Revolution Online, October 10, 2010

From A World to Win News Service

The "Jewish boat to Gaza": How Israel Deals with Jews Who Consider Oppression Immoral

October 4, 2010. A World to Win News Service. Israel couldn't deal with the Irene the same way it had the Mavi Marmara. Unlike last May, when Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish passengers on an aid ship bound for Gaza, they had to be more careful with this small yacht carrying a symbolic cargo of medical and school supplies and therapeutic toys for Gaza intercepted September 28.

Of the 10 passengers, six were Israeli Jews: a former officer who several years ago initiated a letter signed by Air Force pilots pledging to refuse to bomb Palestinian towns; his brother, also a combat veteran; a prominent peace activist whose daughter was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber; his wife, the peace activist daughter of an Israeli general; an Israeli TV reporter; and a well-known critical supporter of Zionism who describes himself as a Holocaust survivor. The others were a refugee from Nazi Germany who now lives in the U.S., a Jewish studies scholar from Germany, a British biographer of the famed author and Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi, and a UK photojournalist. The Irene was organized by a London-based group called Jews for Justice for Palestine. Among its sponsors was the mother of Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and the former Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

The boat was surrounded by a destroyer and other warships, helicopters and, according to some reports, submarines. News footage shows two warships pulling up against the Irene, one on each side, and spinning it around. When dozens of commandos came aboard, the passengers put up no resistance of any kind. But the former Israeli pilot Yonatan Shapira put his arms around 82-year-old Holocaust survivor Reuven Moskovitz and refused to let go.

The commandos tased Shapira twice in the right arm. Then a naval captain lifted up his life vest, put the Taser to his chest and sent a jolt of electricity into his heart. He collapsed and was put in handcuffs and dragged away, along with his brother. They face serious criminal charges. Other passengers were kicked and beaten. All cameras were confiscated. The scholar from Germany was jailed when she refused to sign voluntary deportation papers.

Moskovitz said in a statement, "When I was a kid I lived in a ghetto for a few years, and I think of the Palestinian children." "It is my sacred duty as a survivor to protest against the persecution, the oppression and the imprisonment of so many people in Gaza, including more than 800,000 children." He also said, "It's just immoral."

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman and a military statement both called the Irene's symbolic attempt to break the Gaza blockade a "provocation."

Nevertheless, the Israel government could not and did not wish to refrain from bestiality. It carried out this battle for the high moral ground with a hint of its usual cruelty. It needed to teach these people a lesson, and keep others from following their example.

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine (, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

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