The Turkish daily, Hurriyet reports that ten Gaza flotilla ships will embark from European ports in Greece and Italy on Tuesday. Previous reports said they might sail Saturday. The story notes that at least one ship will leave from Athens port, which would likely be the Audacity of Hope, whose passengers are now in Athens training for their journey and the possibility of IDF attack.
Hurriyet quotes yet another outrageous statement by Hillary Clinton to top the one which essentially warned the U.S. passengers that Israel might likely kill them and their government would take no responsibility if it did. Here’s her latest outrage:
“We do not believe the flotilla is a necessary or useful effort to try to assist the people of Gaza,” Clinton was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse. “We think it’s not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions by entering Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves.”
Did you get that? Gaza is Israel’s territorial waters. Since when? She’s got lawyers working for her who are experts in maritime and international law. Does she even bother to vet such nonsense with them before saying it? Or is it the lawyers who’ve come up with this? Not to mention that Israel intercepts them on the high seas, making it an act of piracy since Israel isn’t protecting its own territorial waters when it hijacks a boat in the international zone.
Can anyone tell me why Israel should have a ‘right to defend itself’ against unarmed civilians fulfilling their rights to protest against Israel’s illegal siege against Gaza? How is that “defense?” What threat do these peace activists pose to Israel or Israelis? By what right would any force be used against them?
UPDATE: And in case you thought it wasn’t possible, I’ve just read an even dumber, lamer State Department pronouncement which threatens Flotilla passengers who are U.S. citizens with prosecution for providing support to a terrorist entity. Here’s Haaretz’s headline as reported by its Washington stenographer, er correspondent, Natasha Mozgovaya:
U.S. State Department says Gaza is run by U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization Hamas and Americans providing support to it are subject to fines and jail.
And here’s the actual quote by the State Department flack:
“We underscore that delivering or attempting or conspiring to deliver material support or other resources to or for the benefit of a designated foreign terrorist organization, such as Hamas, could violate U.S. civil and criminal statutes and could lead to fines and incarceration,” Nuland said.
This doesn’t inhibit participation or intimidate those in the Flotilla. Just the opposite. If I were a passenger I’d quote my former president: “Bring it on.” When your government plays stupid, it infuriates you so much you are moved to act to oppose its lunacy. There will be many more Americans who will want to go next time. And of course there will be a next time, and a time after, till this insane siege is ended.
I wrote this in an earlier post tonight and I’m sorry to repeat myself, but this makes me goddamn ashamed to be an American. Goddamn ashamed.