Originally Posted by SDW2001
This is lunacy. Israel instituted a naval blockade. The ships attempted to run said blockade. In response, the IDF boarded them. The commandos were attacked, and fought back. The result was loss of life.
crime? Dude, get real. You've bought the "poor humanitarian aid flotilla with peaceful peace-seekers" line. These people tried to run a naval blockade, then attacked boarding soldiers. I personally think they're lucky that Israel didn't blow the whole ship out of the water.
The question isis the naval blockade legal?
On January 24, 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a statement calling for Israel to lift its siege on the Gaza Strip, allow the continued supply of food, fuel, and medicine, and reopen border crossings. According to the Jerusalem Post, this was the 15th time in less than two years the council condemned Israel for its human rights record regarding the Palestinian territories. The proceedings were boycotted by Israel and the United States.
On December 15, 2008, following a statement in which he described the embargo on Gaza a crime against humanity, United Nations Special Rapporteur Richard A. Falk was prevented from entering the Palestinian territories by Israeli authorities and expelled from the region. The Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Itzhak Levanon said that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur was "hopelessly unbalanced," "redundant at best and malicious at worst."
In August 2009, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay criticised Israel for the blockade in a 34-page report, calling it a violation of the rules of war.
In March 2010, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated that the blockade of Gaza is causing "unacceptable suffering" and that families were living in "unacceptable, unsustainable conditions".
A UN Fact Finding mission lead by South African Judge Richard Goldstone suggested that the blockade was a war crime and possibly a crime against humanity:
"Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed."The Goldstone report recommended that the matter be referred to the International Criminal Court if the situation has not improved in six months.
In May 2010, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that the formal economy in Gaza has collapsed since the imposition of the blockade.
My position on flotilla ? It reminds me accounts of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Freedom Marchers as they march to the State Capitol the March from Selma to Montgomery. They too, face police with guns and baton, dark caps covering there heavy forehead faces; many marchers beaten and jail. March 7, 1965 known as U2's "Bloody Sunday" when 600 civil rights marchers were attacked by state and local police with billy clubs and tear gas. Although, they too over come.
Yet, I ponder, how little has change.
Here's and article "The Real Threat Aboard the Freedom Flotilla,"
By Noam Chomsky
June 08, 2010 "In These Times" - -Israels violent attack on the Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza shocked the world.
Hijacking boats in international waters and killing passengers is, of course, a serious crime.
But the crime is nothing new. For decades, Israel has been hijacking boats between Cyprus and Lebanon and killing or kidnapping passengers, sometimes holding them hostage in Israeli prisons.
Israel assumes that it can commit such crimes with impunity because the United States tolerates them and Europe generally follows the U.S.s lead.
As the editors of The Guardian rightly observed on June 1, If an armed group of Somali pirates had yesterday boarded six vessels on the high seas, killing at least 10 passengers and injuring many more, a NATO task force would today be heading for the Somali coast. In this case, the NATO treaty obligates its members to come to the aid of a fellow NATO countryTurkeyattacked on the high seas.
Israels pretext for the attack was that the Freedom Flotilla was bringing materials that Hamas could use for bunkers to fire rockets into Israel.
The pretext isnt credible. Israel can easily end the threat of rockets by peaceful means.
The background is important. Hamas was designated a major terrorist threat when it won a free election in January 2006. The U.S. and Israel sharply escalated their punishment of Palestinians, now for the crime of voting the wrong way.
The siege of Gaza, including a naval blockade, was a result. The siege intensified sharply in June 2007 after a civil war left Hamas in control of the territory.
What is commonly described as a Hamas military coup was in fact incited by the U.S. and Israel, in a crude attempt to overturn the elections that had brought Hamas to power.
That has been public knowledge at least since April 2008, when David Rose reported in Vanity Fair that George W. Bush, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Elliott Abrams, backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.
Hamas terror included launching rockets into nearby Israeli townscriminal, without a doubt, though only a minute fraction of routine U.S.-Israeli crimes in Gaza.
In June 2008, Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire agreement. The Israeli government formally acknowledges that until Israel broke the agreement on Nov. 4 of that year, invading Gaza and killing half a dozen Hamas activists, Hamas did not fire a single rocket.
Hamas offered to renew the cease-fire. The Israeli cabinet considered the offer and rejected it, preferring to launch its murderous invasion of Gaza on Dec.27.
Like other states, Israel has the right of self-defense. But did Israel have the right to use force in Gaza in the name of self-defense? International law, including the U.N. Charter, is unambiguous: A nation has such a right only if it has exhausted peaceful means. In this case such means were not even tried, althoughor perhaps becausethere was every reason to suppose that they would succeed.
Thus the invasion was sheer criminal aggression, and the same is true of Israels resorting to force against the flotilla.
The siege is savage, designed to keep the caged animals barely alive so as to fend off international protest, but hardly more than that. It is the latest stage of longstanding Israeli plans, backed by the U.S., to separate Gaza from the West Bank.
The Israeli journalist Amira Hass, a leading specialist on Gaza, outlines the history of the process of separation: The restrictions on Palestinian movement that Israel introduced in January 1991 reversed a process that had been initiated in June 1967.
Back then, and for the first time since 1948, a large portion of the Palestinian people again lived in the open territory of a single country to be sure, one that was occupied, but was nevertheless whole.
Hass concludes: The total separation of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank is one of the greatest achievements of Israeli politics, whose overarching objective is to prevent a solution based on international decisions and understandings and instead dictate an arrangement based on Israels military superiority.
The Freedom Flotilla defied that policy and so it must be crushed.
A framework for settling the Arab-Israeli conflict has existed since 1976, when the regional Arab States introduced a Security Council resolution calling for a two-state settlement on the international border, including all the security guarantees of U.N. Resolution 242, adopted after the June War in 1967.
The essential principles are supported by virtually the entire world, including the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic States (including Iran) and relevant non-state actors, including Hamas.
But the U.S. and Israel have led the rejection of such a settlement for three decades, with one crucial and highly informative exception. In President Bill Clintons last month in office, January 2001, he initiated Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Taba, Egypt, that almost reached an agreement, participants announced, before Israel terminated the negotiations.
Today, the cruel legacy of a failed peace lives on.
International law cannot be enforced against powerful states, except by their own citizens. That is always a difficult task, particularly when articulate opinion declares crime to be legitimate, either explicitly or by tacit adoption of a criminal frameworkwhich is more insidious, because it renders the crimes invisible.