Thursday, June 03, 2010

A nation without a conscience

(Letter to the White House and State Department)

The news continues to bring bring anger, frustration and outrage. Israel's attack upon unarmed humanitarian activists, and America's tacit approval of Israel's continuing moral misdeeds is criminal in every sense of the word.

Israel essentially pirated the flotilla's ships on the high seas (an act of war against the Turkish- and American-flagged ships), kidnapped the activists, took them to Israel, then had the gall to accuse them of entering Israel illegally. Israel claims to be exercising its right to defend national security, however they knew or (had they wished to) could have known exactly what was carried upon these ships. Inspections were performed prior to the flotilla's departure.

Israel calls the humanitarian activists armed thugs who attacked and shot their commandos with their own weapons (previously described as “paint ball guns” by one Israeli diplomat). Israeli soldiers merely acted in self-defense, they say. The activists reported the commandos were heavily armed. And the evidence is strongly in their favor, as nine of them were murdered!

There is a way to board ships for inspection. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard have routinely interdicted ships in war or exclusion zones. It does not involve pre-dawn commando raids utilizing heavily armed soldiers, "flash-bang” grenades, tear gas, snipers and machine guns.

What would you do if being assaulted under such conditions? You would defend your friends and family. This is what some of the activists chose to do.

This incident is yet another in a long series of Israeli humanitarian outrages (the ghetto-ization and blockade of Gaza, white phosphorous use against Palestinians, extensive deployment of cluster bombs in Lebanon, the illegal appropriation of Palestinian lands to build Israel's 400-mile "wall", the "Operation Orchard" raid on Syria and political assassination in Dubai being among more recent violations of Geneva Conventions.)

Israel has lost all credibility. Their leadership has no moral compass. And the World is led to conclude that America is so compromised by its own guilt in similarly violating Geneva Conventions that it can only remain mute in the face of such crimes.

Each of us is first and foremost a citizen of the world. We have a responsibility for all humanity, not just for our little tribe. Americans can no longer defend international criminals, regardless of who the criminal is.

For a recent summary of World Health Organization and U.N. findings on the impact of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, follow this link.

The resilient Israeli spirit has seized the occasion to find humor in their high seas escapades. The parody "We Con the World" has been removed from YouTube, but here's another sample of the levity to be found in summary executions.

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