June 03, 2010

Flotilla Fools

Much has been said about the fools in the flotilla that attempted to break the naval blockade on Gaza. If you buy into the simple narrative that the "Free Gaza" movement is peddling it looks like a simple case of underdog versus bully. Those that buy into that should come speak with me about some swampland that I am interested in selling.

Or better yet take a few minutes to read this post and learn how they tried to dupe the world into believing that they were peace loving people whose sole intent was to engage in altruism when the reality was they prepared for violence. They intentionally provoked a confrontation with the goal of trying to ensure that people died.

Really, it is sick to think of how casual they are about life and how interested they are in death.
ABC has a news story which helps to illustrate how perverse this is. I won't bother to complain about how they buried this part of the story in the second  half where many people won't see it.

"Flotilla Passengers Dispute Israeli Version of Flotilla Raid

"They [Israeli commandos] were trying to land on the boat. So obviously there was this hand-to-hand combat and during that process the people on the boat were basically able to disarm some of the soldiers because they did have guns with them," Burney told Reuters. "So they basically took the guns away from them and took the cartridges out and threw them away."
Asked if anyone had used the guns against the Israeli commandos, Burney said, "No, not at all."
"Yes, we took their guns. It would be self defence even if we fired their guns," Bulent Yildirim, chairman of the IHH, said.
"We told our friends on board we will die, become martyrs, but never let us be shown... as the ones who used guns," he said, adding that people shouted that the weapons should not be used.
Notice that there is no discussion of trying to negotiate terms. No mention that Israel contacted the flotilla and offered free passage to Ashdod. It was refused...intentionally. The goal was to have a physical confrontation,  to try and be martyred.

Consider for a moment what would happen if you tried to take a gun from a policeman or soldier in any country. Think about it and tell me that they wouldn't try to defend themselves. Tell me that other cops/soldiers would just stand by and watch, that they wouldn't be concerned for their safety and that of their colleague.

Now watch this video. Note how the soldiers come down a rope, one at a time. Notice that their weapons are not drawn.

Ask yourself what you would have done had you been attacked that way. Ask yourself how a handful of soldiers were supposed to deal with hundreds of people who were rioting. If their intent had been to harm the passengers many more would have died. But they didn't come to fight, they came to talk and unfortunately they walked into a trap.

Some of you are probably muttering about how this was illegal, but the reality is that it was not. The International Committe of the Red Cross offers the following:

San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994 


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;
(c) act as auxiliaries to the enemy s armed forces;
(d) are incorporated into or assist the enemy s intelligence system;
(e) sail under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft; or
(f) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy s military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and it is not feasible for the attacking forces to first place passengers and crew in a place of safety. Unless circumstances do not permit, they are to be given a warning, so that they can re-route, off-load, or take other precautions.
Israel made contact with the flotilla and tried on multiple occasions to engage in dialogue. The Mavi Marmara refused and as you now know it is because they wanted the confrontation. The blood of those who died and those who were injured is on their head. This didn't have to go this way, but they made it so.


FlutePrayer said...

I am for Israel and with Israel.

The JackB said...

That obviously makes me happy.