Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Arete » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:37 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
Arete wrote:Sorry, I missed the UN declaration that Palestine was actually a state now, and Israel recognising Palestine as a Nation State. I naively thought that part of all of this was the issue of self-determination.


Fortunately again, you're wrong. The relevant laws aren't concerned with whether the UN officially declares anything to be a state.



You posted too soon, and missed the addendum edit.


And you're also wrong: membership of the UN is predicated on accepting their rules. Ask the security council, and their absolute veto. If you want to be part of the international community, you sign up to the rules list.

Only the USA and Israel don't, on quite a few issues [i.e. chemical / biological weapon testing, and so on and so forth].

Arguing that one political party is "ok to be a state" but another democratically elected party isn't was the point I was making. You don't get to chose this, unless you're running an Empire / de-legitimising the entire process.


Sigh.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:40 am UTC

Arete wrote:And you're also wrong: membership of the UN is predicated on accepting their rules. Ask the security council, and their absolute veto. If you want to be part of the international community, you sign up to the rules list.


Um, that's nice and completely irrelevant, given that it doesn't change the fact that the laws on a blockade aren't predicated upon UN definition of a state.

Arete wrote:Arguing that one political party is "ok to be a state" but another democratically elected party isn't was the point I was making.


That's not much of a point -- whatever the PA is controlling is not a state, as it is under Israeli occupation. Gaza, not being under Israeli occupation, is a state for all intents and purposes.
Last edited by yoni45 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:43 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Arete » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:42 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
Um, that's nice and completely irrelevant, given that it doesn't change the fact that the laws on a blockade aren't predicated upon UN definition of a state.




A blockade is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as "an act of war by which a belligerent prevents access to or departure from a defined part of the enemy’s coasts




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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Kulantan » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:45 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Not to mention if Iran ever developed an H-Bomb, it would only take one to hit all of Israel.

20,770 km2 = Area of Israel
907.9 km2 = The destruction of most civilian buildings (5 psi/34 kPa) zone of a 20 MT bomb. (For refernce the lagest bomb ever bulit by the US milliatry is the B41 at 25 MT.)

yoni45 wrote:
RockoTDF wrote:53 million loaves of bread seems like a lot of bread....same thing with 69 million servings of rice. How many trucks full of wheat is that?



No clue -- is this actually pertinent?

1504 trucks. Presuming metric tons and that each truck is carrying a standard 40 foot container. Each container can only be partially filled due to the density of wheat and the maximum load of a shipping container. So each container can only carry a max of 26.6 tons. 40,000 divided by 26.6 is 1504. However it would not be surprising to see some of the trucks carrying more than a single container so a more accurate range is 752-1504 trucks.

Edits: for clarity and forgotten notation.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:46 am UTC

Arete wrote:
A blockade is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as "an act of war by which a belligerent prevents access to or departure from a defined part of the enemy’s coasts


Thank. You. For. Playing.


A. There's nothing even in there predicated upon a UN definition of a state. In fact, it doesn't even use the word 'state'.

B. Believe it or not, Encyclopedia Britannica is not an arbitrator of international law.

That has to take the cake for the least competent while most cocky rebuttal.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Arete » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:00 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:A. There's nothing even in there predicated upon a UN definition of a state. In fact, it doesn't even use the word 'state'.

B. Believe it or not, Encyclopedia Britannica is not an arbitrator of international law.

That has to take the cake for the least competent while most cocky rebuttal.



You're really still not getting it, are you?

Ok, let's be honest:

Arete: individual with no vested interest in the Middle East, depressed at current state of affairs
Yoni45: Israeli citizen, vested interest in the Middle East, avidly defending his/her national, cultural, religious identity


Sound about right?


At least put your cards on the table, and admit your bias.

Gaza was captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967, but in 1993, the city was transferred to the Palestinian National Authority. Hamas was democratically elected in 2007, shortly followed by clashes with its rival Fatah. Since then Gaza has been under a blockade by Israel.


Fact: As soon as Gaza democratically elected a governing body that Israel found unacceptable, it was blockaded. And no, you know nothing about how encyclopedias are formed if you think the Encyclopedia Britannica 'knows nothing about international law'. Strong hint: it has to define terms by reference to expert sources. In matters of "International law" you can bet that it got an expert source on international law to write the reference for it. This is how the magical entities of "encyclopedias" work.


I'm done with you. Get some perspective, or wallow in bias - I don't care. At least be brave enough to state your political badge on your lapel. ooooh.. yes. Deliberate 'Yellow Star' reference. But, hey, I'm not the guy writing in a national paper that folding on the embargo of a State.. not a State.. an Enemy at War? leads to Nazi persecution. :roll:

The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million -- that number again -- hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists -- Iranian in particular -- openly prepare a more final solution.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/03/AR2010060304287.html


That was written in the Washington Post. I find this the end of decent journalism, I really do.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:12 am UTC

Arete wrote:You're really still not getting it, are you?

Ok, let's be honest:

Arete: individual with no vested interest in the Middle East, depressed at current state of affairs
Yoni45: Israeli citizen, vested interest in the Middle East, avidly defending his/her national, cultural, religious identity

Sound about right?

At least put your cards on the table, and admit your bias.

Fact: As soon as Gaza democratically elected a governing body that Israel found unacceptable, it was blockaded. And no, you know nothing about how encyclopedias are formed if you think the Encyclopedia Britannica 'knows nothing about international law'. Strong hint: it has to define terms by reference to expert sources. In matters of "International law" you can bet that it got an expert source on international law to write the reference for it. This is how the magical entities of "encyclopedias" work.

I'm done with you. Get some perspective, or wallow in bias - I don't care. At least be brave enough to state your political badge on your lapel. ooooh.. yes. Deliberate 'Yellow Star' reference. But, hey, I'm not the guy writing in a national paper that folding on the embargo of a State.. not a State.. an Enemy at War? leads to Nazi persecution. :roll:

That was written in the Washington Post. I find this the end of decent journalism, I really do.


So, um... just to get this right...

Given all that text, you still have absolutely nothing to show that the legitimacy of a blockade is, in any way, predicated upon a party being strictly defined by the UN as a state.

Arguably speaking, that's an even bigger failure than the last, just by virtue of all the effort input.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Arete » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:20 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
So, um... just to get this right...

Given all that text, you still have absolutely nothing to show that the legitimacy of a blockade is, in any way, predicated upon a party being strictly defined by the UN as a state.

Arguably speaking, that's an even bigger failure than the last.


Ok, now you're being positively dishonest. Or stupid.

A) State A blockades State B. This is an act of War.

Agree?

Y/N

B) State B blockades .... Independent port B? Pirates of the Caribbean style? This is an act of Imperialism

Agree?

Y/N

or

C) State A blockades State B that it once semi-admitted was a State but since they democratically elected a new political party no longer want to think of them as a State at all. This is an act of political weaseling to avoid having to admit that you don't sign up to democratic notions of statehood at all (you know, the ones that state that people have a right to not like you and all)

Agree?

Y/N

At what point do you think that preventing access (not through your own national waters, remember) to a piece of land that is not part of your geographically defined "State / National boundary" giving the justification that it protects your National Interest isn't an aggressive / act of war?



Done with this. You're either stupid or working for the man. Enjoy, whatever. Bottom line: I wake up tomorrow in a State that has issues, but is at least not in the Middle East. I call this a positive thing, by the evidence of your argument.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby RockoTDF » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:23 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:The Israelis would give them concrete if they used it to build hospitals instead of bunkers. Now the Israelis only let in concrete for specific projects.


They are still hardly letting enough in. People are acting like there are tons of these "projects" when there are actually very, very few. Source: BBC

yoni45 wrote:
RockoTDF wrote:I don't think too many people are starving to death in Gaza, and I don't think anyone has claimed that specifically.


Pg. 2, JonScholar:

"You know what? I'm ok with this. The Gaza people need aid. They need building supplies. They need food."



I never said they didn't need food, I said that they aren't dying of hunger. There is a huge difference, because the latter would have gotten a lot more international attention by now.

RockoTDF wrote:I think that the problem with aid are other things, building materials, water purification systems medical supplies (such as surgical equipment, a BBC podcast I listened to talked about problems in a large hospital beyond basic medicine), and so on. It is great being clothed and fed, but living with inadequate drinkable water with a shelter shortage is probably rather unpleasant, to say the least.


The site actually goes on with:

CIC wrote:This reflects a long-term effort on the part of Israel to deliver a massive and comprehensive supply of aid to Gaza’s civilians, while restricting the ability of Hamas to import missiles that have been launched at the cities of southern Israel. In 2009 alone:

  • During the Muslim holy days of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha, Israel shipped some 11,000 head of cattle into Gaza – enough to provide 8.8 million meals of beef;
  • More than 3,000 tons of hypochlorite were delivered by Israel to Gaza for water purification purposes – that’s 60 billion gallons of purified water; and
  • Israel brought some 4,883 tons of medical equipment and medicine into Gaza – a weight equivalent to over 360,000 260-piece mobile trauma first aid kits.


So it looks like Israel does address even medical equipment. The sufficiency of that one is a bit harder to quantify without outside expertise though.


Pretty much every source of "outside expertise" indicates that what is being allowed in is not sufficient. The UN says it is less than a quarter of what is needed. All of these numbers do sound impressive, but no one in the world except Israel seems to think they are anywhere near enough.

All this said though, Israel is under no obligation to provide Gazans with a comfortable life -- this is a state with which Israel is at war. And not by their choice either -- Hamas has explicitly stated that it is not interested in peace with Israel under any circumstances and that it is interested solely in Israel's destruction.

So, as long as Israel is avoiding a humanitarian disaster, Israel is hardly obligated to provide a comfortable life to the citizens of a state that is trying to destroy it with no compromise.


Oh, so Palestine is a state now, is it?

I really don't give a shit what Hamas says. All terrorist groups can collapse if those that support them (the people) fail to do so. Which could happen if incentive to vote for, join, or materially support Hamas evaporated.

Have you ever stopped and thought about why they are interested in the destruction of your state? And don't say something pithy like "fanaticism" - it is because they are stuck in an apartheid state having their land taken away (West Bank settlements = ethnic cleansing) and forced to live in the world largest ghetto, which bred fanaticism. The sheer hypocrisy of how Israel/Palestine got to be this way in light of why Israel exists is utterly shocking.

You are not obligated to give them comfortable lives, but this arrogance is why so many of them want to kill you! You don't even have to provide a comfortable life, but instead should allow them to make comfortable lives for themselves. But they can't do that when they are in a dense urban area that probably does not lend itself well to farming or ranching and has to my knowledge no valuable resources (why would the Israelis put them where the good stuff is?). So you say "we can just leave them there in a ghetto, go kick them off land in the west bank, and we are not obligated to do shit."
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:23 am UTC

Arete wrote:Ok, now you're being positively dishonest.


Really? Because I could have sworn that you did not provide a single citation from any body of international law that as much as even alluded to the idea that a blockade is in any way predicated upon the blockaded party being officially recognized as a state by the UN.

Must be me, though.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:34 am UTC

Arete wrote:
yoni45 wrote:
So, um... just to get this right...

Given all that text, you still have absolutely nothing to show that the legitimacy of a blockade is, in any way, predicated upon a party being strictly defined by the UN as a state.

Arguably speaking, that's an even bigger failure than the last.


Ok, now you're being positively dishonest. Or stupid.

A) State A blockades State B. This is an act of War.

Agree?

Y/N

B) State B blockades .... Independent port B? Pirates of the Caribbean style? This is an act of Imperialism

Agree?

Y/N

or

C) State A blockades State B that it once semi-admitted was a State but since they democratically elected a new political party no longer want to think of them as a State at all. This is an act of political weaseling to avoid having to admit that you don't sign up to democratic notions of statehood at all (you know, the ones that state that people have a right to not like you and all)

Agree?

Y/N

At what point do you think that preventing access (not through your own national waters, remember) to a piece of land that is not part of your geographically defined "State / National boundary" giving the justification that it protects your National Interest isn't an aggressive / act of war?



Done with this. You're either stupid or working for the man. Enjoy, whatever. Bottom line: I wake up tomorrow in a State that has issues, but is at least not in the Middle East. I call this a positive thing, by the evidence of your argument.


You're missing the fact that Hamas shot rockets at Israel before they were blockaded, so blockading was a defensive act. Thank. you. for. playing

20,770 km2 = Area of Israel
907.9 km2 = The destruction of most civilian buildings (5 psi/34 kPa) zone of a 20 MT bomb. (For refernce the lagest bomb ever bulit by the US milliatry is the B41 at 25 MT.)


The USSR once built and tested a 50MT bomb. Let me find it...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsar_Bomba wrote: The heat from the explosion could have caused third degree burns 100 km (62 miles) away from ground zero. The subsequent mushroom cloud was about 64 kilometres (40 mi) high (nearly seven times the height of Mount Everest), which meant that the cloud was well inside the Mesosphere when it peaked. The base of the cloud was 40 kilometres (25 mi) wide

Also, radiation damage extends beyond that.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Arete » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:36 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
Arete wrote:Ok, now you're being positively dishonest.


Really? Because I could have sworn that you did not provide a single citation from any body of international law that as much as even alluded to the idea that a blockade is in any way predicated upon the blockaded party being officially recognized as a state by the UN.

Must be me, though.


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Manual-International-Applicable-Armed-Conflicts/dp/0521558646


Yes, you're wrong. Go knock yourself out if you dare.


sourmìlk wrote:You're missing the fact that Hamas shot rockets at Israel before they were blockaded, so blockading was a defensive act. Thank. you. for. playing




Category error: Hamas existed while the PLO existed as a recognised 'State'. And were firing rockets at the same time. Gaza was blockaded only when they were elected.

Ergo, if rockets being fired was a pre-requisite for being blockaded, then the PLO would have been blockaded. They weren't. Thus the decision was not based on rockets being fired, but on democratically elected political control of the area.

Simple logic. Thanks for playing.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:41 am UTC

RockoTDF wrote:I never said they didn't need food, I said that they aren't dying of hunger. There is a huge difference, because the latter would have gotten a lot more international attention by now.
...
Pretty much every source of "outside expertise" indicates that what is being allowed in is not sufficient. The UN says it is less than a quarter of what is needed.


The UN also created a "Human Rights" commission whose sole purpose may as well have been to demonize Israel.

That's why I brought in those numbers for analysis, with context.

Given Gaza's population, the amount of foodstuffs provided looks to be way more than enough. I mean granted, the UN says otherwise, but I'd love to see the basis of that statement given how much actually goes through.

RockoTDF wrote:Oh, so Palestine is a state now, is it?


Gaza is, for all intents and purposes.

RockoTDF wrote:I really don't give a shit what Hamas says...


Well, you might want to -- they're the guys running the joint.

RockoTDF wrote:Have you ever stopped and thought about why they are interested in the destruction of your state? And don't say something pithy like "fanaticism"...


It's obviously fanaticism -- have you actually seen what they indoctrinate their people with?

Not only that, but that fanaticism has existed for long before Gaza was blockaded.

As I noted prior, the Palestinians under occupation have actually enjoyed one of the highest standards of living among Arab states in the region. That's by metrics including literacy rates, life expectancies, etc.

Up until the 2nd intifada (circa 2000), the Palestinians had one of the fastest growing economies in the region. It only went to hell as a result of Israeli clampdowns after it was getting hit with 2 suicide bombings a month (which, relatively speaking, for Israel can be close to the equivalent of 9/11 each time -- and we've already addressed how the US dealt with that). When Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza strip, the Palestinians were firing rockets into Israel within days, and there was no blockade at the time.

You can't just sweep everything with a simplistic worldview of "it'll be better if only they'll get treated better". They've been treated better, and given too much latitude, it only got worse. You have to understand the relevant players, the ideologies involved, etc. That means understanding the differences between Fatah and Hamas, and that while the former can be corrupt bastards, the latter are fanatically hell-bent on killing the Jews.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:42 am UTC

Arete wrote:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Manual-International-Applicable-Armed-Conflicts/dp/0521558646

Yes, you're wrong. Go knock yourself out if you dare.


Right -- I guess I can chalk that one up as attempt #4 to find a single citation from any body of international law that as much as even alludes to the idea that a blockade is in any way predicated upon the blockaded party being officially recognized as a state by the UN.

And once again.... Fail.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Arete » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:47 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:The UN also created a "Human Rights" commission whose sole purpose may as well have been to demonize Israel.


You just signed up to the paranoid conspiracy that the UN is attempting to take over America / kill all the Jews camp.


These commissions are actually run by serious people, leaders in their fields, with specific instructions not to show bias. You know, perhaps, just perhaps, Israel has been guilty of a few ethically dubious things in its past. Present as well. So have Hamas. Just like the Chinese government hasn't exactly been hot on democracy.

Go on, admit it to yourself. Won't make you less patriotic.



Oh, and its Article 42 of Section VII of the UN charter, that governs the legality of blockades. Only UN member states under UN mandate / vote can blockade nation states.


Stop reading your propaganda, try reading the UN laws your country signed up to.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:49 am UTC

Arete wrote:
yoni45 wrote:The UN also created a "Human Rights" commission whose sole purpose may as well have been to demonize Israel.


You just signed up to the paranoid conspiracy that the UN is attempting to take over America / kill all the Jews camp.


Yeah, way to work that reading comprehension ability.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:49 am UTC

Arete wrote:
yoni45 wrote:The UN also created a "Human Rights" commission whose sole purpose may as well have been to demonize Israel.


You just signed up to the paranoid conspiracy that the UN is attempting to take over America / kill all the Jews camp.


These commissions are actually run by serious people, leaders in their fields, with specific instructions not to show bias. You know, perhaps, just perhaps, Israel has been guilty of a few ethically dubious things in its past. Present as well. So have Hamas. Just like the Chinese government hasn't exactly been hot on democracy.

Go on, admit it to yourself. Won't make you less patriotic.


He's not stating that there's a conspiracy, he's just saying that Anti-semitism exists in the UN, and there's no doubting that it does. the Human Rights commission is affected by this.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Arete » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:55 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
He's not stating that there's a conspiracy, he's just saying that Anti-semitism exists in the UN, and there's no doubting that it does. the Human Rights commission is affected by this.



Source?


Given that the veto nations are uniformly not Arab states, and include:

America - Pro Israel
France - Unknown, however have banned public wearing of Islamic dress in schools
UK - Unknown, however large Jewish communities
Russia - has history of anti-semitism
China - N/A


Gosh. I'm seeing the bias... where? Oh, right. Because citing a country for flagrant breach of human rights issues is "anti-Semitic". So, when China gets sanctioned, I'm guessing this is "anti-Maoistic"?


:roll:


Seriously done here.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:56 am UTC

Arete wrote:Oh, and its Article 42 of Section VII of the UN charter, that governs the legality of blockades. Only UN member states under UN mandate / vote can blockade nation states.


Stop reading your propaganda, try reading the UN laws your country signed up to.


------------------------------------------------------
Article 42

Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.
------------------------------------------------------

Yeah, that pretty clearly only refers to blockades that the Security Council enacts.

In fact, it only describes the parties that are imposing the blockade, so again, that still makes absolutely no allusion to the idea that a blockade is in any way predicated upon the blockaded party being officially recognized as a state by the UN.

Fail #5. At least you're consistent?
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:58 am UTC

Arete wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
He's not stating that there's a conspiracy, he's just saying that Anti-semitism exists in the UN, and there's no doubting that it does. the Human Rights commission is affected by this.



Source?


Given that the veto nations are uniformly not Arab states, and include:

America - Pro Israel
France - Unknown, however have banned public wearing of Islamic dress in schools
UK - Unknown, however large Jewish communities
Russia - has history of anti-semitism
China - N/A


Gosh. I'm seeing the bias... where? Oh, right. Because citing a country for flagrant breach of human rights issues is "anti-Semitic". So, when China gets sanctioned, I'm guessing this is "anti-Maoistic"?


:roll:


Seriously done here.


France, the UK, and Russia are all very much biased, mostly because France and the UK have huge arab communities (much larger than the Jewish ones). And also, that's a fallacy: I'm not saying that all criticism is based on prejudice, I'm saying that this criticism is based on prejudice: after examining all of Israel's actions I can find very few that are unreasonable, and the Human Rights commission is making absurd judgments.

Article 51 guys: it gives countries the right to defend themselves in international waters against a hostile enemy, which Hamas certainly qualifies as.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Arete » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:09 am UTC

yoni45 wrote: >ZZZZ<


I already pointed you to the current documentation about blockades:



San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflict at Sea

San Remo Manual (full text in the International Humanitarian Law database)

1. Background

The law regulating the use of force at sea has long been due for a reevaluation in the light of developments in methods and means of warfare at sea and the fact that major changes have taken place in other branches of international law of direct relevance to this issue. This need was reflected in Resolution VII of the 25th International Conference of the Red Cross, which noted that "some areas of international humanitarian law relating to sea warfare are in need of reaffirmation and clarification on the basis of existing fundamental principles of international humanitarian law" and therefore appealed to "governments to co-ordinate their efforts in appropriate fora in order to review the necessity and the possibility of updating the relevant texts of international humanitarian law relating to sea warfare".

Although the law relating to land warfare has been reaffirmed in recent treaties, in particular the two Protocols of 1977 additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, this has not been the case as regards the law of armed conflict at sea. The Second Geneva Convention of 1949 deals only with the protection of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked at sea, with some adjustments in Additional Protocol I of 1977, in particular the extension to shipwrecked civilians of the protection laid down in the Second Geneva Convention. However, these treaties do not address the law regulating the conduct of hostilities at sea. Almost all of the treaties on this subject date from 1907, when the Second International Peace Conference at The Hague adopted eight Conventions on the law of naval warfare. One of these has since been overtaken by the Second Geneva Convention and another, on the creation of an international prize court, never entered into force. A third, which regulated bombardment of land targets by naval forces, has in practice been overridden by the rules regulating attacks in Protocol I of 1977. However, these rules in Protocol I apply only to naval attacks that directly affect civilians on land, and therefore do not cover attacks by naval forces on objects, in particular vessels and aircraft, at sea. The 1907 treaties themselves did not represent a complete codification of the law of war at sea, but dealt with certain subjects, namely, the status of enemy merchant ships and their conversion into warships, the laying of automatic contact mines and the immunity of certain vessels from capture. An attempt to draft a more complete treaty took place in London in 1909, but the final Declaration did not enter into force. A non-binding code was drafted by the Institut de droit international and adopted in Oxford in 1913. Together, the 1909 London Declaration and the 1913 Oxford Manual give a good idea of pre-First World War customary law.

Events in the First World War showed that the Hague treaties and traditional customary law had begun to be overtaken by developments in methods and means of warfare. The use of submarines, in particular, which were unable to follow procedures required of surface ships, resulted in the torpedoing of merchant vessels in ways which were in violation of the accepted law of the time. Efforts were made, in particular by Great Britain in the 1920s, to outlaw submarines altogether but as this proposal was not accepted a treaty was adopted in 1936 specifying that submarines must abide by the same rules as warships. However, this attempt at regulating new methods of warfare did not solve the problem, which was exacerbated by the subsequent widespread use of aircraft, seamines and long-range missiles. This led to many arbitrary sinkings in the Second World War, including many hospital ships and Red Cross vessels carrying relief supplies.

The customary law that developed prior to the First World War had made an appropriate balance between military and humanitarian needs that suited naval practices and the sailing ships of the nineteenth century. As it is not possible to return to those times, the law needs to be adjusted so that the same balance can be respected with rules that are appropriate for modern conditions. Another major factor is that there have been important developments in other areas of international law such as the United Nations Charter, the law of the sea, air law and environmental law since the Second World War which must be taken into account in any restatement of the law applicable to armed conflicts at sea. The development of the law of armed conflict on land is also of importance, in that all armed conflicts involve operations in which the land, air and sea forces work in close cooperation and it would therefore not be appropriate to have totally different standards. Furthermore, all aspects of armed conflict should be in conformity with the basic principles of international humanitarian law, wherever the theatre of operations might be. However, at the same time it is recognized that there are certain specificities of naval operations that need to be taken into account, in particular the fact that neutral interests are involved at sea to an infinitely greater extent than is the case with land operations.

All these factors have led to a troubling degree of uncertainty as to the content of contemporary international law applicable to armed conflicts at sea. Although operations at sea are not at all as frequent as those on land, several recent conflicts have shown the need for greater certainty in the law applicable to naval warfare. The Falklands/Malvinas conflict brought the first major naval operation since the Second World War, and although it fortunately did not result in any serious problems as regards the safety of civilian or neutral shipping, it did raise significant questions with regard to the use of exclusion zones. Another problem which came to light was the negative effect on the efficiency of hospital ships of the rule in the Second Geneva Convention which prohibits hospital ships from using a secret code. The war between Iran and Iraq, on the other hand, saw extensive attacks on neutral civilian shipping as well as the use of exclusion zones by the belligerents. The downing of the Iranian airbus by the Vincennes forcefully brought to light the practical difficulties involved in the correct identification of civilian objects by belligerent naval forces and the unclear relationship between the work of civilian air traffic authorities and the perceived needs of belligerent forces in the area. The second Gulf war involved extensive naval activity when the Coalition forces established a blockade, without formally designating it as such.[1]Of particular interest were the methods used to enforce the blockade and the exceptions to it that were allowed for humanitarian reasons. The extent to which the United Nations Security Council was bound by the rules of international humanitarian law was also an important issue. Finally, it should be mentioned that the laying of seamines has created some difficulty. Such mines were laid in the Iran/Iraq war and some were removed by neutral States. In June 1995, a vessel chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross to provide relief supplies to civilians in Sri Lanka was severely damaged and sank when it hit a seamine. The government of Sweden has on several occasions proposed a new treaty to the international community on the use of naval mines, first of all in 1989 at the United Nations Disarmament Commission, then in 1991 before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly and now as an additional Protocol to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.[2] Unfortunately, there is some doubt as to whether this latest initiative will be successful as the Review Conference of the 1980 Convention, which will meet in September-October 1995, will concentrate on landmines and, to a lesser degree, laser weapons.

In recent years some States have prepared naval manuals or further developed and updated military manuals which include sections on the law of naval warfare. The most notable recent naval manual is the United States Commander's Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations (NWP 9A) and its annotated supplement.[3] The new German manual, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts ZDv 15/2, published in 1992, has an important section on armed conflict at sea and a new manual, a large section of which will cover naval operations, is currently being prepared by the United Kingdom.

Although recent conflicts have not involved the very extensive sinking of civilian and other non-combatant shipping that occurred in the Second World War, it still needs to be clearly established that indiscriminate naval operations are unlawful and for this purpose detailed international regulations are necessary.

2. Development of the San Remo Manual and its intended purpose

The San Remo Manual was drafted over a period of six years and adopted in June 1994. It is accompanied by a full commentary, entitled the "Explanation".[4]The participants in the groups of experts that prepared the Manual were a mixture of governmental personnel and academics attending in their personal capacity from twenty-four countries.

A series of annual meetings, beginning in San Remo in 1987, were convened by the San Remo International Institute of International Law in cooperation with a number of other institutions, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and several National Societies. The second meeting, which was held in Madrid in 1988 in cooperation with the Spanish Red Cross, established a Plan of Action to draw up a statement of contemporary international law applicable to armed conflicts at sea. Subsequent meetings were held in Bochum, Toulon, Bergen, Ottawa, Geneva and, finally, Livorno. The first four of these meetings were organized in cooperation with the National Societies of Germany, France, Norway and Canada respectively. The ICRC played a major role throughout. Apart from coorganizing the meeting held in Geneva, it offered its advice to the Institute throughout the process, coordinated the drafting work and helped contribute to the administrative and secretarial work. The ICRC also convened three meetings of the rapporteurs, whose reports were the basis of discussion in the annual meetings, in order to organize the drafting of the "Explanation".

The Manual is not a binding document. In view of the extent of uncertainty in the law, the experts decided that it was premature to embark on diplomatic negotiations to draft a treaty on the subject. The work therefore concentrated on finding areas of agreement as to the present content of customary law, which were far more numerous than initially appeared possible. As a second step the experts discussed controversial issues with a view to reaching an agreed compromise on innovative proposals by way of progressive development. However, although the Manual was to contain provisions of this latter type, most of them were always meant to be an expression of what the participants believed to be present law. Thus in many respects the San Remo Manual was intentionally designed to be a modern equivalent of the Oxford Manual of 1913. The experts believed that the drafting of such a document would help clarify the law, thus removing the impression that there was such a degree of disagreement as to render its uniform development in customary law or eventual codification impossible.[5] The experts particularly noted, when embarking on this project, that the result would be very helpful for dissemination purposes and would encourage the drafting of more national manuals.

In 1990, the experts decided that it was important to publish, at the same time as the Manual, a commentary which would indicate the sources of the rules found in the Manual, relate the discussion concerning the more controversial provisions and explain why certain decisions were made. The commentary would also be an indication of which provisions were generally accepted as being declaratory of customary law and which were in the nature of proposals for the progressive development of the law. The intention was that the Manual be read together with this commentary (later named the "Explanation").

3. Content of the San Remo Manual

The experts' intentions were achieved as regards the content of the Manual and Explanation, and indeed the success of the meetings was such that more issues were dealt with, for example the environment, than was initially planned.

The Manual consists of 183 paragraphs arranged in six parts.[6]Part I, entitled "General Provisions", covers the scope of application of the rules, the effect of the United Nations Charter, the areas of sea in which military operations may take place and definitions of terms used.

Part II, "Regions of Operations", specifies the rules applicable to belligerents and neutrals in different areas of the sea: namely, internal waters, the territorial sea and archipelagic waters; international straits and archipelagic sea lanes; the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf; and, finally, the high seas and seabed beyond national jurisdiction.

Part III, "Basic Rules and Target Discrimination", is by far the longest part and begins by specifying the fundamental tenets of international humanitarian law, which are normally associated with the law applicable to land warfare, but which participants believed are also applicable to warfare at sea. After enunciating the rule that the right of the parties to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited, this section repeats the basic rules of the principle of distinction, including the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks, the rule prohibiting the use of weapons that cause unnecessary suffering or superfluous injury, the prohibition of the denial of quarter, and the need to pay due regard to the natural environment. The rest of Part III contains sections on precautions in attack, enemy vessels and aircraft exempt from attack, enemy or neutral vessels or aircraft that may be subject to attack, and special precautions regarding civil aircraft.

Part IV is entitled "Methods and Means of Warfare at Sea" and contains rules on the use of certain weapons (missiles and other projectiles, torpedoes and mines), the rules applicable to blockades and "zones", and a section on deception, ruses of war and perfidy.

Part V, "Measures Short of Attack Interception, Visit, Search, Diversion and Capture", contains seven sections covering the following subjects: determination of the enemy character of vessels and aircraft; visit, search and diversion of merchant vessels; interception, visit, search and diversion of civil aircraft; and capture of enemy or neutral vessels, civil aircraft and goods.

Part VI, "Protected Persons, Medical Transports and Medical Aircraft", does not attempt to repeat the detailed provisions in the Second Geneva Convention and Additional Protocol I on these categories, but instead specifies that these detailed rules remain applicable and goes on to indicate certain additional rules largely based on recent developments.

Although certain sections of the Manual are not of direct relevance to the rules of international humanitarian law as such, in particular those sections dealing with the effect of the United Nations Charter and regions of naval operations, they were nevertheless felt by the participants to be a necessary component of this Manual, as they help to provide a framework of legal certainty which in turn helps to secure the correct implementation of the rules of international humanitarian law. In particular, the Manual specifies that the rules apply to all parties, irrespective of which party was responsible for the outbreak of the conflict, and that they also apply to operations authorized or undertaken by the United Nations.

However, the most important contribution of the Manual is the reaffirmation and updating of international humanitarian law, taking into account the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocol I of 1977.

The most important innovation compared with the traditional pre-1914 law was the introduction of a clear formulation of the principle of distinction as formulated in Protocol I. Although in traditional law the only ships that could be attacked on sight were belligerent warships and auxiliaries, various military measures could be taken against both belligerent and neutral shipping that assisted the enemy's war effort, for example by carrying military materials or helping the enemy's intelligence. Such measures were usually limited to the capture of the merchant vessels concerned, and destruction of the vessels was allowed only in certain specific instances and subject to certain conditions, in particular that provision be made for the safety of the passengers and crew. As mentioned above, the introduction this century of new means of warfare, in particular submarines and aircraft, has led to difficulty in the implementation of the traditional law and to attacks on merchant shipping in both World Wars. In order to cope with this, and on the basis of recent State practice and Additional Protocol I, the experts decided to introduce the concept of the military objective. The purpose was to limit attacks to warships (a category which includes submarines), auxiliaries and merchant vessels that directly help the military action of the enemy, while retaining the option of using traditional measures short of attack to other defined vessels. The Manual repeats the definition of military objective found in Article 52 of Additional Protocol I, and it was felt that this would accommodate military needs and at the same time benefit from the gains made by international humanitarian law since the Second World War. However, in addition to this general definition, and unlike Additional Protocol I, the Manual contains examples of activities that would normally cause vessels engaged in them to become military objectives, and this list is meant to provide some concrete guidance. The relevant paragraph[7] reads as follows:

The following activities may render merchant vessels military objectives:
(a) engaging in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy, e.g., laying mines, minesweeping, cutting undersea cables and pipelines, engaging in visit and search of neutral merchant vessels or attacking other merchant vessels;
(b) acting as an auxiliary to an enemy's armed forces, e.g., carrying troops or replenishing warships;
(c) being incorporated into or assisting the enemy's intelligence gathering system, e.g., engaging in reconnaissance, early warning, surveillance, or command, control and communications missions;
(d) sailing under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft;
(e) refusing an order to stop or actively resisting visit, search or capture;
(f) being armed to an extent that they could inflict damage to a warship; this excludes light individual weapons for the defence of personnel, e.g., against pirates, and purely deflective systems such as chaff; or
(g) otherwise making an effective contribution to military action, e.g., carrying military materials.

There is also a paragraph relating to the possible attack of neutral vessels, but which, not surprisingly, is narrower and stricter.
In addition, the Manual lists[8] vessels that are specifically exempt from capture, on the basis of either treaty law or customary law:
The following classes of enemy vessels are exempt from attack:
(a) hospital ships;
(b) small craft used for coastal rescue operations and other medical transports;
(c) vessels granted safe conduct by agreement between the belligerent parties including:
(i) cartel vessels, e.g., vessels designated for and engaged in the transport of prisoners of war;
(ii) vessels engaged in humanitarian missions, including vessels carrying supplies indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and vessels engaged in relief actions and rescue operations;
(d) vessels engaged in transporting cultural property under special protection;
(e) passenger vessels when engaged only in carrying civilian passengers;
(f) vessels charged with religious, non-military scientific or philanthropic missions; vessels collecting scientific data of likely military applications are not protected;
(g) small coastal fishing vessels and small boats engaged in local coastal trade, but they are subject to the regulations of a belligerent naval commander operating in the area and to inspection;
(h) vessels designated or adapted exclusively for responding to pollution incidents in the marine environment;
(i) vessels which have surrendered;
(j) life rafts and lifeboats.

The Manual contains a section on precautions to be taken before launching an attack, similar to those found in Article 57 of Protocol I, which is intended to help avoid unlawful attacks.

However, the Manual does not deal only with vessels. The experts recognized that aircraft play an important part in naval operations and that any realistic manual would have to take this fully into account. Therefore there are similar provisions, mutatis mutandis, on aircraft that may be attacked and those which are exempt from attack. There is also a section on special precautions in relation to civil aviation in order to try to avoid making attacks on innocent civilian aircraft. For this purpose, the experts made reference to international civil aviation rules promulgated by the ICAO. In general these provisions in the San Remo Manual are a pragmatic attempt to marry military necessities, international humanitarian law and civil aviation rules.

The use of different sea areas, although not strictly within the scope of international humanitarian law, was also an important innovation which needed to take into account the contemporary law of the sea, in particular as contained in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention. Here again, it was not always so easy to combine military necessities whilst respecting as far as possible the provisions of that Convention. Controversial areas were rules relating to the protection of the environment, freedom of navigation and the special rights of exploration and exploitation in the exclusive economic zones of neutral States, and particularly the lawfulness or otherwise of the creation of zones (normally referred to as exclusion zones) which adversely affect the right of navigation of neutral shipping. Despite this, it may be seen as an important achievement that the Manual specifies that if such zones are created international humanitarian law must be nevertheless respected in its entirety.

Of great importance is the fact that the Manual includes rules relating to the protection of protected persons similar to those in both the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocol I of 1977. Since the last comprehensive international instrument on the law of naval warfare dates back to 1913, this inclusion was necessary.

The Manual does not repeat the entire content of the Second Geneva Convention and Protocol I, which would be unnecessary, but makes a specific reference to the fact that provisions on the protection of protected persons are to be found in those instruments. It does, however, contain a section on the status and treatment of all persons recovered at sea. In particular it specifies that civilians captured at sea are protected by the Fourth Geneva Convention; this is an improvement on the traditional law, which indicates only that they are subject to the discipline of the captor.[9]Apart from specific provisions on the treatment of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked found in the Second Geneva Convention and Additional Protocol I, much of the law in existing treaties and other authorities on the status and treatment of persons captured at sea is fragmentary and incomplete. Therefore in addition to clarifying accepted rules of customary law, some of the rules in the Manual are in the nature of progressive development. The same section of the Manual contains some specific rules relating to the protection of medical ships and aircraft found in Protocol I and encourages the use of the means of identification introduced by Annex I of that Protocol.

Finally, specific mention must be made of the fact that the Manual lays down that starvation blockades are unlawful and requires the blockading power to allow relief shipments if a secondary effect of the blockade is that civilians are short of food or other essential supplies. This is a definite departure from traditional law and reflects the new rules prohibiting the starvation of the civilian population and stipulating the provision of relief supplies which were introduced in Protocol I in 1977 and are now generally seen as having become an established part of international customary law.

4. Conclusion

As the San Remo Manual is the only comprehensive international instrument that has been drafted on the law of naval warfare since 1913, it is likely to have an important impact. It has already influenced the provisions relating to naval warfare in the German manual and it is quite likely that future manuals will also be so influenced. In this way the San Remo Manual should help consolidate contemporary international customary law, promote its coherent development and thereby provide a much firmer foundation for possible future treaty developments than could otherwise have been the case. The Manual and accompanying Explanation will also be very useful for dissemination purposes, which should in turn promote a better respect for the law.

Notes

1 The term "interdiction" was used by the US forces.

2. The full title of this Convention is: "Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects".

3. NWP 9(Rev.A)/FMFM 1-10. A new revised version is due to appear shortly.

4. Both the Manual and the Explanation are published by Cambridge University Press, San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea: Prepared by a Group of International Lawyers and Naval Experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (ed. Louise Doswald-Beck) 1995.

5. There had been a few seminars on the subject of the law of naval warfare, for example, in Brest 1987, ASIL panel 1988, Newport 1990, which highlighted the disagreements.

6. See hereinafter, pp. 595-637.

7. Paragraph 60.

8. Paragraph 47.

9. See, for example, the United States Manual, supra note 2 at pp.8-9




And so on.



Grow up.

I posted a link to this document in full, and what you fail to realise is that: no 'State' can act in the modern world outside the remit of the UN. Which makes your delusions of grandeur that any state but the security council enacting a blockade as legal as false. Only security council mandated actions are legal under UN law.


Which means, yet again, Israel is acting outside of the remit of international law.



Going to bed - enjoy the Middle East.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:15 am UTC

Arete wrote:I already pointed you to the current documentation about blockades...


Which you have still failed to show that it states that a blockade is in any way predicated upon the blockaded party being officially recognized as a state by the UN.

In fact, the term 'state' is only used once in the text you quoted, and not in a manner that is even close to the right context.

Fail #6. Most people either admit they were wrong, or just avoid posting further... You seem to prefer embarrassing yourself further and further... Whichever, I guess.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:18 am UTC

Arete wrote:I posted a link to this document in full, and what you fail to realise is that: no 'State' can act in the modern world outside the remit of the UN. Which makes your delusions of grandeur that any state but the security council enacting a blockade as legal as false. Only security council mandated actions are legal under UN law.


Which means, yet again, Israel is acting outside of the remit of international law.



Going to bed - enjoy the Middle East.


My I post Article 51 in full


Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.


Also, I'm going to quote you:

Arete wrote:(e) refusing an order to stop or actively resisting visit, search or capture;


Also, this has been bugging me forever, and although it's probably been pointed out: Israelian is not a word. The one you're looking for is "Israeli"
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby RockoTDF » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:39 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:The UN also created a "Human Rights" commission whose sole purpose may as well have been to demonize Israel.


I think it has already been addressed how stupid this statement is.

Given Gaza's population, the amount of foodstuffs provided looks to be way more than enough. I mean granted, the UN says otherwise, but I'd love to see the basis of that statement given how much actually goes through.


I don't think either of us have the kind of expertise to say either way whether it is or isn't. But I would hope that the folks at the UN probably do.

RockoTDF wrote:I really don't give a shit what Hamas says...


Well, you might want to -- they're the guys running the joint.


What I mean is that their fanaticism does not change my opinion too much on how civilians in Palestine are treated.

RockoTDF wrote:Have you ever stopped and thought about why they are interested in the destruction of your state? And don't say something pithy like "fanaticism"...


It's obviously fanaticism -- have you actually seen what they indoctrinate their people with?


Right, but where did that fanaticism come from?

As I noted prior, the Palestinians under occupation have actually enjoyed one of the highest standards of living among Arab states in the region. That's by metrics including literacy rates, life expectancies, etc.


Ok, but that doesn't change the fact that you have an apartheid state. That is like me saying that Blacks in the pre-civil rights era US were doing just fine because it beats the conditions back in Africa. Or that Mandella should have stopped whining because his people had it better than those in other neighboring countries.

Up until the 2nd intifada (circa 2000), the Palestinians had one of the fastest growing economies in the region. It only went to hell as a result of Israeli clampdowns after it was getting hit with 2 suicide bombings a month (which, relatively speaking, for Israel can be close to the equivalent of 9/11 each time -- and we've already addressed how the US dealt with that). When Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza strip, the Palestinians were firing rockets into Israel within days, and there was no blockade at the time.


We did address that, and I actually listened to another poster and they changed my mind on a few issues about the justification of American action abroad. I saw the numbers, thought "holy shit, this is kind of ridiculous, my country is doing something wrong" and moved on.

I also don't buy that 2 suicide bombings a month is like a 9/11. Even if it works out mathematically (which assumes 50 people dead per suicide bomber) the effects of a large scale attack like 9/11 on the US are not equal to the effects of several smaller scale attacks.

You can't just sweep everything with a simplistic worldview of "it'll be better if only they'll get treated better". They've been treated better, and given too much latitude, it only got worse. You have to understand the relevant players, the ideologies involved, etc. That means understanding the differences between Fatah and Hamas, and that while the former can be corrupt bastards, the latter are fanatically hell-bent on killing the Jews.


How did treating them better make it worse? That makes absolutely no sense. Unless of course, you mean let them elect a party that loathes your existence. And then I think you need to ask yourself why that party got into power, and where the fanaticism came from. But I think if you really did that, you'd see that kicking people off their land is ETHNIC CLEANSING, no matter how just the cause for a Jewish state, and that is where the fanaticism (at least in the modern context) comes from. Sure there are thousands of years of crap blah blah but people tend to forget about these things when they aren't fighting each other.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby aleflamedyud » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:58 am UTC

I'm not going to get involved in this bitchfight any more than I have to, but the simple fact is that the UN Human Rights Council and UN Human Rights Commission are and were anti-Israel kangaroo courts, and everyone involved knows it.

From Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, "several European countries", and "independent human rights groups":
Independent human rights groups say the council has fallen under the control of a bloc of Islamic and African states, usually back by China, Cuba and Russia, who protect each other from criticism.

Of the eight special sessions on serious rights situations that the Council has held, four have focused on Israeli behavior in occupied Palestinian lands and Lebanon and one the generalized topic of the global food crisis.

One on Sudan's Darfur region, and another earlier this month on the violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, produced resolutions largely avoiding strictures against the governments of the two African countries.

Only one of the sessions, on Myanmar and its military rulers' suppression of pro-democracy protesters in 2007, has ended with serious criticism of the behavior of a developing country government.

Four on Israel. One on food. One on Darfur. One on Congo. One on Myanmar. Eight total. How is that not bias?

From earlier on, same people objecting:
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined Western nations on Wednesday in criticizing the world body's own Human Rights Council for picking on Israel as part of an agreement on its working rules.


The European Union, Canada and the United States had already attacked the singling-out of Israel's role in the Palestinian territories for continued special investigation, under the deal reached in Geneva on Monday.


A UN statement said, "The Secretary-General is disappointed at the council's decision to single out only one specific regional item given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world."


On the UN Commission on Human Rights back in 2002:
the annual Human Rights Commission session, which ended last month, was able to agree on resolutions concerning the conduct of just 11 of the 189 member states. This is not uncommon because in almost all cases commission members seek to avoid directly criticizing states with human rights problems, frequently by focusing on Israel, a state that, according to analysis of summary records, has for over 30 years occupied 15 percent of commission time and has been the subject of a third of country-specific resolutions.

And later in the same article:

Nongovernmental organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International -- the natural partners for a high commissioner -- offer another avenue in which human rights grievances might be aired. But such organizations have often mirrored the intergovernmental system by allowing the choice of states and issues they tackle to be politicized. They have at times also shown a disturbing inability to sort worthwhile grievances from declarations of prejudice, as when the nongovernmental organization forum at the United Nations conference against racism in Durban, South Africa, was turned into a platform for anti-Semitism.

In case anyone was wondering what it was in Durban that was anti-Semitic, it wasn't just the exclusive focus on demonization of Israel. It was also the demonstrators shouting "One Jew, one bullet".

Oh, and then:
On April 15, 2002, the Commission approved a resolution affirming the right of the Palestinians to fight Israel by "all available means, including armed struggle" in order to achieve independence. In so doing, the Palestinian people was declared "fulfilling its mission, one of the goals and purposes of the United Nations".

I'd include a better citation for that, but you can't hotlink into the UN's document system. I have looked it up, though, and the full quote is: "Recalling particularly General Assembly resolution 37/43 of 3 December 1982 reaffirming the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples against foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle". If you're wondering what that original resolution says, I looked it up. It's about anti-colonialism, which means that the Commission's resolution is referring to Israel as a colonialist state (meaning, one with no right to exist).

Oh, and until the year 2000 Israel was not allowed membership in any regional group. Even after getting temporary sorta-kinda membership to the WEOG, it isn't actually a full member (WEOG feels Israel should be in Asia Group, Asia Group refuses to admit Israel because it's dominated by Arabs) and still cannot participate in UN functions that occur in Geneva, Rome, or Vienna -- only those in New York and Nairobi.

In fact, on the matter of Israel and the UN, just go read the damn wiki page, the lot of you. Then come back and I dare you to keep pretending that the UN is any more "fair and balanced" to Israel than Fox News is to Democrats.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:07 am UTC

Right, but where did that fanaticism come from?


Please tell me you're not blaming Israel for the fanaticism.

Fundamentalist Islam against Jews dates back to the Seventh Century
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby BlackSails » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:13 am UTC

And note that Islam itself only dates back to the 7th century.

However, there was a small period of peace and cooperation between the jews and muslims, mostly while the muslims were off conquering Europe.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:15 am UTC

RockoTDF wrote:I think it has already been addressed how stupid this statement is.


It hasn't -- Arete may as well be doorstop with a mouthpiece.

If you think it's a stupid statement though, I'd love to hear your explanation for why 80% of the Human Rights Council's censures were aimed at Israel.

http://www.unwatch.org/site/c.bdKKISNqE ... ouncil.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Righ ... fic_issues

RockoTDF wrote:I don't think either of us have the kind of expertise to say either way whether it is or isn't. But I would hope that the folks at the UN probably do.


Yeah, that's a bit of a cop-out -- you have the numbers, the context, and I'm pretty sure you can make a reasonable judgment call on the human needs for sustenance.

Either way, when the facts seem to clearly show otherwise, I'm sure not going to defer to the UN's "expertise" on the matter given its rather deep anti-Israeli bias (evidenced above). If the UN is going to make a claim regarding the matter, I want to see the basis for it.

RockoTDF wrote:What I mean is that their fanaticism does not change my opinion too much on how civilians in Palestine are treated.


It shouldn't, because it wouldn't change the facts of the matter. Nevertheless, it does have a bearing on what actions are reasonable for Israel to undertake.

RockoTDF wrote:Right, but where did that fanaticism come from?


Same place as with the fanatics from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the guys taking down the trade centers, blowing up trains in England, etc. -- religious indoctrination.

Interestingly enough, a rather disproportionate number of these fanatics come from more privileged backgrounds.

RockoTDF wrote:Ok, but that doesn't change the fact that you have an apartheid state.


You're right -- the fact that it's not an apartheid state is what makes it not an apartheid state.

Unless of course, you're accusing Hamas of instituting an apartheid in Gaza, but I don't know that there's any racially based segregation going on there.

Otherwise, Israel isn't in direct control of Gaza, so it wouldn't even be in a position to impose apartheid there.

RockoTDF wrote:How did treating them better make it worse? That makes absolutely no sense.


More freedom of movement, fewer restrictions, less oversight in the 90's meant the various terrorist groups were better able to coordinate, create networks, stockpile arms, etc., which eventually required a major military campaign (Operation Defensive Shield) to overturn.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby scikidus » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:21 am UTC

Kulantan wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Not to mention if Iran ever developed an H-Bomb, it would only take one to hit all of Israel.

20,770 km2 = Area of Israel
907.9 km2 = The destruction of most civilian buildings (5 psi/34 kPa) zone of a 20 MT bomb. (For refernce the lagest bomb ever bulit by the US milliatry is the B41 at 25 MT.)

That's direct impact by the explosion and resulting fireball. Nuclear fallout extends much farther, depending on detonation height and the weather. Look at the 15Mt Castle Bravo test, the first test of an H-bomb in human history, where the nuclear fallout carried for over 280 miles from the blast point:
Spoiler:
Image

In other words, these things can do a lot more damage than just a big boom.

(Note: the largest H-bomb test, the Soviet's Tsar Bomba, had a capacity of 100Mt, but the Soviets scaled it back to 50Mt for the test, partly because the bomber would have been unable to reach safety before detonation, and partly because the resulting fallout would irradiate a nice swath of Russia.)
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:47 am UTC

A common attitude people seem to be taking is that Israel forced all the Palestinians into gaza and shut them off from society. Let me remind you of a few things:

The Palestinians requested gaza, Israel gave it up to preserve the peace, and Israel sends more than enough aid to it.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby RockoTDF » Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:12 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
RockoTDF wrote:I think it has already been addressed how stupid this statement is.


It hasn't -- Arete may as well be doorstop with a mouthpiece.

If you think it's a stupid statement though, I'd love to hear your explanation for why 80% of the Human Rights Council's censures were aimed at Israel.

http://www.unwatch.org/site/c.bdKKISNqE ... ouncil.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Righ ... fic_issues


I don't doubt that there is a strong anti-Israel bias amongst many countries. However, as a modern democracy Israel should be held to higher standards. The lack of action against other nations is more along the lines of the UN being wimpy and lacking teeth.
The bias also doesn't excuse whatever truth there is to allegations of war crimes by both sides.

Also, if you really believe that the whole world has it out for Israel, then why is there an Israel left? The actions in the West Bank alone (as I have said before and you won't address) are ethnic cleansing, which is grounds for sanctions at a minimum. And where are these sanctions? Toothless UN resolutions don't impress me.

RockoTDF wrote:I don't think either of us have the kind of expertise to say either way whether it is or isn't. But I would hope that the folks at the UN probably do.


Yeah, that's a bit of a cop-out -- you have the numbers, the context, and I'm pretty sure you can make a reasonable judgment call on the human needs for sustenance.


My day job is a scientist. I know better than to try to crunch numbers that I don't understand. Further, "less than a quarter of the aid" refers to all aid going in. Food shortages have been reported, but there would be no Gazans left if they only had 25% of the required food intake. There is also the possible issue of types of food, humans need all sorts of minerals and crap to stay alive. Can bread and rice deliver that? I'm not saying the list cited earlier was by any means complete, but I don't think it is fair to say "we give them x tons of wheat and rice" shows either way whether or not they have adequate aid.

RockoTDF wrote:Right, but where did that fanaticism come from?


Same place as with the fanatics from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the guys taking down the trade centers, blowing up trains in England, etc. -- religious indoctrination.

Interestingly enough, a rather disproportionate number of these fanatics come from more privileged backgrounds.


Ok, so then how does one fight this indoctrination? Surely adding fuel to it can't help. I don't think this is an easy situation, and I apologize if I make it sound that way. A lot of this indoctrination does have to do with perceptions of how Israel treats Palestinians, or that the existence of Israel began as a war. Having said this, even if things change those in power in these countries will probably keep brainwashing the masses to want to destroy Israel.

Don't forget that as an American with strong British roots I have a vested interest in the effects of religious extremism. I am not some observer sitting in a totally neutral country trying to judge a situation that does not affect me, even though I am under a very low risk of dying in a terror attack. Islamic terrorists want to destroy my country (or countries) as well, Christian extremists want to turn the US into a fascist theocracy, and so on.

RockoTDF wrote:Ok, but that doesn't change the fact that you have an apartheid state.


You're right -- the fact that it's not an apartheid state is what makes it not an apartheid state.

Otherwise, Israel isn't in direct control of Gaza, so it wouldn't even be in a position to impose apartheid there.


The fact that the Palestinians had to be put off in special areas to begin with is apartheid. I know you can't just tear down the walls and let Hamas do what they want, but you have to acknowledge that part of the problem is Israeli treatment, and that Israel must be willing to take its share of the blame for the current state of affairs. This is something you seem unwilling to do. And if there is to ever be a peace both sides must be willing to take the blame. Just because Hamas won't acknowledge their wrongs doesn't mean Israel shouldn't.

RockoTDF wrote:How did treating them better make it worse? That makes absolutely no sense.


More freedom of movement, fewer restrictions, less oversight in the 90's meant the various terrorist groups were better able to coordinate, create networks, stockpile arms, etc., which eventually required a major military campaign (Operation Defensive Shield) to overturn.



Fair enough, I thought you were somehow referring to aid or human rights (although movement is a human right, but I guess when you are at war things are different).
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby RockoTDF » Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:16 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Right, but where did that fanaticism come from?


Please tell me you're not blaming Israel for the fanaticism.

Fundamentalist Islam against Jews dates back to the Seventh Century


I know that it has a long history. Israel just really doesn't help the situation and seems totally unwilling to ever admit that it had wronged anyone. What about the Jews living in Palestine prior to the end of WW2 and the centuries before it? Surely they wouldn't have been allowed to live there if the anti-semitism was equal then to what it is now? That just doesn't make any sense to me. And it isn't like the British were around to protect them the whole time, either.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:25 am UTC

RockoTDF wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Right, but where did that fanaticism come from?


Please tell me you're not blaming Israel for the fanaticism.

Fundamentalist Islam against Jews dates back to the Seventh Century


I know that it has a long history. Israel just really doesn't help the situation and seems totally unwilling to ever admit that it had wronged anyone. What about the Jews living in Palestine prior to the end of WW2 and the centuries before it? Surely they wouldn't have been allowed to live there if the anti-semitism was equal then to what it is now? That just doesn't make any sense to me. And it isn't like the British were around to protect them the whole time, either.


There were riots then t0o, like in the 1920's

Also, if you really believe that the whole world has it out for Israel, then why is there an Israel left? The actions in the West Bank alone (as I have said before and you won't address) are ethnic cleansing, which is grounds for sanctions at a minimum. And where are these sanctions? Toothless UN resolutions don't impress me.


Ethnic cleansing?

Look, guys, Israel isn't shoving people out of their country, they're just not letting them back in, which is quite reasonable, seeing as the only reason anybody ever wants to go in is to attack Israel.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:37 am UTC

RockoTDF wrote:I don't doubt that there is a strong anti-Israel bias amongst many countries. However, as a modern democracy Israel should be held to higher standards.


You're skirting around the issue -- the various UN bodies themselves (perhaps not all, but a very significant amount, most notably the "Human Rights Council") have a deep anti-Israeli bias. The reason they don't do much is because those bodies generally don't have any powers of enforcement.

That doesn't change the fact that they do have a rather deep anti-Israeli bias, and that this will often be reflected in the various statements and reports they produce.

RockoTDF wrote:The actions in the West Bank alone (as I have said before and you won't address) are ethnic cleansing...


I haven't addressed this because it's not really pertinent to the Gaza issue, but sure -- the actions in the West Bank aren't even close to ethnic cleansing, by any means. The settlements are a bitch, yes, and as far as I'm concerned the religious right pushing the whole enterprise needs to be airdropped into Gaza so they can duke it out between each other. But ethnic cleansing? That'd sort of require actually forcing Palestinians from whatever areas. While there were certain cases of that in the '48 war, that hasn't been an issue for decades.

RockoTDF wrote:My day job is a scientist. I know better than to try to crunch numbers that I don't understand. Further, "less than a quarter of the aid" refers to all aid going in. Food shortages have been reported, but there would be no Gazans left if they only had 25% of the required food intake. There is also the possible issue of types of food, humans need all sorts of minerals and crap to stay alive. Can bread and rice deliver that? I'm not saying the list cited earlier was by any means complete, but I don't think it is fair to say "we give them x tons of wheat and rice" shows either way whether or not they have adequate aid.


Which is fair, but I'd want to see the bases and the numbers. The total numbers clearly show there is plenty of aid going in. I'd have no problem with evidence highlighting what vital supplies are apparently missing (preferably contrasted with other groups in the world receiving aid).

RockoTDF wrote:Ok, so then how does one fight this indoctrination?


Occupation is one way, but the world apparently preferred that Israel withdraw. Well, it did -- and this is the result of that.

The only way I see it happening is by a reoccupation and forcible removal of Hamas from power, or internal uprising. I'm not holding my breath on either one to happen any time soon.

In the interim, however, Israel has the security of its own citizens as first priority. If to secure its own citizens means that Gazans have to make do without cement because the government they elected to represent them values Israel's destruction over their welfare, then so be it.

RockoTDF wrote:The fact that the Palestinians had to be put off in special areas to begin with is apartheid...


Er, no, that's not how it works any more than North America is an apartheid because it puts Americans in the US, Canadians in Canada, and Mexicans in Mexico.

It's not a "special area" -- it's the state they apparently want to have.

RockoTDF wrote:Just because Hamas won't acknowledge their wrongs doesn't mean Israel shouldn't.


Israel has plenty of wrongs -- these just don't happen to be them.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby RockoTDF » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:07 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:I haven't addressed this because it's not really pertinent to the Gaza issue, but sure -- the actions in the West Bank aren't even close to ethnic cleansing, by any means. The settlements are a bitch, yes, and as far as I'm concerned the religious right pushing the whole enterprise needs to be airdropped into Gaza so they can duke it out between each other. But ethnic cleansing? That'd sort of require actually forcing Palestinians from whatever areas. While there were certain cases of that in the '48 war, that hasn't been an issue for decades.

sourmìlk wrote:Ethnic cleansing?
Look, guys, Israel isn't shoving people out of their country, they're just not letting them back in, which is quite reasonable, seeing as the only reason anybody ever wants to go in is to attack Israel.


I'm referring to the forcible taking of land in the West Bank for the construction of Israeli settlements, which is ethnic cleansing (but is not to be confused with genocide) and the destruction of homes that do not have the right paperwork. I'm glad you don't support them, yoni. But you said yourself that such things happened in the '48 war, so can't you see that a lot of the fanaticism comes from unforgiven ethnic cleansing?

Which is fair, but I'd want to see the bases and the numbers. The total numbers clearly show there is plenty of aid going in. I'd have no problem with evidence highlighting what vital supplies are apparently missing (preferably contrasted with other groups in the world receiving aid).


If you google around or look at some western news (BBC, The Economist) you can find lots of things that are missing. I would like to see a direct comparison to other parts of the world as well, but I don't think that such a comparison would necessarily vindicate Israel.

In the interim, however, Israel has the security of its own citizens as first priority. If to secure its own citizens means that Gazans have to make do without cement because the government they elected to represent them values Israel's destruction over their welfare, then so be it.


Can't that same logic be used to justify terrorism against the US because they (I didn't vote for him!) reelected Bush after what he did to Iraq?

RockoTDF wrote:The fact that the Palestinians had to be put off in special areas to begin with is apartheid...


Er, no, that's not how it works any more than North America is an apartheid because it puts Americans in the US, Canadians in Canada, and Mexicans in Mexico.

It's not a "special area" -- it's the state they apparently want to have.


How does one not live in this area? Ie what is the difference between an arab living in Israel proper and a Palestinian?

RockoTDF wrote:Just because Hamas won't acknowledge their wrongs doesn't mean Israel shouldn't.


Israel has plenty of wrongs -- these just don't happen to be them.


Then please enlighten me as to some of those wrongs.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:27 am UTC

RockoTDF wrote:
yoni45 wrote:I haven't addressed this because it's not really pertinent to the Gaza issue, but sure -- the actions in the West Bank aren't even close to ethnic cleansing, by any means. The settlements are a bitch, yes, and as far as I'm concerned the religious right pushing the whole enterprise needs to be airdropped into Gaza so they can duke it out between each other. But ethnic cleansing? That'd sort of require actually forcing Palestinians from whatever areas. While there were certain cases of that in the '48 war, that hasn't been an issue for decades.

sourmìlk wrote:Ethnic cleansing?
Look, guys, Israel isn't shoving people out of their country, they're just not letting them back in, which is quite reasonable, seeing as the only reason anybody ever wants to go in is to attack Israel.


I'm referring to the forcible taking of land in the West Bank for the construction of Israeli settlements, which is ethnic cleansing (but is not to be confused with genocide) and the destruction of homes that do not have the right paperwork. I'm glad you don't support them, yoni. But you said yourself that such things happened in the '48 war, so can't you see that a lot of the fanaticism comes from unforgiven ethnic cleansing?


I'm sorry, the Israelis aren't able to build houses on their own land? It sounds like you're the one advocating for an apartheid regime. Jews can't build in the west bank, but Palestinians can live in Israel. That's fair.

And how is terrorism at all the same as the denial of cement unless it's for specific projects?
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby aleflamedyud » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:30 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:A common attitude people seem to be taking is that Israel forced all the Palestinians into gaza and shut them off from society. Let me remind you of a few things:

The Palestinians requested gaza, Israel gave it up to preserve the peace, and Israel sends more than enough aid to it.

"More than enough aid" is questionable. The rest is true, though.

RockoTDF wrote:However, as a modern democracy Israel should be held to higher standards.

Yes, how about judging Israel fairly, by the standards of a modern liberal democracy at war, rather than enforcing a double standard by judging Israel according to the standards of a Western democracy at peace?

RockoTDF wrote:How does one not live in this area? Ie what is the difference between an arab living in Israel proper and a Palestinian?

An Arab living in Israel is an Israeli citizen, and historically that population has, despite their hardships, held much less ideological hatred and violent fanaticism towards the Jewish Israelis than the Palestinian Arabs.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:34 am UTC

"More than enough aid" is questionable.


Fair enough. The point I was trying to get across is this: the Israelis aren't trying to starve the Palestinian people, they have no motivation for doing that. They give them as many resources and freedom as they can in such a way that it doesn't support Hamas.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby aleflamedyud » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:39 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
"More than enough aid" is questionable.


Fair enough. The point I was trying to get across is this: the Israelis aren't trying to starve the Palestinian people, they have no motivation for doing that. They give them as many resources and freedom as they can in such a way that it doesn't support Hamas.

No, they set a goal of doing that and then petty bureaucracy, corruption, and low-level racism get in the way. The bans on one food but not another may not starve people, but they're definitely arbitrary bullshit.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:41 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
"More than enough aid" is questionable.


Fair enough. The point I was trying to get across is this: the Israelis aren't trying to starve the Palestinian people, they have no motivation for doing that. They give them as many resources and freedom as they can in such a way that it doesn't support Hamas.

No, they set a goal of doing that and then petty bureaucracy, corruption, and low-level racism get in the way. The bans on one food but not another may not starve people, but they're definitely arbitrary bullshit.


Can I have an example?
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