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How far will the world let Israel go?
Wed, 02 Jun 2010 10:56:06 GMT
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By Ahmad Gholami
The latest attack by the Israeli military forces against an international aid convoy, the Freedom Flotilla, which was en route to the Gaza Strip, faces condemnation and protest across the globe, but do the reactions really pave the way for halting Israel?

Sweden, Greece, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, and Ireland, all of whom had representatives on the Flotilla, have denounced the attack and summoned the Israeli envoys to their respective countries.

When Tel Aviv attacked the Gaza Strip in December 2008, the reactions were the same; eventually, the United Nations Security Council passed a non-binding resolution to denounce that incursion. At least 1,400 Palestinians were killed.

Nevertheless, Monday's attack on a contingent of international ships that was sailing to aid the besieged people of the coastal sliver is another story that demonstrates Israel dares to do whatever it wants because there is no force to stop it.

The 1.5 million people of Gaza have been living in dire need of fuel, food, clothing, medicine and other necessities since Israel began its crippling blockade in 2007.

The hundreds of activists only wanted to break Israel's three-year-long blockade of Gaza and deliver 10,000 tons of supplies. At least 20 activists were killed and 50 others were injured in the attack, Palestinian sources say. The Israeli navy says that its troops were defending themselves against civilians who were on board the vessels; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported his troops concerning the aggression.

But to be honest, before the attack, Israeli officials had repeatedly threatened the convoy with attack. Last week, Israeli media announced that Israeli authorities had said the cargo vessels would be stopped before they could reach the Gaza Strip and that any activist aboard the ships would be arrested.

What can possibly be your defense when you plan a raid on unarmed activists who are carrying humanitarian supplies for the poor people of Gaza?

One Greek who was aboard the ships gave some details of the raid after he was deported to his hometown. Michalis Grigoropoulos told reporters that Israeli troops attacked the unarmed civilians by using rubber bullets, tear gas, and electroshock weapons when they boarded the ships pre-dawn on Monday.

A group of German activists rejected Israeli claims that commandos were provoked by the violence of those on board, saying it was a peaceful convoy. A German doctor on the ship, Matthias Jochheim, confirmed that none of the group on board harmed any troops and that it was the Israeli forces that attacked the people.

Israel pushes the world to conclude that their aggression toward civilians is an act of self-defense.

The threats by the Israeli officials are not exclusively directed at the Palestinians.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday urged punishment for Israel, saying "the insolent, irresponsible and impudent attack by Israel, which went against law and trampled human honor underfoot, must definitely be punished."

The US stance over the latest Israeli massacre has been to express regret at the loss of lives and the injuries resulting from the use of force. Washington stops short of condemning Israel, another sign indicating the administration supports Tel Aviv - its strongest ally - and would never allow any state to punish the country.

Concerning Iran's nuclear program, Tel Aviv says that Tehran is a threat to the entire world; American authorities back these claims. As the world has been pressuring Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, US President Barack Obama defended Israel, saying "we strongly oppose efforts to single out Israel and will oppose actions that jeopardize Israel's national security."

Tel Aviv is preparing the international community for an all-out war against Iran. Israel accuses Iran of using its nuclear program to make a nuclear bomb.

The allegations come as Israel is widely believed to be the sixth-largest nuclear power in the world and the sole possessor of an atomic arsenal in the Middle East.

Iran -- which is a signatory to the NPT -- says it does not pursue military objectives through its nuclear program, arguing further that the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have never found any evidence of diversion in the Iranian nuclear program.

Earlier this week, a report by the Sunday Times revealed that Israel was set to deploy three submarines to the Persian Gulf near the Iranian coastline, an act of provocation aimed at the Islamic Republic of Iran.

An Iranian lawmaker, the head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi, called for "serious measures" against possible Israeli threats.

"If the report on the entrance of Israeli nuclear submarines is true, this will be a threat to the Persian Gulf region's security," he said. "[Iranian] officials should seriously consider the issue and take the measures required to prevent this security threat in the region".

The question now is when does the international community plan to stop Israel and not to permit it to act without any limitation?

A similar scenario can be predicted for Iran as Israel, the US, and its western allies are trying to impose a new round of sanctions against Tehran. This continues even as Iran has signed a nuclear declaration with Brazil and Turkey to send its uranium to Turkey for enrichment.

In the next scenario, Israel initially claims that Iran is a threat to its existence - without any evidence - and then attacks the country, offering “we attacked Iran to defend ourselves.”

The activists aboard the ships were also threats to Israel, as they were carrying supplies for the people of Gaza.

So, when does the international community plan to stop Israel?
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