Simple Facts on Flotilla
Dear friends of Palestine
Predictably enough, Israeli Offence Force and Israeli government spokespeople are spewing forth a whole series of lies in a desperate effort to justify their criminal raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.
Here is a series of points worth making to friends, family, workmates and neighbours who might be uncertain about the exact nature of what occurred yesterday morning in the eastern Mediterranean Sea:
-a) the ships’ manifests were all publicly released and contained no evidence whatsoever that weaponry was on board.
b) all six ships of the flotilla were thoroughly inspected by Cypriot port authorities and no weapons of any kind were found as a result ofthose inspections.
c) the Mavi Marmara (the lead ship in the flotilla) was attacked bydozens of heavily armed commandos, including helicopter-borne soldiers from the elite Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) unit. Prior to the assault, the flotilla had decided to change course in an effort to avoid aconfrontation with the Israeli Navy until daylight. Tragically, this tactic failed and at 4.30am, in international waters, the lead vesselwas raided.
d) footage released by the IOF shows a small number of activists defending the Mavi Marmara with what appear to be sticks, slingshots and other items they have to hand. Notwithstanding the fact many of you adhere to a philosophy of non-violent direct action, a philosophythat no doubt is to be admired and respected, these people were within their rights under long-held principles of international law to defend themselves and the ship against a criminal act of international piracy. There is simply no ambiguity on this point.
e) notwithstanding the fact evidence has now emerged that some passengers did indeed resist the illegal military invasion of the MaviMarmara, it is perfectly obvious that the naval commandos reacted witha totally disproportionate level of lethal force. These were highly trained, heavily armed commandos facing a small number of civilian activists ‘armed’ only with sticks, knives and whatever other tools they had to hand. Furthermore, all the media reports and eyewitness accounts from on board the Mavi Marmara prior to the Israeli Navy’s jamming of all communications signals (what did the IOF have to hide? The question answers itself) indicate that the naval commandos indiscriminately opened fire as soon as they scrambled aboard the vessel.
f) Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and other Israeli government spokespeople are claiming that the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation – one of the three organisations behind the Gaza Freedom Flotilla – has links with Hamas and al-Qaida. Let’s be clear aboutthis. There is no evidence whatsoever to support this claim. Indeed, this particular claim scarcely merits a considered response and can beclassed in the realm of total fantasy. Why on Earth would some 35 members of parliament, a Nobel laureate, and a frail 87-year-old Holocaust survivor agree to be part of a humanitarian aid convoy that was actually a front for al-Qaida!? Ayalon’s claims are simply ludicrous and deserve to be met with howls of derision and indeed loudguffaws.
g) finally, let’s not forget the bottom line here. These six ships were carrying 600 peace activists and 10,000 tons of desperately needed humanitarian aid for the besieged people of Gaza. The items onboard the ships included water purification equipment, cement, generators, prefabricated homes, chocolate, crayons, wheelchairs, crutches, basketballs, and 20 tons of paper to be used by schoolkids.
Does that sound to you like the manifest of a terrorist flotilla?
See you at the protest at 5pm.
Friends of Palestine WA