Monday, May 31, 2010

And You Would Expect Anything LESS From Israel?

I am sick and tired of the excuses coming from Israel concerning their reasons for constantly choking off food, water and other resources from the Gaza strip (and other areas where they have control over Palestinians). But this just takes the cake.

At least nine people have been killed after Israeli commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army says.

Armed forces boarded the largest vessel overnight, clashing with some of the 500 people on board.

It happened about 40 miles (64 km) out to sea, in international waters.

Israel says its soldiers were shot at and attacked with weapons; the activists say Israeli troops came on board shooting.

The activists were attempting to defy a blockade imposed by Israel after the Islamist movement Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007.

I have no ability to justify this government's actions. And they wonder why the world is, uh, mostly against them in how they are, uh "handling" their situation with the Palestinians? I think pretty much blockading them into an area, refusing even basic survival supplies to be provided to the people living there, not to mention the many times they just, shall we say, invaded the area and blanketed it with bombs, demolishing people's homes, businesses and livelihoods, speaks volumes about the evil that is inherent in the Israeli position.

Think Progress is on this as well.

UPDATE JUNE 1, 2010: This is our government's response:

“The situation is that they’re so isolated right now that it’s not only that we’re the only ones who will stick up for them,” said an American official. “We’re the only ones who believe them — and what they’re saying is true.”

Yeah, right. A flotilla of ships bringing aid to Gaza is a great danger to those poor Israelis ... my ass. Everything the Israelis do is overkill, and it's getting pretty ugly for the rest of the world to watch. America's relationship with the rest of the Arab countries that it actually has somewhat fragile relations with, like Turkey, may just end over this government's tepid response to Israel's invasion and subsequent killings on the ships.

Big, bad Israel had to defend itself against people with sticks and stones, basically. It's always like that. Bomb the shit out of defenseless people, but continue to always claim that they have to do that because they are so "threatened" by the danger posed toward them by said defenseless peoples.

If you can't co-exist with your Arab neighbors, then leave ... as the saying goes. The option to nuke your neighbors is not on the table. Get over it.

UPDATE 2: Seems a lot of people on the net are all over this, categorizing Israel's actions as an act of war based on the fact that the Turkish ship they stormed was in international waters.

Speaking of the legality of the raid, I’m going to paste this in its entirety, thanks to Mondoweiss and Craig Murray, ex UK Ambassador and one time Foreign Office specialist on maritime law:

“A word on the legal position, which is very plain. To attack a foreign flagged vessel in international waters is illegal. It is not piracy, as the Israeli vessels carried a military commission. It is rather an act of illegal warfare.

Because the incident took place on the high seas does not mean however that international law is the only applicable law. The Law of the Sea is quite plain that, when an incident takes place on a ship on the high seas (outside anybody’s territorial waters) the applicable law is that of the flag state of the ship on which the incident occurred. In legal terms, the Turkish ship was Turkish territory.

There are therefore two clear legal possibilities.

Possibility one is that the Israeli commandos were acting on behalf of the government of Israel in killing the activists on the ships. In that case Israel is in a position of war with Turkey, and the act falls under international jurisdiction as a war crime.

Possibility two is that, if the killings were not authorised Israeli military action, they were acts of murder under Turkish jurisdiction. If Israel does not consider itself in a position of war with Turkey, then it must hand over the commandos involved for trial in Turkey under Turkish law.

In brief, if Israel and Turkey are not at war, then it is Turkish law which is applicable to what happened on the ship. It is for Turkey, not Israel, to carry out any inquiry or investigation into events and to initiate any prosecutions. Israel is obliged to hand over indicted personnel for prosecution.

Holy Shit!


Arno said...

Sad, stupid, maddening...the Israeli reactionary right has the nation of Israel bound for tragedy. There is still a vibrant left there, but they are drowned out by the Likud types...kind of like another country I am somewhat familiar with. The American reich-wing media has already begun the predictable spin on this outrage.
The Turks have stated that any further flotillas will be accompanied by Turkish warships. I'd like to say the Likud has screwed the pooch here, but...we'll see.
Thanks, Bibi. Argh.

Carrie said...

What really gets me is the support that Israel gets from this country. Especially when it comes to nukes. All this brouha over Iran just kills me, when Israel is the one with the nuclear bombs. And the idiotic Christian right wingers that support these nuts in Israel drive me insane, especially since, in reality, these same Christians believe that the Israeli Jews will NOT be going to heaven! They just want them to take out all the Arab Muslims for them.

It is a sad and disgusting place, this world today. What's even sadder is that my grandson and his generation are going to have to pick up the pieces after we've self-destructed and ruined the planet and its people.