Israeli military attacks humanitarian boat


by Sunny
30th June, 2009 at 10:13 pm    

From Amnesty USA (via twitter):

The Israeli navy intercepted, boarded, and took control of a Greek cargo ship carrying foreign peace activists, including former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel prize winner Mairead Maguire. Their ship was carrying humanitarian aid cargo for the residents of Gaza.

This is not the first time Israel has blocked humanitarian aid—similar ships have been turned back after attempting to deliver basic goods like food and medicine.

It then gets picked up on CNN

PS – I will simply delete any off-topic or stupid comments.


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  1. kuda

    Pickled Politics » Israeli military attacks humanitarian boat: Latest » Police floated imposter theory over Ian .. http://bit.ly/DvQ49




  1. marvin — on 30th June, 2009 at 10:36 pm  

    IDF Spokespersons’ Unit added that it “would like to emphasize that any organization or country that wishes to transfer humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, can legally do so via the established crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip with prior coordination.

    … The army said humanitarian goods found on board the boat would be transferred to the Gaza Strip, subject to authorization. ”

    It’s almost as if these Gaza activists wanted to defy the IDF and to cause international controversy! But we know better of course. They just want Gazans to starve to death.

  2. marvin — on 30th June, 2009 at 10:36 pm  

    I hope that’s not ‘stupid’

  3. BenSix — on 30th June, 2009 at 10:41 pm  

    “It’s almost as if these Gaza activists wanted to defy the IDF and to cause international controversy! But we know better of course. They just want Gazans to starve to death.”

    Er — of course they did.

    That doesn’t mean that it’s not – necessarily – an “outrageous violation of international law“.

  4. Denim Justice — on 30th June, 2009 at 11:03 pm  

    I/P thread time..

    How did I know you’d instantly criticise the humanitarians that were attacked rather than the IDF that attacked them?

    Yeah, the goods will be transferred… that’s like saying the dropping of leaflets telling Palestinians to leave their homes just an hour before the IDF bombs them to pieces, is evidence that the IDF are such wonderful humanitarians!

    Whatever reservations one may have about the likes of McKinney, we should at the very least be campaigning against the excesses of the IDF and to support any grassroots humanitarian action that aims to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians.

  5. cjcjc — on 1st July, 2009 at 7:46 am  

    “Yeah, the goods will be transferred…”

    Just like the UN relief was “transferred” to Hamas perhaps?

  6. soru — on 1st July, 2009 at 7:58 am  

    I don’t see how you get to be a humanitarian just by claiming to be one. Their goal is clearly weapon smuggling: trying to avoid controls, complaining about being searched, simply doesn’t make sense on any other agenda. First establish a safe route, then send in the bombs and missiles.

    Compare with actual humanitarian agencies operating in say Darfur, who would quite rightly never attempt to bypass the central government in this way.

    Is the anyone who supports this who doesn’t support the bombing of Israeli towns and cities? Anyone who thinks that this is a good idea, but would be worried by increasing the ability of Hamas to drop rockets on more people?

  7. platinum786 — on 1st July, 2009 at 8:40 am  

    How dare these people travel into Palestinian territorial waters without explicit permission from the gods own country?

  8. Mark T — on 1st July, 2009 at 8:42 am  

    How exactly did the Israelis “attack” this boat?

  9. cjcjc — on 1st July, 2009 at 8:54 am  

    Is it off-topic to point out that McKinney is a 9/11 “troofer”?

  10. cjcjc — on 1st July, 2009 at 9:56 am  

    Not to mention some other rather interesting associations:

    http://adamholland.blogspot.com/2009/06/mckinney-on-hate-radio-again.html

  11. chairwoman — on 1st July, 2009 at 10:20 am  

    Not getting involved, but a little more information on Ha’aretz website. Couldn’t get a link to work, so leave it to your good selves to investigate

  12. Leon — on 1st July, 2009 at 10:51 am  

    Um, how is boarding a ship an attack? Sunny, seriously when you say attack it gives the impression the Israeli’s shot missiles or gunfire at the boat…

  13. Sunny — on 1st July, 2009 at 11:57 am  

    They rammed the boat and damaged it.

  14. chairwoman — on 1st July, 2009 at 12:07 pm  

    I’ve seen pictures, Sunny.

  15. Imran Khan — on 1st July, 2009 at 12:13 pm  

    Marvin – If you are not Jewish as you claim then you must be a Christian Evangelical because you are blind to any Israeli excess.

    This episode shows the crass stupidity of politicians in the region and you come here supporting it.

    All Israel had to do was check the boat and allow it to pass but hell no Bibi couldn’t do that because he had to show what a strong man he was.

    All this could easily and sensibly been handled but no they didn’t want to take the quiet and easy way because they want to impress people like you.

    The easy way was to quietly check the boat and let it pass with no incident. Israel wins and the Palestinians win but nope with people like you around then that isn’t what is needed huh?

    What has Israel gained by doing what they did? Nothing.

    It was bloody pointless and doesn’t need defending but no you can’t help yourself and charge in to defend anything.

    Leon – In short Israel didn’t need to do this so stop trying to imply nothing happened. Israel can either handle these humanitarian missions sensibly or by force. One is the right way to go and causes no incident the other achieves nothing and shouldn’t be defended. Why you choose to defend an action that is diplomatically stupid is beyond me.

    Please don’t encourage stupidity on either side.

  16. Imran Khan — on 1st July, 2009 at 12:17 pm  

    Chairwoman – I posted on the other thread but you may have missed it. I asked around and there are efforts underway to arrange an event to bring the Jewish and Muslim communities together. These are being led by the two biggest mosques in London and are independent of each other.

    I would suggest the Jewish Community push both to hold the events. Ring em up and ask what they are doing!

    I not sure how to push this forward so ideas welcome.

    Maybe Bananabrain can push the process on his site. Maybe Sunny can help from here.

    Ideas please :-)

  17. Leon — on 1st July, 2009 at 12:40 pm  

    They rammed the boat and damaged it.

    Oh right, didn’t read that bit.

  18. Leon — on 1st July, 2009 at 12:41 pm  

    In short Israel didn’t need to do this so stop trying to imply nothing happened.

    I didn’t imply nothing happened, I was concerned with the apparent tabloid style headline of the post. All cleared up 15 minutes before your post so quit your shit stirring.

  19. Imran Khan — on 1st July, 2009 at 12:47 pm  

    Leon – I wasn’t shit stirring as you put it. All I was saying is we shouldn’t accept silly actions from either side.

    This was stupid of Bibi and frankly does Israel no favours.

  20. Leon — on 1st July, 2009 at 12:54 pm  

    You were shit stirring, the matter was resolved but you chose to tell me to stop implying nothing happened, which I clearly wasn’t doing.

  21. Imran Khan — on 1st July, 2009 at 1:04 pm  

    If you look at the chain of messages at that point you had made one statement and Sunny confirmed the boat had been rammed. Which is why I posted my point and you’ve clarified you didn’t know that.

    Stop diverting the subject. These things happen on blogs as they are not real time conversations.

  22. cjcjc — on 1st July, 2009 at 1:45 pm  

    Given McKinney’s loopiness – she appears to be the US equivalent of G Galloway – “self-publicising boat” might be a more accurate description.

    You might not be too keen on Ms Maguire’s views on abortion either…

    Also aboard (from the NYT link):

    “…was the former archbishop of Jerusalem, Msgr. Hilarion Capucci, who was convicted of smuggling guns from Lebanon to Israel in 1975 and spent two years in an Israeli prison.”

    Though even if whatever food they have was to land:

    “As for Hamas, Mr. Ging called on its leadership to control its rank and file after armed policemen looted blankets and food from a United Nations compound. While Hamas leaders remained in hiding, he said, “those above the ground seem bent on acting in a reckless manner.”

  23. Sunny — on 1st July, 2009 at 2:51 pm  

    And that has what to do with this incident cjcjc? Sounds like naked whataboutery to me…

  24. Cjcjc — on 1st July, 2009 at 3:04 pm  

    Loonies and convicted gun runners on board?

    I would intercept, wouldn’t you?

  25. Sunny — on 1st July, 2009 at 3:07 pm  

    So what would it make you if you ordered that a boat be rammed because you didn’t like the people on board?

  26. Cjcjc — on 1st July, 2009 at 3:12 pm  

    Obviously I would only ram if they didn’t stop when requested.

    But I would ram if I considered them a threat.

    Wouldn’t you?

  27. Imran Khan — on 1st July, 2009 at 3:15 pm  

    cjcjc – what good is ramming the boat going to do?

    Its intimidation and it does Israel no favours.

    What was the point of raming?

    They could have quietly intercepted, checked the boat and passengers and if all was ok let it go on its way.

    If its full of loonies and gun runners and this is the policy then why not apply it to settlers as well?!

    Again its people like you who egg on Israel to perform actions that do it no favours and then sit back whilst the people in the region pay the price.

  28. chairwoman — on 1st July, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

    The settlers are disliked by the majority of Israelis. I think that they’re made to feel unwelcome generally when they’re in Israel ‘proper’.

    They are certainly considered an Israeli obstacle to peace.

  29. Cjcjc — on 1st July, 2009 at 3:31 pm  

    I agree on the settlers.

    I assume you read the NYT article though?
    The ship initially agreed to divert, then didn’t and was only rammed after warnings.

    Whether or not you think such a procedure should be in place, that procedure itself seems reasonable.

  30. Imran Khan — on 1st July, 2009 at 3:57 pm  

    Chairwoman – Even though I dislike the actions of the settlers I wouldn’t want them to be treated like this either. My comment was to highlight the stupidity of supporting such actions which are not doing anyone any good!!

    I appreciate they are disliked but we should be supporting civil approach to all parties.

    cjcjc – Fine the people on the boat may have been in the wrong and they may have been looking to provoke Israel. That doesn’t mean Israel has to ram the boat. It has a pretty powerful navy and it had many courses of action it could have taken. It chose the wrong action which is bringing it disrepute so why take that action.

    Israel is being led by an idiot who simply wants to show his macho credentials!!

    The boat could have been surrounded and intercepted and worldwide fewer headlines generated.

    Can you see what good has come of this because I can’t!

  31. cjcjc — on 1st July, 2009 at 4:02 pm  

    Perhapas you’re right.
    I don’t know enough about naval interception techniques to argue about that point…but I assume that an order wasn’t explicitly given to “ram”, or was it?

  32. Imran Khan — on 1st July, 2009 at 4:28 pm  

    cjcjc – I don’t know but I think Israel didn’t need this type of publicity right now so I imagine the Navy would be taking orders from higher up.

    Anyway lets hope this episode doesn’t slow the momentum for peace which is now building.

  33. soru — on 1st July, 2009 at 5:12 pm  

    They could have quietly intercepted, checked the boat and passengers

    How do you intercept and check a boat that doesn’t stop when asked to?

    There are perfectly reasonable arguments, under some readings of international law, for breaking the arms embargo, supplying Hamas with bigger and better weapons.

    It is only the claim that an attempt to set up an unmonitored, uninspected supply chain to Hamas has something to do with ‘humanitarianism’ that discredits anyone who makes it.

  34. Imran Khan — on 1st July, 2009 at 6:08 pm  

    Soru – “How do you intercept and check a boat that doesn’t stop when asked to?”

    Are you serious! Any well equipped and trained navy knows how to deal with this. The British Navy does it, the US Navy does it around the Arabian Peninsula.

    The Israeli Navy is one of the most powerful in the world and frankly its insulting to imply they cannot deal with this. They can surround the vessel and if it rams them or attacks them then they are justified in harsher action.

    How do Navies stop drug boats and capture the drugs? They marshal the vessel using various techniques and equipment. Israel can do the same.

    What good did the current course of action do Israel? Most people can see that but not you!

  35. marvin — on 1st July, 2009 at 6:58 pm  

    “How do you intercept and check a boat that doesn’t stop when asked to?”

    Military of any country in the world take a somewhat aggressive action against such a boat. It would be forcibly stopped at least.

    Except when Israel’s military do the same as any other military in the world, it creates such an hysteria amongst lefties that they begin to believe that the IDF have committed a war-crime! Twitter was in lefty outrage meltdown.

  36. soru — on 1st July, 2009 at 8:15 pm  

    They can surround the vessel and if it rams them or attacks them then they are justified in harsher action

    From the linked article:

    Earlier today, the Free Gaza movement said Israeli warships had surrounded the Spirit of Humanity and threatened to open fire if it did not turn around.

    Draw a diagram, and you can see that if you are moving and surrounded and you don’t turn around, you are going to ram something. Note also that the Israeli patrol boats presumably did _not_ make good on their threat to fire: I wouldn’t want to be the one counting on the Americans (in particular) not to do that.

    If you interview the drug smugglers and pirates the RN intercepts, their claims to be innocent traders outrageously assaulted and detained in violation of all international law will be pretty much word-for-word identical with what McKinney & co are claiming.

    If you want to stop a boat going somewhere, without shooting, you have to put a ship between it and where it wants to go. If it doesn’t change course, who rams who becomes an inherently political question.

    Arms embargoes have a somewhat ambiguous status under international law, but I don’t think Hamas should be the group anyone should be picking to support in pushing the boundaries of the issue.

    What good did the current course of action do Israel?

    None, obviously: it wasn’t initiated by Israel. A better question is what good does such attempts do to those who did plan them?

    Can you really see a scenario where:

    1. Israel is persuaded by Amnesty to stop inspecting boats
    2. Hamas get better weapons
    3. more Israelis get bombed.
    4.
    5. Enlightenment, peace and prosperity spread across the whole middle east?

    Because if so, I’d like to know a few more details about step 4…

  37. Imran Khan — on 2nd July, 2009 at 9:18 am  

    Marvin – “Military of any country in the world take a somewhat aggressive action against such a boat. It would be forcibly stopped at least.

    Except when Israel’s military do the same as any other military in the world, it creates such an hysteria amongst lefties that they begin to believe that the IDF have committed a war-crime! Twitter was in lefty outrage meltdown.”

    Evangelical Marvin do you not comprehend that this course of action didn’t do Israel any favours and its approach though applauded by the likes of you and the right whom you never criticise does not achieve anything.

    If anything it will encourage more missions of a similar nature.

    Fact is that you right wingers will never criticise Israel except to say it didn’t use enough force.

    By surrounding the boat and forcing it to ram an Israeli Navy vessel would have stood Israel in better position to justify its own actions.

    Also why are you so mute on the rights uncritical support of anything Israel does?

  38. Imran Khan — on 2nd July, 2009 at 9:31 am  

    Soru – “None, obviously: it wasn’t initiated by Israel. A better question is what good does such attempts do to those who did plan them?”

    Look lets be clear these people were out to provoke a reaction from Israel and it gets publicity to highlight the plight of the people in Gaza who are being forced to live in disgusting circumstances.

    So yes they got what they want and again people are reminded of Israel’s actions.

    Israel could have and should work with the international community to alleviate the desperate plight of the Palestinians.

    Continually denying what is going on doesn’t help end the bitter hatred that is being built up.

    Both sides are wrong but don’t blame people for highlighting what is going on.

    Israel has a responsibility as well as the gatekeeper to ensure that ordinary civilians are able to exist and denying Israel is faultless or Hamas is faultless is why both sides are able to carry on with a policy that makes no sense.

    You say we shouldn’t support Hamas but if both sides are being stupid why support either?????

  39. Imran Khan — on 2nd July, 2009 at 9:41 am  

    Soru – “Because if so, I’d like to know a few more details about step 4…”

    The point is it can’t all be about Israel and it can’t all be about the Palestinians. The reason we are where we are is because both sides want to crush the other and neither can.

    Again in your world view you fail to realise that Israel has responsibilities much like the responsibilities that you say the Palestinians have and dare I say the international community have.

    You are trying desperately to justify Israel’s position but where has it got Israel?

    The only way to end this is to negotiate and thats the one thing that isn’t happening.

    It isn’t going to be easy but you can’t derail or stop it because some nutjobs want to bomb their way to victory.

    Why keep saying we don’t want to control the lives of Palestinians and then do everything to control the lives of Palestinians?!!

    There is now a drive for peace and we should support that and highlight the stupidity of each sides actions. We should be critical of both sides and not justify stupidity.

    What Israel did was unnecessary and there can’t be many reasons to defend it unless one is an apologist for any action of either side.

  40. soru — on 2nd July, 2009 at 12:39 pm  

    Israel absolutely should be doing everything they can to achieve peace, and the current government falls very far below that standard.

    But you are not being in any way neutral, let alone working towards peace, if you object to Israel defending itself in a way that any other country in the world would.

    Except the ones that would be more vigorous: I wouldn’t recommend hiring a boat and trying to deliver unspecified ‘supplies’ to southern Iran right now…

  41. Imran Khan — on 2nd July, 2009 at 1:06 pm  

    Soru – “But you are not being in any way neutral, let alone working towards peace, if you object to Israel defending itself in a way that any other country in the world would.

    Except the ones that would be more vigorous: I wouldn’t recommend hiring a boat and trying to deliver unspecified ’supplies’ to southern Iran right now…”

    You are talking absolute nonsense. I have said they wanted to provoke and incident with Israel and thats why I feel Israel needed to avoid this.

    Its you who isn’t neutral.

    Iran is caging its own population and not someone else’s so hence its a different circumstance. Can you Pro-Israel Supporters ever conduct an argument without resorting to Iran or Saudi Arabia or which ever Muslim country it is you want to bash.

    Simple common sense tells us that Israel even to avoid too much negative PR needed to handle this more carefully. But nooooooooooooooooo you won’t accept that.

    Show me where I said they didn’t have a right to stop the boat and for that matter most people accept they could stop the boat what people are irate about is the manner not the fact it needed to be done.

  42. Imran Khan — on 2nd July, 2009 at 3:08 pm  

    Oh and Soru one thing Israel could offer to keep itself secure and humanitarian aid to flow is to allow a neutral stopping port on the Israel/Gaza border to be policed by both sides. Boats could come there be inspected and offloaded with aid.

    It keeps Israel secure and aid flowing. This way any boat that refuses to go through there is advertising it wants to cause an incident.

    This solution isn’t ideal for both sides but is workable and can help build longer term trust as well so a good stepping stone.

    Also don’t forget that Gaza isn’t part of Israel so comparing Israel’s actions to another country is flawed because its comparing a circle with a square.

    I am not sure if under international law a boat going to another territory that has declared its intent as a peace mission can legally be stopped from entering by a 3rd country. Where in the past countries have felt some shipments are a danger they board the vessels in international waters and inspect and allow the vessels to proceed if there is no danger. They do not blanket ban so again your argument doesn’t hold up well to the actions of Israel’s allies such as the USA who have boarded boats and let them proceed when there was no danger.

  43. marvin — on 8th November, 2009 at 7:46 pm  

    IDF Spokespersons’ Unit added that it “would like to emphasize that any organization or country that wishes to transfer humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, can legally do so via the established crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip with prior coordination.

    … The army said humanitarian goods found on board the boat would be transferred to the Gaza Strip, subject to authorization. ”

    It's almost as if these Gaza activists wanted to defy the IDF and to cause international controversy! But we know better of course. They just want Gazans to starve to death.

  44. vessel sink — on 15th November, 2009 at 10:11 pm  

    Israeli military attacks humanitarian boat video are the best.

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