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11 June 2010

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Castellio

"Will wonders never cease?"

I hope not.

b

A 16 min HD video of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara is now available for online viewing.

BillWade

"Sources: Obama Administration to Support Anti-Israel Resolution at UN Next Week
BY William Kristol
June 11, 2010 10:41 AM"

hmmmmmm

source:
http://weeklystandard.com/blogs/sources-obama-administration-support-anti-israel-resolution-un-next-week

at 4PM today the full video of the Gaza Flotilla attack will be released at the UN, NM Salamon provided the link in the Marja article

PirateLaddie

Well, we will just have to see how it shakes out, now that the Zionists have attacked someone whose cojones aren't in the pocket of the CONUS branch of their tribe and who has the firepower to take a serious message to Tel Aviv. Our Anatolian friends have little to lose, and much of Central Asia to gain.

The Twisted Genius

In addition to the new 15 minute video from the Mavi Mamara, Cultures of Resistance has released a full hour of video showing a lot more activity aboard the ship prior to the assault. This additional video puts a human face on the protesters and exposes the outright Hasbara lies spread about the nature of the "activists."

Iara Lee, the director of Cultures of Resistance, managed to smuggle the raw footage out of Israel. My God that woman has stones!

N M Salamon

the attack on the Freedom Flotila, 1 hr 2 min:

http://www.culturesofresistance.org/gaza-freedom-flotilla

Somewhat contradictory to Israel's propaganda

ike

Chuck Schumer:

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/06/11/schumer-strangle-gaza-economically/

Castellio

More on the Ergenekon Investigation in Turkey.

http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=132507

Does anybody know what's come of this?

J

Castellio,

Here are links from 'yesterday & today'

Cronyism among jurists indication of Ergenekon judicial arm

Ergenekon prosecutor may face charges of violation of fair trial

Appeals court decides to rule on Cihaner merger without case file

J

Castellio,

Here is a link you can save back & click on to give you the latest news regarding Today's Zaman's Ergenekon File:

Charles

The thing that is amazing is that Brookings "scholarship" is such that it thinks a boarding of a ship by commandoes is an attack in the manner all too similar to one with aircraft and torpedo boats.

Watched the "director's cut" of the video. The timeline is: Israelis spray paintballs (as the passengers described them), after some delay Israelis fastrope aboard, some sort of altercation occurs off-camera in which passengers are injured and taken below deck for treatment where everyone seems to have a club and a camera. This is not inconsistent with the Israeli version of events.

International law is clear. The Israelis can impose a blockade on Gaza as HAMAS has declared war on Israel and repeatedly fires (admittedly ineffective) rockets at Israel. Israel has a right to ensure that more arms do not pass into Gaza. Israel has designated a port for humanitarian good to be inspected, but this flotilla did not go there insisting instead on landing in Gaza despite the arms blockade.

I don't like the fact that there is a blockade on any country or area, but it seems like the answer is right in front of the Gazans but they won't take it -- accept Israel's right to exist (meaning real acceptance by not firing rockets or training suicide bombers). No more complicated than that. The Palestinians allow themselves to be used by every Muslim country or terrorist group that wants a cause to rally behind while never offering anything close to a solution or real support. They support a government which could, with the stroke of a pen, turn their home into a country that has the location to be the one of the most prosperous in the region. Its too easy to blame someone else for their troubles and perpetuate the cycle of hate and violence. Must be a comforting way to live never having to be responsible for their own fate.

Are the Israelis bastards? Sure. Have they caused much of the tension? Sure. But the Palestinians are not victims. They could have their country today if that's what they wanted. It seems they want the destruction of Israel more than they want a future for their children.

Fred

"International law is clear. The Israelis can impose a blockade on Gaza as HAMAS has declared war on Israel and repeatedly fires (admittedly ineffective) rockets at Israel."

An nation can only impose a naval blockade against another nation's borders. When did Israel recognize the existence of the State of Palestine, to include the coast of Gaza within its borders?

WILL

Come on Charles. More of the same the Pals need to love their children more than they hate the Jews. Sounds like Dennis Ross blaming Arafat for the failure of Camp David.

"Are the Israelis bastards? Sure. Have they caused much of the tension? Sure. But the Palestinians are not victims. They could have their country today if that's what they wanted. It seems they want the destruction of Israel more than they want a future for their children."

here's the cat's meow as fas as analysis on the illegal blockade. come on no fresh meat, no lentils, no jam. weaponize donkeys?

tried to make it shorter b/ i really couldn't.

Why Is Israel’s Blockade of Gaza Legal? (Updated)
by Kevin Jon Heller


"Why Is Israel’s Blockade of Gaza Legal? (Updated)
by Kevin Jon Heller
….. Israel justifies its interdiction of the “Freedom Flotilla” by reference to Article 67(a) of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflict at Sea, which permits the attack of neutral merchant vessels that “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.” The interdiction thus depends on the legality of the blockade of Gaza ,,,,,,,,arguing that “Israel was in a state of armed conflict with Gaza and therefore entitled by international law to blockade Gaza.” But that defense ignores a critical question: what kind of armed conflict?
If the conflict between Israel and Hamas is an international armed conflict (IAC), there is no question that Israel has the right to blockade Gaza. (Which is not to say that the manner in which Israel is blockading Gaza is legal. That’s a different question.) The 1909 Declaration Concerning the Laws of Naval War(the London Declaration), the first international instrument to acknowledge the legality of blockades, specifically recognized the right of belligerents to blockade their enemy during time of war. Article 97 of the San Remo Manual does likewise. And there is certainly no shortage of state practice supporting the legitimacy of blockades during IAC (the US blockade of Cuba, for example).
But what justifies a blockade in non-international armed conflict (NIAC)? The London Declaration does not justify such a blockade, because it only applies to “war”– war being understood at the time as armed conflict between two states. Does the San Remo Manual justify it? The Manual is not a picture of clarity concerning when its rules apply, but it does not seem to contemplate non-international sea conflicts. Article 1 speaks of “the parties to an armed conflict at sea,” which does not seem to include NIAC, unless perhaps a rebel group has a navy. (Do any?) Article 2 parallels the Martens Clause in the 1907Hague Convention (IV) Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, which only applies to IAC. Article 3 acknowledges the right of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, but — as Marko Milanovic has pointed out — that right is an exception to the prohibition on the use of force in Article 2(4), which only operates between states. And numerous articles in the Manual refer specifically to “belligerent States” (see, for example, 10, 20, 34)…..

“there are several instances of contemporary (post-UN Charter of the Law of the Seas) practices of blockades, e.g. in the Vietnam and in the Gulf War.” But those were all blockades in IAC. I can’t think of any blockades in NIAC other than Israel’s blockade of Gaza — though readers should feel free, of course, to correct me.
The seeming absence of support for blockades in NIAC is obviously important, because it is difficult to argue that Israel is involved in an IAC with Hamas. First, it is obviously not in a traditional IAC, because Gaza is not a state. Second, not even Israel claims that the conflict has been internationalized by the involvement of another state. And third, although the Israeli Supreme Court held — controversially — in the Targeted Killings case that armed conflict between an occupying power and a rebel group is international, Israel’s official position is that it not currently occupying Gaza.
Israel’s defense of the blockade thus appears to create a serious dilemma for it. Insofar as Israel insists that it is not currently occupying Gaza, it cannot plausibly claim that it is involved in an IAC with Hamas. And if it is not currently involved in an IAC with Hamas, it is difficult to see how it can legally justify the blockade of Gaza. Its blockade of Gaza, therefore, seems to depend on its willingness to concede that it is occupying Gaza and is thus in an IAC with Hamas. But Israel does not want to do that, because it would then be bound by the very restrictive rules of belligerent occupation in the Fourth Geneva Convention. (For a discussion of the difference between the humanitarian obligations imposed by belligerent occupation and by blockades, see Dapo Akande’s post at EJIL: Talk! here.)
There is, however, another possibility: that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is not a “belligerent blockade” at all, but is instead something akin to a “pacific blockade,” defined by the Dictionary of International Law as “a form of coercive measure short of war, whereby a state (or group of states) bars access to the coast of a state or part of it in order to prevent entry and exit of ships of the state under blockade.” I say “akin to” a pacific blockade, because — as the definition indicates — such blockades assume that the blockaded entity is a state, not a non-state actor. Even if Israel’s blockade of Gaza would analogically qualify as a pacific blockade, however, it would still be of questionable legality: pacific blockades are only legal with the approval of the Security Council, according to the Dictionary of International Law, and the Security Council has never approved the blockade of Gaza.

UPDATE: As a number of commenters have pointed out, Lincoln’s blockade of the Confederate States of America (CSA) during the Civil War is a relevant historical precedent. But I think that the Civil War blockade actually supports the argument I’ve made above. As noted in the Lincoln section of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, the international community viewed the blockade as an act of war that required the CSA to be formally recognized as a belligerent, thus effectively transforming what was previously a NIAC into an IAC:"

WILL

Could it be that Israel is afraid to make Peace w/ the Palestinians because they (the Filistin) would get rich from the Gaza offshore Gaz fields?

A Palestian state, awash with Petrodollars, would soon eclipse the vaunted Israeli state!


War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza's Offshore Gas Fields
by Michel Chossudovsky

Click on the Map to Examine the offshore fields identified by BP. Much bigger than the fields off Haifa.

Castellio

J/ Thanks for the links...

WILL

"An nation can only impose a naval blockade against another nation's borders. When did Israel recognize the existence of the State of Palestine, to include the coast of Gaza within its borders?"

Well, Fred did make the argument a lot shorter. A tip of the hat!

Charles

The legality of the blockade hinges on whether Israel has accepted that Gaza and the West Bank constitute a state? I don't think there is anything in International Law that says who must accept a state for it to be one, but clearly Gaza operates as a state.

HAMAS has declared war on Israel and has built a security system that operates across the Gaza Strip. It participated in elections and provides the basic services as would a government. Israel pulled its forces and settlements out of Gaza leaving the Gazans to rule their own area. The Palestinians send Ambassadors to major countries around the world as a government would.

Either it is a state declared and actively hostile to Israel or it is a lawless area where non-state actors actively attack Israel with the acquiescence of the population. Either circumstance would give Israel the legal authority to prevent weapons from entering the area. And let's not forget that Israel is not the only entity that restricts access into Gaza, Egypt does too.

Trying to make an argument based on the very narrow legal interpretation of what is a state may be an enjoyable pastime for legal scholars, but doesn't allow the reality to enter.

I spoke with the Palestinian Ambassador to India some years back and asked them why they did not just forget about Israel for 10 years and build Gaza into a resort -- beautiful beaches, close to the religious sites in Sanai and Israel, near the Pyramids, frankly a tourist Mecca (sorry) -- all that it would require would be to stop the attacks on Israel so that the border could be opened and some loans from the major supporters of the Palestinians. At the end of 10 years, the prosperity of the area would heal all the problems that are now being blamed on the Israelis. And if the Israelis interfere with the peaceful activities of the Gazans, they would have the ironclad evidence that the Israelis are truly the ones who don't want peace. His response was so deranged I lost much hope that the Palestinians will ever break out of their self-imposed cycle of violence. Everything was someone else's fault. They have always had plans to build a middle eastern beach resort but just haven't done it yet. Their attention had to be on attacking Israel and they will continue to do so for 1000 years.

With an attitude like that, I don't think that Israel is very worried that the PA will ever be able to exploit their offshore oilfields and become a petro-power. But it does exemplify the difficulty Israel has dealing with the Palestinians. One side has accepted a roadmap to a solution, the other's solution is that Israel dies.

Does this mean that the Palestinians have to start doing something that advances the future for their children instead of perpetuating the cycle of violence, yes. Some have sniffed at that, but show me where the violence has gotten them in the last 60 years. How many futures have they thrown away?

Both sides have a right to be there. They can fight or they can coexist. So far they have chosen to fight.

Castellio

Charles, your arguements are specious: superficialy plausible but wrong in fact, based in a reality that doesn't exist.

Israel is dedicated to the constant impovrishment of the Palestinian people and works hard at that.. and has done so for sixty years. It has destroyed any number of Palestinian industries in methodical ways, and continues to do so.

Do you really think the Palestinians have been forced into odd corners due to benign neglact?

You say both sides have a right to be there. That has never been, in fact, accepted by the Israelis.

Charles I

Charles, have a peep at Ilan Pappe's 2006 The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

As to "One side has accepted a roadmap to a solution, the other's solution is that Israel dies."

Do you honestly beleive that?

This is patently false and contradicted daily by Israeli demolition and construction in the Occupied Territories including East Jerusalem. Not to mention decades of explicit statements outlining salami style tactics and patience in pursuit of the Holy Imperative of Eretz Israel, by every stripe of Israeli leader, available for all to read in Hebrew sources.

Did you watch Khaled Meshal on Charlie Rose?

Who rejected the Saudi 2002 peace plan that the Arab League and the Iranians endorsed?

Its true Israel graciously pulled out of Gaza, without any co-ordination with the PA, and then engaged in "diplomacy" with its newly liberated ghetto that ensured both the election of Hamas and the convenient straw man to reject negotiations with.

So Hamas rules in Gaza, but Israel sets the rules.

Try picturing the reversal of fortunes and then lets hear your argument that Israel has it just fine under siege, blockade, periodic air land and sea attack, helicopter gunship assassinations, a country riven by checkpoints at which the degenerate Araboushim abuse their
Jewish captives, including pregnant captive women begging to pass through to medical facilities that have been destroyed in Israel by aerial bombardment.

WILL

Juan Cole give a vivid picture of the face of Gaza
To continue the tale of the two Charles

Schumer’s Sippenhaftung and the Children of GazaPosted on June 12, 2010 by Juan

"[North]Americans do not know, and perhaps do not care, that 68% of Gazans are refugees living in 8 refugee camps, who were ethnically cleansed and violently expelled from their homes in 1947-48, in what is now Israel. And no, they were not combatants, just civilians caught up in a civil war of sorts. They lost massive amounts of property and their homes, which would now be worth billions, but have never received a dime from the Israelis in reparations or compensation. Then in winter of 2008-2009, the Israeli military destroyed one in every eight Palestinian homes, rendering even more people homeless.


Schumer accuses the Gazans of not ‘recognizing’ Israel, which is sort of like accusing the pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico of not ‘recognizing’ BP. If Schumer wants the recognition and good will of the Gazans, he should arrange for them to be paid for the homes and farms out of which they were chased by the Israelis, who made them homeless refugees in a kind of vast concentration camp in Gaza, and are now half-starving them"

[emphasis supplied]

Charles

I do believe that. The last thing the Israeli leadership wants is a growing population of Palestinians within their borders who may, if the Palestinians were smart, declare themselves citizens and start voting.

You equate building (which is going on by both Israelis and Palestinians) with firing rockets and training suicide bombers. The actions by the two sides can't even be measured on the same scale. Folks like Meshal seem to think building justifies attacks on civilians but I reject that. Israel has pulled out of Gaza and most of the West Bank leaving the Palestinians to run their own affairs. The Palestinian response is to step up attacks from those areas. Their excuse? Israel is building homes on "their" land.

As I said in a previous post, the Israelis are a stiff-necked group, but given the attacks they have endured, I am surprised that they are as restrained as they are.

If the Palestinians wanted peace, they would declare their sovereignty, recognize the protective fence as the border and get on with it. The canard that there is not enough land is bogus -- Gaza is grossly overpopulated of course but there is a lot of open space on the West Bank. Been there. Seen it.

We can engage in tit-for-tat massacre stories but where does that get anyone? Both sides have suffered in some way. We need to go forward. The choice is supporting suicide bombers and those who use civilians as a shield or a democracy who is irritating things by building on disputed land. Easy choice for me.

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