So Israel has a blockade up against Gaza as part of a war that has been going on for decades. The Freedom Flotilla was going to violate that blockade to bring much needed aid to the impoverished Gaza strip. Israel reacts by storming the ships making up the Freedom Flotilla in international water at night and ending up killing 10 civilian activists and arresting the remaining activist. Of these, 50 were deported while the others have are been held in prisons.
Israel had made several claims. First, that the Freedom Flotilla was not carrying aid and was a threat. Second, the Freedom Flotilla violated its blockade. And lastly, that the activists on board the Freedom Flotilla were armed and had attacked the raiding commandos first.
None of these claims change the fact that the issue of the Freedom Flotilla’s cargo was not raised earlier, that the ships were raided in international waters and that the civilian activists were attacked with fire arms by trained commandos. How the raid COULD have been handled has been debated vastly over the internet and most experts believe that there was no need for the Freedom Flotilla to be stormed. Also, why is Israel refusing families and human rights groups to contact those who have been arrested?
This is yet another case of excessive force being used by Israel to tackle a situation which could have been handled without spilling any blood. The Freedom Flotilla massacre does not go towards clearing Israel’s trigger happy image, especially when the issue has been in the international eye for weeks.
So why did they do it? Was Israel trying to make an example of the Freedom Flotilla, to set a precedent of how it will deal with those protesting the blockage against aid to the Gaza Strip? If this was the case, then it has failed miserably. Not only have its actions brought on worldwide fury but the organization which had sent the Freedom Flotilla has already dispatched another batch of aid to be followed by yet another. They are refusing to back down its efforts to bring an end to the blockade and end the suffering of the 1.5 million impoverished people of Gaza.
Well, at least their course of action is loud and clear. What remains to be seen is how Israel reacts to Freedom Flotilla 2. Will the world simply react to the massacre through verbal condemnation? Will the US administration, which has been tight lipped about the entire incident, remain non-reactive and lose its credibility as well?
Whatever may happen, the Freedom Flotilla massacre is a crime against all of humanity. No one has the right to prevent aid from reaching war ravaged civilians. Period.