Turkey Threatens Reprisals if Israel Halts Flotilla for Gaza

The Middle East Affairs Information Center reported this news, although it cannot be verified until the Turkish government acknowledges that such a threat was made through diplomatic channels. But it is clear that either way, Israel has lost an ally, one who has become an adversary instead, based on its war crimes (UN Goldstone Report) during the Gaza massacre of 2008. We all recall the Turkish PM Ergodan dressing down Israeli President Peres in a meeting then walking out.

The last information about the flotilla is that it postponed a late Friday entry into Gaza waters until Saturday.

Here are the details about Turkey's threat; presumably the reprisal discussed is mainly economic.

The Turkish government sent a secret message to Jerusalem Monday, May 24, threatening reprisals if the Israeli Navy prevents the “Freedom Flotilla” of nine boats from reaching the Gaza Strip on May 27 for the avowed objects of breaking Israel’s blockade on the Hamas-ruled territory and delivering humanitarian aid.

Debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report that the Turkish message was an ultimatum to Israel threatening retaliation against Israeli interests. It is backed by the unreported presence of one or more helicopters on one or more of the Turkish vessels for challenging Israeli Air Force support for the naval blockade.

On May 14 the Rachel Corrie set sail from the port of Dundalk in Ireland, the first ship of the aid flotilla for the Gaza Strip organized by a coalition of pro-Palestinian organizations in Europe and Turkey. On May 22 the Mavi Marmaris set sail from the Sarayburnu (Seraglio Point) port in Istanbul. It is the first of three Turkish ships planning to sail to the Gaza Strip (the other two cargo ships set sail from Turkey Sunday, May 23). The ships will rendezvous en route off the coast of Cyprus with vessels from the UK, Greece, Algeria, Ireland, Sweden and Kuwait and from there sail to the Gaza Strip, arriving between May 26 and 28, where they will anchor in the Gaza harbor which has been deepened by the de facto Hamas administration to be able to receive them.

The ships and passengers: A total of nine ships are expected to arrive off the Gaza shore, carrying between 800 and 1000 passengers from 40 countries (according to some reports more than nine ships may arrive). The Turkish ship is expected to carry 600 passengers, most of whom boarded in Antalya. They include members of parliament, human rights activists and media correspondents. There is also a group of Israeli Arabs, one of whom, sheikh Ra’ed Salah, participated in the launching ceremony at the port in Istanbul (Ma’an News Agency, IHH website, May 20, 2010).

SOURCE: http://www.crethiplethi.com/turkey-threatens-reprisals-if-israel-halts-flotilla-for-gaza/israel/2010/

Just another note considering the silence of American news media on the flotilla, in a biased article, the NYT finally reported on it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/world/middleeast/28mideast.html?src=mv

 

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Reporting from Mondoweiss:
With sea confrontation looming, New Yorkers say ‘break the blockade’

Alex Kane

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/05/with-sea-confrontation-looming-new-yorkers-say-break-the-blockade.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+feedburner%2FWDBc+%28Mondoweiss%29

The following excerpt is of a report in the Indypendent, where you can read the full article and view photos of the New York action in support of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Days before a probable showdown at sea between Palestine solidarity activists traveling with a nine-ship fleet and the Israeli Navy, demonstrations took place across the United States and the world today to demand that Israel allow the activists safe passage to Gaza to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid.

In New York, more than 100 people gathered outside the building of the New York Daily News to call attention to the lack of news coverage of the flotilla, walked past the Israeli Consulate and marched to Times Square chanting “Break the blockade, Gaza needs aid.” They passed out hundreds of fliers to pedestrians explaining how the “Freedom Flotilla” was attempting to break the blockade of Gaza and what the potential Israeli response could be. In Times Square, demonstrators gathered in the center and chanted “Free, free Palestine” while tourists looked on and snapped pictures.

The action was organized by a coalition of local groups, including Adalah-NY, Al-Awda NY, the Activist Response Team, Gaza Freedom March and Jews Say No.

The “Freedom Flotilla” is made up of nine ships now in the Mediterranean Sea sailing to Gaza. The ships are stocked with badly needed aid, like construction materials, medical equipment and school supplies, for Gazans; such aid has been blocked by a crippling Israeli naval, air and land blockade. Palestine solidarity activists from more than two dozen countries, including the United States, are also part of the flotilla.

The Israeli Navy has vowed to stop the ships from reaching Gaza, and has set up a makeshift detention camp at Ashdod, a port in southern Israel, for processing, detaining and deporting the activists who are part of the mission.

“Through their system of apartheid and occupation, they’re denying the Palestinians the right to live,” said Randa Wahbe, a Palestinian-American active with Students for Justice in Palestine at Columbia University and Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel.

by MainStreet 2010-05-28 04:09PM | 0 recs
And here's another one from Phil Weiss himself:

‘WSJ’ runs Israeli flotsam and jetsam about flotilla

 Philip Weiss

 Charles Levinson in the Wall Street Journal:

Some Israeli officials see a lose-lose public-relations situation. "We can't win on this one in terms of PR," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor says. "If we let them throw egg at us, we appear stupid with egg on our face. If we try to prevent them by force, we appear as brutes."...

"This is nothing more than media provocation and has nothing to do with actually providing aid to residents of the Gaza Strip," said military spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovitch. "They have everything they need.

A quote from a participant would have been nice.

(Well my thought here is that if Israeli politicians were able to think ahead at the ramifications of their actions, the slaughter of Gazan civilians in Dec 2008 would never have occurred. Of course it was only a political stunt intended to impress the Israeli public that the Kadima gang could kill Palestinians as easily as Likuds like Ariel Sharon.)

 

by MainStreet 2010-05-28 04:14PM | 0 recs
Just as a note:

I just heard that the flotilla has postponed its entry into Gaza waters until Saturday, tomorrow. The reasoning, as far as I can tell, is that there would be daylight available, which would help all of the news people and photographers on board these ships.

by MainStreet 2010-05-28 04:16PM | 0 recs
For those interested, here are some links.

Greta Berlin, Co-Founder Free Gaza Movement
+357 99 18 72 75

witnessgaza.com
www.freegaza.org
http://www.flickr.com/photos/freegaza

by MainStreet 2010-05-28 09:13PM | 0 recs
EU's new foreign affairs minister made a statement!

 

29 May 2010

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/114694.pdf

 

EUROPEAN UNION Brussels, 28 May 2010

Statement by the spokesperson of High Representative Catherine Ashton on the flotilla sailing to Gaza

The spokesperson of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice

President of the Commission Catherine Ashton issued a following statement today:

"We strongly urge that all involved act with a sense of restraint and responsibility and work for a constructive resolution. The EU remains gravely concerned by the humanitarian situation in Gaza.


The continued policy of closure is unacceptable and politically counterproductive.

We would like to reiterate the EU's call for an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza."

 

by MainStreet 2010-05-29 08:09AM | 0 recs
Latest news on convoy, MSNBC 9am Sat morning.
Israeli gunships head to sea to block flotilla Stage could be set for high seas showdown with pro-Palestinian activists

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37403753/ns/world_news-europe/

HAIFA, Israel - Israeli gunships headed out to sea on Friday to stop a flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists from reaching the Gaza Strip, the military said, setting the stage for what could become a dramatic showdown on the high seas.

Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said the country was prepared to stop the flotilla "at any cost." He called the aid mission a provocation and urged the international community to show understanding for the tough response.

Imagine Israel now ready to make war on and even kill humanitarian peace activists?

by MainStreet 2010-05-29 09:41AM | 0 recs
When Mollosk talked about talking to himself, I'm beginning to understand what he meant.

Anyone on the left still interested in human and civil rights, humanitarianism, and other good things that help make the world a better place?

by MainStreet 2010-05-29 10:55AM | 0 recs
It was reported that the flotilla is being held up by suspicious mechanical difficulties on two small boats.
Passengers on those boats are about to be transferred to the large IHH passenger boat from Turkey (below; IHH is an world wide humanitarian organization).

Other News: Hedy Epstein, the Holocaust survivor long involved in efforts to free the Palestinians, has joined the convoy. This sweet lady is in her late 80s.

by MainStreet 2010-05-29 11:19AM | 0 recs
It was reported that the flotilla is being held up by suspicious mechanical difficulties on two small boats.
Sorry, here is the IHH ship again:
by MainStreet 2010-05-29 11:21AM | 0 recs
Twitter is carrying hour to hour updates on the status of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

LINK: http://witnessgaza.com/

It is now determined that there will be five ships that will leave for Gaza in the early morning, expected to arrive in midafternoon.

Hedy Epstein, for some reason, is unable to join the convoy. While waiting to transfer passengers from disabled boats, twenty have left Famaghusta, Northern Cyprus, including four German MPs, one Swedish MP, and all the passengers from Challenger, one of the disabled boats.

 

by MainStreet 2010-05-29 12:34PM | 0 recs
wow, you'll do anything to get

your propaganda out there, like making 10 posts by yourself just to get it on the list. You Palestine supporters are sad.

by Lakrosse 2010-05-29 06:06PM | 0 recs
Just caught this link: a live stream of the convoy on its way to Gaza.

This livestream comes off of the IHH Turkish ship. IHH is an international humanitarian aid organization.

http://www.ihh.org.tr/canliyayin/en

 

by MainStreet 2010-05-30 11:25AM | 0 recs

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