I blogged this morning on the violent act of piracy in international waters by the Zionist military. Now it is time to make a more serene review, even if the situation is still very confuse.
Ship still sailing towards Gaza
A last minute [update: confirmed but with caveat, see below about the second flotilla] news item from Twitter is that the VM Rachel Corrie, of Irish flag, has not been captured and is still heading to Gaza.
First of all it must be set clear that according to the Law of the Sea this is an unjustified act of piracy in international waters.
Territorial waters are almost identical to land territory and in them the state can enforce all local laws and policies. States also have authority on pollution, taxation, customs and immigration in the contiguous zone.
In the economic exclusive zone (EEZ) states have no authority except on the exploitation of natural resources (fisheries, oil, gas, etc.) Some of these merely economic privileges can also be applied in the continental shelf beyond the 200 miles line.
A nautical mile is approximately 1.8 kilometers, so the Israeli contiguous zone ends at roughly 40 kilometers from its coast.
When attacked, the Free Gaza flotilla was at 75 miles from the coast, clearly in international waters, where Israel has no authority other than over exploitation of natural resources, which was clearly not the case.
It seems that my earlier figure of 20 people murdered and some 50 injured is more or less correct. I have been browsing very different news sites and, while some still mention 16 mortal victims, many already put the figure in 19-20, of which at least 10 are Europeans and at least 6 are Turks. No identities are yet known.
The fascist censorship imposed by Israel is not helping at all to get things clear. It is obvious that they fear scrutiny and that are anything but a democratic state where freedom of speech and information is granted.
Innumerable demonstrations have been held through the world and specially in Europe and West Asia, including Turkey and Palestine. I cannot really account for them all but I understand that there have been protests in all middle sized towns in West Eurasia, at least that is the case in the Basque Country.
In Qandaliya, Palestine, US citizen Emily Henochowicz was shot in the face with a gas canister by Zionist units during a nonviolent protest and has lost an eye.
The official reactions from the governments and other institutions have so far been mixed. Most affected countries have merely issued vague concern statements and at most summoned the local Zionist ambassador to issue explanations.
An exception is Turkey, a major regional power, which has expelled the Israeli ambassador and canceled join military drills with Israel. Similarly, Greece has also canceled joint military exercises with the Zionist entity.
Another state that has "emphatically condemned" the Israeli attack was Venezuela, denouncing Israel for its "genocidal and terrorist nature" and declaring their "solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, national sovereignty and dignity".
On the opposite side of the spectrum is the US government, totally controlled by the Zionists, which apparently has not even bothered summoning the ambassador and has issued a most vague declaration.
Turkey has also called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, while the Arab League is set to have a summit tomorrow.
Israel has claimed that their attack was met by violent resistence by some of the passengers, who knocked down the boarding commandos, attacked them with batons and chairs and what not.
I have watched the alleged Israeli military footage and it's not conclusive, specially considering the lack of credibility that the Zionist entity has, almost systematically lying about what happens in their police and military operations. One of the less credible claims is that a fire bomb was launched at them because you can see a flying object but it does not explode nor any fire is visible after it touches ground. Reports from Tel Aviv that they were subject to gunfire are also totally false: the ship was searched by the Turkish authorities before leaving port and there was nothing of that, no footage shows anything like that either: the only ones shooting in every occasion are the Zionist terrorists.
Also Israel has the capability of faking all that.
However it seems that some of the claims of violent resistence aboard the Mavi Marmara ship are real. This video shot from inside the ship shows some instances of passengers trying to neutralize the attackers in what can be considered a violent defense.
This must be strongly criticised because when you are in a nonviolent operation, you just cannot do that: it is naive and counter-producing.
However that does not justify the Israeli murders. Remember that we are talking of a piracy action by an armed group in international waters and that the passengers were legitimately defending their ship from such an attack.
Also if Israel would have treated this as a police and not a military conflict, it is most likely that the casualties could have been avoided. But Israel is so fascist and paranoid that even a peaceful aid convoy is treated as a military threat. The official discourse of Israel is that they are at war, though there is no state attacking them at all and the occasional rocket shooting, almost non-existent since the criminal attack and subsequent siege on Gaza and the parallel imposition of a puppet government in the West Bank bantustan, can only be considered a problem of public order, never a military threat.
They are a military-religious entity, not different from, say, the Templars or Al Qaeda, and that's how their limited fanatic minds and their circular propaganda discourse works: all is war, and in war all is legitimate. Under this discourse genocide becomes normal, civilians become deadly enemies to be shot and tortured and humanitarian aid becomes a matter of national security.
The problem of Israel is however political and ethical, not military.
Remembering Nick Clegg's statements
Among the many sites I have been looking in search for news, I have found this December 2009 article at The Guardian by current UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, in which he states that the blockade of Gaza must be lifted.
Well, Mr. Clegg, now that you are sustaining and participating in the government of one of the most powerful states in the Euromediterranean region, with a huge navy, nuclear weapons and military bases at Cyprus, you can do something about it, right? For instance sending the Royal Navy to secure free access of humanitarian aid to Gaza and/or imposing sanctions against Israel.
Note: the content of this post will be updated as needed in the coming hours. I am not going to post of discuss anything else for the time being, really. This is a most critical episode in ongoing history.
A lot of information can be found at Palestine Blogs Aggregator but in particular I must mention Window into Palestine, which is covering the massacre and related events in great detail.
At Ashdod, it has been reported that Zionist nazi settlers attacked the reporter from Al Jazeera.
(Confirmed, see below) Turkey may send an aid convoy supported by its navy
Window into Palestine reports that Turkey "warned that further supply vessels will be sent to Gaza, escorted by the Turkish Navy, a development with unpredictable consequences". No source is provided but so far this blog has been extremely informative, often in advance of what has been reported elsewhere.
Palestine Think Tank publishes an emotive poem by Sahar Ahmed saluting the Freedom Flotilla heroes that really touches you.
Under My Olive Tree publishes the message of a sensible Israeli teenager whose heart is broken by the fascist horror and corruption of his "country" and that really makes you feel sad about the poor Israelis who are conscious (not many but there are some).
Window into Palestine publishes addresses by former USA congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and by former UK MP George Galloway (audio), both promoters of the initiatives to break the criminal siege of Gaza.
Galloway reports that the actual figure of killed people is 29, as some of the members of the expedition managed to message just before arrival to Ashdod.
He also mentions that the British Foreign Ministry has used the unusually hard verb "condemn" in regard to this attack and has called for the siege of Gaza to be lifted, which are unprecedented declarations from British authorities.
The Guardian has a list of some famous people who were part of the expedition. Among them, Peace Nobel prize laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, three German MPs (Annette Groth, Inge Höger and Norman Paech) and 80 years old Holocaust survivor David Schermerhorn, a US film producer. An incomplete list of passengers from Europe, North America and Palestine can be found at Free Gaza.
Window into Palestine mentions that NATO is to hold an emergency meeting on Turkish request. The vast majority of the passengers of the Freedom Flotilla are citizens of NATO member states, including many from Turkey but also from Greece, Britain, Germany, Spain, the USA... and, of course, the troublemaker attitude of Israel is of grave concern for many of them.
A media outlet that is broadcasting some interesting interviews is Russia Today (in English). I had never before heard of this channel but they have some good stuff such as this interview with Palestinian human rights activist Wisan Ahmad who clearly puts Israel credibility and legitimacy in its real place: zero, and explains how the Freedom Flotilla and similar civic initiatives are only filling the gap that should have been taken by the international community of states (UN, etc.) long ago.
Another news site that has some decent coverage is, naturally, Al Jazeera, which is still today following in live format the events as they unfold. For instance here there is a video-report on some of the reactions to the outrageous criminal attack.
It also mentions that elderly former US ambassador Edward Peck, 81, has been the first passenger to be released and sent back home (Associated Press link) and that all 535 passengers have been offloaded from the ships (however other sources mention more than 700 passengers).
The Qatari channel also has a review of statements by international leaders and an article on previous internationalists murdered by Israel: Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall and James Miller were all killed in 2003. Tristan Andersson barely survived with severe brain damage after being hit by a gas canister thrown to his head in 2009.
The International Middle East Media Center, a Palestinian information site, mentions among other things that the whole family (both parents and six siblings) of activist Osama Qashoo, a British citizen who appeared in videos distributing what might be painkillers or antibiotics after the Zionist attack, are going on hunger strike until Israel releases him safely.
Found a source on the Turkish plan of sending further humanitarian aid to Gaza with military escort: IBN live. The same news item mentions that Egypt is facing huge pressure to lift the blockade of Gaza.
Besides Egypt, the ball is now at the US court. It seems obvious that the World (and by this I mean the whole World, including all other members of the UN Security Council) is not satisfied at all by the vague concern expressed by Barack Obama, who is obviously afraid to upset his Zionist support base. Either the USA shows clear leadership in forcing Israel to make important concessions or the reality is one of a leaderless World and a leaderless NATO, which may well be heading for a military showdown between two major US allies, both holding nuclear weapons in their territory.
Israel is behaving like a mad dog but the USA is behaving like a wimp, unworthy of global leadership, apparently unable to take any decision without the consent of Tel Aviv and to follow an independent and sovereign international, or even national (think Goldman Sachs), policy.
According to The Raw Story, an Al Jazeera "raw video" (same as the one linked above, I believe) shows that the Zionist troops were shooting before boarding the Mavi Marmara.
Window into Palestine, citing AFP, mentions that 48 of the arrested have been released already and sent back home, while other 480 remain under arrest. However I have already mentioned that other sources talk of a total of more than 700 passengers in the Freedom Flotilla.
The same blog also deals with the hot UN Security Council meeting of today, with the Turkish ambassador accusing Israel of "tantamount piracy" and "murder" and saying "it has lost all legitimacy".
Mondoweiss suggests that technically the Zionist attack is not an act of piracy, as I stated above, but an illegal attack in any case. The reason is that piracy is carried only by private actors and in this case it was a state (though the legitimacy of the state of Israel is highly doubtful). Whatever the case, it was an illegal criminal act in Turkish jurisdiction (at least in what regards to the Mavi Marmara, of Turkish flag). Hence, legally Israel has two options: (1) deny responsability (extremely unlikely) and hand over its commandos to Turkey to be judged there or (2) accept full responsability, in which case, Israel is technically at war with Turkey and the action is a war crime.
I understand that, as Turkey is member of NATO and Israel is not, technically all NATO is obliged to support Turkey because the charter of this alliance states that members must defend each other in case of attack in North America, Europe, West Asia or insular possessions north of the Tropic of Cancer. This issue will be surely raised at the NATO emergency meeting that has been called on behalf of Turkey. I would have to check the details of NATO's charter but the attack borders a declaration of war to NATO as whole.
Other details from Al Jazeera's live coverage are that:
A second Free Gaza aid flotilla will be sent. This flotilla is made up by the MV Rachel Corrie, which was delayed and is only 300 km away from Gaza and probably the two ships that had mechanical problems (read Zionist sabotage) and could not leave port.
The Israeli Army has declared that will send the humanitarian aid in the flotilla to Gaza via land route at 8:30 GMT (which is 10 minutes from now).
Justice mentions that the UN Security Council has already issued an statement calling for "an impartial inquiry into Israel's raid on a flotilla of Gaza-bound aid ships". The statement said the inquiry should be "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent".
It seems a most weak statement to me, sign of a weak position by the USA. This weakness in front of criminal Israel, I fear, we will have to pay with more blood as Israel now feels immune again. I put all responsibility on the shoulders of Barack Obama and hist ultra-Zionist cabinet.
La Haine has a photo-report of some of the protests in the Spanish state.
I chose this one because the banner highlights the global danger (peligro mundial) that Israel poses if left unchecked