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News, July 2009

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Cynthia McKinney Still in Israeli Captivity, US Government Capitulates to Israeli Pirates

By Hassan El-Najjar, July 6, 2009
News commentary

We are living in amazing times indeed. A former US Congresswoman and a Presidential candidate representing the third largest American political party, Cynthia McKinney, is in Israeli captivity for more than a week now. The Israeli navy pirates had hijacked the international humanitarian aid boat, Spirit of Humanity, in the international water off the Gaza Strip coast.

The Israeli pirates confiscated the boat, cargo, and detained the crew and peace activists on board, in an attempt to intimidate other international peace activists from attempting to provide humanitarian aid to the besieged 1.5 million Palestinians, who have been under Israeli siege since 2007.

The only superpower in the world cannot protect its own citizens when it comes to the Zionist state, complete capitulation, not even a protest from the spokesperson of the US State Department. However, all words of condemnation and protest are used whenever events happen anywhere around the world.

US fleets are moved to the Somali coast to provide protection to international ships against Somali pirates. However, nobody in the US government dares to criticize Israeli piracy in the international water, or to criticize the brutal Israeli siege of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza for more than two years, or at least to demand the release of Cynthia McKinney, the former US Congresswoman and presidential candidate!

All of this reminds us of how much power the Zionist Israel-firsters, who collaborated to defeat Cynthia McKinney twice, have over the US government.


US State Dept.: No comment on jailed former lawmaker

Date: 05 / 07 / 2009  Time:  19:19
Bethlehem - Ma'an -

A spokesperson for the US State Department earlier this week dodged questions from a journalist on the fate of a former American lawmaker in Israeli captivity.

On Tuesday former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was among 21 arrested, including Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, by Israel's navy while in international waters aboard a vessel carrying humanitarian aid en route to the Gaza Strip.

Asked by Erin Conners of Press TV what the US was doing to see the return of its former congresswoman, State Department spokesperson Ian Kelly said, "We can't comment on any of the individuals or the number of individual American citizens on board."

But the Washington, DC spokesperson added, according to the US department's online transcript record dated 1 July, that the US Embassy had been in touch with Israeli authorities and was seeking access to its citizens, and made a point of noting that "we donít take any position regarding the Free Gaza Movement or any of its messages."

In response to other questions about the fate of those onboard and the ship's medical and construction aid for Gaza, Kelly responded, "I don't know the answer, actually. I think I have to refer you to the government of Israel."

In a statement to Ma'an, spokesperson Greta Berlin for the Free Gaza Movement wrote that "[t]he sheer stupidity of the answer boggles your mind." "Can you imagine what would happen if Iran intercepted a vessel and/or incarcerated a former congressperson and Nobel Prize winner?"

Meanwhile, the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom in recent days have been vocal about the ongoing detainment of their citizens, while a Bahraini delegation on Friday made its first-ever state visit to Israel to retrieve its own five detainees.

Also Friday, Ireland's Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin called for the swift release of two Irish nationals detained from the ship, including the Nobel Peace Prize winner and a second man identified as Derek Graham.

"My immediate priority is ensuring the safety and welfare of Ms Maguire and Mr Graham and securing their release as soon as possible," Martin said. "I would again renew my call for the release of Ms Maguire and Mr Graham as well as the other nineteen passengers detained on The Spirit of Humanity."

"I would also call upon the Israeli Government to ensure that the humanitarian supplies for the people of Gaza being transported on The Spirit of Humanity are made available as soon as possible to the Palestinian authorities for distribution," he added.

Then on Saturday, a spokesperson for the United Kingom's foreign secretary, David Miliband, announced that officers visited their citizens "and we are providing consular assistance to them," according to the British Sky TV network.

"We would be concerned if the stories of the Israeli navy boarding the Spirit of Humanity in international waters were true," the spokesperson added, noting that the UK Foreign Ministry was looking into claims that the takeover violated international law.

Israel deports six Free Gaza activists to UK

Date: 06 / 07 / 2009  Time:  13:26
Bethlehem - Ma'an -

The Israeli occupation government on Monday afternoon deported six United Kingdom nationals detained for attempting to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip last week, according to a statement.

"Confirmed. Six UK passengers on flight OV315, arriving Heathrow, 14:15 today," the announcement read, while another said a news conference was planned in London.

"By tomorrow everyone bar two (whose deportation should happen within the next 2-3 days) will be home," said an earlier Monday statement. "They texted on their way to the airport to send their thanks to everyone who has supported them over the past days."

Free Gaza added that "[f]riends and family of the six are travelling to Heathrow airport to welcome them and to hear for the first time direct accounts of the forcible boarding by Israel" of the ship, which was carrying aid and reconstruction supplies from Cyprus.

The British captives reportedly will answer questions at a news conference at the Renaissance Hotel on Bath Road at 16:00 UK time.

A spokesperson for the United Kingom's foreign secretary raised the issue of the ship and its partly British crew earlier Saturday, according to Sky News.

"We would be concerned if the stories of the Israeli navy boarding the Spirit of Humanity in international waters were true," said a spokesperson for UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

Suggesting that the issue of Gaza's legal waters are murky, she still said her country's Foreign Ministry was looking into claims that the takeover by Israel's navy of the ship and its 21-member crew on Tuesday violated international law, Sky News reported.

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