MV Rachel Corrie heading for Gaza — with the full support of the Irish government

This is a major development. The MV Rachel Corrie cargo ship, whose passage to join the Freedom Flotilla may have been delayed because of sabotage by Israelis, is now heading for Gaza — and it has the full support of the Irish government. This is no longer just a question of how easily Israel can trample on the rights of a humanitarian organization.

The Irish prime minister, Brian Cowen, has warned Israel that it will face “the most serious consequences” in the event that any harm comes to Irish citizens on board the humanitarian relief vessel.

The Irish Times reports:

The cargo vessel is ploughing ahead with its attempt to deliver aid to Gaza despite yesterday’s deadly attack by the Israeli navy on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Mr Cowen called today called for the immediate establishment of “a full, independent international inquiry into yesterday’s events, preferably under UN auspices”.

He called on Israel to release “unconditionally” Irish citizens who he said had been taken to Gaza by the Israeli authorities and asked to sign papers allowing for their deportation.

Speaking in the Dáil [Ireland’s parliament] during Leaders’ Questions, the Taoiseach [prime minister] said the presence of Irish diplomatic personnel in Israel provided “better prospects” that the citizens would be released “sooner rather than later”

“But I will make this point. If any harm comes to any of our citizens, it will have the most serious consequences.”

Mr Cowen said Ireland’s longstanding position was that the Israeli blockade of Gaza was “immoral and counterproductive” and should be ended.

“Israel must listen and respond to the clear concerns of the international community on this issue. To do otherwise will only serve to reinforce the position of the extremists on both sides and jeopardise the hope of achieving some urgently needed political progress in the region, which the current proximity talks represent,” he said.

The Israeli army has warned that it will be stopped if it attempts to enter Israeli waters.

The Rachel Corrie, which has five Irish nationals and five Malaysians aboard, is due to arrive in Gazan waters over the coming days, a spokeswoman for the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said. It became separated from the main aid flotilla after being delayed for 48 hours in Malta due to logistical reasons, and is currently off the coast of Libya.

Mr Martin, who called Israeli Ambassador Dr Zion Evrony to a meeting yesterday, said the boat should be allowed through peacefully.

Mr Martin said Israel was also obliged to respect its international obligations under the Vienna Convention and ensure Irish citizens have access to full consular support. He also expressed his condolences to the Turkish government and the families of the people killed when Israeli commandos raided the Turkish registered Mavi Marmara aid ship in international waters as it travelled from Cyprus, killing nine people.

Five Irish campaigners – including leading activists Dr Fintan Lane and Fiachra Ó Luain – are being held in the Be’er Sheva detention camp, from where they face deportation. Dr Lane and Mr Ó Luain were on board Free Gaza boat Challenger 1 which was boarded by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, Haaretz reports that Colonel Itzik Turgeman, a senior Israel Defense Forces officer, speaking before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, hinted that the IDF had sabotaged the engines of all the ships in the Freedom Flotilla other than the Mavi Marmara, saying that “they took care of them.”

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  1. delia ruhe says

    You have to admire these peace activists.

    There is an excellent article on the ABC site by Ben Saul on the extent to which Israel, in its homicidal attack of yesterday, is in violation of international law. I’m hoping that lots of people read it so that we don’t have such a vast number of alarmingly ignorant comments on this issue. The URL:

  2. How do you “deport” someone you just kidnapped on the high seas? Clearly. the year is 1984 in the Isr alternate reality universe.

  3. Micheline LaRoche says

    I just want to say Good Luck to the Freedom Flotilla Rachel Corrie. I just saw pictures of Gaza on t.v. showing poor little children in the rubble. Heartbreaking to say the least. I wish the Flotilla all the best in getting to your destination safely and with success.

  4. peace for earth says

    Our hearts with those people in Rachel Corrie. We hope they will reach Gazza safe. Greetings from Turkey!

  5. vote human rights says

    Go Rachel Corrie!!! safe journey back and forth!

  6. What?…did everyone think that the rest of the world would forever wait around for the US to stand up?
    I didn’t…and frankly am delighted to see everyone from Brazil to Turkey to Ireland and numerous others insert and assert themselves into problems like Israel-Palestine and Iran.
    Israel, among other things, has eaten away at the US power and influence by revealing how corrupt and ball-less we are when it comes to being the moral or even law biding cop on the world beat.
    However in many ways it’s perfect justice that the Israelis sucking down of American power and influence will result in Israel’s only protector not having the power to protect them any longer.

    Go world.

  7. There was earlier brief mention of sabotage when two of the vessels were unable to leave Cyprus because of hydraulic steering gear problems. Now Israelis are going to boast about sabotaging others.

    The world has one very good remedy for Israeli sabotage and murder teams — everyone arriving at any country in the world from Israel should be detained, searched, and fitted with subcutaneous RF tracking chips before being allowed to proceed.

  8. Go Rachel Corrie, Go!!!!
    May you reach Gaza safely.
    Our prayers are with you.

    New Jerseyans against the occupation.

  9. Go MV Rachel Corrie, U’ll reach Gaza soon, Shame on me I’m not aboard

  10. It’s very sad when the world’s nations’ leader s hesitate to condemn one act and then leap onto another. When Gaza was being smashed and 1400 people were annihilated, including over 400 children, in December 2008-January 2009 no leader made such a noise. NOW, we have 9 or perhaps as many as 20 internationals killed and some more injured for joining in with a fabulous effort to bring some justice and succour to the people of Gaza, and the world’s leaders are standing on their heads, condemning out loud, shouting the odds, expelling diplomats and withdrawing ambassadors, etc.

    I hope now that they’ve woken up they will not stop shouting and making a fuss until Israel is brought to account for the last 70+ years of murder, torture, terrorism, brutality and home demolition.

  11. In one picture we have those brave people from 40 countries with the Freedom Flotilla, who went to break the inhuman siege of the 1,5 Millions imprisoned Gazan people, forced to live in ruins, no clean water, no food, no books and pencils for the children, a horror picture resembling the siege in the Middle Age, but we are in the 21 century and Israel who is committing this genozidal crime calls itself the only democracy in the Middle East. In the other picture we have a screaming fascist mass outside Ben Gurion University (Israel) celebrating the massaker of 19 civilians from the aid convoy. These two pictures of such a contrast and their awful result shall not fool us. Humanity has no place in Israel and in no western governments. Even the US Congress members in both houses get hysterically more israeli than american. Humanity is going down and israeli hysteria celebrating murder is coming up. We will have a long night coming.

  12. I am so proud of the tiny of country of Ireland for standing up to Israel. I have been reading derogatory comments about Ireland all day, but truly they did get rid of the useless british monarchy. They are also in the unique position of having a quarter of their ancient homeland under foreign control. I am appalled at our pols and media fawning before the Israeli mafia. I have many Jewish family members who are just as outraged as I. Paul Newman was half Jewish. Do you think Newman would for one moment condone the actions of the Israeli Nazis.

  13. I Am SOOO Happy To See Some Resistance of the outside world on the atrocities being implied on the people of Palsetine by The Zionist State of Israel..Funny How America Is Silent because whenever an Arab country attacks or challenges a European country all hell breaks loose and the US is the first to condemn but When An Arab State (Israel) Attacks A European Nation (Turkey) America Has No Balls To Stand Up To It..Disgusting!..Stop The Occupation Of Gaza And Lift The Blockade Israel Is Not Saving Lives But Using Its Propaganda Like “Ohh it was a Ship Carrying Hatred and Terrorists, ohh they were Hamas Militants” (Find Something Original for Once) to commit Genocide and Torture. Thankyou Ireland For Having this much Courage..People of New Zealand Are Against The Occupation. Our Prayers are with the MV Rachel Corrie..May You Crush Watevah Comes In Ur Path!.

  14. Paul Nolan says

    The sooner people wake up to the fact that Obama won’t condemn Israel is because he gave the go ahead for the attack. A brazen act of Piracy and International terrorism by a rogue terrorist state only happened because the USA backed it. If any harm should befall the Irish Citizens on the Rachel Corrie our government must act quickly to expel the Israelis, US and Cypriot ambassadors. We must call for a blanket ban on that scum bag state and its scumbag pawn Cyprus. The decent people of the world tore down racist South Africa, we can tear down Nazi Israel.

  15. joe Stevens says

    I hate to bring it up folks but have not Hamas committed unbelievable acts of murder against Israeli civilians or have people a short memory. It’s easy for us Irish to look on and choose our sides while sitting watching the telly, we dont have to live with it, Palestinian or Israeli neighbours. We and other meddlers and do-gooders are the main cause of the impasse that exists there because both parties are trying to impress the world that their cause is right.

  16. malaysians says

    Go Rachel Corrie, Go!!!!
    Allah will always be with you !!
    all malaysians, will support you no matter what their religion are.

  17. Our hearts with those people in MC Rachel Corrie.
    We hope they will reach Gazza safe.
    Its beginning of the end for the Zionist regime.

  18. A fine lynch mob.
    If the USA had decided to blockade Japan in Aug 45, would you all have been pushing a NEUTRAL Ireland in that one?
    Let’s be clear, the FREELY ELECTED GOVT of Gaza HAMAS, has stated over and over, PROUDLY their goal “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” When Israel did what all the world wished, to make THEIR lives easier, an left Gaza unilaterally, the result was 4000+ rockets into 1948 Israel.

    The govt of Gaza and the PEOPLE who are responsible for the empowering of that govt (that’s what democracy is folks, right?) have put in place a war of survival.

    In the near future there will either be an Israel or a HAMAS but not both. We are not talking here about a Palestinian State, we are talking about the Muslim Brotherhood, and HAMAS.

    This double standard filled lynchmob here has chosen HAMAS.

    At least be adults and admit that you thus feel Israel has no right to exist, and that HAMAS should be able to freely import without inspection anything to do what they proudly proclaim their religion COMPELS upon them, and what they did until the IDF ran thru Gaza (again).

    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” HAMAS

  19. Tyra Huntington says

    Our prayers are with yall on board the Rachel Corrie. I personally know one of the 6 Malaysians on board. Good luck.

  20. May God the almighty lord bliss the souls of those who parished in the second world war.. including the 25 million russian who died in siberia !!!!

  21. Helena in Ireland says

    Go do your thing, MV Rachel Corrie

    May you see guiding lights on the waves ahead
    When the route you sail is dark.
    May you always hear, even in those darkest hours,
    The gentle singing of our lark.
    When the journey’s hard, may hardness never turn your heart to stone.
    And may you always remember, should the shadows ever fall,
    That you’ve never sailed alone.