Citizen Action Monitor

Activist Ray McGovern tells why he will be aboard U.S. boat to Gaza

No 201 Posted by fw, June 19, 2011

I also have been cautioned by a source with access to very senior staffers at the National Security Council that not only does the White House plan to do absolutely nothing to protect our boat from Israeli attack or illegal boarding, but that White House officials “would be happy if something happened to us. They are, I am reliably told, ‘perfectly willing to have the cold corpses of activists shown on American TV.’Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst

So wrote Ray McGovern in his article, Gaza and American ‘Security published in Consortium News, June 18, 2011. Here is a re-posting of the original article”

GAZA AND AMERICAN ‘SECURITY’

Ray McGovern

Exclusive: Despite opposition — and even warnings — from the U.S. government, a group of Americans will join a small flotilla of boats challenging Israel’s blockade of the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains why he is joining this protest.

Stuffing my backpack before setting out to board “The Audacity of Hope,” the U.S. boat to Gaza, I got a familiar call from yet another puzzled friend, who said as gently as the words allow, “You know you can get killed, don’t you?”

I recognize this caution as an expression of genuine concern from friends. From some others — who don’t care about Gaza’s plight or who do not wish us well – the words are phrased somewhat differently: “Aren’t you just asking for it?

That was the obligatory question/accusation at the end of a recent interview taped for a BBC-TV special scheduled to air this coming week as we put to sea to break — or at least draw attention to — Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza and the suffering it inflicts on the people there.

I also have been cautioned by a source with access to very senior staffers at the National Security Council that not only does the White House plan to do absolutely nothing to protect our boat from Israeli attack or illegal boarding, but that White House officials “would be happy if something happened to us.” 

They are, I am reliably told, “perfectly willing to have the cold corpses of activists shown on American TV.”

I mention this informal warning for the benefit of anyone who may have harbored hope that the U.S. government would do something to protect us American citizens from the kind of violence used by the Israelis against last year’s flotilla. Better to be up front and realistic about what to expect.

Two millennia ago, “Civus Romanus Sum” automatically won lawful treatment and free passage for Roman citizens in trouble. It was a matter of pride and a benefit of being part of a powerful empire.

Today, the contrast could hardly be clearer. It is sad fact that “Civus Americanus Sum” would engender laughter, rather than respect, if invoked by those of us working on behalf of justice for the Palestinians.

Americans also face the reality that they are put in harm’s way by the view held by millions around the world — and especially in the Middle East — that the United States is partly responsible for the injustices and the humiliations that Palestinians face daily.

As I make my final preparations, let me turn around the question/warning to me about safety and direct it to those who won’t be onboard “The Audacity of Hope”:

“You know you can get killed, don’t you?” – if the U.S. government continues to enable Israel in keeping a million and a half Gazans in a densely populated open-air prison with few prospects for a normal life.

The longer that goes on the more likely it becomes that many more Americans will become the target of terrorists seeking to inflict some pain on the great power that stands behind Israel whatever it does.

RELATED STORY

  • The Audacity of Hope: U.S. Peace Activists to Sail to Gaza in Humanitarian Flotilla, story broadcast on Democracy Now, June 20, 2011. Dozens of Americans hope to set sail this week on a U.S.-flagged ship, “The Audacity of Hope,” as part of an international flotilla which aims to challenge Israel’s embargo of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian solidarity activists are setting sail from a number of ports just over a year after Israeli forces killed nine activists on an aid boat called the Mavi Marmara, which was part of the first such international flotilla. Israel says it will again use force to stop the aid flotilla from reaching Gaza. We speak with passengers of the U.S. boat, New York labor attorney Richard Levy and peace activist Kathy Kelly. Levy says the flotilla’s challenge to Israel’s embargo is legal and that it is the blockade that is illegal. “It’s a violation of the Geneva Accords to occupy a country, as has been done here through the control of all its borders, and then block supplies, block people from moving in and out,” says Levy.

You can watch the Democracy Now video of the interview by clicking on the linked title above. Alternatively, here is a 13:17 minute You Tube video of the interview. Don’t miss this powerful interview with these two courageous U.S. citizen activists —

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This entry was posted on June 19, 2011 by in political action, rights and freedoms and tagged , , , , .
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