Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, June 2010
The Madness of Arrogance:
Israel's Attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla
By Alan SabroskyRedress, Al-Jazeerah, ccun.org, June 7, 2010
The attack reprised
Not this time. An attack on the open seas, in acknowledged international waters, against unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid with passengers and crews from many countries especially a direct attack against a Turkish ship is a different matter, and potentially an explosive one. The number of shipboard casualties indicates that once fighting started, the Israeli commandoes simply sprayed automatic weapons fire into the people around them another of their long-standing habits.
Trying to cast the attack in international waters as an exercise in self-defence would be ludicrous in the best or worst of circumstances has anyone ever seen wheelchairs used as offensive weaponry?
And technology is their enemy here, just as it became in an earlier day the enemy of communist regimes in the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries. Too many images and videos were taken, and some sent, and too many witnesses reported what was happening, before the Israelis were able to suppress communications from their victims.
Bad for their victims, but also potentially very bad for Israel, and the
initial Israeli public-relations damage control efforts show that they are
at least dimly aware of that fact. Trying to cast the attack in
international waters as an exercise in self-defence would be ludicrous in
the best or worst of circumstances has anyone ever seen wheelchairs used
as offensive weaponry?
A judging, long overdue
And that is what the initial responses appear to affirm. All of the major US and many other media outlets are carrying this story, and even with the slant from many Jewish correspondents based in Jerusalem or Ashdod, the bloody particulars are slowly coming through to at least a general American audience for the first time:
1. The unarmed ships with unarmed passengers were trying to ferry
humanitarian and reconstruction aid to ravaged and embattled Gaza.
Seizing the moment
This is a time for those interested in justice for Palestine to seize the moment and act, building on the promise engendered but not fulfilled after the submission of the Goldstone report to the UN Human Rights Council.
For the world community, now is the time and this is the incident to drive home the UN "Uniting for Peace" resolution in both the Security Council and the General Assembly as needed Sanctions, embargoes, even the suspension or expulsion of Israel from the UN itself do as much as quickly and as forcefully as possible...
I would like to think that President Obama would take a stand, and perhaps he will, but if he does it will be with words and not with deeds. Neither the Congress nor White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel would let him do much more, whatever his predisposition and who knows, he may believe the "lynch" metaphor, or pretend to do so.
Americans shouldn't bother with letters or emails to US Senators or
Representatives, or Obama; the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
(AIPAC) will be there ahead of you with more letters and money than you can
generate. Go instead directly to the local offices of US Senators and
Representatives, stay until you speak personally to the senior person there,
and make your case as forcefully as you can. Make sure as many people hear
you as possible but be polite, and leave your signs at home.
Alan Sabrosky (PhD, University of Michigan) is a 10-year US Marine Corps
veteran and a graduate of the US Army War College. He can be contacted at
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