A BBC report says that troops "clashed" with protesters. How does that go exactly? The heavily armed Israeli forces point their guns and shoot? It was a cold-blooded massacre. Israel has no problem with killing defenseless people on a humanitarian mission.
This U.S. Memorial Day, thoughts and prayers are with the people of the aid mission and their families. In particular, the ten who were killed and the more than 50 injured.
On Sunday, May 30, 2010, participants in the international flotilla carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip held a memorial service at sea to commemorate the 34 Americans killed and 173 injured in Israel's 1967 attack on the U.S.S. Liberty.
Joe Meadors, a signalman on the Navy surveillance ship 43 years ago and a member of the Free Palestine Movement delegation to the flotilla, will lead the ceremony in honor of his crewmates.
Mr. Meadors believes that while the facts of that day in 1967 may never be fully acknowledged, the men who died should not be forgotten. "I am sailing again in the Eastern Mediterranean," he said, "to remember the brave heroes from the Liberty and the forgotten 1.5 million people trapped in Gaza."
Both the Israeli and U.S, governments conducted inquiries into the incident, and issued reports, which concluded that the attack was a mistake, due to Israeli confusion about the identity of the USS Liberty. Some U.S. diplomats, veterans and intelligence officials involved in the incident continue to dispute these official findings, saying the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was not a mistake, and it remains the only major maritime incident in U.S. history not investigated by the U.S. Congress.Interestingly, the ship itself got nearly as much compensation as the sailors' surviving families.
In May 1968, the Israeli government paid US$ 3,323,500 as full payment to the families of the 34 men killed in the attack. In March 1969, Israel paid a further $3,566,457 in compensation to the men who had been wounded. On 18 December 1980, it agreed to pay $6 million as settlement for the U.S. claim of $7,644,146 for material damage to the Liberty itself.
It is believed that the USS Liberty was attacked and an attempt was made to sink it, in order to draw the involvement of the U.S. into Israel's war with Egypt.
Hopefully, Mr. Meadors is among the survivors of the attack. Reportedly, the Israelis have detained activists accompanying the convoy.
No word on who was killed yet, but the list of international passengers from nine countries is available here.
The U.S. has reportedly said that it deeply regrets the loss of life. Britain deplores the loss of life. The Irish government is concerned for its citizens who were abroad the aid flotilla. Indonesia is urging the UN to investigate the attack. The UN Security Council is scheduled to discuss the Israeli attack. There is a worldwide furor of criticism of Israel over this latest incident.
Other sources for this post: FreeGaza.org
UPDATE 05.31.2010 5:07 pm:
|Turks march against Israeli attack|
Around 10,000 people marched from the Israeli consulate in Istanbul towards the city's main square shouting slogans and waving banners saying "Killer Israel".
Source: Al Jazeera:
UPDATE: 06.04.2010, 10:36am
Israeli MP says Israel started shooting before even boarding flotilla ship (Video)
Top Jewish Rabbis condemn Israeli Flotilla Massacre (Video)
Meet the 19-Year-Old American Killed in the Flotilla Attack
By Paul Woodward (original post appeared on War in Context)
US Citizen 19yr old Shot 4x in Head on Gaza Flotilla via IDF (Video)
Former US Ambassador Edward Peck Says Flotilla Activists Were Defending Themselves (Video)
Flotilla Survivor says Israeli marines boarded unarmed American ship throwing grenades (Video)
Glenn Greenwald Clobbers Eliot Spitzer in Debate on the Gaza Flotilla (with Video)
IDF Released Several Faked Photos – How Can They Be Trusted in ANY Investigation?
Norman Finkelstein “Israel is now a lunatic state” (with Video)
Finkelstein: “What happened with the Gaza flotilla was not an accident. You have to remember that the Israeli cabinet met for fully a week. All the cabinet members discussed and deliberated how they would handle the flotilla. There were numerous reports in the Israeli press, numerous suggestions, numerous recommendations about what to do.
At the end of the day they decided on a night time armed commando raid on a humanitarian convoy. Israel is now a lunatic state. It’s a lunatic state with between 2 and 300 nuclear devices. It is threatening war daily against Iran, and against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah in Lebanon has all ready stated on several occasions that if Israel attacks it will retaliate in kind. Things are getting out of control. We have to ask ourselves a simple basic fundamental question. Can a lunatic state like Israel be trusted with 2 to 300 nuclear devices, when it is now threatening its neighbors Iran and Lebanon with an attack? These are serious issues!”