Monday, June 07, 2010

The Septet Steams on...

Like a supertanker (this one mainly on the rocks) the Septet of Israel's leadership is predictably very slow to change course and its ingrained tendency to blame anyone but itself is on full display here. The latest stunt in Israel's agitprop is an attempt to claim 'real terrorists' were on board the Marmara, in particular Ken O'Keefe, in a message that seems tailor made to rally the US Far Right wing, as those are the only numpties that will pay any real attention to this part of the saga and who probably consider moi a 'Hamas activist' too...


In a statement, Israeli authorities named five passengers it said were "known to be involved in terrorist activity".

But at least one of those named told Al Jazeera that Israel's claim was baseless.

Rejecting Israeli allegations that he was a "radical anti-Israel activist" who was travelling to Gaza to "train a [Hamas] commando unit", Ken O'Keefe, a British-American citizen, said he had never carried arms for the group.

"The only weapons I ever carried were while I was a US marine serving in the Gulf War," he said speaking from Turkey following his deportation from Israel.

"If they had a supposed terrorist in their possession, why the hell did they let me go?" O'Keefe said.

Fatima Mohammadi, another activist on board the Mavi Marmara that Israeli soldiers stormed last Monday in an attempt to stop a flotilla of aid ships from reaching Gaza, was accused of attempting to smuggle banned electronic components into Gaza.

She told Al Jazeera through a spokesperson that she refused to dignify the accusation with a response.

Good woman. Not entirely sure also how being a "radical anti-Israel activist" justifies being nabbed from a ship and apparently also being 'roughed up' (I'm mincing my words here) after having been dragged to Israel?

The not-so-wise-men in Tel Aviv/J'sem just don't seem to get it. Had on board the Marmara been bin Laden himself, his second and third in command and a handful of battle-hardened Jihadists/Hamasniks, it would not have made one iota of difference: the Israeli Navy didn't board the ships to arrest terrorists but to rise to the challenge of what was seen as a provocation by mostly peaceful and unarmed humanitarians. To try and maintain the integrity of their siege of Gaza, not to fight terrorism...

The Marmara debacle is in fact the smaller (but visually more spectacular) story that leads to the much, much bigger one: Palestinian dispossession in 1948, 43 years of military Occupation in the West Bank, a 3 year long crippling siege of Gaza, operation Cast Lead and a naval blockade. Many will include that 'we're all Hezbollah' moment too...

Wake up and smart up, guys...


At 8:34 AM, Blogger richard millett said...

Gert, this is when you give your game away when you talk, validly, about the Mavi Marmara and then mention 1948 in the same breathe.

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Gert said...

I don't understand your point.

What I'm saying is simple: the reaction worldwide to the Marmara incident may seem overblown to you but it's the culmination of increasing frustration with Israel's behaviour over the years. 1948 plays a part in that, at least to many...

At 11:14 PM, Blogger richard millett said...

You go on about 1948 all the time. Every single country was created in controversy.

You only talk of the "reaction". What about the "non-reaction" of the silent majority? The reaction you saw was sectarian, as it always is.

Look what is happening in Kyrgyzstan now. 2000 dead possibly? Hardly a street protest in site. Just goes to show that this is purely about hatred of Israel, not support for the Palestinians.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Gert said...

1948 is important because the truth of it crushes some of Israel's creation myths.

'Sectarian'??? In what way?

Kyrgyzstan is a tragedy but a very young one. If this situation carries on it will be subject to protest and scrutiny too.

The 'they hate Israel' is an easy cop-out for apologists for Israel's increasingly intolerable behaviour. Personally I was fairly pro-Israel for about 25 years or so. But its attraction faded and faded and faded. One runs out of patience in the end.

Do you think the many American Jews who are increasingly joining the ranks of the protesters have all started to 'hate Israel'?

The problem with conservatively minded people is that they prefer false dichotomies to root causes. That's why your position is ultimately a cul de sac.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger richard millett said...

Sectarian in that if you are anti-Israel anyway you will be vocally critical of anything it does. It you approve of Israel's actions then people will stay silent, as is the case of the majority.

It reminds me of when the whole of the UK was apparently anti the Iraq war until we all went to the polls and voted Blair back in in 2005.

I am not sure why you single out "American Jews". Why does religion matter (not that there are many American Jews who are protesting but similarly you only get to hear their protests)? Most Americans identify with Israel for a plethora of reasons and support it per se.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Your invocation of 'sectarianism' isn't worth refuting.

Polls suggested that at the time Blair was successfully selling the invasion of Iraq, the British people were about 65/35 in favour/against. Later those numbers more or less inversed. Blair got voted back in because apart from the War that Labour government was a bad one at all. Remember that it also gave us the Good Friday agreement.

The significance of American Jews is that they were probably the largest Jewish group supporting Israel in a very strident way. Today many are switching sides: for daily updates on the US situation I recommend Mondoweiss.

At 1:51 PM, Blogger richard millett said...

switching sides is a bit of a dramatic way of putting it. American Jews don't just switch sides. They are critical on certain issues (shame the Arab world cannot allow itself such self-criticism) but would support Israel 100% if there was ever an existential threat.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Gert said...

'Switching sides' is a perfectly apt term if you come off the reflexive Zionist straw man that 'anti-Zionism' is about the 'destruction' of Israel.

Israel faces no existential threat (despite it constantly trying to create anxiety along those lines) apart from within. This Australian Rabbi, after the ubiquitous Hasbara and pseudo-'balance', gets it quite right:

The explosion of anger is unlikely to have been touched off by a transient episode such as the interdiction of the flotilla. A more probable explanation is Israel's failure over four decades to find a way to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories. The resentment has accumulated like leaking gas that can be ignited by a random spark.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak acknowledged this when he told his cabinet colleagues last week that "a daring and assertive political initiative" aimed at achieving a peace agreement with the Palestinians was necessary if Israel is to emerge from its international isolation.

The isolation has become pronounced since Benjamin Netanyahu became Prime Minister last year. Under intense pressure from Washington, Netanyahu declared his readiness to accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but his repeated statements that Israel must build Jewish homes in East Jerusalem, his appeasement of West Bank settlers, his failure ever to paint an optimistic picture of co-existence with the Palestinians, suggest he does not, deep down, believe in it.



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