Press Release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
31 May, 2010
MPAC Expresses Outrage at the Israeli Act of State Terrorism Against Peace Campaigners
(Lagos, 31/05/10) The Muslim Public Affairs Centre, MPAC, expresses outrage at the Israeli act of shocking brutality on the humanitarian sea convoy aiming to reach Gaza with food, wheelchairs, medicines and building materials. On board the Freedom Flotilla that the Israeli commandos stormed this morning were peace campaigners from more than 40 countries, including Nobel laureate and several European legislators who were undertaking the hazardous journey on the 9-ship flotilla, to reach Gaza in defiance of an Israeli 3-year old siege. During the assault on the flotilla in international waters where Israel has no jurisdiction, about 10 of unharmed peace campaigners were killed and dozens injured. As the dead bodies of these victims of Israeli aggression washed up on the beach, Israeli press and politicians are now busy telling lies after lies to conceal the true horror of their murderous intentions and premeditated aggression.
It is sad to see that in the face of the unspeakable massacre that Israel committed this morning, not for the first time, the international community remains almost totally silent. Earlier Israeli acts of terrorism included the December 2008 genocide where more than 1400 Gazans were slaughtered in a most horrific manner with unrestricted use of cocktails of WMDs and the cold-blooded murder of Rachel Corrie- an American member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who was mowed down by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bulldozer in 2003 while attempting to prevent IDF forces from demolishing the home of local Palestinian pharmacist. Today’s attack indicates that Israel is not ready for peace and does not care about peace. The only reason that Israel attacked this humanitarian convoy was because it considers itself above the law and that it cannot be held to the same standard of behaviour as the others who have committed similar atrocities.
According to a recent report by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Palestinians living in Gaza are “trapped in despair.” Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed during Israel’s December 2008 through January 2009 assault are still without shelter, despite international pledges of almost $4.5 billion in aid, because Israel refuses to allow cement and other building material into the Gaza Strip. The ICRC report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet even the most basic needs of patients, due to Israel’s disruption or blockage of incoming medical supplies.
MPAC is urging the Nigerian government to act as a moral agent and condemn the Israeli siege which is killing children. This siege must be lifted immediately. It must also condemn the act of unspeakable aggression against innocent peace campaigners whose only aim is to provide humanitarian aids. The government of President Jonathan Goodluck and all politicians should reassess our political relationship with Israel in line with other nations that have acted with courage by recalling our ambassador, letting Israel know that it is not above the law.
Until today, Israel stands condemned of various acts of terrorism committed against Palestinians who have suffered 60 years of dispossession, brutal occupation, collective punishment, target killings for harvest of body organs and cruelty of settlers among others. MPAC urges all Nigerians of conscience to oppose Israel’s inhumane military actions against innocent peace campaigners whose only ‘crime’ is trying to help their brothers and sisters in need. The only ‘crime’ that Israel is punishing the Gazan children for is that their parents voted in a democratic election for a leadership that Israel, US and EU does not want (both the US and EU are underwriting the siege). Egypt has the blood of these victims on its hands for if it had not closed its border against aid convoys, the peace campaigners would not have taken to the sea. These are the nations that are acting in connivance with Israel to starve the Palestinians to death and kill peace campaigners intent on providing aids.
Israel can no more lay false claim to being an ordinary or respectable nation that abides by international law and respect human rights. It is clear that Israel’s impunity derives its strength from the terrible instruments of destruction that are guaranteed by the American power and shameful claim of special relationship. No wonder American’s own position in the world is undermined. It is time that ordinary people around the globe ask themselves why we are allowing the persecution of the Gazans to continue. The victims of today’s massacre suffer no less torment or pain than those of the last century. Our silence, our indifference and our apathy are the fuel which feed Israel’s impunity and acts of terrorism.
Our prayers and sympathies are with the martyrs of this terrorist attack, the injured, the survivors that have been carried to jail camps in Israel as well as thousands of family members who are anxious to know if their loved ones are dead or alive.