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Correspondence with Israeli Embassy re Gaza Piracy
anti-war / imperialism |
Wednesday July 01, 2009 18:24 by Raymond Deane - writing in a personal capacity
My complaint to the Israeli Embassy elicits a remarkably informal and rude reply, to which I respond as politely as I can under the circumstances...
Emergency Protest: Israel must Release the Free Gaza activists | Reports that Free Gaza boat 'Spirit of Humanity' has been boarded by the Israeli Navy. | IFPAL Press Release 29th June | Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign | Raymond Deane's Facebook Page
From the Letter:
"... Your final gambit constitutes the standard recourse to red herrings: the fact that Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia violate human rights doesn't in some mysterious way mitigate Israeli crimes, although it's interesting that you implicitly acknowledge that Israel belongs in such dubious company. Even if it were true that Israel is "a liberal democracy" - which it is not, because Israel is an Apartheid ethnocracy or racial state - this would in no way mitigate its crimes." - Raymond Deane.
From me to the Israeli Embassy, Dublin:
To the Ambassador of Israel -
Your country is once again disgracing itself. This time it has committed an act of piracy: the arrest on the high seas of a boat, appropriately named "The Spirit of Humanity" (a spirit that your state forever seeks, in vain, to crush), and the confiscation of its cargo of medicines and toys for the beleaguered people of Gaza.
There are two Irish citizens aboard this craft, as well as a former US presidential candidate. I hope that these facts will contribute towards bringing the infamy of your country's conduct more prominently to the attention of the people of the world, who have for too long turned a blind eye to Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.
In the name of humanity, I demand that your criminal armed forces release the crew and passengers of the "Spirit of Humanity", and allow the boat to continue on its way to Gaza.
Yours faithfully -
Dr Raymond Deane
From Derek O'Flynn, Press Officer, Israeli Embassy, Dublin:
You are completely wrong:
) since Hamas control Gaza and their stated intent since their Charter of 1988 is to destroy Israel and exterminate Jews, Israel cannot permit unrestricted access to Gaza for fear of arms being imported etc.
2) the restrictions on Gaza imports/exports are by Israel and also Egypt (which likewise doesn’t want Hamas to be built up in arms and resources)
3) the Palestinian Authority also permits Israel to patrol the waters off Gaza. These are not international waters; they are internationally recognized as Israeli-patrolled waters.
4) 300,000 tons of humanitarian supplies have been facilitated by Israel alone since January alone into Gaza
5) if people wish to give aid to Gaza’s people, they can easily do so through normal channels. Charging a boat into Israeli waters is simple attention-seeking, not about real aid, because they know they will be stopped and get their 15 minutes of fame (e.g. a boat in august 2008 was carrying 5,000 balloons!!!!).
6) on this occasion, laws were breached – the boat flew the Greek flag (illegally), told the Cypriot authorities they were going to Port Said Egypt (a lie – they knew they would not get a permit to go to Gaza), they changed their declared destination en route (violating international maritime law) and then violated the Israeli-patrolled waters off Gaza.
Get your facts straight and don’t rely on the IPSC (Ireland Propaganda Solidarity Campaign.)
PS if you care so much for humanity, why don’t you and your pals go to Iran and actively support the democratic activists there; or go to Saudi Arabia and demand equal rights for women and the right to build a church; or go to Syria and demand homosexual equality… but of course you won’t because you wouldn’t come back alive. It’s so easy to bash Israel, a liberal democracy, the only one in the region, because you can get away with it.
Embassy of Israel
122 Pembroke Road
My response to Mr O'Flynn:
Mr O'Flynn -
You seek to counter my arguments by repeating the clichés of Israeli propaganda, but you're wasting your time.
Firstly, despite being democratically elected Hamas does not control Gaza, because Israel controls its airspace, borders, and marine access. Under international law Gaza is still occupied by the rogue Israeli state.
Secondly, the fact that the Egyptian dictatorship colludes with Israel's criminal policies out of fear of its own internal Islamic opposition is scarcely something to be proud of.
Thirdly, it's a joke to say "the Palestinian Authority also permits Israel to patrol the waters off Gaza". (a) The PA is a Quisling or Vichy regime - again, this is scarcely an alliance you should be proud of - and (b) the PA has no power to "permit" or "forbid" Israel from committing any crimes it chooses to commit. The phrase "internationally recognized [sic - interesting and appropriate that you use the American spelling] as Israeli-patrolled waters" is as meaningless as asserting "the coast of Somalia is internationally recognised as pirate-patrolled waters."
Fourthly, the 300,000 tons you refer to - even if this figure is correct, which is by no means certain, as Israeli propagandists pick figures out of the air - is utterly insufficient to deal with the humanitarian needs of the Gazans.
Fifthly, Israel and its dictatorial Egyptian ally block all "normal channels" of aid to the Gaza people. The "Spirit of Humanity" did not "charg[e] into Israeli waters" - it was not in Israeli waters. "Seeking attention", in this context, means alerting the world to Israel's crimes and Egyptian/EU/US complicity in those crimes and is an honourable procedure.
Sixthly, laws were indeed breached - by the Israeli pirates. There was nothing illegal about the boat's flying the Greek flag (and had this been the case, it would still not have justified Israel's piracy), and since the entire world - including the co-operative Cypriot authorities - knew of its plans to travel to Gaza for weeks prior to disembarkation, it is pathetic nonsense to claim that wool was being pulled over anyone's eyes. And, once again, the phrase "Israeli-patrolled waters off Gaza" means much the same as "pirate-patrolled waters off Somalia", except that at least those pirates are within their own waters.
Your final gambit constitutes the standard recourse to red herrings: the fact that Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia violate human rights doesn't in some mysterious way mitigate Israeli crimes, although it's interesting that you implicitly acknowledge that Israel belongs in such dubious company. Even if it were true that Israel is "a liberal democracy" - which it is not, because Israel is an Apartheid ethnocracy or racial state - this would in no way mitigate its crimes.
If this is the best you can do, Mr O'Flynn, I recommend you seek employment elsewhere - I'm sure Mr Mugabe needs a press officer.
Dr Raymond Deane