Friday, June 4, 2010

Sounds from the Raid on One of the Flotilla Ships

Excuse: Israel offered to "serve as go-between" for the humanitarian goods and the people of Gaza.

Answer: This never happens. Israel simply confiscates everything while giving nothing to the people of Gaza. Israel is currently imposing a siege on Gaza, especially since the continued bombing of Gaza in early 2009.

Excuse: Israel repeatedly warned the humanitarian ships to turn away to avoid physical intervention.

Answer: This means that Israel is threatening to perform an illegal act in International Waters. Specifically, they threaten to violate the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea by attempting any kind of enforcement or intervention of ships traveling in International Waters. The idea that Israel warned that they will commit this crime ahead of time does not excuse the crime itself. The U.N. Charter is explicit that use of force is only allowed under two conditions: in the case of immediate self defense against an ongoing attack (not a theoretical one) or in the case of Security Council authorization. Israel could claim neither of these. Any attacks against the flotilla have not been convincingly linked in any way to previous military conflicts between Hamas and Israel.

Excuse: Israel is at war with Gaza and they are therefore entitled to intervene.

Answer: Even if this massacre in Gaza could be somehow classified as a war between two states, Israel is violating the U.N. Security Council's Resolution 1860 calling for “the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including food, fuel, and medical treatment.” The embargo is also illegal under Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which mandates that states take all possible steps (even when formal wars have not been declared between two states) to protect noncombatants. Behavior that is expressly prohibited includes any actions that are a threat to individual life (9 civilian activists were killed in the flotilla attack). The taking of hostages for political or military purposes is also prohibited.

The blockade is illegal in that it violates the legal principles behind the Geneva Conventions, which were created for the general purpose of prohibiting states from engaging in collective punishment against civilians during times of conflict. Israel’s collective attack on the civilians of Gaza represents a clear violation of the spirit and letter of the Geneva Conventions.
See Rogue State Politics by Anthony DiMaggio in Counterpunch.

Excuse: Gaza flotilla activists seized weapons from Israeli soldiers and attacked them

Answer: Yeah, and the reason why there are no dead IDF soldiers is because of the great skill in which they conduct themselves in hand-to-hand combat wearing masks. (Of course, the ones receiving medical treatment were unmasked.) If I'm in international waters and a set of masked goons shoot at my boat and then attack my boat while trying to redirect it to a different location, I think I might fight back as well. | H ισραηλινή επίθεση στη Σφενδόνη from tv xoris sinora on Vimeo.

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