see commentary at end of news article excerpt - rc
By Matthew Lee, The Associated Press, thecanadianpress.com, Updated: June 23, 2011 2:11 PM
Clinton: Gaza flotilla a bid to provoke Israel
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday criticized activists planning to challenge Israel's sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, saying their efforts are neither "necessary or useful" in helping the Palestinian people of Gaza.
A day after the State Department warned Americans against participating in the planned flotilla, Clinton said the flotilla, which Israel has said it will thwart, is not helpful and will only increase tensions. She noted that Israeli authorities had this week approved new shipments of housing construction material to enter Gaza legally and that the aim of the organizers appeared to be to merely provoke Israel into using its right to defend itself.
"We do not believe the flotilla is a necessary or useful effort to try to assist the people of Gaza," Clinton told reporters... "We think that it's not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke action by entering into Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves."
On Wednesday, the State Department specifically discouraged U.S. citizens from taking part in the flotilla, which is planned for later this month. In a new travel warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, it said the Gaza coast is "dangerous and volatile" and pointed out that the Israeli navy had stopped previous attempts to enter Gaza by sea, and that's resulted in deaths, injuries and arrests. A dual U.S.-Turkish citizen was killed in a clash between Israeli forces and activists on board a Gaza-ship last year...
A group of 36 U.S. citizens has announced plans to sail aboard a U.S.-flagged vessel in a flotilla to Gaza to challenge the blockade.
The message from the US government: When unarmed protesters who oppose the US/Israeli illegal blockade sail toward a Gazan port, it's only understandable and accepted practice for the Israeli military to kill them. Poor, persecuted Israel is beset by a group of wild, dangerous pacifists in small boats. God forbid that they actually let them reach Gaza, the world would come to an end.
It's also important to note Hilary Clinton's statement that the flotilla is unnecessary because Israel has just allowed a lot of supplies into Gaza. So according to the U.S. government The embargo is fine. Just don't starve them too much. Israel should be nice about it, but it's fine to violate all international law with an embargo on Gaza which also has a political goal and is part and parcel of Israel's ethnic cleansing and land theft policies.
We shouldn't fall into the trap of just disputing with the US and Israel about whether or not enough aid is getting into Gaza, whether or not there is or isn't a humanitarian crisis. The main target is the embargo. If Israel were to become very liberal in what and who they allow to go in and out of Gaza, but maintained the embargo and had the power to shut everything down whenever they chose, would that be a victory? Obviously not. I think we have to focus on the embargo itself. It has to go.