Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gaza Flotilla Round Up

I want to try and make some sense of the madness that happened in the early hours of yesterday morning about 80 miles of the coast of Gaza. And before I get accused of it, "make some sense" does not mean that I am simply going to let Israel off the hook. There is however lots of hysterics flying around and I want to address what happened in a calm, clear and well thought out fashion. First things first.

The Turkish ship, the Mavi Mamara, from a distance

What exactly happened.
An objective description of what happened is as follows. As the six ships in the flotilla were approaching Gaza in an attempt to break the blockade the Israeli Navy prepared to prevent them from doing so. On four of the six ships the Israeli commandos were met with passive resistance. However on one ship, the Turkish based Mavi Mamara the activists, many of whom were members of the controversial IHH, resisted violently with light weapons, but not fire arms even though at some stage they succeeded in disarming the commandos of their hand guns and wounding two of them with their own weapons. No reasonable person would deny that they used violence to resists the attempt at boarding as the video below, released by the Israeli navy clearly shows. All accounts that the Israeli navy opened fire on peace activists in an unprovoked attack can be completely discounted.

Israeli commandos are attacked as they land on deck

However, the question now must be asked, were the activists entitled to resist violently given the fact that at the time they were in international waters and were in fact the victims or piracy. This is where we enter a difficult legal quagmire. Sammy Finkelam commenting on Seraphic Secret describes it as follows.

If Israel declares a blockade, then either A) Israel is still asserting it is occupying Gaza or B) Israel is asserting it at war with Gaza. Both of these potentially have some bad legal consequences. If Israel does not declare a blockade then boarding the ship is an act of international piracy. And that's as far as Israel thought it would go.



So, were they entitled to resist ? I do not know. It is a legal question I cannot answer. What I do know is that this was a spectacular blunder by the Israelis. They have never been great at PR but this is a total disaster for them. It was the first thought that crossed my mind when I heard what happened. Surely they were aware of the implications for the media battle when they decided to go in using such force. After the initial incident the naval commandos should have boarded the ship in greater numbers with tear gas, rubber bullets, all the appropriate riot gear and retaken the ship. The use of such overwhelming force was both wrong and counterproductive to Israeli interests.


The IDF have very clear rules of engagements. If those rules allow them to engage then they tend to do so using extreme force. When dealing with peace activists and human shield demonstrators this can become very problematic. As in all conflicts there is great bitterness in this one. As someone who has a fairly solid grasp of the conservative Israeli soul I can say that many right wing Israelis have a particular contempt for the pro Palestinian peace activist types. This is not the first scenario where some of these activists have lost their lives. American Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli bulldozer while attempting to protect a Palestinian home. British activist Tom Hurndall (pictured) was hit in the head by an Israeli sniper while acting as a human shield in the Gaza strip. He had been wearing a bright fluorescent jacket at the time. The men responsible for the deaths of Corrie and Hurndall probably are in the clear technically but in reality the IDF know the rules of engagement so well, that they know how to kill and get away with it. They were confronted with an activist but what they saw was a liberal, European, anti Semitic, terrorist sympathiser and they said to themselves, F*$k it, I am taking them out. I suspect that a similar atmosphere prevailed in the Mediterranean in the early hours of Monday morning. What else could explain the commandos decision to open fire on so many using such lethal force.

Like many political animals I have taken the long personal journey from the left to the right. However I knew many of these far left activists in my early twenties and am still friends with many. While I believe that most are misguided I do not believe that they are all anti semites disguising their hatred of Jews in opposition to the events in Gaza, as the pro Israeli press would have us believe. And they do not deserve to be killed like this.

The Siege of Gaza, is it justified ?
Israel is entitled to defend itself. Hamas has inflicted many atrocities against Israel in the last 20 years. Israel is entitled to weaken their control over Gaza by implementing a siege. But they are not entitled to starve the people of Gaza. So for me it comes down to one issue. How bad are things in Gaza ? The Palestinians and their supporters claim it is a humanitarian crisis. The Israelis claim to be allowing thousands of tonnes of food in per day and that no such crisis exists. I don't know. All I know is that one side is not being truthful.

There is however one important point I want to make about Gaza. The Israelis, even right wing Israeli hawks do not want Gaza. I have often criticised vociferously Israels policy of settlement expansion in the west Bank which is not I believe about security but about conquering land the Israelis want. That however is the West bank, or Judea and Samaria as the hawks who want to see the the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy of a greater Israel, like to refer to it as. However the land south of Israel is not sacred land as far as the Jews are concerned. Menachem Begin, the farther of the settlement policy returned the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt after the 1979 Camp David Accords. Likewise the Israelis withdrew from Gaza and removed 100% of settlements from the strip in 2006. Israeli motivations toward the Gaza strip are motivated I believe by achieving security for Israel. They obviously want to prevent an organisation like Hamas from gaining the capability to attack it. This is why they do not allow many construction materials into the Gaza strip as they believe it will be used to build tunnels designed for smuggling weapons.


The International respone
Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin summoned the Israeli ambassador yesterday and accused his government of kidnapping Irish citizens in international waters. Very strong words indeed. They have not ruled out expelling him even though I highly doubt that they would take this extreme measure. In a remarkably rare example of international unity today the UN Security council condemned the Israeli act, something which probably could not have happened without President Obama. The Egyptians, realising the level of anti Israeli settlement out there have decided to open the border crossing at Rafa, essentially ending the siege of Gaza, albeit temporarily. Meanwhile this incident is not yet over. the sixth ship the Rachel Corrie is still en route to Gaza. The last ship in the flotilla it was not boarded the Israeli Navy. On board the Rachel Corrie are two prominent Irish people, former under secretary of the UN and former lecturer of mine in Trinity College, Dennis Halliday and former Nobel peace prize winner for her work in Northern Ireland Maread Corrigan. Micheal Martn has demanded that the ship be let through. Most nations have now called for the siege to end. Given the horrendous publicity Israel has received in the last 36 hours. I suspect they will probably let the last ship through.

30 comments:

Paul said...

'They were confronted with an activist but what they saw was a liberal, European, anti Semitic, terrorist sympathiser and they said to themselves, F*$k it, I am taking them out. I suspect that a similar atmosphere prevailed in the Mediterranean in the early hours of Monday morning. What else could explain the commando’s decision to open fire on so many using such lethal force. '

No Ted that is unsustainable in light of the video evidence. The IDF soldiers never thought 'F''k it I hate these sods so let’s kill them', a metaphor for murder. What they did was open fire in self defence after their small boarding party was in danger of being overwhelmed by large numbers of a hostile crowd. Hostile crowds are terrifying to face by the way. Much worse than being shot at but I digress. Had that crowd overwhelmed the soldiers, seeing as they can be seen pummelling several with iron bars, they would have killed them. So it was self-defence. And a large crowd can overwhelm and kill small numbers of armed personnel. For evidence of that read the Wiki article on the Corporal's killings a horrific episode. The only real debate for me can be whether it was right or not for Israel to board a vessel crewed and staffed by militant Islamists in International waters? I believe it was but it has been nonetheless a PR victory for Hamas.

Good reply earlier to numb nuts by pointing out that he did not condemn the massacre in Pakistan of members of the Ahmadi sect. On my mother’s side the Egan name appears a few times. The thought of being a distant relative of that cupid stunt makes me want to burn my favourite Rugby shirt!

Ted Leddy said...

Paul

In all the video clips of the incident that I have seen I have not come across any footage of the men being shot by the commandos. This suggests to me that there was a second assault or a round two that followed the brawl on the deck in which the Israelis took quite a beating. We know that at least 10 and possibly 19 were killed with scores wounded. The commandos that were lowered from the helicopter in the footage were very few in number. I am sure it was not them who did most of the shooting.

I accept your point about the hostile crowd. I remember the Corporal killings. Of all the killings and bloodshed during the troubles, I found that image of the two men being surrounded in their car to be the most haunting. I do not believe the situations are the same. In Belfast the two men were on there own. On Monday the commandos had a full team. In any event I am positive that for such an elite force, it was a poorly planned and executed operation.

I wouldn't worry about Egan too much. I think everybody is losing interest in that attention junkie. No need to burn the jersy. Particularly since I think we could win the 2011 World Cup. So you have Egan relatives, I always suspected you were part Paddy.

thesystemworks said...

13 commandos were initially lowered on deck, one by one and without a smokescreen (terrible idea, and someone should be accountable for it). They were armed with paintball guns, and a lethal sidearm that they were told not to use unless attacked. Some or all may have had stun grenades.

When it was clear that the landing had been a disaster, more troops were sent on board.

Mahi Khan said...

First of all, and most importantly, rest in peace to those who died.

I do not really understand why you go into all this legal stuff when you go to whether it was justified in Israel boarding the ship? There is no justification in going on the ship and killing those on board. Whether they were provoked or not is out of the question, they shouldn't have even been near the ships.

"Israel is entitled to defend itself. Hamas has inflicted many atrocities against Israel in the last 20 years." This is what annoys me, the question of rights and wrongs was lost decades ago. It's not about being entitled to do anything anymore. I could just as easily respond by saying Hamas is justified in its response (or atrocities, as you word it) due to Israel for their various actions, from 1948 to today. But what's the point? Who's right to do fight back is out of the window. If you claim Israel is entitled in aggression, someone else on the other side will. Best thing to do in my opinion is forgot who's right or wrong and try and look for solutions. And saying Israel is entitled to aggression and blockades is not really looking for solutions.

With regards to the blockade, here's one side to it. The following article shows some of items not allowed into Gaza, and this does not even list stuff like concrete that's not allowed. http://www.economist.com/daily/chartgallery/displayStory.cfm?story_id=16264970
Aid does get into Gaza, but the UN (Sorry for not having the quote, but the content is none the less the same) says what gets in is 25% of what's needed. Here's something, 'Ehud Olmert advisor Dov Weisglass said in early 2006: “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” In other words, make them suffer enough to reject Hamas or force its officials to accede to Israeli demands and function like Fatah as Tel Aviv’s enforcer, and if fail at both, slowly suffocate and strangle the entire population.'

Although I have much greater sympathy for the Gazans and Palestinians for their suffering with constant killings against the Israeli's perceived threats (often used to justify stuff like this), I however also greatly recognise Israel's right to defence. However, I believe it is doing nothing to help its self by being a massive aggressor, and in the long term creating more enemies, as shown by the massive protests sparked around the world yesterday. I want to see peace for Israel, but they really do make it hard don't they when they come out with stuff like this. Given Israel's importance with places like the US, I'm fairly sure Israel could get some substantial 'peace' (very crappy term that) if it really sought it, without having to slay the masses.

And finally good luck to MV Rachel Corrie. I've followed the ship for a while including when it was bought, and gave all I had on me to buy paper for the Gazans. It's shame knowing that it probably won't get into Gaza. But I really do sympathise with Israel especially remembering the recent (well not so recent anymore) events 60 years ago, and do believe that Israel, even though was created in not the best of ways, deserves peace. I wish it the best of luck, and to the Palestinians, although I acknowledge the futility of words and the severe lack of substance in my life time.

Oh yeah one last thing, if you aren't already, try and avoid aligning yourself with either side and instead looking at it from a humanitarian perspective, it saves hours of pointless discussion :)

Ted Leddy said...

TSW

We are probably in agreement that the scores of people shot were not shot by the 13 commandos initially lowered. It was probably by a second wave who likely landed with a shoot to kill policy against men who were not armed with guns. Not morally justifiable in my book and certainly not good PR.

Ted Leddy said...

Mahi Khan

Thank you very much for the well thought out and articulate comment.

Let me first say that the strongest conviction I have on the Middle East conflict is as follows. Pro Palestinian activists seem to believe that animosity toward Israel is a result of Israel's actions and that if Israel ceased these actions and ended its occupation then the hatred of Israel would fade away along with its aggressive tactics. I believe that this is fundamentally false. I believe this because I am convinced that there is a deep rooted hatred of Judaism in Arab culture and militant Islam and that this would not go away if Israel acted in a softer way. It is therefore unrealistic to expect Israel to back off and hope that Hamas controlled Gaza does not carry out the threat of destruction that it has always promised to Israel.

Now to address some of your points.

I think you are correct that the killings were not justified. However the reason I brought up the legal issues is because if the blockade is legitimate and recognised then the Israeli navy do have the right to board ships that try to breach it.

I agree about the futility in debating the past. I generally stay clear of debates about the circumstances surrounding the foundation of Israel. I was merely stating the often left out fact that Hamas suicide bombings killed many hundreds of Israeli civilians in the early 2000s.

I also have to agree that some aspects of the blockade seem absurd to me, such as banning chocolate and certain toys. I sometimes wonder if the Israelis take some sort of pleasure out of being seen as the bad guys.

It is a despicable quote by Dov Weisglass. As I said in the main post. Whether the siege in Gaza is justified depends for me on the conditions in Gaza. I do not know what source to believe on this issue.

As for the Rachel Corrie, I think it would be better for everybody, even the Israelis that they let it through. I hope that they do.

Thanks for the advice about repetitive discussion. It certainly happens a lot when discussing this part of the world.

Thanks again for your contribution and feel free to stop by any time.

thesystemworks said...

Updates on some of the soldiers:

The boy thrown off the deck is a First Sergeant and seriously fractured his skull. Doctors have called his speedy recovery a near miracle, and they believe he will be able to go home soon.

Another First Sergeant was hit by a bullet in the abdomen. The bullet went right through his stomach.

A Lieutenant claims he was shot the moment he landed, and several men then proceeded to beat him with metal rods. Another man attacked him with a knife before he lost consciousness and woke up in treatment.

MPAC.ie said...

Two articles of interest:

Dispelling the Zio-Myths regarding the Peaceful Flotilla: http://mpac.ie/2010/06/02/dispelling-the-zio-myths-regarding-the-peaceful-flotilla/

Jewish Government to blame for ALL Jewish Deaths in Occupied Palestine: http://mpac.ie/2010/06/02/jewish-governments-to-blame-for-all-jewish-deaths-in-occupied-palestine/

Ted Leddy said...

TSW

There is no dispute here that the commandos were viciously attacked when they landed. I suggest we move on from that point. The issue is, was the use of such deadly force justified ? Because I can assure you, there has been no change in the condition of the 10 to 19 people shot dead by the commandos.

Ted Leddy said...

Liam

Any more comments aimed only at publicising your own site will be deleted.

MPAC.ie said...

There was no intention of publicizing the site, we were merely pointing people toward rebuttals to arguments.

However, as you have correctly stated all the complete footage indicate that there was an attack on the peaceful flotilla (evidence has now emerged that other ships were attacked too)prior to boarding. Two people had been shot in spite of the white flags being raised. So when those Jewish thugs abseiled down onto the ship the people on board believed they were in mortal danger and quite rightly defended themselves.

It is interesting that the illegitimate Jewish state let only ever invokes international law when it wants to justify its barbarity, man-made laws to justify man-made atrocities.

Ted Leddy said...

Liam

"man made laws to justify man made atrocities", that's right, only God can sanction an atrocity.

Liam, I'll make a deal with you. I'll condemn the Israeli action in stronger terms when you condemn for example, the recent slaughter of the Ahmadiyya in Pakistan or perhaps the Mumbai attack. Both are examples of a policy during an assault of murdering quite literally everybody that you lay eyes on.

MPAC.ie said...

It's very disturbing that you would condition your condemnation of Jewish atrocities. Shame on you, it's not a tit-for-tat.

Ted Leddy said...

Liam

I can't accuse you of conditioning your condemnation of Muslim atrocities because you don't condemn them at all. Not the recent Pakistan attack, not Mubai, Madrid, London, Bali, Beslan, New York, Washington, Sadam Hussein's or Al Quaeda numerous acts of mass murder. You have some nerve to accuse me of conditioning. In any case I did condemn Israeli actions on the Turkish ship. Not that by any legal or moral standard they were even remotely comparable to the actions of the terrorists in any of the above cases.

MPAC.ie said...

Shame on you Ted, the mask slips, eh?

Gary said...

Ted,
I enjoy your blogs very much. This has been an exceptionally good discussion -that is up to the point where it diverted into some obviously prejudicial rhetoric. My experience with extremists (religious, political or any other kind) is that they share one important trait. They are usually too closed minded to conduct a meaningful debate and are best listened to in light of their prejudice, not argued with. -Strictly personal observation.

Mahi Khan said...

I agree that there is definitely at least some hatred of Judaism in Arab and/or Islamic culture. I guess its expected really today, in the same way I'm sure there's a hatred for Islam in many Jews. Obviously there's always the few whom are like this, and especially more so today. Deep rooted, I'm not so sure. There's bad history between Jews and Muslims, but relations were pretty good back in the day. They used to live side by side, study together and so on. When the first crusade happened, it was I believe both Jews and Muslims together whom were living peacefully in Jerusalem. This century has rid of all that with the events of 1948 and all the various wars. But yeah, each side often looks at the others committed atrocities and only ends up angering itself. Like I mentioned, the questions of rights and wrongs was lost a long time ago. Now I guess what is needed is for some ballsy leader to pop out of somewhere, and say for example, try to end the gaza blockade but limit arms in another way, or say a Hamas leader to release Gillad Shalit as gesture. It will take bravery to change conditions, but I wonder with the levels of hate involved if that will ever come.

And I agree with you on the bit about those critical of Israel, they're like those who seem to think Hamas alone is the problem. That kind of thinking is the cause of today's mess.

I know my response was just the wrongs of Israel in regards to the flotilla, and I'm fully aware of how things like the suicide bombings will still be in the minds of many. Personally I think more flotillas should be sent in the future, and am also interested to say if Israel returns all the boats, as I recall they damaged/did not return the boat on a previous journey. But I'm also wondering, quite crucially really and that I haven't really heard many solutions too, is what other choice does Israel have? The aim is to lift the blockade, but I think the fact its reduced things like bombings is a major factor, even though that may be down to other things too like the destruction of various tunnels and the gaza war last year. I fully believe in a gaza with free trade. But sitting right next to Israel, I wonder what choices Israel does have. If it does lift the blockade, I'm sure bombings will increase. Hmm, I have no clue really, it ties in with so many other factors, such as a Palestinian state, and the leaders of today have really made no attempt at it. They've simply been going around labelling blame on Hamas and then bringing up this so called 'Peace Process', which has long been a load of crap. Maybe things like the Geneva Initiative, http://www.geneva-accord.org/, may help? Gah, who knows. Sorry for the rambling, but I guess looking for solutions does make a change to the blame game and bickering that often rules the internet. Hmm, again sorry for this random nonsense.

Oh and on the point of the Ahmaddiya murders/massacres/whatever, I think it goes without saying they should all be condemned. That's one thing I'm also hoping from these free gaza people, that if they manage their objective, they could also use their ships to help out other places too. It's quite nice to know that MV Rachel Corrie was only bought I think a month ago, for around £700,000 which was raised purely from donations. Hopefully they can continue to do what they do. Oh and if you or anyone's interested, they have some nice photos of the ship pre launch http://www.flickr.com/photos/freegaza/page4/

Yusuf Mirza said...

Salam

Right from the beginning this was a brainless idea. Sending elite armed commandos from on high on board a vessel in the dead of night where they knew there were over 100 civilians armed with light weapons, frightened, exited, angry and many respected international reporters desperate for a scoop. These elites are trained to kill without fear the moment they feel it imperative. Of course a live fire situation ensued. I don’t blame the commandoes as they are just doing what they are “commanded” to do in service of their superiors for reasons of “national security”. It’s a bit like using a mains electric shaver while in the bath. You know the possibility of events taking a disastrous turn are more than likely. This was a strategic disaster.

As for the blockade, collective punishment is illegal and immoral. Thousands have died needlessly while Hamas just gets stronger and gains wider legitimacy. Israel is an apartite regime very similar to apartite South Africa. One has to ask ted..do you believe that apartite south Africa should have stood?

Wasalam
Yusuf

Gary said...

I agree completely about the blockade. Those are very effective in a 'total war' scenario but that does not apply here at. In this case, as with most modern day blockades and sanctions, the common people are the first to suffer and then suffer the most.
Israel certainly has a right to defend itself, but this way it just not going to do anything except prolong the suffering.
I also agree that even if the people on the ships were set on provoking an incident, the IDF clearly should have known that and the procedures they followed were amateurish and inappropriate -dropping a few unsupported troops into the midst of an angry crowd is inexcusable. This situation could have controlled and concluded peacefully.
Oh, about the Chocolate, I don't know if this is why it is on the list but during World War II the Germans manufactured a number of bombs encased in chocolate bars and intended to be used in assassinations. MI5 recovered several of them in Turkey.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camouflages_for_sabotage_equipment_used_by_the_German_sabotage_services_in_World_War_II

Ted Leddy said...

Gary

You are right in the first instance, There is little point in debating an extremist. Ireland has one extremist Muslim convert who has a site called MPAC.ie. He regularly comments on my site. I should learn not to waste my time with him.

As for the blockade, you are a navy man and would know better than me. I wish I could get some hard facts and real evidence. How bad is the humanitarian situation in Gaza ?

I would also be interested in your opinion on the following. A blockade is an act of war. Therefor Israel is an war with Hamas controlled Gaza. Does this not mean that Hamas are entitled to respond militarily ?

Also, are the Israelis legally entitled to prevent economic development (which is the stated goal of the blockade) in Gaza ? Is this a form of collective punishment ?

Ted Leddy said...

Mahi Khan

"Now I guess what is needed is for some ballsy leader to pop out of somewhere",

I would love to see this. The conflict in the Middle East tires us all at times. I would love an American President to get the Israelis and Palestinians together and say look, the world cannot afford another ten years of intermittent fighting between Israel and Hamas (2009), Hezbollah (2006) and and the PLO (2002). The world is going through a global depression and this instability in a vital region has the potential to worsen it. Make peace now, we are not asking we are telling.

Of course this is wishful thinking.

No need to apologise for the rant. I enjoyed it and I admire your passion. Thanks as well for the link. I may use some of these photos.

Ted Leddy said...

Salam

Yusuf, your description of of the careless and ill prepared Israeli raid is very accurate.

"As for the blockade, collective punishment is illegal and immoral". Perhaps, for me it depends on how bad the humanitarian situation is in Gaza.

I do not believe Israel is an apartheid regime. And I do believe that the South African apartheid was a vile system founded on a disgusting concept that should never have stood. However in Israel Arabs and Jews are not separated. Arabs vote, work, own businesses and even become members of parliament. Their rights as a minority are enshrined in the Israeli constitution. They also have freedom of worship. You could argue that they do in fact have more rights than millions of Arabs living in Arab countries.

However I do not have a problem with the situation in the occupied West Bank being described as similar to apartheid. In the West Bank Jewish settlers live completely different lives. Palestinians are forcibly removed from land in or near Jewish settlements. They are kept away using high walls and barbed wire. Jews have freedom of movement, Palestinians do not. The Palestinians of the West Bank are not entitled to the same constitutional protections as the Jewish settlers or the Israeli Arabs. This is not unlike the former south African model.

Thanks as always for the contribution Yusuf

Wasalam

Gary said...

Ted,
I am not an expert on the situation in Gaza and would be hesitant to say if the blockade was legal. Blockades were, in fact, considered an act of war at one time but have been used to resolve conflicts without rising to that level several times and are now judged according to how they are applied. However, since 1945 blockades must be sanctioned by the UN under article 42 of the UN Charter. I do not know if any such sanction exists. In any event, stopping the ships so far outside the "exclusion zone" would raise some legitimate questions. I think the Israeli action falls more into the category of a 'quarantine' similar to what President Kennedy used effectively against Cuba in 1962 which only applied to specific items (in that case soviet missiles) and not to food and other materials.

Gary said...

Ted,
I did a little quick research and found that Israel does, in fact, claim the blockade is legal under article 42 but no resolution has been passed by the UN and the Secretary General condemns the blockade. Egypt has also blockaded Gaza since Hamas took power, not wanting to recognize them, but lifts it sporadically. Since this incident they have opened their side and say it will remain open indefinitely. The United States officially supports the blockade.

thesystemworks said...

'They were confronted with an activist but what they saw was a liberal, European, anti Semitic, terrorist sympathiser and they said to themselves, F*$k it, I am taking them out.'

I doubt this is true here. People just don't think like that in a combat situation, if they are being fired at or pounced on by a guy with an iron bar. Unnecessary thoughts the brain puts aside and you go into survival mode.

The UN Security Council has expressed its hope the economic blockade will end, but supports the existence of the military blockade and seeks to strengthen it. Its perfectly reasonable that no civilian or military vessels be allowed in a blockaded zone.

Anonymous said...

Ted I think your analysis is soft. Israel are a brutal force, who committed a brutal crime in a neutral territory. Simple as that. I've waited a few days before I've drawn this conclusion so as not to let emotions get in the way. (Incidentally, I am not in favor of either regime).

This vicious thuggery would not have been committed without the support of the Americans. It looks like this support is teetering on the edge. The U.S. are the only ones that can fix this problem. They need to drop their support of these bullies. Israel needs to be stopped and put in their place by the international community. I don't EVER hate a people or a country, as that's the preserve of those who are intellectually challenged. But unfortunately, in this instance, I am on the verge of hating Israel. SCUM.

Eoghan.

Ted Leddy said...

Gary

Thanks for that bit of research. The issue of the legality of the blockade is crucial because if it was ilegal then the raid on the Turkisk ship in international waters was an act of piracy. I doubt the Israelis could successfully claim its a quarantine they are using as they are refusing entry to Gaza of all ships, no matter what they are carrying.

Ted Leddy said...

TSW

What I really meant to imply in this post was that when the Israelis felt that the rules of engagement allowed them to engage they decided to do so unreservedly. As if to say, we are in the clear now so let's do it. Once the decision was made to board the ship and particularly after it was clear that there was resistence the commandos should have landed in greater numbers, with rubber bullets, tear gas and riot gear. They could have taken the ship with no fatalities.

Ted Leddy said...

Eoghan

You say you don't hate any race or country then you call Israel "scum". What kind of house hold were you raised in ?

In all seriousness bro.

America is the only country that can reign Israel in. Not just because of its permanent seat on the UN Security Council but also because of the billions of Dollars in military aid it provides Israel with every year. Seriously, imagine a country with a population not much bigger than Ireland having a defence budget of 15 billion Euro. America will never abandon Israel though, and if you want to know why, look out for my post next week that explains how "American exceptionalism" not the Jewish lobby is the reason the US Supports Israel so strongly.

Having said that I think Obama may come down quite hard on Israel. Mainly because he wants Turkish support to confront the Iranian nuclear threat.

kahlid bin walid said...

mpac.ie please stop telling lies about Ahmadi's that they were Jewish spies during the second world war. you accuse us of being British spies also, all a load of rubbish, I am well known to the odeah Family, and I have been in Palistine many, many, times and have asked them about all those accusations by Dr Ali Rashid. why don't you, Liam visit for yourself and find out for yourself instead of depending on anti Ahmadi sites. And how funny it is, you claim we Ahmadi's are british spies yet the Host for your site, is UK based, so are you, Liam depending upon the grace of imperial Britin.

Are you working for Britin Liam? Liam question all the braging about supporting your brothers in Islam, why werent you on that ship supporting your brothers, or why have you not gone to Iraq or Afganistan to do Jihad, what I mean is your understanding of Jihad Liam! " it is easy to do the talk but to to do the walk is another thing, you do a lot of talking but no walking! Liam

Kahlid bim walid