Huh. Here I was, thinking the only way to stop nations from unloading their cargo is to murder nine people, wound dozens, and imprison hundreds more. Turns out, you can do it in a totally peaceful manner.
Hundreds of peace activists prevented the unloading of an Israeli ship at the Port of Oakland Sunday by forming a picket line.
Organizers said their goal was to delay the ship”s unloading for 24 hours in protest of the Israeli military”s May 31 open-seas raid on a humanitarian aid flotilla that had been bringing goods to Gaza. The raid ended in the death of nine Turkish citizens.
I realized I haven’t been keeping you fine people up to date with Citizen Radio interviews. Apologies all around. Last week, we interviewed the fantastic Remi Kanazi, a Palestinian poet and activist. We got all shouty about Flotilla, Gaza, and the occupation. You can here Remi (IMHO one of the best and brightest young Palestinian spokespeople in the country) over here.
We also interviewed legendary tattoo artist Guy Aitchison about tattoos, nerds, and the universe. My co-host, Jamie Kilstein, managed to keep his shit together and ask some super interesting questions even though he was getting a half-sleeve from Guy at the time of this taping.
Friday’s episode didn’t have any interviews, but we did discuss corporate blue dogs, the crazy election results, and how Michele Bachmann is – surprise! – a total hypocrite, so if you’d like to hear that stuff, head thisaways.
Israel is currently trying to explain to the world why it was justified in slaughtering civilians aboard the Flotilla. The rationale behind the melee is that Very Dangerous Persons were bringing Very Dangerous Items into Gaza. These items included things like…cement.
You see, according to psychic David Frum, the cement wouldn’t be used to rebuild Gaza’s infrastructure, most of which was totally obliterated during the 2008 conflict (some estimate 70% of Rafah city needs to be rebuilt,) but rather to build bunkers for Hamas. We know the cement would be used for bunkers because Frum tells us so, and Frum knows this because Israel told him.
Israel harbors a plethora of prescient visions about the nefarious ways Palestinians would use all kinds of products. They even have a list! Check it out (via Sully):
These may seem like weird, arbitrary things to ban (Nutmeg?) but a sick thread of authoritarian genius ties these items together. Notice the prohibited items (seeds, chickens, donkeys, horses, goats, cattle, wood for construction). These are tools used by autonomous nations composed of a self-sustaining population.
It’s interesting to watch the extent the American government is willing to go in order to remain strapped to Israel even as Netanyahu and Co. plummet off a cliff. America’s leadership is so eager to not only sabotage its own empire, but also its “friend’s” home, that it has committed the very altruistic act of purchasing the straps that will keep the countries hopelessly bound together as they both fall to their certain deaths.
These binds are costly — $30 billion dollars over the next decade in defense aid for Israel — even as the US endures mass unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, and recently experienced a fatiguing brawl in the spirit of securing some kind of affordable healthcare even as Israel enjoys universal coverage.
Israel’s army is an extension of the US army, and the two countries usually stand in stark, unified contrast to the rest of the world’s vote. A typical United Nations vote calling for a two-state solution based on the right of return and compensation for the Palestinians looks like this: 164 nations in favor, 7 against (Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States) and 4 absentions.
Israel, United States, Palau. It’s like the three musketeers if Dumas ended his novel with the IDF mowing down civilians bringing wheelchairs and medicine to Palestinians.
I mean, holy shit. If you asked me the limit of the United States’s willingness to go to bat for Israel over crazy authoritarian behavior, I would probably have said, “Well, there’s no way they would defend the IDF storming an aid ship — like heavily armed pirates — using European legislators and 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire as target practice.”