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> Israeli Attack on Gaza bound Flotilla, Commando Raid in International Waters Kills ???
TedN5
post Jun 2 2010, 05:15 PM
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On May 31st the Israeli navy and commandos attacked a flotilla of ships headed for Gaza with humanitarian aid in an attempt to break the blockade of Gaza's 1.5 million people. At least 9 activists were killed and many more wounded. Israel's close ally, Turkey, along with most European and Muslim counties have condemned the attack but the US has not. The UN Security Council past a resolution asking for an impartial investigation of the attack.

There has been very little in the US major media about this attack (Rachael Maddow did briefly report on it). What coverage there has been has used Israeli sources because of Israel's tight news management that prevented most of the 600 or so activists seized from the flotilla from being interviewed. HERE is a Democracy Now interview with one of the organizers of the flotilla that gives their perspective. And here are some other accounts and follow ups:

Turkey Slams US Response

NYT Opinion Piece

Barney Frank's reaction

Did Israel violate international law?

What are the likely consequences for Israel's position in the world?

What are the likely implications for US policies in the Middle East?

Do you have a personal reaction that you wish to share?

This post has been edited by TedN5: Jun 2 2010, 05:16 PM
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Raptavio
post Jun 2 2010, 05:27 PM
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[quote name='TedN5' date='Jun 2 2010, 12:15 PM' post='301573']

Did Israel violate international law?

It certainly seems so. It attacked an unarmed flotilla in international waters.

What are the likely consequences for Israel's position in the world?

For any other country the consequences would be short and very blunt. Israel's unique position in the world means the consequences will be complicated and likely prolonged. Their relationship with Turkey has already been very volatile. Turkey has withdrawn its ambassador in the wake of this, and Israel, at least in the near term, seems to find itself with few supporters for its actions.

What are the likely implications for US policies in the Middle East?

Most likely none. The US is likely to find whatever reason it needs to continue on its course, whether ambiguity in the law, the IDF's carefully controlled and selective video release (having stolen all other cameras and laptops from the passengers), or something else. The US's relationship with Israel is highly unlikely to be chilled at all.

Do you have a personal reaction that you wish to share?

If this was Iran's government blocking an aid shipment to, say, its Kurdish population, people would be calling this an act of war.
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Ultimatejoe
post Jun 2 2010, 06:55 PM
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QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 2 2010, 01:27 PM) *
If this was Iran's government blocking an aid shipment to, say, its Kurdish population, people would be calling this an act of war.

The Iranian government wouldn't have offered to deliver the aid shipment itself, over land with civilian and international monitoring. Just a point... be careful in your comparisons.

Did Israel violate international law?
This is unclear; the boats were clearly attempting to violate Israeli territorial waters, but they hadn't done so. It is at the very least a legal grey area. Governments interdict suspected criminals in international waters regularly, the crux of the matter is how we define criminality here.

What are the likely consequences for Israel's position in the world?
Unfortunately the consequences will be further isolation and hostility, but you reap what you sow... I don't buy for a second the idea that Israel is any more "unique" than any other country, but the politics of Israel are extremely tricky. The more hostility that Israel perceives the harder it is for an Israeli government to draw domestic support for real peace, and the longer it goes without real peace efforts the more hostile the international community becomes. I have a lot of family in Israel, and let me tell you, they would rather Israel become an economic and political pariah than abandon their "security..." And in that sense Israel is like every other country on Earth. The only difference is that Israeli's believe that the second they let their guard down they will be attacked; and I can't really fault them for thinking that (although I disagree).

What are the likely implications for US policies in the Middle East?
There are none, as near as I can tell.

Do you have a personal reaction that you wish to share?
This was a cock-up of the highest order, but the situation is not nearly as simple as everyone is making it out to be. The fact is that Israel is justified in thinking that Hamas will attack them given any opportunity. The fact is that Israel is collectively punishing the Palestinians in Gaza to punish Hamas. There is no "moral high ground" in this conflict and there never has been; but the fact remains that Israel made a genuine attempt to hold out an olive branch in 1999, and was firmly rebuked. When was the last time anyone of the other agitators (of which Israel clearly is one) made a similar attempt?
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ix chel
post Jun 2 2010, 07:02 PM
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Did Israel violate international law?
No, they didn't violate internatonal law as far as the raid goes. There is a recognized semi war going on between Israel and Palestine and the area that they were in is under a blockade. Blockades are recognized in International maritime law as legal means to protect yourself. There are stipulations, but in a blockade area no civilian or enemy ships can cross. If you try to cross into the blockaded area between the two Koreas you are likely to end up shot at or worse, sunk. However, in a blockade area, the blockading country has to try to get you to identify yourself and your purpose for being in the area. Israel had already informed them ahead of time they would not be allowed to break the blockade and did demand they identify themselves and the crew refused...the refusal basically is considered an aggressive act and then they can board the ship to attempt to direct the ship to their port for inspection and immigration. Furthermore, the ship was within 200 nautical miles so it falls under Israeli maritime rules as well as international rules..and they have to identify themselves for inspection upon request by the Israeli police. International waters aren't no mans land.

What are the likely consequences for Israel's position in the world?
There are sure to be consequences politically, but legally there won't be any...they were in their legal rights. *I have some links but this is a busy day for me so you will have to wait for those till later tonight*

What are the likely implications for US policies in the Middle East?
There is no reason this should affect US policies at all, it doesn't involve us.

Do you have a personal reaction that you wish to share?
Yes, if a person is foolish enough to put themselves in the way of a blockade in a war zone they are asking for trouble...that said...the actual protesters were taken peacefully...those who weren't so peaceful were from the Muslim Brotherhood and a Turkish ship. They themselves violated international law and they were trying to sneak in contraband and attacked the police that were boarding the ship...Israeli police like all police have the right to self defense. The video shows them attacked clearly. I am not either pro on either side..but it isn't smart to attack the police in international waters or coastal waters...the Coast Guard of the US patrols up to 200 nautical miles out as that is considered legally under their jurisdiction and international maritime laws are applied...if you attack the US Coast Guard your family will be singing at your funeral. There was weapons on the ship including homemade bombs, knives, etc.

This post has been edited by ix chel: Jun 2 2010, 07:04 PM
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Raptavio
post Jun 2 2010, 07:14 PM
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QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Jun 2 2010, 01:55 PM) *
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 2 2010, 01:27 PM) *
If this was Iran's government blocking an aid shipment to, say, its Kurdish population, people would be calling this an act of war.

The Iranian government wouldn't have offered to deliver the aid shipment itself, over land with civilian and international monitoring. Just a point... be careful in your comparisons.



I would reply that EVEN IF they made such an offer, the attack would still be called an act of war (and the offer itself would be dismissed as an insincere ploy).
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Ultimatejoe
post Jun 2 2010, 07:55 PM
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QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 2 2010, 03:14 PM) *
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Jun 2 2010, 01:55 PM) *
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 2 2010, 01:27 PM) *
If this was Iran's government blocking an aid shipment to, say, its Kurdish population, people would be calling this an act of war.

The Iranian government wouldn't have offered to deliver the aid shipment itself, over land with civilian and international monitoring. Just a point... be careful in your comparisons.



I would reply that EVEN IF they made such an offer, the attack would still be called an act of war (and the offer itself would be dismissed as an insincere ploy).

An act of war against whom? Under what provisions of international law? And you are clearly insinuating that the offer that the Israeli's made to that effect was an insincere ploy, but you haven't offered any evidence to that effect. As much as I deplore the blockade of Gaza, the fact is that Israel has facilitated such transfers in the past under civilian/international auspices. Do you have any proof that they were being less than honest?
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Raptavio
post Jun 2 2010, 08:21 PM
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QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Jun 2 2010, 02:55 PM) *
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 2 2010, 03:14 PM) *
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Jun 2 2010, 01:55 PM) *
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 2 2010, 01:27 PM) *
If this was Iran's government blocking an aid shipment to, say, its Kurdish population, people would be calling this an act of war.

The Iranian government wouldn't have offered to deliver the aid shipment itself, over land with civilian and international monitoring. Just a point... be careful in your comparisons.



I would reply that EVEN IF they made such an offer, the attack would still be called an act of war (and the offer itself would be dismissed as an insincere ploy).

An act of war against whom? Under what provisions of international law? And you are clearly insinuating that the offer that the Israeli's made to that effect was an insincere ploy, but you haven't offered any evidence to that effect. As much as I deplore the blockade of Gaza, the fact is that Israel has facilitated such transfers in the past under civilian/international auspices. Do you have any proof that they were being less than honest?


Sadly, no!
"An act of war against whom?" Against whomever's flag those ships were flying under.
"Under what provisions of international law?" The ones that cover piracy, and proportionate force, also UN Resolution 1860. And that's of course ignoring Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which has a few things to say about the blockade in the first place.
"And you are clearly insinuating..." No, I'm really not. Only that such an offer would not be taken as sincere if it were another nation who did that and forcibly boarded six ships, murdered at least nine passengers, and kidnapped the rest. Israel's offer may or may not have been perfectly sincere. It's not relevant to my point.

Israel crossed the line on this one, and their effort to engage in damage control and to hide all photographic evidence they themselves don't release shows they know it. But because it's Israel, and because of the delicate politics involving that state and those surrounding it, this is going to go down very differently than if it were any other, particularly any other in the region.
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akaCG
post Jun 2 2010, 08:25 PM
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A bit of perspective regarding the "innocent victims":
QUOTE
...
Media reports in Ankara on Wednesday revealed that three out of the four Turkish citizens that were killed during the raid declared their wishes to become shahids (martyrs). Another Dutch report claimed a Dutch activist, who was arrested by the IDF is suspected of being a senior Hamas operative.

In an interview with Turkish newspaper Haber, the family members of Ali Khaider Benginin (39), resident of east Turkey's Kurdistan region, revealed their relative's true intentions.

"I am going to be a shahid; I dreamt I will become a shahid – I saw in a dream that I will be killed," Benginin told his family before leaving for the sail.
...
The three Turkish "shahids," as it turns out, were not alone. Holland-based Teltarif newspaper reported Wednesday morning that Amin Abou Rashed, 43, and Anne de Jong, 29, are probably the only two Dutch citizens that were arrested among the flotilla participants.
...
According to Teltarif's report, Dutch intelligence services have been following Abou Rashed's activities for a long time. He worked, among other places, with al- Aqsa Foundation, suspected of acting under the guise of a charity, while funneling its donations to Hamas.
...

Link: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3898109,00.html
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Ultimatejoe
post Jun 2 2010, 08:52 PM
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QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 2 2010, 04:21 PM) *
Sadly, no!
"An act of war against whom?" Against whomever's flag those ships were flying under.
"Under what provisions of international law?" The ones that cover piracy, and proportionate force, also UN Resolution 1860. And that's of course ignoring Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which has a few things to say about the blockade in the first place.
"And you are clearly insinuating..." No, I'm really not. Only that such an offer would not be taken as sincere if it were another nation who did that and forcibly boarded six ships, murdered at least nine passengers, and kidnapped the rest. Israel's offer may or may not have been perfectly sincere. It's not relevant to my point.

Israel crossed the line on this one, and their effort to engage in damage control and to hide all photographic evidence they themselves don't release shows they know it. But because it's Israel, and because of the delicate politics involving that state and those surrounding it, this is going to go down very differently than if it were any other, particularly any other in the region.

I would argue that Artcile 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply to the Palestinians (and certainly not the people on the boat), but that is neither here nor there. I'm still not sure how an attack on the passengers of a civilian vessel is by itself an act of war against the country under which that vessel sails, and you nobody else has really demonstrated that that is the case. The attack was clearly not directed at the Turkish state, military or general population. The boat was not destroyed. There is as of yet no evidence of an intent to kill people; witness stories themselves are contradictory and muddled, and while the IDF video is clearly suspect there is as of yet no evidence to refute it. So again, how exactly is it an act of war?

As for the passengers and the idea that they were "kidnapped." Lets say that the raid takes place in Israeli waters and things go down the exact same, would you consider them kidnapped then? I certainly wouldn't. They clearly intended (and stated as such) that they were going to enter Israeli waters, so their detention could only be considered kidnapping in the most technical sense of the word. Similarly, kidnapping victims aren't given the option to leave (at the expense of the kidnapper no less), and yet the only passengers who are still in detention are ones that have refused to identify themselves (which justifies detention as they are in the country without a stamped passport) or who are injured.
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Raptavio
post Jun 2 2010, 09:48 PM
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QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Jun 2 2010, 03:52 PM) *
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 2 2010, 04:21 PM) *
Sadly, no!
"An act of war against whom?" Against whomever's flag those ships were flying under.
"Under what provisions of international law?" The ones that cover piracy, and proportionate force, also UN Resolution 1860. And that's of course ignoring Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which has a few things to say about the blockade in the first place.
"And you are clearly insinuating..." No, I'm really not. Only that such an offer would not be taken as sincere if it were another nation who did that and forcibly boarded six ships, murdered at least nine passengers, and kidnapped the rest. Israel's offer may or may not have been perfectly sincere. It's not relevant to my point.

Israel crossed the line on this one, and their effort to engage in damage control and to hide all photographic evidence they themselves don't release shows they know it. But because it's Israel, and because of the delicate politics involving that state and those surrounding it, this is going to go down very differently than if it were any other, particularly any other in the region.

I would argue that Artcile 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply to the Palestinians (and certainly not the people on the boat), but that is neither here nor there. I'm still not sure how an attack on the passengers of a civilian vessel is by itself an act of war against the country under which that vessel sails, and you nobody else has really demonstrated that that is the case. The attack was clearly not directed at the Turkish state, military or general population. The boat was not destroyed. There is as of yet no evidence of an intent to kill people; witness stories themselves are contradictory and muddled, and while the IDF video is clearly suspect there is as of yet no evidence to refute it. So again, how exactly is it an act of war?


You and I seem to have communication issues. I didn't say it was -- I said that if it was Iran, that it would be called such. And in fact if it was any other country in the region, for that matter.

I would personally call this an act of piracy, not of war.

QUOTE
As for the passengers and the idea that they were "kidnapped." Lets say that the raid takes place in Israeli waters and things go down the exact same, would you consider them kidnapped then? I certainly wouldn't. They clearly intended (and stated as such) that they were going to enter Israeli waters, so their detention could only be considered kidnapping in the most technical sense of the word. Similarly, kidnapping victims aren't given the option to leave (at the expense of the kidnapper no less), and yet the only passengers who are still in detention are ones that have refused to identify themselves (which justifies detention as they are in the country without a stamped passport) or who are injured.


OK. First. It wasn't in Israeli territory. It was in international waters.
Second, kidnap victims ARE often given the option to leave once the kidnappers' demands are met -- which is exactly what happened here. Self-identification is not the only condition under which they are released -- they also have to sign documents including a voluntary deportation document which at this time is reported to include a confession to entering Israel illegally (despite being forcibly brought there).

Right now a lot of reports are flying, of course, including ones claiming that those killed really "wanted" to die, so what the voluntary deportation documents actually include may or may not include that. But based on the facts nobody disputes, at bare minimum this was a case of disproportionate response and an act of piracy on the high seas, committed by the state of Israel, in an effort to continue to punish the people of Gaza for the actions of Hamas.
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TedN5
post Jun 2 2010, 10:42 PM
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Democracy Now continued to follow up its report on this debacle with AN INTERVIEW with Israel's Deputy UN Ambassador, Daniel Carmon, and A RESPONSE from a former US career service diplomat and ex-ambassador, Edwaard Peck who was on board one of the boarded ships.

Carmon:

QUOTE
Israel did not attack a boat. Israel enforced a maritime blockade, which is a measure that is totally legal in international law, to enforce a blockade when there is a possibility of a danger emanating from some source. And this was exactly the case. There was a flotilla of so-called real, genuine humanitarian aid to Gaza. And when I’m saying "so-called," I mean some of this flotilla was not a genuine, naive humanitarian aid-only flotilla. And for this reason and for the danger that emanated from this, we—our navy enforced the blockade, as—


QUOTE
The international law—and I would refer you to international law—when there is a danger, when there are conditions that require this, boarding can be done on a dangerous vessel in international waters, too.


Peck:

QUOTE
Yeah, this is the other thing. You know, I did not expect that the government of Israel would refer to us as tree-hugging, you know, flowerchildren. Of course we’re also savage, murdering, you know, anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian—aw, come on, get off it. But of course he has to say this. This is Israel’s position. But it’s as full of holes as a window screen. Well, sir, you know, it’s interesting. He did what he was supposed to do, and everything he said, as far as I’m concerned, is what you find in a meadow somewhere where they keep large animals. You know, here, one of the things I find that is the twist in this thing was that these peaceful, heavily armed commandos who were in international waters to capture a ship full of men and women, who were not bothering Israel, and who took what steps they could to try to prevent these pirates from doing it, are accused of attacking them. Mr.—the deputy ambassador, they were defending the ship. The Israelis were attacking it, and the passengers didn’t want them to do it. And to see somebody using a deckchair against a heavily-armed and armored Israeli soldier, I mean, my god, that’s a dangerous weapon. It’s called twisting the story. If you come to attack me and I defend myself, you know, that’s considered legal in law.


QUOTE
The international law, he says, you know, you can do this if it’s provoking a danger, but Gaza does not belong to Israel. It is illegally occupied by international law, so you can’t really stop ships from going there. Well, you can, and they did, but if people try to resist what you’re trying to do, you cannot really accuse them of attacking your heavily armed soldiers.

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akaCG
post Jun 2 2010, 10:45 PM
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QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 2 2010, 05:48 PM) *
...
But based on the facts nobody disputes, at bare minimum this was a case of disproportionate response and an act of piracy on the high seas, committed by the state of Israel, in an effort to continue to punish the people of Gaza for the actions of Hamas.


1. You think the Israelis were trying to steal the cargo? Capture the ships and use them for their own purposes? Hold the passengers for ransom?

2. Would you have preferred the Israelis to use knifes and steel pipes instead of guns when they were attacked the "peace workers"? Would that have allayed your concerns regarding proportionality?

3. Israel had offered to have the flotilla dock in their port, unload the aid cargo, and take it into Gaza. The offer was refused. Incidentally, Egypt had made the same offer. They, too, were refused. So, who's guilty of pursuing goals other than delivering aid to the Gazans, again?
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Jun 2 2010, 10:59 PM
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QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 2 2010, 05:48 PM) *
I would personally call this an act of piracy, not of war.


It isn't piracy. Piracy by definition applies only to illegal acts of violence or detention, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft. This was a nation, not private enterprise. If this were piracy, to borrow from your Iranian analogy, the Iranians committed an act of piracy when they apprehended members of the British navy in international waters. As I recall, relatively few people called that an act of war and I don't remember ANYONE calling it piracy.

QUOTE
Right now a lot of reports are flying, of course, including ones claiming that those killed really "wanted" to die, so what the voluntary deportation documents actually include may or may not include that. But based on the facts nobody disputes, at bare minimum this was a case of disproportionate response and an act of piracy on the high seas, committed by the state of Israel, in an effort to continue to punish the people of Gaza for the actions of Hamas.


Not piracy see above, I do agree that the rumors are flying right now. There's a rumor that some on the vessel were armed. That would certainly change things so until I hear more I'll wait a day or two in answering the questions.

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ix chel
post Jun 3 2010, 12:21 AM
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There is a You tube video of the incident and the arms that were recovered from the boat. Only one vessel resisted the others did not resist and as a result were not hurt.
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moif
post Jun 3 2010, 12:42 AM
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Did Israel violate international law?

Not as far as I can see. Israel was maintaining a blokade against self declared blokade runners. The blokade runners ambushed the Israeli's and the Israeli's fought back and defeated the blokade runners. This would be the end of the problem for any other country but for Israel.


What are the likely consequences for Israel's position in the world?

The usual hate mongering from the Islamic world and its allied international left wing muppets. At least now, people have stopped pretending Turkey is some kind of ally to Israel.


What are the likely implications for US policies in the Middle East?

The USA has a rift between two of its allies. Neither of whom are of much use in the bigger picture, so essentially the only prooblem the USA faces is the usual problem that being allied to the 'Jewish state' means the USA is regarded as an enemy to Islam. Since that is the case anyway (the USA being regarded as a part of the 'house of war') then the USA loses nothing by association with Israel.


Do you have a personal reaction that you wish to share?

I am disgusted by craven surrender of the western media and assorted intelligentia to the illogical tyranny of the Islamic agenda. These blokade runners were determined to force a confrontation and lied to acheive their aims. Whilst Arab Muslims in Darfur starve in their thousands, the Gazan's, who are classed as the eight fattest people on the planet, are lauded as 'starving victims' by unashamed Islamic supremacists who see in Gaza the 'cause celebre' that allows them to wage holy war against the Jews of Israel.

The Turkish government is up to its neck in blood and slaughter, occupies land in foreign countries, denies its own internal genocides and ethnic cleansing, yet has the audacity to point the finger at Israel. Erdogan is an Islamist. His government is Islamist and his entire country is being inexorably dragged into an era of Iranian style tyranny because the Turkish military, for decades the only bastion against Islamic supremacy in Turkey has been fettered by the EU which has imposed restrictions on Turkeys bid for EU membership (something which the vast majority of Europeans citizens oppose) lest the military act to counter an Islamic revolution in Turkey. That revolution is currently, quietly taking place and this debacle is a product of Turkey's increasing destabilization at the hands of the illogical tyranny of the Islamic agenda.

The western media, western intellectuals, the EU and the UN are only concerned with the fate of Muslims when Jews can be blamed, even if the Muslims in question are not starving, nor in desperate need of medical aid, but have the resources and means to wage low intensity warfare against Israel whilst seeing a population explosion greater than any other space on Earth.

Lets see Erdogan's Islamist friends bring medical aid to Darfur, or peace to Kurdistan, or lets see Turkey retun the land it stole in Cyprus. Then perhaps Turkey's 'indigation' will have a moral foundation which isn't based on deception and duplicity.

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droop224
post Jun 3 2010, 01:41 AM
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QUOTE
Did Israel violate international law?

Not as far as I can see. Israel was maintaining a blokade against self declared blokade runners. The blokade runners ambushed the Israeli's and the Israeli's fought back and defeated the blokade runners. This would be the end of the problem for any other country but for Israel.


In Airforce JROTC they would tell us he who controls the skies controls the war.

Well in a democracy he who controls the message, controls the minds of the country.

You're too smart to believe what you wrote MOIF. But it is the message I hear espouse.

Israel was attacked and Israel successfully defended itself. And what I love most about Israel and it's influence in the media of western nations is... eventually that will be what happened.

Ambushed

QUOTE
1. an act or instance of lying concealed so as to attack by surprise: The highwaymen waited in ambush near the road. 2. an act or instance of attacking unexpectedly from a concealed position. 3. the concealed position itself: They fired from ambush. 4. those who attack suddenly and unexpectedly from a concealed position.


They ambushed Israel and the whole world, by telling them... "hey we are on our way!!" A Flotilla of boats attacked Israeli boats by surprise... Interesting... I wonder what attack means

Attack

QUOTE
to set upon in a forceful, violent, hostile, or aggressive way, with or without a weapon; begin fighting with: He attacked him with his bare hands


But you said they were runners.. they were going to run the blockade... wow, when did running turn into setting upon someone in an aggressive manner.

But here is what i love, you're account is correct. Not now of course. It's too new and too fresh. But in time your account of what happened will be what happened.

Sure the facts will still be there. 20 international people murdered by Israeli commandos who boarded a humanitarian aid ship in international waters will become....

Israeli Commandos defended against an ambush from terrorist sympathizers.

Americans don't even give a crap that Israel killed 34 American Sailors on an attack on a naval vessel. Well that's not fair, most Americans don't know about the USS Liberty and of that small percent of Americans that do likely could care less or believe that is was an unfotunate mistake.

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Raptavio
post Jun 3 2010, 01:46 AM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Jun 2 2010, 05:45 PM) *
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 2 2010, 05:48 PM) *
...
But based on the facts nobody disputes, at bare minimum this was a case of disproportionate response and an act of piracy on the high seas, committed by the state of Israel, in an effort to continue to punish the people of Gaza for the actions of Hamas.


1. You think the Israelis were trying to steal the cargo? Capture the ships and use them for their own purposes? Hold the passengers for ransom?


They did steal the cargo. They also stole every bit of electronics, including cameras phones and laptops, possessed by the passengers on the six boats. The boats and their cargo are, at this time, possessed by the Israeli government.

QUOTE
2. Would you have preferred the Israelis to use knifes and steel pipes instead of guns when they were attacked the "peace workers"? Would that have allayed your concerns regarding proportionality?


Whether they were attacked by knives and steel pipes is in fact in dispute. Even so, do you think that was their alternative to murdering at least ten people?

QUOTE
3. Israel had offered to have the flotilla dock in their port, unload the aid cargo, and take it into Gaza. The offer was refused. Incidentally, Egypt had made the same offer. They, too, were refused. So, who's guilty of pursuing goals other than delivering aid to the Gazans, again?

According to interntational law, Israel has no claim to Gaza and thus cannot enforce a blockade. To accept Israel's terms would be to acknowledge its right to blockade Gaza. As for Egypt's offer, the same rule applies, plus the only source I can find for that claim is an Israeli MP, and therefore I doubt its authenticity.
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ix chel
post Jun 3 2010, 03:13 AM
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2 soldiers are in critical condition with gunshot wounds..how do you suppose that happened if they weren't armed with guns?...truth is they were armed with guns..some of them automatic weapons.

other soldiers were treated for stab wounds...how did that happen if they didn't have knives? and they did have knives, the video reveals this.

several others were injured indeed by steel pipe injuries...and a pipe is a deadly weapon if it hits you in the head.

The US enforced a blockade against Cuba didn't they? It is accepted international law when two countries are fighting and one is defending itself via blockade..a blockade has been known and is legal...they have established ways for goods to be delivered that are permitted, like food...the ships didn't want to follow the rules..and it is against international law in every case to break a blockade, ignore a countries demand to identify yourself...and to attack another countries police when they come aboard to inspect your ship for illegal shipments, like drugs and weapons....unless you want to argue that Palestine has never attacked Israel...then and only then would you be right, but since Palestine HAS indeed attacked Israel they have every right to establish a blockade via international maritime laws.
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vsrenard
post Jun 3 2010, 04:38 AM
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Did Israel violate international law?

My immediate sense is: no. It is unclear whether or not the Israeli blockade of disputed Gaza is legitimate. That issue was a question before any attempt this action. There is also the issue of whether the flotilla was in international waters. Again the politicos are divided in terms of yes, any attempt to circumvent the blockage is grounds for action against no, Israel had no jurisdiction here.

My readings have left me, the layperson, confused. I lean toward the opinion Israel's action were legal but poorly thought out.

What are the likely consequences for Israel's position in the world?

Nothing. This is another act in a play that will never end. Ex-US will condemn Israel, US will support Israel, and the war will wage on.

What are the likely implications for US policies in the Middle East?

Again, nothing. The US has decided its part. With every administration, I hope for revision wrt our policies regarding Israel. I suspect I will die waiting for this. I am supposedly anti-arab by birthright and am anti-Israel by politics but I have no dog in this race for real. Neither side is one I want to be on.

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post Jun 3 2010, 01:35 PM
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QUOTE(droop224 @ Jun 3 2010, 03:41 AM) *
QUOTE
Did Israel violate international law?

Not as far as I can see. Israel was maintaining a blokade against self declared blokade runners. The blokade runners ambushed the Israeli's and the Israeli's fought back and defeated the blokade runners. This would be the end of the problem for any other country but for Israel.
In Airforce JROTC they would tell us he who controls the skies controls the war.

Well in a democracy he who controls the message, controls the minds of the country.

You're too smart to believe what you wrote MOIF. But it is the message I hear espouse.
Thanks for the compliment, but the fact is, I haven't paid much attention to the Israeli position. Mostly I've noted the reaction in the 'super liberal' European media which had the knives out for Israel even as the story broke. There was not even an attempt at journalistic impartiality with some European nations seeing their entire established media, I'm thinking in particular of Sweden, rushing to condemn Israel for its 'illegal act' before the news had hardly been reported. That Turkey was at the fore front of this condemnation, with a draft proposal against Israel in the UN all ready to go, only served to heighten my suspicion that the speed of the over reaction was not a coincidence, nor due to an impartial indignation. Given how one sided European reporting has been against Israel in the last decade, and this is a trend which increases with every single encounter, I am convinced that a pan European bias is in effect amongst the socialist and assorted left wing European media and intelligentia.

In other words, because of a constant media campaign by left wing and Islamic extremists, in every confrontation, Israel is now painted as the villain, regardless of context or facts. Enough fecal matter has been cast that Israel always stinks.

The flip side of this bias is a blatent and unashamed disregard with regards to the transgessions and crimes of the Muslim extremists who set an ambush, pouncing on each Israel commando (who were armed with paint ball guns in order to preserve life) as they landed on the Turkish ship. Video footage released in recent days shows clearly how the 'peaceful activists' attack with clubs and chains, and subsequent reports detail how Israeli commando's suffered gun shot wounds.


QUOTE
They ambushed Israel and the whole world, by telling them... "hey we are on our way!!" A Flotilla of boats attacked Israeli boats by surprise... Interesting... I wonder what attack means

Attack

QUOTE
to set upon in a forceful, violent, hostile, or aggressive way, with or without a weapon; begin fighting with: He attacked him with his bare hands
That is exactly what happened. They ambushed Israel by broadcasting their intent to breach the blokade, as peaceful activists, and when Israel attempted to prevent them by peaceful means, the 'activists', many of whom have subsequently been shown to have links with Islamic extremist groups, set upon the Israeli's in a forceful, violent and aggressive way as is evident in the ISraeli video's. It has also been pointed out that many of the 'activists' were intent on becoming martyrs. What is not clear is events prior to the video which may have provoked a violent response and events after the video, when the killings are said to have occured. All I can draw from that is that I do not know what happened beyond what is shown in the video's, and what the activists have claimed as their own personal motivations (for example, the wish to become martyrs).

It should also be noted, for it is an important detail, that most of the violence took place on the biggest ship where the extremist element had focused its ambush for maximum effect. Most of the benign European activist's who had foolishly allowed themselves to be used as 'eye witnesses' were on other vessels. This has served to give a distorted reaction as these activists, upon their relieease, have no actual testimony to give with regards to the violence which took place on the Turkish ship. Indeed, many of them contradict the Israeli video evidence, claiming the Israeli's were the first to attack.

The truth is obscure to me. What is plainly obvious however is the anti Israeli bias in the western European, Turkish and Arabian media. Coupled with Turkey's growing hostility and duplicity under Erdogan, and the fact that Turkey is up in arms over the deaths of four Turkish 'activists', the matter does not lend itself to a balanced perspective. The mere fact that the main ship in the flotilla is draped with a huge Turkish flag only serves to further enhance the illusion that Israel has some how attacked Turkey. It has not. Turkey, under Erdogan has attacked Israel by allowing it self to be associated with blokade runners and Islamic extremists.




QUOTE
But you said they were runners.. they were going to run the blockade... wow, when did running turn into setting upon someone in an aggressive manner.

But here is what i love, you're account is correct. Not now of course. It's too new and too fresh. But in time your account of what happened will be what happened.

Sure the facts will still be there. 20 international people murdered by Israeli commandos who boarded a humanitarian aid ship in international waters will become....

Israeli Commandos defended against an ambush from terrorist sympathizers.

Americans don't even give a crap that Israel killed 34 American Sailors on an attack on a naval vessel. Well that's not fair, most Americans don't know about the USS Liberty and of that small percent of Americans that do likely could care less or believe that is was an unfotunate mistake.
The USA officially declared the USS Liberty incident to be a case ofg mistaken identity. Given how often American forces have vaporized allied units, I don't see that the USA has any stones to throw in this regard.

Even if the USS Liberty was attacked deliberately, the USA still doesn't have any right to moral indignation since the USA has itself, on many occaisions used the excuse war to cover unrelated transgessions.


To get back to your initial point however, where do you get your number of casualties from? Every report I have seen indicates nine people were killed. Where does your assurance that this was a humanitarian aid ship come from? Reports I have read indicate that there was nothing on board the flotilla which is not readily available in Gaza through the officially sanctioned entry points... except of course for the gas masks, infra red night vision goggles and bullet proof vests which I have heard were also being imported into Gaza by the flotilla.

Swedish activists, upon their return to Scandinavia have painted a picture of themselves as gallantly coming to the aid of starving children in Gaza, and yet the population of Gaza is anything but starving. Indeed it is said to be seriously overpopulated and chronically over weight. When compared to the population of several Muslim nations in northern Africa where the population is actually starving (but none of whom are in conflict with Jews) the Gazan's ahve very little to complain about at all. Quite the opposite in fact. For a group of people with few actual problems, the Gazans/Palestinians receive a ridiculous amount of attention and the only reason why is because they are supported by the great multitude of Arabian Muslims and international left wing/communist sympathisers, BECAUSE they are in conflict with Israel.

In other words, the truth has nothing to do with this matter what so ever. The conflict is driven exclusively by a hatred of Israel which is grounded in the fact that Israel is the nation of Jews. This point is underscored by the complete lack of antipathy by Muslims and left wingers towards Jordan which was created at the same time as Israel, took just as much land from the Palestinian Arabs, has treated them as a hostile internal element, and continues to do so.

The point is further underscored by Turkey's role in recent events. Turkey regularly uses its military to attack Kurdish settlemts, often killing civilians, often beyond its own borders, and yet it receives very little if any condemnation at all. The ONLY difference between Turkey and Israel is the latter is not regarded as a Muslim state.
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