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Thread: Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas

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    Re: Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Once again, you're basing your objections on the fact that this happened in international waters, which is (IMO) not really the important issue.

    Say that this entire incident had occurred 24 miles from Israel's border. Israel follows your advice and tries to prevent the ships from entering the water by blocking them or asking them to reroute. The ships refuse to be stopped and continue on their course.

    How should they prevent them from going forward?
    The problem then is on what happened. There is nothing wrong with civil disobedience. There is nothing wrong in even deliberately trying to get publicity by your actions. This as well as going with humanitarian aid seems to be what most people were doing.

    The problem comes from the killings. Did the Israeli army go into all ships by helicopter? Could it be said that they provoked the people? It is something everyone is going to have to wait and see.

    Could the deaths have been avoided is going to be something that lots of people are going to want to know.

    A number of people on this forum have claimed that this was to be expected, that the aid bringers were terrorists and so on. This seems extremely unlikely to me. More likely is that there were the odd one or two who turned violent in the moment. You always get that sort of thing from a minority on almost any protest.

    People are questioning whether Israel dealt with this in the best way. Whether these deaths and injury's to passengers and Israeli soldiers could have been avoided.

    Here's some pictures on the boat and protests against Israel's actions.

    Israel condemned over raid on aid ships | The Daily Telegraph
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    Re: Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    I'd agree with you if you said that treaties are not the foundations of international custom. If they aren't the foundations of international law, then what the devil is? I thought that treaties were agreements entered into by 2 or more nations, designed to define acceptable and unacceptable behavior on one or a range of subjects.

    Where else could international law possibly come from?

    My layman's understanding of international law in these circumstances is that the international law in question is defined by treaty. As such, to invoke the law is to invoke the treaty.

    Israel's Foreign Minister has most certainly invoked international law to justify his nation's actions:

    FM: 'boarding legal under int. law'
    "Treaties," in the way that we refer to them today, are a relatively modern concept. You'll notice that almost every "treaty" that we talk about as a source for international law comes from the last 50 years. Since international law obviously existed prior to the UN, it must have come from another source - custom.

    Customary international law is made up of norms that have existed since the first diplomatic exchanges took place hundreds of years ago. They are the backdrop and foundation for all international law today. Every time that countries pass new treaties, they are simply codifying and modifying those preexisting norms as they apply to certain situations. It's the same way that statutory law in the US evolved from the common law.

    It's perfectly logical to say that something is in accordance with "international law" if that action is in accordance with customary international norms, even if the speaker declined to sign a treaty that would have laid out additional rules in that area. It sounds like that's what Israel is saying.
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    Re: Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    It is important in determining the legality of Israel's actions. There are several different questions to be answered about this incident.

    Was it Legal? Probably.
    Was it the boarding justified? Probably.
    Was stopping the flotilla from reaching Gaza the right course? To my mind yes.
    Was the boarding planned well? I suspect that it could have been done better.
    Was Israel's use of force in the boarding appropriate? Dunno yet, not enough information.
    Was the flotilla carrying weapons? Unknown.
    Was the flotilla planned to create an incident? Almost certainly.

    There are lots more.
    It certainly makes a difference in terms of the technical legality, but I think it's being overblown in terms of assigning moral fault. If the actions were perfectly acceptable save for the fact that they happened outside of Israel's waters, then we should be focusing on that issue. If the actions were uniformly unacceptable wherever they happened, then we should be focusing on that issue. I just don't think it's useful to be focusing on the second issue under the guise of the first.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexa View Post
    The problem then is on what happened. There is nothing wrong with civil disobedience. There is nothing wrong in even deliberately trying to get publicity by your actions. This as well as going with humanitarian aid seems to be what most people were doing.
    Of course, but there's something to be said for the assumption of the risk. Let's say that I think that the security guards at Yankee Stadium are assholes and decide to streak across the field with "SUCK IT RENTACOPS" painted on my ass. If I get tazed and tackled in the course of fighting the guards off of me, is that unfortunate? Sure. Did the officers use disproportionate force? Possibly. Does that mean that I'm some poor downtrodden victim who deserves sympathy from the world? Of course not. I'm a dickhead who chose to create an incident that caused harm all around.

    The problem comes from the killings. Did the Israeli army go into all ships by helicopter? Could it be said that they provoked the people? It is something everyone is going to have to wait and see.

    Could the deaths have been avoided is going to be something that lots of people are going to want to know.
    I'm sure we'll hear plenty about this going forward.

    A number of people on this forum have claimed that this was to be expected, that the aid bringers were terrorists and so on. This seems extremely unlikely to me. More likely is that there were the odd one or two who turned violent in the moment. You always get that sort of thing from a minority on almost any protest.
    I'm not saying that these people were terrorists, but I think it's absolutely the case that they knew full well what they were trying to do and had planned out exactly how they would fight back if the Israelis tried to board. They were not innocent lambs sparked to action out of self-defense.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    "Treaties," in the way that we refer to them today, are a relatively modern concept. You'll notice that almost every "treaty" that we talk about as a source for international law comes from the last 50 years. Since international law obviously existed prior to the UN, it must have come from another source - custom.
    Israel -- by which I mean the nation which was formed roughly 60 years ago, and not the nation that was scattered to teh 4 winds for thousands of years -- just barely predates this "relatively modern concept."

    As such, I fail to see how they can in any way justify invoking international law as it would theoretically apply to this situation, when this law as it has existed from around the birth of model Israel is defined in part in a treaty which Israel has not signed.

    That aside, your definition of international law would be entirely applicable if we were talking about a situation that occured, say, 100 or more years ago.
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    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

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    Re: Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas


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    Re: Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas

    It would most certainly be in Israel's interest to have neutral (if such can be found) observers when these vessels are unloaded, in order to discover exactly what merchandise they are actually carrying.

    In much the same vein it would be in their interest to have Neutral (if such can be found) investigators to discover what happened.

    It could well be that small arms were on 1 or more of these vessels, that would be common in this day and age, but I would not suppose that any heavy armaments would have been on board prior to arrival of Israeli troops.

    IMO I think that Israel was ill advised to carry out this operation in International waters irrespective of whether they felt entitled or were legally permitted to so do.

    IMO they have caused enormous PR damage to themselves.

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    Re: Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    The standard you quote concerns only piracy. It does not concern the rights of states to inspect/visit ships. Enforcement of a blockade, even if one disagrees profoundly with the blockade, is not the same thing as piracy any less than a police officer's shooting a suspect who attacks him/her is not the same thing as a criminal's attacking a police officer.
    And where is your source for the rights of states to inspect ships outside its jurisdiction?

    UNCLOS and Agreement on Part XI - Preamble and frame index
    Article110

    Right of visit

    1. Except where acts of interference derive from powers conferred by treaty, a warship which encounters on the high seas a foreign ship, other than a ship entitled to complete immunity in accordance with articles 95 and 96, is not justified in boarding it unless there is reasonable ground for suspecting that:

    (a) the ship is engaged in piracy;

    (b) the ship is engaged in the slave trade;

    (c) the ship is engaged in unauthorized broadcasting and the flag State of the warship has jurisdiction under article 109;

    (d) the ship is without nationality; or

    (e) though flying a foreign flag or refusing to show its flag, the ship is, in reality, of the same nationality as the warship.

    2. In the cases provided for in paragraph 1, the warship may proceed to verify the ship's right to fly its flag. To this end, it may send a boat under the command of an officer to the suspected ship. If suspicion remains after the documents have been checked, it may proceed to a further examination on board the ship, which must be carried out with all possible consideration.

    3. If the suspicions prove to be unfounded, and provided that the ship boarded has not committed any act justifying them, it shall be compensated for any loss or damage that may have been sustained.

    4. These provisions apply mutatis mutandis to military aircraft.

    5. These provisions also apply to any other duly authorized ships or aircraft clearly marked and identifiable as being on government service.

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    Re: Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Of course, but there's something to be said for the assumption of the risk. Let's say that I think that the security guards at Yankee Stadium are assholes and decide to streak across the field with "SUCK IT RENTACOPS" painted on my ass. If I get tazed and tackled in the course of fighting the guards off of me, is that unfortunate? Sure. Did the officers use disproportionate force? Possibly. Does that mean that I'm some poor downtrodden victim who deserves sympathy from the world? Of course not. I'm a dickhead who chose to create an incident that caused harm all around.
    They didn't do that. They did the sort of thing people did in the 60's and people like Greenpeace have done since. Basically it falls under civil disobedience as far as I can see and I think that is how the world is seeing it.


    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post

    I'm not saying that these people were terrorists, but I think it's absolutely the case that they knew full well what they were trying to do and had planned out exactly how they would fight back if the Israelis tried to board. They were not innocent lambs sparked to action out of self-defense.
    What they were trying to do was to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza and to bring the issue to the attention of the world. There were 5 or 600 people on this boat I think and a handful were in some way which we do not yet know involved in some violence towards the soldiers. If such a response was a possibility, then more care was needed in the way Israel dealt with the situation.

    This is what I find strange. If you knew people were planning this, then Israel knew people were planning this. More care should have been taken. Innocents were almost certainly killed.



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    Re: Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Once again, you're basing your objections on the fact that this happened in international waters, which is (IMO) not really the important issue.

    Say that this entire incident had occurred 24 miles from Israel's border. Israel follows your advice and tries to prevent the ships from entering the water by blocking them or asking them to reroute. The ships refuse to be stopped and continue on their course.

    How should they prevent them from going forward?
    I'm basing my objections on what actually happened. You are basing yours on pure speculation.

    But I'll play this little scenario for you:

    There are a total of 6 ships that are part of that convoy. Israel's Navy is more than capable of maintaining a proper naval blocking of those six ships. If they do not comply with rerouting requests, they either take the risk of running into the naval blocking by Israel's Navy or they get boarded. All of this is fine... off Israel's territorial waters. It is not fine in international waters, outside of Israeli jurisdiction.

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    Re: Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    Israel -- by which I mean the nation which was formed roughly 60 years ago, and not the nation that was scattered to teh 4 winds for thousands of years -- just barely predates this "relatively modern concept."

    As such, I fail to see how they can in any way justify invoking international law as it would theoretically apply to this situation, when this law as it has existed from around the birth of model Israel is defined in part in a treaty which Israel has not signed.

    That aside, your definition of international law would be entirely applicable if we were talking about a situation that occured, say, 100 or more years ago.
    The date on which Israel became a state is entirely irrelevant to the question of whether it is bound by customary international law. If a state were created tomorrow, it would be bound by the same customary norms as the UK or France.

    Customary norms continue to be relevant today because they are the default rule of international law. Treaties are abberations from that norm.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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