I will not speak for the others, American or foreign, but I will mark in passing the sense of futility they feel as Americans for their government’s complicity in Israel’s blatant and calculated destruction of the people of Palestine. For years, certainly since the Presidency of George W. Bush, these Americans have attempted to condemn and to distance themselves from the crimes committed by their representatives, including their belief that the election of Barak Obama would offer change—yet change does not happen. Consequently, varying organizations, agencies and individuals have joined forces to confront the illegality of these two nations by using international waters to break the blockade of Gaza.
Needless to say, Israel and its Congressional Knesset in Washington have determined to stop the freedom flotillas from reaching Gaza or impacting their illegal siege of this strip of land where they have imposed collective punishment against the people. The interception of Turkey’s boat, Marmara, and the killing of 9 citizens of that NATO nation by Israeli naval commandos breaks the governing principles of NATO’s obligations to its members, a virtual act of war, even as it breaks international law governing attacks at sea.
But Israel and the U.S. act with impunity in our name. Hence the need to take active measures to stop such unilateral betrayal of the agreements we have formed as a people with member states of the United Nations. The disaster resulting from the attack on the Marmara follows six decades of Israeli atrocities against the indigenous people of Palestine including a terrorist war against the authorized British government during the Mandate Period, the massacre at Deir Yassin and 27 subsequent massacres that caused the obliteration of 418 towns and villages, the ethnic cleansing of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes to refugee camps where they continue to live in poverty without rights of citizenship abandoned by the governments of the world, the subsequent invasion of Lebanon by Israel in 1982 and the slaughter at the Sabra Chatila refugee camp, one of the most brutal and savage massacres orchestrated by Israel through its mercenaries, and more recently the 2006 invasion of Lebanon capped by a return to the massacre of the Qana orphanage, the Christmas destruction of Gaza in 2008/9 and now its wanton attacks against international citizens on international waters.
How can anyone with a conscience allow such behavior to continue? I began this series on the Boat Brigade referring to Wagner’s Das Rheingold and its major theme—acquisition of power and wealth by repudiation of human love, the denial of sympathy or compassion for one’s fellow man, the creation of a people willing to forgo all morals and principles to achieve ultimate power, the soulless human without conscience or remorse, the walking dead. There is an unfortunate consequence to such acceptance of a life lived for self and the acquisition of gold—a life lived in isolation from all others because success necessitates lies, deceit and manipulation if one is to defeat all others, an alienation from warmth and true concern that gives substance to spirit as opposed to pocketbook.
Faced as they are with the world against them, Israel and the United States turn to devices of control to prevent the confrontations the freedom flotilla represent. Having lost once again acceptance of their brutal attack on the Mamara, they have found it necessary to link any who join such a flotilla to terrorist groups, enemies of the state of Israel and, therefore, enemy combatants which legitimizes in their distorted minds their right to engage and kill such people as if they were militarily threatening the state of Israel.
Yet as a result, the flotilla has not and cannot sail as planned, not on the 25th of June, not on the 29th, not on the 3rd or 4th of July, and perhaps never. The accusations have forced the government of Lebanon to confront Israel’s contention that it will hold Lebanon responsible for any attack Israel must take against the ships; the organizers have had to confront the allegations of complicity with terror groups even though only the U.S., Israel and Canada have alleged that Hizbullah is a terrorist organization and not a legitimate political and humanitarian organization in Lebanon or that Hamas is labeled a terrorist organization although it too is an elected party in Palestine and only prevented from acting as such by Israel and the U.S.
Clearly, the power and control that Israel imposes on Palestine, its calculated willingness to steal as much land as it can from the rightful owners, its conscienceless drive to eradicate the people, its willing use of American soldiers for its own purposes, its control of our representatives through fear and intimidation, demonstrates that it will not tolerate demonstrations against its tyranny. Yet should they succeed, they will have once again perverted the very ideals on which America was founded and the voice of the people will be buried beneath the overwhelming power that gold represents—and the human need for love and compassion for all will be made irrelevant to and subjected to those who live without human sympathy.
These are my thoughts as I leave Lebanon this Saturday, a victim of those who have no conscience, no remorse, and no soul.