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Irish ship sails for Gaza in defiance of Criminal Blockade
by Stephen C. Webster via ryall - Raw Story Tuesday, Jun 1 2010, 9:59pm
international / injustice/law / other press

'Serious consequences’ promised if passengers harmed

In DEFIANCE of U.S. supported Israeli crimes on land and sea, the IRISH ship MV Rachel Corrie continues to sail for Gaza with relief aid. The WORLD, now intolerant of the appalling crimes committed against humanity by ISRAEL/AMERICA, two ROGUE nations that mistakenly believe they are somehow ‘special’ and above the law, watches with keen interest! We offer, from Australia, our whole hearted support for the brave crew and passengers of this ‘little’ IRISH vessel, which continues to fly the ‘flag’ of FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND HUMANITY for us ALL. You little bewdy!

We are ONE

Irish humanitarian aid ship the MV Rachel Corrie is still sailing for Gaza, in spite of Israel's recent, devastating attack on other vessels in the Gaza aid flotilla, resulting in at least nine dead activists and hundreds of prisoners.

The ship, named after 23-year-old U.S. peace activist Rachel Corrie -- who was crushed to death in 2003 by an American-built bulldozer operated by the Israeli army -- has been pleading with the international community to pressure Israel into leaving them alone.

The Irish government, for its part, has threatened Israel with "the most serious consequences" if any Irish national, captured or currently aborad an aid vessel, is harmed.

"If any harm comes to any of our citizens, it will have the most serious consequences," Taoiseach Brian Cowen said, according to The Irish Times.

"Taoiseach" is the position bestowed upon the individual who leads Ireland's government.

The MV Rachel Corrie is reportedly due to arrive in Gaza tomorrow, according to the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Irish officials have demanded Israel let the boat pass unimpeded. Ireland has long opposed Israel's military blockade of Palestine.

"The government has formally requested the Israeli government to allow the Irish-owned ship to be allowed to complete its journey unimpeded and discharge its humanitarian cargo in Gaza," Cowen said.

"The Rachel Corrie is carrying medical equipment, wheelchairs, school supplies and cement, a material Israel has banned in Hamas-ruled Gaza, organizers said," the Seattle Post-Globe reported.

Five Irish activists and five Malaysian activists were said to be aboard.

"In the names of our friends, we are more determined than ever to continue into Gaza with our humanitarian cargo and our support for the blockaded and suffering people of Gaza," read a message sent on behalf of the activists, published by Global Research. "We expect Israel to respond to the international condemnation of its violence by not impeding by any means the safe passage of the Rachel Corrie. We appeal to the international community and United Nations to continue to demand Israel our safe passage into Gaza."

Activist group Jewish Voice for Peace declared in an e-mail to supporters, "We still don't know the names of those who were killed or injured, or where they are from. And we don't know the whereabouts or well-being of more than 400 activists still being held by Israel." The group demanded Israel release the activists without condition or charge.

The activists' call echoed another from NATO, which demanded the prisoners' freedom and pressed the need for a "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation" into the events.

In response to the activist killings, Egypt announced it would open a portion of border crossing into Palestine to allow in future shipments of humanitarian supplies. Turkey, reportedly the country of origin for some of the May 31st raid's victims, pledged it would send a military escort with future Gaza aid boats.

Israel claims the killings were the result of a "provocation" by activists who attacked the soldiers as they landed. However, journalists who were on board the vessel during the raid reported civilian casualties first, before they confirmed soldiers had landed, indicating that Israeli forces began their bombardment before boarding the ship.

By Tuesday, the United States had not condemned Israel for taking action against a ship in international waters, instead calling for an investigation to learn the facts of what happened. Instead, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stuck to the language of a UN Security Council statement issued late Sunday on the Israeli assault on a convoy headed to Gaza.

The statement condemns "those acts which resulted in the loss of at least ten civilians and many wounded," but did not specifically say whether the Israeli raid or actions of pro-Palestinians supporters caused the violence.

"Let me simply restate what the international community and the United States supported early this morning at the UN Security Council through a presidential statement," Gibbs said.

"The Security Council statement that I read calls for an investigation that is prompt, impartial, credible and transparent, conforming to international standards, of exactly what happened," Gibbs said. "And we're obviously supportive of that."

With AFP.

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Israeli piracy: UN Security Council Ignores International Law
by Julie Webb-Pullman via fleet - Global Research Wednesday, Jun 2 2010, 10:22am

The Unites Nations Security Council has once more demonstrated its irrelevance and incompetence.

This week, in an act of blatant piracy and terrorism perpetrated in international waters, Israel massacres a few boat loads of humanitarian aid volunteers on their way to deliver medicines, food, and building materials to Gaza.

In inimitable style, the UN Security Council calls for Israel to investigate itself and report back about what they did.

No criminal investigation, such as Kosovo received, not even an independent inquiry; only a Washington-backed whitewash by the perpetrators of the most heinous crime imaginable – an attack on unarmed humanitarian volunteers conducting an aid mission!

Not good enough! The people of the world deserve international organs that conduct themselves in accordance with the most basic internationally accepted precepts of justice – procedural fairness.

The three principles of procedural fairness are the bias rule, the evidence rule, and the hearing rule.

The bias rule “requires a decision-maker to be disinterested or unbiased in the matter to be decided. A person adjudicating on a dispute must have no pecuniary or proprietary interest in the outcome of the proceedings and must not reasonably be suspected, or show a real likelihood, of bias.”

It is thus clearly impossible for the victims of this massacre to receive any semblance of justice from any inquiry conducted by the State of Israel; the perpetrator of the crime, and a party with significant interest in the outcome.

We would not accept the police throwing a criminal investigation over to a murder accused to conduct – no more should we accept this outrageous abdication of responsibility by the UN.

If the Security Council is serious about its call for a “prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards” then it must observe those standards, and put the inquiry into the hands of an unbiased entity. Nothing less will suffice.

Otherwise, this incident becomes just one more example of the absolute ineffectiveness and irrelevance of the United Nations Security Council in today’s world, but especially in relation to Israel and Palestine.

(1) Israel has completely ignored every Security Council Resolution since their 1967 invasion of Palestinian territories. UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 demanded their withdrawal. They ignored them. Nothing happened.

Receiving the tacit green light, Israel went on to invade Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Syria's Golan Heights and set up settlements in both. Israel also invaded Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 and maintained a long-term occupation in the southern part of the country.

Although Israel later withdrew from Egyptian and Lebanese territory (for a while) they have continued to occupy Palestinian and Golan lands. The Security Council did nothing -- 43 years later it has still done nothing.

Israel then implements a murderous blockade, preventing medicines and food from reaching the millions of Palestinians trapped within the siege; Israel engages in destroying housing and infrastructure, leaving untold thousands homeless and cutting them off from the outside world -- in short, causing immense human suffering not unlike that suffered by millions in Nazi Germany, including Jews.

Various UN spokespeople weakly call for an end to the siege of Gaza, but there are no resolutions – by now presumably even they accept how ineffectual they are.

© 2010 Julie Webb, Global Research


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