Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gaza Freedom Flotilla 2: Tensions are high in the middle east...

Gaza Freedom Flotilla 2: Tensions are high in the middle east
because the US and EU political elites have consistently made the wrong choices and sided with Israel.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

There is little doubt an internationally co-ordinated campaign by Israel, and its main backer the USA has been mounted to stop the Free Gaza Freedom Flotilla 2 from sailing to Gaza. Whilst stopping the flotilla from sailing is to be appalled, it does show the Gaza flotillas are having a considerable impact on international public opinion. Why else would Israel and its friends go to such lengths to crush it? As the saying goes, you do not crush a butterfly on a wheel.

On Saturday last, the Middle East Quartet, whose main representative in the region is English war criminal Tony Blair, and which consists of the USA, UN, EU and Russia, urged governments to discourage Gaza bound aid flotillas, claiming they could escalate tension in the region. If ever their was an example of Israel being given carte blanche to break international laws this statement is it. It is more than that alone, it also tells the Palestinian people they cannot look to the USA or EU for salvation, they must suffer in silence and endure the daily injustices they face at the hands of the state of Israel. What the Free Gaza Campaign has proven is whilst governments sit silently or bolster Israel, the mass of ordinary people within the US and EU are beginning to stir. Unlike their governments they can see a direct similarity between how the Israeli state treats the Palestinians and how the SA apartheid State treated its black, colored and Asian ‘citizens.’

It is this which Israel fears, and its is the prospect of a boycott of Israel taking off in a big way which has led to the current restrictions placed on the Freedom Flotilla by the Greek government. Greece, a country which is not known for being anti Palestinian, is in a perilous economic situation and has clearly been pressurized to stop the Flotillas ships from leaving Greek ports. Indeed it has gone as far as issuing a statement which says:

“Greece is banning the departure from Greek ports of vessels with Greek or foreign flags bound for Gaza. Greece’s stance regarding the need to lift the Gaza blockade and to improve the humanitarian conditions in the area is known and remains unchanged. Greece’s positions of principle for the need to respect international law and not to resort to the use of force are also well known. Greece, as it is widely known, actively supports the resumption of peace talks, which constitute the only road to a comprehensive and viable resolution of the Palestinian issue, with the creation of a Palestinian state that will coexist peacefully with the state of Israel. These positions have been made clear to all concerned parties.”

What absolute humbug, the only way international law could be broken is if Israel resort to the use of force in international waters as it did in 2010, when it attacked the Turkish aid ship Mavi Marmara, which resulted in nine people on board having their lives stolen. If the Greek government and other EU nations feel so strongly about international law they should give the Free Gaza Flotilla 2 an armed escort to ensure it reached Gaza port unhindered.

Again Greece and its EU partners prefer to collude in criminality with Israel rather than ensure the rule of lay runs in Mediterranean waters. According to Jack Shenker writing in the Guardian:

“The Greeks have intercepted several of the Flotilla's 10 ships as they tried to leave port in recent days, while others were forced to withdraw from the voyage due to damage which passengers blamed on Israeli sabotage.

One small French craft did manage to evade the Greek coastguard and reach international waters on Tuesday, but those on board decided not to try for Gazan waters alone and have now turned back. Meanwhile, the American captain of The Audacity of Hope, a flotilla vessel which was forced back to shore after attempting to break free on Friday, was released from custody on Tuesday. John Klusmire had been arrested on charges of setting sail without permission and endangering passengers, prompting a hunger strike from activists on board. Other protests by flotilla campaigners in Athens – including the occupation of the Spanish embassy – are ongoing.”

Nevertheless those on board the FGF2 have become even more determined to end the blockade of Gaza, Alejandro Fierro, a FGF activist on the Spanish ship Guernica, which is being detained in Crete, told al-Jazeera.

"We've learned patience from the Palestinian people who have been resisting Israeli occupation for 60 years, so we can wait. We will sail to Gaza.”

A Greek foreign ministry spokesperson, aware of international public opinion turning against Greece, issued an Orwellian statement which attempted to defend its indefensible decision to stop the Free Gaza Flotilla 2 leaving its ports.

"It is time to step up so that we can show everyone that at a critical turn of affairs for the Middle East, which is currently in the midst of tensions, there will not be developments that will exacerbate the climate further."

What mumbo jumbo is that, on all the major issues of the day, cutting the deficit, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, occupied Palestine and the blockade of Gaza, Europe's political elites are out of step with the overwhelming majority of its peoples. The above statement which was echoed throughout the EU’s political chancellors says it all. If tensions are high in the middle east it is because the US and EU political elites have consistently made the wrong choices and sided with Israel, instead of the Palestinians whom it oppresses. Only when this injustice is corrected will the peoples of the middle east begin to live in harmony.


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