Free Gaza! Support the Freedom Flotilla II

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture

And your refusal to draw logical inferences from known facts is quite telling.

What was that word again, Slumberjack? Oh yeah: apologentsia.


Some more established facts you might want to ignore as well:

• On June 7 Jack Layton assured the media the NDP did not support the CBG [url= above][/url].

• Jack Layton said he had spoken to Atamanenko and Boulerice about this matter, but he refused to disclose the gist of the conversations. [url= above][/url]

• Alex Atamanenko, previously outspoken on issues of Palestinian rights [url= above][/url], suddenly goes incommunicado on the issue right after Layton's comments.

• Jack Layton took the extraordinary step of issuing a "statement"/press release on June 9 for the specific purpose of distancing the party from the CBG. [url= above][/url]

How could NDP MP's be thinking that endorsing the CBG, after all this, would not get them in trouble with Layton and his pro-Zionist Rottweiler, Mulcair?


Lawsuit Aimed At Stopping Cdn Boat in Gaza Flotilla

"...Under Canadian law, it is illegal to help or support 'a designated terror group'. Rosenberg's lawyers, Neal Sher of New York and Ed Morgan of Toronto, said in a statement last week. Sher is the former executive director of The America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)..

Morgan, a University of Toronto law professor, told the CJN his case will also seek to make Canadian anti-terrorism laws more 'robust and effective' in the same way as US federal anti-terrorism laws have become more stringent..."


A Call From Gaza In Support Of The Freedom Flotilla II

"...Dear Israel: It is you who is the provocateur, not us. It is a provocation that powerful states and international organizations, such as [Canada] the US, Israel, the EU and the UN are asking people to be silent and not react to violations of law and the disdain for universal values.

It is a provocation that international diplomacy is demanding that solidarity action from 'people to people' be stopped..."

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

It's no wonder Bill Siksay retired. I wonder how long before Alex Atamenenko quits? It seems he was demoted in this latest shadow cabinet shuffle.

Shame about Libby Davies, whether intimidated or not.


laine lowe wrote:
It's no wonder Bill Siksay retired. I wonder how long before Alex Atamenenko quits? It seems he was demoted in this latest shadow cabinet shuffle.

It could just be a simple matter that Atamanenko is in his 60s, BC is a long way from Ottawa, and he will be eligible for his MP pension in 2015.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

So being in your 60s is a detriment? You would think that it would be important to mix young blood with old. Unless the old is too stuck on what WERE socialits principles.


Absolutely not, laine. The fact is that BC is a very difficult province to represent as an MP due to the distance from Ottawa, especially a rural riding like the Interior. Some people commented on Atamanenko's departure from the Agriculture protfolio. Was he demoted? Perhaps, and given the sense of alienation in BC, I think there should be more representation in the shadow cabinet. But maybe Alex himself wanted out of that portfolio for the reasons I listed, or maybe he wanted out for reasons we don't know about.

I think we can both agree that Atamanenko seems to do a good job speaking for his community and that his voice on agricultural issues will be missed.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Kevin Neish, a Canadian on board the Mavi Marmara in 2010 when it was attacked by Israeli commandos who killed 9 passengers and injured over 50, writes to the NDP:

[i]Dear Mr. Layton,

Regarding yours and the NDP leadership’s refusal to support the Canadian Boat to Gaza. As a former executive member of an NDP club and life long supporter, needless to say, I’m not impressed. I was on board the Mavi Marmara last May when it was attacked by Israeli commandos, with 9 aid workers being murdered (5 executed), 54 wounded and many others beaten. I was kidnapped from international waters, robbed of over $4000 and almost all of my belongings, threatened with death several times with guns put to my head, brutalised for 25 hours on the ship and then dumped into an Israeli prison for two sleepless nights, as the guards revelled in waking us up every 90 minutes all night long. My demands for access to my embassy or a lawyer were ignored and laughed at and I was eventually pushed onto a plane and deported, without due process, to Turkey. When I returned home I made a report of all this, and more, to my local NDP MP, in the expectation that “my” party would act. As far as I can see you and the leadership did nothing.

To add insult to injury, I understand that when your MP Libby Davies answered an apparently baited question with an honest answer/mistake, you went to the Israeli embassy to apologize. Pray tell, did you approach the Israeli embassy for their apology regarding my treatment or the treatment of the other two Canadians on board the Mavi Marmara by the Israelis?

Canadians voted for your party, as I have always done, in the hope that the NDP would have the courage to stand up for principles of justice, to be a movement for change, not a vehicle to gather votes at any cost. Thankfully there are some NDP MPs with this courage and they are supporting myself and the Canadian Boat to Gaza as we join the Freedom Flotilla II. What can we expect from “our” party leadership this time?[/i]


Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Here is a link to what Libby used to believe.  I wonder what changed in the last two years.

Has Israel's brutal occupation lessened?

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

I looked for the NDP response to the Israeli's shooting non violent protesters on May 15 at various border crossings.

I can't find a single word.  Maybe someone could post a link since of course any balanced response to complicated issues would have required some mention of the civilians shot down in the street like vermin.

After the May 15 Israeli massacres nothing.   The only foreign affairs notice on their web site in the last month is a condolence for the latest soldier killed serving in our occupation forces in Afghanistan.  Dewar talks about rape in Libya and citizens needing protection in Syria but nothing about the murderous Israel regime.  

That is not balanced that is Ready Aye ready from every party in our House of Commons.  

Who's the bad guys?  Thats easy anyone NATO command wants to bomb next. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

(please distribute widely)

A few short weeks to go, please continue to support CBG

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thanks to all of you, in a few short weeks, the Tahrir will be sailing with Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human. Thirty delegates from across the country are preparing themselves for a difficult but necessary voyage and we are continuing to work with our international partners to organize and coordinate every aspect of the project. We are also assembling a dedicated group of volunteers across the country who will remain in Canada, supporting the launch of the flotilla, tracking and communicating with the Tahrir once it sets sail and handling media and public actions regionally and nationally.

Some of you (like us) may have heard via media reports that we are the subject of a lawsuit. We wish to inform you that we have not been served notice and that our plans are and will be progressing normally and legally towards our goal of reaching Gaza.

To date, we have raised around $340,000 through generous donations made by you and others like you. Despite recent media claims, we reaffirm that all money raised was donated by Canadian individuals and communities across the country, no government support and no tax benefits either. This is the sign of a true civil society initiative that every contributor believes in, beyond any doubt. Other than the boat, which is the major expense, there are many large costs associated with a project of this magnitude and sensitivity, such as communications equipment (which needed to be of much higher grade than originally planned to accommodate media needs and operate as efficiently as possible, in the face of Israeli interference), fuel, repairs, safety equipment, etc.

We would also like remind you that we bought a bigger boat than was originally planned, allowing more Canadians to participate and more humanitarian aid to be sent to Gaza. With this we still need another $50,000 to fulfill the project's needs. We are asking you to continue contributing to the Canadian Boat to Gaza so the Tahrir and its passengers can sail with all the necessary equipment and security devices needed for this difficult trip. We count on your backing in this final push towards our common goal.

The people of Gaza are waiting for us. If you can dig into your pockets one more time, please do. If you haven't yet, now is the time. In any case, please ask your family, friends and co-workers to donate as well. Donations can be made online at our website at Together we will make it.

The Canadian Boat To Gaza


[url= solidaire will be part of the crew![/url]



re: Neish letter, Boat to Gaza

In case it wasn't obvious after all this time - the NDP is for Netanyahu and Liberman not Kevin Neish, you or the Palestinians - how many times does this party have to screw you over before you get the message folks? Stop trusting them.  With any pols carrot or stick only works - more stick than carrot is better. Best of all to get rid of them and start over.


IHH: Mavi Marmara Will Not Sail with Gaza Flotilla

"...The Turkish daily Hurriyet said Thursday that the government had been using 'indirect channels' to pressure IHH not to sail with the Gaza Flotilla.."


John Greyson's latest brilliant BDS video: (and vid)

"Canadian filmmaker John Greyson will be traveling on the Canadian Boat to Gaza, the Tahrir, joining the global effort of Freedom Flotilla 2 - Stay Human. On the heels of taking off tomorrow he just finished another fantastic witty, fresh, must-see BDS video.."

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Excellent video.


'Israel Put Gazans On A Real Diet' (and vid)

 Interview with Ken OKeefe on conditions in Gaza

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Derrick O'Keefe, in his rabble blog, wrote:
The Canadian government stands today on the wrong side of history. In fact, shamefully, they have earned the ignominious distinction of being the most uncritically pro-Israel government in the western world.

This makes it all the more important that people in Canada stand on the right side of history, with the Freedom Flotilla and with the long-suffering people of Gaza.

The public's response to the Canadian Boat to Gaza has been very encouraging, with over 200 organizations and many more individuals endorsing the effort. Activists in many cities and towns are organizing emergency response support for The Tahrir and the rest of the flotilla.

If you have not yet added your name and made your contribution -- now is the time.

After an Arab Spring, it's time for a Palestine Freedom Summer.




a bit late to lessen suffering brought by the blocade of Gaza:


at this point, mostly back-patting by the middle-class Western left


The recent changes stem from a combination of Israeli policy shifts and the chaos in Egypt. The new Egyptian border policy has made little difference, but Egypt's revolution and its reduced policing in the Sinai have had a profound effect.

For the past year, Israel has allowed most everything into Gaza but cement, steel and other construction material - other than for internationally supervised projects - because they are worried that such supplies can be used by Hamas for bunkers and bombs. A number of international projects are proceeding, but there is an urgent need for housing, street paving, schools, factories and public works projects, all under Hamas or the private sector, and Israel's policy bans access to the goods to move those forward.

So in recent months, tunnels under the southern border that were used to bring in consumer goods have become almost fully devoted to smuggling in building materials.

Sacks of cement and piles of gravel, Turkish in origin and bought legally in Egypt, are smuggled through the hundreds of tunnels in double shifts, day and night, totaling some 3,000 tons a day. Since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian security authorities no longer stop the smugglers. Streets are being paved and buildings constructed.

"Mubarak was crushing us before," said Mahmoud Mohammad, a subcontractor whose 10-man crew in Gaza City was unloading steel bars that were carried through the tunnels and were destined for a new restaurant. "Last year we were sitting at home. The contractor I work for has three major projects going."




M. Spector M. Spector's picture

DaveW wrote:

a bit late to lessen suffering brought by the blocade of Gaza:

Your point being that Gaza's suffering is over? [url=

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC just reported there may be an Arab boat joining the flotilla in two days, making Israel very nervous.

ETA: there should be diplomats and observers from the Arab countries on every one of these boats.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Apparent sabotage against Gaza flotilla




A ship jointly owned by Swedish, Greek, and Norwegian activists hoping to join a flotilla of activist vessels challenging Israel's economic blockade of Gaza, had its propeller cut while in Athen's harbor today. A spokesman contacted by the Monitor said that the damage was a deliberate act of sabotage.




Col. (ret) Ann Wright, who's organizing a US vessel named the Audacity of Hope for the flotilla, says her ship has been detained in Athens on spurious charges that it's not seaworthy. She says that charge was made by an Israeli legal group.




Earlier today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet approve using any means necessary to stop the flotilla from reaching Gaza.



Further down, the story continues...


The US has also been putting pressure on the activists to hold back. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton characterized the flotilla as hostile in a comment last week.

"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," Clinton said.


The flotilla, in fact, says it has no plans to enter Israeli waters, instead planning on transiting through international waters to Gaza's territorial waters. The distinction goes to the heart of their protest. While Israel extends de facto sovereignty over Gaza's coastal waters, penning its fisherman close to shore and preventing any shipping or ferries to run to and from the Strip, it's not their territory under international law.


Comment: Can Clinton really be that frigging stupid??? Undecided

Ken Burch

Survey says "Yes".

That stupid...AND that AIPAC-whipped.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

Comment: Can Clinton really be that frigging stupid??? Undecided

Definitely not.  Although she probably thinks everyone else is stupid enough to buy her bullshit.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

What material aid is the Freedom Flotilla taking to Gaza? The Canadian Boat to Gaza people have said they will be taking urgently needed medical supplies.

But it appears some of the other boats won't be taking any aid at all:

Activists aboard the American-flagged ship, The Audacity of Hope, including the author Alice Walker, sent a letter to President Barack Obama in mid-June saying that there would be “no weapons of any sort on board,” nor “goods of any kind for delivery in Gaza.”  - [url=]NYT[/ur...

I'm not sure I like this approach. I think it's a far better tactic, from a defence point of view, to be delivering humanitarian aid than to just be defying the blockade for the sake of publicity.

And even if they manage to reach Gaza, the American-flagged ship will have nothing but good wishes to offer to Gaza, which will be essentially a victory for the Israeli blockade against goods and aid.

ETA: The flotilla as a whole will carry [url= 3,000 tonnes of aid[/url]. I guess it's just the Yanks who are going in an empty boat, [b]abiding by the blockade's restrictions even as they protest them![/b]    

Freedom 55

The Greek government has caved to Israeli pressure, and is preventing the flotilla ships from leaving its ports. A friend of mine who is currently on The Tahrir is saying that the actions of the Greek government have effectively ended the flotilla for this year. (I'm not sure if that means all ships, or just the ones departing from Greece. Are ships leaving from other ports?)


I've written a strong letter of condemnation to the Embassy of Greece in Canada and encourage others to do the same. It can't hurt. The Ambassador is Eleftherios Anghelopoulos and the email address:

[email protected]

I imagine they are particularly sensitive to economic punishment at the moment. I've spent a few thousand in that wonderful country in the last few years and i let the ambassador know I would be boycotting them henceforth. No holidays, no purchases of Greek goods. Fuck'em.



Freedom 55

Freedom 55 wrote:

Are ships leaving from other ports?


Ah... found the answer to my own question [url=

Of the six other able vessels in the flotilla, five are believed to be in Greek ports, apparently unable to move. The sixth, a French ship, set sail from France earlier in the week and is believed to be on the Mediterranean still bound for Gaza.

Two other vessels, the Irish MV Saoirse, anchored in a Turkish port, and a Swedish-chartered ship, The Juliano, anchored in a Greek port, were disabled earlier this week when propeller shafts of both boats were damaged in what organizers say were acts of sabotage, saying they suspect the Israelis of dirty tricks.

Freedom 55

[url= flotilla: We still plan to breach blockade[/url]

Activist Dimitris Plionis said there would be "some action" at the beginning of the week, but he did not specify what the pro-Palestinian activists were planning to do, presumably because Greek authorities might try to thwart their efforts.

"The ban is there and we have already said that we are still considering to sail," Plionis said. "This story is not finished."


Without elaborating, he noted that "ships are free to go to other locations" besides Gaza.


From Québec solidaire's website:


Flottille de la liberté II : La Grèce doit laisser partir le Tahrir [/url]

Translation: "Freedom Flotilla II: Greece must let Tahrir go!"


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Good article from the G&M (surprise! surprise!):

Canadian activist slams Greece for turning back Gaza-bound vessel


“Greece has no right to hold us here,” David Heap, one of the Canada Boat to Gaza organizers, said in a telephone interview from the ship, a one-time Greek island ferry. “We wanted to at least show the world the Greeks are helping Israel enforce an illegal blockade of Gaza.”


Check out the comments on the globe article.   While it is safe to assume that many of the commentators are posting form Tel Aviv, not Toronto, the discourse is still highly disturbing.   Some posters openly call for the murder of these unarmed peace activists.  

My particular favorite was a poster who stated something like -- "As a patriotic, tax-paying Canadian, I demand to know the names of these 'activists' who are acting in my name!" 

Apparently the word "patriotic" is now meant to mean supporting a foreign power over one's own countrymen.   I thought that was called treason or something.  



Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I never read comments in MSM articles - too much hate.


Two Canadians linked to a flotilla seeking to leave Greece for the Gaza Strip have reportedly been arrested by authorities.

David Heap, a spokesman for a boat carrying dozens of Canadians, says an Australian was also arrested and that all three could face charges.

He identifies the Canadians arrested as Sandra Ruch and Soha Kneen, and the Australian as Michael Coleman. The home cities of the Canadians weren't immediately known.

Activists say the Greek Coast Guard had earlier damaged the Canadian ship by ramming it against a cement pier after forcing it back to shore


The Current (CBC radio) this morning had an appalling interview with a spokesman for Israel's Foreign Affairs Ministry.  The interviewer lobbed softballs for questions and even loaded more than half his questions with pro-Israel subtext.   A spokeswoman for an Israeli human rights group was given 5 minutes and acquitted herself well, by bringing the discussion back to the illegality of the blockade and to the trap of talking about bringing humanitarian aid rather than about drawing attention to the economic warfare against Gazans and to the punitive nature of the blockade as a reprisal for the electoral victory of Hamas.

The Israeli government spokesperson lied and equivocated for 20 minutes, e.g., stating that most nations support or at least accept the blockade as legal and reiterated the chestnut about Hamas being a terrorist organization. The  interviewer did not ask what pressure the US and Israel had brought to bear on allies, both to have Hamas listed as a terrorist group and to condone the blockade.  

The spokesman  lied outright by stating that the UN admits there is no humanitarian crisis because Israel allows the entry of necessary goods -- when the UN has in no uncertain terms called it a humanitarian crisis and also condemned Israel for the blockade, for the collective punishment of the population of Gaza, and for the attacks on vessels in international waters. 


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Hoodeet wrote:
  The spokesman  lied outright by stating that the UN admits there is no humanitarian crisis because Israel allows the entry of necessary goods -- when the UN has in no uncertain terms called it a humanitarian crisis and also condemned Israel for the blockade, for the collective punishment of the population of Gaza, and for the attacks on vessels in international waters. 

The part I highlighted in bold would be a very effective response to those conservative yahoos who troll the MSM websites and make dumb comments about the Freedom Flotilla.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

If Greece is going to extend the Gaza blockade to its own shores, perhaps we should be extending the BDS campaign to Greece?

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

from Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff ...


However, the Greeks are already suffering under brutal blows from the "socialist" regime of Papandreou. Is the Greek citizenry responsible for the barbarity of this regime?

Freedom 55

Caissa wrote:

He identifies the Canadians arrested as Sandra Ruch and Soha Kneen, and the Australian as Michael Coleman.


Soha and Michael are now free. Sandra is free on bail, with a court appearance tomorrow.

Freedom 55

[url=]How it went Down: On board the Tahrir[/url]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

From 2010


As he wrapped up his two-day trip to Greece, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- the highest ranking Israeli to visit the country -- said the two nations were "opening a new chapter."

He told reporters that he and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou had discussed military cooperation. An official in Netanyahu's entourage told Reuters these discussions "explored establishing greater cooperation between both countries' military industries and armies."

A Greek official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed they "talked about new forms of cooperation on defense and security issues" including the expansion of joint military exercises and sharing technological knowledge.


Netanyahu is the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit Greece, which only forged full diplomatic ties with the Jewish state in 1990, later than other European countries. Israel and Greece signed a defense cooperation agreement in 1994.

Why on earth did the Flotilla choose Greece as an embarkation point? That's what I don't get.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Jack Layton, Paul Dewar Asked Israel Not To Harm Canadians On Gaza Flotilla

It's good, but somehow I expected more. Anger and righteous indignation, perhaps.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

So Coleman and Kneen were in kayaks when they were arrested!

We already knew about the Layton meeting with the Israeli ambassador a month ago, as reported upthread:

Layton wrote:
Earlier this week, I met with the Israeli Ambassador and urged the government of Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza. I also indicated that it was not New Democrat policy to support the flotilla but [b]reiterated New Democrats’ concern for the safety of protesters and urged that the utmost caution be used.[/b] [emphasis added]

Layton and Dewar must be happy that their "socialist" pals in Greece made sure no harm would come to the Canadians at the hands of Israelis. Maybe they should talk to the Greek ambassador as well.

Wait... maybe they did!


[url= is insulting the people of Greece, according to Amir Khadir[/url]


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

A Pipeline of Injustice: Greek consular official admits that natural gas pipeline drives complicity in Gaza siege

by Charlotte Kates July 5, 2011

It has been widely reported and speculated that the reason for Greece's participation in the suppression of Freedom Flotilla Two may be found in its own economic situation - that the government of Prime Minister George Papandreou, pushing a devastating IMF/EU austerity plan on the Greek people against their will, is so desperate for international financial and economic support that it is willing to serve as the enforcement arm for Israel's illegal siege on Gaza.

Yesterday, in Vancouver, Canada, a Greek consular official, Georgios Ayfantis, confirmed that this is indeed the case.

In a conversation with a delegation of activists supporting the Tahrir, the Canadian Boat to Gaza, who entered the consulate demanding a meeting about the Freedom Flotilla, Ayfantis asserted that Greece's economic interests were at stake in stopping the Flotilla, saying that an undersea natural gas pipeline and a natural gas liquidizing plant in Crete were at stake.....

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url= letter from Palestinian civil society to the social-democratic Greek government[/url] [excerpt]:


The people of Gaza are not only in need of humanitarian aid because we are prevented from building our economy. We are not allowed to import raw materials or to export; our fishermen and farmers get shot at when attempting to fish or to harvest their crops. As a result of deliberate Israeli policy, 80 per cent of our people have become food aid dependent, our infrastructure is in shambles, and our children cannot imagine a day when they will know freedom.

[b]Your offer to deliver the cargo of the Freedom Flotilla entrenches the notion that humanitarian aid will solve our problems and is a weak attempt to disguise your complicity in Israel's blockade.[/b]

We are so sorry not to accept your charity. The organizers and participants of the Freedom Flotilla recognize that our plight is not about humanitarian aid; it is about our human rights. They carry with them something more important than aid; they carry hope, love, solidarity and respect. Your offer to collude with our oppressors to deliver aid to us is totally REJECTED.

While it is clear that you have been under enormous political pressure to comply with the will of the Israeli regime, to collaborate with Israel in violating international law and legitimizing the siege, we refuse to accept your breadcrumbs. We crave freedom, dignity and the ability to make choices in our daily lives. We urge you to immediately reconsider and to let the Freedom Flotilla sail.

Moran lowiq b. ...

Are there any chia pets on the boat? If not, maybe that is the problem?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Another day, another drive-by from a scum-sucking Zionist.

Ken Burch

He certainly is "vacuous".  Should we thank him for the truth-in-advertising?


Breaking news about the [i]Estelle[/i]:

[url= naval vessels take control of Gaza boat[/url]

Several parliamentarians from different countries are on board, including former NDP MP Jim Manly, from Saskatchewan.

Here is a rabble piece published (ironically) today, by his partner Eva Manly:

[url= former Canadian MP Jim Manly is on the Ship to Gaza[/url]

Jim is on board the Estelle, and if there was room for another Canadian I would be there with him. There is no other place I would rather be now. May he come home safe.



Here is a pre-recorded video message from Jim Manly, entitled "We have lost contact with the Estelle":