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View Poll Results: Do you still support Israel's blockade of Gaza?
Yes 31 43.66%
No 40 56.34%
Voters: 71. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-31-2010, 07:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Israel Attacks Aid Ship in Int'l Waters.

Appalling.







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Old 05-31-2010, 07:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Israel is a terrorist state as far as I'm concerned.
Backed by the US unfortunately they'll never be held responsible for it's actions.
Shame someone can't go in and remove some of the more dangerous weaponry they've been given.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Israeli Response:



Wether or not the commandos were attacked is not the issue, the boarding of the ship in the first place is clearly in violation of international law and classified as an attack. There weren't even any weapons on board.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You've got two different lines of discussion here, but you're acting as if they are the same thing.

First of all, Israel may or may not be a terrorist state ... we could debate that issue. Interesting that they were formed as a modern state by an international body, something which a very few countries could say. At the end of the day, everybody is living on somebody else's old land.

Second, according to the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994:
SECTION V : NEUTRAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND CIVIL AIRCRAFT

Neutral merchant vessels

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;
(b) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;
(c) act as auxiliaries to the enemy s armed forces;
(d) are incorporated into or assist the enemy s intelligence system;
(e) sail under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft; or
(f) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy s military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and it is not feasible for the attacking forces to first place passengers and crew in a place of safety. Unless circumstances do not permit, they are to be given a warning, so that they can re-route, off-load, or take other precautions.
NOTE: the San Remo Manual is not a treaty, but considered by the ICRC to be reflective of customary law.

Israel's boarding of the Gaza flotilla was certainly an example of #67 section A. The Captain of one of the boats told the IDF that they intended to "run the blockade" And the video evidence shows that Israel did indeed give the flotilla a warning and asked them to re-route to an Israeli port.

Also, on piracy: the definition of piracy under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, section 101, is clear that piracy can only occur where there are “illegal acts of violence or detention” that are “committed for private ends.” Israeli actions were legal under the law of armed conflict (as evidenced by the San Remo Manual) and in any event, were not committed for private ends. Anyone using the term piracy to describe the Israeli action is clearly not aware of international law on the subject.

So really, Israel didn't have to offer them another alternative to get where they "wanted to go." They followed the law as it is currently written. You can disagree with them, or argue that the law should be changed. Still, their actions were more legitimate by law that the US invasions of Vietnam, Grenada, and Iraq. So throw some stones if you care to.

By the way, if you're writing from outside the US, you might want to look up whether or not your country participated in 2/3rds of those "conflicts."
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wether or not the commandos were attacked is not the issue, the boarding of the ship in the first place is clearly in violation of international law and classified as an attack. There weren't even any weapons on board.
First, I don't have a horse in this race, and I'm pretty ignorant about what is going on.

That said, the ship intended to break the blockade, it wasn't hiding that fact, right?

If a terrorist was headed to shore with a nuclear bomb, do you have to wait until it is in your waters to attack, or is imminent threat enough justification for nabbing it before it gets in range? If imminent threat is enough, how were the Israelis to know for sure what was on that ship?

Do we know for sure that the ship was in international waters? Do we know for sure that the ship never left international waters?

Initially, the Israelis were using non lethal force, were they not? Why and when did they escalate?

I'd like these questions answered before I start taking sides.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Please Mr. Galt, don't ruin funsie polls with facts!

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Old 05-31-2010, 09:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Please Mr. Galt, don't ruin funsie polls with facts!

You're right, BA. I support the wholesale production and distribution of hummus, tabouli, and lamb muchentuchen. Why can't the people who make these yummy foods just get along?
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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First of all, am I seriously supposed to believe that the armed Israeli commandos were somehow overpowered by the civilians on-board the ship? And thrown off the ship?

The attack was confirmed by the Israeli government to have occurred on international waters, 65 km off the coast of Gaza.

Quote:
Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: "This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves."
I don't know much about maritime law but the fact that Israel attacked the ship on international waters is technically illegal. Or am I mistaken? Or is Israel above the law and should be left alone because it had no way of knowing what was on that boat.

The ship was clearly there to deliver aid supplies. Among the people on-board were old men, women and children.

Even if the boarding was not illegal, and as you say Israel needed to protect itself as it had no idea of what was actually on the ship, were 10 (at least) casualties really necessary? Was there no other way to check or divert the boat?

Last edited by PaperBagHead; 05-31-2010 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Supposedly they were using paint ball guns to try to subdue the people on the boat. When things got ugly, they pulled out their real guns. I don't know if that is all true or not. I don't want to judge.

The problem with some of these "humanitarian relief organizations" is that they are being funded by terrorist organizations. I don't know if this is one that fits this category, but Israel claims it is.

I think the fact of casualties is horrible. However, we are really not sure about the circumstances. People put themselves in harm's way. I think it's horrible that the students were arrested as spies in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, they were stupid enough to put themselves in harms way.

Again, I don't know what is true in this situation, it's just all possible and plausible.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PaperBagHead View Post
First of all, am I seriously supposed to believe that the armed Israeli commandos were somehow overpowered by the civilians on-board the ship? And thrown off the ship?

The attack was confirmed by the Israeli government to have occurred on international waters, 65 km off the coast of Gaza.



I don't know much about maritime law but the fact that Israel attacked the ship on international waters is technically illegal. Or am I mistaken? Or is Israel above the law and should be left alone because it had no way of knowing what was on that boat.

The ship was clearly there to deliver aid supplies. Among the people on-board were old men, women and children.

Even if the boarding was not illegal, and as you say Israel needed to protect itself as it had no idea of what was actually on the ship, were 10 (at least) casualties really necessary? Was there no other way to check or divert the boat?
Armed commandos rappelled in. They also were using dispersal techniques, as opposed to lethal force. Both techniques put the soldiers in the unenviable position of being easy targets, considering the vessel carried over 600 people. One person rappelling in and using a paintball gun on a floating target being met by multiple hostiles with bats, metal pipes, and apparently switchblades is really not a fight in which the commando would win.

Again, the "attack" was a boarding incident after repeated warnings not to break the blockade. The violence appears to, at this point, have been initiated by those on the ship, and given the materials they had it appeared they were prepared to do so to some degree. This incident did not have to be violent. Israel had zero interest here in attacking protesters, and it seems unlikely that the elite of the elite would take it on themselves to initiate a massacre for kicks.

Video does confirm that some commandos were thrown to the lower deck, and others off the ship.

The San Remo document shows that a nation can prevent attempts to break a blockade, and this was clearly not an instance of piracy. Pirates don't tend to warn their targets.

The ship was there with TWO goals: break the blockade and deliver aid. Both were the expressed goals of the activists. Israel offered to take the aid at the port of Ashdod, search it for potential contraband, and then deliver all non-prohibited materials to the Gaza Strip via crossings.

If this were purely an aid mission they should have gone to Ashdod.

Ten casualties were wholly unnecessary. But as to whose fault those casualties are, the video seems to suggest this one's on the protesters, especially if it's confirmed that they beat an Israeli commando unconscious, took his service pistol, and fired rounds.

As for alternative means, I'd love to hear a few from you. Israel warned the ships numerous times to go to the port of Ashdod. This confrontation has been boiling for weeks. It didn't need to happen.
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