US Navy Veterans Continue to Seek Justice for Israeli Attack
Tuesday 01 June 2010
by: Dahr Jamail
The Israeli military has attacked a flotilla of international peace activists, killing as many as 19 innocent civilians while they were carrying ten tons of aid to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. This is not the first time the Israeli military has attacked a nonthreatening entity in international waters.
On June 8, 1967, while sailing in international waters, the US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was attacked by air and naval forces of the state of Israel. Of the Liberty's crew of 294, more than half were killed or wounded. More than 40 years later, survivors are still seeking justice.
The Israeli forces attacked with full knowledge that the Liberty was an American ship, yet survivors have been forbidden to tell their story under oath to the American public.
Joe Meadors was on the Liberty during the attack.
Gaza Flotilla American was Also Survivor of Deadly 1967 Israeli Attack on U.S. Navy
Thursday, June 03, 2010
For one member of the flotilla that tried reaching the Gaza Strip with supplies, a military strike by Israel was an all-too-familiar experience.
Joe Meadors was aboard the Greek-flagged ship Sfendoni on Memorial Day when Israeli forces intercepted it, along with five other vessels, to maintain Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Although his ship did not come under attack on Monday, Meadors’ vessel 43 years ago—the USS Liberty—was badly damaged by Israel during the Six Day War.
The USS Liberty was an intelligence ship sailing in international waters on June 8, 1967, when Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats attacked, resulting in the deaths of 34 American personnel, and 171 wounded. Israel has always contended the attack was a mistake, and the government subsequently paid about $13 million in compensation to settle claims arising from the incident.
Another Liberty survivor, James Ennes, told the media that Meadors joined the Gaza flotilla in part to raise awareness about what happened to their ship more than four decades ago.
Meadors was taken into custody on Monday by Israeli forces, but was released and returned to the United States.
Another ship in the flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, was the scene of a bloody fight when Israeli commandoes boarded the ship in international waters, leaving nine of the ship’s occupants dead.
Berkley Daily Planet
To Navy vet Joe Meadors, “There is no doubt that the Israelis were committing piracy on the high seas against the Freedom Flotilla and used deadly force against unarmed humanitarians whose only crime was defending themselves against a sea and airborne invasion by heavily armed aggressors."
"As a survivor of the June 8, 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty," Meadors said, "I am fully aware of the tactics the Israelis are capable of and willing to use with impunity and without remorse. That time they fired machine guns, cannon, rockets, napalm, and torpedoes on us, then deliberately machine-gunned life rafts we had dropped over the side in anticipation of abandoning ship. And the only response from the American government was to impose a gag order on the crew of the USS Liberty."
"This time, too," Meadors continued, "the Israelis have shown no remorse, and I fear that the US government is again granting them impunity."
USS Liberty incident June 8, 1967.