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Thread: Israel Attacks Unarmed Aid Flotilla in International Waters, Several Dead

  1. #196
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    You will have no protection

    Alice Walker, The Electronic Intifada, 4 June 2010



    You will have no protection

    -- Medgar Evers to Civil Rights Activists in Mississippi, shortly before he was assassinated, 12 June, 1963


    My heart is breaking; but I do not mind.

    For one thing, as soon as I wrote those words I was able to weep. Which I had not been able to do since learning of the attack by armed Israeli commandos on defenseless peace activists carrying aid to Gaza who tried to fend them off using chairs and sticks. I am thankful to know what it means to be good; I know that the people of the Freedom Flotilla are/were in some cases, some of the best people on earth. They have not stood silently by and watched the destruction of others, brutally, sustained, without offering themselves, weaponless except for their bodies, to the situation. I am thankful to have a long history of knowing people like this from my earliest years, beginning in my student days of marches and demonstrations: for peace, for non-separation among peoples, for justice for Women, for People of Color, for Cubans, for Animals, for Indians, and for Her, the planet.

    I am weeping for the truth of Medgar's statement; so brave and so true. I weep for him gunned down in his carport, not far from where I would eventually live in Mississippi, with a box of t-shirts in his arms that said: "Jim Crow Must Go." Though trained in the United States Military under racist treatment one cringes to imagine, he remained a peaceful soldier in the army of liberation to the end. I weep and will always weep, even through the widest smiles, for the beautiful young wife, Myrlie Evers, he left behind, herself still strong and focused on the truth of struggle; and for their children, who lost their father to a fate they could not possibly, at the time, understand. I don't think any of us could imagine during that particular phase of the struggle for justice, that we risked losing not just our lives, which we were prepared to give, but also our children, who we were not.

    Nothing protected Medgar, nor will anything protect any of us; nothing but our love for ourselves and for others whom we recognize unfailingly as also ourselves. Nothing can protect us but our lives. How we have lived them; what battles, with love and compassion our only shield, we have engaged. And yet, the moment of realizing we are truly alone, that in the ultimate crisis of our existence our government is not there for us, is one of shock. Especially if we have had the illusion of a system behind us to which we truly belong. Thankfully I have never had opportunity to have this illusion. And so, every peaceful witnessing, every non-violent confrontation has been a pure offering. I do not regret this at all.

    When I was in Cairo last December to support CODEPINK's efforts to carry aid into Gaza I was unfortunately ill with the flu and could not offer very much. I lay in bed in the hotel room and listened to other activists report on what was happening around the city as Egypt refused entry to Gaza to the 1,400 people who had come for the accompanying Freedom march. I heard many distressing things, but only one made me feel, not exactly envy, but something close; it was that the French activists had shown up, en masse, in front of their embassy and that their ambassador had come out to talk to them and to try to make them comfortable as they set up camp outside the building. This small gesture of compassion for his country's activists in a strange land touched me profoundly, as I was touched decades ago when someone in John Kennedy's White House (maybe the cook) sent out cups of hot coffee to our line of freezing student and teacher demonstrators as we tried, with our signs and slogans and songs, to protect a vulnerable neighbor, Cuba.

    Where have the Israelis put our friends? I thought about this all night. Those whom they assassinated on the ship and those they injured? Is "my" government capable of insisting on respect for their dead bodies? Can it demand that those who are injured but alive be treated with care? Not only with care, but the tenderness and honor they deserve? If it cannot do this, such a simple, decent thing, of what use is it to the protection and healing of the planet? I heard a spokesman for the United States opine at the United Nations (not an exact quote) that the Freedom Flotilla activists should have gone through other, more proper, channels, not been confrontational with their attempt to bring aid to the distressed. This is almost exactly what college administrators advised half a century ago when students were trying to bring down apartheid in the South and getting bullets, nooses, bombings and burnings for our efforts. I felt embarrassed (to the degree one can permit embarrassment by another) to be even vaguely represented by this man: a useless voice from the far past. One had hoped.

    The Israeli spin on the massacre: that the commandos were under attack by the peace activists and that the whole thing was like "a lynching" of the armed attackers, reminds me of a Redd Foxx joke. I loved Redd Foxx, for all his vulgarity. A wife caught her husband in bed with another woman, flagrant, in the act, skin to skin. The husband said, probably through pants of aroused sexual exertion: All right, go ahead and believe your lying eyes! It would be fun, were it not tragic, to compare the various ways the Israeli government and our media will attempt to blame the victims of this unconscionable attack for their own imprisonment, wounds and deaths.

    So what to do? Rosa Parks sat down in the front of the bus. Martin Luther King followed her act of courage with many of his own, and using his ringing, compassionate voice he aroused the people of Montgomery, Alabama to commit to a sustained boycott of the bus company; a company that refused to allow people of color to sit in the front of the bus, even if it was empty. It is time for us, en masse, to show up in front of our conscience, and sit down in the front of the only bus we have: our very lives.

    What would that look like, be like, today, in this situation between Palestine and Israel? This "impasse" that has dragged on for decades. This "conflict" that would have ended in a week if humanity as a whole had acted in defense of justice everywhere on the globe. Which maybe we are learning! It would look like the granddaughter of Rosa Parks, the grandson of Martin Luther King. It would look like spending our money only where we can spend our lives in peace and happiness; freely sharing whatever we have with our friends.

    It would be to support boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel to End the Occupation of Gaza and the West Bank and by this effort begin to soothe the pain and attend the sorrows of a people wrongly treated for generations. This action would also remind Israel that we have seen it lose its way and have called to it, often with love, and we have not been heard. In fact, we have reached out to it only to encounter slander, insult and, too frequently, bodily harm.

    Disengage, avoid, and withhold support from whatever abuses, degrades and humiliates humanity.

    This we can do. We the people; who ultimately hold all the power. We the people, who must never forget to believe we can win.

    We the people.

    It has always been about us; as we watch governments come and go. It always will be.



    Alice Walker is a poet, novelist, feminist and activist whose award-winning works have sold over ten million copies.

    Image: Israeli soldiers stand guard as the Israeli navy raids one of the ships in the Freedom Flotilla. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

    ei: You will have no protection

  2. #197
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    It sucks being a liberal and an Israel supporter at times like this.

    I have fought over this topic with fellow liberal friends for 28 years now since Israel went into Lebanon in 1982. Some things never change. *sigh*


    I do hope there is some resolution to this, that there is no further escalation, and that the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza is eased somehow. While I don't see it in 'Holocaust' terms yet, it basically is just a huge internment/concentration camp for the Palestinians, I will admit. Not so terribly far removed from the 'ghettos' of Lodz and Warsaw, just without the wholesale slaughter and REAL starvation.

    But that any comparison can be made is just ...heartbreaking really.

    JMHO.
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    The first land offered to the Jewish people was offered by the British Empire prior to WW1 in British East Africa land occupied by the Masaii people in modern day Uganda. This land was rejected by those Jewish people because they felt they had no ties to religiously to that land. This was known as the British-Uganda program.
    Why anybody can give away land occupied by others is mindboggelling and then turn around and act like they are entiltled to that land based on the fact that the people who used to live there shared a common religion with them is even stranger, nevermind the fact that there are Palestinian jews still in existence. The Palestinians did not commit the holocaust the germans did and the arabs did not historically treat the jews badly the Europeans did.
    The creation of Israel is Imperialism at its finest.
    Israel does not want peace they want to gradually push the palestinians off their land with settlements built for people who follow their religion only so that they can say later on why would we need a peace process or a 2 state solution there are no more palestinians on this land. That anybody can defend Israel is disgusting to the extreme.

  4. #199
    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    While I don't see it in 'Holocaust' terms yet, it basically is just a huge internment/concentration camp for the Palestinians, I will admit. Not so terribly far removed from the 'ghettos' of Lodz and Warsaw, just without the wholesale slaughter and REAL starvation.
    That's what always blows my mind about Israel's behavior. You would think after all that their people have been through they would be empathetic to others' suffering. It's amazing that they're behaving in a way very similar to the Nazis.

  5. #200
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minime7 View Post
    The first land offered to the Jewish people was offered by the British Empire prior to WW1 in British East Africa land occupied by the Masaii people in modern day Uganda. This land was rejected by those Jewish people because they felt they had no ties to religiously to that land. This was known as the British-Uganda program.
    Why anybody can give away land occupied by others is mindboggelling and then turn around and act like they are entiltled to that land based on the fact that the people who used to live there shared a common religion with them is even stranger, nevermind the fact that there are Palestinian jews still in existence. The Palestinians did not commit the holocaust the germans did and the arabs did not historically treat the jews badly the Europeans did.
    The creation of Israel is Imperialism at its finest.
    Israel does not want peace they want to gradually push the palestinians off their land with settlements built for people who follow their religion only so that they can say later on why would we need a peace process or a 2 state solution there are no more palestinians on this land. That anybody can defend Israel is disgusting to the extreme.
    I agree with alot of your post-especially the Imperialism at it's finest part. Of course I disagree with the last line. Supporting the right for Israel to exist(which can be seen as 'defending Israel') and defending everything Israel does are two very different things.


    That's what always blows my mind about Israel's behavior. You would think after all that their people have been through they would be empathetic to others' suffering. It's amazing that they're behaving in a way very similar to the Nazis.
    I agree-that you can even compare the two is mindboggling to me. While not going to the lengths the Nazis did of course, there are similarities. I think it may go back to the fact that nearly half the Jews in the world were systematically killed. That kind of thing will make anyone or any group paranoid and 'hypervigilant', plus the ceaseless fighting and being surrounded by 'enemies' must have led to a 'siege mentality' or something.

    But that does not change the fact that Gaza is basically and internment camp.
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sojiita View Post
    I agree with alot of your post-especially the Imperialism at it's finest part. Of course I disagree with the last line. Supporting the right for Israel to exist(which can be seen as 'defending Israel') and defending everything Israel does are two very different things.
    The Jewish people along with the native peoples are people I believe have gotten it the worst historically. Jewish people deserve a homeland I just dont believe they deserve one on top of someone elses.
    *I dont advocate for Israelis to go back to where they come from because that's unreasonable now that they have lived their for more than half a century and that the only home they know. A 2 state solution is the most intelligent solution now.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I say the land should be given back to the Canaanites
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Ha ha! I was about to say we should "give" the pyramids since their ancestors built them and what not.
    Posted from my iPhone

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    ***WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGES***

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFK5TNcmEmg[/youtube]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    I say the land should be given back to the Canaanites
    Just hide all your first born sons

    *scratches head* I don't know if any of these tales are true. I have a friend who has family in the West Bank and they are just fine. With jobs, educational opportunites, plenty of food, shelter, etc. They just go about their everyday lives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by piperdiva View Post
    Just hide all your first born sons

    *scratches head* I don't know if any of these tales are true. I have a friend who has family in the West Bank and they are just fine. With jobs, educational opportunites, plenty of food, shelter, etc. They just go about their everyday lives.
    Thank you!
    Thats what i been said all the time.
    Yes there are problems but the relationship between Israel and Arbs who live in West Bank and Israeli-Arabs are not what pepole think. The difference is that those pepole dose not support terror.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marie View Post
    The difference is that those pepole dose not support terror.
    By countinuing this block Israel is only making the people in Gaza hate Israel more. People are angry, they have lost members of their families, homes, jobs, country, everything.. Terrorism organizations are a way for them to bring out that hatred and anger. It's human nature, revenge. "To err is human, to forgive is divine."

    Of course they support Hamas because to them, Hamas is probably the only organization that is doing something to their situtation. Hamas is basically thriving in the blockade fiasco. The more people hate Israel, the more support Hamas gets. So basically, Israel is just doing this to itself. The donations given by the US could be used to rebuild Gaza, instead of using them for guns and the army.

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    There is a report on SKY saying that the Turkish PM is mulling to go on the next ship now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sojiita View Post
    The 'Zionist' part is.


    Way to encourage discussion and varying viewpoints, Butt. And nice to tell a poster to piss off. What is wrong with you?
    I was saying piss off in response to the article, not the person. I guess that didn't translate.

    Anyway, I think that the loss of life is horrible but still support more aid boats going and trying to break the blockade. Why? Because Gaza has been living under a blockade for several years and until last week no one really seemed bothered. Now, suddenly, people are talking and debating and questioning if it's right for the Israeli's to use collective punishment on an entire populace.
    Last edited by buttmunch; June 6th, 2010 at 03:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by piperdiva View Post
    Just hide all your first born sons

    *scratches head* I don't know if any of these tales are true. I have a friend who has family in the West Bank and they are just fine. With jobs, educational opportunites, plenty of food, shelter, etc. They just go about their everyday lives.
    Quote Originally Posted by marie View Post
    Thank you!
    Thats what i been said all the time.
    Yes there are problems but the relationship between Israel and Arbs who live in West Bank and Israeli-Arabs are not what pepole think. The difference is that those pepole dose not support terror.
    Quote Originally Posted by coolios5o View Post
    By countinuing this block Israel is only making the people in Gaza hate Israel more. People are angry, they have lost members of their families, homes, jobs, country, everything.. Terrorism organizations are a way for them to bring out that hatred and anger. It's human nature, revenge. "To err is human, to forgive is divine."

    Of course they support Hamas because to them, Hamas is probably the only organization that is doing something to their situtation. Hamas is basically thriving in the blockade fiasco. The more people hate Israel, the more support Hamas gets. So basically, Israel is just doing this to itself. The donations given by the US could be used to rebuild Gaza, instead of using them for guns and the army.
    This is exactly the problem between Gaza-Israel. The erae is control by a terror organization who is control by Iran. When you have a blockade there are less booms on Israel, less wapen came in and etc.. Egypt bild iron wall on Gaza border so no one will came out its not just Israel who believe that is necessary for safety.
    They also control the money which mean money for wapen, money to suicide boomer but no money for school, seltter and etc..
    They go to civilian places in Gaza like homes,schools,hospital and from there sent booms to civilian places in Israel using kids as a human shield.
    Im sure that there are pepole there that all they want is to live their life with no war, no violent just to rise thier kids in peacfull like pepole who live in Iran,Iraq, Africa and the rest of the world BUT its in thier hand as long as Hamas will be in cotrol there there is no chance fo peace.
    The sad thing in all of this is that the Hamas leaders live in Damesek not in Gaza and get their order from Iran they dont care what happen to the pepole in Gaza they use them as a "soldiers for higher needs".

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