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May 21, 2010

Israel prepares for protest flotilla

20/05/2010 02:30

9 ships plan to break the Gaza Strip blockade next week.

The IDF is gearing up to stop a flotilla of aid ships that is directed at breaking the blockade on the Gaza Strip next week.

Two ships, one named for international activist Rachel Corrie who was killed in Gaza in 2003, sailed from Ireland to Cyprus where they will join another seven boats scheduled to set sail for Gaza next Thursday.

The ships will carry hundreds of international peace activists as well as some 10,000 tons of construction material, medical equipment and school supplies. While the Free Gaza movement claims that the flotilla is needed to provide Palestinians in Gaza with basic supplies, the IDF pointed out on Tuesday that it had, in the past week, allowed over 14,000 tons of supplies into the Gaza Strip.

On Monday night, Foreign Ministry officials met with ambassadors from Turkey, Greece, Ireland and Sweden and informed them that the ships would be stopped on their way to the Gaza Strip. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has instructed the Navy to prepare for the operation, which due to the large number of vessels will require the participation of a large naval force.

The Israeli Navy has in the past stopped international aid ships from reaching the Gaza Strip. Last June, a ship from Cyprus that included a Nobel laureate among its passengers, was stopped en route to Gaza and towed to the Ashdod port.

Meanwhile Wednesday, Hamas sped up work it is doing on the Gaza port to expand it ahead of the flotilla’s arrival.

The project is funded by a Turkish NGO, and according to a report by the Quartet, work is carried out daily by 40 workers who put in 18-hour days. The first phase of the expansion is slated to be completed by the arrival of the ships and includes increasing the depth of the port basin to 8 meters.

The second phase of the project is expected to be completed in two months and includes increasing the depth of the entire port. The third phase will be aimed at turning the Gaza sea port into a tourist attraction for local residents. According to the Quartet report, most of the raw materials for the expansion work comes from recycled rubble of buildings destroyed in the Gaza Strip.


Democracy according to Reichman

Gideon Levy

As Israel closes its gates to anyone who doesn’t fall in line with our official positions, we are becoming more and more like North Korea.

In the end, we will only be left with Prof. Uriel Reichman. After we sent Prof. Noam Chomsky away, and there was no sharp rebuke by Israeli academics (who in their silence support a boycott of Bir Zeit University ), we will be left with a narrow and frightening intellectual world. It will be the kind of intellectual world shaped by the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya – an institution of army officers and the rich, headed by its president, Reichman.

A law professor, certainly enlightened in his own eyes, a former candidate to become education minister, Reichman says he doesn’t support the human rights group B’Tselem. That’s his right, of course; our right is to state that at the head of an important Israeli college stands a man who doesn’t understand a thing about democracy.

After all, what does B’Tselem do? It gathers reliable testimonies on the sins of the Israel Defense Forces, very few of which, if any, have been proved wrong. Reichman doesn’t support this? In the world according to Reichman, we are left only with statements by the IDF Spokesman’s Office. We will believe that no white phosphorus was used in Gaza, that the “neighbor procedure” is something that tenants’ committees do, and that if they call a family and give them five minutes to leave before their home is bombed, that’s an action by the most ethical army in the world.

Students at the Interdisciplinary Center say they heard their president declare that B’Tselem is “a fifth column” and that it’s “shameful” this group received a place at the school’s Democracy Day. Reichman denies this, and we respect his word. In any case, the spokeswoman for the college said: “B’Tselem’s modus operandi is not acceptable to Reichman.” What, then, is acceptable to Reichman? A society without self-criticism. This then, is Israel’s intellectual elite; these are our intellectuals – without B’Tselem.

A college president and law professor who preaches changing the electoral system and favors an Israeli constitution – one who doesn’t explain to his students the importance of human rights groups – is no more enlightened than the yeshiva heads who don’t teach the core subjects. He is even more dangerous.

But the man of intellect from Herzliya did rally against the yeshiva heads. “All the statistics show we’re on the brink of a catastrophe and on our way to becoming a third-world country if there’s no change in the Haredi community,” Reichman said in backing a petition on teaching core subjects. But the heart of the matter must be the lessons of democracy, well before mathematics and English.

And these things, it turns out, they do not teach at Reichman’s yeshiva, where even Democracy Day is a day of silencing others. If math is not taught at yeshivas, we will lose little. Without genuine civics lessons at the Interdisciplinary Center, which purports to raise the next generation of our leaders, we will receive a generation ignorant of democracy – in the spirit of Reichman. This is the real catastrophe on our doorstep.

Universities around the world serve as a power source for democracy, and lecturers, not only renowned ones like Chomsky, are often prime examples of liberalism for their students. It’s not by chance that at “Reichman’s College,” as it is called, the voice of political involvement has never been heard. Now it’s possible to know why. The school may claim to be interdisciplinary, but one field is missing there. If Reichman takes a look at his history books, he can read about people and movements that fought for human rights. B’Tselem’s founders will certainly be on that list. Maybe someday this will also be taught at the Interdisciplinary Center, after Reichman’s time.

When Otniel Schneller proposes that an intellectual giant like Chomsky “try one of the tunnels connecting Gaza and Egypt,” we can only chuckle. No one expects Schneller to know who or what this is about. But the prime minister, as opposed to Schneller, knows very well who the admired lecturer from MIT is – where he studied. He knows that the crux of Chomsky’s criticism is directed at the United States, not Israel.

When the prime minister doesn’t immediately apologize and invite Chomsky back to the country, we can be sad. When Israel closes its gates to anyone who doesn’t fall in line with our official positions, we are quickly becoming similar to North Korea. When right-wing parties increase their number of anti-democratic bills, and from all sides there are calls to make certain groups illegal, we must worry, of course. But when all this is engulfed in silence, and when even academia is increasingly falling in line with dangerous and dark views like those of Reichman, the situation is apparently far beyond desperate.


thatstheguy07 — 17 mai 2010 — Since this video has been getting so many views, and ppl have been asking the same questions, I figured Id explaion a ciuple things here.
This video was sent to me by someone on facebook. I dont know who the guy is, what the aftermath was, or which crossing this was at.

Im noticing something from all the comments tho. For the most part, it seems like the ppl who have the menatality that “everything is OK”, that the war on terror is real, that osama brought the towers down, that terrorists hate us for our ‘freedoms’ and are hell bent on destroying us all… you know, that whole false paradigm way of thinking.. these people for the most part have this attitude that the guy got what he deserved; that he shouldve just stfu, sat down, and complied.
I have a problem with that tho, and thats mainly because these agencies, these ppl, these govt’s, are supposed to work for us, the people. Not the other way around. This guys job is not to treat other humans like dogs. They are not there to treat us all like potential criminals, like pieces of shit that have no rights, and should feel privilidged to even be able to travel to the US. It isnt to act like complete dicks, trying to get a reaction… which is exactly what went on here. That cop was looking for this reaction, and escalated it from the second the interview started.
Just because this guy gave them a little attitude back, they couldnt take that, so they got pissed off and arrested him. and to make matters worse they tell him moving away from a cop is assult. WTF.
Is this not fascism? This is like nazi germany.. show me your papers…

The guy sounded to me like someone whos been throiugh this whole song n dance before, and got aggitated because he knew the nonsense he was about to go through.
So why is it that the cop can give this guy attitude, but this guy cant give it right back. People seem to think cops or anyone with a badge is some how above us, and we must do exactly as they say. But in reality these ppl are paid by tax dollars; they are here for us. So for them to turn around and act like this, is inexcusable.

This guy had every right to give a little attitude back to those pricks. How about starting the conversation off with hello fellow human, how are you? instead they set the tone by asking rapid fire questions, giving the guy no time to answer the questions.. and as soon as the guy gives a little attitude back, the cop hates that, because its undermining his power… and thats why 90% of these guys took the job afterall… because theyre power tripping bullies.
Soon as some guy takes away their upperhand or lets them know theyre not gonne bend over, this infuriates them. And thats what we see here.

They arrest the guy for talking back. He didnt do anything illegal, he didnt break the law. The cops could easily have said fuck off buddy go home, youre not getting in to this country with that attitude. Instead they just wanted to arrest him and get him in jail. Because who do you think you are, talking back to a border cop.

Moral of the story is fuck these bullies and fuck the over reaching govt, both in the US and in Canada (mind you our shitty policies are a result of the US telling our govt what to do and how to act, under the guise of this bs ‘war on terror’.

Everyones being fooled by this false pretense nonsense since 9/11.
It wasnt the arabs, stupid!

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