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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/6/10

Missing the Boat - Skewed Responses to Israel's Attack on Gaza Flotilla

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Much has been said, but too much is missing from the reactions to Israel's attack on the Gaza flotilla. Start with terrorism.

Omitted from discussions of the "pirate type' action is that Israel has once again swelled the terrorist ranks. The world's principal manufacturer of terrorists has assured itself relative immunity from terrorist actions by walls, fences, blockades, assassinations and "shoot to kill' confrontations. This is not true for the rest of the world. The western world acts as a safety valve for Israel, absorbing the terrorist shocks derived from the nefarious actions of the small Mediterranean nation.

President Obama, aren't you pledged to defend the American people? Then, why permit the roots of terrorism to be planted by Israel? Why not defend the American people by stopping terrorism at its feeding source?

Critics of Israel's actions have permitted themselves to be led into spurious debates that misplace the rhetoric and give a sense of legitimacy to invalid arguments.

There is no meaningful debate to whether the Israeli commandos or the Mavi Marmara ship's passengers attacked first? Israel does not define legality. A ship in international waters has a right to defend itself against attack. That right is a given and there is no debate with a given.

Ship passengers, who don't relish being towed to the port of a militarist and antagonist nation who will interrogate them and possibly hold some of them in detention"for, who knows how long, have a license to resist unlawful detention. After all, in detention they won't have any recourse. Only Israel's government will determine their individual fates. Who wants that?

Whether or not the blockade of Gaza is legal and Israel has the right to stop ships entering Gaza are not debatable. Israel's claim of defense in time of war is only a made-up story. There is no war, only an oppression of Palestinian people who are purposely provoked to revengeful attacks, while Israel wages a ferocious and unilateral war. It's similar to insinuating that slavery in America and Great Britain's subjugation of 19th century India were wars. Why legitimatize the oppression by discussing it in invalid terms?

Can Israel force ships, with cleared manifest, to steer to a selected port? This is not debatable. If permitted, Israel's actions allow any nation, who want to punish another nation for competitive or other reasons, to seize cargo at sea. Even the Somali pirates can rationalize their actions by stating, "We feared the ship was bringing material to our antagonists and that could be harmful to us."

Tying the action at sea to resolutions of the peace process (Is there one?), and the illegal Gaza blockade have merits. Nevertheless, the significance of an illegal act at sea should not be diluted by other crises. It should receive a unique spotlight and be approached with complete legal and moral force. Israel's almost daily criminal actions have always been related to other contexts and then allowed to be defended by these contexts - security, defense, retaliation, righteousness, spurious references, misplaced arguments, victimization, public relations, propaganda and obfuscation. Take your pick.

International investigation! The investigation proceeds from an indictment. An unarmed Turkish vessel was seized at sea. Turkey has the right to demand those involved be brought to justice and every nation that believes in international laws must agree to that indictment. A confused investigation by an international group (who are they?) will only end in another Goldstone report bound paper and unbound criminals. All those involved in this vessel seizure operation, similar to actions of the Somali pirates, should be indicted. The prosecutors can investigate and bring the case to court.

Misdirected Reporting

Dubious reporting skewed the facts.

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Dan Lieberman is the editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter. His website articles have been read in more than 150 nations, while articles written for other websites have appeared in online journals throughout the world(B 92, (more...)
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