Turkey expels Israeli ambassador, cuts military ties and promises further legal action following UN flotilla report

Israel/Palestine
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Turkey expels Israel envoy after Gaza flotilla report, freezes military ties
Haaretz 2 Sept — Turkey has decided to downgrade its diplomatic ties with Israel to the lowest possible level, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday, following Israel’s continued refusal to apologize for a 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

And more news from Today in Palestine:

Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing

Silwan foils City of David concert as tensions run high over Eid
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 31 Aug — Palestinian residents of Silwan were joined by international and Israeli solidarity activists in staging a protest outside the archaeological City of David settlement’s visitors’ center today. The protest, the second in two weeks, was held to offset settler plans to stage a concert at the settlement. Many have denounced the concert as an attempt to deliberately interfere with the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Fitr this week. The protest met with a violent backlash, as right-wing Israeli extremists attempted to attack protesters and urged police to exercise full force against them. Demonstrators reported that employees of settlement association Elad worked closely with police to repress the protest. A military blockade at the northern entrance to Wadi Hilweh neighborhood currently prevents worshipers from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque.
http://silwanic.net/?p=19719

Woman wounded, child kidnapped as Israeli forces raid Bir Ayyub
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 31 Aug  — A woman has sustained injuries to the head during confrontations in Bir Ayyub district of Silwan between Palestinians and Israeli forces, say eyewitnesses. Clashes were sparked when Israeli forces raided a Palestinian home and arrested one child. Undercover units kidnapped two young men during the clashes.
http://silwanic.net/?p=19717

Dawn raid launched on long-suffering family in Wadi Hilweh
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 31 Aug  —  Israeli forces launched a dawn raid on Wadi Hilweh district of Silwan this morning, in search of a young resident. Mahmoud al-Banna, 23, who has served a 22-month house arrest sentence outside the village since becoming a target of police, was not at home during the raid. He has been summoned by police and is expected to face the Magistrates Court tomorrow. Israeli forces raided the al-Banna home a second time several hours after the first, arresting Mahmoud’s younger brothers Nassem Nabil, 21, and Mohammed Nabil, 19 …  A family member told Silwanic that “this latest attempt at arrest should be be surprising at all. It’s common to arrest children in the middle of the night — even to beat them, for no reason. It is also common for Israeli forces to take Palestinians during our celebrations such as Eid. Our family has a long history of being targeted by the authorities, on random unfounded charges, supported by non-existent evidence.
http://silwanic.net/?p=19712

Wadi Ara next in line for Judaization project / Sophie Crowe
Pal. Mon. 31 Aug — The small village of Harish has become a hot spot of contentious debate since plans were unveiled to build an ultra-Orthodox only city in the predominantly Palestinian region. Harish is a village in the Wadi Ara, a region in northern Israel that falls in the Haifa District and “The Triangle” in Israel. Wadi Ara is home to roughly 120,000 Palestinians and 10,000 Jews. Harish was built as a kibbutz in 1992, one of a string of settlements positioned along the Green Line as a means of strengthening Israel’s hold on the border, a strategy conceived of by then housing minister Ariel Sharon. Failing in its original formulation, today it is home to only 1000 people. Since 2009, plans to transform Harish into an ultra-Orthodox city have been pushed forward by members of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, namely Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Housing Minister Ariel Atias. Plans for expansion, approved in 2010, are now being implemented with 6,000 housing units soon to begin construction.
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/?p=1601

Israel profits from the holy month of Ramadan
JVS 27 Aug — Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley are awaiting their large bonuses at the end of Ramadan. Dates, which are grown on stolen Palestinian land are currently being sold around the world in preparation for the celebration of Eid. Since 1967, the indigenous population of the Jordan Valley has seen the development of 36 illegal Israeli settlements which have taken 50% of the land in the region. The settlements in the Valley are predominately agricultural, generating approximately 135.6 million dollars per year, based on figures for 2010. This is one of the key reasons that ‘Israel will never cede the Jordan Valley’ (Benyamin Netanyahu, 2010). The vast expanse of date palm plantations can be seen from the main north south road in the Jordan Valley, growing on land once inhabited by Palestinian communities. Every August the dates are harvested by Palestinian workers as young as 12, forced to work on their own land through economic slavery, for less than 1 dollar per hour.
http://www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=324

Rivlin in Itamar: Zionism is a policy of settlement
JPost 31 Aug — Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin declared that “the entire Land of Israel belongs to us” on Wednesday, during a visit to Itamar in honor of the new school year. “Zionism is a policy of settlement,” Rivlin explained … Rivlin also stated that the last time he visited Itamar, it was with former prime minister Ariel Sharon, who suggested connecting settlements in Samaria to the Jordan Valley “out of a strategic way of thinking that included territorial depth and continuity.” [So, the 'land of Israel' is between the Jordan and the Mediterranean? Or between the Nile and the Euphrates? Or....? Is there any end to it?]
http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=236145&R=R2

Landau: Israel should declare sovereignty over occupied territories
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 31 Aug — Israeli minister of infrastructure Uzi Landau said he believed that Israel should unilaterally declare its sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, major settlement blocs in the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip in response to the Palestinians’ intention to seek statehood recognition with the United Nations this September. Landau, a member of Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, told Israeli Radio Wednesday morning that silence over the Palestinians’ step would be a disaster, and that practical steps must be taken to ensure Israeli security and let the Palestinians understand that they cannot impose their vision for a solution to the conflict on Israel.
http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/landau-israel-should-declare-sovereignty-over-occupied-territories/

Changing directions – expanding activity in Sheikh Jarrah
SJS 1 Sept — For nearly two years, we have demonstrated each Friday in Sheikh Jarrah. We demonstrated because we saw yet another Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem being turned into a den of extreme right-wing fanatics. We demonstrated because the police did whatever it deemed necessary to turn Sheikh Jarrah into “Shimon Ha-Tsadik.”  We demonstrated because joint Israeli-Palestinian demonstrations were a rarity in East Jerusalem. Today, thanks to you, the situation has changed. The settler takeover of properties in Sheikh Jarrah has been hindered in parts of the neighborhood, and halted in other parts. The courts have begun, for the first time in years, to rule against the settler organizations in hearings about the future of the neighborhood. The police, the executive arm of the settlement, has retreated from the neighborhood.
Nonetheless, the goals of our struggle — the removal of the settlers from Sheikh Jarrah, the return of the families to their homes, and above all, the liberation of the residents of East Jerusalem from repression — are still far from being realized. Therefore we, the activists of Solidarity and the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have decided to move on to the next phase of the struggle.
http://www.en.justjlm.org/584

Jordan Valley Solidarity: Monthly report June & July
JVC 30 Aug – Main Project Summaries:  Building Vittorio School, Raz Al Auja; Building work on the Jordan Valley Solidarity House; Renovating 7 houses in Arab El Ka’abne village in Al Auja, situated in area C, a mile north of Jericho; launch of the third annual Jordan Valley Football tournament; Renovating 20 homes in Abu Al Ajaj. Number of volunteers: 206 Range of days stayed per month: 1 to 61 days Nationalities: 26. Information on volunteering
http://www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=330

Language marginalization

Language becomes a political weapon in Israel / Mya Guarnieri
MWC 1 Sept — Arabic is the mother tongue of 20 per cent of Israel’s citizens. It has been an official language of the land since 1924, when the British mandate set three: English, Hebrew, and Arabic. When the state of Israel was established in 1948, English was struck from the books. While Arabic remained an official language, it has always gotten second class treatment- as have the citizens who speak it. Many government forms – including those for Social Security and National Insurance – come in Hebrew only. Arabic-speakers are under-represented in the public sector. So if a Palestinian citizen has weak Hebrew, he or she may be deprived of services or benefits they are legally entitled to and desperately need. The results are sometimes devastating. In Lod, for example, 25 per cent of the population is Arab. But out of the city’s 50 social workers, only two speak Arabic and both are part time employees. After a rash of domestic violence left three Arab women from Lod dead, NGOs questioned the state’s commitment to protecting Palestinian citizens. Could the deaths have been prevented by better access to resources?
http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/13130-political-weapon.html

Settlers

Grazing on tragedy and the promises of scripture in South Hebron Hills
ISM 1 Sept — Shortly after dawn on August 29th, with the soft light spreading across the hills, eight armed soldiers climb out of their military vehicle to watch sheep. Na’il is unperturbed. He makes a clicking noise with his tongue and drives his flock a little further up the slope. The soldiers are on the opposite hill, visible against the brightening sky. They guard an illegal settlement from us — two Palestinian shepherds, two international activists, and a small battalion of sheep and goats. In these hills, sheep farming is political. Rights to this land are re-enacted daily by grazing flocks. The sheep kick back the dusty earth to find short grasses and sparse roots; goats strip the sharp thorns from the scrub. Some days, the shepherds will hang back in the low fields. Others, they will push a little higher, a little further, a little closer towards the boundary … But it is not the army that Na’il and Khaled are worried about. Soldiers can be brutal, but they are by and large ordered, pragmatic, predictable. The illegal settlers, by contrast, are zealous, fanatical. They follow no commands, only Commandments; they recognize no law, only the Law, the Torah, the eternal and unalterable word of God. An army sergeant who used to serve in these hills describes it as the Wild West: ‘the Arabs can be beaten up, the settlers are untouchable.’
http://palsolidarity.org/2011/09/20034/

VIDEO: Attack dogs of the West Bank
Reuters Aug. 31 – West Bank settlers want to put teeth into their security with attack dogs ahead of Palestinian bid for statehood. Deborah Lutterbeck reports. Transcript: A Jewish settler group is training attack dogs and supplying them to Jewish settlements ahead of a planned Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations. In a video made by the “Civilian Dog Handlers Battalion of Judea and Samaria”, dogs are seen attacking a Palestinian man in a simulated video …
http://in.reuters.com/video/2011/08/31/attack-dogs-of-the-west-bank?rpc=401&videoId=218900996

Israelis to unleash dogs on Palestinians
PressTV 31 Aug — An Israeli group is set to give settlers attack dogs, which have been trained for months, so that they can be used against Palestinians. The ‘Civilian dog Handlers Battalion of Judea and Samaria (the Israel-occupied West Bank)’ is to provide the animals. The group says these canines will be useful against potential rallies by the Palestinians in support of their bid to seek recognition by the UN, Reuters reported. “These dogs are trained to attack upon command,” said American-Israeli settler leader and dog trainer, Mike Guzovsky. A promotional video has also been provided, simulating dog attacks on a Palestinian ‘infiltrator’.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/196765.html

recall this from 2009; the army has been using dogs on Palestinians for years:
Video: Israeli defends dog attack on 99-year-old man
24 Apr 2009 — 99yr old Palestinian man is recovering in hospital after being attacked by Israeli army dogs. The pensioner’s ear and shoulder were bitten as he lay in bed when soldiers conducted a house search. Question is what danger does a bed ridden 99yr old man can POSSIBLY do to a well armed soldier
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPxx9ZEZ7QA

MP Barghouthi warns of massacres after Israel arms, trains settlers
RAMALLAH (PIC) 31 Aug — Palestinian MP Mustafa al-Barghouthi warned that Jewish settlers may massacre Palestinians after the Israeli government supplied them with arms and training … Barghouthi, who is also secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, said the Israeli government would be responsible for armed attacks that could take place against the Palestinians in the West Bank
http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/mp-barghouthi-warns-of-massacres-after-israel-arms-trains-settlers/

Israeli military arming, training vigilantes to put down Palestinians: What will UN do about it? / Julie Webb-Pulliam
Scoop 31 Aug — In what can be interpreted as a clear admission that Israeli state institutions are not up to the task, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has admitted it is training settlers in occupied Palestinian territory, and arming them with stun grenades, tear gas, and other weaponry “to handle any unrest which breaks out during the UN campaign.”
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1108/S00349/gaza-israeli-military-arming-training-vigilantes.htm

Israeli forces / Detention

Al Khalil/Hebron: Six children detained by Israeli soldiers during first day of Eid al-Fitr
CPT 31 Aug — At 4:00 p.m. on 30 August 2011, Israeli soldiers detained six boys, ages five to nine, in Hebron’s Old City under the suspicion of intending to harm the soldiers with their toy guns.  The soldiers brought the children to the military compound at Bab il Baladiyye by the entrance of the old city. Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams observed as the soldiers detained the children for forty minutes before releasing them.  At one point the soldiers brought them into the compound to have their toy guns examined by military police officers.  This investigation took place just a couple of hours after the soldiers entered the souq (Old City market area) and held several groups of young boys based on the same suspicion. August 30 was the first day of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, which celebrates the end of the month of Ramadan.  The Eid is a time for charity, exchanging gifts, and visiting family and relatives.  The detention of the children had the same impact on them and their families as military or police detention of children playing with their toys on Christmas would have had on Christian families.
http://cpt.org/cptnet/2011/08/31/al-khalil-hebron-six-children-detained-israeli-soldiers-during-first-day-eid-al-fi

Witnesses: Israeli forces detain Hamas lawmaker at checkpoint
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 31 Aug — Israeli forces detained Hamas lawmaker Sheikh Hassan Yousif on Wednesday at Zatara checkpoint south of Nablus. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers held Yousif at the checkpoint for hours before detaining him.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=417104

Nine of Hamas’s cadres sentenced to arbitrary administrative detention|AL-KHALIL (PIC) 31 Aug – Nine of Hamas’s cadres from Al-Khalil governorate in the West Bank have been sentenced to administrative detention without formal charges by an Israeli military court. The men were arrested less than ten days ago in a massive campaign that saw the arrest of more than 120 Palestinians, a rights group told the Palestinian Information Center.
The men have been identified as Mohamed Naeem Abu Isnineh (6 months), Anwar Abul-Raheem Harb (6 months) …
http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/nine-of-hamas%E2%80%99s-cadres-sentenced-to-arbitrary-administrative-detention/

IDF arrests top Hamas official in West Bank amid heightened security
Haaretz 1 Sept — Israel Defense Forces arrested a top Hamas West Bank late Wednesday, amid recent security measures taken in the wake of intelligence reports claiming that terror groups were planning a major attack in Israel’s south. Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a Hamas founder and one of its leaders in the West Bank, was reportedly arrested by IDF soldiers late last night, and held for a few hours at the Tapuach junction near Nablus after being transported to a military detention facility. Yousef, the father of Shin Bet operative known as “Son of Hamas,” was released from Israeli prison last years after five years for his involvement in terror activities. At the time, his release came as part of a larger Israeli gesture in honor of Ramadan.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-arrests-top-hamas-official-in-west-bank-amid-heightened-security-alert-1.381946

IOF combs Jenin, arrests son of Islamic Jihad leader
JENIN (PIC) 1 Sept — Israeli occupation forces arrested late Wednesday night the son of imprisoned Islamic Jihad leader Bassam al-Saadi in an ambush on the Ramallah-Nablus road in the occupied West Bank. Suhaib, 20, from Jenin refugee camp was returning from Ramallah to Jenin when Israeli soldiers set up a mobile checkpoint and detained him and his vehicle, locals reported. Another of Saadi’s sons Izzuddin was arrested by the PA late last week.
Separately, the IOF combed Thursday morning much of Jenin governorate Thursday at dawn without report of arrest. Ambushes were set up in open areas and in olive groves, Palestinian sources reported.
Witnesses said dozens of soldiers were deployed in the region between the towns of Al-Yamoun and al-Irqa and incursions were made in the al-Irqa until morning hours. Jenin governorate has recently seen significant military movement and increased arrests at checkpoints.
http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/iof-combs-jenin-arrests-son-of-islamic-jihad-leader/

Israel sentences journalist to six months in administrative detention
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 1 Sept — Israel has sentenced Wednesday evening reporter of the Shehab News Agency Amer Abu Arafeh to six months in administrative detention. Abu Arafeh received the decision Wednesday morning from the Ofer prison administration on grounds of being a threat to the Israeli state, SNA said quoting members of Abu Arafeh’s family. His family was shocked that the ruling was made without formal charges being placed and without a hearing in an Israeli court. They confirmed that Abu Arafeh is currently behind bars in the Ofer prison near Ramallah city in the West Bank. SNA condemned the decision, calling on rights groups and the local and international media to urgently intervene.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s79qmsZqy%2fSb7NqybLzVDHAdyJAA%2fXbWVtXmKisV5gB9oDvr8XEmHgdS%2f4O0D8Tpn3R%2f8PJ2Ffyo5ZhOxaTvsTobXuZuMx2Tk0xa449aAguDU%3d

Jenin family seeks news of son arrested last week
JENIN (PIC) 1 Sept — A concerned family has called on the Red Cross to retrieve news of Hudhayfah Jarrar, 21, from Jenin, as Israeli occupation authorities have detained him for nearly a week and prohibited him from receiving visits by a lawyer. The Jarrars called on all human rights organizations to ensure that he is receiving the proper treatment for his foot for which he was scheduled to undergo surgery days after he was arrested. Israeli occupation forces arrested Jarrar at the Za‘tarah checkpoint while he was heading to Ramallah city to get treatment for his foot. Jarrar studies journalism at Al-Quds University and is the son of Abdul-Jabbar Jarrar, who was held prisoner on several occasions in the Israeli prisons.
http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/jenin-family-seeks-news-of-son-arrested-last-week/

Um Hassan celebrates Eid without her loved ones
ABNA 31 Aug — The family of Um Hassan in al-Khalil have not gathered all around the dinner table for the past twenty years during Ramadan or Eid, as no Ramadan or Eid passed without having one of the family imprisoned or killed. Um Hassan, the mother of two martyrs and seven captives in occupation jails and a tenth studying abroad said that the occupation forces detained five of her sons two weeks ago. Two of her sons are already serving prison terms; Iyad is serving a 13-year term and Mahmoud is serving a 20-year term. In addition to the seven captives Um Hassan told aljazeera.net that two of her sons were killed by the occupation; Murad was killed in November 2002 and Ahmad in December 2002.
http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=262865

Israel police orders its Arab and Bedouin officers to leave illegal homes
Haaretz 31 Aug — Regavim, an NGO whose stated aim is ‘preserving national lands,’ sends letter to national police chief containing names of seven Israeli Arab and Bedouin officers it claims lived in unauthorized dwellings.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-police-orders-its-arab-bedouin-officers-to-leave-illegal-homes-1.381631

Gaza

30 Aug 2011: Civilians and civilian infrastructure hit in Gaza Strip, interim report
B’Tselem — On 19 August 2011, around 9:30 P.M., the Israeli air force fired a missile into a street in the heart of Gaza City, killing Mu‘ataz Kreqa’, his two-year-old son Islam, and his brother Munzar. The IDF Spokesperson’s announcement of 20 August said that Mu‘ataz Kreqa’ “had been the operations officer in charge of rockets. . . [and] had played a major role in planning and firing long-range rockets at Israel” in the period preceding the attack on his life … B’Tselem wrote to the military judge advocate general, demanding that he order a criminal investigation in the case. B’Tselem also examined two other cases.
http://www.btselem.org/gaza-strip/30-aug-2011-civilians-and-civilian-infrastructure-hit-gaza-strip-interim-report

Rafah crossing to open Saturday after Eid vacation
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — The Ministry of Interior in Gaza said Wednesday that travel via the Rafah crossing on Saturday will only be for passengers who registered to travel on August 29, 30, 31 and September 1.  The crossing will also be open Sunday for passengers who registered to travel on September 2 and 3, a statement said … The ministry called on passengers to carry no more than one bag during their journey.  Egyptian authorities have closed the crossing since Tuesday for the Eid Al-Fitr holiday which marks the end of the Holy Islamic month of Ramadan.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=417112

Resheq hails ongoing Palestinian campaigns in support of Somalia
BEIRUT (PIC) 1 Sept — Member of Hamas’s political bureau Ezzat Al-Resheq urged the Palestinian people everywhere not to cease their support for their brothers and sisters in Somalia … The Hamas Movement started last Friday a wide fundraising campaign to help the Somali people overcome the famine plight.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7Y%2f%2fRytMnzxhNtDmej%2bj9siJ9MwhhIxIFUdvL%2bYuLSIa4Ia%2f7xbHC305%2ft515l4oxVH21nrLKXca1kMOLudiJChbOCxtPjdQiXK9scxgfNSc%3d

Israeli army: Projectile fired from Gaza Strip
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — A projectile was fired at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip Wednesday night, an Israeli army spokeswoman said. The projectile landed in the Eshkol regional council with no reported injuries.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=417120

Iron Dome system deployed in Ashdod
Ynet 31 Aug — Missile defense system stationed near coastal city a day before beginning of school year. Defense Minister Ehud Barak: ‘Battery to give residents tangible protection from rocket attacks’
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4116302,00.html

Photos: Eid with a different taste in the Gaza Strip
MEMO 31 Aug — Hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were forced to observe Eid of a different kind this year. Many spent the first day after their period of fasting visiting the graves of their loved ones who were killed in Israeli attacks during the month of Ramadan. Instead of the traditional celebrations, some Gazans spent the first day of Eid visiting relatives and friends in hospitals.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/2773-eid-with-a-different-taste-in-the-gaza-strip

Don’t test us, Israel army chief warns
JERUSALEM (AFP) 31 Aug — Israel’s top military chief has warned Gaza militants not to “test” Israel’s strength as troops and police remained on high alert on Wednesday over warnings of a planned attack from Sinai.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=417092

On verge of Gaza war
Ynet 26 Aug — Special: Israel was on verge of launching major Gaza operation, but Hamas blinked — When Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrived at the Defense Ministry Headquarters’ meeting room last Saturday, a thick war book titled “Operation South” was already awaiting his approval on his desk. In those hours, Israel was on the verge of embarking on war in the Gaza Strip. The book did not pertain to a limited operation. The selected targets would have certainly prompted a major flare-up, including difficult regional implications. Just like in Operation Cast Lead, the political leadership granted immunity to no one in the Strip, regardless of his position or stature.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4114255,00.html

Eid al-Fitr in Gaza, in pictures
http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/eid-al-fitr-in-gaza-in-pictures/

Egypt-Israel border

All-time high of 2,000 illegal infiltrators crossed Israel-Egypt border last month
Haaretz 1 Sept — Population Authority says 10 to 15 percent of those who cross elude authorities and reach cities across Israel; most come from Africa, some also from Turkey and China … The Israel Defense Forces has since beefed up its presence on the Egypt-Israel border, following the mid-August terror attack on Road 12 to Eilat, and in the face of warnings about further attacks. There have been three separate warnings of terror attacks along the Israel-Egypt border, one in northern Sinai near the Gaza Strip and two near Eilat. Yet despite the augmented IDF forces, about 111 infiltrators reportedly crossed the border during the past 24 hours.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/all-time-high-of-2-000-illegal-infiltrators-crossed-israel-egypt-border-last-month-1.381829

Israel media: Shin Bet ‘furious’ Eilat warning ignored
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — Relations between Israel’s internal security service and defense minister were severely strained by the Eilat ambushes in August, a senior security source told Israeli newspaper Maariv on Wednesday. “The GSS (Shin Bet) chief was furious over (Defense Minister Ehud) Barak’s handling of the detailed warning provided by the GSS” on the attack, Maariv quoted the source as saying. The Shin Bet chief “really exploded” on Barak, the source said, adding “it has been years since the security establishment has received such a high-quality warning.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=417131

Zionism overtakes fear on Israel border
Ynet 31 Aug — Amid terror alerts, growing tensions in western Negev, eight young families settle in new community – just 700 meters from Egyptian army post … The majority of the new residents are young couples with children, who graduated from national-religious Mechina Otzem (pre-army preparatory course). The eight-family community is expected to grow to 17 families by the end of the year, and eventually reach 500 families and include a shopping center, industrial zone and educational institutions.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4116424,00.html

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

Beit Ommar teacher’s trial is delayed; refused bail
PSP 31 Aug — Majde Za‘aqiq, a 38-year-old teacher from Beit Ommar and member of the organizing committee for the Center for Freedom and Justice, was yesterday (Tuesday) denied bail by an Israeli military court in Ofar, West Bank. In response to the lack of evidence presented by the prosecution, the judge ruled that the trial be delayed by up to 100 days in order to allow the prosecutor more time to gather evidence. The judge then refused Majde’s application for bail. Following an unsuccessful appeal today (Wednesday), Majde now faces the possibility of spending several months in prison before any trial takes place.
http://palestinesolidarityproject.org/2011/08/31/beit-ommar-teachers-trial-is-delayed-refused-bail/

Despite boycott law, Israeli BDS activists forge ahead — an interview with Kobi Snitz / Alex Kane
Mondoweiss 1 Sept — The anti-boycott law passed by the Israeli Knesset in July was aimed at slowing down the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel for its violations of international law.  But the Palestinian-led BDS movement, both inside and outside Israel, has showed no signs of slowing.  The most recent victory the movement is claiming is the liquidation of Agrexco, an Israeli produce exporter that has long been a target of the BDS movement because of the company’s involvement in illegal Israeli settlements.
The law has also done nothing to deter the small group of Israeli activists part of Boycott From Within, a group of Israeli citizens in solidarity with the Palestinian BDS call.  The group has continued to call on various groups and artists to not violate the BDS call.
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/despite-boycott-law-israeli-bds-activists-forge-ahead-an-interview-with-kobi-snitz.html

The Holy Land Five case / Noor Elashi
CP 31 Aug — As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and my father remains incarcerated in a modern-day internment camp, the time in which we live begins to feel less like 2011 and more like 1942. But this week could determine whether today’s justice system is capable of rewriting the sad chapters of our history. I say this week because on Thursday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the long-awaited oral arguments in the Holy Land Foundation case, involving what was once our country’s largest Muslim charitable organization.
Meet my father, Ghassan Elashi. The co-founder of the HLF. Inmate number 29687-177, sentenced to 65 years in prison for his charity work in Palestine.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/08/31/the-holy-land-five-case/

Thousands of SoCal Muslims praying for ‘Irvine 11′ night before trial begins
Irvine11 28 Aug — Mosques across Southern California will be filled with worshipers echoing similar prayers this Sunday night, showing support for ten students who could be facing up to one year in prison for interrupting Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech last year. The trial is set to begin Monday … Peaceful protesters, especially on college campuses, usually never face criminal charges. This has led some to believe that District Attorney Tony Rackaukas is singling the students out because of their faith and the politics involved.
http://www.irvine11.com/thousands-of-socal-muslims-praying-for-%E2%80%98irvine-11%E2%80%99-night-before-trial-begins/

Is BDS campaign working?
Ynet 31 Aug — Ynetnews special: Anti-Israel boycotters increasingly successful in strangling economy of Jewish state: More than 20 organizations in Europe in 13 countries endorse boycott of Agrexco, Israel’s leading flower exporter — …International pressure, boycotts and sanctions on South Africa’s apartheid government played a major role in ending its power. Modeled on that global campaign, the anti-Israel boycott movement has notched notable victories of late
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4115718,00.html

Video installation documenting Israel apartheid to premiere at Toronto festival
EI blog 31 Aug — Road Movie, a six-screen video installation documenting apartheid in Palestine by Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky of Public Studio, will have its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, 8-18 September 2011.
http://electronicintifada.net/blog/maureen/video-installation-documenting-israeli-apartheid-premiere-toronto-festival

Racism / Discrimination

Despite promises after closing schools, some first-graders still homeroom-less
Haaretz 31 Aug – …School starts Thursday, but not all the children of Ethiopian origin in Petah Tikva who were to begin first grade in Ner-Etzion have been assigned to other schools. Some have been enrolled in schools in a different community and will have to be bused, while others have been assigned a different school from the one their siblings attend because they have been refused a place or the school has no room. Among the schools that have not yet accepted children because of “lack of suitability” is the Shuvu school in Petah Tikva
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/despite-promises-after-closing-schools-some-first-graders-still-homeroom-less-1.381627

Children facing deportation find friends / Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
JERUSALEM (IPS) 31 Aug — After Israel’s Interior Ministry attempted to deport the first migrant workers’ child educated in the Israeli school system, human rights groups are calling on the Israeli government to develop a clear immigration policy and an official protocol that will minimise the psychological impact of detaining and deporting young children.
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=104938

Jewish/Arab child: My parents’ marriage was a mistake / Dimi Reider
972mag 1 Sept — Ynet [Hebrew] carries today an interview with a girl of 14, daughter to an Arab father and a Jewish mother. The girl, presented under the false name of “Amanda”, explains that although her father, who has since passed away, initially signed her into an Arab school in the city of Lod (most schools in Israel are segregated), she has since-moved to a Jewish school in another city, where she lives in fear of her classmates finding out she’s half Arab. There’s everything in the interview -racism and discrimination, chauvinist theocratic patriarchy, and, most heartbreakingly, the self-loathing Amanda uses to cope with a society which has been constructed in such a way that being Arab became a source of shame (and being a woman doesn’t make it any easier). Some select quotes: …. To me, that a child should be pushed to the conclusion their parents’ marriage (and their own resulting conception) was a mistake, is beyond outrageous. It is obscene, and underscores the urgency of changing a social order and a culture that puts ethno-cultural group above the others.
http://972mag.com/jewish-arab-child-my-parents-marriage-was-a-mistake/

Tel Aviv sending foreign children to separate schools
Haaretz 1 Sept — Municipality to open four kindergartens in violation of usual policy of integrating migrant children in city schools; migrant workers’ NGO says move illegal — …Parent Anat Ben-Moshe said she was shocked and astonished by the children’s separation, which she discovered when she came to city hall to register her daughter for kindergarten. At that point, an official told her there might not be room for her daughter in the Israeli kindergartens. “When I asked why they don’t mix the children, they said when the majority are foreign, there’s a problem with the parents,” she related. “As a parent, I now have to explain this separation to my daughter, which seems much more problematic.”
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/tel-aviv-sending-israeli-foreign-children-to-separate-schools-1.381831

Ethiopian-Israelis protest outside ‘ghetto’ school
JPost 1 Sept — Approximately 300 Israelis of Ethiopian descent, including students and their parents, demonstrated Thursday morning outside the Nir Etzion School in Petah Tikva. They were upset that despite city provisions, the school, which they considered an “Ethiopian ghetto” because the student population was made up of nearly only Ethiopian children, was not closed and the children not integrated throughout other schools in the area.
http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=236303&R=R2

Messianic Jews ‘named and shamed’ in J’lem-area town
JPost 1 Sept — In an apparent infringement on personal privacy legislation and in defiance of laws preventing incitement, an anonymous group has taken to distributing flyers “naming and shaming” Messianic Jews (Christians) living in the Jerusalem-area town of Mevaseret Zion.
http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=236386&R=R2

Statehood bid

Palestinian UN bid ‘greater threat’ than Hamas
AFP 31 Aug — The Palestinian campaign to secure full UN membership presents a greater threat to Israel than that posed by Hamas, the Israeli finance minister said on Wednesday … If the Palestinians made good on their plans to seek United Nations membership, Israel would “respond,” he promised … Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau, who was also interviewed on public radio, said that if the Palestinians went ahead with their bid it would signal the end of all agreements signed with Israel.
https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/08/31-0

Palestinian UN bid – a blow to Israeli economy?
Ynet 30 Aug — While economists warn of widespread boycott of Israel in wake of Palestinian declaration of state, senior ministers more concerned about allocating billions for defense against third intifada — … In fact, Israel’s leaders are not worried about boycotts that could harm the economy. “A boycott doesn’t happen that fast,” said a top minister who serves on the seven-minister forum and the Political-Security Cabinet. “Israel does research and develops software, but it doesn’t produce the final products…”
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4115688,00.html

Jordan urges Abbas to rethink UN bid
Ynet 31 Aug — Saudi Arabia’s al-Madinah newspaper says Amman has been trying to convince Ramallah to pull its appeal for UN recognition, fearing such unilateral moves may compromise Palestinian right of return
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4115922,00.html

Sarkozy: EU needs united position on Palestinian statehood
Reuters 31 Aug –  French president says world cannot let Israel-Palestinian peace process remain frozen while Arab Spring forces change elsewhere; EU lawmakers support trade deal with PA — French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday he wanted to see a united European Union voice on the issue of Palestinian statehood at next month’s United Nations General Assembly and urged the United States to do more for peace. “The 27 countries of the European Union must express themselves with one voice,” Sarkozy said
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/sarkozy-eu-needs-united-position-on-palestinian-statehood-1.381785

Rabbi Froman supports Palestinian bid to UN
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 31 Aug — Rabbi Menachem Froman Wednesday supported and expressed his and other Israeli rabbis’ wishes for success to the Palestinian bid to gain full United Nations membership of a Palestinian state within 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital in September, during his meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas. Froman said that establishing a Palestinian state benefits the peace process and Israel, as well as working to achieve comprehensive, just peace and stability for the region and the world
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=17185

‘PA statehood vote to risk bilateral agreements’
Ynet 31 Aug — Unilateral recognition bid at UN could jeopardize existing security, economic arrangements between Palestinian Authority and Israel, United States, says Israeli Ambassador to US Michael Oren in interview with Foreign Policy magazine
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4116341,00.html

Video: PLO status after statehood debated
PressTV 31 Aug –  A British expert in international law says Palestinian refugees outside the West Bank and Gaza could lose their representation at the UN if the Palestinian Authority (PA) succeeds in its UN statehood bid, Press TV reported — …Speaking to Press TV, Sha’wan Jabareen from the Al-Haq Organization – an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organization based in Ramallah – said, “the concern and question is whether or not the state would precede the PLO or vice versa”.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/196648.html

Diplomats split on support of Palestinians’ UN statehood bid
AP/Reuters 1 Sept — Diplomats expect Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden to back a Palestinian proposal in the General Assembly planned for late September — The European Union remains undecided whether to recognize the Palestinian push for recognition at the United Nations, diplomats said Thursday. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Thursday the question remained “hypothetical” because no resolution had been tabled yet. Ashton said the EU’s 27 members were united “over the most critical issue, which is to try to get the talks moving,” and reiterated the bloc’s position that Israeli settlement-building in the occupied territories is illegal under international law.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/diplomats-eu-split-on-support-of-palestinians-un-statehood-bid-1.381965

Erekat: EU support for UN bid upholds peace process
JERICHO (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — PLO official Saeb Erekat said Wednesday the European Union’s support for Palestinians bid for statehood at the UN will support the peaceful negotiation of a two state solution. The former chief negotiator said EU backing would act as a “crane” upholding the peace process, following meetings with the Permanent Secretary of State at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Claus Grube, and the Consul General of France in Jerusalem, Frédéric Desagneaux.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=417085

PLO official: UN bid not over in September
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — A PLO official said Wednesday that the Palestinian leadership will continue its “political battle” at the UN even if the upcoming September bid fails. Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, PLO executive committee member Saleh Rafat said that if the US vetoes Palestine’s UN bid for statehood in September, “we will go back again, and five times more” with initiatives for UN recognition. Rafat insisted that threats from Israel could not frighten the Palestinian leadership and people out of their determination.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=417124

Turkey affirms its support of Palestinian bid to UN
CAIRO (WAFA) 1 Sept — President of the Turkish Parliament’s Political Committee Zaki Douser Thursday affirmed, during a visit to Cairo, Turkey’s support of the Palestinian bid to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state, saying that it would be a historical moment for Palestinians and the entire world.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=17192

Israeli finance minister refuses to transfer money to PA
IMEMC 1 Sept — Israeli Finance Minister, Yuval Steinitz, refused a request from the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank to transfer NIS 380 Million to the P.A so it can pay salaries as the Muslims celebrate the Al Fitr feast. The Israeli Radio reported that, despite recommendations from the Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, and several officials, to advance the transfer as “an act of good will”, Steinitz refused the demand. Steinitz said that Israel must punish the Palestinians for insisting to head to the United Nations in September to seek international recognition of statehood … Israel collects customs and tax money on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, as the Israeli Army controls all borders, the money, under signed peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, must be transferred to P.A accounts. Every time there is a political crisis with the P.A, Israel withholds the money to pressure the Palestinians into abiding by Israeli preconditions.
http://www.imemc.org/article/61923

Knesset report slams Israel’s preparations for Palestinian statehood bid
Haaretz 1 Sept — A harsh and pessimistic report by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee warns that faulty preparations by the government may result in Israel’s standing being undermined when the Palestinians seek recognition as a state from the UN General Assembly later this month. According to the report, commissioned by the committee chairman, MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), the government “did not prevent what could have been prevented, and afterward failed to prepare accordingly.”
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/knesset-report-slams-israel-s-preparations-for-palestinian-statehood-bid-1.381827

Israel surveys options after Palestine UN bid
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 1 Sept — Upgrading the Palestinians’ U.N. status would be a “strategic mistake by the world”, a senior Israeli official said on Wednesday, cautioning that Israel had prepared a slew of punitive and diplomatic responses. Outlining government strategy ahead of next month’s showdown at the United Nations, the official said long-stalled peace talks would sag further should the Palestinians sidestep Israel in staking out statehood. “It’s clear to all that no foreseeable Israeli government could give the Palestinians what they get from the UN,” the official said, referring to proposed recognition of their claim on all of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. “It will create an unbridgeable rift. It could set negotiations back by years,” he said
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=417091

Other news

[Israel] finance minister reneges on deal to give early payment to Palestinian Authority
Haaretz 31 Aug — PA stuck without means to repay a loan that was taken out to pay the salaries after Defense Minister, Customs Authority approved early transfer; Steinitz associates: refusal stems from recent rocket fire on Israel from the Gaza Strip.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/finance-minister-reneges-on-deal-to-give-early-payment-to-palestinian-authority-1.381624

Haneyya, Abbas: Further action taken towards reconciliation
GAZA (PIC) 31 Aug — Prime Minister of the government in Gaza Ismail Haneyya and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have confirmed that further action has been taken for the sake of Palestinian reconciliation, a statement from Haneyya’s office says. This came after Haneyya phoned Abbas to mark Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The statement, which was disseminated to the media, says that many important issues were discussed by the leaders of the mending Palestinian territories, issues that include seeking state recognition with the United Nations.
http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/haneyya-abbas-further-action-taken-towards-reconciliation/

EU lawmakers back open markets for Palestinian goods
BRUSSELS (Reuters) 31 Aug — The EU moved closer to a trade deal with the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday after unanimous backing from European lawmakers to fully open markets to farm and fish products from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The 27-0 vote by the European Parliament’s international trade committee paves the way for full parliamentary approval for a deal later this year, signalling EU support for the Palestinian Authority as it prepares to bid next month for statehood recognition at the United Nations.
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/eu-lawmakers-back-open-markets-palestinian-goods-164005318.html

Urgent appeal | The Freedom Theatre – crime and punishment
Occ.Pal. 30 Aug — An appeal for moral and financial support following a new wave of harassments against The Freedom Theatre by the Israeli army — The Freedom Theatre in Jenin refugee camp was attacked by the Israeli army on the 27th July. Two of its members, Adnan Naghnaghiye and Bilal Saadi were taken. On the 22nd of August they were released from Israeli custody … Unfortunately, this is no time for rejoicing. Mohammed Eisht Naghnaghiye, the brother of Adnan and security guard at The Freedom Theatre, was taken by the Israeli army on the 22nd August and yesterday received a 15 day extension of his arrest … Two technicians at The Freedom Theatre, Mohammed Saadi, 21 years old and Ahmad Matahen, 20 years old, have been told to hand themselves in at the Salem military base outside of Jenin.
http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/urgent-appeal-the-freedom-theatre-crime-and-punishment/

Rights group: Local elections must move forward
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 31 Aug — The Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq on Tuesday called on President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw his presidential decree postponing local elections. The decree violates the provisions of the Basic Law and elections law, Al-Haq said. Abbas last week postponed the elections, scheduled for Oct. 22, “until appropriate circumstances” exist and to give time “to provide the Central Elections Commission with the opportunity to continue preparations for holding elections in all Palestinian districts.” The Palestinian Center for Human Rights, on the other hand, welcomed the decision. Its position is that elections cannot be organized before achieving national reconciliation and ensuring appropriate conditions for a fair and transparent vote that reflects the will of voters.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=417011

‘WikiLeaks docs embarrassing, not perilous’
Ynet 31 Aug — Could reports of exposure of intelligence agents in new Wikileaks cables endanger national security? US condemns leaks but Israeli experts believe concern is overrated
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4115923,00.html

Israeli women visit Beit Ommar
PSP 28 Aug — This past Saturday, twenty-eight Israeli women visited Beit Ommar at the invitation of the Beit Ommar Women’s Committee. The event was organised to give the women a chance to eat together, mingle, and discuss the challenges that citizens of Beit Ommar face on a daily basis.
http://palestinesolidarityproject.org/2011/08/28/israeli-women-visit-beit-ommar/

US: Ex-tech worker pleads guilty to attempting to spy for Israel
AP 31 Aug — A former employee of a company that helps websites deliver content to users pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of foreign economic espionage for providing trade secrets to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer. Elliot Doxer, 43, admitted at a plea hearing in federal court in Boston to providing trade secrets from Cambridge-based Akamai Technologies Inc. over an 18-month period to the agent, the US Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts said in a statement.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4115944,00.html#.Tl5TtZnJrQ4.twitter

Analysis / Opinion

The Israel-Egypt junta alliance / Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz 31 Aug — Now Israel stands in fear and trepidation, counting the days until the Camp David agreement with Egypt comes crashing down  — …We would, of course, very much like to see a military junta stay on in Egypt, under General Tantawi, managing affairs and keeping Tahrir Square from deciding who will lead the country. Peace with Egyptian citizens is much more expensive than peace with a junta or with a dictator. The people demand peace with the Palestinians, withdrawal from the territories, the demarcation of borders, and the rest of the demands that the dictators did not insist on. But how is it possible to continue living in peace with a military junta that answers to the voice of the street?
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/the-israel-egypt-junta-alliance-1.381653

In new Egypt, foreign policy not just for diplomats
Reuters 31 Aug — New rulers faced with dilemma to pursue more assertive policy towards Israel in line with public opinion, while still protecting integrity of peace treaty that gives them billions in US aid
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4116062,00.html

UNRWA: Beyond the myths / Chris Gunness
HuffPost 30 Aug — …Some commentators have focused on neutrality issues around UNRWA, its staff, its installations and its education programs. Also, UNRWA has been accused of “perpetuating the refugee situation” and the question has been asked “why not dissolve UNRWA and hand the refugees over to UNHCR which would resettle them?” The alleged issues around neutrality are founded on discredited myths and misunderstandings … The other set of arguments advanced against UNRWA is based on the fanciful notion that UNRWA itself and its approach to its work are per se the reason for the continuing existence of Palestinian refugees. Therefore, as the false argument goes, Palestinian refugees and the issues they represent would disappear if UNRWA were dissolved and the refugees became the responsibility of another agency such as UNHCR. These notions have no foundation.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-gunness/unrwa-beyond-the-myths_b_941669.html?view=screen

WikiLeaks: ISF intelligence chief boasts assassinating Hamas leaders will change paradigm
Tikun Olam — Former U.S Rep. Robert Wexler may be a liberal pro-Israel sycophant, but thank God he visited IDF intelligence chief two weeks before Operation Cast Lead began along with a U.S. embassy staffer.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t have this rich portrait of Israeli thinking just prior to the Israeli assault on Gaza.  The cable was written on December 8, 2008 and the war commenced on December 27th. 
http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/08/30/wikileaks-idf-intelligence-chief-boasts-assassinating-hamas-leaders-will-change-paradigm-two-weeks-before-cast-lead/

Analysis: West Bank dogged by high cost of trade
RAMALLAH (IRIN) 1 Sept — West Bank trade remains largely isolated from global markets due to restrictions imposed on the movement of goods to, from, and within the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), according to a July 2011 study by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Constraints on imports and exports inflate prices for Palestinian businesses and consumers, apparent as families struggle to buy gifts during the Eid post-Ramadan holiday. Constraints facing Palestinian trade to or via Israel include access within the West Bank itself prior even to reaching the border with Israel or Jordan; a time-consuming and expensive back-to-back truck loading system; and severe scrutiny measures imposed at the border crossing to Jordan (Allenby or King Hussein Bridge, the West Bank’s only international crossing point) and the commercial crossings between the West Bank and Gaza and Israel, according to an unpublished World Bank report drafted in February 2011 and seen by IRIN.
http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=93625

Legal interpretation of the demolition of homes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories / Mahmoud Al-Mubarak
MEMO 1 Sept – Observers of the systematic Israeli abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), especially the demolition of houses and the resultant forced expulsion of the Palestinian population, may be surprised at the absence of any international legal action by Palestinian officials against Israel. They would probably conclude that the Palestinians have a “successful case in the hands of an unsuccessful lawyer”. The demolition of houses and confiscation of Palestinian land is now well-documented in United Nations reports and by many human rights organizations around the world, and even in Israel. The Palestinian Authority (PA), however, has not fulfilled its duty by initiating legal action internationally against these serious violations by the Zionist state … In this brief study, the issue of house demolitions in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 will be assessed from an international legal point of view. I will try to identify the legal avenues that can be followed to prosecute the Israeli government and the parties involved in these violations of international law.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/articles/middle-east/2774-legal-interpretation-of-the-demolition-of-homes-in-the-occupied-palestinian-territories

Polish-Jewish sociologist compares West Bank separation fence to Warsaw Ghetto walls
Haaretz 1 Sept — Sygmunt Bauman, the Jewish sociologist and one of the greatest philosophers of our time, castigated Israel harshly this week, saying it did not want peace and was afraid of it. Bauman said Israel was “taking advantage of the Holocaust to legitimize unconscionable acts,” and compared the separation fence to the walls surrounding the Warsaw Ghetto, in which hundreds of thousands of Jews perished in the Holocaust. In a long interview to the important Polish weekly “Politika,” Bauman said Israel was not interested in peace. “Israeli politicians are terrified of peace, they tremble with fear from the possibility of peace, because without war and without general mobilization they don’t know how to live,” he said.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/polish-jewish-sociologist-compares-west-bank-separation-fence-to-warsaw-ghetto-walls-1.381828

Israel wages lawfare against Gaza flotilla / Philip Giraldi
I have already reported how ‘lawfare‘, which was defined by Air Force Deputy Judge Advocate General Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap following 9/11, is becoming the new hot button for defenders of Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s foreign policies. Using the law itself to subvert existing constitutional arrangements and, ironically, to undermine legal restraints has been around for quite a while, having been developed by Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt in the 1930s … The law was also exploited in an attempt to stop June’s Gaza flotilla. A lawsuit filed in federal court in New York City claimed that the sponsoring organization, the Free Gaza Movement, was raising money and preparing ships to be used in ‘hostilities’ against American ‘ally’ Israel. This would be a violation of the U.S. Neutrality Act … The New York lawsuit was filed by a U.S. citizen with the assistance of the Shurat HaDin, or the Israel Law Center, which was established as a nongovernmental organization (NGO) to use the law against groups that are perceived as being hostile to Israel. It is headed by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and her husband, Avi, who have described their organization as a means of “fighting back,” which is particularly appropriate for Israel because, they say, “the Jews invented law.”
http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2011/08/31/israel-wages-lawfare-against-gaza-flotilla/

‘March of the Millon’ is litmus test for a new Israel / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 1 Sept — In two days we’ll be able to see whether the town square turns into revolution square. These lofty and somewhat flowery words reflect a reality that is no less lofty and flowery: Anyone who does not show up on Saturday night does not exist. In other words, what happens in two days in Kikar Hamedina is the test of this country and Israeli society. It has been a long time since these two have faced such a test of maturity and civic behavior.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/march-of-the-million-is-litmus-test-for-a-new-israel-1.381857

groups.yahoo.com/group/f_shadi (listserv)
www.theheadlines.org (archive)

169 Responses

  1. Taxi
    September 2, 2011, 8:46 am

    America stabbed Turkey, a NATO ally, in the chest while it was complaining about israel. Turkey will now be forced to use it’s two-headed sword.

    • DBG
      September 2, 2011, 9:22 am

      is that why they just accepted to host an early warning radar system for the US/NATO.

      • Chaos4700
        September 2, 2011, 9:45 am

        That I’m sure will not be useful at all if Israel decides to take the killing of Turkish civilians more steps further, right? Oh, you are so desperate to score rhetorical brownie points you don’t even realize how the world is changing around you.

      • richb
        September 2, 2011, 10:22 am

        Israel really f’ed up here. The whole purpose of the Palmer report was to preserve bilateral relations between Turkey and Israel. The depth of Turkish anger cannot be underestimated. Note the Turkish FM quoted by Haaretz with my emphasis:

        The findings of a UN probe into Israel’s deadly raid on a 2010 flotilla to Gaza known as the Palmer Commission Report, which were leaked to The New York Times Thursday, have further raised tensions between Israel and Turkey, and senior Foreign Ministry officials warned that Turkey could respond to the report’s publication by expelling the Israeli ambassador and scaling back diplomatic relations. [My note: to the lowest level you can have while having diplomatic relations.]

        I noted the Hasbarists crowing yesterday when the NYT leaked the report. Israel and not Turkey has been delaying publication of the report and an offer for another six-month delay was soundly rebuffed by Ankara. Whoever leaked this to the Times did Israel no favors.

        “Israel squandered all of the opportunities to end the crisis, and now it must pay for it,” Turkish FM Davutoglu said during his announcement earlier Friday, adding that Turkey’s official position was that Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip was illegal, despite the fact that the UN report supported its legality.

        The only people that accept the legality of the siege of Gaza are the U.S., Israel, and their toadies. The primary audience of the “report” was not us, nor the wider World, but Turkey itself and by trying to give Israel a fig leaf completely destroyed their bilateral relationship.

        Hinting at the possible consequences of Turkey’s disagreement with the UN’s interpretation of Israel’s blockade, the Turkish FM said that Ankara would “do whatever it takes to implement its interpretation of the significance of international waters in the Mediterranean.

        “We cannot accept the blockade on Gaza. We cannot say that the blockade aligns with international law,” he said, adding that the stance taken by the Palmer Commission Report was the author’s “personal opinion, one which does not correspond with Turkey’s position.”

        My interpretation: the next flotilla will come with a Turkish Navy escort. As American military members who frequent this site have noted Israel only does well against unarmed civilians but standing armies and navies are a different story — at least those unlike the U.S. who will defend themselves against Israeli aggression.

        Additionally, Davutoglu announced the cancellation of all defense contracts between Israel and Turkey, adding that Ankara would both initiaite legal action against the Gaza blockade in international courts, as well as aid families of those killed in the Gaza flotilla raid in seeking litigation against Israel.

        Lawfare only succeeds when there is an asymmetry between an individual and a government. Now that it will be government versus government it will be a different story. Add to that dragging Israel in front of the ICC.

        Warning of the possible consequences of Israel’s refusal to apologize for the flotilla raid, Davutoglu said on Thursday that Friday’s official release of the Palmer Report constituted Israel’s last chance to apologize for its raid on the Turkish-sponsored flotilla and warned of consequences, including sanctions, should Israel continue to refuse to apologize.

        [Mr. Roger's voice] Can you say BDS? Sure I knew you could. [/Mr. Roger's voice]

        Unless there is an Israeli apology, “we will put Plan B into play,” Davutoglu said. He said Turkey intended to impose sanctions, “which both Israel and other international parties are aware of.

        DBG, there’s your shot across the bow to the U.S.

      • Les
        September 2, 2011, 1:51 pm

        It appears that Ban Ki-Moon’s attempt to bring Israel and Turkey closer together backfired. This fits in with his support of the attack against Libya, including knocking out Tripoli’s drinking water.

      • Bumblebye
        September 2, 2011, 3:24 pm

        This fallout could lead to very odd/dangerous situations. Since Turkey is a member of NATO, it might justifiably see some future action of Israel as an act of war. If this happens, other member nations should come to its defence. However, Israel, which has but hot air/brown nose/dollar relations, but no official alliance with the US has access to virtually everything the US military might/does know about the Turkish military capability via shared NATO membership. How would this play out? Particularly as other NATO members don’t have a high opinion of Israel.

      • Chaos4700
        September 2, 2011, 7:10 pm

        That’s why I’m saying Israel will destroy NATO. Israel has to. How else can they prevent the US from coming to the mutual defense of a NATO ally in such a case?

      • Shingo
        September 2, 2011, 7:34 pm

        I’m not sure that’s much of an argument Chaos.

        The US has sided with Israel against it’s own citizens. Why should a member state of NATO get any better treatment?

      • Chaos4700
        September 3, 2011, 2:07 am

        Would still add up to the same thing. The US destroys NATO on Israel’s behalf.

      • Taxi
        September 2, 2011, 10:45 am

        That’s the problem with foreigner-colonials in the middle east: they just don’t understand their neighbors in the SLIGHTEST – any of them.

        DBG,
        Did you even understand my reference to the “two-headed sword”? Do you even know any history of the Turks, their culture pre and post islamic – ever read the biography of Suleiman the Magnificent? Heck why do you think Turkish forefathers sported such proud and well-groomed mustaches? Have you even ever met a Turkish person in REAL LIFE? Been to Turkey lately eh?

        And you don’t think an islamic and secular Turkish public, with wounded pride and nine funerals to re-attend now on a yearly basis, WILL NOT bust the chops and bones of ANY political agreement their politicians have made regarding NATO and shNATO?

        Just stop repeating yourself like a wet parrot and get with the big picture for your own sakes: israel has just placed a well-oiled islamic army at it’s doorstep. Zionist failure of diplomacy at it’s absolute most degraded is the reason. Yes israel’s so full of arrogance and pathos that they’d rather make some 78+ million enemies overnight than even ‘signal’ a single, humble gesture of the word ‘sorry’. Only a suicidal country would rather start a regional war than find a face-saving way of saying “sorry” for the dead and maimed.

        “Oh the pride the goes before the fall”.

      • richb
        September 2, 2011, 11:29 am

        Taxi, the cluelessness concerning Turkey was around in July when word of the Palmer Report first was leaked. Just like the hapless husband who desperately needs couple’s therapy, all the Hasbarists cared about was that it seemed to score points for their narrative. They still don’t get the need to apologize. Note this DK thread I had in July where I bolded typical Hasbara cluelessness.

        * [new] Yeah I’ll back what the UN Concluded Will You? (0+ / 0-)

        As I noted previously Turkey won’t accept anything not consistent with the report I quoted. Here are their conclusions:

        260. The attack on the flotilla must be viewed in the context of the ongoing problems between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and people. In carrying out its task, the Mission was exposed to the depth of conviction on both sides of the correctness of their respective positions. Similar disasters are likely to reoccur unless there is a dramatic shift in the existing paradigm. It must be remembered that might and strength are enhanced when attended by a sense of justice and fair play. Peace and respect have to be earned, not bludgeoned out of any opponent. An unfair victory has never been known to bring lasting peace.

        261. The Mission has come to the firm conclusion that a humanitarian crisis existed on the 31 May 2010 in Gaza. The preponderance of evidence from impeccable sources is too overwhelming to come to a contrary opinion. Any denial of this cannot be supported on any rational grounds. One of the consequences flowing from this is that for this reason alone the blockade is unlawful and cannot be sustained in law. This is so regardless of the grounds on which one seeks to justify the legality of the blockade.

        262. Certain results flow from this conclusion. Principally, the action of the Israel Defense Force in intercepting the Mavi Marmara on the high seas in the circumstances and for the reasons given was clearly unlawful. Specifically, the action cannot be justified in the circumstances even under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations.

        263. Israel seeks to justify the blockade on security grounds. The State of Israel is entitled to peace and security like any other. The firing of rockets and other munitions of war into Israeli territory from Gaza constitutes serious violations of international law and of international humanitarian law. But any action in response which constitutes collective punishment of the civilian population in Gaza is not lawful in any circumstances.

        264. The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence. It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality. Such conduct cannot be justified or condoned on security or any other grounds. It constituted a grave violation of human rights law and international humanitarian law.

        265. The Mission considers that several violations and offences have been committed. It is not satisfied that, in the time available, it has been able to compile a comprehensive list of all offences. However, there is clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention:

        • Wilful killing;
        • Torture or inhuman treatment;
        • Wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.
        The Mission also considers that a series of violations of Israel’s obligations under international human rights law have taken place, including:
        • Right to life (art. 6, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights);
        • Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (art. 7, International Covenant; Convention against Torture);
        • Right to liberty and security of the person and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention (art. 9, International Covenant);
        • Right of detainees to be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person (art. 10, International Covenant);
        • Freedom of expression (art. 19, International Covenant).

        The right to an effective remedy should be guaranteed to all victims. The mission must not be understood to be saying that this is a comprehensive list by any means.

        266. The Mission notes that the retention by the Israeli authorities of unlawfully seized property remains a continuing offence and Israel is called upon to return such property forthwith.

        267. The perpetrators of the more serious crimes, being masked, cannot be identified without the assistance of the Israeli authorities. They reacted in a violent manner when they thought that anyone was attempting to identify them. The Mission sincerely hopes that there will be cooperation from the Government of Israel to assist in their identification with a view to prosecuting the culpable and bringing closure to the situation.

        268. The Mission is aware that this is not the first time that the Government of Israel has declined to cooperate with an inquiry into events in which its military personnel were involved. On this occasion the Mission accepts the assurances of the Permanent Representative of Israel that the position which he was directed to defend was in no way directed towards the members of the Mission in their personal capacities. It is nonetheless regrettable that, on yet another occasion of an enquiry into events involving loss of life at the hands of the Israeli military, the Government of Israel has declined to cooperate in an inquiry not appointed by it or on which it was significantly represented.

        269. The Mission regrets that its requests to the Permanent Mission of Israel for information were not entertained. The reason initially given was that the Government of Israel had established its own independent panel of distinguished persons to investigate the flotilla incident. The Mission was told that for that reason, and also because the Secretary-General had announced the establishment of another distinguished panel with a similar mandate, that “an additional Human Rights Council initiative in this regard [are] both unnecessary and unproductive”.

        270. The Mission did not agree with that position and for that reason suggested to the Permanent Representative of Israel that he should direct to the Council and not the Mission a request that the Mission defer submitting its report to permit other enquiries to complete their tasks. The Mission has not received any direction from the Council to date and considers that it would have been obligated to respond positively to any such directive from the Council.

        271. In the light of the fact that the Turkel Committee and the Secretary-General’s panel have not concluded their sittings, the Mission will refrain from any remarks which are capable of being construed as not allowing those bodies to complete their tasks “unfettered by external events”. The Mission confines itself to the observation.

        by rblinne on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 06:37:37 AM MDT

        [ Parent ]

        * [new] Yeah and…. (1+ / 0-)

        so?

        As I noted previously Turkey won’t accept anything not consistent with the report I quoted. Here are their conclusions:

        And I should care about that… why? Is Turkey the ultimate arbitor of what is right and wrong?

        DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn’t enough

        by volleyboy1 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 10:07:57 AM MDT

        [ Parent ]
        * [new] Because unless they agree (0+ / 0-)

        the report doesn’t get published.

        Meanwhile, Israel and Turkey have not yet agreed on the report of the U.N. panel, which Ankara, on legal grounds, insists should not contradict with the findings of a previously released U.N. Human Rights Council report.

        Davutoğlu highlighted that the report of the U.N. panel led by Geoffrey Palmer must be in compliance with “criteria of international law.”

        “An attitude contradicting with the U.N. Human Rights Council is unacceptable,” he added. “We hope Israel will meet our rightful demands on this issue.”

        The U.N. Human Rights Council said in 2010 that Israel’s military broke international laws during the raid. The report said Israel used excessive force, but implied Israel used “its legal right to impose a naval blockade against the Gaza Strip,” a finding which could pave the way for further interventions by Israel in the Mediterranean Sea, Turkish officials said.

        According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli officials are speculating about another option: issuing a statement that would replace the upcoming report.

        “It was not certain that the report would be released on Thursday. It could be released later, or not released at all,” the Turkish official told Daily News.

        U.N. spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters on Tuesday that more time was needed.

        “I don’t think we are yet at the point where the report would be handed over,” he said.

        by rblinne on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:04:07 PM MDT

        [ Parent ]
        * [new] But the report is still there and people (1+ / 0-)

        have seen it.

        Whether Israel and Turkey come to an agreement is irrelevant to what the Palmer Commission found. Just because it doesn’t say what Turkey wants it to say doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

        DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn’t enough

        by volleyboy1 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:52:10 PM MDT

        [ Parent ]

      • DBG
        September 2, 2011, 12:08 pm

        so now Turkey is Islamic? can you ppl work out your talking points before making a mockery of your cause?

        your clueless if you think there is going to be a war against Israel and Turkey, this maybe what you want, but it will never happen.

      • annie
        September 2, 2011, 12:18 pm

        that was an excellent comment of yours @dkos richb.

      • Taxi
        September 2, 2011, 2:20 pm

        DBG do you know the difference between ‘islamic’ and ‘islamist’?

        You think the Turks by now actually like you and respect you?

        Good grief man!

      • Shingo
        September 2, 2011, 5:16 pm

        Turkey has always been an Islamic country DGB. Evidently you never heard of the Ottoman Empire.

      • WeAreAllMadeOfStars
        September 2, 2011, 6:56 pm

        I don’t think Turkey will sit and let Israel bomb the hell out of Gaza again …
        Comes September, Turkey and Palestine could very well sign some sort of an agreement whereby any attack on Palestine would constitute an attack on Turkey

      • Chaos4700
        September 2, 2011, 7:24 pm

        I’m not sure it would go that far, Stars. It would be nice, though, albeit the other NATO members could argue that such a treaty on Turkey’s part will negate the mutual defense aspect that NATO would normally be obligated to uphold if Israel attacks Turkey again.

      • Antidote
        September 3, 2011, 2:09 pm

        Stars, this would leave us with a situation where the US, Canada and Germany consider any attack on Israel an attack on their country (as has long been stated), and fellow Nato-member Turkey has the same deal wrt Palestine. Not bad for keeping the peace in the ME, perhaps

      • WeAreAllMadeOfStars
        September 3, 2011, 7:01 pm

        Chaos and Antidote … Thanks for your reply. I did not mean an all-out war (and I surely hope no war at all). I was rather thinking about actions like this new one read in Haaretz today “According to the report, Turkish naval vessels will accompany civilian ships carrying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”

  2. Chaos4700
    September 2, 2011, 8:51 am

    And this is juuuust about the time historians will say that Israel started working to disband NATO for the United States.

    • DBG
      September 2, 2011, 9:14 am

      you know Israel has zero to do with NATO right? how you come up with this stuff absolutely amazes me. You know Turkey just agreed to host an early warning radar system to combat missile threats from Iran correct? Do you think this little spat will actually get in the way of that?

      • Chaos4700
        September 2, 2011, 9:22 am

        Tell that to former Congressman Anthony “Look at this photo of my…!” Weiner. After Israel killed people on the flotilla — including an American citizen — he began squawking about Turkey as “our former ally.”

        And I’m sure that such a radar system will be TOTALLY useless if Israel threatens to fire missiles on Turkey, right? Smooth move, Erdogan.

      • DBG
        September 2, 2011, 9:45 am

        I doubt Israel is going to attack a NATO member.

      • richb
        September 2, 2011, 10:37 am

        Last time I checked the U.S. was a member of NATO.

      • edwin
        September 2, 2011, 11:57 am

        I do not think that Israel is yet at the point where it is going to commit political suicide. In that sense – the USS liberty not withstanding – Israel is not going to attack a NATO member.

        That is not to say that it has in the past been much better at playing the political game than it is right now.

        Sometimes the best thing you can do is to loose. It looks like they tried for a compromise – something along that line with the “we were justified except for the actual deaths”. Unfortunately for them, they read the cards wrong and are suffering from a rather extreme case of hubris brought on by decades of being able to do no wrong as far as most of the west were concerned.

        I suspect that what will be required to amend relations now is greater than what would have been required to amend relations in the past.

      • Chaos4700
        September 2, 2011, 7:11 pm

        Israel has thrown it’s full might behind the siege of Gaza. History suggests they will choose violence and military strikes over capitulation and peace.

      • Haytham
        September 2, 2011, 7:36 pm

        Ha’aretz reported a couple of days ago that Turkey may kiss and make up with Israel because they need Israeli drones to effectively target the PKK.

        link to haaretz.com

      • Haytham
        September 2, 2011, 7:48 pm

        And then there’s this from today:

        link to haaretz.com

        Warning of the possible consequences of Israel’s refusal to apologize for the flotilla raid, Davutoglu said on Thursday that Friday’s official release of the Palmer Report constituted Israel’s last chance to apologize for its raid on the Turkish-sponsored flotilla and warned of consequences, including sanctions, should Israel continue to refuse to apologize.

        Unless there is an Israeli apology, “we will put Plan B into play,” Davutoglu said. He said Turkey intended to impose sanctions, “which both Israel and other international parties are aware of.”

        Anyone know what Plan B might be? I want to know!!

      • Haytham
        September 2, 2011, 7:56 pm

        From JPost:

        link to jpost.com

        Plan B refers to a threat made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month saying that if Israel did not apologize, Turkey would further downgrade ties with Israel and aggressively oppose it in international forums. The Turks have also threatened to cut economic ties as part of a “Plan B.”

        This is very intriguing to me. For decades everyone in the region has been trying to stay on Israel’s good side, even if it caused them embarrassment. Are things changing?

      • annie
        September 2, 2011, 8:35 pm

        here’s a good start

        this writer is turkish and lives there.

        As reported by the Turkish media.

        1 – Turkish-Israeli diplomatic relations will be reduced to the second secretary level. All diplomatic personnel above this level will be withdrawn to their own countries by next Wednesday.

        2 – All military agreements between Turkey and Israel will be suspended.

        3 – Turkey, who has the longest coast in the eastern Mediterranean, will take all actions it deems necessary to insure freedom of navigation in the eastern Mediterranean.

        4 – The Israeli blockade of Gaza is not recognized by Turkey. The Israeli embargo of Gaza will be presented to the International Court of Justice for investigation. Turkey has also begun the process of bringing this matter to the United Nations General Assembly.

        5 – Turkey will provide the necessary support for all Turkish citizen and non-Turkish citizen participants in the Freedom Flotilla in their efforts to pursue their cases in any court.
        – * –

        The media also report that the Turkish government has stated that other measures may be forthcoming.

  3. Shingo
    September 2, 2011, 9:01 am

    Good riddance. They should have done this a long time ago.

    Another example of Israeli policies deligitimizing Israel. Egypt should do the same.

  4. seafoid
    September 2, 2011, 9:11 am

    Turkey doesn’t buy the hasbara. Poor Israel.

    Israeli Jews= Europeans= Americans > All muslims

    This is the formula they applied to the Mavi Marmara. The one they use all the time in the West Bank.

    And the Turks don’t buy it. They are a proud people. Their economy is booming. They don’t need little Sparta. They have far more historical status than the Zionists too, remember.

    • Chaos4700
      September 2, 2011, 9:24 am

      Actually its Israeli Jews = Americans > Europeans > All Muslims. Remember there were respected Europeans on the flotilla boats who were kidnapped and roughed up by Israel too.

    • Shingo
      September 2, 2011, 9:45 am

      And the Turks don’t buy it. They are a proud people. Their economy is booming. They don’t need little Sparta.

      And now that the US economy and empire is also bleeding, they don’t neeed little Sparta’s big brother either.

  5. Dan Crowther
    September 2, 2011, 9:14 am

    This is precisely why Erdogan is the most respected leader in the region. American leaders were and still are falling over themselves to apologize to Israel for Israel killing an American on the flotilla – apparently the Turks didnt get the “fealty to Israel” memo. A government defending its people, what a novel fckin idea.

    • Shingo
      September 2, 2011, 9:48 am

      This is precisely why Erdogan is the most respected leader in the region.

      After agreeing to stop the Mavi Marmara from participating in the last flotilla, this is the last straw. Israel’s leader have completely lost their marbles and their belief in their power has gone to their head. They really believe there is no limit to the humiliation they can inflict on other states, and arroganc they can brandish. Netenyahu’s 28 standing ovations in Washington really has made these crazy’s lose the plot.

  6. Theo
    September 2, 2011, 9:16 am

    It is about time someone stands up to that bloody little country and shows some courage. A member of the NATO was attacked and that organisation should have acted immediately after the killing of turkish citizens.
    As far as the NATO goes, it is as useful now as boils on your backside. The original enemy, the SU, was dismembered 20 years ago, so there is absolutly no use for this military union. Right now the NATO is used to carry out orders from Washington, helping the USA to attack far away countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and just recently Libya, countries who did not plan or had the capability to harm either the USA or Europe, thus becoming a rouge military power. It is expensive and useless, so it should be put into the history books.

    • Walid
      September 2, 2011, 9:39 am

      This week was filled with one good news after another. The Agrexco failure, Veolia dangling in the air, the pressure on the soda machine company, Palmieri refusing to play Eilat, the Beethoven group in London and now the Turkey story. It’s like Christmas week. I hope every week will be like this one.

    • Walid
      September 2, 2011, 9:40 am

      Theo, the proper term is “shitty little country”.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 2, 2011, 11:53 am

        “Theo, the proper term is ‘shitty little country’.”

        You know, I’ve used this term myself, and the more I thought about it, I have concluded that it is not a proper thing.

        It is not the country that is shitty. The Palestinian countryside is beautiful from the Med to the Jordan, and from Lebanon to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is only the STATE that the Zionist have installed in that country that is shitty.

        So I now use, “shitty little state.”

    • DBG
      September 2, 2011, 9:44 am

      OK, so you are saying that the flotilla was organized by Turkey? This was a Turkish sponsored escapade?

      • annie
        September 2, 2011, 10:07 am

        dbg, who are you addressing and what are you responding to?

        A member of the NATO was attacked and that organisation should have acted immediately after the killing of turkish citizens.

        was it this?

      • DBG
        September 2, 2011, 10:18 am

        The flotilla wasn’t sponsored by the Turkish government so saying a NATO member was attacked is bogus, it is just propaganda.

      • annie
        September 2, 2011, 10:22 am

        they were turkish citizens. citizenship matters to some governments although clearly not ours.

  7. Taxi
    September 2, 2011, 9:25 am

    Theo says it good and right.

  8. Tzombo
    September 2, 2011, 9:45 am

    It’s funny that this UN report gives Israel almost everything it wants and does more damage to Israeli-Turkish ties than a more critical report could have done.

  9. Fredblogs
    September 2, 2011, 9:47 am

    So the Islamist government of Turkey, which has been determined from its inception to break ties with Israel has broken ties with Israel? That’s just unbelievable. Next up “water turns out to be wet”.

    As for the apology, the Turks knew that was never going to happen. That’s why they demanded it. Demanding an apology that is never going to happen makes for a great excuse for breaking ties. If Afghanistan demands that the U.S. apologize for killing Bin Ladin, does that mean they really want an apology, or just an excuse to be faux outraged for whatever political benefit being faux outraged gets them?

    • annie
      September 2, 2011, 10:11 am

      didn’t egypt just ask for an apology for israel killing some egyptian police? do you think they were trying to break ties?

      maybe the one trying to break ties is israel. listening to you one might think killing people was less offensive than demanding an apology.

    • Cliff
      September 2, 2011, 10:19 am

      Look the psychopath is back. Turkey is not islamist. The activists murdered by israeli fascists are not ‘bin laden’ and israel wont apologise because it regularly butchers innocent people.

      • annie
        September 2, 2011, 10:44 am

        Turkey is not islamist.

        and it would be irrelevant if it was. fred just likes flogging islam at every opportunity.

      • Shingo
        September 2, 2011, 10:50 am

        Yet he whines like a baby over what he describes as Israeli bashing – even though he claims not to support Israel.

      • Fredblogs
        September 7, 2011, 6:07 am

        I’ve got no problem with Islam as long as it isn’t being used as a basis for government or to justify terrorism and violation of human rights (including women’s rights and religious rights of minorities).

        You can substitute any other religion (including Judaism) in there for Islam and that would be my position on that religion.

      • Shingo
        September 7, 2011, 7:00 am

        I’ve got no problem with Islam as long as it isn’t being used as a basis for government or to justify terrorism and violation of human rights (including women’s rights and religious rights of minorities).

        Do you have a problem with Zionism when it’s being used as a basis for government or to justify terrorism and violation of human rights, whch happens to be all of the time?

    • James North
      September 2, 2011, 10:28 am

      Hasbara Central sends reinforcements to handle the damaging Mavi Marmara report.

      • annie
        September 2, 2011, 10:40 am

        exactly james

    • Shingo
      September 2, 2011, 10:38 am

      So the Islamist government of Turkey, which has been determined from its inception to break ties with Israel has broken ties with Israel?

      The government of Turkey is not Islamist. Why the Turkey bashing Fred?

      As for the apology, the Turks knew that was never going to happen. That’s why they demanded it.

      Wrong again Fred. Netenyahu was actually going to offer an apology but Lieberman did an end run around him and made sure Netenayahu didn’t make the apology.

      Demanding an apology that is never going to happen makes for a great excuse for breaking ties.

      Wrong. Egypt demanded an apology from Israel for the indicent an few weeks ago, and Israel did express remorse, so Israel is clearly prepared to do it if the stakes are high enough.

      • Fredblogs
        September 7, 2011, 6:16 am

        Then the apology to Egypt wasn’t an “apology that was never going to happen”. Since Israel wasn’t claiming that the Egyptian police were the intended target, the regret for their deaths is natural. Demanding an apology for an accident is not the same as demanding an apology from people who did nothing wrong.

        Cite for “Netanyahu was going to apologize”?

    • richb
      September 2, 2011, 10:47 am

      If Turkey is Islamist give me more Islamist governments. Note this report from Voice of America:

      link to voanews.com

      Turkey has announced the return of hundreds of properties seized by the state from Christians and Jews over the past seven decades. The move is being described as a landmark decision for the country’s non-Muslim minorities and a major boost to the country’s much-troubled bid to join the European Union.

      Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the decision to return hundreds of properties to non-Muslim communities is about righting a wrong made against them. He spoke Sunday at a dinner attended by the leaders of Turkey’s Christian and Jewish faiths.

      He said the times when a Turkish citizen was oppressed due to his religion, ethnic origin or different way of life are over. He said this is not about doing a favor, but about rectifying an injustice.

      The hundreds of properties to be returned include churches, cemeteries and synagogues, as well as schools. If the proprieties were sold to a third party, then their current value will be paid by the state to the original owners. Many of the properties were seized in decisions dating back to 1936, when restrictions over ownership of property by non-Muslims were first introduced. Istanbul’s head rabbi, Ishak Haleva, welcomed the return of the properties.

      Erdogan said this is a historical day, and he expressed thanks to God.

      Decades of discrimination have seen Turkey’s non-Muslim minorities collapse, from populations numbering in the millions to only a few hundred thousand. Their presence dates back thousands of years. Once Constantinople – now Istanbul – was the center of Christianity. Today the city still remains home to the spiritual leadership of the Orthodox church, which since the early years of the Turkish Republic, has faced discrimination.

      It took a so-called Islamist to rectify discrimination by purportedly secular governments. Clue to Israel: this is how it’s done. Acknowledge your past evils, rectify them, and move on. Turkey shows that you can be religious and not discriminate. Turkey decided to be a democratic rather than an Islamic state. Israel needs to do the same with respect to being a democratic rather than a Jewish one.

      • DBG
        September 2, 2011, 11:31 am

        AKP is Islamic in nature and they have control of the government It isn’t really a bad thing, but facts are facts.

      • richb
        September 2, 2011, 12:27 pm

        AKP is Islamic in nature and they have control of the government It isn’t really a bad thing, but facts are facts.

        Please inform FredBlogs of the above because as you say facts are facts and Fred seems to need a clue stick to find them.

      • Shingo
        September 2, 2011, 5:15 pm

        AKP is Islamic in nature and they have control of the government It isn’t really a bad thing, but facts are facts.

        Islamic and Islamist are 2 different things.

      • marc b.
        September 2, 2011, 12:21 pm

        richB, speaking of muslims and christians, i wonder how much of this has to do with recent and increasing israeli meddling in cypriot politics as well.

      • richb
        September 2, 2011, 12:34 pm

        I don’t have a handle on how much this influences things but it certainly cannot help. The VOA story does show that Turkey understands confidence building measures in achieving their diplomatic goals, namely being a full part of the European community. Israel on the other hand doesn’t understand diplomacy because the U.S. has heretofore protected them from the negative consequences of their intransigence. That era is rapidly coming to an end not because of a change of heart in the U.S. but rather the rest of the World making us more and more irrelevant.

      • john h
        September 2, 2011, 5:43 pm

        “Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the decision to return hundreds of properties to non-Muslim communities is about righting a wrong made against them. He said this is not about doing a favor, but about rectifying an injustice.”

        “Clue to Israel: this is how it’s done. Acknowledge your past evils, rectify them, and move on. Turkey shows that you can be religious and not discriminate.”

        Says it all; if only… Made my day, thanks richb.

      • Fredblogs
        September 7, 2011, 6:38 am

        A ploy to improve their chances of getting into the European Union. How much is it costing them to do this?

        Still, given further research into the AKP, I will quit calling them Islamist unless I see more evidence of it than the description. Virulently anti-Israel and pro-terrorist, yes, Islamist, perhaps not.

      • Shingo
        September 7, 2011, 7:28 am

        Given the state of the European Union these days, I don’t think that Turkey regards their prior rejection of membership as a bad outcome. The reason their economy is booming is precisely because it isn’t part of the EU.

  10. Mooser
    September 2, 2011, 10:42 am

    Turkey has an Islamist government? Well, I’ll show them! This year at Thangsgiving we’ll be having ham! Take that, you Moslems!

  11. justicewillprevail
    September 2, 2011, 11:29 am

    One of the (many) negative consequences of Israel’s dependency and manipulation of the US is that it thinks it can ignore the region around it, treat its neighbours with contempt, threaten and bully them. It is encouraged to think that it doesn’t need them, as it builds its fantasy 53rd state, where the indigenous people are deemed not to exist. This isolationist policy contributes to its sense that it need never cohabit with others in the region, and can use violence to force its will on others. It is a recipe for perpetual conflict, and it would be far better for its future if the US cut the ties and force it to live with its neighbours and recognise their legitimacy, something it clearly has problems with.

  12. POA
    September 2, 2011, 12:26 pm

    People tend to think this spat started with the flottilla incident. But really, it started with Turkey’s stance on Operation Cast Lead and the subsequent Goldstone Report.

  13. RobertB
    September 2, 2011, 12:36 pm

    In the meantime, Israel’s PR & damage control agents “AIPAC, US Congress, Zionist’s controlled MSM, ADL & other agencies…” are already busy working & plotting to punish Turkey for its stand/actions.

    And Israel/Netanyahu/Lieberman/Mossad… Plan of action:

    – Israel/Mossad armed support for the Kurds in Turkey & Iraq.

    – Mossad’s assassins are plotting against Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan.

  14. muzz al atesta
    September 2, 2011, 4:17 pm

    teşekkür ederim turkey!

    may there be many additional countries who follow your lead until the 21st century apartheid regime joins its south african predecessors on the trash heap of history.

  15. piotr
    September 2, 2011, 6:16 pm

    “One of the (many) negative consequences of Israel’s dependency and manipulation of the US is that it thinks it can ignore the region around it, treat its neighbours with contempt, threaten and bully them.”

    Region? Israeli delusions of grandeur have a more Cosmic scale (quote from Haaretz):

    >> Upgrading the Palestinians’ UN status would be a “strategic mistake by the world”, a senior Israeli official said on Wednesday. <<

    By the way, I had a trouble understanding how asking for a vote among 189 countries constitutes a "unilateral action". Now it dawns on me that it is World that may foolishly resort to a unilateral action, and Israeli government will have to retaliate (sanctions directed at Qatar seem to be a blueprint).

  16. RoHa
    September 2, 2011, 9:41 pm

    I said they’d be pissed off.

  17. jonah
    September 3, 2011, 6:06 am

    The situation around the Mediterranean is becoming increasingly worrying. The turkish government of Erdogan is flexing their muscles and threatening to break the blockade that Israel has legally (UN report docet!) imposed against the hostile regime of Hamas.
    link to haaretz.com

    Where nations are ruled by Islamists (today primarily Iran, Lebanon, Turkey), there are dangerous and expansionist policies in place. To deflect from their internal problems they seek confrontation with Israel, threatening to undermine the delicate balance of the region Near and Middle East. They are – in the extremism of their governments – a serious threat to world peace.

    • Haytham
      September 3, 2011, 6:33 am

      Jonah:

      Where nations are ruled by Islamists (today primarily Iran, Lebanon, Turkey), there are dangerous and expansionist policies in place.

      I’m going to borrow a tactic from Glenn Greenwald on this subject and ask you this:

      When was the last time Lebanon launched an aggressive war?
      When was the last time Iran launched an aggressive war?

      I’ll give you a hint: It’s been many generations. I’m not sure the state of Lebanon has EVER launched an aggressive war. Iran? Well, rhetoric aside, they’re dealing with having the US military literally knocking on their door and a nuclear–and often times unhinged–Israel in the neighborhood.

      Last time Israel launched an aggressive war? Ha!

      Come on. Your post is a joke.

      • jonah
        September 3, 2011, 8:26 am

        “When was the last time Lebanon launched an aggressive war?”

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        “When was the last time Iran launched an aggressive war?”

        Never. Iran simply uses its proxies for terror attacks on other countries around the world, in particular Israel. Besides, it slaughters and tortures its own people and supports the criminal Asad in the bloody crackdown on the Syrian people. Odious regime.

        Your defense of these regimes is self-telling.

      • Haytham
        September 3, 2011, 8:31 am

        jonah September 3, 2011 at 8:26 am

        Your defense of these regimes is self-telling.

        Please cite my “defense.”

        Thought not.

        Also, please define “self-telling.” English not your first or second language?

      • jonah
        September 3, 2011, 9:13 am

        You want to buy me that Iran isn’t aggressive?
        Look at its proxies. Look at its hidden program for development of nuclear waepons – actually now an open secret.
        link to ncr-iran.org
        Look at Amadinejmad crude rhetoric. link to in.reuters.com

        And do you suppose that Lebanon sleeping when Hezbollah launched its attacks on 12 July 2006 against Israel?

        I’m sure you ignore all this: is self-talking better to understand (even if English isn’t my mother tongue)?

      • Shingo
        September 3, 2011, 9:35 am

        You want to buy me that Iran isn’t aggressive?

        That’s right Jonah. Iran has not atatcked on invaded any country in 270 years.

        Look at its proxies.

        Iran does not have proxies. Hamas, who are the elected leaders of the Palestinians, were created by Israel. Hezbollah are the major party of the electied ruling coaltion in Lebanon and would not exist were it not for Israe; 18 year occupation of Lebanon.

        Look at its hidden program for development of nuclear waepons – actually now an open secret.

        Seriously Jonah, are you that detemined to humiliate yourself in public?

        First of all, while I realise the articel links to the Washington Post, you might want to steer clear of the NCRI web site. The NCRI is the politcal front of the MEK, which is listed by the State departmen as a terrorist group.

        Secondly, if you’d bothered to read the article, it mentions nothing about nuclear weapons. This is a rehash of old news and simply tries to spin the civlian nuclear power program as being a nuclear wepoans program. Not one scintiale of evidence is cited, adn certainyl nothing new. NOTHING.

        It doesn’t even suggest that Iran are violating the NPT.

        Look at Amadinejmad crude rhetoric.

        Crude doesn’t constitue an act of agression in any way. Lieberman is far more crude.

        And do you suppose that Lebanon sleeping when Hezbollah launched its attacks on 12 July 2006 against Israel?

        Hezbollah launched no attacks on 12 July 2006 against Israel. They responded to Israel’s bombig of Southern Lebanon. Even the Winograd Commission concluded that Israel intitated the war.

      • jonah
        September 3, 2011, 9:39 am

        Correction: You want to give (not to buy) me that Iran isn’t aggressive?

      • Shingo
        September 3, 2011, 9:44 am

        Correction: You want to give (not to buy) me that Iran isn’t aggressive?

        Can you name one country who Iran has attacked or invaded in the last 270 years Jonah?

      • piotr
        September 4, 2011, 6:44 pm

        Hezbollah attacked soldiers on what it believes to be Lebanese territory (I think this is Lebanese consensus, while Israel believes it is Syrian). And it was a few day after an assassination of Hezbollah official, so not “unprovoked”. What followed was an attack on Iran by proxy.

        Israel was basically an inept tool in an American attempt to “cut Iran down to size”. Assuming that similar tactics would be used between Iran and US forces, by both sides, we could conclude that Iran would use missile to close Persian Gulf traffic, we would respond by bombing their launching sites, to no avail, and send Marines to get control of those sites, to no avail. American government did not expect such meager results, needless to say.

        OTOH, rather then concentrating on military targets IDF apparently spend most of its effort pounding civilian targets all over the place. Perhaps they did not know locations of Hezbollah bunkers with missiles, but perhaps IDF just went bonkers following a doctrine that disabling annoying military assets of the enemy is unnecessary if you can destroy enough civilian assets and kill enough civilians. As they say, “worse than a crime”.

    • Shingo
      September 3, 2011, 6:52 am

      Thanks for the link Jonah,

      That’s awesome news. Let’s see how thecowardly Israeli defense for handles a real army.

      Poor Jonah. You’ve been reduced to some pathetic and miserable cfreature that sits in the corner of the room, coveruing his ears and yelling “la, la, la I’m not listening”.

      The turkish government of Erdogan is flexing their muscles and threatening to break the blockade that Israel has legally (UN report docet!) imposed against the hostile regime of Hamas.

      The UN did not come to that conclusion. The report, which admits is has no madnate to decide legality made that basless conclusion in spite of other UN rerports hat contradict it.

      Where nations are ruled by Islamists (today primarily Iran, Lebanon, Turkey), there are dangerous and expansionist policies in place

      Yeah right Jonah. Look at all those settlements that Iran, Lebanon, Turkey (all of whom have declared and internationally recgonized borders) are building.

      To deflect from their internal problems they seek confrontation with Israel, threatening to undermine the delicate balance of the region Near and Middle East.

      Hey, if it works for Israel, it’s worth a try.

      They are – in the extremism of their governments – a serious threat to world peace.

      Israel you mean right? After all, international polls put Israel and the US as the greatest threats to world peace.

      • Walid
        September 3, 2011, 9:25 am

        “That’s awesome news. Let’s see how thecowardly Israeli defense for handles a real army.”

        It has already happened, Shingo, in May 2000 and again in July 2006 when the valiant fighting men of the IDF, especially the much vaunted Golani Brigade accustomed to fighting women and stone-throwing children came face to face with the men of Hizbullah on Lebanese soil. It was both funny and sad in 2006 to see them in shock and crying while being interviewed on Israel’s Channel 2 or 10, can’t remember which, especially the part they related how Hizbullah fighters dropped on them from trees or how suddenly the earth opened under their feet and out popped Hizbullah fighters with guns blazing. It was very traumatizing for the IDF. Not at all like fighting women and children. The same would surely happen to the Israelis if they tangle with the Turks.

      • Shingo
        September 3, 2011, 9:40 am

        Yes I am aware of that incredible feat by Hezbollah Walid, but I did stipualte that Isael tend to pick on opponents that are hugely inferior in terms of armaments, which is true for Hezbollah even though Hezbollah kicked Israel’s butt.

        And yes, I agree that the same would happen to the Israelis if they tangle with the Turks. Imagine how apoplectic the Israelis would be if they had a taste of their own medicine and looked up to see figher jets raising hellfire missiles and 500lb bombs on them instead of WWII era rockets?

      • Haytham
        September 4, 2011, 2:26 pm

        Walid/Shingo:

        Here is a YouTube video of Israeli soldiers (it looks like some of them may still have been on their mission) talking to reporters about the Hezbollah fighters they faced in 2006.

        The interviews with the solders start around 1:15.

        Memorable quotes from the soldiers:

        “If we go into Lebanon–and I’m saying this while I’m convinced of it–we will all be sent home 2 hours later in a coffin.”

        “We are not even able to attack, we have pretty much just been saving our injured soldiers. Each Hezbollah cell can destroy two [Israeli] tanks…It’s really very depressing.”

        There is some silly stuff at the end regarding “miracles” that happened (helping the Lebanese side) during the war, but I don’t think that idiotic part detracts from the interviews at all.

        And here is part of a documentary from Al-Jazeera about how Hezbollah used Russian made anti-tank rockets to destroy Israeli Merkava tanks. Israel allegedly didn’t know Hezbollah had these rockets and it caused them to be on the defensive, which they’re not used to.

      • Shingo
        September 4, 2011, 7:16 pm

        Thanks Haytham,

        I can;t find the link, but there was an article in the Asia Times that cited a study by the Pentagon that estimates one Hezbollah fighter was euqivalent to 5 IDF fighters and that in the next war, they estimate the IDF ground troops won’t even bother comming out fo their armoured vehicles.

      • Haytham
        September 4, 2011, 7:48 pm

        Shingo:

        Yes, I read the Asia Times piece a while ago. This is not where I originally read it but like you I can’t find that site. I’m 99% sure this is an accurate reproduction of it

        Lebanon 2006 : How Hezbollah Defeated Israel
        Asia Times
        link to scribd.com

    • petersz
      September 4, 2011, 9:22 am

      The Palmer Report is not legally binding it says so in its Terms of Reference.

    • Fredblogs
      September 7, 2011, 6:44 am

      I’m holding the term “Islamist” for Turkey in abeyance until I see more evidence. Have you got any examples that would justify the term. Forcing Islamic law on secular people, destruction of secularism (the headscarves in the universities thing doesn’t count), that sort of thing. So far the attempt to criminalize adultery comes closest of what I have found and even that was prison not stoning.

  18. Cliff
    September 3, 2011, 7:15 am

    Jonah says:

    Where nations are ruled by Islamists (today primarily Iran, Lebanon, Turkey), there are dangerous and expansionist policies in place.

    This is the same jonah who does not believe B’Tselem, Amnesty International, HRW, etc. when they report on the on-going constant stream of Israeli criminality.

    The same jonah who did not believe jdlelell’s story and questioned all Palestinian narratives of daily life in the OT “there are dangerous and expansionist policies in place” in reference to countries OTHER THAN Israel.

    Is Iran occupying and colonizing another peoples’ land? Wait, no that’s Israel.

    The most repulsive people you will ever have the misfortune of coming across are Zionists. Whether they are arm-chair goons here on Mondoweiss or the ones murdering, abusing, and stealing from Palestinians.

  19. jonah
    September 3, 2011, 8:37 am

    “That’s awesome news. Let’s see how thecowardly Israeli defense for handles a real army.”

    The blockade is legal, baby-shingo. If the turkish pro-Islamist government will seek to breach it, it will be regarded as an act of war. Are you yearning for a full-scale war? Doesn’t really astonish me, with the lack of humanity displayed in your posts.

    • Shingo
      September 3, 2011, 8:56 am

      The blockade is legal, baby-shingo.

      No it’s not baby Jonah. The Palmer/Uribe Report did not consult the ICJ about the matter and admitted that their conclusion was based on opinion, not legal review and was definitely not within their mandate to decide.

      Thet UNHRC already had two official reports in hand which determined the blockade isillegal

      If the turkish pro-Islamist government will seek to breach it, it will be regarded as an act of war.

      Killing 9 passengers on the Mavi Marmara was an act of war. Violating air space (as Israel does repeatedly with Lebanon) is also an act of war. Israel commits acts of war all the time.

      Of course, if breaching a blockade is an act of war, that I take it you agree Israel were at fault for starting the 1967 war.

      Are you yearning for a full-scale war? Doesn’t really astonish me, with the lack of humanity displayed in your posts.

      I sincerely doubt you are astonished Jonah, more like very anxious. Isrlae is not accustomed to taking on an opponent of similar power. They prefer to pick fights with ebemies that are grossly unmatched.

      It would only be an act of war if Israel decided it was – then again, Israel considers praticalyl anything to be an act of war.

      If war was to to eventuate from the breash of a blockade of Gaza, it would be entirely Israel’s choice. If the blockade of Gaza was indeed legal, then a blockade of Israel would also be legal, and thus any attempt by Israel to break it would also be an act of war.

      You can’t have it both ways Jonah baby.

      • Fredblogs
        September 7, 2011, 7:01 am

        Shingo, the problem is that you are confusing “legal” with “not an act of war”, and/or confusing “act of war” with “illegal”.

        Any blockade is an act of war. ANY blockade, no matter how justified, no matter whether it is legal or illegal. If the U.N. General Assembly, Security Council, Human Rights Council, the ICJ, the ICC, the CIA, the IRS, the NAACP, the NCAA, and God himself, along with the leaders of every nation on Earth other than country X say it’s ok to blockade country X, it’s _STILL_ an act of war against country X to blockade them.

        In the context of acts of war “legal” means “not a war-crime” and “illegal” means “a war-crime”.

        “Act of war” doesn’t mean “illegal” it just means something that, if done when no war existed would be legally the same as a declaration of war. The blockade of Eilat in 1967 was an act of war by Egypt against Israel. The blockade of Gaza today is an act of war by Israel against Gaza. If tomorrow the Turks started blockading Israel that would be an act of war against Israel and still legal because a blockade is not a war-crime.

        It is effectively the same as any other legal act of war such as Hamas firing missiles at Israeli military outposts. This contrasts with things that are acts of war and illegal such as Hamas firing missiles aimed at civilians.

        Just because it is legal (not a war crime) does not mean the other side will let you get away with it of course.

      • Shingo
        September 7, 2011, 7:30 am

        Any blockade is an act of war.

        Not necessarily. As I mentioned to Jonah, no one agreed with Israel’s claims that Egypt’s actions were an act of war. That incldues the US. In any case, Israel were arguing at the time that it was illegal.

      • Fredblogs
        September 7, 2011, 8:54 pm

        Yes, necessarily. By definition. If you are blockading, you are committing an act of war. No matter what country you are, no matter what country or quasi-country, or political faction you are blockading.

        I don’t know where you got the idea that anyone thought that the blockade of Eilat was not an act of war. Cite?

        Oh, and re-read your cite, it has to 1) say “not an act of war”, not just “not illegal”, and 2) it has to be an objective source. Hamas’s website won’t do.

      • Shingo
        September 7, 2011, 9:15 pm

        wrogn Fred,

        There is no definition, which is why the US and the UN didn’t agree that it was an act of war.

        I don’t know where you got the idea that anyone thought that the blockade of Eilat was not an act of war.

        For fuck’s sake Freb, stop being such a lazy cretin and read the thousand of words Jnoah, Robert and I have exchnged on the subject above.

      • Fredblogs
        September 8, 2011, 1:21 am

        Except that you haven’t provided anything but one unreliable “cite” to something supposedly said by “the state department”. A quote which exists in three places and only three places (google rocks), Mondoweiss, a huffingtonpost comment by some guy named “Thelonius”, and a document citing not the state department, but some Norman Finkelstein writing that supposedly paraphrases something that some random state department legal employee supposedly said. As cites go, its somewhat less reliable than “well my cousin’s said his uncle’s nephew’s former hairdresser’s mother said so”.

        Is Thelonius one of your handles? Sorry, but “Norm Finkelstein says that some legal adviser at the State Department said it somewhere sometime” isn’t a cite. Finkelstein could just have made it up himself. So instead of made up paraphrases of quotes with no specific attributions, provide an actual verifiable cite that proves your claim “no one agreed with Israel’s claims that Egypt’s actions were an act of war”. You haven’t even provided a cite that says the U.S. disagreed, even if we take your Finkelstein cite at face value all it says is that some unknown “adviser” at the state department disagreed, not even that the U.S. official position was to disagree,

  20. jonah
    September 3, 2011, 9:34 am

    “If the blockade of Gaza was indeed legal, then a blockade of Israel would also be legal, and thus any attempt by Israel to break it would also be an act of war.”

    Twisted, phony arguments uttered by a frustrated warmonger. Pitiful.

    • Shingo
      September 3, 2011, 9:42 am

      Twisted, phony arguments uttered by a frustrated warmonger. Pitiful.

      Translation: I cannot answer that question without either incriminating Israel or exposing my own blatant hypocrisy, so I’ll opt for an ad hominem instead.

      • jonah
        September 3, 2011, 10:15 am

        You’ve exposed yourself as a petty revanchist warmonger. You are not concerned that this kind of actions by turkish military vessels could spark a regional full-scale war with unpredictable consequences for the entire world, not at all: you are just rubbing your hands at the prospect that someone gives finally a true lesson to your hated Zionist archenemy. This mind-set is inexcusable and rotten to the bone.

      • Chaos4700
        September 3, 2011, 10:22 am

        So explain to us, step by step, why the Jewish nation and the Jewish nation ALONE has the right to blockade. Why was it illegal for Egypt to blockade ONE CANAL against Israel ships, why it would be illegal for Turkey to blockade Israel in retaliation for the murder of its own citizens let alone in retaliation for a blockade that Israel has established, but a “Jewish” government has carte blanche to blockade with impunity.

      • Shingo
        September 3, 2011, 10:23 am

        On the contrary Jonah,

        Unlike you, I am appalled at the crimes against humanity and collective punishment Israel have imposed on Gaza and this appears to be the only way to bring an end to it.

        There’s no reason why this should leand to a regional full-scale war unless Israel decide they want one. As I pointed out earlier, Israel commit acts of war every day, but the do so with inpunity, which has made Zionist hacks liek you regard them as inconseqeuential. Lebanon could have chosen to go to war with Israel any number of the hundreds fo times Israel has violated the terms of the 2006 ceasefire.

        Lebanon has chosen not to, becasue the country is not being ruled by a group of psycopaths.

        Meanwhile, it’s an open secret that Israel is pushing to start a war with Iran, on the false pretense that Iran is making nukes, but that doesn’t seem to bother you; adn we know why – it doesn’t involve any harm comming to your tribe.

        It is YOUR mind-set that is inexcusable and rotten to the bone.

      • Shingo
        September 3, 2011, 10:33 am

        So explain to us, step by step, why the Jewish nation and the Jewish nation ALONE has the right to blockade.

        Don’t bother asking such probing questions Chaos. I already asked Jonah and he described my inquiry as “Twisted, phony arguments uttered by a frustrated warmonger”.

        I suspect that Jonah will ignore your question the same way he ignored mine, because as I said earlier, he cannot answer that question without either incriminating Israel or exposing my own blatant hypocrisy.

      • Richard Witty
        September 3, 2011, 11:19 am

        It is horribly dangerous.

        Its hard to know what Turkey means by “apology”. Israel did use the language of “we did not intend to harm Turkey or Turkish citizens”, but that wasn’t enough.

        What do they want?

        And, are they willing to risk out and out war between two very large military powers, for those few words?

        I read in a Haaretz editorial that it is Lieberman who is refusing to apologize, that Turkey only wants an acknowledge of errors during a confrontation, not a groveling, not even a renunciation of the blockade.

      • CigarGod
        September 3, 2011, 11:24 am

        RW:
        What do they want?
        Probably the truth…along the lines of admitting the idf carried profiles of the passengers they “hit”.

      • annie
        September 3, 2011, 11:25 am

        “we did not intend to harm Turkey or Turkish citizens”

        iow, while their soldiers were pumping bullets into turkish brains at close range it wasn’t turkey or turkish citizenship they were interested in harming. or something. this is far from an apology, it is a denial.

      • Richard Witty
        September 3, 2011, 11:38 am

        Hard to know what is sincere.

        I saw mutual provocation on the boat, didn’t you?

      • Chaos4700
        September 3, 2011, 11:58 am

        “Mutual provocation?” The Israeli stormtroopers opened fire on the deck from the gunships before they even boarded, Witty. How many people on the Mavi Marmara fired assault weapons on the Israeli gunships before the boarding action? Can you link the video where you saw that?

      • Bumblebye
        September 3, 2011, 11:59 am

        RW
        You see fairies at the bottom of the garden if it shores up Israel’s stated position. Un real.

      • Haytham
        September 3, 2011, 12:13 pm

        Richard Witty September 3, 2011 at 11:38 am in reply to jonah

        Hard to know what is sincere.

        I saw mutual provocation on the boat, didn’t you?

        No.

      • Richard Witty
        September 3, 2011, 12:16 pm

        Everyone sees what they want to see.

        Clubs are nothing?

        I agree that rubber bullets aren’t nothing either.

      • Chaos4700
        September 3, 2011, 12:34 pm

        “Rubber bullets?” Seriously? You really DO NOT CARE that a teenage American citizen was MURDERED? In cold blood? You love Israel so much more than the US that you’re willing to say, “Oh, well that young kid of Turkish descent, he made those Jewish soldiers murder him.”

        “Everyone sees what they want to see.” No Witty, YOU see what you WANT to see, and what you WANT to see is exoneration whenever Jews murder Muslims.

      • jonah
        September 3, 2011, 12:37 pm

        “Why was it illegal for Egypt to blockade ONE CANAL against Israel ships”

        This is incredibly sloppy. Was Israel pounding Egyptian cities with rockets at the time? Or did rather Egypt blockade the Straits of Tiran
        without compelling reason?

        And what should Turkey blockade Israel for? Is Gaza part of Turkey? Are Erdogan and his Islamist gang aware of what he is embarking on by sending military escort in foreign waters, moreover in a area under legal naval blockade? If he is fool enough to do this, he will get war. If it is not the usual macho demagoguery with which he boasts in front of his people, he is trying – without even hiding too much his belliegenrant intentions – to provoke a casus belli and trigger a war with Israel, as did Nasser in 1967.

      • annie
        September 3, 2011, 12:39 pm

        foreign waters? i thought it was international waters? doesn’t turkey have as much right to be there as israel?

      • jonah
        September 3, 2011, 1:12 pm

        “foreign waters? i thought it was international waters? doesn’t turkey have as much right to be there as israel?”

        According to international law and the Gaza-Jericho agreement, Israel can extend its external security over Gaza’s territorial waters in the events of threats to Israel’s security. If Turkey will enter Gaza’s territorial waters, which is under legal naval blockade by Israel, this will be tantamount to a casus belli.

      • tree
        September 3, 2011, 2:52 pm

        This is incredibly sloppy. Was Israel pounding Egyptian cities with rockets at the time? Or did rather Egypt blockade the Straits of Tiran
        without compelling reason?

        Sigh. Here we go again. Your first sentence is an apt description of your second and third.

        First off, Gaza was not “pounding” Israeli “cities with rockets at the time that Israel first instituted the blockade. Nor was it doing so in May of 2010 when the Mavi Marmara was violently boarded in international waters.

        Second, to claim that Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli traffic with “no compelling reason” is to severely cherry pick history and forget numerous Israeli provocations that resulted in civilian deaths in Jordan in November 1966 and the massive violation of Syrian airspace by IAF jets in April 1967.

        As I’ve mentioned before, the IDF crossed the Jordanian border with a large force, including tanks, and attacked the then-Jordanian village of Es Samu in November 1966, destroying 125 homes, a clinic and a school, and killing 3 civilians along with 18 Jordanian soldiers who encountered the Israeli troops on Jordanian soil and engaged in battle. This was supposedly in “retaliation” for the death of two Israeli soldiers from a roadside mine along the border with Jordan a few days before for which there was no knowledge as to who exactly planted the mine. It was a planned attack against a civilian target meant to put pressure on Jordan (collective punishment) to curb Palestinian”infiltration” into Israel. Israel implicated no one from the village in the mine attack, and the village was chosen for Israeli strategic reasons only, according to Israeli archives.

        In April of 1967, Israel provoked an incident in the demilitarized zone in the Golan Heights that escalated and Israeli jets entered Syrian airspace and shot down 6 Syrian jets, including one shot down over the Syrian capital of Damascus.

        In May of 1967, in the weeks and days leading up to Egypt’s closing of the Straits, which Egypt at that time considered its own territorial waters, Israeli leaders issued numerous statements threatening to go to war against Syria, which then had a mutual defense pact with Egypt.

        Citing “authoritative sources” the Jerusalem Post reported that “a major military clash with Syria seemed inevitable”, in the form of a military expedition that would “take the wind out of the Syrians’ sails once and for all”.

        (Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, first edition, page 126)

        So in the instance of Egypt’s closing of its own territorial waters, Israel had attacked both Jordan and Syria, causing significant civilian and military casualties, and was threatening a military attack on Syria. Sounds like a “compelling reason” for refusing right of passage to Israel into Egyptian waters. But as usual, such actions by Israel are ignored by those such as you, jonah, who refuse to think with their heads and instead spout self-comforting myths. It was a much more compelling reason than Israel’s reasoning for the blockade which Israeli officials have admitted was done to put pressure on Gazan civilians (collective punishment) in order to undermine Hamas rule in Gaza, and to force a return of Shalit.

      • jonah
        September 3, 2011, 4:24 pm

        “First off, Gaza was not “pounding” Israeli “cities with rockets at the time that Israel first instituted the blockade.”

        Why don’t you check your informations before writing such ridiculous arguments? To lazy to google?
        link to en.wikipedia.org
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        “Second, to claim that Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli traffic with “no compelling reason” is to severely cherry pick history and forget numerous Israeli provocations that resulted in civilian deaths in Jordan in November 1966 and the massive violation of Syrian airspace by IAF jets in April 1967.”

        So do you mean that the several threats to destroy Israel uttered by Arab leaders, the military “defence pact” between Egypt and Syria, the amassing of Egyptian troops near the Israeli border and the deployment of Syrian troops along the Golan Heights, Nasser’s order to the UNEF to withdraw, and finally the blockade of the Straits of Tiran – all this wasn’t compelling enough for Israel to consider it a casus belli?

      • tree
        September 3, 2011, 5:58 pm

        Why don’t you check your informations before writing such ridiculous arguments? To lazy to google?

        Too lazy to go beyond Wikipedia seems to be your problem, along with the usual double standard you live by.

        Israeli document: Gaza blockade isn’t about security
        By Sheera Frenkel | McClatchy Newspapers

        JERUSALEM — As Israel ordered a slight easing of its blockade of the Gaza Strip Wednesday, McClatchy obtained an Israeli government document that describes the blockade not as a security measure but as “economic warfare” against the Islamist group Hamas, which rules the Palestinian territory.

        Israel imposed severe restrictions on Gaza in June 2007, after Hamas won elections and took control of the coastal enclave after winning elections there the previous year, and the government has long said that the aim of the blockade is to stem the flow of weapons to militants in Gaza.

        Last week, after Israeli commandos killed nine volunteers on a Turkish-organized Gaza aid flotilla, Israel again said its aim was to stop the flow of terrorist arms into Gaza.

        However, in response to a lawsuit by Gisha, an Israeli human rights group, the Israeli government explained the blockade as an exercise of the right of economic warfare.

        “A country has the right to decide that it chooses not to engage in economic relations or to give economic assistance to the other party to the conflict, or that it wishes to operate using ‘economic warfare,'” the government said.

        McClatchy obtained the government’s written statement from Gisha, the Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, which sued the government for information about the blockade. The Israeli high court upheld the suit, and the government delivered its statement earlier this year.

        Sari Bashi, the director of Gisha, said the documents prove that Israel isn’t imposing its blockade for its stated reasons, but rather as collective punishment for the Palestinian population of Gaza. Gisha focuses on Palestinian rights.

        (A State Department spokesman, who wasn’t authorized to speak for the record, said he hadn’t seen the documents in question.)

        The Israeli government took an additional step Wednesday and said the economic warfare is intended to achieve a political goal. A government spokesman, who couldn’t be named as a matter of policy, told McClatchy that authorities will continue to ease the blockade but “could not lift the embargo altogether as long as Hamas remains in control” of Gaza.

        link to mcclatchydc.com

        I suppose you’ll now claim that the Israeli government lied in its private papers about the purpose of the blockade. But then you can’t do that, can you, because you think that the Israeli government never lies? So how do you reconcile the fact that the Israeli govenment privately disagrees with your purported reasoning for the blockade, and actually agrees with my analysis, and those of others more knowledgeable than you or I?

        I’m sure you don’t want any more information on this that my upset your delicate fantasies but others might be interested in this discussion from Mya Guarnieri about the origins of the Gaza blockade, going back to 1991.

        But the blockade — which the Israeli government has openly called “economic warfare” — did not begin in 2007. Nor did it start in 2006, with Israel’s economic sanctions against Gaza. The hermetic closure of Gaza is the culmination of a process that began 20 years ago.

        It is important to note, first, the groundwork that made this process so devastating. In her definitive piece on the economic de-development of the Gaza Strip, published in 1987, Dr. Sara Roy uses data from the years of 1967 to 1985 to illustrate how the Israelis turned the Gaza Strip into a captive market and made Palestinian residents a labor pool dependent on Israel. This was achieved, in part, by limiting Gaza’s exports and commercial production. These early restrictions (or economic warfare, to use the Israeli term) predate Hamas. So when freedom of movement was limited during the First Intifada, Gaza was already feeling pinched.

        Sari Bashi is the founder and director of Gisha, an Israeli NGO that advocates for Palestinian freedom of movement. In an interview conducted with this writer, Bashi remarked that the gradual closure of Gaza began in 1991, when Israel canceled the general exit permit that allowed most Palestinians to move freely through Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It was then that non-Jewish residents of Gaza and the West Bank were required to obtain individual permits.

        This was during the First Intifada. While the mere mention of the word invokes the image of suicide bombers in the Western imagination, it’s important to bear in mind that the First Intifada began as a non-violent uprising comprised of civil disobedience, strikes, and boycotts of Israeli goods. So, that the general exit permit was canceled during this time suggests that this early hit on Palestinian freedom of movement was not rooted in security concerns. It seems, rather, a retributive act, intended to punish Palestinians for daring to resist the Israeli occupation.

        Sporadic closures of the Gaza Strip started in 1993, Bashi continues, following a wave of suicide bombings carried out by Palestinians. Because a tremendous majority of Palestinians are not and were not suicide bombers, however, the restrictions on movement again constituted collective punishment for the actions of a few — foreshadowing the nature of the blockade to come.

        Over the years, there were other suggestions that a hermetic, punitive closure was on the horizon. “Movement [was] gradually restricted,” Bashi says, adding that in 1995, the Israelis erected a fence around the Gaza Strip.

        more at link

        link to myaguarnieri.com

        So do you mean that the several threats to destroy Israel uttered by Arab leaders, the military “defence pact” between Egypt and Syria, the amassing of Egyptian troops near the Israeli border and the deployment of Syrian troops along the Golan Heights, Nasser’s order to the UNEF to withdraw, and finally the blockade of the Straits of Tiran – all this wasn’t compelling enough for Israel to consider it a casus belli?

        Moving the goalposts I see. You claimed that Egypt had no compelling reason to close the Straits of Tiran, and when I informed you of two vicious attacks by Israel on both Jordan and Syria, you change the subject and ask whether I think Israel had compelling reasons to attack the Egyptian airforce on the ground and invade Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

        If two Israeli military attacks on a neighboring Arab countries with which Egypt had defense interests and/or pacts isn’t “compelling” enough for Egypt to request the removal of UNEF troops on Egyptian soil (BTW, Israel NEVER allowed UNEF troops on Israeli soil), and the closing of Egyptian territorial waters, then what for heaven sakes makes you think that Israel gets to attack Egypt for the apparently unenforced blockade of Egypt’s own waters, and the placing of troops along ITS OWN border? Oh, I get it. Its the same old double standard again. Israel gets to militarily pound other countries at will, but oh, my god! its the Holocaust! if any other country tries to exert any pressure on Israel to stop its destructive acts.

      • Robert Werdine
        September 3, 2011, 7:10 pm

        Tree,

        Said you: “First off, Gaza was not “pounding” Israeli “cities with rockets at the time that Israel first instituted the blockade. Nor was it doing so in May of 2010 when the Mavi Marmara was violently boarded in international waters.”

        The blockade was implemented in January 2009 following Operation Cast Lead. The Mavi Marmara was boarded for illegally breaching the blockade.

        Said you: “Second, to claim that Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli traffic with “no compelling reason” is to severely cherry pick history and forget numerous Israeli provocations that resulted in civilian deaths in Jordan in November 1966 and the massive violation of Syrian airspace by IAF jets in April 1967.”

        The Samu raid was not a provocation; it was a retaliatory strike for fedayeen raids emanating from Jordan, and as you correctly pointed out to pressure King Hussein to crack down on the attacks. The raid was a disaster; what was supposed to be a sharp, surgical strike where some houses and other infrastructure were to be destroyed, degenerated into a full scale military encounter with the Jordanian military with military and civilian casualties, and destabilized a moderate regime that western nations had been cultivating. It may have been badly executed, and, in my view, badly advised to have taken place (Hussein was almost certainly doing all he could), but it was not an act of unprovoked aggression.

        The incident with Syria was similarly provoked by Syrian sponsored border terrorism, in this instance a Syrian attack on Israeli agricultural work in Galilee, which was answered by an Israeli airstrike where six Syrian Mig-21’s were nabbed by the IAF.

        These incidents all contributed to the growing tension but what really got the showdown started was a false Soviet report to the Egyptians that Israel was planning to attack Syria. That was what got the escalation and counter-escalation that led to the war rolling.

        Israel’s 1957 evacuation of the Sinai and the Gaza Strip, occupied in the 1956 war, was contingent upon the UN’s guarantee of the demilitarization of the Sinai and Gaza, the international status of the Gulf of Aqaba and the Straits of Tiran, and the inviolability of Israel’s maritime rights there. It further stipulated that any breach of these guarantees by Egypt would constitute an act of war, and that Israel would invoke its rights under Article 51 to defend itself. Nasser’s May 1967 ejection of the UNEF, his remilitarization of the Sinai and Gaza, and his blockade of the Tiran Straits were thus acts of lawlessness and a blatant act of war. Even he made no bones about that. He called the UNEF “a force serving neo-imperialism” and ordered their removal on May 16. Three days later they complied and that evening Cairo Radio blared: “This is our chance, oh Arabs, to deal Israel a mortal blow of annihilation.” Nasser said in a speech to a convention of Arab trade unionists on May 27:

        “We knew that closing the Gulf of Aqaba meant war with Israel. If war comes it will be total and the objective will be Israel’s destruction. This is Arab power.”

        When UN Secretary General U Thant met with Nasser to urge him to reconsider his actions, Nasser told him:

        “We will never be in a better position than now. Our forces are well equipped and trained. We will have all the advantages of attacking first. We are sure of victory. My generals told me we will win—what would you say to them?”

        As with Saddam Hussein and the 17 un-enforced UNSC resolutions condemning his non-compliance with inspections three decades later, the UN did absolutely nothing about Nasser’s open defiance of international law and his brazen advertising of his intentions to commit an act of unlawful aggression, save complaining aloud about his “unfortunate” and “unhelpful” behavior. Not for the last time, Israel had been completely flimflammed by the UN for accepting its assurances about its security, and utterly abandoned to its fate.

        On May 30 King Hussein of Jordan signed a military pact with Nasser in Cairo. The same day Iraqi forces took up positions in Jordan. Said President Aref of Iraq on May 31: “Our goal is clear: to wipe Israel off the map.” He added: “There will be no Jewish survivors.”

        Said Ahmed Shukairy, chairman of the PLO on June 1: “The Jews of Palestine will have to leave…Any of the old Jewish Palestine population who survive may stay, but it is my impression that none of them will survive.”

        Said Damascus Radio: “Arab masses, this is your day. Rush to the battlefield…Let them know that we shall hang the last imperialist soldier with the entrails of the last Zionist.”

        Said Hafez al-Assad to his troops in a frightening hint of what he would do to 20,000 of his own people 15 years later in Hama: “Strike the enemy’s [civilian] settlements, turn them into dust, and pave the Arab roads with the skulls of Jews. Strike them without mercy.”

        Assad also said: “Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian Army, with its finger on the trigger, is united… I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.”

        From Michael Oren’s, “Six Days of War” on the eve of the war (pp.163-164):

        “In spite of the bitter differences between them, the divisions of opinions in each, Arab nations were united as at no time in their post colonial history. There could now be no doubt: an Arab world existed and could act. This was the moment that so many had yearned for since well before 1948. Retribution would not only be exacted from Israel but from the West that had created it to perpetuate a centuries old oppression. Algerian Prime minister Boumedienne boasted: “The freedom of the homeland will only be completed by the destruction of the Zionist entity and the expulsions of the British and Americans from the region.” Yemen’s Foreign minister Salam agreed: “We want war. War is the only way to settle the problem of Israel. The Arabs are ready.”

        Converging on the Sinai were military contingents from countries that only days before had regarded Egypt as a mortal enemy, from Morocco and Libya, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. Even the Syrians finally relented and sent a brigade to send alongside the Iraqis in Jordan. Combined the Arab armies could field 900 combat aircraft, over 5000 tanks, and half a million men. Added to this was immense political might. Arab oil producers had agreed to boycott any countries that assisted Israel, to nationalize their refineries and even destroy their pipelines. The Suez Canal, warned Nasser, could be blocked. Arabs across North Africa, throughout the Fertile Crescent, and the Gulf, felt bound by a single, exalted effort, as expressed by President ‘Aref of Iraq: “Our goal is clear—to wipe Israel off the face of the map. We shall, God willing, meet in Tel Aviv and Haifa.”

        There were fierce debates occurring among the Israeli political and military leaders about when or even if they should act in the face of the existential danger ringing their borders and becoming stronger, more militant, and more cacophonous by the hour. Seeing the forces now massing along their borders, and feeling the noose tightening around their necks in the face of a pending Arab offensive, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike on June 5, and not a moment too soon.

        These partisan and self-serving attempts to rewrite the circumstances of the 1967 War as an act of unprovoked Israeli aggression are simply disgraceful. Tree’s comments seem to suggest that these Arab countries in 1967 were just sitting pretty, peacefully going about their business with nary a thought about war or blotting Israel from the map or and massacring its people when–wham! the Israelis fell on them in a dastardly surprise attack and stole their land from them.

        “So in the instance of Egypt’s closing of its own territorial waters, Israel had attacked both Jordan and Syria, causing significant civilian and military casualties, and was threatening a military attack on Syria. Sounds like a “compelling reason” for refusing right of passage to Israel into Egyptian waters. But as usual, such actions by Israel are ignored by those such as you, jonah, who refuse to think with their heads and instead spout self-comforting myths. It was a much more compelling reason than Israel’s reasoning for the blockade which Israeli officials have admitted was done to put pressure on Gazan civilians (collective punishment) in order to undermine Hamas rule in Gaza, and to force a return of Shalit.”

        I don’t know how to say this so I’m just going to say it: What a crock of shit. What is clear in all of this is that any comparisons between Nasser’s lawless acts of aggression preceding the 1967 war, and Israel’s imposition of a blockade and other military, political, and economic countermeasures to contain Hamas terror in Gaza following Cast Lead are not only inapt, they are baseless.

        The maritime blockade, as the Palmer-Uribe report makes abundantly clear, serves a definite national security purpose: to lawfully interdict the shipment of arms to the Hamas terror organization, who rules Gaza:

        “The Panel notes in this regard that the uncertain legal status of Gaza under international law cannot mean that Israel has no right to self-defence against armed attacks directed toward its territory. The Israeli report to the Panel makes it clear that the naval blockade as a measure of the use of force was adopted for the purpose of defending its territory and population, and the Panel accepts that was the case. It was designed as one way to prevent weapons reaching Gaza by sea and to prevent such attacks to be launched from the sea. Indeed there have been various incidents in which ships carrying weapons were intercepted by the Israeli authorities on their way to Gaza.”

        Indeed, in March the Israelis commandeered the Liberian flagged vessel the Victoria, found to be transporting some 50 tons of the following weaponry from Iran through Syria to Egypt destined for Gaza: 6 C-704 anti-ship missiles, 230 120mm mortar shells, 2,270 60mm mortar shells, 2 radar systems manufactured in England, 2 rocket launchers, 2 hydraulic mounting cranes for the radar system of the launchers, 66,960 7.62×39 rounds (commonly used in AK-47 Assault rifles).

        In November of 2009, the Israelis commandeered the MV Francop, a cargo ship carrying 320 tons of the following weaponry from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon: 9,000 mortar shells, 2,125 107-mm Katyusha rockets, 685 rocket fuses, 690 122-mm rockets, 21,100 F-1 fragmentation hand grenades, and 566,220 AK-47 rounds.

        This is quite an arsenal, in both instances, and a reminder of why the blockade is not only lawful, but is necessary.

      • RoHa
        September 3, 2011, 8:10 pm

        “What do they want?”

        How about Israel saying “What we did was wrong”?

      • Shingo
        September 3, 2011, 9:53 pm

        It is horribly dangerous.

        It’s only dangerous becasue Turkey have the means to fight back. If it were Hamas rather than Turkey, you wouldn’t be even raising an eyebrow.

        Israel did use the language of “we did not intend to harm Turkey or Turkish citizens”, but that wasn’t enough.

        That’s no more an apology than arguing that Israel did not intend to massacre 330 children in Gaza, while carrying out actions that would innevitably lead to the deaths of civlians – or as you would decribe it, clearing a line of sight.

        And, are they willing to risk out and out war between two very large military powers, for those few words?

        Do you think Israel is willing to risk out and out war between two very large military powers, for the sake of maintaining a policy based simply on ideology?

        I read in a Haaretz editorial that it is Lieberman who is refusing to apologize, that Turkey only wants an acknowledge of errors during a confrontation, not a groveling, not even a renunciation of the blockade.

        Where did you read that Witty? How could there have been errorrs when the Israelis were carring hit lists when they boarded the ship?

        How about you man up and provide a link?

      • Shingo
        September 3, 2011, 10:05 pm

        Was Israel pounding Egyptian cities with rockets at the time? Or did rather Egypt blockade the Straits of Tiran
        without compelling reason?

        Of course Egypt had a compelling reason.

        Nasser lifted the blockade and agreed to a conditional UN moratorium – which the Israeli side promptly rejected. Nasser’s sole demand for permanently lifting the blockade was for Israel to agree to comply with the terms of the existing 1949 Armistice Agreements. Zionists like to cite the policy contained in the Aide-memoire from Secretary of State Dulles to Ambassador Eban of February 11, 1957, while omitting the part that it could be overridden by a decision of the ICJ and that “the enjoyment of the right of innocent passage by Israel would depend upon its prior withdrawal in accordance with the United Nations Resolutions”.

        The UN Security Council had adopted Resolution 73 while acting under Article 40 (Chapter 7 of the UN Charter) and it required all of the parties to observe and execute the terms of the armistice agreements pending a final settlement. But Israel had declared the agreements null and void; unilaterally declared its sovereignty over the DMZs; and had illegally occupied them. It declared the indigenous Arab cultivators a security threat and declared the area “a closed security zone”.

        FYI, the International treaty that established the boundary between Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine provided that the inhabitants of Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine would have the same fishing and navigation rights on Lakes Huleh, Tiberias and the River Jordan and that the Government of Syria would have the right to a pier at Semakh on Lake Tiberias where Syrian goods would not be subject to any customs regulations. So those were inland international waterways. See the Agreement between His Majesty’s Government and the French Government respecting the Boundary Line between Syria and Palestine from the Mediterranean to El Hámmé, Treaty Series No. 13 (1923), Cmd. 1910, Page 7. The Israelis had used gunboats to patrol and attack the Eastern shore and Syrian fishing boats on Lake Tiberias for nearly a decade before the Six Day War. See for example The Arab News Agency, Mideast mirror, Volume 15, 1963, page 17.

        Israel was demanding that Arabs farm without land and fish without water in violation of the armistice agreements; Security Council resolutions, and the applicable international treaties. So, it wasn’t even fulfilling the necessary conditions to enjoy the right of innocent passage under the terms of the Aide-memoire. The likelihood that it would have prevailed in either an advisory opinion or contentious case in the ICJ without a full withdrawal was absolutely nil.

        Israel did not actually claim the closure of the Straits of Tiran was a “casus belli’, but rather that the blockade was “illegal” in and of itself. See the Telegram from Israel PM to U.S. President Johnson Justifying Military Action.
        link to theisraelproject.org

        And what should Turkey blockade Israel for?

        The same reason that NATO cited for getting involved in Lybia – humanitarian reasons. Lubia is not part fo any European country either.

        Are Erdogan and his Islamist gang aware of what he is embarking on by sending military escort in foreign waters, moreover in a area under legal naval blockade?

        The UNHRC found the blockade illegal and as such, Turkey is within it’s rigts not to recpognize it and challenge it.

        If he is fool enough to do this, he will get war. If it is not the usual macho demagoguery with which he boasts in front of his people, he is trying – without even hiding too much his belliegenrant intentions – to provoke a casus belli and trigger a war with Israel, as did Nasser in 1967.

        Casus belli means justification to go to war, so what you are admitting about this potential crisis and 1967, is that Israel is always looking for an excuse to go to war. What that means is that the descision to go to war is entirely in Israel’s hands. If they want a war, they’ll get one and they will probably lose.

      • Shingo
        September 3, 2011, 10:09 pm

        Why don’t you check your informations before writing such ridiculous arguments? To lazy to google?

        fascinating to read that no rockets were fired itno Israel from Gaza until 2007. That kinda debunks he old trope about Hamas firing sockets since 2000. Of course, by 2007, Israel had fired over 8,000 shells into Gaza.

        So do you mean that the several threats to destroy Israel uttered by Arab leaders, the military “defence pact” between Egypt and Syria, the amassing of Egyptian troops near the Israeli border and the deployment of Syrian troops along the Golan Heights, Nasser’s order to the UNEF to withdraw, and finally the blockade of the Straits of Tiran – all this wasn’t compelling enough for Israel to consider it a casus belli?

        Absolutely , but don’t take my word for it, just listen to Menachem Begin, Yitzak Rabin, Mordecai Bentov (member of the wartime national government), and General Peled (Chief of Logistical Command during the war), among others.

      • Shingo
        September 3, 2011, 10:14 pm

        <blockquote According to international law and the Gaza-Jericho agreement, Israel can extend its external security over Gaza’s territorial waters in the events of threats to Israel’s security.

        Israel have been in violation of the agreement so that argument doesn’t hold water.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Shingo
        September 3, 2011, 11:28 pm

        The blockade was implemented in January 2009 following Operation Cast Lead. The Mavi Marmara was boarded for illegally breaching the blockade.

        Rubbish. The blockade had officially been in place for 2 years.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Secondly, the Mavi Marmara had not breached the blockade at the time it was boaded.

        The incident with Syria was similarly provoked by Syrian sponsored border terrorism, in this instance a Syrian attack on Israeli agricultural work in Galilee, which was answered by an Israeli airstrike where six Syrian Mig-21’s were nabbed by the IAF.

        False. Come the beginning of May Israel was already making clear that it was going to engage in a large scale strike against Syria. The Israeli generals were announcing over and over again, that Israel we’re going to give Syria a serious blow.

        As Moshe Dayan admitted, it was indeed Israel who provoked the incident with Syria. As for Egypt, they had legitimate reasons for imposing the blocakde. Nasser’s sole demand for permanently lifting the blockade was for Israel to agree to comply with the terms of the existing 1949 Armistice Agreements. Zionists like to cite the policy contained in the Aide-memoire from Secretary of State Dulles to Ambassador Eban of February 11, 1957, while omitting the part that it could be overridden by a decision of the ICJ and that “the enjoyment of the right of innocent passage by Israel would depend upon its prior withdrawal in accordance with the United Nations Resolutions”.

        These incidents all contributed to the growing tension but what really got the showdown started was a false Soviet report to the Egyptians that Israel was planning to attack Syria. That was what got the escalation and counter-escalation that led to the war rolling.

        This has already been complete discridited. There was no esclation, cerainly nothing to concern the Isrelis. Three days before Israel attacked Egypt
        (June 3), Meir Amit, the head of Israeli intelligence, met with US intelligence in Washington. He is told that US intelligence believes Nasser was not going to attack and that even if he tried, Israel woudl easily prevail. Amit tells washington that Israel does not dispute any of theirfindings, any of their projections.

        As Menachem Begin said :
        “The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us, We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

        Israel’s 1957 evacuation of the Sinai and the Gaza Strip, occupied in the 1956 war, was contingent upon the UN’s guarantee of the demilitarization of the Sinai and Gaza, the international status of the Gulf of Aqaba and the Straits of Tiran, and the inviolability of Israel’s maritime rights there.

        False argument. Israel were themselves in violation of the agreement anyway, so arguing that Egypt’s failure to do so was a caussu belli for war is simply hypocritical. Teh 1957 agreement stipulated that any part that it could be overridden by a decision of the ICJ and that “the enjoyment of the right of innocent passage by Israel would depend upon its prior withdrawal in accordance with the United Nations Resolutions”. Israel failed to meet those obligations and rejected Nasser’s propsal to allow the ICJ to deterikne the legality of the blockade.

        In a November 7, 1956 seven point speech delivered after Israel had withdrawn its invading forces from the Sinai, Ben Gurion said: (1) The armistice agreement with Egypt is dead and buried and cannot be restored to life. (2) In consequence, the armistice lines between Israel and Egypt have no more validity. … (6) On no account will Israel agree to the stationing of a foreign [peacekeeping] force, no matter how it is called, in its territory or in any of the area occupied by it.

        Similarly, Secretary of State Rusk told the Egyptians that there were those with considerable international legal background who felt that, as long as the UAR maintained a state of war against Israel, Israel could not “commit aggression” against the UAR. See the FRUS link to link to history.state.gov

        When UN Secretary General U Thant met with Nasser to urge him to reconsider his actions, Nasser told him:

        The Israelis weer announcing over and over again, that they we’re going to give Syria a serious blow. It’s at that point that Nasser told U Thant, that the peace keeping force which had been stationed between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai, should be withdrawn.

        Speaking of U Thant, wrote in his memoir, that the war could’ve been averted had Israel simply restationed those UN forces on its side of the border. Tom Segev, in his new book 1967 he says, albeit, in a footnote, had they restationed the forces on their side, the Israeli side, the war could’ve been prevented. Of course, Ben Gurion rejected this entirely. Foreign peace keepers are for other states to accomodate, not Israel.

        The question of the Straits of Tiran, U Thant had made a suggestionto have a moratorium. The moratorium would oblige Egypt to promise not to fire on foreign vessels that go through the Straits of Tiran, and Israel in return, would agree not to send through Israeli-flagged vessels. Egypt agreed to the proposal. Israel rejected it.

        So Israel rejected positioning peace keepers in it’s side of the border, they rejected Thant’s proposal and the offer by Nasser to allow the ICJ to determine the legality of the blockade, even while Israel was insisting it was illgeal.

        And yet, Wierdine has the gall to accuse everyone but Israel of rejectionism.

        As with Saddam Hussein and the 17 un-enforced UNSC resolutions condemning his non-compliance with inspections three decades later, the UN did absolutely nothing about Nasser’s open defiance of international law

        That’s because Nasser was not breashing international law. Of course, the UN did absolutely nothing about Israel’s open defiance either.

        The Israeli leadership were doing everything in their power to hype the threat. Israel’s big fear was not going to war, it was the danger of a repetition of 1956. That is, if Israel went in and Americans woudl tell them to get out. They were never afraid of the Arabs, they were afraid of the American reaction. Throughout May they were sending their people to the United States and insisting another Holocasut was about to emerge. Each time they made these calims, President Johnson asked another one of the intelligence agencies wha they believed was going happen if there’s a war? Over and over again the intelligence agencies keep saying 2 things. Number one, there’s not chance Nasser’s going to attack. None at all. And number two, that if he did attack, to quote Lyndon Johnson, as he said to the Israeli Eban, “you’re gonna whip their ass.”

        In fact the CIA predicted the war would be 7 days long, 7 to 10 days.

        These partisan and self-serving attempts to rewrite the circumstances of the 1967 War as an act of unprovoked Israeli aggression are simply disgraceful

        I have to laugh at Robert’s faux indignation. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Israel was the agressor and embarked on a war of choice. Israeli apologists like Wierdine will argue that there is no UN Reslution condeming Israel as proof that they were not the agressor, but the US Ambassador to the UN explained why:

        “Israel alone is to be condemned as an agressor – though surely, in the light of all the events, both recent and long past, that lef up to the fighting, it would be neitehr equitable not constructive for this Organization to issue a one-sided condemnation.”

        In November of 2009, the Israelis commandeered the MV Francop, a cargo ship carrying 320 tons of the following weaponry from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon: 9,000 mortar shells, 2,125 107-mm Katyusha rockets, 685 rocket fuses, 690 122-mm rockets, 21,100 F-1 fragmentation hand grenades, and 566,220 AK-47 rounds.

        This was debunked as a hoax.

        This is quite an arsenal, in both instances, and a reminder of why the blockade is not only lawful, but is necessary.

        If the size of an arsenal is proof of the legality and necessity of a blockade, then the UN would have blockaded Israel long time ago.

      • annie
        September 4, 2011, 12:07 am

        The blockade was implemented in January 2009 following Operation Cast Lead. The Mavi Marmara was boarded for illegally breaching the blockade.

        Rubbish. The blockade had officially been in place for 2 years.

        actually, it was official 3 years before albeit by another name.

        The 2006–2007 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority were economic sanctions imposed by Israel and the Quartet on the Middle East against the Palestinian National Authority and the Palestinian territories following the January 2006 legislative elections that brought Hamas to power.[1]

        The international sanctions were terminated in June 2007 following the Battle of Gaza, while at the same time a new and more severe blockade was initiated by Israel against Gaza.

        source: link to en.wikipedia.org

      • jonah
        September 4, 2011, 10:12 am

        shingo –
        So Nasser and his Arab allies decided to prepare for war against Israel because of differences between Israel and Arab states regarding the Armistice Agreements, right? Since they didn’t regarde the armistice agreements as the end state of war with Israel, we must not be a genius to understand that the blockade of the Straits of Tiran – among other aggressive deeds listed above – was perfectly in accord with this never abandoned policy of war.
        Therefore, as the warmonger Nasser was, it was his arbitrary right to decide and act this way – well-knowing that this would with total certainty spark a war which he believed to win -, in the same way it was Israel’s right to act pre-emtively to thward the Arab revanchist thirst for distruction.

        Once more you expose yourself as the apologist of Arab warmongering
        policies that you are. It is exactly this sick mentality that Israel faces all along, and that has prevented until now a peaceful solution.

      • annie
        September 4, 2011, 10:20 am

        well-knowing that this would with total certainty spark a war

        weaving certainty narrative

      • Chaos4700
        September 4, 2011, 10:22 am

        No, Nasser and his allies decided to prepare for war because it was crystal-clear that Israel was going to engage in more border expansion and territorial aggression.

        Sinai and the Golan Heights are proof of that.

      • jonah
        September 4, 2011, 10:53 am

        “total certainty spark”
        Maybe not, but then he completely miscalculated Israel’s readiness to self-defence. Israeli leaders had been adamant in making clear that the closure of the Straits of Tiran would be not accepted and would amount to a casus belli. In spite of this, he chose to challenge Israel, ergo: he chose war.

      • annie
        September 4, 2011, 10:58 am

        you crack me up. first you allege he possesses ‘total certainty’ to spark a war and in the next breath he ‘completely miscalculated’. why does is behoove you to go to the extremes in your narrative? try more nuance if you want to sound believable.

        who chose war? who? israel chose war. can you say it?

      • CigarGod
        September 4, 2011, 11:01 am

        Eqypt closed the straits = no one died.
        Israel attacked Eqypt = lots died.

        Who commited an act of war?

      • jonah
        September 4, 2011, 11:34 am

        You are perhaps not much of a one for logic. ‘total certainty’ and ‘completely miscalculated’ are in fact the two sides of the same coin. And, yes, Israel chose … pre-emtive war, in a context of escalating conflict.

      • Chaos4700
        September 4, 2011, 11:53 am

        So Israel chose to start the war? Not any Arab nation? Thanks for the clarification. I guess Bush owes Israel royalties, then. Iraq was a cheap knock-off of Israel’s war doctrine.

      • Shingo
        September 4, 2011, 6:55 pm

        So Nasser and his Arab allies decided to prepare for war against Israel because of differences between Israel and Arab states regarding the Armistice Agreements, right?

        No Jonah, he was not preparing for war, he imposed a 1 week long blockade (actualy it lasted only a few days) as a politcal bargaining chip. If he’d prepared for war, he wouldn’t have been caught by surprise by the Israelis would he?

        we must not be a genius to understand that the blockade of the Straits of Tiran – among other aggressive deeds listed above – was perfectly in accord with this never abandoned policy of war.

        On the contrary. No other country agreed with Israel’s position that the blockade was an act of war. The Straits of Tiran were Egyptian waters.

        Therefore, as the warmonger Nasser was, it was his arbitrary right to decide and act this way – well-knowing that this would with total certainty spark a war which he believed to win -, in the same way it was Israel’s right to act pre-emtively to thward the Arab revanchist thirst for distruction.

        As Menachen Begnid, General Peled and Rabin (amng others) all admitted. Israel chose to start a war of choice – that makes the ISraeli leadership the warmonger, not Nasser.

        Once more you expose yourself as the apologist (and a liar) of Israeli warmongering policies that you are. It is exactly this sick mentality that Israel has becomer a pariah state and increasingly isolated and delegitimized.

      • Shingo
        September 4, 2011, 7:06 pm

        Maybe not, but then he completely miscalculated Israel’s readiness to self-defence.

        “Israel alone is to be condemned as an agressor – though surely, in the light of all the events, both recent and long past, that lef up to the fighting, it would be neitehr equitable not constructive for this Organization to issue a one-sided condemnation.”
        US Ambassador to the UN

        There you have it Jonah. One cannot be both and agressor and claim self-defence.

        To argue that ISrael had a casus belli means that Israel chose war.

        The head of Israeli intelligence was in Washington 3 days before Israel launched the attack. US intelligence told him that according to their intelligence, Nasser would NOT attack and even if he did, Israel would easily defeat him.

        Amir said that Israel did not refute any of those conclusions.

        Israeli leaders had been adamant in making clear that the closure of the Straits of Tiran would be not accepted and would amount to a casus belli.

        First of all, a casus belli is an excuse to go to war – it does not give legitimacy to any cleims fo self defense.
        Secondly, neither the UN, Britain, nor the US agreed with Israel.

        The US was working with the UK on the maritime force and their declassified documents include a Cabinet Conclusion: Minutes and Papers: CAB 128/42, Formerly CC (67) 31 23/05/1967 which said that the real risk was that Israel would be tempted to launch a preventive war.

        Not a single state, including the US, ever supported Israel’s jus ad bellum legal argument. Only the Security Council could decide if an “act of aggression” had actually occurred, and that certainly never happened. The other members did not agree that Egypt’s right of inspection in its own territorial waters was an act of aggression or tantamount to a blockade. Eilat was seldom if ever used for Israeli-flagged shipping in the first place, and Israel’s other ports were all still open. The Indian delegate and many others supported Egypt’s legal position.

        Egypt asked to have the case decided by the International Court of Justice. The fact that (i) Israel had only occupied Eilat after it had signed a binding Chapter VII armistice agreement with Egypt; (ii) had subsequently declared the armistice agreements null and void; and (iii) had threatened and attacked Egypt’s Arab League allies, Syria and Jordan, legally triggered Egypt’s exercise of its rights of belligerency. It also meant that Israel and the US were trying to enforce access to the port of Eilat based upon a “prescriptive right” to the acquisition of territory on which it was situated.

        The navigation channels after the Straits were an inland waterway that passed through Egypt’s territorial waters. Egypt was not a signatory to any international convention that imposed an “international servitude” upon it at that time, and the 1958 convention had not yet obtained customary status. There is a discussion of some of the factors and divided legal opinion of the case in ‘Armed Attack’ and Article 51 of the UN Charter: Evolutions in Customary Law, By Tom Ruys starting on page 276:

        link to books.google.com

        The final settlement between Egypt and Israel was based upon the old fashioned (conventional) contract theory of “acceptance”, not upon any changes in customary law.

      • Shingo
        September 4, 2011, 7:07 pm

        You are perhaps not much of a one for logic. ‘total certainty’ and ‘completely miscalculated’ are in fact the two sides of the same coin.

        But causs belli and dself defense are opposite sides fo the coin.

      • LanceThruster
        September 4, 2011, 7:36 pm

        I know I have at times complained of repetion, so forgive me for trotting this little tidbit supplied by none other than Moshe Dayan (as only Israeli sources as to what transpired carry any weight).

        from: link to ussliberty.org

        In an interview that created a stir in Israel after its belated publication, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan declared:

        “I know how at least 80 percent of all of the incidents there started. In my opinion, more than 80 percent, but let’s speak about 80 percent. It would go like this: we would send a tractor to plow in the demilitarized area, and we would know ahead of time that the Syrians would start shooting. If they did not start shooting, we would inform the tractor to progress farther, until the Syrians, in the end, would get nervous and would shoot. And then we would use guns, and later, even the air force, and that is how it went. We thought that we could change the lines of the cease-fire accords by military actions that were less than a war. That is, to seize some territory and hold it until the enemy despairs and gives it to us.”

        It was just such a staged provocation – an Israeli tractor plowing through a disputed field despite Syrian pleas for compromise – that sparked the April 1967 aerial battle.

      • jonah
        September 5, 2011, 5:37 pm

        Shingo, it is quite funny to see how you writh in half-truths and omissions to make credible your deliberately simplistic version of events. You are a “Israel-is-always-wrong”-parrot.
        Above you said: “Come the beginning of May Israel was already making clear that it was going to engage in a large scale strike against Syria. The Israeli generals were announcing over and over again, that Israel we’re going to give Syria a serious blow.”
        You forget to mention the reasons of these threatening announces toward Syria: the incursions by Palestinian fedayeens in Israeli territory, whose targets were often civilians. In fact, Syria, unable to defeat Israel militarily, was engaged in a war through proxies, in the first place the Fatah militias. These were supported both in the logistics and supply of the military equipment.Appeals to the Soviet Union to intervene on his client, in order to stop the dripping terroristic incursions produced no effect. So within the Israeli senior reinforced the conviction that only military force could cope with the destabilizing Syrian strategy.
        That this came in addition to the fact that between Syria and Egypt there was a “defense pact” and, by virtue of this, Nasser decided to remove the UN troops stationed in the Sinai and to move considerable forces in the same, together with uttered threats of destruction by Arab leaders, did nothing but increase tensions with Israel, which began to mobilize his troops as well. As, on May 23, Egypt announced the closure of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping transit, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The Straits of Tiran, contrary to your and Arab claims, were considered international waters according to customary international law. The great majority of the states had indirectly accepted the international charakter of the Tiran Straits during the Geneva conference on the Law of the Sea in 1958. If we look in this Convention we can see that the blockade of the Straits was not in accordance with Article 16 para. 4 of the Geneva Convention on the territorial Sea and the contiguos Zone, at least regarding the innocent passage. Even though the UAR was not party to that Convention, the rule of international law as stated in Article 16 had acquired the force of a customary rule of international law. Article 16 para. 4 of the Convention rules that “there shall be no suspension of the innocent passage of foreign ships through straits which are
        used for international navigation between one part of the high seas and another part of the high seas or the territorial sea of a foreign State.” Thus it was binding on the UAR as well. Nasser stated: “Under no circumstances can we permit the Israeli flag to pass through the Gulf of Aqaba.” This represented a clear breach of costumary international law.
        Moreover, Israel had in 1957 asserted that any closure of the Straits would amount to a casus belli. Nasser knew it well, but chose nontheless to provoke Israel, taking the risk of further military escalation. In his speech to Arab trade unionists on May 26, Nasser announced: “If Israel embarks on an aggression against Syria or Egypt, the battle against Israel will be a general one and not confined to one spot on the Syrian or Egyptian borders. The battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel.” In the Israeli perception of the time what it was surrounded by states dedicated to its eradication. As ambiguous this situation was, it was full of explosive tension and preventive action was necessary to anticipate impending Arab attack. The fact that after the war, on balance, some Israeli leaders have relativized the danger, says nothing about the reality lived in the days immediately preceding the war. Talk is cheep in retrospect.
        If someone, who makes no secret of his hatred, stays in a blind alley in front of you and holds a knife in his hand, threatening to kill you at any moment, what would you do? Probably you would try to prevent his murderous intent, going on the offensive, even though or perhaps because you do not know when he will eventually attack. And probably you would expect that anyone does the same. Apart of course the Jewish state, which – despite the enemies like you who burn with the desire to see it in ashes – apparently doesn’t have the right to defend itself. Just curious.
        And now on with your usual “rubbish”.

      • Robert Werdine
        September 5, 2011, 7:22 pm

        You know, I’m really unsure who to address this post to Hostage or Shingo, since most of Shingo’s post is so replete with Hostage’s gaseous citations and vaporous effusions, that the authorship is in doubt. So, I’ll flip a coin and go for: Shingo!

        Dear Shingo,

        Said you:

        “Come the beginning of May Israel was already making clear that it was going to engage in a large scale strike against Syria. The Israeli generals were announcing over and over again, that Israel we’re going to give Syria a serious blow.”

        This is true, and what you are omitting is that it was in response to Syrian border terrorism and aggression, which, of course had been occurring since 1949, but had seen a particular increase since June of 1964, and an even greater escalation since January 1967.

        A little background:

        Since 1964 the Syrians and the Israelis had, among being deadly enemies, been clashing over disagreements about the use of the Jordan River waters and Israeli land cultivation along the border. The Syrians had been unilaterally attempting to divert the headwaters of the Jordan and to prevent Israeli cultivation of the Demilitarized Zone evacuated by Syria following the 1949 armistice agreements, over which the Israelis claimed sovereignty, and which the Syrians of course disputed. The diversion would have reduced the installed capacity of Israel’s carrier by about 35%, and Israel’s overall water supply by about 11%.

        The Syrians rained fire on the Dan Kibbutz in November 1964, and three more times throughout 1965, each time receiving a stinging response from the IDF. In July 1966, another Syrian attack was answered by an IAF strike which destroyed some earth moving equipment and shot down a Syrian MiG-21 that tried to interfere

        Then, in January of 1967, without any provocation or warning, Syrian tanks fired some thirty one shells on the Almagor Kibbutz and sprinkled a shower of light machine gun fire on the Shamir Kibbutz that wounded two. Further skirmishing provoked by these actions killed one Israeli and wounded two others by an antipersonnel mine, for which Fatah terrorists claimed credit, but which bore Syrian markings. And in case you’re in any doubt about who fired the first shots here, let the rare candor of a January 17, 1967 broadcast by Damascus Radio set you straight:

        “Syria has changed its strategy, moving from defense to attack…We will carry on operations until Israel has been eliminated.”

        UN Seretary General U Thant requested both Syrians and Israelis put the dispute to rest within the Israeli-Syrian Mutual Armistice Commission. At a January 25 meeting, Syria’s representative, one Captain ‘Abdullah, justified the Syrian attacks as “putting an end to Zionist aggression against Arab land” and he refused to guarantee the “security of the gang state inside Palestine.” Moshe Sasson, the Israeli representative, proposed a bilateral pledge signed by both Israel and Syria “to abide faithfully by their non-aggression obligations and refrain from all other acts of hostility against one another” which ‘Abdullah rejected out of hand. “Abdullah then demanded “practical measures” to defuse the dispute. When called upon to propose such measures he hemmed and hawed, and then blustered through a lengthy tirade against Israel. The meeting was a waste of time, ended without result, and the border incidents continued.

        In mid-March, the British embassy in Damascus concluded that Syria was committed to war with Israel. They saw the Syrian war actions aimed “not defensively, but with a massive offensive blow inside occupied Palestine,” and reported that “there is every indication that the present mood of the Syrian government and the Syrian armed forces means that this threat will be carried out whatever the cost.”

        Previously Americans had been critical of Israel’s border retaliations (they were especially pissed about the Samu raid), but that had begun to change with the Arab attacks along Israel’s east and northern borders in the winter and spring of 1967. Said Townsend Hoopes, a senior Defense Department official visiting the Israeli Foreign Ministry in March: “The Syrians are sons of bitches. Why the hell didn’t you just beat them over the head when it would have been the most natural thing to do?” And as Eugene Rostow put it to Ephraim Evron at the Israeli embassy, “An attack from a state, is an attack by a state.”

        Evron had earlier warned Washington that “the continuation of this aggressive [Syrian] policy will force Israel to take action in self defense as is her international right and national duty.” The decision was taken by Eshkol in late March to retaliate in force to the next attack in the Demilitarized Zone. When, on April 7, two tractors were operating near Tel Katzir, the Syrians, as the Israelis expected, opened up with 37mm cannon fire on the tractors. Israeli tanks then returned fire, and the Syrians responded not by shooting the tanks but by bombing the nearby Israeli settlements with 81mm and 120mm mortar fire.

        The Golan was now flooded with cannon and machinegun fire, and by 1:30pm UN observers had noted that some 247 Syrian shells had hit the Gadot Kibbutz, where several buildings were destroyed. The IAF, acting on queue, now scrambled into action, hitting Syrian bunkers and artillery positions. Syrian MiG-21’s now met the IAF Mirages in the skies over Damascus and in thirty seconds the IAF downed six MiG’s, and established complete supremacy over Syrian airspace. To emphasize their triumph, the IAF Mirages then did a victory loop around Damascus.

        On April 8, 1967, Damascus Radio, ever keeping a stiff upper lip amidst disaster and humiliation, exuberantly boasted, “Our known objective is the freeing of Palestine and the liquidation of the Zionist existence there. Our army and people will give our backing to every Arab fighter acting for the return of Palestine.”

        On April 10, 1967, the official al-Bath blustered: “Our heroic people, singing songs of war, is longing to begin the final battle. There is no way to remove occupation other than by smashing the enemy’s bases and destroying his power.”

        In early May, Hugh H. Smythe, the American ambassador to Syria, noted the “Stalinist” Ba’ath regime’s “fear and frustration” and cabled the State Department that “the paranoiac fear of plots and aggressions, with its constant provocations of Israel, could lead to a military adventure which can only end in defeat.”

        On May 11, U Thant denounced the Syrian attacks as “deplorable” and “insidious” as “menaces to peace” and “contrary to the letter and spirit of the Armistice.” He noted that the raids “seem to indicate that the individuals who committed them have had more specialized training than has usually been evidenced in al-Fatah incidents in the past.” He called upon all “responsible governments” to stop them, and he didn’t mean Israel.

        Thus the dynamic of the dispute points unabashedly to Syrian aggression, countered by Israeli retaliation, and, yes, occasional provocation following the Syrian attacks. But the water/land cultivation dispute was a symptom, not a cause of Arab-Israeli tensions leading up to the 1967 War. Even if you subtract the dispute from the equation, you still have Syrian sponsored Fatah-Feayeen terrorism destabilizing the Syrian-Israeli border, and seeing it intensify in the months leading up to the war. And mind you: these were just the attacks on Israel from Syria. The first three months of 1967 on the Jordanian border saw some 270 Fatah-Fedayeen terrorist incidents, a 100% increase from the previous year. At the end of March, Fatah issued forth some thirty-four communiqués describing its “victories” and “praising the courage of our martyrs.”

        As for Dayan’s boastful comment years later, said Michael Oren:

        “There is an element of truth to Dayan’s claim, but it is important to note that Israel regarded the de-militarized zones in the north as part of their sovereign territory and reserved the right to cultivate them-a right that the Syrians consistently resisted with force. Syria also worked to divert the Jordan River before it flowed into Israel, aiming to deprive the Jewish state of its principle water source; Syria also actively supported Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel. Israel occasionally exploited incidents in the de-militarized zones to strike at the Syrian water diversion project and to punish the Syrians for their support of terror. Dayan’s remarks must also be taken in context of the fact that he was a member of the opposition at the time. His attitude toward the Syrians changed dramatically once he became defense minister. Indeed, on June 8, 1967, Dayan bypassed both the Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff in ordering the Israeli army to attack and capture the Golan.”

        Said you:

        “Israel were themselves in violation of the agreement anyway, so arguing that Egypt’s failure to do so was a casus belli for war is simply hypocritical. The 1957 agreement stipulated that any part that it could be overridden by a decision of the ICJ and that “the enjoyment of the right of innocent passage by Israel would depend upon its prior withdrawal in accordance with the United Nations Resolutions”. Israel failed to meet those obligations and rejected Nasser’s proposal to allow the ICJ to determine the legality of the blockade.”

        Huh? So the 1957 agreement was null and void? And this obscure legal article bore the imprimatur of the UN, was binding and had de jure application? And the UN thus judged Israel to be in violation of the 1957 agreement? Was this “violation” ever addressed by the Security Council? Please explain. Also please explain a) how Israel was in violation of the 1957 agreement, b) how Nasser’s ejection of UNEF from the Sinai and his militarization of the peninsula were not a violation of the 1957 agreement. Also, please give us the Shingo instead of the Hostage version, and, if you will, please cite sources that can be read in their entirety and/or readily linked instead of citing Hostage’s tediously arcane, fog-enveloped meanderings.

        Said you:

        “In a November 7, 1956 seven point speech delivered after Israel had withdrawn its invading forces from the Sinai, Ben Gurion said: (1) The armistice agreement with Egypt is dead and buried and cannot be restored to life. (2) In consequence, the armistice lines between Israel and Egypt have no more validity. … (6) On no account will Israel agree to the stationing of a foreign [peacekeeping] force, no matter how it is called, in its territory or in any of the area occupied by it.”

        It is obvious that you are pulling the same dishonest stunt with this Ben Gurion speech that you pulled with the December 3, 1947 Mapai speech where you had BG “rejecting” the UN partition. The quote this time is surgically cherry-picked and nicely truncated—up to your usual standards of misattribution, and even giving ol’ Hostage a run for his money.

        Here is an excerpt from the speech and all seven points:

        “Israel will not consent, under any circumstances, that a foreign force called whatever it may take up positions whether on Israeli soil or in any area held by Israel. The armistice with Egypt is dead, as are the armistice lilies, and no wizards or magicians can resurrect these lines which cloaked Egyptian murders and sabotage.

        Israel has no quarrel with the Egyptian people. Farouk and Nasser incited the Egyptians, but there is no underlying enmity between Israel and Egypt or vice versa. The latter point is proven by the wholesale desertion of Egyptian officers in the Sinai peninsula.
        Israel wants peace and neighbourly relations with Egypt under conditions of direct negotiations. It is to be hoped that all peace-loving and freedom-loving people will support Israel in this demand. We are also ready for peace negotiations with the other Arab States on condition that they respect the armistice lines. Israel will not attack the Arab States, but if attacked will strike back.

        (Mr. Ben-Gurion, summarizing his speech, presented a seven-point declaration which he offered the world “with full moral force and unflinching determination.” The seven points were as follows):

        1. The armistice agreement with Egypt is dead and buried and cannot be restored to life.

        2. In consequence, the armistice lines between Israel and Egypt have no more validity.

        3. There is no dispute whatever between the people of Israel and the Egyptian people.

        4. We do not wish our relations with Egypt to continue in the present anarchic state and we are ready to enter into negotiations for a stable peace, cooperation and good neighborly relations with Egypt on condition that they are direct negotiations without prior conditions on either side and are not under duress from any quarter whatever.

        5. We hope that all peace-loving nations will support our desire for such negotiations with each of the Arab States, but even if they are unprepared for a permanent peace, so long as they observe the armistice agreements, Israel, on its part, will do so, too.

        6. On no account will Israel agree to the stationing of a foreign force, no matter how it is called, in its territory or in any of the area occupied by it.

        7. Israel will not fight against any Arab country or against Egypt unless it is attacked by them.”

        As with the December 3, 1947 Mapai speech, where you falsely imputed to Ben Gurion a non-existent “rejection” of the UN partition, but excluded his sentiments welcoming the Arabs to live in the new Jewish state as equal citizens as Jews, it is understandable that you would exclude points 3-5, and 7 from the November 7, 1956 speech, as they flatly contradict your sordid attempt to portray his statements here as some kind of unilateral abrogation of the 1949 armistice agreements. The “we are ready to enter into negotiations for a stable peace, cooperation and good neighborly relations with Egypt on condition that they are direct negotiations without prior conditions on either side and are not under duress from any quarter whatever” would undoubtedly have interfered with a good smear.

        In any event, the “dead and buried” armistice was soon miraculously resurrected the next day. Ben Gurion’s bluster in points 1 and 2 gave way to pragmatism and reality. On November 8 Abba Eban announced Israel’s acceptance of the UN Resolution demanding Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai, but stipulated a gradual withdrawal. After weeks of furious diplomacy, the UN held an emergency session in which it would deploy a United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) to the Sinai to ensure the non-belligerent status of the Sinai and the Gaza strip, and to assure Israeli maritime rights to the Gulf of Aqaba and the Straits of Tiran, recognized to be international waterways. In return for the deployment of the UNEF, Israel agreed to evacuate its forces from the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza strip, both occupied in the recent conflict. In a March 1, 1957 speech to the General Assembly confirming Israel’s acceptance of these terms, Israeli UN rep Golda Meir stipulated the following:

        “Israel will do nothing to impede free and innocent passage by ships of Arab countries bound to Arab ports or to any other destination.

        Israel is resolved, on behalf of vessels of Israeli registry, to exercise the right of free and innocent passage and is prepared to join with others to secure universal respect of this right.

        Israel will protect ships of its own flag exercising the right of free and innocent passage on the high seas and in international waters.

        Interference, by armed force, with ships of Israeli flag exercising free and innocent passage in the Gulf of Aqaba and through the Straits of Tiran will be regarded by Israel as an attack entitling it to exercise its inherent right of self-defence under Article 51 of the Charter and to take all such measures as are necessary to ensure the free and innocent passage of its ships in the Gulf and in the Straits.

        We make this announcement in accordance with the accepted principles of international law under which all States have an inherent right to use their forces to protect their ships and their rights against interference by armed force. My Government naturally hopes that this contingency will not occur.

        In a public address on 20 February, President Eisenhower stated:
        “We should not assume that if Israel withdraws, Egypt will prevent Israeli shipping from using the Suez Canal or the Gulf of Aqaba. ”

        This declaration has weighed heavily with my Government in determining its action today.

        The Government of Israel announces that it is making a complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in accordance with General Assembly resolution (I) of 2 February 1957 (A/RES/460). It makes this announcement on the following assumptions:

        (a) That on its withdrawal the United Nations Forces will be deployed in Gaza and that the takeover of Gaza from the military and civilian control of Israel will be exclusively by the United Nations Emergency Force.

        (b) It is further Israel’s expectation that the United Nations will be the agency to be utilized for carrying out the functions enumerated by the Secretary-General, namely: “safeguarding life and property in the area by providing efficient and effective police protection as will guarantee good civilian administration; as will assure maximum assistance to the United Nations refugee programme; and as will protect and foster the economic development of the territory and its people. ” (AIPV. 659,page 17)

        (c) It is further Israel’s expectation that the aforementioned responsibility of the United Nations in the administration of Gaza will be maintained for a transitory period from the takeover until there is a peace settlement, to be sought as rapidly as possible, or a definitive agreement on the future of the Gaza Strip.

        It is the position of Israel that if conditions are created in the Gaza Strip which indicate a return to the conditions of deterioration that existed previously, Israel would reserve its freedom to act to defend its rights.”

        What ultimately made the agreement that Meir spoke of possible was that Dag Hammerskjold had promised Nasser that Egypt could remove the UNEF force if the General Assembly judged that the peacekeepers had completed their mission, and John Foster Dulles had promised Golda Meir that any Egyptian attempt to re-militarize the Sinai and Gaza and/or impede Israeli maritime rights in the Straits of Tiran would entitle Israel to invoke Article 51 in its own self-defense.

        There can thus be no dispute about this. The above stipulation enunciated by Meir clearly and unambiguously emphasized that Israel’s 1957 evacuation of territory occupied in the 1956 war was contingent upon the UN’s guarantee of the demilitarization of the Sinai and Gaza, the international status of the Gulf of Aqaba and the Straits of Tiran, and the inviolability of Israel’s maritime rights there. It further stipulated that any breach of these guarantees by Egypt would constitute an act of war, and that Israel would invoke its rights under Article 51 to defend itself.

        For over seven years Israel suffered countless Fedayeen attacks and the economic and political consequences of Nasser’s illegal closure of the canal to Israeli shipping along with goods destined for Israel, and his no less illegal closure of the Straits of Tiran. These actions, btw, were acts of war and a complete abrogation of the armistice agreements, and UN Security Council Resolution 619, which in 1951, called upon Egypt to “terminate the restrictions of international commercial shipping and goods through the Suez canal wherever bound and to cease all such interference with such shipping beyond that essential to the safety of shipping in the canal itself and to the observance of international conventions in force.”

        By 1956, the Egyptians had left no tenet of the 1949 armistice agreement unviolated.

        Israel therefore did not, in the event, uphold any abrogation of the 1949 armistice following the Suez conflict, but pledged itself to observing the terms of the armistice following the recent war in line with the wishes of the UN. Nasser, not Israel, would go on to violate the terms of the 1949 armistice agreement in the 1949-1956 period, as well as the 1957 agreement in 1967.

        Said I: “These incidents all contributed to the growing tension but what really got the showdown started was a false Soviet report to the Egyptians that Israel was planning to attack Syria. That was what got the escalation and counter-escalation that led to the war rolling.”

        To which you replied: “This has also been completely discredited. There was no escalation, certainly nothing to concern the Israelis.”

        This is, of course, complete nonsense, but before I address this assertion, permit me to preface my argument with the following, relevant observation which I think will help to understand how, at least in part, the situation was able to escalate the way it did.

        Other than the border violence, one of the things that made the May crisis so difficult to contain was the ever-present macho posturing and competitive rhetorical muscle-flexing of the regional Arab leaders about who was being “soft on Zionism” and “imperialism” and who was not.

        The April 7 incident, among other things, set off a new round of inter-Arab bickering. Said UAC chief ‘Ali ‘Ali ‘Amer: “How many times have I pleaded with our Syrian brothers not to provoke Israel? We have begged them time and time again and yet they continue shelling Israeli settlements, in sending in al-Fatah cells to shoot up transport or to mine the roads, and all this hurts our military efforts.”

        The towel-snapping taunts between the Arab capitals also increased. King Hussein, who after the Samu raid of 1966 had taunted Nasser for “hiding behind UNEF’s skirts” now needled him for his inaction to the April 7 incident and sharply jabbed him with the following sarcastic taunt: “Our enemy unfortunately now knows how serious President Abdel Nasser is when he said in his recent speech that the UAR would join the battle the moment Syria was attacked by Israel.” Hussein then taunted Damascus by noting (falsely) that the three downed Syrian planes that crashed in Jordan were found to have wooden rockets; Assad, it was said, would not give them real ones.

        Not to be outdone, Nasser replied that “Jordan is becoming a garrison of imperialism, a camp for training mercenary gangs, a reactionary outpost for the protection of Israel.” Hussein, like his grandfather, was in league with the Jews, who were “born agents, raised on treason—Hussein works for the CIA.” Also, “Hussein is an imperialist lackey.”

        To which Hussein, swinging back, replied that it was Nasser who was “the only Arab leader who lives in peace and tranquility with Israel. Not one shot has been fired from his direction against Israel…We hope he is satisfied with this disgrace.”

        In addition to the ever-escalating battle of the Arab tough guys, on May 13 the already tense situation got another boost: the Soviets officially (and falsely) informed the Egyptians that Israel was going to attack Syria. The same day, Hafez al-Assad requested that Egypt attack Israel as a diversion.

        According to former Egyptian Field Marshal Mohammed al-Gamsy, when Muhammed Fawzi, the Egyptian chief of staff arrived to consult in Damascus, he was surprised to find no evidence of any IDF buildup on the Syrian border: no reserve call-ups, and no unusual deployment of troops and armor. He later recalled: “I did not find any concrete evidence to support the information received {from the Soviets]. On the contrary, aerial photos taken by Syrian reconnaissance on May 12 and 13 showed no change in normal Israeli military positions.” Fawzi also noted that the Syrians had not gone on alert. (See “The October war: Memoirs of Field Marshall el-Gamsy of Egypt,” American University of Cairo, 1993)

        On May 14 Levi Eshkol invited the Soviet ambassador to Syria to inspect Israel’s side of the border; it was declined, probably for the simple reason that the Soviets, not believeing their own lies, knew there was no buildup. The next day, Odd Bull, chief of the UN Truce Supervision Organization, noted that he “had no reports of any buildup” from any border observers.

        Fawzi was also puzzled as to why ‘Amr did not respond to his reports that the Israeli buildup were incorrect, then drew the following conclusion: “Consequently, I began to believe that from his perspective, the business of the Israeli troop concentrations was not the principal reason for mobilization or the troop movements [in the Sinai] which we had been asked to undertake in such a hurry.”

        Both el-Gamsy and Fawzi believe that, given his knowledge of no Israeli buildup, Nasser had “decided to exploit the situation to annul Israel’s gains from the 1956 war: remilitarize Sinai, secure the withdrawal of UNEF, and again close the Gulf Eilat to Israeli shipping.”

        On May 20-21, Nasser ejected UNEF from the Sinai, the Egyptian army pouring into the peninsula in their wake. On May 23, Nasser and ‘Amr instructed all units to bar all vessels flying the Israeli flag from passage through the Tiran Straits.

        On the 25th, encouraged by Egypt – Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia moved their troops to Israel’s borders.

        On the 26th Nasser of Egypt declared, “Our basic goal is the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight…. The mining of Sharm El Sheik is a confrontation with Israel.”

        On May 30 King Hussein of Jordan, making common cause with the leader who called him an imperialist lackey and CIA stooge just a few weeks before, now signed a military pact with Nasser in Cairo. The same day Iraqi forces took up further positions in Jordan, and on June 4 an Egyptian-Iraqi pact was signed.

        It would seem that this “no escalation” thesis of yours has about as much relation to reality as your dubious “no Palestinian war effort/no leadership” thesis about the first stage of the 1948 War. The hysterical, war-whooping rhetoric growing louder and bloodier by the hour in all the Arab capitols, accompanied by the ejection of UNEF, the remilitarization of the Sinai, the closure of the Straits of Tiran, the mobilization and deployment of Syrian, Jordanian, Saudi, Iraqi and Egyptian infantry, armored, and mechanized units along the Israeli border, and the formation of Egyptian-Jordanian and Egyptian-Iraqi mutual defense pacts all, taken together, constitute an enormous, indeed almost frenzied, escalation and a military deployment of the highest order of readiness.

        Egypt had about 100,000 troops deployed in the Sinai and massed along the border. They were divided into some 18 infantry brigades, one paratroop brigade, and four or five independent special forces battalions. There were six armored brigades with 17 independent armored battalions. They fielded about 900 tanks and about 800 heavy artillery.

        Jordan had massed some 56,000 troops organized into nine infantry brigades, two armored brigades, a mechanized brigade and an Iraqi brigade. They had 294 tanks and 194 artillery pieces.

        Syria fielded about 70,000 troops in six infantry brigades, with two paratroop and special forces battalions, along with two armored brigades, one mechanized brigade, and one independent armored battalion. They had 300 tanks and 265 artillery pieces.

        Against this solid phalanx of armed might, Israel had by now mobilized about 250-264,000 men, about three-quarters reservists, and about 100,000 which could be placed on the borders. They were divided into 11 infantry brigades, two paratroop brigades, two independent units of special forces infantry, and three mechanized infantry brigades. They had about 1100 tanks and 400 artillery, divided into 12 artillery and 6 armored brigades.

        Thus, to say that “There was no escalation, certainly nothing to concern the Israelis” is to shamelessly deny tangible, uncontroversial, and verifiable facts of the historical record. It’s also pretty dumb.

        U Thant undoubtedly believed that if Israel had agreed to station UNEF troops on their side of the border, that war could have been averted but this was naïve. Had the Egyptians attacked, the UNEF troops would simply have been marginalized or simply ignored. When it comes to life and death decisions, nations do not entrust their fortunes to ineffectual peacekeepers, nor should they. They would have had as much chance to actually prevent any attack from either side as their boys in the blue helmets did to prevent ethnic cleansing and murder in Bosnia in 1992-1995 and genocide in Rawanda in 1994.

        Said you: “The question of the Straits of Tiran, U Thant had made a suggestion to have a moratorium. The moratorium would oblige Egypt to promise not to fire on foreign vessels that go through the Straits of Tiran, and Israel in return, would agree not to send through Israeli-flagged vessels. Egypt agreed to the proposal. Israel rejected it. So Israel rejected positioning peace keepers in it’s side of the border, they rejected Thant’s proposal and the offer by Nasser to allow the ICJ to determine the legality of the blockade, even while Israel was insisting it was illegal.

        And yet, Werdine has the gall to accuse everyone but Israel of rejectionism.”

        That is correct; I do. For the simple reason that the moratorium was in fact rejected by Israel, the Soviet Union, the United States, and Egypt. Indeed, no one, in fact denounced the moratorium idea more savagely than the Soviet UN rep Fedorenko. It is true that Nasser had originally agreed to it but he changed his mind. Mohammed el-Kony later informed U Thant that Nasser could never agree to the passage of oil and other “strategic materials” to Israel, even on foreign vessels. The moratorium idea thus went the same way that every other diplomatic initiative proposed at the time: nowhere.

        Conflicts between nation states have traditionally been solved by force and diplomacy. But the use of legal exchange to resolve conflicts is a novelty. The notion that Nasser would defy the UN to remilitarize the Sinai but was only too happy to forfeit his prestige before the Arab world and bow humbly to a ruling of the ICJ can only be described as laughable, and only serves to underscore the historical illiteracy of anyone who would credit it.

        The notion that a nation has no right to an act of preemptive self defense is reckless, and has never been adopted in theory or practice. In his seminal 1625 treatise, “The Law of War and Peace,” Hugo Grotius, one of the foremost philosophers of international law, argued that the repulsing of invasion is the most appropriate method of waging a just war, but he did not limit justifiable self-defense to cases of being attacked only, but that it could also extend preemptively, in cases where an enemy is “preparing to kill.”

        Said the 18th-century Swiss philosopher Emmerich de Vattel:

        “The safest plan is to prevent evil, where that is possible. A nation has the right to resist the injury another seeks to inflict upon it, and to use force . . . against the aggressor. It may even anticipate the other’s design, being careful, however, not to act upon vague and doubtful suspicions, lest it should run the risk of becoming itself the aggressor.”

        Article 51, which prohibits acts of aggression, excludes acts of self-defense, and the laws of initiating hostilities (jus ad bellum) does not inhibit the use of force in that capacity in international conflicts, no matter who disagrees with it. Israel’s pre-emptive attack of 1967, in the face of an existential danger ringing their borders and becoming stronger, more militant, and more cacophonous by the hour, was a clear example of such an instance, and clearly the reason why the UN did not condemn the Israeli attack as an act of “aggression” in Resolution 242 as it did in, say, 1990 with Saddam’s unprovoked invasion of Kuwait.

        All attempts by you and everyone else to interpret Israel’s pre-emptive action as unprovoked “aggression” in the 1967 War is simply wrong.

        This is in fact reflected in the interpretation of the complementary nature and purpose of the adjoining clauses in Resolution 242 and is fully supported by the sentiments expressed by then-British UN rep Lord Caradon, the chief author of Res.242, in the 1379th meeting of the UN on November 16, 1967:

        “In the long discussions with representatives of Arab countries, they have made it clear that they seek no more than justice. The central issue of the recovery and restoration of their territories is naturally uppermost in their minds. The issue of withdrawal to them is all-important and, of course, they seek a just settlement to end the long suffering of the refugees.

        The Israelis, on the other hand, tell us that withdrawal must never be to insecurity and hostility. The action to be taken must be within the framework of a permanent peace and withdrawal must be to secure boundaries. There must be an end of the use, aid, threat, and fear of violence and hostility. I have said before that these aims do not conflict; they are equal. They are both essential, There must be adequate provision in any resolution to meet them both, since to attempt to pursue one without the other would be foolish and futile.

        So we have been guided by all the earlier work which has been done and by the eloquent statements which have been made by both sides, and we have endeavored, with the help of my brother members of the Council, to set out in a draft resolution what I believe will be recognized as a sincere and fair and honest attempt both to meet the just claims of both sides and also to discharge the high responsibility of this Council.

        I cannot maintain that the resolution which we have by these means prepared will be accepted in full by either side. Naturally they will have their doubts and differences on wording and formulation and presentation and emphasis, but I trust that both sides, as well as all members of this Council, will recognize that the resolution which I now present to the Council is indeed balanced and just.”

        Here is the first operative paragraph of Res. 242:

        “(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

        “(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

        In his attempt to clarify the precise meaning of that crucial paragraph, Lord Caradon could not have been clearer:

        “As to the first operative paragraph, and with due respect for fulfillment of Charter principles, we consider it essential that there should be applied the principles of both withdrawal and security, and we have no doubt that the words set out throughout that paragraph are perfectly clear.”

        Caradon here explicitly emphasized the balanced, complementary nature of the adjoining clauses:

        “The Israelis…tell us that withdrawal must never be to insecurity and hostility. The action to be taken must be within the framework of a permanent peace and withdrawal must be to secure boundaries.”
        Caradon here put his finger on the whole dynamic of the conflict: the refusal of the Arab states recognize or live in peace beside Israel.

        “Within the framework of a permanent peace” meant withdrawal in the context of a full peace, not a mere cease-fire, and that meant Egypt, Jordan, and Syria recognizing Israel’s right to exist and making peace with her, something the three states adamantly refused to do both before the war and immediately afterward.

        And, obviously referring to the barrage of we-will-destroy-Israel threats that Arab leaders were screaming in the days before the war, Lord Caradon said:

        “There must be an end of the use, aid, threat, and fear of violence and hostility. I have said before that these aims do not conflict; they are equal. They are both essential, There must be adequate provision in any resolution to meet them both, since to attempt to pursue one without the other would be foolish and futile.”

        It seems entirely plausible to me that you could, from the safety and comfort of your computer, look upon the circumstances of May-June 1967 and conclude that there was not a real and imminent threat to Israel’s survival but the Israelis did, and they chose to survive, rather than not to.

        Shame, isn’t it?

      • Taxi
        September 5, 2011, 7:51 pm

        Werdine,

        You’re such a long-winded ass.

        I urge Hostage and shingo to beware of werdine’s trolling, time-wasting tactics.

      • Shingo
        September 5, 2011, 9:45 pm

        Jonah,

        I don’t know why you keep doing this to yourself, but you’re like masochist who can’t get enough pain.

        First of all, I don’t know why you keep harping on about the  “defense pact” (aka allied agreement) between Syria and Egypt.  It’s not as though such alliances are an act of malevolence or intent. 

        You forget to mention the reasons of these threatening announces toward Syria: the incursions by Palestinian fedayeens in Israeli territory, whose targets were often civilians.

        Seriously Jonah, it is now well-documented that Israelis provoked clashes (80% according to Dayan) with Syrians as a justification for introducing military forces into the area. Obviously this was in direct violation of the Armistice Agreement. Israelis then started to divert the River Jordan and drain lake Huleh. The Security Council condemned this action and ordered Israel to stop all diversion work. US President, Gen. Eisenhower stopped financial aid to Israel.

        Nasser decided to remove the UN troops stationed in the Sinai and to move considerable forces in the same, together with uttered threats of destruction by Arab leaders, did nothing but increase tensions with Israel, which began to mobilize his troops as well.

        As Begin, Rabin. General Peled (Chief of Logistical Command during the war), Mordecai Bentov (member of the wartime national government) have all stated, no one in the Israeli government believed Nasser was ever going to attack. Neither the removal of UN peace keepers, nor the

        BTW, the UN observers at Sharm el Sheikh were not “kicked out” by Nasser. Despite the fact that Nasser wanted them to stay. It was UN Secretary General U Thant insisted they be removed.

        General Chaim Herzog, a founding father of Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (who went on to become Israel’s ambassador to the UN and eventually the state’s president), revealed that Israel were hell bent on having a war with Egypt.

        “If Nasser had not been stupid enough to give us a pretext to go to war, we would have created one within a year or 18 months.”

        As, on May 23, Egypt announced the closure of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping transit, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

        Absolute rubbish. First of all, the blockade lasted barely a week, and was barely enforced. As the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) Commander, Major General Idar Jit Rikhye, revealed, Nasser was not enforcing the blockade: “[The Egyptian] navy had searched a couple of ships after the establishm­ent of the blockade and thereafter relaxed its implementa­tion.”

        Roger Fisher, professor of Internatio­nal Law at Harvard: “[T]aking the facts as they are, I would rather defend the legality of the UAR’s action in closing the Straits of Tiran than to argue the other side of the case, and I would certainly rather do so than to defend the legality of the preventive war which Israel launched.”

        On May 26, in Washington­, Abba Eban was informed by President Johnson that “…it is the “unanimous view [of his experts] that there is no Egyptian intention to make an imminent attack.”

        The Straits of Tiran, contrary to your and Arab claims, were considered international waters according to customary international law.

        Wrong again.

        The navigation channels after the Straits were an inland waterway that passed through Egypt’s territorial waters. Egypt was not a signatory to any international convention that imposed an “international servitude” upon it at that time, and the 1958 convention had not yet obtained customary status.  There is a discussion of some of the factors and divided legal opinion of the case in ‘Armed Attack’ and Article 51 of the UN Charter: Evolutions in Customary Law, By Tom Ruys starting on page 276:

        link to books.google.com

        The final settlement between Egypt and Israel was based upon the old fashioned (conventional) contract theory of “acceptance”, not upon any changes in customary law.

        The great majority of the states had indirectly accepted the international charakter of the Tiran Straits during the Geneva conference on the Law of the Sea in 1958.

        Seriously Jonah, could you be any more desperate? On what basis do you conclude that “agreat majority of the states had indirectly accepted”?

        If we look in this Convention we can see that the blockade of the Straits was not in accordance with Article 16 para. 4 of the Geneva Convention on the territorial Sea and the contiguos Zone, at least regarding the innocent passage.

        Eilat was seldom if ever used for Israeli-flagged shipping in the first place, and Israel’s other ports were all still open. The Indian delegate and many others supported Egypt’s legal position. 

        Of course, any dispute as to the legality of Egypt’s actions could have been resolved. Egypt asked to have the case decided by the International Court of Justice, , but Israel were not prepared to allow the ICJ to make that determination – I wonder why?

        The fact that:

        (i)Israel had only occupied Eilat after it had signed a binding Chapter VII armistice agreement with Egypt;
        (ii)had subsequently declared the armistice agreements null and void; and
        (iii)had threatened and attacked Egypt’s Arab League allies, Syria and Jordan, legally triggered Egypt’s exercise of its rights of belligerency.
        It also meant that Israel and the US were trying to enforce access to the port of Eilat based upon a “prescriptive right” to the acquisition of territory on which it was situated. 

        Moreover, Israel had in 1957 asserted that any closure of the Straits would amount to a casus belli.

        Not a single state, including the US, ever supported Israel’s jus ad bellum legal argument.  Only the Security Council could decide if an “act of aggression” had actually occurred, and that certainly never happened. The other members did not agree that Egypt’s right of inspection in its own territorial waters was an act of aggression or tantamount to a blockade.

        Apart of course the Jewish state, which – despite the enemies like you who burn with the desire to see it in ashes – apparently doesn’t have the right to defend itself. Just curious.

        I’ll let Mordecai Bentov answer that:
        “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”

        I guess that answers once and for all who’s posting rubbish, right Jonah?

      • Shingo
        September 6, 2011, 1:47 am

        You know, I’m really unsure who to address this post to Robert Wierdine or Jonah, since most of Jonah’s Wierdine’s post is so replete with Oren’s selective citations and vaporous effusions, that the authorship is in doubt. So, I’ll flip a coin and go for: Robert!

        Dear Robert,

        You are clearly becomming irrational and over emotional, which in undestandable given that your vaporous effusions, to which you obviousyl invest a great deal of energy cutting and pasting,  are debunked.  I had to laugh at your demand that I provide a citation (not from Hostage) that Ben Gurion had declared the armtistice agreement dead and burried, while then proceeding to demnstrate where it came from.

        That was priceless.

        On an another thing Robert, if you are going to demand that I cite sources that can be read in their entirety and/or readily linked instead of citing Hostage’s sources, then you might want to try taking your own advice instead of indulging fog-enveloped meanderings.   Facts and references are usually tediously arcane, so I won’y apologise for boring you.

        But seriously Robert, are we to believe that decriptions like “towel-snapping taunts” are your own if not fog-enveloped meanderings?

        That too was priceless.

          The Syrians had been unilaterally attempting to divert the headwaters of the Jordan and to prevent Israeli cultivation of the Demilitarized Zone evacuated by Syria following the 1949 armistice agreements, over which the Israelis claimed sovereignty, and which the Syrians of course disputed.

        As always, everyone but Israel believed it was “disputed”.

        Israel had no right to cultivate the Demilitarized Zone, which is why it was called the Demilitarized Zone, and even then, Moshe Dayan’s admission illuistraees to the world what Israel had in mind when it said “cultivate”. Of course, when it comes to Israel discourse, “disputed” is taken to mean Israel’s for the taking.

        The area was never controlled militarily by Israeli forces prior to the Armistice Agreement.  It was Arab (Palestinian/Syrian), by historical continuity, not just by default.  Israel insisted on the withdrawal of Syrian forces from the area so that the area became demilitarized.  The Syrians rejected this demand. Dr. R. Bunche the UN Acting Mediator finally arrived at a solution by issuing what is known as the “authoritative statement”.
        Three weeks before the signing, on 26 June 1949, Dr. Bunche (Dr. R. Bunche the UN Acting Mediator) sent a letter to both the Israeli and Syrian sides. This letter is part of the official record. It  specifically excluded Israel’s claims of sovereignty over the area to be included in the Armistice Agreement “Questions of permanent boundaries, territorial sovereignty, customs, trade relations and the like must be dealt with in the ultimate peace agreement and not in the armistice agreement” , he stated.
        It should be mentinoed that the listed topics reflect the same issues stipulated by the 1926 Agreement. Dr. Bunche went on to say, addressing Moshe Sharett, Israel’s Foreign Minister:

        “From the beginning of these negotiations, our greatest difficulty has been to meet Israel’s unqualified demand that Syrian forces be withdrawn from Palestine.

        We have now, with very great effort, persuaded the Syrians to agree to this. I trust this will not be undone by legalistic demands about broad principles of sovereignty and administration which in any case would be worked out satisfactorily in the practical operation of the scheme”

        Dr. Bunche extended the exclusion of Israel’s claims of sovereignty to other demilitarized areas, such as the Government House and Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem and El-Auja DMZ (260 sq. km.) on Palestine/Egypt border.
        Two years after Dr. Bunche’s statement, the Security Council, in its resolution on May 18, 1951 about Israeli violations of the Armistice Agreement, affirmed his statement and called upon the parties to give effect to “the authoritative comment on article V of the Syrian – Israeli Agreement”. The Armistice conditions were clear. No political or military activity in the area, the local population (Arab majority and Jews) have freedom of living, work and movement, civil administration and ‘Arab’ and Jewish local police are to be set up, no heavy arms within 5 km of the armistice line and full authority of UN Truce Supervision to supervise the civil administration.

        Soon after the Armistice signing, Israelis started to assert control of DMZ in an effort to claim sovereignty.

        It is now well-documented that Israelis provoked clashes (80% according to Dayan) with Syrians as a justification for introducing military forces into the area. Obviously this was in direct violation of the Armistice Agreement. Israelis then started to divert the River Jordan and drain lake Huleh. The Security Council condemned this action and ordered Israel to stop all diversion work. US President, Gen. Eisenhower stopped financial aid to Israel.

        A statement by the Israeli Foreign Minister on 15 April 1951 claimed Israeli sovereignty over DMZ as of 14 May 1948, on the basis that, “it was always part and parcel of the British Mandated Territory”. The British immediately rejected the statement as a “most menacing assertion” and noted that Israel had on numerous occasions firmly refused to have themselves regarded as the successors of the former Palestine Government” and noted that “firm UN action was necessary in order to combat Israeli pretensions”.

        Ben Gurion was determined to seize the demilitarized zones in the north with Syria, in Jerusalem with Jordan and in the south (El Auja) with Egypt. Frequent attacks on Syria were designed to provoke Nasser into war to defend Syria under the Combined Defence Pact of 20 October 1955.  Nasser did not respond, neither did he respond when Egypt itself was attacked in Subha and Kuntilla. So, another plan was devised. The collusion of Britain, France and Israel in the Suez Campaign of 1956 provided the required opportunity to seize both DMZ areas in the north and the south.

        By October 1956, Israeli troops under Sharon, have succeeded in expelling the population of Auja, all the remaining Palestinians in and around Huleh and in Samra and Nuqeib on Lake Tiberias.  This left a continuous strip of land in DMZ, approximately 40% of the whole area, under Syrian control. It is clear therefore that Israel only, not Syria as well, attempted “to take max advantage” of the territory under the Armistice Agreement, and there was no “ambiguity” about its terms.

        Israel’s main objective was always to control Arab water resources. All else is secondary. It is believed that Syria will never surrender its rights as a riparian state to the river Jordan and lake Tiberias and may ask for compensation for its diverted resources in the last 50 years. Such rights are clearly spelled out in the 1926 Good Neighborly agreement. The Armistice Agreement, although temporary in nature, did not invalidate these rights.
        The obstacles in negotiations are derived from Israel’s aim to exploit the water resources exclusively. Two thirds of Israel’s water consumption is taken illegally from Arab waters in and outside Palestine.

        A report prepared by Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, which remained classified for some time, shows the max. limit of Israeli withdrawal from the Golan such that Arab water sources remain under Israeli control.
        On the face of it, Israel will look generous by returning “most” of Golan to Syria. In fact, Syria would then be non-riparian and its waters would be diverted to Israel.

        The Syrians rained fire on the Dan Kibbutz in November 1964, and three more times throughout 1965

        Moshe Dayan already explained how this took place.  It was indeed Israel who provoked the incident with Syria by using the tractors to provoke a response from Syrian,  In other words, the 1964 adn 65 skirmishes were deliberately instigated by Israel in order to secure control of the DMZ. Similarly, the in January 1967 skirmishes were the result of blatant Israeli provocation. What resulted from those skirmishes may indeed have been “deplorable” and “insidious” attacks and as “menaces to peace, but as Dayan amditted, Israel was responsible for at least 80% of those incidents.

        Dayan’s account is supported by multiple sources:

        In his book, “Wars don’t just happen” the historian Motti Golani describes e.g., how the June war of 1967 evolved out of an Israeli provocation on the Syrian border (I can confirm his description with my limited perspective as a simple soldier at that time). Through a misinterpretation of the Israeli steps, the Arab countries were convinced that Israel intended to attack Syria. In order to neutralize this threat the Egyptian president Gamal Abd al-Nasser closed the Strait of Sharem El Sheikh and kicked the UN forces out of the Sinai Peninsula. There are many proofs that the Egyptian army in Sinai, notwithstanding the aggressive Nasser’s rhetorics, was in a defensive set up and was not going to attack Israel.”  (Shraga Elam, 14 February 2003)

        “In a series of interviews that Dayan gave journalist Rami Tal in the mid-1970s, and which were recently published in the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot, Dayan stated that the years of cross-border violence between Israel
        and Syria that preceded the war were largely a result of Israeli provocations. According to Dayan, some 80 percent of the pre-war border incidents were the result of Israeli initiatives.” 
        (David Landau, 6 June 1997)

        And in case you’re in any doubt about who fired the first shots here, let the rare candor of a January 17, 1967 broadcast by Damascus Radio set you straight:

        If you want to cite Damascus Radi, then you would have to accept that until that  January 1967, Israel were indeed the agressors prior to January 1967.
        You can’t have it both ways Robert, and your subsequent diatribe is simply unsupported by the fact that Israel made a promise to the US not to attack Jordan and Syria when they received the gree light to attack Egypt.

        As for Dayan’s boastful comment years later, said Michael Oren:

        Oren’s attempt to explain away Dayan’s comment is irrelevant.  Whether the Israelis regarded the de-militarized zones in the north as part of their sovereign territory is also completely irrelevamt They had been more than adequately informed on countless occasions that  they had no legal claim, so Oren’s excuse that they belied it to be the case only serves to highlught Israel’s collective sociapathy.

        Huh? So the 1957 agreement was null and void? And this obscure legal article bore the imprimatur of the UN, was binding and had de jure application? And the UN thus judged Israel to be in violation of the 1957 agreement? Was this “violation” ever addressed by the Security Council? Please explain.

        I was going to until you did if for me.  I must say, I laughed when you accused me of pulling a dishionest stunt about Ben Gurion’s speech, and then went on to prove that my citiation was accurate.  As you pointed out, the first two points of  Ben Gurioni’s speech declared that

        “1. The armistice agreement with Egypt is dead and buried and cannot be restored to life.
        2. In consequence, the armistice lines between Israel and Egypt have no more validity.”

        I couldn’t have said it better myself.

        The “we are ready to enter into negotiations for a stable peace, cooperation and good neighborly relations is simply the same BS we  have comer to expext from Israel since it was created.  You might remember Israel’s speech at the UN on the day UNGAR181 was passed, when Israel pledged to respect the rights of the Palestinians just as they were preparing to carry out the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and destruction of their villages.
        Abba Eban’s November 8th announcement that Israel were now prepared to accept the UN Resolution demanding Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai, was cleary a desperate attempt at damage control and subsequent events proves that beynid a shadow of a dioubt.  Ben Gurion, along with Yitzhak Rabin, Moshe Dayan, and Ariel Sharon, Bwas obsessed with toppling neighboring Arab regimes. He stated in 1954:

        “[Nasser must be taught a lesson, thundered, either] to carry out his duties or to be toppled. It is definitely possible to topple him, and it is even a mitzvah [a sacred obligation] to do so. Who is he anyway, this Nasser-Shmasser.” (Iron Wall, p. 124)

        This belligerence toward Egypt led to the tri-partite assault (Israel, British, and French) on Egypt in 1956, which was triggered after Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal.

        Ben-Gurion, which by then had become a complete mad man, had his sights set on the Sinai and it’s natural resources as well. He stated in October 1955:

        “I told him [French PM, Guy Mollet] about the discovery of oil in the southern and western Sinai, and that it would be good to TEAR this peninsula from Egypt because it did not belong to her; rather it was the English who stole it from the Turks when they believed that Egypt was in their pocket. I suggested laying down a pipeline from Sinai to Haifa to REFINE THE OIL, and Mollet [French PM] showed interest in the suggestion.” (Iron Wall, p. 175)

        And as we’ve come to know with Ben Gurion, the man was determined, obsessed and was prone to lie shamelssly (including making platitutes about peace) in order to acheive his goals.

        Interference, by armed force, with ships of Israeli flag exercising free and innocent passage in the Gulf of Aqaba and through the Straits of Tiran will be regarded by Israel as an attack entitling it to exercise its inherent right of self-defence under Article 51 of the Charter and to take all such measures as are necessary to ensure the free and innocent passage of its ships in the Gulf and in the Straits.

        Like I pointed out repeately to Jonah, no one accepted Israel’s argument and Israel knoew they didn’t have a leg to stand on, which is why they rejected Nasser’s proposal to put the matter before the  ICJ to decide.  Thus, any platitudes to “accordance with the accepted principles of international law” were cimply hot air. No one agreed, not the US and not the UN.

        The Government of Israel announces that it is making a complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in accordance with General Assembly resolution (I) of 2 February 1957 (A/RES/460). It makes this announcement on the following assumptions:

        These too were nothing but a sideshow.   If Israel were so concerned about the necessity of United Nations Forcesbeing present in the region, they would not have objected to UN peace keepers being placed on the Israeli side of the border.  Of course, Ben-Gurion rejected the idea completely.

        What ultimately made the agreement that Meir spoke of possible was that Dag Hammerskjold had promised Nasser that Egypt could remove the UNEF force if the General Assembly judged that the peacekeepers had completed their mission, and John Foster Dulles had promised Golda Meir that any Egyptian attempt to re-militarize the Sinai and Gaza and/or impede Israeli maritime rights in the Straits of Tiran would entitle Israel to invoke Article 51 in its own self-defense.

        False.  The US never took this position, so the matter is indeed disputed.
        Thus, any declaration by Meir  that any breach of the guarantees by Egypt would constitute an act of war, and Israel’s argument about its rights under Article 51 to defend itself have no valdit.

        None.  As the S.S. State Department stated:

        “…intern­ational law almost certainly did not confer on Israel the right to initiate the use of armed force against the UAR [Egypt] in the absence of an armed attack by the UAR on Israel.”

        In a memorandum to [Secretary of State] Rusk:

        “A blockade did not of itself constitute an armed attack, and self-defen­se did not cover general hostilitie­s against the UAR.”

        Futhermore, Major General Idar Jit Rikhye, Commander UN Emergency Force: “[The Egyptian] navy had searched a couple of ships after the establishm­ent of the blockade and thereafter relaxed its implementa­tion.”

        For over seven years Israel suffered countless Fedayeen attacks and the economic and political consequences of Nasser’s illegal closure of the canal to Israeli shipping along with goods destined for Israel, and his no less illegal closure of the Straits of Tiran.

        False.  The losure of the Straits of Tiran weer never deemded to have been illegal and as the US State Department declared, were not an act fo war.

        By 1956, the Egyptians had left no tenet of the 1949 armistice agreement unviolated.

        False again. The US again refuted Britain’s, France’s and Israel’s poisiton on this matter, which is why they ordered them to get out.

        In addition to the ever-escalating battle of the Arab tough guys, on May 13 the already tense situation got another boost: the Soviets officially (and falsely) informed the Egyptians that Israel was going to attack Syria. The same day, Hafez al-Assad requested that Egypt attack Israel as a diversion.

        As it turns out, the Soviets were 100% accurate with their prodiction, and slightly off with their timing,

        On May 14 Levi Eshkol invited the Soviet ambassador to Syria to inspect Israel’s side of the border; it was declined, probably for the simple reason that the Soviets, not believeing their own lies, knew there was no buildup.

        More likely it was declined because such an excercize would  have been pointless.  First of all, Israel atatcked Egypt by air, and pretty much had the game sewn up with air power.  The Soviets knew the Israelis enjoyed air superiority.  Secondly, Israeli tanks and armoured personnel carriers could be easily mobilzed in short time.  Israel were able to load it’s tanks and armoured personnel carriers onto huge lorries with trailers for transportation to the north from the Sinai rapidly and redeploy the North in a few days.  Of course, they took out the USS Liberty to provide cover for this rapid redeployment.

        Your timeline about Egypt';s deplioyment fo troops to the Sinai is entirely meaningless and irrelevant.  As Menachem Begin said, “The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us , We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

        So you’ve wasted your time Robert.

        Egypt had about 100,000 troops deployed in the Sinai and massed along the border.

        And thsi is what Israeli PM Eshkol had to say about that: “The Egyptian layout in the Sinai and the general military buildup there testified to a military defensive Egyptian set-up, south of Israel.”

        “I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to The Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it.” 
        (Yitzhak Rabin, 28 February 1968)

        Meir Amit, chief of Mossad: “Egypt was not ready for a war and Nasser did not want a war.”

        He also said that: “Egypt was not ready for a war and Nasser did not want a war;”

        Mordechai Bentov, an Israeli cabinet minister at the time: “All this story about the danger of extermination [of Israel in June 1967] has been a complete invention and has been blown up a posteriori to justify the annexation of Arab territory.­”

        *Greg Cashman said that in late May 1967, Egypt had complained that the false Soviet report caused them to send troops into the Sinai. see An Introduction to the Causes of War: Patterns of Interstate Conflict from World War I to Iraq, page 185

        *The Egyptians had already provided categorical assurances to Israel through the US Secretary of State and the UN Secretary General that they did not intend to initiate hostilities, and that they were willing to make concessions to avoid a war. see Cashman; Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, Volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967, document 132; and paragragh 9 of the report to the Security Council from the Secretary General of the United Nations, S/7906, 26 May 1967.

        *Christopher Gelpi says that the government of Egypt had let it be known that their tough statements were “mere words designed for public consumption.” see The power of legitimacy: assessing the role of norms in crisis bargaining, page 141

        *David Rodman said that since the early days of the State, Israeli military doctrine placed a premium on offensive, rather than defensive warfare. Military leaders felt that there was a better prospect of deterring the outbreak of hostilities if the IDF transferred fighting to enemy territory as soon as possible. That strategy also compensated for limited finances and the absence of alliance partners. see Between war and peace, editor Efraim Karsh, page 153

        *Dan Kurzman said Rabin was not concerned with the Sinai build-up. see Soldier of peace, page 202

        *Rabin said the IDF GHQ Intelligence assessment was that Israel was facing a repetition of Operation Rotem (see the discussion above), and that Egypt would eventually withdraw. He characterized the Sinai troop build-up and the closure of the Straits as “humiliating pinpricks” that would render the IDF’s long term ”deterrent capacity” worthless. During the meeting in “the Pit”, he and the other military leaders said they were afraid that it would appear that the government had lost confidence in the IDF, and that the significance of the closure of the Straits lay in the effect on Israel’s ”deterrent” capability. see The Rabin Memoirs, page 80-81; Israel in the Middle East: Documents and Readings on Society, Politics, and Foreign Relations, Pre-1948 to the Present, edited by Itamar Rabinovich, Jehuda Reinharz, pages 212-213; and Israel’s Decision To Go To War, June 2, 1967, by Col. Ami Gluska

        *Avner Yaniv said that IDF doctrine was based on the assumption of the inherent disability of Israel to win a decisive strategic battle and impose peace on the Arabs. The leadership felt that Israel could not subdue the Arabs. It could defend itself, cause the Arabs pain, and destroy their armies for a while, but they felt that solving the problem once and for all was beyond Israel’s capacity. The IDF relied on a strategy of active conventional ”deterrence” that emphasized punitive and demonstrative use of force and the accumulation of dissuasive power not through one military victory, but through a succession of quick decisive blows to Arab military power. see National security and democracy in Israel, page 90.

        *Avi Shlaim said there is general agreement among commentators that Nasser neither wanted nor planned to go to war with Israel. He said the Israeli economy would survive the closure of the Straits, but ”the deterrent image of the IDF” could not. see The Iron Wall, pages 236-237.

        *Yagil Levy says that the tendency to use force and generate escalation in order to bring about counter-reaction by the Arabs, ruled out possible options to settle the crisis other than by war. Israel’s doctrine of ”deterrence” called for “flexible retaliation” designed to deter the Syrians or provoke them so that Israel could launch a full scale response. He said that Israel became trapped in its own formula of ”deterrence”. see Trial and error: Israel’s route from war to de-escalation, page 107

        *Re’uven Pedatzur said that any erosion of Israeli deterrent power is an impediment to peace in the region. He said that Israeli deterrence is greatly dependent on the IDF’s capability to inflict great and painful damage to the enemy — “deterrence through punishment.” and that in the absence of comprehensive peace in the Middle East, deterrence will remain the chief component in Israel’s national defense doctrine. see Limits of Deterrence, Ha’aretz, 28 March 1995 p B1

        *Uzi Benziman described Israel’s doctrine of strategic deterrence and Ariel Sharon’s role in launching cross-border attacks into Jordan or Egypt where his forces would strike targets and disappear. see for example Sharon: An Israeli Caesar, pages 42-44

        Thus, to suggest “There was any escalation”  is to shamelessly peddly baseless Israeli propaganda.  Everyione from Eshkol throughthe miliatry and the Mossad all knew that Nasser was in no position to attack and did nto want to attack.

        U Thant undoubtedly believed that if Israel had agreed to station UNEF troops on their side of the border, that war could have been averted but this was naïve.

        Yes it was naïve because everyone knew that Israel had been intching for a fight with Egypt since 1955, and as General Chaim Herzog (a founding father of Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence who went on to become Israel’s ambassador to the UN and eventually the state’s president),  “If Nasser had not been stupid enough to give us a pretext to go to war, we would have created one within a year or 18 months.”

        Another summary truth about what happened in June 1967 is that there would NOT have been a war if Israel’s prime minister, the much maligned Levi Eshkol, and his Chief of Staff, General Yitzhak Rabin, had had their way. After Eygpt’s President Nasser had closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, they wanted only a limited military operation – to satisfy Israeli public opinion and, most of all, to put pressure on America to lead the international community in delivering on a promise President Eisenhower had made – that in the event of Eygpt closing the Straits of Tiran, the “society of nations” would be mobilized to cause the Straits to be re-opened by all means short of war. That was what Nasser was hoping would happen. For reasons of face, he needed to be able to say to the Arab world, “I backed down because of international pressure.”

        So why didn’t Prime Minister Eshkol and Chief of Staff Rabin have their way?
        The short answer is that in Israel the week before the war there was what amounted to a MILITARY COUP in all but name and without a shot being fired.

        Everyone knew that war was innevitable.

        When it comes to life and death decisions, nations do not entrust their fortunes to ineffectual peacekeepers, nor should they.

        Nor do nations who’s true agenda is criminal and expansionist.

        For the simple reason that the moratorium was in fact rejected by Israel, the Soviet Union, the United States, and Egypt. Indeed, no one, in fact denounced the moratorium idea more savagely than the Soviet UN rep Fedorenko. It is true that Nasser had originally agreed to it but he changed his mind.

        False. He had no time to. The matter was never referred to the ICJ and no, Fedorenko did not reject the suggestion either.

        Article 51, which prohibits acts of aggression, excludes acts of self-defense, and the laws of initiating hostilities (jus ad bellum) does not inhibit the use of force in that capacity in international conflicts, no matter who disagrees with it.

        False. Only the Security Council can decide if an “act of aggression” has actually occurred, and that certainly never happened. Not a single state, including the US, ever supported Israel’s jus ad bellum legal argument.  

        The other members did not agree that Egypt’s right of inspection in its own territorial waters was an act of aggression or tantamount to a blockade. Eilat was seldom if ever used for Israeli-flagged shipping in the first place, and Israel’s other ports were all still open. The Indian delegate and many others supported Egypt’s legal position. 

        Israel’s pre-emptive attack of 1967, in the face of an existential danger ringing their borders and becoming stronger, more militant, and more cacophonous by the hour, was a clear example of such an instance, and clearly the reason why the UN did not condemn the Israeli attack as an act of “aggression” in Resolution 242 as it did in, say, 1990 with Saddam’s unprovoked invasion of Kuwait.

        Every Israeli leader at the time has stated otherwise. Listening to you recite what sounds like excerpts from Mac Beth, with your colourful diatribes about cacophonous dangers, when you probably not even born at the time, is too pathetic for words. It’s embarrassing to watch you humiliate yourself on this forum.

        All attempts by you and everyone else to interpret Israel’s pre-emptive action as unprovoked “aggression” in the 1967 War is simply wrong.

        No it’s beyond dispute. Even Israel’s leaders, from the PM, to the Chief of Staff, to the head of Mossad, to the head of the IDF, have all come clean and said exactly that.

        What ever you hope to gain by resuscitating this dead horse is beyond me, when Israel’s own leadership no longer believes your story.

        As for Lord Caradon, all I can say is that he sounds as if he’s taking the same medication you;ve been abusing.

      • jonah
        September 6, 2011, 9:09 pm

        I don’t know why you keep doing this to yourself, but you’re like masochist who can’t get enough pain.

        Typical bullish nonsense by shingo. Obviously you’re confusing a political and historical blog dispute with the war you have in your own head. I would not be there in your place …

        I don’t know why you keep harping on about the ”defense pact” (aka allied agreement) between Syria and Egypt. It’s not as though such alliances are an act of malevolence or intent.

        In 1966 Syria and Egypt were working on an alliance. In October, 1966, in Damascus, the leader of Egypt’s military delegation proclaimed:

        “We are confident that we are making fast strides toward the realization of our common goal — the elimination of Israel and full unity.”

        “Seriously Jonah, could you be any more desperate? On what basis do you conclude that “agreat majority of the states had indirectly accepted”?”

        We can not assume that propagandists have any interest in finding out the truth. FYI:
        “The CTS sets out in detailed provisions the main rules on the territorial sea and the contiguous zone. Its rules address, in particular, baselines, bays, delimitation between States whose coasts are adjacent or face each other, innocent passage and the contiguous zone. Among the aspects that at the time were seen as the most controversial were those related to article 16. First, article 16, paragraph 4, provides that innocent passage, which cannot be suspended, applies in straits used for international navigation not only connecting one part of the high seas to another part of the high seas, but also to the territorial sea of a foreign State, thus including also the strait of Tiran.” link to untreaty.un.org

        Moreover, President Lyndon Johnson warned Nasser and Egypt’s blockade of the Strait of Tiran “illegal” and “potentially disastrous to the cause of peace.”

        “Of course, any dispute as to the legality of Egypt’s actions could have been resolved.

        And this said by someone like you, who is openly hostile to Israel, simply ignoring the fact that all Arab states, including Egypt, were in 1967 (and since 1949) in a state of declared permanent war against Israel. Can you be more hypocritically in denial?

        But, of course, it was not only the blockade of the Straits that persuaded Israel to act pre-emtively, it was the concomitance of several factors, as ad abundantiam described above.

        “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”

        And you can centainly provide a reliable source that proves it’s not a fake, right?

      • Shingo
        September 6, 2011, 10:30 pm

        In 1966 Syria and Egypt were working on an alliance. In October, 1966, in Damascus, the leader of Egypt’s military delegation proclaimed:

        More cherry picking from Oren. If Egypt and Syria were indeed “making fast strides” toward “the elimination of Israel”, then neither would have been caught completely by surprise by an Israeli attack?

        How is it that if Egypt and Syria had agreed to “ elimination of Israel”, that Syria did not enter the war until day June 9th, when it was dragged, kicking and screaming into the conflict by an Israeli attack? Syria had announced its acceptance of the cease-fire on the 9th but Israel attacked and invaded anyway.

        Oren completely ignores the statesment by Eshkol and Meir Amit that there was no “plan for a military offensive.” ”. He even lies about Nasser having “surprised the world by asking the United Nations to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from the Sinai” when U Thant was told well in advance of this request and it was n secret that the presence of the UN troops were a cause of

        He claims that a blockade is “considered by tradition an act of war”, when Israel have cited San Remo to justify their own blockade.

        Eban’s argument in Washington, that “Nasser’s blockade of the Strait of Tiran was “illegal” and “potentially disastrous to the cause of peace” was pure BS. Nasser called Israel’s bluff when it proposed allowing the ICJ to determine the legality of the blockade – which Israel rejected because it knew it had no case.

        No one agreed with Eban’s argument.

        Oren is hardly credible on this subject and he proves time and time again.
        “Seriously Jonah, could you be any more desperate? On what basis do you conclude that “agreat majority of the states had indirectly accepted”?”
        We can not assume that propagandists have any interest in finding out the truth. FYI:

        Funny how didn’t bother to cite tehnext paragraph which reads:

        The CHS defines the high seas as all parts of the sea not included in the territorial sea and internal waters. It deals specifically with: the freedoms of the high seas; the right of a State to have ships flying its flag under conditions fixed by it, stating the controversial requirement of the existence a “genuine link”; the rights and obligations of the flag State; piracy; the right of visit; hot pursuit; and the laying of submarine cables and pipelines. It also contains two early and pioneering provisions on pollution by the discharge of oil and of radio-active wastes.

        Moreover, President Lyndon Johnson warned Nasser and Egypt’s blockade of the Strait of Tiran “illegal” and “potentially disastrous to the cause of peace.”

        That was not up to LBJ to decide and what’s more, LBJ aslo disagreed that Israel had a right to decalre the blockade an act of war.
        And this said by someone like you, who is openly hostile to Israel, simply ignoring the fact that all Arab states, including Egypt, were in 1967 (and since 1949) in a state of declared permanent war against Israel. Can you be more hypocritically in denial?
        Cut the crap Jonah. My feelings towards Israel have nothing to do with the facts of the case, so don’t waste your time with hysteria because it doesn’t fool anyone. Israel’s position was that the blockade was illegal, not that it war casus belli for war, so obviously it should have been in tehri interest to settle question of legality.
        They didn’t want to have their argument put to the test because they wanted war, not a resolution.

        But, of course, it was not only the blockade of the Straits that persuaded Israel to act pre-emtively, it was the concomitance of several factors, as ad abundantiam described above.

        All of which were debunked by by Israeli leaders from Eshkol, to Begin, to Rabin, to Amit, to Peled.

        It wasn’t a pre-emtive war because there was nothing to pre-empt. It was a preventative war that Israel had been trying to have since 1955.

        And you can certainly provide a reliable source that proves it’s not a fake, right?

        Why would it be fake when it’s been vindicated by history?

      • jonah
        September 7, 2011, 5:47 am

        “Why would it be fake when it’s been vindicated by history?”

        So no source? Where do you have this quote from? Which of these?
        http://www.intifada-palestine.com
        http://www.salem-news.com
        http://www.qassam.ps
        occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com
        occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com
        http://www.islamtimes.org
        etc. etc. …..

        You are again confusing the concepts: the own ‘historical narrative’ is not tantamount to ‘history’.

        “All of which were debunked by by Israeli leaders from Eshkol, to Begin, to Rabin, to Amit, to Peled. It wasn’t a pre-emtive war because there was nothing to pre-empt. It was a preventative war that Israel had been trying to have since 1955.

        Your cospiracy theories are only based on citations, often taken out of context, to which you give the meaning you want them to have. This tactic has little to do with serious historiography. Grasping at some flimsy straws is poor and unconvincing, but it’s your case, definitely.

        They didn’t want to have their argument put to the test because they wanted war, not a resolution.

        Wait a UN resolution just to be attacked by the armies of hostile neighboring states, which are openly at war with you and have amassed contingents along your borders? link to en.wikipedia.org

        If all nations under threat of war had to wait until the UN put in motion their creaking mill, their chances of survival would be reduced sharply by 90%.

        Funny how didn’t bother to cite tehnext paragraph which reads:The CHS defines the high seas as all parts of the sea not included in the territorial sea and internal waters ……

        You must have dyslexia problems. The paragraph that you quote is not inconsistent with the part I’ve quoted, in which is explicitly pointed out:”First, article 16, paragraph 4, provides that innocent passage, which cannot be suspended, applies in straits used for international navigation not only connecting one part of the high seas to another part of the high seas, but also to the territorial sea of a foreign State, thus including also the strait of Tiran.”

        My feelings towards Israel have nothing to do with the facts of the case

        Disingenuous blather. Above you have not made ​​any secret that your “feelings” play indeed a very important role in the discussion, when you expressed the wish that Turkey could enter into war with Israel. Your exact words: “That’s awesome news. Let’s see how thecowardly Israeli defense handles for a real army”, and: “Imagine how apoplectic the Israelis would be if they had a taste of their own medicine and looked up to see figher jets raising hellfire missiles and 500lb bombs on them instead of WWII era rockets?”

        Oren completely ignores the statesment by Eshkol and Meir Amit that there was no “plan for a military offensive.”

        Wrong again: From “Wikipedia”:

        “Documents captured by the Israelis from various Jordanian command posts record orders from the end of May for the Hashemite Brigade to capture Ramot Burj Bir Mai’in in a night raid, codenamed “Operation Khaled”. The aim was to establish a bridgehead together with positions in Latrun for an armored capture of Lod and Ramle. The “go” codeword was Sa’ek and end was Nasser. The Jordanians planned for the capture of Motza and Sha’alvim in the strategic Jerusalem Corridor. Motza was tasked to Infantry Brigade 27 camped near Ma’ale Adummim: “The reserve brigade will commence a nighttime infiltration onto Motza, will destroy it to the foundation, and won’t leave a remnant or refugee from among its 800 residents”.[34].”
        And there is also evidence of “Operation Dawn” link to enotes.com

        This puts an end to your claims of supposed “innocence” of the Arabs before the outbreak of the six days-war. For my part I have nothing more to add to this thread. Be happy, now you can freely give vent to your evanescent and biased revisionist narrative.

      • Shingo
        September 7, 2011, 6:47 am

        So no source? Where do you have this quote from? Which of these?

        No, none of those.

        You are again confusing the concepts: the own ‘historical narrative’ is not tantamount to ‘history’.

        No Jonah, I am using simple logic. If someone in a position of authority gives an account that accurately desribes the events, then it is credible.

        Your cospiracy theories are only based on citations, often taken out of context, to which you give the meaning you want them to have. This tactic has little to do with serious historiography. Grasping at some flimsy straws is poor and unconvincing, but it’s your case, definitely.

        Nice try Jonah, but when it comes to resorting to citations, often taken out of context, to which you give the meaning you want them to have, you have no problem with doing so.

        Wait a UN resolution just to be attacked by the armies of hostile neighboring states, which are openly at war with you and have amassed contingents along your borders? link to en.wikipedia.org

        No dummy, a resolution by way of a judgement by the ICJ. And no as Begin said, the positioning of troops along the border were not evidence that Nasser wanted to attack. Israel knew it and Nasser knew it.

        You must have dyslexia problems. The paragraph that you quote is not inconsistent with the part I’ve quoted, in which is explicitly pointed out:

        Actually it is. When it says, “The CHS defines the high seas as all parts of the sea not included in the territorial sea and internal waters.”, thus the Strights of Tiran, which is the territorial sea. Furthermore, as has been pointed out to you repeately, the blockade was lasted ony a few days and had ended weeks before Israel attacked Egypt, so it was no longer a justification to go to war.

        And again, no one agreed with Israel’s argument that this was an act of war that justified a violent response.

        Disingenuous blather. Above you have not made ​​any secret that your “feelings” play indeed a very important role in the discussion, when you expressed the wish that Turkey could enter into war with Israel.

        It’s you that is being disingenuous. You are losing the debate and decided to make this about my attitude towards Israel, when in fact, how I feel towards Israel is irrelevant. I was not making any factual assertion when I made that statement about Turkey, so you’re clutching at straws. one can love Israel or hate Israel and still be wrong.

        You’re desperation is obvious.

        Wrong again: From “Wikipedia”:

        Umm, you’re Wikipedia entry doesn’t even address what shkol and Meir Amit said. The Jordanian action was in response to Israel’s attack on Egypt.

        What’s also amusing is that your Wiki enotes entry references Oren’s book. So in other words, in order to prove Oren’s argument you linked to a web page that cites Orebns’s book as a course.

        Talk about circular logic.

        In spite of all your efforts and Robert’s desperation, the statements by Begin, Rabin, Peled, Amit leave the case beyind doubt. Israe’s own leadership from the PM, to teh IDF to the Mossad, have all admitted that Nasser was no threat and that Israel lied to justify a war they wanted.

        No one is buying it, apart from you are Robert.

        End of story.

      • Fredblogs
        September 7, 2011, 7:13 am

        I will explain the blockade thing one step at a time. I’m not going to argue for your straw man about “[Israel] alone…”. I’m just going to explain the blockades.

        1) It was not illegal for Egypt to blockade the port of Eilat (blockading an international waterway, a strait, not a canal, BTW) assuming they did it for some military reason.
        2) An act doesn’t have to be illegal to be an act of war.
        3) Blockading a port is an act of war regardless of its legality.

        As for Turkey.
        1) It would be legal for Turkey to blockade Israel (or Great Britain for that matter) for any military reason, regardless of any previous act by Israel (or GB).
        2) It would also be an act of war.

      • Shingo
        September 7, 2011, 7:34 am

        2) An act doesn’t have to be illegal to be an act of war.

        And visa versa.

        3) Blockading a port is an act of war regardless of its legality.

        Not necssarily. As the U.S. State Department stated:

        “…intern­ational law almost certainly did not confer on Israel the right to initiate the use of armed force against the UAR [Egypt] in the absence of an armed attack by the UAR on Israel.”

        Cearly the US and the Un rejected the suggestion that the blockade was an act of war.

      • CigarGod
        September 4, 2011, 9:59 am

        Classic.
        If Tennesse Williams was still alive…he’d be a MW regular…pilfering lines like yours for his next work.

        Check this brilliant 2 minute clip:
        link to thisamericanlife.org

        Illustrates perfectly the back and forth here at MW.
        You will be on the floor!

      • CigarGod
        September 4, 2011, 11:02 am

        oops! the part of the clip I refer to…starts at 25:00

  21. CigarGod
    September 3, 2011, 10:22 am

    Maybe this time they will actually do it:

    “Report: Turkey navy to escort aid ships to Palestinia­ns in Gaza

    Additional­ly, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan instructed his foreign ministry to organize a trip for him to the Gaza Strip in the near future.

    “We are looking for the best timing for the visit,” a Turkish official was quoted as saying. “Our primary purpose is to draw the world’s attention to what is going on in Gaza and to push the internatio­nal community to end the unfair embargo imposed by Israel.”

    link to www­.haaretz.c­om

    • Chaos4700
      September 3, 2011, 10:35 am

      I hope to God that Israel isn’t stupid enough to attack Turkish navy ships. And if they do, what comes next is entirely on their heads.

      • CigarGod
        September 4, 2011, 10:05 am

        It would be interesting to have Las Vegas odds makers evaluate they thing.

        Israel has a history of being provoked by anything…even their own boogymen…and not being able to admit their own provocations.

    • DBG
      September 5, 2011, 11:04 pm

      Israel is the only way aid gets into Gaza, is Turkey going to be able to transport 10k tons of aid per week like Israel does? Because if they start escorting these ‘aid’ ships then Israel will cut off their crossing, the electricity, the internet, etc. Israel is a lifeline to the Gazans, I don’t know why Turkey would want to interfere with that.

      The idea is laughable anyways any true friends Turkey had are all over throwing their dictators, so they’ll have to look to the West (again) for friendlier relations.

      • Rania
        September 5, 2011, 11:30 pm

        This is bigger than you, dummy. Not everything is about you. With Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, and Yemen in various stages of major change, and with Iraq and Afghanistan in upheaval, Turkey has an opportunity to become the new major power in the Middle East and North Africa. And all it has to do to get all of the peoples of that part of the world united behind it is to stand up to Israel. Erdogan is not a fool. The same can’t be said for Netanyahu.

      • DBG
        September 5, 2011, 11:50 pm

        what is the point of being a major power if you have nobody to influence? Dummy? really? who is the dummy me in particular? The US? Israel?

      • Shingo
        September 6, 2011, 3:23 am

        what is the point of being a major power if you have nobody to influence?

        Turkey is a far greater power than Israel. Israel is just a bully on the block carrying Daddy’s credit card and driving the car daddy bought for him.

      • Chaos4700
        September 5, 2011, 11:30 pm

        So you’re saying Israel’s blockade is motivated by starving the
        Gazans so that they bend to Israel’s will.

        You’ll get what’s coming to you for trying to enslave Gaza.

      • DBG
        September 5, 2011, 11:52 pm

        Chaos, huh? 10k tons of aid a week? did you read that part? I am sorry but the Gazans are not starving.

        As for me getting what is coming to me, are you talking about me in particular? or my country, the US?

      • CigarGod
        September 6, 2011, 8:52 am

        Do the numbers.
        A ton is 2000 pounds.
        10 tons = 20,000 pounds.
        Divide. by 7 for days in a week.
        Divide that by 3 for meals per day.

        Now hold out your plate while I drop a bean, a grain of rice and one fruit loop into it.

        btw, any tonnage figures anyone puts out…includes dunnage…packaging, crates, skids, cardboard.
        Additionally, “aid” is not just food. It is also dry goods, household items, construction items.

        On second thought…give me back your plate…I’m afraid you only get to share in the aroma of the fruitloop today, dear.

      • Shingo
        September 6, 2011, 2:19 am

        Because if they start escorting these ‘aid’ ships then Israel will cut off their crossing, the electricity, the internet, etc.

        What a sadistic little cretin you are. So what you’re saying is that Israel is strangling Gaza and if Turkey tried to help them, Israel wil strangle them evem more.

        The reason Gaza has to get it’s electricity and internet frm Israel is becasue ISrael has destroyed all those facilities.

  22. Richard Witty
    September 3, 2011, 11:37 am

    Turkey is similar to Israel in that it has the possibility of being exposed to a two and three front war, and must think before proposing additional provocation.

    Syria is falling apart on its doorstep. Turkey has already had to absorb tens of thousands of refugees (not hundreds of thousands yet, not millions). Lebanon is in a state of deferred internal strife (still waiting for the international impact of the indictment of Hezbollah officials in the Hariri murder). They have internal strife relative to the Kurds.

    And, if they add the possibility of military confrontation with Israel (two very large military powers), they can be stretched very thin.

    And, for Israel it is worse. They have degraded all of their international diplomatic relations to the point that nations that they were at a cool peace with, they are no longer. Egypt has similar real-politik reasons to keep good relations with Israel, but sentiments of animosity, to which they are partially accountable as electorate.

    Israel at some state of strife with Egypt, fanatic factions operating out of Egypt, Gaza (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PRC), Jordan receding as ally (King Abdullah refuses to meet face to face with Netanyahu, though met dozens of times with Olmert), Syria that is in the same wag the dog state as Israel is – tempted to provoke a confrontation to distract from internal troubles, Lebanon (Hezbollah) armed to the teeth with very limited communication paths to short-circuit war if it comes near.

    Lieberman and Netanyahu have the illusions of invulnerability. Its dangerous. All around.

    And, the same dynamic in each state, a grass-roots populace stimulated by insults to honor, more than to reason and reconciliation.

    • libra
      September 3, 2011, 9:17 pm

      Interesting, well-written post Richard. I might quibble with some of the details but the overall strategic assessment is insightful and well-balanced.

      It’s like the First World War, one looks back and wonders “how did it come to this?”. I certainly hope this doesn’t lead to war, I’m sure the actors involved don’t want war but one wonders about their ability to stop it breaking out almost accidentally.

      But for Israel, can you deny this is the result of its own long-term strategic stupidity? Inevitably that has led to highly degraded leaders such as Netanyahu and Lieberman, but I think it is a mistake to heap the blame on them. Israel’s descent into madness is not the product of a charismatic but delusional leader but rather has been a steady, systematic, institutionalised process, independent of particular political party or politician. That makes it particularly hard for it to change direction, which only adds to the danger.

      Personally, I hope Turkey proves itself to more strategically adept than Israel and avoids direct confrontation. Force and violence is what Israel understands and is well prepared for. It would be much more sensible for Turkey to take an indirect approach by concentrating on creating an economic region anchored by itself, Egypt, and Iran. Israel’s involvement to be conditional on successful conclusion of a regional peace agreement that is based on justice for the Palestinians.

    • Shingo
      September 3, 2011, 9:55 pm

      And, if they add the possibility of military confrontation with Israel (two very large military powers), they can be stretched very thin.

      Right, so we’re expected to believe that you are concerned for the wellbeing of Turkey are you?

  23. Richard Witty
    September 3, 2011, 10:05 pm

    “But for Israel, can you deny this is the result of its own long-term strategic stupidity? ”

    I’m sure there are elements of the fall-out that are long-term. I attribute the very very vast majority of the fallout and the spin-out to Netanyahu/Lieberman and to world events.

    Kadima governments maintained good relations with Turkey. Turkey has changed, in that in the past, they would not have allowed, let alone facilitated, a flotilla.

    Turkey has a similar cold war relationship to the US as Israel. The presence of Turkey in NATO is confusing, especially if they do actually militarily accompany another flotilla to Gaza.

    It could frankly greatly divide NATO, and/or result in the removal of Turkey, or the United States from NATO.

    On justice for Palestinians. I agree that that is and should be a component of reconciliation between Turkey and Israel. I think it is important for actual proposals to be presented, that are clear conditions.

    The likud/Israel beitanhu government is stressed. The J14 demonstrations oppose their domestic policies. The devolution of relations with ALL of Israel’s neighbors weakens its claim to foreign policy expertise and advantage.

    The Israeli electoral landscape will change, and likely soon. It will not happen until after the September assertions are resolved. Even after General Assembly recognition, likud will not negotiate with Palestine in any substantive fashion.

    • Shingo
      September 3, 2011, 11:32 pm

      I attribute the very very vast majority of the fallout and the spin-out to Netanyahu/Lieberman and to world events.

      We know you do witty, but when it comes to Isreli foreign policy, Netanyahu/Lieberman are to Kadim what Obama is to Bush. They are two cheeks of the same backside.

      Kadima governments maintained good relations with Turkey.

      False. It was under Kadima that the rot began when Kadima launched Cast Lead, which alienated the world, including Turkey.

      The Israeli electoral landscape will change, and likely soon.

      It might do, but it’s policies won’t. The occupation wil continue, so will the settlements.

      • annie
        September 3, 2011, 11:39 pm

        landscape spamscape it makes no difference who is in charge…in israel.

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