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Health Care & Environment
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
State Terror, Israeli Style
Thursday, 1 July 2010
The report's final comment wondered what kind of a world it'd be if other countries followed the path of Israel? What kind also when leaders committing these crimes aren't held accountable, including world leaders turning a blind eye to crimes of war and against humanity.
Ongoing since its May 14, 1948 "Declaration of Independence," Israel systematically reigned terror against Palestinians and neighboring states, always claiming self-defense - bogus then, bogus now, historian Ilan Pappe describing Israel as a "settler Prussian state: a combination of colonialist policies....manifested in the dominance of the army over political, cultural and economic life," then adding:
Public discourse won't admit it or that Palestinians "lost 80% of their homeland" in a few short months, about 800,000 of them either dispossessed or massacred. Then in 1967, "they lost the remaining 20%," not recovered after 43 years, nor have they received any measure of justice, Cast Lead and Gaza's siege the most extreme recent examples.
On May 31, no wonder Israeli commandos attacked peaceful activists trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Gazans. Defense Minister Ehud Barak once commanded a similar unit, and Benjamin Netanyahu's eldest brother, Yonatan (a martyr and national hero), led 100 commandos in Operation Entebbe, the July 4, 1976 hostage rescue mission at Uganda's Entebbe Airport.
That was heroic, not murdering unarmed, peaceful activists in international waters, an unconscionable crime, one the Turkish-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) calls a premeditated terrorist attack in a newly issued report titled, " Palestine Our Route, Humanitarian Aid Our Load Flotilla Campaign Summary Report," saying:
Under embargo since Hamas' January 2006 election and a suffocating three year siege, 1.5 million Gazans (900,000 in eight refugee camps), have suffered months under a humanitarian nightmare, slow-motion genocide, acknowledged by Pappe and international law expert Francis Boyle, citing the provisions of the 1948 Genocide Convention, saying prior to the siege:
Why a Humanitarian Aid Flotilla?
It tried "to pierce the blockade....with 9 ships full of humanitarian aid....to bring some (relief) to the people of Gaza, who have lived for many years in such deprivation....People from South America, Africa, the Balkans, Central Asia, the Middle East....the Far East (and North America) came together, people with different languages, religions and races, all came together to bring (desperately needed) aid...."
Items included were 10,000 tons of:
Israel confiscated the entire cargo, claiming it would deliver select items through the UN, meaning only permitted foods, fabric items, and some medicines, most everything in all categories strictly prohibited - thousands of non-military items in total.
Summary of Events - the Mavi Marmarra Mother Ship
Its 600 passengers were attacked in international waters after its Turksat satellite frequency and satellite telephone communications were blocked to prevent massacre reports getting out and connections to other ships.
Late at night, Israeli ships surrounded the Mavi Marmarra, including one or two submarines, after which helicopters circled overhead. After warning passengers, "masked, armed soldiers....tr(ied) to grab onto the boat with heavy grappling irons," at the same time live fire began, including high frequency sounds, machine guns, and loud noises resembling gas bombs, after which soldiers descended from helicopters, shooting before landing on deck.
There was no provocation, and no warning was given. Unarmed civilians were attacked, some at point blank range, at least nine of them murdered in cold blood, some shot in the head multiple times, perhaps more as bodies were dumped overboard, and some passengers remain missing. Dozens more were injured, at least 20 seriously. Everyone was taken prisoner.
The few Israeli soldiers hurt were treated by the ship's doctor. Confirming video showed it. On board, after hearing about civilian deaths, IHH President, Bulent Yildirim, told passengers over a loud speaker to sit in the lounge and not resist, except for medical workers continuing their work. He, in turn, removed his white shirt, waved it at soldiers, asking for a ceasefire. He was ignored.
Despite good faith efforts, "the Israeli soldiers, who had surrounded the lounge, continued" firing live rounds - even at medical workers treating their own injured comrades. A doctor providing aid was shot in the arm.
More soldiers boarded the ship with specially trained K9 dogs. Passengers were searched and handcuffed. Their possessions, including passports were confiscated. Women were seated on benches, men forced to kneel uncomfortably on deck. No one was allowed "to fulfill their most basic needs." It became a "long war of nerves...."
Throughout the ordeal, soldiers were hostile and abusive, "trying to agitate (passengers) to create problems." In control of the ship, they took it (and the others) to Israel's Ashdod Port, a trip taking 10 hours, passengers not knowing their destination or fate once they arrived.
En route, "Some of the wounded were purposefully mistreated, kicked and hit with weapons, while others were shot at, despite being wounded. Some wounded people" weren't taken to the hospital. Although bleeding and needing treatment, they were kept on board, doctors not allowed to help them.
At Ashdod, passengers were taken off in handcuffs, accompanied by policemen. Interrogations and security checks followed, including strip searches down to underwear, fingerprinting, and photographing. Then a health check, after which participants were told told to sign "certain documents," to be released. Otherwise, they faced prison and confinement for at least two months for entering Israel illegally despite being taken there forcibly.
Most refused, were put on freezing cold buses, taken to Beer Sheva prison, and placed in two to four-person cells, separated from others, given no information about them or allowed to make phone calls. Instead they were told: "This is now your home, forget going back."
Requests to meet consular officials were refused. Sleep was denied for two nights. Harassment was punishing, including repeated (day and night) interrogations to state their names, and explain where they came from, and why - besides being forced to "carry out every type duty," including "carrying things, distributing things, (and) cleaning up after dinner, etc."
After nearly a day, consular officials got in. Then by noon the next day, passengers began being released to be deported. Others waited an extra day, some longer. The entire procedure was made as arduous, demeaning, and degrading as possible, the slightest reaction met by blows.
Some participants "who had left the prison unharmed arrived at the airport with injuries." Others before and during detention were seriously beaten, some tortured. Five stayed behind hospitalized too injured to leave. The whereabouts of six or more remains unknown. Likely they're dead, murdered in cold blood.
Events on Other Ships
On May 30 evening and throughout the early morning May 31 hours, before the Mavi Marmarra massacre, the Defne was harassed, told to change course, and abandon its mission, what it and other vessels refused to do.
At 6:10 AM, commandos stormed the ship, took it to Ashdod, imprisoned its passengers, confiscated their possessions and the cargo. No one on board was killed, nor on other vessels who were treated like Defne's, all personal property and aid items seized, the entire ordeal (from boarding to imprisonment to deportation) made as uncomfortable and painful as possible, a lesson Israelis hoped would intimidate others from coming, an experience emboldening participants to come back, undaunted by their intimidating experience.
Eight of the nine known dead were Turks. The ninth was a Turkish American. Most of those wounded were also Turks or of Turkish or Arabic origin. Clearly they were identified in advance. Commandos had names and photos of assassination targets, ordered by top Israeli officials, including IDF commanders to commit cold-blooded murder.
A Final Comment
Besides violating maritime law in international waters, Israel massacred as many as 15 or more passengers in cold blood, injured dozens more, some seriously. In addition, ship communications were cut off, participants illegally arrested, repeatedly interrogated, initially denied consular contact, intimidated, imprisoned, and treated horrifically for two - three days, including harassment, humiliation, and physical abuse involving beatings, in some cases torture.
Further, their passports and personal possessions were stolen. Permission "to fulfill their basic needs" was denied. Humanitarian aid cargo was confiscated. Individual testimonies bore witness to Israel's lawless, callous, and degrading treatment.
Mevlut Yurtseven, the Mavi Marmarra's doctor, said dozens were wounded, at least 20 seriously. "They forced the wounded to stand up and tried to make them walk. They did not bring stretchers. Because I protested (I) was handcuffed."
Press TV - UK's Hassan al Banna Ghani said "They set attack dogs against me and another (UK) volunteer. They gave us nothing to eat for 20 hours on the ship. They stole our personal belongings and damaged them." Volunteers were treated violently.
UK emergency aid worker Nur Choodhury explained "We were physically abused: kicked, slapped, pinched, and elbowed. Our hands were tied tightly with cables; this was extremely painful and caused us to lose feeling in our hands." They were prevented from using toilets or phoning families.
Those waging war on peace will lose, the report concluded, legal professionals already enlisted to represent families of those killed, the injured, and everyone imprisoned, tortured, abused, robbed, and subjected to cruel and humiliating treatment - crimes against humanity by a nation mocking democratic freedoms, defiling the rule of law, affording rights solely to Jews, and endorsing racism, extremism, violence and torture as official state policies, including against peaceful activists bringing essential humanitarian aid to Gazans in desperate need.
The report's final comment wondered what kind of a world they'd be "if other countries....follow(ed) the path of Israel....? What kind also when leaders committing these crimes aren't held accountable, world leaders turning a blind eye, some providing active support, making them culpable - complicit in crimes of war and against humanity, including against activists bringing humanitarian aid.
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Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on July 1, 2010.