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Israeli Navy Stops Boats Headed to Gaza

World  (tags: world, israel, politics, palestine, interesting, government, 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', news, middle-east, society )

- 2363 days ago -
The Israeli navy boarded two boats bringing medical supplies to Gaza.

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AWAY AWHILE Cal Mendelsohn (1067)
Friday November 4, 2011, 4:48 pm
I applaud the responsible actions of the Israeli navy in stopping these vessels peaceably and equally must be forced to question the sincerity of the activists on board who refused to let the medical aid go to the Palestinians in Gaza via land routes in Israel. So, After all, isn't the point to aid Palestinian citizens in Gaza, or could a calculated political agenda be getting in the way? You decide.

Past Member (0)
Friday November 4, 2011, 5:12 pm

Yes, there is a political agenda: the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
The navy said they stopped the boats since they were "attempting to break the maritime security blockade that is in place in accordance with international law,” Which 'international' law ???

patrica and edw j (190)
Friday November 4, 2011, 9:46 pm
Why people like 8 and David do not care the check their facts carefully does them no credit. If the flotilla was kosher - why would it not allow the 'medical aid' to go via land routes? Perhaps it is not just carrying medical supplies - perhaps there are arms hidden below decks? Israel has every right to defend its territory. Article 67A of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflict at Sea - permits the attack on 'neutral' merchant vessels that are believed - on reasonable grounds -to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade- and after prior warning refuse to stop or resist visit, search and capture. Seems to us that is exactly what these Flotillas do - disregard this important Article. But if they have nothing to hide - why would they not stop to allow search? Thanks Cal.

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday November 4, 2011, 10:27 pm
Hi David,

This law:

There would be an argument against it under Article 102, but Israel offers to send humanitarian supplies to the blockaded territory through land-routes from Ashdod. Even if it did not, the denial of materials for rockets, the Gazan militias' primary offensive weapon, provides a massive military advantage which would easily justify, under the law, significant humanitarian distress.

In fact, under Article 95, it would be illegal for Israel not to stop all ships which attempt to violate the declared terms of the blockade.

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday November 4, 2011, 10:39 pm
Hi, Person Whose Name Is Not Listed But Who Has 8 Contacts:

Before you make yourself look ignorant again, read my reply to David, follow the link, and read the relevant international law. Note that this is the latest relevant law on the Red Cross website, from 1994, and not some old outdated thing that may randomly still be on the books. This is the law to which Patricia and Edward referred. Under Article 102, this is a legal blockade as it does not meet any of the requirements of being illegal. Under Article 95, Israel was required to stop them. Under Article 67, Israel could have sunk them.

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 3:23 am
Hi Stephen, Firstly I would state to those making comments that I don't have an anti-Israeli agenda. I've had many happy visits to Israel when I worked for an Israeli shipping company. Nevertheless, I do have concerns about the Gaza bloackade from a humanitarian perspective. Both sides in conflict will claim moral and legal rights, and not just in the Israeli/Palestine situation but elsewhere throughout the world. Many participants in wars want to justify their actions on 'law' - the arguments about the invasion of Iraq still continue today.
As I understand it, and correct me if I am mistaken, The Red Cross protocols are conventions that are 'accepted' by countries, but not binding in law?
The problem, that I'm trying to come to terms with in regard to the blockade situation, is, one, a moral humanitarian situation - is the blockade right or wrong? The second issue being: can international conventions be used to enforce or, more pertinently, justify the blockade? I would say, to argue that Article 67 gives a right to sink the boats is going a bit too far; to do so would go against other articles. On the other hand, it could be argued under article 47 c ii that the boats are delivering legitimate humanitarian aid and are protected.
I still have concerns about using Red Cross conventions as a way to legitimise questionable actions. In any case, in this particular incident the boats concerned seem to have complied with the navy. I've no doubt the debate will continue! But let's hope that the general conflict will be resolved soon.

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 5:26 am

Robert Patterson (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 6:49 am
Lets hope that Palestine is admitted into the UN.

Yvonne F (181)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 7:54 am
All people should have the right to medicine, not to cooperate isn't an answer! Think about all the children in Gaza!

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 8:18 am
Noted, why not let them be expected if they are what they say they are?

Lola H (25)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 9:36 am
Noted, with dismay.

Barbara W (342)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 12:27 pm
“While the Freedom Waves to Gaza will be delivering some much-needed medicines, our primary goal is to help free Palestinians from their inhumane isolation in what is in effect an open air prison.”

This issue is a double edge sword but the Israeli government has been more heavy handed and have, by far, better firing power then the Palestinian families who have been on the receiving end of missiles, etc., To imprison a people is cruel & unusual punishment.

To have the Israeli military and Israeli's mean spirited settlers getting away with being bullies, an abomination. It is also clear that far too many have made statements that make it seem as if the Palestinians do not have the right of passage as a Palestinian state. These people come from an ancient culture whose history goes back further then some would have the less educated to believe.

There was a time when these people, Jew, Muslim, Christian lived in harmony. That was before politics came into play, during the early years of the last century and certain world leaders decided they knew best!

No matter who the people are, and Israelis should, and I believe many of the citizens of Israel do understand this, people will fight back when hope is no longer an option! This blockade, death and destruction, stealing of lands, has gone on long enough. Enough!

These latest flotillas were more a statement "We" have not forgotten you. It's clear that of all the Flotillas that have made this journey to Gaza not one has been carrying anything that would harm Israel even though the Israeli army murdered 9 not too long ago... No arms, WMD have ever been discovered. Only the weapon of food, medicine and people who "Dare" bring hope to an imprisoned people..

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 12:28 pm
Who could have seen that coming? Let's just hope they don't kill people this time.

To those of you who respond to any criticism of Israel by call us "Jew haters": knock it off, will you? Every country gives cause for just criticism at some time or another and it's nothing less than our duty to bring them to account when this happens. I see no reason why Israel should be exempt from this.

Barbara W (342)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 12:57 pm
I have said this many times in my life! As a follower of the gentle Christ I do my best to follow. I am well read when it comes to the old and new Testaments. I've also studied world religions. I've enjoyed the many years I spent educating myself about God's word and why Jesus brought US a new way to serve the heavenly father.

I am though, appalled at what organized religion, false prophets, pastor, teachers, priests, governments who play the religious card, etc., have been able to get away going back deep into the history of the human spirit that sees beyond the obvious.

I love the idea of Israel as God the father designed it not the design man has imposed on the world. Man's arrogance is by far the most damaging weapon of mass destruction ever. History backs this statement up. When will the human race stop being vengeful, Gr$$dy and egocentric? Will it take a major catastrophe, an Armageddon, to wake up fools on a fools quest?

What most world leaders are doing, as it pertains to the Israeli/Palestine conflict, the ripping off of resources, engaging in wars which murder innocence, trading arms wherever & with whomever they chose, is not remotely conducive to world peace. Wake up! While "We" lose precious time calling each other names "We" only serve to do the dirty work of those "Power Brokers" who have long worked hard to divide US!

. (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 2:38 pm
It's interesting how the media turned this into a medical aid for the Gaza. The first reports reported the people on these boats were Palistinian activists. It's interesting how the media is trying to give them credibility.

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 2:41 pm
I love how Israel says they left Gaza and that it's free....but Israel still keeps the borders shut down and the waterways closed. Israel has no right to block access to Gaza.

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 3:49 pm
More eyes in rthe world are opened to the Zionist Entity's vile and shameful policies against the Palestinians.

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 4:38 pm
How about some fact, people? @Gerry C. - Why do you think Israel keeps the Gaza borders shut? How many Jews have you heard of who blow themselves up just to kill others? Do the Israelis constantly send rockets into Gaza or is it the other way around? The Israelis did leave Gaza and the Palestinians had every opportunity to create a viable state and instead of helping they're own people, they took whatever resources they had and used it for weapons. They sent rockets into Israeli targets for years while the world did nothing. The government of Gaza, Hamas, is considered a terrorist organization by most of the world. Sorry, pal, Jews don't go complacently marching to their deaths anymore.

As far as needing medical supplies and food, Israel has always allowed vital supplies to go through to Gaza and they have every right to protect their people and make sure no weapons get through. If Palestinians really wanted peace, they'd stop attacking civilian targets in Israel, they'd stop teaching they're kids to hate Jews, Israelis and Christians and negotiate. They'd have more to gain for they're people.

The only thing the Palestinians do better than the Israelis is public relations. They can hurl rockets into Israel for years, send suicide bombers into Israeli restaurants, buses, etc and kill whoever happens to be there, hide behind their women and children and make themselves look like their being oppressed.

Bruce Van Tassell (7)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 4:47 pm
Once again Israel has proven how wrong they can be and willing to stick with being idiots come what may.

Alexandra Rodda (180)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 6:26 pm
Sad for both.

Susan s (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 6:30 pm
This is not about"jew haters" and rather than incite/stir up those issues, it would be more productive to acknowledge the blatant theft of land, water and the holocaust perpetrated on the Palestinians for 50 years. This is not right and needs to be addressed by the rest of the world since Israel seems to think they are above all human rights acknowledged by the rest of the world. They have the same backgrounds and it is obscene to let this continue.

patrica and edw j (190)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 7:57 pm
We reiterate - if the flotillas have nothing to hide - why not show they are bona fide? Bruce van Tassell - the only idiots here are the ones who can't understand why Israel stops the flotillas in the first place.

Roger C (1)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 8:45 pm
That's 2 flotillas now, boarded in international waters. 2 acts of piracy. We shoot Somalians in the head for doing the same thing. I understand WHY the Jews want to board the ships, but, by doing it in international waters, they're breaking international law. They're going about it improperly---not that anything has been done properly on Palestinian land, since WW2.
The flotilla refused to allow inspection, to show that THESE Jews aren't concerned about the law.
I'm not a Jew hater, either. I'm not crazy about Zionists or official Jewish policy toward Palestine, tho. I know numerous Jews who don't fall in these categories. Read Haaretz.

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 8:52 pm
The flotillas have nothing to hide.
They're trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza by delivering food and medicine.
The flotillas need not consent to Israel's demands. The ships should not be stopped, searched, harassed, or attacked. Gaza does not belong to Israel.

But....don't listen to me. I'm an idiot. ;)

Bob A (47)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 9:02 pm
Every day tens or even hundreds of trucks with humanitarian aid cross from Israel into Gaza. This is a thing, that no other warring party ever allowed. US policy during WWII was that no aid whatsoever could come to the territory occupied by Germans.

The story about trucks does not make into news. The story of two ships, one with 5 activists and 5 journalists, another one with a small load made into news. The content of that aid would not even fill one truck. Yes this is in the news.

Hamas PR team works just fine.


Bob A (47)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 9:06 pm
UN admitted that blockade of Gaza is legal, because Hamas bombs Israeli cities and villages. For everyone else, that would be already a war crime, but Hamas can get out of that unscratched.

Israel can and should blockade Hamas from receiving unchecked goods. Hamas get too many Iranian rockets, and too many arm loads pass into Israel undetected. If anyone on those ships would be really concerned about Gazans, they would simply submit goods for a check and let them be transferred. This whole story is because Hamas wants to make PR statement, and nothing to do with help to Gazans.

Colleen L (3)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 9:22 pm
Such sad news. They have no right stoppong these peaceful boats. Thanks Cal

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 9:27 pm
Every day trucks with humanitarian aid have to wait endlessly, for Israeli approval, before they can simply deliver much needed food and medicine to Gaza!

Israel controls Gaza in every way it can. That ain't right.
Hamas is a terrorist group. That ain't right either.

It was Israel who put Hamas in power by screwing around with Gaza's politics in the first place.
Then it bombs the #@$! out of Palestine if a Hamas rocket is launched.


Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 9:46 pm
Hi David :) (I forgot the :) last time)

I agree that Red Cross documents hold no legal weight. The San Remo manual is not in itself a legally binding document, but it is a compilation of the terms of previous treaties to which states have legally bound themselves. It includes things like the 1913 protocols and previous Hague Conventions, as well as the terms of the Geneva Conventions as applied to cases at sea. I referred to it primarily because the latest other relevant compilations of law and customary practice were the Geneva Conventions and pre-WWI documents. Interestingly, I found that the San Remo Manual is actually more restrictive than international law regarding Israel as it includes the optional Additional Protocol 1 of 1977, to which Israel did not opt to bind itself.

I believe the usual moral questions of the blockade are circumvented by the fact that humanitarian supplies aboard vessels which redirect as ordered do get sent on to Gaza. There is obviously a delay and some materials cannot be transferred, but on the whole they manage to block militarily relevant materials while allowing humanitarian goods through. A classic example of materials not permitted through is certain farming goods, but that is because common fertilizers are the propellants used in Qassam rockets. While this limits domestic food-production, such is the price of supporting militias which run their attacks off mixed-use goods.

Clause 47-c only applies to vessels which the two sides have agreed will receive safe passage. Israel's side of that agreement is conditional upon ships not seeking to break the blockade. Article 67 is pretty seriously harsh, but there are not that many different ways to interpret "attack" in warfare at sea. One could argue that generally that could mean something limited to boarding, but this clause includes cases where the ship has already resisted visit. Morally I would prefer to either see "and" rather than "or", or a requirement that visit and search be attempted first if feasible before firing upon the neutral vessel, but states have not bound themselves to such standards.

Bob A (47)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 10:05 pm
Gerry, you wrote: "Hamas is a terrorist group. That ain't right either. It was Israel who put Hamas in power by screwing around with Gaza's politics in the first place. "

Of course Israel tried to put its people there, Israelis know the nature of the Islamists and wanted to be aware of various development. Whatever it developed to now is not under Israeli control, and this is really irrelevant to the character of the organization. Hamas is a terrorist organization as recognized by many countries.

Nobody hides that Hamas is at war with Israel. Nobody hides that Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza are bombing Israeli cities wherever they can get, and Israel does not bomb Arab cities and villages in the Judea and Gaza.

I think Israel demanding ships to follow regular channels for delivering aid at a time of war is fair and reasonable.

And if you really think that "Then it bombs the #@$! out of Palestine if a Hamas rocket is launched. " - why wouldn't you want to convince Hamas to stop their bombing, so that nothing would be coming back? Hamas needs to understand that Palestinian Arabs need to learn to share Palestine with Palestinian Jews, Palestinian Christians, Palestinan Druze and other minorities of the Palestine region.

By which standards, Gerry?

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 10:06 pm
Regarding the moral question:

How would I feel if the vehicle carrying those supplies was hijacked and I never saw them? Horrible. How would I feel if it was hijacked and taken to me through the normal route rather than directly? Probably irritated at the delay, but nowhere near as bad. The ships, if I understand correctly, were redirected to Ashdod, from where supplies are normally sent on to Gaza.

Bob A (47)
Saturday November 5, 2011, 10:15 pm
Stephen, those supplies will be passed to Gaza, provided Hamas will agree to take them. The other day Hamas refused to accept goods after inspection, hoping that UN would lean on Israel. Instead, the powers to be told them not to be babies, and after a month they took the goods.

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 12:16 am
Past Member

"Why do you think Israel keeps the Gaza borders shut?"

It is an act of collective punishment against Gaza for having Jamas in power, the Hamas that won the most democratic elections held in the Arab world.

"How many Jews have you heard of who blow themselves up just to kill others?"

Don't be disingenuous. They do not have to. They have nuclear arms, the 4th strongest military in the world, the most modern air force and use them (not the nukes) against Palestinians constantly.

"Do the Israelis constantly send rockets into Gaza or is it the other way around?"

Well, yes.1400 Palestinians, mostly civilians were killed in the attack on Gaza against 13 Zionist Entity citiens. The Entity constantly bombs Gaza and kills Gazans.

In the meantime, Zionist colonists on the WB have issued bounties of $100,000 to kill any released Palestinian prisoners. The Zionist Entity is out of control and may bring the world down with it.

Mark my words, the radioactive waste being dumped by the West on the Somali coast will be collected one day and a dirty bomb will go off in Tel Aviv. The person who will commit this atrocity will be someone who is beyond despair, whose parents, sister, uncles and aunts, and/or friends have been murdered by the Zionists. Even Moshe Dayan's widow announced the other day that "Zionism has run its course" and strongly criticised the Zionist Entity.

Parvez Zuberi (7)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 1:40 am
Who authorized Israel to in force blockade of Gaza what the hell United Nations doing about it are they sleeping do they not see the murder of innocent people being carried out it is crime against humanity and the champions of human rights are sleeping

Hermon Mihranian (8)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 2:48 am
The present Izraeli policy is running in the wrong direction. Izrael must lift the blockade imposed on Gaza. What Izrael is doing is modern genocide.

Bracha Katz (31)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 3:10 am
I am glad that it was done peacefully.
And then the activists refused to send in the aid, which shows that their real goal was not to bring in aid.
Thanks Cal

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 4:46 am
Theirr eal goal was to bring in aid. There is no reason to let that aid go in through the Zionist Entity.

Gina M (0)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 5:45 am
John Duqesa - I agree with you !00%!!!!!!!

Sir Walk F (124)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 7:26 am
Why does the US spend Billions of tax dollars arming and protecting Israel?

Ken D (32)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 8:00 am
Ships BOARDED by Zio-Nazi Navy.

Canadian and Irish ships sailing with Freedom Waves to Gaza have been illegally boarded by the Israeli military in international waters a short while ago.
The Israeli military stated that “Upon arrival of the vessels at the Ashdod port, the activists will be transferred to the custody of the Israel Police and immigration authorities in the Ministry of Interior”.
Freedom Waves to Gaza organizers have been unable to communicate with the ships since soon after the vessels were approached by Israeli warships earlier this afternoon.
The Canadian boat ‘Tahrir’ (Liberation) confirmed that the Israeli navy had contacted them asking for their destination at around 13:00 (Gaza time) to which Ehab Lotayef, an activist on board the ship, replied ‘The conscience of humanity’. When the Israelis again demanded to know the destination of the ship Lotayef replied; ‘The betterment of mankind’. ’
Huwaida Arraf, spokesperson from Freedom Waves to Gaza, said “It’s clear that 27 civilians on two small boats, carrying only medicine, constituted no security threat to the Israeli state, and that the determination to keep them out is only a furtherance of Israel’s policy of collective punishment, a crime against humanity. Despite this Israeli aggression, we will keep coming, wave after wave, by air, sea, and land, to challenge Israel’s illegal policies towards Gaza and all of Palestine. Our movement will not stop or be stopped until Palestine is free.”
The Israeli military reported that the navy has been ordered by IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz to board the ships after “attempts to contact them failed.” The Israeli military has offered to unload the boats’ supplies at Ashdod, Israel.
Anatolia News Agency, Turkey, has reported that the boats were offered the choice to go to Egypt or return.
At 13:00 both ships were around 51 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza in international waters.
Israeli commandos boarded a previous Gaza Freedom Flotilla on 31 May 2010, killing nine Turkish activists and wounding many more.
The Freedom Waves to Gaza initiative is a non-violent, civil society movement to challenge the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza Earlier this morning, activists aboard both ships were preparing for possible attack by the Israeli navy by training in nonviolent resistance tactics. The two ships, carrying a total of 27 passengers and $30,000 worth of medicine and supplies, set off from Turkey on November 2.

Bob A (47)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 8:45 am
Of course Israeli Navy had to block Arab PR ships trying to break the legal blockade of terrorist-run Gaza. Too many rockets are launched by Hamas, targeting Israeli villages and cities, that Israel could lift the blockade and relax.

Keeps the arm flow going to Israel and allowing Hamas to bomb Israel without responses will lead to another war, like when Israel had to invade Gaza to get rid of that bombing. Lives were lost, both Arab and Israeli.

Ships containing as many journalists as activists and almost no supplies do not help Gazans. They make their lives worse. The only party to gain is Hamas, stealing attention from worthy cases to their jihadist moves.


Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 10:06 am
Hi Parvez,

Nobody did. Israel is a sovereign state and makes its own decisions.

Hi Hermon,

If Israel conducted modern genocide, all Gazans would be dead within two weeks at most. Is Gaza City a graveyard? No? Then it's not genocide.

Hi Jon and Doug,
The aid is redirected to Ashdod, from where it reaches Gaza through normal channels.

Hi Walk,
As long as Israel survives,it is bait and a meat-grinder for anti-Western militias. The equivalent protection through the U.S.'s own defenses would cost a lot more.

Hi Ken,
If you read this thread, you would have known that the blockade is legal. That was your source's first error. Second, I suspect it mistranslated "communication" as "contact". Huge difference here. Communication implies the clear passage of information between the two parties. The ships replied, but failed to answer, the Israelis' questions. Thus the report that there was no "contact" was probably accurate. Besides, it doesn't actually matter in any real or legal sense. Also, they were there to challenge the blockade. Taking civilian vessels in against a modern navy, they failed. Who would have guessed?

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 10:22 am
Bob Algernon. Do you actually believe what you write or are you so evil that you could post "Lives were lost, both Arab and Israeli" without mentioning that in that attack on Gaza by the Zionist Entity that 1400 Gazans were killed, mostly civilians and 13 Zionist Entity citizens were killed, mostly military?

Francisco Pires (1)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 11:05 am
The Israeli government must leave his hate for the palestinian people, including Hamas, and let the humanitarian aid to Gaza!! Only two nations on these territories are on battle for a long time, now it's time to recognize the two nations and give the right to exist. It's the only solution.

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 11:50 am
Hello Francisco. Thank you for your comment. However, a 2 state "solution" is no solution at all. For a start, the Zionist Entity won't allow a Palestinian state. And in any case, why should ythe Palestinians settle for the majority of historical Palestine being lost to them forever. They were ethnically cleansed from what is now the Zionist Entity.

Prior to the Zionist colonisation project the people of all 3 Abrahamic religions lived peacefully together, including the 3% of Palestinians who were Arab Jews. The only solution is one in which there is a unitary state in which all have the right of residence and there own freedoms.

Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 11:55 am
Hi John,

Watch this:
You just had a textbook reaction to having someone disagreeing with you.

The fact is that the numbers of dead do not dictate who is right and who is wrong. Israel's armed forces protect its civilians while Palestinian militias hide behind theirs. Of course there will be more Palestinian dead, regardless of whose behaviour is vile. The sad fact is that civilians die in urban warfare. Cast Lead, the example to which you keep pointing, actually set a record for the lowest civilian-to-militant ratio of dead for urban combat of that scale. Yes, hundreds of civilians died. Would you have preferred ten smaller operations in each of which only a fifth of the civilians died? The sheer number is not the point. The ratio is. This was arguably the cleanest military operation in history.

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 11:56 am
For me, the tragedy is that in any war or conflict, it is civilians - families and children who, without doubt, suffer the most. To use the current statistic from elsewhere, 99% (probably 99.9%) of human beings do not want war or conflict. So what drives these conflicts? Arguments supporting 'legality' will not help to induce compassion for those who want no part in war or terrorism - but are fated to suffer through no fault of their own. There are now 9 billion people squeezed onto planet Earth. As people, we need to get our act together very quickly. IF the 99% of Israelis and Palestinians can stand up and say 'enough is enough', what a dream that would be.

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 12:04 pm
Just one more comment. Blockading mostly affects civilians.

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 12:09 pm
Hello David F.

That is a wonderful vision. Unfortunately, every survey conducted in the Zionist Entity states that the respondents are satisfied, by large majorities, with the evil policies of their government. There are large majorities who would not live next door to an "Arab", foir instance. Sadly, this is the result of living in a country that is founded on a racist creed which favours Jews over other religions and nationalities. When a Zionist air force pilot was told to bomb an alleged terrorist in a busy street in Gaza he said to his superior that many bystanders would be killed. He was told to obey. He asked one further question, "What if this alleged terrorist were walking down a street in Tel Aviv? Would you still issue the same order?". The answer from his superior was "No". That pilot was a good man, one of the very few brave minority. But the racism inherent in his superior's order has permeated Zionist society so much that it is normal. After the massacre of 1400 mainly civilians by the IDF in Gaza, T Shirts became fashionable amonhgst soldiers with pictures of a gusight superimposed over a pregnant Palestinian woman and a slogan saying "2 for the price of one". There were many others similar.

Stan B (123)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 12:56 pm
Great work by the Israeli navy. It's important to control what gets into the Palestinian entity, because given a choice, Hamas thugs will try to smuggle in weapons instead of the everyday necessities the people need.

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 1:26 pm
What a foolish comment. The ships were carrying humanitarian supplies. Not even the Zionist Entity is claiming anything else.

Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 3:27 pm
Hi David :)

I think you can add at least another nine behind that. The problem is that the 99.99% (or more) doesn't agree on what sort of peace it wants. They would often prefer the other side's peace over war itself, but they tend to believe that after short war, even if they cannot get everything they want, they can get something else which they would prefer over the other side's demands. Then, despite considering war the worst possible scenario in the short-term, they go for it rather than accept the other side's demands in the long-term.

Hi John,

You're wrong. While I don't claim to have any more proof than anyone else, there is very, very good reason to believe that the problem is that Israel inherited the classical imperial model of conflict-resolution while the Palestinians inherited the Caliphate's assimilation-model. If you care to understand, just ask.

As for the bombing in Gaza, you managed to miss perhaps the most fundamental aspect of the situation. Those were Israeli soldiers. Their duty is to protect Israel and its citizens, not to protect Palestinians. In WWII, would you have demanded that American soldiers shoot at each other as often as at Japanese? By the same "logic" you just applied to the Israeli airforce, failure to do so would be a sign of racism. Your factual errors are so easily verifiable that the only way you could make them is by willing ignorance, so pointing them out would be useless.

Gillian M (218)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 3:57 pm
John D, the racism you show as well as deliberate ignorance actually destroys any attempt to present an argument. First of all, the blockade is legal under International law and recognised by the UN. It is an effort to reduce the amount of weapons brought into the country paid for by the money given to Abbas to administer for his people.

Secondly, this has to be one of the most comfortable open air prisons that I have seen with 5* hotels, markets full of fresh food and even fast cars. The worst thing that they suffer from is a shortage of ice cream. However, the people suffer because of Hamas, the blind eyes that people like you turn towards their abuse causes more. The people are used as human shields, they are shot by terrorists and aid was stopped because Hamas stole and then sold it. This group are their jailors, they refuse passports and exit permits for medical treatment in Israel and often block aid coming in.

People do not want to believe that a man is an abuser, after all, he is such a nice chap. And look at the reasonable explanations he gives and how he worships the ground that she walks on. This is a similar view of Palestinians and Israel. No-one could possibly believe that someone would kneecap their own people or refuse to allow them to leave an area that Israel has said that it will attack or they must have access to shelters. And who would take a 4 year old and strap a bomb on him or a preganant woman? Is must be Israel's fault because I cannot believe that someone could be that intentionally cruel.

Wake up and smell the rubbish heap! This is exactly what happens. You are condoning abusive behaviour and stop the peace process. People like you want to believe that Israel is the baddy here and not anyone else.

Look at the behaviour of the extremists in the Middle East countries, the paedophilia, the rapes and abuses of women, the honour killing, the stoning to death, the hanging of someone because it is a different form of Islam, shall I continue or have you had your head in the ground for years?

I have never said that Israel is perfect nor that individuals do not do things that any reasonable person would condemn but, in general, they try. And the major difference between Israel and any other country in the Middle East is that there are Palestinians living in Israel and the majority do not want to live other than under Israeli rule. There are Christians and refugees from many countries. All of these people have the same rights under the law. In the other countries people of other religions are being killed and chased out of their own countries, look at Egypt and the Jew that tried to return to Libya.

marie C (163)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 3:58 pm
What a mess Like all of you I wish it could end peacefully for both
I find everything is escalated by both parties I just do not know what to believe any more.
Very very sad for both

Stan B (123)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 5:41 pm
Why Israel has to check what gets into the Palestinian entity.

As many as 50 tons of weapons discovered

The Victoria carried as much as 50 tons of weapons, an amount similar to that of the Karin A, a ship caught by the IDF sailing to the Palestinian Authority in 2002. According to the Israeli Navy, this is only a preliminary estimate and weaponry found on the ship will be checked only after the Victoria docks at the Ashdod port. As mentioned, along with the strategic weapons found on the ship, a large amount of 60 and 120 mm mortar shells were found as well.

Preliminary list of weaponry and weaponry systems discovered and unloaded at Ashdod port hidden in the cargo of the Victoria:

230 mortar shells (120 mm)
2,270 mortar shells (60 mm)
6 C-704 anti-ship missiles
2 radar systems manufactured in England
2 launchers
2 hydraulic mounting cranes for radar system
66,960 bullets for Kalashnikov rifles (7.62 mm)


Stan B (123)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 5:45 pm
And on the Karine A.

The haul included 700,000 rounds of small arms ammunition; 735 hand grenades; 311 anti-personnel mines and 211 anti-tank mines; 345 long- and short-range Katyusha rockets and 10 launchers; 29 mortar tubes and 1,545 shells; six Sagger wire-guided anti-tank missle launchers and 10 missiles; 51 RPG-7 anti-tanl missiles and 328 rockets; 30 high-powered Dragonov telescopic rifles; 212 Kalashnikov assault rifles, over 2,000 kilograms of explosives, and two speedboats with powerful Yamaha engines and a range of diving equipment. (See table below for more information). Much of this weaponry is prohibited from the PA under the Oslo Accords.

Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said the PA spent more then $100 million on the arms shipment.

The capture of the weapons prevented uncountable loss of life in Israel, Mofaz said, adding that the shipment was in clear violation of agreements with the PA and demonstrates that Arafat is not committed to fighting terrorism. Marum, too, commented that had the arms reached Palestinian gunmen, the impact “would have been lethal. We would have seen a great many more Israeli fatalities. The katyushas we captured have a range of 20 kilometers; I’m sure they would have been used - then and since. Rockets and mortars could have been flying into every point in Israel. ”


Jo Asprec (0)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 7:12 pm
Thanks for making us aware of this.

Sir Walk F (124)
Sunday November 6, 2011, 7:42 pm
Imagine if China invaded a small region of the United States and established a nation-state for the natie peoples of that region, forcing all Americans off the land and confiscating it for themselves. Would that seem 'fair'? Would critics of this program be 'anti-Native'?

The state of Israel is a construct of the British and American government's and military. It's existence is an intentional provocation of the arab world.


Past Member (0)
Monday November 7, 2011, 5:33 am
"Why doesn't anyone care about how much US weaponary is quietly imported into Israel unchallenged and unimpeded, that's OK? - What's good for the goose is [NOT] good for the gander?"

How true. And there is very little point in trying to answer the posts of people who try to use distraction as an "argument". After all, we have had one loony trying to tell us to look at the paedophilia in the Arab world as if it doesn't exist in the West. Indeed, some social services and other surveys state that over 20% of children have suffered a paedophile molestation in Western countries.

These people are trying to justify a recent and ongoing ethnic cleansing and subjugation of an entire people. That is the bottom line, no matter what they post to try to hide it. They are disgusting.

Past Member (0)
Monday November 7, 2011, 5:36 am
Stephen B

You said:--

"Hi John,

You're wrong. While I don't claim to have any more proof than anyone else, there is very, very good reason to believe that the problem is that Israel inherited the classical imperial model of conflict-resolution while the Palestinians inherited the Caliphate's assimilation-model. If you care to understand, just ask. "

I am wroing exactly where?

Your analysis interests me. Please point me in the direction of some articles or papers on this subject.

Herbert E (10)
Monday November 7, 2011, 7:05 am
Hi Friends, according what I've read, the take over was not that friendly with the two boats rearly sunk. Read here :
In the time of the sail boats pirates used to be hung. Today they are getting billions instead.

Bob A (47)
Monday November 7, 2011, 8:43 am
John, the war between Israel and Gaza was not started by Israel. It was started when Hamas decided to bomb Israel, and did it for 8 years with Israel doing nothing other than scary faces and statements. Hamas is clever to see the BS behind it.

However, they were too clever and underestimated the time when Israelis got fed up. Even then, IDF decided to sent troops on foot, rather than carper bomb Hamas HQ. If IDF would follow up the "Propotionality" - then IDF should off just bomb those HQ like Hamas bombs Israeli cities and villages aiming at civilians.

The count of Arab victims shows that majority were Hamas militants. Hamas tried to hide the numbers - they reported no victims of "friendly fire", no "child soldiers", no victims of mines planted by Hamas, but that does not change the fact that Arabs were killed, like they Jews were killed.

Israeli soldiers were killed solely because carpet bombing was not an option for Israelis. It is a widely used option in inter-Arab conflicts.


Bob A (47)
Monday November 7, 2011, 8:52 am
David, you have a good soul.

Unfortunately, the indoctrinated population does not share it with you. You have to deal with cases, like that of an Arab woman, who got a treatment in Israeli hospital for many months and got known to the personal and security guards. After the treatment, pressured by her family she tries to bring a bomb to that very hospital and blew up those who healed her.

The case is not that woman. That would account for 0.001%. The case is that this woman was recently released from Israeli jail (exchange for Shalit) and declared to kids that she wants them to imitate her. The case is that such a creature is a role model for the Arab street. It breaks down you 99% to very little numbers of Arab intellectuals striving for peace but afraid to voice a word under the threat of death.

On the other hand you have Israeli policy, that airborne attacks on Islamic terrorists are called back if bystanders may be hurt.

Israelis decided to give away their land to give the peace a chance. In addition to 22 Arab states and another state of Palestinian Arabs, they said we will give a portion of our tiny homeland to Arabs, who by now already have 10 THOUSAND Times more land,. than Israel, because we want peace. And the thing that Israelis got back were only rockets - be they from Lebanon Hesbola, be they form Gaza Hamas.

Fair judgement should not equate a criminal and a victim, even if the criminal pretends to be a victim.


Past Member (0)
Monday November 7, 2011, 1:53 pm
Bob Algernon. says:--

"On the other hand you have Israeli policy, that airborne attacks on Islamic terrorists are called back if bystanders may be hurt."

I am calling you publically an out-and-out liar.

If what you say is true, why was a one ton bomb dropped on a residential block of flats in Gaza whose aim was to kill a Palestinian freedom fighter and which also killed 13 other women and children.. Are you trying to say that the Zionists did not know that people live in flats? And afterwards, the war criminal Ariel Sharon tried to justify this atrocity.

Bob A (47)
Monday November 7, 2011, 3:05 pm
John, I won't answer you in kind, will just say that definitely I am not a liar, and when Israelis know about civilians they don't bomb even the terrorist nests.

Who was that "freedom fighter" killed by one ton bomb?Wasn't that man, likely terrorist to other than Islamists, hiding in that flat behind those women and children? Weren't Hamas HQ placed in Shefa Hospital to hide "Brave Warriors" behind sick women and children?

Who would you blame for bombing that HQ, Hamas was hiding there, or Israel what wanted to get rid off worst murderers?

If Palestinian Arabs wanted peace, they would stop giving covers to such murderers and would be better off.

Stephen Brian (23)
Monday November 7, 2011, 6:16 pm
Hi John,

I believe I have found the survey to which you referred:

When Electronic Intifada does not back up your claim that "There are large majorities who would not live next door to an "Arab", foir instance", you're wrong. In a broader sense, racism in Israel is a far smaller impediment to peace than any of several other factors (like cultural differences in conflict-resolution, Palestinian disunity, and an unclear power-relation due to the disputed positions of third parties like the U.S.).

More recently, you're totally wrong about the claim of ethnic-cleansing, and I have about 4 million pieces of evidence for that. Israel is a highly militarized post-industrial state and the Palestinians are spread over a small region. If it were conducting ethnic cleansing as you claim, that ethnic cleansing would take less than a month. I have heard estimates as low as a week. Every Palestinian living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank is evidence that at least as of last month, Israel has not engaged in ethnic cleansing.

Also, Bob's comment about strikes being called off if civilians may be hurt is mostly correct. They are called off if they cannot be conducted without heavy civilian casualties. The Palestinian militias' entire defensive strategy revolves around this fact. If they were not called off, the militias would be dead along with a whole lot more civilians.

Hi Bob :)

It's not as easy to stop giving cover to Hamas as it may seem. In Gaza, Hamas and others who use civilians as human shields are the dominant force. The masses, I think, are mostly unarmed, and the Palestinian militias demonstrably don't care about hurting Palestinian civilians so they have no hope of successful revolution. All the same, while civilians may as individuals raise complaint about strikes killing civilians, the rightful targets of those complaints are the militias who made a strategy of mixing military and civilian infrastructure.

Past Member (0)
Monday November 7, 2011, 7:49 pm
Hi Stephen.

This was not the survey. It was one conducted amongst the generality of the population. I believe it was conducted by Pew. So much of the information and resources I used disappeared with the withdrawal of the Guardian Talk Boards where I used to post with far more scope for longer and more detaied explanations than are possible here. I cannot now find a link.

Etnic cleansing takes many forms. Are you saying that the original expulsion of the Christian and Muslim population was not ethnic cleansing? The New1I$r@el1 Historians, many of whom are Zionists have found incontravertible evidence that a policy of expulsion was in place. The main reason that there is still a minority of Palestinians remaining is that the commander in the north refused fully to carry out this policy in many of the areas although many of his subordinates did so. And the form the cleansing takes place in today is more subtle.It is to make life so unbearable that Palestinians will leave. This is done by restrictions on movement, house demolitions, arrests, murders, agitation by undercover Jews dressed as Muslims, land theft for Jew-only colonies on the WB causing displacement and more. We see the result in the diminution of the Christians (as well as the Muslims who leave) in Palestine who are far more likely to have relatives and contacts abroad and have traditionally been wealthier and nore educated. IOf course, Zionists say that it was Muslim repression that caused this, but that is nonsense.

As for murders of activists,in Gaza and the WB, the mere fact that the Entity carries out these policies and kills so many civiliand while doing so is evidence that "calling off strikes" is a nonsense. And when many civilians have been killed, the Entity tries to justify this. In addition, I have been accused of being an antisemite for holding "Jews" to a higher standard than others. I don't. Imagine the international outcry if the UK had bombed busy Irish streets during the troubles to get one IRA commander. Yet the Entity does it with international impunity. It is the Entity that gets away with what other civilised counties did or do not.

Past Member (0)
Monday November 7, 2011, 8:04 pm
Bob Algeron

"Wasn't that man, likely terrorist to other than Islamists, hiding in that flat behind those women and children?"

What do you call "hiding behind"? It was where he lived, for gooness sake! He wasn't even what you'd call a terrorist, but a militant. The saintly Sheikh Yassin, killed alongside a dozen bystanders wasn't a terrorist burt a focus for resistance. Dr Rantissi wasn't a terrorist. And the leaders the Zionists got as replacements are far more extreme.

Stephen Brian (23)
Monday November 7, 2011, 11:30 pm
Hi John,

The original "expulsion" was not ethnic cleansing. There was a war. Those who fled due to combat in their immediate area were allowed back to their homes under Israel's Property Law. Those who went to Arab states without having been forced to flee, throwing their support behind Israel's enemies in the war, were not. A lot of families left the land so that some members of them could join the Arab Legion under Jordanian command. Are you really suggesting that Israel should have granted large numbers of people who had just finished fighting to destroy it citizenship?

The problem with "New Historians" is that the further you get from an event, the less reliable interpretations of motives become. The "New Historians" take advantage of hindsight when judging actions and determining the motives behind them, miss or dismiss "little" details that change everything, and are further removed from any comprehension of the mindsets of the time. They end up equating ugly acts and evil ones. Here's an oddly relevant question: How do you think these New Historians would judge the officers of the 30 years' war who had their troops loot and burn towns throughout Europe? How would you judge them?

As for the "New Historians" being Zionist, you are mixing two definitions of Zionism. Yes, they are Israeli citizens. No, they do not uniformly hold a pro-Israel bias. Does the BBC always come out on the side of the British government? Does the Guardian always declare the Crown and the government to be beyond reproach? Free presses in the West (and Israel) tend to declare their guilt and side against their own countries because that makes them look honest regardless of the facts. Free academies do so to an even greater degree.

Now, regarding the modern "ethnic cleansing" conditions: Egyptians were reportedly begging for the kind of "siege" that Gaza faces where enormous quantities of food and supplies are brought in constantly. The common Palestinian's standard of living in the West Bank is better than in most Arab states. Of course, judging from the standards of the modern West we find the situation there horribly poor. On the other hand, we piss in potable water. The contrast is made more stark by Palestinians' proximity to the wealth of Israel, but having rich neighbors does not make a person poorer. Seriously, if you had a four-story mansion and the income to support it, but lived next door to Buckingham Palace, should you qualify for welfare? Just as you would be poor by royal standards but not by any others, Palestinians are poor by Western standards but not by Middle Eastern. Save your pity and cries of "they're being driven out by horrible conditions" for the Congolese, northern Pakistani non-Muslims, war-affected Ivorians, and northern Ugandans who deserve it.

If they didn't call off or avoid strikes where they expected to kill large numbers of civilians, Cast Lead would have leveled Gaza City. Those who oppose Israel keep talking about how powerful it is, but I don't think you have a real appreciation of what it could do on a whim. It has a third as many active tanks as the U.S. (3,000 as opposed to 9,000). It has one of the world's largest modern airforces. They don't have NATO-level training or logistics, but Arabs have a reputation as the worst combatants on Earth. Razing every building in the Gaza Strip would not be difficult at all so if they didn't care about Palestinian civilians, they would not leave Hamas' militia anywhere left to hide. Yes, they have killed many Palestinian civilians, but we are talking about thousands, as opposed to hundreds of thousands, because they do call off or avoid those attacks.

How would the UK have been treated?
I've been looking for a condemnation from a U.N. committee after Bloody Sunday, but all I could find so far was a submission to the Special Rapporteur from a human rights group, no endorsement by the general Assembly. Were there calls for boycott? How many countries trumpeted it as a reason why they oppose the UK? Were there protests all over the world? How many embassies were attacked?

Past Member (0)
Monday November 7, 2011, 11:46 pm
There were no Embassies attacked over Bloody Sunday because it was deemed an internal matter. As usual, you are providing distractions. I postulated the bombing of a busy Dublin street with all the casualties that would've ensued (as they do in Gaza) to get an IRA commander. It was not done because it would've been totally illegal and immoral. The UK would've been ostracised. But the Zionist Entity does it continually.

That Gaa was not levelled is not an indication that the Entity might not have wanted to do so. They simply know how far they could go. Using white prosphorous in a built up area would've been enough to get the perpetrators arrested abroad for war crimes and I am glad that many Zionist politicians cannot visit certain countries.

Your assertions about the original ethnic cleansing are nonsense. Massacres were committed, the aim of which was to "encourager les autres" to leave. And are you attempting to say that the columns of expulsees from, say Haifa and Jafo, guarded by Jewish soldiers all the way (after the colonisation war had finished) were afraid that they'd be in trouble for having a member fighting for Jordan. There are photos of these events, by the way.

And it was not a war in the conventional sense, it was an attack for the purposes of colonisation of Europeans on a mainly defenceless people who were expelled to make way form these Europeans.

And now I have to go to work!

Jelica R (144)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 12:51 am
"Friday November 4, 2011, 4:48 pm
I applaud the responsible actions of the Israeli navy in stopping these vessels peaceably and equally must be forced to question the sincerity of the activists on board ..."

PEACEABLY? That's not what coordinators of Boat to Gaza claim:

"Latest update on the Freedom Waves to Gaza Boats November 6, 2011

The take over of the Tahrir and the Saoirse was violent and dangerous. Despite very clear protests from the occupants of the two boats that they did not want to be taken to Israel, they were forcibly removed from the boats in a violent manner. The whole take over took about 3 hours. Many of those on the Canadian boat were beaten.

It began with Israeli forces hosing down the boats with high pressure hoses and pointing guns at the passengers through the windows. Fintan Lane, on the Saoirse, was hosed down the stairs of the boat. Windows where smashed and the bridge of that boat nearly caught fire. The boats were corralled to such an extent that the two boats, the Saoirse and the Tahrir collided with each and were damaged, with most of the damage happening to the MV Saoirse. The boats nearly sunk, the method used in the take over was very dangerous.

The Israeli forces initially wanted to leave the boats at sea but the abductees demanded that they not be left to float unmanned at sea, for they would have been lost and possibly sunk. David Heap, a Canadian delegate, was tasered and beaten. All belongings of the passengers were taken off them and crew and they still do not know if and what they will get back. 6 prisoners were released-both of the Greek Captains, 2 of the journalists and 2 delegates. The passengers remain in Givon detention center and many, including Kit Kittredge of the U.S., have not been able to make phone calls.

Those remaining are being asked to sign deportation papers which state that they came into Israel illegally and that they will not attempt another effort to break the Gaza blockade. If they sign they will not be allowed into Palestine, through Israel, for 10 years. Obviously their goal was to go to Gaza not Israel, and a signature could validate Israel's right to blockade Gaza, so they refuse to sign. This will mean longer detention. Their continued detention is designed to force them to agree to abandon their legal rights and has nothing to do with the security of Israeli civilians - just like the blockade of Gaza's civilians is clearly punitive and has nothing to do with the security of Israeli civilians

Our State Department has not been an advocate for its citizens. They would rather join Israel in stating that we are terrorists. Obama on Thursday said the passengers on these boats are defying Israeli and American law. He must have been confused. It's the other way around. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. was renewing its call to Americans "not to involve themselves in this activity," and warned of possible consequences.


U.S. Emergency Consular Services 202-647-4000
and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv 011-972-3-519-7575

Tell them you want them to insist Israel free the prisoners immediately and end its siege of Gaza.

Just a few phone calls can make a difference.

Thanks for all you do.

Jane Hirschmann and Felice Gelman


Please distribute this press release:

For Immediate Release:

November 6, 2011

Contact: Felice Gelman 917-912-2597

Passengers on boats to Gaza beaten, denied visits by lawyers and access to families, misled by U.S. consular authorities.

Although Freedom Waves to Gaza organizers have not yet had direct communication with the people taken into custody by Israeli armed forces as they tried to peacefully sail to Gaza last week, information is emerging that Israeli armed forces tactics in confronting the non-violent activists have been violent and dangerous. This despite claims from the IDF spokesperson that "every precaution will be taken for the safety of the activists."

Prisoners include U.S. citizen Kit Kittredge, a delegate on the Tahrir from Quilcene, WA, and Jihan Hafiz, a U.S. citizen and journalist from Democracy Now, the national news program. Both have been advised by the U.S. consul in Israel to sign an Israeli deportation agreement. Both have refused because the statement says they came into Israel illegally and will not attempt another effort to break the Gaza blockade. Both statements are untrue.

A letter from Canadian David Heap, smuggled from the Givon prison, states that he was tasered and beaten when the Israeli Navy attacked the Tahrir. Irish prisoner, Fintan Lane, in a telephone call from Givon prison, reported that the takeover of the Saoirse was also violent. The Tahrir and the Saoirse were forced by Israeli warships to crash into each other, crippling both ships.

Palestinian Israeli Mad Kayal, a delegate aboard the Tahrir, who was arrested and released confirms these reports. "As a Palestinian, I was not surprised at how the IDF treated us," said Kayal, after his release, noting this kind of abuse is a daily reality for the 1.5 million people of Gaza, who are indefinitely detained in an open-air prison. "However, for the Canadians and other Westerners onboard, it was a complete shock."

"Israeli brutality and the unnecessary use of force against non-violent protests are well documented. What has happened to the passengers on the Tahrir and the Saoirse is just a tiny fraction of the daily abuse directed at Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank as part of Israel's occupation policy," said U.S. coordinator Jane Hirschmann. "Nonetheless, all people - Palestinians under occupation and peace activists kidnapped and imprisoned - have human rights under international law that civilized governments must respect. The purpose of the boats' voyage to Gaza was to demonstrate that Israel continually violates those laws, and that the U.S. government cares more about Israel than about its own citizens."




Human Rights Activists on Boats to Gaza Beaten by Israeli Forces, Denied Visits by Lawyers and Access to Families Once in Custody


Jelica R (144)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 12:59 am
Posted by Kev,

21 still detained and refusing to sign false statements

Of the 27 human rights defenders captured during Israel’s illegal takeover of the Freedom Waves to Gaza vessels on Friday, 4 November, 20 remain in Givon prison and the whereabouts of one is unknown.

Israeli officials have been claiming that all 27 people aboard the MV Saoirse and the MV Tahrir have been released or are awaiting deportation. This is not true. Irish Ship to Gaza can confirm that six people have been released or deported. These are Majd Kayyal (Palestinian from Haifa), Lina Attalah (Journalist from Egypt), Casey James (Journalist from the US), Aimane Zoubir (Journalist from Morocco), Captain George Klontzas (Greece) and Captain Zacharias Stylianakis. No Irish citizens have been released or deported.

The whereabouts of British journalist, Hassan Ghani of PressTV is unknown. On Saturday prison authorities told lawyers that Hassan was not at the prison, yet we know that he has not yet been released. Freedom Waves organisers demand that the Israeli authorities reveal where Hassan Ghani is being held, and that he be allowed access to a lawyer.

The Israeli authorities have tried to pressure the human rights defenders that remain in Israeli prison to sign a voluntary deportation agreement (waiver of right to see a judge) in order to be deported immediately. All of the Irish abductees refused to sign, not because they want to come before an Israeli judge, but rather because the waiver states that they came to Israel voluntarily and entered the country illegally, which is patently untrue in light of the fact that Israeli naval ships violently seized the Saoirse and Tahrir, and forcibly transported them and all on board to Ashdod. Israeli authorities have ignored requests by the group’s lawyer to deport the activists immediately without having to sign a form that contains falsities meant to absolve Israel of responsibility for illegal abduction of foreign nationals in international waters.

Because they have refused to sign the waiver, they will according to Israeli law be detained for 72 hours and then brought before an immigration judge, who will rubberstamp the deportation order. After this mock legal process, deportation will commence. For the first 24 hours of their abduction, none of the activists, crew, or journalists, were allowed to call a lawyer or family members. On Sunday, a few were able to make one one-minute phone call.

NOTE: Various accounts from prisoners have come out contradicting Israel’s claim of a peaceful takeover of the boats. Some activists were tasered and beaten, and at least one of the captains abused during interrogation. For some of the accounts that we have been able to obtain, please see: and

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 1:13 am
Thank you Jelica R. That is the true face of the Zionist Entity.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 2:13 am
Breaking News.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "liar" in remarks to US President Barack Obama overheard by journalists.

"I can't see him anymore, he's a liar," Mr Sarkozy said in French.

"You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day," Mr Obama replied.

The exchange at the G20 summit was quoted by a French website, Arret sur Images, and confirmed by other media.

Jelica R (144)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 2:50 am
Here is Netanyahu Uncemsored:

Netanyahu: America is Easy to Push Around (English Subtitles).

The 10-minute segment was originally broadcast in Hebrew on Israel’s Channel 10. The film was shot, apparently without Netanyahu’s knowledge, ten years ago, when the government of Ariel Sharon had started reinvading the main cities of the West Bank to crush Palestinian resistance in the early stages of the second intifada.

Bob A (47)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 8:26 am
John Duqesa : "The saintly Sheikh Yassin, killed alongside a dozen bystanders wasn't a terrorist burt a focus for resistance. Dr Rantissi wasn't a terrorist. " Only the worst kind of Islamists and Hamas terror machine sympathizer could say this about Palestinian Bin-Ladens.

Yassin was a founder and prominent leader of Hamas, which is regarded as a terrorist organization by a number of national governments.[14] Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon characterized Yassin as "the "mastermind of Palestinian terror" and a "mass murderer".[17] The Israeli government repeatedly asserted that Yassin was responsible for a number of terrorist attacks, which targeted and killed a number of civilians.[30] They accused him of being behind all the attacks perpetrated by Hamas against Israel. Israel said the targeted killing was in response to dozens of suicide attacks by Hamas against Israeli civilians.[31] According to an Israeli government website:
Yassin was the dominant authority of the Hamas leadership, which was directly involved in planning, orchestrating and launching terror attacks carried out by the organization. In this capacity, Yassin personally gave his approval for the launching of Qassam rockets against Israeli cities, as well as for the numerous Hamas terrorist bombings and suicide operations. In his public appearances and interviews, Yassin called repeatedly for a continuation of the 'armed struggle' against Israel, and for an intensification of the terrorist campaign against its citizens. The successful operation against Yassin constitutes a significant blow to a central pillar of the Hamas terrorist organization, and a major setback to its terrorist infrastructure.[32]

Bob A (47)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 8:37 am
"Yassin, killed alongside a dozen bystanders... "

Four bodyguards included into this count are not bystanders, John. They are Hamas militants and legitimate targets. They were accomplices to another Palestinian Arab arch--terrorist.

No wonder the count of Palestinian Arab casualties always show bumped up the number of civilians.

When Yassin went to war with Israel, he should off stayed at Hamas HQ or other military bases. That's what other armies do, to avoid civilians being hurt. This coward was hiding behind women, children and other people sharing roof with him.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 8:48 am
For goodness sake Bob, get your factsa right. Sheikh Yassin was killed outside the mosque he was praying in. How is that hiding behind wiomen and children? Indeed, Yassin was not at war with the Zionist Entity, he had offered a 30 year hudna with it. And he said that in a new reunited Palestine, Jews would be "respected". After killing him and Rantissi, the replacements are nowhere near as accommodating. And why should they be?

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 8:57 am
"regarded as" "Ariel Sharon characterized""The Israeli government repeatedly asserted"]" They accused him"

Come on Bob. It looks like a Wiki entry written by a Zionist. You've really swallowed it. You have seen that Obama and Sarkozy haven't, I take it. They are getting fed up with their Zionist masters. Angela Merkel also gave the vile Netanyahu a drubbing on the phone, saying "How dare you?" when the idiot tried to criticise German policy.

Wake up, smell the coffee, Zionism has run its[ racist] course, as Mrs Dayan said.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 12:29 pm
What a lovely country:--

"The Israeli police claim that there is a decrease in
incidents of orthodox Jews spitting on Christian clergy in Jerusalem.
Christian clergy state that the phenomenon is still widespread and highly

Stephen Brian (23)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 2:13 pm
Hi John,

I brought up Bloody Sunday because using an actual historical example lets us look at the reaction. Nobody else seemed to care. Regarding the difference, are you really saying that it matters whether civilians are killed with bullets or bombs? Dead is dead, last I checked. As for whether it was an internal matter, are you telling me the Irish are somehow English, but Palestinians are not Israeli? I could understand it being deemed an internal matter because all people involved were citizens or subjects of the same sovereign power and all events occurred on its soil, but the same logic applies to Israel. Obviously you don't think the Israeli / Palestinian conflict is an internal matter, so what was the line of reasoning which led to that determination for the U.K. and not Israel? The only reason I can see why you would insist on specifically a bombing like you described is so that nobody can point at one and show that you're totally wrong.

The colonization claims are almost funny to anyone who knows history. Aside from the issue that there is no mother-country of which Israel is supposed to be a colony, Israelis are not primarily European. Roughly half of Jews in Israel fled there from Muslim-majority countries due to expulsions and threats of reprisal against them following the war in 1948. With 20% of Israel being non-Jewish, that leaves a 60-40 split with non-Middle Easterners in the minority. Yup, a real European colony, that one.

As for how much Israel can get away with, haven't you noticed it is already placed "below the law"? It is always found guilty, whether or not it is. For examples, check the al-Dura case and the Jenin hoax. It has nothing more to lose by leveling Gaza. What do you think will happen? Does Pakistan really care about Palestinians? Will Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, the Saudis, and Lebanon send their people into a meat-grinder trying to rescue them? Would the U.S. cut off trade with one of its primary weapons-development partners and a country whose companies hold patents on much of the technology that it needs? What do you think abandonment of technology would do to its economy or a show of ignoring patents would do to its research? Israel's only serious likely threat would be Turkey, but not with the U.S. 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Nobody would do anything.

I looked into the expulsions from around Haifa. Palestinians were told to leave areas around Jewish communities by the Arab Higher Committee. The only reason for that in war is to clear the way for a massacre. I have little trouble with that expulsion. As for Lydda and Ramla, the two usual cases brought up, there were paramilitary forces operating out of those population-centers. As with Plan Dalet, it was deemed impossible to eliminate those forces without eliminating the population-center. They also could not be bypassed: Lydda was the Arabs' primary logistics-base in the region and Ramla sat on top of a route necessary for Zionist logistics.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 3:49 pm
No Stephen. People living in Ulster are UK citizens, not English. Your whole point is invalid.

The original colonisation was carried out by European Jews.

Arab and Berber Jews were not expelled from Arab countries. Indeed the Moroccan Jews took 35 years to leave and most of them regretted it and kept their nationality as did Amir Peretz, for example. Their children were subjected to medical experiments upon arrival. The Yemenite Jews were kidnapped and then had their babies stolen from them, something that was actually documented on Entity TV. The Iraqi Jews only left because of a campaign by undercover Zionist Jewish spies who set bombs that killed Jews and which were made to look like the work of the Muslim Brothers. Peace-loving Syria tried to keep her Jews.

As for other Muslim countries, Turkey retains 25,000 Jews, Iran up to 80,000 according to some estimates and the central Asian republics have substantial Jewish populations; indeed, the largest synagogue in Asia recently opened in Kazakhstan.

There were no ordres from the Arab Higher Committee for the population to leave. There were no radio broadcasts. A substantial sum of money has been on offer for some 40 years to be given to anyone who can prove these allegations put up by a rich Englishman and itr has remained unclaimed.

Stephen Brian (23)
Tuesday November 8, 2011, 8:58 pm
John, you missed the point again.

Palestinians are subjects of Israel. It's true that they're not citizens, having no more rights there than in a non-democratic country, but that's not what determines whether a matter is internal or external. The only other relevant standard I have ever seen is whether the conflict is between the dominant group of a country and a minority. Palestinians are subjects of Israel but not Israeli. Residents of Ulster are citizens (emancipated subjects) of the UK but not English. I would be surprised that I have to spell this out for you, but after your total failure to catch on about dead civilians being dead civilians or the problem with "New Historians" I am not surprised that you cannot grasp anything which might disprove your point.

Do you honestly believe that BS about Jews being behind the murder of Iraqi Jews? I suspect you do, as you also believe the BS about the mass-abduction of Yemenite babies despite the findings of multiple investigations. Here's an old report on one:
Years after the fact, the inquiry commission could still find all but 56 of the 1033 babies in question, and those they found were not abducted. Here's a question, though you never bothered answering my previous ones: What does it take for you to believe in conspiracy theories?

Yes, there are Jews in Turkey and Iran. 900,000 still left Muslim-majority countries to go to Israel. Israel is still not a European colony. It's not 80,000, though. That was before the revolution. Now it's believed to be less than half that.

Regarding the issue of whether the Palestinian exodus was instigated by Arab leaders or Zionist aggression: There was definitely encouragement by Arab leaders, backed by the AHC, to leave Zionist-held territory and regions with large Jewish populations. The question is not whether it happened, but whether it was significant compared to intimidation by Zionist forces.
The first point generally missed is that the militias which engaged in nearly all the aggression, Irgun and Lehi, are not the same as the Israeli forces after the war, nor even the primary Zionist force during it. In fact, Haganah destroyed both of those militias, removing Irgun's leaders from command and bringing its rank-and-file under its own control, and simply destroying Lehi, before becoming recognized as the national army of Israel (changing its name to the IDF). Their behaviour was significant, certainly, but cannot be generalized to the behaviour of Zionist forces in general during the war, nor to that of Israel afterwards. Ignoring the distinction between different Zionist factions, the "New Historians" would of course conclude that the intimidation was far more significant than it actually was. They miss such "minor" details and end up blaming atrocities on the people who stopped them.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 9, 2011, 12:06 am
And yet two former terrorists, Begin and Shamir became PMs of the Zionist Entity.

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday November 9, 2011, 10:29 am
Shamir definitely had a nasty history, between approving an assassination and outright being one of the leaders of Lehi. However, in the two years before he became PM, he had acted as Foreign Minister in peace negotiations with Egypt and the 1983 peace-agreement with Lebanon (which was unfortunately never implemented). It may have been a case of "Only Nixon could go to China", but with a resume like that I would not be surprised if Israelis saw him as a changed man.

Begin was a follower of Jabotinsky, who I have on good authority was a "thug". (My grandfather met the man.) He opposed a ceasefire with Egypt and was generally denounced as a bad piece of work by critics ranging from Einstein to Ehud Olmert. Before the 1977 election which brought him to power, the major opposition parties united, creating only one alternative to the Alignment Party (which had ruled for many years prior). I suspect he won more due to protest votes against Alignment and a lack of confidence in Peres than for his own work. Rabin had been the head of Alignment until the month before the vote, when his wife was caught illegally holding a US Dollar account (illegal in Israel at the time), and changing leaders the month before an election pretty much means a loss. Begin got 30% of the popular vote with an ~ 80% turnout after his party merged with others, leaving him as the leader of parties which would otherwise have split the vote. It should also be noted that his primary election appeal was not a hawkish stance, or anything related to Arabs: Middle Eastern Jews had felt socially excluded under Alignment and he won on an appeal to them.

What is important is that while both men had a really nasty history from 1948, neither was elected for it. Shamir was elected, I suspect, despite that history and Begin was not elected on his own merit at all.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 9, 2011, 10:48 am
Yes, what you are saying is that they were elected despite their really nasty history. They shouldn't've been.

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday November 9, 2011, 4:19 pm
I don't know about that:

In Shamir's case, given a choice between voting for a guy who committed war-crimes 30 years prior and voting against the one who just achieved peace on two borders, I really don't know which way I would go. Remember that at the time, nobody could have known whether the May 17 peace-agreement with Lebanon was just slow in implementation or if it was never to be implemented (which turned out to be the case). The Lebanese army could not secure the border against terrorists from its side because it collapsed, but there was reason to believe that once the civil war ended and it was reconstituted, the treaty might come into force, and nobody knew how long the civil war would last. When a vote against a war-criminal is also a vote against a peace-treaty, can you really say it is absolutely wrong?

As for Begin, he was generally unsuccessful until his party merged with other right-wing parties. I don't know what line of reasoning left him in charge of the united right-wing, but I suspect it may have been because the leader of the other right-wing party was a minor figure at the time and former party-line left-wing politician, Ariel Sharon. Within the Israeli right-wing, I probably would have preferred Sharon, but I wasn't there so like the "New Historians" I have no idea how much relevant information I am missing, so I wouldn't judge the right-wing's choice of leadership.. As for the general election, re-electing Alignment, would have meant declaring that they can break the law (Rabin's wife) and be spectacularly incompetent (Meir's lack of preparation for the Yom Kippur War four years earlier) without consequence. I would probably have gone with the Dash Party rather than Likud, but that split vote is what gave Begin the victory despite his 33.4% of the vote.

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday November 9, 2011, 4:23 pm
Sorry: minor error before:

Voting against Shamir would have meant signalling disapproval of two peace-treaties, not just one. As the foreign-minister who concluded the peace with Egypt, he was associated with that as well as the agreement with Lebanon.

M B (62)
Friday November 11, 2011, 5:19 pm
I expected nothing else from Israel.When does this tragedy end ?After every Palestinian is either being killed or assimilated ?? I agree with John Duqesa and Sir Walk F. and Jelica R.

Past Member (0)
Friday November 11, 2011, 11:20 pm
Quite incredible that video of Netanyahu crowing about how he stopped the peace process.

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday November 12, 2011, 10:11 am
That was an incredible video.:

First, I found a copy of that video posted on Youtube in mid-July of 2010. Did those attacks he discussed actually occur? Second, his comments about the U.N. are things I;ve been saying for years. Israel is already found guilty. Now it has less incentive to avoid actually committing crimes.

Third, from the end of the discussion, it is clear what he meant by stopping the Oslo Accords. He did not see them as the blueprints of any sort of peace process. He saw them as a political club to be used against Israel, giving Palestinians a document to point to in order to rationalize unlimited demands and drum up support for them. He saw giving Hebron, a direct case of "land for peace", complying with the principle supposedly behind the peace process, as a means of defeating the Oslo Accords. If he saw the Accords and a real peace process based upon that principle as one and the same, as you assumed, how is complying with the principle supposed to defeat the Accords?

As for his declarations of various regions as militarily strategic sites, I know that at least the primary one, the Jordan Valley, is one of real concern. (I am not familiar with the second.) If Palestinians achieve sovereignty and become a failed state (which I expect would happen within a few months of sovereignty), they alone still don't pose any threat to Israel. If, however, Israel does not control their border, then they become a lawless region where any force (backed by any government, like that of Iran) that wishes to do so may enter, and from which such a force may strike at Israel. Lawless, uncontrolled, regions on a country's border are very, very bad news for it especially when they come so close to its capital. Even worse, can you imagine the political fallout if Israel were to strike back at such a force? Whether or not it was responding to an attack, whether or not Palestinians actually succeed in creating a functional state, it would be seen as Israel re-invading and re-occupying the territories after granting sovereignty. Even now, the political fallout from responding to attacks from a region with no functional state-structure is severe, but then it would be seen as violating that peace-treaty that everybody claims to want.

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 12, 2011, 1:52 pm
I suppose you guess an independetn Palestine will fail because they're "darkies", eh?

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday November 12, 2011, 4:38 pm
... No. Race has absolutely nothing to do with it. History does.

Did you notice the Hamas-Fatah fight in 2005? Now imagine raising the stakes from control of the PA to control of a sovereign state. Time for a civil war. Even if they somehow manage to get around that, there is the far more troublesome issue of the militant rank-and-file's loyalty to their political leaders and those political leaders' loyalty to the elected officials of the PA. In Palestinian politics, as near as I can tell, the order of loyalty is first to one's ideals, and then to one's party, and then to the Palestinian democratic system. The various factions (PIJ, PFLP, etc.) were about as obedient to the orders of the entities which were seen as Palestinians' leaders as Hamas was to Fatah. Even worse, within hours of the latest ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, some of its members violated the ceasefire against their leaders' orders. While it is technically more democratic, this is a perfect recipe for civil war. Not only do separate armed forces hold greater loyalty to their factions, but they are so severely undisciplined that an incident sparking a civil war is inevitable.

I gave them a few months because I believe it would take that long for Fatah to put down the other factions and then splinter itself. I'd guess the issue of splintering would be over whether to seek peace or immediately declare war against Israel, but it could just as easily be about the division of powers within the Palestinian government, a change of flag to reflect the new status, how to handle tax-collection, or how to finish incorporating the different legal systems and institutions in place in Gaza and the West Bank (the differences are holdovers from when they were under Jordan and Egypt). Any of these, or the dozens of other issues that a sovereign state must face which the PA does not, could split the militias and spark a war.

A failed state is one where the government cannot actually implement its policies and edicts throughout the primary economic and population-centers of the country. It is where no entity can claim to hold a sufficient monopoly on the use of force that it could enact and enforce laws. A civil war alone does not imply that. A situation wherein civil wars will keep arising so fast that the country cannot get itself functional in between, however, does. Even worse, in this case there would be no clear geographic boundaries between the factions, nor would there be any way to predict who goes to which side of each fight. A strong national army would be meaningless because members of it would be just as likely as anyone else to join a rebellion which supports their ideals or political faction.

Here's a question for you (though you never answered the rest, I don't really expect you to answer). Why would you ever jump to that conclusion? Do you think that nobody could fail to give Palestinians the utmost respect for any reason other than racism? Do you really believe that Palestinians are infallible? Do you know what that would make you?

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 12, 2011, 9:31 pm
Yes. You're clearly a racist. Your "analysis" is tendentious as it fails to take into account the mere fact of occupation and Zionist interference in the affairs of Palestine. Your piece is full of "I guess" and "could". You actually don't kmow anything.

Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday November 13, 2011, 9:06 am
... Do you have a crystal ball? Do you know the future? I'm willing to say "I guess" and "could", but if you read my post, it's with an overwhelming probability. Do you have such hubris that you would speak of the future in certainties? Somehow, I would not be surprised.

Tell me exactly how eliminating Israeli interference makes Palestinian civil war less likely. I've looked, and it seems to me that Israeli interference is a uniting factor among Palestinians, temporarily reducing the problem in question.

Are you a Palestinian supremacist? Do you believe that Palestinians are ubermenshen, somehow magically superior to everyone else, or do you think logic might actually apply to them?

Honestly, you're behaving like a caricature of a "libtard". Totally unable to support your point, you go to your final and ultimate argument "Nya nyah, you're a racist" with your ears plugged in case there is a counterargument. What's next, citing self-proclaimed "experts" supporting your points and arguing entirely from some imagined authority on the subject? Oops, you just did. Apparently you're an expert on the future and everyone else must bow down to your knowledge. It's almost funny.

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 13, 2011, 11:03 am
And your prognostications are not at all funny.

Judith Pecho (5)
Tuesday November 15, 2011, 6:00 pm
Some of you open minded liberals might like to read this article. I did not know how to post it, so if anyone else wants to post as a story, please do so.

What is the paranoia of Israel? Blocking the people in Palestine is outrageous and against human rights!!
Such paranoia is really just meanness and a technique to distract from their cruelty against the Palestinians. When is America going to stop assisting with this criminal behavior?

Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 16, 2011, 1:57 am
I saw this and had it posted to me by "Jewish Voice for Peace", whose newsletter is really worth receiving. Thank you for reminding the thread of it.

Tuesday November 22, 2011, 6:31 pm
Why people like 8 and David do not care the check their facts carefully does them no credit. If the flotilla was kosher - why would it not allow the 'medical aid' to go via land routes?

Okay, we actually have Patricia castigating someone for not checking their facts. I don't think Patricia has ever posted a fact on any thread since she began on Care2.

Also Patricia, the purpose of the flotilla is to bring global attention to the siege of Gaza. That is the primary purpose, for the world to take notice. If you already notice, since the first flotilla, Israel certainly lost its standing within the global community. You may not care about it, but Israel certainly does.

Judith, you know that I don't condone Israel's policy towards the Palestinian people nor do I support the increasingly draconian and non democratic laws. It is not paranoia though. They want the land. They also want the land without the people because if they provide human rights to the Palestinians, allow return to the homes they occupied pre-1948, allow immigration into Israel by Palestinians, no more Jewish majority. If they go the one state solution route, you can't take the land without taking the people whom Israel, as the "only democracy in the Middle East" would have to grant citizenship, again no Jewish State as you will in no time have a Palestinian majority. They are just trying to keep the status quo as long as possible, while hoping against hope that another big event will occur to give them global sympathy and will be guilted out in allowing them to kick the Palestinians out. There really is no other rational explanation.

Tuesday November 22, 2011, 7:01 pm
" Unfortunately, every survey conducted in the Zionist Entity states that the respondents are satisfied, by large majorities, with the evil policies of their government. There are large majorities who would not live next door to an "Arab", foir instance."

John, This I don't buy or at least I don't buy the reasoning. I do think that many Israeli Jews are satisfied with the government's policies, but not out of downright racism, but out of several reasons. First of all, you have a government that has, for the past six decades reinforced the "existential threat" model of governance. We say that exact same mentality post 9/11 with the them v. us rhetoric. Throw in God, the Promised land and chosen people, it justifies the methods to the people. Secondly, in a strange way, even when there was an extremely open free press, much more so than in North America, major publications immediately sold the State's spin. Gideon Levy gives a wonderful lecture based on this. For how liberal and open (at least until recently) Israel is, Israeli Jews tend to not see too much beyond what is happening within the State. In addition, in big cities, like Tel Aviv, were there is a good percentage of the population, you don't see these divisions of people as definite as you may see for instance in the small Palestinian towns versus Jewish towns. The last reason is people get busy, people live their lives, raise their kids and tend not to look to closely beyond what directly impacts them. There are people and I would take a guess that this wouldn't be a minority, who are essentially unaware of certain policies. For instance, there is an interview with a settler named Michaela who moved to a settlement in the West Bank for economic reasons. The government provides fantastic incentives to buy in the West Bank, but fail to mention that this is not considered anywhere in the world, except Israel, as part of Israel. The whole worlds sees it as an occupation. She was stunned upon moving and living there for awhile that she lived in occupied territory. When you drive from Israel to settlements, you don't see Palestinians, you don't see anything but the road in front of you and the wonderfully painted separation wall which borders the highway. To conclude the story of the woman, she happened to live in a settlement where there is some violence between the settlement and the neighbouring Palestinian town. At the time of the interview, it was essentially harassment of the settlements kids against the Palestinian kids. She is horrified. She knows that she cannot afford a house, much less a decent large enough apartment in Israel. She also knows that if she sells before ten years (I think that she said ten years) she loses much of the incentives because one of them was much of the mortgage is forgiven at the ten year mark (I don't know if this still holds true). To sell will be extremely financially disasterous. On the other hand, she has these children who she strongly feels has to provide a moral, humane upbringing. She actually says something along the lines that "what type of boys will she have when they are grown if she allows them to remain, witness and most likely at one point participate in harassment of other kids based on racism.

There used to be a Jewish woman who was on Care2. She once was talking about living in Hebron and how wonderful it was. If anyone reads stories of Hebron, it isn't nice if you are a Palestinian. She didn't realize the controversy surrounding the Hebron settlements and I don't think she even realized that this was not in Israel. It is located in the West Bank. I am almost certain that she mentioned when she lived in Hebron, Israel. She wasn't an evil person, she seemed quite empathetic to most human rights, but when it came to the Palestinians, she was completely blind. That is not saying that there are no racists within the State of Israel. You have to remember though, Jews tend to be liberal, tend to support human rights and that holds true not only in Israel, but also in the Western world.

Sorry to be so long, but I think that if we start pointing our fingers at the citizens themselves without looking into all of the issues, rather than concentrating on the governance of the country, we will only have more division rather than unity. I have read a lot on this, about these phenomena and the explanations to it. I firmly believe that there is a lot of misinformation within the citizenry. I should know, I once defended Israel just a staunchly as all of the people I end up fighting with on Care2. I made excuse, after excuse after excuse. To come to the understanding of the true nature of the conflict, the brutal occupation and the discrimination which is practiced within the State itself came not from looking for the truth, but came from me finally taking the time and effort into looking for information to shut people up who were telling me the truth I didn't want to hear. Why do you think I used only Israeli historians to research the historical record. It wasn't so I couldn't be accused later of using "biased" Palestinian answers. I used them because I thought that I would find information that wouldn't contradict my beliefs. What I big huge surprise that faced me at the end. That is what I have always said and this is why I will continue to post and correct the historical record. If even one person finally takes the time to look at the situation and research it carefully they will change their ideology. Because let's face it, if you truly research the record and confirm it against independent sources, using credible authors, you are left with no conclusion, but the truth.

AWAY AWHILE Cal Mendelsohn (1067)
Tuesday November 22, 2011, 7:20 pm
Strangely, your last comment starts to sound like measuring the political landscape of the US and the red states vs. blue states ideological divide which sees two different types of countries and societies within the political mosaic. The right is paranoid of government and protective of perceived freedom and real priviledge for the elites. The left runs the opposite and the perception is always backed up by ideology, tradition and documents galore.

Perception is everything Margaret, very true. My hunch is that within both Israeli Jewish andPalestinian populations there are a myriad of truths and narratives about who owns what. We disagree about the one truths--in all my time researching and studkng the Mideast there have always been many...there still are!

Tuesday November 22, 2011, 7:43 pm
Cal - What I put out is what the historical record based on Military Archives to back it up and supported by Israeli Jewish historians. This narrative or historical record is the accepted record within Israeli academics. You can take someone like Benny Morris, very pro-Zionist, very loyal to the State of Israel and read his books and then go to someone who like Norman Finkelstein, who is seen as the Jewish Satan and read his books and guess what? Historically they don't differ. The facts of what happened remains the same. What does differ is the conclusion which is a subjective process. So Benny who states the exact same tale of 1948 or 1967 as Norman does have vastly different conclusions. Benny justifies Israel's actions in 1948 to the point of saying they should have finished the job using the American model of ethnic cleansing to justify it. His reasoning is well the US dispossessed the Native population, but look, we have the great country of the United States. His moral conclusion is obviously 180 degrees from Finkelstein who will state that you can't justify what was done in 1948, it is criminal and the Palestinians deserve reparation for this. See facts the same, but moral conclusions are completely different.

My comment isn't referring to political division. I am clearly stating that a) I think the majority of the Israeli population, just like any other country, for most part are good, decent people b) the government on the other hand, especially Bibi's government are the opposite. They have no moral compass and will essentially do anything to push their agenda through. I am not saying there is a divide in the Israeli political landscape. I think what creates more division between peaceful people globally is to place the traits of the present government on the people.


Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 23, 2011, 1:16 am
Margaret. Thank you, as always for your series of well researched and informative posts.

To be brief, as I need to get out to work. Re Jews in general being liberal and the studies done in the Zionist Entity which tend to contradict this. I think that this is a given on the UK and US political scenes. It is far less so in France, however., for example.

Yes, one can point to Tel Aviv, of course, but there are huge communities of people elsewhere who are anything but liberal especially in al-Qods and in the colonies.

As for examples pf people being "forced" to move to a colony in the WB for financial reasons or doing so as they don't realise that it's occupied and stolen land, well, I just don't but it. It reminds me of those Germans living next to concenration camps who said they didn't know what was going on.

I hope to take this up later.

In haste


Diane Patrick (46)
Friday November 25, 2011, 8:03 am
What "International Law?" The Israelis are a law unto themselves! This is just another tactic to aid them in their slo-mo genocides of Palestinians. I hate them!

Past Member (0)
Friday November 25, 2011, 10:57 am
Quite. And until the USI stops its blanket support of the Zionist Entity, this will continue.
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