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June 8, 2010

Egyptian Government lied again. Rafah crossing is not really open as previously claimed.

– Egyptian security refused to allow food and medicine supplied by the Egyptian Pharmacist syndicate to reach Gaza.

– A delegation from the Egyptian Parliament was first allowed to reach Al Arish but without their donation of building supplies. The delegation itself was then prevented from crossing into Gaza.

– Egyptian authorities turned away many Palestinians wishing to cross into Egypt including Gaza health minister based on objections from Israel.

Irish Rachel Corrie deportees vow to return, call for international inquiry and boycott campaign against Israel

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Press Release, 7th June 2010, 9pm

Today Monday 7th June 2010 family, friends and supporters welcomed home the five Irish MV Rachel Corrie passengers who were this morning deported from Israel. The five – Denis Halliday, Mairead Maguire, Fiona Thompson, Derek Graham and Jenny Graham – were greeted in Dublin airport by cheers and hugs from the assembled crowd who were there to salute their bravery, as well as a large media presence.

Following their safe arrival back on Irish soil, Mr. Halliday, Ms. Maguire and Mr. Graham addressed a press conference hosted by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) in the Central Hotel. Full audio from the press conference is available here:

Ms. Maguire spoke of her motivations for taking part in the Freedom Flotilla which sought to bring much needed humanitarian aid and supplies into Gaza by breaking the illegal Israeli blockade. Ms Maguire said: “Israel is carrying out a slow genocide against the Palestinian people. It engages in collective punishment and practices apartheid policies worse than those of South Africa. For these reasons, we set out to break the three-year-old illegal siege of Gaza, to try and help ease this unspeakable suffering in a small but symbolic way by bringing humanitarian aid. Unfortunately we never made it to Gaza as we were boarded illegally in international waters and taken at the point of a gun to Israel. However, we say to the people of Gaza, we will be back. We will treble our efforts, we will not rest until the siege is lifted, the occupation of Palestine is ended and Palestinians have the right to self-determination. We will not be silent, and we will not be stopped.”

Mr. Graham, who was First Mate on the Rachel Corrie, recounted the boarding of the ship by the Israeli navy and the events leading up to it, and thanked the IPSC and the Irish media for the support and coverage they had given the Rachel Corrie mission, which he said he felt was crucial in ensuring their safety.

Mr. Halliday urged the Irish government, along with the EU, the US and especially the United Nations to take action against Israel. He also called for an independent international inquiry into the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara which left at least 9 people dead last Monday, something which Israel has rejected.

The other two passengers, Ms. Thompson and Mrs. Graham were praised by the speakers. It also emerged that Ms. Thompson, a documentary-maker, had managed to securely smuggle out five video tapes documenting their voyage from leaving Malta up until the Israeli boats approached the Rachel Corrie. However, the Israelis stolen her camera, which is her livelihood.

Freda Hughes, chairing the meeting on behalf of the IPSC, called for an intensification of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. She said: “Some of the parties involved in the flotilla are looking towards building another one. However, flotillas alone will not end Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. To that end the IPSC calls on the people of Ireland to carry out an economic boycott against Israel, for Irish multinational CRH and French multinational Veolia to divest from Israel where they are involved in building the apartheid wall and Jerusalem Light Rail respectively, and for the Irish government to pursue sanctions on the rogue state of Israel until such time as it complies fully with its obligations under international law and ends its apartheid regime”

All the speakers expressed their condolences to the families and friends of those who were murdered by Israeli commandos last Monday on board the Mavi Marmara aid ship.

Final deportee Al Mahdi Al Harati to return tomorrow

Al Mahdi Al Harati, will be the final Irish flotilla member to return to Ireland. He will be arriving in Dublin Airport tomorrow at 1.45pm, and there will be a welcoming for him. The IPSC encourages our supporters to go and welcome him home.



Returned deportees

Jenny Graham: 086 3403689

Fintan Lane: 087 1258325
Shane Dillon: 085 7184987

IPSC Office: 01 6770253
Freda Hughes (IPSC): 086 1260359
John Dorman (IPSC): 087 2208560

Martin Quigley (IPSC): 087 9623624

Mark McDonnell (IPSC): 086 841 6297



mblumenthal — 6 juin 2010 — 6.1.10 Thousands of Israelis rally in Tel Aviv in support of the IDF raid against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that left nine passengers dead. The rally was organized through Israeli Facebook forums. In addition to supporting the IDF commando unit that attacked the Mavi Marmara ship, demonstrators expressed anger at Turkey and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who they accused of supporting terrorism.

The IDF admitted today in a press release that it doctored audio footage from its exchanges with the Gaza flotilla in order to paint the flotilla passengers as anti-Semites. I am beginning to wonder if the Israeli military hired James O’Keefe to handle its press shop.

The IDF admitted today in a press release that it doctored audio footage from its exchanges with the Gaza flotilla in order to paint the flotilla passengers as anti-Semites. I am beginning to wonder if the Israeli military hired James O’Keefe to handle its press shop.

This is the IDF’s “clarification:”

Yesterday evening on 4 June 2010, the IDF released an audio recording of a radio transmission between the Israeli Navy vessel and the Flotilla ships wherein unidentified flotilla passengers tell the Israeli Navy vessel to “shut up, go back to Auschwitz” and “we’re helping Arabs go against the US, don’t forget 9/11.” There have been questions regarding the authenticity of the recording as well as its attribution to a communication with the Mavi Marmara.

So to clarify: the audio was edited down to cut out periods of silence over the radio as well as incomprehensible comments so as to make it easier for people to listen to the exchange. We have now uploaded the entire segment of 5 minutes and 58 seconds in which the exchange took place and the comments were made.

This transmission had originally cited the Mavi Marmara ship as being the source of these remarks, however, due to an open channel, the specific ship or ships in the “Freedom Flotilla” responding to the Israeli Navy could not be identified. During radio transmissions between Israeli Navy and the ships of the “Free Gaza” Flotilla on 31 May 2010, the Israeli Navy ship attempts to make contact with the ‘Defne Y’ on channel 1-6. Other ships from the flotilla respond on the channel, without identifying themselves. At some point during the radio exchange the Israeli Navy is told by one of the ships to “shut up, go back to Auschwitz” (2:05) and “don’t forget 9-11? (5:42).

It’s nice that the IDF has “clarified” its doctoring of footage. But the new clip it has released that supposedly shows “the entire segment…in which the exchange took place and the comments were made” is highly suspect as well. Why? Because it contains an exchange with Huwaida Arraf that Arraf claims took place on an entirely different attempt to break the siege — Arraf has led previous aid boats to Gaza that were intercepted and hijacked by the IDF. Arraf told Ma’an News:

“I was by the radio the whole time there was any communication. Mine was the only boat in which I answered and not the captain and they all answered in a very professional manner.” Arraf told Ma’an that while she might have spoken of having permission from the Gaza Port Authority on a previous attempt to break the blockade, she is certain that she did not say it on Monday morning. ”When they radioed us, we were still 100 miles away,” she explained.

Mya Guarnieri of Ma’an goes into more detail about the suspicious nature of the new clip the IDF has released, demonstrating how absurd their latest attempt to save face is. The lesson of the debacle is that nothing the IDF says can be trusted by anyone. Not ever. (Of course, that should apply to any nation’s military, and not just “the most moral army in the world”).

Hours after the IDF’s admission, major news outlets which reported on the doctored audio clip as though it was a shocking revelation and not a scandalous forgery have still not corrected themselves. The most blatant stenographer of IDF propaganda is the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler. Here is what Kessler reported after being participating a briefing session with an IDF flack:

Israeli forces spent four hours trying to persuade the 300-foot-long Turkish ship to shift course away from Gaza, senior Israeli officials said in a briefing Friday for a small group of reporters.

The activists responded repeatedly with shouts — “Go back to Auschwitz!” — and kept the ship at its maximum speed of 10 knots.

Besides the fact that Kessler reported on the “Go back to Auschwitz” claim without investigating it, he claimed that the passengers “repeatedly” shouted the slur. But even the IDF did not claim that anyone “repeatedly” shouted anything; the “Auschwitz” statement is heard in the doctored audio clip only once.

Kessler’s report was so slanted in favor of the Israeli military he was compelled to include this as his opening line: “This is the Israeli version of the deadly raid on an aid ship bound for Gaza.” But Kessler also cited the opinions of “Turkish officials,” and worded his article as though it were an authoritative report on what really happened on board the Mavi Marmara.

Finally, Kessler reports the IDF’s discredited claim that numerous Mavi Marmara passengers were terrorist “mercenaries:”

The activists also had substantial funds, perhaps 1 million euros. Many of the activists who battled the soldiers were each carrying 10,000 euros, which officials speculated meant that they were mercenaries who had been paid to fight.

Right. The IDF had retracted its claim about terrorist mercenaries on board the Mavi Marmara a full day before Kessler filed. Kessler and the Washington Post have let the Israeli military play them for fools. They should issue corrections immediately.

If the Post does not correct, readers should let WaPo Ombudsman Andrew Alexander know that his paper’s coverage of the flotilla massacre remains riddled with major factual errors. Alexander can be reached at or 202-334-7582 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-334-7582 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Gaza Flotilla Murders; Dr. Finkelstein vs Zionist Top Brass “Lies Lies and Lies Again”

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