ATTACK ON AID SHIP BY THE ISRAELI MILITARY 31 May 2010
Like thousands of people around the world, I too have been outraged at the criminal attack by the Israeli military on a flotilla aid ships taking humanitarian supplies to Gaza where the people are in dire need.
In my view, both the attack and the blockade of Gaza are crimes against human rights.
Gaza’s water system is on the verge of collapse; the available drinking water is polluted. So little food is allowed in that children’s growth is being stunted.
Yesterday, I sent the letter below to Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister and Attorney General criticising the weak Australian response to this outrage.
Western democracies & the UN need to take a much stronger stance against the Zionist regime, which has always, since its inception, had a bellicose attitude to its neighbours in the ME.
Before It was established, Zionist terrorist gangs (Stern, Irgun and Haganah) carried out numerous terrorist actions against Palestinians to drive them from their homes and their lands.
I would urge all who read this website to sign petitions from the Jewish Voice for Peace & the other activist websites to bring as much pressure to bear as possible on Israel’s leaders.
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 12:14 PM
Subject: RE: ATTACK ON AID SHIP BY THE ISRAELI MILITARY
Mr Stephen Smith
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr R Mc Clelland
RE: ATTACK ON AID SHIP BY THE ISRAELI MILITARY
As an Australian citizen, who has spent much of his life working for human rights, I am writing to express my concern at the very inadequate response that Australia has made to Israel’s outrageous attack on an aid ship travelling to Gaza on 31 May 2010.
It seems that up to 20 people have been killed by the Israeli army on a civilian ship that was carrying sorely needed humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza. The vessel was in international waters and had 700 civilians supporting Palestinian human rights. This surely has to be viewed as a crime against humanity and should be identified as such.
Even if some militants on board attacked Israeli personnel first, as Israel claims, the reaction was totally over the top. Witnesses on board, however, claim that the Israeli soldiers fired first.
To put this event in perspective, I think we should compare this aid mission to Gaza with another peace mission that occurred in 1992 and compare the results. What resulted from that is in stark contrast to the behaviour of the Israeli military.
In March 1992, I participated in an international protest against Indonesia following the 1991 massacre of 270 East Timorese civilians at the Santa Cruz Cemetry, DIli by the Indonesian military. The name of the protest was “Missao paz em Timor” (Timor Peace Mission) and it was organised by Portuguese students and academics. An international group of 120 people from 21 countries boarded the Lusitania Expresso in Darwin with the intention of laying a wreath at the Santa Cruz cemetery in memory of those who died during the massacre.
The aim of the trip was to alert the world to the genocide and the human rights abuses that were being committed against the people of East Timor by the brutal Indonesian military.
Indonesian military spokespersons announced beforehand that we would be stopped from entering Indonesian waters, be stopped from landing in Dili, be refused permission to go to the Santa Cruz Cemetry and be blown out of the water. However, although the Lusitania Expresso was followed by a flotilla of Indonesian naval ships for two days, and at one stage, the Indonesian admiral threatened to take aggressive action, this did not happen.
Most people would consider that the record of the Indonesian military is far worse than that of the Israeli military. It has committed genocide in Indonesia, West Papua, East Timor and Acheh.
However, the Israeli military has also had a very tarnished record – forcing Palestinians off their lands, non judicial killings, the establishment of settlements on Palestinian lands, illegal invasions of Lebanon, bulldozing of Palestinian houses etc . Mainly due to the actions of the Israeli army. Israel now occupies about 80% of the territory that rightly belongs to Palestine.
Surely, given this latest outrage, it is now time that countries claiming to be democratic take much firmer action against Israel.
Australia should be moving in the UN that international sanctions should be taken against Israel until it:
- allows there to be a full and independent UN investigation of the attack on the aid flotilla and that those responsible for the murders of civilians are punished
- ceases allowing Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands
- ceases the construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier wall and
to demolish the parts already constructed as it is being used to annexe Palestinian land
- stops its inhumane blockade of Gaza
- removes its checkpoints and blockades located on Palestinian lands which constrain the human rights of Palestinians to free movement for work, to meet friends and relatives, attend medical and other necessary appointments
The sanctions should include:
- removal of Israeli ambassadors
- cessation of all military cooperation with Israel
- cessation of trade
It should be noted that similar sanctions were taken against the apartheid regime in South Africa, which ironically, was supported by Israel despite the fact that its early leaders were pro Nazi.
Just as Australian leaders eventually stopped their apologetic policy to the former Indonesian dictatorship on the issue of East Timor, now is the time to take such action against the state of Israel.
Andrew (Andy) Alcock