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Israel Is a Burden on The United States

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Israel, burden, crime, murder, illegal, settlement, cost, US, taxpayer, ungrateful, suffering, Palestinian, occupation, Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem )

- 3308 days ago -
Israel has gradually been turning into a "burden" on the United States since the end of the Cold War, the head of the Israeli secret service said Tuesday.


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Sam H (410)
Tuesday June 1, 2010, 4:34 pm
The whole world knows that Israel is a burden on the United State, but in Israel this is a secret that only the head of the Israeli secret service can divulge.

Tere M (75)
Tuesday June 1, 2010, 5:26 pm
Thank you for posting Sam! ~

Rebecca F (475)
Tuesday June 1, 2010, 7:27 pm
Gaza Flotilla Tragedy: Congress Should Act
Take Action Write Your Senators Today
The tragic deaths on Monday of nine civilians who were attempting to bring humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip is a grim reminder of the ongoing cost of the failure of Israelis, Palestinians, and the international community to achieve a lasting peace in the region.

We at FCNL don't know the full details that led Israeli soldiers to kill those civilians, who were attempting to bring a boat loaded with humanitarian and construction supplies to the Gaza strip.

We do know that the Israelis have kept Gaza closed since Hamas seized control in 2007 and Gaza desperately needs humanitarian relief.

We do know that:

an Israeli military assault on a civilian vessel in international waters resulted in at least nine deaths, this action is inflaming tensions in the Middle East and the world, and the cycle of violence can be expected to escalate without vigorous peaceful intervention.
As the pro-Israel, pro-peace group J Street noted following this tragedy, the Israeli blockade of Gaza is not an effective way to increase the security of the state of Israel. FCNL has written to President Obama urging him to exert U.S. influence to end the blockade. That is not enough, though. Now, the United States should also put even more energy into ensuring that peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians succeed.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA) has drafted a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling on the United States to support direct, determined diplomacy for a two-state solution. The letter states, "We strongly believe that a permanent peace agreement - with two states, living side by side in peace and security- can only be achieved with the United States bringing the parties together and driving them to a settlement." Senator Feinstein has asked other Senators to co-sign this letter.

Take ActionUrge your senators to sign Senator Dianne Feinstein's letter to Secretary Clinton calling for determined U.S. diplomacy to bring Israelis and Palestinians together and drive them to achieve a two-state solution in the Middle East.

Ask five friends to do the same.

*If you are a resident of DC, we know you do not have senators to contact. You do have friends and family in other parts of the country, though. Please ask 5 friends to contact their senators.

Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

White House Comment Desk: 202-456-1111
Fax: 202-456-2461

Mehdi H (27)
Tuesday June 1, 2010, 8:00 pm
Just to the United States? Thanks for posting Uncle Sam. noted

Christina McCabe (35)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 1:27 am
Time for a genuine peace initiative.

Sam H (410)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 10:26 am
The reality of the situation is that Israel was always a burden on us.

Israel has been a burden on us in so many ways other than financial.

We betray our own values when we side with the murderers simply because the murderers happen to be Israelis.

Let's take the rights guaranteed by our Constitution. You'll be hard pressed to find a single American who wouldn't give up his or her life to protect those rights. Yet, when Israel deprives the Palestinians of those same God-given rights, we stick our heads in the sand.

And by so doing, we lose our soul. That is not a financial loss. We should see the light not only because our tax dollars are diverted to a criminal state. We should see the light simply to save our own soul.

How can we live with ourselves when we have to suspend our conscience every time Israel commits a crime?

We always end up paying the price for Israel's misbehavior. Is there presently a reason for the world to hate us other than siding with Israel every time it commits a crime? Or fighting Israel's wars from Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Pakistan, to Iran, to God knows where else?

Sure we can argue that we were not innocent throughout our history. We have committed our own crimes against humanity, but that is no reason to add to that shameful past by committing additional crimes on behalf of Israel.

When we see our president who's a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate unable to condemn a crime simply because the crime was committed by Israel, don't we deserve to know why?

Don't we deserve to know why no congressman can criticize Israel without jeopardizing his political career?

Why do our politicians pay allegiance to Israel and not the US? Can a single congressman criticize the prime minister of Israel with the same ease and immunity with which he can criticize his own President?

Why is the prime minister of Israel more immune to criticism in our own Congress than our own President?

Let's ask ourselves those simple questions. The answers are even simpler.

Don't we deserve to salvage our own humanity by being able to tell right from wrong?

Do we need Israel's permission to save our own soul?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 1:46 pm
Cindy and Craig Corrie are the parents of Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003, while trying to prevent the demolition of the home of a Palestinian pharmacist, his wife and three young children.
A Free Gaza boat that is being readied to sail to Gaza is named for her. Among those on board are Irish Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire and former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, who is also Irish.
The Corries, who have themselves been to Gaza twice and recently to Israel for a trial related to their daughter's killing, said today in a statement: "We call on the U.S. government and governments of the world to act now. First, the well-being of all the flotilla passengers still in Israel must be secured, and the identities of those killed and injured must be released immediately. Second, governments around the world must demand an independent investigation into the attack upon the flotilla and the killings that occurred. An Israeli-led investigation into an international incident of this magnitude is unacceptable. Our family's own experience has made it all too painfully clear that the Israeli military is unable or unwilling to adequately investigate itself. Third, the U.S. and other governments can and must insist that other boats from the flotilla, including the MV Rachel Corrie, named for our daughter, be permitted to sail through international waters to Gaza unobstructed. Finally, we demand that the governments of the world act as courageously as did the activists on the Free Gaza flotilla and, themselves, break the illegal and immoral siege of Gaza."

Debra Holliday (38)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 4:19 pm
I suggest you watch the video of the boarding of the flotillas. The checking of any boat/floatation has always been standard procedure of Israel. These people knew that. If you watch the video it is extremely clear that the Israelies were the first attacked and only when some guns had been taken from them, did the shooting start. You have to realize that Hamas is always trying to get bombs and guns to them anyway they can to lob over at Israel. PLEASE get your facts straight before you go signing a petition against Israel!!!

Marion Y (322)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 4:30 pm
We can't afford to give $3 billion to Israel

PETITION: Gaza: investigate the raid, end the blockage

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 4:39 pm


Avaaz: Gaza: investigate the raid, end the blockade

CREDOaction: The U.S. should break the Gaza blockade

FStreet: Turning Tragedy to Action

End the Occupation: Contact the White House

JVfP: Tell Congress and Obama No Aid for Siege of Gaza or Attacks on Allies; US citizens

JVfP: Tell Obama to make Israel accountable to international law: non-US citizens

War on Want: Call on the UK government to hold Israel to account for the Gaza Freedom Flotilla attack

JVfP: Jewish Leaders: Denounce Israel's Increasing Repression

AAPER: Urge Obama Admin. to Condemn Israeli Attack on Freedom Flotilla, Call for End to Gaza Siege

OBAMA: Condemn Israeli commando assault on Gaza Freedom Flotilla


Debra Holliday (38)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 4:43 pm
The material WOULD have been delivered to Gaza by the Israelis had the protocol been followed. The blockade is legal and has continued for three years; it has been supported by other countries - for example, Egypt has blocked illegal entry of goods into Gaza through tunnels, though not as effectively as one would have liked. Hamas is noted for hiding weaponry such as grenades and bombs under sick babies in ambulances, and a flotilla of ships could have hidden much more lethal weaponry. Gaza is still sending rockets daily into Israel; what other country is expected to put up with such provocation with no self-defense?

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 4:43 pm

"This is a relatively simple mission, the likes of which we have carried out a number of times in the past, even against armed terrorists," a Navy source by one of the boats told Ynet. "The reason we are deploying such a large force and after much preparation, is to minimize the PR damage we may suffer while carrying out the main mission, which is to prevent the precedent of opening an unsupervised maritime route to Hamas in Gaza."
"Experience shows that a large number of forces diminishes the volume of violence needed to carry out the mission," a Navy statement said. "The mission is relatively simple and we are aware that the other side will try to make us look bad. We will show restraint and not respond to provocations, we will do only what is necessary to carry out the mission, no more, but no less either." ...
Navy prepares for Gaza flotilla, Ynetnews, 05.30.10, 13:44

Debra Holliday (38)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 4:47 pm
They weren't expecting to be attacked on this "simple mission". What would you do if you were beaten and attacked?

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 4:50 pm

The blockade on Gaza is illegal. Sending armed commandos onto humanitarian aid ships in international waters is illegal.

Any arguments about what happened after that are redundant.

Edwin M (346)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 4:57 pm
The Law of Blockade is governed by two treaties, the first being the Treaty of Paris from 1856 which established the basic principles and to which all major nations adhered save for the US, who did agree to be bound by its terms. (This is the treaty which outlawed privateers, incidentally.) Following the two Hague conferences, it was decided that a further compact was necessary, so a small conference was held in the UK, which resulted in the Declaration of London in 1910; in this case, while all other powers signed it, the British did not, but, as had the Americans in 1856, they agreed to abide by its terms.

The basic scheme is that a blockade, to be legal, MUST be effective: the term is a bit hazy, but, essentially, means that the bulk of enemy and neutral merchant shipping must be subject to being stopped. Once the blockade is LEGAL, then a belligerent ship may STOP a neutral or enemy merchant vessel and inspect it. If the cargo is found to be actual or conditional contraband, it can be seized without payment, though this can only be done once the ship is taken to a friendly port (which may be neutral) and a judicial proceeding is held to confirm that the cargo was indeed "contraband". (If the cargo is not contraband but is, for instance, food, it must be permitted to pass unhindered.)

If the blockade is not a legal and effective one, then a belligerent ship may still stop the merchant vessels of an enemy power, though not those under a neutral flag. The enemy warship may still seize the merchant ship and send it to a friendly port, but they must then PAY the owners for the cargo.

You cannot just SINK an enemy ship, under either of these scenarios, unless it attempts armed resistance or flight and, even then, you must make all efforts to use less than deadly force to stop the merchant vessel, such as firing a shot across the bows. You may sink the merchant ship if, and only if, it is in real and imminent danger of recapture by the other guys.

If you harm the crew or passengers on a merchant vessel, you must provide adequate medical care. If you sink the ship, you must place the crew and passengers "in a place of safety", which is not abandoning them on the high seas in lifeboats. (You may TOW the boats, though, within sight of land and give them a course to the nearest hamlet or village, and then cast them off.) Although I consider their actions reprehensible, it appears that they were within their rights under the Law of Blockade.

writer fool (36)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 5:11 pm
thank you Debra H. for saying what I would have liked to. Let's not forget the blockade of Gaza is not, NOT only an Israeli blockade,but an Egyptian blockade as well. They have their blockade for reasons i am not aware of.
Israel is continuously blamed for everything, and anything. I dont know ,i watched those commandos land on those boats. I also saw with my eyes, on tape the commandos attacked and beaten with metal poles. Don't other people see this.
In the neighborhood where Israel resides, There is a need for being 'ready, alert, on watch'...Any nation that loves freedom should be in Israels corner.. I know I dont want Sharia law here in the USA...If any of you out there think you can live with sharia ... God bless, But i won't... EVER.

Stephen Hannon (203)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 5:12 pm
The US has been a long time partner in crime with Israel from the day it became a "Statehood" in 1948 to present.
The US supplied arms and money to Israel so they could "raid" Lebanon for no sane reason, and murder hundreds if not thousands of civilians made up mostly of women and children. The horror of rockets exploding; not only in cities, but in the suburbs as well, where most of the civilian deaths occurred. Yet the US only "mildly" complain abut the situation on the Gaza Strip, which truly belongs to Palestine, and not Israel as most think.
former maggot president George W Bush sided with Israel; and I don't believe anyone really saw this coming other than those in his so called "inner circle" of even worse maggots to wreak as much havoc as they were allowed to get away with, and they got away with much more than we may realize.
I'm there are some here who saw the videos of Lebanon, and the horror of it all, for no reason other than Israel saying we did it because we can, and we will have the "blessing" of the US. The US does not control Israel; Israel controls the US with its Zionists. Do a search on Zionism before you "lynch" the messenger. Thank you for that.
I honestly believe that the US depends more upon Israel more than Israel depend on the US. Every "criminal act" they involved in is sanctioned by the US, and not only this, but the EU as well. Does Israel really have this much power over other Sovereign Nations? I would say they do, because the EU has turned the other "cheek" as well.
Israel has, and always will be a dangerous country toward Palestine. for some reason Netenyhahu refuses to make peace with Palestine. One has to wonder if its purely for political reason; or is there another motive that we may know about, but the US does, and is staying mum on the issue. We are only told what the mainstream media has been told to feed us under the guise of legitimate reporting of the news, or are all the news channels guilty as Fox News is? Something worth pondering, however, not all ponderables are solvable but they are worth the courtesy of a decent try at solving the issue.
Unfortunately the US will not stop supporting Israel with money and arms so they can continue their Genocide on Palestine, and with the newest development of Israel attacking a flotilla of non violent protesters, and still the US remains silent, while the news print is blasting it on the "Front Page."
I have often said that we have the unique opportunity to "boot" out every incumbent long term member of the House of Representatives to make perfectly clear to them that "we do not work for them/they work for us."
with this being said. let us please, take back our country, Shut down Gizmo, really crack down on Wall Street, no more tax breaks for all big oil companies; not just BP. This would be the right thing to do.

Good night, sweet dreams....

writer fool (36)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 5:17 pm
I wonder ,has anyone read Your entire article in the UPI?....
READ THE ARTICLE TO THE END, NOT JUST THE FIRST PARAGRAPH, THAT will answer the question raised in that first confrontational paragraph of this story.

Lorin S (52)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 5:20 pm
I remember once when I was in Israel, I saw a t-shirt for the Israeli Airforce with the picture of a really advanced-looking jet on it. Beneath the jet, in English, were the words: "Don't worry America. Israel will protect you."

Maybe Israel thinks that the United States is a burden for them, too!

. (0)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 5:26 pm
Lorin, Israeli technologies already saved lots of US soldiers. After all US and Israel face the same enemies, with the same tactics.

I see 30 BILLION dollars of US Aid given to Muslim countries, hostile to US, as a bigger burden than 3B in equipment manufactured in US and given to Israel. As one Washington boss said, "Israel earned every penny of it".

The biggest burden on US is support democracy in the World, and standing up to extremists like Iran and North Korea. Israel is an ally in this stand, not a burden.

Almost forgot, what about 4BILLIONS bucks given to Palestinians, in Gaza-West Bank - UNWRA? To pay to children, grand-children and great-grand-children of those who left Israel for good? Sounds like the biggest rip-off and burden to me!


Antony Stone (7)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 5:49 pm
I do believe that Israel is a burdon on us and we should stop protecting them.

Frank G (211)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 6:35 pm
The reason the U.S. has problems with Muslim extremists, and why we've engaged in terribly costly wars against Islamic nations, is our one-sided support for Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine. The U.S. does not need nor has it used Israel as an advance base, having several Arab allies willing to fulfill this role, and Israel is hardly useful as an military ally, since its involvement with the U.S. in any Middle East conflict would likely lead to a vastly expanded war (and hence to a disaster for our oil supply). This fact was illustrated plainly in the invasions of Iraq, in which Israel played a minimal role, despite being bombed. The U.S. support of Israel has on the other hand been a constant strain on our international relations as well as our military budget. The Israel partisans were the leading force in the Bush administration and in the media pushing for the conquest of Iraq.

A for the military aid, it's not only the dollar amount of the weaponry that the U.S. has given to Israel. It is also the long running transfers of U.S. military technology to Israel, which have essentially built up the Israeli military industry from scratch. The U.S. has in fact been bound by law since at least 2008 to not make "sale or export of the defense articles or defense services" that will "adversely affect Israel's qualitative military edge over military threats to Israel." Much of the military technology which Israel now calls its own was in fact developed through U.S. assistance and financing. What U.S. technology was not given to Israel freely was often stolen through a long history of spying. A further problem is a long history of illegal re-transfers of U.S. technology by Israel via sales to nations which the U.S. considers a threat, such as China. Here are some sources:

Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance (April 2005), by Clyde R. Mark, CRS Issue Brief for Congress

Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration 2004 by Stephen Green

Pentagon, GAO Report Israeli Espionage And Illegal Technology Retransfer by Shawn L. Twing

The South at war -- in Gaza

Petition under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 for Suspension of the US-Israel Free Trade Area, Washington Times, June 27, 2006; Complaint #2: Israeli Manufacturers Violate US IP through Military-Industrial Commercial Espionage

U.S. Arms Sales to Israel End Up In China, Iraq; by Jonathan Reingold May 9, 2002

Strange Bedfellows: China and Israel By Eric S. Margolis 16 April 2000 or

U.S. Had to Wage Long Battle Against Israel's Technology Transfers to China 1997 By Donald Neff

A Long History: Israeli Espionage Against the US 2004 By Sam Husseini

Jane's Intelligence news: A mole called Mega (extract)

FBI Arrests U.S. Government Physicist in Sting Operation Involving Nuclear Secrets, by Evan Perez, October 21, 2009

Kaitlyn K (32)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 6:38 pm
It's really nice hearing you all suggest we should cease supporting a nation of Jews that would be annihilated if we pulled out . I didn't realize Care2 was such a haven for Nazis and anti-semitics . (Please Note The Scathing Sarcasm , I know it's hard to interpret online ; but please try your best . )

Luisa Fox (144)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 6:54 pm
Kaitlyn K. wrote:

t's really nice hearing you all suggest we should cease supporting a nation of Jews that would be annihilated if we pulled out .
Well Kaitlyn, maybe if the Israeli State would not behave like their worst nightmare Hitler's Germany, they would not face the idea of being annihilated but rather have to make concessions with Palestinians and learn to live in peace rather than in War.

::I live for the day when the US finally wakes up and tells Israel to go to hell.

::I live for the day when Palestinians are treated like equal people rather than have to live under the yoke of Apartheid.

::I live for the day when Wars in the Middle East or anywhere else for that matter, are a thing of the past.

I hope you understand me loud and clear, if you don't try your best.

Debra Holliday (38)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 7:13 pm
If you would read the Israeli side of these stories once in a while, you would realize they have been trying to seek peace with the Palestinians. What they are fighting against is the Hamas, Hezbollah, and all the other terrorists!

Oh, and I live for the day that Nazi-like people such as "The Real Luisa" ("tells Israel to go to hell.") go into judgment. Only then will true justice be served and real peace can begin.


Sam H (410)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 7:35 pm

You're speaking like a person who has brainwashed by religion, or indoctrinated by the Zionists.

For your information, there was no Hezbollah in Lebanon before Israel invaded in 1982.

Hezbollah was formed after Israel's invasion to repel Israel from Lebanon, and it succeeded in doing so.

So thanks to Israel's shortsighted, militant behavior, Iran has now a foothold in southern Lebanon. Both Lebanese and Israeli civilians now have to suffer the consequence of Israel's stupid behavior.

Sam H (410)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 7:41 pm
And when the chief of Mossad testifies that Israel has become a burden on the United States, I take his views as being Israel's side of the story.

I think he has a clearer view of reality than somebody who's operating on autopilot, guided only by religious fanaticism and/or Zionist indoctrination.

Jacinda Grigaitis (0)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 7:47 pm
hamas is a burden on israel...i mean what would you do if rockets and bombs were constantly raining down on your major metropolitan centers...israel has no choice but to do what it can to protect its people and that means stopping weapons being smuggled in...

Sam H (410)
Wednesday June 2, 2010, 7:52 pm
Well, Dan, the chief of Mossad is saying Israel is a burden on the US. So if you say Hamas is a burden on Israel, do you want the US to deal with Israel the same way Israel is dealing with Hamas?

Wednesday June 2, 2010, 10:48 pm
"The checking of a boat/floatation has always been a standard procedure of Israel". Debra H- your very first and opening statement is so contradictory and rediculous I don't need to read anything else you have to say. Reason; you call armed commando's jumping out of helicopters onto a boat in international waters as checking for ammunitions?

While watching this attack you were either smoking, drinking, or snorting something that was obscuring your judgement and perception. Anyone in their right mind could see that this was an unprovoked attack on an unarmed boat. The aim of Israel was to maim, kill, and terrorize the passengers.

Guess what, it didn't work. Because another boat is coming. If Israel dare try to do the same to the Rachel corrie, Israel will incur such a reaction from the international community that the very foundation of Israel will be changed forever.

Terry B (649)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 5:10 am
The United States has become a burden on everybody.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 5:16 am
Michael D Higgins TD speaking on the Dáil motion about Interception of Gaza humanitarian Flotilla
(My thanks to Pamylle for making me aware of this.)

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 5:40 am
I hope Israel and the USA will have good relations. Would be a miracle to have peace in between Israel and Palestine once and for all.

MG Haidar Syed (29)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 5:52 am
absolutely right

Locan Sleeping-Squirrel (209)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 6:52 am
Dan are you aware that Hamas was originally funded by the Israeli government to destabilize the existing Palestinian Authority? If they are a burden, it's their own damn fault. Perhaps since as some say the US has become such a burden, Israel no longer needs the billions we give them.

Sam H (410)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 7:11 am

One day we'll get our independence from Israel and will be free again.

Mike K (1)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 7:31 am
This whole thing smells bad..and for Ireland to get involved...WWIII?

patricia lasek (317)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 7:39 am
Yes, Israel is a burden on the U.S.A. but so is Haiti, Iraq, Afghanastan, all of Africa, a lot of Europe and Asia. Let's just say the whole damn world!

Linda McCaughey (40)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 8:35 am
we should be grateful for israel. at least, there is one country in the world that is even more greedy, pugnacious, warlike and obnoxious that the u.s. makes us look almost rational by comparison.

Terry B (649)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 8:36 am
Or the other way around, Patricia?

Sam H (410)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 8:37 am

I don't know if your intention was to dilute the effect of the crimes committed by Israel. But I like to know what other country commits the same type of crimes as Israel and still gets the full support of the US.

Are you saying that criticizing the performance of Iraq's prime minister by a US politician will doom that politician's political career the same way his career will be doomed if he were to criticize Benjamin Netanyahu?

How many elected officials in Congress are willing to cut off aid to Israel until it stops its illegal settlements in East Jerusalem?

Are you saying there is another country that controls our political institutions the way Israel does through AIPAC and other means?

What other countries continually, or continuously for that matter, spy on us and continue to receive our full financial and moral support?

Maybe Haiti! Those Haitians are kind of wicked. They're always trying to steal our nuclear secrets.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 8:39 am
Of course, my hero -- Dennis Kucinich -- is ON IT!
by Congressman Dennis Kucinich Washington, Jun 2, 2010
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is today beginning to circulate to colleagues the following letter concerning the commando raid by Israel upon a Turkish ship in international waters:
June 2, 2010
The Honorable Barack Obama President of the United States The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
Israeli commandos, acting at the direction of the State of Israel, attacked and seized a Turkish ship in international waters, in the Mediterranean Sea.
At least nine were killed in the incident aboard the Mavi Marmara. Hundreds of civilians were taken into custody and goods were confiscated. Since the United States considers Israel our most important ally in the region, whose survival is a of primary concern, it is incumbent upon the Commander in Chief to call Israel to an accounting for its conduct in planning and executing the deadly military attack in international waters upon a peaceful flotilla carrying citizens from over 50 countries.
The State of Israel’s conduct, attacking a Turkish ship in international waters, constitutes an act of belligerence against Turkey, which at one time Israel considered an important ally. It also undermines United States’ troops efforts in Iraq, since your administration’s efforts to achieve stability in the region and to withdraw troops from Iraq has depended upon Turkey’s cooperation through use of its air bases.
In its violent commando raid on the Mavi Marmara, the government of Israel showed no concern as to how its conduct may affect the lives of defenseless, innocent people, its friends and allies, and in particular the United States. The United States must remind Israel as well as all of our other friends and allies:
It is not acceptable to repeatedly violate international law.
It is not acceptable to shoot and kill innocent civilians.
It is not acceptable to commit an act of aggression against another U.S. ally.
It is not acceptable to continue a blockade which denies humanitarian relief.
It is not acceptable to heighten tensions in a region while the United States continues to put so much blood and treasure on the line.
The State of Israel’s action necessitates that the United States, which is Israel’s partner in the region, begin to redefine its relationship and to establish such boundaries and conditions which are sufficient for mutual respect and cooperation.
It is incumbent upon Israeli officials to bring forth the truth about the planning for and the attack upon the Mavi Marmara.
No one questions the right of Israel to defend its border, but that defense does not extend to shooting innocent civilians anywhere in the world, anytime it pleases.
Israel must account for our support, for the lives of our soldiers, for the investment of billions from our taxpayers. Israel owes the United States more than reckless, pre-meditated violence waged against innocent people.
The attack on the Mavi Marmara requires consequences for the Netanyahu Administration and for the State of Israel. Those consequences must be dealt by the United States. They must be diplomatic and they must be financial. The U.S. can begin by calling for an independent international inquiry of the Mavi Marmara incident. The integrity of such inquiry necessitates that it not be led by the nation whose conduct is under scrutiny. If our nation fails to act in any substantive way, the United States licenses the violence and we are complicit in it and our own citizens will be forced to pay the consequences.
We the undersigned deeply regret the loss of life. We are also fully aware of the dangers to world security which exist in the region, which is why the United States has been unstinting it its defense of Israel. We have a right to expect that Israel not add to those dangers with military conduct which all people of good will know is neither defensible nor moral. There must be consequences for such conduct. We await your response.
[Dennis Kucinich]

Jelica R (144)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 9:19 am

Ready for some petitions?

Avaaz: Gaza: investigate the raid, end the blockade

CREDOaction: The U.S. should break the Gaza blockade

FStreet: Turning Tragedy to Action

End the Occupation: Contact the White House

JVfP: Tell Congress and Obama No Aid for Siege of Gaza or Attacks on Allies; US citizens

JVfP: Tell Obama to make Israel accountable to international law: non-US citizens

War on Want: Call on the UK government to hold Israel to account for the Gaza Freedom Flotilla attack

JVfP: Jewish Leaders: Denounce Israel's Increasing Repression

AAPER: Urge Obama Admin. to Condemn Israeli Attack on Freedom Flotilla, Call for End to Gaza Siege

OBAMA: Condemn Israeli commando assault on Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 12:11 pm
The Legal Framework of International Law
The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla by Israeli Navy Commandos on May 31, 2010
Crimes against the Peace and Crimes against Humanity
By Lynda Bray
During the pre-dawn hours of May 31, 2010, the Israeli Navy attacked the six civilian vessels of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.  The attack took place in international waters against ships flying under national flags of countries with which Israel is not at war, namely Turkey, Greece and the United States.  The ships were carrying civilians from more than sixteen countries.
Salient points:
Since no state of war existed at the time, the attack on these vessels constitutes an act of war against those governments under whose flags the vessels were sailing.
The attack falls within the purview of the ius ad bellum, those laws which govern the resort to armed conflict.  Israel’s action does not fall into the category of the ius in bello or the laws which govern the actual conduct of war.
Because this attack was carried out in international waters, the status of the relationship between Hamas, or any other Palestinian body, and the state of Israel is of no relevance whatsoever.  Likewise, neither the blockade of Gaza nor Israel’s claims and legal interpretations regarding it has any bearing on its acts of aggression in international waters.
This is not an act of piracy.  Piracy is an act of aggression carried out in international waters by individuals and not by states.
The following internationally binding treaties, charters, and agreements are relevant to the attack by Israel:
1. Article 6 of the Charter Provisions of the Nuremburg Trials
(a) Crimes against Peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
(b) Crimes against Humanity:  namely murder…deportation, and any other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the execution of or in connection with any crime…whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.
2. 1907 Hague Regulation Convention (XI) Relative to Certain Restrictions with Regard to the Exercise of the Right of Capture in Naval War
Chapter II – The Exemption from Capture of Certain Vessels
Article 4.  Vessels charged with religious, scientific, or philanthropic missions are likewise exempt from capture.
Salient points:
The standard for judging the Israeli acts is objective and not subjective. It is irrelevant what Israeli ministers, generals, admirals, or soldiers thought or intended.  The test is in what they did.
What they did was engage in acts of war using weapons of war in international waters against vessels that are protected not only in peacetime but also in times of war.
Israel has therefore committed both crimes against the peace and crimes against humanity.
These are crimes that have international jurisdiction.  Israeli political and military personnel can be named in trials held in any and all countries of the world.  If the Israelis do not attend the trials, they can be tried in abstentia, and those decisions in which the Israelis are found guilty can be executed anywhere in the world.
Because unarmed civilians were murdered by a preplanned military attack, capital crimes have been committed.  While it would appear that the international community no longer finds capital punishment civilized, the punishments for these capital crimes can be multiple life sentences.
These crimes give rise to damage claims for huge sums of money and Israeli accounts can be blocked using decisions finding them guilty.
The unarmed vessels were on a philanthropic mission, carrying civilians and humanitarian supplies.  Even if Israel were in a state of war with any of these countries, it would be prohibited from capturing the vessels according to the terms of the Hague Convention of 1907.
It follows, therefore, that Israel was first of all not allowed to attack these vessels militarily, and then not to board these vessels by force, capture these vessels, attack the passengers, imprison them on the vessels, forcibly remove them from the vessels, and steal their private property in the form of cameras, computers, clothes, etc.
Every single act carried out by the Israeli military forces in international waters no May 31, 2010, are unqualifiedly and absolutely violations of international law.
Lynda Brayer is an Israeli human rights lawyer who specialized in the laws of war and international law in representing Palestinians.  She is a graduate of the Hebrew University Faculty of Law and lives in Haifa.   She can be reached at
Appendix: The Gaza Freedom Flotilla included six vessels on May 31, 2010 1. Mavi Marmara, passenger boat, Turkey 2. Sofia, cargo ship, Greece 3. Gaza I, cargo ship, Turkey 4. Gaza II, cargo ship, Turkey 5. Spendoni,  passenger ship, Greece
6. Challenger I, passenger ship, United States
At least nine passengers were killed, eight Turkish citizens and one U.S. citizen, Furkan Dogan, 19. The majority of the passengers aboard the ships were Turkish citizens.  There were also nationals from Britain, Australia, Greece, Canada, Malaysia, Algeria, Serbia, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Kuwait and the United States.
Three German parliamentarians were aboard the Turkish boat that was stormed. There were also two Palestinian Members of the Knesset.  Swedish author Henning Mankell was also on board the flotilla.
Despite Israeli spin-doctors, and Israel firsters in the United States, it’s clear that Israel has broken international laws. Contact your government to call for an independent international investigation of Israel’s attack on the flotilla, an end to the Gaza blockade, and an immediate halt to U.S. aid to Israel.
Phone the White House: 202-456-1414 or 202-456-1111. Or contact President Barack Obama by e-mail
Phone the U.S. State Department Public Information Line: 202-647-6575 ext 1
Contact your members of Congress:
Contact your local newspapers, radio stations, religious leaders… everyone you know. Click here to subscribe to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

Marion Y (322)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 12:23 pm
Excellent post, Carole! I will be taking action and use this article as reference.

Gillian M (218)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 4:15 pm
Carol, talk about being blind. The Israelis warned the ships bringing "aid" that they would be prevented from breaching the legal blockade. To breach a legal blockade could be described as an act of war against which Israel has every right to protect itself. Please don't give me the rubbish about there being no weapons on board, there were Muslim suicide members aboard with knives to attack and kill Israeli soldiers (see youtube for Israeli soldiers being attacked whilst unarmed with metal rods, chairs and being thrown over board) AND we do not know if there were any bombs on board.

ALL of the people here seem to think that Israel has no right to exist. The right to a legal existence of Israel was given by the League of Nations and reconfirmed by the United Nations. The Arabs rejected the land that they were to share giving the land LEGALLY (as confirmed in an international court) to Israel.

Now, all you self confessed anti-Semites should note that Jordan is part of the land originally given to Israel and the original Arabs. NO-ONE is condemning Jordan or their treatment of the Palestinians nor have they ever done so. This is not new news just old news that everyone chooses to ignore because the truth means that Jew bashing can continue under the guise of Israel bashing.

I should also point out that everyone of you is using Israeli technology. Someone in your family owes their life to Israeli medical research, technology or software. That any disaster finds Israel helping out and donating aid and offering technology to help prevent such a disaster, where possible. They took the best medical care to Haiti, they dug in the Twin Towers being the world's experts on doing so. Now, why are they the experts? Something to do with suicide bombers attacking children?

Now, what have ANY OF THE ARAB countries offered to the world in the last few centuries other than terrorists?

The terrible suffering that the Palestinians (who did not come into existence until after the 1967 War) go through is totally down to Hamas and Hezbollah. It does not matter what the name of the terrorist group is but what they do to their own people. You all choose to ignore this and by doing so allow the terrible suffering that happens.

I pity you all with your hatred, it must be a sad and bitter life.

Frank G (211)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 4:58 pm
Only in the minds of Israel and its supporters is the draconian blockade of Gaza legal. The blockade extends far beyond military supplies to even mundane articles needed for a decent standard of living, such as sewing machines, fabric, paper, wood, fishing nets, fresh meat, goats, chicks, and seeds and nuts. It causes terrible, unnecessary suffering among Gazans and is plainly designed to do so.

The evidence shows that the "weapons" employed by the defenders were merely items found at hand aboard the aid ship. The activists on the ships included internationally renowned personages, including authors, film-makers, politicians, journalists and a Nobel peace laureate - who had every intention of traveling peacefully to deliver the aid to Gaza.

Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip

Human crisis in Gaza 'is worst for 40 years'

UN rights chief condemns Israel's blockade of Gaza

Why won't Israel allow Gazans to import coriander?

Israel blocks pasta shipment to Gaza, and tensions boil

Partial List of Items Prohibited/Permitted into the Gaza Strip

World Health Agencies Condemn Israeli Blockade of Gaza (Again)

U.N. Human Rights Council Calls on Israel to End Siege Imposed on Gaza

Flotilla activist expulsions underway (British view of the blockaid)

Vijay Walia (3)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 5:40 pm
Every thing is not roses. Some are burdens. But burdens too have positive bearing .

Thursday June 3, 2010, 6:11 pm
Gillian-"All of you here is using Israeli technology". This sounds very similar to Germany master race philosophy to me. If Israeli's are so smart, why did 6 million of you died in the hologaust?I Why do you have to kill so many Palestinians and not use some social etiquette to get along with your neighbors? If you are so smart, why are you put out of just able every country after a certain time?

sraeli thinks all of the world is against Israel. Guess what? Now because of you actions, practically all of the world is against Israel. Be careful what you wish for Gillian.

No, this isn't isuperior ntelligence. This is arrogance, pride, and exhubirance. The Israeli's are so ignorant, that they fell into a trap and used excessive force to attack a little boat and caused a worldwide uproar against them. Now Israel finds itself boxed into a situation in which only the United States can save them.

This looks like the behavior of an adolescent. How long do you think the United States can afford to carry you with all of the economic problems, three wars, and now environmental problems.

And don't mention the twin towers because if building #7 is ever investigated thoroughly a pandora's box will open into 911 that I believe will implicate Israel heavily in the planning and execution.

Sam H (410)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 6:14 pm
I have a feeling that this gal, Gillian, may actually believe what she's saying. Heck, she may even believe that she was chosen by G-d to enlighten the rest of us. Now, who are we to argue with such a person and such a belief?

How can a person in his right mind declare that Israel is a burden on the United States? Such a person must be ignorant, criminal and an anti-Semite. I think he is a criminal alright. But to characterize Meir Dagan, chief of the Mossad, as ignorant and an anti-Semite is a bit of a stretch, I'd say. If we were to call him ignorant, what are we to call Netanyahu?

In terms of performance, many may argue that he may have delivered better results for Israel, in his line of expertise, than Benjamin Netanyahu ever did.

"The Israelis warned the ships." BIG FUCKING DEAL! The who world WARNED Israel to stop its criminal activities.

But, I guess, the whole world doesn't have G-d's ear. Only Israel does.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 6:19 pm

Sam, I'm glad I'm not the only one!

I keep hearing, "They attacked the Israelis as soon as they came aboard." and "Why didn't they just go along?" and then point to videos where the passengers sang anti-Israeli songs . . . SO WHAT???

They seem to be OBLIVIOUS to the fact that the Israelis, armed to the teeth, INVADED AND COMMANDEERED a humanitarian ship WITH ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT TO DO SO!


(No. I don't think I'd invite them back either!)

. (0)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 7:21 pm
Carole, why wouldn't you check international law first before you post something? Israelies had full rights to inspect a ship coming to a port under its jurisdiction, and Gaza is still under Israel's jurisdiction as per Oslo accords. And people are right when they ask: if Marmara was not transferring weapons, why did they refuse the check, which other ships routinely do?

Also, only a complete idiot may believe your statement about Israelis being "armed to the teeth", when they see on video how these soldiers are viciously beaten by the Arab mob, beaten while already laying on the ground, and then thrown out of the ship to die.

Turkey must be hold responsible for this provocation. Israel must prosecute all instigators of this tragedy, Turkish government, IHH, other terror sponsors, and get compensated for all its wounded soldiers.

Families of killed and wounded Marmara militants may sue IHH and Turkey as well. IHH, the extremist funding organization feeding Al-Queda, Hamas and others of that ilk has deep pockets and must be hold responsible for the trouble it makes.


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 7:45 pm

I'm sorry you didn't comprehend my previous post, written by . . . "an Israeli human rights lawyer who specialized in the laws of war and international law in representing Palestinians. She is a graduate of the Hebrew University Faculty of Law and lives in Haifa."

(But then I don't consider teaching "remedial reading" to be my obligation.)

Sam H (410)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 8:05 pm
Oh, Carole, don't be so heartless. Mark needs our help. And he may even have a point. I heard about an Israeli investigation by the most prominent dentist in Israel that confirmed that those Israeli commandos who murdered the peace activists didn't have any arms in their teeth. So how could you say that the Israelis are "armed to the teeth"?

They may be up to their ears in nuclear weapons, but that's a totally different specialty!

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 8:12 pm
Sam wrote:

I heard about an Israeli investigation by the most prominent dentist in Israel that confirmed that those Israeli commandos who murdered the peace activists didn't have any arms in their teeth. So how could you say that the Israelis are "armed to the teeth"?

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .... oooooops.

Good one.

Thanks for the laugh.

IE Ries (237)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 8:25 pm
Patricia Lasek, I take issue with your comments about Africa.

Have a look at what the USA reports as aid given to other nations:

Now let's talk.

The nations comprising Africa don't get, in sum total, the type of aid that goes directly to Israel. If they did, South Africa would be a powerhouse weapons depot with shining infrastructure rivaling that of the Apartheid era (they get no aid at all), to be sure. Zimbabwe wouldn't be in social and economic collapse and on the verge of civil war, and Botswana actually would get aid; their economic growth rate is on par with Europe's (I didn't need the document to know that, I am familiar enough with that nation). My favourite little local destination, Swaziland, also gets NOTHING. The northern Arab states like Egypt get the most of all African states, but Libya sure isn't getting a dime of aid.

If the any state in Africa deserves aid and help from the USA, it is Liberia because of the history. When civil strife became so heated, the Liberians pleaded and begged "Big Brother America" to come settle disputes because they trust Americans and respect Americans, aside from the history that created that nation. But yet, they get a pittance in comparison.

Africa isn't the vacuum of aid you make it out to be, and I will thank you not throw all the diverse nations into a general portrayal that isn't accurate.

Your comparison of Israel to Haiti is ridiculous as Haiti isn't threatening other nations, launching commando attacks against civilians (unarmed!) brining aid in or living under refugee conditions internally, and doesn't SPY on its benefactor nations the way Israel does the Americans. Did you know that when 911 happened, impoverished Haiti reached out to its powerful neighbor and offered monetary aid and personnel to help, such was their concern for us? Did you know that? Even Cuba offered assistance to us, though it was foolishly rebuffed.

And Europe getting aid? I count, aside from Romania, Poland and Ukraine, the former Yugoslavian states (Balkans) and they collectively get very small amounts. Where do the Europeans get, then?

Look at how many African and European nations who got NOTHING and then tell me again, who's getting the lion's share of aid? Besides the Iraq and Afghanistan was zones, it's clear: ISRAEL. They certainly aren't a 3rd world nation, except for where the Palestinians live.

Why do they top the charts? Ask yourself THAT.


IE Ries (237)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 8:34 pm

Gillian - perhaps you need to separate the difference between "no right to exist" and "act civilly." What most people here object to isn't the existence of any nation state, it's the hypocrisy in which the Israeli government operates, treating an aid flotilla as though it were a military convoy to attack.

If I saw soldiers dropping down on me and I was on a civilian peace mission, I might well grab the dinner table knife and try to defend myself before I was SHOT AND KILLED BY COMMANDOS WHO BOARDED THE VESSEL TO ATTACK FIRST. Unarmed civilians were shot dead by soldiers and others lost eyes and suffered other grave injuries and you're quibbling about "right to exist?"

How about minority rights inside of Israel? Are the Palestinians allowed to exist? Are you sure? Is that why they are isolated in refugee-camp like conditions making it impossible for them to work and live without being reduced to kindegarteners begging to be allowed to travel up and down the road to work and buy groceries? Where are THOSE people's rights?

What I see is persecution and subjegation by Israel being excused and tolerated when it wouldn't be by any other nation. Why is that? Care to explain?

The days of "Oh poor me, I'm a victim!" are over and that excuse to persecute others for any reason, at will, in any form will have to be accounted for and it's loooooong overdue.

Marion Y (322)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 8:44 pm
So many great comments, but nailed it!

Sam H (410)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 9:14 pm
Thank you Rooibos for taking the time to repudiate those unsubstantiated claims made by this person called Gillian.

Nothing was more ridiculous than trying to compare the aid to Haiti to the aid given to Israel. The aid to these countries differ not only in amount, but in purpose as well. The aid to Haiti supposedly is meant to save lives. The aid to Israel, whether intended for that purpose or not, ends up being used to take lives away.

Another point I like to make is that the aid given Egypt was given for the sole purpose of driving a wedge between Egypt and the other neighboring countries who support the Palestinians in their struggle against the Israel. So even that aid was designed with Israel's interests in mind.

. (0)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 10:11 pm
Roobois, try your idea on jumping with a knife on a person with authority next time when you are asked by a policeman to identify youself and show your driver license.

The ship was coming to a port under Israeli jurisdiction. Yes, Gaza waters currently are still under Israeli jurisdiction according to Oslo accords. The blockade on Hamas was announced long time ago to prevent these terrorists from re-arming. Israeli don't like rockets falling on their cities and villages, and I understand them.

Sam, aid of 30 BILLION is given to Muslim countries, why do you count only 2B given to Egypt?

Well said, Gillian!

Frank G (211)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 10:13 pm
Mark B.> "only a complete idiot may believe your statement about Israelis being "armed to the teeth"..."

Only an idiot would believe that these IDF commandos were not armed to the teeth. Of course they were armed to the teeth, which is what enabled them to perpetrate their massacre. The fact that the defenders got the better of a few of the invaders who were sliding down ropes is irrelevant. The invaders stormed the ship with tear gas bombs and stun grenades, and the lethal weaponry covering them quickly began massacring the defenders.

Mark B.> "Carole, why wouldn't you check international law first before you post something? Israelies had full rights to inspect a ship coming to a port under its jurisdiction, and Gaza is still under Israel's jurisdiction as per Oslo accords. And people are right when they ask: if Marmara was not transferring weapons, why did they refuse the check, which other ships routinely do?"

Israel's so-called "inspection" was a brutal hijacking on the high seas to enforce its cruel and illegal blockade. The aid convey didn't willingly allow its humanitarian mission to be cut off by the Israelis because it knows very well that the blockade prohibits much of the needed humanitarian supplies it carried. Nor can the Israeli government be trusted, which has so often in the past arbitrarily barred relief shipments. (Sources in my last post.)

Just C.'s post above reviews some of the laws and treaties which demonstrate that Israel's blockade and its hijacking of the aid convoy is illegal. This can also be plainly seen in the General Provisions of the San Remo Manual on International Law, the very one that the Israelis cite as justification for their attack:

"4. The principles of necessity and proportionality apply equally to armed conflict at sea and require that the conduct of hostilities by a State should not exceed the degree and kind of force, not otherwise prohibited by the law of armed conflict, required to repel an armed attack against it and to restore its security.

5. How far a State is justified in its military actions against the enemy will depend upon the intensity and scale of the armed attack for which the enemy is responsible and the gravity of the threat posed."

136. The following vessels are exempt from capture:

...(ii) vessels engaged in humanitarian missions, including vessels carrying supplies indispensable o the survival of the civilian population, and vessels engaged in relief actions and rescue operations;

San Remo Manual on International Law

It is obvious that the scale of Gaza's "armed attack" (if it can be called such) is relatively small, as is the "gravity of the threat posed" by Gaza. It is also obvious that the vessels were engaged in relief actions and bringing humanitarian aid. Israel's brutal raid on the ships was clearly disproportionate to the "threat" they represented.

Israel's blockade extends far beyond any military necessity, as I detailed in my last post. It is in fact an act of collective punishment against a population - which is plainly illegal under international law.

Ultimately, questions of legality cannot be arbitrated by one rogue state or another, but only by international bodies and rulings. And the international consensus regarding Israel's blockade and attack on the aid convoy is very clear, as the citations in my next post show.

Frank G (211)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 10:15 pm
Citations of international authorities on the illegality of Israel's blockade and attack:

Secretary-General Ban said the violence aboard the Turkish ship could have been avoided if Israel had heeded earlier calls to lift its three-year long blockade which has prevented essential goods from reaching Gaza's 1.5 million residents.

"This tragedy only highlights the serious underlying problem," he said. "The long-running closure imposed on the Gaza Strip is counter-productive, unsustainable and wrong. It punishes innocent civilians. It must be lifted by the Israeli authorities immediately."

Ban Ki-moon: Gaza Blockade 'Must be Lifted'
The Human Rights Council today demanded that Israel lift immediately the siege it had imposed on the occupied Gaza Strip, restore continued supply of fuel, food and medicine and reopen the border crossings.

In a resolution adopted by a roll-call vote of 30 in favour, one against and 15 abstentions, the sixth Special Session of the Council called for urgent international action to put an immediate end to the grave violations committed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the series of incessant and repeated Israeli military attacks and incursions therein and the siege of the occupied Gaza Strip.

U.N. Human Rights Council Calls on Israel to End Siege Imposed on Gaza
U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay has accused Israel of violating the rules of war with its blockade stopping people and goods from moving in and out of the Gaza Strip.

Pillay says in a 34-page report on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that the blockade amounts to collective punishment of civilians under the Geneva Conventions.

UN rights chief condemns Israel's blockade of Gaza
Recent statements of United Nations Security Council Representatives:

Stressing that the situation in Gaza was not sustainable, the Council re‑emphasized the importance of the full implementation of resolutions 1850 (2008) and 1860 (2009). In that context, it reiterated its grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and stressed the need for the sustained and regular flow of goods and people to Gaza, as well as unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout the enclave.
MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) said...the events could not be viewed in isolation; clearly, Israeli restrictions on access to Gaza must be lifted, in line with resolution 1860 (2009). The current closure was unacceptable and counterproductive, and a durable resolution to the Gaza crisis must be ensured. That was among the highest international priorities of the new British Government.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI (Brazil) said her country had been shocked upon learning of the attacks by Israel today on the vessel carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza. Brazil vehemently condemned those attacks. There was no justification for a military operation against a humanitarian convoy, she said, adding that it had reportedly taken place in international waters...

She said the deplorable incident showed the need to immediately lift the Gaza blockade. Resolution 1860 (2009) called for the unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza, including food, fuel and medical treatment, but despite universal and repeated calls, Israel had systematically refused to lift the blockade. The closures also violated the basic human rights of approximately 1.5 million people, and nearly 18 months after “Operation Cast Lead”, Palestinians were still forced to live in entirely unacceptable conditions. She joined the international community in strongly urging Israel to immediately suspend the unlawful blockade.
ALEXANDER PANKIN (Russian Federation) expressed regret for all those that had died, and said that there must be a clarification of all the facts. The act was a gross violation of the norms of international law. It illustrated the need for a prompt cessation of the blockade against Gaza.
YANG TAO (China) said his country had also been shocked by the Israeli attack on a multinational convoy carrying humanitarian aid. He condemned Israeli actions targeting humanitarian workers and civilians, and expressed his country’s condolences to the families of the victims. China supported a quick response by the Council. At present, the humanitarian situation remained grim in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in Gaza, and he urged Israel to immediately and fully implement resolution 1860 (2009) and fully open the borders and lift the blockade.
GÉRARD ARAUD (France) said the human toll of the operation had led his country to believe that there had been an unjustifiable and disproportionate use of force, which it condemned...The incident was a reminder of the need to re-establish humanitarian access to Gaza under resolution 1860 (2009), and France called for a lifting of the unsustainable and illegal Gaza blockade

[And so on and so on, national representative after representative condemning Israel's outrageous "enforcement" of its illegal blockade of Gaza.]

Security Council Condemns Acts Resulting in Civilian Deaths during Israeli Operation 31 May 2010
[British] Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that the incident underlined the need for Israeli to lift its “unjustifiable and untenable” blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

“What is going on in Gaza has become a humanitarian catastrophe,” he said.

Flotilla activist expulsions underway
Robin Churchill, a professor of international law at the University of Dundee in Scotland, said the Israeli commandos boarded the ship outside of Israel's territorial waters.

"As far as I can see, there is no legal basis for boarding these ships," Churchill said.

Condemnation Follows Israeli Raid On Gaza Flotilla
Goldstone said his central criticism of Israel is that its strategy intentionally applied disproportionate force in Gaza to inflict widespread damage on the civilian population. His report found that the Israeli air and ground attacks destroyed 5,000 homes; put 200 factories out of operation, including the only flour factory in the country; systematically destroyed egg-producing chicken farms; and bombed sewage and water systems.

“If that isn’t collective punishment, what is?’’ Goldstone asked.

Goldstone defends UN report on Gaza

IE Ries (237)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 10:43 pm
Mark, you state: "try your idea on jumping with a knife on a person with authority next time when you are asked by a policeman to identify youself and show your driver license."

I don't have to. Police officers aren't known to pull over vehicles and STORM THEM, firing weapons on approach and wrestling people to the ground immediately as a matter of course. They only do so if attacked first.

The fact is that the Israeli soldiers met with resistence AFTER they ILLEGALLY boarded vessels.

Get it?


Moral: If they had stayed on their own vessels and not boarded other vessels in INTERNATIONAL WATERS - where they had NO jurisdiction - they would not have met with the resistence they actually provoked.


Frank G (211)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 11:02 pm
Well said, Rooibos Bird. If your ship is brutally invaded in the night, with tear gas bombs, stun grenades, etc. and masked men descending upon you, you have a right to defend yourself. Witnesses also report that shots were fired by the Israelis before the invaders even entered the ship. Fortunately, the true facts of the IDF brutality are now coming out.

Mark B > "The blockade on Hamas was announced long time ago to prevent these terrorists from re-arming."

Nonsense. Israel's draconian blockade extends far beyond military supplies to even mundane articles needed for a decent standard of living, such as sewing machines, fabric, paper, wood, fishing nets, fresh meat, goats, seeds and nuts, chocolate. It causes terrible, unnecessary suffering among Gazans and is plainly designed to do so.

Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip

Why won't Israel allow Gazans to import coriander?

Israel blocks pasta shipment to Gaza, and tensions boil

Partial List of Items Prohibited/Permitted into the Gaza Strip

World Health Agencies Condemn Israeli Blockade of Gaza (Again)

IE Ries (237)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 11:08 pm

Frank, I cannot fathom why Mark keeps mentioning weapons and rearming when none were found! He's going on about this like George W. Bush, Jr. insisting that Iraq had weapons of mass distraction (ha ha) to justify the war there, and the truth was confirmed Iraq had no such weapons at all. *snort*

Frank G (211)
Thursday June 3, 2010, 11:41 pm
"Mark B." is just putting out Hasbara talking points, Rooibos, and some of them are pretty ridiculous. All the crew had for "weapons" was what they could find at hand. A stick or a pipe, maybe a pocket knife. Some of them tried to repel boarders. This is the way some men are going to react when assaulted like this. I personally might have responded differently, but I can't blame them.

Gillian M (218)
Friday June 4, 2010, 5:07 am
No-one said that the Israelis were not armed but that boarded the boats, legally, AND WERE ATTACKED.

But, of course, why let the truth get in the way of anti-Semitism.

I have never said that Israel is perfect but only that it has a right to exist and to defend itself. None of the neo-Nazis here agree with this sentiment. Whatever Israel does you judge to be excessive but the right to protect itself against terrorism and International Law does give them certain rights which you want removed.

All of you owe Israel for many inventions, none of it has anything to do with Hitler. Many of you owe your lives or members of your family owe their lives to both Jewis hand Israeli inventions. What I am pointing out is that this tiny little country, and the few people who live outside of it, make a great contribution to all societies disproportionately. I suspect that none of you are capable or appreciating or understanding any of this.

As an example of blind and uninformed bigotry, Frank states that all the crew had for weapons were pocket knives. Actually, many had large curved daggers, metal pipes ready cut and also chairs on deck. Now, if this was meant to be a peaceful aid convoy, why did people go armed? If you look at the videos, you will see Israelis landing on the ships, as the convoy was warned, without any weapons in their hands. As they landed they were attacked and beaten with poles and chairs, stabbed and thrown overboard. If this was peaceful, why did the protesters not just stand their and wait? The answer is that many of these protesters were Muslim suicide members who hoped to be killed for propaganda purposes and, boy, did you all fall for it! But then you wanted to.

Peaceful means quiet and acquiescent, not armed and attacking. I assume that none of you want to know the difference, it means that you could be wrong. But as you have already judged Israel and Jews to be guilty of everthing before you made inane and racist comments, I can only assume that you are not interested in truth and justice, just the desire to bash Israel, again!


Gillian M (218)
Friday June 4, 2010, 5:20 am
By the way, just to add to this, there is still no criticism of Jordan or any of the terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah who ill treat the Palestinians. No comment on the treatment of a people who only came into existence in 1967 and were robbed blind by Arafat. No comment of how nearly 2 million Palestinians live freely in Israel but no Jews are allowed to live in Gaza or any other Arab country. No comment on the deliberate murders of babies, both Israeli and Palestinian, by terrorist groups (babies are shot by snipers in buggies or in bed or children are blown up on a school bus). No comment on terrorists who use very young children to carry bombs and blow them up.

No comments on the welfare and medical treatment given to Palestinians, both child and adult, when needed.

I could continue but the behaviour of the terrorists sickens me and your failure to acknowledge any of this is appalling and abysmal. It merely highlights your ongoing anti-Semitism as it goes beyond just Israel bashing.

Yes, Rooibos, Germany comes into this, your behaviour and the behaviour of many people on this board is a true reflection of Hitler's hate. There is little genuine criticism here but sheer downright hatred. I'm saddend for all of you who have so little else in their life.

In the meantime I will return to something far more worthwhile than talking to brick walls, trying to help women and children in societies where they are married off as little children and forcefully raped, they are sexually abused, mistreated, murdered and hung whilst little children. These can be found in Arab & Persian countries, Africa,Asia, Indonesia, America.......

Gillian M (218)
Friday June 4, 2010, 5:23 am

Just received, and what are you going to do about it?

Marion Y (322)
Friday June 4, 2010, 5:56 am
"Yes, Rooibos, Germany comes into this, your behaviour and the behaviour of many people on this board is a true reflection of Hitler's hate. There is little genuine criticism here but sheer downright hatred. I'm saddend for all of you who have so little else in their life."

Distractions, delusions, diversions, deceptions...everything but the truth. Accusing the truthseekers and messengers of that which you are...a supporter of a hate-filled nation that carries out atrocities over and over and over again...a nation that has lied so many times and cried wolf, that the world has turned on Israel for the fraud and cancer it is. I'm afraid you have met the hate you accuse on the innocent in this thread and it resides within you.

It is obvious you use the same talking points and propaganda we see all over the web. Try something different for a change. The truth in your own words would be refreshing and positive.

Luisa Fox (144)
Friday June 4, 2010, 6:02 am

Gillian wrote: No comment on the treatment of a people who only came into existence in 1967

Really Gillian, that is a rather broad brush you paint about the Palestinian people isn't it?

The Philistines = Palestinians.

The Philistines figure prominently in the Old Testament, above all as Israel's worst enemy. Their presence in southern Canaan in the days of the last judges and the first kings was a serious threat to the southernmost Israelite tribes in particular. After the defeats they suffered against David, the Philistines saw their powerful position weaken considerably, however.

n the past twenty years much has been written about the Philistines, primarily on account of the results of recent excavations in Ashdod, Ekron, and Ashkelon, well-known cities which together with Gath and Gaza constituted the Philistine Pentapolis.1 The excavations have produced new interpretations of literary sources describing the period when the Philistines were a strong military nation, as well as a new understanding of their culture, their origins, and their presence in Canaan and Egypt.


It may be said in general that the theories about the origins of the Philistines have not fundamentally changed in the course of time. The idea that the Philistines settled themselves during the mass migration of the 13th and 12th centuries B.C. and that they belonged to the 'Sea Peoples', as the invaders were named in Egyptian texts, is both found in recent and older literature.2 Recent excavations and views on literary sources have only completed and further underpinned the picture as far as the subject of this article is concerned.

The historical books of the Old Testament provide by far the most details about their origins.

The Old Testament

In the Old Testament the Philistines figured frequently during the period between judge Jephtah and the reign of king David. The Philistines constituted a threat to southern Israel and oppressed the Israelites notably during the days of judges Samson and Samuel. The main reason for their expansion was the superior quality of their weapons.3


Anyway, the old theories about the origins of the Philistines have remained broadly unchanged, while new excavations and reinterpretations of ancient literary references have produced new evidence or brought nuance in existing views.:

The Phallistines

IE Ries (237)
Friday June 4, 2010, 7:02 am
Gillian, accusing me of something I haven't done is inappropriate and is not acceptable.

I have criticized BEHAVIOUR and actions. Those things have nothing inherently to do with one's ethnicity, race, sex, religion, or anything else. Any person was capable of the behaviours discussed here. If you have trouble separating a due criticism of a person's actions as separate from some physical feature about them, you have an issue.

No one here has made a slanderous remarks about Israelis or Jews as a people because that *would* be something other than critique of one's actions. It's been about the behaviours or those directly involved, i.e., those government officials who made the decisions, and those soldiers who used deadly force. You refuse to acknowledge that. I have been judiciously made it clear that I am aware that not all Israeli citizens or Jewish people generally agree with the decisions and actions of the Israeli government. How is this "hatred?"

Where in those descriptions can you point out to me or anyone that "hate" was aimed at a people generally? Again, we are talking about the actions of those government officials over the course of time.

You know nothing of my life, Gillian, and what's really and truly obvious is that the bullies whine the loudest when the tables are turned, and in thread, the tables turned. If a citizen cannot make an objective criticism of a BEHAVIOUR without being called prejucided or being intimidated, we have problem. A big one. If you genuinely have the misguided notion that any and all criticism of a government automatically equates with "hatred," how in the HELL do you think *I* feel about the constant bashing, dismissive and denigrating statements I hear about Africa? I can play that game, too, you know.

If you are incapable of separating a criticism of a goverment and its decision from actual prejudice, it would appear you are incapable of honest dialogue about any world events as you interpret any statement at all as "hatred" and yourself then make stereotypical and prejudiced assumptions about people's lives and how they do or do not "feel."

In short, telling me that any criticism I make of any govermentment is tantamount to "hatred" and "prejudice" simply because you don't like the fact that someone is making an observation crosses the line, Gillian.

Tell me, since you've made assumptions about me as a person, is your first and immediate response to anyone who confronts you about your actions or behaviours to accuse them of "hatred" and "Hitler's hate" and so on *because* they confronted and criticised you? Is *that* your response to someone else's questions about your actions or behaviours? I should hope not.


Frank G (211)
Friday June 4, 2010, 7:03 am
Gillian> "As an example of blind and uninformed bigotry, Frank states that all the crew had for weapons were pocket knives."

Gillian, that is a flat out lie, I never said that. Shame on you. What I said was "All the crew had for "weapons" was what they could find at hand. A stick or a pipe, maybe a pocket knife." I was obviously just giving a few examples. It's possible that some of them had "daggers" as you put it. Ships carry various types of knives for various purposes. The photo I see on display by the IDF contains what appears to be ONE curved dagger and a small collection of kitchen knives and pocket knives. And certainly there were chairs. All these "weapons" were makeshift and nothing one would deliberately take to a fight against the high-powered firearms of commandos. The ship's crew was responding defensively.

IE Ries (237)
Friday June 4, 2010, 8:23 am
"But, of course, why let the truth get in the way of anti-Semitism."

Oh, that's right: any criticism of a governmental decision automatically equates with anti-Semitism, hatred, prejudice, blah blah blah. If you can't take criticism, that's fine. But don't claim that criticism is actually prejudice. Observers will not bullied into silence because you choose to mislabel any form of criticism as "prejudice" in order to justify the actions of those responsible.

Rebecca F (475)
Saturday June 5, 2010, 5:19 am
Very well-spoken, Rooibos.

Rebecca F (475)
Saturday June 5, 2010, 5:30 am
"Sam, aid of 30 BILLION is given to Muslim countries" Are the Muslim countries you refer to here Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan? What else could they be? It is fairly obvious why you would choose not to mention the names of these countries. It certainly does undermine the deception you were attempting. Yes, the US does spend lots of money in these countries, but I don't think anyone can successfully argue that the expenditures have resulted in empowerment or strength for these nations. On the contrary, US expenditures in these countries have resulted in their significant weakening. Therefore, it does not really seem accurate to call the money spent in these nations "aid," does it?

Kevin Miller (26)
Sunday June 6, 2010, 10:30 am
To Gillian- about Israeli Technology....their technology is either bankrolled by US govt aide, or secrets given by the US govt itself. One of the only other countries to have UAVs and Predator Drone (missle strikes) in the world are the US and Israel...Those are super top secret developmental technologies and we only share them with Israel, and we use it to bomb and terrorize the civilian Islamic populace in the Mid-east. I say terrorize because it is true. We force people that dont want to snitch on their family members, by putting fear in their hearts and minds that at any moment, death from above might come. Now Imagine if you had to leave in that situation, who would be the terrorist then? (peace is not achieved through war, it may only be obtained through peace)

Kevin Miller (26)
Sunday June 6, 2010, 10:33 am
I saw to both side though, listen to "the word of god" that is talked about in all of your scriptures...cause im pretty sure it says something about treat others how you want to be treated. (now if you want to get bombed and shot, I dont think that means you can just start doing that) I mean do we all really have to write all the moral guidelines down on paper for all the religious zealots to have a guide to live life?

Jelica R (144)
Sunday June 6, 2010, 9:15 pm

Gillian: "..Actually, many had large curved daggers, metal pipes ready cut and also chairs on deck."

Really, CHAIRS ON DECK? Is this a new AMD? I'm upset, because I have chairs on my terrace. Will I be raid if I try to move them a couple of yards towards Israel? I also have some knives in my kitchen, and a pipe may be pulled from the installations. I'm damned!

Jelica R (144)
Sunday June 6, 2010, 9:19 pm

Off topic...

Guardian, Sunday 6 June 2010 21.20 BST Gaza blockade: Iran offers escort to next aid convoy, Ian Black, Middle East editor
Iran has warned that it could send Revolutionary Guard naval units to escort humanitarian aid convoys seeking to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza – a move that would certainly be challenged by Israel.
Israel's no-compromise attitude to aid convoys could be tested again after two Lebanese organisations pledged to send boats to Gaza in the next few days. Reporters Without Borders is attempting to assemble 25 European activists and 50 journalists for a boat leaving Beirut. The Free Palestine Movement is planning a similar attempt.

George Galloway, the founder of Viva Palestina, announced in London that two simultaneous convoys "one by land via Egypt and the other by sea" would set out in September to break the Gaza blockade. The sea convoy of up to 60 ships will travel around the Mediterranean gathering ships, cargo and volunteers.

IE Ries (237)
Monday June 7, 2010, 7:14 pm

Ssssh, Jelica! Don't talk about those chairs on your deck or the Israeli commandos will drop from the sky and pounce on you, too, wrestle you to the ground, injure you, and THEN perhaps decide to ask what you use those chairs for, exactly. After that, they will inform you that they have a right to defend themselves and their nation, confiscate the chairs, and deport you from your own country!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday June 7, 2010, 7:27 pm

But, wait! I don't think Jelica even WANTED to go to Israel, did she? Didn't they take her without her permission?

(Time for me to go back to for re-programming.)

Yvonne Mendes Siblini (218)
Saturday June 12, 2010, 12:57 pm
There is so much of evidence and it all looks like the dance of the devils.

Abo r (107)
Thursday June 24, 2010, 12:00 am
The world wide knows that is a burden on the earth as a whole , it violates the human rights everywhere and puts its nose.
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