It's Time For Action
By Aijaz Zaka Syed
Just when you think Israel cannot descend any lower, it surprises you with ever new depths of depravity. If anyone ever needed any more evidence about the absolutely evil, sick and homicidal nature of this regime, they got it this week.
And if anyone still nurtured innocent hopes of peace and Israel’s commitment to the peace process, dialogue, two-state solution and all that balderdash, Israel showed them what it thinks of their fond hopes and aspirations.
Little did we realise the dangerous nature of the mission undertaken by Huwaida Arraf, the fiery spirit behind the Free Gaza campaign, still in Israeli detention, and numerous other peace activists and conscience keepers of the world.
Perhaps not even those 700 plus noble souls on board the Freedom flotilla who defied great odds and put their own lives on line to save those imprisoned in Gaza ever suspected that Israel could go to the extent of attacking ships full of foreign peace activists and humanitarian aid.
But when you are dealing with Israel anything is possible. From Dair Yassin massacre to the mass slaughter of Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatilla camps in Lebanon, and from the Jenin refugee camp carnage to the total destruction of Gaza in 2008-’09, Israel sets a new precedent with every new atrocity.
Every crime appears to create a new history of oppression and abuse of human dignity. But what the Israelis have done this time around is shocking even from their own standards.
Even Nazis and the most depraved mass murderers in history respected certain red lines. They spared international peacemakers, the Red Cross and relief agencies. But then when it comes to the State of Israel, there are no red lines. Nothing is sacrosanct.
From the shock-and-awe attack on the USS Liberty, a battle ship belonging to its own ally, friend and protector that killed scores of US Marines, to this assault on the Gaza relief flotilla killing 19 peace activists, most of them from another ally and friend, Turkey, Israel routinely kills at will and casually annihilates everyone and everything in its way.
More important, it always gets away with murder, just as it did earlier this year in Dubai using the passports and identities of friendly countries to assassinate a top Hamas commander.
The question is how long will this go on? When is enough is enough for Israel’s protectors and the international community? How long can a tiny state with the population less than that of New York hold the entire world its hostage?
Just like in those Hollywood features when a couple of lunatics hijack a plane full of passengers threatening to blow it up in air, Israel has hijacked our world and threatens to destroy it with its reckless actions and dangerous policies.
Unless someone comes forward to take control of the plane before it blows up in air or crashes down to the ground, you can be as sure as hell we are all headed for the certain doom.
The brazen attack on the Freedom flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of food, medicines and other essentials to a starving, desperate population in Gaza is the plainest sign yet – if anyone ever needed it—that Israel is a clear and present danger to the peace and stability of our world.
This is not about Palestinian rights or their never-ending persecution at the hands of an evil regime. This is now about the shared future of our world. Israel has become a cancer not just for the Middle East but the entire civilised world. If the international community does not act now, it will pay a huge price—perhaps even higher than it paid in the last two Great Wars. It’s time to save the world from Israel and save the Zionist state from its own destructive self.
The terror on high seas has understandably outraged the world. This outrage of the global conscience must be channelled to confront the Zionist regime and end the seven decades of suffering of Palestinian people.
Just as the Soweto massacre gave birth to a global movement against the Apartheid regime in South Africa, eventually leading to its overthrow, this latest Israeli outrage and the sacrifices of numerous soldiers of peace must unleash an international movement against the Zionist oppression.
Tide has already turned against Israel, manifesting itself in millions of people around the world coming out on the streets, from Toronto to Tokyo, in spontaneous protests following the attack on the Gaza aid mission. It’s these voices of conscience that may have forced Israel’s European friends to condemn the terror on high seas in unequivocal terms.
Now President Barack Obama and his fellow Americans have to decide where they stand. Are they on the side of justice, freedom and an individual’s right to live dignity or are they on the side of Israel, no matter how many innocents it kills and no matter what new lows of degeneracy it plumbs in its hubris?
Is President Obama willing to stand up for what he believes in, as he has long claimed, and earn his Peace Nobel? Or would he rather play safe to end up as yet another wimp in the White House dancing to Israel’s tunes? Whatever he eventually does, he must remember British historian and intellectual Edmund Burke’s warning: “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Aijaz Zaka Syed is Opinion Editor and columnistof Khaleej Times, the Middle East’s oldest and largest circulated English daily published from Dubai. He writes a weekly column called View from Dubai.. The column, which looks at and comments on world affairs from a Middle Eastern and Arab-Muslim perspective, is published widely. He received the European Union’s prestigious Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize in 2007 for his writings on the Darfur conflict. Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org censors news on deadly Flotilla raid
6srael Is Incapable of Conducting an Impartial Inquiry
6sraeli commandos killed journalist as he photographed their crimes
By Mehmet Nedim Aslan
A journalist covering the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was shot and killed by the Israeli commandos as he photographed their crime. Cevdet Kiliclar was one of 60 journalists on board the Mavi Marmara to provide accurate accounts of the Flotilla.
According to the activists on the main ship, when the Israeli commandos fired at them, Mr. Kiliclar photographed the incident, at which point one of the soldiers shot him in the head. He died instantly. Forensic evidence suggests that the journalist was shot at very close range. This account was verified by British activist Kevin Ovenden when he arrived in Istanbul on Thursday. The journalist, said Mr. Ovenden, had his camera to his eyes and was shot in the forehead; the bullet tore away the back of his skull.
Mr. Kiliclar, 38, was married with two children. His grieving widow, Derya Kiliclar, couldn't believe what had happened to her husband and said that she never thought the Israelis would kill peace activists even though she knew that children have been killed in Palestine. The last time that Mrs. Kiliclar spoke to her husband was as he set sail from Antalya in southern Turkey. "He was very excited," she said, "because this was a humanitarian mission."