Friday, 4 June 2010


Gaza Flotilla Raid : prolong your attention span a little more and watch out for MV Rachel Corrie

  • Friday, 4 June 2010
  • Fouad GM
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  • I've been refraining from blogging on the Gaza Flotilla Raid and will continue to do so as it, first, shocked and terrorised me as I was unaware what had happened to friends and colleagues on board. Now, it fills me with rage and disgust at at least a dozen different "entities" that I wish to refrain from writing about it a little longer.

    Also, it happened on the one-month commemoration of another massacre, that of Ketermaya in Lebanon which I had hoped to blog about one month later but was taken aback by the Gaza Flotilla attack.

    In any case, here's a small entry on the Gaza Flotilla Attack - not reading into or giving opinion about what had happened, but giving you a heads up as to what might be coming in the next few hours or days.


    Usually, we - the activists and supporters of solidarity movements throughout the world have a short attention span!

    BUT Let's not forget, the story of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla is still not over. One more ship from the flotilla, the Irish MV Rachel Corrie, is STILL en route to Gaza. Named after the 23-year-old US peace activist bulldo
    zed in Gaza by Israeli demolition squads in 2003, MV Rachel Corrie is carrying a couple dozen Malaysian and Irish activists including Northern Irish Nobel peace laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire and Denis Halliday, former UN Undersecretary General.

    Israel accused of ?sabotaging? communications on Gaza-bound Irish aid ship Rachel Corrie after organisers lose contact
    Activist Naimh Moloughney packs bags to be loaded into the cargo
    ship the MV Rachel Corrie at the weekend. (Photo: PA)

    MV Rachel Corrie has been warned by Israel that it will be prevented from reaching Gaza. The aid ship is now some 200 miles away from where the Israeli raid on the Gaza Flotilla took place on Monday and all communication with the aid boat has been lost or disrupted between the ship and the organisers of the flotilla.
    The Daily Telegraph said o
    rganisers and solidarity activists accuse Israel of 'sabotaging' the Irish aid ship and vow to "pull the boat back to the nearest port and and pack it with celebrities and journalists, in a direct challenge to Israel."

    In an article this morning, The Daily Mail reported that Irish premier Brian Cowen told parliament in Dublin that "the [Irish] government has formally requested the Israeli government to allow the Irish-owned ship [...] to be allowed to complete its journey unimpeded and discharge its humanitarian cargo in Gaza."

    Aid ship MV Rachel Corrie is named after 23-year-old American peace
    activist killed on March 16, 2003 by an armoured IDF D9 bulldozer
    while acting as a human shield in an attempt to prevent Israel
    from demolishing Palestinian homes in Gaza in 2003.

    What struck me the most however were readers' comments: as most online newspapers now do, The Daily Mail allows its readers to leave comments and flag one another's comments "thumbs up" or "thumbs down." If you read the readers' comments on this article and notice the "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" however, they show a rather disturbing trend in British readership. More than 550 "thumbed-up" at a comment target at "all you tree-hugging pond-lives [...] moronic people" asking them to "realize that the majority of the World doesn't care what you do as you are all interfering busy-bodies. Isreal warned you all of the consequences should you continue with your illegal quest to enter Gaza, yet still you decided to go ahead with your ill-conceived plans resulting in many needless deaths." (comment left by Derek from Pembrokeshire).

    640 people "thumbed up" at Shirleyrose's comment from Yorkshire who said "[the Gaza Flotilla activists] are just looking for trouble - this is pure provocation." On the other hand, more than 100 "thumbed down" at Hilary's comment from London in which she says "After all these years of Israel bombing Palestine, and they in turn doing the same, what has either side achieved? NOTHING !! Only hundreds of civilians dead in all these wars. Nothing is going to change until BOTH sides put down their arms and talk. There are always the extremes on both sides who do not want peace, because if that happens, they lose their political power." - even placing the blame on both the victim of an unjustified and illegal embargo and the heavily-armed state army and navy enforcing an non-mandated embargo get 100+ thumbs down and no thumbs up by The Daily Mail's readership. Its noteworthy that the names and locations of all commentators on this article, indicate they are of no "ethnic", "coloured" or "Muslim" background - probably not even Jewish for that matter - just mere British public opinion.

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