Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guardian Editorial, Model Letter to Editors, Demo Wed

From: Pat & Jeff Warner PatnJeff@Keyway.net
Sent: Tue, June 1, 2010 8:28:51 AM
Subject: [WIB-LA] Protest Wednesday Federal Building

Demonstration to Protest Israeli Piracy of Freedom Flotilla
Wednesday, June 2, 5 - 7 PM; Westwood Federal Building
(Wilshire at the 405-freeway) LA Jews for Peace is organizing
a demonstration to protest the Israeli piracy of the Freedom Flotilla.

Bring signs calling attention to US complicity in incident (due to its
support of Israel) and calls for Obama to condemn the attack and/or take
other action.

Wednesday, June 2, 5 - 7 PM; Westwood Federal Building
(Wilshire at the 405-freeway)

Jeff Warner
La Habra Heights, CA 90631


From: Karin Pally


Gaza: From blockade to bloodshed

Nothing has done more to establish Israel's status as a pariah state
among its neighbours than the actions of its armed forces

* Editorial
* The Guardian, Tuesday 1 June 2010

If an armed group of Somali pirates had yesterday boarded six vessels on
the high seas, killing at least 10 passengers and injuring many more, a
Nato taskforce would today be heading for the Somali coast. What
happened yesterday in international waters off the coast of Gaza was the
work of Israeli commandos, not pirates, and no Nato warships will in
fact be heading for Israel. Perhaps they should be.

Nothing has done more to establish Israel's status as a pariah state
among its neighbours than the actions of its armed forces. Israel's navy
said it met with "pre-planned violence" when it boarded the ships and
opened fire in the middle of the night. Their intention was to conduct a
mass arrest, but the responsibility for the bloodshed was entirely
theirs. Having placed themselves in a situation where they lost control
and provoked a riot, the Israeli navy said they were forced to open fire
to avoid being lynched. What did the commandos expect pro-Palestinian
activists to do once they boarded the ships - invite them aboard for a
cup of tea with the captain on the bridge? One of those shot and
severely wounded was a Greek captain, who refused medical aid in Israel
and demanded to be flown back to Greece. Presumably he, too, was
threatening the lives of Israeli naval commandos.

There was nothing on board those ships that constituted a threat to
Israel's security, so Binyamin Netanyahu's argument that his troops were
acting in self-defence has no validity. They should not have been there
in the first place. The convoy was carrying construction materials,
electric wheelchairs and water purifiers for Gaza's people. This was
recognised by the Israeli navy, who said in a statement that it had
offered to transfer the aid by land to Gaza. Four years into a blockade
mounted ostensibly to prevent weapons from being smuggled into the
enclave, this claim, too, is utterly specious. Two years of pressure
from Washington failed to persuade Israel to let these construction
materials in, for the benefit of the 5,000 families still in tents after
the ruin wreaked by Operation Cast Lead. If Israel was so obdurate to
the entreaties of its ally, why would it now acquiesce in the demands of
its enemies? The fact is that Israel has used its blockade not only to
prevent Hamas from rearming, but also to impose collective punishment -
as a boot which it applied to the Palestinian throat. This pressure on
the jugular has the opposite of its intended effect. Defiance has only
grown in Gaza, and the Islamic resistance movement is reaping the
benefits - as any Fatah man will admit.

In one operation Israel has destroyed whatever hold it had over the
international community on Gaza. It is not simply the fury that it has
created in Turkey, which will only grow as the bodies of its dead are
buried. Egypt too is complicit, because its government has sealed the
southern border of the Gaza strip. It has done so amid mounting popular
opposition, and as a nervy transfer of power in Cairo is about to take
place. The Egyptian government will not welcome the intense
embarrassment that Israel has caused it. There were many calls yesterday
for the siege to be lifted, notably from Britain's new foreign secretary
William Hague. After what Nick Clegg, his coalition partner wrote in
this newspaper about Gaza last year, he could hardly do otherwise. But
as Mr Clegg said, it is action, not words, that counts now.

The blockade should end, but that will only be the start of the U-turn
which is now required. Closely allied to Gaza's physical isolation is
its political one. The international consensus is also crumbling on
isolating Hamas by insisting it recognise Israel before it is allowed to
join a national unity government with Fatah. Russia broke the taboo
first two week ago when its president, Dmitry Medvedev, met Khaled
Meshal, the Hamas leader in Damascus, but other countries in Europe are
now planning to follow suit. Brick by brick, this policy is coming
apart, and in a strange way Israel is helping."

It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees. Emiliano Zapata


----- Original Message -----
From: Jeff Warner
To: epearlag@earthlink.net
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 10:45 AM

The following articles, columns, and/or editorials are published in today's
LA Times (print edition) or NY Times (web edition). One or more provide an
opportunity to write a letter to the editor to enunciate our message of

LA Times: two items today:
--- Front-page article contains full coverage of Israel's raid on the
freedom flotilla in international waters. The raid was condemned world-wide
with a U.N. Security Council statement, diplomatic protests from France,
China, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Sweden, and Denmark, and protests in many
cities and nations. Israel is not permitting any of the 700 captured
passengers to speak to reporters or their families. This incident has
brought the Gaza Siege back into international attention, with many nations
calling for its end. There are differences between the account of what
happened between Israel and flotilla leaders. (10 vs 16 killed; passengers
resisted soldiers boarding boats vs. soldiers started shooting as soon as
the boarded boats).

--- Article on page A5 Reports on the deteriorating diplomatic ties between
Turkey and Israel. Israel's attack on the freedom flotilla made relations
significantly worse, but raised Turkey status in the Arab world.

NY Times: three items today - similar to LA Times coverage:

--- http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/world/middleeast/02flotilla.html
Israel Holds Hundreds Seized During Raid on Flotilla

--- http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/world/middleeast/02nations.html
U.N. Security Council Condemns 'Acts' in Israeli Raid

Raid Complicates U.S. Ties and Push for Peace

Email your letters to the LA Times letters@LATimes.com ,
and/or the NY Times letters@NYTimes.com ,
and please send a bcc to me.

Please pass this letter-to-the-editor prompt on to others who might be
interested, and invite them to contact me to be added to this mailing list.
To be removed from this letter to the editor service, please email me

best jeff

Jeff Warner
LA Jews for Peace

START MODEL LETTER ###################


RE: "Israel draws global outcry for fatal raid," June 1, 2010 FOR LA

RE: "Israel Holds Hundreds Seized During Raid on Flotilla," June 1 FOR NY

It is time for the Obama Administration to show some backbone and go beyond
the usual mealy-mouthed statements that U.S. presidents make when Israel
acts foolishly and dangerously?" President Obama talks about our wonderful
American values, and his National Security Strategy says "we must always
seek to uphold these values not just when it is easy, but when it is hard."
The same document also talks about a "rule-based international order," and
says "America's commitment to the rule of law is fundamental to our efforts
to build an international order that is capable of confronting the emerging
challenges of the 21st century."

Now is the time for Obama to prove that he means what he says. Attacking a
humanitarian aid mission in international waters is a direct violation of
international law and certainly isn't consistent with American values --
even if that aid mission was engaged in the provocative act of challenging
a blockade. Of course, it would be politically difficult for the
administration to take a principled stand with midterm elections looming,
but our values and commitment to the rule of law aren't worth much if a
president will sacrifice them just to win votes.

Your name
Your city
Your phone Number (So the paper can inform you they are publishing your

END MODEL LETTER ###################

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