless of America’s reaction. Viva BDS!

    • Tom
      August 4, 2018 at 08:39

      Very much in agreement with all you write. Thanks

  10. fredjc
    August 1, 2018 at 14:40

    Piracy on the ‘open’ seas – why is this not news? Shameful!

  11. Rick Patel
    August 1, 2018 at 10:41

    US government will do nothing to rescue Mr. Meadows, just as it did nothing to rescue him in 1967.

  12. Will
    August 1, 2018 at 10:27

    I’d like to think the Israelis made a mistake by taking this bait, but I’m a little to cynical to think the press will bother to notice or the state dept. to intervene

  13. terrence knight
    July 31, 2018 at 16:34

    The world must confront Israel, which has become the most belligerent nation in the world, and put a stop to their crimes.

    July 31, 2018 at 15:28

    I called the State Dept. as well as my two Senators and Representative about this today, demanding that they condemn Israel’s violation of international law and violence against the flotilla members, especially the Americans such as Joe Meadors.

    Of course, no one I spoke to even knew what was happening. All said they would relay my message to supervisors.

    The woman at the State Dept. told me the State Dept. web site clearly listed Gaza as a dangerous area for U.S. citizens not to enter. Even after I explained that the ship was in international waters, she repeated that. So I told her that “violation” of a warning on the web site was nothing compared to violation of international law – a crime – and then kidnapping of the passengers and putting them in custody for trying to deliver medical supplies.

    I then asked her: “What good is having a State Dept. if it cannot help U.S. citizens abroad who are violently attacked and kidnapped? Of course, she had no answer.

    Keep calling your Senators, Representative, and the State Dept. and demand that the U.s. tell Israel to release ALL the passengers and crew members immediately. Contact your local papers and insist that they cover this outrage.

    • August 1, 2018 at 10:59

      I was on the State Dept. list in order to call me if any bad things happen where I was living – I’m still waiting here in Crimea for their call- lol – They never called to tell me they did a coup d’tat in Kiev – So – I just — Stayed. Never trust the Government – R P – they’re all – Liars.

    • August 2, 2018 at 22:43

      I totally agree and will continue to put pressure on Sen. Chris Murphy and Sen Richard Blumenthal and Rep Courtney. I am so very sickened by America’s blind eye in support of Israel as they call Palestinians barbaric, etc. I do not have any faith in this administration to do anything, sanction or push toward a TRUE peace process which will lead to two nations, independent of the other. Gaza and the West Bank must be free. Palestinians are suffering awful oppression and lack of quality of life. America should be ashamed to support this outpouring of support to Israel.

    • Jeremiah
      August 3, 2018 at 09:55

      Well done.

  15. Donna Bubb
    July 31, 2018 at 14:23

    The Gaza Flotilla Ships people are so brave because no matter how important they are and how precious their cargo, not one of the ships will get into Gaza because of the bloody criminal cruelty of Israeli Occupational Forces. The whole world knows this will happen
    again and again unless every caring country wakes up and sends out millions of flotillas at the same time and the IOF can’t begin to handle them — then Israel and its supporters just might wake up to their racist, apartheid wrongdoing in Palestine.

    • Tom
      July 31, 2018 at 21:19

      Interesting proposal and a lot of fun to make it happen. Would probably be successful too. Somewhere useful for all those with boats to go.

  16. doray
    July 31, 2018 at 13:56

    What possible excuse can they fabricate not to let food and medicine into Gaza?! Why do they have the right to control who can visit Gaza and who can’t? Who gave them the authority to control open waters? Who will have the guts to stand up to these murderous sacks of crap and allow food and medicine be brought into Gaza?

    God must be so proud of His “chosen people.” What a sick joke on humanity the right wing Christians are for supporting Israel’s atrocities so it will bring on the second coming of Christ, even though the Jews will be doomed, (according the the story in Revelation). The sickest part of all is that this asinine government bases its foreign policy on Biblical BS, while ignoring the teachings of peace, love, and forgiveness their “Son of God,” stands for. Can’t you just see Jesus stopping the healing boat to the poor people of Gaza?! Riiiiiight. So, Jesus, PLEASE protect us from your followers!

  17. Pam Ryan
    July 31, 2018 at 13:50


  18. Farmer Pete
    July 31, 2018 at 13:34

    The second flotilla should just slap a ‘White Helmets’ logo on the side of the boat. That would ensure safe passage from the IDF.

    • doray
      July 31, 2018 at 13:57

      What a perfect solution, FP! lol

    • Kay
      July 31, 2018 at 17:24

      Maybe they could RESETTLE them in the UK or Canada???

    • Daniel Rich
      August 1, 2018 at 04:47

      @ Farmer Peter,

      Your solution is a really funny one. I hope you don’t mind I can’t really laugh out loud about it…

  19. Ed
    July 31, 2018 at 13:15

    Gaza epitomizes the epicenter of the harrowing ethos and pathos of human conscientiousness — the thesaurus to every psychological algorithm imaginable or inflictable upon a dispossessed people.
    For more than 60 years and several generations going forward, the people of Gaza — who were culturally and ancestrally uprooted from their homeland — have since steadfastly endured the abysmal scourge of survival and strangulated coexistence.   
    The credibility of today’s psychology, therefore, cannot be given a conscientious accreditation if its corpus utterly lacks any or all substantial reference to the psychologically inherited traumas of Gazans and the corresponding physical catastrophes they have been continually subjected to.
    The paintings below reflect the devastatingly political impact of the world’s calibrated indifference not only to the plight and suffering of the Palestinian people, but of all people displaced through the sanctification of corporately-funded-warfares. 
    To profit from the proliferation of mass suffering, devastation and death is a war crime of the most heinous nature.  Uncondonable in perpetuity and a damning stigma on and of our presence in time’s athenaeum!
                                                                                                               -Dom Martin
                                                                                                                September 2015

  20. John A
    July 31, 2018 at 11:20

    There is a complete black out of this news in mainstream media in Britain. They prefer to whip up ridiculous hysteria about anti-semitism in the Labour party because Corbyn is ahead in the polls and he wants justice for Palestine. The establishment simply cant allow that.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 31, 2018 at 11:39

      Except for here at the Consortium with Joe Lauria’s reporting the silence is deafening. When I contacted my State Senator the answering operator didn’t know what I was talking about. After a spelling of the Al Awda and a brief description of what the ships mission was, the operator said she would pass along my request for the Senator to advocate for safe passage of this humanitarian relief mission. Let’s all hope the Israeli’s don’t get to violent, and the crew of the Al Awda completes their objective in good health. Joe

      • rgl
        July 31, 2018 at 13:07

        Joe, very likely the answering ‘operator’ will trashcan your call. Do not bother with the phone. Write. Ideally, registered mail. In this way, you can confirm your request ended up at the destination you intend.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 31, 2018 at 13:26

          Thanks for the info.

    • Tom
      July 31, 2018 at 21:21

      Yes truly extraordinary.

  21. Mark Thomason
    July 31, 2018 at 11:15

    The only thing surprising here is that the Israelis did not kill anybody this time.

  22. Anne Jaclard
    July 31, 2018 at 09:59

    Why isn’t this considered by the world to be the same sort of crisis and the same level of terrorism and piracy as the Palestinian hijackings of airplanes in the early 1970s era, which were front page news? Ironically, the PFLP responded to this boat thievery in a post denouncing Israeli “occupation piracy” and hijacking. A number of reasons, the media is severely degraded and has an obsession with the alleged horrors of Russian support for Corbyn and Trump, but only one that matters- they don’t care about human rights when it’s Israel or any other US client.

  23. Nop
    July 31, 2018 at 09:20

    As an eye witness of a prior Israeli attrocity, Meadors’ life is in grave danger in their custody.
    This latest act of piracy reconfirms that the deeds of the criminal regime ruling Israel are a slander against decent Jewish people everywhere.

    • July 31, 2018 at 20:16

      What is more disgusting?
      The evil Israel nation OR the world Powers who see these deeds and DO NOTHING.

      • Tom
        July 31, 2018 at 21:23

        Yes that is the right question.

  24. coherent
    July 31, 2018 at 08:39

    SHARE , SHARE SHARE this article wide pls.
    Israeli crimes committed on Palestinian people MUST see the whole world and condemn it.
    Killing Gaza and Palestinian people —

  25. July 31, 2018 at 08:07

    There is growing awareness of the diagnosis, the challenge is what to do about it. Once, I would urge others to look for organizations which share our views and support them. A positive approach in such an effort regarding the Middle East is to work with those of Jewish faith if they agree with your diagnosis and share your views of what must be done. I am not a communicator but I can support organizations who are good at it.

    Of course we do find such organization which seem to support your views but serve to protect Israel’s behavior, K Street comes to mind. But for those who are look for a pathway to a fair and just resolution, I would urge you to go to the Jewish Voice for Peace website. Do they share your views and by supporting them are we moving in a more hopeful path?

    I’m sure there are other organizations who offer the same hope.

    • Kay
      July 31, 2018 at 17:34

      Thank you for saying this. Jewish voices for peace, and the anti Zionist network which has hundreds of thousands of Jewish followers who do NOT AGREE WITH ZIONISM

  26. anastasia
    July 31, 2018 at 05:19

    Joe Meadows knows alot better than all of us that he is truly a man without a country, but a man with plenty of fellow countrymen who are watching.

  27. Kieron
    July 31, 2018 at 03:46

    I see none of this has been reported by the BBC

  28. John
    July 31, 2018 at 03:45

    The Palmer UN report stated that Israel is legally entitled to stop ships from entering Gaza, therefore this article has repeated a lie when it asserts that Israel acted illegally. And Palmer is an an expert of maritime law. The reasoning is quite simple, the terrorist organisation that runs Gaza has repeatedly attacked Israel to serve its expressed intent to eliminate Israel. Before Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, there was no blockade however when Hamas started firing rockets into Israel, Israel had no choice but to put in place a defensive blockade to stop war material entering there, and this blockade was put in place by not only Israel but also Egypt. Also, even with the blockade, Israel allows humanitarian goods into Gaza and even when Hamas fires Rockets onto her civilians, Israel continues to supply electricity, water and fuel into Gaza knowing that Hamas use them to wage war against Israel. Now if Hamas stopped attacking Israel then Israel would have no reason to enforce a blockade to protect herself. Therefore, even a dim person should be able to see that Hamas is the one responsible for the blockade but a person motivated by hate will never admit this.

    • Tom
      July 31, 2018 at 05:08

      It makes no sense to say that Israel is ‘legally entitled’. Israel is not legal. In the 20s and 30s Zionist settlers bought land in Palestine. That was legal. But then the British gave them the OK to steal it. And the UN rubber-stamped that. And that’s when legality disappeared.

    • Joe Lauria
      July 31, 2018 at 05:44 UN says blockade is illegal. From Haaretz. I put this link in the story which you evidently don’t want to acknowledge.

    • July 31, 2018 at 07:24

      The alleged country now called Israel has been committing crimes since 1948 with US complicity. It’s time this tragedy stopped.

    • Anne Jaclard
      July 31, 2018 at 10:02

      The people of Palestine elected Hamas in 2006 for better or worse, and would likely do so again absent a massive repression scheme by the US and Israel, recognised by some as a “terrorist” government the way Hamas is smeared as a terror party.

    • Sibiriak
      July 31, 2018 at 10:49

      The Palmer Commission consisted of four individuals: Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Chair; Former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, Vice-Chair; Mr. Joseph Ciechanover Itzhar, Israel’s representative; and Mr. Süleyman Özdem Sanberk, Turkey’s representative.

      Palmer Report Is Biased, Unreliable, and Contrary to General International Condemnation of Israeli Blockade Imposed on Gaza Strip

      “The selection of the members of the international Panel of Inquiry established by the Secretary General was bizarre. For example, when the Secretary-General chose Mr. Uribe as vice-chair, several objections arose,[4] given that throughout his long rule his personal record was replete with violations of human rights, corruption, obstruction of rule of law and judicial independence, and attacks against human rights defenders in Colombia. These violations of international law rise to a level that would make Mr. Uribe a war criminal.

      The Panel of Inquiry depended in its decisions on seeking the unanimous agreement of its members, which included the representative of the Turkish Government. In case a unanimous agreement could not be reached, the chair and the vice-chair, Mr. Uribe, were to take the decisions related to the Panel’s recommendations. ”


      Why the Palmer Report Deserves No Deference

      “Almost all the factual findings, as well as the legal analysis and conclusions of the recently leaked UN Secretary General’s Panel of Inquiry into the “Flotilla Incident” on May 31, 2010 (Palmer/Uribe Panel) directly contradict those of an earlier UN report of the Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Mission (FFM, whose conclusion that Israel’s blockade of Gaza, including the naval blockade is illegal, was just reaffirmed on September 13, 2011 by five independent UN rights Special Rapporteurs. In line with all statements Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon has made about Gaza, the Goldstone report, and statements by other international agencies, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), these UN international law experts rejected the Palmer/Uribe conclusions and demanded that “[t]he Israeli blockade of Gaza must end immediately and the people of Gaza must be afforded protection in line with international law.”

      For this reason, until a dispositive ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is issued on the legality of Israel’s closure of Gaza, including its naval blockade, and therefore on the lawfulness of Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara and other flotilla vessels, the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Palmer/Uribe Panel deserve no deference.

      * * * * * * *

      […] The selection of ex-Colombian President Uribe as the Panel’s vice-chair brings into question the integrity and impartiality of the Panel, given allegations from human rights organizations concerning his intimate association with the military and paramilitary practice of murdering civilians in Colombia and his disdain for human rights defenders. Also troubling are Uribe’s associations with Israel which, during his term of office was Colombia’s top weapons supplier, an apparent conflict of interest not addressed in the Panel’s report.

      Most importantly, representatives of the two the countries involved made up 50% of the panel. As the Human Rights Council FFM report observed, “…public confidence in any investigative process in circumstances such as the present is not enhanced when the subject of the investigation either investigates himself or plays a pivotal role in the process.”

      The FFM, on the other hand, was comprised of international law experts: Judge Karl T Hudson-Phillips, retired Judge of the International Criminal Court as chairman, Sir Desmond de Silva, former Chief Prosecutor of the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone and Ms Mary Shanthi Dairiam, founding member of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Rights Action Watch. The mission was assisted by specialists in forensic pathology, military issues, firearms, the law of the sea and international humanitarian law, and was briefed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) and the Office of the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO).”

    • Realist
      July 31, 2018 at 15:53

      So, you are saying that Israel had absolutely no choice in the matter, not even to cultivate good press with the rest of the world. It’s the world that is forcing Israel to act like a bunch of goons. Israel could never be guilty of using raw intimidation and even actual violence to impose its will and they have every right to roust these peace activists because of the high probability they are carrying weapons to use against Israel on that dinky little excursion craft. You, Alice and the American state are probably the only ones who can believe that without cracking a smirk.

      • Skip Scott
        August 1, 2018 at 08:11

        Thank you Realist. John actually implies WE are the persons “motivated by hate” because we condemn Israel’s lengthy record of human rights abuses of Palestinians. I suppose the IDF “mows the grass” with love in their hearts.

    • dionissis mitropoulos
      July 31, 2018 at 18:53

      PART 1

      Hi John, you said:

      “the terrorist organisation that runs Gaza has repeatedly attacked Israel to serve its expressed intent to eliminate Israel.”

      The defense establishment of Israel disagrees with your statement’s implicatures. Your statement implies that:

      1 Hamas first attacked Israel and therefore Hamas is to blame for the 3 major Israeli operations against Gaza(2008/9 Cast Lead, 2012 Pillar of Defense, 2014 Protective Edge).

      2 Hamas allegedly initiated these attacks with the aim of eliminating Israel.

      The first one to falsify both your claims is the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a dedicatedly pro-Israel think tank, I quote (emphasis added):

      “but it should be recalled that … Hamas-Israel conflicts in Gaza in 2008-09, 2012, and 2014 were the unintended outcomes of miscalculations by both parties.

      So WINEP does not blame Hamas for any war anymore than it blames Israel, and it does not ascribe to Hamas any intention to start a conflict, let alone an intention to start a war with the ulterior aim of “eliminating Israel”, as you claimed. All 3 wars were unintended by Hamas.

      And here is Avi Issacharoff, the unofficial voice of the Defense establishment in the Times of Israel, falsifying your first claim (emphasis mine):

      “The terror group [Hamas] does not want a violent confrontation [October 2018], and that has been made clear from its actions in recent months. Hamas has reportedly been cracking down on Salafi groups in the enclave, in an effort to prevent additional rocket fire at Israel.
      The endless Israeli jabbering on this issue has created a feeling in Hamas that Jerusalem might be the one to make the first military move as it has in past wars.”

      So it was Israel. Not Hamas, that made the first military move in all three wars of significance.

      But let’s hear what the Military Intelligence of Israel has to say, through the voice of Amos Harel who is the unofficial voice of the Israeli defense establishment in Haaretz:

      “According to Military Intelligence, almost all the last rounds of fighting – the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and the three operations in the Gaza Strip[2008/09,2012,2014] – broke out without prior planning as a result of a string of mutual mistakes in understanding the other side’s intentions.

      These misunderstandings of the other party’s intentions that, according to pro-Israel sources, started all three unplanned and unintended wars were one of the subjects of a recent analysis in WINEP by Israeli Maj. Nadav Ben Hour, IDF:

      “The 2014 conflict … was not planned or initiated by either party; rather, it was the result of a military action-reaction dynamic that spiraled out of control.”

      And here is WINEP’S summary of the Major’s major point:

      “The 2014 conflict showed how escalatory dynamics can quickly lead two adversaries into full-blown fighting even when neither side actually wants a war.”

      Finally here is the IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot putting epigrammatically this whole issue about the risk of unwanted war starting out of nowhere due to uncontrollable escalatory dynamics:

      “Still, he also warned that a small “tactical incident” in Gaza could potentially snowball into a larger conflict.”

      I have around 20 more links with Israeli military hotshots corroborating the same thing, namely this unintended, unplanned nature of the potential for conflict with Hamas. So much for Hamas’ intentions to start wars, or Hamas’ initiations of past wars. This, of course, did not stop Hilary Clinton from declaring her certainty in 2014 that Hamas initiated the 2014 conflict:

      “There’s no doubt in my mind that Hamas initiated this conflict. … So the ultimate responsibility has to rest on Hamas and the decisions it made.”

      Well, her claim has been debunked by the Israeli Military Intelligence, by WINEP, by a Major in the IDF, by the Times of Israel, by Amos Harel…

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        August 2, 2018 at 10:44

        A correction: while i was quoting Avi Issacharoff, i interjected a wrong date. Here is what i wrote that Issacharoff said:

        The terror group [Hamas] does not want a violent confrontation [October 2018]

        Since i wrote this in July 2018 and i am not an oracle to predict what he will be thinking in October 2018, i should have written the actual date of his article, which is February 2018. Inessential mistake, and please don’t ask me what i was thinking when i wrote it, i don’t know.

    • dionissis mitropoulos
      July 31, 2018 at 19:01

      PART 2

      But what is the nature of this dreaded “escalatory dynamic” that can start wars out of the blue? What sort of thing is it? Answer: it is the Israeli public’s desire to see Hamas heads rolling whenever Hamas dares respond to IDF actions by wounding a soldier, or even by doing something even less provocative, such as starting fires in Israel that do not cause a single scratch to a single Israeli.

      In 2017, that is, long before Hamas created any problem to Israel from Gaza after the 2014 war, 83% of the Jewish Israeli public wanted to invade Gaza in order to either deter (52%) or eliminate (31%) Hamas:

      Or, to put it epigrammatically, as Michael Oren did in February 2018 in Israel Hayom (emphasis mine):

      “the Israeli public will not tolerate another round of fighting with no clear result. Chances are that the IDF would not limit itself to airstrikes and a limited ground incursion but, as senior ministers demanded during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, would set out to topple and crush Hamas.”

      The Israeli defense establishment does not even consider toppling Hamas, but I just wanted to stress what is that which drives the need of the IDF to respond heavy-handedly to Hamas:the Israeli public has a wish to see Hamas heads rolling. And for this, a war might erupt, with thousands of innocent Palestinians dying.

      P.S. a poll that was published while I was writing my comment shows a comparatively less hawkish Israeli public: 61% of the Jewish Israelis want an invasion, in case Hamas does not stop the kite phenomenon of setting fires in the Israeli side of the area adjacent to the Gaza border.

      Whether 83% or 61%, it is enough to start another war. Can someone mainstream point out to the Israeli people that they need to be less hawkish? That they can’t just start wars when not a single Israeli has a single scratch from the kites phenomenon?

    • dionissis mitropoulos
      July 31, 2018 at 20:50

      Hi again John, you said:

      “Israel had no choice but to put in place a defensive blockade to stop war material entering there”

      No, what you imply, namely that the sole reason for the blockade is to stop war material, is not true :Israel initially declared its wish to collectively punish the Palestinians by putting them “on a diet”. Indeed at some time it even prohibited herbs (question:how exactly would Hamas use cliantro, a popular herb, to murder innocent Israeli civilians?). I quote Shlomi Eldar, an Israeli journalist that has won the prestigious Sokolov Prize in Israel, (and who I speculate is the voice of the Israeli defense establishment in Al Monitor.Though I am not that certain about him, he sounds very much like the other members of this group, Avi Issacharoff, Amos Harel, Yoav Limor, but I haven’t been reading him for long, so I am only speculating. But his pro-Israel credentials are impeccable). I quote him:

      “Israel chose to exert economic pressure on Hamas — except for allowing humanitarian aid to reach the Strip — based on the mistaken assumption that the movement would quickly collapse and be forced to give up its control. However, a measure that was supposed to last for days or several weeks turned into a permanent policy.
      Israel’s security forces were also mobilized to carry out this mistaken policy, sometimes with absurd results. In 2010, for example, the military drew up a list of raw materials permitted as humanitarian assistance for Gaza. Certain products were labeled luxuries and disallowed, among them cilantro, a central ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine. The military even prepared a presentation showing the calorie intake required for adults to stave off starvation. At the same time, Israel flatly rejected all the long-term cease-fire proposals that Hamas conveyed through mediators over the years.”

      So the blockade wasn’t meant to be only defensive against what you,John, called “war material”, but was also meant to punish the Gazan people for freely electing Hamas in fair elections, so as to force them to topple Hamas. A variant of this policy persists today: Israel blackmails Hamas that it won’t ease the blockade if Hamas doesn’t give to Israel the remains of two IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 war. Here is the Israeli Minister of Defense Liberman making abundantly clear that Israel uses the humanitarian crisis in Gaza (whose major cause is the blockade, together with the destruction of infrastructure by Israel during wars) in order to force concessions by Hamas that have nothing to do with any alleged military threat that Hamas poses to Israeli civilians or soldiers:

      “The primary obstacle to a solution, Liberman said, was Hamas’s objection to returning the Israeli captives in Gaza… Hamas “can get a generous humanitarian package if it returns the missing Israelis,” he said.”

      In other words, Israel persists in keeping Gaza isolated, instead of allowing more of everything to go in Gaza except for weapons, because Israel has extra demands, irrelevant to stopping war material from entering Gaza, as you John claim. If the blockade’s aim was limited only to preventing war material from entering, Israel wouldn’t have been negotiating to ease the blockade in exchange for the remains of the two soldiers, it would have considered the blockade non-negotiable for security reasons. And yet here is Liberman inadvertently revealing that the reasons of the blockade and the consequent humanitarian crisis are not related to preventing war material, but are related to pressuring the Gaza public to submit to Israel’s demands with regard to Hamas:the Gazans are asked to force Hamas to release the remains of the IDF soldiers in exchange for humanitarian and economic aid. Sort of, “you will only be able to buy more electricity only if you do as we say with regard to the dead IDF soldiers”:

      “The defense minister called on residents of the Gaza Strip to pressure Hamas into returning the Israeli captives and stopping its terror activities.
      “Gaza residents, you have effectively become captives of the Hamas regime. You can build a better future for your children, you can get all the humanitarian, economic and civilian aid — but first kick out the Hamas regime,” he said.
      “We request again and ask you, put pressure on the leaders of Hamas to return the captives and fallen soldiers. This will ensure humanitarian and economic aid for all residents of Gaza. To my dismay, so long as the Hamas regime continues, the chance for coexistence, partnership and a better future for the residents of Gaza simply will not occur,” he said.”

      It should be kept in mind that it is 99% certain that Hamas cannot even consider releasing the IDF body remains in exchange for Israel easing the blockade, because Hamas needs the body remains to negotiate the release of its comrades in Israel’s prisons. The IDF body remains are the only chip that Hamas has to force Israel to release some Hamas prisoners from Israeli jails, Hamas can’t let go of this asset because it would be tantamount to allowing its comrades to rot in Israeli jails. Anyone with the slightest understanding of the solidarity feeling between comrades in resistance organizations can understand why Hamas is adamant in not trading the IDF body remains with anything except for prisoners in Israeli jails. Nathan Thrall, the best analyst of the Israel/Palestine conflict, stated the obvious fact that this Israeli demand is wholly unrealistic. Here is what he said in his recent must-read Report( a report which also has a must-read reading list in footnote 1 of page 2, I found this extremely rewarding for clearing misconceptions about Hamas: Radical Islam in Gaza, 29 March 2011. But I digress):

      “In addition, Israel puts wholly unrealistic conditions on its various proposals for improvements in Gaza: Hamas’s disarmament; Hamas releasing Israeli citizens or their remains, without an exchange deal entailing the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails;”

      It should be noted that Hamas since 2014 has been asking for the release of some fifty-something Hamas members that had been freed by Israel in the Gilad Shalit deal and subsequently had been unfairly rearrested in Israel’s punitive 2014 crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank (a crackdown that Israel had predicted would lead to escalation but proceeded to do it anyway because the Israeli public was asking at the time for Hamas heads to roll due to the murder of three Israeli teenagers, even though the Hamas leadership had nothing to do with it). Hamas wanted these prisoners so badly that it was ready to ceasefire during the first days of Protective Edge if only the unfairly rearrested prisoners were released by Israel:

      Since then, Hamas has asked a dozen times that they be released. But why isn’t Israel not willing to put aside this issue of exchanging the remains of the IDF soldiers, given that Hamas is forced to be adamant on this issue by existential/solidarity reasons? Answer: because the Israeli public sides with the family of one of the dead IDF soldiers, the Goldin family, who is using this soft spot of the Israeli public for the IDF soldiers to “terrorize” the Israeli politicians in case they decide to leave aside the issue of the 2 dead IDF bodies and negotiate with Hamas to alleviate the humanitarian crisis (that affects 2 million live Gazans) and ease the unnecessary punitive aspect of the blockade (while maintaining the prohibition for weapons). I quote the pro-Israel Ben Caspit:

      “Talking to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, one Israeli minister described the situation as, “The Goldin family is terrorizing the Cabinet.”

      Wherever one turns her gaze in Israel, she finds the Israeli public being responsible for all aspects of the plight of the Palestinians. Except now there is a risk that a war that will cost thousands of innocent Palestinian lives will start due to unintended escalation, and all this for the sake of two dead IDF bodies, while 2 million Gazans die a slow death from extreme poverty and grave humanitarian situation. The defense establishment and seemingly Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have been persuaded for a need to compromise with Hamas and alleviate the humanitarian crisis. But no one seems capable to break the news to the most hawkish western public, the Israelis.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        August 2, 2018 at 11:31

        A correction, i mistakenly wrote a double negation that affects the meaning of a sentence. Here is what i wrote:

        “But why isn’t Israel not willing to put aside this issue of exchanging the remains of the IDF soldiers, given that Hamas is forced to be adamant on this issue by existential/solidarity reasons?

        I should have written:

        But why is Israel unwilling…

        The whole idea is that Israel should postpone this bargain about the remains of the 2 IDF soldiers, because (given Israel’s unwillingness to release Hamas prisoners) it’s a deal breaker for the urgent deal that is required, namely a deal that stops all militant actions by Hamas (kites and balloons included, though these are not really militant) in exchange for a generous easing of the blockade that will undo the unnecessary and punitive prohibitions that are irrelevant to Israel’s security (this of course includes allowing more cement in Gaza:Gaza tunnels are overwhelmingly defensive. Besides, safeguards already exist that prohibit cement ending up into Hamas’ hands. The delaying of the reconstruction of Gaza due to cement shortages is punitive against the people of Gaza, not related to Israeli military concerns, as has been admitted, or tacitly admitted, by pro-Israel sources).

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        August 9, 2018 at 12:38

        The unintended escalation i feared started on Tuesday August 7, when the IDF mistakenly shelled a Hamas position after hearing gunfire from that position. The shelling killed two elite Hamas snipers during a Hamas military drill. The IDF at first tried to blame it on Hamas but later admitted that the IDF soldiers had not been fired at by Hamas:

        “The army later acknowledged that the members of Hamas’s elite Qassam brigades were not shooting at the [IDF] troops, but said [IDF] soldiers could not have verified the intent of the fire in real-time.”

        Israel the bully, of course, did not apologize in public for this mistake. And, as we learn from the Israeli media, the Hamas military drill was being watched by international guests, and this caused great shame to Hamas:

        Given that Israel the bully did not apologize in public for these mistaken killings, thus humiliating Hamas once more, Hamas probably felt compelled to respond, in order to preserve its image as the resistance which defends Palestine from Israel, and fired some rockets on August 8. And here comes the role of the western media in their dedicated effort to cover up for Israel. Here is the Guardian deliberately lying so as to create confusion in the minds of westerners as to who is responsible for the escalation (August 9):

        “The latest round of attacks followed the killing of two Hamas fighters on Tuesday in what the Israeli army said was an act of retaliation for a shooting attack on its forces. The militant group said the two were involved in a training exercise, not an attack, and promised to retaliate in turn.
        Asked about the incident, an Israel Defence Forces spokesman, Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, said: “Hamas operatives, terrorists, were in a known Hamas position and fired weapons in a general direction towards the fence.

        “I won’t go into further details on whether we understand it was an exercise or it wasn’t. But I can say that our mission is to defend Israeli civilians and of course if our soldiers are fired upon, we respond.”

        Note how the Guardian deceives its audience:even though the IDF has admitted that Hamas did not fire at the IDF, and that the IDF killed the 2 Hamas militants by mistake, the Guardian presents the IDF as not having admitted that Hamas did not fire at the IDF. Please reread my initial quote from the Times of Israel, so that the Guardian’s lie becomes clear.

        The Guardian has no excuse for this, it is reporting on August 9, about events of August 8 that have been widely reported in the English speaking Israeli media.

        The Guardian is deliberately deceiving the western audience in order to obscure that it wasn’t Hamas that initiated the hostilities.

  29. Rong Cao
    July 31, 2018 at 01:24

    Had no one on boat been live-streaming how masked IOF soldiers have brutally beating and tasering all those international citizens?

    • Tom
      July 31, 2018 at 08:37

      Good question.

    • ronnie mitchell
      July 31, 2018 at 13:41

      Here is why.

      “From the time we lost contact around 13:15 local time on Sunday, we know that the IOF blocked all communication signals, including satellite phones. We are very concerned about this violation of journalists’ right to report freely and we remain gravely concerned about their ability to keep their professional equipment and their storage media. As Australian journalist Chris Graham recently observed, “Bad things happen when good people stay silent, as history well records. But horrendous things happen when media are prevented from scrutinizing the actions of a state.”

      • Daniel
        July 31, 2018 at 21:19

        Ironically, the IOF jammed the radios of the USS Liberty before attempting to sink it with all hands. BTW: That’s another proof that Israel knew what ship they were attacking, since they knew exactly which frequencies to jam.

    • Skip Scott
      July 31, 2018 at 14:06

      I mentioned this as a good idea when we had the last round of articles about the Al Awda here at CN. They should have rigged with hidden cameras and multiple up-links to have the atrocities live-streamed. Not that the MSM lackeys would broadcast the video footage, but it’d be all over the internet in no time.

    • Will
      August 1, 2018 at 10:29

      most likely the Israelis would have jammed any signal that could have transmitted that sort of thing. One assumes an orgy of throwing cell phones and cameras into the ocean followed

  30. Tom
    July 31, 2018 at 01:09

    Really is time for a massive international fleet to go in and put an end to this continuing criminal state – Israel.

  31. July 31, 2018 at 00:39

    Support BDS. The only thing these creeps seem to fear. Apartheid and Genocide is acceptable from their Israeli Masters in the US of AIPAC

  32. Michael Gillespie
    July 31, 2018 at 00:15

    Israel is a patenty racist, rigidly ultranationalistic, militantly expansionist rogue state that routinely exploits captive Palestinian civilian populations as human lab rats, slaughtering unarmed men, women, and children for the purpose of testing of weapons and tactics that Israeli “defense” firms export to other repressive regimes around the globe. The whole world is watching.

  33. Zulkifli Hassan
    July 30, 2018 at 23:43

    *Media Statement by BDS Malaysia*

    30 July 2018

    BDS Malaysia condemns unreservedly the interception and hijacking by the Israeli military of the Freedom Flotilla which was heading for Gaza with much needed medical supplies for the population there.

    The flotilla was on a peaceful humanitarian mission and constituted no military threat whatsoever to any party. That the Zionist regime saw it fit to thwart the mission in international waters only underlines the lawlessness of the pariah state and that even medical supplies to Palestinian civilians is deemed a threat proves beyond any measure of doubt that it is an apartheid state deserving opprobrium and boycotting by the rest of the civilised world.

    We demand that the Israeli authorities release immediately all 22 crew members of the flotilla including Malaysian national, Dr Mohd Afandi Salleh of MyCare. We hold the Zionist regime to be fully accountable for their wellbeing and safety.

    For the sake of justice for Palestine and peace in the region, the ‘might is right’ belief on the part of the apartheid Zionist state has to be put to an end. We call on the international community and citizens the world over to join or redouble efforts to boycott and isolate the apartheid Zionist state. It worked more than two decades ago on South Africa and it will certainly work again in Palestine.

    BDS Malaysia

  34. HK
    July 30, 2018 at 23:00

    Perhaps they can equally demand that the rulers of Gaza use their limited supplies of steel to build houses, rather than missiles, and renounce their intent to destroy Israel.

    • July 31, 2018 at 07:26

      Gaza is an open air prison ruled by Israel. Don’t lie.

  35. Joe Tedesky
    July 30, 2018 at 22:30

    Hats off to a Joe Lauria, as of this hour the news other than Joe’s report here, is like listening to crickets.

  36. Paul G.
    July 30, 2018 at 22:29

    Ironically one of Hitler’s initial solutions was to ship all the European Jews to some foreign place down South somewhere. This was thought to be impractical during war; so hence the plan to kill them all.
    After the war Truman and Churchill wanted to avoid mass immigration of European Jews into Britain and the US. So the Israeli solution was facilitated.
    Zionists have played right into the intentions and plans of their enemies.

  37. Mark K
    July 30, 2018 at 21:47

    I am afraid that the publicity is what Israel is concerned with. Tough to get an AK through the ?? , ah, Separation barrier, I believe is the term. It would be far cheaper to give every Palestinian $1,000,000 to leave than to keep up this charade.

    I would think $ 5,000,000 per Israeli would work too. Or, make Israel the 51st state and give disability/ social security to all the Arabs.

    • michael
      July 31, 2018 at 05:51

      Israel has universal health care. Would they get to keep that if they became a 51st state?

  38. Berna
    July 30, 2018 at 20:12

    Gaza is at war with Israel, and this can be confirmed by Hamas. This ship was entering a war zone delivering supplies to Hamas. Israel has every right to stop and inspect any vessel entering the war zone and intending to deliver goods to Gaza in order to insure that those goods can not be used in military operations against Israel. Boat operators should have cleared the delivery with Israeli authorities before hand but they obviously didn’t because they wanted an international incident. By not clearing it with Israel, the IDF had to assume that the ship was armed and dangerous. Luckily no one was killed.

    • Dunderhead
      July 30, 2018 at 21:27

      As a person who was once sympathetic to Zionism I understand your need to route for your side, I would just like to point out a few things however, first off the Palestinians are almost certainly the descendents of ancient Jews which was cited by David Ben-Gurion, secondly and probably most importantly the fiction that the West has foisted on the world in regards to the history of Palestine being some on inhabited land before the Zionists arrived has been largely debunked and finally the is really duplicity in backstabbing toward anyone who Will not toe their psychopathic line we’re simply gets in their way is fairly replete, Mordechai Vanunu and the Liberty incident, not to mention the reasons therefore come to mind, if jewry needs protection, the last place I would go would be as Zionist because when these lunatics aren’t killing their own people to get them to move to Israel for so-called protection and maintaining their supermajority, they are drawing the righteous ire of their neighbors. The US is a declining power, empires rot from the inside out, what do you believe in Trump or not whether you’re a neocon we’re just feel strongly about this, the best hope and long term strategy for the Israelis is to reconcile with its neighbors.

      • Paul G.
        July 30, 2018 at 22:12

        Zionists give Jews a bad name as many people don’t realize Zionism is merely a subset; and wasn’t terribly popular during WWII. They were more concerned with sending people to Palestine than keeping everyone out of the gas chambers.
        Proving their decadence they treat Palestinians similarly to the way the Nazis treated them- without the mass scale murders. Jewish culture has historically been humanistic; Zionists belie that.

        • Dunderhead
          July 31, 2018 at 21:03

          Excellent point, speaking of the Zionists and WWII, this is a difficult story to chase down, are you familiar with any interesting books on the matter?

      • Berna
        August 5, 2018 at 14:03

        Dunderhead; the only logical relevant statement I got from your ungrammatical rant was that Israel should reconcile with its neighbors. Sounds good. Note the following. Israel signed a peace agreement with Egypt some 40 years ago. Egypt, in that peace agreement some 40 years ago refused to accept Gaza as part of its territory or even place it under its protection. Note that Gaza has a long border with Egypt yet no one mentions that Egypt also has an embargo on Gaza because Hamas is also sponsoring terror in Egypt. Also, Israel signed a peace agreement with Jordan some 37 years ago. During the period that Jordan occupied the west bank, Jordan did not recognize the PLO or any Palestinian group as the legitimate ruling party for the region. Yes, Israel is actively pursuing reconciliation with its neighbor as noted above, yet some of those neighbors are not receptive to peace. Why the writers and commentors here insist on backing a repressive, misogynistic, backward and violent group like Hamas is mind boggling. If you really care about the Palestinians, pressure the countries of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan to give Palestinians, most of whom were born in those countries, full rights as citizens and to stop marginalizing them.

    • Tom
      July 31, 2018 at 01:12

      Sadly the Israeli pirate criminals survived.

    • Tom
      July 31, 2018 at 01:39

      Countless millions of normal citizens acroos the world are at war with Israel though governments paid to ignore that reality. But probably not for long.

    • Umayyadmapper
      July 31, 2018 at 03:56

      Say a hater

    • DaveJie
      July 31, 2018 at 07:43

      Berna: What part of the racist, apartheid, illegal western colonial project called Israel do you not understand?

  39. Anonymot
    July 30, 2018 at 19:52

    Defying fascist governments is obviously a tricky deal.

  40. July 30, 2018 at 19:39

    It’s way past time the U.S. stop aiding and abetting Israeli crimes against humanity.

  41. Crystal Anne Mourad
    July 30, 2018 at 19:00

    The UN must take action regardless of the US’ stance. Isreal needs to be tried for war crimes. Just declare Palestine a nation! They can do better without Israel than under it

  42. July 30, 2018 at 18:55

    Along with kidnapping, how is this act not piracy on the high seas?

    Can the thugs in IDF uniforms and under IDF control be charged and tried in the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

    Can their superiors who gave the order be charged and tried, Nuremberg-style? Can the chain of command for this order be traced to Netanyahu himself?

    If indicted, can these suspected criminals be subject to arrest outside Israel’s borders? Can any financial accounts outside Israel be frozen?

  43. July 30, 2018 at 18:41

    In case anyone was wondering to what noble purpose Israel would put the latest 38 billion dollars in U.S. military aid – we have an answer. More of the same. As a retired therapist I find it difficult not to see some good in people, even people engaged in rather horrific behavior. Yet when I contemplate the behavior of our U.S. congress in continuously funding and rabidly supporting Israel’s amoral mayhem, I see only monsters. People with absolutely no ethical moorings whatsoever. None.

    Almost all U.S. politicians and Israeli Zionist politicians are deserving of Nuremberg style trials for crimes against humanity. In a just world tried along with them should be the corporate news media propagandists who repeat the endless lies of these politicians and also work to insure the voices of Palestinian victims are drowned and silenced. It goes without saying that the U.S. and Israel are both profoundly sick societies deeply mired in narcissistic self-delusion, blindly addicted to military violence and both in their own ways embracing ideologies no less odious than the Nazi notion of a “master race.”

    I have total respect for the members of the flotilla, who will now no doubt suffer the added indignity of being accused of a litany of “crimes” for daring to challenge the two most dangerous openly lawless criminal States on the planet, the U.S. and Israel.

    • Tom
      July 31, 2018 at 01:14

      Excellent wriring

    • Sam F
      July 31, 2018 at 07:39

      Very true and well said.

    • Arle
      July 31, 2018 at 07:46

      Well said

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 31, 2018 at 08:24

      Excellent statement Gary Weglarz. Thank you.

    • Susan
      July 31, 2018 at 16:13

      They were 3 powerful paragraphs, Gary! Packed a punch, and hit the nail on the head. Well said.

  44. Fergus Hashimoto
    July 30, 2018 at 18:38

    Finkelstein’s argument relies on the assumption that Hamas aspires to self-determination. I dispute the accuracy of this assumption.
    Self-determination is a concept of international law, but Hamas rejects international law and bases its claim to Palestine on sharia law. If Gazans were acting in order to obtain self-determination, they would restrict themselves to political statements that assert a right to sovereignty and to a national territory.
    However the Hamas Charter … declares all of Palestine waqf property endowed by God to Muslims. Hamas’s declared aim is to “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, because under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned“
    In March 2018, in Gaza, a crowd chanted anti-Semitic slogans: “In a Friday sermon held east of Khan Yunis, at one of the “Return March” camps, Imam Muhammad Salah, “Abu Raab,” led the congregation in chanting “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad is here.” The sermon was delivered on March 30, 2018 and was posted on YouTube a few days later.
    But by calling for genocide of Jews on 18 March 2018 instead what they do is assert the supremacy of the Mohammedan religion and threaten Jews with genocide. Both of these positions are incompatible with international law and are inconsistent with claims to self-determination.
    Palestinian nationalism is a new incarnation of Islamic supremacy
    Palestinians gussy up their demands to make them look respectable in western eyes by adopting the jargon of national liberation pursuant to international law, wearing Che Guevara T-shirts, and so forth.
    But the fact is that Palestinian demands are merely a thinly disguised restatement of the doctrine of Islamic supremacy: lands that were once conquered or inhabited by Muslims remain Muslim lands forevermore, and Muslims can expel non-Muslims whenever they like. The proof is the current ethnic cleansing of Jews by Muslims from the northern suburbs of Paris.
    Rising anti-Semitism forces Jews out of Paris suburbs
    French Manifesto against ‘new anti-Semitism’

    • ronnie mitchell
      July 31, 2018 at 13:34

      I doubt any of the following means anything to your hasbara (concerted propaganda efforts on behalf of the Israeli government) riddled mind but for others I’ll post the following quote from an interview with Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now! yesterday.’
      The term ‘sadistic’ comes to mind when I read about the “diet’ plan, starve the population slowly because doing the genocide to quickly will bring international trouble to the Nazi-like overlords of the prison.

      Amid Deadly Israeli Crackdown on Gaza Protests, Chomsky Says U.S. Must End Support for “Murderers”

      “… The crucial background is that Israeli—this Israeli stranglehold on Gaza, which has reduced the life to bare survival, has reached the point where the United Nations, other analysts predict that by the year 2020, Gaza will literally be uninhabitable. That’s two million people, half of them children, being caged in a prison, carefully controlled, savage restrictions on food, on anything that comes to them, to the extent that the fishermen are kept close to shore so they can’t fish, the sewage plants have been destroyed, the power plants have been attacked.

      The official program—official—was to keep Gaza on what was called a diet, barely enough to survive. Doesn’t look good if they all starve to death. Notice that this is occupied territory, as recognized by—even by the United States, everyone but Israel. So, here’s a population kept in a prison, in an occupied territory, fed a diet to keep them at bare survival, constantly used as a punching bag for what’s called—what calls itself the most moral army in the world, now reaching a point where within a couple years it will be uninhabitable, yes, and in addition to that you have sadistic acts like highly trained snipers killing a young Palestinian woman medic when she’s tending a patient, and what the doctor just described.

      What do we do with it? We actually react to that. The United States has reacted. It has reacted by very sharply cutting its funding to the one organization, UNRWA, U.N. organization, that keeps the population barely alive. That’s our response, along with, of course, overwhelming support for Israel, providing with the arms, diplomatic support and so on. One of the most extraordinary scandals, if that’s the right word, in the modern world…”

      • Fergus Hashimoto
        August 5, 2018 at 14:17

        You haven’t addressed ANY of the issues I mentioned. You just changed the subject. Typical behavior of those simultaneously affected by cluelessness and indoctrination.
        By calling me hasbara you imply that I am moved by love for Israel. Actually my feelings toward Israel are lukewarm. What really moves me is fear of Islamic totalitarianism such as that displayed by Hamas and its ilk. Hamas is an ally of Turkey, which is in an expansionist phase and recently threatened religious war against Austria and other European countries. At the same time Erdo?an is setting up Turcophile parties, or Erdo?angs, in every European country where a sizable Turkish minority lives in order to represent Turkish and Islamic interests.
        So objectively speaking Hamas is complicit in the Islamization of Europe.
        All this bickering and whining about how hungry Gazans are is accompanied by deathly silence about how Hamas embezzles billions of euros in humanitarian aid in order to invest it in weapons, war tunnels and other means of destruction. You say nothing about the slave labor of Gazan children forced to dig tunnels, at which they excel because they are small. Hundreds of them have died in cave-in incidents over the years.
        It means nothing to you that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fire rockets at Israel from densely populated areas of Gaza so as to attract Israeli reprisals and drive up the civilian death toll.
        Your faux humanitarian concerns seem to be a mere smokescreen for concealing the spread of Islamic extremism.

        • dionissis mitropoulos
          August 8, 2018 at 13:53

          Hello Mr Hashimoto, you said:

          ” You [commenter ronnie mitchell ]say nothing about the slave labor of Gazan children forced [by Hamas] to dig [war] tunnels, at which they excel because they are small. Hundreds of them have died in cave-in incidents over the years.”

          Mr Hashimoto can you please cite a source for the wild claims that are included in your two statements? I dispute your claims.

    • GCsquared
      July 31, 2018 at 14:54

      Israel’s behavior is heinous, but I’m worried about what’s described here, too. I wonder how Christians and Jews are faring in Gaza. So far, most of the evil is Israel’s responsibility, but I can’t see how changing to a situation where most of the evil would be the Palestinians’ would be an improvement. You can argue endlessly over whose fault an event is; wail over past, present and future injustices; and demonstrate against the evil of your choice. But coming up with a policy that might actually improve the situation is another story.
      Having said that, a couple of policies I’d support are, in the first place, a tribunal on the 1967 Liberty incident, and something like a geographical moratorium to fix (or roll back) settlement boundaries and city status (like capitals, e.g.), and occupied Syrian territories . But I can’t propose anything analogous for the Palestinians, except to ineffectively scold, “Bad Hamas!” after the latest rocket salvo. Truly FUBAR

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        August 2, 2018 at 11:42


        You said:

        “But I can’t propose anything analogous for the Palestinians, except to ineffectively scold, “Bad Hamas!” after the latest rocket salvo.”

        I challenge you to cite this “latest rocket salvo” that you obviously imply was unprovoked by any IDF bombing. I claim that you won’t find a single case of Hamas’ firing projectiles that wasn’t a firing in response to IDF bombings

        In other words, i claim that all instances of Hamas’ projectile firing were a response to IDF firing.

        I repeat my challenge, please cite one instance of Hamas’ firing unprovoked by IDF action. I claim that you will find none and i claim that the implicature of you original claim is false.

    • anonbb
      July 31, 2018 at 17:15

      Troll alert: Fergus is indeed a hasbara scammer.

  45. John McCarthy
    July 30, 2018 at 18:23

    We’re any of them United States Citizens?

  46. Dunderhead
    July 30, 2018 at 18:01

    If anyone has not caught the latest Scott Horton interview with Sheldon Richman, Sheldon posits that there is a massive amount of evidence that the Palestinians have lived in the land of palestine/Israel since time immemorial, in other words the Palestinians ancestors were the ancient Jews and even according to Roman history which is voluminous in its recordkeeping the expulsion of ancient jewelry is a myth, as the Romans had no particularly good reason for expelling a tax paying population European jewry for the most part has no genetic ties with the land of palestine/Israel and the Ashkenazi Jews none at all as they are likely from an Area in western Turkey that converted to Judaism for political purposes.

    So I guess the extreme irony in a very ironic time is these self hating mostly European zionists who have chosen to cut themselves off from the rest of their European kin are persecuting the descendents of actual ancient jewry.

    • Sam F
      July 30, 2018 at 18:20

      Yes, persecution and land theft with imperial claims is merely a racist excuse for theft.

      The story of Palestine and N Africa extends over a million years of human migration from our origins in SE Africa through the Mideast to Asia and Europe. During that period there have been perhaps 1,000 to 10,000 empires in Palestine. For any modern group to claim special rights there based one one of the shorter ancient empires is absurd. All of humanity own the Mideast by such an argument.

      Perhaps only the UN should govern the Mideast, and certainly it should take back Israel as a bad move. The original grant was a mistake, due to Truman twisting arms at the newly-formed UN for a bribe. If the UN must expel the zionist-corrupted US, this would a be great gain for the US and the rest of humanity. Let us abolish Israel for the good of humanity.

      • Tom
        July 31, 2018 at 04:08

        ODS – One Democratis State – the only right way forward.

        • Sam F
          July 31, 2018 at 07:35

          That notion has no chance of working in Israel, for the same reason it does not work in the US. The zionists would continue exactly as they do now, and exactly as they do in the US – dominating mass media and politics with money. denying anything they wish to anyone else.

    • Kate Sobolewski
      July 31, 2018 at 09:51

      Amazingly this is the truth, and stands to reason. Many have written supporting this: The Palestinian people are the descendants of the ancient Jews. Many Jews would have converted to Christianity and many later on to Islam. Thanks for reiterating. I need to find a link to that interview with Scott Horton and Sheldon Richman.

      • Guy St Hilaire
        July 31, 2018 at 10:01

        Probably too much common sense and truth in that statement Kate .Whatever link that might exist was probably snuffed out.

      • Dunderhead
        July 31, 2018 at 18:51

        Just about all of Scott Horton’s interviews with Sheldon Richman can be found as podcasts either under the Scott Horton show or the liberty Institute and you’re welcome by the way, peace out.

    • Sam F
      July 31, 2018 at 11:47

      In the period of human migration from our origins in SE Africa, through N Africa to Asia and Europe, over one million years, there have been at least one to ten thousand empires that included Palestine. To argue otherwise would be absurd.

      No one has a claim to empire in the present, let alone a claim based upon an ancient empire. That argument of the Israelis only concludes that all humanity has the same claim there, or no one but its inhabitants before the imperialists and zionists.

      Perhaps only the UN should govern the Mideast; certainly it should revoke its dubious resolution to create Israel, obtained by Truman arm-twisting at the newly-formed UN, for a zionist bribe. Neither UK nor UN had any more right there than the Ottomans.

      • Sam F
        July 31, 2018 at 12:00

        Sorry this comment duplicated due to prior disappearance of that above.

  47. July 30, 2018 at 17:50

    All law abiding people should be outraged by Israeli government conduct. Over the last 40 years.

  48. Drew Hunkins
    July 30, 2018 at 17:46

    I warned of something like this when I first read about this flotilla’s mission a month or so ago.

    Israel has become a lunatic state.

    A violent, depraved, racist and paranoid lunatic state.

    It’s an utter and total embarrassment for Washington to kowtow and genuflect to the Zionist power configuration to the degree in which it does. Of course it cuts across virtually the entire political spectrum.

    • Tom
      July 31, 2018 at 01:17

      Is Washington now capable of embarrassment?

      • Drew Hunkins
        July 31, 2018 at 14:05


        Great point.

  49. Steve Abbott
    July 30, 2018 at 17:39

    For old duffers likee me, what are needed are links to petition sites, addresses for strategically important letter writing, and suggestions for other support.
    Thank you Flotilla of Return.

    • Elizabeth
      July 30, 2018 at 18:15

      Here’s a good place to start: You can write to demand that Israel guarantee the safety and unconditional release of the passengers and crew of the ‘Al Awda’ and press the international community to impose meaningful sanctions on Israel that would compel it to lift its illegal blockade on the people of Gaza, and allow the free flow of goods & services, as well as freedom of movement for its people, currently locked inside.

  50. Paineite
    July 30, 2018 at 17:36

    Isn’t this piracy under international law ?

    • Sam F
      July 30, 2018 at 17:52

      Yes; and in violation of much other international law.

    • LarcoMarco
      July 30, 2018 at 18:07

      It’s more than piracy. An attack in intl waters by a sovereign standing military is similar to the wars of aggression that got Hitler’s henchmen hanged.

  51. alley cat
    July 30, 2018 at 16:55

    Kazimierz Moczarski was a Polish resistance fighter who shared a cell in prison with Jürgen Stroop, commander of the SS forces charged with ‘pacifying’ the Warsaw ghetto. Moczarski later published his recollections of their prison conversations in his book Conversations With an Executioner. Stroop considered himself a great German patriot and never at any time showed the slightest remorse for his actions. I remember one unforgettable passage from the book where Stroop tells Moczarski how German snipers used Jewish ‘jumpers’ for target practice. Jumpers were Jews who had been hiding in buildings that were torched by the Nazis. The Jews climbed to the roof and jumped rather than be killed by the Germans. SS snipers responded by competing with each other to see who could hit them in mid-air. Not even by jumping from rooftops could the Jews escape death at the hands of their persecutors.

    Exactly in what way are the IDF snipers targeting unarmed Palestinians different from the German snipers who targeted defenseless Jews in Warsaw?

    • Dunderhead
      July 30, 2018 at 17:37

      Right on man

    • Tannenhouser
      July 30, 2018 at 19:46

      The Palestinians weren’t jumping from burning buildings is how they are different.

      This has already happened numerous times. One was actually killed/shot before. (can’t remember). Most like a personal friend of mine get bullied a little and sent on their way home.

      • alley cat
        July 31, 2018 at 14:03

        Oh, I get it. It’s OK to shoot defenseless Palestinians several hundred yards away as long as they’re not jumping from burning buildings. The Palestinians were trying to escape from their concentration camp and return to their own land, and for that they deserved to die. Right?

        Morally, what the SS snipers did and what the IDF snipers did was equally heinous.

        IDF: most immoral army in the world.

        • Tannenhouser
          August 1, 2018 at 19:41

          Yep and the IDF snipers probably feel their actions were and are moral as well. Not sure how something that is completely personal and subjective like morals makes any difference in moving towards ending the repeated depraved action of the ziostate. IMO it does zilch. Each to their own tho. Time would be better spent thinking about ways to avoid the charge of anti semit just for discussing the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the zio state. Continual documentation of ziocrimes only desensitized one too it. I think we can ALL agree that enough was enough long ago.

  52. Rick Patel
    July 30, 2018 at 16:00

    Nikki Haley approves this action, because Israel has the right of self-defense.

  53. July 30, 2018 at 15:42

    You know very well what the Israelis fear … a terrorist cache hiding behind humanitarian aide. Might there be an agreed-upon protocol that will allow Israeli inspections?

    • GM
      July 30, 2018 at 15:48

      Fear makes one stupid.

    • Monte George Jr.
      July 30, 2018 at 16:25

      The terrorist caches are currently in Syria, supported with funding, arms, training, advisors and medevac services by Israel (and others). Israel fears only that the legitimate inhabitants of Palestine will survive. What they should fear is the inevitable reaction of the rest of the world to their piracy, kidnapping, atrocities, ethnic cleansing and lies. It’s coming!

    • Jeff Harrison
      July 30, 2018 at 17:40

      Forgive me but BULLSHIT. The Israelis aren’t afraid of a terrorist cache; have no intention of allowing food or medicine enter Gaza. It would be funny if some of the passengers had a couple of AK-47s with them and shot the piss out of the boarding troops and kicked their bodies overboard. It would be interesting to see what happened if the Israeli’s were treated the way they treated the Palestinians.

      • Tom
        July 31, 2018 at 04:16

        That is recuurrent happy daydream of mine. Surely one dzy it must happen.

      • incontinent reader
        July 31, 2018 at 19:50

        The U.S. doesn’t hesitate to misrepresent UNCLOS as it applies to the South China Sea, and sent warships there, allegedly to ensure its freedom of navigation. Yet, with all its vaunted naval power in the the Mediterranean, it stands by and facilitates Israel’s blatant violations of international law on the high seas, as part of its strategy to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians.

        Where are Messrs. Mattis and Pompeo? Hiding in the weeds with the intention of allowing Israel to destroy any hope for the Palestinians, while issuing warlike threats against Iran, one of the few Muslim nations solidly behind the Palestinian cause?

        So much for the legitimacy of U.S. foreign policy.

    • alley cat
      July 30, 2018 at 17:41

      No, no, Michael, you obviously didn’t read the story carefully. That boat was bound for the Gaza ghetto, not Israel. To cut off aid to the terrorists, you would have to get the U.S. government to suspend aid to Israel. Since U.S. politicians are too corrupt to even think of doing the right thing, concerned citizens everywhere will have to come to the aid of the Palestinians by supporting the BDS movement. And by high-profile actions such as trying to run the Israeli blockade.

      • floyd gardner
        July 30, 2018 at 21:11

        Right on the money, Alley Cat!

      • Tom
        July 31, 2018 at 04:29

        A critical mass of voters has to form bringing in new parties or obliging old ones to change policy This seems to be already happening in many European countries – Ireland, Italy, Spain, possibly the UK, possibly Scandanavia. Israel will morph into ODS if the world insists it must.

    • Lin Cleveland
      July 30, 2018 at 17:48

      Might there be an agreed-upon protocol that will allow Israeli inspections?

      would the details be worked out before or after the tasing?

    • Steve Abbott
      July 30, 2018 at 18:23

      I believe that this flotilla has made the same arrangements as previous flotillas, to have their ships and cargos inspected by neutral authorities on departure.
      That point aside, and speaking as a convinced pacifist, I wonder whether Michael would clarify what would constitute a “terrorist cache”.
      Careful reading over an extended period suggests that firepower directed by the Israelis against the Palestinians, exceeds that directed by Palestinians by approximately two orders of magnitude, approximately the same ratio as deaths attributed to each side. Furthermore, it is clear that the majority of Palestinians killed are civilians, fitting the definition of Terrorism, and a clear violation of both responsibilities of occupying powers, as well as the laws of war. By contrast, in recent years, the vast majority of Israelis killed were soldiers, which would call into question, the constant reference to terrorism, on their part.
      Finally, the responsibilities of occupying powers, and yes a power that controls all means of ingress and egress, is still an occupying power… The responsibilities of occupying powers, include non interference in the economies of those so occupied….. precisely the opposite of the blockade that the Israelis have imposed for at least the past decade…. and considering the resultant rate of malnutrition, the foregoing is a gross understatement. Michael, what does a mother fear as her child is starving?

    • July 30, 2018 at 18:47

      Israel’s blockade of Gaza is illegal. They have no right to inspect anything, especially in International waters. Allowing such an inspection would legitimise their illegal actions. If the ship was in international waters then this constitutes an act of war. Isralemust be condemned.

      • floyd gardner
        July 30, 2018 at 21:15

        You are 100% correct!

Comments are closed.