White House Protest Corps


German Activists File War Crimes Complaints Against Israel

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,700127,00.html

By John Goetz

Left Party parliamentarians Annette Groth (l.) and Inge Höger (r.)  together with human rights activist Norman Paech (c.).

Left Party parliamentarians Annette Groth (l.) and Inge Höger (r.) together with human rights activist Norman Paech (c.).

Public prosecutors in Germany are looking into a war crimes complaint filed against Israel by two members of parliament with the far-left Left Party and a human rights activist who were on board the Mavi Marmara when Israeli troops stormed it 11 days ago.

Eleven days ago, the Israeli military stormed the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, part of a flotilla carrying pro-Palestinian activists toward the Gaza Strip in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade. Now, it has become a case for German prosecutors.

Human rights activist Norman Paech and two German parliamentarians from the far-left Left Party, Annette Groth and Inge Höger, have filed criminal complaints for “numerous potential offences, including war crimes against individuals and command responsibility … as well as false imprisonment.”

At 5:10 a.m. on May 31, the complaint reads, Höger, Groth and Paech heard from the captain of the Mavi Marmara via the ship’s loudspeaker that the Israeli soldiers who had boarded the ship as part of the commando operation were taking over control of the ship. An hour later, Israeli soldiers ordered the Germans on deck, where their backpacks and other belongings were searched. Their hands were temporarily bound.

German Jurisdiction?

It wasn’t until 9:10 p.m. that parliamentarian Annette Groth was given the possibility of contacting the German Embassy. At 2 a.m. on June 1, the Germans were brought to the airport in a prisoner transport vehicle for their flight back home.

According to international criminal law expert Florian Jessberger of Berlin’s Humboldt University, “there is cause to believe that false imprisonment was perpetrated as understood by German law.” He says that German criminal law would have jurisdiction “irrespective of the fact that the act was perpetrated on the high seas.”

German public prosecutors told SPIEGEL ONLINE that they were currently investigating whether there was enough evidence to warrant pursuing the case further.

‘Barbaric’

The Israeli raid of the Mavi Marmara, which resulted in the deaths of nine activists onboard the ship, unleashed a storm of criticism against Israel and its ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip. It has also severely damaged Israel’s relations with Turkey.

The blockade began in 2007 after the Islamist militants from Hamas took over power in Gaza. Israel claims that many of those traveling with the flotilla had ties to Hamas or other terrorist groups, but the activists deny the charge.

Upon returning home to Germany, Höger told reporters that “we felt like we were in a war, like we had been kidnapped.” Her colleague Groth spoke of a “barbaric act.”



Gaza Flotilla: If Chavez had been the killer instead of Netanyahu

http://alainet.org/active/38803 by Roberto Montoya

translated by arrest-bush@usa.net

If Chavez had been the killer instead of Netanyahu

What you’ d expect to see from the mainstream media

The USA Fourth Fleet, with its aircraft carrier and three nuclear submarines, its two dozen cruisers and fourteen patrol torpedo boats, its 120 F22 and F117 fighters, six Apache AH-64 helicopters, sixty tanks and 20,000 marines, backed by B2 bombers and AWACS planes, is being deployed toward the Venezuelan coast to enforce a total blockade of Venezuelan ports.

“The Pentagon has established a ‘no-fly zone’ over Venezuela and installed Patriot anti-ballistic missiles in Columbia and Honduras. The goal is to prevent the dictator Chavez from using his nuclear arsenal against the USA or its neighbors. The Pentagon has mobilized reinforcements for its seven permanent bases in Columbia on the Venezuelan border”, The American secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and the secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, at a press conference pointed out. “We have no intention to comply with the tepid response from the UN Security Council against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

“The elite forces of the National Bolivarian Armada from the Agustín Armario Naval Base, made up of several GC-21 coastal patrol boats, a few PC-33 corvettes, and some PC-24 patrol craft ATTACKED IN INTERNATIONL WATERS of the Caribbean Sea a FREEDOM FLOTILLA of six boats carrying 750 peaceful anti-Chavez activists and NGO members from several countries. The comandos boarded the ship and opened fire on the passengers, leaving between nine and nineteen dead and dozens injured” reported Gates.

“The Venezuelan dictator”, added Hillary Clinton, “in his usual acts of distraction and propaganda, has accused the murdered civilians of carrying arms on board the ship and of being connected to the CIA, Mossad, and Columbian Intelligence Services.”

President Obama, flanked by his Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, said that American intelligence has long known that Chávez wanted to provoke an international diplomatic crisis disguised as legitimate self-defense. “The dictator was planning to invade Columbia with the help of the FARC. He would then proceed to overthrow one by one the governments of Latin America that did not bend to the will of ALBA and the Latin American Axis of Evil. Chávez’s twisted dream is to build a Great Bolivarian Nation, which in reality would be nothing but a huge regional dictatorship.” Blair remarked.

After a moment of silence, Obama’s face grew very serious. He then made a revelation that astonished all present. “We have decided to invade Venezuela and extradite Chávez to Guantánamo where he will be judged by a military tribunal. We have conclusive evidence that the dictator has been sheltering Osama bin Laden in the jungle south of the Orinoco River. Furthermore, we have intelligence that Chávez has smuggled enriched uranium from Ahmedinijad and installed missiles targeting America.”

“And if this were not enough to justify our Crusade, it is my responsibility to inform the world of a vital discovery, a discovery which dispels one of the great mysteries of our time. Our intelligence services have located the weapons of mass destruction for which my indefatigable predecessor scoured Iraqi territory in vain. Now we have absolute proof that the weapons of mass destruction were smuggled into Venezuela by Saddam Hussein himself before he was apprehended. They now under the direct command of the Chávez family.”

No sooner had the press conference wrapped up when the White House telephones started ringing off the hook. The leaders of the European Union, of the United Nations, of Israel, and of many other nations were climbing all over one another to assure the president of their support and to jump aboard his worthy Crusade.

At the insistence of European leaders and prestigious ‘think tanks’, President Obama called for an international summit to study the inclusion of Cuba in The Great Crusade, dubbed Latin American Free Operation. The Castro brothers would be captured and detained at Guantánamo. Business leaders, led by Gerardo Díaz Ferrán of Spain, suggested the time was ripe to complete the democratic makeover of Latin American by the overthrow of totalitarian regimes. The continent would be freed of coke fiends Evo Morales and Rafael Correa, of guerrilla leaders Daniel Ortega and Pepe Múgica, of the pinko priest Fernando Lugo, of the rabble-rowser Cristina Kirchner. The continent would be freed of everyone and anyone who dares challenge the interests of the multinationals, the multinationals that have only the best interests of The People in mind.

Thus did Díaz Ferrán retrace the steps of German president Horst Köhler, who in May was forced to resign. Köhler had declared that the valiant mission of Germany in Afghanistan was the following: “We know that for a country of our size, its economy dependent on international commerce, military intervention is necessary to defend our interests. Trade routes must be kept open and regions must be kept stable and safe, because otherwise our commercial interests would be negatively impacted.”

Obama, his European Allies, the UN, the IMF, the International Development Bank, the World Bank, the most important multinationals and lobbies, have reached a consensus. It can be assumed that resources freed by Latin American Free Operation will solve the the global financial crisis in the short or medium term.

http://alainet.org/active/38803 by Roberto Montoya



From Medea Benjamin: Two Excellent Events in DC Fri and Sat

From Medea Benjamin:

It would be great if you could help us get out the word for these events–and join us! Please note the two different Busboy locations. Thanks so much, Medea

Friday, 8:30pm BP Oil Spill – Report Back and Discussion with Diane Wilson and Medea Benjamin

8:30 pm  Busboys and Poets, 14th and V St, NW (Langston Room) – Join Diane Wilson and Medea Benjamin (Global Exchange/CodePink) as the! y bring a first hand account of the damage that the BP Oil Spill is causing in the Gulf. Diane Wilson is a fourth generation shrimper from the Texas Gulf and a founder of CODEPINK. Medea Benjamin recently returned from a visit to the Gulf. Both have been involved in actions to protest BP. FREE AND OPEN TO ALL!


Saturday: 5PM , Report back from Free Gaza Flotilla
Busboys and Poets, 5th and K NW (Cullen Room) – R: Hear eyewitness reports from activists who accompanied the Free Gaza Flotilla, which was boarded by Israeli troops, in the early hours of May 31. Speakers include: Col. Ann Wright, former Ambassador  Ed Peck, Ramzi Kysia, and others associated with the Free Gaza movement. Background of the Free Gaza movement, efforts to provide needed humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, and next steps. Please join us and support these human rights activists! FREE AND OPEN TO ALL!

Gael Murphy
CODEPINK
www.gazafreedommarch.org

__._,_.___


NOW AVAILABLE: Full 60-minute footage smuggled from Mavi Marmara

NOW AVAILABLE: Full 60-minute footage smuggled from Mavi Marmara

June 11, 2010

MEDIA ALERT:

JUST RELEASED: ONE HOUR OF FOOTAGE FROM MAVI MARMARA
Footage taken aboard largest ship in Gaza Freedom Flotilla in hour before and during raid by Israeli military

New York, NY—

A full hour of raw footage taken aboard the Mavi Marmara in the hour leading up to and during the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla has just been made available to view at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwsMJmvS0AY

The footage is also available for download at: http://tinyurl.com/flotilla-footage/

Despite the Israeli government’s efforts to confiscate all of the footage taken during the attack, CULTURES OF RESISTANCE filmmaker Iara Lee was able to smuggle one hour of footage back to the United States and is releasing it raw to the public today.

Yesterday at the United Nations, Ms. Lee presented the footage for the first time to the international press corps after the following statement:

“I want first to thank the United Nations Correspondents Association for organizing this event on such short notice.

“My name is Iara Lee. I am a dual U.S.-Brazilian citizen of Korean descent. I am a filmmaker and a human rights activist.

“I decided to join the Freedom Flotilla after going to Gaza a few months ago and seeing first hand the devastation there. After hearing the pleas of the people living in Gaza to have the blockade lifted, I felt I must do something.

“The Gaza Freedom Flotilla was on a humanitarian mission.  We expected to be deterred from delivering our aid to Gazans, but we did not expect to be attacked.

“We started filming from the moment we boarded the Mavi Marmara right through the Israeli assault on the ship. Although all of our equipment was confiscated, we managed to smuggle this footage out.

“Mine is high-definition footage of the Flotilla attack and also the only sustained footage of the ship and its passengers preceding the deadly Israeli commando raid. Watching this raw, unedited footage, you will get a sense of the mood on the ship and of the passengers on it.

“Undoubtedly, many of you will be scrutinizing it for clues to resolve the mysteries that still surround what happened that fateful night.

“During this past week the Israeli government has repeatedly alleged that these passengers — or some of them — laid a trap for Israel, duped the Israeli military, and plotted a lynching. Israel has repeatedly alleged that we were anti-Semitic Muslim fanatics connected to terrorist organizations.

“In fact, the passengers on our mission came from many countries and religious and ethnic backgrounds.  Our one common denominator was that we wanted to end the humanitarian crisis in Gaza by highlighting the injustice of Israel’s blockade.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “This wasn’t the ‘love boat,’ this was a flotilla of terror supporters.” Our footage will help you decide whether we were a love boat or a hate boat. You will see secular and devout passengers. You will see people at prayer and people working at their laptops.

“Was this a lynch-mob moved by hatred of Israelis or was it a cross-section of humanity moved by the plight of Gaza? Did we lay a trap for the Israeli commandos or did they unnecessarily attack us? Did we take them by surprise or did they take us by surprise?

“Do you see a premeditated ambush, or do you see some passengers using items at hand to protect themselves from an unprovoked assault by heavily armed commandos?

“You decide.”

CONTACT:

Iara Lee: iaralee@culturesofresistance.org

please cc: assistant@gg3.com for prompt reply

www.culturesofresistance.org

http://www.facebook.com/ profile.php?id=100000928581236

Posted at http://gazaflotilla.delegitimize.com/statements/activist-statements/full-60-minute-footage-smuggled-from-mavi-marmara/

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Israel’s Lifting of Gaza Blockade Means Junk Food, But No Cement to Rebuild Damaged Buildings

Salem-News.com http://salem-news.com/articles/june092010/blockade-reality.php

The marginal easement is a step in the right direction, but a very small one.

Raffah Crossing at Gaza
File image of Raffah Crossing at Gaza during a previous effort, Viva Palestina. Courtesy: Wikipedia

(JERUSALEM) – Some food items that had been banned under Israel’s and Egypt’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, are now finding their way into this battered, walled and tortured land.

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla set out with a goal of breaking the several years old siege that has brought this population to piteous depths of poverty, the likes of which even this place had been able to avoid.

Reporters with the Times of India spoke to officials Wednesday, who agree that it is a small step toward easing its three-year-old blockade of the territory, after worldwide criticism of last week’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound international flotilla.

The decision only narrowly expands the list of goods that can enter Gaza — and most of the newly permitted items are already being smuggled into the area from neighboring Egypt.

The move also does not include the most-sought items in Gaza, such as cement, steel and other materials needed to rebuild the war-devastated strip. But it is the first tangible step by Israel to temper the uproar caused by the raid, which left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead after a clash with Israeli naval commandos on one of the flotilla’s ships.

Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh, who coordinates the flow of goods into Gaza with Israel, said that soda, juice, jam, spices, shaving cream, potato chips, cookies and candy were now permitted. He said some products have already entered Gaza, and others would cross in the coming days.

The naval raid drew attention to the blockade, imposed by Israel and Egypt after Hamas militants seized power in Gaza in 2007.

The closure has devastated Gaza’s already battered economy, erased tens of thousands of jobs and prevented the area from repairing damage after a fierce Israeli military offensive in Gaza early last year.

Wednesday’s gesture was unlikely to blunt the global criticism, since it doesn’t lift the ban on materials needed to rebuild Gaza.

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Special thanks to the Times of India