We write in reference to an article published on this page July 8 under the headline “Humanitarian need or provocation,” submitted on behalf of the Hamilton Jewish Federation.
A year ago, in what we believe was an act of piracy, Israel attacked the first Freedom Flotilla in international waters. Many on board the six ships were injured. Nine were killed. The ships were forcefully taken to Israeli ports. Hundreds of human rights activists on board were imprisoned, then deported. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of personal belongings, electronic and audiovisual equipment were confiscated and never returned. The Turkish vessel, Mavi Marmora, was so badly damaged by the Israelis it still could not be sailed this year.
All that Israel, the world’s fourth-largest military power, came up with to justify its criminal actions were some kitchen knives and pipes it presented to the media as proof of the danger the flotilla presented to its security. World public opinion shifted against Israel, not because anyone set out to demonize the country, but rather because of Israel’s own unjust and illegal acts.
As for the humanitarian aid that the flotilla carried, who knows? The world never saw an independent report detailing what happened to it.
Israel’s actions made the organizers of the first Freedom Flotilla (human rights activists from a dozen countries) more determined to reach Gaza than ever before. Last summer, Canadians from co… >>>