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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Retired diplomat Ed Peck, USS Liberty vet Joe Meadors reach home and speak out;

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More Gaza Flotilla Detainees Released; 

Larudee Badly Beaten But Now Headed to Greece


Retired diplomat Ed Peck, USS Liberty vet Joe Meadors reach home and speak out; 

other US detainees reportedly leaving Israel



El Cerrito, CA – Dr. Paul Larudee, a passenger on the Freedom Flotilla that was attacked by Israel before it could deliver its cargo of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, was badly beaten and tasered during the Memorial Day commando raid, but according to latest reports he was released from detention late Wednesday night and is now in flight to Greece.


Larudee, a resident of Richmond, CA,  participated in the international flotilla as part of a delegation from the Free Palestine Movement (FPM), a California-based non-profit. Two other members of the FPM group - Ambassador Ed Peck of Chevy Chase, MD, a retired US diplomat,  and Joe Meadors of Corpus Christi, TX, a USS Liberty veteran (hence now a survivor of two unprovoked Israeli attacks on the high seas) - have returned home safely and are now speaking out about their ordeal. As of Wednesday afternoon California time, two other members of the group - Gene St. Onge and Janet Kobren, both of Oakland, CA - have been held up for the last 12 hours at Israel's international airport near Tel  Aviv. but are expected to board a flight to Istanbul soon, before proceeding home to the US.


Gayle McLaughlin, Mayor of Richmond, said "I have worked with Paul on local housing issues in Richmond, and I know he has a track record of commitment to nonviolence in standing up against the oppression of Palestinians.  I condemn the Israeli assault on this humanitarian flotilla and join others in calling for an end to the blockade of Gaza."  


Ambassador Peck this morning described the Israeli commando raid on the Sfendoni, the Freedom Flotilla ship he and other FPM delegates were aboard: "The first thing we knew was the sound of footsteps, and my eyelids flicked open, and there they were, heavily armed. The Israeli government keeps referring to the paint guns, but the paint guns were attached to the automatic weapons and the stun grenades and the pepper spray and the tasers and everything else that these guys carry. ... And it was all over in the inside of the ship, where I was. But up on the upper deck, where some people had been sitting and sleeping, they made an effort to peacefully prevent the Israelis from taking over the wheelhouse, and we had a number of people injured in that. Nothing of a critical nature, but we had people on crutches and people with bandages and peoples with their arms in slings, and the captain had his neck in a brace." 


"I was deported for having violated Israeli law," Peck added. "I asked [the Israeli official processing his deportation] , 'What law have I violated?' He said, 'You have illegally entered Israel.' I said, 'Well, now, wait. Our ship was taken over by armed commandos. I was brought here at gunpoint against my will, and you call that illegally entering Israel?'" 


To Navy vet Joe Meadors, “There is no doubt that the Israelis were committing piracy on the high seas against the Freedom Flotilla and used deadly force against unarmed humanitarians whose only crime was defending themselves against a sea and airborne invasion by heavily armed aggressors."


"As a survivor of the June 8, 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty," Meadors said, "I am fully aware of the tactics the Israelis are capable of and willing to use with impunity and without remorse.  That time they fired machine guns, cannon, rockets, napalm, and torpedoes on us, then deliberately machine-gunned life rafts we had dropped over the side in anticipation of abandoning ship. And the only response from the American government was to impose a gag order on the crew of the USS Liberty."


"This time, too," Meadors continued, "the Israelis have shown no remorse, and I fear that the US government is again granting them impunity."


As to the other FPM detainees, St. Onge suffered a gash on his head when kicked by an Israeli soldier as he tried to protect a fellow passenger whom the commandos were beating on the deck of the Sfendoni, he told his wife Jan St. Onge. Kobren was allowed to make a brief phone call to the US from a women's prison unit in Beersheba, Israel, yesterday and reported that she is good health, but all the prisoners' belongings had been taken from them.


Larudee, 64, is a longtime activist in the struggle for justice for Palestine: he and Kobren co-founded the FPM in 2009, and he previously co-founded the Free Gaza Movement, the organization that first broke the Israeli blockade of Gaza from the sea in 2008, and the International Solidarity Movement, a group that has sent hundred of Americans and other internationals to support non-violent Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation. Paul holds a Ph.D. in linguistics and makes his living as a piano tuner.


At least seven other US citizens took part in the Freedom Flotilla under the auspices of other organizations. One, Huwaida Arraf, chair of the Free Gaza Movement, was released Tuesday. The FPM has no confirmed information about the status of the other six: Iara Lee, a filmmaker from San Francisco; Kathy Sheetz, a retired nurse from Richmond, CA, and Woods Hole, MA; Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and a U.S. diplomat until she resigned in opposition to the Iraq war; David Schermerhorn, a film producer from Deer Harbor, WA; Fatima Mohammadi, a longtime activist from Chicago; and Khalid Turaani, who was founder and executive director of the former American Muslims for Jerusalem and now lives in Dubai.


For more information about the Free Palestine Movement, see  www.freepalestinemo vement.org

For information on other groups that played major roles in the Freedom Flotilla, see savegaza.eu/ eng/ (the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza), www.freegaza. org/ (the Free Gaza Movement), and www.ihh.org. tr/filistin/ en/ (The Foundation For Human Rights And Freedoms And Humanitarian Relief of Turkey - IHH).

by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 12:51 AM
Replies (21-30):
Della529
by Matlock on Jun. 4, 2010 at 6:05 PM


Quoting muslimah:


Quoting Della529:


Quoting muslimah:


Quoting margroc:

I don't understand why all these American moms aren't freaking out that American citizens were attacked.  I don't get it.  There were 3 Canadians on board and I know that just about every one that I've spoken to here is livid.  If it was any other country then the fur would be flying about attacking Americans.


They are blind when it comes to israel

Dang!  Doesn't that flag speak volumes!

 It says a thousand words just like this flag


Egypt.  Bought off by US dollars.

muslimah
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 6:44 PM


Quoting Della529:


Quoting muslimah:

 

Quoting Della529:


Quoting muslimah:

 

Quoting margroc:

I don't understand why all these American moms aren't freaking out that American citizens were attacked.  I don't get it.  There were 3 Canadians on board and I know that just about every one that I've spoken to here is livid.  If it was any other country then the fur would be flying about attacking Americans.


They are blind when it comes to israel

Dang!  Doesn't that flag speak volumes!

 It says a thousand words just like this flag


Egypt.  Bought off by US dollars.

Because they are cowards and even though they are embarrassed to be known as such their greed supersedes their pride.

muslimah
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 11:50 PM


Quoting Della529:


Quoting muslimah:

 

Quoting Della529:


Quoting muslimah:

 

Quoting margroc:

I don't understand why all these American moms aren't freaking out that American citizens were attacked.  I don't get it.  There were 3 Canadians on board and I know that just about every one that I've spoken to here is livid.  If it was any other country then the fur would be flying about attacking Americans.


They are blind when it comes to israel

Dang!  Doesn't that flag speak volumes!

 It says a thousand words just like this flag


Egypt.  Bought off by US dollars.

Our hard earned tax dollars that we work our asses off for.

Gypsyuma
by Gold Member on Jun. 5, 2010 at 12:02 AM

 I am going to shamelessly plug the book I am reading again.

It is called DREAMS AND SHADOWS and was written by Robin Wright, a veteran journalist.  It is really an interesting read about the various countries in the Middle East.  This woman PERSONALLY interviewed ALL the big players, and you get to see verbatim what alot of them have to say about all this.

FASCINATING! 

And there is alot of history given so that you can understand the current reality.  Like there is alot about the history of Egyptian politics, really interesting stuff.

Ok, she is like Obama in that she supports the Zionists because of the Holocaust.  I disagree with her on that one, but her book is still really, really good.

THUMBS UP!

muslimah
by on Jun. 5, 2010 at 12:25 AM


Quoting Gypsyuma:

 I am going to shamelessly plug the book I am reading again.

It is called DREAMS AND SHADOWS and was written by Robin Wright, a veteran journalist.  It is really an interesting read about the various countries in the Middle East.  This woman PERSONALLY interviewed ALL the big players, and you get to see verbatim what alot of them have to say about all this.

FASCINATING! 

And there is alot of history given so that you can understand the current reality.  Like there is alot about the history of Egyptian politics, really interesting stuff.

Ok, she is like Obama in that she supports the Zionists because of the Holocaust.  I disagree with her on that one, but her book is still really, really good.

THUMBS UP!

Perhaps I will check it out from the library and read it. I refuse to buy it if she is a Zionist supporter but will look for it at the library. Thanks for the recommendation.

muslimah
by on Jun. 5, 2010 at 12:23 PM

bump

Gypsyuma
by Gold Member on Jun. 6, 2010 at 12:26 AM

I didn't find out about that till reading inside about her Zionist leaning ways.....

One thing that pissed me off today when I was reading was when she talked about israel invading Lebanon in 1982 to get to the PLO, she COMPLETELY glossed over the massacre that took place.

Zionist biyatch, lol.

In case anyone is interested in what she left out:

The Sabra and Shátila massacre (Arabic: مذبحة صبرا وشاتيلاMaḏbaḥat Ṣabrā wa Shātīlā) — was a massacre of Palestinian and Lebanese Muslim civilians carried out between 16 and 18 September 1982. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF), who surrounded Beirut's Palestinian refugee camps after having invaded Lebanon, allowed the Lebanese Forces militia to enter two of these refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila and continue the massacre throughout the night by shooting flares to illuminate the camp. The exact number killed by the Lebanese Forces militia is disputed, with estimations running from 800 according to international sources to 3,500 according to Palestinian sources.

 Quoting muslimah:

Quoting Gypsyuma:

 I am going to shamelessly plug the book I am reading again.

It is called DREAMS AND SHADOWS and was written by Robin Wright, a veteran journalist.  It is really an interesting read about the various countries in the Middle East.  This woman PERSONALLY interviewed ALL the big players, and you get to see verbatim what alot of them have to say about all this.

FASCINATING! 

And there is alot of history given so that you can understand the current reality.  Like there is alot about the history of Egyptian politics, really interesting stuff.

Ok, she is like Obama in that she supports the Zionists because of the Holocaust.  I disagree with her on that one, but her book is still really, really good.

THUMBS UP!

Perhaps I will check it out from the library and read it. I refuse to buy it if she is a Zionist supporter but will look for it at the library. Thanks for the recommendation.

 

Della529
by Matlock on Jun. 6, 2010 at 10:23 AM

BUMP!

muslimah
by on Jun. 6, 2010 at 1:16 PM


Quoting Gypsyuma:

I didn't find out about that till reading inside about her Zionist leaning ways.....

One thing that pissed me off today when I was reading was when she talked about israel invading Lebanon in 1982 to get to the PLO, she COMPLETELY glossed over the massacre that took place.

Zionist biyatch, lol.

In case anyone is interested in what she left out:

The Sabra and Shátila massacre (Arabic: مذبحة صبرا وشاتيلاMaḏbaḥat Ṣabrā wa Shātīlā) — was a massacre of Palestinian and Lebanese Muslim civilians carried out between 16 and 18 September 1982. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF), who surrounded Beirut's Palestinian refugee camps after having invaded Lebanon, allowed the Lebanese Forces militia to enter two of these refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila and continue the massacre throughout the night by shooting flares to illuminate the camp. The exact number killed by the Lebanese Forces militia is disputed, with estimations running from 800 according to international sources to 3,500 according to Palestinian sources.


 

 

I can remember when I was in the 8th grade in 1983-83 and allot of refugees were brought here during/after the israeli invasion/massacre on Lebanon. Many of them were in my classes at school and you could see the fear and terror in their eyes.

Most of them had absolutely nothing but what little was donated to them after arriving here because the israelis not only invaded their countries and destroyed their homes but destroyed everything they owned. Most barley escaped with their lives.

Now as an adult I am still friends with many of them who came here with nothing as refugees during that time and they have till this day not lived down or forgotten the terror of israel that they were forced to live through and escapefrom as children back in 82-83 in Lebanon.

Gypsyuma
by Gold Member on Jun. 7, 2010 at 12:01 AM

 How interesting Muslimah.

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