Barbaric as it was, Israel's deliberate massacre of humanitarian and human rights activists on Monday will come as no real surprise to the people of Palestine or to those opposed to the Zionist state.
Despite the sickening weasel words of the regimes propagandists and ambassadors such as Zion Evrony, their ambassador to Ireland, this is the reality of what the state of Israel is all about.
Monday's murderous attack was no rogue operation or aberration. For Israel, this was business as usual – except in this instance those being massacred are not Palestinians.
Their military assault, murders and kidnapping in International waters, of passengers on board the flotilla, including a number of Irish citizens, was an act of piracy and state terrorism. Those they slaughtered, kidnapped, assaulted and continue to hold were people engaged in a wholly peaceful mission to bring much needed humanitarian aid to the besieged people of Gaza.
The Israeli state was created and maintained by the theft of Palestinian lands, ethnic cleansing and war crimes. Indeed the very existence and necessity of this aid flotilla is as a direct result of Israeli brutality and persistent war crimes against the Palestinian people, particularly the civilian population of Gaza.
Since the democratic election of Hamas, Israel has maintained an inhumane land, sea and air blockade of the Gaza strip. Nobody gets, in or out of Gaza without the say-so of the Israeli regime. This includes people in need of urgent medical attention, many of whom have died waiting for permission to get out and receive the care required.
Nothing, including essential foods and medicines, gets in unless the Israeli's allow it. Contrary to Israel's sick claims that there is no humanitarian crisis or shortage of necessities in Gaza, as a result of not allowing sufficient supplies of food into the strip, last year the United Nations revealed that more than 10% of Palestinian children in Gaza were suffering from “chronic malnutrition”.
Building materials to enable the population of Gaza rebuild their homes, schools, hospitals and other buildings destroyed by the Israeli's in last years Cast Lead military bombardment and invasion, are also prevented by Israel from being delivered to the Gazan people.
During that murderous assault last year, more than 1400 Palestinians were killed including hundreds of children, in what can only be described as a sustained, savage and murderous attack on the civilian population. It was a deliberate act of collective punishment against the Gazan people, with homes, hospitals, schools, universities, media outlets and mosques all systematically targetted and destroyed by the Israeli terror machine.
It is as a result of that ongoing siege and the devestation caused by the war crimes inflicted on the civilian population, that has inspired those activists who participated in this, and previous, humanitarian aid missions to Gaza. As well as attempting to deliver much needed supplies to the people, these missions are an important tool in raising awareness around the world to the continuing illegal siege of Gaza and the plight of the Palestinian people whom the Israeli's view and treat as subhuman.
This flotilla was attacked, not in Israeli waters, but in international waters. It was going to Gaza, not the state of Israel, and they had no right to hijack, kidnap and murder those human rights and humanitarian activists as they did.
The response by the EuropeanUnion (EU) and states such as the 26 – counties here has been extremely weak and disappointing, if not surprising. Despite “condemning” Israel and urging them to “use restraint”, they have refused to take any action against them despite the atrocity and war crimes they committed on Monday. Action, not words, is what now counts. The EU and Micheál Martin and his colleagues must ensure the safety of those campaigners still heading towards Gaza on the MV Rachel Corrie and to stop Israel from preventing them delivering their aid. They must also ensure that Israel are prevented from boarding and hi-jacking the MV Rachel Corrie or from kidnapping the crew and passengers on board.
That the Israeli embassy remains open in Dublin and war crimes apologists such as the Israel ambassador and all his staff have not been sent packing is an indictment of the Fianna Fáil led administration. While typical of this administrations cowardly and hypocritical stance towards Israeli war crimes, their response (or lack of) is an insult to those who were murdered, to those kidnapped and to the besieged and long suffering Palestinian people themselves.
Diplomatic relations with Israel should be ended at once. The Israeli embassy should be immediately and permanently shut down and all its staff, including the Ambassador expelled. Israel should be thrown out of the OECD and the EU should scrap their shameful trade agreement with Israel which gives them preferential treatment despite their appalling human rights and war crimes record. Worldwide sanctions, similar to those imposed on apartheid-era South Africa should also be imposed immediately. As individuals we must all ensure that we boycott Israeli goods and make every effort to prevent stores who stock Israeli produce from continuing their trade with the Zionist state.
Large numbers of people have, at very short notice, attended demonstrations around the country, including here in Sligo, in memory of those killed, to stand in solidarity with those kidnapped and to express their outrage at Israels terrorism. More protests have been organised for the coming days (details can be found by clicking here).
Once again, the people of Sligo are to hold a demonstration at the GPO tomorrow (Saturday June 5) at 3PM. éirígí would urge all those who support human rights, oppose Israeli war crimes and who support the right of the Palestinian people to live free from Israeli terrorism in a free and independent Palestine, to take to the streets and make clear that they wont accept a lack of action from the 26 county government against Israel.
Protect the MV Rachel Corrie and allow them deliver their aid unhindered
End the illegal and inhumane siege of Gaza
Bring the Israeli war criminals to justice
End the occupation - Free Palestine