"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jun 1, 2010

The Rachel Corrie Continues Towards Gaza

In what I can only call stunning moral symmetry, the MV Rachel Corrie continues onward to Gaza, following a two day delay which kept it separated from its sister ships:

"The MV Rachel Corrie will go ahead with its attempt to deliver aid to Gaza despite yesterday’s attack by the Israeli navy on Gaza-bound ship the Mavi Marmara. 

The cargo ship, which has four Irish nationals aboard, is due to arrive in Gazan waters tomorrow, a spokeswoman for the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said.

The vessel became separated from the main aid flotilla after being delayed for 48 hours in Cyprus due to logistical reasons.

Nobel laureate Maireád Corrigan-Maguire, former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday, and husband and wife Derek and Jenny Graham are the Irish nationals on board.

Speaking from the ship today, Mr Graham said the vessel was carrying educational materials, construction materials and some toys. 'Everything aboard has been inspected in Ireland,' he said. 'We would hope to have safe passage through.'

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Pat Kenny , Ms Maguire said none of the aid ships carry arms and are 'purely humanitarian'. She said it was necessary for the vessel to complete its mission to assure the people of Gaza the world does care."


And from a Malaysian report, earlier:

"KUALA LUMPUR: The humanitarian aid ship Rachel Corrie, which has six Malaysians on board, is pressing ahead in rough seas to breach the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

It is now about 300km from Gaza and the rough seas mean that it would be about 48 hours before it could reach Gaza, according to the the NGO Global Perdana Global Peace Organisation.

Sufi Yusoff, secretary to the NGO’s chairman Tun Mahathir Mohamad, said that he spoke to journalist Shamsul Akmar, who is on board the Rachel Corrie, at about 10am Tuesday on satellite phone and was told that the rough seas made it difficult to predict when they would reach Gaza. Sufi said that the small ship had a total of 19 people on board - six Malaysians, five Irish and eight crew.

'We would like to emphasise that this is a totally humanitarian exercise. There are no terrorist elements on board. The Israelis have no reason to attack this ship,' he said.

Aside from veteran journalist Shamsul, they are lawyer Matthias Chang, Parit MP Nizar Zakaria, activist Ahmad Faizal Azumu and TV3 crew members Halim Mohamed and Jufri Junid.

Among the Irish are Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire and former UN Assistant Secretary-General Denis Halliday.

'These are hardly terrorist elements. The Israelis can have no excuse to raid the Rachel Corrie,' Sufi said."

Nineteen people who, knowing that their international compatriots have already been kidnapped or murdered by Israeli storm troopers, press on anyway.

So - will we read, tomorrow, of nineteen more victims of Israeli aggression?

Or of the nineteen people who broke the Siege of Gaza, on a ship named after Rachel Corrie?


As to the continuing project of willfully self-blinding, unbelievable chutzpah, the HuffPo published this swill:

"...As we look out at Jews across the world, we're just assessing who gets Jewish history, and who's so thoroughly intellectually assimilated that they're actually embarrassed that that Jews don't have to continue to be victims. I'm horrified by what happened on the ship, and I'll be shocked if after all is in, we find that Israel made no mistakes. (This was pretty clearly an intelligence failure, at the very minimum, sending those soldiers into something for which they had not at all been prepared or armed.) But if that had been my kid on the ship, and he'd gone in to prevent the blockade from being broken, but had no intention of fighting, and had then been attacked, I'd want him to defend himself. No matter what. I'd want him to come home whole, because that's part of the new Jewish reality that this country is supposed to make possible.

The loss of life is tragic. So are the injuries to soldiers, including serious head wounds. But most tragic of all is that the world is so willing to be blinded to what's really going on here.

At the end of this excruciating day in Israel, at least given what I know at this moment, I'm saddened but not apologetic. I'm not surprised by most of the world's reactions. But I haven't lost sight of who provoked this, and why they did that. But you're a very smart guy. Why have you?"


(emphasis mine)

Words, right now, fail me.


UPDATE 8:48AM EST: Israeli Minister of Public Affairs on Morning Joe (MSNBC) bemoaning the injuries to Israeli commandos, decrying the failure of peace activists to act like passive slaves and take their beatings from said commandos.

Echoing MJS, I think I might just allow myself to hate Israel. Damn it.



"'Next time we'll use more force'

Navy prepares for expected arrival of 2 more activist ships.

'Israel will use more aggressive force in the future to prevent ships from breaking the sea blockade on the Gaza Strip', a top Navy commander told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

'We boarded the ship and were attacked as if it was a war,' the officer said. 'That will mean that we will have to come prepared in the future as if it was a war.'"



Does the MV Rachel Corrie now sail to its meeting with history?

According to one analysis (h/t DoM) - the Israelis can claim the legal right to sink any vessel breaking the blockade:

"...The truly scary part is that under international laws governing maritime blockades, Israel could have outright sank the ship instead of board it as an alternative enforcement of the maritime blockade, and Israel still been within their rights under international law. Such an action could have led to war with Turkey, but even if the ship would have been sunk, Turkey would still be on the wrong end of international law in this situation. Turkey will likely find plenty of populist political support in NATO countries over these events, but if they attempt to escalate they may find that support is fleeting among their NATO allies.

No one in NATO is going to support Turkey with anything other than political rhetoric in this situation. Rhetoric is free, but if a financial cost to NATO nations supporting Turkey becomes necessary - international law regarding naval blockades will quickly become the new foundation of NATO countries, and Turkey would quickly find themselves on the wrong end of the shifting political winds. Turkey finds a political victory in the present condition, and needs to do nothing outside of political rhetoric to secure it. The likelihood of taking some meaningful action against Israel by Turkey is very low."

Will they do it?

Will Israel force NATO to abandon Turkey, in all but name? Will the Israeli government force the hands of Malaysia and Ireland? Can they count on the US aegis, in all this?

We may soon find out.


Jay Taber said...

Staying with the psywar theme we discussed previously, the denial by the NGOs delivering aid of Israel's claim of terrorists aboard the ships violates the precept of never repeating your enemy's talking points. Repetition sinks in, and becomes the topic.

Staying on target with the message of humanitarian aid being necessary due to genocidal actions and policies of the State of Israel is effective and consistent with widely known facts put forth by the UN, Red Cross, and respected notables like Maguire.

Public opinion can choose which narrative to believe -- Israeli propagandists, or international humanitarians -- but the humanitarians undermine themselves when they say anything defensive as a response to Tel Aviv.

Jack Crow said...


We agree, completely.

But hey, Algore has left Tipper, so the news is moving on.

Jay Taber said...

Keeping up morale by honoring the undeterred, as you do by focusing on the Rachel Corrie steaming toward Gaza, is another vital aspect of effective psywar. Like Mandela said, "The slogan is attack".