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From what I have gathered from following the Rachel Corrie via Twitter and on Al Jazeera English, is that the US Government has yet to step up to the plate and say something in support of this humanitarian mission. More after the break...

Alright, I am by no means pro-Israel or pro-Palestine. I think that both have their faults, but this is something that is more than that, this is something humanitarian and civil rights.

I am following this mainly on twitter so thus, I am a bit confused on what is going on right now. From what I can gather from the conflicting reports is that at this moment (Roughly 2 AM PDT) that the Rachel Corrie is somewhere between 20-30 nautical miles off the cost of Gaza. There are reports that it has been forcibly seized by IDF and others that it has not been.

The point of this diary entry is to see where people stand on if you think that our government, President Barack Obama should release a statement in support of what the Rachel Corrie and other Freedom Flotillas are doing, or if we should continue down the current path of supporting Israel no matter what they do, even as they kill an American citizen with 9 shots at close-range.

Originally posted to progressivepagan on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 02:01 AM PDT.

Poll

Should the Government support the Flotillas

69%78 votes
30%34 votes

| 112 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  An american citizen (4+ / 0-)
    attacking an Israeli soldier.  I don't support Israel no matter what, and suggestion that those are the only two options is insulting.  The flotillas should not be supported because they are illegally attempting to run a legal blockade.  They can send humanitarian supply through Ashdod and if it doesn't get through I will join you in protesting, but not before.
    •  The blockade is not legal. (10+ / 0-)

      Insisting repeatedly that the UN is wrong and Israel is right about this does not make it so.

      They can send humanitarian supply through Ashdod and if it doesn't get through I will join you in protesting, but not before.

      This would be laughable if it didn't display such profound ignorance.  Thousands of tons of aid sit, undelivered, in Israeli warehouses already.

      "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

      by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:10:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The question is whether it's proportional (0+ / 0-)

        response.  My morning project - at least until everyone wakes up - is trying to track down some kind of background on that question.  This is the frustrating thing about international law; so much of it is heavily fact-dependent, but there's little in the way of legal precedent (or its international law equivalent)

        •  No, it's not. There is no question (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Euroliberal, rb608, Opakapaka, midwestblue

          of "proportional" denial of purely civilian items such as text books and Kraft Dinner.

          Had Israel acted in good faith during the last three years and let all legitimate civilian aid through with reasonable promptness, we would be having these conversations right now.

          Such actions would have actually been legal.

          "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

          by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:20:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If Israel's claim that a blockade can (0+ / 0-)

            legitimately bar luxury goods, then that shouldn't have any bearing on the legality of the blockade.  I don't know if that claim is correct, but the reasoning appears formally valid.

            •  That, then, raises the further question of (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              barnowl, midwestblue

              how we define a luxury good.  

              •  the blockade is obviously illegal (6+ / 0-)

                they're banning things like children's crayons or spices like rosemary or thyme. There's nothing to argue about here: it's collective punishment of a civilian population and that is explicitly illegal a dozen ways according to international law. The fact that you're defending the right of a bunch of vindictive sadists to tell thousands of hungry children they can't even have crayons to use in kindergarden is disgraceful - I mean, how low can a human being sink?

              •  Currently, with about as much dedication (4+ / 0-)

                to basic honesty as John Yoo defined "torture".

                Israel has legitimate security concerns.  It's reasonable that all incoming shipments be inspected for weapons.

                It's no longer reasonable to allow The State of Israel to produce its own contraband lists.  They've shown a complete lack of good faith in doing so over the last three years.

                It's also no longer reasonable to let them have any ability at all to control the timing of the flow of goods.

                Personally, I'd support a plan that used American inspection teams in Cyprus, and an American list of "military and duel use goods".  But, that's me.

                "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

                by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:40:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  How About This (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Euroliberal, letsgetreal

          "additional information is also coming in in the form of a report from an unnamed Israeli staff-sergeant, who claims proudly to have single-handedly killed at least six of the civilian aid workers.
          The staff-sergeant says he has no doubt everyone on board was a "terrorist" and claimed there were secretly dozens of "hardcore mercenaries" on board.
          The staff-sergeant’s story is being well received in Israel, where the killings have been lionized by a sympathetic media and by government officials eager to cash in on the latest jingoist craze. He is now being praised for "stabilizing the situation" and is being considered for a medal of valor for his killings."
          http://news.antiwar.com/...
          Israel has gone off the deep end, and our wimpy politicians are wringing their hands.

        •  Isn't the real question (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Euroliberal, letsgetreal, IndieGuy

          whether or not it is collective punishment?

          Art. 33. No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.

          Is a campaign to forcibly "put Gazans on a diet" and to deprive them of things like canned fruit, fruit juice, jam, plastic toys, wood for furniture, or chocolate "collective punishment"? Is it a "collective penalty" or a "measure to intimidate"? If so, it violates Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Which of course is why Israel refuses to release a list of banned items, as such a list would constitute proof of this illegality.

          Per the BBC:

          The lack of clarity causes immense frustration not just among Gazans, but among aid groups, diplomats, and the United Nations - which has described Israel's blockade as "collective punishment"

          You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

          by Opakapaka on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 06:11:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Okay...since you insist... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        midwestblue

        ...chapter and verse. Right now.  Make the case for the blockade's illegality or shut up about it.

        •  There are a few arguments: first is that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rja, IndieGuy

          Israel occupies Gaza de facto, even if not de jure, so it has a Geneva Convention obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of its occupants.  The second doesn't turn on the status of Israel's relationship to Gaza, but instead notes that a blockade is illegal if it constitutes a disproportionate response (ie, the military objective isn't significant enough to justify the suffering of the citizenry; this can be found in the San Remo manual, a sort of restatement of law for international naval war)

          •  Let's delve... (3+ / 0-)

            Now let's apply the facts.  Restating and citing:

            1. The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if:

            (a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or
            (b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.

            1. Currently, parties dispute whether or not the civilian population is starving, let alone starving as a consequence of the blockade.
            1. Israel has successfully denied the Hamas government access to heavy weapons, materials for fortification, and material for weapons construction. She's had fair to middling success in halting the flow of small arms and ammunition. She's had considerably success in drying up Hamas revenue, the result which is that payroll shortages even amongst its fighting units are increasingly frequent.

            Moreover,

            1. If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:

            (a) the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted; and
            (b) the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organization which offers guarantees of impartiality, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.

            Couple of points:

            1. Critics arbitrarily assert that failure to maintain food security at pre-blockade levels qualifies as inadequate provision for the civilian population. By this reasoning, no blockade is ever legal.
            1. Free Gaza offers no guarantee of impartiality. In fact, it is an avowed partisan against Israel's belligerency.  So, what legal obligation does Israel have consent to its free entry into Gaza Harbor?
            •  Agreed on all points save one: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              revprez

              Israel has successfully denied the Hamas government access to heavy weapons, materials for fortification, and material for weapons construction. She's had fair to middling success in halting the flow of small arms and ammunition. She's had considerably success in drying up Hamas revenue, the result which is that payroll shortages even amongst its fighting units are increasingly frequent.

              That's certainly true, but it's only half of the proportionality test.  We don't just look at the military successes, but balance it against the suffering of the target population.  Gaza has been utterly devastated by the blockade; by contrast, Hamas attacks prior to the blockade were largely ineffectual, random lobbing of missiles w/ comparatively few casualties.  

              •  Undoubtedly... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                burrow owl, mkrell

                ...but you actually have to perform the test, and as it stands that test is performed either by the courts of the inflicting sovereign or an international tribunal.

                And this is precisely where this endless war crimes boondoggle breaks down. Activists on either side will scream to high heaven about the appropriate application of the test and expected result, yet no one sees the inside of a court rooom. There's just no profit whatsoever in the debate, except maybe to who's blowing more smoke up whose asses.

          •  As was shown above... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            burrow owl

            the question of military advantage is key.

            Is this a reasonableness test, based on the facts and circumstances that exist in the situation?

            Is this a test that all for states?  To me, many states, faced with a something similar, an armed conflict, would insist they have the right to do what Israel has done.  In fact, enough have engaged in the same practice that it seems permitted as customary law.

            And as there is a purpose to prevent weapons, it cannot  the "sole" purpose is to starve or deprive the population.

            I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

            by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:32:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed that the practice is common in (0+ / 0-)

              wars, and one thing that irks me about intl law in this area is that past practice is just bracketed off as if were irrelevant.  That said, the test here is proportionality: we weigh the military advantage against the deprivation of the population under blockade.  That's a facts & circumstances test, so it doesn't seem to admit of an obvious, categorical answer.

              •  States get a margin of appreciation... (0+ / 0-)

                to define their own military advantage, except it seems if it is Israel.  States know that one day they may need to act similarly to protect their self-interest.

                I think Israel can make a compelling case based on what has occurred.  Does this mean that other means should not be explored, no.

                I wish that the international community would not be derelict.  Look how it acted when Israel withdrew from Gaza and the missiles started flying.  Such inaction is part of the equation in looking at the issue of military necessity and advantage.  If no one will step up when Israel does what they seek, then why should Israel think the international community will help this time?

                Israel's claims that there is a double standard has merit in my opinion.

                I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

                by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:49:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  You forget (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            letsgetreal

            Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva convention which prohibits collective penalties and measures intended to intimidate occupied persons.

            You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

            by Opakapaka on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 06:49:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The US HAS made a statement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarackStarObama

    The White House has said that RC should head to Ashdod and remove the supplies from there.

    They've also said the blockade is unsustainable and needs to be altered.

  •  No offense, but people like to say... (8+ / 0-)

    they are balanced, yet then make imbalanced statements.

    I think your conclusion is an example.

    Personally, I think a growing number of people pay lip service to Israel's right to defend itself, and even to exist.  No other state receives similar scrutiny.  There is a double standard.

    With open borders, Israel experienced suicide bombers.  They left Gaza and there was indifference to the rocket attacks.  How should it deal with this?

    Let's say Israel does end the blockade, and allows free access into Gaza.  How will the weapons flow be controlled.  Look at Lebanon.  Not very effective.

    The Palestinian people are pawns, just like many others.  They are not to blame, nor are Israeli people.  It is the leaders who manipulate the people, just like here in America.

    I wish the leaders of Hamas would stop portraying Israelis and Jews in hateful and dehumanizing ways on children's TV.  That, more than anything, says something to me about the purpose of their manipulative efforts.  Somehow, I don't believe they will stop it under any circumstances.  I do not feel secure to see this.  I cannot imagine how it makes an Israeli feel.    

    I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

    by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 02:24:00 AM PDT

    •  ok, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW
      There are 1.5 million people in desperate need of humanitarian aid in Gaza.  I say this with no hyperbole intended.

      If Israel cannot find a solution to that problem, there will be deaths in the hundreds of thousands.  Israel with be accused of genocide, and that label will stick all through out the Muslim world for generations.

      At that point Israel will be the holiest of all targets for Islamic radicals and moderates a like.  Is the current leadership of Israel ready to sentence future generations of Israelis to such a fate?

      As someone, whose only interest is peace, I certainly hope they aren't.  I've seen and read about the conditions inside of Gaza in documentaries and books.  If Israel waits another year, they will have crossed a threshold, which I fear there is no returning from.

      •  I think your estimates of death... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, AlexanderHamilton

        are closer to what has occurred in many other armed conflicts which get much less attention.

        Israel already is the holiest target, that is the very point.

        Without considering the Israeli position in the matter, which most gloss over with lip service, there will be no progress either.  The West Bank Palestinians understand.  They are trying to build a state, which in turn will create security.  They know in the end there will be a land swap, but Jerusalem remains a big problem.  In Gaza, Hamas has followed a different path.  

        I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

        by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 03:12:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What's the death toll now from deprivation? (0+ / 0-)
      •  To this question... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Teeth, david graeber, IndieGuy

        Is the current leadership of Israel ready to sentence future generations of Israelis to such a fate?

        I can answer with an unhesitating "Yes."  From my observations, the government of Israel (like too many other governments) derives its continued power by maintaining, not solving conflicts.   The current leadership of Israel, and that of future generations, would disappear if Israeli/Palestinian relations were friendly.  The same goes for Hamas.  The money and power depend on continued fighting, and both sides seem to have that as a larger part of their motivation than actual security for their people.

        You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

        by rb608 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:39:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your argument might not be a laughable (5+ / 0-)

      distraction if things like pasta hadn't been blocked.

      The purpose of the blockade is to cause civilian suffering.

      There have been multiple proposals made, including inspection in a neutral port by an international team with Israeli observers.

      These have been rejected - Israel refuses to give up the ability to cut aid flows or deny given civilian goods at a whim.

      That's because doing so would defeat the entire purpose of the blockade.

      "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

      by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:14:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm trying to google that and haven't (0+ / 0-)

        been successful.  Any detail on the proposal or its refusal that could help?

        •  Here's one reference (4+ / 0-)

          One option canvassed by international diplomats is for Turkey, countries allied to Israel or even the UN to send officially sanctioned vessels whose cargo would be subjected to strict inspection before dispatch.

          Israel continues to insist that all ships dock in Israel, and all goods be off-loaded there.

          It's about being able to clamp down....whenever.

          "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

          by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:34:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Are you an authority on everything? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, Gambiteer

        I see you all over the boards pontificating as an expert, which surely you are not.  Your certainty is a tip-off.

        Justice Souter at the recent Harvard Law graduation, made a point about certainty:

        Is there any one of us who has not lived through moments, or years, of longing for a world without ambiguity, and for the stability of something unchangeable in human institutions?  I don’t forget my own longings for certainty, which heartily resisted the pronouncement of Justice Holmes, that certainty generally is illusion and repose is not our destiny.

        Grow up!  Your incessant need to quibble does not allow you to even address the actual point I was making.

        I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

        by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:28:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your inability to do basic research and your (6+ / 0-)

          bizarre quoting of Souter doesn't substitute for sound argument.

          You haven't the right to subject children to malnutrition just because Hamas scares you.

          "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

          by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:35:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why not? (0+ / 0-)

            Even assuming that Gazan children are malnourished as a result of the blockade, what's changed since the Union blockade of the Confederacy?

          •  Where is your research Mr. I know everything? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gooderservice

            You stated above that the naval blockade was not legal.  Provide some authority for that assertion of fact.

            You cannot even see when a point is being made because you are so certain of yourself.

            Did you substantively address the points raised in my original comment?  Of course not.

            Grow up!  I know high school kids that can run circles around you because they are not so sure of themselves.

             

            I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

            by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:47:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Heh. You keep spinning around like that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Euroliberal, letsgetreal

              and the hole you're in is going to get a lot deeper.

              I don't know everything. I do know how to research.  It's no unique skill.  If you were interested in learning it, I've no doubt you could master it rather quickly.

              You're so certain you have a point that you've utterly failed to realize that you haven't made one.  Being certain about some things, like the sun rising in the east, or left turns yielding, isn't some sort of deficit of character.

              Neither is refusing to buy into your multi-comment argument this evening -

              "no one is really sure if left turns are supposed to yield....and doesn't the fact that Hamas really scares me have to be taken into account in all traffic related discussion?"

              This just doesn't hold any water, no matter how confident I may or may not be in the case I'm presenting.

              "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

              by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:56:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Don't feed the trolls n/t (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Euroliberal, JesseCW

                "If you can't lower heaven, raise hell!" - Mother Jones

                by al ajnabee on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:58:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Where is the authority for your assertion? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice, Gambiteer

                My comment spoke about the tv programming directed at children.  That is as bad as malnutrition, poisoning the mind.  Why did you neglect that?

                You said the naval blockade was illegal.  This is supposed to be a reality based community.  Can you provide a link where the illegality has been declared by a competent tribunal or body?

                I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

                by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:03:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Since this is international law, (0+ / 0-)

                  there are no competent tribunals.  To the extent one thinks such a thing as international law exists, however, we can look to various sources and restatements of that law.

                  (I lean toward international law skepticism; following the realists and the later positivists, law must be more than mere norms.  I think we can meaningfully talk about international norms, but I'm skeptical of the notion that there's such a thing as international law [bracketing some areas like trade that do have rules and, crucially, enforcement mechanisms])

                  •  That is not true (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    burrow owl

                    There are competent tribunals, such as the ICJ.  Could not Turkey bring a case?

                    I understand the political element of international law.  There are some elements that are more "positive" than others, as you recognize.

                    I did not make the categorical assertion that the blockade was illegal, either.  That is why I asked the one who made the statement for the legal authority.

                    I think LOAC allows the blockade as an instance of customary law.  There is ample state practice.  Some argue about the nature of the conflict, but I think it does not matter.  It's my opinion, of course, but one can go back a long ways and find some rules relating to the matter, not to mention the more recent San Remo Manual.  

                    I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

                    by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:17:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  You've made it clear that you're simply irrate (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Euroliberal, letsgetreal, angel d

                  and irrational after being called out on the insanely doctored propoganda video you were pushing.

                  I understand that no matter what links I present, and no matter how many more UN Resolutions I cite to you in diary after diary, you're just going to keep this up.

                  Because all it's about is your anger that you couldn't pass off the "Go back to Auschwitz" lie.

                  "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

                  by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:22:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I am not irate. (0+ / 0-)

                    I am not angry.  Your statement is FALSE!

                    But now I see you again need to talk about me rather than back up your assertions of fact and law.  What I do not see, however, is the slightest authority to back up what you say.

                    I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

                    by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:36:25 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  One more thing (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice

                You say this:

                You're so certain you have a point that you've utterly failed to realize that you haven't made one.

                That is false and inaccurate.

                I made several points in my first comment.  I asked a couple of questions.  You chose to ignore them.

                Would you care to watch some Hamas and PA TV?

                I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

                by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:07:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I would respectfully suggest, then, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, IndieGuy

          that a rational refutation of errors would be more appropriate than ad hominem.

          You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

          by rb608 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:41:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I get this same old thing constantly. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gooderservice

            Telling someone they are a know it all and to grow up is pretty tame criticism.

            I suggest you look at some the comments, which in my view back up what I said.  See how much authority this person provides as compared to insults.  In that vein, refuting errors at this stage is a waste of time.      

            I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

            by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:52:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  These are the internets; (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kickemout

          we all pontificate as experts!

      •  For once, we agree on something... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        ...sort of.

        The purpose of the blockade isn't to cause civilian suffering.  If it were, then there'd be no need to permit any material flow in and out of Gaza.  The principal objective is to deny the Hamas government the revenue it needs in order to function properly in an effort to topple it.  Reasonable people can disagree on whether or not this approach is effective.  Critics argue that Hamas is still in power. Proponents point out that Hamas is nevertheless weakened due to unpaid salaries and reduced to preying on its own population. Whether this is ethical or legal is an argument sovereign states and NGOs have yet to resolve in the entire modern history of economic sanctions. BTW, that's the reason why I refuse to either concede or debate your commentary on the matter; there's simply no end to it amongst professional students of international law, let alone amateurs.

        Ultimately, I doubt we'd agree on whether the blockade is useful (or "sustainable," in the world's continuing abuse of the term). So let's deal with the cold, hard political reality.  There is no domestic pressure in Israel to stop pursuing what she's decided is in her best interests as it pertains to Gaza.  There is no pressure on Israel to change her tune coming from the United States.  In fact, there's overwhelming sympathy from the American public that forces the most internationally progressive administration since Carter's to tacitly approve of the blockade. Even if you believe Israel cannot stand on her own, there's no arguing that Israel can stand indefinitely with American support.

        •  This doesn't logically follow. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Opakapaka, IndieGuy

          The purpose of the blockade isn't to cause civilian suffering.  If it were, then there'd be no need to permit any material flow in and out of Gaza.

          That's like saying no one would ever slap someone they did not want to kill.

          There is no pressure on Israel to change her tune coming from the United States.

          Yes, there is.  Not only from many citizens of the United States, but also even pressure from the US State Department to dramatically lighten up on the siege.

          Even if you believe Israel cannot stand on her own, there's no arguing that Israel can stand indefinitely with American support.

          Yes, there is.  The US is an empire in decline, and does not have limitless resources.

          "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

          by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:46:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here we go... (0+ / 0-)

            That's like saying no one would ever slap someone they did not want to kill.

            Unless you consider food aid an assault, your analogy falls flat.

            Yes, there is.  Not only from many citizens of the United States, but also even pressure from the US State Department to dramatically lighten up on the siege.

            Oh, if that's the case, you'll gladly share with us the consequences our peerless diplomats have laid out if the Israelis do not cooperate.

            Yes, there is.  The US is an empire in decline, and does not have limitless resources.

            This is a non-sequitur.  I'll gladly stipulate that all nations risk an expiration date.

            •  Well, if there was any doubt that you might (0+ / 0-)

              just be trolling for kicks, it's now put to rest.

              Even if you believe Israel cannot stand on her own, there's no arguing that Israel can stand indefinitely with American support.

              Yes, there is.  The US is an empire in decline, and does not have limitless resources.

              This is a non-sequitur.  I'll gladly stipulate that all nations risk an expiration date.

              "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

              by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:31:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Somebody get this man a dictionary... (0+ / 0-)

                Main Entry: in·def·i·nite
                Pronunciation: (ˌ)in-ˈdef-nət, -ˈde-fə-\
                Function: adjective
                Etymology: Latin indefinitus, from in- + definitus definite
                Date: 1530
                : not definite: as a : typically designating an unidentified, generic, or unfamiliar person or thing <the indefinite articles a and an> <indefinite pronouns> b : not precise : vague c : having no exact limits

  •  They won't, and here is why (5+ / 0-)
    At most they will say Israel handled the situation poorly.  The reason they would say this is to force Israel back to the table.

    Now they won't stand with the flotilla, because they won't get anything out of it.  Hamas is in no way influenced by what the US has to say.  They don't recognize the US as potential partner in the peace process.  It still isn't clear that Hamas is even sophisticated enough to have an end game in mind.

    Diplomacy is a zero sum game.  Any diplomatic action should be designed to achieve a specific goal.  Hamas has yet to build any credibility with other nations.  Until they agree to something (even something small) and honor the agreement, you will not see any western nation openly support anything tied to them.

    Now you will see criticism of Israel, but that only marginally benefits the people in Gaza.  If Hamas wants to use this incident to its fullest, they have to put something on the table to the international community.  Perhaps proposing a compromise which has a third party weapon inspections for all incoming aid.

    Even if Israel were to reject this compromise, it would paint them as the rational player.  It would also put Israel on the defensive, if they chose to reject such an offer.

    Mind you I'm discussing all of this in only political terms.

    •  Such proposals have been repeatedly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      letsgetreal, saildude, Dr Teeth

      made by FGM and rejected by Israel.

      Even tonight, the crew of the Rachel Corrie repeatedly asked the IDF to board them and inspect them at sea, and then let them proceed to Gaza.

      This isn't about weapons.  It's about control and collective punishment.

      "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

      by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:17:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Israel already has an established procedure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Teeth

        that isn't totally crazy - like docking in whatever port (Ashdod?) they've preselected - then why wouldn't the Rachel Corrie oblige?

        On Friday, the Israeli and Irish governments reached an agreement to unload the vessel’s cargo at the port in Ashdod, in southern Israel, and transport it to Gaza — essentially the same deal Israel offered to the activists in the aid convoy that was attacked on Monday.

        But Greta Berlin, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza Movement, the principal organizer of the earlier flotilla, said that those on board had rejected that approach. "The whole point is to try to break the blockade," Ms. Berlin said, speaking by telephone from Cyprus.

        link

        •  Because the "procedure" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Teeth

          is for all goods to be off-loaded, for inspection to take months while the shipper is charged warehousing fees,  for a great many perfectly ordinary goods (and Israel refuses to publish a list) to be rejected, and then for additional delays to pile up.

          Let's not kid anyone about this - in the first quarter of 2010 Israel allowed 1.47 pounds of aid through per person per day, according to them.

          So, if the concern is weapons, why didn't the IDF inspect the MV Rachel Corrie at sea and allow it to proceed?

          "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

          by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:14:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the Free Gaza ships were acting in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Teeth

            good faith, I don't think that'd be a problem; but they're not.  Their goal isn't to settle on reasonable inspection procedures, but to break the blockade in order to compel the ongoing delivery of uninspected goods (mind you, I'm not saying they want that in order to smuggle weapons or anything like that; I don't have any reason to think that they aren't acting in good faith when they say they want unimpeded delivery of non-military goods).

            That's also not to say that Israel is acting in good faith, either; your diary this morning was pretty informative on that score.

            •  Their goal is break the blockade and (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Opakapaka, letsgetreal, Dr Teeth

              prevent any Israeli control over what goods come in or out and when, barring arms.

              They know there will be arms inspections.

              They're operating "in good faith", though.  They've been totally up-front about their goals here.

              There is, of course, a whole lot of room for debate about "duel use" goods.  They (FGM) refuse to accept limits on anything other than arms.

              "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

              by JesseCW on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:28:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Absolutely. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dr Teeth

                They're operating "in good faith", though.  They've been totally up-front about their goals here.

                That's precisely why Israel is reasonably refusing their demand here.  They know that the ship wouldn't make the offer if it weren't part of their strategy to eliminate the blockade.

            •  Let's not forget that... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dr Teeth

              Hamas REJECTED what was delivered.  What does that say?

              I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

              by citizen53 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:42:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't that a bit like asking... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Euroliberal, high5, rb608, al ajnabee

    ...if Bin Laden will help stop the next 9/11 type of attack upon America?

    I mean what is the United States if not the sponsor of Israeli terrorism and it's protector against world retaliation? The US is the cause of the problem, not an external third-party entity.

  •  The question is far more complicated than (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, JesseCW

    that yes/no in the poll.  I do believe the US should strongly condemn the conditions in Gaza and the Israeli means of continuing them, including the blockade.  The US government should exert as strong an influence as possible on Israel to see that the people of Gaza have adequate food, housing, and sanitation.  The conditions in Gaza are a disgrace, and the US bears responsibility.  

    The flotilla, however, is a non-governmental entity for which avowed US support would be inappropriate at this time IMO.  The US should nonetheless use these actions of the flotilla to highlight the conditions in Gaza and the suffering there to help bring about change in US policy; but I'm not holding my breath.  

    The US government and media have a lot vested in the Israel good - Arabs bad paradigm.  I disagree, but the racism that has brought us to this point isn't going to change with a handful of ships.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:30:35 AM PDT

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