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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    31 May '10 15:54
    First, I admit, today is going to be a tough day for Israel defenders. I'm not going to come out guns blazing. I'm hoping to discuss this in a respectful, dignified manner. I also have no interest in celebrating the result of the raid. Deaths are always tragic in any context. I also have no interest in a flame war. I am going to keep my tone down and avoid angry rhetoric and I hope the rest of the thread will do the same.

    Okay, now the way I see it. If the flotilla activists were truly interested merely in providing aid for the Gazans, then that would be commendable. But, Israel had offered to dock the ship and then allow the aid to pass through after inspection to ensure that there were no weapons.

    Once that was refused, firstly, it showed that the point of the mission was not merely to provide aid, but to break the blockade. Secondly, it provided Israel with a choice:

    1) end the blockade; or

    2) intercept the ship.

    There is no third way. You can't allow this one through and not the next one. Either you enforce the blockade or you don't. Whether this one actually contained weapons (and that is unclear at this point) is beside the point. The purpose of the blockade is to prevent weapons from getting to Gaza and once you allow ships through, your blockade becomes irrelevant. What's to stop the next ship from being loaded with weapons once it's established that they won't be intercepted?

    Now, if you want to argue that the blockade should be ended, that's another matter. But given the blockade, Israel had no choice but to enforce it.

    Next. It's unclear at this time of course, but many reports indicate that the violence was initiated by the activists. The mission of the commandos was to peacefully dock the ship in Israeli territory and submit it to inspection.

    http://abcnews.go.com/WN/International/israeli-commandos-storm-gaza-aid-convoy-international-condemnation/story?id=10788664

    Turkey's NTV showed activists beating one Israeli soldier with sticks as he rappelled from a helicopter onto one of the boats. Several passengers appeared to be bleeding and wounded in a report shown on Turkish television.

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/faith/2010/05/israeli_commandos_storm_aid_fl.html

    An Israeli commando who spoke to reporters on a naval vessel off the coast, and who was identified only by the first letter of his name, "A," said he and his comrades were surprised by a group of Arabic-speaking men when they rapelled onto the deck.

    He said some of the soldiers, taken off guard, were stripped of their helmets and equipment and thrown from the top deck to the lower deck, and that some had even jumped overboard to save themselves. At one point one of the passengers seized one of the soldiers' weapons and opened fire.

    A high-ranking naval official displayed a box confiscated from the boat containing switchblades, slingshots, metal balls and metal bats. "We prepared (the soldiers) to deal with peace activists, not to fight," he said. Most of the 10 dead were Turkish, he added.


    According to Israeli sources:

    The IDF said that the ships would be taken to the Ashdod Port where, despite the violence, the cargo they hold will be inspected and then transferred to the Gaza Strip via land crossings. Israeli Navy commander Vice-Admiral Eliezer Marom was commanding over the operation from sea.

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?ID=176970

    This shows, assuming it's carried out, that the purpose of the blockade is to stop weapons from entering Gaza, not to stop aid to the people of Gaza.

    Finally, the issue of the "civilians" on these ships. As far as I'm concerned, there were no civilians on these ships. Before setting out, every person aboard these ships knew that its purpose was to break the Israeli blockade. There were not bystanders. They were intentionally getting involved in an armed conflict. They knew exactly that they were trying or likely to provoke an armed conflict. All of them including the Nobel prize winner and the 85 year old Holocaust survivor, were seaborn soldiers intentionally becoming involved in a military conflict. They did or should reasonably have expected a violent confrontation. That doesn't mean that the deaths are not to be lamented or mourned; but it is not the same thing as a civilian death.

    I will concede that if one starts with the principle that the blockade is illegal in the first place, the events take on a different light.


    Oh, and regarding the fact that it was in international waters... Yes, perhaps they should have waited until the ship was in Israeli waters. But, let's face it... does it really matter? Everyone knew exactly where the ship was going. Would a few extra miles of sailing have made a substantive difference?
  2. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    31 May '10 16:01
    Aren't the waters around Gaza per definition "international waters", considering Gaza is officially occupied territory and all?
  3. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    31 May '10 16:06
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    Aren't the waters around Gaza per definition "international waters", considering Gaza is officially occupied territory and all?
    I don't know; but does it really matter what the waters are called?
  4. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    31 May '10 16:27 / 1 edit
    I don't blame the israeli soldiers one bit. They were enforcing the blockade as they've done for years. I would have shot them all based on this...

    ___________________________________________________

    A senior military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said three helicopters with 15 soldiers aboard, and several commando boats approached the ships at about 4 a.m.

    An Israeli commando said he descended with ropes and was immediately attacked by a group of people waiting for them. "They beat us up with metal sticks and knives," he said, adding, "There was live fire at some point against us."

    He said a group of people pounced on the soldiers and beat them. One soldier had his guns snatched. "They were shooting at us from below deck."

    He said some of the soldiers were tossed from the top deck to the lower deck by the activists and then jumped in the water to save themselves. Activists grabbed soldiers and tried to hold them hostage, stripping them of their helmets and equipment. He said about 30 activists, all speaking Arabic, had carried out the attack.

    A high-ranking naval official displayed a box confiscated from the boat containing switchblades, slingshots, metal balls and metal bats. “We prepared (the soldiers) to deal with peace activists, not to fight,” he said. Most of the 10 dead were Turkish, he added.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/anger-mounts-after-deadly-gaza-aid-flotilla-strike/article1586180/

    _______________________________________________________________


    Typical mid-east BS though. 10,000 years go by and these airheads still can't get along.
  5. 31 May '10 18:06
    What did those aboard the ships expect? They went looking for trouble and they got it. What is all the fuss about?
  6. 31 May '10 18:39 / 2 edits
    I wonder why Egypt keeps the borders with the Gaza strip closed as well.

    Anybody knows the answer ?

    No1 ... you're the expert. Any idea ?
  7. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    31 May '10 18:50
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    I wonder why Egypt keeps the borders with the Gaza strip closed as well.

    Anybody knows the answer ?
    Egypt doesn't like Hamas any more than Israel does.
  8. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    31 May '10 19:03
    Originally posted by sh76
    First, I admit, today is going to be a tough day for Israel defenders. I'm not going to come out guns blazing. I'm hoping to discuss this in a respectful, dignified manner. I also have no interest in celebrating the result of the raid. Deaths are always tragic in any context. I also have no interest in a flame war. I am going to keep my tone down and avoid angr ...[text shortened]... ing. Would a few extra miles of sailing have made a substantive difference?
    Summary:

    Israel attacked ships in international waters and killed 9 people on those ships.

    To no one's surprise, sh76 is OK with that.

    It's not the first, and certainly won't be the last, time that Israel has committed an outrageous criminal act violating all principles of international law. And it's not the first, and certainly won't be the last, that it's hard core apologists like sh76 don't care.

    Sorry for the "tone" but this act of yours is beyond tiresome.
  9. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    31 May '10 19:17
    As to the blockade itself, here's what the "hateful" Amnesty International said about it in January.

    As the occupying power, Israel has a duty
    under international humanitarian law to
    ensure the welfare of the population of Gaza
    without discrimination. Israel must uphold
    the population’s human rights, including
    the rights to health, to education, to work
    and to an adequate standard of living,
    which includes the rights to food and
    adequate housing.
    The blockade constitutes collective
    punishment under international law. By
    preventing the entry of desperately needed
    materials and support for rehabilitation and
    reconstruction after Operation “Cast Lead”,
    the Israeli government is continuing to
    compound the suffering of civilians in Gaza
    and is violating its binding legal obligations.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/002/2010/en/c8e6742a-b52a-4c70-b641-986de2db878a/mde150022010en.pdf

    The blockade has also been consistently condemned by UN officials (of course the UN "hates" Jews).

    Israeli soldiers attacking a ship in international waters have no more "right to self-defense" than a rapist breaking into someone's house does. The people on those ships, by contrast, had a basic human right to act in their own self-defense against the criminals attacking them. Even in the highly unlikely event that the Israeli version is 100% true (which it must be according to sh76), the acts of its soldiers are murder under accepted principles of IL. The world should demand that the people who ordered this attack and the ones who staged it be brought to justice.
  10. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    31 May '10 19:18
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Summary:

    Israel attacked ships in international waters and killed 9 people on those ships.

    To no one's surprise, sh76 is OK with that.

    It's not the first, and certainly won't be the last, time that Israel has committed an outrageous criminal act violating all principles of international law. And it's not th ...[text shortened]... t care.

    Sorry for the "tone" but this act of yours is beyond tiresome.
    <yawn>

    Now that no1 has reacted exactly how I'd have predicted (actually, I was figuring it would be worse, to be honest), anyone have anything civil to contribute?
  11. 31 May '10 19:20
    Originally posted by sh76
    <yawn>

    Now that no1 has reacted exactly how I'd have predicted (actually, I was figuring it would be worse, to be honest), anyone have anything civil to contribute?
    Well, the No1 expert on International Law has spoken ...
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    31 May '10 19:21
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    As to the blockade itself, here's what the "hateful" Amnesty International said about it in January.

    As the occupying power, Israel has a duty
    under international humanitarian law to
    ensure the welfare of the population of Gaza
    without discrimination. Israel must uphold
    the population’s human rights, including
    the rights to health ...[text shortened]... hat the people who ordered this attack and the ones who staged it be brought to justice.
    Why would searching the ship for weapons and then delivering all the supplies to Gaza (assuming no weapons were found) not have lived up to the standard you quoted from AI?
  13. 31 May '10 19:24
    Originally posted by sh76
    Why would searching the ship for weapons and then delivering all the supplies to Gaza (assuming no weapons were found) not have lived up to the standard you quoted from AI?
    There were weapons on board ... no firearms though ... clubs and catapults.
  14. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    31 May '10 19:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    Why would searching the ship for weapons and then delivering all the supplies to Gaza (assuming no weapons were found) not have lived up to the standard you quoted from AI?
    Israel's decisions as to what is needed by the people of Gaza are arbitrary and cruel as the rest of that Report shows.

    Want to hazard a guess as to what AI's response to this murderous attack will be?

    EDIT: Here wouldn't want to keep you in suspense: http://www.news24.com/World/News/Amnesty-urges-probe-into-raid-20100531
  15. 31 May '10 19:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    <yawn>

    Now that no1 has reacted exactly how I'd have predicted (actually, I was figuring it would be worse, to be honest), anyone have anything civil to contribute?
    I suppose no1 thinks sinking the ship would be preferable. At least, he seems only to have an objection with Israel bording the boat but has not expressed any anger about North Korea sinking a vessel off its coast.

    Since sinking a ship is far worse than bording it, I would presume that the internationaly community is far more concerned with North Koreas actions.....NOT!!