Israel has been able to create over the first 12 hours a literal news blackout about the attacks on the Gaza Peace Foltilla. this just as it did with its attack on Gaza 18 months ago, into which mainstream corporate media organizations willingly allowed Israeli spokespeople to step in unchallenged.
How many civilians were killed in Israel’s dawn attack on the Gaza-bound flotilla of aid? We still don’t know. How many wounded? Your guess is as good as mine. Were the aid activists armed with guns? Yes, says Israel. Were they in cahoots with al-Qaeda and Hamas? Certainly, says Israel. Did the soldiers act reasonably? Of course, they faced a lynch, says Israel.
The passengers on the ships, meanwhile, have been kidnapped by Israel and are unable to provide their version of events. They will likely remain in enforced silence until Israel is sure it has set the news agenda.
Let’s reiterate a few simple facts:
* Israeli soldiers invaded these ships in international waters, breaking international law, and, in killing civilians, committed a war crime. The counter-claim by Israeli commanders that their soldiers responded to an imminent “lynch” by civilians should be dismissed with the loud contempt it deserves.
* The Israeli government approved the boarding of these aid ships by an elite unit of commandoes. They were armed with automatic weapons to pacify the civilians onboard, and not with crowd dispersal equipment in case of resistance.
* Israel has no right to control Gaza’s sea as its own territorial waters and to stop aid convoys arriving that way. In doing so, it proves that it is still in belligerent occupation of the enclave and its 1.5 million inhabitants. And if it is occupying Gaza, then under international law Israel is responsible for the welfare of the Strip’s inhabitants. Given
that the blockade has put Palestinians there on a starvation diet for the past four years, Israel should long ago have been in the dock for committing a crime against humanity.
Israel chose to direct its deadly assault not only at Palestinians under occupation but at the international community itself.
Source: CounterPunch – May 31, 2010
Author: Jonathan Cook, www.jkcook.net
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University