Israel seizes last flotilla boat in int’l waters 40 miles from Gaza

From the US Boat to Gaza:

Earlier today, the Israeli navy took control of the one boat from Freedom Flotilla II that had made it into international waters on their way to Gaza. The French-flagged boat – Dignite/Al Karama – carried 16 people from France, Canada, Greece, Sweden and Tunisia. They were stopped about 40 miles away from Gaza and after several hours the Israelis took control of the boat, bringing it to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

There are no reports of any injuries and we have heard the passengers were being arrested. We do not yet know how long they will be detained or what will happen to the boat.

We urge you to contact the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC to call for the immediate release of these people. And – most importantly – we must call on the Israeli government to end the siege and blockade of Gaza, and to treat the people of Palestine in compliance with international law!

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 57 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Bumblebye says:

    International waters again. Israeli piracy on the high seas, kidnap and abduction of crew.

    • lysias says:

      This time the attack is on a French-flagged vessel.

    • Fredblogs says:

      The fact that Israel is enforcing the blockade in international waters doesn’t affect the legality of the blockade. That is a true statement whether this is a legal blockade or not. “International waters” doesn’t matter under the law.

      link to icrc.org

      “146. Neutral merchant vessels are subject to capture outside neutral waters if they… (f) are breaching or attempting to breach a blockade. Capture of a neutral merchant vessel is exercised by taking such vessel as prize for adjudication.”

      They were attempting to breach the blockade. That means Israel gets to capture them anywhere “outside of neutral waters”. Keep reading before you respond.

      Under the law, “neutral waters” has a specific meaning:
      “14. Neutral waters consist of the internal waters, territorial sea, and, where applicable, the archipelagic waters, of neutral States.”

      So if the blockade is legal (it is), it’s legal to enforce in international waters. If it’s illegal for other reasons (it isn’t) then it is illegal to enforce anywhere. Either way, “international waters” is a non-issue, legally.

      So making a fuss about “international waters” makes as much sense as making a fuss about the fact that the ship was painted a particular color when the Israelis stopped it, or that the crew and passengers were wearing hats when the Israelis stopped the ship.

      • mig says:

        102. The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if:

        (a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or
        (b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.

        103. If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:

        (a) the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted; and
        (b) the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organization which offers guarantees of impartiality, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.

        104. The blockading belligerent shall allow the passage of medical supplies for the civilian population or for the wounded and sick members of armed forces, subject to the right to prescribe technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted.

        link to icrc.org

        1. The Gaza blockade is a denial of
        basic human rights in contravention
        of international law and amounts
        to collective punishment. The blockade
        severely restricts imports and exports, as
        well as the movement of people in and out of
        Gaza, and access to agricultural land and fishing
        waters. Gazans are unable to provide for their
        families and the quality of infrastructure and
        vital services has deteriorated.
        2. 2. Measures taken to ease the
        blockade in June 2010 have had little
        effect on the humanitarian situation.
        While imports have increased, they are still only
        at 45% of the pre-2007 levels. Exports remain
        tightly restricted and are limited to agricultural
        produce to Europe, and Gazan businesses
        cannot access their traditional markets of
        Israel and the West Bank. Access to land and
        sea remains highly restricted.
        3. While Israel has approved a range of
        infrastructure projects aimed to improve vital
        sanitation, education and health services in
        Gaza, few of these projects have been implemented. This is mainly due to
        the unwieldy, cumbersome approval
        process and difficulties in importing
        materials. This means Gazans have seen
        no real improvement in the quality of vital
        services.
        4. Thousands of people, many of them
        children, risk their lives smuggling
        goods through the tunnels under
        the border with Egypt every day.
        The thriving tunnel industry is a direct result
        of ongoing restrictions on the import of
        construction materials, the lack of employment
        opportunities, and the huge reconstruction
        needs in Gaza.
        5. Gazans remain isolated and cut
        off from the rest of the occupied
        Palestinian territory. Movement via the
        Israeli Erez crossing is prohibited for almost all
        Gazans, despite promises to ease restrictions.
        The Egyptian Rafah Crossing remains limited
        to 500 people per day, with hundreds of
        Palestinians denied passage each week.

        link to ochaopt.org

        link to ochaopt.org
        link to reliefweb.int
        link to reliefweb.int
        link to reliefweb.int
        link to reliefweb.int

        • Fredblogs says:

          Excellent. Now you’re cooking. You’re wrong, but you’re thinking. I like that.

          OK paragraph 102(a), doesn’t even raise a speedbump since the purpose of the blockade is to keep out weapons. Remember that it’s not the stopping of any individual ship that has to have “the sole purpose…” it’s the blockade itself. 102(b): getting closer. However, the damage to the civilian population _from the blockade_ is minimal since the ships that aren’t allowed through the blockade can go to Ashdod and send any humanitarian aid through there. And the military advantage to Israel is keeping huge shipments of heavy weapons that could hit half of Israel from Gaza out of the hands of people who have fired over 10,000 missiles at Israeli civilians since 2005.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          Still, at least you are in the ballpark and we can contend over subjective issues of fact, rather than your side just getting the law wrong.

          Paragraph 103: Israel does provide for free passage of food and other objects essential for survival, subject to search and distribution by an impartial humanitarian organization. There is plenty of food in Gaza. The only starvation (if any) is the result of inequitable distribution of food. Which is a problem in any Arab country, and for that matter, pretty much every non-Arab country. Gaza and the West Bank (considered as a though they were a country) have the 8th highest rate of obesity in men and the 3rd highest rate of obesity in women of any country in the world. Their men are obese at a rate almost as great as American men. Their women are obese at a rate greater than that of American women. Their life expectancy at birth (72) is about the same as that of Egypt (closest Arab country). Their literacy rates are higher than Egypt. Their infant mortality rate is lower. Their population growth rate (3.4%) is higher than Egypt’s (2.0%). The population of Gaza is better off than the population of Egypt, so it’s clear that nothing “essential for survival” is being kept out.

          P.104: “subject to search”. Again. Sorry, but all these rights are contingent on Israel’s right to prescribe how it gets done. You can send any medical or humanitarian aid you want to Gaza, through Ashdod, after it has been searched. One of the flotilla’s main characteristics is a refusal to be searched.

          There is nothing in any of those paragraphs relating to exports. Only humanitarian goods brought in.

          The rest of your stuff is a litany of cut and paste complaints about how life sucks for the Gazans. I’ll answer a couple specifically, but I’m not playing John Henry here, so a sum up at the end will have to do for the rest.
          “Gazan businesses cannot access their traditional markets of Israel…” –above post
          “German businesses cannot access their traditional markets of England…”-circa early 1940s

          “Gazans remain isolated and cut off from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory. Movement via the Israeli Erez crossing is prohibited for almost all Gazans, despite promises to ease restrictions. The Egyptian Rafah Crossing remains limited to 500 people per day, with hundreds of Palestinians denied passage each week.”

          To sum up your complaints, life sucks for the Gazans. Well, that’s what happens when you fire 10,000 missiles at someone that is vastly stronger than you militarily. Life is going to suck for you until you surrender. None of which makes the blockade illegal. What I find mindblowing: that Palestinian supporters think that Israel is obligated to make life rosy for people who are firing missiles at them and elected a group with a charter to exterminate all the Jews. The law says Israel can’t starve them to death, or otherwise exterminate them. It doesn’t say that Israel has to make life roses and rainbows for them.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Oh, shoot. I forgot to mention. None of those paragraphs have anything to do with whether “international waters” make a difference legally speaking.

        • mig says:

          fred :

          “OK paragraph 102(a), doesn’t even raise a speedbump since the purpose of the blockade is to keep out weapons. ”

          ++++ And same time has a affect to restrict food, construction etc materials to enter gaza strip. But im pretty confident that you find some explanation to that, how weapons flow restriction affects to other materials flow to gaza.

          “102(b): getting closer. However, the damage to the civilian population _from the blockade_ is minimal since the ships that aren’t allowed through the blockade can go to Ashdod and send any humanitarian aid through there.”

          ++++ While same time Israel itself restricts humanitarian materials flow to gaza. But i guess you can easily find some explanation how Israel would allow some ( flotilla material ), to enter gaza while blocking material delivered by UN organs.

          “Paragraph 103: Israel does provide for free passage of food and other objects essential for survival, subject to search and distribution by an impartial humanitarian organization. There is plenty of food in Gaza.”

          ++++ 54% of Gazans are food insecure and over 75% are aid dependent. So you read IDF spokesperson stories instead ?

          “. The only starvation (if any) is the result of inequitable distribution of food. Which is a problem in any Arab country, and for that matter, pretty much every non-Arab country. ”

          ++++ Yeah, we have heard this before :

          4# Everything sucks

          “P.104: “subject to search”. Again. Sorry, but all these rights are contingent on Israel’s right to prescribe how it gets done. You can send any medical or humanitarian aid you want to Gaza, through Ashdod, after it has been searched. One of the flotilla’s main characteristics is a refusal to be searched.”

          ++++ WHO has a little bit different view than IDF spokesperson/you.

          link to who.int

          “The rest of your stuff is a litany of cut and paste complaints about how life sucks for the Gazans.”

          ++++ But that doesnt have anything to do with blockade, huh ?

          “To sum up your complaints, life sucks for the Gazans.”

          ++++ My ? If you would be kind and address this “To sum up your complaints” to the right destination, which is here :

          link to ochaopt.org

          What they should “surrender” about ?
          And what has hamas said lately about that charter ? IDF didnt pass that memo to you i see….

        • Fredblogs says:

          fred :
          +fred+“OK paragraph 102(a), doesn’t even raise a speedbump since the purpose of the blockade is to keep out weapons. ”

          +mig+ And same time has a affect to restrict food, construction etc materials to enter gaza strip. But im pretty confident that you find some explanation to that, how weapons flow restriction affects to other materials flow to gaza.

          New-fred: which is irrelevant to 102(a), which says “sole purpose of starving or denying essentials”. 102(a) is really, really narrow. If you have any other purpose at all, then you don’t violate 102(a), even if _one_ of your purposes was starving the people (which it isn’t in this case).

          +fred+ “102(b): getting closer. However, the damage to the civilian population _from the blockade_ is minimal since the ships that aren’t allowed through the blockade can go to Ashdod and send any humanitarian aid through there.”

          +mig+ While same time Israel itself restricts humanitarian materials flow to gaza. But i guess you can easily find some explanation how Israel would allow some ( flotilla material ), to enter gaza while blocking material delivered by UN organs.

          New-fred: As far as I know, Israel doesn’t stop shipments without a legitimate reason. Like a shipment of “sugar” to Gaza, labeled as being European union aid, that turned out to be chemicals (potassium nitrate) used in making explosives and rocket fuel. link to americanthinker.com

          “Paragraph 103: Israel does provide for free passage of food and other objects essential for survival, subject to search and distribution by an impartial humanitarian organization. There is plenty of food in Gaza.”
          ++++ 54% of Gazans are food insecure and over 75% are aid dependent. So you read IDF spokesperson stories instead ?
          New-fred: “Food insecure” is pretty meaningless. Basically, if you don’t have a job or money in the bank you are “food insecure” because the food aid that you get all the time theoretically could be cut off and you don’t have money to buy it yourself. It’s like calling an 18 year old who lives with his rich parents “food insecure” because they could throw him out and he has no job. The term is a shock tactic to imply a crisis where none exists.

          The meaningful statistics are malnutrition (and starvation) rates compared to malnutrition rates of Egypt or other Middle Eastern Arab countries. Got any numbers on that?

          +mig+ WHO has a little bit different view than IDF spokesperson/you.

          New-fred: LOL. I wish I were an IDF spokesperson. Then I could get paid for this. As for your link to WHO, please don’t waste my time with links that don’t make your point. Nothing on that page said that Israel was keeping out shipments of medicine. They vaguely listed shortages of medicine among problems caused by the blockade _and the political divide between the West Bank and Gaza_. They are short because the Palestinians and their allies aren’t trying to ship in enough medicine, not because Israel blocks medicine.

          +mig+ What they should “surrender” about ?
          And what has hamas said lately about that charter ? IDF didnt pass that memo to you i see….

          New-fred: They should agree to stop trying to destroy and/or take over Israel in exchange for the West Bank (with adjustments and trades to minimize disruption) and Gaza. So far, they are willing agree to a Palestinian State, just not to stop attacking the Jewish State. I don’t think they quite get that having a peace treaty means you have to stop attacking, not just that the Israelis have to stop attacking.

          What Hamas has said about its charter is absolutely nothing that changes what’s in it. Let them amend their charter, or repudiate it in full and apologize for the whole “we will exterminate the Jews” bit. Oh, in Arabic, to their people. They tell different stories to different groups. Call me paranoid, but I’m going to assume they mean the one that they tell their people in Arabic, not the one they tell Western dupes in English.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          More Zionist shills pretending to be lawyers. And failing miserably.

          Go ahead. Keep hijacking ships in the Med. So where piracy gets you.

        • Hostage says:

          New-fred: which is irrelevant to 102(a), which says “sole purpose of starving or denying essentials”. 102(a) is really, really narrow. If you have any other purpose at all, then you don’t violate 102(a), even if _one_ of your purposes was starving the people (which it isn’t in this case).

          The official ICRC commentary explains that it was recommended that the B.S. clause about “sole purpose” be deleted from the guidance, since starvation of the population is strictly prohibited in accordance with the 1st Additional Protocol regardless of the motives or purposes involved. It was only retained because any starvation would still be illegal under the proportionality rule. The UN and ICRC have reported that 10 percent of the children are malnourished and many have permanent developmental disabilities as a result. The Security Council has declared the situation is unsustainable and demanded the full implementation of resolution 1860 which calls for “unimpeded” flow of humanitarian aid in accordance with customary international law reflected in Article 70 of the 1st Additional Protocol.

          “Paragraph 103: Israel does provide for free passage of food and other objects essential for survival, subject to search and distribution by an impartial humanitarian organization.

          Security Council resolution 1860 recognized the UNRWA as the agency responsible for distribution of humanitarian aid to and throughout Gaza. The head of UNRWA in Gaza urged the world to send ships to the shores of Gaza.

          Article 59 of the Fourth Geneva Convention does not define free passage as capture or diversion to Ashdod. The official commentary on paragraph 3 says:

          The principle of free passage, as set forth in this clause, means that relief consignments for the population of an occupied territory must be allowed to pass through the blockade; they cannot under any circumstances be declared war contraband or be seized as such by those enforcing the blockade.
          .
          The obligation to authorize the free passage of relief consignments is accompanied by the obligation to guarantee their protection. It will not be enough merely to lift the blockade and refrain from attacking or confiscating the goods. More than that will be required: all the States concerned must respect the consignments and protect them when they are exposed to danger through military operations.

          The commentary goes on to say that Powers granting free passage can’t use the limited right of visit and inspection to render the rule on free passage inoperative.

          The official commentary on on San Remo 102.3 says that situations of under-supply triggers the obligation to allow relief shipments to gain access to the coasts of the blockaded belligerent – not Ashdod. The commentary on Article 103 says that is an unequivocal statement which means the belligerent power is obliged to allow transit “through the blockade”, but Israel flatly refuses to visit and inspect vessels or allow them to continue on their way after diversion to Ashdod.

          The San Remo commentary (page 191) restates customary law: “In cases of unreasonable diversion, undue delay or unnecessary interference with the ships voyage, compensation should be awarded by the prize court.”

        • Fredblogs says:

          Interesting. However, the 4th GC, section 59 itself says (in part):

          “an adverse Party to the conflict shall, however, have the right to search the consignments, to regulate their passage according to prescribed times and routes, and to be reasonably satisfied through the Protecting Power that these consignments are to be used for the relief of the needy population”

          Also, any parts of the 4th GC relating to occupied territory are inapplicable to Gaza, since Gaza is not occupied territory. Israel controls the borders, not the interior. The West Bank may be occupied territory, but Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005.

          Since there is no mass starvation in Gaza, the supplies are obviously getting through in a timely manner.

          I put to you this question: If ships have the right to get through unsearched, just by claiming to be humanitarian aid, why even have any rules for a blockade? Why not just say “no blockades”?

        • Hostage says:

          Since there is no mass starvation in Gaza, the supplies are obviously getting through in a timely manner.

          The ICJ findings of fact in the Wall case advised that the Israeli administrative regime in the occupied Palestinian territories was illegal because it violated the right to adequate supplies of food, water, and access to health care, adequate housing, and adequate standard of living. UN World Health Organization (WHO), UNRWA, ICRC, and Palestinian sources have reported for years that about 10 percent of Palestinian children suffer permanent effects from malnutrition, including stunted growth, wasting and underweight children. That satisfies the legal definitions of starvation and extermination.

          *http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=405136
          *http://www.haaretz.com/news/poll-10-of-palestinian-children-have-lasting-malnutrition-effects-1.217826
          *http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/CB9A27EF05BB52408525759F0061B366
          *http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/chronic-malnutrition-in-gaza-blamed-on-israel-1019521.html

      • Ah, the old San Remo ruse. As ever, Israel selectively chooses which bits of international law it thinks suits it, and ignores and trashes the rest. Unfortunately the San Remo convention doesn’t apply, as it only applies at times of war. Israel has consistently refused to declare that it is at war, since the legal consequences which follow from that will make Israel even more responsible for war crimes than it already is.
        Even if you grant San Remo, then read this:
        San Remo says: “specific mention must be made of the fact that the Manual lays down that starvation blockades are unlawful and requires the blockading power to allow relief shipments if a secondary effect of the blockade is that civilians are short of food or other essential supplies.”
        Also exempt from attack are:
        “(ii) vessels engaged in humanitarian missions, including vessels carrying supplies indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and vessels engaged in relief actions and rescue operations;”

      • Hostage says:

        The fact that Israel is enforcing the blockade in international waters doesn’t affect the legality of the blockade. That is a true statement whether this is a legal blockade or not.

        Huh? Fredblogs, treaty and customary international law of the seas prohibit any state from boarding and arresting – much less, capturing – a ship that is flagged under another state’s nationality on the high seas.

        So, Israel needs to base its case on an exception under the laws of armed conflict. However, the law of armed conflict at sea stipulates that a blockade must be publicly announced and the line past which a blockade will be enforced must be precise and clear. The fact that Israel is enforcing a blockade well outside its own publicly announced “precise published coordinates” means that it’s actually capturing vessels that “(f) are [NOT] breaching or attempting to breach a blockade.”

        Israel only has a presumptive right to establish a blockade that operates in conformity with the law. However, if the blockade becomes, for one or more reasons, unlawful, then the general principles of law would dictate that there can be no right to enforce an unlawful blockade. While the law may allow some UN-sanctioned naval blockades, the overwhelming legal view was that the Israeli blockade had exceeded the constraints imposed by contemporary international law and had become illegal collective punishment well before the first Gaza flotilla incident. In fact, the documents obtained by Gisha indicate that it may have been illegal from the very outset, on the basis of intent. See for example the comments made by individual members of the UN Security Council regarding the illegality of the blockade: link to un.org

        • Fredblogs says:

          The customary rules do not prohibit it. They explicitly allow it. See the San Remo Manual. No treaty to which Israel is a party prohibits it either.

          A vessel is attempting to breach a blockade from the moment it leaves port with intent to enter the blockaded area. You aren’t allowed to stop them until they are no longer in the waters of a neutral state. However, if you reasonably believe they intend to enter the blockaded area, you can stop them anywhere in the world other than the waters of a neutral state. You may not like it, but that’s the law. Israel didn’t have to wait until the ships approached Gaza, once they left Greek waters with a declared intent to breach the blockade, they were subject to capture.

        • Hostage says:

          No treaty to which Israel is a party prohibits it either.

          The Nuremberg Tribunal did not accept that as a permissible defense. In any event, Israel is violating both the intent and content of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 according to a unanimous panel of Justices serving on the International Court of Justice.

  2. seafoid says:

    No action in support of the Palestinians is tolerated. Nothing by Israelis and nothing by foreigners. No flotilla, no settler product boycott, no people flying in.

    The IDF is delighted.

    link to haaretz.com

    “Currently, the interception seems like a knock-out victory by the political echelon and defense establishment over the pro-Palestinian activists. 2

    The only answer is BDS . Israel is so ******.

    • James says:

      that is the way it works with an aparthaid state working to maintain its grip on power… israel is in a conflicted situation that will not lessen over time… by proxy, the usa is too…

      • seafoid says:

        The Israeli ambassador in Switzerland was quoted in the Sunday papers here telling Switz that the country must not change tack and vote for the Palestinian state in September. He says Switz has always voted for negotiations so Switz should vote no.

        I wonder if any decent country is going to buy this BS especially given the last few months’ worth of Israeli behaviour. I wonder how many countries will want to wipe Lieberman’s face in the mud.

  3. annie says:

    thanks for posting this important video today phil.

  4. Bumblebye says:

    OT
    Security incident during Murdoch grilling, just happened, seems to be they’ve been paint-balled or something!

  5. Kate says:

    Short (32 seconds) video of the commandos boarding what they call the ‘Carame’ today:

  6. Sadly, by setting the bar on the previous flotillas at murder, anything Israel does subsequent to to that seems restrained by comparison.

    The people participating are exceptionally courageous as Israel could choose to again lower the bar as it is able to act in such a heinous manner free from any consequences.

  7. Fredblogs says:

    BTW, legally speaking, Israel has an obligation to release the passengers (the video doesn’t show the passengers attacking, so I’m assuming they surrendered peacefully). Israel can legally hold the crew as POWs for the duration of hostilities if they refused to stop after prior warning.

    “166. Nationals of a neutral State … (c) who are members of the crew of enemy or neutral merchant vessels or civil aircraft are to be released and may not be made prisoners of war unless the vessel or aircraft has committed an act covered by paragraphs 60, 63, 67 or 70, or the member of the crew has personally committed an act of hostility against the captor.”

    “67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they: (a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;”

    • More nonsense, from the self-styled international bedroom lawyers, who have read San Remo on the internet. If you want to invoke international law, it would be expedient to submit to all of it, and not some selective bits with which you think suits you (even if it doesn’t apply in this case, which it doesn’t). Israel loves to quote the UN when it suits it, then ignores the multitude of resolutions and reports against it, not to mention shooting UN officials.

      • nmi says:

        WrongSaidFred can propose any rules he likes. I’m happy to agree with them, so long as they are applied equally and fairly to both parties in the conflict.

        Therefore, if Israel reserves a “legal right” to target anyone it identifies as an enemy combatant, anytime and anywhere, then the Palestinians have the same right. They can target IDF anytime and anywhere. What does this mean? It means that any Israeli Jew over the age of 18 is a legitimate military target. It even means that the athletes killed at the Munich Olympics were not victims of a terror attack but victims of a military strike.

        Following the same blueprint, if Israel can drop a two ton bomb on a crowded apartment complex, killing 18 family members including a number of infants and children and receive not merely defense but effusive PRAISE for the operation from Israel’s prime Minister Nenanyahu, then the Palestinians are perfectly entitled to respond in kind.

        Further, if the Israelis insist it is their right to kick in the doors to families homes, drag them from their beds and beat them to a bloody pulp then there should be no restriction on such activities in Tel Aviv or anywhere else in Israel.

        The fact of the matter is, by Israeli standards, the Palestinians have never engaged in terrorism–only sanctioned military operations. Palestinian terrorism is a myth.

        The bottom line is that you you can not make a case for Israel that isn’t grounded in racism and hypocrisy. Such a case does not exist.

    • Koshiro says:

      You don’t even know what a POW is. And you don’t know the difference between crew and passengers. I also infer that you do not know what contraband is.

      Anything else you don’t know?

    • Chaos4700 says:

      So when did Israel declare war on France? This is news to me.

      • Fredblogs says:

        The individuals who fight soldiers trying to capture a blockade runner have effectively joined the armed forces of the blockaded people. That’s how the law works. Read the San Remo manual. It talks about citizens of neutral states being held as POWs.

        When American citizens joined the Canadian army before the U.S. entered WWII, the Axis powers didn’t have to let them go (when they were captured) just because they were American citizens. You join the enemy army, you are subject to the same POW rights as the enemy is, regardless of your citizenship.

  8. seafoid says:

    *Support from vast numbers of people in the US.* *The audacity of hope. *
    *We are going to do it with the means we have. *

    Does the experience of this summer change anything? Or does it make it worse for Israel?

    Can we have a follow up video from everyone in the video? What does this mean for you and how you view what Israel is becoming ? What will it mean for Israel? If you had one thing to say to the people of Israel, what would you say?

  9. seafoid says:

    Where is Gaza in terms of freedom rides? Is it 1955 yet?

    • Fredblogs says:

      That’s an inapt analogy. The civil rights marches were about citizens who were denied the rights granted to other citizens in the same country based upon their race alone. Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus, she didn’t blow it up.

      The blockade of Gaza is about non-citizens (of Israel) in a quasi-state (Gaza) who elected a party that ran on a platform of war with Israel, being denied the rights granted to Israeli citizens, specifically the right to freely import non-essential goods.

      I would be fascinated if you could come up with a case in history where two peoples were at war with each other, and members of one of them were granted equal rights by members of the other, during the war.

      • seafoid says:

        Thanks Yossi for that wonderful hasbara.
        I really appreciate it. I’ll have an am Israel chai with 2 sugars.

        Erez Israel is one country, in case you haven’t noticed.
        Only Jews have rights in it. Same as the South back in the 50s.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Israel is one country, the West Bank and Gaza are not part of it. In Israel, citizens who are Jews, Israeli-Arabs, Druze, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Blacks, Whites, every citizen, has equal rights under the law.

          Non-citizens in the West Bank and Gaza, do not have the same rights as Israelis for the same reason that Iraqis don’t have the same rights in America as Americans.

        • annie says:

          In Israel, citizens who are Jews, Israeli-Arabs, Druze, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Blacks, Whites, every citizen, has equal rights under the law.

          no they don’t. it’s apartheid. one government, 2 ethnicities. israeli nationals have privileges not afforded to others, you know that. as for the ‘non citizens’ you’re referring to, as long as the israeli governemnt is ruling over them via separate laws (military rule) it’s apartheid.

        • Hostage says:

          In Israel, citizens who are Jews, Israeli-Arabs, Druze, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Blacks, Whites, every citizen, has equal rights under the law.

          Here we go again. Israel doesn’t discriminate against anyone on the basis of citizenship. Israel discriminates against citizens on the basis of their nationality. The laws of the state of Israel that discriminate against every non-Jewish person and which relegates them to a permanent caste-like second-rate status include, but are not limited to: The Defense (Emergency) Regulation (1945) extended to the present; Law of Return (1950); Nationality Law (1952); Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (2003) Temporary Order 5763 (2003) extended to present; Absentee Property Law (1950); Status Law of Israel (1952); Basic Law: Israel Lands (1960); Land Acquisition Law (1953) as amended (2010); Planning and Construction Law (1965); Law on Agricultural Settlement (1967); and Israel Lands Authority Law (2009).

          Non-citizens in the West Bank and Gaza, do not have the same rights as Israelis for the same reason that Iraqis don’t have the same rights in America as Americans.

          Palestinians are not non-citizens in Palestine. You are using the same argument that South Africa used when it occupied neighboring Namibia and implemented apartheid policies.

          In 1998 the CERD panel of experts said that the status of the Jewish settlements was clearly inconsistent with the prohibition of apartheid and similar policies of racial segregation contained in Article 3 of the ICERD Convention. The Committee noted General Recommendation XIX, prohibited all forms of racial segregation in all countries; and that there was a consensus among publicists that the prohibition of racial discrimination, irrespective of territories, was an imperative norm of international law. CERD/C/SR.1250, 9 March 1998

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Israel is one country, the West Bank and Gaza are not part of it.”

          They have been de facto one state since 1967.

          The Jews living in Palestine have perpetrated the legal fiction that they are not so that those same Jews can both 1) deny the right to vote to half of the population in the de facto state vote in order to maintain a Judeo-supremecist power structure and Judeo-supremecist state and 2) still be able to claim to be democratic, so as not to lose the illusion that the Jews in Palestine are participants in a modern, enlightened civilization that rejects the type of supremicist government which they have instituted.

        • DBG says:

          There is not a single Israeli in Gaza, how can it be defacto part of Israel? Are you saying there isn’t an occupation?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “There is not a single Israeli in Gaza, how can it be defacto part of Israel?”

          Becuase Israel still controls the lives of the people in that territory.

          “Are you saying there isn’t an occupation?”

          Of course there is. We’ve been through this before. The occupation is the means by which the Israelis conduct their legal fiction. It is a military occupation under the de facto annexation, while not affirming the annexation de jure.

      • kapok says:

        Might makes right. What’s “Jewish” about that?

      • kapok says:

        Rosa Parks also didn’t insist on a state for the exclusive use of Blacks.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Irony Moment of the Day:

        It’s spelled inept.

  10. Ira Glunts says:

    Congratulations to all those who participated in the Freedom Flotilla 2 for getting a boat near Gaza to challenge the blockade. Considering the obstacles that you faced, even getting one boat near Gaza was a real accomplishment. To my way of thinking, the passengers are heroes and deserve our praise and thanks.

    I hope that all the activists will make it through the Israeli incarceration without any assaults on their person or their dignity, and that your movement will emerge from this battle stronger and more determined than ever.

    I just saw that Anshel Pheffer had an article in Ha’aretz applauding the great victory for Israel over the Flotilla 2. He called it a “knockout” by the Israeli government and military authorities. In doing this, he inadvertently exposed the incredibly large amount of resources that Israel devoted to their so called “victory” over a relatively small adversary. This just proves that you are on the right road. Just by placing you in the same ring with the government and military of one of the strongest countries, Pfeffer shows the power of your efforts.

    I am in awe of the flotilla movement and the growth of the flotillas in the past three years. I remember following the first boats in 2008 and never thought that your pledge to continue to expand the flotillas would be so successful.

    The struggle for Palestinian rights continues and the Flotilla movement will continue to be a vital part of that struggle. I still believe that a Flotilla to Gaza or 15 boat and 1500 activists will happen in the not too distant future.

    Keep on.

  11. Love this video! All should remember that since San Remo, the Sovereigny of the Jewish people over the entire Land of Israel, from the med to the sea is enshrined in International law. Nobody can successfully argue otherwise.

    • annie says:

      the Sovereigny of the Jewish people over the entire Land of Israel, from the med to the sea is enshrined in International law.

      don’t be silly. here, i wrote you a little ditty. see if you can recognize the tune. it’s a singalong!

      This land is my land, not your apartheid
      From the port of Jaffa to the Jordan River
      Let’s end the Nakba and ethnic cleansing
      This land was made for you and me.

      As I went walking that ribbon of highway
      I saw above me the ugly settlements
      I saw below a gorgeous village
      This land was made for you and me

      I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
      To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
      While all around me bulldozers humming
      Apartheid ain’t good for you or me.

      • I am being censored in violation of the comments policy. With whom can I speak with to arbitrate this issue?

        • Sumud says:

          LOL mig, love it.

        • eljay says:

          >> I am being censored in violation of the comments policy.

          You’re probably being censored because you’re a hateful troll who’s spewing the same old supremacist garbage he always spews.

          But I could be mistaken. :-)

        • annie says:

          did you like my singalong maxi? let’s try it again! everybody! with gusto this time!

          This land is my land, NOT YOUR APARTHEID
          From the port of Jaffa to the Jordan River
          Let’s end the Nakba and ethnic cleansing
          This land was made for you and me.

          As I went walking that ribbon of highway
          I saw above me the ugly settlements
          I saw below a gorgeous village
          This land was made for you and me

          I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
          To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
          While all around me bulldozers humming
          APARTHEID ain’t good for you or me.

  12. Fredblogs says:

    To the moderator. If you are going to ban some of my posts, could you at least put up a “response posted but banned” or something. It is really dishonest of you to make it look like I don’t have a response to the points made by other posters, just because you don’t like the responses.