Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Links regarding the Freedom Flotilla

The information is still seeping out from the incident(s) aboard the boats that were bringing supplies to the impoverished Gaza Strip. The Israeli government spokespeople and military spokespeople are maintaining a near monopoly on information coming out about the incident. But as approximately 50 of the 700 activists have been released -- the rest are still being held as they refused to be deported -- more information has come out from those who were aboard.

I will later invest some energy in analysis of the whole debacle, but in the meantime I will provide some links which I think might be helpful. I am wading waist-deep through this stuff, so I'll play the martyr and give you the condensed version ;)

  • A CNN interview with Huwaida Arraf, a woman and organizer who was aboard one of the vessels headed towards Gaza. She claims the response from the members of her ship was totally nonviolent. She also recounts the physical abuse, including being knocked unconscious, which happened during her detainment, at the hands of Israeli officials.
  • Israeli Jewish author, Amos Oz, writes for the NY Times. Oz writes about the bigger picture -- about the need reevaluate the use of force, to realize that changing hearts and minds won't come through the barrel of a rifle.
  • The Guardian, a UK daily, provides another narrative than the Israeli military narrative and account. Passengers aboard the vessels, including aboard the Mavi Marmara where the killings took place, tell their accounts of warning shorts, tear gas, and sound bombs which were used before the commandos boarded the ships. Passengers had guns pointed at their heads and commandos used electric shocks to subdue passengers
  • Mickey Bergman, a founder of a strategic defense company and former officer in the Israeli military, critiques the Israeli mission from a strategic perspective. Bergman says the mission was poorly planned and didn't seem to place appropriate care and concern for the lives of soldiers or passengers. Bergman suggests the commandos' mission -- which was ordered and designed at the highest levels -- actually created the environment for violence to occur. He suggests that the design of the mission was the fuel and the spark for what occurred.
  • Democracy Now's video report of the attacks of the Freedom Flotilla. Democracy Now interviews Adam Shapiro of the International Solidarity Movement, Amira Hass of Haaretz, Richard Falk of the United Nations, and Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada. It's a long piece but I thought it was worth the time. Highlight for me are the questions asked of Ali Abunimah which happen at 38:50 and 53:40
  • Glenn Greenwald, commentator for and MSNBC, is interviewed on MSNBC following 2 Israeli propagandists (those were Greenwald's words). He absolutely tears it up. He is clearly more educated on the topic than the host and makes sure his points are heard. Some very good analysis, pulling the discussion away from the U.S. mainstream media and reminding MSNBC viewers how the majority of the rest of the world views these actions by Israeli commandos.
  • A NY Times blog features a PBS Newshour video and interviews Adam Shapiro, an organizer of the Flotilla. Shapiro responds to the intentions of the Flotilla, the timing of shots fired by Israeli, and the possible use of forceful resistance/self-defense by boat passengers.
Ed Note: I agree/disagree with these pieces to varying degrees, but thought they all provided good perspectives to be aware of.

1 comment:

David said...

And if it's action folks want...