by Scott Creighton
We are getting closer to understanding what really happened after the Israeli commandos opened fire on the humanitarian aid flotilla some 5 minutes prior to their attempt to board the ships. Israel has begun the process of sending 325 humanitarian aid workers back to their respective home nations, but 186 still remain locked away in the Israeli prison system somewhere, or worse.
Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Israeli parliament, was on board the “Miva Marmara,” the ship that was the scene of the confrontation between activists and Israeli soldiers. The Israeli Navy fired on the ships five minutes before commandos descended from ropes that dangled from helicopters, Zoabi said during a news conference in Nazareth, Israel. She said passengers on board the ship were unarmed.
“It was an absolute planned shock and awe aggression,” said Norman Paech, a former German lawmaker, in Berlin. “They came from the helicopters down from the top and started shooting around them.” CNN
But as the announcement was made this morning and the list of the nationalities of the victims was released by the Israeli Interior Ministry I noticed a funny thing; Israel is claiming they have repatriated 11 U.S. citizens but 12 are reported to have been abducted from the flotilla in the first place. What happened to the 12th U.S. citizen? Israel released one U.S. citizen yesterday. Is that person included in Israel’s list of 11 that have been repatriated?
Michael Rivero of What Really Happened has reported that there are unconfirmed reports coming out of Greece that one of the fatalities was a U.S. citizen. Though this report is still unconfirmed at this time, this new discrepancy begs the question “what happened to the 12th U.S. citizen”? Were the Greek rumors correct?
But who is the missing U.S. humanitarian aid worker kidnapped by the Israeli government early Monday morning? If they released 11 and 12 are reported to have been on the flotilla, who exactly is missing? The complete list of all U.S. citizens on the Freedom Flotilla is below. Each and every one of them is important and these good people, people who felt strongly enough about the situation in Gaza to put their lives on the line, must be brought home and their illegal incarceration must be condemned by the White House and each and every member of congress who wants to be re-elected.
But I must single out one of the twelve only because of his previous Navy career. The U.S.S. Liberty was attacked the ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula by Israeli jets and torpedo boats over the course of several hours. They were flying their U.S. flag with clear markings of the ships origin. Israel said it was an “accident”. 34 U.S. sailors lost their lives and the survivors were told to remain silent about the event or face possible treason charges.
Former U.S. Navy signalman Joe Meadors from Corpus Christi, TX. was on board the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967 when Israel attacked her and nearly sank her killing 34 American sailors and injuring 173.
Jean Meadors, wife of Joe Meadors, 63, of Corpus Christi, Texas, a Navy veteran also on board a seized ship, said Monday evening that she believed he was safe, “but I’d like to hear that from him.”
She said his exact status, whether under arrest, detention or otherwise, was unclear. AP
Not only was Joe Meadors on the USS Liberty when it was attacked, but he has been helping to lead a movement to try to get an official investigation into the event for decades. Joe Meadors actually attempted to raise additional flags on the Liberty during the Israeli attack, according to eye witnesses, only to have Israeli pilots shoot them down…
Another reason why Lockwood is so certain that the attack was deliberate is because he watched Joe Meadors hoist three US flags up a pole in an attempt to insure the Israeli pilots knew they were firing on a US ship.
“The Israelis claim they didn’t see a US flag, but they shot down two, and Joe raised three of them, since they kept firing on them,” Lockwood explained, “They riddled the third with bullet holes, but it stayed up.” TruthOut
This is what we know so far. More information to follow as soon as it becomes available.
Of all 682 peace activists onboard Freedom Flotilla, about 325 foreign activists were transferred on Wednesday from the Ela detention center in Be’er Sheva to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv for flights to their homelands, Ha’aretz reported.
However, 186 human rights activists are still in Israeli detention in Be’er Sheva
According to Israeli Interior Ministry the following is the breakdown of number of activists who have been repatriated so far:
Three activists from Australia; 2 from Azerbaijan; 6 from Italy; 12 form Indonesia; 9 from Ireland; 28 from Algeria; 11 from the United States; 2 from Bulgaria; 1 from Bosnia; 4 from Bahrain; 5 from Belgium; 11 form Germany; 1 from South Africa; 2 form the Netherlands; 31 from the United Kingdom; 38 form Greece; 30 from Jordan; 15 form Kuwait; 3 form Lebanon; 3 from Mauritania; 11 from Malaysia; 3 from Egypt; 3 from Macedonia; 7 form Morocco; 3 form Norway; 1 form New Zealand; 3 form Syria; 1 form Serbia; 1 form Oman; 3 from Pakistan; 4 form Czech Republic; 9 from France; 1 form Kosovo; 1 form Canada; 11 form Sweden; 380 form Turkey and 4 activists from Yemen. Press TV
This is the list of the 12 U.S. citizens illegally detained by the Israeli goverment for 3 days now following their illgal attack on the Freedom Flotilla and one U.S. flaged ship in international waters. Source
Welcome To The Free Palestine Movement
For Immediate Release
May 31, 2010
Five Delegates with US-Based Free Palestine Movement Among those Attacked
Contact: Jonathan Slevin:
Free Palestine Movement Spokesman
El Cerrito, CA — Twelve Americans sailing in the six-ship Freedom Flotilla to Gaza have not been heard from since the early morning hours of Sunday, Gaza time. Within this group is the 5-person delegation of the US-based Free Palestine Movement (FPM). “Given reports coming from the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara which was leading the nonviolent, humanitarian flotilla, we must assume that all U.S. citizens in the international coalition have been abducted.” Jonathan Slevin, spokesman for the Free Palestine Movement, said. The ships were sailing under U.S., Turkish, Greek, Swedish, and Irish flags.
Israeli gunships surrounded the flotilla and fully-armed commandos dropped onto the deck of the Mavi Marmara from hovering helicopters, shooting at unarmed passengers. Israeli sources are now reporting 20 killed and up to 80 wounded. Israeli blackout of all communication currently prevents any confirmation of these numbers, however.
Former Ambassador Edward Peck of Chevy Chase, MD, is among those Americans abducted. Among other things, he served as Deputy Director of the Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism at the Reagan White House and State Department Liaison Officer to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. He spent 32 years in the Foreign Service, including Chief of Mission in Iraq. His wife, Ann Peck, received this morning text message stating that her husband is well and on his way to New York, but we have not been able to confirm this.
Also forcibly abducted is former U.S. Navy signalman Joe Meadors from Corpus Christi, TX. He is a decorated navy veteran and survivor of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. 34 Americans were killed and 173 were injured in that attack.
“It came as no surprise that Israel behaved in a disproportionate way to this humanitarian mercy mission. The Israeli government has repeatedly flouted international law, denying basic human necessities to Palestinians both in Gaza under siege and in the West Bank in the shadow of the apartheid wall.” said Mr. Slevin.
Other Americans believed to have been kidnapped in the Israeli assault include:
Gene St. Onge
Civil/structural engineer working with Palestinian engineers to rebuild housing destroyed in Israel’s 2009 invasion of Gaza
Dr. Paul Larudee
El Cerrito, CA
Piano tuner and FPM co-founder; also co-founded The Free Gaza Movement that first broke the siege of Gaza in 2008
Retired math teacher and co-founder of the FPM
Ramallah, Palestine / Washington D.C. / Detroit, MI
A Palestinian with American and Israeli citizenship; received her Juris Doctor from the American University Washington College of Law, where she focused on international human rights and humanitarian law. In 2001 co-founded the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Co-author of Peace Under Fire: Israel, Palestine, and the International Solidarity Movement. In 2007-8 taught at Al-Quds University human rights law clinic in Jerusalem, the first legal clinic in the Arab World.
Katherine Elliott Sheetz
Woods Hole, MA & Marin County in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Registered Nurse with a master’s degree in sustainable development; worked on human rights, health and food security, most often in Haiti.
Mary (Ann) Wright
Former US diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to Bush’s Iraq war. Retired US Army Reserve Colonel. Trip leader for 3 delegations to Gaza in 2009; helped organize the Gaza Freedom March.
Deer Harbor, WA
Commercial film producer and is 80 years young. Part of the Free Gaza crew on its maiden voyage to Gaza in August 2008. Explorer and adventurer who has traveled around the world on boats.
San Francisco, CA
Brazilian of Korean descent; activist, filmmaker, and founder of the Caipirinha Foundation which supports projects to secure peace with justice. Currently working on a variety of initiatives grouped under the umbrella of CULTURES OF RESISTANCE, an activist network that brings together artists and changemakers from around the world. At the center of these initiatives is a feature-length documentary film entitled CULTURES OF RESISTANCE which explores how art and creative action contribute to conflict prevention and resolution. Collaborated with numerous grassroots efforts, including the International Campaign to Ban Cluster Munitions, the Conflict Zone Film Fund, and the New York Philharmonic’s groundbreaking 2008 concert in North Korea.
Scott Michael Hamann
Coordinator of Viva Palestina-US; passenger on the Turkish Mavi Marmara boat
Last Updated (Tuesday, 01 June 2010 10:54)