From Haaretz…

Israel Navy commander: ‘Hate flotilla’ to Gaza must be stopped

Israel Navy commander Adm. Eliezer Marom issued a stark warning on Sunday for the organizers of the Gaza flotilla intended to set sail at the end of the month.

“The Navy has prevented and will continue to prevent the arrival of the ‘hate flotilla’ whose only goals are to clash with IDF soldiers, create media provocation and to delegitimize the State of Israel,” Marom cautioned, speaking during the Israel Navy Divers’ Course concluding ceremony…

As Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin, a participant, wrote in Common Dreams…

Setting Sail for Gaza, Armed with Love Letters and a Missive from Dr. King

…The U.S. boat, which will carry 50 Americans, is called The Audacity of Hope. It is named after Obama’s bestselling political autobiography in which he lauds our collective audacity of striving to become a better nation. But I prefer to think of our boat as part of Dr. King’s legacy. He, too, talked about audacity, about his audacious faith in the future. “I refuse to accept the idea that the ‘isness’ of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal ‘oughtness’ that forever confronts him,” Dr. King said.

Our intrepid group has its moral compass aimed at the way things ought to be. Our cargo is not humanitarian aid, as some of the other ships are carrying, but thousands of letters from the U.S. people, letters of compassion, solidarity and hope written to people living in the Gaza Strip. We travel with what Dr. King called “unarmed truth and unconditional love.”

Naturally, Foggy Bottom tries to cover it’s bloody arse…

In a new travel advisory for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, the department says the Gaza coast is “dangerous and volatile.”

The advisory notes that the Israeli navy has stopped previous attempts to enter Gaza by sea, and that’s resulted in deaths, injuries and arrests.

The U.S. says those participating may face arrest, prosecution and deportation. Israeli authorities say they will seek to ban anyone attempting to break the blockade from traveling to Israel for 10 years.

As another participant, Ridgely Fuller recently wrote…

Fuller: A ‘Freedom Rider’ returns to Gaza

My first substantial trip to Gaza in 2009 included dancing the “hokey pokey” on the beach with dozens of Palestinian children. My second trip in 2010 involved coming under live fire Israeli gunfire while accompanying Palestinians into the Israeli declared “no go” zone comprising almost one third of Gaza and its most fertile agricultural land.

Naturally, I wonder what my third trip, as a passenger to Gaza on the U.S. ship, “The Audacity of Hope,” will bring…

Who’s the real ‘terrorists’…?

As I’ve noted before…

Israel Threatens to use Attack Dogs on Unarmed Civilians of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla…

Will the Gaza flotilla be safe from Israel’s murderous threats?

The Israelis did succeed in pressuring several groups to pull out of the flotilla…

Why the Mavi Marmara pulled out?

French flotilla called off due to Jewish community’s pressure.

Wtf is this…?

US man seeks to seize flotilla ships using anti-piracy law…

Senator wants U.S. Navy to help block flotillas to Gaza…

In summation…

Savvy flotilla prep in full swing at Athens port

Non-violence training and anti-sabotage measures are in place for the volunteers, activists and media arriving in Athens as the Freedom Flotilla II prepares to sail to Gaza.

In hopes of preventing sabotage which organizers said docked two boats from the 2010 flotilla, the ships for the June voyage have been moored in undisclosed locations, and press members have been asked not to release photographs of the vessels.

Upon arrival, those registered to sail to Gaza and attempt to break the Israeli blockade will participate in seminars designed by flotilla organizers on how to handle expected confrontations with Israeli forces when the boats approach the Gaza shore. [...]

Lynda Brayer, a human rights lawyer, maintains that the military operation against the 2010 flotilla was a violation of international law.

Speaking with Ma’an, Brayer explained that the men and women on the ships were unarmed civilians. “They are what [are] called in international law hors de combat, which means out of the field of combat. That is the definition of civilians. Because they’re not part of the other side, they don’t fall into the category of an army, so they’re not allowed to be attacked.”

A fact-finding mission convened by the United Nations Human Rights Council, after the 2010 flotilla, found after investigation that:

“The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence. It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality. Such conduct cannot be justified or condoned on security or any other grounds. It constituted grave violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law.”

The report called the Israeli blockade “totally intolerable and unacceptable.”

God Speed and God Bless…!