Monday, 31 January 2011

Irish parliamentarians, writers and activists gear up for Free Gaza Movement flotilla

From the Irish Times
CELEBRATED IRISH travel writer Dervla Murphy is to join Irish activists taking part in a Gaza-bound aid flotilla due to sail at the end of March.

Ms Murphy (78) will sail on a 25-passenger boat recently acquired by Irish activists planning to participate in the multinational flotilla, which is expected to begin its voyage on March 30th.

Several Irish politicians including Fianna Fáil TD Chris Andrews and his party colleague Senator Mark Daly, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh and People Before Profit councillor Richard Boyd Barrett have also pledged their participation.

Ms Murphy contacted Dr Fintan Lane of the Free Gaza Movement and the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign last week. “I asked if there was room on the boat because I would very much like to go,” she told The Irish Times . “I feel so strongly about the whole situation in Gaza, and I think the flotilla is a good way of drawing international attention to what is going on there. more

Turkish film about avenging Mari Marmara massacre smashes box office records

(Reuters) - A new Turkish film in which an action-man hero avenges the death of Turkish activists in Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship is likely to put new strain on already tense relations between Turkey and Israel.

"Valley of the Wolves: Palestine", one of the most expensive Turkish films ever made, has drawn accusations at home of excessive violence and abroad of anti-Israeli propaganda, but it attracted big audiences at its opening this weekend.

In the film Polat Alemdar, a secret agent more akin to Rambo than James Bond, emerges from a series of bloody clashes to track down and kill the Israeli commander who ordered the storming of an aid ship heading for Gaza. more

Valley of the Wolves: Palestine (Kurtlar Vadisi: Filistin) is now showing at Cineworld - Wood Green

Noel Park Road, Wood Green Shopping City, London, N22 6LU - 0871 200 2000

Amnesty condemns Israel inquiry into Mavi Marmara massacre as whitewash

Palestine, (Pal Telegraph) - Amnesty International has condemned the findings of an Israeli inquiry into last year’s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla as a “whitewash” which failed to account for the deaths of nine Turkish nationals.

In a report published on 23 January, the Turkel Commission concluded that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) acted lawfully when they captured the Mavi Mamara on 31 May 2010, killing nine activists on board, and intercepted five other ships. Despite being nearly 300 pages long, the report crucially fails to explain how the activists died and what conclusions the Commission reached regarding the IDF’s specific actions in each case.

The Commission’s failure to account for the deaths reinforces the view that the Israeli authorities are unwilling or incapable of delivering accountability for abuses of international law committed by Israeli forces. It also highlights the need for follow-up to ensure that the sharply contrasting conclusions of the International Fact-Finding Mission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, which were issued on 22 September 2010, but not even mentioned by the Commission, are addressed and that the rights of victims to an effective remedy are upheld. more