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U.S. Memorial Day Overshadowed by Israel's Deadly Attacks on Humanitarian Relief ShipsTim King Salem-News.com
Jordan called Israel's raid a "heinous crime" and Britain's Foreign Secretary, demanded an end to the blockade of Gaza.
(SALEM, Ore.) - I have high regard for the military and for veterans; I also refuse to not see what is wrong and what is right in the world. Some people see military strength as the answer to resolving international problems, but it goes against every religions teaching in the book.
Israel's attack on unarmed aid ships trying to reach the sick, starving, struggling and tired people of Gaza, will always be remembered as a turning point in the world's history, and it happened on a day that we set aside to honor our dead.
While many of us are aware of the horrible non-humanitarian treatment of Palestinians, and we know about Israel's apartheid laws that strip non-Jewish people of many rights, it is a fact that many do not.
It is hard for many Americans to imagine that Israel is this far over the line, but it is nothing new.
We write about it, we carry reports from the heart of the conflict; video and photos of the real treatment of Palestinians, farmers shot in their fields by Israeli snipers, patrol boats from Israel's navy mowing down entire families picnicking on the beach in Gaza. It goes on and on.
But this act, this premeditated killing of international doctors and activists, crosses any line that existed before.
Those of us already dialed into this knowledge are in pain today, with broken hearts - feeling the sadness of what took place. These activists are more than great, beyond honorable, as is any individual who would undertake anything like breaking an international blockade to aid poor people.
So on a day reserved to celebrate America's war dead, we are reporting constantly on this act of international aggression against a Turkish flagged ship, in a flotilla with two vessels that were flying U.S. flags.
And it is important that before being attacked, the Turkish vessel launched a white flag, an act calling on the honor of others on the high seas, to know that the vessel is not a threat.
Israel claims they were going to inspect the vessels' contents, but they approached with military commandos, who for a lack of better terms, had their asses kicked, their guns taken away, and they were even tossed off the ship- by peace activists.
It certainly may be an embarrassing situation for the Israeli commando's right about now.
In retaliation for defending their own vessel in international waters, Israel killed at least ten and seriously injured dozens. The rest were seized and arrested.
Writer Kawther Salam stated in her article today, "Turkish sources and media revealed a document which shows that a death list had been prepared in advance by the Israelis, showing names and pictures of people on board of the ships to be murdered, who, according to Israel, were 'involved in the International humanitarian aid for Gaza.'"
Turkish sources report hundreds of Israeli soldiers storming the blue Turkish ship “Marmara” flotilla with copies of the death list.
The list is said to have included the names of civilians on the fleet who should be killed. Kawther Salam revealed that the document was apparently recovered after one of the Israeli soldiers lost it during the piracy act.
An Israeli source that posted this video, says, "After boats from the Free Gaza Flotilla refused to change course, despite multiple requests from the IDF to reroute to the Ashdod Port so that their aid supplies could be transferred over land, Israeli Navy forces took control of the boats and brought them to port."
There is no mention of the slaughter, or the extremely credible reports that Israel fired on the vessels before ever attempting to board them. Naturally, those aboard knew they were in danger from Israel's illegal interception in international waters.
In this video, the activists are escorted off of the boats into a hangar set up at the Ashdod Port. Those taken into custody by Israel were offered a choice of deportation or imprisonment.
About 150 activists, mostly Turkish, were taken off the boats by late Monday. And of those, about 30 agreed to be deported, and the rest would be imprisoned, according to Israeli Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad. There is obviously a large statement being made by the large number choosing to remain in custody.
This is Israel's gift to the world on a day when Americans are supposed to honor their own. It sadly makes the whole idea of the military's use of death as an answer for world problems seem all the more ridiculous.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.
Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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