Dora McPhee (VIC) writes to The Age on “Israel’s claims of self-defence in attack on the Gaza aid flotilla” 11Aug10 August 11, 2010

After an international outcry over the raid on the aid convoy, Israel
relaxed the siege and blockade of Gaza. Yet Israel continues to take no
responsibility for the commando style attack on the aid flotilla resulting
in the deaths of nine activists in international waters. Instead it claims
self-defence and accuses activists of provocation for daring to draw world
attention to the issue of the illegal collective punishment of 1.5 million
Palestinians in Gaza. Eighty percent are already refugees denied their
inalienable right of return to land now claimed by Israel and fifty percent
of the population are children doomed to a future of ill health, limited
education and prison style existence and periodic subjection to Israel’s
state perpetrated violence. Under Israel’s present logic of  “self-defence”
it is inconceivable that their fate will change much, which is why activists
will continue to attempt to break Israel’s illegal embargo through future
aid convoys.

The fact that it was forced to relax the siege indicates it is Israel’s
treatment of the Palestinians that was wrong. Likewise the six decades of
ongoing ethnic cleansing, land theft and apartheid policies that deny
Palestinians their rights and freedoms usurping their rightful claims to
their homeland continues to be wrong and predictably fuels the conflict.
Until Israel can come to terms with its own wrong doing as regards the
Palestinians its only solution will be the continued domination through
whatever means of a people denied their human rights and continually dressed
up as self-defence.

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