Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Sources of info on flotilla attack

with 3 comments

In case you didn’t get that far, I did want to call attention to this (from previous post):

Numerous eyewitness accounts of what happened continue to emerge, and Steve Hynd and this blog both have very helpful compilations of these latest testimonies.

As for propaganda:  there are two claims being made frequently that can only be described as pure lies.  The first is that Israel’s blockade is devoted to keeping arms out of Gaza (see this explanation from Peter Beinart, as quoted in the last two paragraphs of this FAIR post, regarding the countless items that the Israelis prevent from entering Gaza that have no remote connection to weapons, as well as what Israeli officials themselves have said is the real purpose of the blockade; see also:  this chart from The Economist showing what the Israelis are really barring from Gaza); and second is the claim that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza caused by the blockade (see this Foreign Policy post from today documenting the devastating humanitarian effects of the blockade).

From the first link above:

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations greeted news of the flotilla disaster by repeating a common “pro-Israel” talking point: that Israel only blockades Gaza to prevent Hamas from building rockets that might kill Israeli citizens. If only that were true. In reality, the embargo has a broader and more sinister purpose: to impoverish the people of Gaza, and thus turn them against Hamas. As the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz has reported, the Israeli officials in charge of the embargo adhere to what they call a policy of “no prosperity, no development, no humanitarian crisis.” In other words, the embargo must be tight enough to keep the people of Gaza miserable, but not so tight that they starve.

This explains why Israel prevents Gazans from importing, among other things, cilantro, sage, jam, chocolate, French fries, dried fruit, fabrics, notebooks, empty flowerpots and toys, none of which are particularly useful in building Kassam rockets. It’s why Israel bans virtually all exports from Gaza, a policy that has helped to destroy the Strip’s agriculture, contributed to the closing of some 95 percent of its factories, and left more 80 percent of its population dependent on food aid. It’s why Gaza’s fishermen are not allowed to travel more than three miles from the coast, which dramatically reduces their catch…. There’s a name for all this: collective punishment. [Which is prohibited by the Geneva Convention, BTW, and Israel is a signatory to that convention, but hey! Israel has no problem with ignoring the law and its agreements—cf. the illegal settlements. – LG]

Written by LeisureGuy

5 June 2010 at 9:41 am

3 Responses

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  1. Sounds like a pretty basic and effective strategy to me, one that has been used in many embargo type situations around the world including the Cuba, N. Korea, Iran and many other embargo’s throughout history . My point is that it is a previously tested and in general effective strategy.

    I find it fascinating that the western country type anarchists feeling guilt or whatever are more eager to help the Palestinians than the Arab countries around them.

    It is well known that the Arab world in general feel no particular closeness to the Palestinians and look upon them as many of the west do to the Jews. I have been to a number of Arab countries and lived for a number of years in one, Palestinians are regarded as lower class citizens among many in the Arab world. Yes, they are discriminated against in many Arab countries.

    So getting back to the Blockade and Embargo…what’s the big deal ? The people in Gaza get a lot of materials in, from their black market connections…the tunnels are a thriving business and even Egypt tried to shut them down because of the illicit trade they promoted.

    To suggest that only the Israelis are culpable or that it is novel to the Gaza situation is wishful thinking. I say this because although it has not been specifically written the inference is certainly there in all these postings. In my opinion anyway.

    I thought I might offer a small argument to the contrary, sorry if i offend others but I noticed on CNN last night the last boat that was going to try and go through to Gaza…the name intrigued me so i thought I would research it, it was sort of an odd name for a boat -Rachel Corrie – that was let’s say hired or rented to take supply’s to Gaza and boy was I right !

    The Myth of Rachel Corrie:

    By Judy Lash Balint | 3/20/2008

    Jerusalem: The news that a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist, Shadi Sukiya, was captured by an elite anti-terror unit of the Israel Defense Forces while hiding out in the Jenin offices of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) did not make a ripple in the flood of coverage from the Iraqi front in late March 2003.

    Just eleven days earlier, on March 16, the ISM did make world headlines when Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old ISM member, was run over by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah and died of her injuries….

    Read more:


    5 June 2010 at 10:45 am

  2. Okay:

    1. Embargoes are not effective. This has been proved again and again. Cuba: Have you noticed that Castro is still in power? The embargo has been in effect for decades. How effective is that?

    North Korea: Have you noticed that Beloved Leader is still in charge? The blockade has gone on for decades. How effective is that?

    Iraq: Lengthy embargo, Saddam Hussein remained in power.

    The effect of these embargoes, along with the Gaza embargo, has been to make the civilian population destitute. The embargoes impact children the most, women second, and the fighting population very little. Indeed, Israel has said that the purpose of the Gaza embargo is to punish the Palestinian people (group punishment, illegal under the Geneva Convention that Israel signed).

    So, in my view, you’re completely wrong here, based on what has been the effect of embargoes. In general, the embargoed population starts to see those imposing the embargo as the enemy (and why not?).

    2. I think that my response, and that of others who agree, is to hate the injustice. Your approach is more comparative, looking at what others are doing and deciding what to do based on that. “The Arab nations are not helping, so why should we?” My answer is that those who are seriously interested in justice, humanity, and the rule of law will object to injustice, mistreatment, and lawbreaking without looking around to see whether others are objecting. I suggest that, in the words of George Marshall, that you set your course by the stars and not by the lights of passing ships.

    3. Your ignorance of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is amazing. Read this post and this article.

    4. Strawmen: No one has suggested that only the Israelis are culpable—where in the world did you get that idea??—nor that the situation is novel to Gaza. There is little point in refuting positions no one has taken.

    5. Rachel Corrie’s death seems okay to you? In any event, the boat put in peacefully at an Israeli port.

    I would enjoy fewer and shorter comments from you, Nick, and comments that reflect more thought and knowledge. It’s tiring to address arguments that really were not worth making. Sorry, but that’s my feeling right now.


    5 June 2010 at 11:01 am

  3. The point of this post was simply to provide links to sources of information on the attack, BTW.


    5 June 2010 at 11:02 am

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