aku-aku: v.. To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a "walking" fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.
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israel attacks u.s. navy ship
Posted by dav at 2003 March 2 08:40 PM
File under: Thoughts

When I first started my readings on the history of the middle east conflict a couple of years ago, I learned an interesting fact: in 1967 during the Six Days War Israel attacked a U.S. reconaissance naval ship in the Mediterranean killing 34 american soldiers and wounding 171 more. Not a lot of people know about this, because of deliberate government efforts to keep it quiet. Here's a report on it I just came across online.

The Attack On the American Ship "USS Liberty" by Israel

Certain facts are clear. The attack was no accident. The Liberty was assaulted in broad daylight by Israeli forces who knew the ship's identity. The Liberty, an intelligence-gathering ship, had no combat capability and carried only light machine guns for defense. A steady breeze made its U.S. flag easily visible. The assault occurred over a period of nearly two hours-first by air, then torpedo boat. The ferocity of the attacks left no doubt: the Israeli forces wanted the ship and its crew destroyed.
You might wonder why I post this. I post this because most people I know take one side or the other in the middle east conflict without spending any time doing research into the history of it. I want to give a taste of how complicated this conflict is and how little the general public really knows about it. Don't allow your politics to be a spoon fed diet of slogans and party positions. Do keep your eyes, your ears and your mind open.

Another thing most people don't know: the first terrorist attacks (the act of surprise bombing civilian gathering places) were carried out by the Irgun Zeva'i Le'umi in the late 30's, a radical zionist group that was attempting to create the nation of Israel back when it was still Palestine and under British mandate. Incidentally, the IZL is a direct ancestor to Ariel Sharon's political body. They killed hundreds of arabs in places like bus stops and market places in a series of terror attacks. For that matter, most people probably have no idea how many British soldiers were killed by these zionist radical groups before the British pulled out in the late 40's. Here's one example: The Bombing of the King David Hotel.

I take the linked story about the U.S.S. Liberty with a grain of salt. It makes some conclusions I am not sure are supported by documentation. The basic facts of the attack are well documented though. And another report I have read that was written by an Israeli historian using declassified Israeli documents does support the assertion that their airforce did not make an identity mistake contrary to the official statements by both governements.

Comments:

I recently read a similar article in gush-shalom "It's ok to eat belgian chocolate" explaining why a Belgian court decided that Ariel Sharon can be sued for alleged war crimes:

http://www.gush-shalom.org/archives/article233.html

Posted by: fabien on March 5, 2003 06:20 AM

Fabien, thanks for the link.

You might be interested in a post I made a week or so ago about a new biography of Philip Habib the U.S. mediator during the beirut-israeli conflict in 1982.

I have read some of the reports made by the Israeli court that investigated the incident. The horrific details of that three day massacre as reported by traumatized Israeli soldiers (much less the palestinian refugee victims of the Phalange) still haunt my thoughts.

Posted by: Dav on March 5, 2003 10:44 AM

HISTORY CHANNEL HAS SHOWN THE STORY WITH INTERVIEWS AND SOME ORIGINAL FILM TAKEN DURING THR INCIDENT, THE CAPTAIN RECV'D THE MEDAL OF HONOR AND HAS RECENTLY DIED. HE IS BURRIED IN ARLINGTON, ALSO 10 UNIDENTIFIED REMAIN'S MARKED SIMPLY AS KILLED IN THE MEDITIRIAN SEA.THEY HAVE THEY HAVE THEIR ON WEB=SITE I AM LOOKING FOR IT NOW.

Posted by: BUTCH on July 19, 2003 03:49 AM

We are dealing here with people who are very self-contradictory, for Jews are among the brightest people of the world, yet they are stuck in the myth of the Promised Land -so either they do things because God tells them to do it, or they do things by mistake, as it is purported that this attack was made. Not all Jews are Zionists, I must declare, and I hope that the people of Israel may eventually understand that we no longer live in Old Testament times, that we have international laws nowadays, and that ruthlessly attacking others will never afford them any peace.

Posted by: R. Martin on June 5, 2004 08:06 AM

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