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flotilla

  • Gaza-bound flotilla said planning to depart Turkey in coming days; activists deny plans to sail

    Less than six months after an international flotilla failed to break the Gaza blockade, and for the most part failed to get out the door due in part to a strong international pressure campaign launched by Israel and its supporters, another vessel - the "Flotilla of Freedom 2" is said to depart Turkey on Sunday. Not much has been publicized about this latest effort. Organizers told journalists they were hoping to prevent a repeat of thwarted efforts earlier this year. Still, in hopes of documenting any possible confrontation, select international media have been invited to travel with the vessel as it…

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  • Between Cairo and Ankara, Netanyahu's failures are exposed

    These are the most challenging times the Middle East has seen in decades, yet one couldn't imagine a more inept government for Israel than the one that sits in Jerusalem Last month, Israel rejected a compromise over the flotilla incident that Israeli and Turkish negotiators reached. The American administration has been applying pressure on Jerusalem and Ankara to reach an understanding prior to the publishing of the Palmer Report. According to recent reports in the local media, both sides to the talks in Geneva had agreed that Israel would apologize for "a military failure" that led to the death of eight…

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  • Turkey's response to UN flotilla report: not just about Israel

    Turkey’s response to the UN’s Palmer Report investigating the 2010 flotilla debacle was like a roar in the jungle of Middle East and global politics that had been building for at least two years now.  Turkey had leveraged the report even prior to its publication as the deadline for an ultimatum to Israel: apologize or face punishment. The UN commission returned a relatively balanced verdict of blame; Israel predictably failed to apologize, and Turkey wasted no time: it dramatically downgraded Israel’s diplomatic relations, with promises of further measures, and brashly swept aside the report itself. It’s hard to ignore the…

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  • Where are the Palestinian voices in mainstream media?

    Have international solidarity mobilizations drowned out Palestinian voices? Over the last few weeks, media in this region was filled with images of people from all over the Western world holding up Palestinian flags and chanting “Free Palestine.” We’ve heard from the likes of Americans, like prize-winning author Alice Walker and former CIA official Ray McGovern (both passengers on the US boat to Gaza) about the importance of standing up for Palestinians in Gaza; we’ve heard about hunger strikes by Spanish and American citizens stuck in Greece after their boats were not allowed to sail; and we’ve seen videos of activists landing…

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  • After banning international activists from West Bank, Israel tries to do same with Israelis

    One day after the “air flotilla” landed in Tel Aviv, Palestinian and Israeli activists held a demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh just west of Ramallah. The village’s agricultural spring was taken over by Jewish settlers in the nearby settlement of Halamish over two years ago. Every Friday since, villagers and their Israeli and international supporters have been holding weekly unarmed demonstrations in protest of the takeover. Yesterday saw a similar protest but for the first time in months, Palestinians were able to get close to the spring itself. Normally, the army blocks demonstrators while still inside…

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  • Were 'air flotilla' activists arrested in West Bank?

    According to media reports carried by all major news outlets in Israel, four ‘air flotilla’ passengers were arrested/detained Saturday in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh during an unarmed demonstration this morning. Haaretz, in its headline story, is citing reports by Channel 10 (Heb), that four ‘air flotilla’ activists have been taken for questioning after they had been arrested in the demonstration. The Jerusalem Post, citing unnamed ‘organizers’, claims that air flotilla passengers are clashing with security forces in Nabi Saleh. The paper does not cite the name of the organizations that the ‘organizers’ are representatives of. Ynet is…

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  • The unlikely alliance between Greek activists and the Flotilla

    After a week of anti-austerity demonstrations and flotilla training, activists from both camps have emerged unified in their claim that Greek government no longer represents its people; rather it is now beholden to the interests of foreign bodies, be it Israel or the International Monetary Fund. ATHENS - On a sleepy Friday afternoon in the Greek port city of Perama, just outside of the beleaguered Greek capital, a refurbished US flagged ferry boat, dubbed The Audacity of Hope, set sail for the Gaza Strip. With the attention of the international media and journalists on board from CNN and The New York Times, the boat’s captain,…

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  • Information ministry welcomes "Israel in therapy" video

    Yesterday we covered here a masterpiece of self-defeating propaganda showing "Israel" as a distressed and paranoid young woman suspicious of people trying to help her and having flashbacks to edited and censored videos of the IDF raid on the marmara. While the initial suspicion was that this was a trailer for Ami Kaufman's Izzie series, sources with knowledge of the actress's engagement confirmed to 972 she was recruited to do a Hasbara video for a government project. Just for the morning exercise of your cringe muscles, here it is again: The actress, Aimee Neistat, would not confirm, deny or disclose…

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  • What about the Jews on the US boat to Gaza?

    For Jews on board the US boat to Gaza, the Audacity of Hope, their decision to sail to Gaza was a concrete action marking their divergence from mainstream American Jewish allegiance of the Israeli policies. Jewish presence in the flotilla represents growing dissatisfaction among American Jews with Israel’s incessant willingness to monopolize modern Jewish identity. Over the past two weeks, American activists aboard the US boat to Gaza, dubbed the Audacity of Hope, have been engaged in nonviolence training, holding preparation meetings and speaking to the media about their mission to Gaza. Yesterday, their mission officially ended. The Greek government…

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  • "Sexy Israel" getting treatment for flotilla nightmares

    (Tlatest update on the role of the Information Ministry can be found here) I'm somewhat of a fool for excruciatingly bad Hasbara videos, but this one surely takes the cake: From this video, we learn "Israel" is massively paranoid, even somewhat hysterical, believing edited second-hand evidence from biased sources (IDF spokesman's video from the flotilla), suspicious of people trying to help her and storming out of treatment - so far so true. Apart from making rather poorly judged use of the experience of real women with real trauma, the July 1st video is also ridiculously sexist; beginning with the cheap…

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  • Police prepares in force to meet "activist airlift" Friday (updated)

    The Israeli authorities are determined not to let any visitor who would declare his desire to come to the West Bank enter the country this Friday. In a statement made yesterday, PM Netanyahu's office called the planned attempt by hundreds of activists to conduct a solidarity visit in the Palestinian Territories "an effort to undermine Israel's right to exist". "Everyone here is in hysterics," sources in Jerusalem told media This post was updated. As we have reported here on Sunday, A coalition of organizations has made public its intention to have hundreds of international activists land at Ben-Gurion airport this…

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  • UPDATE: With the US boat out, Flotilla to set sail today

    The US boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, is dead in the water. Its captain, an American citizen who goes only by the name Captain Jack, will be brought before a judge on felony charges on Tuesday in Athens. Passengers on the ship have been given the freedom to leave the military port where the boat is currently detained but crew members have been forced to stay on board. Many passengers are choosing to stay with the ship and its captain out of solidarity for their plight. Some passengers have begun a hunger strike to protest the Greek government…

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  • Hundreds to challenge restrictions on traveling to Occupied Territories

    Israel is not yet done with the second flotilla, and a new effort to challenge its control over the travel to and from Palestinian Territories might take place this week - in no other place than the Tel Aviv International Airport This post was updated. A coalition of organizations has made public [French, PDF] its intention to have hundreds of international activists land at Ben-Gurion airport this Friday, July 8th, and openly declare their intention to visit the West Bank. Until now, visitors coming in solidarity with the Palestinians had to conceal their destination when questioned at the airport, or…

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