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How do you know when someone is serious about pursuing a strategy of nonviolent resistance until victory for justice is achieved?

When they refuse to turn back in the face of state violence. Damn the commandos. Full speed ahead.

The Irish Times reports:

The MV Rachel Corrie is ploughing ahead with its attempt to deliver aid to Gaza despite yesterday's attack by the Israeli navy on Gaza-bound ship the Mavi Marmara.

The cargo ship, which has four Irish nationals and five Malaysians aboard, is due to arrive in Gazan waters tomorrow, a spokeswoman for the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said.

The vessel became separated from the main aid flotilla after being delayed for 48 hours in Cyprus due to logistical reasons.

Nobel laureate Maireád Corrigan-Maguire, former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday, and husband and wife Derek and Jenny Graham are the Irish nationals on board.

Speaking from the ship today, Mr Graham said the vessel was carrying educational materials, construction materials and some toys. "Everything aboard has been inspected in Ireland," he said. "We would hope to have safe passage through."

Might the Israeli military attack the Rachel Corrie, as the Israeli military attacked the Mavi Marmara? Would the Obama Administration permit such an Israeli attack on the Rachel Corrie, as the Obama Administration permitted the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara?

Note that in particular, under international law, an Israeli military attack on the Rachel Corrie in international waters would be an attack on the government and people of Ireland, because the Rachel Corrie is an Irish-flagged vessel. As former British Ambassador Craig Murray recently wrote:

To attack a foreign flagged vessel in international waters is illegal. It is not piracy, as the Israeli vessels carried a military commission. It is rather an act of illegal warfare.

Because the incident took place on the high seas does not mean however that international law is the only applicable law. The Law of the Sea is quite plain that, when an incident takes place on a ship on the high seas (outside anybody's territorial waters) the applicable law is that of the flag state of the ship on which the incident occurred. In legal terms, the Turkish ship was Turkish territory.

There are therefore two clear legal possibilities.

Possibility one is that the Israeli commandos were acting on behalf of the government of Israel in killing the activists on the ships. In that case Israel is in a position of war with Turkey, and the act falls under international jurisdiction as a war crime.

Possibility two is that, if the killings were not authorised Israeli military action, they were acts of murder under Turkish jurisdiction. If Israel does not consider itself in a position of war with Turkey, then it must hand over the commandos involved for trial in Turkey under Turkish law.

One presumes that Michael Higgins, the foreign affairs spokesman of the Irish Labour Party, is well aware of these considerations, and that his statement about Irish government policy noted in the Irish Times article should be read in this light:

Labour foreign affairs spokesman Michael D Higgins today called on the Government to demand safe passage for the MV Rachel Corrie .

In a statement, he said some of those on the vessel had contacted him earlier today and had stressed they wanted to avoid conflict and to be allowed unload their cargo to help the residents of the Gaza Strip.

"The Minister for Foreign Affairs . . . must make it clear that any assault on the Rachel Corrie would be regarded as a hostile act against Ireland and a clear breach of international law that could not be ignored by this country," Mr Higgins said.

In cities around the United States today, Americans will be protesting against the Israeli government attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. While protesting the attack on the Mavi Marmara, Americans should demand that the Obama Administration act to guarantee safe passage for the Rachel Corrie to reach Gaza.

Originally posted to Robert Naiman on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 08:48 AM PDT.

Poll

I urge the Obama Administration to act to guarantee safe passage for the Rachel Corrie to reach Gaza.

76%121 votes
23%38 votes

| 159 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I say we don't get involved either way. From (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    borkitekt, Olympia, tabithaInAustin

    here on out, period, except through the UN as part of a coalition.

  •  Then again there is a precedent that may apply (6+ / 0-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Both the Israeli and U.S. governments conducted inquiries[2] into the incident, and issued reports, which concluded that the attack was a mistake, due to Israeli confusion about the identity of the USS Liberty. Some U.S. diplomats, veterans and intelligence officials involved in the incident continue to dispute these official findings, saying the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was not a mistake, and it remains the only major maritime incident in U.S. history not investigated by the U.S. Congress.[3]

    In May 1968, the Israeli government paid US$3,323,500 as full payment to the families of the 34 men killed in the attack. In March 1969, Israel paid a further $3,566,457 in compensation to the men who had been wounded. On 18 December 1980, it agreed to pay $6 million as settlement for the U.S. claim of $7,644,146 for material damage to the Liberty itself.[4]

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 08:52:01 AM PDT

  •  Will Obama Let Israel Attack? (8+ / 0-)

    Heh, the real question is "Is there a way obama could attack the ship".

    Pathetic, he is showing what is is made of.
    Does't look good. Currently the US is fully supporting Israeli action, that's why Israel continues to do this.

    "Hey Joe, could you check his bearings. Again!"

    by allmost liberal european on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 08:53:49 AM PDT

  •  Just a question... (7+ / 0-)

    ...don't pummel me - it's a serious question.

    What do you mean by "allow"? If this is an Irish flag ship shouldn't it be Ireland who guarantees safe passage, with military escort if needed?

    Like I said - just a question.

    "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

    by grannyhelen on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 08:54:23 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the question (4+ / 0-)

      granny.  According to international law, Israel's blockade of Gaza is legal.  America supports it, too.  When there is a legal blockade, the party blockading has the right to inspect humanitarian cargo before it enters the blockaded port.  Because the cargo is humanitarian in nature, Israel does not have a right to ultimately prevent the cargo from reaching Gaza.  That is why the cargo from the other ships will eventually make it to Gaza.  That right to inspect the cargo is there whether the ship is escorting by a foreign navy or not.

      "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

      by oldskooldem on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 08:59:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All that being said... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaleA, capelza, Don midwest, Terra Mystica

        ...the troubling part about all of this is the repelling with Israeli commandos (if this was all just about "inspecting the cargo" that seems a bit over the top, doncha think?), and the fact that it doesn't appear the Israelis have put out an official list of what they consider to be "humanitarian" goods.

        In order to enforce a legal blockade, shouldn't they at least - you know - be a little more specific with folks and not create the conditions for the tragedy that happened?

        "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

        by grannyhelen on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:03:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Israel does have lists (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Everest42, tabithaInAustin

          of what it allows into Gaza and what it doesn't.  They've been posted here repeatedly, but Israel attempts to distinguish between truly humanitarian goods and 'luxury' goods.

          Israel has been stating since the announcement of this flotilla that it may not enter Gaza directly.  Israel was specific as can be seen in this video
          http://www.youtube.com/...  Every word said in that warning was scrubbed by lawyers.

          "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

          by oldskooldem on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:07:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think there's some contention out there re: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DaleA, capelza

            how specific Israel has been about what is considered an allowable good to enter Hamas under the blockade:

            Other than that, no specific list of what is and is not allowed in has been published, and items gaining entry vary over time.

            The UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees Unrwa's list of household items that have been refused entry at various times includes light bulbs, candles, matches, books, musical instruments, crayons, clothing, shoes, mattresses, sheets, blankets, pasta, tea, coffee, chocolate, nuts, shampoo and conditioner.

            link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

            And again, why the commandos if this was simply about checking cargo, instead of just pulling along side the ship and saying they need to check the cargo and then they'll let the boats go on their way? Honestly I think that created the conditions for the tragedy...

            "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

            by grannyhelen on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:18:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Every word said in that warning was scrubbed... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DaleA, greenskeeper, capelza, angel d

            ...by lawyers."

            You mean like the torture memos?

            Is there a sillier shill at Dkos than oldfooldem?

      •  Interesting :) (11+ / 0-)

        Because the cargo is humanitarian in nature, Israel does not have a right to ultimately prevent the cargo from reaching Gaza.

        Well, Israel stops food, stuff like coriander, from reaching Gaza (clearly that is a weapon..sure :) )

        GOODS ALLOWED INTO GAZA
        Canned meat and tuna, but not canned fruit
        Mineral water, but not fruit juice
        Sesame paste (tahini) but not jam
        Tea and coffee but not chocolate

        Would you care to explain the dangers of canned fruit? Or perhaps chocolate?

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

        They have been blocking humanitarian aid for a long time.

        "Hey Joe, could you check his bearings. Again!"

        by allmost liberal european on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:04:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Say What? (12+ / 0-)

        "According to international law, Israel's blockade of Gaza is legal."

        It never ceases to amaze me how so many can literally create their own reality out of whole cloth in defense of the indefensible.  This statement is a flat out fantasy.

        •  Uh, no it isn't (0+ / 0-)

          America and others support Israel's blockade of Gaza.  Blockades are a legal tool under international law.

          "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

          by oldskooldem on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:15:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oh shut the fuck (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pletzs, DaleA, cybrestrike, angel d

            you have made it clear you are nothing but an IDF apologist troll.

            (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

            by dark daze on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:18:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Good God (5+ / 0-)

            The standard for what is legal is now reduced to whether the United States supports it?  Are you going to make that your legal position on the matter?  Really?  What an embarrassment.

            Dov Weisglass, an adviser to Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister [said when it was first imposed]: 'The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger'" -- this post documents just some of the effects, with ample links to U.N. reports, including:

            * since the intensification of the siege in June 2007, "the formal economy in Gaza has collapsed" (More than 80 UN and aid agencies [.pdf])

            * "61% of people in the Gaza Strip are … food insecure," of which "65% are children under 18 years" (UN FAO)

            * since June 2007, "the number of Palestine refugees unable to access food and lacking the means to purchase even the most basic items, such as soap, school stationery and safe drinking water, has tripled" (UNRWA)

            * "in February 2009, the level of anemia in babies (9-12 months) was as high as 65.5%" (UN FAO)

            The Geneva Convention, in which Israel is a signatory, explicitly forbids targeting civilians for "collective punishment."  The blockade is a continuation of what Israel officials have publicly admitted for a long time.  The goal is to make life so miserable for the Palestinian people that they will throw out Hamas.  It's a crime.  Remember the 2008/2009 bombing campaign?

            According to The Jerusalem Post, Israeli President Shimon Peres spoke to an AIPAC mission in Israel on Wednesday and said that "Israel's aim [in attacking Gaza] was to provide a strong blow to the people of Gaza so that they would lose their appetite for shooting at Israel."  If that really is Israel's principal aim -- to deal "a strong blow to the people of Gaza" -- then it's easy to understand why Peres is so happy with how things have proceeded:   "Implementation of the current operation had gone 90 percent according to plan, he said."  

            This war on the people of Gaza isn’t really about rockets. Nor is it about “restoring Israel’s deterrence,” as the Israeli press might have you believe. Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”

            Human Rights Watch adds further documented admissions from  high Israeli officials:

            "There is no justification for demanding we allow residents of Gaza to live normal lives while shells and rockets are fired from their streets and courtyards at Sderot and other communities in the south," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on January 23, 2008.[22] Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror said on January 18, 2008: "If Palestinians don't stop the violence, I have a feeling the life of people in Gaza is not going to be easy."[23]

            The logic used by Olmert here is the exact same logic used by Hamas in defense of their HIGHLY CONDEMNED illegal rocket fire into southern Israel.

            There is no argument that can be made, on legal terms, to mitigate this flagrant and unapologetic admission of war crimes.  Perverse human beings will no doubt attempt to defend these practices, but the case, on legal grounds, cannot be made.  These attacks are war crimes.  Period.

            HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH NOTES THE BLATANT AND UNAPOLOGETIC WAR CRIMES BEING COMMITTED BY ISRAEL:

            Israel maintains that it imposed border closures and fuel and electricity cuts in response to these attacks on Israel by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups. However, violations of the laws of war by one side to an armed conflict do not legitimate violations by the other.

            There isn't a legal entity on the planet earth outside of Israel which holds this blockade to be legal.  Wake up.  You are defending an ongoing Humanitarian crime of enormous proportions.  Your ignorance is beyond comprehension.

            •  Uhhh (0+ / 0-)

              "There isn't a legal entity on the planet earth outside of Israel which holds this blockade to be legal."

              I cited one: the United States.

              In your words, "your ignorance is beyond comprehension"

              "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

              by oldskooldem on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:33:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Your added emphasis is particularly interesting (0+ / 0-)

              For example, you bold "There is no justification for demanding we allow residents of Gaza to live normal lives" and yet leave almost unnoticed "while shells and rockets are fired from their streets and courtyards at Sderot and other communities in the south."  This is a key part of the statement.  So is the "If Palestinians don't stop the violence" statement before the "the life of people in Gaza is not going to be easy."

              Ultimately the statements that "blockading Gaza is illegal because its hurtful to Palestinian civilians" fails to take into account the one goal in warfare.  It isn't to destroy your enemy (though that is one way of ultimately finishing the conflict).  The ultimate goal in a war is to break the enemy's will to fight.  That's it.  That's what war is for.

              Hamas, and by extension Gaza, is at war with Israel.  Has been since Hamas refused to renew the ceasefire.  It is the job of Israel to break Hamas's will or ability to fight, or to at least demonstrate so thoroughly that victory for Hamas is utterly impossible and the struggle is useless.

              •  No, it's not a key part of the statement! (0+ / 0-)

                You cannot target civilians for collective punishment UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.  Let me ask you a question, can Hamas use Israel's constant targeting of civilians as a legitimate excuse to fire their own rockets at Sederot?  No?  Why not?  They both have the exact same excuse, but only Israel's use of it is deemed appropriate.

                "Has been since Hamas refused to renew the ceasefire."

                Maybe you are not aware...

                The common perception, perpetuated by overwhelmingly pro-Israeli media coverage of the current crisis in Gaza, finds that Israel is defending itself against the attacks of Hamas, who broke the cease-fire, which was reached in June of 2008.  But is this perception accurate?

                June 18, 2008:

                Israel has approved a ceasefire to end months of bitter clashes with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed. Under the terms of the truce, which is set to begin Thursday (June 19), Israel will ease its blockade on the Gaza Strip. At the same time, talks to release an Israeli soldier [Gilad Shalit] held by Hamas would intensify, an Israeli official said. Hamas, which controls Gaza, says it is confident that all militants will abide by the truce [by not firing rockets into southern Israel]. The agreement is supposed to last six months. ("Israel Agrees to Gaza Ceasefire," BBC, June 18, 2008)

                July 4th, 2008:
                A ceasefire between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups came into force on 19 June and at the time of writing it looked uncertain. Israeli officials, however, insist that Gaza's borders remain sealed so long as Hamas does not release the Israeli soldier they are holding. Some 8,500 Palestinians are detained in Israeli jails. Of these, 900 are from the Gaza Strip, all of whom have been denied visits by their families since June 2007. ("Gaza Blockage: Collective Punishment," Amnesty International, July 4, 2008)

                Considering the primary obligation of the truce was Israel easing the blockade, the fact that Israel did not ease the blockade at any point, inherently means that Israel did not comply with the terms at all.  

                Furthermore:

                CNN aired a clip of the liberal Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti saying: "The world press community or media community is overwhelmed with the Israeli narrative, which is incorrect. The Israeli spokespersons have been spreading lies all over. The reality and the truth is that the side that broke this truce and this ceasefire was Israel. Two months before it ended, Israel started attacking Rafah, started attacking Hamas and never lifted the blockade on Gaza."  Anchor Rick Sanchez endeavored to find out who was right.

                "And you know what we did? I've checked with some of the folks here at our international desk, and I went to them and asked: 'What was he talking about, and do we have any information on that?'" said Sanchez. And he reported that his sources confirmed that Barghouti was right.

                What does this mean in regard to Israel's stated justifications for the massive and ongoing torture of Gaza?  Can they still claim "self-defense" when it was they who broke the truce in the first place?  If the United States public supported Israel based on the idea that they had to defend themselves, then wouldn't this clarification mean, in fairness, that Hamas was defending themselves when they fired their rockets in response to Israel's failure to abide by the terms of the cease-fire?  In either case, neither entity is justified in committing war crimes.  But the overwhelming support of Israel's crimes needs to be looked at in a new light, based on the facts and not merely pro-Israeli propaganda.

                We should not defend war crimes in any case, but especially when those crimes are being committed by the entity that broke the cease-fire to begin with.

          •  Some Americans + Some American Elected Officials (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DaleA, capelza, Terra Mystica, cybrestrike

            ....does not equal "America," just as the support of Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms for apartheid South Africa (also touted as "the only democracy in Southern Africa!") did not amount to "America supports Apartheid, as we discovered in the last round of "Boycott, Divest, & Sanction."

            "In the rest of the world, 'soft left' is known as the non-fascist right." -- corvo

            by greenskeeper on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:33:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The official policy of the United States (0+ / 0-)

              under President Obama (and under the previous president, too) is that the blockade is a legal response to the armed conflict with Gaza.

              "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

              by oldskooldem on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:34:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oldfool loves him some torture memos (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DaleA, capelza, cybrestrike

                They represented official U.S. policy for a while, after all.

                Tell me, Oldfool, is your support for torture general or limited to torture of muslims and Arabs?

                •  first (0+ / 0-)

                  that isn't the subject of this diary.  second, i'm not inclined to respond to someone called me sophomoric names...

                  "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                  by oldskooldem on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:50:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sophomoric Names Are Better than You Deserve (0+ / 0-)

                    Let's be blunt about it: oldskooldem is an advocate of terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism whose views are abhorrent and have no more place in public discourse than those of the Concerned Citizens Council.

                    "In the rest of the world, 'soft left' is known as the non-fascist right." -- corvo

                    by greenskeeper on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 11:19:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  False (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pletzs, DaleA, cybrestrike

                6/18/09

                http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/u-s-ups-pressure-on-israel-to-end-gaza-blockade-1.278302

                Tacit backroom acquiescence is not a legal endorsement.

                You're a serial liar.

                "In the rest of the world, 'soft left' is known as the non-fascist right." -- corvo

                by greenskeeper on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:41:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Here (0+ / 0-)

                  The Obama administration officially supports the Gaza blockade, as the Bush administration did before it.

                  http://www.nytimes.com/...

                  "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                  by oldskooldem on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:50:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Time for a change (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    greenskeeper

                    in that policy I'd say

                    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                    by Eiron on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 10:13:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  In Other Words (0+ / 0-)

                    A once great newspaper that Pinch Sulzberger has turned into a racist neo-con rag supportive of the the worst excesses of the foreign policy right wings in Tel Aviv and Washington has repeated your claim, without documentation beyond the predictably reactionary ravings of Likud-tool Martin Indyk.

                    Do you have an official US government document, or just wishful thinking from the AIPAC chorus?

                    "In the rest of the world, 'soft left' is known as the non-fascist right." -- corvo

                    by greenskeeper on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 11:16:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You know full well (0+ / 0-)

                      that the US government conducts a vast percentage of its foreign policy with statements and not government documents.

                      But, okay fine, I'll take the side of the NY Times.  And you can play skeptic without any evidence on your side.  I win.

                      "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                      by oldskooldem on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 11:25:05 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Pyrrhic Victory (0+ / 0-)

                        Down to the seventh generation. Enjoy it while you can, and don't forget to shut the fuck up when the taste turns to ash in your mouth, as well it should.

                        "In the rest of the world, 'soft left' is known as the non-fascist right." -- corvo

                        by greenskeeper on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 11:46:52 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  Wait, what? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaleA, capelza, cybrestrike

        Israel's blockade of Gaza is legal.

        You mean illegal, right?  I mean, that's the general international consensus.

      •  Keep Repeating the Lies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaleA

        ...and eventually, people will realize that you're just another liar, parroting the Israeli Foreign Ministry's mendacious claims, which are accepted by no legal authority outside Israel.

        "In the rest of the world, 'soft left' is known as the non-fascist right." -- corvo

        by greenskeeper on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:30:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Re: Just a question? US also responsible (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, DaleA, capelza

      Upholding international law is an obligation on all states and all citizens of all states.

      In practice, the obligation rises based on one's relationships to the potential aggressor country, the potential victim country, as well as one's capacity to intervene.

      With power comes responsibility. Isn't that obvious?

      •  It isn't obvious to me in this instance b/c (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaleA, capelza

        Israel is a sovereign state and not a US puppet (were they the latter I believe the Obama admin would have been able to force productive peace talks a few months back).

        There's been promises of "no daylight" btwn the US and Israel in this mess, but honestly I have my doubts about how much daylight is shining through when the cameras are switched off. It isn't like the current Israeli govt is a big fan of the current US govt.

        "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

        by grannyhelen on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:23:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Israel dictates American foreign policy in the... (6+ / 0-)

    Middle East. Let's just admit that fact okay? It's a a sad reality, but a reality nonetheless.

  •  this says it all.............. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dancewater, calichristi

  •  I don't imagine Obama will lift a finger. (4+ / 0-)

    Technically, we are obligated to intervene militarily when Turkey is attacked, but our political entanglements with Israel make it an almost certainty that we won't.

    I'd love to see the European nations form a military escort, though.  They owe no allegiance to the state of Israel, and are more likely to come to the aid of the innocents in Gaza.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 08:55:55 AM PDT

  •  Obama will not do a damn thing... (7+ / 0-)

    This is just further proof to the world where America stands, no matter what lip service Obama tries to sell.  

    The sole reason the US even belongs to the UN anymore is so it can veto anything directed at Israel.  

    Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

    by Jonze on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 08:57:24 AM PDT

  •  Short of giving the Rachel Corrie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mistersite, IndieGuy

    A US Naval escort I don't see how Obama prevents it. Obama could tell Israel you do and all aid is cut off and Congress including the Democrats would scream no fucking way they would scream about the escort as well.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:07:15 AM PDT

    •  Yep. There's not much he can do. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Iberian, jsfox, IndieGuy

      If he made the kind of tough statement many here want him to make, the only result would be that Congress would overrule him and he'd look impotent on the world stage.

      Not to mention that it would represent a major cost in terms of political capital - particularly given the ties between both parties and Israel.

      The result would be that the President would be politically weaker, the pro-Israel lobby in Congress would be that much stronger, the President's agenda would be even further undercut by the expenditure of political capital, and there would be no concrete changes of any kind in either our foreign policy or our aid to Israel.

      What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

      by mistersite on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:14:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  congress (0+ / 0-)

        congress cant overrule him on many matters that fall squarely to the commander and chief.

        You really think congress wants to get out and defend Israel right now?  LOL  yeah sure.

        (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

        by dark daze on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:21:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Threats to cut aid don't fall squarely... (0+ / 0-)

          ...to the Commander in Chief. Congress decides that.

          The only thing that he could conceivably do as Commander in Chief is promise a U.S. military response if the ship is attacked - but then Congress could just cut all military funding for that purpose. Unless we wanted him to be like Bush and ignore Congress's wishes, he wouldn't be able to act.

          And no, I don't think Congress wants to go out and defend Israel right now, but that doesn't mean that they won't defend Israel if their hand is forced. If President Obama took action against Israel, there's no doubt that a 2/3 majority in both houses of Congress would stand ready to overrule any action he took by whatever means necessary.

          What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

          by mistersite on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:26:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  complete bullshit (0+ / 0-)

            but then Congress could just cut all military funding for that purpose. Unless we wanted him to be like Bush and ignore Congress's wishes, he wouldn't be able to act.

            simply wrong, bush has shown precident, fuck congress you dont need their permission for shit during time of crisis.

            Plus Obama with one strongly worded statement saying it defends and values its NATO allies, tells Israel to cut it out.

            This isnt over Turkey is going to send warships into that area, mark my word.   If someone boarded a US aid boat and shot up and killed americans, we would do the same.  Turkey is more that able to take on Israel militarily.

            (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

            by dark daze on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:30:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, THAT'S what we want. (0+ / 0-)

              simply wrong, bush has shown precident, fuck congress you dont need their permission for shit during time of crisis.

              Because the shining example of the way things should work, particularly when foreign policy, military policy, and the rule of law are concerned, is the George W. Bush administration.

              Plus Obama with one strongly worded statement saying it defends and values its NATO allies, tells Israel to cut it out.

              That strongly-worded statement would be ignored. It's not like the Israeli government doesn't know that it's got 70+ Senators and a vast majority of the House in its pocket.

              What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

              by mistersite on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:33:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  oh please (0+ / 0-)

                if Israel had all those in their pockets, Iran would of been struck by now.

                Israel is losing its power on mnay stages and it can be seen by their irrational actions

                (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

                by dark daze on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 10:42:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Given Congress's past responses (0+ / 0-)

          to Israeli transgressions I would not put it past them to whine about any attempt at forceful action by the administration.

          In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

          by jsfox on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:37:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. I don't mind criticizing Obama when he (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, jsfox

      screws the pooch, but I don't see that there's a lot he can do here.  He can push harder on a macro level, but not in this individual instance.  (And for what it's worth, he has pushed harder than too many of his predecessors.)

      "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

      by IndieGuy on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:18:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  he does what he can ... he can do more, but at (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, IndieGuy

        a significant political cost.  But ultimately, he is just as much a part of our political class as anybody - and the political class is hopelessly blind about Israel.  That the administration is likely to use a broad, non specific more or less "she asked for it" sentiment is as inevitable as it is discouraging.  I don't blame him per se - but on a macro level, these are the big moments that could reset the gameboard in the middle east.  As long as we and Israel are that tied together, being any sort of credible force in the region is basically impossible.

  •  Obamas fault I didnt get a unicorn too. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian, The Bohemian Rebel

    Name one American president of the past 50 years who did not stand firmly behind Israel. We are the sole reason Israel is not attacked on a daily basis.

    To expect our President to denounce Israel, out in the open, 24 hours after the tragedy, is expecting a lot.

    This gets addressed behind closed doors. Blame Bibi. Every time you blame Obama, Bibi laughs and rubs his hands together.

    Capitalism thrives on raising funds on assets that have no value.

    by A Runner on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:07:42 AM PDT

    •  No... (4+ / 0-)

      Obama is his own man.  He is NOT controlled by Bibi Netanyahu or anyone else.  He may find it politically awkward to break with precedent and take a stand against Israeli abuses, but it is still within his power to do so.  He is our President, and we ahve the right and the duty to demand that he do what is right.  

    •  Obama (0+ / 0-)

      there is one.  This is a new century and Israel just isnt a player anymore. We need them for exactly NO national security issues.  They cause more problems than they solve. ( They solve none FYI)

      Who in congress besides stone cold idiots like Liberman who is in his last term, is going to come out and defend Israel?

      (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

      by dark daze on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:26:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  FYI (0+ / 0-)

      The "unicorn" and "pony" memes are, IIRC, HRable.  I won't HR this comment, but you should retract the unicorn fluff.

    •  If by "sole reason Israel is not attacked on a (0+ / 0-)

      daily basis" you mean that Hamas rocket attack don't count, that the Israeli military wouldn't exist without US Government aid, and that our soldiers have scared everyone around Israel not to attack since its creation, then I could see where you are dillusionally coming from.

      Israel has gotten support from Uncle Sam over the years, but in every single conflict they fought, they were pretty much on their own.  We didn't intervene in the War of Independence, nor in the Six Day War, nor in the Yom Kippur War.  We didn't do jack when Hezbollah was shooting rockets and kidnapping Israelis, nor when Hamas was doing the same.

      We intervened on behalf of the Egyptians during the Suez Canal War (Israels only war of offense).  We intervened to stop Israeli march to Damascus in '67.

      As much help as Israel has been given, when they have to deal with the tough situations and make the hard calls, they've been on their own since the beginning.

    •  Eisenhower (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terra Mystica

      He was so incredibly popular he didn't need to rely on support for particular constituencies. He stopped Israel, France and Britain in the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956.

      Buffy: "Your logic does not resemble our earth logic" Xander: "Mine is much more advanced". BtVS, The Wish.

      by Fire bad tree pretty on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 06:13:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Its Obama's FAULT, Everything bad is. (0+ / 0-)

    It rained on Memorial Day...

    Blame Obama.

    It was really hot where I live....

    Blame Obama.

    My dog has fleas...

    Blame Obama.

    No one else is to blame.

    All evils are equal when they are extreme. - Pierre Corneille

    by LiberalCanuck on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:13:22 AM PDT

  •  He's not Irish (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian

    Unless it's two month out from an election. The Israelis will probably ram it with a corvette.

    the intelligence community is no longer geared towards telling the president what they think the president wants to hear

    by Salo on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:17:19 AM PDT

  •  Obama? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy

    How does Obama have anything to do with a Irish ship navigating into Israeli controlled waters, we like or not, and the Israelis assaulting it?

    I think it is more than clear that Israel does not listen. The Obama administration has asked for many thing from Israel but with little influence.

    If 72 Senators sign a letter saying Israel can do whatever they want to do there is not much the President can do.

    Arizona is the meth lab of democracy

    by Iberian on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:17:35 AM PDT

    •  bullshit (0+ / 0-)

      he is commander and chief. He can simply make a statement saying he stand behond our Nato allies and our decade long agreements.

      That tells Israel right there to knock it the fuck off.

      (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

      by dark daze on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:22:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Israel listens (0+ / 0-)

      that havent done a damn thing while we have been fighting there for 10 years because we told them not too, they havent done a damn thing about Iran building nukes because we told them not too.  

      They need us, we dont need Israel.

      (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

      by dark daze on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:23:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the Secretary General of NATO: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pletzs, capelza, Eiron, Don midwest

    As a matter of urgency, I also request the immediate release of the detained civilians and ships held by Israel.

    Link

    Some have the courage to use those words.
    Obama? Not so much.

    "Hey Joe, could you check his bearings. Again!"

    by allmost liberal european on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 09:41:18 AM PDT

  •  Reuters: Conditions in Gaza are atrocious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza

    http://www.members.alertnet.org/...

    Read the entire article, especially the end about how much poverty has increased in Gaza since the blockade was imposed.

    •  The idea was to force Gazans to reject HAmas (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, Gracian

      three years and one war later, it hasn't happened.  Time for a re-appraisal, the blockade is harming ISrael more than it is Hamas.

      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

      by Eiron on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 11:33:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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