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  Pirates of the Mediterranean
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

Pirates of the Mediterranean

Israel Kidnaps Peace Boat Crew

by Paul Craig Roberts
1 July 2009

Obama has called for humanitarian aid to be sent to Gaza. So the question that comes to mind is why didn't the United States send US Navy escort (as they do near Somalia) to see the “Spirit of Humanity” safely through international waters to Gaza? We all know the answer. The US talks a good “human rights” game, but never delivers--especially if the human rights abuser is Israel.

On June 30, the government of Israel committed an act of piracy when the Israeli Navy in international waters illegally boarded the “Spirit of Humanity,” kidnapped its 21-person crew from 11 countries, including former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Laureate Mairead MaGuire, and confiscated the cargo of medical supplies, olive trees, reconstruction materials, and children’s toys that were on the way to the Mediterranean coast of Gaza. The “Spirit of Humanity,” along with the kidnapped 21 persons, is being towed to Israel as I write.

Gaza has been described as the “world’s largest concentration camp.” It is home to 1.5 million Palestinians who were driven by force of American-supplied Israeli arms out of their homes, off their farms, and out of their villages so that Israel could steal their land and make the Palestinian land available to Israeli settlers.

What we have been witnessing for 60 years is a replay in modern times, despite the United Nations and laws strictly preventing Israel’s theft of Palestine, of the 17th, 18th, and 19th century theft of American Indian lands by US settlers. An Israeli government spokesman recently rebuked the President of the United States, a country, the Israeli said, who stole all of its land from Indians, for complaining about Israel’s theft of Palestine.

I knew the “Spirit of Humanity” would fall to Israeli piracy the minute I received on June 25 from an official of an Israeli peace organization a “public advisory” that the government of Cyprus had withheld permission for the “Spirit of Humanity” to leave for Gaza. The US State Department had advised that “The Israeli Foreign Ministry informed U.S. officials at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv that Israel still considers Gaza an area of conflict and that any boats attempting to sail to Gaza will not be permitted to reach its destination.” The “Spirit of Humanity” obtained permission to leave Cyprus when all aboard signed a waiver absolving Cyprus of all responsibility for the crew’s safety at the hands of the Israelis.

As President Obama has called for humanitarian aid to be sent to Gaza, and as the International Red Cross has damned the inhumanity of Israel’s book coverblockade of Gaza, the question that immediately comes to mind is why did not the United States send sufficient US Navy escort to see the “Spirit of Humanity” safely through international waters to Gaza? We send ships against Somalian pirates, why not against Israeli ones?

We all know the answer. The US talks a good “human rights” game, but never delivers--especially if the human rights abuser is Israel. After all, Israel owns the US Congress and President Obama. Israel even has an Israeli citizen and former member of the Israeli Defense Forces as the Chief-of-Staff in Obama’s White House. Israel owns millions of American “Christian Zionists” and “rapture evangelicans.” When it comes to Israel, the American government is a puppet state. It does what it is told.

Macho Americans might stand tall, but not when Israel snaps its fingers.

Israel, of course, will get away with a mere act of piracy. After all, Israel has been getting away with its war crimes and violations of international law for 60 years. If the UN tries to do anything, the US will veto it, as the US has done for decades.

What will happen to the kidnapped foreign nationals? Most likely they will be released and sent back to their respective countries. Israel, of course, will keep the stolen “Spirit of Humanity” to foreclose any further attempts by human rights activists to run Israel’s inhumane blockade of Gaza.

On the other hand, Israel might declare its captives to be terrorists on the ground that the Gazans elected in a free election Hamas as their government. Hamas, unlike Israel, is declared to be a terrorist organization by the puppet American State Department in Washington. Thus the human rights activists onboard the “Spirit of Humanity” are aiding and abetting terrorists by delivering goods to them. The US Department of Justice (sic) prosecutes American citizens and charities for sending aid to Palestinians on the grounds that Palestinians, if not everyone a terrorist, are governed by terrorists.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a Nobel Laureate and a former member of the US House of Representatives, along with the rest of the crew, are handed over to the Americans for indefinite detention and for torturing and waterboarding in the American torture facility at Bagram. I am certain that “Homeland Security” and the US Government are desperate to be rid of all of critics, and knocking off a Nobel Laureate and a member of the House sets a precedent for getting rid of the rest of us.

Meanwhile, California, which has become a failed state, has been denied bailout money from Washington. Israel, which has been a failed state for 60 years, can, unlike the American state of California, always count of Washington to deliver the money and the weapons to keep Israel going.

The same week that “our” government in Washington told the Governor of California “not one red cent,” President Barak Obama handed over $2.775 billion to Israel.

Online Journal (June 29) reported that the handover to Israel of the unemployed Americans’ tax dollars took place in a “tiny Capitol room” to which members of the press were denied access. I mean, really, who wants the media writing about US taxpayer dollars for Israel’s nuclear weapons while Americans are being kicked out of their homes. Not that, of course, the “Christian” supporters of Israel would mind.

Unlike every other recipient of US military largesse, Israel is permitted to bypass the Pentagon and to deal directly with US suppliers. Consequently, the Israel Lobby’s influence multiplies, because military suppliers fight for Israel in congressional committees in order to get Israel’s business. This lets Israel turn the screws on Iran. According to Grant F. Smith writing in Online Journal, Republican US Representative Mark Steven from Illinois has received $221,000 in campaign contributions from Israel political action committees (PACs). Therefore, it was a sure thing that he would introduce legislation preventing the Import-Export bank from providing loan guarantees to countries doing business with Iran.

Americans think that they are a superpower, but in fact they are a stupor-power. A puppet state if truth be known.

There is a great deal of evidence (see Jonathan Cook's excellent piece on the CounterPunch site yesterday) that Israel is a child abuser. “God’s Chosen People” routinely abuses captured Palestinian children. The Israelis also abuse Palestinian children by shooting them down in the streets.

Don’t take my word for it. The Geneva-based Defense for Children International says, according to Time Magazine, that “the ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian child prisoners appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized, suggesting complicity at all levels of the political and military chain of command.”

According to Time Magazine, “Often, children suffer lasting traumas from jail. Says Saleh Nazzal from the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoner Affairs, ‘When soldiers burst into a house and drag away a child, he loses his feeling of being protected by his family. He comes back from prison alienated from his family, his friends. They don’t like going back to school or even leaving the house. They start wetting their beds.’ Says Mona Zaghrout, a YMCA counselor who helps kids returning from prison: ‘They come out of prison thinking and acting like they are men. Their childhood is gone.’ And they often turn to another father figure--the armed militant groups fighting the Israeli occupation.’”

And so it goes. There’s no money for California, or for Americans’ health care, or for the several million Americans who have lost their homes and are homeless, because Israel needs it. Israel needs Americans’ taxpayers money so that it can create even more enemies, and, therefore, needs more American money to spend with the American armament industries to oppress more Palestinians and to make more enemies, requiring more American money to protect Israel from its folly and its evil.

And the brainwashed American public goes along year after year.


Paul Craig RobertsPaul Craig Roberts is an economist who served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration earning fame as the "Father of Reaganomics". He is a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Scripps Howard News Service. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution: An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy: The Collapse of the Socialist Era and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice.

This article is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on July 1, 2009.

 

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