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Israel has attacked Gaza Flotilla (dead and wounded)
#41
Here is the Economic Times report referred to above. Emphasis mine.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news...995887.cms

NATO to meet Tuesday on Gaza flotilla raid by Israel
31 May 2010, 2211 hrs IST,AGENCIES

BRUSSELS: NATO will hold emergency talks on Tuesday at Turkey's behest after the deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla of aid-carrying ships bound for Gaza, spokesman James Appathurai said.

"Planning is underway for a meeting... at the request of the Turkish authorities tomorrow afternoon," Appathurai said. The talks will gather ambassadors from the 28 NATO member countries at its Brussels HQ.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Santiago, Chile, that his government was demanding the NATO council gather to address a crisis that has already seen Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a visit to Canada and Washington where he had been due to meet with US President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Appathurai said in a statement that the military alliance is "deeply concerned about the loss of life" in international waters, with at least nine people -- many Turks according to reports -- killed and dozens more reported wounded.

"NATO does not really have instruments with which to deal with the follow-up from this type of affair," said a diplomat.

"Turkey has not invoked article five which envisages all allies coming to the aid of a member country that is the victim of an attack.

"But, given that numerous Turkish citizens appear to figure among the casualties, it is understandable that (Ankara) triggers political dialogue with its parners," the diplomat added.
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#42
Emphasis mine.

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/mid...57909.html

"The United Nations Security Council is holding an emergency meeting to discuss an Israeli naval raid on an aid flotilla.

At least nine passengers were killed, and dozens of others were injured, when Israeli commandos stormed ships bringing aid to the Gaza Strip early Monday. The flotilla, led by a Turkish ship, was in international waters about 60 kilometers off the coast of Israel when it was intercepted.

Israel says seven soldiers also were wounded in the violence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regret at the loss of life, but said Israeli troops acted in self-defense.

Israeli Government Spokesman Mark Regev says the activists had weapons and were prepared to attack the commandos when they came aboard the ship. But representatives of the Free Gaza Movement, which organized the flotilla, described the raid as an attack on civilians, saying the activists did not have violent intentions.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the raid an act of "state terrorism." Turkey has recalled its ambassador from Israel and canceled three planned military exercises with Israel to protest the incident.

The aid ships, carrying more than 600 pro-Palestinian activists and 10,000 tons of supplies, left for Gaza Sunday and defied a radio warning from the Israeli navy not to approach the region.

Organizers from the Free Gaza Movement and a Turkish human rights group said the convoy was carrying medical supplies as well as cement and other building materials, which Israel has banned from entering Gaza because of what it says are security concerns.

Israel has taken the ships to a nearby port to begin deportation procedures for the activists. It says that after inspection, the humanitarian aid will be transferred to Gaza by land."
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#43
Peter Presland Wrote:Also, note the Orwellian inversion - delivered with a grave straight face no doubt:
Quote:Israeli army spokesman, Col. Avi Beneyahu, called the incident "an act of terror on the high seas."

You simply could not make this stuff up could you?

This could get dangerous quickly - and so of course it damned well should for Zionist Israel.

That's the line that grabbed my attention, too, Peter. It's an act of war, not piracy. The Israeli inner circle is probably thinking of it as "pre-emptive" to prevent as early as possible possibly damaging events taking place. "Pre-emption" points to another problem, i.e., there is nothing to distinguish a "pre-emptively defensive" act from an act of aggression.

This brings up Nuremberg and the UN Charter. The Nuremberg trials named "crimes against peace" meaning acts of aggression and belligerance the highest crimes, carrying higher punishment than "war crimes" or "crimes against humanity."

This is the foundation of the UN Charter. The UN Charter also makes it obligatory for signatories to act to stop crimes against humanity. It's not a green-light to interfere in another's sovereign affairs, it's an obligation.

Tony Blair twisted this around to justify invading Yugoslavia and Iraq. What it's really about is the moral responsibility to save people from genocide, to rescue individuals from situations such as the quarantined no-man's land in Gaza.

What I'm saying is that this act, even if the peaceniks had shot white phosphorus at the IDF after they boarded, is a breaker for both NATO and the UN. Both organizations founder right here. NATO has been living a ghost existence for several years attacking civilians in Asia and pretending they're terrorists or combatants or every dictatorship's favorite word for the armed opposition, "bandits," while restoring the opium trade. The UN actually foundered when Kaffi Anan meekly admitted the Iraq war was illegal. He told the reporter "Well, you can put it that way if you wish." Now comes the moment of truth for both. Neither is up to the challenge.

I'm predicting neither NATO nor the UN will do anything. It will be left to an EU special commission to channel the rage in Sweden and across Europe into some political formula ostensibly aimed against Israeli aggression and human rights violations while doing nothing in practice. It's Hillary saying "Nothing's off the table" then turning around and saying "No, Tehran is trying to hide under Turkey's apron, no deal." It's Obama-Soetoro saying "We should talk to Iran" then saying "There's no reason to talk with Iran until they come clean."

In other words, the response will be to wait for public furor to blow over and continue business as usual. Meanwhile, the illegal act by Israel will mean a universal letter of marque to raid all Israeli shipping anywhere in the world, and will probably spill over into synagogue-burnings and random or semi-organized fire bombings. The lack of a political response and the resultant underground action against perceived Israeli objects will both play into the inner sanctum's plan to wait for it to blow over while painting negative expressions as extremist and anti-Semitic.

My two shekels.
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#44
http://realisticpeace.wordpress.com/2010...ent-state/

Israel’s Kent State


By Moshe Yaroni

Having worked on the issue of Israel and its myriad conflicts for many years, one gets used to tragedy and even to stunningly abhorrent behavior. And indeed, I have seen more than enough of both from all sides in this conflict.

But every once in a while, things take a turn, and that turn is punctuated by a singular, stunning event. The murderous raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla this day was one such event.

The Mavi Marmara, one of the ships that was stormed

I waited to start writing this until there was some official statement from Israel. I did that because I want to start off with Israel’s explanation for this horror. Here’s what the IDF spokesperson said, in part:

During the intercept of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.

As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, including live fire. Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that it seems as if part of the participants onboard the ships were planning to lynch the forces.

I am sure, as is always the case, there will be those who believe this version of events. But frankly, I can’t see how anyone can do so unless they are so desperate to justify Israel’s action here that they’ll believe anything. Let’s examine the IDF’s version of events.

We begin with the point that these were civilian ships and Israel boarded them with commandoes—soldiers who are disposed toward combat situations and are not meant to police unarmed civilians. They’re fighters, that’s their purpose. But the IDF claims that an assortment of international activists deliberately provoked a violent confrontation (using potentially deadly weapons, but which still leave them ridiculously overmatched) against heavily armed and trained soldiers in order to “lynch them.”

Does that seem remotely credible? It only seems so if you believe the activists on board these ships were willing to risk and actually sacrifice their lives in order to create a scandal for Israel. Of course, Israeli hasbara (propaganda) is well-practiced in casting all Arabs and Muslims as suicidal lunatics, aided by the suicide bombers who represent an infinitesimal percentage of those populations. But this collection of international activists, including many Jews, Americans and Europeans, apparently are also willing to give their lives, and rather cheaply, according to this story.

No, the IDF version of these events doesn’t begin to pass the laugh test.

When I first heard confirmed reports of this massacre, I thought of the Kent State shootings in 1970. That horrific tragedy, like this one, was the result of a government using ridiculously disproportionate force against civil disobedience.

But at Kent State, the shootings resulted from high tensions and one person losing control, causing others to follow his lead. Was that the case here? I suppose one must allow the possibility, but the quick response of the government certainly gives the appearance that it was not that simple.

Friends and colleagues can tell you, I have been very critical of the Free Gaza Movement’s politics. Before this incident, I had criticized them for refusing to carry a letter and package from Noam Shalit to his son, Gilad. I’m familiar with many of the core activists and know some of them personally. I know their agenda is more than humanitarian; it is more than breaking the siege on Gaza, and it is more radical than I am comfortable with.

But I also know they are non-violent, and quite serious about that. They’re also not stupid, which any group of civilians would have to be to intentionally get into a violent clash with a significant military force. And while I may not be on the same page with them politically, they are entitled to their political views. And the action itself of breaking the blockade, carrying goods to the besieged Strip and showing some support for the million and a half innocent people of Gaza who bear the burden of this policy that has only strengthened Hamas is brave and positive.

The bottom line is that Israel raided these ships with commandoes, and the end result was a great deal of needless bloodshed. And apparently, according to the IDF spokesperson, as reported by journalist Gregg Carlstrom, they couldn’t even wait to do it until the ships had passed out of international waters, which makes it, if no explanation is forthcoming, an act of piracy as well.

Israel crossed a line today, in a way not dissimilar (though certainly of a much smaller scope, thankfully) to the line they crossed in their massive attack on Gaza in 2008-09. Whatever Israel’s detractors have said over the years, this incident, like Operation Cast Lead, was far beyond anything Israel has done in the past.

This was a shocking massacre, and there’s no way to pretty that up. These were people engaged in direct action of civil disobedience. True, the siege on Gaza should simply be lifted, but being that it’s there, yes, Israel can be expected to take action to stop the flotilla. But this doesn’t just go above and beyond and justification, it zooms light years past it.

The IDF talks of gunfire, but apparently the guns in question were taken from soldiers during the confrontation, not precipitating it, according to the IDF spokesperson’s statement: “According to reports from sea, on board the flotilla that was seeking to break the maritime closure on the Gaza Strip, IDF forces apprehended two violent activists holding pistols. The violent activists took these pistols from IDF forces and apparently opened fire on the soldiers as evident by the empty pistol magazines. ” All of this begins with the Israeli tactics used to raid the ships.

Israel’s excuses are weak. Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told Ynet, “It was obvious to all that this was a media provocation, aimed at reaching a confrontation with Israel…We are not Shiite suicide attackers, and it is the soldiers’ duty to defend themselves.” If it wasn’t such a tragedy, I’d be rolling my eyes.

It is now up to the international community, and especially the United States, to take action. If the Obama Administration is to have any credibility left on this issue at all, it must forcefully denounce this action and call for an end to the siege of Gaza. The latter is not likely to happen, but the former is an absolute must. Without it, Obama will begin to be seen throughout not only the Arab and Muslim world, but also by Europe as little different from his predecessors on the Middle East issue.

No doubt as well the leaders of AIPAC, the ADL, AJC and similar groups will be quick to support the IDF’s absurd story here. The Jewish telegraphic Agency offers portent by simply parroting the IDF line and framing the incidents as “Protesters on ship bound for Gaza killed in rioting.”

We can do better, and we must. If there is to be any hope of stopping Israel from committing to this suicidal and murderous course it is on, and bringing its supporters around the world down with it, incidents like this must be denounced firmly, with calls for real accountability. This was a serious crime and it cannot be tolerated or excused away.
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#45
I see that the Israeli propaganda machine is rolling out their "heavy hitters", such as slimeball Mark Regev, and desperately showing footage of "pro-Palestinian terrorists" linked to "Al Qaeda and the Hamas terror group" attacking their brave commandoes with iron bars.

Except why did the IDF board the boats with heavily armed commandoes in the first place?

The Israeli military and political establishment displays precisely the same contempt for the safety and sanctity of non-Israeli life that the American military and political establishment demonstrates for non-American life with its routine remote drone attacks on the dusky natives of "AfPak" - of whom, by the last estimate, at least 94% of the dead and slaughtered were men, women and children with no connection to militant groups (let alone "terrorist" groups).
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
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#46
More on the strict legal niceties from a man who knows as much about maritime law as anyone - Craig Murray again:
Quote:But as I told this afternoon's tremendous spontaneous demonstration on Whitehall, fine words are not enough and we must now see the kind of sanctions regime we saw against apartheid South Africa.
A word on the legal position, which is very plain. To attack a foreign flagged vessel in international waters is illegal. It is not piracy, as the Israeli vessels carried a military commission. It is rather an act of illegal warfare.
Because the incident took place on the high seas does not mean however that international law is the only applicable law. The Law of the Sea is quite plain that, when an incident takes place
on a ship on the high seas (outside anybody's territorial waters) the applicable law is that of the flag state of the ship on which the incident occurred. In legal terms, the Turkish ship was Turkish territory.
There are therefore two clear legal possibilities.
Possibility one is that the Israeli commandos were acting on behalf of the government of Israel in killing the activists on the ships. In that case Israel is in a position of war with Turkey, and the act falls under international jurisdiction as a war crime.
Possibility two is that, if the killings were not authorised Israeli military action, they were acts of murder under Turkish jurisdiction. If Israel does not consider itself in a position of war with Turkey, then it must hand over the commandos involved for trial in Turkey under Turkish law.
In brief, if Israel and Turkey are not at war, then it is Turkish law which is applicable to what happened on the ship. It is for Turkey, not Israel, to carry out any inquiry or investigation into events and to initiate any prosecutions. Israel is obliged to hand over indicted personnel for prosecution.
Peter Presland

".....there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims"
Guido Preparata. Preface to 'Conjuring Hitler'[size=12][size=12]
"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied"
Claud Cockburn

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#47
Peter - thanks for posting that legal analysis via Craig Murray.

I doubt we'll see MSM illluminating its viewers in this fashion....
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
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#48
Thanks, all. Good update. I will be polite and restrained. I will remain polite and restrained. I am remaining poli ... Viking:thefinger:
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
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#49
Magda Hassan Wrote:Fucking murderous bastards!

We must must must do something about this. Evil murderous monsters.

Every Jew must stand against this.

Dawn
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#50
http://www.salon.com/news/israel/index.h.../31/israel

UPDATE VI: Among the countries condemning Israel for its attack are Russia, Turkey, India, China, Brazil, France, Spain and many more. By stark contrast, the White House issued a statement which conspicuously refused to condemn the Israelis (Obama "expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident, and concern for the wounded"), while the U.S. State Department actually hinted at condemning the civilians delivering the aid ("we support expanding the flow of goods to the people of Gaza. But this must be done in a spirit of cooperation, not confrontation").

Obama's call for "learning all the facts and circumstances" is reasonable enough, but all these other countries made clear that this attack could never be justified based on what is already indisputably known: namely, that the ship attacked by Israel was in international waters and it resulted in the deaths and injuries to dozens of civilians but no Israeli soldiers were killed and a tiny handful injured. In any event, Obama's neutrality will have to give way to a definitive statement one way or the other, and soon.
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