Mairead Maguire and eileen fleming, April 21, 2009
Choose Peace--End the Siege on Gaza
By Mairead Maguire
Two months have passed since Israel's attack on a humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza, with very tragic results--including nine deaths and 40 injuries. Yet, as this week's events quietly reveal, it seems Israel will get away with its blatant disrespect for international law and not be held accountable for this disaster.
It was reported on Monday that an Israeli military commission found "no failure" on the part of the commandos who took part in the attack. And while the UN Security Council and human rights groups called for an independent and "credible" inquiry into the matter, there are no such plans in the works. Israel has deemed such independent efforts as "anti-Israel" and a threat to the existence of the state.The result?The US and indeed the rest of the international community stand on the sidelines, doing nothing.
On June 5, I was aboard the MV Rachel Corrie--a ship named for a young American activist who was bulldozed to death by the Israeli army in 2003--heading to Gaza. Just days earlier, we had heard via satellite phone that Israeli commandos had boarded six ships, including the Turkish MV Mavi Marmara, in international water, and had killed and injured many aboard.
As the seventh ship of the Freedom Flotilla, we now found ourselves in a frighteningly similar scenario.
The 19 crew and activists aboard the MV Rachel Corrie heard that 35 heavily armed Israeli commandos were now preparing to board our ship. We sat down on the deck to await their arrival. Some of us wondered whether we would face the same fate as our colleagues aboard the Mavi Marmara.