Counterculture Con HQ

June 28, 2010

Iran calls off Blockade run to Gaza

Iran blinks.  The cost of saving the pooor Gazans is simply more than Iran is willing to pay.

June 25 (Bloomberg) — Iran said the June 27 departure of a ship carrying aid to the Gaza Strip has been canceled because of Israel’s vow to prevent Iranian and Lebanese vessels from breaching its blockade of the Palestinian enclave.

“The Zionist regime has made sending aid to Gaza a political issue,” [LOL] Hossein Sheikholeslam, head of the Iranian agency to support Palestinians, was cited as saying by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency late yesterday.

He referred to Israel’s warning to the United Nations that it may take military action to prevent ships from reaching Gaza. “In order not to give the Zionist regime an excuse, we will send the aid through other routes and without Iran’s name,” said Sheikholeslam, a former lawmaker and diplomat.

“The costs of sending aid to Gaza has increased,” Sheikholeslam said. [Sheik Hole Slam???] “As Israel has said it will confiscate ships, no company is prepared to rent their vessels.” [Clearly, saving the pooor Gazans from utter starvation and death is not worth the cost of a smallish Class VI bulk freighter] Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor declined to comment on the cancellation of the Iranian voyage when reached by telephone today.

Israel said in letters to the UN June 18 that it may use its military to block ships from Lebanon that plan to sail to Gaza with aid. The organizers of the Lebanese effort may be linked to Hezbollah and some have said they wish to become “martyrs,” according to the letters from Israeli UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on June 23 that plans to send ships from Iran and Lebanon were an attempt to “create a provocation.” He said on June 2 that there were no shortages of food or medicine in Gaza.  Israel agreed on June 20 to allow all food items and a wider range of building supplies into Gaza by road, while banning materials that might be used for attacks.

The Red Crescent Society’s chartered vessel was scheduled to leave the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas with 1,100 tons of medicine, food and hygiene goods donated by Iranians, the organization said. Five Red Crescent representatives and five journalists were going to be on board, it said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, in a June 14 report, called on Israel to end the blockade, saying it subjected Gaza’s civilians to “collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law.” [Newspeak.  The bar on “collective penalties” forbids the imposition of criminal or military penalties (imprisonment, death, etc) on some people for crimes committed by other individuals– you know, rounding up and killing 100 villagers for every German soldier killed by partisans.  Blockades or sanctions were never meant to fall under that prohibition. Notice the launching of rockets on innocent Israelis is never referred to as “collective punishment” by these Leftwing types.  Their concern for “human rights” is always a one-way street, and never in a direction that favors Israel.] It also urged those with “an influence on the situation, including Hamas, to do their utmost to help Gaza’s civilian population.” [Doing their “utmost” does not include the possibility of getting your freighter confiscated]

The Hamas government’s economy minister, Ziad Zaza, dismissed Israel’s relaxing of the blockade as “nonsense,” saying Israel was trying to reduce international pressure on it. [Then running the Gaza blockade–instead of delivering supplies through the Israeli port of Ashod– is equally “nonsense,” as this is similarly done for the purpose of increasing international pressure on Israel] Hamas, which won Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006, ousted forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah group and seized full control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, leaving Abbas in charge of the West Bank. Hamas is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and the European Union.