An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela: Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur Expose Coup

On the eve of another US war for oil, Abby Martin debunks the most repeated myths about Venezuela and uncovers how US sanctions are crimes against humanity with UN Investigator and Human Rights Rapporteur Alfred De Zayas. FOLLOW // @EmpireFiles // @AbbyMartin LIKE // https://www.facebook.com/TheEmpireFiles

The text of his report

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2002 documentary about the April 2002 Venezuelan coup attempt which briefly deposed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. A television crew from Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ happened to be recording a documentary about Chávez during the events of April 11, 2002. Shifting focus, they followed the events as they occurred. During their filming, the crew recorded images of the events that they say contradict explanations given by Chávez’s opposition, the private media, the US State Department, and then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. The documentary says that the coup was the result of a conspiracy between various old guard and anti-Chávez factions within Venezuela and the United States.

 

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The Bahraini Revolution in the Words of its Elite

By Zeinab Daher

With every anniversary of an uprising against oppression, a person recalls a glimpse of hope that the winds of change are blowing again.

Bahrain, the country of Shia-majority ruled by Sunni-minority, was a platform for peaceful popular demands back on February 14 of 2011. Today, there is nothing more honest than the words of those who lived the revolution, its early days, and the impressions they made as such time has passed over the first day since its birth.

In an exclusive interview with al-Ahed News, Sheikh Abo Yasser Abdullah al-Saleh, Deputy Chief of Bahrain’s Islamic Work Association (Amal), listed the many achievements of the revolution atop of which is the clear popular alignment against the oppressive and dictatorial authorities that is a major achievement in Bahrain.

 

“The opposition in Bahrain is deep-rooted, it is nothing new, but the current impression is that the opposition is something new.”

In the 1980s, before and after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, demanding to topple the Al Khalifah regime was a fantasy. Now, however, there is a sort of popular agreement that this family should be changed because it doesn’t deserve to rule the Bahraini people, and that the Bahraini people deserve more just government, that is finer, more aware of the demands of peoples and more independent, afar from any foreign and western alliances.

Additionally, in Bahrain, there became a clear orientation and understanding by all parties that it is necessary to establish a just democracy through inclusive elections that get rid of all kinds of tyranny and appropriation as well as ties to the foreign colonialism practiced by Al Khalifah.

The revolution was able over 8 years to draw attention that there is a major determination by the Bahraini people to reach their rightful and legitimate demands and that it is never possible to play the minds of people and deceive them just like what happened during the 1990s uprising.

“There is total agreement that this authority in untrustworthy and can’t be dealt with by any means, even if it still controls the country.”

Another achievement is uniting the local lines and tending to a true change which wasn’t clear in the past era. This revolution has serious tendency to change the country’s status and make a true shift that suits the Bahraini people.

The Al Khalifah authority treat the opposition as if it is a zero. It is oppressive and try to kill any activism before it is born.

“The glow of revolution didn’t change.”

It is true that the protests in which the majority of people used to participate are not happening now. The figures and major symbols who used to participate in the protests are not there, but the movement itself didn’t stop, even if the momentum has decreased. There are still protests and demands in some places. There are also detentions, since the beginning of the revolutions, detentions didn’t stop. If the authority claims that it has got rid of the revolution, then why it is still carrying out the non-stopping arbitrary detention campaigns.

There are some 930 people, including clerics, symbols, academics, youth and citizens, whose citizenships have been revoked. More than 7824 people are detained by the authority, and the number is still climbing. We sacrificed more than 200 martyrs, scores of victims and thousands of displaced people. But the Al Khalifah authority couldn’t, through all this, to prove that it has got rid of the February 14 revolution. The revolution is being renewed in different ways and remains with the same slogans and demands.

The most important among all is that the Bahraini people didn’t retreat any of its legitimate demands. And the latest statement made by His Eminence Sheikh Isa Qassim was a clear evidence that this people didn’t and will not compromise.

Why remaining peaceful?

The Bahraini people is not a violent one. The people of Bahrain are known for love, peace, mercy, generosity, containing others and coexisting with them.

The rightful demands the Bahraini people are asking for are not new for any people, they are rather part of their basic due rights whether by understanding or another mean. When the Al Khalifah denies the people their rights, it must expect that the people won’t remain silent. And now, they insist to fulfill their demands.

For our people, we would like to stress that the international situation in this particular anniversary is on our side and it is not on Al Khalifah’s and Al Saud’s. They were previously more arrogant and stronger, but the situation in the entire region now carries the promises of a near victory, by God’s willing. It carries the promises of a change in the regional map. The Bahraini people tolerated over many years, but the less has remained. The Al Khalifah authorities are in a bad situation while the morale, practices and rights of our people are way stronger than ever before. The legendary endurance presented by the Bahraini people over the past years is able to drive them towards fulfilling their demands. It is matter of a little patience and we will reach our goals.

We are demanding democracy and inclusive elections in which the source of authority and sovereignty should be the Bahraini people. We only need to be a free people in an independent state.

Normalization

Normalization is nothing new. It has existed since before, at least all Gulf states, most Arab and Muslim countries related to the west, whether the US or the UK, have sorts of ties with the “Israeli” entity. However, ties today became public. What has been under cover, became today public.

Exchanged visits weren’t born recently, they are since the 1950s but they were low. The King Saud’s condition for the UK was that ties with the Zionists should be secret. Today, however, the Zionists set their condition that any price should be paid in exchange of public relations. This is the reason why we notice today public relations whether with the Al Saud or the Al Khalifah governments or others. Zionists now insist on publicized ties, this is why we are witnessing them on the surface.

In the past, the colonial scheme tried to indirectly run its issues in the region. But now, it is being faced by the peoples of the region, which are looking for their interests and trying to build their future the way they want. This is why the government now cannot fulfill the task and this explains with the Americans and the British are coming to the region repeatedly, weighing more and intervening much than before in the country’s internal affairs which is exposing those governments’ betrayal.

To Al Khalifah, the Bahraini people would never accept dealing with Zionists and would never be part of any alliance against its Arab and Muslim state. You can do whatever you want because the decision is in your hands, but the Bahraini people will breach any agreement that would be made with the Zionist entity.

For his part, Bahraini Journalist Hussein Youssef recalled some painful and emotional spots from the time of the revolution’s first days:

Among the most significant of the scenes of the February 14 revolution I recall is the youths’ advance as they were topless against the Bahraini army’s tanks that were supposed to protect the protesters and civilians, however, they were directed towards them and killed martyr Abdul Rida Bou Hmayyed. This scene would never be erased from the Bahrainis’ memory.

Another scene that I could never forget over seven years of the revolution is that of revoking the citizenship of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ahmad Qassim and the Imam Hussein-inspired speech delivered by Sayyed Maji al-Mashaal.

In between the two scenes, there is the very important event when Sheikh Ali Salman addressed the Bahraini people as the ‘Peninsula Shield forces’ entered the country. He referred to their behavior as defeatist and called the Bahraini people for sticking to peaceful activism until achieving its fair demands.

“Regarding the presence of the Bahraini issue in media, the activism is actually peaceful, political and rightful. There is no direct presence on which media can feed as it wants.”

However, there are other media outlets that are trying to turn a blind eye to the reality of the Bahraini people for certain political goals and reasons. They want to blind what is happening in Bahrain, and most of them are pushed by Saudi and American motives. This is something constant for us. An evidence is that many political and rights events, major protests, political speeches and stances issued by the Bahraini opposition are blinded by such paid outlets.

I don’t believe the regime has succeeded in silencing the opposition. Now, everybody confesses that there is a political crisis in Bahrain. The important evidence on this is that the leader of the opposition His Eminence Sheikh Ali Salman is in prison and sentenced to life. This firstly means that the political crisis in Bahrain will remain as long as such symbols and figures, atop of them is Sheikh Ali Salman, stay in jail. Hence, the opposition movement is non-stopping in different forms and during different circumstances. It is sometimes in Australia, another time in Bahrain… the movement is represented by the rights and political conferences held by the opposition at home and abroad. In conclusion, even if the regime had security-wise tightened the grip on the opposition movement, this doesn’t mean that it will be able to cancel the presence of the opposition and the popular demands.

There are huge numbers over the 8 years of revolution. There has been more than 40.000 protests, in addition to more than 5000 prisoners in Bahraini jails. This number makes Bahrain the most crowded country with political prisoners in the Arab world as per comparison to its population. There are also violations against journalists. Over 8 years of revolution, there is more than 25 years of imprisonment sentences against activists and journalists and even politicians who expressed their opinions. The law is very ‘flexible’ since whoever express their opinion via Twitter are subject to ‘anti-terror’ crimes for opposing the authority.

The international community raises the slogans of human rights in the area of political abuse and not in the place where people do believe in it… the international community is disabled in front of the Saudi-American decision; hence, the political cover baking the Bahraini regime is due to weighing political interests and Gulf oil heavier than human rights and the people’s rights to self-determination.

“All what happened over the previous period (8 years) is a motive for Bahrain to continue.”

The words of Sheikh Ali Salman and Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ahmad Qassem say there is no way for retreat, and it is necessary to continue with strength and determination to fulfill this people’s demand for reform.

“I do believe that what is waiting the Bahraini people is way better than what the authorities are practicing.”

There is no room for political settlement and fulfilling the national demands without democracy and respecting citizenship in Bahrain, he concluded.

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For the Bony Bodies of Yemeni Children… You’d Never Become Poor by Giving!

Zeinab Daher

In Yemen, people get up early in the morning because of war, death and famine…

Although Yemen occupies a large noticeable area on the world map, it can barely go noticed in the hearts and minds of the entire people.

{The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills} – Holy Quran, Surat al-Baqarah, verse 261

It is not only Save the Children, Islamic Relief and other few charitable organizations that are helping Yemen and its inhabitants. There is a humble association in Lebanon that drew the country’s people’s attention to the tragedy happening in the forgotten spot of the world.

The Beirut-based Seven Spikes (7 Sanabel) association was founded in 2012.

According to its chief, Ms. Zahra Badreddine, the association tends to serve poor and needy people.

“Since one of our goals is to help those in need, as the Yemen crisis broke out, one volunteer within the association suggested that we help them. We publicized an advertisement to start raising funds for Yemen, and we provided the text with the official phone numbers of the association. People were suspicious in the beginning, even the close ones… they wondered how could we deliver such aid to the blockaded country. But they were also happy that there is side capable of delivering their donations. Money is transferred through special channels to the safe areas, where the amounts are used to buy necessary foods such as rice, sugar, other nutrients, in addition to medicines to the deprived families,” she explained.

We have delivered three batches of aid, and now we are fundraising for the fourth one. People donated gold coins during the third batch. And we, as an association, demanded to document the aid delivery in a video to assure donors that the help is destined to its people. And indeed, there was a report that documented the process with a banner raised in the targeted area with a thank you message to the association, Badreddine told al-Ahed News.

“Many people thanked us for opening them a door to help. They said that they are feeling the pain and suffering but don’t know how to help.”

She further elaborated that

“Due to the blockade, we couldn’t deliver food from here, we just send the money there and they take charge of buying food to those in need. An amount of $7000 helped feed 180 families.”

“We stressed that the donations target the most needy areas; those who are starving,” Badreddine concluded.

She closed her words by urging other associations and campaigns to open their hands and make every effort to help the Yemeni people.

And for those wishing to give a helping hand, the (7 Sanabel) association’s hotlines are as follows:

00 961 71021536

00 961 76835300

00 961 70678100

00 961 70653690

It is worth mentioning that the aid group restricted gathering the donations to its representatives, and for those found outside the capital city or even outside the country, the group is open to receive them via Online Money Transfer service [OMT].

Hereby, it is an invitation for all schools, universities and any other sides to take the initiative in solidarity Yemen.

Although the association’s capabilities only cover small areas, its people in charge harbor hopes that their initiative help widen the scale of aid given to the starving people, and lift the suffering there are struggling to end in the face of the years-long brutal war imposed on them.

In this respect, the latest UNICEF estimates reported that the total people in need are 22.2 million, 11.3 million of them are children.

In further details, the UN agency warned that Yemen has become one of the world’s largest and most complex humanitarian crises. Almost 80 per cent of the population is in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The war has led to the internal displacement of 2 million people, left over 1 million public sector workers without pay for two years, and undermined access to ports and airports, obstructing essential humanitarian and commercial deliveries.

The crisis has led to many problems among the following:

  • Growing food insecurity, poor water and sanitation, and the spread of preventable diseases threaten millions more. The caseload of outbreaks of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD)/cholera has reached over one million. The strain on an already weakened health system has been further compounded by the diphtheria outbreak in early 2018, with over 2,200 cases, so far
  • In addition, 16 million people lack access to safe water
  • Children are the primary victims: more than 6,000 have been verified as killed or maimed since the conflict began
  • Almost 394,000 children under 5 currently suffer from severe acute malnutrition [SAM] and require treatment
  • The damage and closure of schools and health facilities threaten children’s access to education and health services

Although the bony faces of Yemeni children can say it all, people should notice that famine is not caused by a shortage of food, it is rather caused by a shortage of sympathy and giving, and you cannot feel the hell they are suffering from unless you are in their shoes.

But if you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. You would never become poor by giving a small amount of the entire blessings you enjoy.

And always remember that we can’t help everyone, but for sure everyone can help someone.

So, this platform is meant to open your eyes to the fact that any one of you can give a helping hand. Borders are not a barrier. When you want’ to make something happen, then you’ll definitely find a way to do.

Source: Al-Ahed News

HOUTHIS: AL-HUDAYDAH BATTLE SHOWS YEMEN IS ‘GRAVEYARD’ FOR SAUDI-LED FORCES

 

Houthis: Al-Hudaydah Battle Shows Yemen Is 'Graveyard' For Saudi-led Forces

Source

10.11.2018

On November 9, a senior Houthi official, Mohammed Abdulsalam, said Yemen will be a “graveyard” for aggressors as Saudi-led coalition forces are developing their advance on the port city of al-Hudayah.

Our people, with their full-scale defense of Hudaydah, once again have proved that Yemen will be a graveyard for the aggressors,” the official announced via Twitter.

Abdulsalam also claiemd that the “agressors” had failed to achieve any of their objectives due to the “exemplary steadfastness” of the Yemeni people. He also accused the Saudi-led coalition of cooperating with ISIS and al-Qaeda.

The American-British-Israeli coalition, along with domestic and foreign mercenaries and terrorists groups, including Daesh [ISIS] and al-Qaeda … have failed to achieve any of their objectives after four years of aggression, due to the exemplary steadfastness of the nation,” he said.

Earlier on the same day, coalition forces made another attempt to develop their advance on al-Hudaydah. Pro-coalition sources claimed tha over 100 Houthi fighters had been killed and  coalition forces had advanced towards the northern and the western flanks of the port city.

Pro-Houthi sources denied these claims. Furthermore, according to their version of the events, Saudi-backed forces had already lost over 500 fihters since the start of their new push on al-Hudaydah.

However, sources on the ground and videos released show that coalition forces had indeed achieved some gains. If the Houthis are not able to prevent the encirclement of al-Hudaydah by coalition forces, they will face a real threat of losing the battle of al-Hudaydah. On the other hand, coalition forces positions are overstretched east of the city and the Houthis may exploit this for counter-attacks.

The situation is developing.

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‘Why Were They Killed?’: Saudi-UAE Attack Hits Children In Yemen

At least two children were killed in raids on Saada province as UN special envoy arrives in Sanaa for peace talks.

Watch

[Warning: Some viewers may find images in this video distressing]

https://players.brightcove.net/665003303001/4k5gFJHRe_default/index.html?videoId=5835661230001

September 17, 2018 Information Clearing House   It was what everyone dreaded – two dead children.

After sifting through a home turned to rubble, rescue workers finally found the bodies of three-year-old Nabil and new-born baby girl Sumood.

Just moments earlier on Saturday, a Saudi-UAE military alliance, which has been carrying out air attacks on Yemen since March 2015, bombed their home in Saada province’s Marran district, an impoverished area less than 40km from oil-rich Saudi Arabia, footage sent to Al Jazeera by Houthi rebels appeared to show.

“These were civilians, they were little kids,” said one of the rescuers, as their bodies lay strewn next to him on a rock.

“What was their guilt, why were they killed?” said another, who managed to rescue other members of their family after the devastating attack.

Local news channel Saada News reported that the children were from an internally displaced family who had recently relocated to Marran after their home was previously destroyed.

But in what has become the norm for millions of Yemenis, families have had to repeatedly resettle when the sounds of planes pass overhead and bombs dropping intensify.

Air raids intensify

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been carrying out air raids on Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, in an attempt to reinstate the internationally recognised government of President Abu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Hadi’s government was toppled by Houthi rebels in late 2014 after the rebels stormed south from their stronghold of Saada, and captured large parts of the north.

With logistical support from the US, the Saudi-UAE alliance has carried out more than 16,000 raids on Houthi-held areas in an attempt to reverse their gains.

These attacks have targeted weddings, hospitals as well as water and electricity plants, killing and wounding thousands.

According to the UN, at least 10,000 people have been killed in the war, but the death toll that has not been updated in years and is certain to be far higher.

In July, the last month where statistics of air raids were available, Saudi and UAE jets launched 277 raids, 43 percent of which targeted non-military sites.

The Yemen Data Project listed 108 air raids on Saada province, a region straddling the Saudi border that has been ravaged by violence since the start of the conflict.

Hodeidah, which has also been the scene of fierce fighting in recent weeks, was targeted at least 101 times, the monitoring group said.

Dire humanitarian situation

The UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has been pushing the warring parties to restart peace talks and arrived in Sanaa on Sunday to meet the Houthis as fighting resumed in the port city.

Griffiths’ visit to the capital comes after his push for peace talks last week with representatives from Yemen’s internationally recognised government and the rebels fell apart before they could officially begin.

That meeting, which would have been the first in nearly two years, was scheduled to take place in the Swiss city of Geneva on September 6.

The Houthi delegation, however, did not show up, accusing the UN of failing to guarantee their safe return to Sanaa and secure the evacuation of wounded rebels to Oman.

Lise Grande, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, and David Miliband, the president of the International Rescue Committee, are expected to hold a press conference in the town of Bajil on Monday to discuss the latest on the humanitarian situation.

On Saturday, the Houthis signed a memorandum of understanding with the UN to take critically ill patients abroad for treatment.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that 12 health conditions had been identified, including patients with cancer, chronic diseases and congenital anomalies.

The UN has warned that continued conflict in Hodeidah, the entry point for the bulk of Yemen’s commercial imports and aid supplies, could trigger a famine.

An estimated 8.4 million people are at risk of starvation in Yemen, according to the UN.

The country’s three-year war has ensnared millions in what the European Union called the world’sworst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22 million in dire need of assistance.

No Place to Hide: KSA Massacres Displaced Families in Yemen Martyring at Least 31 Civilians

No Place to Hide: KSA Massacres Displaced Families in Yemen Martyring at Least 31 Civilians

Local Editor

Amid international silence and blatant blindness, the US-Saudi aerial aggression massacred four displaced families, mostly women and children, who were on a car, in Duraihimi district in Hodeidah.

Local sources in Hodeidah said that the aggression committed a new crime in which 22 children and four women were martyred, in Alkoui area in Duraihimi district.

The director of Duraihimi security said that all displaced families who were on the car were killed while the US-Saudi Aggression continued flying, preventing the ambulance teams from reaching the site of the burning victims.

For his part, Minister of Health Taha al-Mutawakil called on the people to rush into the blood donation centers and on the hospitals to be alerted, in Hodeidah.

He pointed out that there is no explanation for the escalation of crimes of US-Saudi aggression against children in the recent period from Dahyan to Duraihimi but brutality.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

Ansarullah: New Child Massacre in Yemen «Disgrace to Saudi, US»

Local Editor

Yemen’s Ansarullah movement said a recent deadly strike by the Saudi-led coalition on the northwestern Saada Province, which massacred dozens of children, is a disgrace to the Riyadh regime and the US, the main arms supplier to the kingdom.

In an interview on Wednesday with Yemen’s al-Masirah, Ansarullah spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam criticized the United Nations for its inaction on the Saudi regime’s new instance of child killing.

Yemen, he said, does not pin its hopes on the world body for any effort towards ending the Saudi-led war, but rather relies on its own nation and other freedom-seeking people to that end.

The August 9 Saudi air raid on Saada hit a school bus as it drove through a market in the town of Dhahyan, sparking outrage from international human rights groups and UN officials.

The assault martyred a total of 51 people, among them 40 children, and injured 79 others, mostly kids.

Over the past days, several Yemeni provinces have been witnessing protests against the Saudi regime and its Western partners.

On Wednesday, Yemeni demonstrators took to the streets in several provinces, including Saada and Hajjah, with the participants denouncing the West’s support for the bloody aggression against the impoverished state.

The protesters also called on the international community to punish the Saudi-led coalition for its crimes against Yemeni civilians.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen expressed anger at international organizations for remaining silent on the criminal actions of the Saudi regime and the coalition it leads in the bloody military campaign against the most impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

It also reaffirmed Yemen’s support for any effort to find a peaceful solution to the conflict gripping the country.

In a relevant development, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande visited a hospital in Saada, where dozens of the wounded children were being treated.

She condemned the Saada strike, saying that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had ordered an immediate independent probe into the incident.

“What we are seeing today are the victims of the air strike, the terrible human cost of the air strike and of the war. The entire world condemns this. The secretary general of the United Nations has demanded an immediate, transparent, comprehensive, independent investigation into this,” said the official.

“This is a tragedy and there can never, never, never be a justification for it,” she added.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against Yemen in March 2015.

The offensive initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen.

The imposed war, however, has so far failed to achieve its goals, thanks to stiff resistance from Yemeni troops and allied Ansarullah revolutionaries.

Several Western countries have been supplying Saudi Arabia with advanced weapons and military equipment.

Yemen is now suffering from the worst humanitarian crisis in the world due to the Saudi aggression and siege.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Israel an Enemy of Freedom-Loving People Everywhere

August 23, 2018

Israel an Enemy of Freedom-Loving People Everywhere

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

Israel is fighting constantly not only against Gazans, and against Palestinians generally; it is fighting constantly against freedom-loving people everywhere, who oppose dictatorship of any type, and in any country, on principle, irrespective of nationality.

Here’s an example showing how much of a dictatorship and enemy of democrats it is:

Anna Dressler was a ship-hand on a flotilla of two small boats launched from Palermo Italy that were manned by 34 people from 12 countries in international waters and that were seized — stolen — by Israel’s military, on 29 July 2018. They became seized because these boats were carrying medical supplies in violation of Israel’s internationally illegal blockade against food and medicine reaching the residents of Gaza. She was on the boat “Al-Awda,” which was 42 miles from Gaza at the time of seizure-theft. Israel’s troops seizing it were masked, and were armed with machine-guns.

The first video of this incident was released on August 20th.

“Legal and Welfare Update and Appeal” dated August 14th by the Freedom Flotilla, stated that,

The two boats ‘Al Awda’ (The Return) and ‘Freedom’ were hijacked by the Israeli Occupation Forces in international waters 42 and 49 nautical miles respectively off the coast of Gaza. During their unlawful detention, crew, participants and journalists were subjected to a range of physical and emotional violence.

The captain of Al Awda was threatened with execution, 4 people were tasered, 3 people had ribs broken by the Israeli military and one person had his foot broken.

They were all taken against their will to Israel, unlawfully imprisoned and ultimately deported. The Israeli authorities have stolen the boats and the 13,000 Euros worth of medical supplies that we were carrying as gifts, as well as many of the participants’ personal belongings (including clothes, a Bible, credit cards, IDs and mobile phones). Incredibly, they have begun to take legal action to attempt to confiscate the boats.

These people had been in constant communication with their colleagues on land; so, if they’d been killed by the Israelis, it would immediately have become an international incident, enraging 12 countries. They had to be released, and thus they were. These people weren’t Palestinians; they had rights that were cared-about in other countries. Though a gangster-state, Israel recognized that these people couldn’t be simply discarded, like trash — as Palestinians are treated by Israel.

So, here’s how the journey got to that stage:Image result for anna dressler on flotilla

On June 27th, Ms. Dressler, writing in the third person as “she,” had posted, as “Deckhand on Freedom”, her personal background, and presented an explanation, written as impersonally as she could, as to why she was participating in this flotilla (which, though she didn’t note the fact, was manned entirely by volunteers who knew that they were placing themselves in severe jeopardy for doing this):

Anna was born in Germany and is now living in Sweden, but mostly she is out on travels and ‘projects’ around the globe. She is an activist and problem solver – a person with a diversity of professions. In 2012, she was the Project Leader for an anti-money laundering campaign. In 2015-2016, she participated in a private project working with refugees near the Macedonian border and along the Balkan route. She enjoys her freedom wholeheartedly and wants others to have the same opportunity.

On July 18th was posted, by the Freedom Flotilla, the following “Leaving For Gaza – Media Release”:

Four boats from the ‘Right to a Just Future for Palestine’ Freedom Flotilla Coalition are scheduled to leave Palermo, Sicily, to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza, and to assert the Palestinian people’s right to freedom of movement and their right to a just future. …

As always, our boats carry representatives from across the world and messages of love and solidarity for those living under the inhumane, decade-old blockade – the collective punishment on the civilian Palestinian population of Gaza. Given the dire situation in Palestinian hospitals, we are also transporting some urgently needed medical supplies (#Gauze4Gaza).

This need is even more critical given the thousands of people severely wounded by Israeli snipers and tear gas in the past few months during the Great March of Return protests (see 10 July UN report on serious injuries). …

It is also encouraging to see the local welcomes we are being given, including by the Mayor of Palermo who rightly connects our campaign with the Caravana Abriendo Fronteras, who have just arrived from Spain, and similar demands for the opening of borders and freedom of movement from the City Council of Cádiz (Spain) and Naples (Italy).

Spokesperson for the International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza, James Godfrey said: “This Flotilla is necessary to highlight the international community’s failure and its ongoing complicity in the illegal blockade of over two million Palestinians in Gaza, more than half of them children.”

On July 23rd, was posted “Freedom Flotilla Coalition sets sail for a just future for Palestine”, and it reported:

Freedom Flotilla leaves Palermo to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Three boats are sailing with boxes of medical supplies: Al Awda (The Return), a large converted fishing vessel; Freedom to Gaza, a large sailing vessel; and Falestine, a smaller sailing vessel. A fourth boat, Mairead, will not sail at this time. Another Sicilian port Messina, opened its open arms as usual with a series of wonderful community events, and we are grateful for their solidarity.

All three boats making their way to Gaza will be donated to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, that includes a fisherman’s union that will use the boats to fish in order to feed their families.

Spokesperson for the Swedish Ship to Gaza campaign, Jeannette Escanilla, said the boats would provide important economic and training opportunities for Palestinians trapped in Gaza.

“The illegal Israeli naval blockade has devastated the Palestinian economy, and in particular has hurt the fishing industry in Gaza so these boats will provide important economic opportunities for Palestinians in Gaza, and also training opportunities in sailing, to enable them to gain better qualifications. Currently, the Israeli Occupying Force prevent Palestinians in Gaza from sailing more than a few nautical miles from shore, and routinely attack fishing and other boats from Gaza.”

On July 26th, Dressler posted “ON THE WAY TO GAZA WITH FREEDOM – ANNA DRESSLER (UNITED KINGDOM/GERMANY)”. She said:

Gaza is a zone in the world where human rights seem to be forgotten. I believe that every person can change the world, on their own way, wherever they are and in which way they can. Let’s start here, with a blockade that should never have existed, and continues, along with everyone else, man-made, disasters.

On August 4th was posted to youtube “ANNA DRESSLER – SOS”, in which, six days after the seizure, theft, and assault, by Israel, against these people and their vessels, Anna, speaking in Swedish, publicly demanded that her Government in Stockholm enforce her rights as a Swede, against the Government of Israel, and that the ships and their supplies be at least returned to their owners.

On that same date, August 4th, the Freedom Flotilla itself headlined “SOS – Just Future for Palestine”, and officially notified the foreign ministers of the 12 involved countries whose nationals’ rights had been violated by Israel in this incident. These 12 countries were: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, UK, and U.S.

The following day, August 5th, Jeannette Escanilla wrote, for the Steering Committee, Ship to Gaza Sweden (her official title being “Spokesperson for the Swedish Ship to Gaza campaign”), addressed as follows:

To the Foreign Minister of Sweden; Margot Wallström

To the Prime Minister of Sweden; Stefan Löfven

Ship to Gaza’s sailing ketch “Freedom for Gaza” was approaching the coast of Gaza when it was boarded by Israeli militants on Friday 3 August on international waters, a gross violation of international law. The last reported position of the vessel before boarding was about 40 nautical miles from coast of Gaza at 20:06 (CET).

The Swedish flagged ship and its cargo of medical supplies were seized by Israel and the 12 persons onboard were abducted and led to Israel, a country they did not intend to visit.

Ship to Gaza demands that the captured crew, the ship and its and cargo will be returned to the position where they were boarded and allowed to continue their voyage on international and Palestinian waters without being interupted, in accordance with international law. In this way we can complete the purpose of the journey, which is to hand over “Freedom” as a gift to Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)*, as well as 18 boxes of medical supplies, gauzes and sutures, to the organization My Care in Gaza. The lack of healthcare in the Gaza strip is appalling.

Our long term demands are also that the eleven-year illegal and destructive blockade of the Gaza Strip is finally lifted. The Swedish government has repeatedly backed the requirement of a lifting of the blockade. We now expect that the same government, whose flag is worn by the attacked ship, will also support our specific requirements regarding crew, cargo and ships. Ship to Gaza calls on Israel and Egypt to now meet the demands of large parts of the world community, that the illegitimate and destructive blockade of the Gaza Strip will be lifted after eleven years of isolation and aggression.

There is an obvious discrepancy between that “Friday 3 August” date, which she wrote on 5 August, versus the subsequent claim in the August 20th released video, of “29 July 2018,” as being the date on which their boats were stolen. An explanation is thus needed from them, regarding that discrepancy. However, in any case, the Swedish Ship to Gaza has made public that,

Ship to Gaza has now received an answer to the open letter that we, through our chairman Jeanette Escanilla, have sent to the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström on August 5th.

The Minister writes:

**

Thank you for your letter dated 5th of August 2018. 

The situation in Gaza is very critical. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has described the situation as a humanitarian crisis. Furthermore, as you wrote, the lack of medical supplies is disastrous, not least since so many people have been injured as Israeli military has been deployed in connection with demonstrations along Gaza’s border in recent months.

Sweden upholds the principle of freedom of the seas and freedom of navigation. The government has been in contact with the Israeli authorities regarding Ship to Gaza, and has expressed that the actions of the Israeli authorities in relation to the Swedish-flagged vessel Freedom and the persons onboard constitutes a breach of international law. The government has also demanded that the ship, its cargo and the persons who were aboard be released. The Swedish Embassy in Tel Aviv is monitoring the imprisoned Swedish citizens’ consular rights and visited all of them on Sunday, August the 5th. 

The Swedish government will continue to work towards an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and towards a fair and sustainable two-state solution in which the two states can co-exist, peacefully, side by side. Ending the isolation of Gaza and providing humanitarian aid to its people are two critical, urgent steps towards that end. 

(Translated by Ship to Gaza)

The Swedish Ship to Gaza commented on that statement:

Ship to Gaza wishes to emphasize that the wording … in principle corresponds with our own demands that the crew, cargo and boat should be returned to the place where they were boarded and be allowed to continue their journey to Gaza. We are now being notified that the activists and crew is being deported from Israel. This is not in agreement with our demands or with the requests of the Swedish government.

We also want to know what the Swedish government is doing now to enforce the demands regarding our ships, cargo and crew, but even more importantly, also with regards to the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

On August 8th, Ms. Dressler posted:

Anna arrived last night at Berlin airport. Read her preliminary report of the cruel and inhumane treatment that the Israeli authorities meted out to her despite having a German passport. “…Can you then imagine how few rights Palestinians have…”

Anna’s resolve is strengthened and she declared that “We will continue to fight for freedom…”.

Please continue to demand the release of all of the Political Prisoners.

On August 13th, the Freedom Flotilla posted “SECOND MEDIA RELEASE ON MEDICAL SUPPLIES NOT REACHING GAZA” and listed, and linked, to the international laws that Israel had violated in this incident.

On August 17th, UK’s Stuart Littlewood headlined at American Herald Tribune “The UK’s Prime Minister-in-Waiting Must Zap the Circling Sharks”, and he reported on the extreme pressure that the progressive UK politician Jeremy Corbyn was facing for his not clearly taking a stand favoring Israel against the Palestinians, and he reported Corbyn’s being accused by Israel of “anti-Semitism” for that (as if it were wrong to recognize that Israel is an enemy nation; as if to recognize this is somehow against Jews or Judaism, instead of being against racist fascism in any nation, and against apartheid in any nation, and against theocracy in any nation, and against the imposition by any nation, of dictatorship — all of which presumptions are clearly lies). Littlewood noted that,

While the mainstream, including the BBC, have been sticking the knife into Corbyn, none of them (as far as I’m aware) reported a much more serious outrage – the hijacking by Israeli Occupation Forces of two vessels heading for Gaza and the violent assault, abduction and imprisonment of the 34 people from 12 countries who were on board – one of them a British consultant from the famous ‘Barts’ Hospital in London.

That is basically where things currently stand on this matter. The other governments involved (among the 12, besides Sweden), have been silent. Only Dressler’s nation has not. But no indication exists that even Sweden is following up with any demand against Israel. The underlying assumption seems to be that governments in The West (including the Sauds and their friends — all also “Western”) will continue simply to side with Israel against the Palestinians, even when their own citizens’ rights have been violated by Israel’s illegal imposition and enforcement of this illegal blockade.

Among the Governments that refused to enforce its citizens’ rights in this matter is the United States. Refusing to enforce its citizens rights that have been illegally violated by Israel, is routine for the U.S. Government to do. Ever since 1967, Israel has been supported by America, though America’s enemy, at war against Americans, and Israel has stayed that way, but the U.S. Government itself (and its news-media) has been keeping that fact, of Israel’s war against Americans — Israel’s being an enemy — a bipartisan secret from the American people (who are required, furthermore, by their Government, to pay to Israel’s Government, $3.8 billion per year, so that it can buy U.S.-made weapons from Lockheed Martin and other politically top-connected American companies — Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex” — which are the intended beneficiaries of this coercion, by America’s Government, against America’s citizens). It’s the proven and incontrovertible reality, of the U.S. Government’s tyranny, against its own people.

Without such lies as that Israel is America’s friend instead of America’s enemy, and without such hiding of crucial facts from the public (for ‘national-security’ purposes, of course — not for billionaires’ profits), none of this could happen, and could be even credibly called ‘democracy’. This is actually a ‘democracy’ based on lies. But is that really possible, or is it instead just another lie, one to cover-up all the others? If that’s the case, then the problem is, obviously, much deeper than merely Israel versus the Palestinians, and nothing that the mainstream press publishes in The West regarding international relations can be trusted, at all, for its keeping this secret throughout the decades.

Certainly, what you are now reading, on this site, isn’t mainstream in The West. So, you are here reading Western samizdat, forbidden truths — truths that are forbidden to be published in The West. Nonetheless, all of this article is documented to be true. Just click onto a link anywhere that you doubt it. You will find that it’s all true — not just “maybe true” (like mainstream ‘news’ often is) — it is all unequivocally true. And, yet, what politician can say it? What would they be implying if they did say it? Can they say it? Apparently not.

What you’ve read here is, therefore, exposing just the visible tip, of an iceberg, of lies.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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