Off topic, but I think of interest to pretty much everyone on this list, a
particularly comprehensive list of links etc on recent events re Gaza and


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mondoweiss <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 11:27 AM
Subject: Mondoweiss
To: [log in to unmask]

   Mondoweiss <>

   - Voices for Evergreen divestment <#128ff11254b95285_1>
   - Israel is becoming a liability for the United States<#128ff11254b95285_2>
   - ‘MV Rachel Corrie’ said to turn around so as to be fitted with video
   equipment <#128ff11254b95285_3>
   - ‘Facebook’ page issues assassination threat to Palestinian Knesset
   member who was on flotilla <#128ff11254b95285_4>
   - It’s ‘68– and who will be the Cronkite of the Jewish
   - ‘Huffpo’ reflects staggering shift in liberal American
   - Evergreen students vote for divestment, Henning Mankell mulls related
   action <#128ff11254b95285_7>
   - ‘Mad dog’ diplomacy: A cornered Israel is baring its
   - OMG: ‘New York Times’ finally debates… Zionism <#128ff11254b95285_9>
   - ‘Don’t tangle with us’ is the message, 2/3 of Israelis

  Voices for Evergreen

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 10:19 AM PDT

TESC Divest <> from Chance
Vimeo <>.

To learn more about the successful divestment vote at Evergreen College
check out -

Israel is becoming a liability for the United

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 10:15 AM PDT

Carlo Strenger notes in

During the media frenzy of the last days a crucial headline has received
close to no attention: Mossad chief Meir Dagan told the Knesset’s Foreign
Relations Committee that Israel is gradually turning from a strategic asset
into a liability for the United States of America.

As it’s a bit difficult to brush aside Dagan as a softheaded idealist, our
policy makers will find another way not to listen. They will say, “this
would never have happened under George W. Bush; this is only because the
Obama administration is not friendly towards Israel. We simply need to wait
for Obama to end this term; he won’t get reelected.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. I have heard warnings that Israel
is becoming a strategic liability for the U.S. from Americans, including
high ranking members of the George W. Bush administration, for years. The
only difference is that during the Bush years, nobody in the administration
would say this on record or for attribution.

As if to echo and underline Dagan’s message, Anthony
one of the most respected non-partisan national security experts in
Washington writes:

[T]he depth of America’s moral commitment [to Israel] does not justify or
excuse actions by an Israeli government that unnecessarily make Israel a
strategic liability when it should remain an asset. It does not mean that
the United States should extend support to an Israeli government when that
government fails to credibly pursue peace with its neighbors. It does not
mean that the United States has the slightest interest in supporting Israeli
settlements in the West Bank, or that the United States should take a
hard-line position on Jerusalem that would effectively make it a Jewish
rather than a mixed city. It does not mean that the United States should be
passive when Israel makes a series of major strategic blunders–such as
persisting in the strategic bombing of Lebanon during the Israeli-Hezbollah
conflict, escalating its attack on Gaza long after it had achieved its key
objectives, embarrassing the U.S. president by announcing the expansion of
Israeli building programs in east Jerusalem at a critical moment in U.S.
efforts to put Israeli-Palestinian peace talks back on track, or sending
commandos to seize a Turkish ship in a horribly mismanaged effort to halt
the “peace flotilla” going to Gaza.

It is time Israel realized that it has obligations to the United States, as
well as the United States to Israel, and that it become far more careful
about the extent to which it test the limits of U.S. patience and exploits
the support of American Jews. This does not mean taking a single action that
undercuts Israeli security, but it does mean realizing that Israel should
show enough discretion to reflect the fact that it is a tertiary U.S.
strategic interest in a complex and demanding world.

And then comes word from the Canadian writer, Margaret
whose impartial observations as a first-time visitor to the Jewish state cut
to the core when she says:

[T]he concept of Israel as a humane and democratic state is in serious
trouble. Once a country starts refusing entry to the likes of Noam Chomsky,
shutting down the rights of its citizens to use words like “Nakba,” and
labelling as “anti-Israel” anyone who tries to tell them what they need to
know, a police-state clampdown looms. Will it be a betrayal of age-old
humane Jewish traditions and the rule of just law, or a turn towards
reconciliation and a truly open society?

Time is running out. Opinion in Israel may be hardening, but in the United
States things are moving in the opposite direction. Campus activity is
increasing; many young Jewish Americans don’t want Israel speaking for them.
America, snarled in two chaotic wars and facing increasing international
anger over Palestine, may well be starting to see Israel not as an asset but
as a liability.

Israelis never tire of declaring with great solemnity that they survive in a
dangerous neighborhood — invariably the observation is used as a
justification for some form of brutality. Yet behind the faux boldness of
this embattled nation is the comforting awareness that little Israel enjoys
the protection of its big American friend. But any friendship can eventually
be strained beyond repair.

As Israel becomes more and more isolated, that isolation may reinforce the
delusions of those convinced that the rest of the world is dangerous yet for
others it will make the rest of the world increasingly appealing. Thus will
arise the demographic threat that no racist scheme can resolve: the threat
that life in a Jewish state is simply no longer appealing to enough Jews.

*This is cross-posted at Woodward's site, War in

‘MV Rachel Corrie’ said to turn around so as to be fitted with video

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 09:40 AM PDT

Note these tweets at Gazaundersiege <>:

Breaking: MV Rachel Corrie has turned around, will be fitted with video /
sat transmission. Back on water within a week.

And later:

@dee_fotomafia <> they are still heading to
#Gaza <>, but with live coverage now


‘Facebook’ page issues assassination threat to Palestinian Knesset member
who was on flotilla<>

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 09:07 AM PDT

Here is a call on
at a Hebrew page, which says that its author is located near Jerusalem-- to
kill a woman, who has been identified to me as Haneen
a member of Knesset of the Balad, Palestinian party, who was on the
flotilla. The graphic from the facebook page is below. JPost
says<>Zuabi has been
given a bodyguard.
[image: killu]


It’s ‘68– and who will be the Cronkite of the Jewish

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 07:24 AM PDT

*"That's it. If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost Middle America"*--
President Lyndon B. Johnson, February, 1968

After reading the tragic and heartbreaking news concerning the Israeli
attack on the activists attempting to bring humanitarian aid to the people
of Gaza, two events from the Vietnam War era come to mind, the Kent State
shootings <> and Walter
Cronkite's editorial
<>following the Tet
Offensive. Wikis:

The Kent State shootings, also known as the May 4 massacre or Kent State
massacre, occurred at Kent State University in the city of Kent, Ohio, and
involved the shooting of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio
National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970. The guardsmen fired 67 rounds over a
period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of
whom suffered permanent paralysis. Some of the students who were shot had
been protesting against the American invasion of Cambodia, which President
Richard Nixon announced in a television address on April 30. ..There was a
significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities,
colleges, and high schools closed throughout the United States due to a
student strike of four million students, and the event further affected the
public opinion, at an already socially contentious time, over the role of
the United States in the Vietnam War.

Notice that Americans are now talking about the underlying issue, the
blockade of Gaza. Again, Wiki/Cronkite:

In mid-February 1968, Cronkite journeyed to Vietnam to report on the
aftermath of the Tet Offensive. Upon return, on February 27, 1968, Cronkite
closed "Report from Vietnam: Who, What, When, Where, Why?" with an editorial
report: To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the
face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To
suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism.
To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet
unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that military and political
analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy's
intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations.
But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out
then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who
lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.

Many people throughout the world have been able to objectively ignore the
explanations, rationalizations, and spin by the Israeli government on this
latest violation of international law and human rights against peace
activists and the people of Gaza. Hopefully, however, the "serious" leaders
of the Jewish American community, like Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation
League, David Harris of the American Jewish Committee, Alan Dershowitz of
Harvard University, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, Rep. Howard Berman
(Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee), or Rep. Gary Ackerman (Chair
of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia), realize the
ever-increasing dangers of blindly backing the Israeli government and,
finally, have the courage to stop condoning State terrorism. Just one of
these individuals needs to stand up to the twin bullies, Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, by removing his
one-sided political support for Israel and encourage a more vigorous and
fair response from the President of the United States.

They must immediately state, like Mr. Cronkite, that "the only rational way
out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people
who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they
could." If they don't, then it will be up to the world community to remember
the shock and horror of today's events, support the ideas of the UN Special
Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and demand that our
politicians do the same:

News Release 31 May 2010 Gaza aid convoy killings: Those responsible must be
held criminally accountable - UN expert GENEVA--

The UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard
Falk, urged Monday the international community to bring to justice those
responsible for the killing of some 16 unarmed peace activist, when Israeli
armed commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to Gaza. Israel is
guilty of shocking behavior by using deadly weapons against unarmed
civilians on ships that were situated in the high seas where freedom of
navigation exists, according to the law of the seas, Mr. Falk said. It is
essential that those Israelis responsible for this lawless and murderous
behavior, including political leaders who issued the orders, be held
criminally accountable for their wrongful acts....


‘Huffpo’ reflects staggering shift in liberal American

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 07:23 AM PDT

Take a look at the Huffington Post
<>headlines right now.
*One activist was American, shot four times in the head... Blockade has
failed... Obama administration believes blockade is "untenable," per NYT. *

I believe (yes, I *want* to believe; but that never stops me) the special
relationship is over.The Israelis will put in a new government to try and
stop the damage to its principal source of support, the lobby. But the
Democratic Party base is now lost.


Evergreen students vote for divestment, Henning Mankell mulls related

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 07:22 AM PDT

My news list, Today in Palestine, for today. Note the Emily Henochowicz
coverage in the Baltimore Sun, Henning Mankell thinking of withdrawing his
books in Hebrew from Israel, and the Evergreen State College news.

Land Theft/Destruction and Ethnic Cleansing
*Clashes over large West Bank
Settlers, Palestinians accuse each other of torching fields near Nablus,
dozens of acres consumed.,7340,L-3898194,00.html

Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment
*Ecuador withdraws its Ambassador from
Ecuador, June 3, (Pal Telegraph) Head of Ecuador’s state, Rafael Correa,
declared last night that he withdraw his country's ambassador from "Israel"
for consultations, following the fleet of freedom massacre committed by the
Israeli entity against peaceful people carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.

*S. Africa recalls envoy over flotilla
Diplomatic damage over flotilla takeover reaches Africa – Pretoria recalls
its ambassador to Tel Aviv; Senegal faces growing demand to suspend
relations with Israel, boycott its products.,7340,L-3898727,00.html

*DIVESTMENT:* Just minutes ago, *the students at Evergreen State
Olympia, Washington, the alma mater of Rachel Corrie, announced that
whole student body voted overwhelmingly in favor of divestment from
companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and in favor of making
their campus Caterpillar-free.
* <>*Crime writer Mankell mulls
halting Hebrew version of books
AFP - Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell is considering prohibiting the
translation of his popular books into Hebrew after the Israeli attack on a
Gaza-bound aid flotilla, he said in an interview published Thursday.*
Norwegians want boycott of
Around half the Norwegian people wanted to boycott the Israeli products or
have already started to boycott them, results of an opinion poll made in
Norway over the past couple of days showed.

*Straight for the art | The art of wounded pro-Palestinian activist Emily
The pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement activist group
reports<>and the
*Baltimore Sun*
21-year-old Jewish-American art student Emily Henochowicz was badly
wounded Monday during a Jerusalem protest against Israel's deadly raid on a
relief flotilla headed for Gaza over the weekend. Hit directly in the face
by a tear-gas canister fired by an Israeli border policeman, Henochowicz
lost her left eye and required substantial surgery to repair damage to the
bones of her face and skull.

Siege Related Deaths/Violence and Aggression
*Death of baby brings the death toll in the siege on Gaza to
A Palestinian infant died on Tuesday in the Gaza Strip because his family
was not allowed to admit him for treatment in hospitals in the territories
occupied in 1948.

*Soldiers Break Into Arab Hospital In East
Israeli soldiers and Border Policemen broke into the al-Makassed hospital in
East Jerusalem in an attempt to arrest a wounded Palestinian but were forced
out in a clash with local youths.

*IOF opens fire at houses in
Gaza, June 3, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) - Israeli occupation forces shelled today
the houses of the citizens in Al-Qrara to the northern east of Khan Younis,
in central Gaza Strip, WAFA news agency reported.  The Israeli occupation
forces stationed in watchtowers near Kesofem, an Israeli military site east
of Al-Qrara, opened fire toward Palestinian farmers and citizens, no
injuries were reported, the sources added.  IOF opens fire at the citizens
in the close area of the border with the Palestinian occupied land of 48,
besides, Israeli tanks and bulldozers raid the agriculture land there area
in order to keep the Palestinians aside from the borders.

*Israeli settler shoots 2 Palestinian
Hebron, June 3, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli settler shot today two
Palestinian youths at the entrance of Al-Aroub refugee camp, in the city of
the West Bank of Hebron.  The Israeli settler opened fire at two Palestinian
university students while they were at the entrance of their college. He
shot one in his back and the other in his leg, WAFA news agency reported.

*Clashes reported in East
Jerusalem – Ma'an – Violent clashes broke out in occupied East Jerusalem
between young people in the Silwan neighborhood and a large force of police
and special units in addition to settlers.  Our correspondent quoted
anti-settlement leader Haj Fakhri Abu Diab as saying the clashes
concentrated in the area of Bir Ayoub and around the Silwan protest tent

*Nonviolent Activist Arrested Near
Israeli Police arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian nonviolent activist in
al-Ma’sara village Wednesday evening.

*Israel jails young woman for 2008
Nablus – Ma’an – Israel's Salem military court on Wednesday sentenced a
woman from Nablus to four years on charges she poured boiling water at an
Israeli soldier’s face at the Huwara checkpoint south of Nablus two years
earlier.  Palestinian sources told Ma’an that the court sentenced
21-year-old Sanabel Breik, affiliated to Fatah, to four years and a fine of
5,000 shekels for the attack on 22 September 2008.

The Siege
*Israel must lift Gaza blockade immediately: UN chief
AFP - UN chief Ban Ki-moon demanded Wednesday that Israel lift its blockade
of the Gaza Strip immediately in the wake of its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound
aid flotilla.*<*http:/>

*Israel faces growing world pressure to lift Gaza
British PM: Siege has only strengthened Hamas; Netanyahu: World pressure
won't stop Israeli blockade.

*Health Situation in Gaza: Doctors of the World Calls for the Immediate
Lifting of the Blockade*<>
Doctors of the World is shocked by the violence that characterised the
boarding of the flotilla in the sea off Gaza on 31st May and deplores the
resulting loss of human life.  This event highlights the critical situation
created by the blockade that for 3 years has plunged one and a half million
Palestinians into an ongoing medical and economic crisis.

*Hundreds of Gazans use newly opened Egyptian crossing
AFP - Hundreds of Palestinians travelled into and out of the Gaza Strip on
Wednesday after Egypt opened its Rafah crossing for travel and humanitarian

*Inside Story - The price of Israel's siege of
Inside Story asks what the ramifications of the Israeli military attack on
the Gaza aid flotilla will be.

*Israeli blockade of Gaza at heart of crisis
AP - Israel's blockade of Gaza is at the center of the crisis following the
bloody raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla carrying aid supplies and
pro-Palestinian activists. Here are some aspects of the blockade.*<*http:/>

*Arab League Calls For Lifting The Siege On
Arab League secretary-general, Amro Mousa, stated that the Arab League will
demand the United Nations to ensure Israel lifts the siege on Gaza
immediately, and added that the Arab League will head to the Security

*Berri Calls on Arab FMs to Unite against Gaza
02/06/2010 Lebanon's Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri expressed hope on
Wednesday that Arabs wouldn't rescue the Israeli enemy this time, calling
for a united Arab stance to break the siege imposed on Gaza and support the
Palestinian reconciliation.  Speaking to reporters at the Baabda
Presidential Palace following a meeting with President Michel Sleiman, Berri
urged Arab foreign ministers to take a united stance against the Israeli
siege of Gaza and support Turkey over the attack on the Freedom Flotilla.
"Arab Foreign Ministers should take a united stance to break the siege of
Gaza and support the noble Tuksih stance," he said. "They also should take a
united stance to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian talks and strongly
support the Palestinian-Palestinian reconciliation." Arab foreign ministers
will hold crisis talks in Cairo on Wednesday to come up with a response to
the Israeli raid.

*Gaza's risky fish
Israel's blockade of Gaza extends well beyond its land borders. At sea,
Gaza's fishermen are only allowed to go within 5.5km of the coast, hence
many sneak into Egyptian waters to fish instead. But by doing so, they're
putting their lives at risk. Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston reports from Rafah
in southern Gaza.

*Is Israel's blockade
Douglas Guilfoyle, a maritime legal expert at the University College of
London, discusses whether Israel's raid on the Gaza aid flotilla - and it's
blockade of Gaza - are legal under international law.

*Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – May 2 – May

*Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – May 2 – May

Humanitiarian Issues/Human Rights
*Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory 27 May - 02 june

*UN: More Gaza students expected to join summer games despite
GAZA, June 2 (Xinhua) -- A UN official on Wednesday said that hundreds of
thousands of students in Gaza are expected to join the agency's summer games
program despite the torching of its main summer camp.  "We expect some
250,000 children to participate again this year, " Christer Nordhal, deputy
director of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) operations, said in an
interview with Xinhua.

Flotilla Fallout and Related News
*Under Scrutiny, IDF Retracts Claims About Flotilla’s Al Qaeda
When placed under journalistic scrutiny, the IDF is being forced to admit
that its claims about the flotilla’s links to international terror are based
on innuendo, not facts. On June 2, the IDF blasted out a press release to
reporters and bloggers with the shocking headline: “Attackers of the IDF
soldiers found to be Al Qaeda mercenaries.” The only supporting evidence
offered in the release was a claim that the passengers “were equipped with
bullet proof vests, night vision goggles, and weapons.”

*New Gaza-bound aid ship may agree to dock and unload in
Humanitarian aid vessel, the Rachel Corrie, delayed due to technical
problems; Passengers include a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former UN
deputy secretary-general.
Turkey will "never forgive"
Turkish president says deaths will leave "deep scar" as thousands mourn in

*Erdogan: Israel will lose friend in
Turkey-Israel ties sink lower as PM, president add voices to criticism of
IDF raid. More flotillas planned. IHH given hero's welcome in Istanbul.,7340,L-3898698,00.html

*Charges against activists abandoned after Turkey delivers
Israel bowed to heavy diplomatic pressure to deport hundreds of
pro-Palestinian activists yesterday, after what Turkey said was an ultimatum
that threatened Jerusalem with severe political consequences if it kept its
citizens in custody.

*Flotilla: Did Israel deliberately murder civilians aboard Freedom Flotilla?
Israeli Ambassador to the United States admits that ships were “too large to
stop with nonviolent means.”  On May 31st, 2010, elite Israeli military
commandos stormed six humanitarian aid ships taking part in the ‘Freedom
Flotilla’ to Gaza, killing between 9-20 civilian passengers and injuring
dozens more. As the facts of the attack come out it is clear that these
killings cannot in any way be justified.

*Fatah leader calls for worldwide flotilla
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Fatah Revolutionary Council member Dimitri Diliani
called Tuesday for massive peaceful demonstrations at Israeli embassies
around the world in response to Israel’s deadly raid on an international aid
flotilla that resulted in the deaths of 10 international activists and the
injury of dozens of others.

*Carter condemns Israeli raid on Gaza-bound ships
AP - Former President Jimmy Carter has condemned a deadly Israeli raid on a
flotilla of aid ships on its way to Gaza.*<*http:/>

*Flotilla: Names of victims starting to
One of the many inhumane aspects of Israel's murderous raid on the aid
flotilla Monday has been its tardiness in releasing the names of the killed
and wounded and its holding of nearly all the kidnapped flotilla
participants incommunicado in massive, specially organized temporary
prisons. This has left family members of most participants in anguish, not
knowing if their loved ones were among those killed and injured.

*Gaza flotilla: How Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs fakes photos of
seized weapons*<>

*Hamas refuses boat aid while activists
Gaza - Ma'an - Gaza officials refused to receive some 20 Israeli trucks
loaded with aid confiscated from the Freedom Flotilla on Wednesday, saying
the goods would not be accepted piecemeal, or while the activists who
brought it were detained.

*Sayyed Safieddin Calls for Release of All Flotilla
02/06/2010 The head of Hezbollah Executive Council Sayyed Hashem Safieddin
called on Wednesday for the release of all detainees who were still in the
hands of the Zionist enemy following the crime committed against the
activists of the Freedom Flotilla Monday dawn.  Speaking during a cultural
meeting, Sayyed Safieddin said that all Lebanese and all detainees should be
freed as soon as possible, holding the Israeli enemy responsible of the
safety of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese detainees.

*UN Human Rights Council: Probe flotilla
Goldstone II? Council calls to set up independent investigation into IDF's
takeover of Gaza aid convoy. Resolution adopted with 32 countries in favor,
three against, eight abstentions.,7340,L-3898157,00.html
Full text: William Hague's statement to the Commons on the Gaza flotilla

*Gaza ship raid 'completely unacceptable': PM
AFP - Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday that an Israeli raid on
Gaza-bound aid ships was "completely unacceptable".*<*http:/>

*Australian PM calls Israel's Netanyahu on Gaza aid
SYDNEY — Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Wednesday he had called
Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu to urge him to open an independent inquiry
into the deadly raid on an aid convoy bound for Gaza.  At least nine people
were killed when Israeli commandos stormed the ships early Monday. An
Australian man was shot during the incident, while an Australian
photographer was reportedly hit with a stun gun.

*Flotilla fallout 'will restrain' Israel from launching war on
BEIRUT: Fallout from Israel's attack on the Freedom Fleet should keep
chances slim for any conflict between Lebanon and Israel in the short term,
while the assault and the resulting outcry are also providing a boost for
Hizbullah at home and in the region, a number of analysts told The Daily
Star on Wednesday.

*Freedom Flotilla Activists To Receive Palestinian
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that all those who were on the
boats and those who contributed to the organizing of the Flotilla will be
granted Palestinian honorary citizenship, in appreciation of their efforts.

*Corrie family 'heart-sick and outraged' by flotilla
Bethlehem - Ma'an - The parents of an American activist killed in Gaza say
they are devastated over Israel's deadly raid on an international aid
flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip.  "We are heart-sick and outraged about
the brutal attack launched by the Israeli Military on the Free Gaza
Movement's flotilla of boats," Cindy and Craig Corrie said in a statement.
Both sides of Flotilla
Al Jazeera had its own camera crews travelling on the Gaza aid convoy. But
all of the video they took has been confiscated by Israeli authorities.
There is no word on when or even if the pictures might be released. But
Israel has been releasing video that supports its version of events and
contrasts with the reports of many witnesses. Dan Nolan looks at both sides
of the story.
*The Activists
*American Murdered by Israel on
For several days, Israel has been able to contain some of the fallout from
the flotilla massacre by withholding information about the dead and injured.
The object of this exercise has clearly been to slow the flow of information
in the hope that by the time the most damning facts become known, the
international media’s attention will have turned elsewhere.  But the dead
now have names and faces and one turns out to be a nineteen-year-old
American: Furkan Dogan.

*Thousands pray in Istanbul for dead flotilla activists
AFP - Tens of thousands gathered here Thursday for prayers for activists
killed in Israel's deadly raid on aid ships bound for Gaza, condemning the
Jewish state and shouting support for Hamas.*

*Gaza activists welcomed in
Hundreds of activists from the Gaza-bound flotilla receive an enthusiastic
welcome in Turkey after being expelled by Israel.

*Details emerge of bloodshed aboard Gaza-bound ship
AP - At 4:30 a.m. from her perch on the bridge of a passenger ship in the
Mediterranean Sea, Hanin Zoabi saw the first lights of fast-approaching
Israeli gunships and helicopters. Norman Paech awoke to the sound of

*The Rachel Corrie ship and crew sail to Gaza (PLEASE

*Deported activists: Israelis 'shooting without
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel on Wednesday was deporting more than 600 foreign
activists whose accounts of a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla
contradicted Israeli reports that its soldiers acted in self-defense.

*Interview with Al Jazeera's Jamal ElShayyal: One of the passengers on the
Mavi Marmara*<>
Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal has been released by Israeli authorities
following Monday's deadly raid on the Mavi Marmara aid ship that was
destined for Gaza. Our producer, who reported from the ship as Israel
launched the raid, was on the top deck when the ship was attacked. Here, he
tells his account of what happened.

*Gaza ship activist says watched man bleed to
* Activists 'removed cartridges from snatched weapons'
* Witness says Israelis began firing before boarding ship
* Says commandos waited 1 hour before giving medical help

*Grey power for
The key figures of the Free Gaza movement are all women of pensionable age,
who came out of the 1960s protest generation.  They are the generation who
protested in the 1960s and have girded themselves again to campaign for
Palestinian rights. The Free Gaza movement, which chartered the Challenger
yacht as part of the flotilla that was attacked by Israel on Monday, is led
by a group of women of pensionable age.

*Scuffles during Israeli Knesset flotilla
Heated exchanges took place in the Israeli parliament as Hanin Zuabi, an
Arab member who was aboard the flotilla, tried to speak in a debate on the
flotilla raid

*Arab MK Receives Death Threats for Participation in Freedom
Arab Member of Knesset Hanin Zo’by was given a security detail after she
received several death threats for her participation in the Freedom
Flotilla, the convoy of aid ships that was raided Monday by Israeli forces
before it could reach Gaza.

*From an email:  San Francisco Bay Area activist was severely beaten by IOF
pirates and is on his way to Greece.*
Turkish charity chief tells of carnage, chaos on
The head of a Turkish charity that organised the aid flotilla attacked by
Israeli forces said activists had rushed some of the soldiers and snatched
their weapons, but had thrown them overboard without using them.  Bulent
Yildirim, chairman of the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and
Humanitarian Relief (IHH), denied Israeli accounts of events on board the
Mavi Maramara after Israeli commandos stormed the ship on Monday in an
operation that resulted in at least nine people being killed.

*Sheikh Raed Salah released with flotilla delegation on
Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Israeli Central Court in Ashkelon released head of
the Islamic Movement Sheikh Raed Salah and a delegation of Palestinian
citizens of Israel under strict conditions of house arrest and large fines.

*Gazan flotilla passenger finds wife deported to
Gaza – Ma'an – A Gaza man and his Turkish wife aboard the Freedom Flotilla
were separated on Wednesday, when the man was deported to Gaza and his wife
to her native Turkey.  The man, Ahmad Ad-Dahshan, announced in a news
conference that the two had joined the flotilla after leaving Gaza for an
Umrah pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, where his wife had fallen ill. The two
were delayed and when they attempted to re-enter Gaza they found the Rafah
crossing shut.

*Statement from imprisoned Greek

*Huwaida Arraf: "We didn't fight
US Campaign Advisory Board member Huwaida Arraf, a passenger on one of the
Gaza Freedom Flotilla ships, spoke to Laura Flanders of
the Israeli attack on her ship. The interview also includes commentary
from Norman Finkelstein and Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on the
Occupied Palestinian Territories.

*Live from The Only Democracy?: part 1 of exclusive interview with Huwaida
Arraf of the Gaza Freedom

*Gaza flotilla raid pushes unknown Knesset member into
Hanin Zoabi, who was aboard the Mavi Marmara when it was seized Monday by
Israeli commandos, has stepped up as a leading domestic critic of her
government's Gaza flotilla raid. Meanwhile, senior statesman Ehud Barak
faces calls for his resignation.

*Swedish author says flotilla highlights Gaza ills
Reuters - A well-known Swedish author who was among the activists aboard a
flotilla of ships seized en route to the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces said
he had no regrets about drawing world attention to Gaza's plight.*<*http:/>

*Israel's Explanation for Deadly Gaza Aid Attack "Full of Holes as a Window
Screen" - Former US Ambassador Edward
Former US Ambassador Edward Peck was on the Gaza aid flotilla that came
under attack by Israeli forces. At least nine people were killed and dozens
wounded. Peck says Israel’s explanation for the attack is "twisting the
truth" and is "as full of holes as a window screen." [includes rush

*Aussie photographer Kate Geraghty Tasered during flotilla
AUSTRALIAN photographer Kate Geraghty was Tasered on the arm by Israeli
soldiers when they stormed a flotilla of boats heading to Gaza.
**Canadian detained on Gaza aid flotilla says he was
A Canadian activist detained during a deadly raid on an aid flotilla said
his Israeli captors beat and imprisoned him after launching an attack on the
ship he was travelling on, CBC reported Wednesday. Rifat Audeh was
identified as one of three Canadians detained during the raid that took
place in international waters Monday. Israeli troops boarded a flotilla of
ships carrying aid supplies to the Gaza Strip, killing at least nine people
on board.
Local man's son to fight deportation after raid on
A man with Massachusetts ties is fighting his deportation from Israel after
being detained during that country's deadly raid on an aid flotilla headed
toward the Gaza Strip, the man’s father said today.  Joseph Bangert of
Brewster said his son, Fiachra O Luain, a flotilla participant who was on
board a ship bearing a Turkish flag, was arrested and was being held with
600 other participants in an Israeli desert prison.

Israel's American Helpers/Israeli Reaction
*Obama: Let Israel probe Gaza flotilla raid with U.S.
Political sources: Netanyahu in no rush to accept U.S. proposal, in part
because Defense Minister Ehud Barak is opposed to it.

*U.S.: UN council rushing to blame Israel for Gaza flotilla
UN Human Rights Council to probe Gaza flotilla raid, passes resolution
condemning Israel as violating international law urges end to Gaza blockade.

*Gaza flotilla raid: Joe Biden asks 'So what's the big deal
Joe Biden publicly defends Israel's actions over Gaza flotilla raid, says
Israel 'has a right to know' if arms were smuggled.

*Biden: Israel right to stop Gaza flotilla from breaking
VP Biden tells Charlie Rose that the Israel Navy might not have needed to
drop commandos onto the Gaza-bound ship, but insists that Israel is entitled
to defend its security.

*Pelosi Declines To Denounce Gaza
"Israel is our friend... I think with Israel we have a very close friendship
and to have a Democratic Jewish state in that region is something that has
been a goal of our foreign policy. It is something that is based on our
national security interest; it is about us as much -- even more -- than it
is about them. We all -- many of us here -- are striving for a two-state
solution... But it has to be a solution where there is security for both
sides. And hopefully President Obama will be able to use his good offices to
achieve such a goal that has been bipartisan in support in Congress. But
again, I believe that the specialness of our relationship with Israel has as
much to do with our own national security as it does with theirs."

*Conservative pundits blame Obama for Israeli raid on
"This is another step in a chain of unfortunate events beginning with
President Obama’s insistence that there be a freeze, as a precondition for
peace talks, a freeze on settlements in Jerusalem," McCain told Fox's Sean
Hannity. "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not a settlement."

*Netanyahu ignores calls for investigation of
Israel's prime minister praises the commandos involved and accuses the
pro-Palestinian flotilla activists of being 'supporters of terrorism.'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a vigorous, unapologetic
defense Wednesday of his government's deadly raid of a protest flotilla
bound for the Gaza Strip, ignoring international calls for an independent
probe into the incident.,0,3125107.story

*Pro-Israel Dems defend
New York Democratic Reps. Anthony Weiner, Jerrold Nadler, Gary Ackerman,
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) have all vigorously
supported Israel’s boarding an aid ship bound for the blockaded Gaza — an
act that resulted in ten deaths and a U.N. condemnation.

Israel's Arab Helpers
*Egypt blocks travel of health minister via Rafah
The Egyptian authorities refused to allow the travel of Dr. Basem Naim, the
Palestinian health minister, via the Rafah border terminal.<>

Other News
*Irish official: Expel Israel embassy officer over Dubai passport
Irish officials: Israel forged Irish passports used by suspects in
assassination of senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

*IDF panel rules West Bank settlers not protected by Basic
Panel chairman: Army's decisions should be tested against international law
on occupied territories, and not Israeli law.

*Roberts: 'AIPAC purchases US elections'
The deadly Israeli assault on a Flotilla aid ship has caused an outcry in
the international community. In the United States the Obama Administration
has been quiet about their official stance on what transpired. Paul Craig
Roberts says that there will be nothing that is going to be done by the
United States to change the relationship with Israel.

*San Francisco Bay Area Emergency Protest of Israeli Massacre of Gaza Aid
Saturday, June 5th 11am, Mass Mobilization @ San Francisco, Civic Center

**Not quite a protest but... Yogis send Gaza 'positive vibes' from Lebanon
coast (AFP)*<*http:/>
AFP - A group of yogis gathered on the Beirut coast at dawn Thursday to send
"positive vibes" to Gaza in the wake of a deadly Israeli raid on a relief
flotilla bound for the Palestinian territory.*

*Jordanian Protesters call for expelling Israeli ambassador from

*London goes angry for Gaza, daily

*Murderous Attack on Gaza/ Philadelphia Solidarity 6-1-2010


*Israel's Gaza PR offensive
While boats battle to get through the siege of Gaza, Gazans can eat out in
fancy restaurants and have no need of aid.  That's what Israel has been
telling journalists, at least. Sherine Tadros picks apart the media

*Israel’s Defenders Mobilize, Threaten, Jim
Faced with what the Wall Street Journal calls "one of Israel’s worst
international relations disasters in years," the right-wing leadership of
the so-called "Israel Lobby" has been pulling out all the stops to defend
the Jewish state against global outrage over its deadly seizure of a
Gaza-bound vessel in international waters carrying humanitarian supplies
early Monday morning.

*More Spin from Israel,  Philip
The Israeli commando assault on a flotilla bringing aid to Gaza which killed
at least nine civilians should be a wake-up call for those who want to
believe that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s government is capable of making
rational decisions.  The flotilla, consisting of nationals from as many as
twenty countries, was unarmed and carrying relief supplies that had been
carefully inspected by the Turkish authorities.  It was in international
waters when it was attacked.  More than 600 passengers and crew, apart from
those who were killed, were subsequently arrested by Israel for refusing to
identify themselves.  If all that is correct, then Tel Aviv is guilty of
piracy, kidnapping, and murder while the armed attack on a Turkish flagged
vessel might be construed as inviting a military response from NATO.  One of
the vessels bore an American flag and there were at least eight US citizens
on board, including a former ambassador and a USS Liberty survivor,
suggesting that a strong reaction from Washington would not be

*Israel’s spin won’t work this time, Harsha
As international outrage spreads at the Israeli elite commando attack on an
unarmed humanitarian convey in the middle of the night on international
waters, Israel is desperately trying to rebrand the incident as one of
self-defence. It is nothing new for Israel, and other aggressing powers, to
smear their victims as perpetrators. Afterall, unjustifiable murder is too
jarring to stomach.<>

*Dershowitz to the Rescue?, JAMES
Armed Israeli commandos, the elite of the elites, rappelled to the deck of a
Turkish ship carrying humanitarian relief supplies to the 1.5 million
prisoners in the Gaza concentration camp.  Although the Israelis did not see
the attack as an attack, but an action only to defend themselves, as only
Israelis have a right to do. It is a right that Palestinians do not have,
nor do the other activists who were attempting to deliver the supplies to
the Gazans It appears, from the scanty non-Israeli news available, that the
Turkish ship was some 40 miles or more off the coast of Gaza, and that the
activists aboard were not armed, except with kitchen knives and some clubs
lying around the ship that they could round up when they were surprised by
the Israeli commandos.

*The day the world became Gaza, Ali
Since Israel's invasion and massacre of over 1,400 people in Gaza 18 months
ago, dubbed Operation Cast Lead, global civil society movements have stepped
up their campaigns for justice and solidarity with Palestinians.
Governments, by contrast, carried on with business as usual, maintaining a
complicit silence.  Israel's lethal attack on the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza
may change that, spurring governments to follow the lead of their people and
take unprecedented action to check Israel's growing lawlessness.

*It's time for real disengagement, Aluf Benn
The attempt to control Gaza from outside, via its residents' diet and
shopping lists, casts a heavy moral stain on Israel and increases its
international isolation.

*Nothing to investigate: Everyone knows what was wrong about the flotilla
Israel today is captive to a false sense of victimhood, which goes together
with a sense of false omnipotence.

*Amb. Marc Ginsberg: Flotsam &
There is an ominous shadow looming over Israel's recent international
missteps. The global rush to judgment against Israel's interdiction of the
Turkish ferry "Mavi Marmara" represents an important barometer of Israel's
decaying public diplomacy.
A view from the Left/Israel loses its composure in face of non-violent
Palestinian struggle, Udi
I am writing these words with great pain and suppressed rage. I know that
few are the Jews in Israel whose heart is open to the pain of their
Palestinian brothers and sisters, and yet, I refuse to give up on this
brotherhood.  I myself was almost on board one of the ships that made their
way to Gaza, primarily in order to help and tell the world about her
suffering, but also in order to say that among us, the Jewish citizens of
Israel, there are some whose sense of justice, grace and brotherhood has not
become blunt even under the patriotic psychosis that has taken over the best
part of us.,7340,L-3898288,00.html

*The Gaza Raid: No Help to U.S. Diplomacy in Mideast
(*<*http:/> - The Obama Administration has avoided criticizing Israel's
handling of the aid convoy showdown, but the escalating diplomatic spat
won't help U.S. efforts on Iran and other issues.*<*http:/>

*Bless her heart, Andrea Mitchell seems upset by Gaza blockade, Philip Weiss
To her credit, Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC this afternoon, reporting from Tel
Aviv, spoke about what is motivating the world, the inhumane blockade of
Gaza and the terrible conditions it has produced for Palestinians. She
seemed upset by this three-year policy of collective punishment.<>
Did Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman provoke and incite their murderers in
Philadelphia, MI?, Philip
Tracking the American liberal discourse's failure on the flotilla raid, it
is important to note that Brian Lehrer, the cerebral conscience of the New
York public radio station, WNYC, today did an interview with Rabbi Jonathan
Sacks of England on his new book about Jews and Israel. So a conservative
Zionist was given a platform to defend Israel's attack on the boat.<>

*MJ Rosenberg: Lying About the Gaza Flotilla
It's been one lie after another in the US media about the Israeli attack on
the Gaza-bound relief flotilla. No matter that the Israeli media views the
whole incident as a debacle for Israel, in this country the
Israel-can-do-no-wrong crowd is on overdrive defending the operation. As
usual, facts don't matter to them.

*Israel massacres peace
By now you will have heard about Israel’s assault on the Gaza Freedom
in the course of which, according to current estimates, at least 10 and as
many as 20 peace activists were killed, and dozens injured. The
flotilla<>was carrying hundreds of activists,
including a Nobel Peace Laureate, along
with thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to distribute to the besieged
population of Gaza.

*Israel’s Latest Violation, Stephen
Every time Israel’s right-wing government engages in yet another outrageous
violation of international legal norms, it is easy to think, "No way are
they going to get away with it this time!" And yet, thanks to the White
House, Congress and leading American pundits, somehow, they do.  Israel’s
attack on an unarmed flotilla of humanitarian aid vessels in the eastern
Mediterranean — resulting in more than a dozen fatalities, the wounding of
scores of passengers and crew, and the kidnapping of 750 others — has so far
not proven any different.
If Gaza's relief is a step closer they won't have died in vain | Seumas
It takes some nerve, and a special kind of detachment from reality, to claim
that your soldiers were "lynched" by "terrorists" when they have just shot
dead at least nine unarmed human rights
wounded dozens of others while suffering no fatal injuries themselves.
But that is the line Israel's propaganda machine spun while it held nearly
700 international pro-Palestinian campaigners incommunicado in the wake of
Monday's assault on six boats bringing humanitarian aid to the besieged
people of Gaza.

*Flotilla: Will US change its policy towards
As worldwide condemnation has been flooding in since Monday when Israeli
Defense Forces boarded a ship in the Mediterranean, setting off a melee that
left nine activists dead and dozens wounded. Turkey, an unofficial backer of
the flotilla, has led the criticism, accusing Israel of committing a
"massacre," and the U.N. Security Council demanded an impartial
investigation. What will happen to Israel's close relationship with the
United States? Will there be policy change?
In Turkey, rage at Israeli raid puts an ally to the
THE WEAKENING friendship between Turkey and Israel was further shaken by
Monday’s Israeli attack on a flotilla of activists bringing relief supplies
to Gaza. More than half of the activists were Turkish. Turks had been
following the flotilla’s progress intently, and were stunned when the story
took a more violent turn than anyone had expected.

*The urgency of this
Israel has sent the world a loud message: we will do whatever we want
wherever want. So what if we kill civilians in international waters? In
response, the world gets the typical excuses and rationales it has come to
expect from the United States, Egypt, and all the other states that should
be levying demands on Israel to free Palestinians from siege, occupation and
apartheid. Radhika Sainath comments for The Electronic Intifada.

*A massacre is not a
I don't write poems but, in any case, poems are not poems. Long ago, I was
made to understand that Palestine was not Palestine; I was also informed
that Palestinians were not Palestinians; They also explained to me that
ethnic cleansing was not ethnic cleansing. And when naive old me saw freedom
fighters they patiently showed me that they were not freedom fighters, and
that resistance was not resistance.

*‘Mad dog’ diplomacy: A cornered Israel is baring its teeth, Jonathan
Moshe Dayan, Israel’s most celebrated general, famously outlined the
strategy he believed would keep Israel’s enemies at bay: “Israel must be a
like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.”  Until now, most observers had
assumed Dayan was referring to Israeli military or possibly nuclear
strategy, an expression in his typically blunt fashion of the country’s
familiar doctrine of deterrence.

*Protest in New York, and celebration, Pamela
On May 31, the day after Israel’s bloody and unconscionable raid against
civilian aid volunteers in international waters, around 1,000 people
gathered in Times Square to protest. The next day, June 1, the same number
showed up to protest again, meeting at 42nd Street and 2nd Avenue and
marching to Times Square.  The organizers had arranged for 200 feet of the
street to be blocked off for the demonstration, and by the time the march
began, it was overflowing. There were very few news cameras around, though,
most of them from the independent and left-leaning press. A counter-protest
was held a few blocks away by people who supported Israel’s blockade of Gaza
and its attack against the flotilla. A friend and I went to check it out. He
suggested I hide the kuffiyeh that was hanging around my neck, but I was in
no mood to cater to anyone’s delicate sensibilities after what had happened.
It was a symbol of solidarity and resistance to illegal brutality, and I
wore it proudly.<>

*No Borders, Alice
I write with a mixture of outrage and heartbreak as the news unfolds about
the Israeli commandos boarding the flotilla of ships bound for Gaza,
carrying wheelchairs, home building supplies, medications, playgrounds, and
thousands of tons of desperately needed materials. Some 800 internationals
from 50 countries sought to call attention to the Israeli blockade of Gaza
through non-violent action and to provide material support to a population
suffering from collective punishment begun in the 1980s and now under almost
total closure. The activists hoped to make it impossible for us to ignore
the siege, to highlight the humanitarian catastrophe, and to take personal
action as individuals. They wanted us to see that 10% of Gazan children
suffer from chronic malnutrition and two-thirds of Gazans face daily hunger.<>

*Israel Flotilla Raid – Breakdown of Who’s Right and
Cyek Uygur of the Young Turks analyzes the blame question over the Israel's
flotilla massacre. Though he misses the mounting evidence that Israeli
commandos were firing before they landed, a possibility that would have
taken place before the melee on the IDF tape, Uygur makes some good
observations about the laughability of the American proposal that Israel
investigate itself, and demonstrates the criminality of the Israeli blockade
of Gaza.

Wednesday: 2 Iraqis Killed, 5
At least two Iraqis were killed and five others were wounded in light
violence. Also, a new development in the hunt for a new prime minister has
taken a turn that could end the impasse.
FEATURE-Iraqi refugees haunted by horrors they left
DAMASCUS, June 3 (Reuters) - Nahla and her pharmacist husband Malik were
prospering in the Shi'ite city of Kerbala, despite the sectarian and
criminal violence unleashed by the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq. They even
bought a new house.

*Iraqi Christians: Better off than other Iraqi
Arab Christians in the US and elsewhere help facilitate the resettlement of
Iraqi Christians fleeing violence in Iraq. Is the Western media overplaying
the challenges facing Christians in Iraq?

U.S. and Other World News
*Report: Flotilla delays Iran sanctions
Sources say US to push back UN vote by three weeks because of IDF raid on
Gaza-bound flotilla.,7340,L-3898304,00.html

*Bush admits waterboarding, says he’d do it
Speaking to a crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Wednesday, former president
George W. Bush told onlookers that his administration did in fact waterboard
alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and suggested that his action
saved American lives.

*UN Expert: 'Targeted Killings' By U.S., Israel, Russia May Be War
GENEVA — Governments must come clean on their methods for killing suspected
terrorists and insurgents – especially when using unmanned drones – because
they may be committing war crimes, a U.N. human rights expert said
Wednesday.  Philip Alston, the independent U.N. investigator on
extrajudicial killings, called on countries to lay out the rules and
safeguards they use when carrying out so-called targeted killings, publish
figures on civilian casualties and prove they have attempted to capture or
incapacitate suspects without killing them.

*Will US revoke the right of American citizenship to foreigners born
A bill in the House of Representatives would change the 14th amendment to
the US Constitution that grants anyone who is born on US soil the right of
American citizenship. Efforts to revoke birthright citizenship could make it
the new flashpoint in the debate over immigration.
Former minister admits misinforming MPs over treatment of Baha
Adam Ingram, armed forces minister at time of detainee's killing, blames
officials and a 'failure to recollect' for inaccurate information given to
parliament.  The minister responsible for the conduct of the armed forces at
the time of the death of Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel receptionist in the
custody of British soldiers, has admitted he misinformed MPs about the
treatment of Iraqi detainees.

*Egyptian group to back
Muslim Brotherhood vows to help ex-nuclear watchdog chief push
constitutional overhaul.

*Al-Qaida threatens kidnapping of Saudi princes over arrest of senior female
RIYADH, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Al-Qaida's wing in the Arabian Peninsula
threatened to kidnap Saudi princes and senior officials in retaliation of
the arrest of a top female figure in the network, pan-Arab al-Arabiya news
channel reported.  Heila al-Gusaier, seen as the top female figure in the
group, is the widow of Mohamed al-Wukail, an al-Qaida militant who was
killed in clashes with Saudi forces on Dec. 29, 2004, the Dubai- based
network noted. She is believed to be responsible for recruiting women into
the terrorist group and fund-raising.

*Saudi bride contracts ask for
New wedding contracts will require Saudi brides to give their ages in an
attempt to prevent children being married.


‘Mad dog’ diplomacy: A cornered Israel is baring its

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 06:59 AM PDT

Moshe Dayan, Israel’s most celebrated general, famously outlined the
strategy he believed would keep Israel’s enemies at bay: “Israel must be a
like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.”

Until now, most observers had assumed Dayan was referring to Israeli
military or possibly nuclear strategy, an expression in his typically blunt
fashion of the country’s familiar doctrine of deterrence.

But the Israeli commando attack on Monday on the Gaza-bound flotilla, in
which nine activists have so far been confirmed killed and dozens were
wounded as they tried to break Israel’s blockade of the enclave, proves
beyond doubt that this is now a diplomatic strategy too. Israel is feeling
cornered on every front it considers important – and like Dayan’s “mad dog”,
it is likely to strike out in unpredictable ways.

Domestically, Israeli human rights activists have regrouped after the
Zionist left’s dissolution in the wake of the outbreak of the second
intfada. Now they are presenting clear-eyed – and extremely ugly –
assessments of the occupation that are grabbing headlines around the world.

That move has been supported by the leadership of Israel’s large Palestinian
minority, which has additionally started questioning the legitimacy of a
Jewish state in ways that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago.

Regionally, Hizbullah has progressively eroded Israel’s deterrence doctrine.
It forced the Israeli army to exit south Lebanon in 2000 after a two-decade
occupation; it stood firm in the face of both aerial bombardment and a
ground invasion during the 2006 war; and now it is reported to have
accumulated an even larger arsenal of rockets than it had four years ago.

Iran, too, has refused to be intimidated and is leaving Israel with an
uncomfortable choice between conceding to Tehran the room to develop a
nuclear bomb, thereby ending Israel’s regional nuclear monopoly, and
launching an attack that could unleash a global conflagration.

And internationally, nearly 18 months on from its attack on Gaza, Israel’s
standing is at an all-time low. Boycott campaigns are gaining traction,
reluctant support for Israel from European governments has set them in
opposition to home-grown sentiment, and even traditional allies such as
Turkey cannot hide their anger.

In the US, Israel’s most resolute ally, young American Jews are starting to
question their unthinking loyalty to the Jewish state. Blogs and new kinds
of Jewish groups are bypassing their elders and the American media to widen
the scope of debate about Israel.

Israel has responded by characterising these “threats” all as falling within
its ever-expanding definition of “support for terrorism”.

It was therefore hardly suprising that the first reaction from the Israeli
government to the fact that its commandoes had opened fire on civilians in
the flotilla of aid ships was to accuse the solidarity activists of being

Similarly, Danny Ayalon, the deputy foreign minister, accused the organisers
of having “connections to international terrorism”, including al-Qaeda.
Turkey, which assisted the flotilla, is widely being accused in Israel of
supporting Hamas and trying to topple Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

Palestinians are familiar with such tactics. Gaza’s entire population of 1.5
million is now regularly presented in the Israeli media in collective terms,
as supporters of terror – for having voted in Hamas – and therefore
legitimate targets for Israeli “retaliation”. Even the largely docile
Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has rapidly been tarred with the same
brush for its belated campaign to boycott the settlements and their

The leaders of Israel’s Palestinian citizens too are being cast in the role
of abettors of terror. The minority is still reeling from the latest
assault: the arrest and torture of two community leaders charged with spying
for Hizbullah. In its wake, new laws are being drafted to require that
Palestinian citizens prove their “loyalty” or have their citizenship

When false rumours briefly circulated on Monday that Sheikh Raed Salah, a
leader of Israel’s Islamic Movement who was in the flotilla, had been
gravely wounded, Israeli officials offered a depressingly predictable, and
unfounded, response: commandoes had shot him after they came under fire from
his cabin.

Israel’s Jewish human rights community is also under attack to a degree
never before seen. Their leaders are now presented as traitors, and new
legislation is designed to make their work much harder.

The few brave souls in the Israeli media who try to hold the system to
account have been given a warning shot with the exile of Haaretz’s
investigative journalist Uri Blau, who is threatened with trial on spying
charges if he returns.

Finally, Israel’s treatment of those onboard the flotilla has demonstrated
that the net against human rights activism is being cast much wider, to
encompass the international community.

Foreigners, even high-profile figures such as Noam Chomsky, are now
routinely refused entry to Israel and the occupied territories. Many foreign
human rights workers face severe restrictions on their movement and efforts
to deport them or ban their organisations. The Israeli government is agreed
that Europe should be banned from “interfering” in the region by supporting
local human rights organisations.

The epitome of this process was Israel’s reception of the UN report last
year into the attack on Gaza by Richard Goldstone, a respected judge and
international law expert who suggested Israel had committed many war crimes
during its three-week operation. Goldstone has faced savage personal attacks
ever since.

But more significantly, Israel’s supporters have characterised the Goldstone
report and the related legal campaigns against Israel as examples of
“lawfare”, implying that those who uphold international law are waging a new
kind of war of attrition on behalf of terror groups like Hamas and

These trends are likely only to deepen in the coming months and years,
making Israel an ever greater paraiah in the eyes of much of the world. The
mad dog is baring his teeth, and it is high time the international community
decided how to deal with him.


OMG: ‘New York Times’ finally debates…

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 06:45 AM PDT

I love the New York Times. It has a dialogue about the "Zionist project"
McWhorter of the Manhattan Institute and Glenn Loury of Brown, formerly of
the Reagan administration, and I have not listened to the whole thing, but
Loury is on fire. He does what any honest thinking intellectual does, he
questions the Israeli mantra of We-need-security and examines the conditions
of the Palestinians, and how they got to Gaza in the first place.

Loury (not verbatim): I reject the Israeli counterfactual, of missiles
coming in from Tijuana to California and what would we do? Because I
wouldn't have put 1 million people there who were forced out of their homes!

McWhorter: You're saying it's "maybe not the best of ideas for Israel to be
founded on that piece of land."

No, Loury says. That's an "idle" argument. Verbatim:

"Given that it has been founded and that has created certain consequences,
comes with that responsibilities of the people who are principals, to reckon
with those consequences in a way that's consistent with humane standards of
decency and morality, and they're not doing that....and the notion that
'we're the victim here because there are rockets coming in from Gaza,'
that's absurd.

"It's not morally acceptable for the project to continue if the price of
that is the oppression of millions of people by the actions that... we've
been criticizing."

Wow, it's happening. The genie is out of the bottle. American intellectuals
who are not directly implicated in Zionism are being invited to examine it.
Zionism is up for grabs. When will American Jews join this conversation?
When will Palestinians who for some unfathomable reason believe in the right
of return and were granted a state by the U.N. 63 years ago, a promise that
was never fulfilled as their land has been gobbled and gobbled, be invited
to explain this belief on the Times site?


‘Don’t tangle with us’ is the message, 2/3 of Israelis

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 06:32 AM PDT

Yes I know this is an Arutz Sheva rightwing settler
<>site doing the poll,
but this is the big revelation to Americans of the flotilla incident, *we
don't share values*. And look how deeply rightwing Israeli society has
become. Only 6 percent say Israel should respond to the raid by mending
fences, apologizing. 67 percent say, the message should be, Dont tangle with
us! And the other 27 percent say it was the right thing to do. They support
the blockade.

This underscores Norman Finkelstein's statement to Russian
Israel is a "lunatic state" that possesses 200 nuclear warheads. Is it
possible that Finkelstein is a more reliable narrator than Martin Indyk who
is all over the airwaves to say that Israel is a rational actor? When will
Brian Lehrer get Finkelstein on his WNYC
Lehrer who is both fearful of the issue in a liberal-Zionist way but who has
a huge superego, i.e., he's really responsible and knows in that big brain
of his that *we don't really share values*. Finkelstein lives in Brooklyn,
it's just a subway ride.

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Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

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"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor
have no food, they call me a Communist." -- Hélder Pessoa Câmara