Outrage spreads over Israeli attack on unarmed human rights activists. Report from Israel

I woke up at 3 am today for some reason and looked at my blackberry twitter feed. I couldn't believe my eyes. Israeli Defense Forces had just attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla killing human rights activists and trying to defend it by some cock and bull story about lynch mobs. I haven't felt that kind of horror since I heard about the massacre in Sabra and Shatila in 1982, not because the death toll is as high but because of the understanding that the Israeli government will stop on nothing. Please go out to the protests in your town. List follows as does a statement from the Alternate Information Center, a Palestinian/Israeli group in Israel.

 

Protests

Toronto all day at the Israeli Consulate Bloor and University with a picket 5pm to 7 pm ,

Vancouver noon at 300 W Georgia

Montreal Buses for Ottawa protest leaving 1 pm from 1455 de Maisonneuve

Ottawa 5 pm at the Human Rights Memorial. Netanyahu is in Ottawa.

We in Canada have a special responsibility to show our anger and horror at what Israel has done and demand that our government launch a formal protest-Judy

Alternative Information Center

 
This morning, 31 May 2010, the Israeli navy perpetrated a new crime against humanity when it attacked the Freedom Flotilla, bound for Gaza, sailing in international waters. On the boats were 750 people from 40 different countries, among them 44 parliamentarians and politicians. Based on the initial news after the attack, the number killed is 16 and at least 60 are wounded. All the victims are international activists who helped organized this campaign to end Israel's aggressive siege on Gaza that has continued for three years. This aggressive attack against the Freedom Flotilla is an astounding crime in meaning and dimension. It is an attack against unarmed civilian ships. This is a crime and an act of piracy in international waters. It is a clear breach of international laws and agreements. Despite Israel's redeployment from Gaza in 2005, it has continued to impose a comprehensive siege against the 1.5 million people living in Gaza. The Israeli government would not have the courage to commit such a crime if the international community were brave enough to face Israel's continuous violations of international law, if it had the power and will to force Israel to end its siege and to stop its aggressive actions against the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian people, and if the same international community had the power to take action and enforce the necessary procedures to push Israel to end its occupation and to implement international resolutions. But this very clear crime against the Freedom Flotilla, which led to international deaths and dozens of injured, comes under the cover and support of the Netanyahu government by the American administration and the EU governments and the silence of the Arab regimes. At the very moment Israel created a blood bath against civilian ships carrying hundreds of internationals from many countries, Netanyahu is welcome in the White House. Meanwhile, Israel continues its settlement policy in Jerusalem and its aggression against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It is the governments of the international community and their political cover which allow Israel to continue its action and aggression as a state above and beyond the law. The Alternative Information Center (AIC) places complete responsibility with the Israeli government and we request that the international, legal, political and humanitarian bodies move immediately to condemn this crime and to hold Israel accountable for its harsh actions. We also request the immediate lifting of the siege on Gaza so supplies can enter without any conditions. In this context the AIC also calls for civil society organizations in Israel to move immediately to express their refusal, disgust and condemnation for this crime. Now is the moment for the international community to raise its voice against these aggressive policies, it is the moment to take immediate political and legal action to hold Israel to account for its crimes, it is the moment to lift the siege against Gaza, it is the moment to force Israel to implement international resolutions, to end the occupation and to recognize the international rights of the Palestinian people. If this does not happen more blood will be shed.

 

Clarification

Just to clarify for people trying to understand a timeline - the flotilla was attacked just before 5am local time (10pm eastern).. the 3am allusion above is confusing whether it comes from Israel or Canada.

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