Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Iowans Protest Gaza Aid Ship Massacre

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Iowans Protest Gaza Aid Ship Massacre

Article excerpt

IOWANS rallied at Nollen Plaza in downtown Des Moines on June 2 to protest Israel's massacre of civilian aid workers and activists during the May 31 attack by Israeli military forces on the ships of the Free Gaza Flotilla in the eastern Mediterranean.

"It's a travesty; it's a blatant massacre; it's a war crime," said David Goodner, a community organizer and a Des Moines Catholic Worker.

"It's the most recent in a series of war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel has committed, the first being the 40-year-old occupation. The second Lebanon war in 2006 was a war crime. The invasion of Gaza and the bombing of Gaza in 2008 was a war crime. The blockade of Gaza and the starvation of Palestinians in Gaza are war crimes and crimes against humanity. And this massacre is a war crime. Enough is enough. It's time to put an end to this," declared Goodner.

"There's a non-violent popular resistance movement in the Occupied Territories, a coalition of Palestinians, left-wing Israeli Jews, and International Solidarity Movement activists. They're using non-violence as an effective means of ending the occupation. I've been there and I've seen it," said Goodner.

"The nonviolent popular resistance movement is broad-based, it's international, and it's effective," Goodner added, "and that's why the Israelis are deliberately and violently trying to repress that movement, because they know it's effective and they're scared of the change that's lapping up on their shores."

"Sounds to me like [the Israeli military commandos] were super-aggressive," said Gil Landolt, a member of the Des Moines chapter of Veterans for Peace. "They killed people, and they hurt a lot of people, and I think that's insane."

"The Israeli government is no longer defending itself," said Ismael Hossein-zadeh, a professor of economics at Drake University. "They are defending an illegal siege, they are defending starvation. …

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