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Smoke on the water (Israel forces board ships)
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Willem



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I'm just partial to thinking that the sources put out by several nationalities and by the people trying to bring wheelchairs to an oppressed people more than the propaganda put out by an authoritarian, opressive state.

Now, I don't just take these ANTI-ISRAELI sources as truth, I'm not an idiot. But no matter how you twist this, nothing can make what Israel did okay.


But maybe you're right. The European parlementarians, the ex-US congressman, the holocaust-survivor, the bishop and the nobel prize laureate were actually filthy, gun-slinging terrierrrrists.


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CTrees



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look, I don't want to get into whether the blockade and occupation of Gaza are legitimate/moral/legal or anything like that. Personally, I think that the Jews shouldn't've been given Israel in the first place (hello, there were already people there, and we have lots of uninhabited places, like... a big chunk of Montana, perhaps?). After that, if it's okay that the Jews now own Israel, I think the occupation, etc. is okay-ish, mostly forced by the situation which only have the Israeli's fault, and that all the international law everyone cites... really doesn't apply, as Israel doesn't recognize those laws and "Palestine" isn't a properly recognized country capable of recognizing the laws. If it's not acceptable that the Israelis are in Israel, then of course the occupation isn't any more okay. Regardless, as long as nations like the US support Israel... it's kinda a moot point. This is a secondary debate, though.

All I want to address here is, I think the first story (first because the anti-Israeli types were quicker on the draw to spread their media spin and give their interviews) that this group was perfectly peaceful, doing no wrong, and got *gasp* mowed down by those mean ol' Israelazis, doesn't seem to match reality, and that what I really think is that Israel, being a little too trusting of stated intentions, got drawn into a suicidal ploy/ambush, conceived of as a propaganda bit of martyrdom. I simply don't believe at all the idea that the blockade runners were innocent peace activists.
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does that make piracy any more legal? Does that make the lives of all who died (and we do not yet know who they are, as everyone is in custody with no contact to the outside world) worth any less? Does that mean taking millitary action against civillian targets outside your territory any more ok?

Yes, it was a provocation. It could've been handled in a way that didn't involve a massacre. What happened is a tragedy, and there are people directly responsible for it.
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Willem wrote:
But maybe you're right. The European parlementarians, the ex-US congressman, the holocaust-survivor, the bishop and the nobel prize laureate were actually filthy, gun-slinging terrierrrrists.

I believe that everyone had the same goals on those ships? That the people you cite knew that some of the people planned to ambush the sailors boarding the ships?

And yeah, multinational sources publishing before Israel started releasing the evidence supporting it's side of the story, like the NYTimes, the BBC, and so on, giving a line or two to the Israeli version surrounded by paragraphs concerning the version put forth by the blockade runners, despite the video (even that circulated by Al-Jazeera) contradicting their claims of innocence? Um.
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, how about the AP? They're nice and neutral, right? They actually give about equal time to both sides, and do point out the videos that show Israelis getting ambushed.

I *am* a little perplexed about the continued "i'nat'l waters, therefore illegal stop" thing. The US stops and searches ships still outside of its territorial waters all the time, when there's reasonable suspicion of illegal intent (usually drugs), and that's okay. This, viewed as illegal intent by the country they were attempting to enter, somehow has everyone saying it's an illegal boarding? Is this only based on the blockade being viewed as illegal itself? That's the only thing I can figure.
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coast guards are only allowed to board ships within territorial waters during peacetime. Wartime law is not applicable, as Israel does not recognize Palestine as a country, and therefore there can be no war between them. Also, as of 2005 (after unilateral disengagement) Israel officially is not the occupant of Gaza. But those are just to show how complex the whole legal situation is.

The main point in my opinion is this document, which Israel has actually not signed. The US did, but has not yet ratified it. So by the standards of international (UN) law it is illegal, but those standards are not accepted by Israel.

But I am not a lawyer, I'm sure there are 'festers with more knowledge on that.
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, the US at least believes it can board ships anywhere it wants to, within it's territorial waters or not.

While I'm not an expert on maritime law, I'm *really* not an expert on Israel's laws. It is not unreasonable to suspect that they've got a provision that attempted illegal (as per its views) activity, such as blockade running, provides justification to board vessels even in international waters. The SCOTUS has held that this is just peachy (they actually went further, into the condemning and selling of the vessels and their cargoes as being fine, even if captured in international waters, if the vessels were attempting to run the blockade), though the most recent cases go back to the last time we've had blockades around our own shores, which is the civil war, so... yeah. *Always* important to remember that Israel does not acknowledge a lot of these international laws, and thus, having not agreed to be bound by them, can't *really* be held in violation of them.

Also some reports are saying that the boarded vessel had struck its colors and run up a flag of surrender? I'm finding this hard to verify, but if true that is WAY WAY WAY into "they started out acting illegally by anyone's laws."
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is getting really hard to watch. More video, from a different angle, even more unambiguously showing how the ambush progressed. Also, at about the one minute mark, you can see one of the Israelis clearly trying to use a paintball gun, as they have been stating. No way that's not settled now.

Just to reiterate, from the New York Times article:

Quote:
Greta Berlin, a leader of the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement, speaking by telephone from Cyprus, rejected the military’s version.

“That is a lie,” she said, adding that it was inconceivable that the civilian passengers on board would have been “waiting up to fire on the Israeli military, with all its might.”

“We never thought there would be any violence,” she said.


Right. They never thought there would be any violence. Which is why they attacked first. REGARDLESS of the legality of the boarding, she is lying.
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The source being the YT channel of the Israeli Defence Force? Even if there as no manipulation of the footage itself, the protesters say they were fired upon before the boarding started - an episode that did or didn't happen before what you've posted. So we still don't know enough to call anybody a liar.

Now as for holding Israel in violation of the law. For the countiers whose ships and citizens were attacked, and who signed the treaties, this is a direct act of aggression. This means that under Act 51 of the UN Charter those countries actually are in their rights to start a war.

Let me repeat that: this incident is so serious, it can be used as casus belli.
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Sam the Eagle



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CTrees wrote:


Gaza Blockade Violence News You May Have Missed

<snippity>


Net result of the “peace/humanitarian” mission: dead activists, wounded Israeli soldiers, no more humanitarian aid to Gaza than if Israel’s offer to transfer the aid to Gaza from Ashdod had been accepted, and a likely breakdown in the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks that were about to start. Congratulations.

<snip>



Errr, no it cannot work that way, it seems you lack information as to how NGO works. Under no circumstances it must appears as kowtowing to one side only or faces the problem of being distrusted by the other side. It cuts for sure, but field experience has shown this was the best way to handle potential conflicts when you send humanitarian help in harm's way. Of course, no military force, be it Israeli in this case, or US in Afghanistan likes it.

Now, this question is only valid if the military 'strong' power, in this case the Israeli gov., is not fair by international standard. Alas, it isn't or so the International Red Cross says (do the homework, it's easy). If anything, it will put spotlight on humanitarian situation in Gaza. Whatever Israeli PR is saying (and boy did they scrambled all day long on telly), that isn't what the government wants.

That said, yes. It's obvious a scuffle and provocation was to be expected. Did it entail such a strong response ?. Err, no, human death is pretty final. We do not have a full body count yet, with 9 being likely (mostly Turkish), nor a breakdown by nationality of the wounded. By comparison, international forces boarding Somalian pirates held ships seems tame, or at least a lot more professional than this was.

In the coming days, witnesses will come forward, smoke will clear and we'll all have a clearer view of the way events turned out.
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Vox Raucus



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Net result being that there's no winning side here, and certainly no good guys.
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Him



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

about 16 killed, some 20 wounded. And so what if they fought back? That video is from the fucking IDF, don't pretend it's unbiased. Let's start with the simple facts first: International waters. You can not attack people on international waters. Period. The US does it? Well, that says more about the US relationship the international laws of war. Plus, there was no guns, as has been claimed. The IDF had to backtrack on that saying that they "maybe" took a gun from one of IDF soldiers. Why would the IDF tell the truth about this?

Secondly CT Trees, that video you showed, "chanting about killing jews", is from which boat again? Can you source that at all? Which of the boats from the flotilla was it on? As, I think it was, willem, noted earlier calling a amog others a holocaust survivor, an irish nobel prize laureate, several journaliists, members of the european parliament etc "terrorists" is typical of the lies of the IDF and the israeli government. It has absolutely no semblance of truth, and unfortunately that's also the position being spewed in the israeli media.

I am sorry I am a bit too upset currently to write more but I'll get back later, I know people involved in the Ship to gaza.
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Him



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vox Raucus wrote:
Net result being that there's no winning side here, and certainly no good guys.

The fuck?

Do tell me what other regime could attack a flotilla with humanitarian aid and get the "oh there's no godd guys here", response?
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Him wrote:
Vox Raucus wrote:
Net result being that there's no winning side here, and certainly no good guys.

The fuck?

Do tell me what other regime could attack a flotilla with humanitarian aid and get the "oh there's no godd guys here", response?


I gotta agree with Him here. Had it been some African nation or an predominantly Islamic state blocking humanitarian aid efforts I don't think there would nearly be as much of an issue here.

Incidents like this make one understand, even if just a little bit, why people such as the late Roald Dahl are 'anti-Israel' but not necessarily 'anti-semetic'.
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Last edited by Darqcyde on Mon May 31, 2010 10:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Him



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CTrees wrote:
Snorri wrote:
CTrees wrote:

they were presented with a Naval blockade, which had a history of actually working as a functional blockade,


What do you mean?


Things like that US Congresswoman who got detained while she was on a ship that attempted to run the blockade a few months ago, stuff like that. My point was that everyone knew this blockade wasn't posturing; it actually worked to stop ships from landing in the Gaza Strip.

As for being in international waters when the flotilla was interdicted... the flotilla had made their destination known ahead of time, and had refused to alter the destination when contacted, before being stopped, by the Israeli military. If they had at least made a pretense of having a different destination, it *might* have been arguably improper action (assuming the blockade is okay in the first place, which is also arguable), but since they didn't, maritime law is actually okay with how that happened. Vessels setting out with illegal intent can be stopped, boarded, searched, etc. by the destination country while still in international waters, as was the case here.

Also... two more things as to how this all went down. First, more very telling video

Second:

Quote:
A brutal ambush at sea

Ron Ben Yishai recounts bloody clash aboard Gaza-bound vessel: The lacking crowd-dispersal means, the brutal violence of ‘peace activists,’ and the attempt to bring down an IDF helicopter

Our Navy commandoes fell right into the hands of the Gaza mission members. A few minutes before the takeover attempt aboard the Marmara got underway, the operation commander was told that 20 people were waiting on the deck where a helicopter was to deploy the first team of the elite Flotilla 13 unit. The original plan was to disembark on the top deck, and from there rush to the vessel’s bridge and order the Marmara’s captain to stop.

Officials estimated that passengers will show slight resistance, and possibly minor violence; for that reason, the operation’s commander decided to bring the helicopter directly above the top deck. The first rope that soldiers used in order to descend down to the ship was wrested away by activists, most of them Turks, and tied to an antenna with the hopes of bringing the chopper down. However, Flotilla 13 fighters decided to carry on.


Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.


However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.


One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other “don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” even though they sustained numerous blows.


‘I saw the tip of a rifle’

The Navy commandoes were prepared to mostly encounter political activists seeking to hold a protest, rather than trained street fighters. The soldiers were told they were to verbally convince activists who offer resistance to give up, and only then use paintballs. They were permitted to use their handguns only under extreme circumstances.


The planned rush towards the vessel’s bridge became impossible, even when a second chopper was brought in with another crew of soldiers. “Throw stun grenades,” shouted Flotilla 13’s commander who monitored the operation. The Navy chief was not too far, on board a speedboat belonging to Flotilla 13, along with forces who attempted to climb into the back of the ship.


The forces hurled stun grenades, yet the rioters on the top deck, whose number swelled up to 30 by that time, kept on beating up about 30 commandoes who kept gliding their way one by one from the helicopter. At one point, the attackers nabbed one commando, wrested away his handgun, and threw him down from the top deck to the lower deck, 30 feet below. The soldier sustained a serious head wound and lost his consciousness.


Only after this injury did Flotilla 13 troops ask for permission to use live fire. The commander approved it: You can go ahead and fire. The soldiers pulled out their handguns and started shooting at the rioters’ legs, a move that ultimately neutralized them. Meanwhile, the rioters started to fire back at the commandoes.


“I saw the tip of a rifle sticking out of the stairwell,” one commando said. “He fired at us and we fired back. We didn’t see if we hit him. We looked for him later but couldn’t find him.” Two soldiers sustained gunshot wounds to their knee and stomach after rioters apparently fired at them using guns wrested away from troops. 2 errors

During the commotion, another commando was stabbed with a knife. In a later search aboard the Marmara, soldiers found caches of bats, clubs, knives, and slingshots used by the rioters ahead of the IDF takeover. It appeared the activists were well prepared for a fight.


Some passengers on the ship stood at the back and pounded the soldiers’ hands as they attempted to climb on board. Only after a 30-minute shootout and brutal assaults using clubs and knifes did commandoes manage to reach the bridge and take over the Marmara.


It appears that the error in planning the operation was the estimate that passengers were indeed political activists and members of humanitarian groups who seek a political provocation, but would not resort to brutal violence. The soldiers thought they will encounter Bilin-style violence; instead, they got Bangkok. The forces that disembarked from the helicopters were few; just dozens of troops – not enough to contend with the large group awaiting them.


The second error was that commanders did not address seriously enough the fact that a group of men were expecting the soldiers on the top deck. Had they addressed this more seriously, they may have hurled tear-gas grenades and smoke grenades from the helicopter to create a screen that would have enabled them to carry out their mission, without the fighters falling right into the hands of the rioters, who severely assaulted them.


TL;DR - Israelis believed them when they said they were "peace activists," they weren't.

EDIT: and yeah these two pretty much address my biggest problems with your post, Willem. Because it didn't happen the way you're saying it did.


IDF sources have no semblance of truth or rather:

A famous picture of the chinese military showing restraint and how peaceful they are. Well, at least that's what chinese media tells me.
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