Monday, May 31, 2010

"Operation Justified Vengeance": Israeli strike on Freedom Flotilla to Gaza is part of a broader military agenda

by Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 31 May 2010

War Criminal Prime Minister Netanyahu, who directly ordered the strike on the international flotilla to Gaza was on an official visit to Canada at the time of the Israeli attack. The strike constitutes an act of piracy in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Netanyahu's actions, which have resulted, in more than 10 deaths and up to 60 injured constitute a criminal act committed in international waters. ( BBC News - Deaths as Israeli forces storm Gaza aid ship).

In a cruel irony, Netanyahu in a recent statement, committed himself to peace with Palestine: "We want to move as speedily as possible to direct talks because the kind of problem that we have with the Palestinians can be resolved in peace and can be arranged only if we sit down together".

Several prominent personalities as well as several Global Research authors and partners were on board the ships.

The May 31st strike is a follow-up on "Operation Cast" initiated in late December 2008. It is meant to enforce the status of Gaza as a de facto urban prison.

Operation "Cast Lead" was part of a broader military-intelligence operation initiated at the outset of the Ariel Sharon government in 2001. It was under Sharon's "Operation Justified Vengeance" that F-16 fighter planes were initially used to bomb Palestinian cities. The strike on the Freedom Flotilla is part of the logic of transforming Gaza into an urban concentration camp.

"Operation Justified Vengeance" was presented in July 2001 to the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon by IDF chief of staff Shaul Mofaz, under the title "The Destruction of the Palestinian Authority and Disarmament of All Armed Forces". "Operation Justified Vengeance" was also referred to as the "Dagan Plan", named after General (ret.) Meir Dagan, who currently heads Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency. (See Ellis Shulman, Operation Justified Vengeance, A Secret to Destrythe Palestinian Authority, Global Research, 2002)

Meir Dagan, in coordination with his US counterparts, had been put in charge of various military-intelligence operations. It is worth noting that Meir Dagan as a young Colonel had worked closely with then defense minister Ariel Sharon in the raids on Palestinian settlements in Beirut in 1982.

The 2009 ground invasion of Gaza, in many regards, bear a canny resemblance to the 1982 military operation led by Sharon and Dagan.

Dagan as head of Israeli intelligence, no doubt also took part in the decision to launch the strike on the Freedom Flotilla.

Was the Decision Taken in Consultation with Washington?

On May 26, the Israeli military (IDF) confirmed that it would confront the Freedom Flotilla in international waters, while intimating that there may be terrorist elements on board the ships:

"As part of the military preparation, the navy carried out an exercise intercepting ships and arresting passengers.

Navy Commander Major-General Eliezer Marom said the navy forces will use measures to protect the soldiers' lives and ensure that there are no terrorist elements or explosives on the ships.

Marom said he instructed the forces to act sensibly and avoid provocations, adding that the IDF had no intention of harming the hundreds of passengers on board these ships." (Israel's Military Command Says Will Stop Flotilla, but Transfer Supplies to Gaza)

It is worth noting that prior to this announcement, the IDF launched a public relations campaign, describing the Flotilla as a "provocative act":

"Head of Gaza 's Coordination and Liaison Authority, Colonel Moshe Levi convened a press conference and said that there was no shortage in food and supplies in the Strip.

"The planned flotilla to Gaza is a provocative act that is unnecessary under the existing conditions in the Gaza Strip, where the humanitarian situation is good and stable," he said, adding that Israel allows many products into the Strip, and only limits those that might serve Hamas in advancing terror activities." (Ibid)

Washington was fully aware as to the nature as well as the likely consequences of the IDF naval operation in international waters, including the killings of civilians. There are indications that the decision was taken in consultation with Washington.

The Role of Rahm Emmanuel

Obama's White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was in Israel in the week prior to the launching of the raid on the Freedom Flotilla.

Although on a private visit, Rahm Emanuel met Prime Minister Netanyahu in high level discussions on May 26. And on that same day, the IDF confirmed the launching of a military operation directed against the Flotilla. On May 26, Rahm Emanuel also extended an invitation to Netanyahu to meet president Obama in early June following his scheduled official visit to Canada. In recent developments, Netanyahu has cancelled his US trip and is returning to Tel Aviv.

The Broader Military Agenda

It should be understood that the raid on the Flotilla also coincided with NATO-Israel war games directed against Iran. According to the Sunday Times "three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline." (Israel Deploys Three Nuclear Cruise Missile-Armed Subs Along Iranian Coastline). The report tacitly presents Israel as the victim rather than the perpetrator of military threat:

"Israel’s business and defence centre, remains the most threatened city in the world, said one expert. “There are more missiles per square foot targeting Tel Aviv than any other city,” he said.

... The first [submarine] 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.”

... 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.

Apparently responding to the Israeli activity, an Iranian admiral said: “Anyone who wishes to do an evil act in the Persian Gulf will receive a forceful response from us.”

Israel’s urgent need to deter the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance was demonstrated last month. Ehud Barak, the defence minister, was said to have shown President Barack Obama classified satellite images of a convoy of ballistic missiles leaving Syria on the way to Hezbollah in Lebanon. (emphasis added)

While these naval deployments were underway in the Persian Gulf, Israel was also involved in war games in the Mediterraean. The war game codenamed "MINOAS 2010" was carried out at a Greek air base in Souda Bay, on the island of Crete.

Also, in the wake of the decision directed against Israel's nuclear weapons under the auspices of the NPT, the White House reaffirmed not only its support to Israel, but also to Israel's nuclear weapons capabilities. The statement issued one day before the raid on the flotilla points to US support of "Israel's strategic and deterrence capabilities, which also include the launching of a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Iran:

"a senior political source in Jerusalem said Sunday that Israel received guarantees from U.S. President Barack Obama that the U.S. would maintain and improve Israel's strategic and deterrence capabilities.

According to the source, "Obama gave [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu unequivocal guarantees that include a substantial upgrade in Israel-U.S. relations."

Obama promised that no decision taken during the recent 189-nation conference to review and strengthen the 40-year-old Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty "would be allowed to harm Israel's vital interests," the sources said. Obama promised to bolster Israel's strategic capabilities, Jerusalem officials say - Haaretz Daily Newspaper)

The presence of Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in Tel Aviv undoubtedly played a role in the timing of this Sunday May 30th statement as well as the concurrent strike on the Freedom Flotilla.

The killing of unarmed civilians was part of the mandate of the Israeli naval commando. It was an integral part of the logic of Dagan's "Operation Justified Vengeance", which presents Israel as the victim rather than the perpetrator and uses civilian deaths "on both sides" to justify a process of military escalation.

The action by the IDF has triggered a wave of indignation throughout the Middle East. It will no doubt also trigger a response by Palestinian resistance forces, including possible suicide bomb attacks inside Israel, which could then be used by Israel as a pretext and justification for the launching a broader military operation.

Iran is being portrayed in Western media reports as supportive of Hamas and the Freedom Flotilla is said to be backed by a tacit Hamas-Iran alliance. Realities are turned upside down. Israel is the victim. In the words of Benjamin Netanyahu: "Our soldiers had to defend themselves to defend their lives." In the words of Netanyahu at a press briefing in Ottawa:

“"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.” (Quoted in the Toronto Star, May 31, 2010)

Meanwhile, a White House spokesman has confirmed that the United States "deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained". But the action by Israel has not been condemned by the Obama administration: The administration is "currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy." (See The Associated Press: Obama administration concerned about Gaza incident)

Satyagraha vs Zionism


The Israelis appear to have reasoned that backing down would demonstrate weakness and encourage further flotillas to Gaza

Palestinian Information Center:

Majed Al-Zeer, the director general of the Palestinian return center, has revealed that the international campaign to end the siege on Gaza has started preparing a new aid flotilla to Gaza Strip that would sail within six weeks

Carlos Latuff's take on the Israeli piracy

Palestine Think Tank coverage of the crisis

Kawther Salam's detailed report shows that the entire massacre, planned in advance, was nothing but the Zionist reaction to the recent improvement in Turkish-Iranian relations.

Kourosh Ziabari asks what would have happened if the same actions were done by Iran

Belén Fernandez dissects the Israeli Hasbara that it was actually the pacifists bringing humanitarian aid who were responsible for their own deaths

Mary Rizzo deconstructs Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister's Lies (until the World Cup makes everyone forget the real world)

Carlos Latuff creates another masterpiece

Gazan civil society calls for global protests

Sahar Hamzeh has written an ode to those who come to break the siege, with Adib Kawar's sad addendum to the martyrs

and so that hope never dies, our friend Nusair gives the Egyptian activists' recipe for resistance when resistance is beaten down with sticks and prison

Some thoughts on the latest Zionist lunacy

I am working on a full-length analysis of the situation in occupied Palestine and the Middle-East, and I hope to have it ready for publication here in a couple of days. But in the meantime, I want to share some initial thoughts I have had after following the events in the eastern Mediterranean this night.

* The Israeli government has, yet again, proven itself totally incompetent. The likes of Ayalon, Netanyahu, Lieberman & Co. have totally mismanaged the Freedom Flotilla issue. It appears that blinded by their infinite arrogance they are simply unable to appreciate the consequences of their decisions. The war in 2006 was a disaster, the massacre in Gaza was a disaster, and now this latest act of piracy is also turning into a disaster.

* The Israeli military performance in this latest fiasco is one of absolute incompetence. We know from the Turkish customs service that there were no weapons on these ships (all the ships had been searched and X-rayed). We also know that the passengers were peacenicks a la "blue jeans and backpacks". But even if we accept, for argument's sake, the Israeli lie about "attackers with batons, knives and firearms", the performance of the Israeli commandos is laughable. Truly professional assault units (such as marine commandos are supposed to be) can easily control and overpower a civilian mob without resorting to their assault rifles.

If we accept the Israeli theory that they Israeli commandos were "surprised" by the attack, this shows a total failure of intelligence too. How hard is it to infiltrate and international crowd of over 700 people? How hard is it to monitor their communications?

So which was it? A mind-boggling display of incompetence or an equally mind-boggling display of murderous arrogance?

My guess is probably both. On one hand, the Israelis are incompetent, there is no doubt about that in my mind, but they are also murderous criminals, who have absolutely no issue with shooting civilians as long as they are "goyim".

What most likely happened is that the Israelis gave this entire operation very little thought, they rapelled unto the first ship and were confronted with furious protesters screaming that since they were in international waters they had no right to be here and they were committing an act of piracy.

Now remember that Israeli Jews are mostly cowards. They are absolutely terrified of Palestinians and being surrounded in the darkness by screaming Turks and "internationals" probably freaked them out and they simply did what they always do: they opened fire.

And now the Israeli government, which is totally disconnected from reality, is making all this into an even worse PR disaster by acting with the trademark arrogance of Netanyahu, Lieberman or Ayalon.

What happened this night is nothing new, really.

Just a typical day in the never-ending nightmare called "the Jewish state of Israel".

The Saker

And now, a few words from the murderous crazies

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said earlier Monday that the organizers of the Gaza aid flotilla were to blame for the violent events aboard the ship.

Barak voiced regret for the deaths, but called the flotilla a political provocation and said the sponsors of the flotilla were violent supporters of a terror organization.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, meanwhile, said the soldiers were forced by violent activists to respond with live fire.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said earlier Monday that the organizers of the Gaza aid flotilla have connections to international terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Al-Qaida, and called the aid convoy a violent and provocative attempt to break the blockade on Gaza.

"We couldn't allow the opening of a corridor of smuggling arms and terrorists," said Ayalon.

The left-wing activists on board a flotilla carrying aid to the Gaza Strip tried to lynch the Israel Navy commandos

The commandos were equipped with paintball guns but the non-lethal weapons were not enough against activists who charged in with batons.

"They beat us with metal sticks and knives, there was live fire at some point against us."

source: Ha'aretz

Comment: so now we have it - innocent painball gun toting Israeli commandos were attacked by anti-Semitic terrorists from al-Qaeda with sticks, knives and guns; no, the commandos are not crazed murderers, they are the victims of a mob fully determined to organize a "Kristallnacht at sea", and maybe a "maritime Holocaust". Oy veh!!

From Cynthia McKinney: Israel's Latest Murder of Humanitarian Activists

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.


Israeli Butchery at Sea

by Gilad Atzmon

As I write this piece the scale of the Israeli lethal slaughter at sea is yet to be clear. However we already know that at around 4am Gaza time, hundreds of IDF commandos stormed the Free Gaza international humanitarian fleet. We learn from the Arab press that at least 16 peace activists have been murdered and more than 50 were injured. Once again it is devastatingly obvious that Israel is not trying to hide its true nature: an inhuman murderous collective fuelled by a psychosis and driven by paranoia.

For days the Israeli government prepared the Israeli society for the massacre at sea. It said that the Flotilla carried weapons, it had ‘terrorists’ on board. Only yesterday evening it occurred to me that this Israeli malicious media spin was there to prepare the Israeli public for a full scale Israeli deadly military operation in international waters. Make no mistake. If I knew exactly where Israel was heading and the possible

consequences, the Israeli cabinet and military elite were fully aware of it all the way along. What happened yesterday wasn’t just a pirate terrorist attack. It was actually murder in broad day light even though it happened in the dark.

Yesterday at 10 pm I contacted Free Gaza and shared with them everything I knew. I obviously grasped that hundreds of peace activists most of them elders, had very little chance against the Israeli killing machine. I was praying all night for our brothers and sisters. At 5am GMT the news broke to the world. In international waters Israel raided an innocent international convoy of boats carrying cement, paper and medical aid to the besieged Gazans. The Israelis were using live ammunition murdering and injuring everything around them.

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.

Gaza Flotilla Attacked: Israeli troops storm aid ships, up to 20 killed

Butchery at sea fallout

Press Release 05/31/2010

Uri Avnery: this night a crime was perpetrated in the middle of the sea, by order of the government of Israel and the IDF Command
A warlike attack against aid ships and deadly shooting at peace and humanitarian aid activists
It is a crazy thing that only a government that crossed all red lines can do

"Only a crazy government that has lost all restraint and all connection to reality could something like that - consider ships carrying humanitarian aid and peace activists from around the world as an enemy and send massive military force to international waters to attack them, shoot and kill.

"Noone in the world will believe the lies and excuses which the government and army spokesmen come up with," said former Knesset member Uri Avnery of the Gush Shalom movement. Gush Shalom activists together with activists of other organizations are to depart at 11:00 from Tel Aviv to protest in front of the prepared detention facility where the international peace activists will be brought.

Greta Berlin, the spokeswoman for the flotilla organizers located in Cyprus, told Gush Shalom activists that the Israeli commandos landed by helicopter on the boats and immediately opened fire.

This is a day of disgrace to the State of Israel, a day of anxiety in which we discover that our future was entrusted to a bunch of trigger-happy people without any responsibility. This day is a day of disgrace and madness and stupidity without limit, the day the Israeli government took care to blacken the name of the country in the world, adding convincing evidence of aggressiveness and brutality to Israel's already bad international image, discouraging and distancing the few remaining friends.

Indeed, today a provocation took place off the coast of Gaza - but the provocateurs were not the peace activists invited by the Palestinians and seeking to reach Gaza. The provocation was carried out by Navy ships commandos at the bidding of the Israeli government, blocking the way of the aid boats and using deadly force.

It is time to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, which causes severe suffering to its residents. Today the Israeli government ripped the mask of its face with its own hands and exposed the fact that Israel did not "disengage" from Gaza. Real disengagement from the area does not go together with blocking the access to it or sending soldiers to shoot and kill and wound those who try to get there.

The State of Israel promised in the Oslo Accords 17 years ago to enable and encourage the establishment of a deep water port in Gaza, through which Palestinians could import and export freely to develop their economy. It's time to realize this commitment and open the Port of Gaza. Only after the Gaza port will be open to free and undisturbed movement, just like the Ashdod and Haifa ports, will Israel really have disengaged from the Gaza Strip. Until then, the world will continue - and rightly so - to consider the Gaza Strip under Israeli occupation and the State of Israel as responsible for the fate of the people living there.

Contact: Uri Avnery 0505-306449
Adam Keller, Gush Shalom spokesman 03-5565804 or 054-2340749
Coalition Against the Siege Yacov - 050-5733276, 09-7670801, Sebastian -050-6846056

Greta Berlin spokeswoman for flotilla organizers

Protesters try to storm Israeli consulate in Turkey

Protesters try to storm Israeli consulate in Turkey. Police succeeds to stop them. Turkish authorities have summoned the Israeli envoy.

Is anybody besides me following this?

Freedom Flotilla lawyers in Israel report 10 people killed

Al-Jazeera has just reported that the lawyers of the Freedom Flotilla in Israel have announced that 10, not 2, people were killed during the Israeli seizure of the Turkish ship in international waters.

This is building up to become yet another a PR disaster for Israel.

Israeli stormtroopers storm at least one Freedom Flotilla ship

I am listening to PressTV and al-Jazeera, video footage from Turkish TV and I am following the Ha'aretz website. So far, here is the picture I get:

Israeli stormtroopers stormed at least one ship described as "large" and Turkish. 2 civilians have been killed, 50 wounded. The attacked occurred about 60 nautical miles off the Palestinian cost, thus in international waters. The attack took place at around 4AM.

The Turkish cabinet is meeting in an emergency meeting.

There is plenty of video footage of the Israeli attack.

I will try keep you posted

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Flotilla Welcomed by Israeli War Ships

(Cyprus, May 31, 2010) At 11:00 pm Cyprus time and in international waters off the coast of Israel, the boats were contacted by the Israeli navy. “Who are you and where are you going?” Our reply was that we were part of a flotilla and we were going to Gaza to deliver humanitarian supplies.

On the radar, the boats could see three Israeli war ships shadowing us, and 15 minutes later, a silent aircraft hovered over the flotilla. One of our Hebrew speakers had found Israel’s strategy and posted it to us. It stated, “You will be boarded by highly trained, very efficient and very SILENT commandos. They will use silent inflatable boats to get to our boats and both try to board our boats directly from the inflatables and by dropping divers into the water to climb onto the boats,” so people were preparing for them to come up and over the sides of the ships.

Our SPOT locator has sent out several HELP messages at

Lubna Marsawa, Free Gaza’s organizer on the Turkish passenger boat said in outrage, “Very few times in history has a flotilla delivering humanitarian goods been welcomed by military war ships.”

This is a call to the world from the people on the boats. “We are a civilian people doing what our governments have refused to do, challenge Israel’s right to collectively punish 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza by blockading their right to their own sea. This flotilla is bringing construction and educational supplies the people of Gaza and are being met by Israeli warships.”

Contact: Huwaida Arraf on board the Challenger 0088 216 5207 2093

Ewa Jasciewica on board the Challenger 0088 163 184 7926

Fatima Mohammed on board the IHH ship 8821636619168

Greta Berlin 00 357 99 18 72 75

Mary Hughes 00 357 96 38 38 09

Check out this site, find the Israeli embassy nearest you and let them know how you feel.

Greta Berlin, Co-Founder
+357 99 18 72 75

Gaza Flotilla Drives Israel Into a Sea of Stupidity

Of course the peace flotilla will not bring peace, and it won't even manage to reach the Gaza shore. The action plan has included dragging the ships to Ashdod port, but it has again dragged us to the shores of stupidity and wrongdoing

By Gideon Levy for Ha'aretz via Informationclearinghouse

The Israeli propaganda machine has reached new highs its hopeless frenzy. It has distributed menus from Gaza restaurants, along with false information. It embarrassed itself by entering a futile public relations battle, which it might have been better off never starting. They want to maintain the ineffective, illegal and unethical siege on Gaza and not let the "peace flotilla" dock off the Gaza coast? There is nothing to explain, certainly not to a world that will never buy the web of explanations, lies and tactics.

Only in Israel do people still accept these tainted goods. Reminiscent of a pre-battle ritual from ancient times, the chorus cheered without asking questions. White uniformed soldiers got ready in our name. Spokesmen delivered their deceptive explanations in our name. The grotesque scene is at our expense. And virtually none of us have disturbed the performance.

The chorus has been singing songs of falsehood and lies. We are all in the chorus saying there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. We are all part of the chorus claiming the occupation of Gaza has ended, and that the flotilla is a violent attack on Israeli sovereignty - the cement is for building bunkers and the convoy is being funded by the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood. The Israeli siege of Gaza will topple Hamas and free Gilad Shalit. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy, one of the most ridiculous of the propagandists, outdid himself when he unblinkingly proclaimed that the aid convoy headed toward Gaza was a violation of international law. Right. Exactly.

It's not the siege that is illegal, but rather the flotilla. It wasn't enough to distribute menus from Gaza restaurants through the Prime Minister's Office, (including the highly recommended beef Stroganoff and cream of spinach soup ) and flaunt the quantities of fuel that the Israeli army spokesman says Israel is shipping in. The propaganda operation has tried to sell us and the world the idea that the occupation of Gaza is over, but in any case, Israel has legal authority to bar humanitarian aid. All one pack of lies.

Only one voice spoiled the illusory celebration a little: an Amnesty International report on the situation in Gaza. Four out of five Gaza residents need humanitarian assistance. Hundreds are waiting to the point of embarrassment to be allowed out for medical treatment, and 28 already have died. This is despite all the Israeli army spokesman's briefings on the absence of a siege and the presence of assistance, but who cares?

And the preparations for the operation are also reminiscent of a particularly amusing farce: the feverish debate among the septet of ministers; the deployment of the Masada unit, the prison service's commando unit that specializes in penetrating prison cells; naval commando fighters with backup from the special police anti-terror unit and the army's Oketz canine unit; a special detention facility set up at the Ashdod port; and the electronic shield that was supposed to block broadcast of the ship's capture and the detention of those on board.

And all of this in the face of what? A few hundred international activists, mostly people of conscience whose reputation Israeli propaganda has sought to besmirch. They are really mostly people who care, which is their right and obligation, even if the siege doesn't concern us at all. Yes, this flotilla is indeed a political provocation, and what is protest action if not political provocation?

And facing them on the seas has been the Israeli ship of fools, floating but not knowing where or why. Why detain people? That's how it is. Why a siege? That's how it is. It's like the Noam Chomsky affair all over again, but big time this time. Of course the peace flotilla will not bring peace, and it won't even manage to reach the Gaza shore. The action plan has included dragging the ships to Ashdod port, but it has again dragged us to the shores of stupidity and wrongdoing. Again we will be portrayed not only as the ones that have blocked assistance, but also as fools who do everything to even further undermine our own standing. If that was one of the goals of the peace flotilla's organizers, they won big yesterday.

Five years ago, the noted Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, who is a Jerusalem Prize laureate, after concluding his visit to Israel, said the Israeli occupation was approaching its grotesque phase. Over the weekend Vargas Llosa, who considers himself a friend of Israel, was present to see that that phase has since reached new heights of absurdity.

Hebrew Culture for Dummies by Gilad Atzmon

by Gilad Atzmon

In the last few days Israel was singled out by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation conference's decision to note Israel as a country's whose facilities must be regulated as "fundamentally wrong and duplicitous." This happens for a reason. As much as Israel insists to operate as a modernised high-tech Jewish Ghetto, it also persists in being the biggest threat to world peace. Seemingly, nations are starting to show some real signs of fatigue of the Jewish state and its collective lunacy. But the bad news from Israel doesn't stop just there. The Sunday Times reports today that Israel stations nuclear missile in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline. This doesn't leave much room for doubt. Following the suicidal Massada narrative, the Jewish state is now doing everything it can to escalate the situation in the Middle East into a nuclear world war.

This brings us back to the Free Gaza Flotilla that aims to deliver necessary aid to the besieged Gazans. It doesn't take a genius to gather that in addition to its humanitarian mission, the Free Gaza Flotilla has a simple symbolic role. It is there to direct world attention to the unbearably grim situation in Gaza. Gaza is the biggest jail in the history of humanity. It is a concentration camp for 1.5 million Palestinians, many of them 1948 refugees. The Gazans have been living in a blockade for four years. They are subject to air raids, warfare with WMDs, they are starved and face severe shortages of water, petrol, electricity and medical supplies.

The Flotilla should also be realised as a symbol of world fatigue of Israeli barbarism. As such, the Flotilla can only win. It will win if Israel let it through to accomplish its crucial humanitarian mission but it will also win if Israel stops it off shore, detains its participants and sends some of them to jail as Israel has vowed to do. Israel can only lose here and its leadership may want to think twice on how to minimise the damage they are about to inflict upon themselves.

The Jewish state is very engaged with Jewish history. Yet, Israelis have managed to draw the very wrong historic lesson. Rather than becoming a compassionate and merciful nation, Israel has become an ultimate merciless evil. It locks the indigenous population of the land in concentration camps. It existentially threatens the entire region with its nuclear arsenal. It indeed looks as if the Jewish state gave up on the possibility to become a nation amongst nations. It gave up on humanism.

Following the astonishing statistical figure of 94% of Israelis supporting the 2009 genocidal assault on Gaza, the Israeli leadership gathers that inflicting pain on others translates into political popularity in the Jewish State's street. Currently, the Israelis seem to gain a lot of pleasure from watching their kosher Navy chasing cement and paper on its way to Gaza. As I write these words, 6 boats are making their way to Gaza. Their humanitarian mission is sacred. This Flotilla is also a symbol of our resentment towards Israeli barbarism. Israel better listen to the nations now because the world's ability to endure tolerance to Zionist brutality is running out fast.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Freedom Flotilla is approaching Gaza!

Follow all the developments live by clicking on this link:

"Join us as we travel to Gaza. Witness what happens on board the boats. Watch our videos everyday. Stay tuned for WitnessGaza"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah marking the tenth anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day

In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, The Lord of the world. Peace be on the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household, chosen companions and all prophets and messengers. Brothers and sisters! Ladies and gentlemen! Peace be upon you all and Allah's mercy and blessing.

First, to the chaste souls of the martyrs of the Resistance, Liberation and Victory in Lebanon and to all martyrs who offered their pure blood to make the victory and to make this pride, esteem and glory - namely to the souls of the master of the Islamic Resistance martyrs Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Abbass Mussawi, the Sheikh of the Islamic Resistance martyrs Sheikh Ragheb Harb and leader martyr Hajj Imad Moghniyeh – we offer the reward of Al Fatiha Sura.

First, I want to congratulate you, all the Lebanese, Arabs, Muslims and freedom seekers in the world on this great anniversary – the tenth anniversary of the victory of the resistance, the nation, the army, the people, the will… the victory of blood over the sword and of righteousness over evil…the victory of determination and the power of faith over all calls that frustrate wills and discourage determinations. I congratulate you on this great national day, and I find it my duty first as a prelude to the occasion and before ushering into the speech of the occasion to thank all our people in the South, in all the southern districts and especially the border area who were present on Sunday and did not fear anyone. They showed a great presence especially in the villages and towns neighboring occupied Palestine despite the drills in the Israeli entity. Despite all the intimidation attempts and alarming propagandas, men, women and children advanced to hold on May 23rd – and prior to May 25th – celebrations for democracy, freedom of expression, word unity, victory, liberation and resistance. In this occasion, I also thank all the Lebanese who achieved the first round of the municipal elections in Mount Lebanon and the second round of the Municipal elections in Bekaa and Beirut. I thank in particular all those who renewed their trust and backing of our coalition and agreement even in the municipal framework. We ask Allah Al Mighty that the last round of the municipal elections in the north take place to be through completely with this event and go back to facing all other upcoming due events internally and regionally.

On this occasion, I would like to talk about the liberation of 2000. I also have a word on the status quo in the framework of the conflict against the Israeli enemy – the Arab-Israeli conflict and our conflict with the enemy. I have also something to say about the future before wrapping up with the stance to which we commit ourselves and the new formula which we want to add today to the other formulae in our confrontation with the enemy.

We all know that the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 was part of a US-Israeli scheme on the regional level. Lebanon, Palestine and Syria were essential parts targeted by this scheme. This scheme was also preparing for the great and serious developments which took place in Iran.

In 2000, this US-Israeli scheme was thwarted. However they indeed had their alternatives. When one scheme is thwarted, they give way for another scheme. If this other scheme did not work either, they start on a third scheme until they fall for good Inshallah and with them flop all the dreams of any schemes. In 2000, this scheme was thwarted and among its elements which was revealed some time ago by some Israeli officials is that in 1982 they put a plan which aimed at starting building Zionist settlements in Southern Lebanon.

You know that the land of the South is vast and picturesque, and we have abundance of water – Praise be to Allah. So they decided to commence in building Zionist settlements in southern Lebanon. During the first year of their occupation they studied the situation in the south: Will the situation in Lebanon be settled? Will the political scheme which the occupation came to achieve with the aid, unfortunately, of some in the Lebanese internal then work or not? However the scheme of erecting Zionist settlements on the land of the South, West Bekaa and Rashaya flopped from the very first months thanks to the blood of martyrs and particularly the self-sacrifice martyrs. We all remember how the first year of the occupation witnessed many operations against the occupation and the presence of the resistance and various forms of jihad in several regions and by more than one party, movement, group and current. Thus by the end of the first year, the Zionists made an evaluation of the stance which says that “our situation may not be stable in Lebanon. We do not know where to we are heading. Thus they canceled the scheme of building settlements on the land of the South. I liked to hint to this issue because it was clearly circulated some time ago.

Year 2000 was harvest time. Since 1982 till 2000, there were determination, industrious work, patience, sacrifices, jihad, blood of martyrs and the wounded, captives, displacement, steadfastness, destroyed homes, fields set on fires and children at schools in Nabatiyeh, Sidon and other villages killed and heads decapitated. All of that was confronted with patience. We used to talk from the beginning about the upcoming victory. Some sides here in Lebanon and in the Arab world used to mock us saying: These sheikhs are senile. They have dreams and reveries. Then the master of the Islamic Resistance martyrs stood from the very beginning back in 1990 and 1991 to say that Israel has fallen and that it would sooner or later pull out with humiliation from Lebanon. Some used to ridicule these words and these stances.

Indeed I am hinting at this mockery and ridicule to reach the status quo and what will come in the future.

But the year 2000 came and the resounding great historic victory came along. Here I am asking you, all the Lebanese, all the Arabs and the entire world: Who would have thought that Israel would withdraw from Lebanon in 2000? Who expected this scenario, this humiliation and this utmost confusion? Some senior Israeli leaders even said: We pulled out “stumbling with our tail between our legs” as an expression of utmost humiliation and disgrace.

Who expected that this scenario will take place? To many this was more like a dream, a reverie, an illusions or great expectations. Still it took place. It took place before you eyes, before the eyes of the camera, was filmed by world satellite stations and was witness by the whole world and it was not just mere dreams.

Just for reminding, consideration and laying foundations, I say that many essential factors led to this victory which are in brief:

First, the will of the people, their steadfastness, embracing of the resistance, especially our people in the South and more precisely those residing in the front lines and also our people in Bekaa who used to tolerate all through the era of the resistance up till 2000, Israeli aerial bombardment of camps, cities, villages and towns. As for Beirut and Dahyieh, our share was little before 2000. Yet year 2006 compensated for.

Here I am talking about people – at least a great number of Lebanese and at most a popular majority. Indeed I do not talk about a popular and national Lebanese consensus. Never was there a consensus on the resistance which gained victory and on this choice.

Second: The political and security stability in the region and especially in the 1990s. in the 1990s, the rhetoric of the resistance was ascending and among the important reasons for that were security, political stability in the country, the deployment of the army in the region, calmness in the internal squares and the orientation towards the enemy. One of the most important pillars of this stability was and is still the Lebanese Army and its field presence.

Third: The cooperation and coordination between the resistance and the army and taking roles. After all the resistance did not interfere in the internal affairs especially on the security level. The Army was also controlling the situation. It confronted the aggressions and watched roads, avenues and coasts day and night. The resistance had a secret and at times semi-open existence. It used to work on its way in the occupied areas and along the confrontation lines.

Forth: The steadfastness of the political authority in Lebanon during that period of time before the US pressure and bullying.

Remember that Barak had promised to withdraw in July 2000 and he started to beg and ask from Syria and Lebanon and all of his friends even for some winnings to hide his withdrawal from Lebanon with.

The political authority in Lebanon then – the presidency, the government, the parliament i.e. the official political institution in Lebanon - refused to offer any concessions or rewards to the Israeli enemy which was forced to pull out unconditionally and with no rewards. This was an important factor.

Fifth: The support of Syria and the Islamic Republic in Iran. This support is diversified and multifold. We are proud of this support and we are thankful to that. Now we reach the primary factor. All these factors are helping, embracing and facilitating factors. However if all these factors were available without the armed, jihadi, sacrifice-giving, fighting and enemy-exploiting resistance, we might have remained steadfast but for sure we would not have had our land liberated as in May 2000. So indeed the primary factor was definitely and decisively the resistance along with its epics, operations, martyrs, self-martyrs, captives, wounded and garrisoning fighters. It’s their steadfastness, strong hearts and powerful minds and their choice of the resistance, sacrifices and jihad and their harming of the enemy and the enemy’s collaborators in every occasion that afflicted psychological and moral defeat above all on the Israeli enemy, their collaborators, leaders and people at the back. Thus was the humiliating decision to run away from Lebanon in 2000 on this very day. So the Israelis did not even choose the time, place and scenario, and they did not put conditions too. It was we who imposed on the enemy the timing and the scenario and the conditions for its humiliation and running away from Lebanon.

This is the formula, and thus was the victory. Today – ten years later – we stress again on the formula that made victory: the people-army-resistance formula as the ministerial statement said and as His Eminence the President of the Republic said…and he had said so indeed. First he is expressing the Lebanese official stance which is mentioned in the ministerial statement and not the stance of whoever opposes here or shows reservations there. These have their viewpoints which they may express. Yet in the meanwhile the Lebanese official stance is expressed by the ministerial statement which speaks about the people-army-resistance formula. The President expresses the official stance as well as his personal conviction and experience. It is also the viewpoint of most of the Lebanese. Yes it does not express a Lebanese consensus because there is no Lebanese consensus whether on this balance or against it.

Some always try to depict a counter Lebanese consensus. No! No! There is no Lebanese consensus with or against. Still the majority of the Lebanese people were always with this formula and this option and this is a factor of strength. Consequently I do not want to comment on some objections which were issued here or there because the occasion is greater and loftier than using it to comment on such sayings.

The victory of 2000 has set the foundations for a new stage of the conflict and for new formulae and a new course. You all know that May 26th, 2000 was another new day and another different region. The Zionists realized this very well but they had no other choice. Some Arab leaders were aware of that as well. However unfortunately, Israelis revealed some time ago that some Arab official sides contacted the Israeli cabinet – the Israeli enemy – prior to May 2000 and urged them and called on them not to pull out from Lebanon unconditionally. Is this a surprising news? No it’s not because we knew very well not only in May 2000 but also in July 2006 that some Arab sides contacted the Israelis and urged them not to stop the war so that Hezbollah and Lebanon would not come out victorious, powerful and prideful.

They did that too! The Israelis say so whether we believe that or no. O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth. But the point is that this piece of news is likely of being believed.

Indeed it has its own logic. What do the Israelis say? They say on behalf of those Arabs that ‘your unconditional withdrawal will complicate the settlement process and the negotiations. It will embarrass the governments which are negotiating you. Then their people will call on them not to offer negotiations following the Lebanese sample. The logic called for pulling off the withdrawal or not to withdraw unconditionally.

As for the second issue, I will tackle the status quo for a while. Between 2000 and 2010, major events took place in the world, in the region, in Lebanon and in Palestine. You know these events and there is no need to recall them. But it may be said that in the status quo many of the issues and the situations changed. Major schemes were thwarted. Several major projects flopped or are in a descending or falling stage.

The track of the settlement in the region and especially the Palestinian issue is in a deadlock impasse. Lebanon and Syria are obtaining great international and regional interest. The question that is preoccupying all in Lebanon and the region today and at the meanwhile is the possibility of war and the talk about war.

In the status quo, brothers and sisters, no one can deny that Israel is experiencing an ascending state of anxiety and confusion. I do not want to exaggerate and say restlessness and loss also, but there is a certain degree of that which the Israeli leaders, press and people express clearly. Yes there is anxiety and fears. There is confusion and a confession of the presence of true serious great challenges.

Thus we find them moving from these exercises to other exercises and from one drill to another. Indeed these have their financial, economic and psychological expenses. Staying in the atmosphere of maneuvers since 2006 until this very day influences economy, investment, the psychological and moral levels, tourism, immigration, counter immigration and the trust in the country and its capacities.

So the enemy finds itself obliged to benefit from the lessons of July 2006 War to undertake all these enormous military, security and civil maneuvers to fill the deep gaps which were manifested during July War.

This is what is called Turning Point 4. We are convening here and they are busy in Turning Point 4. The maneuvers dubbed Turning point 1,2,3 and 4 were staged following July 2006. They focus on the internal front – i.e. the Zionist home front: cities, towns and villages. This is the internal front. Israelis staged 4 maneuvers. Indeed no one in Lebanon did anything.

They staged four drills to say that when the internal front becomes subject to bombarding or is attacked how we would act. Still day after day more questions are added to the maneuvers plots which need to be addressed.

For example what we said in our prior speech posed new questions which necessitate new answers. At times you strike arbitrarily and at time you bomb definitively and reach and hit particular targets. At times the civilians and the great towns only are within the circle of targets, and at times that’s not the case: leadership centers, governmental headquarters, air bases, airports and ports are all within the circle of targets. This needs maneuvers, plots and new procedures to be taken by the enemy.

Now, why is Israel and for the first time in its ill-omened establishment over the land of occupied Palestine staging such maneuvers all over its entity for the first, second, third and forth year? Today the head of the Israeli internal front says: We are obliged to carry on such maneuvers and to cope with them sine die. Why? That’s to address the repercussions of July War. Israelis used always to stage aggressions and their internal front was secure. Remember in 1982 invasion. Our people were displaced, our villages demolished, our homes destroyed, Beirut the capital was shelled and besieged and the Israeli army occupying Lebanon. From the Palestinian-Lebanese border to the furthest point to the south of occupied Palestine, Israelis were living a normal, calm, gentle and secure life. The scene of 1982 has came to an end forever. After 2006, this came to an end. We have our internal front and they have their internal front. There is a new stage: We are bombarded, we bombard. We are being killed, we kill. We are displaced, we displace. We are confronted, we confront. Consequently, they have a true strategic problem and this is their essential point of weakness. Some days ago, the minister of the strategic structure – who was a previous chief of staff and considers himself a great theorist on the strategic level said: Yes we are a strong military power but we have a people who is pampered and fearful and is not able to offer sacrifices and not willing to tolerate. This is the internal front which has been protected in most of the previous confrontations and wars. This era came to an end. Today Israelis, through their maneuvers, procedures and trainings are trying to pacify their home front. They are trying to tell the Zionists that there are maneuvers; hence we are strong and steady. We are ready to confront any new war. Indeed they may dupe a great number of Zionists. Today there are polls which comment on the benefit of this level and size of maneuvers and their seriousness. Now stage maneuvers as many as you wish but when rockets start falling in any place in occupied Palestine, let’s see then what the maneuvers will result in.

They want to pacify the internal front and they mislead it at times. They talk about the Rocket Dome – the Iron Dome – saying they are ready to down rockets in the sky. This is still words. They haven’t so far been able to prove its feasibility to their people – as is well-known. What for was all this fuzz over the Scud – which I do not deny or confirm - raised? That was so the US Congress pay Israel 200 or 250 million dollars. Now America - which is facing a choking fiscal and economic crisis and suffering from enormous deficiency and whose budget official in the White House says: Do not find it strange if one day US was struck with what once struck Greece – still finds the money to furnish Israel with. So the point I want to reach is that there is no doubt – and I do not want to exaggerate – Israelis are really worried. They say the maneuvers are sheer lies. No! No! There is true anxiety in Israel. They are afraid of dashing into war. They are afraid of the results of war. That’s why – if you may notice with me – all Israeli statements and even in the past couple of days Netanyahu, Barak and all the others say ‘we want calmness in the north; we do not want war; we do not want to stage anything in the north.’ Indeed and unfortunately the talk about war by some people in Lebanon is more than in Israel. On the contrary Israeli officials are saying we do not want to make war with Lebanon and we do not want to attack them and we want calmness with Lebanon. Still some people in Lebanon every day say war is coming again and again to frighten the people in Lebanon for sure. However, internally the Israeli enemy was obliged besides the maneuvers to issue messages of calmness which aimed not to pacify the Lebanese or the Lebanese government or the people of the south but rather to pacify the people of Israel internally. A couple of days ago, statements and declarations were issued and meetings were held for the majors of the Zionist settlements in northern occupied Palestine. Internally also they started calling for pacifying and calming stances: Tell us is there war or not. So internally they are in a state of anxiety, fear and confusion. All Israeli statements are not for the sake of Lebanon but rather to pacify their people. So when they say that they are not thinking of starting a new war, where from then does this Israeli anxiety which we talk about and which really exists spring?

In brief it springs from the existence of the will of the resistance and the authenticity of the resistance. The will of the resistance is a broader and greater political, cultural, popular, military, security and field will. It springs from the existence of the will of the resistance in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria until reaching Iran. They know that this will exists. They know that on the other side there are those who are working, preparing, getting ready and standing by for a day to come. What makes them more worried in this formula is the rocket capacities which I will tackle in a while when tackling the speech of US Secretary of State Mrs. Clinton. That’s why we find the Israeli enemy at the time in which it stages maneuvers and exercises, it dispatches delegations to Russia, Europe, America, South Africa, Latin America and to every place in the world and offers allurements to impede these countries from selling arms to the resistance and opposition nations for fear these arms might reach the hands of the resistance. This is first. Second, the enemy is investing all its friendships and relations so that delegations come to our country and region and pressure Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinians so that we do not grow stronger and gain the will of power. This is in fact what thrusts Lebanon in the circle of accusation. Few days ago there was a clear and transparent speech for President Bashar Assad. I hope that the speeches of officials in general be as clear and transparent. He said that why does the world respect Syria and has interest in Syria? It’s very important that man be honest with himself and his people and say what he believes in. President Assad says that the world respects Syria and has interest in Syria because it supports the resistance – and that’s true indeed in Lebanon and in Palestine, the stance of the resistance and opposition in the region. As for Lebanon, the resistance exists in Lebanon and is present in Lebanon, on the land of Lebanon and in the field of Lebanon. Thus yes Lebanon is in the circle of interest. It was and is still more than any time in the past. That’s what I meant with my question a couple of days ago. Do you know that there are people with ill intentions in Lebanon? When I posed this question, it was not a question of protest. I was not objecting on all the delegations that come to Lebanon. Lebanon is a country of hospitality. It’s a country of generosity (But let them not be more generous than the people’s budgets). Lebanon is the country that welcomes its visitors and delegations. We have no problem in that. On the contrary, we are proud that our country – which is small in its geography and which possesses no oil or gas or gold or diamond mines – usually attracts visitors for its special geography. But this country could with its man and the peak of humanity of this man refuse humiliation and oppression and adhere to freedom, honor and sovereignty manifested in the resistance and resistance fighters.

I want to say that some Arab delegations come to Lebanon to offer help and show solidarity and express fraternal relations. However why do most of the foreign and some of the Arab delegations come to Lebanon? That’s because there is resistance in Lebanon. This is debatable. I do not impose my convictions on anyone. How do we know why they come to Lebanon? That’s by knowing what they talk about. See in Lebanon there are no secrets. What takes place in meetings is almost always reflected in the media. What do they talk about? They talk about rockets, Scud missiles, the Lebanese-Syria borders, arms smuggling, Resolution 1701, the situation on the border area, Hezbollah deputies, if anything took place in Gaza how is that reflected on the situation in Lebanon, if Israel staged an aggression on Syria what will happen, if Israel bombed the nuclear facilities in Iran what will take place…. All those who come to Lebanon come to be assured about Israel and not about Lebanon. They come to protect Israel and not to protect Lebanon. That’s why whenever the French Foreign Minister comes to Lebanon he invokes a problem and remains tensed. But thanks Allah in his last visit he was at ease because he was assured that no Scud missiles entered Lebanon. Yes that’s the truth.

However as long as it’s not known whether Scud entered Lebanon or not that another issue. However the French FM was assured. I am saying so to stress in the tenth anniversary of the Day of Resistance and Liberation that the essential strength of Lebanon is hidden here in this formula - the people-army-resistance formula – which we must safeguard. We must safeguard its content, sustain it and strengthen it to confront with it the challenges of the future. Allow me to say that whoever neglects this formula – the people-army-resistance formula – would be intentionally exposing Lebanon to the Israeli aggression.

Based on all what was said afore, I move to talking a little about the future. I say in the end of my word on the status quo that our evaluation of the stance rules out very much that the Israeli enemy stage a war especially on Lebanon for all the above mentioned reason indeed.

As for the future, I find myself obliged to read a text with me because usually in our region some do not trust themselves, their people, their capacities and their God above all. They construct their minds and culture according to the western methodology. So if any of the resistance leaders, the scholars of the nation, its fighters or true learned men talk about definite issues, they ridicule them. For example if any of them said that Israel is heading towards a dead end and it has no horizons, they say what is this? If any of them talked about the beginning of the end of the state of Israel they say these are dreams and exaggerations – as was the case back in 1982. There are those who do not accept that Allah, his Prophet and His good servants are a plea on the people and rather America is a plea as far as they are concerned. So if the US administration or the US people said something else they are ready to accept that.

Some time ago, a conference which is held annually or periodically in the United States of America called AIPAC took place. It’s one of the most important Jewish conferences in the world. In this conference, the Zionist lobby in the United States convene. It’s a very influential meeting with a strategic dimension. US officials give speeches in this conference. Among this year’s speakers was Mrs. Clinton – the US Secretary of State. Usually the speech is well prepared and worked out carefully by all the apparatuses concerned in the US State Department because it is more about offering a US stance than about making compliments. In her speech, Clinton addressed the attending Zionist lobby saying what might be summarized as: Many believe that the status quo might carry on as such. To some men of letters, authors and journalists in Lebanon and the Arab world, listen what your master is saying. This is a US depiction of the status quo.) However the dynamics of demography, ideology – i.e. the political doctrine – and technology makes that impossible. So she is addressing the Jews saying there are three things that are developing in the region. Thus the existing situation is not apt to carry on. Israel can not carry on judaizing Al Qods, building settlements, besieging Gaza and threatening Lebanon, Syria and Iran. So first Clinton is talking about the demographic factor and it is clear that it will be a very influential element in the coming few years. She says that the demographic factor does not allow the establishment of a pure Jewish state on the land of occupied Palestine. So you are obliged of finding a way out. Then she moves to the political issue, the political doctrine or the ideology. Listen to Clinton’s speech and remember the Israeli speech that some Arabs had demanded on them not to pull out in 2000 and not to stop the war in 2006. Clinton says in this perspective: Second, We cannot be blind to the political implications of continued conflict. There is today truly a struggle, maybe for the first time, between those in the region who accept peace and coexistence with Israel and those who reject it. So she is saying that there are two axes in the region: a moderate axis and what she considers an extreme axis. She says also that if we carry on as such the moderate axis will become weaker and retreat because it can not make achievements to the people while the other axis will nurture a convincing logic to the people. This is the very logic of 2000 and 2006. Consequently the peoples of the region will find that the course of settlement is not making any achievements while the course of resistance is leading to the restoration of territories and captives, building strength, honor and invincibility and confusing the Israeli enemy. So instead of the Arab being a beggar, the Israeli is being so. With time the so-called moderation will retreat and become weaker (These are Clinton’s words). If now there are those who are willing to give concessions in the framework of a humiliating settlement for Israel, after years and with developments, Israel will not find in the region anyone who is ready to sign with it humiliating concessions or strike settlements with Israeli conditions. This is the political doctrine. So neither demography nor political developments which result from this doctrine are to the interest of Israel. What took place in 2000 established a new doctrine. The same applies to what took place in 2006. the Palestinian Intifada of 2000 also established this doctrine and the steadfastness of Gaza Strip established the doctrine of 2006. So there is a new political doctrine which is growing in the region and embarrassing the moderate axis which will find itself one day isolated, besieged or in the abyss.

Thirdly we come to technology. I will read the text literary: We must recognize that the ever-evolving technology of war is making it harder to guarantee Israel's security. For six decades, Israelis have guarded their borders vigilantly. But advances in rocket technology mean that Israeli families are now at risk far from those borders. I will make some elaboration. Missile technology is neither complicated nor costly or difficult. It might be fabricated locally. We have in the Arab region masterminds. However that needs a political decision. So you are simply able to make a missile power which may establish a deterrence formula with the cost of ten Mig airplanes. So it’s not a costly, complicated or difficult process. All what you hear about patriots and the Iron Dome will not be effective against our missiles. The technological development today makes every town, settlement, facility, airport and port within the Zionist entity under threat. This means that the internal front in any war to come will be threatened and this is what Israelis cannot tolerate. So taking these factors into consideration, Clinton was trying to convince the Israelis to make haste and strike a settlement. When Israelis review the events of year 2000, they bite their fingers with remorse. They say if only we before 2000 had made an agreement with Syria and restored Golan heights to it. We would have then get rid of Lebanon, Hezbollah, Hamas, Jihad and all what is so called Resistance and also Iran. Yet we showed arrogance and did not make this settlement. Indeed this is their evaluation and review. Now they are being arrogant and here I am telling you: Because of their arrogance, tyranny and racism, they will show haughtiness until they will through themselves to the abyss Inshallah.

To intellectuals I say: This is Mrs. Clinton, the US Secretary of State. This is the US evaluation and not that of President Ahmedi Najjad or someone from Palestine or Lebanon. No! The Americans are telling the Jews openly and in public that if you don’t help us now and you do not help Barak Obama to make a settlement, a pure Jewish state will never exist. It is a threatened state and every place in it is threatened. If now you may find whom is ready to make a settlement with you, in the future you will never find anyone to strike a deal with. So you are heading to the abyss and to destruction. We believe in this future that Clinton was talking about. So there is what we agree on after all. Yes we accept that this will be the future to which Israel is heading with its arrogance, racism and tyranny.

Based on all what I said afore – on the lessons drawn from May 25, 2000, on the evaluation of the statue quo and this viewpoint of the future, what shall we do?

We must be committed to the following position: After trusting in Allah Al Mighty and seeking His support and assistance, (indeed the position is never and not for one moment in our intellect, culture and program withdrawing or showing humiliation, weakness or feebleness or saying let’s go and beg for anything from the whole world) our position is that we – all the Lebanese - be convinced that we are protecting our country with the might of our children, the will of our people and our national sovereign and free decision. That’s how we protect our country. We must have good relations and the Lebanese government and the Lebanese state are making all necessary contacts to push away any danger Lebanon might be subject to. We are not criticizing that, but if we do something is one case, and if we bet on something is another case. It’s not demanded that we bet on contacts but there is no objection on making contacts. It’s good to do everything which protects the country locally, regionally and on the Arab, Islamic and international levels. So why shouldn’t we do that? The government and the political forces assume that because our aim is to ‘eat grapes and not to mark on the guard of the vineyards’. We want to protect our country and be a stable, secure, calm, honorable and prideful people. That’s what we want. Yes there are various means but the true bargain is on our national capability to defend and confront in the battlefield. When you are strong the world respects you, hold talks with you and takes you into consideration. When you are strong you protect yourself and your country. When you are strong you may impose formulae. When you are strong you may impose conditions. When you are weak you are engulfed. This is not a world that respects the rights of human beings and their sufferings and pains. In many places around the world, hundreds of thousands and even millions are being killed. Still no one intervenes or makes a move. However when you are strong and capable of confronting the enemy which the whole world has interest in, then the world will take you into consideration. For example, I do not know and am not acquainted with the nature of meeting or talks that took place between the Russian President – though Russia is trying to play a rational role – and brethren Khaled Mashaal, Abu Walid the Head of Hamas Politburo when they met in Damascus. Truly I do not know but I am sure that the primary topic in the meeting was (the Israeli soldier Gilad) Shalit. That’s because when they used to come to Lebanon they used to ask about the prisoners of Israel. As for thousands of Palestinian detainees, it’s we who are to ask about them while the whole world does not evoke their case. No one talks about our security, captives, martyrs, territories, honor, pride and the anxiety of our people while the whole world has interest in the remains of an Israel soldier and is searching for it.

In fact, we must possess such a power which is today available through this formula which we established nationally. Let’s resort to experts and there are many in the country and the region: for example, the successive heads of the Lebanese army who know the army, the country, the geography, the demography, the enemy and the field. We have in chronological order: General Michael Aoun – a former head of the army – General Emile Lahhoud – a former head of army – (and I am not talking about presidents) General Michael Suleiman – a former head of army and General Jan Kahwaji – a current head of army. Listen to what the heads of the army say about how we may protect the country. The case is not that of speeches and biddings. We have a country which we want to protect and defend.

In this framework, we will carry on in our readiness and preparations. Our readiness does not come to an end at any time or limits because we can’t talk about the materialistic considerations. There is a balance of deterrence and a balance of fear the reasons behind which is not materialistic. It has other reasons besides arms and which we usually talk about. However after all we are also concerned in abiding to the true points of strength besides the power of faith and the moral power. We must adhere to the elements of materialistic strength. Thus there are things which we must tell the Israelis and others which we must conceal from them. Be sure that I will never say what I am not supposed to say. Nobody else will say it and there will always be surprises in the time of war. And when we talk it is not with the aim of making headlines. We are fed of that. It is rather part of the war between us and the Israelis. Today there is psychological war. They carry on drills, film them and broadcast them to tell the Lebanese: Be afraid. We may do things which we are able to do and announce them to tell the Israelis to be afraid. Thus I will not reveal a new weapon but rather I will express a new will. If the war, which we do not want, yet we are not afraid or scared of, broke out, it will change the face of this region – and Mrs. Clinton agrees with me and not with her group who are in the region.

We previously said that the Israeli internal front has become exposed and vulnerable, praise be to Allah. We know everything about it. Where we are to strike? What are the points of weaknesses and points of strength in the internal front? We talked about the terrain and the land. We said an airport for an airport, a port for a port, a city for a city, a building for a building, a power station for a power station, a factory for a factory… Today we add the following. In 2006, and even before that date, there were times when the Israelis used to besiege our shores and prevent any ship from reaching the Lebanese shores. Israeli vessels used to deploy in the sea in the international waters. Indeed in 2006, they ran away from the regional waters to the international waters. Indeed they may be present in the international waters and besiege the Lebanese shores and ports. Indeed the aim behind all what I am saying is that the Israelis will dedicate themselves fully to examine and fully consider this, stage maneuvers and put plans for that. The last time we said that the resistance is able to hit its targets decisively. So they had a whole new thing to think about. Where are they to set their leaderships? So it’s not only we who are searching for places. They are searching for abodes as well. That’s how things go!

I am not announcing that we possess a new weapon because we have used land-sea missiles and destroyed Saar 5 military vessel though Israelis denied that then acknowledged it being targeted but not completely destroyed. The strike was massive what led the vessel to be out of order for a long period of time and they acknowledged that a number of soldiers were killed and wounded though the vessel is a military vessel and its resistance capacity to such missiles is high. What I want to say indeed is not that the resistance will send vessels to the international waters to block the way before any vessels heading towards the ports of occupied Palestine. I rather wanted to add a new formula to the airport-airport and port-port formula. As far as the sea is concerned, today we add the sea to the terrain.Here I am telling them: In any coming war you want to launch against Lebanon, if you besiege our shore and our ports, all military and commercial ships heading towards the ports of Palestine along the Mediterranean Sea will be under the fire of the Islamic Resistance. We are talking about the Mediterranean but we have not mentioned the Red Sea yet.

We are ready Inshallah to target and hit these ships which will be heading to any port along the Palestinian shore from the north to the far south. We are determined to enter this new domain Inshallah in any confrontation in which they besiege our shore. When the whole world would witness the destruction of these ships in the international waters of occupied Palestine, no one will dare sail there. There is another point which we might think of. If a ship was leaving occupied Palestine with people on board, we will let it pass.

However before, along and after arms, the real factor of strength is you – this people and these men, women, young and old. It’s these faithful minds, brave hearts, firm wills and unyielding determinations. It’s these souls who are willing to offer sacrifices hence they refuse humiliation and disgrace. The value of such weapon is that its in the hands of those men. The value of these men is that they are from the loins and wombs of this people. The value of this weapon and these men is that there are those who embrace them, believe in them, love them, defend them, protect them, trust them and bet on them or else place all such weapons in another place in the world, I do not know what might be the result. The bargain is on the forearms which hold these weapons which places and secrecy are preserved with most caution. The bargain is on the feet steady on earth. They bargained on the air force which we tried during the 33-day-aggression. Today there is nothing that frighten us and there must not be anything that scare us.

Now what do they have and what do we have? They came with Ashkenazi. Well let’s go back to 2000. Who was the head of the northern area who was defeated in 2000 and led the fleeing operation from Lebanon. It’s General Gabi Ashkenazi. Is he your hero? Who is your hero? Barak? Well is it that Hallotz is not bright while Barak is? Well it’s he who was the head of the cabinet who took the decision of fleeing from Lebanon. Is Netanyahu your hero? He has been the head of the cabinet for the last three years when the resistance was at its peak and he reached a deadlock. He was so coward that he could not even take the decision of withdrawing because he was afraid of the military. This is Israel. What’s there in Israel? These are its men, leaders and masterminds. Are our leaders, masterminds, elites and generals less than theirs? In fact there is no place for comparison. The same applies to our people and theirs. I challenge Israel if it may get one scene for one of the fighters in the resistance crying or lamenting like children. However we have films for their soldiers. They have arms! Yes. However their weapons used to be a source of fear but not any more because our hearts have become fearless.

I wrap up today saying let’s flip the picture around. Why should we remain in the defensive side? On the psychological level, Lebanon is afraid and needs to be pacified. No let Israel be frightened and let it go and search for those who may reassure it. I do not want to pacify Israel and it is not demanded that we pacify it. When Israel feels pacified it attacks, while when it is frightened it retreats. So it is demanded that Israel be scared. As for Lebanon, no one is supposed to frighten it by war. Allow me to say to those who always talk about war and call for eradicating the reason which is the arms of the resistance to take a break because that is fruitless. The resistance and its strategic presence in the formula has transcended such rhetoric and considerations. Today the enemy is afraid. Let it remain so, and we will keep it as such.

Here I am telling you on the tenth anniversary of the victory of your blood on their swords: Be reassured, serene and confident. This enemy will not dare easily do anything. I am not absolutely denying, but it is not as they say. All formulae and considerations have changed. It is the enemy who is supposed to remain frightened and scared. However in addition to setting this state of fear among the enemy we must not only be in a state of no fear but also in a state of readiness, certainty, faith and confidence in victory. Yes we shall confront the next war, gain victory and change the face of this region Inshallah.

Congratulations on the Day of Victory and Liberation, the day of the resistance, honor and the promising future. May Allah have mercy on your martyrs, cure your wounded, free the remaining captives and grant you victory over your enemy. Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.