Monday, 31 May 2010

This night a crime was perpetrated by Israel

Press Release 05/31/2010

Uri Avnery: This night a crime was perpetrated in the middle of the sea, by order of the government of Israel and the IDF Command

A warlike attack against aid ships and deadly shooting at peace and humanitarian aid activists
It is a crazy thing that only a government that crossed all red lines can do

"Only a crazy government that has lost all restraint and all connection to reality could something like that - consider ships carrying humanitarian aid and peace activists from around the world as an enemy and send massive military force to international waters to attack them, shoot and kill.

"Noone in the world will believe the lies and excuses which the government and army spokesmen come up with," said former Knesset member Uri Avnery of the Gush Shalom movement. Gush Shalom activists together with activists of other organizations are to depart at 11:00 from Tel Aviv to protest in front of the prepared detention facility where the international peace activists will be brought.

Greta Berlin, the spokeswoman for the flotilla organizers located in Cyprus, told Gush Shalom activists that the Israeli commandos landed by helicopter on the boats and immediately opened fire.

This is a day of disgrace to the State of Israel, a day of anxiety in which we discover that our future was entrusted to a bunch of trigger-happy people without any responsibility. This day is a day of disgrace and madness and stupidity without limit, the day the Israeli government took care to blacken the name of the country in the world, adding convincing evidence of aggressiveness and brutality to Israel's already bad international image, discouraging and distancing the few remaining friends.

Indeed, today a provocation took place off the coast of Gaza - but the provocateurs were not the peace activists invited by the Palestinians and seeking to reach Gaza. The provocation was carried out by Navy ships commandos at the bidding of the Israeli government, blocking the way of the aid boats and using deadly force.

It is time to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, which causes severe suffering to its residents. Today the Israeli government ripped the mask of its face with its own hands and exposed the fact that Israel did not "disengage" from Gaza. Real disengagement from the area does not go together with blocking the access to it or sending soldiers to shoot and kill and wound those who try to get there.

The State of Israel promised in the Oslo Accords 17 years ago to enable and encourage the establishment of a deep water port in Gaza, through which Palestinians could import and export freely to develop their economy. It's time to realize this commitment and open the Port of Gaza. Only after the Gaza port will be open to free and undisturbed movement, just like the Ashdod and Haifa ports, will Israel really have disengaged from the Gaza Strip. Until then, the world will continue - and rightly so - to consider the Gaza Strip under Israeli occupation and the State of Israel as responsible for the fate of the people living there.

Israel murders passengers on board Peace Flotilla

Reports are coming in of an unknown number of killings of passengers aboard the Peace Flotilla that is carrying aid to Gaza.

It appears that shortly after 3 a.m. a ship was boarded by the IDF. Irish national radio reported 16 dead and dozens injured. In fact no person on board any of the vessels has made open contact since around 3 a.m. when a spokesperson said that all passengers of one ship were being called to the inside after 2 people had been killed.

In the absence of any contact with the ships since then I presume the following scenario:

All mobile phones, radio and video equipment on board the ship of the massacre have been confiscated by the IDF to stop first hand accounts of the killings, so allowing Israeli army defence people and fellow travellers to give their own propaganda version of events to the world.

And indeed, the Israeli propaganda and lies have sprung into action with an Israeli Army man calling the Peace Flotilla "an armada" organised by terrorists, and trying desparately to justify the atrocity.

Zion Evrony, the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, after churning out barefaced lies on the Pat Kenny Show, has been called in by Mícheál Martin, our Minister for Foreign Affairs, this afternoon. Not that that will make any differnece. No matter what new atrocity Israel commits, Mr Evrony will speak from a well-rehearsed script and our boys and girls are just not up to the job of dealing with him. The lying script has been used so often that they can recite it by heart.

Just now, I had to speak to a machine in Zion Evrony's office (2309400) to protest the atrocity and his litany of lies. I don't think they care whether or not we know they are lying, whether or not we know they are murderers, whether or not we know they are using the USA, Russia, the EU and the UN to pull the wool over our eyes. They are armed. They get money from the USA for arms. They show the same contempt for Obama as they do for peace activists.

They refuse to leave the Occupied Territories. They use the Bible when it suits them. They say their mandate to own Israel comes from the Bible, maybe 3000 years ago, but with regard to the Palestinians they ask plaintively: What people would use land rights going back to 1946 to claim those lands in 2010?

The State of Israel appears to specialise in this type of chutzpah (in the Hebrew sense), arrogance, effrontery, boorishness, droch-mheas (in the Irish sense), contempt, as they wipe aside others' opinions and scorn all and every criticism no matter what atrocity they carry out, no matter what massacre, no matter what holocaust.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Israel's Lie re soldier Gilad Shalit exposed


"A group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators sailing toward Gaza with humanitarian supplies on Thursday have refused a request by the father of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to deliver a package and letter to his son.

Activists rejected Noam Shalit's offer to mediate on their behalf with the government, which has vowed to block the flotilla's entry to Gaza, if they agreed to his request."

-Published as news in Haaretz and other Israeli newspapers


According to Arafat Madi, spokesperson of ECESG, no one rejected the offer of Noam Shalit to send a letter to solider Gilad Shalit.

Madi told the the Palestine Telegraph that ECESG is ready to carry the letter to captive Gilad Shalit. He also added that no one from the organizers were contacted to explore the possibilities of taking that letter.

“We are shocked by the claims published on Haaretz. The newspaper said that Gaza aid convoy refuses to deliver a letter to Gilad Shalit. This is mere Israeli propaganda. We are ready to send this message or package. In return, we ask Israelis to allow Palestinian families to visit their 8.000 prisoners. We seek a commitment from the Israeli government to allow Palestinians to send letters too” said Madi


It appears that the idea of lying about their own soldier who is captive in Gaza came from a meeting of some of the Israeli top brass. Aparently they were brainstorming ways and means of countering the bad publicity expected by their using force against the non-violent Flotilla. Ehud Barak came up with the idea. Another idea was to gather and display all the used rockets used by Hamas over the years and display them for the passengers on landing.

To lie about their own prisoner and his family, raising hopes that would be unfounded, was low and disgraceful. Israel had already made up its mind that they would not allow such a letter or message to be delivered by the boats but the lie would be published before the Flotilla knew of the request. The lie would arouse anger in Israel.

Threatened by Israel as they bring hope and aid to Gaza and Palestine

TMake-shift prison in Ashdod - Arabs48
Make-shift prison in Ashdod - Arabs48

The Flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza has been threatened with a violent confrontation by Israel. Israeli sources, quoted by Associated Press, reported that "the navy had concluded all preparations to take over the Freedom Flotilla, by force in needed, in an attempt to prevent it from reaching the Gaza coast to break the four-year long ongoing siege". A report in Ma'ariv, an Israeli tabloid,says the Israeli military fear that there could be "terror activists", explosives and weapons on board the humanitarian ships. Greta Berlin of Free Gaza denied this, saying every item on board each ship had been inspected by port authorities and manifests issued. "Yet the Israelis are coming towards us armed to the teeth."

They plan to use force to board the ships and bring the flotilla to Ashdod, arrest all the aid carriers and imprison them in the above camp, order all of them to sign their own papers of deportation, deport those who sign and send the rest for medical examination before handing them over to the Nashon brigade who will imprison them in Be'er Sheva and other prisons in Israel. That is the threat.

Meanwhile Israel is working secretly on other fronts to stop the flotilla from getting to Gaza. Cyprus has reneged shamefully on a promise it had made that some "high-profile" passengers and members of Parliament would board from Cyprus with no media coverage.Free Gaza would take small boats out to their ships and board beyond the 12-mile territorial limit. But when the time came, Cypriot authorities prohibited that and also forbade them, "if they boarded small boats anywhere in Greek Cyprus from any port", from travelling outside their territorial limits to go to Gaza.

Two boats have been damaged mysteriously, Challenger 1 and Challenger 2. But "there is Gaza fever on board", says Greta Berlin. The flotilla is moving onwards to Gaza on Sunday 30 May.

There has been little recent news of the MV Rachel Corrie, the Irish ship that is part of the Flotilla carrying aid. On board are Denis Halliday (Dublin), Caoimhe Butterly (Dublin/Cork), Chris Andrews TD (Dublin), Fintan Lane (Cork/Dublin), Mairead Maguire (Belfast), Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD (Dublin), Senator Mark Daly (Kerry) and Fiachra Ó Luain (Donegal). The Irish crew members on the MV Rachel Corrie are Derek Graham (Mayo), Jenny Graham (Mayo) and Shane Dillon (Dublin). Ireland should be proud of them.

While the ships sail to Gaza and Israel uses all the propaganda it can muster to frighten, cajole and threaten the international volunteers who hope to bring aid to a devastated part of Palestine, the tales of Israeli atrocities continue
apace in the other part, the West Bank. In Bilin, on Friday, the usual attacks on peaceful demonstrators against the Wall included the firing of long distance tear gas cannisters, rubber bullets, sound bombs and arrests resulting in two being wounded. In Nabi Saleh, three injured, a girl hit by a sound bomb as she watched with her family from the safety of her flat roof , head injured, later hospitalised, a man hit in the back by a tear gas cannister, a boy's finger broken. Weekly, sometimes, night raids in various villages around the West Bank and in East Jerusalem where residents are terrorised, houses shot into. Random and planned burning and destruction of olive trees on which Palestinians survive through the oil harvested.

And all this while the USA, the EU, the UN and Russia give uncritical aid and support to the rogue State that devastated Gaza in Operation Cast Lead.

While we sit and get on with our own affairs, a Flotilla of wonderful people heads for Gaza. Those who are on the ships and boats have again raised awareness of all that is happening to Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories. For that they deserve our eternal gratitude.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Executions in Iran -Third letter to Iranian Ambassador

19 May 2010

Dear Ambassador

Below is the third letter I have e-mailed to you concerning human rights in Iran and so far you have not responded.
I am now re-sending the letter below to assure you that I will continue to cry out against such outrages with every fibre of my being and I call on you again to stop all executions and all torture in your country.

Dear Ambassador

Again I write to you in dismay and unbelief, also in strongest protest, at the executions, hangings, shootings and torturing of my brothers and sisters in Iran. News of the latest examples of these horrors have come to me through a Nobel Peace Laureate who is also horrified beyond belief at these callous outrages against members of our human family.

Ali Heydariyan, Farhad Vakili, Farzad Kamangar, Mehdi Eslami and Shirin Alam Hooli, all of whose sacred lives you have violated and destroyed for so-called "enmity against God", - all denied the "crimes" with which you have charged them. I believe their word rather than yours. It is reported that they were tortured in an effort to gain "confessions" and I believe this to be true since the practice of torture is so common in Iran according to credible Human Rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Yours is a regime that has executed young gays for being homosexual. You declare the expression of the most noble and tender emotion of human love to be a "crime" punishable by death if the two people expressing it are of the same sex. You charge and murder them for loving one another as if love were a crime.

Yet you see nothing wrong with your hangmen violating the body of a woman, thrusting a rope around her neck and choking her until she is dead. You see nothing wrong either with men violating the bodies of other men by similarly dressing them up for choking and then hanging them until they too are murdered by your regime. How can anyone call himself a man and be responsible for such vile acts against human beings?

The evil involved in these acts must be exterminated in Iran. The darkness that envelopes your country is sending out messages to all reasonable people that your regime is to be opposed for its actions just as a similar message emanates from the State of Israel for its crimes against our Palestinian sisters and brothers. You and Israel are sowing seeds of hate against yourselves.

Stop this culture of torture, executions and extreme cruelty in your country. Put an end to this horrible nightmare. Let the light shine again on Iran. "The moon will not always be hidden behind the clouds".

With best personal wishes

Justin Morahan

Human Rights activist and Pacifist

Never ending oppression in the West Bank

Yet another harrowing account of sabotage and destruction of Palestinians' lives has come to me from Bil'in in the West Bank. There, weekly protests against Israeli appropriation of land not theirs have been met with violence, tear-gas, arrests, wounding and killing.

Now the Israeli soldiers don't need the pretext of a protest. They come to the village with their guns by day or by night to intimidate, to shoot into homes, to intimidate, to arrest journalists who might witness their vilest actions, - and now to burn down olive trees that are the livelihood of the people whom they persecute.

Below is an account of just the latest crime with an accompanying video taken by a courageous Irish HumanRights defender, Tommy Donnelan of Galway.

"This morning, as is their wont, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) intruded into the village of Bilin. This time there were only three to the forefront with backup behind them when challenged they beat a retreat.

This afternoon, villagers rushed to quench a fire in an olive tree sited close to the Apartheid-Annexation Wall which was deliberately set on fire by the retreating IOF, but which was unable to be saved due to the fire being set in a crevice in the trunk which smouldered throughout the day and it was only in the latter stages that the tell-tale smoke was detected.

This pernicious act of economic warfare has deeply angered the villagers as many are dependent on the sale of the olive oil - 700 to 800 shekels per tree annually - for their livelihoods. To rub salt into their wounds and worse, after the fire was extinguished, the IOF ventured forth from behind the Wall and after detaining three activist-journalists - so as not to record their crimes, subjected the villagers to live fire, tear gas and sound bombs.

Today's destruction of the tree has alarmed the farmers in that phosphorus may have been used to unobtrusively burn the tree and olive groves may follow. So it goes in Bilin, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, ad infinitum, in a vicious world which doesn't care."