Sunday, 25 July 2010

Israeli intelligence services in overdrive to counter 'bad PR'

Excellent piece on Israel's response to the BDS campaign. Bill going through parliament will lead to punitive economic measures against the Pallestinian Authority because of its call for a Palestine and worldwide boycott of settlement goods. The law if passed would also criminalise Israeli activists who support the boycott. After noting the growing reach of the BDS campaign, a recent report to an Israeli security conference recommended that:
'Israeli Intelligence community "collect, analyze and disseminate information initiate "operations" in areas relevant to Israel's PR campaign, and direct the intelligence agencies towards thwarting anti-Israeli public relations.' [3 mins into video]
Israel's defenders just don't get it. It's not a problem of presentation and PR but rather the plain fact of colonialism and oppression underpinning the state that is the problem. And that can't be wished away. The arrogance of being an imperial outpost for the US seems to blind even the most astute and strategic thinkers in Israel from facing this reality. Instead they resort to ever more desperate acts, further isolating their position.

Israel threatens Lebanon as aid ships Junia and Julia prepare to leave for Gaza

As the two Lebanese ships, Junia and Julia - one carrying women, the other journalists - ready to leave for Gaza, Israel is ramping up its diplomatic efforts to to halt the aid mission - now thinly veiled military threats against the Lebanese government as Lebanon's Daily Star reports below:
UNITED NATIONS: Israel is urging Lebanon and the international community to prevent two ships from sailing to Gaza from a Lebanese port to break Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory. It warned that the vessels will be stopped.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev accused organizers of the aid ships Junia and Julia of seeking “to incite a confrontation and raise tensions in our region.”

A deadly Israeli commando raid on a Turkish ship trying to bring aid to Gaza on May 31 killed one Turkish-American and eight Turkish activists and focused international attention on Israel’s blockade of Gaza imposed since 2006.

In letters to UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council obtained Thursday by The AP, Shalev said that “Israel reserves its right under international law to use all necessary means to prevent these ships from violating the … naval blockade.”

She called on Beirut “to demonstrate responsibility” and prevent the two ships, Junia and Julia, from departing.

Israel and Lebanon remain “in a state of hostility,” Shalev said, and “such action will prevent any escalation.” more

The UN seems to be falling into line with Israeli demands if spokesperson Martin Nesirky is anything to go by. This from the Jerusalem Post:
On Friday, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky, relating to the planned Lebanese flotilla, said those who wish to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza should do so by land and not try to break Israel’s sea blockade.
Hamas has denounced the statement as tantamount to colllaboration with Israel's illegal naval blockade and land siege, which of course it is.