24 June 2011
In comments yesterday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemed to lay the ground – indeed almost provide a green light – for an Israeli military attack on the upcoming Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which will include the US Boat to Gaza.
Among the passengers aboard the American boat will be 87-year old Kindertransport survivor Hedy Epstein, and author and poet Alice Walker. In all it is expected that about 10 ships, carrying 1000 people from over 20 countries will take part.
Here’s what Clinton said in remarks at the State Department on 23 June:
Well, we do not believe that the flotilla is a necessary or useful effort to try to assist the people of Gaza. Just this week, the Israeli Government approved a significant commitment to housing in Gaza. There will be construction materials entering Gaza and we think that it’s not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions by entering into Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves.
Clinton must know that Gaza is not part of what any country recognizes as “sovereign” Israeli territory, and therefore neither are Gaza’s territorial waters. Any boats entering Gaza’s waters would not in fact be entering “Israeli waters” as Clinton claimed. Clinton also, presuming she is properly briefed rather than misled, must also know that last year Israel attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla when it was in international waters and GPS data showed that it was actually heading away from Israel.
By invoking Israel’s supposed “right to self-defense” against civilian boats trying to reach Gaza, we must understand that Clinton is telling Israel the United States will not stand in the way of another military attack.
And by citing Israel allowing construction materials into Gaza to make the case that the flotilla is “unnecessary” because “aid” can reach the Palestinian people in Gaza, Clinton is engaging in the ultimate obfuscation.
People in Gaza have been reduced to penury and rendered dependent on aid by decades of Israeli occupation, siege and military attacks. The issue is not the delivery of aid but freeing the people by lifting the siege. It is an abhorrent position to suggest – as Clinton seems to – that if people in Gaza receive enough calories or a few building supplies then we should not be concerned about Israel’s siege. The Palestinian people of Gaza are not caged animals for whom sufficient care consists of shoving rations through the bars of their prison.
Israel’s siege is intended as a form of collective punishment and has been declared illegal by the ICRC.
Israel, as The Electronic Intifada reported, is engaging in military drills to intercept this unarmed civilian flotilla. In light of Clinton’s statements, if any blood is spilled it will not only be on Israeli, but also American hands.
Prosecuting flotilla passengers under “material support” laws
Not content with tacitly encouraging Israeli violence, in another alarming development, the State Department has apparently threatened that Americans who board boats to Gaza could be jailed or fined for supporting terrorism. Haaretz reports:
The U.S. State Department said Friday that attempts to break the blockade are “irresponsible and provocative” and that Israel has well-established means of delivering assistance to the Palestinian residents of Gaza. It noted that the territory is run by the militant Hamas group, a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization, and that Americans providing support to it are subject to fines and jail.
In effect, the US now seems to be defining any support for any Palestinians, including a besieged civilian population, as support for Hamas, and therefore support for “terrorism.”
This mirrors its use of such “material support” laws as a pretext to investigate and persecute Palestine solidarity, antiwar, and labor activists exercising their First Amendment rights at home.
US subjugation to zionist state
Permalink pasupatidasi replied on
in the 70's the zionist state of israel attacked US ship in the mediterranean and the big bad super power did nothing. israel controls US politics and collude with american hegemony
Gaza Freedom Riders overcoming obstructionist governments
Permalink Bethlehem Olives replied on
What Eisenhower predicted the Freedom Flotilla 2 Stay Human is implementing--
"I . . . believe . . people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of their way and let them have it."
-- U.S. President, 1952-1960, Dwight D. Eisenhower
Permalink freedom to Gaza replied on
what a shameful statement coming from someone who is supposed to advocate freedom and human rights in the world. This is what I call double standards!
Israel has driven the US insane
Permalink mic replied on
Hillary and Bill; Obama and Biden will do anything for power and money and with this it includes killing Americans who work against war. This is really bad news. Even George Bush asked for restraint from the Israeli's.
Permalink Tangerine Bolen replied on
The US government is proving to be anti-human rights in so many ways. Shame on this and the last administration.
The freedom flotilla, full of civilians, seems to be one of the best ways to advertise the plight of Palestinians - in a peaceful and civilized manner. That the US and Israel distort that into something else is a symptom of how desperately off track we've gone. This is a constant case of blaming the victims; it is a long-standing and successful oppression of meaningful dissent.
Best of luck with your work on this issue. I look forward to the day when it is ok to tell the truth, ugly or scary as that is. For it is that day that we can all begin to heal - to move beyond violence and oppression, on all sides. This will not be easy. To have been denied agency, as a people, for so long, is unfathomable. My heart goes out to those in Gaza, and most especially , to those who maintain honor and work toward peaceful change in the midst of this insanity.
Permalink Mahmud f Hamideh replied on
In 1948 my fathers village was massacred by the Israelis and my Palestine was taken away by mass murder and changed to Israel.
Now as an American my USA is being taken away by corrupt politician who are nothing but sell outs.
What a shame . How good is Israel that it can take American life's and changed our American moral spirits and drag us through the mud. Hillary america is broke and going homeless by the day if you love Israel and defend them on every act of there crimes why don't you just leave america and go live in Israel you hypocrite . Get out of america now.
Israel as Attack Dog for Imperialist Interests
Permalink Anonymous replied on
provocatively Israel is just so much an attack dog for US interests in the whole region, the unsinkable battleship for imperialist interests there, which is why Hillary-Billary Clinton defends Israel in any of its horrible Nazi-like crimes.
Bob Avakian put it provocatively when he said,
"After the Holocaust, the worst thing that has happened to Jewish people is the state of Israel". (see REVCOM.US for discussion of this quote).
Think about the truth in that statement!
Many many people in the world have been imbued with anti-Semitism, and here Israel under the rubric of "The Chosen People" is behaving viciously in the world, and doing to the Palestinian people precisely what the Nazi Regime did with Jewish and other people during its reign during the period of World War II !
Anti-Semitism is thereby reinforced, and yet the problem in the world is not Israel, per se, nor Jewish people.
The problem in the world is an archaic, all-played-out social system that is in its final, moribund, rotting stage, that is in the transition to an entirely new and a million times better for the people of the world, and for the earth and all its species, social stage, namely SOCIALISM, the transition to classless COMMUNISM.
We have as our goal the abolition of all class distinctions, the abolition of all the production relations on which those class distinctions rest and the abolition of all the social relations that correspond to the evermore socialized production relations. We aim for the revolutionizing of all ideas, worldwide.
One example. Think of John Lennon's IMAGINE "... no religion too".
I recommend the wealth of information on Israel, really scientific assessments of Israel's role in the world at REVCOM.US.
Permalink Jenifer replied on
Everyday, I am more and more ashamed to call myself american. I am appalled and I truly cannot express in words the feeling of dread (much worse than that) that I am filled with at our government's support of this obvious genocide. over NOTHING!!!!!! God has left Israel, and I pray God (Allah-whatever name you use... there is but one) will see them through this. For Israel has left God for Hitler's war crimes have apparently been forgotten. I guess history will repeat even upon those tortured could end up torturing others for the same sick and twisted demonic logic!
This horrible story of Hilary Clinton's threats
Permalink willy bach replied on
Yes, I was appalled to hear that Hilary Clinton once again proves herself to be on the side of oppression. Not a word about the illegality and brutality of Israel's siege of Gaza; but much to say about the limitations she would place on US citizens' rights to free expression. No doubt the FBI has been infiltrating the flotilla group's meetings and reading their emails (and going through their rubbish bins).
Let them name each and every US citizen, promise to charge them and make sure that each of them will have a public trial at which they can illuminate the darkness of US ignorance and tell the world what Israel has been doing. If the USA has a functioning legal system the charges will be seen as vexatious, the defendants will go free and Israel will be more delegitimised than it has ever been before, along with Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama and the whole US administration.
Palestinian Have a Right To Receive What US Citizens Give
Permalink Susan Hall replied on
All people have a god given right to happiness, which means, life, liberty and justice. They need work materials, customers, education, arts and freedom to move freely for happiness, breads and clean drinking & cleaning water for life and Respect, FAST and FAIR Trials for liberty and justice is a jury of unbiased judges determining judgements that produce a means to encourage true peace.
Permalink decembre replied on
I am a french canadian and i am proud of the courageous unarmed people who will soon face the israelis thugs murderers.
This is quite an achievement, a very brave thing to do, bravo and good luck.
And for Clinton, well, we all new she was a thug, an hypocrit, a liar as well as her husband for a long long time. Down with Clinton and please, wake-up americans, it's never too late.
INTIFADA 3 ,,,,
Permalink LEILA SHAREEF ,,,, replied on
Salam ya ali ,,,,,,,machee ya sadiq ,,,,,,,we be back ,,,,,sooner then they think
e7naa palestinee e7naa mo erhabiee ,,,,
soon the falasteeni flag will rise high on MASHEED AL AQSA KAREEM ,,,,
WE The falasteenie are a peacefull loving kind of people ,,
but if we get attaqued?
we slap you 10000 times back!!
a7bk fe ALLAH SWT
preparing the theater for the crime
Permalink Mohamed replied on
i was reading the israeli media in ynet thr is a topic (Sulfur to be used against IDF) whats that mean ??the are preparing the puplic oponion for the crime .in usual israel make the crima and then they start seeking reasons but in ths case they prepare the reason befor the crime so lets pray for thr safety alah with them all
Freedom for Gaza
Permalink Roger Salah replied on
As an American citizen of the United States of America, I am so ashamed to read what Hillary Clinton has said in support of the israeli brutality against the innocent people of Gaza. I also protest any support for the israeli zionist regime. This is not what we stand for when it comes to justice and freedom for the people of Palestine. I oppose any support to Israel what so ever and I insist that the UN stand firm against any israeli attack on the humaneterainian support for the people of Gaza. I demand that our government stop spending our tax dollars to support the illegal action of the so called israel.
letter to obama
Permalink cathy replied on
Another thing to remember:
The flotilla participants sent a letter to Obama and house members to declare their peaceful purposes.
Exposure of the u.s. government's 'Israel First' policy is increasing.
Hilary Clinton's comment on the sailing of the flotilla to Gaza
Permalink kate Macintosh replied on
How ludicrous for Hilary Clinton to refer to this peace mission as "a threat". The Audacity of Hope is what she needs! Has Obama forgotten his own pledges?
NEOCONS, ZIONISTS AND THE ‘FREEDOM FLOTILLA’
Permalink Damian Lataan replied on
The Zionists of Israel and their neocon supporters just don’t get it. They think that the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ is only about bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. They seem to be oblivious to the fact that it’s called the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ for a reason.
Neocon pundit Alana Goodman writing in Commentary, says that, because the Gaza Strip now has a lot of stuff coming and going, especially since Egypt opened up the border between the Sinai and the Gaza, that the flotilla to Gaza “is completely unnecessary”.
On 10 May 2011 the Israeli ambassador to the European Union, Ran Curiel, told a news conference in Strasbourg that the flotilla is a “clear political provocation” adding that “there's no need for a flotilla to aid Gaza. You can pass whatever you want to Gaza through normal channels.” The glaringly obvious is missed entirely by the ambassador; if whatever the Gazans want can pass through normal channels then why the naval blockade?
What both the neocons and the Israelis fail to see is the desire for the Palestinians to be free of being dictated to by the Israelis. It is up to the Palestinian people of the Gaza to decide how stuff can come and go to and from the Gaza Strip, not the Israelis or anyone else. The waters off Gaza are not Israeli waters. The Israelis have no more right to dictate who or what may come and go via Gazan ports than the Palestinians have over deciding who or what can come and go via Israeli ports.
The Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip are indeed slowly being relieved of the suffering the blockade brought to them but it is no thanks to the Israelis that that relief is happening. The tunnels have had an enormously positive effect on Gazan life despite Israel’s efforts to close them down, often killing tunnel workers in the process, and the recent opening of the Gazan-Egyptian border has helped even further but, like any other nation that has a sea as part of its border, the Gazan people demand access to it in order to fully realise their trading potential. They want the freedom to be able to use what is rightfully theirs.
The political provocation comes not from the Palestinians and their supporters; rather, it comes from the Israelis themselves together with their neocon supporters who arrogantly and immorally want to deny the Palestinians in the Gaza the right to use what is theirs. The Palestinians in the Gaza want to be the judge of whether it’s ‘completely unnecessary’ or not, not the Israelis.
And that’s what the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ is really all about. It’s about freedom.
Permalink Thebes replied on
It would seem that Hillary's actions fit the narrow Constitutional definition of Treason.
She should be impeached immediately. We are losing our Republic.
Who is actually trying to provoke violence?
Permalink James replied on
Only America and Israel would consider the delivery of food to hungry people as a threat that required a military response. Are the Israelis and Americans worried that someone is going to throw a tomato at them? Is this why military might and murder is justified in their mind?
Israel and America have stooped so low, their lies so obvious, they risk the fury of the world. They must know this and I wonder if this is just the response they want.
Let freedom ring
Permalink Xtramental replied on
In the American spirit of July 4th (our independence day) I praise all efforts world-wide to truely be a free world, one without governments and their tyranny.
Aggression not required
Permalink paway replied on
I don't see the need to take up aggressive stance just like that. Its is better to settle things peacefully. There is no need for any military intervention.