A friend of mine messaged me this morning to find out if I knew that internationals had been killed at sea on their way to Gaza. At first I thought he was joking. There was no way things could get so sloppy so fast. Of course, I was wrong. It seems like every year Israel tries to see how far they can push the envelope in these times of globalization of information. Cast Lead was awful, and the outcry was significant considering, but it didn’t keep them from forging passports and assassinating Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.
Now up to 20 internationals on a flotilla to deliver aid in Gaza have been killed by Israeli forces in international waters.
Israel’s allies froze military ties and summoned its ambassadors Monday over the storming of an aid flotilla bound for Gaza, as Muslim leaders slammed the deadly raid as “criminal” and “inhuman”.UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “shocked” by the Israeli navy’s assault on a convoy carrying hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, lawmakers and journalists through international waters towards besieged Gaza.//
Ban called on Israel to “urgently” explain itself over the raid, which Israel’s Channel 10 TV left 19 passengers killed and 36 wounded, many of them Turks.
Despite the fact that there is no reasonable explanation for the murder of so many in international waters, perhaps the most depressing issue is that while thousands in Istanbul tried to rush the Israeli consulate, the Palestinian response in Ramallah has been small. Today I witnessed a protest of perhaps 60 lawyers and union members, holding pre-made signs and being careful not to block the way of traffic. Police were out in arms and watching the crowd carefully. There was no chanting because the police forbade it. It seems to me that while so many in the Western media are concerned with the “loss of rights” in Hamas controlled Gaza, nobody seems to care that the Palestinians of the West Bank – who care deeply about the issue – don’t feel comfortable protesting openly against Israeli aggression. Televisions were all tuned into Al Jazeera and everyone was discussing the issue on the street and cafes and universities, and yet…