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Media Silence on Israeli Hijacking of Aid Boat

Imagine if Iran had hijacked a ship delivering humanitarian aid in international waters and kidnapped its passengers, including a Nobel laureate and a former U.S. Congresswoman. Do you think just maybe you might have heard about it?

But when Israel does precisely that, there is near total silence. Where it is being reported, the mainstream media is employing couched language that is apologetic towards Israel.

A New York Times story, for instance, reported under the headline “Activists Held by Israel for Trying to Break Gaza Blockade” that “Nineteen foreign activists of the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement were being held in Israel awaiting deportation on Thursday, two days after the Israeli Navy seized control of their boat off Gaza.”

Former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was on an aid boat that was hijacked in international waters by the Israeli navy and is still being held prisoner

Notice the use of the neutral term “seized”, which could just as easily refer to a lawful action as an illegal one in violation of international law and treaties pertaining to conduct on the high seas.

The Israeli navy “commandeered” the boat carrying humanitarian supplies, and whose passengers included former Representative Cynthia McKinney and Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, says the Times.

If the same thing had happened off the coast of Somalia, the word “hijacked” would have undoubtedly been the preferred nomenclature.

The Times did note that “Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories, said in a statement from Geneva on Thursday that the seizure of the boat was unlawful”, the only hint in the article that Israel had violated international law.

Elsewhere, the news of McKinney’s kidnapping by Israel has been met with sentiment ranging from near indifference to outright hostility–not towards Israel, but McKinney.

The Fox News blog Liveshots makes note of it under a dismissive headline, “Cynthia Mckinney Does it Again“, featuring a poor-quality image of McKinney not in her professional attire with her hair pulled back, but sporting her Afro. Why this image, as though no higher quality or more flattering picture were available?

“This was the second incident involving Mckinney, [sic] and the Israeli navy. In December 2008 she was aboard another relief boat seized for violating the Israeli blockade.”

So, you see, it wasn’t Israel, but McKinney, that had done the “violating”. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Mary Ann Akers of The Sleuth blog at the Washington Post is outright hostile towards McKinney, with a headline mocking, “Cynthia McKinney Strikes Again” and opening with the line, “Somehow we didn’t think we had seen the last of Cynthia McKinney.” After explaining how McKinney has “resurfaced” by being “arrested” by Israeli forces, Akers launches into a mockery of her political career; she was defeated n 2006 “not long after she was accused of punching a Capitol Police officer”, and had previously “made a brief comeback” after a 2002 defeat “at which time her father said he blamed the “J-E-W-S” for his daughter’s defeat.”

So, you see, McKinney is a wreckless hothead from a family of anti-Semites. And so we may dismiss her being “arrested”–a word implying that Israel’s action was somehow lawful–for “waging a ‘reckless political stunt’” (Akers quoting the Israeli Consulate General of Israel in Atlanta).

On Thursday, McKinney issued a statement on the Green Party website: “We were in international waters on a boat delivering humanitarian aid to people in Gaza when the Israeli Navy ships surrounded us and illegally threatened us, dismantled our navigation equipment, boarded and confiscated the ship. All of us on board were taken off the ship and into custody, and brought into Israel and imprisoned.”

The website notes additionally that “Ms. McKinney and other Free Gaza 21 members have refused to sign a self-incriminating ‘deportation form’ stating that the Spirit of Humanity was violating the Israeli blockade and trespassing Israeli territorial waters by attempting to deliver supplies to Gaza. In fact, the Spirit of Humanity was in international waters when it was illegally seized by the Israeli navy in an act of piracy.”

McKinney called WBAIX radio while imprisoned in Israel in a statement that has been posted on YouTube. She called upon President Barack Obama reinforce his rhetoric calling for Israel to ease the siege of Gaza with action, something he has so far chosen not to do.

Without action on the part of his administration, and given the fact of U.S. financial, military, and diplomatic support for Israel, his words, Obama’s rhetoric is empty and devoid of any significance beyond lulling the public into a false sense that he is willing to take a strong stand against Israel and its violations of international law.

Irish peace activist and Nobel Prize winner Mairead Maguire also made a call from her Israeli jail cell, speaking with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now! “We are being charged with entering illegally into Israeli–near Israeli shores”, she explained.

Their boat was 25 miles off the shore of Gaza–well in international waters–when their vessel was hijacked after Israeli navy vessels had threatened to open fire upon their defenseless boat, and its passengers kidnapped.

Notice also Israel’s implicit assumption that the the beaches of Gaza are “Israeli shores”, and that it therefore has a right to seize vessels entering, or on course to enter, Gaza’s territorial waters.

After being kidnapped by Israeli forces, the boats passengers were “under gunpoint, forcibly taken to Ashdod”, explained Maguire.

Turning to the purpose of their voyage, the plight of the Palestinian people of Gaza under a siege by Israel and “subjected to collective punishment by the Israeli government” in violation of international law, Maguire said, “the tragedy is that the American government, the U.N. and Europe, they remain silent in the face of the abuse of Palestinian human rights”.

She might just as well added the complicit American mainstream media to that legitimate criticism.

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Jeremy R. Hammond

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Jeremy R. Hammond
Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent political analyst and a recipient of the Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. He is the founding editor of Foreign Policy Journal and the author of Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian economics in the financial crisis and The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict. His forthcoming book is on the contemporary U.S. role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
  • Jason

    Hey Hammond, I highly recommend you check your FACTS.

    A) The ship was NOT delivering “humanitarian aid” in international waters. They pushed right into Israeli waters and knew very well they would be stopped. Israel, Egypt, and a few NATO boats have been patrolling the coast for the past 2 years to stifle Syrian and Iranian weapons dealings. Dozens of ships with “aid” written on the back have been exposed as fronts for weapons dealings.

    What is the reasoning behind the blockade? Oh yeah, STOP the weapons from coming in. Would you prefer Israel allow weapons to come into Gaza, so then Israel will deal yet another punishing blow to Gaza’s hamas-run infrastructure??

    The reality is there is no blockade. The only thing that Israel is refusing to transfer to cement and building materials. That is what the aid ships were carrying, supposedly. Those materials are used to build weapons, bunkers, etc. Israel is legally obligated to prevent the flow of materials that would further Hamas’ grasp over Gaza.

    Gaza is still receiving 500million worth of exports every year, Israel still exports 95% of the electricity, oil, foodstuffs, and medical supplies. When Hamas was elected, more 50% of the medical staff fled to Jerusalem or the West Bank. Why? Because Hamas uses the hospitals and work stations to build weaopns and treat soldiers. On top of that, they receive 600million from the USA through the UN. And then the PLO makes 2 billion a year in foreign donations, weapons dealings, drug smuggling, exortion, etc.

    If the Pals spent HALF as much on war and propaganda and instead of education, economy, promoting humanity instead of relishing death, perhaps their lives wouldn’t suck as much. Not Israel’s fault!

    I didn’t see foreign policy journal critiquing that FACT. also, Hamas is making over 100 million a MONTH from extorting Palestinian businesses in Gaza. They have been smuggling materials from Egypt and Sudan that could be used to build homes, but instead are used to build weapons. They encourage the blockade because they know Israel will be blamed and stupid apologists like yourself will tow the Arab narrative.

    Why aren’t you criticizing Egypt? they too are administering a blockade. Most of the weapons Hamas is using are coming from Darfur according to security analysts, and are then smuggled in from homes in Egypt to tunnels in Gaza. Israel recently bombed a major smuggling campaign a week or so ago.

    Israel is the #1 supporter of the Palestinians. Israel has been training Palestinian doctors for year, but lately Hamas has prevented Palestinians from leaving Gaza for fear of being Israeli or Fatah spies…which is probably a legitimate concern. Arabs owe BILLIONS in pledged donations. LOL!

    FPJ has always had a very partial and naive approach to the Middle East, and will gladly sacrifice logic, moral inhibition, and common sense to combat “American foreign policy.” You will march lock-step with Palestinian gangsters and warlords for a few political points and stabs at the Evil Zionazis.

    Maybe you should check into the Hama Massacre, Black September, Egyptian-Yemen War, the Arab/Islamic-supported Darfur genocide and muslim wars in Somalia.

    But oh wait, why would you do that? they have nothing to do with american imperialism!!! Funny thing is, guess where the black christian and muslim sudanese are fleeing to? Israel, an apartheid state. LOL!

    Hammond is a FRAUD who should be exposed. I’ve been to Gaza, the WB, and most Middle Eastern countries. US foreign policy is misguided, but not in favor of the Jews. Our support and entitlement to the Saudis and Egyptians has killed millions all throughout Africa and Asia. We act indifferent to their actions, even as we arm them and buy their oil. And the world doesn’t care, all they want to hear about is the poor poor Palestinians, the world record-holders in humanitarian aid.

    More aid than Sudan, Congo, and Somalia combined. You know how many people have died in the Israeli-Arab/Pal/Leb conflict since 1998? 9,000. You know how many have died in Congo since 1998? 5.3 million.

    WAKE UP LIBERAL LOONEY! It is people like you that prop up enemies like the Palestinians into power. Who assassinated RFK? US ambassador to Sudan? Torched embassies? Hijacked airplanes? Wars in Jordan, Lebanon, proxies for Arab foreign policy? EH?

    Always defending the indefensible, go to Gaza and be with your people Jeremy. Go stone some homosexuals, yeah homosexuality is illegal in Gaza. Of course, that’s okay! I’m gay btw, lol!

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      It was an aid ship. It was in international waters. It’s you who need to get your facts straight. It’s you who’s defending the indefensible.

    • fletch

      You are a liar jason and one of the most unethical people I know. I am related to two Presidents from the 19th century and I believe it is you that we should be examining morer closely. It is the intellectuals and free minded that have coallesced against the Israeli state sponsored terror war machine. Jewish voices lead the campaign againt the illegal aggression, violence and Etnic Cleansing of Palestine. It is a fact that irks your sort more than anything. Jews lead the movement against the current fascist form of Zionism.

  • Jason

    No, it was a publicity ship. Tell me Hammond, what kind of country would service the needs of its enemies? Why does Israel continue to escort ambulances into Gaza even as Hamas soldiers actively cease them? Why does Israel continue to be the principal destination for sick and wounded Palestinians? Eh? If the Arab states, who most likely pay for the bandwith and servers this site uses, cared so much…why don’t they foot the bill?

    It takes a certain level of selective-thinking to ignore Free Gaza’s propaganda campaign. A little investigation will reveal it is bankrolled by political NGOs like PCHR, AIC, ICAHD, and ISM.

    And if you knew anything, you’d know Israel learned from this mistake. It seems these campaigns cost more than what is actually being delivered:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1219572143122&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    Since then few boats have come through because Israelis will no longer stop them – depriving them of propaganda points.

    Fact checking is key here. Hamas makes decision that affects the lives of its people. I really like how FPJ has yet to comment ONCE on the insanity of Hamas politics. They receive 10+ tons of cement and building materials through the Egyptian tunnels every day, yet Palestinians still can’t build homes. Hmmmm….yes, it’s Israel’s fault!!!

    Jeremy, would you rather live under the Palestinian Authority, where homosexuals are stoned, where the government ceases food from the people (arafat scandels of the 90s), siphoning humanitarian aid to bankroll wars, or would you prefer to live under an Israeli government…with internet porn, gay pride parades, and western civilization? Have you been to Israel hammond?

    Your freedom would not be tolerated under Hamas. Palestinians are learning this very, very quickly, but liberal apologists won’t dare question the hand, even if it means advocating on behalf of suicide-bomber clubs.

    Shame on you Hammond.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Okay, it was a “publicity” ship. Delivering humanitarian supplies. In international waters. And Israel committed an act of piracy, a violation of international law. Shame on you for defending this crime.

      • Jason

        delivering humanitarian supplies?

        no, an act of provocation in attempt to stifle Israel’s image in the world. And no, Israel did not commit an act of piracy – Israel has a legal right to survey the waters and patrol for weapons smuggling. Other nations are doing it as well.

        Makes sense, you cite Richard Falk – a certified bigot and Iranian romanticizer, as your legal expert.

        Free Gaza movement also has a long history of violating Israel’s waters, doing so several times in December and January.

        Israel is under no obligation to permit Hamas to resupply and rearm itself. You seem to be more concerned about the political aspect rather than the reality, typical. Ceasing a boat loaded with fringy leftists may be a crime, but its borderline jay-walking as far as the Middle East is concerned. Surprise there, you would prefer to lobby on behalf of attention-whores and Arab mouthpieces rather than the Palestinians themselves. Hamas stoning homosexuals? Eh, it’s all good – as long as they fight Jews!

        Selfish Americans.

        • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          If Israel didn’t want to “stifle” it’s image, it wouldn’t violate international law, such as by committing this act of piracy. Israel does NOT have the “right” to threaten and forcefully take over a ship and kidnap its passengers. No nation has that right.

          Support your assertion that Richard Falk is “a certified bigot and Iranian romanticizer”. Also, since this is an ad hominem argument, perhaps you’d care to actually address his remark I quoted.

          Free Gaza did NOT violate Israeli waters in December and January. They were in international waters, sailing to Gaza. The waters off of Gaza are NOT “Israeli waters”.

          The Free Gaza boats were, needless to say, not carrying weapons. They were carrying crayons for children and aid and such. So this is a moot point.

          • Jacob

            “If Israel didn’t want to “stifle” it’s image, it wouldn’t violate international law, such as by committing this act of piracy.”

            How is this an act of piracy? Clarify please.

            “Israel does NOT have the “right” to threaten and forcefully take over a ship and kidnap its passengers. No nation has that right.”

            Israel has every right to forcefully take over a ship if it poses a threat to the already heated-issue surrounding Gaza.

            There are legal channels to move foreign aid outside of whatever is moved into Gaza (and immense amount, check the WHO and Israeli ministry stats).

            Also, supposedly Israel did not kidnap anyone. Israel called the ship, told it to change its course, and the ship did not respond or acted indifferent to the calls. This has happened several times with Gaza Free movement.

            I have an issue with this:

            “Notice also Israel’s implicit assumption that the the beaches of Gaza are “Israeli shores”, and that it therefore has a right to seize vessels entering, or on course to enter, Gaza’s territorial water.”

            This is very misleading. Israel does not assume the beaches of Gaza are “Israeli shores.” that is stupid, Israel considers Gaza’s beaches as a vehicle to move weapons into Hamas’ hands. Make sense, since Israel, Cyprus, and Egyptian ships routinely capture “aid” ships loaded with weapons. The other day the UAE headed for Gaza.

            Gaza has no territorial right to waters. As far as Israel is concerned, Hamas is a belligerent power – has effectively declared war on the Jewish state, and Israel has taken perfectly acceptable steps in containing Hamas. Egypt also administers a similar blockade, though most of the aid is flowing through Israel. LOL!

            “Richard Falk is “a certified bigot and Iranian romanticizer…ad hominem argument,”

            Richard Falk was hand-chosen out of a field of 180 qualified candidates. Falk has praised the supreme leader of Iran, claims 9/11 was an inside job, and believes Israel’s policies towards Gaza is akin to Nazism.

            These feelings of course resonated well with the Arab states, who had a majority in choosing UN-observers. Most Western states expressed dismay at the choice, has he was more anti-Israel/zionist than pro-Palestinian. Another example of Arab countries putting their interests ahead of the Palestinians.

            What remarks he makes, they are sure to be robotic and naturally fall within whatever the Arabs desire. Not exactly objective or a thoughtful assessment, no one takes his opinion seriously – not even the Palestinians.

            “The waters off of Gaza are NOT “Israeli waters”

            Yes they are. Gaza boats can leave Gaza, but there is international-enforced restriction as to what can go in and out. Everything going into Gaza is land-based, so Israel and Egyptians can sort through the supplies and make sure nothing could be used by Hamas to build weapons and bunkers.

            This is affirmed by the Geneva Convention which gives countries the right to make pro-active decisions in preventing the flow of potentially-threatening sources. Israel is technically under no legal obligation to provide aid to Hamas, so it was rather unusual why it continues to unload large quantities of resources for practically nothing.

            “The Free Gaza boats were, needless to say, not carrying weapons.”

            Yup.

            “They were carrying crayons for children and aid and such. So this is a moot point.”

            If you did your research, you’d know the actual travel of the Gaza Movement ships cost more than the resources donated. Essentially, these activists spend more on pimping the ride than what is actually IN the ride. The Free Gaza Movement promotes the illusion that Israel is somehow denying innocence products such as crayons and stuffed-animals. This is bull as Israeli military and foreign workers have shipped non-consumable goods aimed at children well before the blockade even began.

            Over 10,000 Palestinians seek medical aid in Israel a month…for FREE. The Pals can’t use the hospitals in Egypt or Syria, they depend on the enemy.

            Also, as far as international law in the ME is concerned – it is bogus. The legal system is essentially an extension of European bureaucracy, and because the international courts are an integral part of the United Nations – most of its rulings happen to revolve around Israel.

            Saudi Arabia has built a 1,000 mile wall with its poor neighbor, Yemen. Much of the wall dips into Yemen sovereignty, but no one cares. Why? Because Saudi Arabia is a leader in the non-alignment movement. Not a single resolution has been passed on its active slave trade or exportation of international terrorism, and fronts for radical Palestinian rejectionist movements.

            Also, there is a massive barrier in Western Sahara that cuts right into the territory. Line of control in Pakistan/india, etc..etc..

            Most barriers are built for security-reasons, and the blockade of Gaza is the same deal. You imply that the blockade is meant to punish the Palestinian collective. Perhaps, but then why would Israel spend so much time allowing humanitarian and necessities specifically aimed at civilians? It is quite obvious Israel is trying to deny Hamas’ ability to access weapons…and it’s been doing a pretty terrible job. Israel asked the EU to send in its own ships and monitors but Egypt rejected after the EU agreed.

            Hmmm…wonder why.

            As I stated before, you put politics ahead of reality. Politics ahead of humanity and moral inhibition. You claim the Palestinians are somehow the product of Western imperialism when in reality this conflict began well before Israel was established.

            Of course, I’m sure you believe Israel somehow manifested this “resistance movements” and all the blown up embassies, hijacked airplanes, assassination of American diplomats, ambassadors, and Presidential candidates, stealing humanitarian aid and donated-capital, wars in Jordan, Lebanon, thousands killed…all are justified under the “resistance” mantra.

            Hammond, for the sake of humanity, please stop lobbying on behalf of the Islamic and Arab despots. They are no friend of the USA and no friend of humanity. Even assuming the most extreme Arab narrative, Israel’s policies towards its enemies does not even remotely compare to how the rest of the world deals with threats.

            Stop fishing.

          • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            You’re right. It’s not “piracy”, because it was not committed by non-state actors. That’s the only difference between what Israel did and “piracy” as defined under international law.

            The ship was not a threat. It was in international waters. Israel’s actions were criminal. Period.

            Still waiting for you a) support your assertion that Falk is a “bigot” and b) actually respond to the point he made instead of issuing an ad hominem.

            The waters off the coast of Gaza are NOT Israeli waters. Gaza has been ILLEGALLY occupied by Israel and now suffers under a criminal blockade.

            It comes down to weapons for you. Okay. So by your standard it would be okay for, say, Iran, to blockade Israel ostensibly in order to prevent weapons from entering the country, to stop humanitarian aid shipments under this pretext, to threaten peaceful vessels trying to reach Israel on the high seas, to board them and take their passengers to Iran, there to be put in jail.

            I’ve no doubt you will reject this standard if applied to Israel, despite the fact that Israel uses U.S.-supplied and other weaponry to commit crimes against humanity and other violations of international law, murders, aggression (including the war on Gaza).

            Who will blockade Israel to prevent Apache helicopter gunships, F-16 fighter jets, or shipments of cluster munitions from entering?

          • Jacob

            “The ship was not a threat. It was in international waters. Israel’s actions were criminal. Period.”

            No Israel’s actions were not criminal.

            “Still waiting for you a) support your assertion that Falk is a “bigot” and b) actually respond to the point he made instead of issuing an ad hominem”

            I’m assuming you believe one’s support for 9/11 conspiracy theories and pledged loyalty to 3rd world Arab and genocidal dictatorships is not a qualifier for bigotry. Is this correct?

            Falk says this:

            “seizure of the boat was unlawful”

            No, it wasn’t. There is no stipulation in any water-laws that prevents a foreign entity from approaching a boat in international waters. Your use of the word “hijacked” is dubious at best.

            “The waters off the coast of Gaza are NOT Israeli waters.”

            They are not Hamas waters. Gaza is not a sovereign entity, nor as it elected to be a sovereign entity. Cyprus and Egypt has been patrolling “Gaza waters’ for years, how come I don’t you writing reports when they seize ships?! Zomg!!11

            “Gaza has been ILLEGALLY occupied by Israel and now suffers under a criminal blockade.”

            Gaza was ceded to the Palestinians in 2005. Palestinians voted in an Iranian-proxy Islamist rejectionist movement because the “moderate” Palestinian party was fiscally and morally bankrupt. The “blockade” was put in place in response to the militant movements acts of provocation, with intermittent opening and closings of travel.

            There is nothing criminal about it. Egypt is enforcing the blockade as well, are they too occupying Gaza? Because that is the logic you are relying on.

            “So by your standard it would be okay for, say, Iran, to blockade Israel ostensibly in order to prevent weapons from entering the country, to stop humanitarian aid shipments under this pretext, to threaten peaceful vessels trying to reach Israel on the high seas, to board them and take their passengers to Iran, there to be put in jail.”

            Whoa there strawman, hold your horses. If Israel was supplying weapons to non-state actors bordering Iran, I’m sure the state would take counter-measures in preventing such distribution. I really don’t see how it is so immoral for countries to protect the livelihood of their citizens – which Israel is actively doing.

            ” to stop humanitarian aid shipments under this pretex”

            This is your problem. You believe Israel seeks to “punish” Gaza and the “weapons” excuse is none other than a ploy. No, Israel is not preventing humanitarian aid from shipping into Gaza. According to the latest WHO report, medical and social health resumed to pre-war levels months ago. Israel shipped in 30,000,000lbs of aid a week after the war, for more than 3 months.

            Naturally shipments slow down because both Israel AND EGYPT search trucks one-by-one and remove supplies that could be used by Hamas for war and violence. For the most part Israel hasn’t done much because all of the weapons come in from Egypt and they have done little if anything to prevent the flow other than a few acts of show-boating. Israel is under no legal obligation to allow humanitarian aid to Gaza from its port. There is no legal-basis for it, Israel chooses to. Just as Israel chooses to allow Palestinians to use its hospitals.

            Why would Israel do this? the country was under no obligation whatsoever. Israel could have done what Sri Lanka, Somalia, Sudan, Russia, and the United States do – wall off the country and declare it a no-go zone.

            Right now, there is no humanitarian situation other than Hamas sanctioning itself, by seizing humanitarian supplies and selling it back to the people. Hamas encourages the blockade because they get rich from the tunnels. Lately Hamas has been using the weapons Iran and Sudan is giving it to kill off political opponents and stifle dissidents. Recently a pair of Palestinians complaining about Hamas were imprisoned.

            If Israel were to sit there and allow aid flow in unregulated, most of not all would end up in the hands of Hamas – further weakening the standard of living for the Palestinians. Of course, you don’t care about that.

            shocker.

            “I’ve no doubt you will reject this standard if applied to Israel, despite the fact that Israel uses U.S.-supplied and other weaponry to commit crimes against humanity and other violations of international law, murders, aggression (including the war on Gaza).”

            United States almost exclusively supplies Israel with about 2.5 billion a year, most of which is spent in the USA. Israel has played an integral in our military. Most of the ammunition in Iraq is manufactured and distributed in Israel. The UAVS flying over Afghanistan and saving lives was principally developed by Israel. And most recently, Israel developed the most advanced anti-ballistic missile system – “Arrow” which would be used in the event of a nuclear exchange with North Korea or Iran.

            It’s a give and take relationship. We pay Israel just enough to prevent it from destroying the Arab neighbors, and also keep the balance of power. We arm Saudi Arabia and Egypt with even more weapons, and they tend to end up in the hands of Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Al-Shabaab, or the Islamists in darfur. These groups have all together killed millions in the last decade, thanks to the West’s addiction to oil. Does that bother you? of course not.

            I’m not really sure what you mean by crimes against humanity. Bombing tunnels, rocket-launch sites, and terrorists is not a “crime against humanity”

            Though considering the United Nations Human Rights Council is run by the Islamic and Arab states – you know, countries that bankroll Hamas, I imagine they consider it a crime against humanity.

            Tell me Hammond, is moving weapons into mosques, churches, schools, and civilian centers a crime against humanity? How about forcing Palestinians back into their homes after Israel provided a 4 hour window for escape from the planned-attack. you know, the 300,000 Palestinian homes that were called, the 1.2 million leaflets that were dropped….was that a crime against humanity? Eh Hammond?

            Does Hamas warn Israeli civilians when it plans on shelling cities? No, no it does not. the high civilian death toll rests solely on the shoulders of Hamas. They take pro-active decisions to inflate civilian casualties (even falsifying numbers if need be), and continue victimhood by refusing to allow the wounded to seek treatment in Israel. Yes, that’s right – Hamas prohibited civilians from leaving Gaza to seek medical aid in Israel during and after the war for quite some time.

            Is that a crime against humanity? United Nations has always been a joke, and any original investigation into how international works will reveal Israel hasn’t violated a single stipulation. Notice how none of these so-called human rights lawyers have submitted judgments to actual criminal courts…because they have no case. Once the law sets in, Israel passes.

            Also, United States also provides the Palestinians with more than 700 million in free money a year, most of which has been siphoned off to pay for wars or continue the perpetual state of dependency to prevent a self-sustaining livelihood. United States and Israel are the #1 supporters of the Palestinians, rather odd don’t you think? Again, you not only put legalism ahead of reality, you deliberately manipulate facts to fit your agenda. You do not care about the Palestinians, you don’t even bother to read the actual statistics. Just Arab talking points.

            Apologism is terrorism.

            (double post) delete the above one, I accidentally replied to the wrong post. Sorry!

          • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            “No, it wasn’t. There is no stipulation in any water-laws that prevents a foreign entity from approaching a boat in international waters.”

            But there are stipulations in international law forbidding warships from threatening peaceful civilian vessels, from seizing them under threat of violence, and from kidnapping their passengers.

            Israel’s attack on the ship was a crime, a violation of international law. Richard Falk (whom you’ve still not demonstrated is a “bigot”) was absolutely correct about that.

          • Jacob

            As always, thanks for ignoring everything I wrote. I responded to your dubious “points” explicitly, it is truly unfortunate that you refuse to reciprocate.

            You assume Israel “threatened” the vessel and it was “peaceful.” Ignoring radio calls and charging through water is not peaceful. And no one was kidnapped, stop hijacking words. You want kidnapped? Islamists trying to capture Israeli soldiers patrolling borders. Shia islamists nabbing ethnic rivals in Bagdad, and baking them in ovens.

            That is kidnapping. Removing a mouthpiece from a volatile situation is heroic, and Israel should be commended.

            I suggest you forfeit your American citizenship and move to Gaza. Please, they need you more then we do.

          • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            I only need respond to your assertion Israel committed no crime, by observing that it’s false. Israel did commit a crime. That is the central point here. When you get straight on that, we can discuss the tangential issues you brought up. But so long as you continue to delude yourself about that and defend indefensible actions, I see no point in wasting my time on the rest of it.

          • Jacob

            No, stop with the fallacies. No crime was committed, no UN resolution was passed, and no citation was issued. Just because Falk says something is unlawful does not make it so. He is a lobbyist for the Palestinian leadership, what do you think he is going to say?

            Such a failed journalists, try fact-checking instead of acting as a mouthpiece and assuming bad faith. This is a blog, not a journal.

          • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            So, if Iran violently threatened, boarded, and commandeered and Israeli ship in international waters and took all its Jewish passengers to Iran to be put in jail, that would be legal?

            Or does you’re saying this is not a crime only apply to Israel?

          • Jacob

            You seem to have an affinity for Iran. I’ll bite. Let’s breakdown your original “analogy:”

            “It comes down to weapons for you. Okay. So by your standard it would be okay for, say, Iran, to blockade Israel ostensibly in order to prevent weapons from entering the country, to stop humanitarian aid shipments under this pretext, to threaten peaceful vessels trying to reach Israel on the high seas, to board them and take their passengers to Iran, there to be put in jail.”

            I said:

            If Israel was supplying weapons to non-state actors bordering Iran, I’m sure the state would take counter-measures in preventing such distribution. I really don’t see how it is so immoral for countries to protect the livelihood of their citizens – which Israel is actively doing.

            Here is another fancy analogy:

            “if Iran violently threatened, boarded, and commandeered and Israeli ship in international waters and took all its Jewish passengers to Iran to be put in jail, that would be legal?”

            Define threatened? Did Israel say it would sink Free Gaza if it moved closer? No. Did it say it would execute every man, women, and child on the boat if it came closer? No. Israel asked the ship to identify itself, turn back around, or be boarded.

            Your reliance on the Free Gaza Movement information, which would be considered a primary source, is suspect. In a region such as the Middle East, the threshold for threatened is quite high. The Gaza/Israel/International waters is a hotbed for weapons smuggling – and that is Israel’s aim, to end weapons smuggling. The article and yourself suggests Israel’s diverting the ship away from Gaza is an attempt to punish Gaza is woefully inaccurate – as Israel took the aid on the ship and moved it into Gaza BY LAND! But, you failed to mention that in the article.

            The boat was on its way to Gaza, the boat failed to respond to Israeli radio-calls, and the organization has a long history of confrontations, one of which almost led to the sinking of a ship (not Israel’s fault!) that it seemed logical to remove the ship before it neared the borders.

            If Iran radioed an Israeli ship that said “Free Iran” they would shoot it out of the water. Also, the passengers were released, not held hostage. Israel had no incentive to keep the “activists” in jail. They were probably in a holding cell, pretty standard.

            If your moral standard is this low I can’t imagine your opinion on the slave trade in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, but I guess that’s okay – not Jews to demonize.

          • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            By “threatened”, I mean firing shots in the direction of the boat and, under threat of violence, stopping the boat. So, with that definition, please answer the questions:

            So, if Iran violently threatened, boarded, and commandeered and Israeli ship in international waters and took all its Jewish passengers to Iran to be put in jail, that would be legal?

            Or does you’re saying this is not a crime only apply to Israel?

          • Jacob

            Did Israel fire shots in the direction of the boat? Did Israel threaten violence?

            These are the questions that must be answered explicitly. Gaza Movement is not a reliable source. The definition of threat, the exact process in which the Israeli navy dealt with the ship (the navy is part of a professional military), and the extent to how Gaza movement responded must be answered from a reliable 3rd party.

            Also, what must be determined is where this ship was specifically during the confrontation. Did Israel concede the ship was in concrete-international waters?

            This is a war-zone after all. Cyprus Navy is patrolling its waters, Egypt is patrolling its waters, and Israel is patrolling its waters. The “international” zone is layered in between the countries so I imagine it could be pretty easy to get lost.

            “Iran violently threatened, boarded, and commandeered and Israeli ship in international waters and took all its Jewish passengers to Iran to be put in jail, that would be legal?”

            The story behind the Gaza movement boat must be qualified before such an extreme analogy could be honestly stated. Iran would never board an Israeli ship – Iran and Israel are technically at war (Hezbollah and Hamas are Iranian proxies). They’d shoot the ship out of the water.

          • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            “Did Israel fire shots in the direction of the boat? Did Israel threaten violence?”

            Yes. Free Gaza documented it on video.

            “Also, what must be determined is where this ship was specifically during the confrontation.”

            It is uncontroversial that the ship was in international waters. Israel has not even bothered to claim otherwise.

            Now, if you would care to answer the hypothetical question: So, if Iran violently threatened, boarded, and commandeered and Israeli ship in international waters and took all its Jewish passengers to Iran to be put in jail, that would be legal?

            Yes or no? Do you apply your standard universally, or are you a hypocrite?

          • Jacob

            “Yes. Free Gaza documented it on video.”

            I don’t see any video, and that is hardly concluding evidence. Nothing sinister about firing warning shots after the boat refused to acknowledge Israel’s radio calls. Regardless. Free Gaza Movement has been involved in dozens of confrontations, and has sailed into Israeli waters several times illegally – where is your moral outrage there?

            You are putting politics ahead of reality. If you truly think Israel had any intention of killing these people, you are not very intelligent.

            “It is uncontroversial that the ship was in international waters. Israel has not even bothered to claim otherwise.”

            Yes, it is very controversial, considering Free Gaza Movement has a long history of acts of provocation.

            Now, if you would care to answer the hypothetical question: So, if Iran violently threatened, boarded, and commandeered and Israeli ship in international waters and took all its Jewish passengers to Iran to be put in jail, that would be legal?

            Again, unfair analogy and extremely silly. Iran and Israel are at war, Hamas is an Iranian proxy for christ’s sake. Iran would never request an Israeli ship to turn around, they would simply shoot it out of the water.

            You are fishing for something that clearly isn’t there. The aid went to Gaza, the people were released, the Free Gaza Movement got their publicity. Everybody wins.

          • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            Yes, it is “sinister” to threaten violence upon an unarmed ship in international waters. It’s “sinister” to seize a ship operating in international waters and to abduct its crew and imprison them without cause. These are crimes.

            Now, please answer the fair question, however “silly” or unlikely it may be: So, if Iran violently threatened, boarded, and commandeered and Israeli ship in international waters and took all its Jewish passengers to Iran to be put in jail, that would be legal?

          • Jacob

            Your selective-thinking is clever I will admit, but this is becoming quote boring.

            Yes, it is “sinister” to threaten violence upon an unarmed ship in international waters. It’s “sinister” to seize a ship operating in international waters and to abduct its crew and imprison them without cause. These are crimes.

            No violence was threatened, so stop making up lies. the ship was not seized or claimed by Israel, this isn’t Somalia. Stop hijacking loaded words to serve your argument. No crew was abducted, they were processed, questioned, and deported. this wasn’t a kidnapping. The cause was simply, the ship planned on going into Gaza – that would be crossing Israel’s waters and in strict violation of the blockade being enforced by 4 nations. the only ticker here is that the ship was approached in “international waters” and while that MAY have violated a stipulation in an agreement, so is Iran and Syria smuggling missiles, Aks, and grenades to Hamas – but you don’t care about that.

            You are overstating the seriousness of what happened and are clearly towing the grand-standing of Free Gaza. What they did was dangerous and was very abusive.

            So, if Iran violently threatened, boarded, and commandeered and Israeli ship in international waters and took all its Jewish passengers to Iran to be put in jail, that would be legal?

            I answered this absurd analogy several times. It is a false analogy, and a strawman. Simply saying it is not only insulting but a clear demonstration of your lack of understanding of this conflict.

            If an organization known as “Free Iran” that had a history of violating Iranian waters, routinely challenged Iranian navy boats and refused to acknowledge call-signs or messages via radio – and this was a systematic, habitual tactic enshrined in their charter – it would not be illegal for Iran to tell the ship to piss off.

            But this is a silly analogy because Iran does not fire warning shots, nor do any Arabs or Palestinians. Remember when Iran captured the British ship? Yeah, where were your articles then?

            Please read a book, pro-Arab Americans are disgusting.

            Now, please answer the fair question, however “silly” or unlikely it may be: So, if Iran violently threatened, boarded, and commandeered and Israeli ship in international waters and took all its Jewish passengers to Iran to be put in jail, that would be legal?

          • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            This discussion has come to an end. I can’t have a meaningful discussion with someone who simply denies facts he finds inconvenient, such as that Israel threatened the Free Gaza ship with violence or that the crew was abducted.

          • Jacob

            Lol.

  • Jacob

    “Yes. Free Gaza documented it on video.”

    I don’t see any video, and that is hardly concluding evidence. Nothing sinister about firing warning shots after the boat refused to acknowledge Israel’s radio calls. Regardless. Free Gaza Movement has been involved in dozens of confrontations, and has sailed into Israeli waters several times illegally – where is your moral outrage there?

    You are putting politics ahead of reality. If you truly think Israel had any intention of killing these people, you are not very intelligent.

    “It is uncontroversial that the ship was in international waters. Israel has not even bothered to claim otherwise.”

    Yes, it is very controversial, considering Free Gaza Movement has a long history of acts of provocation.

    Now, if you would care to answer the hypothetical question: So, if Iran violently threatened, boarded, and commandeered and Israeli ship in international waters and took all its Jewish passengers to Iran to be put in jail, that would be legal?

    Again, unfair analogy and extremely silly. Iran and Israel are at war, Hamas is an Iranian proxy for christ’s sake. Iran would never request an Israeli ship to turn around, they would simply shoot it out of the water.

    You are fishing for something that clearly isn’t there. The aid went to Gaza, the people were released, the Free Gaza Movement got their publicity. Everybody wins.

    Yes or no? Do you apply your standard universally, or are you a hypocrite?

  • Sam

    Jacob?
    You still there? Not so certain about Israel’s intentions are you?