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Info on Podcast #138

Dr. Paul Larudee on Israel’s assault on Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Larudee has been on this show numerous times, most recently in March. He is a founder of the Free Palestine Movement and over the past two years has been on some of the boats that have made 10 attempts to penetrate the Israeli blockade of Gaza’s port. Larudee gives a chilling first-person account of the events of May 31, when Israeli choppers and gunboats accosted the flotilla in international waters. Larudee was aboard the Sfendoni which was boarded before the larger ship, Mavi Marmara; he explains the sequence of events, and his own nonviolent resistance–including taking a plunge in the sea–which enraged the soldiers who beat him and treated him roughly. Larudee responds to lies and spin delivered by the Israeli Defense Ministry, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the US media echo chamber. While 9 Turks (including a US dual citizen) were killed in the Israeli assault, Larudee says the Israeli commandos fired as they landed on the ship, before some passengers attacked with sticks and tossed an invading soldier into the sea. Larudee feels that their efforts are producing a shift in the policies of Israel and neighbors like Egypt, which has re-opened the Rafah border with Gaza. After our conversation, Larudee left for a meeting in Beirut to plan next steps, and he urges you to contact members of Congress to support an end to the lockdown of Gaza. PBC opens the show in honor of Helen Thomas, the intrepid White House reporter. Tech note: due to a computer glitch, there are some audio dropouts in the file, but you should be able to follow without missing much.