US Media's Pro-Israeli Bias: Response to the Freedom Flotilla Slaughter - by Stephen Lendman
In promoting his 2008 book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Jimmy Carter said one reason for writing it was "to provoke (unbiased) discussion, which is very rarely heard in this country" on the question of Israel. In America, "any sort of debate back and forth, any sort of incisive editorial comment in the major newspapers, is almost completely absent....There are no significant countervailing voices" to deter Israel from getting away with murder, an illegal blockade, aggressive wars, and the most extreme crimes against humanity; its latest, of course, the massacre of peace activists taking aid to besieged Gazans.
Besides coming from officials and their spokespersons, Israel's propaganda arm, Israel Politik, said "Israel had no choice but to stop the flotilla from breaking the blockade....While Israel was forced to take action in international waters, its actions are supported by international maritime law."
False. Under international law, interdictions in international waters constitute piracy in the broadest sense of the term, and blockades are acts of war, variously defined as:
-- surrounding a nation or objective with hostile forces;
-- measures to isolate an enemy;
-- encirclement and besieging;
-- preventing the passage in or out of supplies, military forces or aid in time of or as an act of war; and
-- an act of naval warfare to block access to an enemy's coastline and deny entry to all vessels and aircraft.
According to international law expert, Professor Francis Boyle, blockades under international law are:
"....belligerent measures taken by a nation (to) prevent passage of vessels or aircraft to and from another country. Customary international law recognizes blockades as an act of war because of the belligerent use of force even against third party nations in enforcing the blockade. Blockades as acts of war have been recognized as such in the Declaration of Paris of 1856 and the Declaration of London of 1909 that delineate the international rules of warfare."
As an occupying power, Israel is obligated under the Hague Regulations of 1907, Fourth Geneva, and numerous UN resolutions to protect Palestinian rights, including for adequate food, health, education, and housing. The blockade and occupation deny them. According to Amnesty International (AI), "The blockade constitutes collective punishment under international law and must be lifted immediately." So does the occupation. Israel maintains them both repressively.
Yet Gaza poses no threat to Israel. Blockades are only permissible during war for self-defense or by Security Council authorization under the UN Charter's Article 42, stating:
Measures "to maintain or restore international peace and security....may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations."
Israel's siege is belligerent and illegal. Slaughtering unarmed aid activists at sea is cold-blooded murder. Israel Politik falsely claims its "personnel attempting to enforce the blockade were met with violence by the protesters and acted in self defense to fend off such attacks."
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) is a Boston-based non-governmental Israel Politik equivalent, producing pro-Israel propaganda while claiming to be impartial.