Jump to content

Israel opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla; at least 10 dead, 60 wounded


bascule
 Share

Recommended Posts

Please explain how an Australian journalist who is definately a non-combatant is shot and wounded during this raid? It's obvious to anyone that Israel did not use restraint.

 

No, I don't believe that judgment can be made. The fact that someone on the scene was shot is not direct evidence of an error being made. Though certainly it seems most journalists will eagerly suggest exactly that.

 

 

...and explains why the Al Jazeera footage...

 

It's interesting to me the way folks on this forum will regularly chastise people for getting information about the Obama administration (or Democrats or liberals) from Fox News Channel, but then seem to have no compunction about getting information about Israel from Al Jazeera. I don't suppose this is really relevant here, I just think it interesting.

 

 

I think maritime law is a little more complicated than what is being made out here.

 

Sure, but I don't really understand why people are talking about international "maritime" law anyway. It's all a hodgepodge of generally-accepted standards and occasionally-enforced principles anyway, not a hard set of laws enforced by a strong world government. So precedents really aren't important here. This isn't something that people can pin on Israel over a legal technicality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, I don't believe that judgment can be made. The fact that someone on the scene was shot is not direct evidence of an error being made. Though certainly it seems most journalists will eagerly suggest exactly that.

 

So what you're saying is that Israeli military is a more reliable source than an eye witness?

 

 

It's interesting to me the way folks on this forum will regularly chastise people for getting information about the Obama administration (or Democrats or liberals) from Fox News Channel, but then seem to have no compunction about getting information about Israel from Al Jazeera. I don't suppose this is really relevant here, I just think it interesting.

I didnt say this was a reliable source, it just so happens to be the ONLY other source that got a video out there. Two Australian journalists were onboard. Both were detained, one was shot, the other tasered, and their footage was taken from them. Fact.

 

Sure, but I don't really understand why people are talking about international "maritime" law anyway. It's all a hodgepodge of generally-accepted standards and occasionally-enforced principles anyway, not a hard set of laws enforced by a strong world government. So precedents really aren't important here. This isn't something that people can pin on Israel over a legal technicality.

 

Israel is a signatory to this convention (as of 1953) If they dont wish to be held to it, then they should never have signed it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, these activists were expecting - and planning - for violence. Look at the stuff that was found:

JvS9PXZ3RWM

I have this to add:

 

nBeMx.png

 

Professor Dershowitz may get a few ugly phone calls from his liberal friends tomorrow, but he makes a damn good point. The people of Gaza can have iPads and Playstations when they stop letting their neighbors shoot rockets at jews just because they're jews.

 

Little more to it, I know, but not much more.

 

Err. You mean, the people of Gaza can have basic construction materials, such as cement and rebar, when they stop letting their neighbors fire rockets?

 

 

 

Anyway, I have to agree with this columnist from The Independent:

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/-1988684.html

 

To strengthen their case the Israelis have released a photo of the weapons they found on board, (which amount to some knives and tools and wooden sticks) that the naive might think you'd expect to find on any ship, but the more astute will recognise as exactly what you'd carry if you were planning to defeat the Israeli army. It's an armoury smaller than you'd find in the average toolshed in a garden in Cirencester, which goes to show the Israelis had better destroy Cirencester quickly as an essential act of self-defence.

 

That would be as logical as the statement from the Israeli PM's spokesman – "We made every possible effort to avoid this incident." Because the one tiny thing they forgot to do to avoid this incident was not send in armed militia from helicopters in the middle of the night and shoot people. I must be a natural at this sort of technique because I often go all day without climbing off a helicopter and shooting people, and I'm not even making every possible effort. Politicians and commentators worldwide repeat a version of this line. They're aware a nation has sent its militia to confront people carrying provisions for the desperate, in the process shooting several of them dead, and yet they angrily blame the dead ones. One typical headline yesterday read "Activists got what they wanted – confrontation." It's an attitude so deranged it deserves to be registered as a psychosis, something like "Reverse Slaughter Victim Confusion Syndrome".

 

Israel and its supporters claim that Viva Palestina, made up of people who collect the donated food, cement and items for providing basic amenities such as toilets, and transport them to Gaza, wanted the violence all along. Because presumably they must have been thinking "Hezbollah couldn't beat them, but that's because unlike us they didn't have a ballcock and several boxes of plum tomatoes".

 

Another article from the perspective of those on board, rather than the IDF:

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/flotilla-attack-first-the-shots-then-the-ship-was-turned-into-a-lake-of-blood-1988972.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So what you're saying is that Israeli military is a more reliable source than an eye witness?

 

What I said was that the fact that an Australian journalist was shot does not suffice to pass the judgement you issued, which is that Israel acted without restraint.

 

And by the way, the answer to your question could very well be "yes", depending on the eye witness. Most of the people on that scene were hardly objective observers, and I think you know better than to suggest that they were.

 

 

Israel is a signatory to this convention (as of 1953) If they dont wish to be held to it, then they should never have signed it.

 

Okay well you can take that up with them in World Court, where absolutely nobody will fire any Katusha rockets at you because of which version of God you believe in.


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
Err. You mean, the people of Gaza can have basic construction materials, such as cement and rebar, when they stop letting their neighbors fire rockets?

 

Sure, that too, but I think at least a small part of his point was that economic prosperity (or lack thereof) has a lot to do with the problems in Gaza. But I have no problem whatsoever with requiring the citizens of Gaza to stop KILLING PEOPLE before they can have Playstations, rebar, or anything else aside from basic humanitarian aid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding "International Waters";
SECTION IV : AREAS OF NAVAL WARFARE

 

10. Subject to other applicable rules of the law of armed conflict at sea contained in this document or elsewhere, hostile actions by naval forces may be conducted in, on or over:

 

(a) the territorial sea and internal waters, the land territories, the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf and, where applicable, the archipelagic waters, of belligerent States;

(b) the high seas; and

© subject to paragraphs 34 and 35, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of neutral States.

(Emphasis mine) But yes, blockades are legal in International Waters.

 

Section III Article 47 lists certain vessels as exempt from attack including;

(ii) vessels engaged in humanitarian missions, including vessels carrying supplies indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and vessels engaged in relief actions and rescue operations;

 

So you could claim exemption under this rule except that Section 48 says that the exemption doesn't apply if;

© do not intentionally hamper the movement of combatants and obey orders to stop or move out of the way when required.

(Emphasis mine)

 

BY failing to stop when ordered, the flotilla lost exemption.

 

Section V which pertains to merchant vessels states;

67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

 

(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;

(Emphasis mine)

Again, International Law favours the Israelis.

I think you're taking the law out of context. First of all, this bit:

SECTION IV : AREAS OF NAVAL WARFARE

 

10. Subject to other applicable rules of the law of armed conflict at sea contained in this document or elsewhere, hostile actions by naval forces may be conducted in, on or over:

 

I don't think Turkey and Israel are in armed conflict, and I don't think the humanitarian fleet were "naval forces."

 

© do not intentionally hamper the movement of combatants and obey orders to stop or move out of the way when required.

 

This implies to me the situation of a merchant ship sitting between two battleship, not a battleship attacking a merchant ship.

 

67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

 

(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;

Indeed, although here you're conceding that Turkey is a neutral state, and Israel and Turkish vessels aren't in armed conflict.

 

But in the end, the protesters are arguing this clause:

 

102. The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if:

 

(a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or

(b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.

 

Smuggling tunnels through the Egyptian border let Hamas bring in whatever it wants. The blockade is merely succeeding in ruining the economy of Gaza.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/its-up-to-us-to-lift-the-blockade-1988693.html

 

It is widely accepted internationally that the blockade is hurting the civilian population much more than Hamas, whose grip has tightened in the last three years. It has destroyed a once-entrepreneurial and productive economy, ensured that 80 per cent of its population now depend on food aid, left most of its water undrinkable, and prevented reconstruction of some 75 per cent of the buildings destroyed by Israel's devastating military offensive in the winter of 2008-9, not to mention many, many thousands more destroyed since the beginning of the intifada in 2000; or the building of 100 new schools the UN refugee agency Unrwa desperately needs to meet its ever-soaring demands.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And by the way, the answer to your question could very well be "yes", depending on the eye witness. Most of the people on that scene were hardly objective observers, and I think you know better than to suggest that they were.

 

Sure, that too, but I think at least a small part of his point was that economic prosperity (or lack thereof) has a lot to do with the problems in Gaza. But I have no problem whatsoever with requiring the citizens of Gaza to stop KILLING PEOPLE before they can have Playstations, rebar, or anything else aside from basic humanitarian aid.

 

Israel military is hardly an objective observer either. Which was my point.

There is going to be a whole lot of he said, she said as this develops, neither party is particularly believable, but I am more likely to believe Australian journalists than I am either Al Jazeera, or Israel, because in Australia we have a code of ethics which most journo's seem to hold dear, and given the gravity of an international incident, I believe, would be more likely to report objectively.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure, that too, but I think at least a small part of his point was that economic prosperity (or lack thereof) has a lot to do with the problems in Gaza. But I have no problem whatsoever with requiring the citizens of Gaza to stop KILLING PEOPLE before they can have Playstations, rebar, or anything else aside from basic humanitarian aid.

 

I don't think it's the duty of the vast majority of Gazan citizens, who are peaceful, to suffer because of the minority. Nor is it their duty to stop those that are violent -- they don't have the resources.

 

Incidentally, a blockade is a great way to calm anti-Israeli anger and quell violence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's the duty of the vast majority of Gazan citizens, who are peaceful,

As much as I wish to agree with you, the evidence are unclear about that.

 

(a few sad examples:

, http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3589842,00.html) But I am REALLY -- seriously -- am hopeful that the majority doesn't want violence. I know for a fact tha majority of arab Israelis (the arab citizens of Israel) want peace, or at least the majority of them do, and the majority of the palestinians in Ramalla (the "west bank") want peace, but those in Gaza... it's not very clear after Hamas came to power. I hope so. I really do.

 

But even if that is the case (and again, having a family there, I promise you, I *want* what you say to be true. I really do) --

to suffer because of the minority. Nor is it their duty to stop those that are violent -- they don't have the resources.

-- if the minority is murderous, and the majority does nothing to stop them (out of fear, or not, isn't really very helpful to the people that get blown up or sit in bunkers for weeks), then they sadly will have to suffer because of them.

 

We're not talking about a vocal minority, we're talking about a violent minority that declares its clear intentions of killing as many civilians as they can.

 

Do you prefer we don't stop those because they are a minority?

 

Incidentally, a blockade is a great way to calm anti-Israeli anger and quell violence.

 

I agree, I just don't see an alternative, and quite honestly, it seems no one has raised a valid one still in this thread. "Do nothing" is not an alternative when it means doing nothing will cause hundreds of Israeli civilians to spend weeks in bunkers because of Qassam attacks on their homes.

 

~moo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About 100 trucks of Humanitarian Aid trucks enter the strip EVERY DAY. The idea that Israel blocks those is blatantly false; Israel didn't demand the flotilla be diverted away from the strip in an attempt to prevent humanitarian aid supplies, it demanded the supplies be checked - with the supervision of the flotilla organizers.

 

Berlin's population at the beginning of the Berlin Airlift was about 2.8 million. At its peak they brought in 5,500 tons of aid daily.

 

The Gaza Strip has a population of about 1.5 million. About half, so they'd need, say, 2,750 tons of aid daily.

 

Now, using the numbers here:

 

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/aidgaza.html

 

we average 25 tons per truck. So we get about 2,500 tons of aid daily. That's just under the bare survival numbers of the Berlin Airlift.

 

Considering that the Gazans have to not only survive but also completely rebuild their destroyed buildings (a sizable percentage of their buildings were blown up by the Israelis), they probably need far more than 2,500 tons, if only they could truck in building materials.

 

So.. fine.. let's assume Israel was the horrific horrible bad bad evil responder here. What's your alternative? What was it to do instead?

Well, for one thing, sending special forces to pacify civilians isn't great. Riot police seem like a better choice.

 

For another thing, they could have just said, "We'll let them in if the Red Cross inspects them and says there's no rockets, bombs or guns on board."


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
As much as I wish to agree with you, the evidence are unclear about that.

 

(a few sad examples:

, http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3589842,00.html)

Yes, and if you watch the movie Jesus Camp, you'd get the impression that most Americans are fanatical Christians preparing their children for spiritual warfare. They're not.

 

We're not talking about a vocal minority, we're talking about a violent minority that declares its clear intentions of killing as many civilians as they can.

 

Do you prefer we don't stop those because they are a minority?

No. I'd prefer you stop them without harming the lives of far more people than you are helping.

 

You act as though the blockade is a great tactic that works, but has unfortunate side effects, and there are just no good alternatives. That's not true.

 

Israel has rationed what can enter Gaza to a bare minimum, and excluded things like building materials. Gaza cannot have an economy of its own without smuggling. It's as simple as that.

 

On the other hand, the brokered ceasefire in 2008 worked for six months. Hamas managed to imprison rocket launchers and slow down firing significantly. Israel loosened the blockade, although they didn't loosen it as much as the agreement required, and supplies were minimal.

 

And then Israel briefly invaded the Strip, breaking the terms of the truce, and rocket attacks flared right up again.

 

Which proves that a truce could work, if both sides stuck to the terms of the agreement. Hamas was certainly willing in 2008.

 

I agree, I just don't see an alternative, and quite honestly, it seems no one has raised a valid one still in this thread. "Do nothing" is not an alternative when it means doing nothing will cause hundreds of Israeli civilians to spend weeks in bunkers because of Qassam attacks on their homes.

Your Daily Mail article does not substantiate the "weeks" claim. In any case, you might notice that your links are all pre-Gaza War. That is because of the Israel-Hamas ceasefire in 2008, and the fact that 2010 has seen far fewer rocket and mortar attacks. Hardly daily.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel,_2010

 

I note that the last two months have no listed Israeli casualties.


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

Also, no matter whose side you're on, you have to admire the bit where the protesters tied the helicopter's rope to the ship's antenna. That was genius.

Edited by Cap'n Refsmmat
Consecutive posts merged.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's a very interesting discussion, but it's not exactly relevant to the particular case here.

 

We can talk about Israel's behavior in Gaza, but the thread's topic is about Israel's behavior regarding the flotilla. Shifting the argument to where Israel is more clearly in the wrong (and I do agree for the most part in the Gaza strip) is a red herring.

 

That said, Israel no longer 'occupies' the Gaza strip; it left it a few years ago, one-sidedly, as a courtesy, hoping it will cause the Gazans and their government to become more independent and talks about peace can ensue. Instead, the Hamas government started firing rockets at Israel - this is what *led* to the necessity - in Israel's eyes - of the blockade. In light of the fact that thousands of civilians are being shot at daily by Hamas rockets ("Qasam" rockets) in Sderot and southern Israel, I'm not too sure what you would suggest Israel do. Do you suggest Israel was to leave things be? Attempts to talk to Hamas has all but failed when Hamas declared they don't care to acknowledge Israel's right to exist - which means they will not discuss peace.

 

Ok, but Israel retained control of Gazan airspace, access to the sea and a strip of land bordering Israel. Those are all reasonable given the attacks coming from Gaza, but they do mean that there are doubts that the disengagement plan actually ended occupation.

 

What, then, do you offer Israel was to do? Continue to allow tons of explosives and rockets to enter the Gaza strip when these rockets are *used* against Israeli civilians?

 

About 100 trucks of Humanitarian Aid trucks enter the strip EVERY DAY. The idea that Israel blocks those is blatantly false; Israel didn't demand the flotilla be diverted away from the strip in an attempt to prevent humanitarian aid supplies, it demanded the supplies be checked - with the supervision of the flotilla organizers.

 

Instead, the flotilla declared they don't care about supplies, they care about breaching the blockade. Whether you think the blockade is legal or not (and, even if you disagree with Dershowitz, you can at least see the situation isn't as clear cut as it initially sounds) is not relevant to the case at hand; as was said in this thread many times: Either you are a peaceful activist or you intend to use violence. From the videos, the conduct of the flotilla (refusing to answer the requests to stop), and from the equipment found on the sixth ship, and from the declarations of the "activists" on the flotilla itself, it's quite clear the humanitarian aid was low priority -- making a point of "martyrdome" (their words, not mine) was the higher one, and breaching the blockade - apparently, violently - was the top.

 

 

It's easy to switch from one claim of wrongdoing to another. Israel is *far* from being perfect, and we can find many examples of that, as are the Palestinians. But this particular thread is about the flotilla, and both sides' actions in regards to that. We are all discussing how horrible Israel is, which is fine (Israelis do the same inside Israel, believe it or not, it *is* a democracy for the most part), but we seem to forget that by saying "THIS WAS WRONG!" we should come up with what would've been the RIGHT thing to do.

 

I'm not sure that I see a good alternative in this case, honestly, other than, perhaps, anticipating heavy violent resistence from the sixth ship and stopping it another way. Not sure how that's done at sea, though.. would we really all be "more satisfied" if Israeli navy rammed this ship? I think not.

 

So.. fine.. let's assume Israel was the horrific horrible bad bad evil responder here. What's your alternative? What was it to do instead?

 

 

~moo

 

In terms of what to do, I guess Israel has two main objectives in controlling the borders with Gaza at the moment: stopping rocket attacks and winning a propaganda war. These ships were clearly designed to win a propaganda battle, they had activists, politicians and journalists on board. I think it would have been doubtful from the outset they'd contribute much to rocket attacks. If the IDF thought they could control the situation then they obviously made an error in judgement. If the IDF felt that the number of people on board the ships could get out of control then (with the benefit of hindsight) the government made an error of judgement in proceed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CNN.com June 1, 2010:

 

*****

 

Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Israeli parliament, was on board the Miva Marmara, the ship that was the scene of a confrontation between activists and Israeli soldiers. That clash left at least nine people dead.

 

The Israeli Navy fired on the ships five minutes before commandos descended from ropes that dangled from helicopters, Zoabi said during a press conference in Nazareth, Israel. She said passengers on board the ship were unarmed.

 

*****

 

If they did indeed fire before boarding the ship, then their claim that they fired in self defense is a load of rubbish. Firing at ships from helicopters in international water is an illegal provocation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, but Israel retained control of Gazan airspace, access to the sea and a strip of land bordering Israel. Those are all reasonable given the attacks coming from Gaza, but they do mean that there are doubts that the disengagement plan actually ended occupation.

You know.. Palestinians occupy two areas - Gaza and the West Bank. We talk about Gaza as if it's strictly the result of Israeli occupation, but let's take a look, for a moment, at the west bank.

 

The main differences between Gaza and the West Bank is (a) Hamas vs. Abu Masen (IE, between "eradicate Israel!" and "I dislike you but let's talk" mentalities), and (b) control of their own area.

 

The city of Ramalla is a new growing IT capital with quite a number of startup companies working with Israelis and with other companies around the arab and western world. The border between Ramalla and Israel is relatively open (I say "relatively" because it's still a border between two state-entities at the moment, and just like US and Mexico share a border that has check points, Israel shares a border with Ramalla with checkpoints).

 

So, let's try to put things in their proper proportion. The situation in Gaza is horrible, but it's not just Israel fault, and it's not just the blockade. The borders with Gaza were open for a long time allowing Gazans to pass through to Israel, and for goods to go in, and the Gazans are still poor; most of the money sent to the PLO was *stolen* by the PLO. Arafat's wife is having the time of her life with luxuries beyond the wet dreams of all of the Gazan peoples combined from the money her and her husband took while he was in power.

 

Blaming one entity is fun and convinient, but history is quite a bit more complicated.

 

In terms of what to do, I guess Israel has two main objectives in controlling the borders with Gaza at the moment: stopping rocket attacks and winning a propaganda war.

This is a cause of much concern in Israel, honestly, that the second part is not taken as importantly as it should be by our government. However, there's absolutely no doubt which of these comes in higher priority, and it's not how we look in the world.

 

These ships were clearly designed to win a propaganda battle, they had activists, politicians and journalists on board. I think it would have been doubtful from the outset they'd contribute much to rocket attacks. If the IDF thought they could control the situation then they obviously made an error in judgement. If the IDF felt that the number of people on board the ships could get out of control then (with the benefit of hindsight) the government made an error of judgement in proceed.

 

Agreed, and the people of Israel are enraged about that. There are calls for an investigation into *how* this was done (not why), which is undoubtedly the wrong way, since lives were lost.

 

You still didn't give us an alternative, though. "Doing nothing" isn't a viable alternative.

 

Well, for one thing, sending special forces to pacify civilians isn't great. Riot police seem like a better choice.

Agreed.

 

The soldiers are supposed to be equipped for riotters better than police, by the way, since in Israel, they are the ones that usually do this type of thing. However, the unit that usually is involved with riot disperssing is not "Unit 13" (which is an elite commando unit) it is the "border patrol" unit. I am not sure how, realistically, soldiers from these unit could've boarded the ship, but I do agree this should have been at *least* thought of.

 

For another thing, they could have just said, "We'll let them in if the Red Cross inspects them and says there's no rockets, bombs or guns on board."

 

We wanted to. Thing is - shipments that go INTO Gaza are *NOT* checked. There *are no* checkpoints inside the Gaza dock. None. No UN and no nothing.

 

The IDF asked the ships to stop in ashdod and have the goods inspected *by the UN* with the supervision of the people in the ships. It wasn't even a case where the IDF will check it themselves without anyone supervising -- they offered the ship that a THIRD PARTY checks the goods - either the UN or Egypt - just as long as they're checked for missiles and weapons.

 

The ships refused, so this option is clearly not viable.

 

~moo


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
The Israeli Navy fired on the ships five minutes before commandos descended from ropes that dangled from helicopters, Zoabi said during a press conference in Nazareth, Israel. She said passengers on board the ship were unarmed.

Evidence?


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

btw, Capn, this article relates to your first point about the Israeli Commandos (which I agree with for the most part) - http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-05-31/israel-was-right-to-board-the-gaza-flotilla/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We wanted to. Thing is - shipments that go INTO Gaza are *NOT* checked. There *are no* checkpoints inside the Gaza dock. None. No UN and no nothing.

 

The IDF asked the ships to stop in ashdod and have the goods inspected *by the UN* with the supervision of the people in the ships. It wasn't even a case where the IDF will check it themselves without anyone supervising -- they offered the ship that a THIRD PARTY checks the goods - either the UN or Egypt - just as long as they're checked for missiles and weapons.

 

The ships refused, so this option is clearly not viable.

 

Why does the Red Cross have to inspect them in Gaza? It could've happened anywhere, and then the protesters could have sailed to Gaza.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why does the Red Cross have to inspect them in Gaza? It could've happened anywhere, and then the protesters could have sailed to Gaza.

 

The point is that someone has to inspect the shipment to make sure it's actual supplies and not weaponary, Capn.

 

If Israel inspects or the UN or Egypt doesn't matter, as long as someone does. - The ships REFUSED to let anyone inspect.

 

As it goes, Israel inspected the goods after seizing the ships and sent *all* the goods into Gaza after inspection. There's no motive here to stop the goods, there's a motivation to inspect them for the safety of the people. Both people.

 

~moo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Israeli Navy fired on the ships five minutes before commandos descended from ropes that dangled from helicopters, Zoabi said during a press conference in Nazareth, Israel. She said passengers on board the ship were unarmed.

Evidence?

 

The only evidence you can conceivably get is eyewitness accounts, since the IDF confiscated video cameras and phones, and they aren't about to release video showing them shooting first. Zoabi is an Israeli PM, so I suppose CNN counts her as more reputable than other possible eyewitnesses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CNN.com June 1, 2010:

 

*****

 

Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Israeli parliament, was on board the Miva Marmara, the ship that was the scene of a confrontation between activists and Israeli soldiers. That clash left at least nine people dead.

 

The Israeli Navy fired on the ships five minutes before commandos descended from ropes that dangled from helicopters, Zoabi said during a press conference in Nazareth, Israel. She said passengers on board the ship were unarmed.

 

*****

 

If they did indeed fire before boarding the ship, then their claim that they fired in self defense is a load of rubbish. Firing at ships from helicopters in international water is an illegal provocation.

 

Evidence?


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

 

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/06/01/gaza.raid.eyewitnesses/index.html

Edited by pink_trike
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't claim it as "evidence". As I indicated, it is a quote from CNN.com

 

Oh.. well, I thought we're interested in facts.

 

The soldiers and video evidence disagree with this eye witness. Of course, we can claim that the soldiers' eyewitness account is unreliable because they are biased, but then we should discard this eyewitness testimony too, because clearly he is biased as well.

 

And the videos show a different picture; a few hours ago I've seen videos from the ship itself (security camera) that showed the crowd onboard the ship preparing to attack the soldiers. That video evidence is in contrast to the eyewitness testimony. We can choose to claim the video evidence is unreliable (...okay..) but then the only claim that's logically left is that we don't know, and there's not enough evidence to make any of this into anything other than rumor. And there is quite a large amount of rumor going around as it is.

 

We either decide we want to try and find the facts and make a judgment based on them, or we decide we don't care about the facts, just rumor that fit our opinion. I prefer to at least try and do the former.

 

~moo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But in the end, the protesters are arguing this clause:

 

102. The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if:

 

(a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or

(b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.

 

Smuggling tunnels through the Egyptian border let Hamas bring in whatever it wants. The blockade is merely succeeding in ruining the economy of Gaza.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/its-up-to-us-to-lift-the-blockade-1988693.html

 

It is widely accepted internationally that the blockade is hurting the civilian population much more than Hamas, whose grip has tightened in the last three years. It has destroyed a once-entrepreneurial and productive economy, ensured that 80 per cent of its population now depend on food aid, left most of its water undrinkable, and prevented reconstruction of some 75 per cent of the buildings destroyed by Israel's devastating military offensive in the winter of 2008-9, not to mention many, many thousands more destroyed since the beginning of the intifada in 2000; or the building of 100 new schools the UN refugee agency Unrwa desperately needs to meet its ever-soaring demands.

 

Berlin's population at the beginning of the Berlin Airlift was about 2.8 million. At its peak they brought in 5,500 tons of aid daily.

 

The Gaza Strip has a population of about 1.5 million. About half, so they'd need, say, 2,750 tons of aid daily.

 

Now, using the numbers here:

 

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/aidgaza.html

 

we average 25 tons per truck. So we get about 2,500 tons of aid daily. That's just under the bare survival numbers of the Berlin Airlift.

 

Considering that the Gazans have to not only survive but also completely rebuild their destroyed buildings (a sizable percentage of their buildings were blown up by the Israelis), they probably need far more than 2,500 tons, if only they could truck in building materials.

 

Good points there. Apart from questioning the legality of the blockade, the practicality of it has to be considered too. If the blockade is increasing support for Hamas and hatred against Israel, then it would cause more harm than several rocket attacks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The point is that someone has to inspect the shipment to make sure it's actual supplies and not weaponary, Capn.

 

If Israel inspects or the UN or Egypt doesn't matter, as long as someone does. - The ships REFUSED to let anyone inspect.

Er, no.

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/05/31/gaza.flotilla.aid/index.html

 

The Turkish prime minister said Monday that the vessels were inspected before they left port in Turkey to make sure the cargo did not include weapons.

 

As it goes, Israel inspected the goods after seizing the ships and sent *all* the goods into Gaza after inspection. There's no motive here to stop the goods, there's a motivation to inspect them for the safety of the people. Both people.

Not so fast.

 

http://www.smh.com.au/world/israel-transfers-seized-aid-to-gaza-20100602-wvtb.html

 

Not all of it. Some of it. It remains to be seen if things like cement, which cannot be imported as it is, will be passed on. The flotilla organizers did not want to let Israel decide what could get through because they'd reject the construction materials:

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/05/31/gaza.flotilla.aid/index.html

 

Audrey Bomse, legal advisor to the Free Gaza Movement, told CNN the group did not believe the Israelis would let the cargo into Gaza and that the cargo also included reconstruction aid which Israel does not allow into Gaza
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh.. well, I thought we're interested in facts.

 

 

The soldiers and video evidence disagree with this eye witness. Of course, we can claim that the soldiers' eyewitness account is unreliable because they are biased, but then we should discard this eyewitness testimony too, because clearly he is biased as well.

 

And the videos show a different picture; a few hours ago I've seen videos from the ship itself (security camera) that showed the crowd onboard the ship preparing to attack the soldiers. That video evidence is in contrast to the eyewitness testimony. We can choose to claim the video evidence is unreliable (...okay..) but then the only claim that's logically left is that we don't know, and there's not enough evidence to make any of this into anything other than rumor. And there is quite a large amount of rumor going around as it is.

 

We either decide we want to try and find the facts and make a judgment based on them, or we decide we don't care about the facts, just rumor that fit our opinion. I prefer to at least try and do the former.

 

~moo

How did my posting this cnn.com article interfere with "finding the facts"? How is it indicative of a lack of caring about facts? How is contributing this article evidence of a preference for "rumor that fits our opinion". It may not be compatible with the story you tell yourself and vigorously defend, but others may find what this witness had to say interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And the videos show a different picture; a few hours ago I've seen videos from the ship itself (security camera) that showed the crowd onboard the ship preparing to attack the soldiers. That video evidence is in contrast to the eyewitness testimony. We can choose to claim the video evidence is unreliable (...okay..) but then the only claim that's logically left is that we don't know, and there's not enough evidence to make any of this into anything other than rumor. And there is quite a large amount of rumor going around as it is.

 

Yes, I have seen video clips. But we don't know what the video left out. Like, say, Israelis firing first. Unless the IDF releases comprehensive footage of the entire raid, the he-said-she-said will go unsettled.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Smuggling tunnels through the Egyptian border let Hamas bring in whatever it wants. The blockade is merely succeeding in ruining the economy of Gaza.

 

If the tunnels are so effective then why don't they bring in humanitarian aid through them?

 

I think your later post describing the numbers compared with the Berlin airlift answer that question, don't they? But that applies to weapons too -- if they lifted the blockade they'd get more weapons, not just more humanitarian aid.

 

 

I don't think it's the duty of the vast majority of Gazan citizens, who are peaceful, to suffer because of the minority. Nor is it their duty to stop those that are violent -- they don't have the resources.

 

I disagree.

 

Hamas isn't holding innocent Gazans hostage -- they were elected to power. So it IS their duty to stop the violence -- theirs first and foremost, more than anyone else's. Do they need assistance? Sure, you're certainly right that they don't have the resources. But until they want it it's just going to be an invading/occupying force, whether it's Israeli, Egyptian, American, UN-multinational, or anybody else.

 

 

Also, no matter whose side you're on, you have to admire the bit where the protesters tied the helicopter's rope to the ship's antenna. That was genius.

 

The hoist has a safety release at the top. But yeah, they made sure that the guy they were about to beat the crap out of wasn't going to be hauled up to safety. Sure enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the tunnels are so effective then why don't they bring in humanitarian aid through them?

Because (a) you need thousands of tons and (b) the Egyptians were actively trying to dismantle the tunnels for a while.

 

I disagree.

 

Hamas isn't holding innocent Gazans hostage -- they were elected to power. So it IS their duty to stop the violence -- theirs first and foremost, more than anyone else's. Do they need assistance? Sure, you're certainly right that they don't have the resources. But until they want it it's just going to be an invading/occupying force, whether it's Israeli, Egyptian, American, UN-multinational, or anybody else.

They succeeded in bringing down rocket attacks significantly in the 2008 ceasefire. Presumably they could succeed again if Israel made significant concessions in an agreement.

 

Hamas isn't about to stop rocket attacks when Israel is still making regular airstrikes in Gaza. In fact, during the ceasefire, 19 Palestinians were killed by Israeli attacks and no Israelis were killed by Palestinian attacks:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Israel%E2%80%93Hamas_ceasefire#Fatalities

 

The hoist has a safety release at the top. But yeah, they made sure that the guy they were about to beat the crap out of wasn't going to be hauled up to safety. Sure enough.

Yeah, safety schmafety. It still made me chuckle a bit. And they were abseiling, not being winched down, so the helicopter's not about to pull them back up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because (a) you need thousands of tons and (b) the Egyptians were actively trying to dismantle the tunnels for a while.

 

Okay, so the blockade+Egypt's tunnel-crushing efforts would seem to be an effective way to combat the further weaponization of Gaza. I mean, just my two bits here, and I acknowledge your point, but it seems like they probably wouldn't be doing it if they didn't think it was working.

 

 

They succeeded in bringing down rocket attacks significantly in the 2008 ceasefire. Presumably they could succeed again if Israel made significant concessions in an agreement.

 

Valid point, I got no beef with that. I think there's a certain amount of "gaming the system" going on here, right? Israel's known for pushing things in a certain direction for a while because it gives them something to offer "significant concessions" on in a later agreement. Pretty good way to go, really, but it doesn't win any awards from the activist/pacifist crowd, which tends to look at things in absolute terms.

 

 

Hamas isn't about to stop rocket attacks when Israel is still making regular airstrikes in Gaza. In fact, during the ceasefire, 19 Palestinians were killed by Israeli attacks and no Israelis were killed by Palestinian attacks:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Israel%E2%80%93Hamas_ceasefire#Fatalities

 

Well I respect your opinion on it, but IMO this is wrong for two reasons -- it's not an accurate sequence of events, and it belies the stated nature of Hamas. But just to skip to the bacon, I agree that Israel will of course have to bring cease fire to the table if it wants cease fire in return.

 

I just think that we all know that the next cease fire will be broken by rockets from Gaza. Again. There's a fundamental problem with the people of that land simply not understanding that violence is not an answer. I think economics has a lot to do with it, and ultimately prosperity is just about the only thing that can drive terrorism out of this world. We just need to get to that point somehow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know.. Palestinians occupy two areas - Gaza and the West Bank. We talk about Gaza as if it's strictly the result of Israeli occupation, but let's take a look, for a moment, at the west bank.

 

The main differences between Gaza and the West Bank is (a) Hamas vs. Abu Masen (IE, between "eradicate Israel!" and "I dislike you but let's talk" mentalities), and (b) control of their own area.

 

The city of Ramalla is a new growing IT capital with quite a number of startup companies working with Israelis and with other companies around the arab and western world. The border between Ramalla and Israel is relatively open (I say "relatively" because it's still a border between two state-entities at the moment, and just like US and Mexico share a border that has check points, Israel shares a border with Ramalla with checkpoints).

 

So, let's try to put things in their proper proportion. The situation in Gaza is horrible, but it's not just Israel fault, and it's not just the blockade. The borders with Gaza were open for a long time allowing Gazans to pass through to Israel, and for goods to go in, and the Gazans are still poor; most of the money sent to the PLO was *stolen* by the PLO. Arafat's wife is having the time of her life with luxuries beyond the wet dreams of all of the Gazan peoples combined from the money her and her husband took while he was in power.

 

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. I was simply talking about whether Israel can still be considered an occupying power of Gaza.

 

However, yeah Gaza is poor and it's been poor for a long time The kind of corruption you talk about was reportedly a factor in Hamas' popularity, since they were seen as less corrupt than Fatah. Hamas is partly responsible for the lack of economic growth in Gaza, since it has a poor relationship with both Egypt and Israel, but then how much of that is also due to Egypt and Israel seeking to damage the legitimacy of Hamas as a governing power?

 

Blaming one entity is fun and convinient, but history is quite a bit more complicated.

I haven't actually blamed anyone for the situation. There's a difference between saying an operation is a failure and blaming them for the situation.

 

This is a cause of much concern in Israel, honestly, that the second part is not taken as importantly as it should be by our government. However, there's absolutely no doubt which of these comes in higher priority, and it's not how we look in the world.

My point though was that this particular shipment was unlikely to contribute to the rocket attacks so protecting against rocket attacks wouldn't be a priority to me.

 

Agreed, and the people of Israel are enraged about that. There are calls for an investigation into *how* this was done (not why), which is undoubtedly the wrong way, since lives were lost.

 

You still didn't give us an alternative, though. "Doing nothing" isn't a viable alternative.

Why is doing nothing in this particular case not an option?

 

Doing something just seems like taking the bait.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.