Palestine

It’s time the Israeli government’s PR team made the most of its talents, and became available for hire.

Then, whenever a nutcase marched into a shopping mall in somewhere like Wisconsin and gunned down a selection of passers-by, they could be on hand to tell the world’s press: “The gunman regrets the loss of life but did all he could to avoid violence.”

Then various governments would issue statements saying: “All we know is a man went berserk with an AK47, and next to him there’s a pile of corpses, so until we know the facts we can’t pass judgement on what took place.”

The socialist youth organisation Resistance unequivocally condemns the outrageous, illegal and murderous attack by the Israeli Defense Force on the civilian flotilla carrying aid to Gaza.

Israel's assault kills twice. The theft of urgently needed humanitarian aid that was destined for the starving people of Gaza, and the murder of at least nine innocent people by the Israeli commandos, is inexcusable.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk, called, on May 31, for the international community to bring to justice those responsible for Israel’s deadly raid on a ship bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza, Countercurrents.com said that day. The raid killed at least nine people.

The Qatar-based media network Al Jazeera has published on its website a series of harrowing eyewitness accounts from survivors of Israel’s military raid on a flotilla of ships bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza. An example is published below. To read the full list, visit www.english.aljazeera.net.

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Haneen Zabi, member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament): “We were expecting the Israeli army to stop us, to prevent us from entering but surely we didn't expect such a war against us.

The following statement was released by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee on June 1. For more information visit bdsmovement.net.

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As news was released of Israel's attack on the Freedom Flotilla and rising casualties among the passengers, the mood at Gaza's modest seaport grew sombre. Hundreds of civilians including governmental and non-governmental representatives, activists and ordinary Palestinians were waiting anxiously to welcome those on board the flotilla. All were shocked when news of the naval attack was first reported and silence overwhelmed the gathering.

International outrage against Israel’s May 31 massacre of activists on a boat bringing aid to Gaza has been expressed through ongoing mass protests around the world, condemnation of Israel's actions by most governments (except the US), and calls for the immediate lifting of Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Nicaragua has suspended diplomatic ties with Israel. Sweden, Spain, Turkey, Ecuador and South Africa have recalled their envoys. Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia had already cut their diplomatic ties with Israel.

The picture is clear: the activists attacked in the Israeli military’s May 31 nighttime commando raid on a boat bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza were not armed.

In Israel, the media is broadcasting disinformation, using edited videos. But it is clear there was no crossfire during the raid, just Israeli fire.

Israel claims there was an attempt by activists onboard the Mavi Marmara, to steal weapons from soldiers. But either the army’s spokespeople or the soldiers themselves are telling false tales.

The movement for Australian union action against Israel is gaining strength after the apartheid state’s latest murderous attack on the unarmed aid flotilla to Gaza.

The South Coast Labour Council (SCLC) and the New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory branches of the Australian Services Union have joined the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union in committing to the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against the aggressive Israeli state.

Australian unions and peak bodies have also called on members to attend the many protest actions.

Sydney-based journalist and author Antony Loewenstein is an outspoken critic of Israeli policies and author of the best-selling 2006 book My Israel Question. He is the co-founder of advocacy group Independent Australian Jewish Voices and is a board member of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies. Articles and commentary by Loewenstein can be found at Antonyloewenstein.com.

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