General Question

Tobotron's avatar

Why was the aid shipment to Gaza attacked today?

Asked by Tobotron (1310 points ) May 31st, 2010

Now I don’t know a great deal about this but from the news reports it seems a bit illegal to attack an aid shipment!?

Can people enlighten me as to why the shipment was stormed in international waters? And why nothing is going to be done about it…

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

174 Answers

arpinum's avatar

Israel is attempting to prevent weapons from coming into Gaza. To do that they need to inspect everything that comes into the country, including aid shipments. Someone started a fight, and the boys with guns got trigger happy.

That’s why is was done, not necessarily right though.

The UN has announced they will complain, and the League of Arab Nations said they will complain as well. The story of the response is developing, give it time.

dpworkin's avatar

They were trying to run a blockade. That’s what happens when you run a blockade, and they knew it, so it was just a propaganda move to try to make Israel look worse than it already looks from its other misbehavior. They are having a war over there.

arpinum's avatar

Reports from the Washington Post say video of the incident shows the blockade runners hitting Israeli soldiers with metal bars before the firing broke out.

jazmina88's avatar

israel and palestinians have had conflict forever. It is said there were weapons in these shipments as well.

cazzie's avatar

It’s because Israel are now apparently bored at being sanctioned terrorists and have decided to try their hand at piracy. Piracy is the new terrorism, I guess. (tongue sternly in cheek)

The soldiers boarded the boats with NO notice, warning AND in International waters. Middle of the night, they were lowered on the boats from helicopters.

I thought Americans would understand defending their place of abode with reasonable force at a midnight invasion.

@dpworkin Israel needs no help in looking worse. Their actions speak for themselves.

jaytkay's avatar

The Likudniks are working hard to maintain Israel’s well-deserved international reputation.

Response moderated
El_Perseguidor's avatar

This is not the first time that Israel attacks Humanitarian help. I don’t understand why some Americans try to defend such a terrible actions. In my country everybody is siding Israel because religion, which is honestly stupid.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

I’m all for allowing Israel to be a sovereign state and I have absolutely nothing against Jews or Judaism. However, that being said, I’m also for giving them a righteous ass-kicking when they truly deserve it. Well, they deserve a major ass-kicking and they have for quite some time. The so-called Jewish state is in real danger of becoming the Nazis they have historically claimed to despise. I fail to see any good reason why the U.S. continues to support them or their racist abuse of other human beings. I wholly commend Turkey and their leadership for displaying such obvious and massive restraint in this delicate situation.

dpworkin's avatar

There was nothing humanitarian, nor was any “aid” involved in those provocative blockade runners trying to secure a propaganda set-piece. The Israeli commandos were attacked first with knives and steel bars by the “peaceful” passengers, who must have come armed for a reason.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@dpworkin – I’d have to venture a guess that the passengers were armed because they’ve read or heard about Israel’s usual responses to anyone who disagrees with them. I certainly wouldn’t put myself into that type of situation unarmed.

El_Perseguidor's avatar

@dpworkin The Blockade itself is wrong.

Response moderated
Response moderated
gtreyger's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly Based on Goodwin’s Law, you’ve said your piece and now you are done.

@El Perseguidor What is wrong with preventing terrorists from resupplying?

@dpworkin Normally I disagree with you on, well, just about everything, but I do agree with you on this issue. Still disagree with your bedside manner, but, hey, whatever works…

dpworkin's avatar

“Godwin’s” law. Mike Godwin. Bedside manner worse than mine.

El_Perseguidor's avatar

@gtreyger First. “Terrorism” is a definition that some governments, specially US government use now referring the actions of their enemies.
The true is that US invades countries with the most powerful army on earth and the only way to fight back, is using what they call terrorism. I am no a supporting or saying is good. Is as bad as go and take over a country with excuses of weapons that were never found.
second. This guys are living in really bad conditions because the situation with Israel; you can call them terrorist, but they probably feels like a resistance.
I will say this again. This is not the first time that Israel does something like that. They will continue doing this, and sadly, some people is going to keep justifying Israel. Like I said, here in my country, a lot of Christians are siding with Israel because the bible.

Response moderated
Response moderated
antimatter's avatar

From Israel’s point of view it’s for security. From Gaza’s it’s humanitarian. Both parties were wrong. War is always wrong does not matter on which side you are, can’t we all get along

kheredia's avatar

I think Israel feels like the big shit because big brother (the U.S.) keeps backing them up. If they want to kill each other then so be it. We have no business butting into their never ending disagreements. We have our own problems to worry about. I’m sick and tired of all these people giving Israel their support when they keep doing terrible things! How many times do they need to attack innocent people for the U.S. to finally say it’s enough already?

Response moderated
El_Perseguidor's avatar

@antimatter You are right.
Certainly we have opinions about it, but at the end they are just that…
The truth is that those people hate each other too much and for so long that
peace is not in their near future.

cazzie's avatar

Who is occupying whom’s land? Very simple. The *jewish’ homeland is a fantasy built on myth and terrorism.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@gtreyger – If Mike Godwin’s wife asked him if he’d like to have sex, he’d already be in the doorway with his pants around his ankles. In this particular case, the Nazi reference is appropriate in the sense that Israel honestly believes that they, as a previously-persecuted people, are especially exempt from such contradictory and self-righteous behavior.

gtreyger's avatar

@cazzie I am a whole lot closer to reality than you are. Fact: Turks were trying to resupply terrorists. Fact: They got their asses handed to them. Fact: Any time (even before the creation of the State of Israel) whenever anyone tried to mess with Israel, they got their asses handed to them. Fact: This will keep happening as long as Israel has enemies. Here is another fun fact: your statement about the jewish homeland makes you sound quite ignorant.

@kheredia I hope one of these days the United States will take the “handcuffs” off and let Israel do what it wishes. If US didn’t urge Israel to exercise restrain, there would be no more Palestine or terrorists around that area.

jaytkay's avatar

This will keep happening as long as Israel has enemies.

And billions and billlions of yearly “handcuffs” from the US.

jaytkay's avatar

@gtreyger You are not aware that the US gives Israel billions in aid every year?

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@gtreyger – “Here is another fun fact: your statement about the jewish homeland makes you sound quite ignorant.”

Actually, Cazzie is at least partially correct. The Israelis have as much or more claim to that land as do the Palestinians and the only discernable difference that I can see between the Israelis as terrorisats and the Palestinians as terrorists is that the Palestinians became a displaced people (as of 1948) and we, The United States, sanction and support the Israeli’s actions. I wouldn’t talk too loudly of someone else’s ignorance of the facts if I were you. It’s about time that the world calls them to the mat for their genocidal tendencies.

The_Idler's avatar

@gtreyger What are you, some kind of Jew-worshipper? You have some pretty funny ideas.
(AND I MEAN FUNNY LIKE LOLOLOLOL…....All praise the super-race of Jews!)

“Fact: Any time (even before the creation of the State of Israel) whenever anyone tried to mess with Israel, they got their asses handed to them.”

Yeah, completely true, they only had to wait a few hundred years at a time, for each empire in succession to crumble under its own decadence and be replaced by yet another non-Jewish foreign ruling power. (See: History)
But I guess that’s just what the Jews call “handing someone their ass…”

The only reason the Jewish state of Israel exists and survives is because of the Jews’ disproportionate influence within finance, and finance’s disproportionate influence within the governments of the two greatest superpowers of the past 200 years, the UK & USA.

If the guy that the West traditionally hero-worshipped as the saviour of all humanity didn’t just happen to be a Jew, would they be held, as they are, as infinitely more important and deserving of a “homeland” than every other ancient, disenfranchised tribe on Earth (which are legion)?

Would they fuck! What about the Aussie Abos and the Amazonians and the countless other suppressed tribes with thousands of years more history than the Jews? What makes the Jews so special?

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

Since the 1970s, Israel has been one of the top recipients of U.S. foreign aid.

In 2004, the second-largest recipient of economic foreign aid from the United States was Israel, second to post-war Iraq.

In 2007, the United States increased its military aid to Israel by over 25% to an average of $3 billion per year for the following ten year period, while ending economic aid.

Sources:

U.S. Military Assistance and Arms Transfers to Israel, World Policy Institute.

Tarnoff, Curt; Nowels, Larry (2004), Foreign Aid: An Introductory Overview of U.S. Programs and Policy, State Department, pp. 12–13, 98–916, http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/31987.pdf, retrieved 2008–03-04

Forbes (July 29, 2007).[3]“Israeli PM announces 30 billion US dollar US defense aid”. Retrieved August 3, 2007.

New York Times, August 17, 2007 “US and Israel sign Military deal”. Retrieved Aug 17, 2007.

El_Perseguidor's avatar

@gtreyger I know no body can change you point of view… but honestly one of the reason that you have terrorist targeting you country is because that way of thinking. Amazing what are you saying,,, so you want Israel use nuclear o massive destruction weapons in others?

The_Idler's avatar

@gtreyger Oh, by the way, I forgot to add, here is another fun fact:
your statement about the jewish homeland makes you sound quite ignorant. õ.O

cazzie's avatar

Thanks people… this whole…. *I’m going to occupy a country, but I’m mythologically within my rights’ argument has GOT to stop.

Seek's avatar

Yeah, we can’t forget – they’re “God’s People”. They’ve been committing genocide since Genesis.

The Israelites slaughter Hamor and his city and plunder it (Gen
34).
Moses is commanded by God to exterminate the Canaanites, the
Amorites and the people of Bashan “and show no mercy” (Deut
7:1–2, 9:3, Num 21).
Moses orders “every man” among the Israelites to slay his
brother, companion and neighbor, as a punishment for the
idolatry of all, and 3000 die (Ex 32:27–28).
God commands Moses to slaughter 24,000 people and hang their
heads in the sun (Num 25).
God commands Moses to slay the Midianites because the Israelites
are seduced by them. All males (including infants) and
adult women are killed; virgins are enslaved (Num 25:17,
31:1–2, 7, 15–18).
God’s annihilation of Sihon’s people and others (Deut 2:30–35,
36, 3:1–7).
God commands Moses, in any city near the promised land which does
not agree to become a vassal state of the Israelites, to
kill all the males and take the women and children as slaves
and the animals as booty, but in any city in the promised
land the Israelites are to kill every living thing, sparing
no one (Deut 20:10–17).
Joshua, with the help of God, annihilates numerous tribes and
cities, “left none breathing,” “destroyed all that breathed,
as God commanded” (Josh 6:21, 8:24–27, 10:, 11:11,14,21–22).
Judah slays 10,000 Canaanites (Judg 1:4) and 10,000 Moabites
(Judg 3:29)
Danites destroy “peaceful” Laish and kill its people for no
reason (Judg 18:27).
Judah and Simeon utterly destroy Zephath (Judg 1:17).
Samuel tells Saul that God wants to annihilate the Amalekites,
including infants and women, which Saul then does, slaying
all the inhabitants except Agag the king (1 Sam 15:1–9).
David leaves no man or woman alive in the countries he invades:
Geshurites, Gezrites and Amalekites (1 Sam 27:9,11).
David takes Rabbah and puts its people “under saws…and harrows
... and axes of iron and made them pass through the
brickkiln” and does the same to all the cities of Ammon (2
Sam 12:31, 1 Chr 20:3).
David executes ⅔ of Moab by measuring a line (2 Sam 8:2).
More slaughter by David (2 Sam 8:5, 13, 10:18).
God helps Judah kill 50,000 Israelites (2 Chr 13:17).
Esther gets permission for the Jews to slaughter all their
enemies, including women and children, which they do, then
celebrate it and institute the feast of Purim to remember it
(Esther 8:11, 9:1–19).
“Let none [of Babylon] escape” (Jer 50:29).
“Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children,”
says God (Ezek 9:6).

dpworkin's avatar

I would have thought by now that blatant antisemitism would have been ifra-dig. I guess not among this crowd.

Seek's avatar

I’m not against Jews or Judaism. I’m against people who argue that their God says it’s okay to kill people.

The_Idler's avatar

Yeah and anyone who doesn’t support the creation of a sacred West Country pagan homeland for the Cornish Celts (at the expense of the Saxon English, who have been there a mere thousand years) is anti-Cornite!

Yeah and anyone who doesn’t support the creation of a sacred Basque Country homeland for the Bascos (at the expense of the French and Spanish, who have been there a mere thousand years) is anti-Basco!

Yeah and anyone who doesn’t support the creation of a sacred Britanny homeland for the Bretons (at the expense of the French, who have been there a few hundred years) is anti-Breton!

I… could… go on…

dpworkin's avatar

That sounds well-practiced to me, sir.

The_Idler's avatar

O! ₯workin, how unfathomably equivocal of you!

Must you tease us so with your subtle quips of playfully obscurantist intent?

We all know both sides comprise ordinary people led by greedy warmongers, the Arabs get bashed enough, join in the Jew-bashing! ✁⋯⋯⋯✡⋯⋯⋯⋯

by the way, guys and gals, the Israelis didn’t do anything unreasonable here, I mean it’s a siege, what do you expect them to do to blockade-runners?
We can debate the legality and logic of the Jewish Israeli State for the rest of time, but this is something that has been unquestioned for as long as anyone can remember….
Laying siege means cutting off supplies. It’s kinda what it is.

Qingu's avatar

My thoughts:

1. The blockade itself is bullshit.

2. The people on the flotilla obviously did not have military weapons or any weapon beyond makeshift weapons you could easily make out of a ship’s equipment.

3. Israel used disproportionate force.

4. If this same incident happened at the blockade line, it would have still been bad; the fact that it happened 70 miles (?) out into international waters probably makes it a violation of international law.

5. Hopefully this will help the United States get over its stupid and hypocritical unequivocal support of Israel.

Also, @gtreyger, you don’t get to state “facts” with no evidence or support whatsoever. In fact, calling such claims “facts” is lying.

Qingu's avatar

@The_Idler, I expect them to use appropriate force, and to wait until they are actually at the blockade to use any force.

More broadly, I expect Israel not to engage in oppressive blockades, or to exist as a theocratic, xenophobic military state that is totally culpable in creating the conditions that led to this incident.

gtreyger's avatar

The relief aid being transported to Gaza should have gone by accepted international mechanisms set up because of the Israeli blockade. These non-provocative and non-confrontational mechanisms should be the ones used for the benefit of all those in Gaza. Direct delivery by sea is neither appropriate nor responsible, and certainly not effective, under the circumstances.

This was a mission to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. If indeed it were a humanitarian mission, it would have accepted, weeks ago, during the planning stages, the offer by the Israeli authorities to transfer the aid, through to the port of Ashdod, to Gaza through the existing overland crossing, in accordance with established procedures.

The maritime blockade is a legitimate and recognized measure as part of an armed conflict at sea. When it became clear that the protest flotilla intended to violate the blockage, despite the repeated warnings, Israeli Naval personnel boarded the vessels and redirected them to Ashdod. The soldiers boarding one of the ships were violently attacked with life threatening means; live ammunition, knives, clubs, deck furniture and others types of weaponry.

Blame Israel all you want, but all they are trying to do is protect their very existence… the same as any other country. I doubt the US would let people bring anything from Mexico without at least checking their cargo.

Consider this, you leave home to go to work. You come back, there is a squatter at your house. You try to get rid of him, but your neighbors are not letting you, because the squatter doesn’t have anywhere to go. So, you give in to the pressure of your theocratic neighbors and let the squatter stay in one of the bedrooms. The squatter now feels that he deserves something better and tries to take over another bedroom and a kitchen. On top of that, he keeps shitting on your favorite rug. So you smack him around. Your neighbors are getting upset because of your mistreatment of this guy. You give him a choice: Either stop shitting on my rug, or I’ll keep you from getting food. (There is logic to that, if you can’t eat, eventually, you’ll stop shitting on my rug). But the squatter’s friends keep bringing him food. And the neighbors keep screaming that you are violating his rights by not letting him eat and shit on your favorite rug. So, you arrange for certain type of food to be given to you, and you’ll pass it to your squatter. But that is not enough for the friends. They start breaking down the windows to bring in more food. And in the process they bring in their own shit to be put on your favorite rug! One night you wake up to take a piss and on your way to the bathroom you notice the squatter’s friends making their way to his window. Do you A) Ignore them, B) Put out a welcome banner, C) Tell them to go away, and when they ignore you, encourage them to go away, or D) Grab the gun and proceed to put holes in them? Israel exercised great restraint by using option C. I would’ve used option D. You guys seem to be all for options A and B. Good luck to you.

shilolo's avatar

Let us deal in facts.

Here are your “peace activists”.
1. Peace activist stabbing a soldier.
2. Peace activists assaulting soldiers with metal rods, and tossing some overboard along with some more video.
3. Peace activists chanting anti-Israel slogans before departure, and asking for martyrdom.
4. The weapons on board the “peace ship”.

As to the legality of boarding merchant ships, here is the relevant passages from the book on Maritime Law.
Section II

98. Merchant vessels believed on reasonable grounds to be breaching a blockade may be captured. Merchant vessels which, after prior warning, clearly resist capture may be attacked.

Section IV

Neutral merchant vessels

67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:
(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;
(b) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy

Of course, this whole discussion can degenerate (as is usual) into anti-Semitism and anti-Israel rhetoric (oh, they have money and influence….where have I heard that before), but the facts are that Israel had the legal right to board the ships. Out of 6 that they boarded, only 1 became violent (the other 5 went peacefully). When the Israeli commandos carrying paintguns as their primary weapons (you can see them in the second video) where violently assaulted, they responded with lethal force. If you are getting stabbed, or pummeled with pipes, what are you supposed to do? Lay there and die? These are naval commandos, not to be messed with. One can be sure that the whole episode (the violence) was planned in advance by the so-called “peace activists” so as to score some sort of propaganda victory. When you are hoping for martyrdom, it doesn’t matter how it arrives.

shilolo's avatar

@Qingu Point by point.
1. The blockade is bullshit. That is opinion. Blockades are entirely legal, and have been used by many a country.
2. The people on the flotilla obviously did not have military weapons or any weapon beyond makeshift weapons you could easily make out of a ship’s equipment.
As my links above showed, that is entirely untrue. I suspect that if they had brandished guns, many more people would have died.
3. Israel used disproportionate force. What, pray tell, would have been “proportionate” force? Have you ever been in a fight, or at war? When someone is stabbing or beating you over the head with a metal rod, you don’t just ask nicely to stop. That is entirely naive and comes from someone with absolutely no military experience.
4. If this same incident happened at the blockade line, it would have still been bad; the fact that it happened 70 miles (?) out into international waters probably makes it a violation of international law. As the law shows, this was entirely legal. They announced their intentions, and refused to be diverted to a nearby port for transfer of their goods. It wasn’t about that. It was a political maneuver.
5. Hopefully this will help the United States get over its stupid and hypocritical unequivocal support of Israel. I sure hope not. Who is the US going to count on in the Middle East? The Egyptians? Jordanians? Syrians? Iraqiis? Saudis? Who?

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@shilolo – The Palestinians were already there when Israel was formed and what good has Israel ever done for them except to move them around like cattle, while burning their homes and killing their children for sport?

You can call me an anti-semite if you must, although you’d be wrong and I have absolutely no quarrel or complaint about Jews or Judaism, but perpetuating a myth that Israelis are being persecuted when they are the admitted persecutors of Palestinians is just blind stupidity.

Also, just for the record, if another family were to barge onto my boat pointing guns at me, my family or anyone in my charge, I’d sure as hell use every tool at my disposal (knives, pipes, rocks, etc.) to make them wish they hadn’t.

gtreyger's avatar

The Jews were already there when Israel was formed. As a matter of fact, the Jews were there long before Palestinians. What’s your point?

shilolo's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly There were plenty of Jews there too, and the Palestinians had their chance to have their own country, but spurned it. Most left on their own, not because they were forced out, but because the 5 surrounding Arab armies announced that they would be driving the Jews to the sea (and murdering them all).

As for your later point, that would be your choice. But then you shouldn’t be surprised if the guy carrying the pistol shoots you after you and your “peace activists” beat him over the head with pipes. What happened on the other 5 ships that didn’t come prepared to instigate a fight? Oh, that’s right, nothing. My guess is that the real pacifists were conned by more violent elements, who clearly wanted to start a fight (and gain propaganda points for their martyrdom). Indeed, I’m surprised the boat didn’t blow up “spontaneously” so that too could have been blamed on Israel.

zenele's avatar

Hamas is considered a terrorist organization. Internationally. Period. They run Gaza.

In order to stop the rocket attacks, and terrorist attacks from there (one this morning, actually) Israel blockades it. Most of Gaza’s supplies come from Israel, and international aid must be checked for weapons.

This flotilla was organized a long time ago. It was a provocation, and many of the poeple (mostly Turks) were armed and dangerous. Knives, guns and pipes were found afterwards, 8 soldiers injured, some badly.

The soldiers were debriefed as to not harm the people – hoping they would simply give up and get their 15 minutes of fame. The soldiers you see rappeling into the ships were unarmed – they had special paint guns to mark certain protestors.

They were attacked visciously by the men on the boat, sending the next wave of soldiers to defend them. When the Turks opened fire, the soldiers responded.

This is a viscious circle, of course, which does not benefit Israel nor Gaza, of course. But Gaza is not occupied by Israel. It has a border to the north with it’s Arab friend Egypt. It was a opart of Egypt historically. Why doesn’t Egypt come to its aide? Why is the border with Israel so important? Why doesn’t aid come in from the south?

Because the Palestinians have been and will always be the Arabs soccer ball kicked around politically to get at the Jews everywhere, Israel in particular.

Those of you who raise their ugly anti-semitic heads whenever something hits the news – all I can say is “typical.”

Those of you who want to cut Israel’s aid – forgetting that Israel’s econony is stronger than, and self-sufficient – forget that more money is poured into Egypt – a country non-democratic (remember Sadat?) and if Israel no longer exists – whoa be to the Middle East. Let’s let Kadaffi, Syria, Iraq and Iran get together and decide things on their own here – for oil and everything else. Imagine.

It’s easy to play armchair warrior. It’s easy to be a soccer-politician-mom.

How many of you have even been to the middle east?

My best friends are Jewish?

Why not ask a real question and get a real answer and then debate it based on a little knowledge and fact – for once?

zenele's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly I didn’t want to single any one anti-semite out, but your “The Palestinians were already there when Israel was formed and what good has Israel ever done for them except to move them around like cattle, while burning their homes and killing their children for sport?” made me puke. For sport?

For sport is Hamas, Hizbalah and Al Keida’s slaughtering of their own – if they collaborate. Beheading American journalists. Kidnapping without letting them see anyone for years. Blowing themselves up amidst civillians – in America and anywhere they can.

Now that’s sport.

Nota Beta: from Time Magazine: The blockade the Israelis were enforcing is a joint Egyptian-Israeli effort, caused by the intransigence of Hamas (which, in turn, may be a result of groups even more extreme than Hamas, a new generation of militants who may be the next wave). The sticking point is the Hamas refusal to release its Israeli Army prisoner, Gilad Shalit. And the blockade is not total food and humanitarian supplies are allowed through by the Israelis, which renders the humanitarian aspects of the flotilla redundant. The real purpose of the flotilla is to dramatize the inhuman conditions in Gaza. But those conditions are as attributable to Hamas’s behavior, especially its refusal to release Shalit and to negotiate, as they are to Israel’s intransigence. If I were an Israeli- even an Israel opponent of the Netanyahu coalition—I would be utterly opposed to making concessions to an organization as historically intransigent and violent as Hamas, unless there were signs that Hamas was willing to behave more reasonably. The first such sign would be the release of Gilad Shalit.

Qingu's avatar

@shilolo, point by point:

1. It’s not just my opinion that the blockade of Gaza is bullshit; it is shared by much of the U.N. It is collective punishment, which is widely considered to be illegal under international law.

2. Absolutely nothing you posted supports your point that the people on the boats had military weapons. The videos you posted show them stabbing IDF soldiers with chef’s knives and attacking them with pipes; these are everyday items you would find on a ship, not military weapons.

Moreover, I’ve seen videos that show IDF commandos firing as they boarded the ship. It is not at all clear who attacked first, and if it is the case that the IDF attacked first, it is entirely reasonable to expect people to defend themselves.

3. Proportionate force would be force that does not involve killing anyone. Police officers are often attacked by people with weapons and they typically manage to avoid killing.

As I noted, these were not armed soldiers. They were largely defenseless civilians brandishing makeshift weapons. If the sides were reversed—if it was an Israeli or American flotilla of civilians trying to get into Iran or North Korea, whose soldiers responded by killing nine of them, for example—I seriously doubt you’d hesitate to call it “disproportionate force.”

4. What law? International law provides extremely clear reasons for violently boarding a ship in international waters; it is not at all clear that Israel was within those bounds. And the situation is complicated even more by the fact that the blockade is widely considered to be inviolation of international law in the first place.

5. I don’t really understand your point here. You think we should support Israel because we can “count on them”? Count on them for what? Taking our alliance for granted while running an apartheid state and flagrantly violating the same nuclear weapons treaty we expect Iran to abide by, while alienating the entire Muslim world? Seriously—what exactly do you think we get out of our unquestioning alliance with this country?

_________________

@zenele, I absolutely agree with your criticism of Hamas. I think Hamas are a bunch of murderous savages and they are clearly not helping the situation in Gaza or prospects for peace.

I fail to see what criticizing Hamas has to do with Israel’s actions here. Are you arguing that because Hamas act like murderous savages, it’s okay for the IDF to do so as well? Because that’s what it sounds like.

Similarly, if some people on the flotilla were looking for a fight, or martyrdom—and that may well be the case—I expect soldiers of a first-world highly trained military to effectively prepare for and neutralize such a situation without resorting to killing nine people. Sinking to the level of terrorists is never acceptable.

Qingu's avatar

@zenele, I’d appreciate it if you’d stop throwing around the term “anti-Semite.”

That’s a serious charge, and nothing anyone in this question thread has said has been anti-Semitic. They’ve been anti-Zionist and critical of Israeli policies and actions. It is intellectually dishonest to conflate those type of statements with anti-Semitism.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@zenele @shilolo @gtreyger – My point is that if both were there when Israel was formed, what gives the Israelis the right to bully them around. Sorry, but you can’t label me an anti-semite just because I disagree with the way Israel accomplishes their goals. I do agree with you about Hamas, but Israel frequently has a habit of biting first, then asking the world for permission to continue biting. If you still think so after forcing yourself to be subjective, then your opinion isn’t worth the gray matter in which it resides. My apologies, but it sickens me when people support Israel blindly without fair reference to the grievances of the other side. It also sickens me that we provide military aid in what should be peacetime.
@Qingu – I’d appreciate that as well. I wasn’t the one who brought it up in this thread AND it has been leveled at me because I disagree with Israel’s methods and reasoning.

Qingu's avatar

@shilolo, of course the activists on that boat were hoping for a propaganda victory. Of course they were expecting to be boarded and probably faced with violence. And as I said, I think it’s entirely possible that the people on the sixth ship instigated that violence—it is not at all clear who attacked first.

As usual, the IDF and Israel’s supporters in general take a myopic view to their enemy’s propaganda victory. You seem to think that almost any action taken in defense of Israel would be justified. There’s a reason it’s bad PR to kill 9–19 civilians on a ship in international waters.

Israel’s over-the-top defensiveness, its insistence that it can skirt international laws to defend itself, and its all-too-common disproportionate response to violence aren’t just “propaganda” for Hamas, they are serious problems that make most of the world ambivalent about supporting the country.

jaytkay's avatar

Israel captured some axe handles, wrenches and tape measures.Woo hooo!!

And, as usual, by using unbelievably disproportionate force and killing civilians, they’ve handed a huge victory to their opponents.

If you’re pro-Israel, you shouldn’t be defending the IDF on this.

shilolo's avatar

@Qingu You are always so fact driven. Where are your “facts”? I provided mine. All of your points are either conjecture, or opinion.
1. The U.N. IS the most blatantly anti-Semitic organization, and so it’s “opinion” in this matter is meaningless.
2. Provide the videos. These Israeli naval commandos are the equivalent of US Navy Seals. If they had come onto the boat firing their weapons, the people on the boat would have known it. They wouldn’t have simply rappelled down to be attacked. There would have been shooting from helicopters to provide support. Etc. Etc. Again I ask, what happened on the other 5 ships? Why didn’t they suffer the same fate?
3. Wrong. Police officers frequently shoot people who attack them with knives, or bats, or other deadly weapons, especially when it’s a mob. Most of the weapons shown could easily have killed (knives, machetes, axes, lead pipes). There were sling shots also, that of course couldn’t kill, but do indicate a premeditation to the groups’ methods. Slingshots and machetes are not routinely used on a ship.
4. Illegal only if you drink the Islamist kool-aid.
5. There is much to be gained from supporting the only democracy in the Middle East. Over the past 60 years, Israel serves as a great bulwark against communism and Soviet Union, and provided much needed intelligence and support.

By the way, there are plenty of anti-Semites here, for instance, @The_Idler throwing around the old canard about Jews controlling money and therefore other countries. Also, you mention that these were “civilians”. How do you know that? Whose propaganda are you reading? How do you know they weren’t part of Al Qaeda, or Hamas, or another terrorist group? You don’t.

Finally, Israel reacts this way because world history is rife with examples of the world doing nothing to protect Israel or the Jews. Do you think the world would have come to Israel’s aid in 1973 when their neighbors attacked during Yom Kippur and nearly wiped Israel off the map? No. The world is full of people who want to see Israel cease to exist (including many members of your “vaunted” UN) and all it’s people killed. The problem with the most recent scenario is that these “peace activists” (do they remind you of Gandhi? Yeah, me either) made the “mistake” of bringing a knife to an (eventual) gun fight (though it was probably not a mistake all along, as I’ve said before).

shilolo's avatar

@Qingu Of course, there is also the possibility that some of these “activists” were shot or hurt by their own “friends”. Islamic terrorist groups have certainly not shown any restraint in using women, children, and mentally handicapped people as weapons, or in killing their own in bombings and suicide attacks to make a point. One or two people simply needed to shoot 10 people as soon as the Israelis boarded.

Qingu's avatar

1. Sorry, you don’t get to invalidate an argument by throwing the slur “anti-Semite” around.

2. The video was linked to yesterday from the NYT, but I can’t find the article today, and I can’t view videos at work. I’ll link to it when I get home.

In any case, your point was incorrect. There were no military weapons on the flotilla.

3. You think proportionate force against slingshots and knives is shooting 9 people. That mentality is part of the problem.

Again: what if this were a flotilla of American citizens trying to get into Iran, boarded by the Rev. Guards 70 miles from the boundary? We can even say some people on the boat fought back with makeshift weapons after being boarded (as opposed to the Guards shooting first, as the IDF may well have done). Would you say that the Guards killing 9 people would be a proportionate use of force? Of course not.

4. Again, slur does not constitute an argument.

5. Israel is not a democracy; nearly half of the people living in Israel don’t get to vote. Hamas, however, was democratically elected.

I don’t recall Israel doing jack shit as a “bulwark” against Communism, nor do I even see the need for one in the first place (and weren’t many early Israeli settlers communists?)

“How do you know they weren’t part of Al Qaeda, or Hamas, or another terrorist group? You don’t.”

This is a classic argument from ignorance.

Finally, the fact that Jews have historically been a threatened and oppressed group does not give them license to violate international law or use disproportionate force. If you think it does, you’re part of the problem.

shilolo's avatar

@Qingu Again, no facts. You can’t win them all. With regards to Israel and communism, you need to study more history. I know it can be hard to admit that you don’t know it all. Read more.

Also, I’m quite the pragmatist. If a group of American “activists” tried the same thing in North Korea or Iran, I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened. Likewise, the 3 American students captured and held by Iran while hiking. They were either CIA agents, or incredibly stupid. Either way, their situation is a predictable consequence of their actions and I shrug my shoulders.

zenele's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly Take back “killing their children for sport.” Israelis simply do not do that, just as Americans don’t in the countries they currently occupy.

Israel is a democracy and has been for over 60 years. It is the only (tiny, tiny) country in the world where a Jew can be Jewish. After World War 2, after the likes of Achmindinijad and the rest of them, it is the only really safe place for Jews. The arabs, all hundreds of millions of them, with most of the oil in the world, can dream all they want of pushing the 7 million into the sea. It aint gonna happen and you know why – cuz there’s no other place to go.

Therefore: Anti-Zionism is Anti-semitism. Period. You can dress it up any way you want.

(Been to Israel? Didn’t think so.)

Israel is the Neighborhood Bully

Qingu's avatar

I’m familiar with the history of Israel and communism; this is if I’m not mistaken one of the biggest sources of our unconditional support of Israel, because they were one of the few countries in the middle east who took our “side” in the Cold War. My question was who gives a shit? What did we get out of that? You can make the exact same argument for our support of non-Communist South American military dictators.

Also, just to let you know, I’m always happy to have discussions with you, but I’m not going to bother acknowledging slurs and ad-hominems from here on out.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@zenele – Sorry, I won’t take back a true statement. You can call it whatever you have to in order to justify your own bent perspective.

References to Israeli soldiers indiscriminate killing of children:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/gaza-i-watched-an-israeli-soldier-shoot-dead-my-two-little-girls-1452294.html

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3861676,00.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_al-Durrah_incident

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article4425395.ece

http://www.duncanmcfarlane.org/Israel-Palestine/notdemocratsversusterrorists/

There are ample examples of IDF’s indiscriminate killing of children. I certainly don’t need to make them up.

Qingu's avatar

@zenele, Israel is not the only safe place for Jews. Plenty of Jews are “Jewish” in America. Case in point: my entire family.

The fact that I have not personally been to Israel (my entire family has) is immaterial to this discussion.

I suppose you think Jews who criticize Israel’s policies and history are self-hating Jews. You’re every bit as bad as the right-wing nuts in America who label people upset with America’s sorded history or its current foreign policy as “anti-American.” Worse, in fact, because anti-Semitism is a racial term and race has absolutely nothing to do with this.

Response moderated
Qingu's avatar

Of course, because they’re traitors to their own race.

I think I’m done with you. I have no stomach for people with tribal moralities.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@zenele – You’re right. I haven’t been to Israel. I wouldn’t want to and don’t care to support their government’s killing campaign, even with tourist dollars. You can label me an anti-semite, but, as I’ve said before you’d be wrong and I have no beef or complaint about Jews or Judaism. My disagreement is with the tactics and attitude of the state of Israel, not with the Jews.

shilolo's avatar

@Qingu Wait, so now you’re a Jew who happens to be critical of Israel? I call bullshit. You haven’t been a Jew for a long time (as you’ve admitted hundreds of times). You can’t say you aren’t over and over and over again, but then try to use your own “Judaism” for credibility. Also, why don’t you explain @TheIdler’s anti-Semitic comments regarding the money supply?

Tobotron's avatar

I’m beginning to have conformation that religion is a greater cause for war and killing than oil ever could be!

Qingu's avatar

@shilolo, I never claimed to be a Jew in this question. I said my family members are Jewish. This was in response to someone who claimed that it’s only possible to be a Jew if you live in Israel.

For the record, I don’t identify myself as Jewish because I don’t believe in the religion, Judaism, nor do I believe that Judaism is a quasi-racial trait passed down through your mother’s DNA.

mattbrowne's avatar

What do we know about the authenticity of all the videos? We need an independent investigation and impartial inquiry. The UN needs to get involved. It’s unacceptable to rely on Israel’s investigations only. We need to find out what really happened on that ship.

syz's avatar

{mod says} This is a contentious topic and (obviously) tends to incite emotional responses, but please remember that is is possible to have an informed, impassioned debate without personal attacks. Please note that as this question is in the “general” section, off topic responses and (as always) personal attacks will be removed.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

Submitted for consideration.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ahmed-moor/breaking-the-israeli-egyp_b_594318.html?ir=Daily%20Brief

Specifically of interest is the first-person narrative provided by one of the detainees.

jaytkay's avatar

Peace Activists – 75% carrying weapons

That editorial (not reporting, an editorial) doesn’t make any such claim.

zenele's avatar

I was listening to some of the injured soldiers in the hospital being interviewed.

The_Idler's avatar

@shilolo I’m sorry, what the fuck?

“there are plenty of anti-Semites here, for instance, @The_Idler throwing around the old canard about Jews controlling money”

So I said the Jews have historically had disproportionate influence in global finance.
That is anti-Semitism? WHAT THE FUCK!?

Did I say anywhere that I consider such influence to be “wrong” or “bad”?
Or is that something you assumed? Why would you assume that?

The British have also historically had disproportionate influence in global finance.
What, am I anti-British now!?

Qingu's avatar

@zenele, your linked article doesn’t even contain a “75%” figure. Why did you link to it if it says nothing of the kind?

What interview are you talking about? Who was being interviewed?

Cruiser's avatar

I would wage every dollar in my wallet that the run on the blockade was planned to do exactly what it did and that was disrupt the meeting between Netanyahu and Obama.

“Netanyahu cut short a trip to Canada and canceled a meeting with President Barack Obama, scheduled for today in Washington, to return home to deal with the crisis.”

Qingu's avatar

@Cruiser, the blockade, or the flotilla?

The flotilla may well have been an attempt to disrupt that meeting (among other things). The blockade has been in place for years. I don’t really see anything to suggest the IDF soldiers planned to respond the way they did to disrupt the meeting either; their response seems to have gone the way it did largely through their incompetence (both tactical and strategic).

zenele's avatar

The article is just an opinion, from someone who knows what he’s talking about.

As I said, I heard the interview with the soldiers. On the radio, as in listened to them talking. The Captain was stabbed twice, and said they were overwhelmed – they hadn’t prepared for an attack like that and weren’t expecting about 75% of them to hold a gun, knife or crowbar and attack them. Otherwise, they would’ve done it differently.

And Israeli Commandos know how to do it differently.

I tire of pseudo-intellectuals, self-hating “Jews” and rhetorical questions by Zionist-haters and bashers.

I don’t expect to convince anyone anyway, and you’ll flag this and get it removed.

Ciao, bambino.

Qingu's avatar

Eyewitnesses from the flotilla claim the IDF fired first, though possibly with just warning shots, smoke/stun/gas bombs, and other less lethal weapons.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/01/gaza-flotilla-eyewitness-accounts-gunfire

The ship where violence took place had 600 people on it. 570 stayed belowdecks. Only 30 went on deck and fought against the IDF, according to this Economist article. Of those 30, perhaps some were deliberately trying to provoke the IDF to precipitate a propaganda victory. Perhaps some were just trying to kill IDF soldiers because they hate Israel. Or, perhaps they misinterpreted less lethal attacks and warning shots as full-out lethal assault and responded in kind. Maybe it was some combination. Or maybe Israel did use lethal force to begin with, either accidentally on purpose.

Whatever the case, it is impossible to say the IDF handled the situation effectively or proportional to the threat they actually faced.

josie's avatar

Turkey (a NATO ally) is fast becoming the favored arms supplier for Arab violence against Isreal. Previously, arms have been coming into Gaza from Turkey. This was either another arms shipment or a provocation disguised as an arm shipment. Either way, please don’t imagine that it was an innocent shipment of baby food or wheat or something.

Cruiser's avatar

@Qingu Sorry! ...floatilla! From the interview it seems they were following protocol with repeated warnings via radio as the ship neared and by loudspeaker as they pulled up that they would board the vessel.

I took a look at the interview with the beat up IDF soldiers who boarded the floatilla and it does appear they were ambushed and it was fairly well planned. Just the right amount of mayhem to provoke an armed response from the IDF with out the attackers looking too organized. The stun grenades they the ambushers used shows they were perhaps ready to do more! What is curious is that the floatilla would have been allowed to dock and unload cargo and the floatilla would have accomplished a more reasonable mission.

the interview can been seen here…. the one with the commando commander…

http://www.jpost.com/

shilolo's avatar

@The_Idler If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck. I will not apologize for calling you out on your blatant anti-Semitism. The Jews = money = influence canard had been around for centuries and has been the source of many a pogrom and genocide.

British = nationality.
Jewish = religion/culture.
Those are two entirely different things, and your misguided attempts to rationalize your comments will fall on deaf ears. I would add that it is startling to see how many people seem to agree with your anti-Semitic comments. Proof that anti-Semitism is alive and well.

Cruiser's avatar

Here is a pretty straightforward analysis of the blockade event albeit one from Israeli news….

“Obviously, many of those in the “Freedom Flotilla” were not engaged in a humanitarian mission. Had that been their prime motivation, they would have accepted Israel’s offer to escort them to Ashdod Port and arrange for the delivery of their supplies to Gaza, after security checks, over land. They also would have agreed without hesitation to convey a package from the family of the Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas for almost four years in Gaza, Gilad Schalit.”

Much more here…
http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=177099

Qingu's avatar

@josie, do you have any evidence whatsoever that this flotilla contained arms?

@Cruiser, I think the Economist article I linked to makes a good point. If the flotilla’s goal was to provoke Israel to violent overreaction—which it probably was—then it’s more effective to resist just-violently-enough than completely nonviolently.

I don’t think—I hope, at least—that anyone here sincerely believes the Free Gaza movement just wanted to deliver aid; they were obviously after some propaganda victory, or at least publicly defy what they see as an immoral blockade. What bothers me about the IDF response—apart from the fact that they killed civilians, in international waters—is that if this was just a trap, they completely fell for it. Like usual.

Cruiser's avatar

@Qingu I think both sides anticipated and planned to play the propaganda card expertly to get as many countries involved…but more so than either side bargained for. Plus WTH is over 500 people doing on that ship unless it was to create a huge humanitarian issue at the same time knowing Israel will board and seize the ship until it release it.

IMO it is also no coincidence that Obama has articulated there will be no official word from the US until a full investigation reveals all the facts.

Response moderated
The_Idler's avatar

“British = nationality.
Jewish = religion/culture. ”

Are you saying there is no British religion or culture? I think you’ll find that the Protestant Britons have had disproportionate influence over the past 200 years. I think you will find the same of the Jewish Jews. What is the difference?

OK, let’s replace it with “WASP” That is pretty much fits the nice definition of “religion/culture” (im not sure what your point is about talking about British vs Jewish influence… both are communities that act as a unit in some respects and as a plurality in others….)

Is saying, ”WASPs have historically had disproportionate influence in North American politics,” anti-WASP?

Even if it were not true, would it be anti-WASP?

Tell me how. And then tell me exactly what disqualifies assertions of the disproportionate influence of the British people in history from being “anti-British”, when exactly the same assertions directed towards the Jewish people are to be considered “anti-Semitic”.

Seek's avatar

@zenele

I saw knives, wrenches, sticks, roman candles, and gas masks. I have more threatening “arms” at a backyard barbeque.

Qingu's avatar

Yes, those aren’t “arms,” those are things one finds on a boat to use as makeshift weapons.

Arms would be, you know, machine guns, ammunition, artillery, etc.

zenele's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Come a little closer so I can stab you, and hit you with a steel pole. We’ll see how you feel then.

Qingu's avatar

@zenele, would you say a truck transporting a bunch of steel poles was an “arms shipment”?

Cruiser's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr That is exactly what they wanted you to see…poor defenseless flotilla bringing aid to their people but had they not started the fight by attacking the IDF commandos they would have been found with their makeshift weapons and accused of wanting to cause trouble not just bring aid!

The_Idler's avatar

Well look, this isn’t the point. About weapons or not. The point is that Israel was laying siege. Look back through the entire history of humanity at what happens to people who try and break sieges. They get attacked by the besieging forces.

The entire point of the mission was to provoke Israel into responding with force, to show them up. It doesn’t matter about the morality of the siege, it’s a war! The Israelis did exactly as any other nation would. The people behind the flotilla wanted Israel to respond with as much force as possible, whilst minimizing the appearance of their own threat, to make a bogey-man of the IDF.

Regardless of whatever moral-imbalance any particular person sees in the bigger-picture, that is what happened. This was a PR attack against Israel.

gtreyger's avatar

@Qingu, would you be able to get on a commercial airplane with a steel pole?

Seek's avatar

I can’t get on a commercial airplane with a tube of toothpaste. Try again.

shilolo's avatar

And why exactly can’t you carry water or large tubes of paste onto a plane? Who is responsible for that? Oh, that’s right, Islamic terrorists that have tried to substitute real materials for explosives. In case you were wondering if a knife, or hammer, or pipe can be a lethal weapon, I present the 2010 Chinese school attacks. Try again….

Seek's avatar

So anyone who carries anything anywhere, no matter how mundane, is attempting to arm terrorists?

gtreyger's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr You must not be doing it right. By the way, do you know why there were gas masks in that shipment? What peaceful purpose would those serve? I know that Israel doesn’t gas people, but arabs do have a pretty bad track record…

Cruiser's avatar

Weapons? Just look at what a simple $.90 box cutter did on 9/11.

shilolo's avatar

@The_Idler Try as you might, you cannot scrub off the stench. I will not concur regarding your money argument, as it is a tired and useless canard. Furthermore, you continue to misunderstand the difference between a nationality and a religion. You can be anti-American, or anti-British, or even anti-Western because of behaviors to your heart’s content. Americans come in all flavors, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, atheist etc., and you can be anti-American (for our hegemony, or our good looks, or whatever) without it being based on a religion or ethnicity. However, if you clearly spell out anti-Jewish sentiments, or anti-Black sentiments, then you are a racist, whether you think you are or not. I’m not a racist, I have many black friends….

Tobotron's avatar

and the funny thing is it will never end, I was gonna say unless you built a big wall between all the boarders of the religious countries but they’ve already done that…

to me the two just clash like a big meat grinder with an unlimited amount of meat to put into it, in Palestine a woman (can’t remember her name) is praised for sending 4 of her children on suicide bombings, but don’t worry she has another 6 left. Palestine also had a video come out of the country where a 6 year old boy beheaded a Palestinian man with a comando knife, I mean I understand the struggle but really!?

The only thing that can redeem man kind is co-operation – Guinness, extra cold….thank god for the wise word of the brewery ;)

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@gtreyger – I’d hazard a guess that the gas masks could have been quite handy, had the Israelis used gas instead of high-velocity bullets, but, then again, bullets are some of the Israeli’s favorite weapons.

Qingu's avatar

@shilolo, the fact that Islamic terrorists are savages is immaterial to this debate. The morality of the situation is not binary.

The flotilla were not transporting arms. Metal poles and chef’s knives are not “arms.” The fact that they can be used as weapons does not make them arms. That was the original point.

Here’s the video! I mentioned earlier; upon watching it again, it doesn’t actually show the Israelis shooting first, though the reporter at the scene claims this is the case (he is undoubtably biased).

I don’t fault the IDF soldiers for defending themselves from an obviously lethal mob. I do fault them for rappeling directly on top of a potentially lethal mob, in international waters, under extremely dubious circumstances. It was a stupid decision on the part of their commanders. It was a stupid ROE for the commanders to go into this situation with. And whether or not the 30 people on that deck were deliberately trying to achieve this outcome, the outcome is still deplorable and significant fault rests with the IDF.

Qingu's avatar

Also, it is clear that the 30 people on deck attacking the IDF soldiers were acting like goddamn savages, and some of them should really not be surprised that they are currently dead. Israel’s behavior in this mess in no way excuses the violence of the people on deck.

Even if they actually thought they were defending themselves. Because that would have been idiotic. And I bet at least some of them weren’t defending themselves and were instead trying to provoke or kill the soldiers.

This is probably a foregone conclusion, but I’m stating it explicitly just in case anyone thinks by criticizing Israel I am somehow condoning violence in opposition to Israel.

shilolo's avatar

@Qingu So I watched the video. As you said, at around the 5:50 mark you can see a mob massing with large, stick or pipe like items, and soldiers rappelling down being attacked. There is also a lot of hyperbole throughout the highly edited tape, and it is impossible to know when each sequence of film was obtained relative to everything else. Is it possible that the Navy was shooting people on a moving ship in the middle of the night? I guess, but that seems incongruous with the tactics employed on the other ships, and the fact that the soldiers that rappelled down did not fire right away. Perhaps after a full investigation we will learn exactly how the people died on the ship, though by that point I doubt anyone will be swayed by “the truth”.

In the end, this most likely represents a botched assault on the one ship where the mob of people were probably itching for a fight. Should the IDF have prepared better? You can say yes (rubber bullets and tasers for example), but given the outcome of the other ships, I wonder if they simply assumed that this really was a peaceful mission, and that the people would acquiesce peacefully. When threatened with death (and the deaths of their comrades), they reverted to training, with its now predictable outcome.

The_Idler's avatar

@shilolo

1. What is the “money argument”?

2. I didn’t realise the Jews were a race? Are the Britons not a race? Why not?

3. Where did I spell out anti-Jewish sentiments?

4. Are you going to answer any of my questions? e.g.

Are you denying their disproportionate influence?

Even if they didn’t have such influence, what would be anti-Semitic about saying that they do?

Even if you don’t agree with my opinion that the Jews have disproportionate amounts of influence (See: Every other poor, disenfranchised ancient tribe that hasn’t got a homeland, guaranteed by western powers… why not?), tell me what EXACTLY is “anti-Semitic” about it.

tell me EXACTLY what disqualifies assertions of the disproportionate influence of the British people in history from being “anti-British”, when exactly the same assertions directed towards the Jewish people are to be considered “anti-Semitic”.

Are you saying there is no British religion or culture? I think you’ll find that the Protestant Britons have had disproportionate influence over the past 200 years. I think you will find the same of the Jewish Jews.
What is the difference?

et cetera, et cetera, et cetera….

shilolo's avatar

@The_Idler Your continuous assertions of the fact (in your distorted view) that Jews – via monetary control – wield disproportionate influence is the anti-Semitic sentiment. You may not be aware of this, but you are in very (in)famous company. As Adolf Hitler wrote about Jews: “His power is the power of the money, which multiplies in his hands effortlessly and endlessly through interest, and with which he imposes a yoke upon the nation that is the more pernicious in that its glitter disguises its ultimately tragic consequences. Everything that makes the people strive for higher goals, be it religion, socialism, or democracy, is to the Jew merely a means to an end, the way to satisfy his greed and thirst for power.”

Congratulations. You must be so proud. ~

The_Idler's avatar

1. Where did I say “monetary control”?

2. Do you think the German people were unduly punished in the wake of WW1?
OH YOU DO? SO DOES HITLER! NAZI!! NAZI!!! EVIL RACIST.

3. Are you going to answer any of my questions?

Qingu's avatar

@The_Idler, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re not an anti-Semite.

The Jews really don’t have a disproportionate amount of wealth compared to other people in secular, educated demographics. Also, it’s not the main reason for American support for Israel. In fact, America was quite anti-Semitic when Israel formed (and many early Israelis were communists).

American support of Israel has a bunch of roots, including (as we talked about) the fact that Israel took our side in the Cold War, but more importantly, because many Christians support Israel for religious reasons (i.e. irrational reasons). I imagine our arms industry also has a lot of ties to Israel, though that’s just conjecture on my part.

Qingu's avatar

Doing my part to spread the meme:

Fast-roping 101

The_Idler's avatar

I know the Jews as a group aren’t the most relatively wealthy, but within finance over the past few hundred years I was under the impression that they established some dominance, call it team-work or whatever, but where else did the reputation come from? (plus, look at the names of the biggest bankers….)

aaaanyway, even if it wasn’t because the USA was the natural progression for banker’s haven after the City of London, my point about Christianity remains….

I really am interested to know where this impression of anti-Semitism comes from? I know I might not mince my words so much as the Americans do when it comes to sensitive issues, such as Africans and Jews etc. but I am accused of outright discrimination against X, when all I have said is “I do not hold X as holy and sacred”

It seems like I could say “Homosexuals have disproportionate influence in popular media” and get labelled homophobic, when that just not true… It’s a funny thing about America…
So blindly intolerant in places, but so blindly anti-intolerant at the same time…

Qingu's avatar

It’s because most anti-Semites also go on about disproportionate Jewish wealth and have conspiracy theories about the banking industry; also you used some other offensive racial terms.

The_Idler's avatar

I thought that it was commonly accepted that the Jews in Europe were disproportionately involved in finance. For reasons mentioned above, primarily their being ostracised from “respectable” professions by discriminatory majorities…?

It’s not really any more a conspiracy than the Africans’ disproportionate influence in popular music over the past 50 years… there’s no need to conspire, they’re just good at it!

Call me out on the… offensive racial terms. Like I said, I don’t mince my words. There is no intent behind one single word or another of mine. If I wanted my opinion to be known, I would elaborate in detail, not delegate to a simple slur.

Qingu's avatar

@The_Idler, the extent to which that is true had faded considerably since they, you know, made usury legal for Christians.

Also, “they’re just good at it” reflects a racial view of identity that is shared by many racists (and also, by the way, happens to be bullshit). Basically, you seem to share many traits with racists, although apparently not the traits of thinking that races are inherently superior/inferior or should be separated, so good for you in that regard.

Seek's avatar

I don’t think that it’s necessarily racist to say that a great number of black Americans are proficient with popular music.

If you look at the history of music in America, the black culture encouraged music during times when the majority of white Americans thought music incompatible with the major religion of the day. To this day, many MANY of the songs in every single Protestant hymnal in America will come from pre-1900 black American worship songs. The lullaby I sing my son is a slave-written song.

Rock and Roll music has its basis in black Gospel music as well. I could trace down jazz and blues as well, which led essentially to RnB and Hip Hop.

“They’re just good at it” because it’s been incubated and developed within their families and communities for generations upon generations.

Giving a cultural group credit for years of innovation isn’t a racist statement.

The_Idler's avatar

@Qingu Hahhaa okay I know it ain’t nothing like it used to be, but finance between 1500 and 1900 still had an undeniable Jewish bias. Even now.

I don’t understand how you can say that differences between races can be bullshit?
East Africans are clearly the best runners humanity has produced.
East Asians statistically have the best IQs.
Afro-Caribbean and African-Americans have produced some of the best and most honest music Europe has ever seen (now that is my opinion).
The Europeans and the Chinese have come out with the most unexpected and incredible chemical and mechanical inventions, consistently.
The list goes on for the Amazonians and the Indians and the Bushmen etc.

All the different parts of humanity are great in their own way, and that is what I love about being human.

Qingu's avatar

It’s kind of racist to say Africans are musically popular because “they’re good at it.”

Also not even really true, as most popular musicians are white

Um, this is getting off-topic.

The_Idler's avatar

Yeah, totally.

Qingu's avatar

@The_Idler, here’s the thing.

Those are cultures. Not races. There’s actually no such thing as a “race.”

The_Idler's avatar

besides the human race, of course.

but correlations with phenotypes make for convenient generalizations.

I know, I know, it’s bad practice… but who cares?
it lets us heinz 57 variety types feel like we got a little bit of everything that makes humanity great….

Of course, we all do.

ugh, shit… gotta get up for work in 2 hours….. gnight

Qingu's avatar

It’s a bad practice because it contributes to the extremely socially harmful view that there are in fact races, and it’s dumbly imprecise… so therefore, I care. Don’t reckon I’m alone.

josie's avatar

@Qingu the following is fact by direct observation…Hamas is the governing political entity in Gaza
Hamas has an article in their charter that affirms their commitment to the destruction of Israel
Rocket attacks on Israel originate daily from Gaza
These rockets are are not home made in Gaza, they are shipped in by sea
Israel, knowing this, diverts shipping with a blockade, but allows humanitarian supplies to pass. These inspections are also conducted by Egypt
This time, people deliberately ran the blockade
These people either knew they would not pass inspection, or they picked a fight
Either way they are idiots-if they had weapons they asked for it. If they did not, they could have proved it and passed but foolishly chose to make a scene
No sympathy from me. I would do the same thing

Qingu's avatar

They clearly “picked a fight,” though in different ways. Almost everyone on that flotilla (hundreds of people) did not resist with violence; they “picked a fight” in a nonviolent way, hoping to bring attention (or score a propaganda victory) to the widely-condemned blockade.

The 30 or so people who actually attacked the soldiers? I want to reserve judgment until it becomes clear the Israelis did not fire first with live ammunition (which appears to be the case). If this is the case, then I agree with you, those fuckers get no sympathy.

This doesn’t, however, excuse the IDF’s extremely poor handling of the situation (they were dealing with a violent mob; the correct response to a violent mob is not “drop down in the middle of the mob via a helicopter”). They also should not have attacked on international waters. They are also culpable for what happened. I mean, do you realize that in situations like this, both sides can do things that are wrong?

jaytkay's avatar

@josie Israel continually guarantees everlasting conflict with its disproportionate response.

Take the 2006 Lebanon War. Rockets kill a 5 or 6 Israeli soldiers. In response, Israel invades Lebanon, kills a thousand or more civilians, maims thousands more, and destroy tens of thousands of homes.

I can only assume the IDF’s primary mission is Hamas recruitment. It’s the most logical explanation

zenele's avatar

About 40 of the people on board were Al Qaida mercenaries. They carried no documentation, were heavily armed and had large sums of money on them. This will be revealed shortly.

jaytkay's avatar

About 40 of the people on board were Al Qaida mercenaries. They carried no documentation, were heavily armed and had large sums of money on them. This will be revealed shortly.

It’s on the Internet, so it must be true. Good to know. THNX!

zenele's avatar

Actually I’m watching the news. I don’t think it’s reached the internet yet.

And by the way – where does any of your information come from? First hand knowledge?

Response moderated
Qingu's avatar

@zenele, I look forward either to confirmation of your claims or your apology for posting false information.

Response moderated
jaytkay's avatar

@zenele I am actually watching the morning news – it’s seven a.m. the next morning here.

Huh. The internet is on 24 hrs where I live. We get news before 7am. Seriously. At 6am. Sometimes even 4am. Maybe even 1am.

But what do I know. I don’t learn things “firsthand” from “other news sources here.”

I look forward to learning that 40 Al Qaida mercenaries, Dr. Mengele, and Michelle Obama were found on the boat yesterday.

7am just can’t arrive soon enough!

gtreyger's avatar

@jaytkay
Huh. The internet is on 24 hrs where I live. We get news before 7am. Seriously. At 6am. Sometimes even 4am. Maybe even 1am.

It’s on the Internet, so it must be true. Good to know. THNX!

Both are your quotes. Is the schizophrenia getting the best of you?

How did you manage to misquote either from personal experience, or from other news sources here?

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Let’s all take a breath, folks. Remember to disagree without being disagreeable. Personal attacks have been removed.

shilolo's avatar

@The_Idler This is what you wrote “The only reason the Jewish state of Israel exists and survives is because of the Jews’ disproportionate influence within finance, and finance’s disproportionate influence within the governments of the two greatest superpowers of the past 200 years, the UK & USA.” Disproportionate influence with finance (read, control of/use of lots of money), finance’s disproportionate influence within the governments (read, Jews using their excess money to manipulate governments).

You also seem to think this is “commonly accepted”. If it is “commonly accepted”, it is only because anti-Semitism is so common.

Cruiser's avatar

Actualy @zenele they are up to 50 suspected terrorists….

During its searches of the Mavi Marmara on Tuesday, the military also discovered a cache of bulletproof vests and night-vision goggles, as well as gas masks.

The group of over 50 passengers with possible terror connections have refused to identify themselves and were not carrying passports. Many of them were carrying envelopes packed with thousands of dollars in cash.

The military is working to identify the passengers and is looking into the possibility that some of them have been involved in terror attacks. Some of them are apparently known Islamic extremists.

“This is the group that was behind the violent lynch against the naval commandos,” a defense official said. “They came on board the ship prepared and after they had trained for the expected navy takeover.”
http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=177169

Qingu's avatar

I’d like to see some independent (i.e. non-Israeli) confirmation of those terrorist connections.

But frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 30 people on deck were jihadist sympathizers. They certainly acted like violent savages—the videos make that abundantly clear. They also marred whatever moral high ground the Free Gaza movement might have claimed through nonviolent resistance. And frankly, I haven’t seen nearly enough condemnation of them in liberal circles.

The_Idler's avatar

@shilolo

“If it is “commonly accepted”, it is only because anti-Semitism is so common.” that is a mere assertion of yours.

You’re just inventing anti-Semitism for the sake of it.
1. “What makes this belief anti-Semitic?”
2. “Loads of anti-Semites hold this belief!”
3. “What makes those people anti-Semites?”
4. “They hold such beliefs as this!”
5. GOTO 1

You still haven’t explained to me exactly what is anti-Semitic about that idea, and hence me.

Or answered any of my questions, for that matter.
You just keep saying “You sound like an anti-Semite!”

You say I share that particular view with anti-Semites (and millions of other, normal, non-racist people…), but if the view itself is not anti-Semitic in any way, what the fuck has it got to do with anything?

I agree with the Islamists (and millions of other, normal, non-terrorist people…) that the USA misled them in the 80s and abandoned them in the 90s. Does this make me an Islamic Terrorist? NO, because I don’t advocate flying planes into buildings to teach people a lesson.

I agree with Hitler (and millions of other, normal, non-nazi people…) that Germany was too harshly punished after WWI (Hitler’s rise to power being evidence enough). Does that make me a Nazi Warmonger? NO, because I don’t advocate a world-conquest military campaign to restore pride in a population.

I agree with the “Anti-Semites” (and millions of other, normal, non-racist people…) that the Jews have historically had disproportionate influence in finance. Does that make me a “Anti-Semite”? NO, because I DON’T THINK THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

I did some reading and found this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_antisemitism

This seems to be something you follow. I am supposedly an anti-Semite, because I do not think the Jews are any more entitled to a western-powers-guaranteed sacred homeland, then the Cornish Celts, or the Bascos, or the Bretons.
This is idiocy. What makes them more entitled, what makes them so much more special than any of these others…?

Also, sorry about the ridiculous derailment last night guys, I was totally drunk.

mattbrowne's avatar

So is this an issue of the principles of necessity, adequacy and proportionality when using force?

Shooting to render the subject incapable of continuing the hostile act instead of shooting to kill?

Have the authorities confirmed that no weapons have been found on the ship? (I don’t think poles and knives would be valuable to Hamas in the Gaza strip).

Qingu's avatar

@mattbrowne, I think there are a bunch of issues here.

1. The blockade itself, which is widely criticized as illegal collective punishment. The point of the flotilla was to draw attention to the blockade (and/or score propaganda victory for its opponents.)

2. The IDF’s decision to attack on international waters. This was probably illegal, and certainly ill-advised.

3. The IDF’s decision to literally drop commandos right onto a mob of people on deck in the middle of the night, armed with paintball guns and sidearms, and apparently not at all prepared for a violent mob. This was incredibly stupid.

4. The IDF’s use of force in response to getting attacked after #3. Judging from the videos, I think this was probably justified, or at least unavoidable.

5. The violent behavior of the 30 or so people attacking the soldiers. This is something that I’m not seeing enough criticism about. There were hundreds of people on that flotilla and the vast majority of them reacted to IDF’s boarding action non-violently. These gents armed themselves and started beating the shit out of the commandos, quite possibly expecting to martyr themselves. There are any number of motives we can presume for this behavior, but since the IDF did not actually instigate the conflict with live ammunition (i.e. since their lives were not actually at stake) nothing can justify it.

I think this incident is really a microcosm of the entire history of Israeli-Palestinian relations.

The_Idler's avatar

@mattbrowne No…
in the context of this specific incident and question, the issue is that they were trying to break a siege.

Q Why was the aid shipment to Gaza attacked today?
A Because Israel is a laying siege.

It’s what besieging is and always has been. You don’t let them get any stuff.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Qingu – What do you suggest to prevent Hamas from receiving real weapons? Hamas is a democratically elected terrorist organization. If they were in charge of your country, all atheists would be sentenced to death, by the way. The one true religion in its ugliest form is mandatory. Just to be clear who the opponent is here.

Qingu's avatar

Um, I don’t really see how that’s a response to anything I’ve said.

My view on Hamas is that Israel wants it both ways. They want to treat Gaza as a warring nation so as to blockade them, but they don’t want to treat it as a sovereign nation when it comes to internal politics. This situation is untenable.

I have zero love for Hamas. I don’t like the implication that because I criticize Israel, that implies that I’m taking the side of Hamas. I don’t have an answer for how to deal with Hamas, but it is abundantly clear that the current strategy is not working, is not sustainable, and is causing a lot of suffering for innocent people in Gaza—which, in turn, makes them much more likely to support Israel’s enemies. The best solution would be for U.N. peacekeepers to gain control of Gaza, but that’s probably a pipe dream.

shilolo's avatar

@The_Idler I tire of debating your racist stereotypes, which is why I haven’t answered your “questions”, for they aren’t really questions at all. You seem to feel entitled to your racist stereotypes (Jews = money, blacks = athletes, etc.), and nothing I will say can change that. I highlighted how similar your views were to the most noted anti-Semite of all, Adolf Hitler, and yet you still seem to think your beliefs are legitimate. You clearly don’t know much about world history, or you would know that stereotypes such as yours have been used repeatedly as a means of subjugating, marginalizing, persecuting and murdering people. What you repeatedly assert is a standard stereotype that you then use to justify actions. This is typical of anti-Semites (wear it proudly). The fact that many people share your warped view simply indicates the pervasiveness of the stereotype.

A noted recent example that still circulates widely worldwide (but definitely in Middle Eastern countries) is the famed Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It purports to be a global secret plan created by a cabal of Jews to use a variety of means, including economic ones, to control the world. Your stated views do not stray too far from this, and despite your assertions to the contrary, your stereotyping of various people is racist. You are what you are. It would be nice if you changed, but quite frankly, I don’t really care if you do.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Qingu – I was referring to “the blockade itself, which is widely criticized as illegal collective punishment.” Israel is desperate, because Hamas still receives tons of weapons and ammunition.

No, of course you are not taking the side of Hamas. I know that. But Israel is facing them. In my previous post I just wanted to remind everybody about Israel’s horrible enemy denying their right to even exist.

I also think Israel needs a smarter strategy. The current government is terrible. I wouldn’t call Avigdor Lieberman a fascist, but he’s close. He’s a hawk, a racist, a man of hatred, not peace.

The_Idler's avatar

@shilolo

Jews represent 0.2% of the world’s population. Would you say Jewish influence in finance and Western governments over the past 200 years is proportional to that?
Even if Jews accounted for a mere 1% of relative influence, that would make them 5 times more influential than the average group. That is called “disproportionate influence”. No secret plans, no global conspiracy, no yoke on nations, no “control” of money… just disproportionate influence. That’s all I said. Remember?

As you kindly pointed out, Hitler said “he imposes a yoke upon the nation that is the more pernicious in that its glitter disguises its ultimately tragic consequences. Everything that makes the people strive for higher goals, be it religion, socialism, or democracy, is to the Jew merely a means to an end, the way to satisfy his greed and thirst for power.”

And I said, “disproportionate influence”.

Thanks again for highlighting how similar our views are

See Above

————

“global secret plan created by a cabal of Jews… to control the world. Your stated views do not stray too far from this”

I said, “disproportionate influence”.

————

Zionism is the idea that a guaranteed homeland for the Jews is the only practical solution to the seemingly never-ending problem of suppression, discrimination and perennial massacres of the Jews in Europe. Fair enough, it is a solution.

It would also be a solution to the problem of suppression, discrimination and perennial massacres of every single other group of people that has been repeatedly suppressed, discriminated against and massacred through history, WHICH ARE LEGION.

Why has this solution been implemented for the Jews, but not every other disenfranchised & marginalised ancient tribe?

————

I tire of debating your racist stereotypes, which is why I haven’t answered your “questions”

If by “debating”, you mean “repeatedly making gross exaggerations and assertions ad Hitlerum” you could have saved all that bullshit and… answered my questions.

————

“You seem to feel entitled to your racist stereotypes (Jews = money, blacks = athletes, etc.)”

You seem to be assuming that I consider Africans to have been relatively successful in athletics (haven’t they?) BECAUSE they’re Black, and Jews to have been relatively influential in finance BECAUSE they’re Jewish.
Why are you assuming this?

I’m sure if the Africans had been in the place of the Jews in Europe, they would have had exactly the same pressures and opportunities and so developed a similar relative influence in finance, likewise if the Jews had been leading the African lifestyle for countless generations, they would similarly have had relative success in athletics…

You seem to think that the suggestion of ANY differences between peoples/races is “racist”... Please… different communities have had vastly different histories in vastly different environments, and those differing historical circumstances are the reasons behind the present differences. Or are you saying that there are no differences? How is that even possible?

———————————————————————————————————————————

You equate my
suggestion that Jews have more influence than the average 0.2% of the world’s population & the idea that this might just have something to do with their having a western-guaranteed homeland, ahead of every other ancient, disenfranchised tribe on Earth
with
Hitler’s Judenhass and paranoid ideas of global conspiracy for world domination

I think this has gotten too ridiculous for it to be worth me carrying on. I can’t believe anyone will take you seriously now, so that’s it I guess. I wish I hadn’t gone on so long about it, but I seriously resent being held up as an example of a racist. You are clearly a complete plank though, so I guess I don’t mind. You are what you are.

shilolo's avatar

You did yourself the greatest disservice (see above, and note how easily it was for @Qingu to debunk your mythology). Let me compile your greatest hits:

1. What are you, some kind of Jew-worshipper? You have some pretty funny ideas.
(AND I MEAN FUNNY LIKE LOLOLOLOL…....All praise the super-race of Jews!)
This sure is haha funny.

2. The only reason the Jewish state of Israel exists and survives is because of the Jews’ disproportionate influence within finance, and finance’s disproportionate influence within the governments of the two greatest superpowers of the past 200 years, the UK & USA.

Your statement of fact of Jews’ disproportionate influence with money, and their use of money to influence governments is the standard meme of anti-Semites.

3. I know the Jews as a group aren’t the most relatively wealthy, but within finance over the past few hundred years I was under the impression that they established some dominance, call it team-work or whatever…

Just plain wrong.

4. I thought that it was commonly accepted that the Jews in Europe were disproportionately involved in finance. More of the same.

5. I know it ain’t nothing like it used to be, but finance between 1500 and 1900 still had an undeniable Jewish bias. Even now.

6. but correlations with phenotypes make for convenient generalizations.
I know, I know, it’s bad practice… but who cares?

As @Qingu said quite nicely “It’s because most anti-Semites also go on about disproportionate Jewish wealth and have conspiracy theories about the banking industry; also you used some other offensive racial terms.”

To make this a simple for you to understand (I know this is hard), you say that Jews are disproportionately involved in finance, and that disproportionate involvement allows Jews to have disproportionate influence on the US and the UK (this is conspiracy theory 101).

Holding your racist views up to the light hopefully will allow you to advance beyond these primitive thought patterns. I wish you all the best.

The_Idler's avatar

Even if I am wrong, I still cannot see how suggesting that the Jews have more influence than the average 0.2% of the world’s population is actually racist.

All I can hear is you saying ”but Hitler said that too, and he was a racist!

The_Idler's avatar

And if the Jews don’t have any more influence than the average 0.2%, please answer me at least this question, please:

“Zionism is the idea that a guaranteed homeland for the Jews is the only practical solution to the seemingly never-ending problem of suppression, discrimination and perennial massacres of the Jews in Europe. Fair enough, it is a solution.

It would also be a solution to the problem of suppression, discrimination and perennial massacres of every single other group of people that has been repeatedly suppressed, discriminated against and massacred through history, WHICH ARE LEGION.

Why has this solution been implemented for the Jews, but not every other disenfranchised & marginalised ancient tribe?”

mattbrowne's avatar

I don’t get it.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/04/2918848.htm?section=world

“Israel has rejected calls for an independent international investigation of its raids on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla on Monday that killed nine activists. The raids have sparked international condemnation, with South Africa becoming the latest nation to withdraw its ambassador from Israel in protest. Israel has defended the actions of its soldiers from the outset, saying the deaths of the activists onboard the humanitarian ships in international waters was an act of self-defence by its commandos.”

How can Israel’s government be so extremely stupid? Only an independent investigation has a (small) chance of reestablishing trust. If this is not done, everyone will think that Israel got something to hide distorting the truth. Turkey was an important ally of Israel. It seems that the current Israeli government doesn’t care about destroying all good relations with other countries. In the end, only the US and Germany will be left. How can the Israeli voters let them? Where is the outcry of the moderate Israelis? Every new house in East Jerusalem creates at least 100 new terrorists. The incident on this ship will create 100,000 new terrorists over the next years. Unless, the UN can clearly show that weapons were smuggled and the activists tried to kill the Israeli soldiers so they had to defend themselves. Or Israel is guilty of violating international law and is willing to apologize and pay compensation to the families of the killed activists.

No one is above the law. This is a basic principle.

zenele's avatar

Does the U.S. or Germany or any other Democracy have an international investigation into every matter? In Iraq and Afghanistan? The reason is that we can’t have soldiers, who are just doing their jobs, have to hide behind lawyers everytime there are casualties.

It’s sad what happened, but again, Israel allows any and all aid to Gaza. Why Gaza is Israel’s problem anyway I don’t know – but in order to defend itself from rocket attacks, Israel has to ensure the boats are not carrying weapons.

Israel has agreed to allow any and all boats to go to Gaza – they just have to be checked. By the way, Israel has even agreed to let a neutral European country take charge of this – say Italy would check and thus ensure that the boat wasn’t carrying weapons.

The boat was warned – the provocateurs (carrying no i.d., but mysteriously all carrying an identicle envelope of US cash) – with hundreds of weapons ranging from knives to clubs and wearing see in the night goggles – got exactly what it came for – a fight.

Three soldiers were beaten to within an inch of their lives – and are recuperating.

Three soldiers were kidnapped and help for almost an hour.

Peace boat?

Remember: Israel is not in Gaza. Gaza elected Hamas. Gaza continues to shell Israel – almost daily (three yesterday). The fact that they are inacurate most of the time oes not reduce the stress level of the people in this Democracy within range of the rockets.

I ask again: what would German, the US or any other country do with an enemy on the border, who had elected Al Qaida, Hama or Hizbala – who shoots thousands of rockets at them – do? JUst allow every ship coming from Turkey or wherever to float in?

mattbrowne's avatar

@zenele – How do I know that your sources explaining what happened on the ship are reliable?

In my earlier posts I made it completely clear that Israel is facing a very dangerous lunatic enemy. I completely understand the concern of weapons being smuggled into Gaza. I’m a friend of Israel and I also appreciate all peaceful Palestinians (hopefully voting for peaceful governments). I’m concerned about Israel because this current government seems getting closer and closer to lunacy as well. Again I don’t understand how the current Israeli government doesn’t care about destroying all good relations with other countries. This is a diplomatic suicide. Tell your government to reconsider. Organize demonstrations. Write letters to newspapers. Israel is a democracy. Israel appreciates pluralism. Where is the opposition? Where are the intellectuals whose voices do count? This lunacy has got to stop.

gtreyger's avatar

@mattbrowne

The demand for a UN investigation shows a clear double standard towards Israel. It shows hypocrisy and singles out the Jewish State for special treatment. There is no case in recent history where a democratic country’s army has been involved in an overseas operation in which civilians have been killed, and has been subjected to an international investigation.

mattbrowne's avatar

I think our debate has in parts shifted from the question of why the aid ship headed for Gaza was attacked and the current behavior of the Israeli government. I think this is a different question and therefore I created

http://www.fluther.com/86571/why-does-the-government-of-israel-reject-an-independent-international-investigation/

I really don’t get it. I’m totally puzzled by the behavior of the Israeli government.

zenele's avatar

Here’s a simple idea for the Palestinians in Gaza: Recognize Israel’s right to exist and completely abandon the pursuit of its destruction. Not only would this lift the naval blockade, but it would also virtually put an end to the entire Middle East “conflict” as we know it. Israel would quickly become a close regional partner instead of a country forced to be on the defensive, and the Palestinians would enjoy a new era of prosperity.

zenele's avatar

@mattbrowne I answered your question in the first sentence: Does the U.S. or Germany or any other Democracy have an international investigation into every matter? In Iraq and Afghanistan? The reason is that we can’t have soldiers, who are just doing their jobs, have to hide behind lawyers everytime there are casualties.

Although President Peres has said that he has no problem with an investigation because Israel has nothing to hide. We’ll see what Netanyahu does – but frankly, I think the pictures speak for themselves.

mattbrowne's avatar

@zenele – I totally agree. The Palestinians in Gaza should recognize Israel’s right to exist and completely abandon the pursuit of its destruction. Absolutely.

mattbrowne's avatar

@zenele – Here’s one example of the Kunduz Bombing in Afghanistan:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,684411,00.html

There was an investigation in Germany and one done by NATO.

There was a public outcry in Germany and even the new defense minister came under a lot of pressure. The previous one had to resign because of the incident. The cover ups didn’t last.

And keep in mind, it was in Afghanistan. Not international waters. And there was a UN mandate.

The pictures speak for themselves? You don’t seem to understand the problem. How can the world trust Israel’s pictures? We all know there are video editing programs. A government who doesn’t cooperate with the international community is capable of creating fabrications. Israel’s foreign minister is a racist. Frankly, I don’t trust these kind of people. Therefore we need independent reports.

I trust you, my friend. But I’m puzzled by the lack of critical thinking when it comes to your government.

ragingloli's avatar

@zenele
I absolutely agree that the Palaestininas must recognise Israel’s right to exist and its borders, stop the rocket attacks that kill many Israelis and kick out Hamas. But there are always two sides to a coin. Israel must also recognise Palaestina’s right to exist and its borders. That includes stopping the building of new settlements in occupied territory, which drives countless Palaestinians from their homes.
You cannot claim that all the problems in the Middle East only come from the side of the Palaestinians, because that is simply not true.

zenele's avatar

Arafat was worse than any of the Hamas or Hizballah terrorists today. He was the father of terrorism. Yet when he decided to give up terrorism and recognize Israel, he was welcomed and recognized as their leader. Peace agreements were drawn up – but it’s complicated for two reasons 1. the West Bank (you all say it – but do you know where it is exactly?) and Gaza are physically separated – with Israel in between 2. Gaza elected Hamas whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction 3. Gilad Shalit has been a captive for over 4 years 4. Jerusalem is in despute 5. Borders have changed, geography has changed

But just as with Arafat – who some my age and older can recall as impossible to even think of dealing with – like the US sitting down for tea with Bin Laden – there was a peace accord – so Israel would keep its word about the West Bank – building houses – and blockades and everything.

We’re here – we’re not going any where. We cannot negotiate with charters of destruction.

We aren’t flying drones into Gaza and picking off terrorists as the US is doing a million miles away in two countries – but we can, and must, ensure that boats don’t carry more weapons into Gaza. Anyone wants to send aid – fine. Anyone wants to fight and comes prepared for it – with letters of Shahada (look it up) knives and pipes – well, there aren’t enough Jews to lose so we’re coming to the knife fight with a gun.

The US comes to a knife fight in the desert with an atom bomb, we still give them a fighting chance – the guns were paintball guns. Only when they were attacked, and some kidnapped and some of their weapons taken and the soldiers shot at – did they fight back.

Next time – they won’t make the same mistake. That’s soldiering 101. Don’t get hurt.

mattbrowne's avatar

Can we avoid duplicating the posts?

And continue here:

http://www.fluther.com/86571/why-does-the-government-of-israel-reject-an-independent-international-investigation/

Of course this thread should continue to explore the reasons why the aid ship headed for Gaza was attacked.

Qingu's avatar

It would be wonderful if this incident actually led to the first meaningful and public use of the international legal system.

This will never happen

Qingu's avatar

@zenele, here’s the thing. None of us here on this forum has any input into what the Palestinians do. We are disconnected from that culture. It is easy for everyone here to say that Hamas should stop acting like violent savages and recognize Israel’s right to exist, but it won’t matter because none of us has any connections to Palestinians.

On the other hand, many of us do have connections to Israel and America, either through living there or by having Jewish relatives. Therefore, I think it’s more pragmatic for people in our situation to criticize Israel and argue against blind support of the state, rather than repeat easy, uncontested criticisms of Hamas. Does anyone disagree with your assessment of Hamas? Why bother preaching to the choir?

mattbrowne's avatar

This will never happen. Why not?

Qingu's avatar

Okay it might happen someday. I’d give it 30 years.

mattbrowne's avatar

What could we all do to make it happen in 15 years?

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther