Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Gradye Parsons Responds to Israeli Assault

Stated Clerk of the PC (U.S.A.) General Assembly, Gradye Parsons, released a statement regarding the latest adventure by the Israelis.

We affirm the call of the United Nations Security Council for a prompt, impartial, credible, and transparent investigation of the May 31, 2010, events, in conformity with international standards. We ask President Obama and the United States Congress to support and ensure the fulfillment of this call.

We call for an end to the blockade of Gaza and urge the government of Israel to permit the immediate delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza.

We call on the Hamas government to work to end rocket attacks by all parties against Israel.

We call for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

We call for the release of all ships and civilians held by Israel.

We call on the United States government to play an intensive and faithful role as a peacemaker — honoring international law, supporting UN efforts to end the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and working for the day when Palestinians and Israelis alike know justice, peace, and security.



45 comments:

  1. I am sorry to have to say this but I doubt that Palestinians see the US as a neutral in making peace. Rather the US stands with Israel. The Oslo Accords were made without American help, although the US has to put its seal of approval on them. If you were Palestinian would you trust the US government?

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  2. And today the US refused to allow the UN Security Council to make a condemning statement against the attacks. What a mess.

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  3. Gradye is a fine man. He always has been.
    But sometimes we have to back away from the pluralism and look reality in the eye.

    Israel is a criminal, terrorist state. Binjamin Netanyahu and the rest of that gov't should be either imprisoned or killed.
    There is no excuse for the holocaust of Gaza and even less excuse for this attack on innocent, unarmed relief workers.

    These sub-humans and their paranoid ways will eventually lead to them using Nukes against an innocent party and it simply cannot be allowed.
    When are we going to open our eyes and see these Zionist monsters for what they are? The Fourth Reich.

    I once believed in a Two-State solution. Now I don't. Israel has no right to exist.

    May they reap a harvest of agony and despair and reap it soon.

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  4. So we call for an end to the Gaza blockade, and only call for Hamas to work towards an end of launching rockets against Israel? How totally anti-Semitical of us...

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  5. Here are the basic facts as I know them. The Israeli military kills nine people, wounds dozens, and detains hundreds of people who were on board a humanitarian aid ship.

    If there are other facts that need to be shared, feel free.

    Folks may be interested in the Free Gaza movement.

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  6. The Israel Palestine Mission Network of the PCUSA (IPMN) responds to the incident.

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  7. In this age of cell-phone video, youtube, and instant upload, it seems to me that if Israel actually cared about what the US or anyone else thought of their actions, they wouldn't have made such a blatant publicity error.

    For good or bad, I'd say there's plenty of evidence they simply don't care about the opinions of PCUSA pastors, our stated clerk, or anyone else for that matter.

    And "anti-semitical" is clearly not even a word, while "anti-semitic" (which is a word) has become the new Godwin's Law in these arguments, in my opinion. As I've already stated, I don't really know much about all this, but aren't the Palestinians also a semitic people? Maybe Stushie can enlighten us. LOL.

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  8. You are right. I don't think Israel cares what anyone thinks as long as money and arms keep coming from the U.S.

    Here are some of the dangerous items discovered on the flotilla.

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  9. Alan - yes, the Palestinians are semitic.

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  10. The Israeli government makes another blunder. Reading Israeli newspaper websites, the government is receiving scathing criticisms from its own citizens. But the American government is avoiding taking sides to demonstrate its even-handedness.


    In my opinion, if Israel wants to preserve the Jewish nature of its state, they and their American supporters would be falling over themselves to give the Palestinians a viable state on the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. Otherwise the only alternatives are apartheid state which could not be sustained for long or a democratic bi-national state with a Palestinian majority. But, what do I know?

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  11. I think Israel seems content to continue doing what it is doing indefinitely.

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  12. @Alan

    As per your professed ignorance of, and concern for, the plight of the Palestinians, it comes as no surprise that this issue would be approached as a question of the semantics of "semitic" and the possible misuse of "semitical". Oh well, I guess the most pressing problem facing humanity really is the treatment of gays in American Churches and society. Or maybe not....

    @John

    Thanks for addressing this most recent Israeli atrocity as well as your previous posts pertaining to injustices against gays in America.. I think that awareness of, and response towards, injustice of any type does make a difference.

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  13. "Oit comes as no surprise that this issue would be approached as a question of the semantics of "semitic" and the possible misuse of "semitical""

    Um. No.

    You simply missed the entire point of my comment. That's OK, though.

    Did you notice that you've now brought sexual orientation up twice in discussing Israel/Palestine? I guess I'm missing the connection. But then, I don't think you're getting my comments either, so I guess we're even. ;)

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  14. "As per your professed ignorance of, and concern for, the plight of the Palestinians"

    BTW, Steve, just a gentle nudge... if you're going to claim I've professed something, you really should make sure I've actually professed it.

    If you're mistaking that I have said that I don't care about the internal internecine squabbles in the PCUSA about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for my not caring about the humanitarian tragedy on both sides, then I feel that you really should read what I've written far more carefully before you start suggesting that I've said something and/or believe something that I have not said or do not believe.

    Since others (ie. John) clearly understood what I've said and meant, I don't think I have been all that opaque.

    Thanks.

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  15. Hoping Steve and Alan will be friends...

    I do think we all care.
    I think we may disagree (or not) on how to care.
    I think we may disagree (or not) on how to express that care.

    I personally think it is good for the PCUSA to squabble about it.

    I don't think the Israeli government or the Palestinians care or probably even know what we say.

    I think, however, other Americans are influenced by discussion. Speaking for myself, I am at any rate.

    What the American people do think and specifically how our politicians think matters as the U.S. is a major supporter of Israel.

    I think the issue is complex. I don't know (who could know?) all the ins and outs and grievances and so on and so forth.

    I am ambiguous because I personally would have much more in common with an Israeli form of government than a Palestinian one.

    I see Israel really acting like bullies. I also see the Palestinians not helping their own cause.

    But just because it is complex and just because there is bad behavior from both sides doesn't mean it is all a wash.

    I visited there in 1994 and saw how unfair life was then. I saw the settlements and the second-class status. That was before the wall and before the escalating tensions.

    To me, Israel bears greater responsibility as it is a military power.

    With John M., I am pessimistic about a two state solution. It appears that this state of affairs will continue indefinitely hot/cold, hot/cold, hot/cold.

    Back to the question of whether or not PCUSA types are justified in making statements and resolutions, well...

    Even if the PCUSA were ever to draft the perfectly just and "absolutely true" statement, it would likely have little effect against the realities of political, military, and corporate interests.

    But that is not news. No listened to Amos either.

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  16. I've got no problem with Steve at all ... though I think I'm not misreading that he may have a problem with me. :)

    In any event, I consider most of the squabbling in the PCUSA to be useless. Most people I know don't even know what a Presbyterian is. "Is that some sort of car part?" Seriously. I've heard that. I think many in our denomination greatly, *greatly* overestimate our importance in the US these days. This isn't 1850, or 1920, or even the 1970s.

    To clarify, since what I've written so far has been misunderstood, and not just by Steve... As I said in the previous thread, I haven't seen any evidence that our (the PCUSA) statements and overtures and various other pontificating has had any effect on US policy or Israeli/Palestinian relations at all. I asked for evidence in that thread and none was given, so naturally I remain unconvinced. Now, unsurprisingly I don't much care for or about ineffective pontificating. So, instead of folks here slamming me for that not caring about ineffective pontificating, if they want to provide evidence that the PCUSA overtures and reports *have* been effective in improving the situation, I remain eager to hear it. But simply slamming my opinion instead of providing evidence isn't going to convince me of anything. :)

    It seems to me that if we wanted to be relevant, I think we'd stop signing statements and start doing real work (or sign statements AND do real work. But just signing statements? Meh.) The rhetoric on both sides in the PCUSA about the horror of this conflict do not seem to match up with their commitment and actions either individually or collectively.

    It reminds me of the people who say abortion is a holocaust and write lots of blog posts about how horrible abortion is but have never adopted a kid. Their actions just don't match with their rhetoric. Nor are their actions particularly useful. Blog posts? On something you think is like the holocaust?

    Seriously?

    Anyway.... if our disagreements here are about the degree of utility of the work currently being done, then I think it would be hard for anyone who says that they care about these issues to criticize *me* for thinking *more* should be done beyond useless statements. Yet that seems to be the critique most have had regarding my comments on this particular issue so far -- which is what leads me to believe they're either not actually understanding what I'm saying or the rhetoric is so knee-jerk that they're unable to do anything but spout talking points.

    As always, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt and assume people have simply misunderstood me. And since I never take offense at people's misunderstandings, as I said, I've got no problem with Steve or anyone else (except stushie who I still think is a troll).

    Hope that clears things up.

    :)

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  17. @Alan I think I was clear about your thoughts before this and I take your challenge seriously-- doing something instead of or in addition to a statement.

    I can think of some things that people have done--boycotting Caterpillar, supporting educational trips, dialogues, supporting groups of Palestinians/Israelis working for peace, boarding flotillas, being mowed down by Caterpillars that we are boycotting...

    There certainly are things to do including becoming more informed. While admittedly, hosting a blog is pretty close to the bottom rung on the effectiveness ladder, who knows, maybe there will be inspiration here for someone somewhere to do something constructive. : )

    The point of disagreement I might have with you, assuming I understand you correctly, is that I do think that statements by denominations are worth doing even if that is all that is done. I do think more should be done and I affirm your challenge. Even so, a statement by the denomination (and all that goes into it) is better than nothing.

    Even though we may have lost a lot of our mojo as compared to the good old days, there are precious few other Christian organizations speaking out on behalf of the Palestinians. The Southern Baptists aren't saying much.

    I agree with you regarding what a Presbyterian is. The folks I tend to hang out with probably regard my Presbyterian identity as bizarre, quaint, and superstitious. : ) I could just as well belong to the Grand Order of the Ground Hog.

    Nevertheless, there is something still about this old tottering grandpa called the Presbyterian Church that people still turn to, wondering what the old geezer will say. I think we should use whatever mojo we have left to speak with clarity, intelligence, and compassionate ferocity.

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  18. What the PC(USA) has to say about issues which face us as Christians is important, whether or not those statements are effective. The most important issue coming before this year’s General assembly is the report of the Middle East Study Committee Report and its recommendations. It is a “squabble” worth having. The report is well researched, well written, and on target with its recommendations


    The problem for this report will not be the batty right in our church, but so-called liberals, the Rev. John Wimberly and his Presbyterians for Middle East Peace. The handwringing of this group of big steeple pastors has more to do with their relationships with the American Jewish organizations than any concern for the plight of the Palestinians under Israeli rule. There is no equality in this conflict. No need to be even-handed. The Palestinians are the victims.

    If you are looking for action, write your Congressman, Senators, the President and the Secretary of State; provide financial support for the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA and Doug Dicks, PC(USA) mission co-worker who serves as regional liaison in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian; and discuss it in your local church; to name a few.

    For me, this is one of the more important issues facing us in the global arena and must more important at the General Assembly than FOG and getting myself ordained or married.

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  19. @Alan

    My apologies for my misunderstanding of what you were thinking. In the previous thread pertaining to the Palestinian's problems I got the impression that you had little concern for the oppression that they are under. I am not a Presbyterian or in the least bit invloved with Presbyterian politics so perhaps I missed the point or "target" of your criticism.

    Granted, talk is cheap. Still I suppose we all do what we can and sometimes that may be no more than discussing world problems. Noam Chomsky has been speaking and writing on the Israeli-American alliance as partners in the oppression of the Palestinians for quite some time. Has he affected any change? Hard to say, but to borrow a phrase from Martin Luther King, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." Might not be true, but I hope it is.

    In physics there is a concept that the motion of objects is a result of the "sum of the forces" applied to them. Perhaps the same concept is applicable to the political world as well and even as insignificant an effect as some gestures may seem to have they may ultimately contribute to "the sum of the forces" that keep that arc bending towards justice.

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  20. By the way...

    The "Schuler Solution" to this on going and seemingly irreconcilable problem is to create a "New Israel" somewhere west of Salt Lake City. You know, bring all the tribes of Israel, lost and otherwise, back together safely removed from inhospitable political climate of the middle east. Truely a "New Jerusalem, All Jew All the Time". Even if we have to ammend the constitution to allow that. Hey, everybody needs to be willing to give a little to resolve this problem, right?

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  21. I read a curious statistic today. It seems that between the Presbyterian Foundation and the Board of Pensions the PCUSA holds less than $2,000.00 in Caterpillar stock. Go figure.

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  22. And BTW: I've been to Israel/Palestine with Jewish friends. I would like to go again and take the Palestinian tour, not of all the holy sites (as if some place that God made is more holy than some other), but to talk with Palestinians. Particularly the Christians.

    And all the way back to the good captainkona: I wouldn't use the word "sub-human" around Jews. They are kind of sensitive to that term. It got a lot of them killed.

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  23. And all the way back to the good captainkona: I wouldn't use the word "sub-human" around Jews. They are kind of sensitive to that term. It got a lot of them killed.

    Agreed. Thanks, Bob. No one is sub-human, whether Jew, Palestinian, or whatever. Although there are people who behave at times beneath the standard of what we might call basic human decency. This brings the next point. If Palestinians are not considered sub-human by the Israelis, why are they not allowed full citizenship in Israel and why are Israelis building settlements in territory that the entire planet knows does not belong to them? Why are they making a blockade effectively starving the people of Gaza?

    Yes, being considered sub-human does get a lot of people killed. You are right to call captainkona on that, knowing, however, that actions (such as those of Netanyahu) speak louder than words.

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  24. "The point of disagreement I might have with you, assuming I understand you correctly, is that I do think that statements by denominations are worth doing even if that is all that is done."

    Yup. You're understanding me correctly. Such statements are worthless. Even you seem to admit it. Given the Israelis recent behavior, ticking off both the US and basically the only other nation in the region that didn't want to blow them off the face of the Earth, Turkey, I find it hard to believe that statements from a few Presbyterians are going to be worth much.

    Let's look elsewhere... See Exhibit A: The Manhattan Declaration. A worthless piece of paper that accomplished absolutely nothing. See Exhibits B-X: Any number of various pieces of affirmations and declarations the various right wing groups in the PCUSA have signed onto over the years. See Exhibit Y: The PUP report. Our reports don't matter to us even when they're about us! LOL And see the soon to be Exhibit Z: The marriage report. Not going to change anything, prevent a single marriage, or bring any peace or unity.

    I get it. I used to push our church to sign on to the various lefty declarations and affirmation about this or that issue over the years until I realized we were the only ones who read them.

    But I'm an evidence kinda guy, so I don't buy arguing about statements that no one has any evidence are effective. At best it is useless, worse it is useless and patronizing. The info Bob points out about Caterpillar. That was a *huge* deal the year I was a commissioner to GA and it appears to still be a huge deal. Over $2000.00? Seriously? I'm not sure how I'd feel about that if I were one of the folks that particular divestment was supposed to "help."

    I wonder, does anyone think that the Palestinians or the Israelis are saying to themselves, "Gee, I sure hope those American Presbyterians spend their summer arguing about a piece of paper"?

    Just wondering...the folks who write these reports... Do they actually ask, say, the Palestinians, "What can we do to help?" And is the answer really, "Write a report?"

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  25. Writing a report and pontificating a useless answer that noone cares about (except those involved in the writing/rejecting of it)that noone has any power to implement is the cheap way out. People can say, "We have spoken to that issue." Well, pin a rose on you.

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  26. @Alan

    As of this point in my life, I am not yet that cynical.

    Evidence?

    I have none. I have been preaching for 18 years. I have no evidence that anything I have said has done any good for anyone. Still I do it.

    There is no evidence that the Declaration of Barmen did anyone any good.

    There is no evidence that Amos did any good.

    There is no evidence that Jesus H Christ dying on the cross did any good for anyone.

    Evidence?

    How do you know? How do you know the effects of someone's words whether written or spoken will have?

    Evidence?

    As far as some of the reports you mentioned, PUP, marriage, Manhattan, I have no idea of their effects, and neither do you. I oppose all of them, not because I didn't think they were ineffective, but because I think they were wrong. Both the recent marriage report and the PUP report were too wishy washy for me. They weren't strong enough for justice. And the Manhattan whatever is simply evil.

    But I can make no judgment on their effects. I hope their effects (damage) would be minimal.

    Evidence?

    I thought we were in the business of faith. You tell the truth as best as you can and trust that it will be heard.

    Evidence?

    I can speak for one person, and that is me. This one person is grateful that the PCUSA has spoken on behalf of the Palestinian people. I am grateful for the reports that will go before GA. It has given me courage to look more deeply at the issues and to speak as well.

    Evidence?

    No, Alan, I won't go there. I think it is important to speak truth to power regardless of the evidence.

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  27. "As of this point in my life, I am not yet that cynical."

    Nothing at all even remotely cynical about it, John. A cynic is never convinced regardless of the evidence. The proper word is skeptic, a person who reserves judgement until there is evidence available. That's a moniker I'm happy to wear.

    We are indeed in the business of faith, but not blind faith or mere ... um ... shall we say, "superstition"? ;)

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  28. Yes, Alan, they did ask the Palestinians what we can do. Included in the report is
    KAIROS PALESTINE | 2009: A moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering. Written by the heads of the Christian churches of Palestine, the document requests our support.


    The recommendations are the meat of such reports. The recommendations are the action items while the rest of the report is the rationale. Economic sanctions and disinvestment brought down the apartheid South African government. It began with individuals, churches and spread world-wide. It is a long process. There is no instant gratification here.

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  29. John said: "I have none. I have been preaching for 18 years. I have no evidence that anything I have said has done any good for anyone. Still I do it.

    You've done me a helluva lotta good, pal!

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  30. Snad,

    Don't you know that he is leading you into "the abyss of darkness and oblivion"?

    Apparently some of Stushie's friends thought that was noteworthy along with Alan's associated sentiments.

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  31. @Alan

    Okay dude, your ongoing whining about the futility of all this talk-talk, report writing and so forth with regards to the problems of the Palestinians has driven home to me the point that I have been trying to make to you by bringing up your sexual orientation. You know, I don't really care about your sexual orientation. And, in truth, the issue of gay rights is pretty far down on my personal laundry list of human suffering and injustice. I understand that there are children starving to death at a rate of one every five seconds. Big problem. That fact might serve as a bench mark to help gain perspective on the magnitude of the manifold problems we collectively and individually encounter in this life.

    Now, despite the fact that I am not gay and that gay rights is far from the top of my list of problems confronting humanity has not, in the course of my life, restrained me from speaking out when opportunity arose to express my thoughts and opinions which have been to encourage others to be accepting of homos, gays, fags, queers, lesbos, etc... I don't know if I have made a difference or not. And furthermore I don't care whether you applaud my efforts or not. I'm not looking to recieve the 'rainbow ribbon of friendship' to display as a symbol of my "liberalism".

    In the same light I really don't care if a single Palestinian knows or cares if I speak on behalf of them and the oppression that they suffer under the Israeli occupation. And no, I'm not looking to recieve a little Palestinian flag to display on my lapel, if I had a lapel to display it on that is. And I don't.

    Now, my question is this. Would you be, or have you been, so adamant about the futlity of talk-talk and comittee meetings pertaining to gay rights issues as you seem to be regarding the same as pertains to Palestinians?

    Do you see my point?

    I may be entirely misunderstanding you. Correct me if I am.

    Peace

    Steve

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  32. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your question. You must have missed it, but as I wrote earlier, though I used to think signing various declarations and reports, etc., on ordination and marriage was important, I changed my mind. So, to answer your question, yes I have been pretty adamant that simply signing various documents and not actually doing something about marriage and ordination in the PCUSA is useless. I have also been pretty consistent in saying that arguments and debates do not change anyone's mind about anything. So, while you think I'm a bastard, perhaps you'll be happy to know that at least I'm a consistent bastard. ;)

    RE: "Okay dude, your ongoing whining..."

    I have also changed my mind on something else. You all have convinced me that it was a mistake to break my rule about ever commenting on Israel/Palestine issues in the first place. It is not possible to have open, honest conversations about these issues (apparently even if you fundamentally *agree* with people!! LOL) because someone just gets ticked off and offended and then the usual blog comment BS begins, &c., &c., &c., which is all fun and games and doesn't bother me, but it clearly bothers others, given the escalating level of rhetoric going on here.

    So rather than enable that behavior and at the same time continue to piss you and others off, I'm going to bow out of further conversation on this issue.

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  33. @ Arthur

    Yeah, I saw that. You know the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. LOL

    And if I can get the biggest busybody and gossip in the denomination to embarrass herself by rising to such cheap bait, even better. (Plus to see her galloping to defend poor, defenseless, pitiable, little Stushie's honor is just icing on the blogosphere cake-o-hilarity.)

    But any time either of them want to actually engage in "Speaking to darkness for the sake of the lost" instead of their usual drive-by sniping, trolling, and gossiping, I'm not hard to find. :)

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  34. Now that we have had appropriate build up, if you haven't found the report in question, please do read it and the accompanying resources, or not as you wish.

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  35. Alan,

    Yeah, at the end of the day this is all just more internet chatter, I suppose. Still, everybody gets to say what they think, for better or worse. No, I don't think you are a bastard, but it is somehow reassuring to know that you are consistent in your disdain for institutional activism regardless of the issue at hand. I must admit that sometimes I share your perspective on that. Then, combating my tendency towards cynicism, I say to myself, "But Steve, all that's required for evil to prevail is for good men do nothing..."

    I am sure we all need to do something diffferent. The question is just exactly what that is?

    P3ace

    Steve

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  36. "you are consistent in your disdain for institutional activism"

    ??

    I don't know what that means.

    If by institutional activism you mean writing reports and declarations, then yes, though I would want to say that "disdain" is about 100 times too strong of a word. But if by institutional activism you mean doing stuff that's real and actually works and actually helps change things, then no, you haven't understood what I've been saying at all. Anyway, again, it is clearly best if we just move on....

    :)

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  37. Arthur said: Snad,

    Don't you know that he is leading you into "the abyss of darkness and oblivion"?


    As the lyrics to one of my favorite songs goes:
    "I know there is darkness in a closed-lid box, but I have seen darkness in a parking lot."

    And I can find the dark on my own. It's a lot more fun with a room full of people, though. ;-D

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  38. OK folks I have a question. Israel sends "aid" into Gaza all the time. A projected figure is Israel allows an average of 15,000 tons humanitarian aid to pass into Gaza every week. I also understand that Israel for some reason, and I have no idea why, collects some taxes for Gaza. I think it has something to do with water and electricity but I'm not sure. I do know that the aid is insufficient to provide for the needs of the people of Gaza.

    Is this "aid" tied to the taxes?

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  39. Link, Bob?

    Here is a link about Israel and Gaza:

    Only a little more than an hour's drive from the offices of Israel's major newspapers, 1.5 million people have been besieged on a desert island for two and a half years. Who cares that 80 percent of the men, women and children living in such proximity to us have fallen under the poverty line? How many Israelis know that half of all Gazans are dependent on charity, that Operation Cast Lead created hundreds of amputees, that raw sewage flows from the streets into the sea?....

    ....The Israel Defense Forces prohibition of reporters entering the Gaza Strip is an excellent excuse for burying our heads in the sand of Tel Aviv's beaches;....

    ....The IDF does not send cargo planes stuffed with medicines and medical equipment to Gaza. The missiles that Israel Air Force combat aircraft fired there a year ago hit nearly 60,000 homes and factories, turning 3,500 of them into rubble. Since then, 10,000 people have been living without running water, 40,000 without electricity. Ninety-seven percent of Gaza's factories are idle due to Israeli government restrictions on the import of raw materials for industry....

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  40. Back to John M.,

    Yes, Alan, they did ask the Palestinians what we can do. Included in the report is
    KAIROS PALESTINE | 2009: A moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering. Written by the heads of the Christian churches of Palestine, the document requests our support.


    Again, thank you.

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  41. @ John from CNN

    "About 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid flows into Gaza each week, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said. Israel says it allows enough humanitarian aid -- including food and medicines - into Gaza for the people who live there and that the blockade is designed to stop Hamas from building or acquiring arms. Israel has never published a list of banned items but it has refused to allow into Gaza books, paper, blankets and reconstruction materials. The U.N. says 80 percent of Gazans rely on some form of humanitarian aid."

    The flotilla was carrying about 10,000 tons.

    Still what Israel sends into Gaza is about 1/4 of what is needed for the citizens of Gaza to thrive.

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  42. BTW I wrote about this on my blog about the mess at sea. If one watches to Israeli soldiers going down ropes one by one and getting attacked by the people where they landed with metal bars, what look like baseball bats, etc., one has to wonder what the IDF thought it was doing. I'm no soldier but even I can guess that if you don't want anyone to get hurt, Palestinian or Israeli you send all the soldiers down the ropes at once. That gives the invaders an advantage. One at a time is stupid.

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  43. It seems like it would serve all our interests to have a full investigation of the deadly attack. Meanwhile here is a good piece with plenty of links regarding the world's reaction.

    Here are some good thoughts by Margaret Atwood.

    And the IPMN is posting links on their Facebook page.

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  44. A full investigation is absolutely warranted in light of the admission from the IDF that they doctored the audio recording of the attack.

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