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Israel Prepares Brutal Response to Gaza Flotilla

Plans are in place for another attempt to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Last year's attempt resulted in the killing of several flotilla participants by Israeli military in international waters, including an American.

While much of the world condemned the brutality and loss of innocent lives, Israel cooked up a story about the boarding military being attacked by clubs, bottles, etc. by boat passengers, leaving them no choice but to kill.

The response of Congress? Of the 435 House members, 338, or 78 percent, signed a letter in support of Israel's brutal actions (pdf) last year, including Hawaii's Charles Djou (R). Mazie Hirono (D) was among the minority who did not sign. Neither did presidential candidate Ron Paul (R) of Texas.

Among U.S. Senators, 87 out of 100, or 87 percent, signed a similar letter (pdf). Senator Daniel Inouye (D) was one of the signatories (his barely legible signature is right between Sherrod Brown's and Joanne Shaheen's, compare with his known signature), but Senator Daniel Akaka (D) apparently didn't (some of those signatures are hard to read).

Nor is the U.S. the only country that does Israel's bidding, regardless of the cost to its citizens. Canada and the European Union nations also toe the Israeli line. The Greek military is presently preventing flotilla ships from leaving Greece for Gaza. While U.S. citizens are involved, there are no protests from the American government.

These orders follow moves by the Greek government to prevent the movement of other ships in the flotilla from any of its ports. Last Friday, Greece announced that it had banned any of the flotilla’s ships from setting sail. The same day, the Audacity of Hope, a US-owned vessel, attempted to leave the port of Perama. It was intercepted after around 10 minutes by a coast guard patrol vessel. After a stand-off lasting several hours, CNN reported, “the ordeal took a turn, however, when an inflatable boat carrying an armed Greek military commando team told the activists to follow them back to port or face being boarded”. —

The boat was taken back to Greece where it was impounded in a naval base. The captain of the ship, John Klusmire, a 60-year-old US citizen, was arrested and asked to report to a police station on Saturday. He was charged with “disturbing sea traffic and endangering passengers” and held until Tuesday before being released. According to a report, he was detained in “shocking conditions” with no bed or toilet facilities in his cell. One of the US organisers of the flotilla, Jane Hirshmann, said, “They’re not giving him water or food. This is disgraceful. And what’s more disgraceful is that the US embassy has not paid him a visit”. —

Read more . . . [World Socialist Web Site] (HPI does not lean socialist/collectivist, but this site has some good stories.)


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