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‘Why this bullsh-t?’ Video of Israeli navy flotilla takeover

Israel/Palestine
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An extended video has emerged of the Israeli navy seizing the Marianne, a ship in the latest freedom flotilla that tried to get to Gaza. The activist ship was carrying humanitarian aid, human rights advocates, an ex-president of Tunisia, an Israeli lawmaker, a European parliament member, and an almost equal number of journalists. The ten-minute footage that aired on Israel’s Channel 2 last night comes as a second installment of reporting by Israeli journalist Ohad Chemo who was aboard the Marianne, the lead boat in the four-vessel Freedom Flotilla III.

The first clip broadcasted two days ago on Israeli television and showed the navy using tasers against passengers who do not appear to be resisting the vessel’s takeover. The action contradicted an initial Israeli government statement that the interception was “uneventful.”


Chemo’s latest video, “Three days at sea on the way to Gaza” chronicles activists on the last leg of their trip, after the boat has picked up passengers off the shores of Greece. On camera they show Chemo their modest sleeping arrangements and discuss their twice daily “passive resistance” trainings on how to behave in the event that their are commandeered by Israeli forces while at sea. They pass time chatting in a main cabin filled with Palestinian national items decoratively displayed. They have light moments too. Swedish-Israeli passenger Dror Feiler plays a tune by famed Egyptian musician Umm Kultum on his saxophone. But mostly, the sea voyage is long and monotonous.

The drama picks up Saturday when the Marianne detects a number of unidentified boats in the distance. “I believe we are [being] tailed. They want to see what we are doing,” said one passenger.

The following evening, the crew again find boats in the distance. This time they made their presence known by delivering a radio message, “We are sending you two white boats closer to you to talk to you. Over,” said an unidentified voice.

Next Israeli navy boats approached. A siren rang. “Welcome” said a different voice in three languages through a megaphone of the side of the Marianne. “Your attempt to arrive Gaza is a breach of the international law. You’re requested to stop.”

Fuel the Momentum

A passenger calls back also through a megaphone, “We are in international waters and you have no right to board this ship.” Indeed the activists were floating more than 100 miles off the coast of Gaza and had not entered waters controlled by Israel’s military blockade of the occupied Palestinian territory. The army then asked if they could come aboard. The passenger said no. The Israeli navy boarded anyway, but not before dipping into politics with the former president of Tunisia, Moncef Marzuki, one of the Marianne’s notables.

“We were really sorry to hear this and I am surprised that you are on your way to support a regime which shares the same ideology of those who committed an act of terror,” said an Israeli commando, referencing a terror attack in Tunisia earlier this week when gunman killed 38 people on a tourist beach.

“Why this bullshit? We are not supporting any regime,” one of the passengers yelled back.

In the next scene the navy has taken over the Marianne. Chemo, the Israeli journalist, now in front of the camera, dutifully gives his last update while tasers buzz in the background. One of the passengers shouts “Help, help, help! Stop!” as he is surrounded by a ring of Israeli forces holding him against more tasers.

Chemo is the first Israeli journalist to embed with flotilla activists. His videos come as the only footage of the Israeli army commandeering the activists’ boat. “All of their personal possessions and technical equipment were confiscated during the attack on the ship – none were returned despite their release,” said Hareth Adlouni, a spokesperson for Al Jazeera who confirmed his network’s two journalists were released within 24 hours and “have arrived at their homes safely.”

“There is no criminal proceedings against anyone,” I was informed by Lymor Goldstein, an attorney in law offices of Gaby Lasky, who is representing the activists passengers who are being deported today and tomorrow via Ben Gurion airport. Goldstein said that four passengers said they had been abused with tasers by the Israeli navy.

All 18 who were aboard, including the seven journalists, are banned from returning to Israel for the next ten years.

One journalist with Russia Today, Nadia Kevorkova remains in Israeli custody.

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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51 Responses

  1. just
    just
    July 2, 2015, 2:21 pm

    “Why this bullshit?”

    Perfectly asked. Still awaiting some action on the part of the governments who never fail to support Israel and always fail their citizens. What message are these governments sending to their good humanitarian citizens?

    afaik, only Sweden and Norway have issued official statements, otherwise *crickets*.

    Now the IOF has committed another illegal act in international waters, sabotaged, lied, used violence, kidnapped and incarcerated unarmed, peaceful humanitarians, and stolen property again. The world is supposed to be grateful that the IOF didn’t murder the peaceful activists this time around? Such a “moral” and brave military, indeed. All they know is overkill and violence… all I know is that they’re violent, deadly cowards.

    Thanks, Allison.

    • thedirtydemocrat
      thedirtydemocrat
      July 4, 2015, 9:54 am

      This is not really a reply to just, but a question. How far from the port in Gaza was the stop by the illegal state of Israel navy?
      The so-called PM of Israel says there is a 6 mile limit to be within their territorial waters. So why is their navy stopping, boarding, beating up the passengers of the Flotilla just outside Turkey’s shores or even in the International waters?
      I have read the excuses by the Zionista trolls but none by the “government” of Israel that makes anything clear and understandable for the cowardly actions.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 4, 2015, 11:41 am

        100 – 150 miles, inside international waters.

  2. John O
    John O
    July 2, 2015, 2:22 pm

    “Your attempt to arrive Gaza is a breach of the international law. You’re requested to stop.”

    In what way is it a breach of international law?

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      July 2, 2015, 2:42 pm

      It’s not, it’s just BS the Israelis made up. And the rest of the world lets them get away with it.

      What I want to know is how do you get banned from entering a country you weren’t trying to enter!

      “Why this bullshit?” If I was a braver woman I’d get a t-shirt that said that.

      • jon s
        jon s
        July 2, 2015, 4:56 pm

        From the report of the UN inquiry into the Marmara incident:

        “The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/02/world/middleeast/02flotilla.html?_r=0

      • elephantine
        elephantine
        July 2, 2015, 7:12 pm

        @jon s

        I’m not even going to get into why the blockade is illegal, I’ll just point out the part you apparently missed that stated they were in INTERNATIONAL WATERS.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        July 2, 2015, 9:47 pm

        you zionist-haters simply want to keep believing the least credible source for determining what and what is not ‘legal’ about a military blockade in general and with respect to Israel and Gaza. You can shimmy around the international and maritime law as much as you like but the UNHRC is not an unbiased source and is not qualified to comment on naval/international law. The Palmer commission as well as international naval bodies determined the Israeli blockade of Gaza in international waters was legal as was the seizure of the Mamara. And surely if it truly was ‘illegal’ as you claim there would have been numerous attempts to bring charges at the ICC. There have not. So-actually-it is simply your opinion the incident was illegal. All you can really argue about is how violently the incident was handled by the both armed Turkish IHH members and the Israeli commandos. Nobody on either side was happy with the deaths. And this ‘flotilla’ was handled much differently. But muck-raking in the face of failure was anticipated by our government. Its not a surprise. Israel is always accused of ‘lying’ about these type of incidents by activists who must make as much of the incident as they can to justify funding the next one.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 3, 2015, 12:34 am

        Da Baker

        Propaganda rule #11: when you don’t even know whereof you speak, throw as many words as possible around.
        What’s unclear as in: territorial waters, 12-mile limit, illegal siege, piracy, crime against humanity. Period. Or add hanging in Nuremberg for full measure.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 3, 2015, 8:44 am

        The zio-kids must feed on fresh bullshit to survive, thats “Why the bullshit?”
        Thats why they come out at night.
        Thats why they go up the poop chutes to find video evidence of their holy practices.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        July 3, 2015, 10:42 am

        The maritime blockade is illegal as it amounts to collective punishment under international law; the blockade’s tactic of interception and diverting the ship is therefore illegal under international law; the sum is Israeli piracy on the high seas, and illegal disproportionate force via tasers.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 3, 2015, 12:27 pm

        You zionist-haters simply want to keep believing the least credible source for determining what and what is not ‘legal’ about a military blockade in general and with respect to Israel and Gaza. You can shimmy around the international and maritime law as much as you like but the UNHRC is not an unbiased source and is not qualified to comment on naval/international law. The Palmer commission as well as international naval bodies determined the Israeli blockade of Gaza in international waters was legal as was the seizure of the Mamara. And surely if it truly was ‘illegal’ as you claim there would have been numerous attempts to bring charges at the ICC. There have not.

        Not at all, even the relatively few countries (only 28 in number) that participated in drafting the San Remo Manual included a number which held that blockades were inherently illegal under international law. All of them agreed that any time malnutrition was a possible side effect, it triggers an obligation to permit vessels carrying relief shipments to gain access to the coasts of the blockaded belligerent, after the right of visit and inspection have been exercised. It is strictly prohibited to declare humanitarian relief shipment a belligerent act or contraband as Israel has done in these cases.

        The UN Security Council explicitly called for “the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment” in S/Res/1860 (2009). It also defined “Gaza” as an integral part of the territory that was occupied in 1967, which does not include “Ashdod, Israel”. http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=s/res/1860%282009%29

        All UN member states have a treaty obligation under the terms of Article 25 to accept and carry-out that decision. According to Article 103 of the Charter, in the event of a conflict between the members obligations under the Charter and any other international agreement, the Charter obligation shall prevail. The Security Council just reminded the Saudis that their arms embargo or blockade of Yemen is not permitted to interfere with the free flow of humanitarian aid or commercial goods into the country. http://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sc11944.doc.htm

        FYI, the ICC Prosecutor reported that it had received hundreds of Article 15 communications regarding the illegal attack on the flotilla and the situation Israel had created in Gaza. The Mavi Marmara and other vessels were flagged by ICC member states and a Pre-Trial Chamber is still reviewing whether these attacks and seizures in international waters are legal. The Prosecutor doesn’t need any complaints, since the Court already has jurisdiction over crimes committed on the territories of all its member states. It simply has to wait until the investigations and court cases in states, like Israel and Turkey, have been concluded or appear to be disingenuous shams designed to shield the perpetrators from prosecution. The Prosecutor’s report said that war crimes were undoubtedly committed during the raid on the Mavi Marmara and other ships. She doesn’t have the final say as to whether they are of sufficient “gravity” to warrant ICC action. The States concerned have asked the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide the question:

        Pre-Trial Chamber I is composed of Judge Joyce Aluoch, Presiding Judge, Judge Cuno Tarfusser and Judge Péter Kovács. Pre-Trial Chamber I has been assigned with the situations in Côte d’Ivoire, Libya, Mali and the Situation on Registered Vessels of the Union of the Comoros, the Hellenic Republic and the Kingdom of Cambodia.

        http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/structure%20of%20the%20court/chambers/pre%20trial%20division/pages/pre%20trial%20division.aspx

        The report of the Palmer Commission and the two Turkel Commission reports were political exercises, not legal inquiries or fact finding investigations “conforming to international standards.” See the text of the Palmer report itself in that regard and H.C.J. 4641/10, Uri Avneri et al. v. The Prime Minister et al.

        So, the Secretary General’s Palmer Commission was operating under a cloud from the get-go. It’s mandate didn’t allow it to collect its own evidence or hear direct testimony from eyewitnesses. It also took instructions from the two member states concerned regarding the findings contained in its report in direct violation of the principles contained in Article 100 of the UN Charter regarding the operation of the UN Secretariat.

        Neither the Secretary’s or the Israeli commissions were empowered to collect or cross examine testimony from the IDF members involved in the raid; the victims on board the ships; or the victims of the blockade in Gaza. FYI, the US had arranged for the Palmer report in order to make the formal reports from the international treaty mandate holders, i.e. the UN OHCHR and UN HRC, “disappear”. Anne Bayefsky and Haaretz spilled the beans about the behind the barn deal that led to its creation because it appeared the Obama administration hadn’t kept-up its end of the bargain:

        August 2, Ban launched his investigation, which got off the ground only because the U.S. pressed Israel to agree, and Israel took American assurances seriously. U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice spelled some of them out: “The United States expects that the Panel will…obviate the need for any overlapping international inquiries.” The overlapping inquiry of the Human Rights Council, she claimed, would go away.

        Haaretz added that the Israeli government believed it had received assurances that “the review panel will not have the authority to subpoena witnesses, including Israel Defense Forces soldiers and officers.”

        http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/investigation-israels-action-flotilla-continue?nopager=1

        Israel had been accused by the authoritative treaty monitoring bodies (the UN HRC and ICRC) of imposing collective punishments and deliberately using starvation as a mode of warfare by destroying livestock and crops and interfering with essential consignments of food and medical supplies to the point that it caused serious injury to the bodies and health of between 10 to 30 percent of the children of Gaza. That was backed-up by reliable published reports in peer reviewed journals, like The Lancet, e.g.
        * http://www.thelancet.com/series/health-in-the-occupied-palestinian-territory
        * http://www.thelancet.com/health-in-the-occupied-palestinian-territory-2010

        Documents obtained through the Israeli Courts revealed that the responsible Israeli officials calculated the minimum daily caloric intake and the minimum number of trucks needed to supply the necessary imported food, then deliberately prevented that many relief trucks from entering Gaza. That is a grave breach according to the explicit terms of Article 147 for which no statutory limits apply, i.e. Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, … wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health”. https://www.icrc.org/ihl/WebART/380-600169

        No High Contracting Party can exonerate itself, even by employing a series of bogus “inquiries” that do not meet international standards, i.e. “Art. 148. No High Contracting Party shall be allowed to absolve itself or any other High Contracting Party of any liability incurred by itself or by another High Contracting Party in respect of breaches referred to in the preceding Article.” https://www.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=27430ABFE71A2E92C12563CD0051C668

      • talknic
        talknic
        July 3, 2015, 12:58 pm

        @ jon s Uh huh.

        Problem… Your source and citation do not tell us it is against International Law to attempt to break a blockade.

      • Kris
        Kris
        July 3, 2015, 2:05 pm

        jon s, While you’re finding a source that actually says what you claim it does, since, as talknic points out, yours doesn’t,

        talknic: @ jon s Uh huh.

        Problem… Your source and citation do not tell us it is against International Law to attempt to break a blockade.
        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/israeli-flotilla-takeover#comment-148964

        could you also take a minute to share your source for this comment that you made on another thread, thanks:

        @jon s: As to ethnic cleansing on both sides during the 1948 war: of course there were differences between the two sides. One of the differences was that on the Arab side the ethnic cleansing was total: in the territories that remained under Arab rule at the end of the war not one single live Jew remained. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/interview-suicide-bomber#comment-778139

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem
        July 3, 2015, 8:13 pm

        Hostage shrouds many misconceptions and falsities with his verbose legalese.
        Extraterritorial Israeli jurisdiction applies to the apprehension of a vessel on the high seas for these reasons:
        (1) The passive personality principle, which is jurisdiction based on the nationality of those injured by the conduct. An example is 18 USC §7, a statute by which the U.S. asserts jurisdiction “[a]ny place outside the jurisdiction of any nation with respect to an offense . . . against a national of the United States.”
        (2) Universal jurisdiction. According to Henry Kissinger, “the doctrine of universal jurisdiction asserts that some crimes are so heinous that their perpetrators should not escape justice by invoking doctrines of sovereign immunity or the sacrosanct nature of national frontiers.” Under the relevant treaties, any State can board a ship on the high seas if the ship is suspected of piracy, transporting slaves, or broadcasting illegally. A ship and its occupants can be arrested for piracy and illegal broadcasting by a warship of any State. For other crimes, the arresting State must get the consent or assistance of the flag state. Also, a ship that flies two flags (flags of convenience) or a ship flying no flag may be visited for further inquiry by any State’s ships. Ships without flags, and those that fly flags of convenience are subject to the jurisdiction of any State. While some scholars disagree, national courts have upheld convictions based on such arrests.
        It is also extraordinary that he tries to dismiss the report of the Palmer Commission and the two Turkel Commission reports as political exercises when he himself dredges up stuff from Lancet that is overtly political, as well as being dated.
        Lancet has come under intense fire in recent months, with critics warning its platform has been misused in a highly irresponsible manner spruiking anti-Israel hatred for “political purposes.”
        I have been amused by the report in The Washington Post in which a photograph from a member of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition showed the humanitarian aid being brought for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip – one solar panel and one nebulizer aboard the vessel Marianne.
        BTW, apparently the Gaza flotilla organization sent four boats, three of which turned around before arriving in the vicinity of Israel. What happened to these other boats – did they run out of gall?

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 3, 2015, 9:09 pm

        They weren’t suspected of anything…which makes all that typing worthless.
        “Why the bullshit,” dude?

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      July 3, 2015, 10:15 pm

      Hostage shrouds many misconceptions and falsities with his verbose legalese.

      LOL! Only you Zionist fringe theorists think that quoting the Security Council, the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention and its Additional Protocol, the Definition of Aggression employed by the ICJ and ICC, and the UN and ICRC treaty monitoring bodies verbatim conceals misconceptions and falsities.

      Extraterritorial Israeli jurisdiction applies to the apprehension of a vessel on the high seas for these reasons:
      (1) The passive personality principle, which is jurisdiction based on the nationality of those injured by the conduct. An example is 18 USC §7, a statute by which the U.S. asserts jurisdiction “[a]ny place outside the jurisdiction of any nation with respect to an offense . . . against a national of the United States.”

      That’s pretty irrelevant, since 18 USC §7 doesn’t make delivery of consignments of food, medical equipment, or offers of humanitarian assistance a criminal “offense against a national” of either the United States or Israel and neither the Geneva Conventions nor the Additional Protocols permit the USA, or any other High Contracting Party, to do such a thing.

      Likewise your long quote from Henry Kissinger about “ships suspected of piracy, transporting slaves, or broadcasting illegally” is completely irrelevant. You’ve obviously overlooked this part of what he said: “For other crimes, the arresting State must get the consent or assistance of the flag state.” That flows from the PCIJ holding in the SS Lotus case which said that “the first and foremost restriction imposed by international law upon a State is that failing the existence of a permissive rule to the contrary – it may not exercise its power in any form in the territory of another State.”

      Interdicting a neutral foreign ship on the high seas as part of a blockade does, in fact, violate such a prohibitive rule: namely, the customary rule (the prohibition of aggression) that prohibits states from interdicting a foreign state’s ships on the high seas without an agreed upon justification, such as piracy, the slave trade, drug trafficking, etc. Even the Palmer Inquiry pointed out that the IDF acted prematurely and improperly, because it seized the Mavi Marmara in international waters, well outside the declared coordinates of its blockade.

      FYI in the Eichmann case, the Israeli Supreme Court invoked universal jurisdiction by citing the customary obligation to either prosecute or extradite persons accused of committing grave breaches outlined in the 4th Geneva [sic Hague] Convention of 1907 and its Martens Clause regarding “the principles of the law of nations as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity and from the dictates of public conscience.” http://www.asser.nl/upload/documents/DomCLIC/Docs/NLP/Israel/Eichmann_Appeals_Judgement_29-5-1962.pdf

      In 1920 the Versailles Peace Conference report of the “Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties” listed usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation; starvation of civilians; imposition of collective penalties; deliberate bombardment of hospitals; wanton devastation and destruction of property; wanton destruction of religious, charitable, educational, and historic buildings and monuments; and destruction of fishing boats or relief ships in its list of 32 recognized violations of the laws of humanity and the dictates of public conscience. http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2187841.pdf

      It is also extraordinary that he tries to dismiss the report of the Palmer Commission and the two Turkel Commission reports as political exercises when he himself dredges up stuff from Lancet that is overtly political, as well as being dated.

      I didn’t try to dismiss them, they were not proper criminal investigations that met international standards and couldn’t have exonerated anyone accused of a grave breach in any event. In accordance with the customary obligation to either prosecute or extradite contained in Article 146 of the Geneva Convention (see the text below), there has to be a trial by a regular court when that many treaty monitoring body experts have outlined a prima facie case. The collective punishments, permanent health problems, learning disabilities, and premature deaths reported by the UNRWA, the ICRC, the UN OHCHR, the UNHRC, the OHCHR, the Secretary General, and non-governmental organizations, like the Lancet, are not any more “dated” than the crimes against humanity committed during the Holocaust era. They are not subject to any statutory limitations. Those are the same expert parties that outlined the prima facie ‘ case for the establishment of all the other UN ad hoc criminal tribunals. So what’s your point?

      Article 146 of the 4th Geneva Convention says: “The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article [147 ] .
      Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also, if it prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation, hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a ‘ prima facie ‘ case. — https://www.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/9ac284404d38ed2bc1256311002afd89/6f96ee4c7d1e72cac12563cd0051c63a

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem
        July 4, 2015, 12:33 am

        So Hostage, more legalistic gobbledegook to defend the previous set! The UN bodies, to which Hostage has referred, have already clearly demonstrated that unprincipled bias against Israel by passing more resolutions against it than virtually all the rest of the world’s nations combined. Their edicts against Israel are intended to bash Israel into submission. The aggressive exploitation of the tenets of international law as a weapon used exclusively against Israel can be only be viewed as contemptuous, disingenuous attempts to undermine the viability of Israel as a nation.
        Hostage has not dismissed the validity of the principle contained in para 18 USC §7 where it refers to “Any place outside the jurisdiction of any nation with respect to an offense by or against a national of the United States.” There were Israeli nationals on board the Marianne – enough reason for Israel to be justified in apprehending the vessel, about to enter Gaza – a state to all intentions purposes still at war with Israel.
        As for Hostage’s attempt to discredit the clause on universal jurisdiction he fails to take into account the qualifying phrase for other crimes and the essential principle of this broad clause on universal jurisdiction. Crimes in support of Hamas, which has now been shown to be in collaboration with ISIS after the massacre of Egyptian police and military officers in Northern Sinai a couple of days ago, would be considered “indisputably heinous” by anyone with decent, honest moral values. Hostage, don’t you have no concern about preventing a massive outbreak of hostilities under the auspices of Hamas and it Muslim Brotherhood cronies in the region, who are seeking to establish new liaisons to further their dangerous and subversive Islamist cause?
        Would Hostage also say it was not permissible to stop vessels attempting to smuggle weapons into Gaza? Could Hostage say with 100% certainty that these vessels in this propaganda flotilla did not have any arms on board? And all his prejudiced accusations about collective punishments and deprivation of the Gazan people are pure hype not based on reality, as Israel continues to allow bountiful humanitarian aid to reach Gaza. Read how the Israeli aid to Gaza is 500,000 times more than the aid that was on the flotilla.
        The Palmer Commissions and Turkel Commission reports were political exercises and the recent UN Gaza report about the 2014 war was not a cynical political exercise? Give me a break.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 4, 2015, 9:46 am

        So Hostage, more legalistic gobbledegook to defend the previous set!

        Once again, I’m quoting treaty documents and Court decisions in context. They have either been universally ratified or have been declared to be reflections of the rules of customary international law that non-signatories are legally bound to respect. The SS Lotus decision is really pretty simple. Ships in international waters are considered to be under the territorial jurisdiction of the flag state. Under the rules of customary law, other states are prohibited from employing threats or force against the territorial integrity or independence of any other state. Whenever a state does exercise its powers on the territory of another it must be acting in a previously agreed-upon “erga omnes” capacity in the interest of the international community to prevent piracy, slavery, crimes against humanity, or some other affirmative, “jus cogens” rule of compelling international law. Otherwise it is guilty of a criminal act of aggression. That’s why blockades operated in violation of the prohibition contained in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter are considered crimes against the territory of the flag state:

        All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

        http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art2

        Likewise, the laws and customs of war are pretty simple. The IDF cannot use malnutrition or persecution as modes of warfare. It cannot impose collective punishments/penalties to the point that agreed-upon treaty monitoring bodies and medical experts put its officials on notice that they have permanently damaged the health of a significant percentage of the civilian population and then allow them to exonerate themselves without a real independent criminal investigation and trial where eyewitnesses and medical experts can testify and those responsible can cross-examine them and publicly defend or explain their actions. Sham proceedings, like the Turkel and Palmer Inquiries, are actually supposed to trigger the ICC’s jurisdiction in accordance with Article 17 of the Rome Statute. FYI, the ICC Prosecutor already determined during the initial evaluation of the situation that war crimes were undoubtedly committed during the IDF raid on the ships flagged by Comoros, Cambodia, and Greece.

        The UN bodies, to which Hostage has referred, have already clearly demonstrated that unprincipled bias against Israel by passing more resolutions against it than virtually all the rest of the world’s nations combined.

        There’s nothing “unprincipled” about it. The scoundrels who ran the Apartheid regime in South Africa employed the same propaganda talking point. The UN organization’s attitude in both cases simply reflects the fact that the international community views states like Israel as lawless nations which do not have a decent respect for the opinions of mankind.

        As I’ve pointed out on many occasions, the Zionists depended upon the international community of states to impose a permanent servitude on the people of Palestine in the form of their national home. It was part of an international trust territory. Then they asked the UN to authorize the partition of Palestine. Part of the customary rules in such cases is that fundamental human rights were placed under LoN and UN guarantees and the new governments were not allowed to modify or violate them. Israel is one of the few states created by an international organization that has flagrantly and repeatedly violated the human rights it agreed to protect with seemingly limitless impunity supplied by the US veto in the Security Council.

        Judge Lauterpacht addressed the complaints of South African officials about UN bias and the “Cumulative Legal effect” of a succession of recommendations, on the same subject and with regard to the same State, solemnly reaffirmed by the General Assembly and the UN Human Rights treaty bodies:

        ‘[A] … State may not be acting illegally by declining to act on a recommendation or series of recommendations on the same subject. But in so doing it acts at its peril when a point is reached when the cumulative effect of the persistent disregard of the articulate opinion of the Organization is such as to foster the conviction that the State in question has become guilty of disloyalty to the principles and purposes of the Charter. Thus [a] . . . State which consistently sets itself above the solemnly and repeatedly expressed judgment of the Organization in particular as that judgment approximates to unanimity, may find that it has overstepped the imperceptible line between impropriety and illegality, between discretion and arbitrariness, between the exercise of the legal right to disregard the recommendation and the abuse of that right, and that it has exposed itself to consequences legitimately following as a legal sanction.

        –See pdf file page 61 of 68 link to icj-cij.org

        Hostage has not dismissed the validity of the principle contained in para 18 USC §7 where it refers to “Any place outside the jurisdiction of any nation with respect to an offense by or against a national of the United States.”

        I most certainly have dismissed its applicability to consignments of food, medical supplies, or commercial goods. The 4th Geneva Convention and the 1st Additional Protocol do not permit those to be construed as contraband or offers of relief to be treated as belligerent acts. Whenever a population is not adequately supplied, the parties to the conflict are not only under an obligation to permit free passage, they are required to actively protect the relief ships after they have exercised the right of visit and inspection.

        There were Israeli nationals on board the Marianne – enough reason for Israel to be justified in apprehending the vessel, about to enter Gaza – a state to all intentions purposes still at war with Israel.

        Maybe the reason Israel is still “to all intents and purposes” at war is because it has steadfastly refused to drop its multitude of belligerent claims in accordance with the decisions adopted on its behalf by the UN Security Council? There is no right in rem to impede or seize a foreign flagged relief ship and divert it to Israel on the basis of the exercise of Israel’s in personam jurisdiction over one or more of the passengers. Let’s remember that Israel is under an international treaty obligation to end all of its “belligerent claims” and to begin repatriating the refugees it has confined inside the Gaza Strip for up to sixty years. It is also supposed to be permitting unimpeded distribution of humanitarian relief consignments into and throughout Gaza, which does not include Ashdod, Israel. See the terms of S/RES/89(1950), S/RES/95(1951), S/RES/242 (1967), S/RES/338 (1973), and S/RES/1860 (2009). http://www.un.org/en/sc/documents/resolutions/

      • talknic
        talknic
        July 4, 2015, 2:44 am

        @ Mayhem “more legalistic gobbledegook to defend the previous set! “

        You have nothing to counter it? AMAZING!

        “The UN bodies, to which Hostage has referred, have already clearly demonstrated that unprincipled bias against Israel by passing more resolutions against it than virtually all the rest of the world’s nations combined. Their edicts against Israel are intended to bash Israel into submission.”

        Israel has been afforded hundreds of opportunities to adhere to the Laws and UN Charter as re-affirmed and emphasized in hundreds of UNSC resolutions for the simple reason that Israel has failed to adhere to those laws and the UN Charter.

        Reminding Israel of its legal obligations and hundreds of previous opportunities without once taking any action, is not bias against Israel.

        “The aggressive exploitation of the tenets of international law as a weapon used exclusively against Israel ….”

        Your crappolla overfloweth. The Nazis acted against International Law. Iraq was booted out of Kuwait, Indonesia out of East Timor

        ” There were Israeli nationals on board the Marianne – enough reason for Israel to be justified in apprehending the vessel, about to enter Gaza – a state to all intentions purposes still at war with Israel.”

        Gaza is not a state you stupid person. A vessel in International Waters is the sovereign territory of the state of the flag under which the vessel sails. Israel invaded the sovereign territory of another state, not Gaza.

        Furthermore Israel hijacked the vessel AFTER it was inspected and no arms or contraband were found.

        “Crimes in support of Hamas, which has now been shown to be in collaboration with ISIS after the massacre of Egyptian police and military officers in Northern Sinai a couple of days ago”

        A theory is not evidence

        ” Would Hostage also say it was not permissible to stop vessels attempting to smuggle weapons into Gaza? Could Hostage say with 100% certainty that these vessels in this propaganda flotilla did not have any arms on board? “

        The IDF didn’t find any weapons you silly person

        ” Israel continues to allow bountiful humanitarian aid to reach Gaza. Read how the Israeli aid to Gaza is 500,000 times more than the aid that was on the flotilla.”

        Even if true it’s irrelevant. Attempting to break the blockade draws public attention to the blockade. The fact that you’re here trying to defend Israel’s ongoing illegal usurping of the people of Palestine is evidence that it’s quite successfull

  3. amigo
    amigo
    July 2, 2015, 2:53 pm

    These activists are extremely brave and deserve our utmost respect.What they do in taking on the IDF/Israel is almost suicidal and yet they put their lives in great danger to defend equality and justice for the Palestinian people.

    They have my total admiration.

    Each and everyone of them is worth countless zionists.

    • Mikhael
      Mikhael
      July 3, 2015, 9:17 am

      amigo July 2, 2015, 2:53 pm
      These activists useful idiots useless idiots are extremely brave and deserve our utmost respect.What they do in taking on the IDF/Israel is almost suicidal and yet they put their lives in great danger.

      As long as they don’t do anything stupid and dangerous like trying to stab,slash and bludgeon the Israeli soldiers who were implementing a legal blockade (as a few did on the Mavi Marmara in 2010), then there is no danger posed to these characters from Israeli soldiers, as it is unnecessary for them to use lethal force to protect their lives.

      to defend equality and justice for the Palestinian people

      They’re defending the right of a violent and fanatic regime controlling a quasi-state entity, which is at war with the people and government of neighboring state, to import rockets and other war materiel to kill and maim citizens living in the neighboring state. Not surprisingly, the government and the citizens of the neighboring state disagree that they have this right and do everything to restrict their ability to do so, including an effective naval blockade, which the so-called “activists” want to break. As long as the Hamas regime in Gaza persists in a state of belligerency with Israel and declares its intent on carrying out armed struggle to replace the State of Israel with a theocratic Islamist regime and expel its Jewish citizens from their country, then the security forces of the State of Israel will intercept and inspect every ship bound for Gaza, in accordance with international law, to ensure the safety of its citizens and does not rely on the word of these types that the cargo doesn’t contain dangerous contraband. After inspection, legitimate materiel can then be permitted to continue on its way to Gaza. The two cardboard boxes aboard the Marianne will proceed to Gaza, but if aid delivery to Gaza was truly the intent of the flotilla, it would have been much easier to include such aid with the tons of assistance Israel allows to flow into Gaza daily (550 truckloads a day) through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/07/01/did-the-flotilla-to-gaza-have-humanitarian-aid-aboard-or-not/

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 3, 2015, 9:50 am

        Fail Mikhael!
        I understand your difficulty in showing us non-existent weapons and resistence…so you repeat years old, discredited hasbara on an unrelated event.

        “Here is the bullshit.”…Mikhael is shovelling it!

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        July 3, 2015, 10:45 am

        No weapons on the ship intercepted. Israel still hijacked it; an act of piracy on the high seas.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 3, 2015, 1:43 pm

        Give Mikheal a break, guys. He’s got heavy child-support and alimony obligations. Let the man earn a living.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        July 4, 2015, 8:48 am

        My reading of the San Remo materials is that blockaders do not breach international law by enforcing a blockade in international waters as far as they are able. This does not create a duty on others to respect the blockade: they do not breach international law if they, as far as they for their part are able, attempt to evade it. When enforcement is attempted only pre-defined contraband can be denied free passage. There is a breach of international law if, following a search, free passage is not allowed to vessels not carrying contraband. Contraband cannot be defined in a way that would, in all the circumstances, impose starvation. Beyond that there seem to be several doubtful points. I cannot see that Israel is respecting the free passage provision or coming close to it.
        Law isn’t really my scene but the San Remo stuff is close to what I would expect morally if blockade is to be permitted at all, which is of course in dispute.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 4, 2015, 2:21 pm

        My reading of the San Remo materials is that blockaders do not breach international law by enforcing a blockade in international waters as far as they are able.

        The problem with the San Remo materials is that they were not accepted as a codification or incorporated into any IHL treaties. The legality of blockades was disputed by the relatively few number of scholars involved, which included some Israeli participants. Remember that in 1967, the Prime Minister of Israel cabled President Johnson and explained that Israel went to war because of the “illegal blockade” and “the insolent defiance of the international and maritime community.” That’s powerful evidence of state practice that operating blockades in international shipping channels was no longer considered to be legal. See the page on the telegram from Israeli PM Eshkol to President Johnson

        Unlike the San Remo Manual or the Helsinki Principles On The Law Of Maritime Neutrality, the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas, the 1st Additional Protocol, and the UN Charter have each been ratified by more than 160 state parties. Together they guarantee the freedom of the high seas and reserve it for peaceful purposes. A naval blockade against neutral shipping is, prima facie, a violation of freedom of the high seas which belong to mankind. Such efforts constitute a violation of international law if not conducted with the authorization of the United Nations Security Council pursuant to Chapter VII of the Charter.

        It goes without saying that Israel is violating the call for “unimpeded” distribution of humanitarian relief contained in Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) and that it has never obtained Security Council consent under Chapter VII to attack ships on the high seas. In fact the members of the Security Council condemned the attack on the Mavi Marmara and tasked the Secretary General with responsibility for conducting a full, prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards. In short, everything the Palmer Inquiry was not. See “Security Council Condemns Acts Resulting in Civilian Deaths during Israeli Operation against Gaza-Bound Aid Convoy, Calls for Investigation, in Presidential Statement” http://www.un.org/press/en/2010/sc9940.doc.htm

        As I’ve already pointed out the Secretary himself has subsequently contradicted the observation that the blockade was a lawful one. The Palmer report itself said that, regardless of its status, Israel had acted prematurely and improperly by seizing the ships in international waters outside the declared coordinates of its Gaza blockade without proper warning.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        July 13, 2015, 12:25 am

        Citizen July 3, 2015, 10:45 am

        No weapons on the ship intercepted. Israel still hijacked it; an act of piracy on the high sea

        The point is Israel has a right to inspect the ship to make sure no Gaza-bound weapons were aboard the ships; a state of war exists between Israel and the Hamas regime controlling Gaza and Israel need not accept the word of Hamas sympathizers that there is no contraband or war materiel on board the ships merely on their say-so; how does that work? If Israel ignored the flotilla on the assumption that the organizers are telling the truth and no weapons are on board, that means the blockade would end and the next convoy could have the ability to bring weapons in freely. No, it doesn’t work that way. Here’s a thought to end the sea blockade against Gaza, let Hamas declare its intention of permanently ending its policy of firing rockets at Israeli civilians across the border and publicly arrest other militant groups who continue to do so , and have Hamas abrogate its charter and recognize Israel and participate openly in the peace process. I’m not talking about a 5-year hudna that can be canceled upon expiration that allows Hamas to import any kind of arms it wishes, either.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 13, 2015, 7:58 am

        Wrong.
        “A state of war exists…”, like a state of war existed between the Warsaw Ghetto and their Nazi Guards.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 13, 2015, 12:13 pm

        The point is Israel has a right to inspect the ship to make sure no Gaza-bound weapons were aboard the ships; a state of war exists between Israel and the Hamas regime controlling Gaza and Israel need not accept the word of Hamas sympathizers that there is no contraband or war materiel on board the ships merely on their say-so;

        Let’s remember that Israel had launched a major invasion of the West Bank during its raid on Es Samu and that it was firing tank shells at construction workers in Syria and shooting down MIG aircraft over downtown Damascus before Nasser announced the blockade of the Straits of Tiran. Nonetheless in 1967, the Prime Minister of Israel cabled President Johnson and explained that Israel went to war because of the “illegal blockade” and “the insolent defiance of the international and maritime community.” That’s powerful evidence of state practice that operating blockades in international shipping channels or in international waters was no longer considered to be legal at all. See the page on the telegram from Israeli PM Eshkol to President Johnson

        In any event, Israel would only have a limited right of visit and inspection under the terms of UN Security Council resolution 1860. Wherever it chooses to inspect relief ships, it has to permit them and their passengers, and crew to go on their way to Gaza, unless actual contraband has been discovered.

    • jon s
      jon s
      July 3, 2015, 4:44 pm

      Kris,
      Simple logic says that if a blockade is legal, then attempting to break it is not.

      On the other thread, see my comment there.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 3, 2015, 6:01 pm

        Kris,
        Simple logic says that if a blockade is legal, then attempting to break it is not.

        Then let’s try this simple logic: There is no such thing as an international agreement or convention that legalizes the use of blockades. Even if there were, the customary rules contained in the Convention on the Law of Treaties say that it couldn’t create obligations for third parties without their consent or violate a customary norm of international law.

        In fact, the UN Charter prohibits the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity and independence of any state or in any manner that violates the UN Charter. The customary definition of the Crime of Aggression cites both blockades and military occupations in violation of the UN Charter as prime examples of the crime of aggression.

        You guys keep pedaling the false idea that the Palmer Inquiry magically conferred legality on the blockade, but the same UN Secretary General that commissioned its efforts at political conciliation reported his own conclusions on March 14th of this year that the blockade “is a continuing collective penalty against the population in Gaza” that violates the fundamental human rights of the population to an adequate standard of living, housing, food, water, sanitation, health and education (A/HRC/28/45, para. 70). http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/HRC/28/45

        173 State Parties have ratified the prohibition of collective punishments contained in Article 75 of the 1st Additional Protocol (1977) and the prohibition of collective penalties contained in Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention has been universally ratified. The prohibition of collective punishments is also considered a “customary norm” that is binding on non-signatories. See Rule 103. Collective punishments are prohibited. https://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule103

      • talknic
        talknic
        July 3, 2015, 11:40 pm

        jon s

        “Simple logic says that if a blockade is legal, then attempting to break it is not “

        Simple logic says that if you are asked to show a law prohibiting the breaking of a blockade and you can’t, it probably doesn’t exist

        “On the other thread, see my comment there”

        The comment that DOESN’T prove your point

  4. just
    just
    July 2, 2015, 6:41 pm

    “Two Al Jazeera journalists have spoken out after Israeli navy forces assaulted and abducted them while covering the ‘Freedom Flotilla III’ heading to Gaza.

    Mohamed El Bakkali, Al Jazeera’s reporter accompanying the flotilla, said that the attack on the ship occurred in international waters, which is an act of piracy and a violation of international law.

    El Bakkali said, “We were 100 km deep in international waters when the Israeli Navy intercepted us and demanded the ship to be stopped and handed over. Upon the captain’s rejection, the soldiers stormed the ship and assaulted some of whom were in the cockpit. After that, they led the ship to Ashdod where we were inspected and investigated, all of our belongings (mobiles, laptops and cards) were confiscated, and then we were jailed pending deportation.”

    Ammar Hamdan, the Al Jazeera cameraman who documented the trip, said that the Israeli army abducted and detained them under the sun in the middle of the sea for nearly 12 hours. Hamdan also said that the Israeli authorities “lost their minds” after Al Jazeera’s footage reached the world from the vessel, especially the images of Israeli soldiers storming the ship. Hamdan added: “All of their attempts to make me reveal the whereabouts of the footage failed, which prompted them to blackmail and search me more than five times. They reached a level of ugliness and depravity to photograph me naked. In the end, one of the officers lost his mind and shouted at his men claiming that I swallowed the camera memory cards, and I will get it out of my stomach after I get released”.

    El Bakkali said that Israeli forces accused the journalists during the investigation of breaking the law. He also added that the Israeli authorities did not respect their right to call a lawyer during investigation, and refused his request to contact Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Jerusalem.

    Al Jazeera’s acting director general Mostefa Souag said:

    “Israel has violated many international laws by hijacking and arresting journalists doing their job on a peaceful and unarmed flotilla while in international waters and heading to Gaza for humanitarian purposes. We call on the international community to work together to protect journalists who are doing their profession of covering stories. The release of our colleagues without returning all of their personal possessions and technical equipment is not enough. We together must do whatever it takes to expose violations of journalists’ rights”. …

    … In this context, El Bakkali commented: “What happened to us is a violation of press freedom and an attempt to commit a crime without witnesses. However, this will not deter us from continuing our mission of reporting the truth with impartiality and integrity, regardless the sacrifices”. Hamdan commented on that saying: “Even if the price is what happened to me when they sentenced me in absentia prohibiting me from entering Occupied Palestine for ten years.”
    – See more at: http://www.bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-international-byo-70398.html#sthash.rtJA6T1A.dpuf

  5. Theo
    Theo
    July 3, 2015, 7:36 am

    Israel has a long history of piracy on international waters. During June, 1967, israeli planes and boats attacked our navy ship SS Liberty, killing 37 sailors and wounding about 170, although it was plain that it is an american intelligence ship! We made a mistake of overhearing how the generals of the IDF planned to attack Egypt and other arab lands.
    President Johnson did what all our other presidents do when Israel commits a crime against US properties and/or citizens, he stuck his head in the sand and ordered our planes, already in the air to help, back to their bases, living our citizens wide open for additional attacks, as the israelis returned several times to kill and maim a few more of our defensless sailors.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      July 3, 2015, 11:01 am

      @ Theo
      Israel did much worse than what you imply; they sent out boats to machine gun the US crew trying to put out fires on the USS Liberty. They sunk all life rafts too. The US Congress has never conducted a proper investigation formerly customary.

    • RockyMissouri
      RockyMissouri
      July 3, 2015, 11:14 am

      Sad truth.

  6. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    July 3, 2015, 9:09 am

    The ship was in international waters when boarded. This is tantamount to piracy. Isn’t piracy punishable?

  7. eusebio
    eusebio
    July 3, 2015, 9:50 am

    The League of the United Nations is a mystery and it makes no sense that the governments of Israel and Palestine unresponsive to people´s needs

  8. RockyMissouri
    RockyMissouri
    July 3, 2015, 11:15 am

    This is SHAMEFUL.!!

  9. concernedhuman
    concernedhuman
    July 3, 2015, 1:31 pm

    Disgusting!! Now peaceful ships carrying supplies are a threat?
    These people have changed the definition of peace, threat in the name of illegal blockade and the so called international community accepts it.

  10. Bornajoo
    Bornajoo
    July 3, 2015, 1:49 pm

    “The ship was in international waters when boarded. This is tantamount to piracy. Isn’t piracy punishable?” (Vera)

    Unfortunately we need to add this crime to the very long list of other crimes for which israel should be punished. They break numerous international laws and commit crimes against humanity with absolute impunity knowing full well that they are never punished. This in turn allows them to behave in an even more sadistic manner. This is all thanks to their great enabler and protector, the Empire of America who is just as responsible for these crimes as israel

  11. ivri
    ivri
    July 3, 2015, 6:09 pm

    So what did these “political voyagers” think? That Israel will allow a bunch of adventurers to make fun of it just because they describe themselves as “human rights activists”? The middle-East is too dangerous a region for such games and the fights there are for real – not “political theater” for the global media.
    The important thing, and the luck of these nut-heads, is that there are no casualties or injuries and that they will be all safe home soon, because it is Israel that they are playing with and wasting time of – and that makes all the difference.

    • Boo
      Boo
      July 3, 2015, 7:06 pm

      Spoken just as bullies always speak. “You’re making fun of me!” (aka “disrespecting me!”) “Therefore I’m going to beat the crap out of you! You brought it on yourself, you deserve it and now you’re gonna get it!”

      One thing about bullies, be they individuals or rogue states: Sooner or later they always get their comeuppance.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      July 3, 2015, 9:04 pm

      Yeah, dude.
      What happened to the peace you say is inherent in Jews and absent in Arabs?
      Peaceful, unarmed…no threat to anyone…and the Jackboot of Peace comes down for the whole world to see.

    • talknic
      talknic
      July 3, 2015, 11:32 pm

      @ ivri

      “what did these “political voyagers” think?”

      That it would promote publicity like this article YOU are posting on (thx BTW). That the publicity of articles like this would reveal the idiocy of Israel’s excuses for hijacking a vessel in International Waters AFTER Israeli inspection had shown it to be un-armed, not carrying any banned goods under the blockade and therefore NOT in breach of the blockade’s stated intention.

      “The important thing…” is that they have been 100% successful otherwise YOU wouldn’t be here, you stupid stupid person.

  12. ivri
    ivri
    July 3, 2015, 11:31 pm

    No, no, on the contrary. These people are trying to produce a for-media scenario where Israel is designed to come out as they want it to be seen – while taking no real risks themselves because they know that they know who they deal with. Should Israel play into their hands and allow this cynical script?
    It would be utterly foolish to do so and it has devised its own way of undoing this ploy while sticking to its norms, namely making all that is possible to let them out unharmed. That should be praised not scorned and I am sure that`s how responsible people around the world (obsessive anti-Israel circles excepted) see it – just note the total silence and zero support despite the artificial hype these guys try to create. Plot failed.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      July 3, 2015, 11:50 pm

      Should Israel play into their hands and allow this cynical script? It would be utterly foolish to do so …

      That milestone disappeared in the rear view mirror a long time ago. Being utterly foolish is the Zionist national pastime.

  13. ivri
    ivri
    July 4, 2015, 4:36 am

    Zionist national pastime
    I don`t know, I actually think this is a pretty smart country, But I could be biased

  14. just
    just
    July 4, 2015, 8:22 am

    “Ann Wright served 29 years in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Reserve Colonel. She also served 16 years as a U.S. diplomat in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. She was on the small team that reopened the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December 2001. She resigned from the U.S. government in March, 2003 in opposition to President Bush’s war on Iraq. :

    I’ve just set foot on dry land after five days at sea on one of the four boats of Gaza Freedom Flotilla 3.

    The land I have set foot on is not Gaza, nor Israel, but Greece. Why Greece?

    New strategies are needed to keep the momentum for challenging the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza and the isolation of the Palestinians there. Our attempts in the past five years have resulted in the Israeli government’s piracy in international waters seizing a virtual armada of our ships, kidnapping hundreds of citizens from dozens of countries, charging them with entering Israel illegally and deporting them for a ten year period, which denies them the opportunity to visit with Israelis and Palestinians in Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank.

    The ships that form the flotillas have been purchased at substantial expense through the fundraising efforts of Palestinian supporters in many countries. After litigation in Israeli courts, only two of the vessels have been returned to their owners. The remainder, at least seven ships, are in Haifa harbor and apparently are part of a tourist tour to see the ships that terrorize Israel. One boat reportedly has been used as a target for Israeli naval bombardment. …”

    Read more @ http://warisacrime.org/content/sailing-again-break-israeli-naval-blockade-gaza

    ~and~

    “Dr. Marzouki’s interview after Freedom Flotilla III

    … Q3: What is your message to the Palestinians of Gaza after the attack of the Israeli Navy on the flotilla?
    – My message to the Palestinian people in Gaza is that we thank you for the noble values you show under the siege, and that by this contribution we only tried to demonstrate a little of your strength and courage.

    – We will continue to work for the freedom of Gaza’s residents, and we will sail again and again tirelessly until the blockade is lifted, and the crossings are opened, and the reconstruction process effectively begins on the ground.

    – I wish I had reached Gaza and broken my fast together with a Palestinian family in a poor refugee camp or in front of a ruined house.

    Q4: How should the international community respond to these acts of piracy and the continuation of the siege by Israel?
    – Here, we should distinguish between two levels of the international community:

    – Civil society: This level became more aware of the truth and no longer believes only the Israeli version of the story. This community of people in solidarity with Palestine is expanding as the people are refusing to do anything but to act in favor of the values they were raised on. Through our treatment with those activists we felt their anger and challenge against everything that is unfair caused by the ongoing siege. These communities became more aware of the Palestinian question due to the great steadfastness of the Palestinian society and their sacrifices.

    – The official level: this level is deaf and mute in regard of anything that is a right of the Palestinian people. It handles by double standards and measures the situation by different yardsticks.

    At the end, the international community, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation organization are all called upon to stand up to their responsibilities.”

    more @ https://freedomflotilla.org/news/27-dr-marzouki-s-interview-after-freedom-flotilla-iii

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