The Israeli navy moved to stop a convoy of 6 ships attempting to break their naval blockade of Gaza. Looks like there are at least 10 dead. Someday, the Coast Guard might be doing the same sort of thing. Put yourself in the Israeli Navy’s position. Was there a better way this might have been handled?
A bit more information here.
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Up front, I am not a fan of Israel’s Eastern European inspired anti-social actions.
From the BBC report,
“It happened about 40 miles (64 km) out to sea, in international waters.
Israel says its soldiers were shot at and attacked with weapons; the activists say Israeli troops came on board shooting.
The activists were attempting to defy a blockade imposed by Israel after the Islamist movement Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007. ”
Let’s see. An armed force boarding a sovereign flagged vessel on the high seas. Off Somalia this would be called piracy. Shooting at a group of armed people boarding your ship on the high seas? This is permissible under the Laws of Nations and Turkey is a trade partner with Israel.
Of course, the Israel’s went further off shore to attack the U. S. S. Liberty. Something they have yet for which to apologize and have continued to state the ship was an Egyptian.
People also forget the Brits had a blockade on the then Palestine and the Eastern European immigrants regularly ran it and they were not legal citizens of the state. They were illegal aliens. In essence, the Israelis do not care how it is handled nor how the world perceives it.
Do not forget that the people of the Gaza Strip are Israeli citizens. Also the U. S. (Bush 43 Administration) went back on its word to support whatever party won the election with funding to build administrative and law enforcement support. It backed out on this deal. It has not been forgotten. The U. S. also backed out on South Vietnam.
Sometimes I believe the Israelis will do anything to keep tensions in the region at a high state. Maybe it is time to cut off the billions in aid. In addition, one of the reasons the U. S. felt justified in invading Iraq in 2003 was the excuse that Iraq ignored certain UN mandates. Israel has ignored everyone the UN has put on it.
There is another view here: http://www.informationdissemination.net/2010/06/israeli-actions-are-stupid-but-legal.html#disqus_thread, along with some very lively debate and some new information.
I don’t go with the “legal” angle because of the distance from the Israeli “navy maintains a sea blockade from three nautical miles offshore. ” It ain’t much of a navy anyway and about three miles is about all it can handle. Well, there are those submarines with nuclear cruise missiles they claim they don’t have.
Even in Vietnam the “blockade” was only 35 miles deep and not everything was boarded. I know several times we just watched the CHICOM fishing “trawlers” (with more antenna than a friendly Martian) ease along about 15 miles out.
Legal, schmegal. Their blockade isn’t a U. S. Civil War “Anaconda” it is more like a Gefilte fish and we know with what it is filled. The Israeli government is pulling the world into its civil war with Hamas. It was, and has always been, about power politics.
The commentary was right on one issue. It will be interesting to see how the present administration handles this. Perhaps Israel will fess up and say its attack on the U. S. S. Liberty was blockade protection too.
I’m more in this camp: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/israel-shows-its-claws/?singlepage=true
The article basically says that the method was a between-the-lines message that Israel has the means and will to defend itself. It’ll be interesting to see the fallout (or not) over the next few months.
Chuck, to actually answer your question, I like what one of the commenters at Information Dissemenation said – broadcast all actions/reactions ahead of time, do it in broad daylight with lots of cameras, pre-brief the media on legality of various scenarios, then follow through. There was enough time to put something like that together in this instance. With a shorter time frame it would be harder to manage.
Some info on a UN investigation that found that the Israelis use excessive force.
“The two countries have been negotiating about some type of apology from Israel and over compensation for the victims, but have been unable to agree. The U.N. panel did recommend that Israel should express regret and compensate the victims.”
Helen Waite is the minister of apologies. Every one goes to Helen Waite for an apology. Remember the U. S. S. Liberty? I am sure there are some U. S. families who do.
Another Freedom Flotilla is enroute Gaza. The following from the German Navy Blog Marine Forum:
27 June. „Freedom Flotilla III“: Four vessels now reported to be on their way to break Israel’s Gaza blockade … three other boats to join Swedish trawler MARIANNE in the Eastern Mediterranean … conflicting reports that two of them were forced by Greek authorities to return to a Greek port shortly after sailing (rmks: still, they seem to be on their way) … total of 47 activists and journalists from 20 countries embarked, including former Tunisian President Marzouki and Israeli Arab Knesset members … expected to reach Gaza „in the next three days“.
28 June. Flotilla comprised of four small boats carrying total of 47 activists and some cargo such as medication and solar panels … MARIANNE (18), RACHEL (8), VITTORIO (9), JULIANO-II (12)
29 June. „Freedom Flotilla III“: Israel Navy commandos in three boats reportedly in early morning have intercepted and boarded activist vessel MARIANNE … steering it towards Ashdod … „short operation, no injuries“. (rmks: developing story; no word yet on the other three boats)
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