“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Flotilla

Gilad Atzmon And The Signatories.

with 8 comments

Rebecca Lesses has a good post on the recent activities of the racist, Gilad Atzmon. I liked this part:

“Signatories of this statement follow below. I think that they should be held responsible for working with Atzmon, who is a notorious antisemite who has been rejected even by other British anti-Zionists like Tony Greenstein and Sue Blackwell.

Nic Abramson, Middle East Crisis Response
Elliott Adams, Past President, Veterans For Peace
Ujju Aggarwal
Laurie Arbeiter, Activist Response Team
Anna Baltzer, Human Rights Activist and Author
Russell Banks, Writer
Kahlil Bendib, Political Cartoonist
Medea Benjamin, Co-founder CODEPINK
Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies
Elaine Brower
Naomi Brussel, Activist Response Team
Allan Buchman, Founder and Artistic Director, The Culture Project
Leslie Cagan, Co-Founder United for Peace and Justice
Henry Chalfant, Film Maker
Kathleen Chalfant, New York
Cindy Corrie
Craig Corrie
Ellen Davidson, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA
Angela Y. Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz
Noor Elashi, Writer
Basem Emara, Gaza Freedom March
Kathy Engel, Poet
Hedy Epstein, Palestine Solidarity Committee, St. Louis, Missouri
Mike Ferner, National President, Veterans For Peace
Lisa Fithian, Alliance for Community Trainers
Felice Gelman, Gaza Freedom March
Jenny Heinz, Activist Response Team/Granny Peace Brigade
Jane Hirschmann, Jews Say No!
Jennifer Hobbs, New York City Attorney/Gaza Freedom March
Nubar Hovsepian, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies, Chapman University
Mary Hughes – Thompson, Free Gaza Movement
Abdeen Jabara, Past President, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Civil Rights Attorney
Tarak Kauff, Veterans for Peace
Kathy Kelly, Co-Coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Eleanore Kennedy
Michael Kennedy
Mona Khalidi
Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University
Naomi Klein, Writer
Ramzi Kysia, Free Gaza Movement
Iara Lee, Cultures of Resistance/Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Richard A. Levy, Labor Lawyer
Karen Malpede, Playwright
Helaine Meisler, Hudson Valley BDS
Gail Miller, Women of a Certain Age
Fatima Mohammadi, Attorney at Law/Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Donna Nevel, Jews Say No!
Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights
Mariam Said, New York
Najla Said, Actor/Writer
Hannah Schwarzschild, American Jews for a Just Peace
Bert Shaw
Moira Shaw
Kathy Sheetz, Free Gaza – USA/Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Ann Shirazi, Granny Peace Brigade/Women of a Certain Age
Starhawk, Alliance of Community Trainers
Eleanor Stein, Albany Law School
Michael Steven Smith, New York City Attorney/Author
Vivian Stromberg, MADRE, Executive Director
Yifat Susskind, MADRE Policy/Communications Director
Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Syracuse University
Alice Walker, Author
Naomi Wallace
Darlene Wallach, Free Gaza Movement, Justice for Palestinians
Donna Wallach, Free Gaza Movement, Justice for Palestinians
Sarah Wellington, Activist Response Team
Diane Wilson, Writer/Activist
Ret. Col. Ann Wright, Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Jewish Voice for Peace
Dorothy M. Zellner, Veteran Civil Rights Activist
David Zirin, Sports Correspondent, The Nation Magazine”

The Flotilla And Fascists

with 9 comments

We are often told that those on the Flotilla to Gaza were humanitarians and peace activists, and it is conceivable that some of them were, but news is coming out of a slightly less savoury group of passengers on the Mavi Marmara, fascists.

Well, more accurately neofascists from the Turkish, Büyük Birlik Partisi (BBP)

The BBP is renowned for its connections with the Grey Wolves movement, older readers will remember the activities of those neofascist terrorists in the 1970s and their murderous campaign of bombings and killings.

Not the sort of people that you would immediately associate with humanitarian aid? It doesn’t make much sense, until you remember that they are also renowned for their anti-Jewish racism.

Jean-Yves Camus in an article on the European Extreme Right and Religious Extremism describes the Turkish Extreme Right:

“There are two political parties form the Extreme Right in Turkey: the Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi (MHP) and its youth wing, Bozkurtlar (Grey Wolves), and the Büyük Birlik Partisi (BBP), led by Muhsin Yazicioglu. The former, which is very active in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, and to a lesser extent in France, is secular and mostly concerned about the ethnic essence of the Turkish Nation, although some experts within the German Verfassungschutz believe that there is one “Turkish nationalist” and one “Turkish-Islamist” wing within MHP.[27] The latter split from MHP in 1993 precisely because it felt the party’s Islamist credentials were “weak”. It received 1.02 % in the 2003 general election and did not contest the 2007 election. It operates in Europe under the name of Avrupa Tûrk Birligi, or Verband der Turkischen Kulturvereine E.V. in Europa, and promotes a mix between the Atatürk tradition of nationalism and the Koran. Although BBP seems to have failed politically, while its rival MHP has become Turkey’s third political force with 14.29 % of the vote, the movement is worth monitoring, because of its extreme anti-Kurdish and anti-Armenian propaganda, and also because of its alleged involvement in violent activities.”

Not exactly natural bedfellows for humanitarians or peace activists, but violence would be second nature to these neo-fascists and might explain some of the activities on the deck of the Mavi Marmara?

From the IHH page, applauding the visit offered the BBP leader, Yalcin Topcu:

“Topcu handed over a letter to Bulent Yildirim, General President of IHH, which he wrote to Palestinian President Ismail Haniye, following his speech. After receiving the letter, Bulent Yildirim has offered his thanks to Yalcin Topcu and accompanying members of BBP who do not hesitate to give their support to the campaign. He also mentioned Muhsin Yazicioglu in his speech, deceased former leader of BBP, put great importance into the Palestinian cause and it would be a great honor to deliver the letter written by Yazicioglu’s followers to Palestine and to Ismail Haniye. “

The Z Word blog has more.

The Weapons on the Mavi Marmara.

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Does the term, peace activist, aptly describe those on the deck of the Mavi Marmara, when the IDF soldiers tried to land?

Did they deliberately decide to attack the IDF soldiers?

Did their own reckless conduct bring about these unnecessary deaths?

Was the attack premeditated ?

More information is coming out from the ship’s crew which sheds light on the activities of these supposed peace activists:

“According to the clip, released by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the ship’s captain Mehmut Tuval had attempted to prevent a violent altercation by disposing of metal bars and chains IHH activists had cut ahead of the IDF takeover.

Mehmut said that “once we see that the boats [were] around us…actually not us, but around the total ships…about two hours [before the takeover]… I see they were cutting the steels…chains. And I said to the chief officer, he collected all of them and also we put it in the radio room in the bridge.”

The captain also indicated that he had thrown some of the bars and chains into the sea, while adding that he also asked IHH activists to pass over the bars and chains that had collected later on.

Tuval said he sent his chief officer to ask for the bars, “saying …he cannot take directly from the guys..he spoke with the IHH to collect the [steel bars and chains]…we asked them to drop them, drop in the sea, because if they take it from the bridge that’s when we have a problem…and [after that] we didn’t see any in their hands.”

The Mavi Marmara captain said he was indeed worried that the presence of the makeshift weapons would worsen the situations, adding he thought that nothing would eventually happen since the IHH commanders were at hand to prevent any violence.

“I was worried but if their [leader] on the ship that there would be no effect, nobody will fight… I said many of times because I know the end,” Tuval told investigators, adding that he thought that nothing would happen since there were civilians on the ship/

“I worried [that’s] why I collected the things to the bridge and I take how many I see in their hands and I drop them in the sea.”

Asked whether or not he knew if the IHH activists were preparing a violent welcome to the IDF takeover, Tuval said that “they were preparing to violence against the soldiers: Yeah from what I was informed.” “</blockquotes?

Written by modernityblog

12/06/2010 at 00:41

Flotilla Round Up.

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Bob’s got more on the flotilla, a good round up of the issues and people’s often conflicting views.

Written by modernityblog

10/06/2010 at 15:06

Red Mist, Arm Flapping And Its Consequences.

with 14 comments

I don’t know what happened in the middle of the night with the flotilla, and until more information comes out I’m reserving judgement.

I hadn’t wanted to post for a few days. I am not really in the mood and I hoped that some concrete facts would emerge, eventually once the recrimination and counter recrimination had died down.

Nevertheless, I feel rather compelled to blog, to record certain attitudes I have recently seen in Europe and Britain which don’t bode well, and to think where they might lead.

Firstly, at any one point there are hundreds of conflict going on in the world, yet what we actually see in the West and how much we are told is rather rationed.

For example, we see very little about Chinese brutality against the Tibetans.

We don’t hear about how Tibet is run and who benefits, nor do we hear much in the mainstream media that would really upset China’s powerful rulers.

There are various reasons for this, the timidity of the media, the fear of consequences, not forgetting the censorship and travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese ruling elite, etc etc.

Equally, we could look at parts of Afghanistan and the aftermath of drones blowing up civilians, or old village men killed in the night, fearing for intruders but instead being shot by American special forces, etc etc.

Not forgetting Turkeys’ continued conflict with the Kurds. You would be hard put to find much coverage, of the recent bombings by the Turkish government, there is the piece in the Western media on how Turkey jails children, but overall the coverage is fairly small compared to the true nature of these conflicts.

And so on.

There’s plenty of conflicts, lots of death, in the Congo, the Sudan and elsewhere, however, they don’t hold peoples attention in the West for very long, there might be a fleeting mention but nothing significance.

And the reactions that you find in the West to death in Africa, Turkey, China, or parts of Asia is one of resignation, “almost that nothing can be done and so why bother”?

There are a few activists who valiantly carry on reminding people in the complacent West of the wider world, but it’s an uphill struggle and doesn’t really have any “political sexiness”.

So you don’t see violent reactions when Turkish planes bomb Kurdish villages, killing dozens of civilians. Nor do you see much reaction when China locks up Tibetans, or executes them, etc etc

There’s not much reaction, but should something closer to home pop-up then what you see is completely different.

An attitude of almost hysterical arm flapping takes hold.

You begin to hear demagogic language and political hyperbole which is normally reserved to describe the events in the 1930s and 1940s. Still worse, much of this inflammatory language is dare I say it, borderline racism.

You know what I’m referring to, the indignation which has recently taken on a fever pitch in the West concerning the conflict in the Middle East.

You might even sympathise with one side or the other, but what you will notice if you take the trouble, is how it almost blots out the hundreds of other conflicts which go on in the world and don’t involve Europeans or Brits.

Now I’m not accusing anyone of being Eurocentric or only being concerned with the welfare of British nationals, but the language used recently to describe events I would say is at the very least, unhelpful and much of it seems to embody unconscious racism.

By that I mean, the fevered language which is used at the moment against Israelis, would never be invoked to discuss the French, the Germans, etc.

I have seen otherwise intelligent people throw around the word “Nazi” and “Fascist” as if they had never read a history book, or understood the need to use temperate language when referring to other nations and groups of people, lest bigotry creeps in.

A red mist has descended across the eyes of many Europeans and Brits, normally considerate individuals indulge in inflammatory language towards Israelis, make statements that they wouldn’t even consider using against the Turkish or Chinese governments.

Along with that red mist has been arm flapping.

Such arm flapping is, in some respects, understandable from a very European and British perspective, after all it is their nationals which are involved, and although it is regrettably how it happens, events in the world are often portrayed as having greater significance when Brits or Europeans are involved.

However, the arm flapping and hyperbole that follow often have a more localised consequence, that Jews in Britain and Europe are more liable to be attacked.

Whilst I’m sure that none of the chattering classes or media types, who helped to heighten the political temperature in Europe and Britain, would wish there to be any attacks on Jews, that is what will probably happen.

Such red mist, arm flapping and vocalising of animosity towards Israelis invariably has a more direct consequence, physical attacks on Jews increase.

That’s what happens.

Of course, those carrying out the attacks on synagogues or Jews in the street don’t really care about human rights in the Middle East, etc, nevertheless they feed off of the anti-Israeli frenzy which is currently going on in Britain and Europe.

So the next time you hear the word “Israeli” and a red mist descends before your eyes, just before your arms start flapping, please try to think of the consequences, please try to think of how your actions and words may help someone else justify his attacks on Jews in Britain and Europe.

Still better, try to use the temperate language that you naturally favour when discussing the French, Germans, other nationalities or your own.

Think, before you open your mouth, think of the consequences.

Written by modernityblog

02/06/2010 at 13:53