[News] Looting the Victims of the Raid on the Gaza Flotilla
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jun 18 12:37:12 EDT 2010
June 18 - 20, 2010
Looting the Victims of the Raid on the Gaza Flotilla
Grand Theft Flotilla
By STANLEY HELLER
"There's been three or four reports from passengers that Israelis
then went out with their credit cards and bought beer with it."
That's what Greta Berlin of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla told me about
what happened with the possessions of people who were on the seven
boats of the Flotilla.
The deaths so far have been given major attention (nine at the moment
and two so badly injured that they're unlikely to live). The 40 or 50
wounded or beaten (many in Israeli jails) less so. For those who
appreciated last week's CounterPunch piece by the amazing Kenneth
Nichols O'Keefe they should see
interview when bloodied and beaten as he was let out of Israeli custody.
However, the facts about what the Israelis did with the personal
possessions of the passengers have received scant notice. This can be
summed up in a few words: theft, malicious destruction and seizure.
First there's good news, the supplies. It's reported that the U.N.
will transport " the entire cargo" of the Turkish ships to Gaza [they
say] . Hopefully the same will happen with the supplies from the
non-Turkish ships. It's a bitter triumph for the Free Gaza Movement
and a sign that despite the thousands organized by the Israeli soccer
club Betar to spew hatred in front of the Turkish Embassy in Israel
and the opinion polls there showing overwhelming support for the
raid, Netanyahu is rational enough to see he has to make a concession.
What about the personal property, cameras, computers, Iphones, and
luggage? According to Greta Berlin some of the electronics were
returned, all smashed up. Others were not given back at all. The
Israelis selectively used snippets of passenger video to advance
their case that the poor Israelis rappelling from the skies were set
upon by well armed terrorists. The rest of the videotape and flash
memory cards are kept back, no doubt for THE INVESTIGATION or perhaps
they were pre-emptively "lost".
Berlin said she received a report from a lawyer working for a Turkish
organization that over $3.5 million dollars in equipment had been
destroyed. Clothing, personal items. If a passenger wants to see if
their luggage was returned they can go to a Turkish warehouse and
pick though the suitcases packed with random clothing and gear and
see what they can recover.
They flat out stole money and credit cards. Not a dime has been
returned of the cash and as has been mentioned some security
officials are merrily tippling their Lowenbraus and laughing at their
Many of the passports have not been returned, especially those from
Palestinian Israelis. Now, whatever could they do with passports?
What Mossad bunker have they been shipped to be examined and
refashioned for use in the next assassination?
Then there are the ships, big expensive ships this time, not the
little boats of the first few voyages. They sit in Ashdod harbor.
Supposedly they were to be returned to Turkey within ten days. The
Free Gaza Movement is afraid the Israelis will demand they first sign
a pledge never to use them again to bring things to Gaza. They won't
sign any such pledge of shame. They will be going back. Right now the
ships sit in the port along a Free Gaza ship the Israeli navy stole last year.
Stealing is not such a big thing. Look at the olive trees that now
dot the settlements, fine decorations. It used to be that the Israeli
pioneers would plant fir trees of Europe "to make the desert bloom".
But with all the olive trees available, with the hundreds of
thousands being bulldozed out as they army builds the Wall and
whatnot, why just waste them, why not put them to good use. So the
fashion is established.
Why doesn't Netanyahu get it over with? Remove the Star of David and
blue bars from the Israeli flag and hoist up the Jolly Roger.
The fly in the ointment is the fact that the Flotilla Massacre
survivors are speaking out. Or they're trying to. Several of the
survivors are attempting to speak at the U.N. and at events in the
U.S. However, a group of powerful NYC politicians are demanding the
U.S. State Department keep them out. No, it's not neo-cons slandering
the survivors as having "ties" with terrorists. It's what passes for
New York liberals.
The New York Daily News says Representative Carolyn Maloney has
pledged to deliver a petition with more than 23,000 signatures
demanding the State Department do visa checks of Mavi Marmara ship
passengers planning a speaking tour. The Congresswoman says she's
defending the country from "Hamas". At the press conference
Congressman Jerome Nadler made the claim that the IHH which organized
the Turkish ships "has long been known for its ties to Hamas and al-Qaeda".
The paper quotes Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel as saying, "Use
extra caution. Take this threat seriously." What threat, the threat
that survivors might rip through the steady stream of Israeli
propaganda? What irony. We have the Congressman from Harlem defending
the outrageous lies of a country headed by a President (Shimon Peres)
who in the heyday of apartheid offered to sell nuclear weapons to
South Africa. This foremost Black Congressman pledges on his website
"unwavering support" to a country where racism (against Palestinians)
is open and pervasive.
Malcolm and Martin must be spinning in their graves.
Stanley Heller is host of the news magazine "The Struggle" which can
be seen at <http://www.TheStruggle.org>www.TheStruggle.org He can be
reached at <mailto:mail at TheStruggle.org>mail at TheStruggle.org
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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