Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Zionists Gone Wild: How A Popular Motif Served A Convenient Fiction At R&D

In The Mark:

If you pay attention to Ottawa scandals, you will be familiar with the story of Rights and Democracy by now: a hostile Conservative takeover of the quasi-governmental agency has destroyed R&D’s spotless international reputation as a wellspring and global clarion for human rights. Sinister Zionists are behind the whole thing.

The story’s narrative arc was further entrenched in the public record last week when a House of Commons committee recommended the ousting of R&D board chairman Aurel Braun, so it must be true. After all, former R&D presidents Warren Allmand and Ed Broadbent read from that very script before the Foreign Affairs Committee during its hearings into R&D, and the New Democratic Party’s Paul Dewar last week proclaimed that Braun and his R&D board allies have “poisoned the well” and ruined R&D’s “stellar reputation.”

There is a small problem with the story: it’s a convenient fiction that has served to hide a real scandal that had been quietly unfolding at Rights and Democracy for several years now. . .

Finally, leadership. Thank you, Senator Wallin. Thank you, Senator Dallaire.

Now, the House of Commons special committee on Afghanistan says it is time for Parliament “to begin a serious discussion on the future of the Canadian mission.”

We are delighted that the debate has been joined. Our Senate committee, studying the same issue [pdf], has heard from key Canadian and other players in Afghanistan. None has said the mission should end. Many believe that at least some troops should stay. And all agree our contribution has been remarkable.


Thank you, too, Senator Segal. Thank you, Bob Rae, and thank you, Laurie Hawn.

The debate has been joined. We have miles to go before we sleep.


The Inevitable Betrayal In 'Peace Talks'.

After years of fierce fighting and numerous counterinsurgency initiatives, the Afghan government and some of its international allies seem to have reached to the peak of desperation. They are now even exploring whether Afghan women's rights can be sacrificed in order to declare "mission accomplished".

The idea of subsuming women's rights so that the war can end has come in formal and informal talks between some parliamentarians, government officials and is also reported to be part of cynical discussions among some of the international diplomats in Kabul gatherings.

Many women activists believe the growing Talibanisation of the Afghan government will not only bring further instability, as it could upset the diverse ethnic composition of Afghanistan, but also predict that they will pay for this political settlement with their rights.

Despite receiving promises from the members of the international community and the Afghan government about the so-called "red lines" of talks with the Taliban, women activists are concerned that recent developments are step-by-step moves towards the loss of women's rights.

-Wazhma Frogh, in The Guardian.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Enlightenment, you know? All that beauty."

Ehsan opened his first school for Afghan refugees when he was 25 years old. He went on to open a network of schools in the Pakistani borderlands, in Helmand, Kunduz, and Chaman. In 2002, he decided to open a school here in Kandahar, the very heart of Taliban despotism, "because I thought there was an opportunity to serve." From that school, the ACCC blossomed. A few months before I met Ehsan, 250 women had graduated from the ACCC with certificates in business, English, computer skills, and other fields. Why does he risk his life for this?

"I want to make a change," Ehsan said. "I value freedom. I value civilization. And I would like to have that. But for that I have to work. If I try and if a few more try, then our country, our own country, will be similarly at once free and beautiful and peaceful and modern and as civilized as any nation.

"If we have the same kind of country, it will come within us and by us, with the help, of course, of the international community. This can come from a kind of unity, a kind of relationship, through different kinds of connections. But I start to weep when I see people here, bad people. They don't like what is good. . ."

- from my report in today's Calgary Herald. The tagline at the bottom: "Calgary Herald reporter Michelle Lang, who was killed by a roadside bomb near Kandahar on Dec. 30, 2009, had planned to meet Ehsan during her time in Afghanistan."

Another one for Michelle here, and here's Ehsan's tribute to Michelle and the men she died with. Here's how you can help.

On a not-unrelated subject, Jonathon Kay nails it with an essay provocatively titled "Imagine If They Had Been White." Reflecting on that atrocity strikes horribly close to home. Here's why.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Would we have the moral courage to stand for anything again?"

Many Canadians will remember when police were reluctant to intervene in incidents of domestic violence because what took place there at home was "private." Similar arguments surface today when we raise our voices about violence against women in other countries. We are told that violations of women's rights are part of someone else's culture, and that we have no business interfering. We should just mind our own affairs.

In fact, it is those of us inclined to believe that human rights are a Western invention who are most vulnerable to this argument. If the right to food and dignity is as cultural as casual Fridays at the office, it may indeed seem offensive to criticize others for alternative practices. But this is like suggesting that the need to eat is a peculiarly Canadian characteristic. The right to equal treatment, education, and freedom from violence are not specific to one culture. They are universal entitlements that are valued as ardently among Afghan women as our own.

- Eva Sajoo.

Someone in the mainstream press notices. . .

Something wholly new is emerging in Canada, in all the spaces where the Left used to be, in its activist constituencies, its traditional institutions, and its lexicon. Whatever name you want to give the thing, its noticeable features include a betrayal of progressive internationalism, a pathetic weakness for conspiracy theories, and a routine apologetics for antisemitism and terror. Its outlook is generally parochial, but its global engagements tend to align with fascism’s contemporary Islamist variants, even to the point of objective support for the Taliban.

In the Ottawa Citizen, John Robson notices "a cancer on the political left":

Please recognize that there is an enemy to your left and it is creeping up on you. I realize you believe you have adversaries and enemies on the right. I am not convinced you draw a sufficiently careful distinction between the merely misguided and the genuinely malign to that side but I grant that the latter do exist. Including anti-Semites in the fever swamps of the right. But they inhabit the fever swamps of the left as well. I am increasingly persuaded that anti-Semitism is an infallible badge of vile extremism everywhere. And if you look hard to your left you will see a loathsome horde dripping its slime and heading your way.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why I'm Proud To Call Stephen Hume A Friend.

Many, including Jews, who question Israeli policy, play down anti-Semitism as a factor. Yet anti-Israel rhetoric appears to grant permission to growing numbers to express anti-Semitic sentiments.

Classic anti-Semitism targeted Jewish religion or people. Former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, himself a victim, defines a new anti-Semitism that's more subtle. It lurks behind legitimate criticism of Israel. It's insidious. When challenged, the new anti-Semites cloak themselves in aggrieved counterclaims that supporters of Israel just seek to stifle legitimate debate about Israel.

Read it all.

Imagine: A Genuine Palestinian-Israeli Anti-War Movement.

Most people across the globe are feeling angry and helpless about the situation in Israel and Palestine. If you are fed up - You are not alone.

Each side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict feels the same way and disagrees with the other when interpreting everyday developments. The status quo is dangerously unsustainable. But strong consensus on both sides exists for the two-state solution.

OneVoice dares you to look beyond the excuses and recycled approaches sweeping the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and share a different vision of a region living in peace and security.

Visualizing life after the conflict has ended shows the tangible gains of a permanent resolution and compels compromise and mobilization by both sides to make the future happen now.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ignatieff: Time for a "frank, national conversation" about Afghanistan.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is finally taking the brave lead of Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae ( "We have an obligation to see this thing through . . . . The door is open to serious discussion in Canada and between Canada and NATO about what the future looks like"), for which Rae has been so churlishly traduced. Ignatieff is calling for a "frank national conversation" about Canada in Afghanistan post-2011.

This is good. This is also the view of many Conservative MPs, although it is not the view from the Prime Minister's office, where Stephen Harper sits glumly, wanting no debate about it, and wanting shut of the entire business, content to allow his ministers to look like idiots whenever the subject comes up. So, good for Ignatieff.

Set aside the fact that his endorsement of a post-2011 training role for our soldiers (see "Ignatieff Calls For Afghan Training Post-2011") provides only slightly more clarity than Defence Minister Peter MacKay's musings ("Afghan Deployment Past 2011 Possible: MacKay"). It's a start.

Set aside the fact that the Liberal Party's simultaneously-released Canada in the World: A Global Networks Strategy sounds more like a marketing plan for an ambitious high-speed internet system than a foreign-policy blueprint. Nevermind that the think-paper places India, the world's greatest democracy, in the same narrow policy framework as China, the world's greatest police state. Nevermind that apart from one or two oblique refererences to democratic institutions, the word "democracy" doesn't appear in the 24-page document even once.

Or perhaps we should pay that point some mind in the Afghanistan context, straight away, because that's the worrisome bit. There is nothing that either Ignatieff or Harper have said about this country's continuing role in Afghanistan (humanitarian, institution-building, and so on) that the Iranian regime or the Pakistani military could not also have said. It's all very well to pledge to persist in Afghanistan after 2011. Tehran certainly intends to do just that. But for what? Here's Harper, for instance: "We will continue to maintain humanitarian and development missions, as well as important diplomatic activity in Afghanistan. But we will not be undertaking any activities that require any kind of military presence, other than the odd guard guarding an embassy." That could be Ahmadinejad talking.

Let's all try to be fair about this and take Ignatieff at his word. He wants a frank, national conversation about Afghanistan, and this is the beginning of the Liberal contribution to that conversation. Here's to hoping that in their next contribution, Ignatieff will be clear that at least a healthy fraction of the $1.7 billion annual dividend that arises from the withdrawal of the Canadian Forces battle group from Kandahar, which his party proposes to spend on its "Global Networks" strategy, will be spent on building up the embryonic institutions of Afghan democracy. Perhaps the Conservatives will show some leadership now on this very point.

Perhaps Rae might raise this matter specifically as he persists in his efforts to build multi-partisan unity on the Special Committee on Afghanistan about a way forward. Rae has the advantage of an honourable opposite on that committee in the person of lead Conservative Laurie Hawn. He should use this advantage.

Ignatieff is showing real leadership on the Afghanistan question and this should not be derided, even though it does come terribly late. It has been my own privilege to have worked closely these past months with the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee, which has been calling for a frank national conversation about Afghanistan post-2011 since 2008. This year alone, I've travelled for this purpose to Afghanistan twice. In Ottawa on March 9, CASC released its own findings that reveal an existing consensus of sorts after consulting widely across the spectrum of expert opinion and Afghan-Canadian public opinion, and most importantly, Afghan opinion. To the purpose of engaging Canadians in a "frank, national conversation" about Afghanistan, over the past few weeks CASC has hosted public meetings in Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Edmonton.

We should welcome the Liberals' decision to join the conversation. The Liberals need to be encouraged. Not praised, certainly not yet, but encouraged.

For the record, here's what the Liberals' "Global Networks" thinkpiece has to say about Afghanistan:

Canada’s role with NATO in Afghanistan was the right mission at the right time. The mission remains an honourable one, supporting security and development for men and women in a troubled land previously governed by a retrograde Taliban regime, which provided safe haven to the Al-Qaeda architects of terror attacks, including those of September 11, 2001.

Canada’s sacrifice has been profound. Nearly 150 men and women have lost their lives, with many more facing disabilities and post-traumatic stress disorder. The government estimates it is spending nearly $1.7 billion this year in incremental costs on the mission, compared to $39 million for all other Canadian overseas military missions combined. This worthy, dangerous mission will intensify in the summer of 2010, with the likelihood of more Canadian casualties through the rest of this year, and into 2011. Canadian veterans deserve the best possible care and support once home, and to that end the Veterans Charter must be adjusted to reflect the circumstances they face today.

The Harper government has refused to lead any discussion about whether Canada should play a role in Afghanistan after the completion of the combat mission in 2011, and if so, what form it would take.

The purpose of the mission, from its beginning, has been to help the people of Afghanistan become able to govern themselves and assume responsibility for their own security. That task will not be completed at the end of Canada’s combat role.

In light of its hard-won credibility, the sacrifice of those who made it possible, and long-standing solidarity with our NATO allies, Canada should pursue a post-combat role, for a fixed period, based on training of police and military personnel in a staff college setting in Kabul, and civilian capacity-building in various areas of public administration vital to building stable, competent and transparent governance in Afghanistan. The objective is to help the Afghan people build a better future for themselves. A responsible, transparent decision process on such a role will require the Harper government to engage in dialogue and provide information to the Canadian public, and Parliamentarians. Its exercise of these democratic obligations is overdue.

Contributing to the capacity of the Afghan people to govern themselves effectively continues to be in Canada’s interest. If they do not achieve that goal, the country risks becoming again the safe haven from which Al-Qaeda could resume its previous threats and planning against western democracies. Building on hard-won gains to help achieve effective governance would therefore enhance our own security, and help justify Canada’s contribution to training and governance capacity-building after the combat mission.

Any post-combat presence for Canada must also include a substantive role in the diplomatic process and any political talks on Afghanistan’s future. A Liberal government would appoint a Special Envoy to the peace process for the region.

Under the Harper government, Afghanistan has seemed to represent the entirety of Canada’s role in the world. Apart from partisan rhetoric and the occasional photo op, there has been little else. Under a Liberal government, an experienced and resourced military will be a significant asset in the service of a much broader vision of Canada’s international opportunities, obligations and pursuit of our interests beyond Afghanistan. The practical framework for that vision is the comprehensive approach to human development described above, which will marshal Canada’s military strengths, together with diplomatic, development, trade and cultural strengths in a “whole of Canada” engagement with the world, underpinned by Canadian-inspired concepts of Peace, Order and Good Government, and the Responsible to Protect.

Under the Global Networks Strategy of a Liberal government, Canada will transition from a narrow focus on combat in Afghanistan to a broad and ambitious set of objectives for Canada in the world, bringing to bear our interests, values and capabilities.

Domhnach na Fola: "A Travesty Finally Arrested."

Shortly before 3 p.m., the marchers arrived in Guildhall Square singing We Shall Overcome. Some entered the small walled space crying. Others bore giant banners carrying pictures of the 14 victims:

Paddy Doherty, 31. Gerald Donaghy, 17. Jackie Duddy, 17. Hugh Gilmour, 17. Michael Kelly, 17. Michael McDaid, 20. Kevin McElhinney, 17. Barney McGuigan, 41. Gerald McKinney, 35. Willie McKinney, 26. William Nash, 19. Jim Wray, 22. John Young, 17. John Johnston, 59.

Each of them innocent. This is how they died.

"This is a day of huge moment and deep emotion in Derry. The people of my city did not just live through Bloody Sunday; they have lived with it since. . .The Prime Minister’s welcome statement and the statement that will be made by the families on the steps of the Guildhall will be the most significant records of this day on the back of the report that has been published. However, perhaps the most important and poignant words from today will not be heard here or on the airwaves. Relatives will stand at the graves of victims and their parents to tell of a travesty finally arrested, of innocence vindicated and of promises kept, and as they do so, they can invoke the civil rights anthem when they say, We have overcome. We have overcome this day."

- Mark Durkan, MP for Foyle.

Maithneamh do dhuine means to forgive someone.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In Favour.


by Matt Godwin and Sam Konig

You have no doubt been reading about recent comments made by the NDP’s Deputy Leader, Libby Davies, who stated very clearly at an anti-Israel rally that the occupation of the Palestinian territories began in 1948, rather than in 1967. This kind of rhetoric is tantamount to declaring that Israel has no right to exist at all. As if this were not enough, she further declared her support for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. Many progressives and fellow New Democrats, including the NDP’s other Deputy Leader Thomas Mulcair, have condemned her remarks.

We know that her comments do not reflect the NDP’s policy on the Middle East, the beliefs of progressive Canadians, or moderates around the world. For this reason, the time has never been more important to send a message to Jack Layton and other progressive Canadian leaders that comments such as Ms. Davies’ will not be tolerated. Comments like hers take us further away from peace in the Middle East and they alienate progressives who believe Israel has a right to exist, and live in peace and security.

We have been registering our extreme displeasure with the NDP’s leadership, and thanks to your support, we have the numbers to prove that progressive Canadians support a peaceful and secure Jewish state. I am writing to ask you to forward our petition, which reaffirms the NDP’s commitment to a two-state solution, to your friends and colleagues.

The NDP’s leadership has heard from the opposition parties, but we must do our part to make sure that they hear from progressive Canadians.

For more background on this story, please visit this.

For those of you in the Toronto-area, I encourage you to march with or support Kulanu at this year’s Pride Parade. Kulanu marches every year in Toronto and is a reminder for all Canadians, especially progressives, that Israel is not only legitimate, but is indeed the only state in the region that embraces the LGBTQ community.

Many thanks for your continued support.


Matt Godwin and Sam Konig

The Glorious Resistance Against Schoolchildren.

About 50 Afghan schoolgirls became ill and were taken to hospital after a suspected gas poisoning in their school in southwestern Afghanistan, the latest in a spate of similar incidents.

I'm on about all this on CTV News, here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Amayun The Talib-Killer; Eshak The Lawyer.

TUTAMDARA: "I put my foot on his neck and I shot him in the head with my AK47."

That is the grisly ending of a long and stirring story 34-year-old Amayun tells about how the Taliban came to his village on the Shomali Plains, how they killed all the cattle, burned the vineyards, drove the people away and enslaved the few that were allowed to remain. Its final chapter recounts the last battle Amayun and his comrades waged against the Taliban here. He reckons 27 Talibs died that day. The AK47 Amayun used to dispatch that last Talib - Amayun killed many Taliban, he is proud to point out - had belonged to his friend and fellow partisan commander, Gullalla. The Taliban had killed Gullalla just as mercilessly and efficiently. "It is how you have to fight them," he said.

Amayun said he can't understand why it is that after so many years, tens of thousands of the best-equipped and best-trained American, British, Canadian and Dutch soldiers still haven't been able to crush the Taliban in Afghanistan's southern provinces. "Nobody here can understand. I have no idea. Maybe it is because the Taliban have close ties in Kabul, with the Karzai government."

Meanwhile, in Kabul, Mohammed Ishaq Faizi fights in the same long war, on a wholly different front, with entirely different weapons. From my essay in today's Calgary Herald:

The conflict that shapes Faizi's life and work isn't between an enlightened western civil rights tradition and an obscurantist Muslim religious canon. It's between the West's occluded vision of what Afghanistan's sharia laws will necessarily and always entail, and a deeply-entrenched Afghan misapprehension that human rights are merely a foreign, western innovation.

The result sometimes erupts in international headlines. Most often, it involves innocent people getting locked away in jail in perversions of justice nobody ever hears about.

"But there does not have to be some fight between sharia and international human rights law," Faizi insists. "Human rights are not brought only from western law. . ."

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Kind And Splendid Country You Never Got To Know.

BALKH, AFGHANISTAN - Sher Khan, 7, is the serious-looking fellow, second from the left. In the crumbling remains of what was a grand school long ago, Sher Khan took me into his care and served as my guide, with instructions and gestures I couldn't comprehend. The other kids were tending a flock of goats nearby and joined in.

Nowadays, Balkh is a sleepy village of farmers, shepherds and orchardists. Merchants move their wares by donkey cart down lanes that wind through groves of pistachio and apple and cherry orchards. There is nothing much to tell you that Balkh is one of the great reliquaries of human civilization, that the melancholy ruins that rise out of the fields and forests here are the remnants of one of the world's oldest cities. Balkh was thriving when Babylon and Nineveh were provincial backwaters.

Families gather for the midday meals of naan and melons and almonds in copses of great-crowned chenar trees and in the shade of overgrown tombs, and when you pass by they will straightaway notice you are from some faraway place, and they will wave and smile, salaam.

The Persians say the first king of the world established his empire here. Something happened here that lit the spark for all the Indo-Aryan civilizations down through time. Zoroastrians who built their fire temples atop old Bhuddist stupas say Zarathustra himself lived and died here, perhaps 3,000 years ago. Balkh was the capital of the Bactrian civilization, which flourished for centuries before Alexander the Great annexed it into the Macedonian Empire. Later, Aurangzeb, the Conqueror of the World, made Balkh the centre of his dynasty.

The ruins of the school I visited with those shepherd kids was destroyed by Ghengis Khan's invading Mongols eight centuries ago. It was the very school where children gathered for instruction at the feet of Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi, known to most of the world as Rumi, the Sufi mystic, the greatest poet in the history of Islam.

Here's the point of all this.

The Omid-e-mirmun orphanage is hidden away behind high walls and a sturdy metal gate down a dusty back street in the Koshalkhan district of Kabul. When you arrive for a visit, you are ushered into a courtyard and up the stairs. A flock of girls will hurry to greet you at the door. . .

That's the beginning of an essay of mine that appears today in the Calgary Herald. It ends with this tagline: "Calgary Herald reporter, Michelle Lang, who was killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb last year, had planned to visit this orphanage."

All this is to say, this one's for you, Michelle. You would have loved the kids here, and they would have loved you back. So sleep soundly. And you, too, Marty. We won't be breaking faith with either of you, any time soon.

The people will win.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

This Is Not The Way We Put An End To War.

No, I won't. I'm not going to pretend that this has anything to do with "anti-war" activism, or that it's about bringing relief to the suffering Palestinians. Not going to go along with it. This is about something else. I've tried to make some sense of it all today in The Mark.

There’s no lack of cause to slag off Israel for the blockade. Cutting off Gaza has meant a lot of suffering among ordinary people there. But neither is there a lack of evidence that the Foundation for Human Rights & Humanitarian Relief (IHH), the Turkish charity that partnered with the Cyprus-based Free Gaza Movement to launch the flotilla, has a history of shadowy ties with some of the world’s most bloodthirsty terrorists. The IHH is openly affiliated with Hamas, and is also part of an umbrella coalition headed by Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who says suicide bombing is wrong except when it targets Israelis, and even pregnant Israeli women are fair game.

You have to look hard to find these facts reported anywhere unless they are presented as merely claims that Israel is making, but you will spend a much longer time looking for any reports at all that reveal just what the flotilla’s other big sponsor, the Perdana Global Peace Organization, is all about.

The New York Times disclosed that Perdana helped the Free Gaza Movement buy two yachts and a cargo ship for the flotilla, but even the Times noticed only that Perdana "describes itself on its Web site as opposed to war."

Perdana’s founder and guiding light is the deranged former Malaysian strongman Mahathir Mohamad, who was harping on about “hook-nosed” Jews as far back as 1970. Up to the days immediately before his retirement in 2003 he was still carrying on about how “the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.”

Only a few months ago, Mohamad proclaimed that European Jews “had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole governments to ransom ... Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world.”

That is what this "anti-war" activism is about, and no amount of histrionics, excuse-making, yes-buttery or cunning public-relations work can wash the blood from their hands. Hideously self-aggrandizing revisionism cannot cover up what this spectacularly narcissistic act of moral exhibitionism was intended to conceal from the start. "This mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies." That's not me talking. It's what flotilla organizer Greta Berlin said, before the bloodbath. This is not charity. This is politics.

This is about the continuing isolation and demonization of Israel, undermining the Palestinian Authority, and strengthening Hamas - which now enjoys the support of only 16 per cent of the people of Gaza, its stronghold.

The dead are dead. Some of them got exactly what they wanted out of this - glorious death. From the Palestinian Authority daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida: Three of the four Turks killed in the Israeli attack on the 'Freedom Flotilla' bound for the Gaza Strip wanted to die as Martyrs, said their relatives and friends.

While the flotillistas pat themselves on the back, the true friends of the Palestinian cause for freedom carry on, alone. Like One Voice. Like Combatants for Peace. Like Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine:

We are very much aware of the ongoing suffering of the inhabitants of Gaza. We are also aware that the inhabitants of Gaza are held hostage by the terror regime of Hamas which violently took over the Gaza Strip in 2007 and uninhibited, has exerted any means to harm peace, human rights and workers supporters (including PGFTU leaders and representatives who were forced to flee to the West Bank in order to save their lives and the lives of their families) and persecute them in a brutal manner. This terror organization, whose main objective is the extinction of the Israeli State, has harmed Israeli innocent civilians and workers by firing missiles in the past ten years which intensified after the withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

The Histadrut, whose value of solidarity is its top priority, supports the humanitarian assistance for the residents of Gaza, coordinates the access for different Confederations and unions to Gaza and ensures the success of their activity through coordination with the Israeli security forces.

This activity of the Histadrut proves that it is possible to offer humanitarian assistance to the residents of Gaza via peaceful means whose positive results yield assistance and aid that are meaningful.

The conduct of the flotilla’s organizers and their methods of action utterly contradict the cooperation and the responsibility to achieve the goal we all aspire to attain — effective humanitarian assistance for the residents of Gaza. . .