Tuesday, 1 June 2010

grieving for gaza, again

i had an incredibly busy weekend, involving a 4 hour strategic planning meeting, a board of directors AGM, a drive up to auckland to listen to a lovely talk, and dealing with some difficult issues, all of these as part of my volutary work. feels like i just haven't had a break, and i'm looking forward to the long weekend. although saturday will be spent on a full day meeting and i have another meeting scheduled for monday afternoon, and i have to do my tax return some time in between, so not looking like i'll get too much relaxing done. sometimes i think i need to leave the country just to get a break.

anyway, i did manage to get a couple of posts up at the hand mirror last night, one a video on sex slavery and the other about sex & the city 2.

today i've been feeling pretty sad about the murder of palestinian activists while trying to deliver aid from gaza. there's been quite a bit written about it already, this prior to the incident by gordon campbell and this written today. a pretty lengthy discussion here at the standard, which i've only read a bit of.

there's also this at kiwipolitico which i found disappointing. pretty much a "what did you think would happen you stupid fools, you should never have sent the ships". which totally ignores the suffering of the people of gaza, where the people have some of the worst living conditions on the planet. a lack of food, a lack of medical supplies, of water, of electricity and a massive unemployment rate. the damage done by the israeli targetted strikes at infrastructure in december 2008 still hasn't been fixed. this blockade has gone on for three years, with no end in sight and a lack of will from the international community to make any serious attempt to fix the situation.

if the ship shouldn't be sent, then i'd like to know a solution to this and particularly one that will involve no loss of life. because frankly, i can't see one. israel has made it clear, well before today, that violence will be used against any attempt to circumvent the blockade. the people of gaza have been put in a position that if they try to fight back they're branded terrorists. they're supposed to just suffer and die, i suppose. and the rest of the world is supposed to look the other way, and just let it continue to happen.

that's not good enough. and the nz response is not good enough. from an earlier post, readers will know that i opposed the opening of the israeli embassy. after what's happened today, the only reasonable response is to shut the embassy and send the ambassador packing. if illegaly boarding a vessel in international waters, killing 9 people and injuring 30 others isn't enough, then what is? how many people have to die before it's a bad enough act?

the response of the new ambassador was frankly sickening, from the little i saw on tv1 news today. he really did have a half smile on his face while he was saying that this was not a "good look" for israel. i just can't understand it, i do not get how a person can be so disconnected as to not care about the people killed today and the people suffering in gaza for many years.

meanwhile, here is some other stuff to read:
- mazin qumsiyeh: of cowardice, dignity and solidarity.
- this from the christian peacemakers team, just one of the many, many instances of land grab in the occupied territories.

there will be a protest rally in auckland this saturday at 1pm, aotea square. i'm hoping to slip out of my full day meeting to attend this, and i encourage others to take part. finally, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed today, and with the long-suffering people of gaza. inna lillahe wa inna ilaihe raji'oon.


Pablo said...


I understand your emotional response but you miss the point of the essay, which was to explain the mindset of the Israeli regime. The post did not offer a justification for the raid, just an explanation of the rationale behind it. You have therefore misrepresented what I have said (not for the first time). Plus, you clearly do not have an understanding of the larger strategic politics involved or of the legality and enforcement of blockades in international law. I suppose that you do know that Egypt has exactly the same blockade in place on its side of Gazian (which are formally Israeli) waters. Would your response be the same if it was the Egyptians who did the intercept with force?

I am disappointed that you could not see the point of the post and ran with an unfair editorial position instead.

stargazer said...

just briefly, yes i do know of the egyptian blockade and yes, i would have the same reaction if egyptians murdered palestinian activists humanitarian aid to gaza.

i stand by what i've said here.

Anonymous said...

Bear in mind that 'Pablo' is the same Paul Buchanan who was dismissed from his position at Auckland University for making racist and sexist comments towards a Muslim student.

Is it really that surprising that he's putting the blame on Muslims? Again?

stargazer said...

anon, i know exactly who pablo is, and i think your assessment really isn't fair. i agree with a lot of his posts, i just didn't agree with aspects of this one.

Anonymous said...

Maybe what he's written doesn't always take this tone. But it seems that in this case his opinion matches the way he choses to live his personal life.

stargazer said...

look, i'm really not into personal attacks. i didn't respond to his personal attacks against me above, and i'd prefer if you didn't behave in pretty much the same way towards him. if you have a problem with pablo, please go and have it out with him at his place. if you have any comments regarding the gaza issue, feel free to keep commenting here.

Paul G. Buchanan said...


That is the sort of defamatory comments that can get you and stargazer in trouble (since any legal action taken against you will require her to give up your IP address in order to facilitate your identification. This is already happening with regard to libelous comments on other blogs).

My ill-considered email comments were neither racist or sexist, and the university as well as the ERA specifically stated that they were not. That accusation comes from the student and a small group of people, including yourself, who play loose with the truth for your own reasons.

I have differences of opinion about how stargazer represented some of my past comments as well the referenced post, which you clearly have not read. But at least she has a modicum of integrity. You do not.

Stargazer: I will resist any and all such characterisations of me in any fora. Your cooperation in not continuing this defamatory campaign would be appreciated.

stargazer said...

yeah, doing my best pablo.

stargazer said...

anon, i'm not going to publish your latest on this subject nor anything from pablo either. i'm not interest in being the host site for some kind of spat between you two. as i've said above, take anything further to his site and have it out with him there.

as regards the post that i linked to, i reacted in my piece to this particular bit:

Had the flotilla organisers understood this, perhaps they would have thought twice about challenging the blockade. Had the Turkish government understood this, they would have been better served by dealing with the political wrath at home caused by their denying the flotilla permission to leave port rather than deal with the violent protests now occurring in the aftermath of the commando raid.

i'm sure there's plenty of internal politics happening in turkey, but is there the possibility that everyone on board understood the israeli state (particularly if they were activists who had the slightest knowledge of or interaction with the it) and decided to go ahead because no other action so far has worked. and that three years is a long time for a blockade, and that people are suffering. it may be that neither the turks nor the activists are as deficient in understanding as you seem to portray.