Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On the Freedom Flotilla, Israel and the International Community

Excuse me for not writing the second I heard the news of the unimaginably shocking Israeli attack of the Freedom Flotilla shipping medical supplies, cement and other aid to the besieged people of Gaza yesterday.

I've been at a loss for words.

You all know the basics of what happened. Six ships with around 700 peace activists from around the world determined to break the siege on Gaza were attacked by the Israeli army yesterday early morning. At least 10, perhaps as many as 19, were killed. Over 30 injured. More than 600 detained. And Israel is mindbogglingly enough attempting to make the world believe that their commandos fired in self-defense.

Excuse you me, but if you descend from a helicopter on a ship out on international waters, fully masked, with guns, tear gas and stun guns, then you will have an extremely difficult time convincing me that you're killing people in self-defense. Especially since the people on board were equipped with nothing else than plastic knives, water hoses, and apparently a couple of wooden sticks.

As the news have sunk in, I'm left with a number of thoughts in my head:

1. In the middle of all the politics, let's not forget that there are somewhere between 10 and 19 families who lost their sons or daughters yesterday morning. And around 700 families that have been worried sick the past two days over their loved ones captured and detained by Israel.

2. Turkey deserves a standing ovation by the international community for standing up for the people of Gaza.

3. After Israel has once again proved to the world that they have absolutely no respect for human life or international law, all governments in the world should finally lose patience once and for all and demand change. Cut all diplomatic ties, prohibit military cooperation, and sever trade relations with the State of Israel unless and until the Israeli Government makes real changes on the ground and starts respecting international law, human life and human rights.

4. Because it seems that most governments are still reluctant to step up and act beyond the customary verbal condemnations, it is reassuring to see the mobilization of regular people online, on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, posting videos, links, articles, getting the truth out as the story unfurls. It is encouraging to see that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is gaining momentum over the world among normal consumers. It is inspiring to see all the people who took to the streets to express their support for the people of the Freedom Flotilla and Gaza, and to demonstrate against Israel.

Because this, my dear readers, this is how the uprising against South Africa's Apartheid started. With normal people like you and me who got fed up with the inaction of governments and international institutions and took the matter in their own hands and decided to boycott everything South African.

Once people start acting, politicians start worrying, and governments start changing policies.

So keep boycotting everything Israeli. Keep emailing your presidents and prime ministers. Keep sharing articles and videos. Together we can build support for our simple demands: that the siege on Gaza be lifted, the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people be respected, that international law be enforced.

غزة على بالي

Bookmark and Share

No comments: