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JAMES PETRAS : Israeli War Crimes ~ From The U.S.S. Liberty To The Humanitarian Flotilla

This is dedicated to the brave Turkish martyrs on the Mavi Marmara, May 31, 2010, and to the 34 murdered American sailors on the USS Liberty, June 8, 1967 – all victims of an unrepentant criminal state – Israel.


Israel Kills 9 on Turkish Humanitarian Flotilla – May 31, 2010

Introduction:  Israel Crimes on the High Seas

On June 8, 1967, two squadrons of Israeli warplanes bombed, napalmed and machine-gunned the US intelligence-gathering ship, USS Liberty, in international waters, killing 34 US sailors and wounding another 172.  The assault took place on a sunny afternoon, with the US flag and identifying markers clearly visible.  The Israelis targeted the antennae to prevent the crew from broadcasting for help and shot up the lifeboats to ensure no survivors.  There were, however, survivors who rigged up an antenna and radioed their distress, a call for help that reached Washington D.C.  In an unprecedented act of betrayal, President Johnson, in close liaison with powerful American Jewish Zionist political backers, covered up the mass murder on the high seas by issuing orders first to recall Mediterranean-based warplanes from rushing to assist their besieged comrades, then threatening to court-martial the survivors who might expose the deliberate nature of the Israeli assault and finally by repeating the Israeli line that the attack was a matter of mistaken identity, a lie which numerous military leaders later rejected.

Almost to the day, 43 years later, on May 31, 2010, Israeli warships, helicopter gun ships and commandos assaulted a convoy of humanitarian ships carrying ten thousand tons of aid to Gaza in international waters.  Prior to the aid mission Turkish authorities had examined the passengers and the ship to ensure no weapons were on board.  The Israelis never the less came on board shooting and clubbing the unarmed passengers, killing up to19 and wounding dozens.  Despite subsequent Israeli and Zionist claims to the contrary no weapons were found, apart from sticks used by some of the victims attempting to fend off the murderous premeditated assault planned, directed and defended by top Israeli leaders and the entire leadership of the major Zionist organizations in the US and elsewhere.  The invading Israeli storm troopers systematically destroyed all cameras, videos and tape recorders that had documented their savage assault, in order to subsequently spread their brazen lies about their being subject to armed resistance.

The World Response

Within hours of Israel’s bloody act of piracy, nations, political leaders, human rights organizations and the vast majority of the international community condemned the Israeli state for its violation of international law.  Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Austria summoned their Israeli Ambassadors to protest the deadly assault.  The Financial Times, (June 1, 2010) referred to the Israeli assault as a “brazen act of piracy … hurtling into lawlessness” rooted in its “illegal blockage of Gaza”.  Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan called the Israeli assault an act of “state terrorism” which would have “serious consequences”.  Israel’s attacks on ships flying Turkish, Greek and Irish flags on the high seas were described by legal experts as an “act of war”.  The UN Security Council, NATO and the Secretary General of the UN demanded Israel cease its aggression, while tens of thousands of demonstrators marched denouncing Israel’s blatant act of state murder and wounding of pacifists, humanitarians and protestors from 60 countries.  UN experts demanded that Israeli leaders “must be held criminally responsible”.  Only the Obama regime refused to condemn the Israeli act of state terror, merely expressing “concern and regret”.  The Israeli state defended its murderous assault, promised more in the future and insisted on maintaining its blockade of Gaza, even after the US suggested it might be loosened.

The Israeli Defense of Piracy and State Terror

As news of the Israeli massacre slipped out and the international community reacted with horror and anger, the Israeli government “sought to flood the airwaves with their versions of events … more importantly, the authorities ensured that their narrative gained early dominance by largely silencing the hundreds of activists who were on board during the attack” (Financial Times, June 2, 2010, p2.).  The Jewish state held all the prisoners alive, wounded and dead incommunicado, seized their mobile phones and prohibited any interviews, barring all journalists.

Like most terrorist states, the Jewish state wanted to monopolize the propaganda media.

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