Quite exceptionally, I've decided to network immediately this update on the ignominious, barbaric and murderous attack against defenseless peace activists by Israeli troops in international waters, a flagrant violation of the UN convention on theLaw of The Sea.
For 60 years the Zionists at the helm of this country have been relentlessly violating human rights and committing heinous war crimes to defend - and expand! - their homeland against real and perceived threats. Meanwhile no Western country has taken a firm stand to make Israel stop its continuing violations of countless - and toothless! - UN resolutions demanding this country to behave decently like any other civilized country.
Now that it has crossed the threshold of attacking and killing peaceful activists trying to take a stand on behalf of the long-oppressed Palestinians in Gaza, perhaps something will change and Israel will no longer be able to act with such impunity... But only if there is a strong, deafening international public outcry to make them stop. Otherwise, the deep corruption and covert control of most Western media and governments by Jewish interests defending Israel's right to exist - and to apparently do whatever it wants - will just continue unabated.
On a spiritual level, there would be much to say on this situation. The Israeli government - and CERTAINLY NOT all of its citizens nor all peace-loving people now incarnated in Jewish families - is persistently acting out some of the worst aspects of the shadow side we all carry within ourselves. Because we are all connected at soul level (being all One), we are all directly touched both by the sufferings of the victims in whatever conflict there is on Earth and by the vengeful, violent behavior of those souls who perpetrate such vile acts. If we hope to purge ourselves from the deleterious effects of the blindly violent tendencies in us that is so utterly disrespectful of the sanctity of all Life, we need to seize the opportunity provided to us (once again!) by this tragic event to not only denounce it, but to demand - and apply in our own lives - much higher standards that will obviate the need for anyone to resort to violence in any shape or form because we will all instead strive to seek cooperative, peaceful, compassionate means to resolve conflicts and build together a better future for all souls.
If there ever was a teachable moment to seize, this is definitely one. Facing one of the most formidable military force on Earth, brave peace-seeking souls nevertheless attempt at the risk of losing their lives to come to the rescue of one of the most brutally oppressed people on Earth. Their effort is squashed in a bloody pogrom and now what? Should we all just ignore this and pretend it does not affect nor concern us? Or should we rise to the occasion and stand with the innocent victims to say to the bully: No more of this!
There are countless ways one can make his/her voice heard and now is the time to do so. Call your elected officials and demand vigorous action to make Israel suffer the consequences for what they just did. Demand also an immediate end to the inhumane 3-year long Israeli blockage against Gaza - make sure to read and recommend Francis Boyle's excellent suggestions below - Call your Israeli embassy and let them know in no uncertain terms what you think of their assault and murders.
Now is the time to speak with one voice so that Peace and Justice may prevail on Earth...
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Small change for the banks, big difference for the world! - With short illustrative video A possible solution to fight poverty and climate change http://robinhoodtax.ca/
Every so often, a proposal comes along that would transform everything. Every so often, activists and people in power end up on the same side of an issue. Every so often, the solution isnt complicated just brilliant.Every so often, we get the chance to be part of something huge.We have that chance right now, and its called The Robin Hood Tax. A tiny fee on the trade in financial transactions paid by banks, not by people it would raise billions of dollars for fighting poverty and climate change at home and around the world. NOTE: excellent idea! There is a petition to sign - Version française au http://taxerobindesbois.ca/
Cutting pipe to fit cap might mean temporary increase, scientists say (May 30, 2010) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37422583/ns/gulf_oil_spill/
Cutting pipe to fit cap might mean temporary increase, scientists say -- WASHINGTON - Preparing the country for the possibility of even worse news, the Obama administration on Sunday warned that BP's next effort to contain the oil spewing from a damaged well in the Gulf could result in a temporary 20 percent increase in the flow. BP's latest attempt to stem the leak involves cutting and removing a damaged pipe. White House energy czar Carol Browner said in a news release Sunday that government scientists believe the oil gusher could increase as much as 20 percent from the time the pipe is cut to when a containment valve is in place. BP spokesman John Curry did not know how much time would pass between the procedures. The operation began Saturday and is expected to take four to seven days.BP PLC Chief Operating Office Doug Suttles said Saturday that cutting off the damaged pipe wasn't expected to cause the flow to increase significantly. Video BP directorMay 30: BP's Managing Director Robert Dudley explains why BP thinks the new containment method will work when previous containment attempts did not.Meet the PressEarlier Sunday, BP's managing director said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that BP is optimistic its latest attempt could show results by the end of the week.The new strategy is being tried after company abandoned its most ambitious bid yet for a temporary fix Saturday when BP said the top kill option an attempt to overwhelm the broken well with heavy fluids and junk had failed. CLIP - Check also Prominent Oil Industry Insider: "There's Another Leak, Much Bigger, 5 to 6 Miles Away"
Euro Crisis to Set One World Currency? (May 28, 2010) http://www.thedailybell.com/1084/Euro-Crisis-to-Set-One-World-Currency.html
Is Europe heading for a meltdown? ... This financial crisis is worse than the sub-prime crash of 2008 because the sums are so much bigger and it is governments that are in dire straits. Edmund Conway explains the dangers. Mervyn King, the Bank of England Governor, summed it up best: "Dealing with a banking crisis was difficult enough," he said the other week, "but at least there were public-sector balance sheets on to which the problems could be moved. Once you move into sovereign debt, there is no answer; there's no backstop." In other words, were this a computer game, the politicians would be down to their last life. Any mistake now and it really is Game Over. Or to pick a slightly more traditional game, it is rather like a session of pass-the-parcel which is fast approaching the end of the line. UK Telegraph CLIP
Israel Forces Fired On Sleeping Civillians Under Cover Of Darkness
Heavily armed soldiers began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck
Steve Watson - May 31st, 2010
While the Israeli government is praising its soldiers as heroes and saying they were acting in self defence by firing on unarmed civilians flying a white flag in international waters, one group involved with the Freedom Flotilla has a quite different story.
A spokeswoman for Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Avital Leibovich, claims that Israeli officers gave several warnings before boarding the the Turkish boat, the Mavi Marmara.
Somehow, according to Leibovich, when the soldiers did board the boat, they were then attacked by unarmed activists and relieved of their guns a claim that is not backed up byvideo footage of the ambush.
Leibovich told reporters We found ourselves in the middle of a lynching,
We didnt look for confrontation but it was a massive attack, she said. What happened was a last resort.
This story is on its face ridiculous.
The following press release came fromFreegaza.com , one of the aid groups involved in the flotilla, in the wake of the attack:
Under darkness of night, Israeli commandoes dropped from a helicopter onto the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck.
They fired directly into the crowd of civilians asleep. According to the live video from the ship, two have been killed, and 31 injured. Al Jazeera has just confirmed the numbers.
Streaming video shows the Israeli soldiers shooting at civilians, and our last SPOT beacon said, HELP, we are being contacted by the Israelis.
As things currently stand 20 people are thought to have been killed in the attack.
While the IDF and the Israeli government claim that their soldiers were attacked by violent political agitators wielding knives, several videos of those on board the boats and scenes from their voyage reveal that they are peaceful civilians that could not possibly constitute any threat to one of the most powerful armies on the planet.
In the following clip American born pro-Palestinian activist Huwaida Arraf, the Free Gaza Movement chairperson and delegation co-coordinator for the flotilla, explains the mission of the flotilla noting that Israel is threatening to attack us, to use force if necessary when it is obvious that we are average civilians, we dont constitute any threat except for the fact that we want to stand up for the right of the Palestinian people to lead a life with dignity.
Arraf is also the co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), the stated mission of which is to resist the Israeli occupation of the West Bank using nonviolent tactics.
Just before being kidnapped by Israel, Arraf stated that: No one could possibly believe that our small boat constitutes any sort of threat to Israel. We carry medical and reconstruction supplies, and childrens toys. Our passengers include a Nobel peace prize laureate and a former U.S. congressperson. Our boat was searched and received a security clearance by Cypriot Port Authorities before we departed, and at no time did we ever approach Israeli waters.
As this Reuters clip from almost two weeks ago highlights, the activists and humanitarian workers were outraged at the fact that the Israeli government openly announced that it would use force against unarmed civilians if they attempted to break the blockade against Gaza:
Here is another video of one of the activists involved with the Freedom Flotilla, Irishman Shane Dillon, Mate on Challenger 1. The scenes aboard the boat clearly show that this was a humanitarian mission, not some kind of dangerous guerilla fleet:
The boat in this clip, in addition to another boat, Challenger II, are are flagged and registered in the United States which means they are U.S. territory.
The Free Gaza movement has stated Therefore we expect the U.S. government to intervene if U.S. property is wrongly confiscated by Israeli authorities as they have threatened.
The ships, manned by 700-800 activists and politicians from more than 40 countries, are carrying 10,000 tonnes of cargo including building materials, medical supplies and paper for schools. One boat is carrying a complete dental surgery including drills, another has crayons and chocolate intended for Gazan children. All the cargo has been paid for by public donations.
Other videos and images of the flotilla featured on the Witnessgaza.com website show that the boats were clearly marked as humanitarian vessels:
For elements of the mainstream media to publish, without any challenge, comments by Israeli officials claiming that this mission was violent or dangerous in any way shape or form is utterly reprehensible.
Not content with violating every international humanitarian agreement there is, the Israeli government with its latest actions is now engaged in violation of the UN convention on theLaw of The Sea, which provides for freedom of navigation and states that The high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes.
The Palestinian people have been preparing for over a month to receive the aid boats, working on deepening the harbour in Gaza:
Now thanks to the Israeli heroes that ambushed and slaughtered sleeping humanitarians in the night, all that hard work will go unrewarded.
Gaza Aid Convoy Attack: Israel’s Murderous Sea Piracy a Horrendous Moment of Truth for US Policy (May 31, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19438
In the early hours of 31 May, before daybreak, Israeli commandos stormed the international civilian aid convoy heading for Gaza. Between 20-24 volunteers onboard have been killed and at least 50 injured, according to various reports, but the number of casualties has risen rapidly from the initial reports of two dead. The final death toll could be greater. The actions by Israeli forces have been condemned by governments around the world. European governments, including those of Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Norway and Sweden have summoned their respective Israeli envoys over the incident. Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan is reported to have cut short a trip to South America and his country is said to have recalled its ambassador to Israel in protest. In a tired-sounding script, Israeli government spokespeople claimed that its forces were acting in self-defence after they were attacked by aid workers wielding knives when they boarded the main ship – a Turkish vessel – in the six-ship convoy. One Israeli commando was stabbed, Israeli TV reported. Within minutes of the interception, Israeli forces blacked out all communications from the flotilla, which is carrying 700 civilians from 50 countries, including Britain, Ireland, Turkey and the US. The aid convoy – dubbed the Gaza Freedom Flotilla – had a high-profile assembly in Turkey last week before departing from Cyprus for the Palestinian coast on Sunday. Backed by several governments, including that of Turkey, and counting among its numbers at least four European MPs, a Nobel laureate and journalists from various news media, the aid convoy had declared itself to be a civilian, humanitarian relief operation.
(...) Some of the footage shows a melee of aid workers scuffling with Israeli commandos. None of the civilians are shown to be carrying knives. Of course, there is hardly anything new here – Israeli forces using disproportionate violence, killing civilians with impunity. But on this occasion, the murderous incident is not in some poor ghetto in the Gaza Strip hidden from the full view of the world. Up to now, Israeli disinformation could afford just enough wriggle room to sow doubts over such events. The cynical phrases of “terror suspects” and “self defence” parroted by the western mainstream media served to give the Israeli government and its backers in Washington a degree of political cover for otherwise heinous conduct. Hence, the United Nations’ Goldstone report on human rights violations by Israel during the Gaza offensive could be rebuffed by Tel Aviv and Washington because Israel was responding “in self defence to rocket attacks”. The crushing to death of American peace activist Rachel Corrie in 2003 by an Israeli military bulldozer was “a tragic accident”. The assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhoub by Mossad agents in a Dubai hotel in January of this year could be brazened out because, well, the victim was an official of Hamas – the government of Gaza whom the Israelis and the Americans refuse to legitimise and treat as “terrorists”. Nevertheless, all of these crimes – in addition to the warmongering towards Iran over trumped allegations of nuclear ambitions from the only state in the Middle East to possess nuclear weapons and possess them illegally – has seen the political and moral position of Israel and its US patron gradually diminish to the point of contempt in the eyes of the world. In attacking the Freedom Flotilla, Israel and the US are now in danger of losing whatever shred of credibility or pretence they may have had with regard to the roots of conflict in the Middle East. What the world has witnessed is an outrageous act of sea piracy bordering on an act of war that transgresses the diplomatic rights of 50 countries and the premeditated, cold-blooded murder of civilians. At the same time that world powers are demanding a tough response to the alleged attack by North Korea on a South Korean warship in which 46 seamen died, public opinion will likewise see the appropriate demand for the same legal standard applied to Israel. The US government stands to be severely exposed by this latest, most glaring crime against humanity. No mealy-mouthed US censure of its client will placate world anger that is inevitably pushing governments, especially the increasingly critical governments of the non-aligned movement, including Turkey and Brazil, to apply international law on the US-Israeli war machine. Washington is so bound up by mendacious contradictions in its support for the Israeli war machine while at the same time posturing for international standards to be imposed on others such as Iran and North Korea – this latest outrage by its favourite criminal client will surely impose a diplomatic manoeuvre on Washington that even the great escape artist Houdini could not defy.
Israeli Butchery at SeaAn institutional failure of a morbid society By Gilad Atzmon (May 31, 2010) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25584.htm(...)
Today we will see demonstrations around the world, we will see many events mourning our dead. We may even see some of Israel’s friends ‘posturing’ against the slaughter. Clearly this is not enough. The massacre that took place yesterday was a premeditated Israeli operation. Israel wanted blood because it believes that its ‘power of deterrence’ expands with the more dead it leaves behind. The Israeli decision to use hundreds of commando soldiers against civilians was taken by the Israeli cabinet together with the Israeli top military commanders. What we saw yesterday wasn’t just a failure on the ground. It was actually an institutional failure of a morbid society that a long time ago lost touch with humanity. It is no secret that Palestinians are living in a siege for years. But it is now down to the nations to move on and mount the ultimate pressure on Israel and its citizens. Since the massacre yesterday was committed by a popular army that followed instructions given by a ‘democratically elected’ government, from now on, every Israeli should be considered as a suspicious war criminal unless proved different.Considering the fact that Israel stormed naval vessels sailing under Irish, Turkish and Greek flags. Both NATO members and EU countries must immediately cease their relationships with Israel and close their airspace to Israeli airplanes. Considering yesterday’s news about Israeli nuclear submarines being stationed in the Gulf, the world must react quickly and severely. Israel is now officially mad and deadly. The Jewish State is not just careless about human life, as we have been following the Israeli press campaign leading to the slaughter, Israel actually seeks pleasure in inflicting pain and devastation on others.
Up to 16 killed as Israeli forces storm aid convoy (May 31, 2010) THE ISRAELI LIES ARE IN ITALIC BELOW http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/31/2914131.htm
Up to 16 people have been killed when Israeli naval commandos boarded aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip, meeting resistance from pro-Palestinian activists, Israel's Channel 10 television said. The six-ship convoy carrying aid for Palestinians and led by a Turkish vessel with 600 people on board set sail for Gaza from international waters off Cyprus on Sunday in defiance of an Israeli-led blockade of the territory. There was no immediate comment from Israel, where public radio quoted an unnamed Arab journalist aboard a ship as saying the navy intercepted the activists and that shooting was heard. Vice premier Silvan Shalom told Israel Radio that Israeli forces would issue a report soon. "As far as we know IDF (Israeli military) commandos descended on the boat from helicopters and took it over," said Mary Hughes Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza Movement, which was behind the convoy. An Israeli religious medical service, ZAKA, said seven people had been admitted to hospital in Haifa, Israel's main naval base, one of them in a serious condition.
Report: At least 10 activists killed as Israel Navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla (31.05.10) THE ISRAELI LIES ARE IN ITALIC BELOW http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-at-least-10-activists-killed-as-israel-navy-opens-fire-on-gaza-aid-flotilla-1.293089
Turkey's NTV reported early Monday that Israel Navy troops opened fire on pro-Palestinian activists aboard a six-ship aid flotilla sailing for the Gaza Strip, killing at least 10 and wounding several others after the convoy ignored orders to turn back. NTV said between 10 and 15 people were killed, with over 60 wounded, after Israel Defense Forces vessels encountered the flotilla in international waters. The IDF also confirmed that two navy commandos had been wounded in fight, which apparently broke out after activists tried to seize their weapons. According to the IDF, commandos who stormed the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara, the largest vessel in the convoy, encountered violent resistance from activists armed with sticks and knives.Activists attacked a commando with iron bars as he descended onto the ship from a helicopter, the army said. The IDF said its rules of engagement allowed troops to open fire in what it called a "life-threatening situation". Elite troops from Shayetet 13, a naval commando unit, boarded the protest boats at around 4:00 A.M. Earlier Monday, Al Jazeera reported that the Gaza aid flotilla had changed course to avoid a confrontation with Israeli warships. The Israeli naval vessels reportedly made contact earlier with the six-ship flotilla, which is carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid and supplies to Gaza. Some 700 pro-Palestinian activists are on the boats, including 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and an elderly Holocaust survivor. The Israeli navy was operating under the assumption that the activists manning the boats would not heed their calls to turn around, and Israeli troops were prepared to board the ships and steer them away from the Gaza shores and toward the Israeli port city of Ashdod. CLIP
Report: Israel attacks flotilla, 10 die (May 31, 2010) THE ISRAELI LIES ARE IN ITALIC BELOW http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37423584/ns/world_news-mideastn_africa/
HAIFA, Israel - Israeli Navy commandos attacked at least one of the six ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and aid for blockaded Gaza, killing at least 10 and wounding several dozen on board, according to an Israeli TV network and a lawyer for the activists' group. Channel 10 said the final death toll could be higher as Navy commandos who boarded the convoy were still conducting searches and encountering often violent resistance from pro-Palestinian activists. Responding to accusations that Israeli commandos assaulted the ships guns blazing, Israel's Army Radio later said that passengers had tried to grab weapons away from soldiers boarding the flotilla. The al-Jazeera satellite channel reported by telephone from the Turkish ship leading the flotilla that Israeli Navy forces fired at the ship and boarded it, wounding the captain. The Turkish NTV network also reported an Israeli takeover with gunfire, and that at least 30 activists were wounded. The al-Jazeera broadcast ended with a voice shouting in Hebrew, "Everybody shut up!" The reports came just after daybreak, with the flotilla still well away from the Gaza shore. Israel had declared it would not allow the ships to reach Gaza. In Istanbul, Turkey, police blocked dozens of stone-throwing protesters who tried to storm the Israeli Consulate. CLIP
Green Party condemns Freedom Flotilla massacre, urges immediate aid cutoff and end to impunity for Israel http://www.greenpartywatch.org/2010/05/31/green-party-condemns-freedom-flotilla-massacre-urges-immediate-aid-cutoff-and-end-to-impunity-for-israel/
WASHINGTON, DC The Green Party of the United States condemns the attack by the Israeli navy on Gaza-bound humanitarian aid ships in international waters near Cyprus, which have left at least 19 human rights activists dead and at least 50 wounded. The attacks on the aid boats is a criminal act of piracy and a deliberate provocation, said Dr. Justine McCabe, co-chair of the Green Partys International Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl). We demand immediate action from the US, including emergency orders from President Obama to cut off all aid to Israel. The policies of the US regarding Israel and Palestine up to now have convinced Israel that it can act with impunity in committing massacres and massive human violations against Palestinian civilians. These illegal and atrocious actions now include the murder of other countries citizens in international waters, added Dr. McCabe, who recently returned to the US from Haifa, where she participated in a coalition of over 400 Jewish and Palestinian Israelis and internationals who met to promote the growing call for the one democratic state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. CLIP
With Harper in his corner, Netanyahu gets warm Canadian welcome (May. 30, 2010)
Guilt by association... Because of his blind support of Israeli's war criminals, Stephen Harper is siding with the wrong side of history and must be judged accordingly... http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/john-ibbitson/with-harper-in-his-corner-netanyahu-gets-warm-canadian-welcome/article1586138/
The official portion of Benjamin Netanyahus visit to Ottawa on Monday reflects Canadas status as Israels best friend. (...) From the time Israel invaded Lebanon not long after Mr. Harper came to power in 2006, to Minister of State Peter Kents declaration in February that an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada, this country has gone farther than any other in unstinting support of Israels actions.Mr. Harper himself stated in 2008: Those who threaten Israel also threaten Canada, because, as the last world war showed, hate-fuelled bigotry against some is ultimately a threat to us all, and must be resisted wherever it may lurk. Critics maintain that Mr. Harpers unflinching support for Israel panders to the religious wing within the Conservative Party, some of whose members believe that the unification of Israel is an essential precondition for Christs return, though others simply see Israel as a democratic bulwark in a hostile region. Others believe the governments stand is motivated by domestic political calculations. In a scathing diatribe earlier this year, the former diplomat, Robert Fowler, maintained, the scramble to lock up the Jewish vote in Canada had led both Conservative and Liberal governments to sell out our widely admired and long-established reputation for fairness and justice in the Middle East in particular, for the cause of a just settlement for the Palestinian people. CLIP
Netanyahu to ask Obama to block measures against Israel over nukes (30.05.10) http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/netanyahu-to-ask-obama-to-block-measures-against-israel-over-nukes-1.292930
The prime minister will meet with the U.S. president at the White House on Tuesday, after the U.S. backed a call for inspection of Israeli nuclear installations at the NPT Review Conference. - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will ask for clarifications about the U.S. position on the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference when he meets with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday. Review Conference participants decided that the nuclear reactors in Dimona and Sorek should be brought under the international inspection regime. A senior Israeli official said Netanyahu will ask Obama for American guarantees to block any practical measures, including an international conference on the matter.The Review Conference was held at the UN headquarters in New York. Its conclusions included a number of decisions that affect Israel: It called for an international conference in 2012 for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons; it called on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and open its nuclear installations to international inspection; and it called for the appointment of a special UN envoy on nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Saturday, sources in Jerusalem expressed disappointed over U.S. conduct on the matter. A senior Israeli official described the American behavior as "surrender and bowing to pressure." The senior official said Israel has held intensive exchanges with the U.S. in recent days in an effort to foil the anti-Israel initiative, but the Americans chose to make a statement that fits the international consensus, even though this went against Israeli interests. CLIP - NOTE: This meeting has been cancelled at the last minute: See Gaza ship attack analysis: Israel's bad timing below
Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran (May 30, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7140282.ece
Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline. The first has been sent in response to Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, a political and military organisation in Lebanon, could hit sites in Israel, including air bases and missile launchers. The submarines of Flotilla 7 - Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan - have visited the Gulf before. But the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels. The flotilla's commander, identified only as "Colonel O", told an Israeli newspaper: "We are an underwater assault force. We're operating deep and far, very far, from our borders." Each of the submarines has a crew of 35 to 50, commanded by a colonel capable of launching a nuclear cruise missile. The vessels can remain at sea for about 50 days and stay submerged up to 1,150ft below the surface for at least a week. Some of the cruise missiles are equipped with the most advanced nuclear warheads in the Israeli arsenal. The deployment is designed to act as a deterrent, gather intelligence and potentially to land Mossad agents. "We're a solid base for collecting sensitive information, as we can stay for a long time in one place," said a flotilla officer. The submarines could be used if Iran continues its programme to produce a nuclear bomb. "The 1,500km range of the submarines cruise missiles can reach any target in Iran," said a navy officer. CLIP
Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country's siege on Gaza.
At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.
The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.
Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: "This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves."
Footage from the flotilla's lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.
Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.
The Israeli military said four soldiers had been wounded and claimed troops opened fire after "demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs".
Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the convoy.
Our correspondent said that a white surrender flag was raised from the ship and there was no live fire coming from the passengers.
Before losing communication with our correspondent, a voice in Hebrew was clearly heard saying: "Everyone shut up".
Earlier, the Israeli navy had contacted the captain of the Mavi Marmara, asking him to identify himself and say where the ship was headed.
Shortly after, two Israeli naval vessels had flanked the flotilla on either side, but at a distance.
Organisers of the flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid then diverted their ships and slowed down to avoid a confrontation during the night.
They also issued all passengers life jackets and asked them to remain below deck.
Al Jazeeras Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli action was surprising.
"All the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical supplies on board. So it will surprise many in the international community to learn what could have possibly led to this type of confrontation," he said.
Meanwhile, Israeli police have been put on a heightened state of alert across the country to prevent any civil disturbances.
Sheikh Raed Salah,a leading member of the Islamic Movement who was on board the ship, was reported to have been seriously injured. He was being treated in Israel's Tal Hasharon hospital.
In Um Al Faham, the stronghold of the Islamic movement in Israel and the birth place of Salah, preparations for mass demonstrations were under way.
Condemnation has been quick to pour in after the Israeli action.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, officially declared a three-day state of mourning over Monday's deaths.
Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Sweden have all summoned the Israeli ambassador's in their respective countries to protest against the deadly assault.
Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news of the operation broke. The protesters shouted "Damn Israel" as police blocked them.
"(The interception on the convoy) is unacceptable ... Israel will have to endure the consequences of this behaviour," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.
Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has also dubbed the Israeli action as "barbaric".
Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, including a Nobel laureate and several European legislators, were with the flotilla, aiming to reach Gaza in defiance of an Israeli embargo.
The convoy came from the UK, Ireland, Algeria, Kuwait, Greece and Turkey, and was comprised of about 700 people from 50 nationalities.
But Israel had said it would not allow the flotilla to reach the Gaza Strip and vowed to stop the six ships from reaching the coastal Palestinian territory.
The flotilla had set sail from a port in Cyprus on Sunday and aimed to reach Gaza by Monday morning.
Israel said the boats were embarking on "an act of provocation" against the Israeli military, rather than providing aid, and that it had issued warrants to prohibit their entrance to Gaza.
It asserted that the flotilla would be breaking international law by landing in Gaza, a claim the organisers rejected.
Criticism mounts over Israels flotilla raid (May 31, 2010) http://www.euronews.net/2010/05/31/criticism-mounts-over-israel-s-flotilla-raid/
Israels storming of humanitarian aid ships bound for Gaza has been condemned by both diplomatic friends and foes alike.Commandos boarded the largest ship from the six-vessel convoy during an operation in which at least ten people died.700 pro-Palestinian activists and 10,000 tonnes of aid were onboard the flotilla, which was organised by an Istanbul-based human rights group.The operation had been widely criticised by the international community.French President Nicolas Sarkozy called it a disproportionate use of force, while Russia said it was a crude violation of international law.Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad said the inhumane acts would lead to Israels demise.Turkey, traditionally Israels strongest Muslim ally, immediately withdrew its ambassador to the country. CLIP
Cynthia McKinney Mourns the Dead of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza: People of U.S. & World Must End Israeli Impunity!
I am outraged at Israel's latest criminal act. I mourn with my fellow Free Gaza travelers, the lives that have been lost by Israel's needless, senseless act against unarmed humanitarian activists. But I'm even more outraged that once again, Israel's actions have been aided and abetted by a U.S. political class that has become corrupted beyond belief due to its reliance on Zionist finance and penetration by Zionist zealots for whom no U.S. weapons system is too much for the Israeli war machine, and the silence of the world's onlookers whose hearts have grown cold with indifference.
I recently visited the offices of IHH, the Turkish humanitarian organization that sponsored one of the Freedom Flotilla boats, and that was targeted by the Israelis for its murderous rampage. Reports are still coming in as to the full extent of the senseless Israeli violence. Of course, I expect Israel's apologists in the press and in the United States government to shift into high gear to support Israel's lying machine. Take note of their names. The 12,000 internet squatters/written word grenade throwers, hired by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to defend Israel and attack peace activists online, are already busy spreading their orchestrated disinformation in cyberspace. Be very careful what you read and believe from special interest press and the internet. You could be reading one of Israel's hired hacks. As a news diversion from what Israel has just done, I suspect that we can also expect to see a lot of historical footage of war's atrocities on television: today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day long ago set aside to remember the sacrifices of U.S. war dead.
I encouraged and supported U.S.S. Liberty veteran Joe Meadors's participation in the Freedom Flotilla. Unfortunately, the fate of the U.S.S. Liberty innocents on the high seas, while in international waters, has now been visited upon the participants in the Freedom Flotilla, in large measure because of the Congressional- and Presidential-level cover-up of the 1967 Israeli attack on that U.S. surveillance ship. Combined with the failure of just about every other effort to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and crimes against the peace. Belgium and Spain changed their domestic laws of universal jurisdiction after Israeli appeals to do so. The entire musical chairs gang of rotating Israeli leadership are war criminals. During my imprisonment in Israel for attempting to take crayons to the children of Gaza, I called Israel a failed state. If Israel is threatened by unarmed, humanitarian activists to the point of massacring them, then Israel is a failed state. Israel is a failed nuclear state.
Obama's most recent granting of an additional $205 million for Israeli "missile defense" is unconscionable, when in the same week, reports revealed for the first time, Israel's offer of nuclear weapons to apartheid South Africa. Just last week, a paper bearing the signature of former Israeli Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, was released by South Africa, revealing that in 1975, Israel could offer South Africa nuclear weapons "in three sizes." South Africa's then-Minister of Defense, P.W. Botha, was South Africa's signatory to the letter. This information would make the entire Obama Administration look sadly farcical as it points an accusing finger at Iran, except that U.S. obeisance to the Israeli bloodthirst is deadly serious. With deadly outcomes.
Earlier this month, Israel was granted admission to the Organization of Economic and Community Development (OECD), a direct affront to ongoing Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) efforts across the world. Once again, Israel has thumbed its nose at the global community--with bloody results--because it can.
I am proud to serve on the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Palestine. Its next sitting will be in London, where we will examine corporate complicity in Israel's crimes against Palestine. The Tribunal will sit from November 5 - 7. Please put this on your calendar. We all must do what we can, where we are to end wars against the people at home and wars against human rights abroad.
Finally, a friend just sent a message to me saying that the Israelis had lost their minds. Sadly, based on the past, the Israelis could very well conclude that they can do anything--imprison me for trying to take love to the children of Gaza and kill humanitarian activists trying to do the same--because they know, in the end, they'll get away with it. Instead, I would suggest that we are the ones who have lost our minds, our souls, our spirits, and our human dignity if we allow the Israelis to get away with murder--again--and we do nothing.
I am calling on the people of the United States to change course now.
On this Memorial Day 2010, I am stunned and outraged beyond belief while mourning the dead of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza.
Statement by the spokesperson of High Representative Catherine Ashton on the flotilla sailing to Gaza - Brussels, 28 May 2010 http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/114694.pdf
The spokesperson of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission Catherine Ashton issued a following statement today: "We strongly urge that all involved act with a sense of restraint and responsibility and work for a constructive resolution. The EU remains gravely concerned by the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The continued policy of closure is unacceptable and politically counterproductive. We would like to reiterate the EU's call for an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza."
The Elders group of past and present world leaders, including former South African president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, on Monday condemned as completely inexcusable the deadly Israeli attack on a flotilla carrying aid for Gaza.
At least 10 people are reported to have been killed when Israeli commandos raided the boats on Monday in an operation that has drawn international condemnation.
The Elders have condemned the reported killing by Israeli forces of more than a dozen people who were attempting to deliver relief supplies to the Gaza Strip by sea, the 12member group said in a statement issued in Johannesburg, where it met over the weekend.
The group, which was launched by Mr. Mandela on his birthday in 2007 to try to solve some of the worlds most intractable conflicts, called for a full investigation of the incident and urged the UN Security Council to debate the situation with a view to mandating action to end the closure of the Gaza Strip. This tragic incident should draw the worlds attention to the terrible suffering of Gazas 1.5 million people, half of whom are children under the age of 18, the group said.
Israels threeyear blockade of Gaza was not only one of the worlds greatest human rights violations and illegal under international law, it was also counterproductive because it empowered extremists in the Palestinian territory, they said.
The Elders includes six Nobel peace prize winners former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, former US president Jimmy Carter, detained Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Mr. Mandela and Tutu.
Norways first female Prime Minister Gro Brundtland; former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso; former Irish president and exUN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson; Mozambican social activist Graca Machel; Indian womens rights activist Ela Bhatt; and Algerian veteran UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi are the other members.
Under the stewardship of Benjamin Netanyahu, its abrasive prime minister, Israel has developed an extraordinary knack for inopportune timing.
Adrian Blomfield, Middle East correspondent - 31 May 2010
In March, a visit to the Holy Land by Joe Biden, the American vice president, was spectacularly overshadowed by an announcement that Israel would expand a Jewish settlement in Arab East Jerusalem, a move that precipitated one of the deepest rifts in US-Israeli relations since the 1970s.On Tuesday, Mr Netanyahu was supposed to be meeting President Barack Obama at the White House to smooth things over. Instead, fearing a repetition of the dressing down he received last time he was in Washington, the Israeli prime minister has been forced to cancel his trip at the last moment.
Given the human cost incurred, the botched assault on the Gaza aid flotilla will constitute the graver crisis.
International outrage is rapidly gaining momentum and a damage limitation exercise launched by Mr Netanyahu's ministers seems unlikely to turn the tide.
Israel has accused the organisers of "the Armada of Hate" of having links to al-Qaeda and says it holds them responsible for the deaths because activists armed with iron bars and rods attacked Israeli soldiers. One activist also shot and wounded an Israeli soldier after stealing his gun.
Yet Israel's defence is unlikely to staunch the accusations of overreaction, charges that have been levelled at the Jewish state with increasing frequency in recent years.
For Israel, the diplomatic consequences could be dire. The Arab world has reacted with predictable fury but much more worryingly, Israel has, in Turkey, alienated its closest Muslim friend. Relations with Ankara were already strained; it is difficult to see how they could possibly revive after this.
The United States and Europe will be more circumspect, at least until the facts become clearer, but there will be some diplomats who share Russia's assertion that the operation amounted to a "crude violation of international law".
Most worrying is the impact the crisis will have on the peace process. With great reluctance, the Palestinian leadership has only just been cajoled into indirect talks with Israel. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, will now come under domestic pressure to break them off again. Whether he will do so is unclear but the fact that Mr Abbas called the killings "a massacre" does not bode well.
European leaders will, however, hope that something positive can come out of the crisis.
Israel's blockade of Gaza, which the flotilla was ostensibly launched to alleviate, has not achieved its aims. Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the strip, has not been ousted, nor has it access to rockets been much affected, while the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza has badly damaged Israel's reputation.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, led calls on Monday for the blockade to be lifted. Those demands will intensify in coming days and Mr Netanyahu may find he has no choice but to yield.
Israeli PM Netanyahu leaving Canada to fly home in wake of raid (May 31 2010) http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/816726--israeli-pm-netanyahu-leaving-canada-to-fly-home-in-wake-of-raid
OTTAWA Israeli's prime minister said Israeli commandos who stormed an aid flotilla en route to the blockaded Gaza strip were forced to defend themselves in a botched raid that left more than 10 people dead. Benjamin Netanyahu says Israeli soldiers boarded five ships peacefully, but were deliberately attacked on a sixth ship that was part of the flotilla organized by a Turkish-based humanitarian group. Soldiers had boarded the vessel to check for any rockets, missiles or explosives headed for Gaza to be used for attacks on Israel, he said. They were mobbed, they were clubbed, they were beaten, stabbed, there was even a report of gunfire, and our soldiers had to defend themselves, defend their lives or else they would have been killed, he said Monday during a visit with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.Netanyahu added: Regrettably in the exchange at least 10 people died. We regret this loss of life. We regret any of the violence that was there. I would like to wish speedy recovery to the wounded, including four of our own soldiers.Reporters were barred from a photo opportunity where Harper and Netanyahu made statements to cameras without taking questions, and Netanyahu later refused to answer questions from Canadian reporters as he left Parliament Hill.The Israeli prime minister cut short his two-day visit to Canada, and cancelled a stop Tuesday in Washington to return immediately to Jerusalem, as a major diplomatic crisis erupts over the raid by Israeli forces on the Free Gaza flotilla. Turkey, a NATO member, has recalled its Israeli ambassador and called for a meeting of the UN Security Council. The Israeli ambassadors in Sweden, Spain, Denmark and Greece have been summoned for meetings, and the French foreign minister has called for an investigation. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for a full investigation and expressed shock at the incident. It is vital that there is a full investigation to determine exactly how this bloodshed took place. I believe Israel must urgently provide a full explanation, he said. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of official mourning for the dead.What Israel has committed on board the Freedom Flotilla was a massacre, said Abbas. But many allies of Israel appeared to coordinate a message that expressed regret over the lost lives, without rushing to condemn Israel. Harper said Canada deeply regrets this action, the loss of life and the injuries that have occurred. Obviously well be looking in the days that follow to get all the information we can get to find out what has transpired here, he told Netanyahu. Im sorry this has coloured this (visit) but delighted you were able to join me at least last night and today. A statement from the White House mirrored Harpers. Spokesman William Burton said: The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained, and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy. CLIP - NOTE from Jean: Notice how the Toronto Star is mindlessly spewing the Israeli lies. Harper's reaction is a disgrace to human intelligence. He is again siding with the war criminals! Shame on you Harper/BUSH!
Canadian activist missing after ship raided by Israel (May. 31, 2010) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/canadian-activist-missing-after-ship-raided-by-israel/article1586701/
A Canadian man who had been trained as a human shield to block the path of Israeli soldiers is still missing after a raid of an aid convoy that Canadian diplomats asked him never to depart on, friends from Victoria say.Kevin Neish, 53, a veteran activist and retired mechanics instructor, was on his second trip to Gaza, friends said. He was believed to be on board the Challenger II, one of six ships in the flotilla carrying 600 people that is believed to be under guard in an Israeli port.It's still unclear how many Canadians were among the group. Mr. Neish was the only one on his ship. Canada's foreign affairs department said it's aware "Canadians" may be involved but that "preliminary reports from local authorities indicate that no Canadian citizens were among the injured." Mr. Neish joined the convoy as a human shield. Friends said he drew on his experience as a rugby player, blocking the hallway and taking a beating by soldiers so as to buy journalists on board his ship time to file stories in the event of being boarded.His role would be to stand in a narrow hallways and passively block the hallway if the soldiers were to come on the ship, said Zoe Blunt, an environmental activist and a friend fo Mr. Neish's. Were hopeful that hes alive and unhurt.He's previously undertaken similar missions in hostile environments such as Colombia and Cuba, one friend says."It's what Kevin does, it's what he believes in," friend Anne Hansen said from Victoria Monday."Basically, being an international citizen accompanying people in wartorn places, it gives to protetction to people who are under threat."Friends and colleagues haven't heard from Mr. Blunt since Thursday, when they received a text message from him saying that the Canadian embassy asked him not to join the mission."He told them instead, they should be asking Israel not to attack the aid convoy," Ms. Blunt said in a written statement.Mr. Neish was motivated to join the convoy by what he felt was the ongoing persecution of about 1.7-million Palestinians in Gaza, where he first went in 2002. Supporters claim his ship was carrying 10,000 tonnes of medical, school and construction supplies.Its not that he has a death wish, or anything like that. Just that the principles of justice were more important to him than his personal comfort, Ms. Blunt said. CLIP - NOTE from Jean: At least some Canadians have the courage to stand up to the bullies!
I FULLY CONCUR!
From: Boyle, Francis (FBOYLE@law.illinois.edu)
Sent: May 31, 2010
Subject: Boyle: International Law, Israel's War on Gaza
Francis A. Boyle
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
by Francis A. Boyle
Professor of International Law
Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations (1991-93)
When the Oslo Document was originally presented by the Israeli government to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations in the Fall of 1992, it was rejected by the Delegation because it obviously constituted a bantustan. This document carried out Menachem Begin's disingenuous misinterpretation of the Camp David Accords--expressly rejected by U.S. President Jimmy Carter--that all they called for was autonomy for the people and not for the land too.
Soon thereafter, unbeknownst to the Delegation and to almost everyone else, the Israeli government opened up a secret channel of negotiations in Norway. There the Israeli government re-presented the document that had already been rejected by the Palestinian Delegation in Washington, D.C. It was this document, with very minor modifications, that was later signed at the White House on 13 September 1993.
Before the signing ceremony, I commented to a high-level official of the Palestine Liberation Organization: "This document is like a straight-jacket. It will be very difficult to negotiate your way out of it." This PLO official agreed with my assessment and responded: "Yes, you are right. It will depend upon our negotiating skill."
Of course I have great respect for Palestinian negotiators. They have done the best they can negotiating in good faith with the Israeli government that has been invariably backed up by the United States. But there has never been any good faith on the part of the Israeli government either before, during or after Oslo. Ditto for the United States.
Even if Oslo had succeeded, it would have resulted in the imposition of a bantustan upon the Palestinian People. But Oslo has run its course! Therefore, it is my purpose here today to chart a NEW DIRECTION for the Palestinian People to consider.
An agenda for an international legal response:
First, we must immediately move for the de facto suspension of Israel throughout the entirety of the United Nations System, including the General Assembly and all U.N. subsidiary organs and bodies. We must do to Israel what the U.N. General Assembly has done to the genocidal rump Yugoslavia and to the criminal apartheid regime in South Africa! Here the legal basis for the de facto suspension of Israel at the U.N. is quite simple:
As a condition for its admission to the United Nations Organization, Israel formally agreed to accept General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) (1947) (partition/Jerusalem trusteeship) and General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) (1948) (Palestinian right of return), inter alia. Nevertheless, the government of Israel has expressly repudiated both Resolution 181 (II) and Resolution 194 (III). Therefore, Israel has violated its conditions for admission to U.N. membership and thus must be suspended on a de facto basis from any participation throughout the entire United Nations System.
Second, any further negotiations with Israel must be conducted on the basis of Resolution 181 (II) and its borders; Resolution 194 (III); subsequent General Assembly resolutions and Security Council resolutions; the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949; the 1907 Hague Regulations; and other relevant principles of public international law.
Third, we must abandon the fiction and the fraud that the United States government is an "honest broker." The United States government has never been an honest broker from well before the very outset of these negotiations in 1991. Rather, the United States has invariably sided with Israel against the Palestinians. We need to establish some type of international framework to sponsor these negotiations where the Palestinian negotiators will not be subjected to the continual bullying, threats, harassment, intimidation and outright lies perpetrated by the United States government.
Fourth, we must move to have the U.N. General Assembly impose economic, diplomatic, and travel sanctions upon Israel pursuant to the terms of the Uniting for Peace Resolution (1950), whose Emergency Special Session on Palestine is now in recess.
Fifth, the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine must sue Israel before the International Court of Justice in The Hague for inflicting acts of genocide against the Palestinian People in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention!
An International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) can be established by the UN General Assembly as a 'subsidiary organ' under article 22 of the UN Charter. Article 22 of the UN Charter states the UN General Assembly may establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions. The purpose of the ICTI would be to investigate and Prosecute suspected Israeli war criminals for offences against the Palestinian people.
On January 4, 2009, Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire wrote to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and Father Miguel D'Escoto President of United Nations General assembly adding her voice to the many calls from International Jurists, Human rights Organizations, and individuals, for the UN General Assembly to seriously consider establishing an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel in view of the ongoing Israeli atrocities against the people of Gaza and Palestine.
"In November 2008 I visited Gaza and was shocked at the suffering of the people of Gaza, being under 'siege' as they are for over two years. This collective punishment by the Israeli Government, has lead to a great humanitarian crisis. Collective punishment of the civilian community by the Israeli Government breaks the Geneva Convention, is illegal and is a war crime and crime against humanity.
Instead of protecting the civilian community of Gaza and relieving their Suffering by lifting the 'siege', the Israeli military have carried out 7 days consecutive bombardment of civilians, by sea and air. Dropping Israeli bombs from the air and sea on unarmed civilians, many women and children, destroying mosques, hospitals, and and homes, and infrastructure, is illegal and constitutes war crimes. The deaths of people in Gaza is now over 600 with over 2,500 people injured - many women and children. The infrastructure of Gaza has been destroyed, and the people cut off from the world including journalists, Humanitarian workers, locked out of Gaza, and unable to go to the aid of the people.
The UN must help uphold Human rights and Justice for Palestinian People, by seriously considering establishing an International criminal tribunal for Israel, (ICTI) in order that Israeli Gov., be held accountable for war crimes."
NOTE: Professor Boyle's call for an International Criminal Tribunal on Israel is now being circulated by member states of the UN General Assembly.
Francis A. Boyle is a leading American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia-Herzegovina at the World Court. Professor Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, author of, inter alia, World Politics and International Law, The Future of International Law and American Foreign Policy, Foundations of World Order, The Bosnian People Charge Genocide, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence, Palestine, Palestinians and International Law, Destroying World Order, Biowarfare & Terrorism, Breaking All the Rules, ! and Tackling America's Toughest Questions (forthcoming). He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University.
The science is now unequivocal: unchecked greenhouse gas emissions will lead to catastrophe. We face vanishing polar ice caps, drought, rising sea levels, altered agriculture, massive deforestation, species extinctions, virulent diseases, extreme weather events, and economic hardship. Faced with conclusive evidence, the Prime Minister promised action - but hasnt delivered. A new level of political commitment is needed to prevent the threat of worsening economic and health effects of climate pollution
Pass Canadas Climate Change Bill C-311
Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, is Canada's only federal climate change legislation. Its been passed by the House of Commons and now its up to the Senate to pass it - or kill it with delays. Your help is crucial to make sure it becomes law.
Its taken us a long time to get here. The Climate Change Accountability Act was tabled by MP Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay-Superior North), in February of 2009. It ensures the government is finally accountable to Canadians on climate change: it achieves deep, science-based reductions of climate pollution, it compels the government to make a plan to deliver those reductions, and it provides independent oversight of government plans and performance. If this landmark bill is delayed much longer in the Senate - causing it to die when an election is called - the government could keep stalling action for many more years. Worse, as a country Canada could be set more precious years behind because the legislative process would have to start from square one with any new legislation.
We don't have much time to make sure the country's only climate change legislation survives.
We need your help to let Senators know aware of how important it is, and that in this minority Parliament every vote counts. Take action to help make sure it becomes law.
1. This week we are asking you to contact Senators and party leaders to urge them to pass the Climate Change Accountability Act without delay. There is no more crucial legislation before Parliament. Contact a Senator - click here.
2. Contact as many people as you can to voice your support for passage of the Climate Change Accountability Act's science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets. Inform your friends and family of the importance of passing this crucial piece of legislation and encourage them to speak to their MPs.
3. Write a letter to your local paper or call a radio talk show to seek support for this concrete action on climate change.
Together, we can make our government contribute to both national and global solutions now.
So click HERE to get the email address of some Canadian senators - pick at least 5 - and email them the following letter (after replacing the XXXXX with the correct information )
Senate of Canada
Dear Senator XXXX,
Like many Canadians, I have been watching with great interest the process of Bill C-311the Climate Change Accountability Act. I was very encouraged to see our federal parties work across party lines to pass this important bill in the House of Commons. I am writing to you to ask that you do the same.
Canadians agree that climate change is the defining challenge of our time. Without urgent action, the consequences for our children and grandchildren will be dire. That is why we all have a responsibility to act. The Climate Change Accountability Act is Canadas best hope for science-based reductions to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a mechanism to ensure these targets are met.
I respectfully encourage you and your Senate colleagues to pass Bill C-311 without delay. A majority of MPs representing a large majority of Canadians have shown the urgency of the situation by coming together and passing this bill. If we are going to put Canada back on track for a cleaner, greener future, the Senate must do the same. Canadians hope for nothing less.
"It's extremely disappointing to see the government MPs who voted unanimously against the bill choose delay and inaction instead of leadership. We congratulate all those MPs who supported this legislation for their leadership and collaborative spirit, and we hope to see Senators continue on that path of working together to move this important bill into law. This bill matters because the government's current greenhouse gas targets fall far short of scientific assessments of the emission reductions needed to avoid dangerous climate change, and because to date the government has not produced a credible plan to meet even those targets."
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