Victoria man onboard Free Gaza flotilla safe in Israel

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      Kevin Neish, a 53-year-old Victoria resident who was onboard the flotilla of ships boarded by Israeli forces on May 30, is reportedly alive in Israel.

      According to the Globe and Mail, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs said today that Neish is currently detained by Israeli forces but that he is safe.

      He is being held with two other Canadian citizens, a spokesperson stated, adding, “All are fine and well and we are providing consular assistance as needed and continuing to work with local authorities.”

      On May 30, six ships carrying more than 600 people and aid for the Gaza Strip were stopped by Israeli forces. Violence broke out and anywhere from 9 to 16 people were killed, with dozens more injured.

      At the time of publication, the Israeli government had still not released official figures for how many people died in the early-morning raid.

      It also remains unknown whether it was the activists or the Israeli soldiers who made the first act of aggression. Officials from both sides have blamed the other.

      The Israeli government maintains that upon boarding the flotilla’s lead ship, its soldiers came under attack from activists wielding knives and clubs and only fired live ammunition in self defence. Conversely, representatives for the Free Gaza Movement, an umbrella group under which the flotilla was sailing, claim that Israeli forces fired on activists first and without warning.

      The May 30 mission was the ninth of its kind. The Free Gaza Movement’s stated goals are to provide Gaza’s 1.5 million residents with aid, and to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has been in place since 2007.


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      Comments

      8 Comments

      miguel

      Jun 1, 2010 at 12:47pm

      A spokesperson from the government of Israel has stated that they sabotaged two of the vessels. This is the purposeful endangering of peoples lives at sea, irregardless of anyone resisting the later boarding by defense forces, in international waters.
      Miguel

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      Rucka Ali

      Jun 1, 2010 at 1:27pm

      @Miguel

      "resisting the later boarding by defense forces, in international waters."

      Resisting a justifiable boarding, in international waters, as the flotilla intended to break an Israeli-enforced and internationally legal embargo.

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      Nestor

      Jun 1, 2010 at 2:49pm

      Well, "irregardless" of that. ;)

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      Rand

      Jun 1, 2010 at 2:53pm

      Hey Travis

      You can correct your story now. It is 100% clear who fired the first shots

      CNN News: Israeli Says Israel Fired First...

      From CNN:

      "ISRAELI MILITARY FIRED FIRST"

      "Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Israeli parliament, was on board the Miva Marmara, the ship that was the scene of a confrontation between activists and Israeli soldiers. That clash left at least nine people dead.

      The Israeli Navy fired on the ships five minutes before commandos descended from ropes that dangled from helicopters, Zoabi said during a press conference in Nazareth, Israel. She said passengers on board the ship were unarmed."

      Full article and video at link below:
      http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/06/01/gaza.raid.eyewitnesses/

      It seems there was also a former US Colonel, and a US Ambassador on board the flotilla.

      It doesn't look like the Israel lobby and their bought and paid for media stooges are going to be able to spin this, because there's just too many witnesses, including a member of Israel's parliament, who have all said - Israel was firing on the ships prior to boarding (in international waters).

      Let's see how long it takes the indoctrinated Christian-Zionists, and the Judeo-Bolshevik, Labor Zionist's to smear Zaobi as a "self-hating Jew."

      Here's a message to America's Christian-Zionists who had better wake up, before they send our sons and daughters to fight another war for the international bankers, and the Terrorist State of Israel...

      Galatians 4:16
      "Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?"

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      Travis Lupick

      Jun 1, 2010 at 3:23pm

      Thanks for the link, Rand. A note about Hanin Zoabi, though.

      It is unlikely that anybody will smear her as a "self-hating Jew". I'm not sure that Zoabi is even Jewish.

      She is an Arab of Palestinian descent, a citizen of Israel, and, as you noted, currently an elected member of the Knesset. But I couldn't find a word about her religious beliefs anywhere on the internet.

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      Nestor

      Jun 1, 2010 at 4:50pm

      "It doesn't look like the Israel lobby and their bought and paid for media stooges are going to be able to spin this ... Let's see how long it takes the indoctrinated Christian-Zionists, and the Judeo-Bolshevik, Labor Zionist's to smear Zaobi as a "self-hating Jew.""

      Not sure how long that'll take. Considering that today already saw "reports" from a number of other "eyewitnesses", only for each and every one of them having to admit soon thereafter that they were either not on deck or not even on board this particular vessel when the incident happened, I can't say that I'm very convinced. For starters, why is there no video evidence for this claim, when the events that allegedly took place five minutes after the first shots were fired are documented so well?

      Be that as it may, while I don't much care what Ms. Zaobi gets "smeared" as and when, "smearing" you as a first-class antisemite, complete with a time-tested repository of conpiracy theories and resentments: That we can do pretty much instantly. And, based on the wording of your comment (I believe the "Judeo-Bolshevik" pairing is taken straight from a recent bestseller in Gaza: "Mein Kampf"), that's not even an insult, but merely an observation.

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      Garney

      Jun 1, 2010 at 8:01pm

      The Israelis lost this one

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      quandra

      Jun 15, 2010 at 1:27pm

      Before everyone gets hysterical against Israel's Gaza blockade, please note that non-Hammas Palestinians and key Arab states are actually in favour of it. "Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is opposed to lifting the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip because this would bolster Hamas, according to what he told United States President Barack Obama during their meeting at the White House Wednesday. Egypt also supports this position." Haaretz June 15, 2010

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