The Real International For 5/31/10: A Bloody Massacre
On a day here in America where we expected to have a memorial for those that served our nation, today over in the Middle East (and a few other places around the world), there are unexpected memorials for those in pain or have lost their lives abroad the Freedom Flotilla.
As most of you have probably heard, nine people were killed by Israel commandoes on board that ship, as they were traveling to the Gaza strip to provide humanitarian aid in the human rights mess over there.
And as Jamal Dajani reports, these people certainly did not have the label of "violent extremists" that some have labeled over in Israel.
Now the "we said-they said" factor of blame has been in full effect since this has happened, as most including Israel's ally India, along with the usual figures of Palestine President Abbas, Hamas (which governs the Gaza Strip), and Turkey (where most of the passengers were from) have condemn the Zion nation, while the Netanyahu government have claimed that those on the Flotilla welcomed them with violence and unfriendly behavior, prompting "self-defense" yet again.
Either way, a key reason that should blatantly show for everyone that those commandoes acted so pestilently is this:
The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Palestinian coastal enclave.You could understand the surrounding of the ship if it were under the jurisdiction of Israel. But it wasn't.
Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: "This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves."
And you wouldn't see Prime Minister Singh and his nation condemn their ally if they didn't think clearly something terrible and unjust like this transpired. This is another blow for Israel's popularity in the Middle East. And it shouldn't have even lead to that.
Glenn Greenwald asks a very big question :
Among the countries condemning Israel for its attack are Russia, Turkey, India, China, Brazil, France, Spain and many more. By stark contrast, the White House issued a statement which conspicuously refused to condemn the Israelis (Obama "expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident, and concern for the wounded"), while the U.S. State Department actually hinted at condemning the civilians delivering the aid ("we support expanding the flow of goods to the people of Gaza. But this must be done in a spirit of cooperation, not confrontation").And it can certainly only illicit a stronger reaction from Obama over the next few days, not this "I'm not going to hold Israel accountable" one.
Obama's call for "learning all the facts and circumstances" is reasonable enough, but all these other countries made clear that this attack could never be justified based on what is already indisputably known: namely, that the ship attacked by Israel was in international waters and it resulted in the deaths and injuries to dozens of civilians but no Israeli soldiers were killed and a tiny handful injured. In any event, Obama's neutrality will have to give way to a definitive statement one way or the other, and soon.