The Israeli government is doing everything in its power to prevent the upcoming freedom flotilla from setting sail from Turkey to break the siege on Gaza and raise awareness about the economic and humanitarian toll experienced by Palestinians in Gaza. Even the State Department has been lobbying Turkey and other countries to do what they can to stop the flotilla. That’s a total diplomatic waste of time in my view. Secretary Clinton has other much more important things to worry about- let Israel clean up it’s own mess just this once.
The new AIPAC strategy? Sue everyone:
Israel’s massive diplomatic offensive on European countries, Turkey, Canada and the United States that strongly demands countries not allow ships and passengers to sail has been followed by a new type of warfare called “lawfare.”
Instead of direct military “warfare,” the Israeli government and its front organizations, American Israeli Public Affairs Council (AIPAC) and the Shurat HaDin Law Center, are using lawsuits filed against insurance and satellite telephone companies that may sell equipment to the flotilla organizers and against citizen activist groups that have raised funds to purchase ships as strategies to attempt to stop the flotilla.
AIPAC Joins Israeli Government Attack on the Gaza Flotilla
On June 2, New York City corporate attorney Neal Sher, the former executive director of AIPAC, the most powerful lobby in the United States, filed a lawsuit in Toronto, Canada against the organizers of the Canadian Boat to Gaza for “raising funds and providing material support to Hamas.”
The lawsuit was on behalf of a Canadian-Israeli citizen and asks for an interim and permanent injunction to stop the Canadian Boat to Gaza initiative “from continuing to raise funds, purchasing equipment or supplies, and purchasing or renting a vessel for the purpose of delivering goods or funds to the Gaza Strip.” The lawsuit also wants to block the Canadian grassroots group “from sending goods, funds or any other material support, directly or indirectly, to Hamas or any of its representatives, and/or from aiding and abetting Hamas by assisting in bringing imports and exports to and from the Gaza Strip.”
In addition, the Canadian-Israeli citizen, 68-year old Cherna Rosenberg, wants $1 million in damages “for trauma and injuries suffered as a consequence of the defendants’ conspiracy” from the time she lived in the Israeli town of Sderot, where she “endured the constant and relentless mortar attacks emanating from Gaza.”
A second lawsuit attempts to prevent the flotilla from sailing by bringing lawsuits in the United States against companies that provide services to ships in the flotilla.
Shurat HaDin Law Center, reportedly an independent non-profit organization but certainly supporting and working for the policies of the State of Israel, sent letters to worldwide maritime insurance firms and satellite communications companies, warning that companies that provide services that assist in the breach of the Israeli blockade on Gaza will be sued in the United States for aiding the Hamas terrorist organization.
Shurat HaDin’s Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner demanded that mobile satellite services company Inmarsat, one of the companies providing communication and navigation services to ships that sail in the region, refuse to provide their equipment and services to ships participating in the flotilla. Darshan-Leitner said, “We informed them that if they do so, they will be in violation of the American Neutrality Act, which prohibits aiding a group in their struggle against the military of an ally country. Since Imarsat has offices in the US, the law binds them.”
And the intimidation campaign has thus far been working:
Lloyd’s, the world’s largest maritime insurance company, reportedly said that it would not insure ships participating in the flotilla. Lloyd’s Senior Manager of International Regulatory Affairs, Andy Wragg, responded to Shurat HaDin’s letter…
“As you correctly point out in your letter, Hamas is subject to UK and EU terrorist-financing sanctions. As such, any vessel identified as being owned or controlled by that organization would not be permitted to be insured by underwriters at Lloyd’s, or any other EU insurer. The Lloyd’s Market has robust systems in place to ensure international sanctions are followed, and therefore, any underwriter identifying an insured or prospective insured acting on behalf of, or for the benefit of Hamas, would not insure such a risk.”
However, none of the ships of either the 2010 or 2011 flotilla have any connection with Hamas and no amount of false Israeli propaganda can change the truth. Although the truth is not what much of the commercial media is concerned with.
It never fails to amaze me how much time, money and effort Israel and their lackeys spend trying to prevent the logical consequences of their actions. That the U.S. gets dragged into it hook, line and sinker is yet another example of how the “special relationship” has really become, at least for the U.S., a ball and chain dragging us down with them.
Keep in mind that for decades the U.S. and Israel have called upon Palestinians and others to use nonviolence as a means of protest. My theory is that when the U.S. and Israel originally called on Palestinians to use nonviolence, they never actually believed that the call would be heeded. Now that many Palestinians and their supporters have in fact embraced nonviolence, this is what results- intimidation, propaganda and a new fancy word to describe civil disobedience against the Occupation: “delegitimization,” which by definition, is anything critical of Israel.