Cynthia Mckinney: 'US, NATO Must Defend Turkey'
The Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which was carrying food and medical supplies to Gaza, came under fire early Monday morning by Israeli navy forces in international waters more than 150km off the coast of Gaza.
Twenty international activists are reported to have been killed and 50 others injured in the incident.
Following the Flotilla tragedy, new players such as Turkey have emerged with regard to the question of Palestine which can change the geopolitical equations in the Middle East.
The following is the transcript of Press TV's interview with Cynthia McKinney:
Press TV: Israel has promised to keep Gaza under the siege despite international outcry. What do you make of this situation?
Cynthia McKinney: Of course we just witnessed the tragedy and I know the organizers and I've gone to the free Gaza several times myself and I was supposed to have been on this flotilla except that I am home taking care of a very ill parent. So, it's heart-wrenching to see what happened and to know what's happening to the people involved and to know that the special-interest press inside the United States and all over the world is putting out the Israeli story which is absolutely unjustifiable and it's not true.
Press TV: The US has refused to condemn Israel's deadly attack on the aid ships. What does that signify?
Cynthia McKinney: I believe that what we are seeing is the beginning of a turning point. The beginning of the turning point of world public opinion in the direction of justice. It's time to end the façade of democracy, the façade of being more noble in the pursuit of one's national objectives that Israel has always portrayed to the world. That has been a façade and it has come at the expense of the human rights and the dignity of the Palestinian people.
But what we are seeing now is that people all over the world are forcing their governments to take a stand.
Most critically what we are seeing is the emergence of Turkey. It is critical because it is also a member of NATO. If Turkey chooses to involve the collective security code, it has deal in a pact. That means that all the signatory nations of the NATO treaty have to come to the defense of Turkey and that puts US president Barak Obama in a very uncomfortable position.
Press TV: What should the UN and other international organizations have done to prevent this massacre?
Cynthia McKinney: What should they have done?! They did do nothing. They could have put sanctions against Israel a long time ago. But whatever the United Nations tried to move into an area that they could pass resolutions but there was always the available veto of the United States in the Security Council that always serves to protect Israel and insulate it from the repercussions of its actions.
Also we had the recent decision of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations to grant Israel acceptance into their very prestigious economic organization. That was kind of a reward for doing that and Israel took it as reward for no change.
Europeans say this is a carrot that will allow Israel to change. But two acts that Israel has done indicate that Israel has not changed at all: the massacre of the humanitarian activists and the deploying of nuclear submarines off the coast of Iran. Therefore, Europe needs to look at its relationship with Israel and withdraw those special rewards and relationships that Israel enjoys because it doesn't deserve it and the United States also needs to do the same thing.
The Irish ship, MV Rachel Corrie, was tampered with by the Israeli Defense Forces according to Colonel Itzik Turgeman.
The Rachel Corrie was planned to be the first ship to arrive into Gazan waters last weekend but was delayed due to mechanical problems now suspected to be a form of sabotage.
An Israel newspaper reported “A senior officer in the Israel Defence Forces hinted that the IDF sabotaged the engines of five ships, saying “they took care of them.” The Colonel also told the newspaper that the army decided not to sabotage the Turkish ferry, Mavi Mamara which was attacked on Monday.
Currently the Rachel Corrie is in a holding position in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. According to, Free Gaza Movement’s, Greta Berlin the Rachel Corrie is waiting for the Challenger II ship, which was damaged during the attacks.
The Rachel Corrie will pick up more passengers, including human rights activists and journalists, before continuing their journey toward Gaza.
Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO) chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is representing the six Malaysian passengers on board the Rachel Corrie, said “the ship was going to sail through Gaza waters and it had nothing to do with Israel.
“They are not going to Israeli waters. Why is it that these Israelis are going to block people going towards Gaza and not using Israeli’s territorial waters at all? They have no right.”
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen has already said that there will be “serious consequences” if any harm comes to the Irish passengers on board.
Niamh Moloughney, who organized the ships sailing from Ireland, said “I’d say the mood on board is resilient and steadfast. When people signed up to this they knew what might happen… We expected we would be confronted and there would be a stand-off, but no one expected this. But there’s never really been a question of the boat turning back.”
Denis Halliday, one of the crew members on board, originally from Galway, said that he had spoken to Irish Foreign Minister, Micheál Martin and the crew felt encouraged by the international support they are receiving.
“He was very reassuring that the government was behind us and he gave us a complete green light to do what we’re doing and he’ll protect us as much as he can,” siad Halliday.
Over Tuesday morning there have also been reports of the launch of Turkish naval escorts for additional humanitarian sailings and an Egyptian border crossing. The is no direct information to show that the Turkish ships will support the Rachel Corrie and it is believed that the Egyptian’s opening their border is simply a way of demonstrating their outrage at the situation.
The 1,200-metric ton boat is carrying five Irish, six Malaysians and “medical equipment, wheel chairs, school supplies and cement” all of which had already been inspected for contraband before leaving Dundalk, Ireland.
Source: Irish Central