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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Former U.S. Ambassador Examines Motive Behind Israel's Assault on Gaza Aid Flotilla
10 Jun 2010
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Former U.S. Ambassador Examines Motive Behind Israel's Assault on Gaza Aid Flotilla

Interview with former Ambassador Edward Peck, on board a boat in Gaza Aid Flotilla, conducted by Scott Harris

Less than a week after Israel launched a military assault on a flotilla of six civilian ships carrying humanitarian aid to Palestinians living in Gaza -- which resulted in the deaths of nine passengers -- the Israeli Navy intercepted another cargo ship challenging its three-year-old blockade of Gaza. The ship of Irish registry, the Rachel Corrie, was named after a U.S. activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer when she attempted to prevent the destruction of a Palestinian home in 2003. The vessel was boarded without reports of violence and brought to the Israeli port of Ashdod. Israel said the humanitarian aid onboard the 1,200 ton cargo ship would be inspected and items not banned would be transported by truck to Gaza.

Among the passengers onboard the Rachel Corrie were Irish citizens Mairead Maguire, who won a Nobel Peace prize for her advocacy of a peaceful settlement in Northern Ireland, and Denis Halliday, a former U.N. humanitarian aid coordinator in Iraq who resigned in protest over the imposition of economic sanctions on Iraqi civilians.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is now attempting to convene an international body to investigate Israel's May 31 assault on the six aid ships and the circumstances surrounding the deaths of nine passengers on the largest ship, the Mavi Marmara. Former U.S. Ambassador to Mauritania Edward Peck was among those onboard the Greek-flagged boat Sfendoni, one of six ships intercepted by the Israelis. Peck is a 32-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, who was President Reagan's deputy director of the White House Task Force on Terrorism. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Ambassador Peck about why he participated in the aid flotilla, accusations by Israel that the passengers on the aid ships had links to terrorists and the reasons behind the growing international movement challenging Israel's Gaza blockade.

For more information on the Free Gaza Movement, one of the groups coordinating the Gaza aid ships, visit their website at

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
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