Flotilla Round-Up

I’m really not sure what Israel or her loud-mouthed supporters here in the United States think they achieved by mounting an assault on a Turkish relief vessel in international waters, but the you know what is now officially hitting the fan. Some links:

1.) Turkey vows to send more aid to Gaza, this time guarded with Turkish Naval vessels.

2.) Ian Welsh notes that Turkey can invoke article V in the NATO alliance, because Turkey is a NATO member, and lo and behold, the Turkish have asked and been granted an emergency NATO meeting.

3.) Israel’s behavior was so stupid and self-defeating (as well as unconscionable) that the normally straight-laced Dan Drezner is dropping multiple f-bombs.

4.) Glenn Greenwald asks us to imagine the coverage at Commentary and the Weekly Standard if Iran had boarded a humanitarian ship in international waters and killed a dozen or so civilians.

5.) Meanwhile, the IDF spin machine is in full effect claiming repeatedly (and loudly regurgitated by all the usual wingnut American blogs) that the soldiers were “lynched” and “ambushed.” How this is an ambush when Israel had to fly miles to sea, and then drop soldiers onto the ship from helicopter, is beyond Orwellian.

Once again, Israel’s worst enemies are themselves and their boorish supporters, and they are bringing us down with them. I have no idea what they think they are accomplishing, and I can only assume they are simply not thinking.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

418 replies
  1. 1
    QuaintIrene says:

    Thugs are thugs.

  2. 2
    Comrade Bukharin says:

    Whoever succeeds in pulling off the next 9/11 will mention this. We all just became complicit in a huge crime.

  3. 3
    PeakVT says:

    I can only assume they are simply not thinking.

    They are thinking, but religion-fueled paranoid groupthink is the only thing on their minds.

    ETA: I am terribly curious about the outcome of the NATO meeting.

  4. 4
    Davis X. Machina says:

    If anyone were looking for a bright-line reason to send Israel to Coventry, here it is.

    It’s another crisis the White House shouldn’t waste. WH has been essentially silent, so I imagine the options are being canvassed.

    And in Bibi, I think Israel has found its own GWB — at least insofar as they share the weakness of believing your own press clippings, with fatal consequences.

  5. 5
    Phil says:

    Meet the new John Cole! Almost as anti semetic as Andrew Sullivan, but not quite as gay, but certainly just as oblivious to the incompetence of his wannabe boyfriend Barack Obama.

    Pathetic John. I’d say your “intellectual” journey from conservative to whatever the fuck it is you are now has been quite a fall from grace, but that would be an insult to actual falls from grace.

    Keep fucking that chicken John. Pretty soon you and Andy Sullivan will be demanding the Jews have to wear the “special stars” in order to distinguish them from everyone else. For their protection of course, right John?

  6. 6
    KXB says:

    Will Obama have the guts to pull Israel back from destroying itself? Or will he, like so many Presidents before him, simply remain silent, so as not to have both Dems and Republicans in his face?

  7. 7
    DougJ says:

    @Phil:

    Is it fair to say that only an anti-Semite would fail to see Obama’s incompetence?

  8. 8
    KXB says:

    Summary of Phil (aka Uncle Leo)

    La la la la anti-semite! La la la la anti-semite!

    BTW – today was more evidence that Israeli military is really not that great.

  9. 9
    Sheila says:

    Though I have always been uncomfortable with the way Israel came into being, the country at its inception had one of the greatest moral imperatives in the history of the world, and they have repeatedly blown it. I remember several years ago on Wisconsin Public Radio hearing two settlers who lived in the occupied lands talking about the opposition to their settlements and the woman, whom I believe was Russian to judge by her accent, said “It’s the holocaust all over again.” At which point, a man called in saying he had been a “freedom fighter” in Israel and was there at its inception. He said he had sung and danced in the street they day Israel was declared an independent state. But then he added, “But not for the likes of these people. We never wanted anything like this and had we known . . .”

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Dave says:

    I repeat my previous comment for the hard of understanding:

    Seven soldiers boarded the ship initially. There should have been fourteen, but the ‘peace activists’ tied one of the descent cables to the ship which could have caused the helicopter to crash, so one of the chopper crew had to cut cut the line.

    Those initial seven soldiers were violently attacked the moment they got on board in a manner reminiscent of the Ramallah lynching. The ‘peace activists’ did not wait to find out what the soldiers’ intentions were – they pitched straight in with attempted murder.

    Only after thirty minutes on board the ship, all the while each commando being attacked by groups of between four and ten ‘peace activists’ with everything from axes, Stanley knives, clubs, metal bars, sling shots and guns did the soldiers get permission from their commander to open fire using their hand guns (their main weapons were paint guns) in order to save their own lives.

    All this is verifiable from the videos released of the incident this evening. And there are still sickos here defending those would-be lynchers.

    Fact: the other 5 ships were taken into Ashdod port without any violence whatsoever from either side.

    Fact: Israel maintains a miliary blockage of Gaza and operations such as todays are perfectly legal under international law.

    Fact: Egypt and Jordan are also part of the partial embargo on Gaza. but nobody bothers to organise flotillas against them.

    Fact: Turkey moved to the Iranian/Syrian camp a good 18 months ago; when is NATO going to wake up to that fact? The convoy was jointly-organised by Turkish Jihadist elements such as the IHH and Hamas (google Muhammad Sawalha, for example). The last time Hamas tried this same trick, they killed Egyptian border guards.

    Fact: Describing Israel as a racist endeavour, or equating it to the Nazis, as many commenters have done here, falls into the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia definition of anti-Semitism.

    The majority of commenters here sound as if they’ve come straight from Stormfront, to be frank, and I’m not the only one to have noticed it recently.

    You know, for the twenty odd years ive been following these events, every war Israel has embarked on, every decision it has made, every statement it makes, every govt it elects……has been a ‘PR disaster’ an ‘own goal’, ‘a military disaster’, ‘a huge embarassment’, ‘they’re their own worst enemies’ etc etc.

    Yet its still there, a vibrant democracy, a successful economy and a safe haven for the worlds Jews (Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah’s aims not withstanding).

    Somewhere, somehow, it must, from time to time, be getting some things right, even if they might not seem so to all of their so-called ‘friends’

  12. 12
    Joshua Norton says:

    I wonder who the first Zionist shit head will be to associate anti-thuggish sentiment with “antisemitism”.

    Talk about clueless…

  13. 13
    licensed to kill time says:

    When I saw the video this morning of the Israelis dropping onto that ship it looked like something out of a Tom Clancy novel made into a movie. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to be on that ship and have dozens of soldiers drop onto your heads. What a colossal fuckup.

  14. 14
    KXB says:

    “Seven soldiers boarded the ship initially. There should have been fourteen, but the ‘peace activists’ tied one of the descent cables to the ship which could have caused the helicopter to crash, so one of the chopper crew had to cut cut the line.”

    Were you expecting armed Israeli commandos boarding a Turkish vessel in international waters to be greeted with a fruit basket?

  15. 15
    Readabook says:

    The videos are out on the net, these terrorists attacked first, IDF was defending themselves. I’m no huge Israel supporters but I do think the only people in the mid-east I like less than the Israeli’s are the Palestinians and their thuggish supporters. 8 Muslims were killed in a terrorist attack in Pakistan today. Where is the outrage? Oh, nowhere.

    Israel is defending her territorial waters. If they let these “humanitarians” proceed they will start bringing in weapons. They will kill Israelis. If Cubans attacked US soldiers who boarded a boat flotilla and the US soldiers defended themselves we wouldn’t say a thing except “dumb Cubans.”

    STOP DEFENDING MURDERERS AND TERRORISTS JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK THEY ARE CUDDLY AND CUTE

  16. 16
    LD50 says:

    The majority of commenters here sound as if they’ve come straight from Stormfront, to be frank, and I’m not the only one to have noticed it recently.

    Dave:

    In future, just limit your posts to “Nazi! Nazi! Nazi! Nazi! Nazi! Nazi!”. It’d save time and be just as convincing.

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    @Phil:
    Troll spoof?

    I’m curious about that NATO meeting too. That could be very, very interesting.

    Israel was stupid to do this. But they’ve done lots of stupid things.

  18. 18
    The Pale Scot says:

    It’s not like the Israelis haven’t attacked ships in open waters before. I expect the same excuse “miscommunication between commanders”.

    Remember the USS Liberty.

  19. 19

    Meanwhile the Rapture Brigade must be creaming its collective leisure suit and rechecking John of Patmos’ Book of Hallucination Revelation for those perfectly clear and obvious* references to Turkey.

    *Sarcasm. Saaarcaaasm.

  20. 20
    D-Chance. says:

    And, as Drezner notes:

    The Obama administration has reacted to this incident in remarkably similar ways to China’s reaction to the Cheonan incident — with a call for more information.

    As I noted before… we’ll get an “official, ginned-up emotional response” sometime in July.

  21. 21
    Davis X. Machina says:

    History maybe doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure can rhyme.

  22. 22
    Sheila says:

    I don’t believe religion is the true motivator behind most of the violence done in its name. It is usually lust for power and land that drives the violence; religion is a handy excuse so the perps can appear to have “nobler” aspirations than they really do.

  23. 23
    LD50 says:

    @“Pancake Rachel” Dave:

    Those initial seven soldiers were violently attacked the moment they got on board in a manner reminiscent of the Ramallah lynching. The ‘peace activists’ did not wait to find out what the soldiers’ intentions were

    Oh yeah, a bunch of IDF commandos boards a ship in international waters trying to lift the embargo on the Gaza. They could have just wanted to give them hugs!

  24. 24
    Scott P. says:

    The ‘peace activists’ did not wait to find out what the soldiers’ intentions were – they pitched straight in with attempted murder.

    Hilarious. Did the soldiers have permission to board the vessel? Then why should they be surprised at the response?

  25. 25

    @KXB: Flowers and candy.

    Yeah I don’t get it. I’m going to go way out on a limb and assume the soldiers who dropped on to the ship were expecting resistance.

    To assume otherwise would require me to think Israel’s army is filled with the sort of people who’d get thrown out of Red State Strike Farce for incompetence.

  26. 26
    Dave says:

    LD50,
    here is the EUMC’s working definition of anti-semitism.

    Many, many recent comments on BJ fall under the criteria of that document.

    So much for BJ being “progressive” and “liberal”, huh.

  27. 27
    PaulW says:

    1.) Turkey vows to send more aid to Gaza, this time guarded with Turkish Naval vessels.

    My dad (Navy pilot, retired) never stopped grumbling about the USS Liberty incident. My advice to the Turkish Navy? Bring more lifeboats.

    2.) Ian Welsh notes that Turkey can invoke article V in the NATO alliance, because Turkey is a NATO member, and lo and behold, the Turkish have asked and been granted an emergency NATO meeting.

    And in another 5 days we’ll see a strongly-worded letter asking the Israelis not to attack ships in international waters again.

    3.) Israel’s behavior was so stupid and self-defeating (as well as unconscionable) that the normally straight-laced Dan Drezner is dropping multiple f-bombs.

    But is he hitting the right target?

    4.) Glenn Greenwald asks us to imagine the coverage at Commentary and the Weekly Standard if Iran had boarded a humanitarian ship in international waters and killed a dozen or so civilians.

    It’d be the same as it is now. Weekly Standard: “The Israelis struck a supply ship in international waters and killed more than 16 civilians? Solution: WE NEED TO BOMB IRAN!”

    5.) Meanwhile, the IDF spin machine is in full effect claiming repeatedly (and loudly regurgitated by all the usual wingnut American blogs) that the soldiers were “lynched” and “ambushed.” How this is an ambush when Israel had to fly miles to sea, and then drop soldiers onto the ship from helicopter, is beyond Orwellian.

    “Well you see they FORCED US to fly out there and act like assholes! If the boats had only stayed at home and cooked us our pot pies like they are supposed to we wouldn’t have to whip out the leather belt and beat them up for their own good.”

  28. 28
    KXB says:

    “LD50,
    here is the EUMC’s working definition of anti-semitism.”

    Can you also look up the definition of “International Waters”? Otherwise you’re just wasting everybody’s time.

  29. 29
    suzanne says:

    @Dave:

    Only after thirty minutes on board the ship, all the while each commando being attacked by groups of between four and ten ‘peace activists’ with everything from axes, Stanley knives, clubs, metal bars, sling shots and guns did the soldiers get permission from their commander to open fire using their hand guns (their main weapons were paint guns) in order to save their own lives.

    Reminds me of the last time I broke in to my neighbor’s house at three in the morning. Motherfucker pulled a gun on me. I don’t know why, I was just there to admire the spice rack.

  30. 30
    superking says:

    Was just listening to NPR’s coverage on this, and they had the spokesman had gave that “lynching” line. I was fucking disgusted. You don’t get to just throw that around, especially when you’re the one who dropped your fucking special forces onto someone else’s ship.

    The second line they are selling is that “the commandos were acting in self-defense.” Just say that one to yourself a few times.

    The commandos were acting in self-defense.

    The COMMANDOS were acting in self-defense.

    The commandos were acting in self-DEFENSE.

    The commandos were acting in self-defense?

    WTF.

  31. 31
    Napoleon says:

    Israel simply has a bunch of thugs for a government.

  32. 32
    robertdsc says:

    it looked like something out of a Tom Clancy novel

    Funny, in his novel Sum Of All Fears, the key to unblocking the continual religious impasse over the holy land involved an Israeli policeman shooting a non-violent protester in cold blood.

  33. 33
    LD50 says:

    @“Pancake Rachel” Dave:

    Splendid. So an organization wanting to halt all criticism of Israel now gets to tell the rest of the world what is and is not anti-Semitism. And guess what? We’re all Nazis! Even Jews who criticize Israel! Big fucking surprise.

  34. 34
    demkat620 says:

    @Dave: Hey Dave, here’s a working definition for you:

    They were in international waters. You got one for that?

    But here’s another:

    Go fuck yourself

  35. 35
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    the soldiers were “lynched” and “ambushed.”

    Let me go on the record: I will lynch and ambush anybody who parachutes into my house in the middle of the night.

  36. 36
    MikeJ says:

    @KXB: Piracy is another good word to look up. If armed people try to board you at sea, you’ve every right to defend yourself.

  37. 37
    John Cole says:

    Almost as anti semetic as Andrew Sullivan,

    Could you at least spell anti-Semitic correctly, you dolt?

  38. 38
    PeakVT says:

    @Dave: Anonymous commenters != blogowners.

    Idiot.

  39. 39
    PaulW says:

    @Dave:

    So much for BJ being “progressive” and “liberal”, huh.

    You see, it’s not anti-semitism to point out that the Israelis are acting like assholes. Because being an asshole knows no religion or ethnicity or political -ism. It’s not about being Progressive or Conservative or Christian or Muslim or Hebrew or Buddhist or Asian or African or Hispanic. It’s all about how you act and behave towards others: that’s what defines you as an asshole. And the Israelis right now – given their heavy-handed actions in Gaza, their pushing illegal settlements, their abuse of friendship with European and American allies – are indeed assholes.

  40. 40
    Dave says:

    Can you also look up the definition of “International Waters”? Otherwise you’re just wasting everybody’s time.
    Reply

    International Waters or not is irrelevant.

    The Israeli boarding was done in full compliance with International law, specifically with the Helsinki Principles on the Law of Maritime Neutrality

    Check out sections 5.2.1 and 5.2.10:

    5.2.1 Visit and search
    As an exception to Principle 5.1.2. paragraph 1 and in accordance with Principle 1.3 (2nd sentence),
    belligerent warships have a right to visit and search vis-à-vis neutral commercial ships in order to ascertain
    the character and destination of their cargo. If a ship tries to evade this control or offers resistance,
    measures of coercion necessary to exercise this right are permissible. This includes the right to divert a ship
    where visit and search at the place where the ship is encountered are not practical.

    In this case, the ship was being dirverted to Ashdod.

    5.2.10 Blockade
    Blockade, i.e. the interdiction of all or certain maritime traffic coming from or going to a port or coast of a
    belligerent, is a legitimate method of naval warfare. In order to be valid, the blockade must be declared,
    notified to belligerent and neutral States, effective and applied impartially to ships of all States. A blockade
    may not bar access to neutral ports or coasts. Neutral vessels believed on reasonable and probable
    grounds to be breaching a blockade may be stopped and captured. If they, after prior warning, clearly resist
    capture, they may be attacked.

    Israel maintains a military blockade of the Hamas regime in Gaza.

  41. 41
    wengler says:

    We get it, we get it, we hate Jewish people and love the Holocaust because we’re against piracy

    In other news, this is a big steaming pile for Obama on top of other things such as saving the Gulf of Mexico from dying and our economy from collapsing in on itself courtesy of the fraudulent banksters. If he makes the wrong move here, the Turks might push the US out of Incerlik, which may be a large symbolic blow if not a strategic one.

    US commanders in Iraq will also have to deal with the aftershocks of this, as they are put in the really stupid position of clarifying the US position on Israeli piracy(hint: Congress will approve, while Obama will stake out a place in no man’s land to get smacked by both sides). The State Department will express “concern” and will encourage both sides to commit to peaceful co-existence while flogging the humanitarian aid ships for being “provocative”.

    It’s really, really foolish how many Americans have gotten killed and will get killed by Israeli policy, but hey I guess we can still say that American policy is still the number one killer of Americans so all is good.

  42. 42
    JimF says:

    As far as I’m concerned since it happened in international waters, Israel is at fault period.

  43. 43

    Officer, all I did was stick my hand up her skirt and she up and hit me! I want you to arrest this crazy bitch!

  44. 44
    kay says:

    @Dave:

    We’ve only heard one side, because Israel is holding the activists incommunicado.

    You’ve spent the last hour blasting out that side.

    The people who are being held by Israel have not had a chance to defend themselves against your allegations.

    If you were interested in a factual account, you’d wait for Israel to allow them to speak.

    But your mind is made up, so you’re not. Which is exactly the charge you’re leveling against people here.

  45. 45
    PaulW says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Let me go on the record: I will lynch and ambush anybody who parachutes into my house in the middle of the night.

    Oh, poor Bruce. If it’s the Drug Police busting in on your family looking for your ounce of oregano, you and your pets aren’t going to last very long… :(

  46. 46
    Dave says:

    Splendid. So an organization wanting to halt all criticism of Israel now gets to tell the rest of the world what is and is not anti-Semitism.

    LD50,
    The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is a Vienna-based agency of the European Union inaugurated on 1 March 2007. It was established by Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 of 15 February 2007 as the successor to the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC).

  47. 47
    Mark S. says:

    @PaulW:

    It’d be the same as it is now. Weekly Standard: “The Israelis struck a supply ship in international waters and killed more than 16 civilians? Solution: WE NEED TO BOMB IRAN!”

    I brought this up in the other thread, but here’s some douchebag from the Corner arguing along those lines:

    If Obama decides it is in America’s interest to make an example of Israel after the Gaza flotilla incident in order to win goodwill in Cairo, Beirut, Tehran, and Ankara, then he must also recognize that the leadership in Jerusalem is going to conclude that it cannot trust the United States to safeguard its security, and that therefore it must take matters into its own hands on any number of issues, not the least of which is Iran’s nuclear program. In effect, if the White House decides to come down hard on Israel now, it is the same as giving a green light for Israel to strike Iran.

  48. 48
    demkat620 says:

    @Dave: Remember that when the Turks grab an Israeli ship.

    You are a fucktard of the first order.

  49. 49
    kay says:

    @JimF:

    I’m almost certain it’s Obama’s fault, just on general principles.

    We just haven’t determined, yet, what he did or didn’t do.

  50. 50
    Alex S. says:

    My thoughts on this whole issue of Israel and the Middle East:

    Israel can’t win. They are in an untenable position. They are surrounded by enemies who will at least outnumber them in the long run, if not nuke or invade them in the short run. The palestinian areas are breeding grounds of terrorism. Millions of people are living under horrible circumstances and Israel is effectively treating them like prisoners. Israel has relied on a lot of goodwill for too long, but younger people, in the USA and in Europe, don’t have the same kind of dedication to the jewish people anymore. Even younger American Jews have become much more reluctant to support the state of Israel.
    I think Israel pretty much knows that they can’t win, which is why they have to keep up the status quo with more and more indefensible actions. These actions will lead to the loss of any international support. But I guess that if they didn’t do these kinds of things, they would be afraid of encouraging potential terrorists to attack Israel due to a “demonstration of weakness”.
    I wish there was a way to settle this war (I’d call it a lukewarm war, a war that is moving at a very slow speed), but I am afraid that it is impossible because the barriers are too high and the people are too far apart. It is heartbreaking because some of these people will have to give up all they have and go away to save their lives, but I’ve given up hope of seeing the Israelis and Palestinians living together peacefully.

    And now this incident… it has got a new twist, the role of Turkey that seeks to become a great power (look at the turkish negotiations with Iran from 2 weeks ago). Israel cannot afford to lose Turkey, too, and Turkey seems to be all too willing to place itself into the middle of this.

  51. 51
    freelancer says:

    The signal to troll ratio of this thread is astounding.

  52. 52
    Michael says:

    @Dave:

    Those initial seven soldiers were violently attacked the moment they got on board in a manner reminiscent of the Ramallah lynching. The ‘peace activists’ did not wait to find out what the soldiers’ intentions were – they pitched straight in with attempted murder.

    Sorry to hear that they weren’t lynched. It would have been deserved, because that’s how pirates have historically been dealt with.

  53. 53
    malraux says:

    Even if legal, blocking humanitarian aid is clearly evil.

  54. 54
    Dave says:

    If you were interested in a factual account, you’d wait for Israel to allow them to speak.

    We have tons of video footage, from multiple sources, including many on the ship. We have multiple communications from the flotilla-ites themselves as to their intentions. We have statements from Hamas as to their intentions.

    And we have, in this country (the UK) a long history [with regards to the flotilla-ites (and the organisations that started this thing)] of their violence, or their rioting and violence, of their support for suicide bombing and terrorism, of their conspiracy theorising, and of their coddling up to and embracing of far-right fascist theocrats.

    Back in my day, the left stood up for human rights, secular values and against the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah. But now, you’re embraced them and their agenda wholesale.

  55. 55
    Citizen_X says:

    @Dave: Given that Israel treats bags of cement as the equivalent of Katyusha rockets, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for their “military” blockade.

  56. 56
    FoxinSocks says:

    Not to mention this isn’t the first aid flotilla of its kind. All the others were either turned back without loss of life or allowed to pass. So not buying the “we had to defend ourselves by killing a bunch of peace activists who came at us with fire extinguishers and butter knives” line. Israel just got too cocky this time, that’s all, and underestimated the international response.

  57. 57
    LD50 says:

    @“Pancake Rachel” Dave: So, if Israel’s actions *are* racist, that means that *pointing that out* is anti-Semitic. So again, we’re all a bunch of Stormfront Nazis.

    What sanctioned government agency gets to define being racist, since this outfit evidently holds a copyright on ‘anti-semitic’?

    International Waters or not is irrelevant.

    So you evidently get to decide what international laws do or don’t apply to Israel. Sweet!

  58. 58
    stormhit says:

    @Dave:

    Yes, that’s a compelling point if you ignore an entire sentence.

    “However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”

    Given how fashionable it is these days to invoke Nazism to describe a whole host of behaviors, politicians, and countries; the above clause invalidates the entire Nazi bullet point.

  59. 59
    Andy K says:

    @MikeJ:

    Incorrect.

    According to the United Nations Convention On The Law Of The Sea, piracy is defined as an act committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or aircraft.

  60. 60
    Dave says:

    Even if legal, blocking humanitarian aid is clearly evil.

    The aid wasn’t going to be blocked. Once offloaded and inspected in Ashdod, it was going to be transferred to Gaza.

    Hamas and Hezbollah have previous form for importing weapons (remember this?)

  61. 61
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @PaulW:

    If it’s the Drug Police busting in on your family looking for your ounce of oregano, you and your pets aren’t going to last very long

    Oh, but I plan on lynching and ambushing them with a mophandle wielded by an 86 year old woman.

  62. 62
    Royce says:

    @Dave:

    So the next thing you hope for is for someone to counter with refutations of your list of specially-selected half-facts, correct the misleading statements you made and point out the glaring omissions. At which point comes the cry of anti-semitism. Big fight ensues. Nothing is resolved as yet more US money pours into the wide mouth of Israel, or as you put it, “vibrant democracy, a successful economy.”

    Others have been watching this “bullying with Big Brother’s money” game for 20 years. It looks to many in this world like the current Israeli regime intends to commit slow murder of a people while crying for sympathy.

    It seems impossible for an Israeli apologist to actually apologize. If you truly care for Israel and to sincerely wish to quell anti-semitism, it is time my friend.

    You won’t argue and insult people into disbelieving their own eyes. Try being human, for the sake of your stated interests if nothing else.

  63. 63
    Michael says:

    What sanctioned government agency gets to define being racist, since this outfit evident holds a copyright on ‘anti-semitic’?

    European governments are welcome to indict me and put me on trial for the crime of daring to speak against the policies of the government of those oh-so-enlightened and beloved by God chosen folks.

  64. 64
    LD50 says:

    @‘Pancake Rachel’ Dave:

    Back in my day, the left stood up for human rights, secular values and against the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah. But now, you’re embraced them and their agenda wholesale.

    Nice that you’re happy to turn off this concern for human rights when it comes to ragheads.

    So much for Dave being “progressive” and “liberal”, huh.

  65. 65
    Uloborus says:

    I’m… somewhere in the middle, here. A spokesman for the Turkish organization was on the news today. This was entirely a provocation. They could have sent this shipment through an Egyptian port. Egypt offered. And their intention now is to keep sending these ships, despite the fact that they’ll be turned away and violence is inevitable. This is an attempt to make Israel look bad as much or more than a humanitarian mission, and if the Israeli officers were attacked? While performing a legal boarding of a ship running a blockade? Yes, commandos can be killed. They usually shoot back to stop it from happening.

    …on the other hand, the blockade is disgusting, Israel’s policies towards Palestine are disgusting, and I honestly believe that if these people hadn’t started it, the Israelis would have. It’s not exactly hard to make Israel look bad, here. When Sharon took power, I felt Israel’s Palestinian policy went from ‘stodgy but potentially reformable’ to… genocidal.

    I just don’t think two wrongs make a right, and it sounds to me like these people were deliberately causing a fight. And then I go back and think ‘Israel knew this fight was likely, so why did they send soldiers who were equipped and ordered only to kill in case of resistance? Oh, right, they want a fight, too.’

    Eesh. Just… eesh.

  66. 66
    TenguPhule says:

    How this is an ambush when Israel had to fly miles to sea, and then drop soldiers onto the ship from helicopter, is beyond Orwellian.

    Should Israeli forces go in armed for bear against peace activists now?

    Apparently less repressive tactics employed only look like stupidity and weakness to everyone else.

  67. 67
    Scott P. says:

    The Israeli boarding was done in full compliance with International law, specifically with the Helsinki Principles on the Law of Maritime Neutrality

    For Israel to be blockaded, Gaza would have to be a belligerent. If it were a belligerent, that would mean Israel recognized it as an independent country, and it would have a number of rights under international law that Israel currently denies it. For example, it would mean that Gaza could lawfully obtain loans and contract to purchase arms from non-belligerent powers.

    That was exactly the mistake Lincoln made when he declared a blockade of the Confederacy. That declaration meant that the U.S. recognized the Confederacy as a lawful belligerent (since you can’t blockade your own ports). The Lincoln administration had to backpedal rapidly from that error.

  68. 68
    Michael says:

    @Dave:

    The aid wasn’t going to be blocked. Once offloaded and inspected in Ashdod, it was going to be transferred to Gaza.

    My ass.

  69. 69
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    The aid wasn’t going to be blocked. Once offloaded and inspected in Ashdod, it was going to be transferred to Gaza.

    Hence the commandos swarming the ship. Sure.

  70. 70
    KXB says:

    “And we have, in this country (the UK) a long history [with regards to the flotilla-ites (and the organisations that started this thing)] of their violence, or their rioting and violence, of their support for suicide bombing and terrorism, of their conspiracy theorising, and of their coddling up to and embracing of far-right fascist theocrats.”

    When the UK was dealing with IRA terrorism, they did not launch the RAF to bomb Belfast, expect the U.S. to remain silent, while taking $3 billion a year, along with us subsidizing their defense budget.

    Then again, at least the American and the Brits have fought side by side. Israeli has contributed zero soldiers to any American military mission.

  71. 71
    TenguPhule says:

    And then I go back and think ‘Israel knew this fight was likely, so why did they send soldiers who were equipped and ordered only to kill in case of resistance? Oh, right, they want a fight, too.’

    Or maybe they thought prominent peace activists really wouldn’t be that stupid as to attack their forces.

    It’s just a no-win for Israel. They go in armed for bear, they get lambasted for brutality, they go in with primary non-lethal weapons, the other side takes full advantage and they get lambasted for being stupid.

  72. 72
    kay says:

    @Dave:

    Don’t be ridiculous. I don’t know a thing about foreign policy. I certainly don’t have “allegiance” with any of the groups you mentioned.

    You were touting your fair-mindedness and good faith. Simple concept, and easy to apply.

    You don’t show any.

    You’re leveling elaborate accusations. I’m not.

    Since you have really demonized these people, I think it’s fair that you let them speak, before you continue this absolute barrage of ever-further reaching accusations, which now include organizations they supposedly belong to, and goals.

    You demand an assumption of innocence, or you go right to bias (anti-semitism) but you don’t extend it to others.

  73. 73
    Tim I says:

    @Phil:

    Please go fuck yourself, and your fucking chicken!

  74. 74
    superking says:

    @Dave:

    You’re a gigantic wanker who’s trying to confuse many of the issues by flooding the conversation with data that is not apparently irrelevant.

    So, a few things:

    1. The Helsinki Principles are WHOLLY IRRELEVANT to this discussion because they only apply, if at all, when states party are engaged in an international armed conflict. Read priniciple 1.1, the FUCKING DEFINITIONS.

    Since Israel is not party to an international armed conflict, these principles are not relevant.

    2. Do you even know if Israel is a state party to these principles, or did you just google this crap and spit something up on the internet?

    3. No one is questioning that blockades as a general rule are legal. But there is an apparent question over whether this blockade is legal. I have not studied this and can’t say.

    As long as we’re just googling stuff, there’s this from wikipedia.

    Again, I don’t have any expertise on this issue, but I’m admitting that.

  75. 75
    LD50 says:

    @TenguPhule: Soooo…. let’s take stock here: Israeli commandos board a Turkish ship in international waters. The people on the ship resist. Several people on the ship die, no commandos die. Somehow this is (a) proof the people on the ship ‘had it coming’ and (b) an indication that people criticizing Israel now think that “Israeli forces [should] go in armed for bear against peace activists”.

    That makes no sense whatsoever, but hey, at least you’re not calling us anti-semites, like Dave & Phil.

  76. 76
    The Dangerman says:

    @Mark S.:

    …it is the same as giving a green light for Israel to strike Iran.

    Israel doesn’t need a green light to hit Iran; they will do whatever the hell they want to do whenever the hell they want to do it. The only question would be overflights of Iraq; of course, permission will NOT be granted, but that won’t stop them.

    I’m trying to understand how commandos were attacked by between 4 and 10 people for 30 minutes and feared for their lives…

    …yet no commando appears to have been injured.

  77. 77
    Michael says:

    @KXB:

    Then again, at least the American and the Brits have fought side by side. Israeli has contributed zero soldiers to any American military mission.

    Pointing out how stingy Israel has been with regard to providing some consideration for all the assistance it gets makes you an anti-semite, you hater.

  78. 78
    TenguPhule says:

    So not buying the “we had to defend ourselves by killing a bunch of peace activists who came at us with fire extinguishers and butter knives” line.

    You’ve never faced a mob, have you?

  79. 79
    Violet says:

    @Dave:

    Yet its still there, a vibrant democracy, a successful economy

    How vibrant of an economy would it be if the US stopped sending money? The US could use a little of that cash right now. It’s not like we’re flush.

  80. 80
    wengler says:

    @ Alex S.

    A settlement would be a binational state of Israel-Palestine with every citizen having equal rights. For any number of reasons this is not going to happen in the short-term.

    Israel-Palestine would effectively end the Jewish state and the power and privilege that Jewish Israelis currently hold in its current incarnation as Israel plus Occupied/Fenced off territories.

    I gotta believe that a fair portion of Jewish Israelis will choose to co-exist with the Palestinians having equal rights, rather than commit to an authoritarian dictatorship. My fear though is that a number of those will just emigrate to the US and leave the crazies behind to make their nuclear armed religious fantasies become reality.

  81. 81
    Ailuridae says:

    Always nice to have Abe Foxman and Marty Peretz visit the blog screaming anti-Semitism at anyone who thinks that Israel should be subject to the same standards as any other nation.

  82. 82
    Tyro says:

    This was entirely a provocation.

    Of course it was. And it was a publicity stunt to draw attention to Gaza. And Israel played into the hands of the provocateurs. Why? For many of the reasons Drezner outlined: because their government is living in a fantasy land. Brilliant.

    it sounds to me like these people were deliberately causing a fight.

    The reason law enforcement, rather than the military, is usually called in to deal with protestors, for example, is because law enforcement is trained to prevent fights. The military is trained to pick fights.

  83. 83
    Andy K says:

    @Scott P.:

    That was exactly the mistake Lincoln made when he declared a blockade of the Confederacy. That declaration meant that the U.S. recognized the Confederacy as a lawful belligerent (since you can’t blockade your own ports). The Lincoln administration had to backpedal rapidly from that error.

    And yet that blockade continued until the end of the war.

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:

    …yet no commando appears to have been injured.

    Dr. Arnon Afek, deputy director of Chaim Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv, said two commandos were brought in with gunshot wounds. Another had serious head wounds, Afek added.

    You were saying?

  85. 85
    LD50 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    It’s just a no-win for Israel. They go in armed for bear, they get lambasted for brutality, they go in with primary non-lethal weapons, the other side takes full advantage and they get lambasted for being stupid.

    Or Israel can lift the blockade and allow in aid. But somehow that’s unthinkable.

  86. 86
    Tim I says:

    @Dave:

    You have a very overactive imagination – all those details about the incident – amazing you could manufacture them at such a rate.

  87. 87
    Martin says:

    I think the real question is whether Israel will treat the Turkish navy the same as they did the flotilla. Things will get really interesting then.

  88. 88
    neil says:

    How this is an ambush when Israel had to fly miles to sea, and then drop soldiers onto the ship from helicopter, is beyond Orwellian.

    It’s beyond Orwellian–it’s Palinian!

  89. 89
    smiley says:

    Joe Klein make an excellent point, to my cynical eyes at least:

    The US will be asked to condemn this behavior in the inevitable Security Council resolution–if Obama doesn’t veto the resolution, there will be hell to pay among the Israelophilic leaders of the American Jewish Community. If he does veto the resolution, his outreach to the Islamic world is kaput. If he abstains, everyone is offended.

    Given my distrust of the current Israeli government and their, and American necon, distrust of the Obama administration, this might be a political trap.

  90. 90
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TenguPhule: Maybe they could try something other than brutality and stupidity. Then again, what am I saying, it’s Netanyahu.

  91. 91
    Tyro says:

    You’ve never faced a mob, have you?

    We’re not talking about a mob that spontaneously fell upon a bunch of soldiers who needed to defend themselves. We’re talking about soldiers who started shooting in order to win a fight that they picked.

    Soldiers exist for the purpose of fighting in combat. Instead some idiot got the idea that it would be a good idea to have them engage in hand to hand combat with civilians.

  92. 92

    @Dave:

    Dave – do me a favour dude, shut the fuck up, you are embarassing me here. You are trying to defend the undefensible based upon some weird opposition to terrorism. Based upon your position a rape victim could be tried for assault if she cut her attacker’s dick off. Or lets put it another way, what would your position be if the Turkish military jumped onto an Israeli ship in international waters and killed people on board?

  93. 93
    LD50 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    You’ve never faced a mob, have you?

    Commandos invade a foreign ship in international waters and you summarize this as “facing a mob”?

  94. 94
    Joey Giraud says:

    That EUMC definition of anti-semitism is clear; if you think Israel isn’t always right all the time, you’re an anti-semite.

    Guess that proves it. I’m an anti-semite.

    Wait til my Jewish friends find out!

  95. 95
    TenguPhule says:

    Israeli commandos board a Turkish ship in international waters. The people on the ship resist. allegedly attack them. Several people on the ship die, no commandos die.

    Corrected.

    Had they not attacked Israeli forces the activists *could* have called Israel on a probable Article 110 violation for boarding without probable cause (unless their search found weapons being smuggled in, then all bets are off).

  96. 96
    Dave says:

    Nothing I have said is misleading or “half-facts”, Royce.

    The problem is simply that the large chucks of the so-called “progressive” left (especially over in the US) have veered over into outright Judenhass. For them, nothing that Israel does will ever satisfy them.

    Liberal newspapers in the UK and in Sweden reprint anti-semitic cartoons, repeat blood libels on the front page, and engage in ludicrous defense of brown-skin fascists (just because they happen to be brown), synagogues are attacked daily, nutters roam down the streets shouting genocidal threats – are you telling me there isn’t a problem?

    And none of this is contingent upon Israel. This all happened for the last two thousand years.

    This time at least, the Jews have a refuge. A last safe place.

    which, in the eyes of BJ comments, can never do anything right at all. Apart from just giving up and letting Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah have their way.

  97. 97
    Allen says:

    Meet the new Phil: Even dumber than the old Phil, and without the ability to spell “Semitic”.

  98. 98
    Scott P. says:

    And yet that blockade continued until the end of the war.

    Actually, I think what they ended up deciding is that they would “close the Southern ports” to trade, and so what we call a blockade wasn’t technically a blockade.

  99. 99
    LD50 says:

    @smiley:

    Given my distrust of the current Israeli government and their, and American necon, distrust of the Obama administration, this might be a political trap.

    The idea that this was a deliberate stunt to fuck up the Obama administration is actually the best explanation I’ve heard today as to why on earth Netanyahu authorized this. Such wonderful friends of America, they are.

  100. 100
    Dave says:

    A settlement would be a binational state of Israel-Palestine with every citizen having equal rights. For any number of reasons this is not going to happen in the short-term.

    Ah yes, everyone except the Jews can have a state of their own.

  101. 101
    Uloborus says:

    @Tyro:
    Yes. I think your points are extremely cogent there.

  102. 102
    TenguPhule says:

    Commandos invade a foreign ship in international waters and you summarize this as “facing a mob”?

    Commandos rappel down from a helicopter and are apparently attacked as they come down one by one by a bunch of people with melee weapons. Said commandos only real weapon was apparently a sidearm they were not planning on using initially. Instead of peace activists, they apparently get a bunch of armed people trying to beat them to death.

    Yeah, a mob.

  103. 103
    superking says:

    @Dave:

    I read somewhere that God doesn’t want us to kill each other. If Israel could lay off killing people for a while, I’d be more satisfied with their actions.

  104. 104
    Kryptik says:

    @smiley:

    The point about offending the ‘American Jewish Community’ seems a bit misguided. It seems like the most offended by this aren’t even Jewish. Just those with a hard on for Israel because they keep the Ay-rabs in line. Aside from idiots like Peretz and Foxman, a lot of American Jews (save maybe the ultra-orthodox folks who have their own issues) seem much more liberal and open to actual criticism of Israel.

    It’s mostly the political set that finds themselves with the vapors should even a mild criticism of the Israeli gov’t pass. You find more scathing criticism in Haaretz than you will in the Washington Bubble’d Media.

  105. 105
    Scott P. says:

    Ah yes, everyone except the Jews can have a state of their own.

    So apartheid it is, then?

  106. 106
    TenguPhule says:

    Or lets put it another way, what would your position be if the Turkish military jumped onto an Israeli ship in international waters and killed people on board?

    Did the Israelis attack the Turkish military in an armed mob?

  107. 107
    LD50 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Had they not attacked Israeli forces the activists could have called Israel on a probable Article 110 violation for boarding without probable cause (unless their search found weapons being smuggled in, then all bets are off).

    Your faith that the Netanyahu government scrupulously holds itself to international law is a thing of wonderment indeed.

  108. 108
    KXB says:

    “This time at least, the Jews have a refuge. A last safe place.”

    Jews are safer in NY and LA.

  109. 109
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dave:

    the Jews have a refuge. A last safe place.

    Yeah, kind of like how Charles Whitman had a clock tower.

  110. 110
    wmd says:

    @Dave:

    Like everyone but the Afrikaners have a state in South Africa.

    Do you think non Jews in Israel should have rights?

  111. 111
    o kanis says:

    Gaza = Warsaw Ghetto

  112. 112
    maus says:

    Once again, Israel’s worst enemies are themselves and their boorish supporters, and they are bringing us down with them. I have no idea what they think they are accomplishing, and I can only assume they are simply not thinking.

    They’re cheering on the murder of the supporters of Palestine.

    You seem to be ascribing some other need to the supporters other than the desire to see people suffer. It’s all a zero-sum game, you know.

    @TenguPhule:

    You’ve never faced a mob, have you?

    Oh, you’re right. They all had to die. OUR BAD.

    Is there anything you’re not a kneejerk apologist for?

  113. 113
    LD50 says:

    @TenguPhule: According to your logic, if the Israeli sailors resisted having a foreign navy land on their ship, that would make the Israelis a ‘lynch mob’.

  114. 114
    TenguPhule says:

    Sorry to hear that they weren’t lynched. It would have been deserved, because that’s how pirates have historically been dealt with.

    And with that Michael proves that he’s a douche and an idiot at the same time!

  115. 115
    The Dangerman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Dr. Arnon Afek, deputy director of Chaim Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv, said two commandos were brought in with gunshot wounds. Another had serious head wounds, Afek added.

    I’d say that I’d be fascinated to learn how any commando had gunshot wounds given that I have heard no one claim that anyone in the Flotilla was armed….

  116. 116
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Said commandos only real weapon was apparently a sidearm they were not planning on using initially.

    Because when you hear “Israeli commandos” you understand “group known for exercising restraint before engaging its weaponry.”

  117. 117
    Dave says:

    Or lets put it another way, what would your position be if the Turkish military jumped onto an Israeli ship in international waters and killed people on board?

    Are Turkey and Israel in a state of war? Does Turkey have a military blockade in place upon Israel?

    The answers to both of those questions are no.

    Hamas and Israel are in a state of war (Hamas is also in a de-facto state of War with the Palestinian Authority). Israel has a military blockage upon the Hamas Regime.

    When someone, who has the legal authority, comes pointing guns at you, for a lawful reason, you don’t bait them with sticks.

    I’ve been stopped by the RUC, and have ended up with the barrel of a H&K carbine not 6 inches from my face. In that circumstance you don’t immediately turn around and chuck an axe at the chap because you’re angry he stopped you for suspected speeding (even if you were only doing 20 mph in a 30 mph).

  118. 118
    Dave says:

    Jews are safer in NY and LA.

    Judging from recent Ballon Juice comments, not for long.

  119. 119
    KXB says:

    “I’ve been stopped by the RUC, and have ended up with the barrel of a H&K carbine not 6 inches from my face. In that circumstance you don’t immediately turn around and chuck an axe at the chap because you’re angry he stopped you for suspected speeding (even if you were only doing 20 mph in a 30 mph). ”

    Just cause you live your life as a wuss, does not mean everyone else has to.

  120. 120
    o kanis says:

    Pretty well anything the Israelis and their US amen corner has to say about this incident is a lie.

    Religious/nationalist psychos don’t really care. Israel is their object of worship (see the Satmar take on this) so you have to realize you’re dealing with cultists.

  121. 121
    Violet says:

    @Dave:

    For them, nothing that Israel does will ever satisfy them.

    Too many absolutes in this statement for it to be true.

  122. 122
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    Ah yes, everyone except the Jews can have a state of their own.

    a) Hundreds of nationalities don’t have their own state. Try the Kurds, for example, who are even more numerous than Jews.

    b) does ‘state of their own’ mean to you that non-Jews in Israel have to either leave or accept 2nd-class status at best? How does that jibe with your blithering about how wonderful their democracy is?

  123. 123
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Phil: Um, I’m a Jew and I think you’re smoking something weird.

  124. 124
    maus says:

    @Dave:

    which, in the eyes of BJ comments, can never do anything right at all.

    I agree, they could start by doing something right at all. And you could stop making excuses for inexcusable crimes.

    @Phil: ur trollin’ weak

  125. 125
    TenguPhule says:

    According to your logic, if the Israeli sailors resisted having a foreign navy land on their ship, that would make the Israelis a ‘lynch mob’.

    “Resisting” a search and seizure by trying to kill commandos apparently armed with paintball guns and sidearms with bats, knives and other assorted weapons makes them a mob. Granted, it’s *possible* Israeli forces attacked first, in which case Israel would be in the wrong for triggering the event and their people brought up on charges. But if Israeli forces did not start the fight, then the activists are to blame for causing the deaths and should be face charges.

  126. 126
    LD50 says:

    @“Pancake Rachel” Dave: “Nazi! Nazi! Nazi!”

  127. 127
    o kanis says:

    Actually, the Israeli “comandos” were armed with swizzle sticks. Blunt ones at that.

    Lol! Paint guns!

  128. 128
  129. 129
    KXB says:

    “Granted, it’s possible Israeli forces attacked first, in which case Israel would be in the wrong for triggering the event and their people brought up on charges. But if Israeli forces did not start the fight, then the activists are to blame for causing the deaths and should be face charges.”

    Hey, that’s the argument they used in 1967 against the USS Liberty, wasn’t it?

  130. 130
    TenguPhule says:

    I’d say that I’d be fascinated to learn how any commando had gunshot wounds given that I have heard no one claim that anyone in the Flotilla was armed….

    According to the Israelis, they were shot by sidearms wrested from Israeli commandos.

    And the activists were armed with melee weapons. Footage was at least clear about that. None of this unarmed bullshit.

  131. 131
    neil says:

    It was the IDF’s decision not to come in with overwhelming force. It was an incomprehensibly stupid decision, too, and one that most likely cost lives. Why did they think they could take a ship when outnumbered 15 to 1, armed only with pistols? Why did they think the ship which refused to divert when surrounded by the Israeli navy would surrender instantly?

  132. 132
    Michael says:

    @smiley:

    Given my distrust of the current Israeli government and their, and American necon, distrust of the Obama administration, this might be a political trap.

    I wouldn’t put anything past that craven bunch of Likudniks – hell, if they felt like their backs were up against the wall, I could see them planting a “terrorist” weapon in Washington and detonating it if they felt it would get them some advantage. They’d have plenty of willing accomplices among the neocon right, and the bloodshed wouldn’t bother them a bit.

  133. 133
    Dave says:

    I read somewhere that God doesn’t want us to kill each other. If Israel could lay off killing people for a while, I’d be more satisfied with their actions.

    If Hamas, Hezbollah & and co stopped attacking Israel (and their western useful idiot supporters stopped making excuses for them), then there wouldn’t be any justification for any violent actions on either side.

    But as the FSM only knows, Hamas et al. will never give up their Jew-hatred.

  134. 134
    TenguPhule says:

    Why did they think they could take a ship when outnumbered 15 to 1, armed only with pistols?

    Because apparently they didn’t think it was going to come down to a fight.

  135. 135
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TenguPhule: Don’t commandos, by their nature, attack? They’re an attack force. They attacked the ship. Where’s the ambiguity?

  136. 136
    LD50 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    But if Israeli forces did not start the fight,

    I think it’s your sublime insistence that commandos boarding a ship loaded with building materials in international waters does not constitute ‘starting a fight’ that strikes everyone here (except Dave) as so bizarre.

  137. 137
    The Dangerman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    According to the Israelis, they were shot by sidearms wrested from Israeli commandos.

    Thus confirming that the Flotilla was unarmed. Thanks!

  138. 138
    Scott P. says:

    Hamas and Israel are in a state of war

    No they are not. Not by international law.

    Granted, it’s possible Israeli forces attacked first,

    Well, I think everyone agrees they boarded the ship, so by default they performed the first hostile act.

  139. 139
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Dave:

    Jews are safer in NY and LA.
    __
    Judging from recent Ballon Juice comments, not for long.

    Netanyahu called. He said, “Stop helping.”

  140. 140
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @neil:

    Why did they think they could take a ship when outnumbered 15 to 1, armed only with pistols?

    Perhaps because their self-image is based upon having the biggest, swingingest set of balls in the world.

  141. 141
    Dave says:

    Hundreds of nationalities don’t have their own state. Try the Kurds, for example, who are even more numerous than Jews.

    I want the Kurds to have a state of their own. Hell, I even want the Scots to have a state of their own.

    does ‘state of their own’ mean to you that non-Jews in Israel have to either leave or accept 2nd-class status at best?

    Nope.

    But then non-Jews haven’t been subjected to 2000 years of persecution, and a recent attempt to wipe them out in industrial genocide. now have they?

  142. 142
    neil says:

    Because apparently they didn’t think it was going to come down to a fight.

    That’s incomprehensibly stupid, is all I can say. They didn’t even prepare for a fight!

  143. 143
    TenguPhule says:

    Don’t commandos, by their nature, attack? They’re an attack force.

    Tautology.

    They were doing a search and seizure. They did not go in as an attack force, or do you really think sending them in one by one was meant as some kind of super secret killing spree?

  144. 144
    LD50 says:

    @“Pancake Rachel” Dave:

    But as the FSM only knows, Hamas et al. will never give up their Jew-hatred.

    And let’s all COMPLETELY IGNORE what the historical origin for this hatred is. That’ll solve the problem.

  145. 145
    neil says:

    @Scott P.: Actually, attempting to break the blockade was a hostile act.

  146. 146
    debbie says:

    I suggest you defenders of today’s action by Israel read this analysis:

    http://debka.com/article/8824/

  147. 147
    Michael says:

    @Dave:

    And none of this is contingent upon Israel. This all happened for the last two thousand years.

    This time at least, the Jews have a refuge. A last safe place.

    Whining that everybody who hates you for treating them like shit must be an anti-semite is probably your raison d’etre.

  148. 148
    smiley says:

    @Scott P.:

    The idea that this was a deliberate stunt to fuck up the Obama administration is actually the best explanation I’ve heard today as to why on earth Netanyahu authorized this.

    The added benefit is that it provides Netanyahu with a legitimate excuse for blowing off a trip to Washington to meet with Obama. You know, that Obama, the one who hates Israel.

  149. 149
    TenguPhule says:

    Thus confirming that the Flotilla was unarmed.

    Aside from all the bats, knives and assorted instruments of hand to hand violence. But as long as they didn’t have guns they’re unarmed!

    /facepalm.

  150. 150
    maus says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Granted, it’s possible Israeli forces attacked first

    Uh, it was a humanitarian vessel in international waters.

  151. 151
    Andy K says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Thus confirming that the Flotilla was unarmed. Thanks!

    It confirms no such thing. It hints that maybe the people on the ship had no firearms, but says nothing to whether or not they were armed.

  152. 152
    debbie says:

    @Dave:

    But then non-Jews haven’t been subjected to 2000 years of persecution, and a recent attempt to wipe them out in industrial genocide. now have they?

    It’s statements like yours that make me, a Jew, absolutely see red in at least a billion different shades.

    Don’t you think, at the very least that having been subjected to such horrible persecution over the centuries, that Jews, of all people, should not countenance collective guilt and collective persecution as they are being practiced on the Palestinians? Doesn’t punishing the many for the sins of the few send chills down your spine?

    Israel desecrates every soul who perished in the Holocaust.

  153. 153
    Martin says:

    Here’s an honest question.

    When the next flotilla arrives guarded by Turkish warships, do you think the Israelis have the right to board the Turkish warships outside the 12 mile limit? Do you think that the Turks have a right to resist being boarded?

    What’s being missed here is that the Israel supporters seem to take the position that Israel has no allies, that if Turkey sends contraband into Gaza that Turkey can’t be held accountable, therefore Israel needs to inspect and certify everything. If this repeats with the Turkish Navy as an escort, is Israel taking the position that Turkey is now an enemy of Israel? Is there really no ability for Israel to engage in diplomacy in a situation like this? I’m having trouble seeing how this shouldn’t be construed as a broad distrust of NATO by Israel, or less cynically (believe it or not) as a political trap for Obama as smiley suggests.

  154. 154
    neil says:

    Knives? The boat had a galley, for crying out loud. How would they not have knives?

    They didn’t have enough knives for everybody, that’s for sure.

  155. 155
    Mike M says:

    I have worked for a large electronics company that has facilities in Israel for 20 years, and have had the opportunity to travel there many times. I have been all over Israel and the occupied territories, including visiting Jewish settlements in Gaza before they were dismantled. While I continue to be sympathetic to Israel, as the stronger party, I feel that they are largely responsible for their situation, and have turned into a monstrous oppressor for the sake of security.

    Israel wants to preserve itself as a Jewish state, but demographics are against it. They can only continue to be a Jewish state if they deny citizenship and suffrage to the people in the occupied territories. Certainly, Israel has legitimate concerns about security, but security has become too convenient an excuse for keeping the Palestinans down. Bring up security, and you don’t need to consider any other options, until the Palestians utterly surrender.

    The poverty and widespread misery in the occupied territories would break the heart of any feeling human being. No matter how many times I have witnessed it first hand, it still takes my breath away. While I find many of my Israeli friends are sorry about the plight of the Palestinians, there are too many others who blame them for their situation because they are “stupid, dirty, and lazy.” When I listen to them speak about Arabs, whether Israeli or Palestinian, these people might as well be calling them niggars. I have no doubt that many Palestinians also dehumanize their Israeli neighbors, but it is sad listening to Israelis do the same who are surrounded by so much wealth.

    It is impossible for me to ignore the suffering in Gaza and not think of Israel’s continuing blockade as a crime against humanity. I don’t like to use hyperbolic rhetoric — and I truly support the right of Israel to exist — but Israel’s unending oppression of so many people is so horrible that it shocks my conscience.

  156. 156
    demo woman says:

    @Ailuridae: They must be going blog to blog. Let’s create our own facts before the other side has their say.

  157. 157
    LD50 says:

    @“Stormfront” Dave:

    But then non-Jews haven’t been subjected to 2000 years of persecution, and a recent attempt to wipe them out in industrial genocide. now have they?

    The argument that the Holocaust justifies Israel doing whatever they want forever has already been tried numerous times and found wanting. I would ask you to be more imaginative in your neocon apologetics, but I’m not optimistic.

  158. 158
    Dave says:

    And let’s all COMPLETELY IGNORE what the historical origin for this hatred is. That’ll solve the problem.

    The Historical Origin is the Quran.

    Read the Hamas Charter.

  159. 159
    o kanis says:

    Hasbara are going to earn their stripes this month.

    Lol!

    Put in for overtime. There’s only just so much loony to go round.

  160. 160
    Laertes says:

    @Dave:

    which, in the eyes of BJ comments, can never do anything right at all. Apart from just giving up and letting Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah have their way.

    Bullshit. Israel does lots of things right. For instance, so far as I’m aware, on 299 of the last 300 days, they have not shot up boats full of civilians. For this they deserve honest praise, and I’m not above giving it to them.

    Well done, Israel.

    Further, I’m not impossible to please. For instance, they could have left these goddamn boats alone. That would please me.

    While I’m wishing, I’d like a pony. And I’d also like for Israel to start thinking of the savagery of their enemies as an invitation to stake out some serious moral high ground, rather than a bar that needs to be only barely cleared.

  161. 161
    Dave says:

    It’s statements like yours that make me, a Jew, absolutely see red in at least a billion different shades.

    Ah, the despicable “As a Jew” formulation..

  162. 162
    LD50 says:

    @Dave: Funny, that’s *just* what the newly revised history books in the state of Texas say: no historical cause, just a bunch of excitable ragheads who deserve whatever they get.

    So much for Dave being “progressive” and “liberal”, huh.

  163. 163
    LD50 says:

    @“Stormfront” Dave:

    Ah, the despicable “As a Jew” formulation..

    As someone who’s spent the better part of this day calling us all Nazis, you have no grounds to get whiny here.

  164. 164
    Emma says:

    Dave: I’ve been staying out of this one, because as someone who was a Zionist before I knew there was such a thing (my father was an admirer of the early leaders of the Zionist movement and the establishment of the country of Israel and I inherited his admiration), I am a supporter of the rights of Jews to have their own state. But that is utter disgusting bomb-throwing, and it leads me to believe that all your arguments are just exactly that. I think I’ll wait for a more honest information broker.

  165. 165
    Scott P. says:

    Actually, attempting to break the blockade was a hostile act.

    No, it wasn’t. Even if it was a blockade under international law, there’s nothing in any agreement that says a ship can’t attempt to sail into a blockaded zone or port. Many neutral ships did try to sail into German waters during World War’s I and II, and the British did board them, but the sailors were unharmed and the British government purchased the cargo that was deemed contraband. None of those nations faced reprisals.

  166. 166
    Ailuridae says:

    @Dave:

    The notion that the Quran is the source of Muslim hatred of Israel is simply, laughably stupid.

    You are a bigot who is insisting on defending the indefensible.

  167. 167
    o kanis says:

    World: Hey, you’re starving Palestinian children!

    Hasbara: Have you no respect for the holocaust?

    Sorry, Holocaust™.

  168. 168
    Rafterman says:

    I think the action taken by Israel was legal when it comes to Maritime law.
    The idea to consider is that of “visit and search.” This means that blockading ships can stop and search merchantman to check for contraband. When a Merchantman refuses to stop or fights however: “Forcible resistance or flight by a neutral merchant ship may be treated as a suspicious circumstance justifying her capture.”*

    *”International law for the Seagoing Officer”
    Brittin

  169. 169
    Kryptik says:

    I’ll just add in a quick note about my whole feeling on the situation down there:

    Israel has a right to exist. What it doesn’t have a right to is existing as an assholish state just because it has real threats. The sheep should not go out of their way to stab the wolves with sharpened sticks just because they know the Farmer is behind them with a shotgun.

  170. 170
    wmd says:

    @Dave:

    The Historical Origin is the Quran.

    This reads like you are prepared for genocide on all Muslims.

  171. 171
    maus says:

    @Andy K: People on a boat are going to have knives, genius. Fishing, eating, cutting rope, etc.

    @wmd: “They were asking for it because of their book” seems to be the only thing he’s capable of offering in these cases.

    @Rafterman: So how does that work if the boat was in international waters?

  172. 172
    Dave says:

    While I’m wishing, I’d like a pony. And I’d also like for Israel to start thinking of the savagery of their enemies as an invitation to stake out some serious moral high ground, rather than a bar that needs to be only barely cleared.
    Reply

    For weeks before this incident the Israeli government had been asking the flotilla’s organisers to transfer the aid they wanted to donate through the accepted channels.

    The boats received radio messages to the same effect with the offer to escort them peacefully to Ashdod port which were met with refusal.

    Over this last weekend the Israeli government approached the governments of those countries which had citizens on the flotilla and asked for their help and intervention to end the affair peacefully. No-one wanted to know, but now they’re all scattering condemnations around like confetti.

    The possibility of neutralising the ships’ engines was raised, but it was feared that the craft would lose control and possibly capsize, resulting in tragedy.

    We’re not talking about a Save-The-Children convoy here. We’re talking about a Hamas lead and Hamas organised stunt here.

    Remember Hamas?

    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

    “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. ”

    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

    “After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”,

  173. 173
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Dave:

    Ah, the despicable “Ah, the despicable “As a Jew” formulation.. ” formulation.

  174. 174
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Ah, the despicable double post formulation…

  175. 175
    LD50 says:

    @Rafterman:

    The idea to consider is that of “visit and search.” This means that blockading ships can stop and search merchantman to check for contraband.

    But this didn’t happen in Israeli waters.

  176. 176
    KXB says:

    “The notion that the Quran is the source of Muslim hatred of Israel is simply, laughably stupid.”

    This notion is Dave’s version of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”

  177. 177
    Dave says:

    This reads like you are prepared for genocide on all Muslims.

    I’m more of a PZ fan when it comes to theists, actually.

    Holy Texts can be defanged, neutralised.

    Believing in a murderous sky-fairy friend in the space age is crazy, anyway.

  178. 178
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

    Article 110

    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.

    4. These provisions apply mutatis mutandis to military aircraft.

  179. 179
    robertdsc says:

    But then non-Jews haven’t been subjected to 2000 years of persecution, and a recent attempt to wipe them out in industrial genocide. now have they?

    This is reason No. 1 why I don’t give two flying fucks about you and your apartheid-stained country. Using the Holocaust as a shield to perpetrate your own atrocities is grossly unacceptable.

  180. 180
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    “After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”

    You really can’t come up with any new shtick, can you?

  181. 181
    KXB says:

    “We’re not talking about a Save-The-Children convoy here. We’re talking about a Hamas lead and Hamas organised stunt here.”

    Irgun and The Stern Gang pulled the same stunts when the British ran Palestine. Running flotillas of Jews into Palestine, and daring the Brits to stop them. Can you blame Hamas for thinking what worked in 1947 will work in 2010?

  182. 182
    neil says:

    I found this statement in an article from Friday:

    The Ma’ariv report said the military feared that there could be “terror activists”, explosives and weapons on board the ships.

    So, the military expected that the ships had weapons, and yet they boarded them by force with only pistols? Why would they do that?

    They said they had weapons then, they say they had weapons now, and they say they were ambushed. This does not make any sense.

  183. 183
    Dave says:

    The notion that the Quran is the source of Muslim hatred of Israel is simply, laughably stupid.

    Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, a.k.a. the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem would disagree with you.

    Or Sheik Nasarallah, big cheese of Hesbollah.

    But what would they know, eh?

  184. 184
    KXB says:

    Dave,

    How is Nasarallah any different from Avidgor Lieberman, who threatened to kill an Israeli Arab member of the Knesset, and wishes to actively expel Arabs from the region?

  185. 185
    Kelly says:

    @Joshua Norton: “Zionist shit head”

    Nice and classy.

  186. 186
    LD50 says:

    @Dave: “Israel has existed in peace with its neighbors for centuries and centuries, and suddenly, a couple decades ago, the uppity ragheads started acting all crazy. Must be their religion, Israel never did anything to them”. Bravo.

  187. 187
    wmd says:

    @Dave:
    So Dave,

    What about non Jewish peoples living in Israel? Do they get political representation?

  188. 188
    Dave says:

    This is reason No. 1 why I don’t give two flying fucks about you and your apartheid-stained country.

    I’m not Israeli. Nor do I live there.

    That you would equate someone who defends Israel as an Israeli however speaks volumes.

    Using the Holocaust as a shield to perpetrate your own atrocities is grossly unacceptable.

    I must have missed the memo from Bibi that ordered to mention the Holocaust as a defense for the raid.

    It was you who mentioned the Holocaust.

  189. 189
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Following up on LD50: If Israel wanted to do everything by the book, why wouldn’t they simply wait until the ship crossed into Israeli waters, then board it? Then if shit hits fan, as it still might, they’d look a hell of a lot better.

  190. 190
    Dave says:

    How is Nasarallah any different from Avidgor Lieberman, who threatened to kill an Israeli Arab member of the Knesset, and wishes to actively expel Arabs from the region?

    Did Lieberman say, like Nasrallah said: “if [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”?

  191. 191
    PaulW says:

    Odd. I spent a whole post calling Israel a bunch of assholes and no one calls me on it. I feel slighted.

  192. 192
    superking says:

    @Dave:

    That’s dumb, Dave, and you know it. Each person can control only their own moral projects. You cannot justify violence by others use of violence. You want Palestinians to practice non-violence but refuse to practice it yourself.

  193. 193
    Brandon says:

    I am going to give a bit of a reveal about myself here to make a broader point. I am a Black American. Actually, only half. But I’ve never met a person who saw me on the street and didn’t know me that made that distinction.

    In any event, am I the only one offended by the use of the word “lynch” by the IDF and Israeli government in this case? In a day and age where any number of people who make stupid holocaust analogies get an Abe Foxman beatdown, why this okay? Why is it okay for others to use this term in this manner with impunity? And is it too much to ask for NPR or US news outlets to just ask IDF/Israeli spokesmen rather politely, “are you sure that is the word you would like to use?”.

    @Dave actually thinks he is making point by referencing the “Ramallah lynching”. That incident only resembled what we know as lynching because of the manner the bodies were treated and dehumanized. But lynching is a very specific act. It is an act of terror committed extra-judicially and in some cases with semi-official sanction, as a means to intimidate, control and otherwise terrorize a civilian population.

    Sorry @Dave, but those killings of mercenaries in Ramallah in a war zone do not meet that definition. And no, attacking men with guns who board your boat with a metal pole does not meet that definition. That fact that no one calls anyone on this is even more appalling.

    But hey, if this is the new world that we live in, where we demean and distort atrocities to make losing political points, then let me just say for the record then, until @Dave and the IDF/Israeli’s recant and/or a US news organization calls them on it, I agree with Pat Buchanan, the allied bombing of Dresden was a holocaust. Hell, why not? Words don’t mean anything anymore I guess.

    p.s. Just please don’t tell Abe Foxman, I like my job and would like to keep it. kthx.

  194. 194
    Dave says:

    Following up on LD50: If Israel wanted to do everything by the book, why wouldn’t they simply wait until the ship crossed into Israeli waters, then board it? Then if shit hits fan, as it still might, they’d look a hell of a lot better.

    Because it wouldn’t have mattered to the hysterical lynch mob. Nothing Israel can do, short of commiting national suicide, will satisfy the haters.

  195. 195
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    I must have missed the memo from Bibi that ordered to mention the Holocaust as a defense for the raid.
    It was you who mentioned the Holocaust.

    You said this, you lying shit:

    But then non-Jews haven’t been subjected to 2000 years of persecution, and a recent attempt to wipe them out in industrial genocide. now have they?

    Please tell us where we invoked the holocaust before this.

  196. 196
    Ailuridae says:

    @Dave:

    Thank God there isn’t a long history of people misinterpreting the Quran (or the old Testament) for political gains.

    Again, you are clearly defending the indefensible. And when people point that out you call them anti-Semites like Marty Peretz.

  197. 197
    Jon H says:

    @Dave: “The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is a Vienna-based agency of the European Union inaugurated on 1 March 2007.”

    So what?

    It’s 100% bullshit to say “you can’t compare Israeli policy to the Nazis”.

    Fuck that shit. If the Israeli government or settlers want to act like Nazis, I’m gonna call them on it.

    Why should Israel get a unique pass on that?

  198. 198
    Rafterman says:

    @LD50:
    “To make a blockade legal, the primary requirement is that it be effective”
    It doesn’t matter if it was in Israeli waters or not. What matters is where the ship was bound.

  199. 199
    Kelly says:

    I like how Dave points to actual legal documents to make his argument and the mob responds by calling him a “fucktard” and telling him to go fuck himself.

  200. 200
    debbie says:

    @Dave:

    Ah, the despicable “As a Jew” formulation..

    WTF are you talking about? That I’m despicable as a Jew? That my criticism of Israel negates my support of its right to be a state — just not a N*zi-inspired state?

    Man up, you coward, and say what you mean.

    And by the way, this:

    For weeks before this incident the Israeli government had been asking the flotilla’s organisers to transfer the aid they wanted to donate through the accepted channels.

    How stupid must you and Israel think the rest of the world is to take it at its word?

  201. 201
    maus says:

    @Dave:

    I’m more of a PZ fan when it comes to theists, actually.

    I generally like PZ, so this is a disappointing comparison. So you’re a south park conservative. Atheist, but propping up false theistic authority when it comes to the group you hate the least abusing another group of believers, all the while pretending to be “above” it all.

    You’re still practically a neocon, atheism doesn’t absolve you from playing favorites.

    @Kelly: I like how Kelly likes to prop up straw targets in his defense, it’s particularly brave and impressive.

  202. 202
    catboxer says:

    John, you said “simply not thinking.”?

    Try psychotic.

  203. 203
    Jon H says:

    @FlipYrWhig: “If Israel wanted to do everything by the book, why wouldn’t they simply wait until the ship crossed into Israeli waters, then board it? ”

    Since Gaza is on the seacoast, I assume they wanted to get to it before it entered Gaza waters.

    Of course, Israel probably claims the waters off Gaza as their own territory, for no justifiable reaosn.

  204. 204
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    Because it wouldn’t have mattered to the hysterical lynch mob.

    A hint, Dave.

    You seem to think that if anyone responds to Israeli aggression any way other than flopping face down on the ground, that makes them a ‘lynch mob’.

    If anyone points out that this is ridiculous, that makes them an ‘anti-semite’ and a ‘hater’ and a Nazi.

    I know your project here is to stifle all criticism of Israel and rationalize their stomping of the Palestinians, but your clownish bullshit here isn’t persuading anyone.

  205. 205
    Dave says:

    Brandon,

    Fair enough. I withdraw my use of the word “lynch” and apologise for it, and I now wish that the Israelis hadn’t used it either.

    I understand why they used it, and what they were attempting to do, but it wasn’t the right term to use.

    I won’t defend using it, but it is in common usage here.

    But thanks for rightly pulling me up on it.

  206. 206
    Dave says:

    So you’re a south park conservative.

    Err no, I’m actually a Lib Dem.

  207. 207
    Dave says:

    WTF are you talking about? That I’m despicable as a Jew? That my criticism of Israel negates my support of its right to be a state—just not a N*zi-inspired state?

    Did you read the link, Debbie? “As a Jew” has a specific meaning.

  208. 208
    Kelly says:

    @maus:

    Yes, straw men.

    “@Dave: Remember that when the Turks grab an Israeli ship.
    You are a fucktard of the first order.”

    “@Dave: Hey Dave, here’s a working definition for you:
    They were in international waters. You got one for that?
    But here’s another:
    Go fuck yourself”

    Try pressing CTRL-F sometime.

  209. 209
    LD50 says:

    @Rafterman: That’s presumably Israel’s rationalization, but that isn’t international law, which is what I thought we were talking about.

  210. 210
    Nick says:

    @Phil:

    Pretty soon you and Andy Sullivan will be demanding the Jews have to wear the “special stars” in order to distinguish them from everyone else.

    Look douche, we’re all very sorry about the Holocaust, two of my family members died trekking through Europe to free the Jews from that tragedy. They did not die so that Jews can use the Holocaust against us everytime we think the Jewish State does something incredibly stupid.

  211. 211
    Terrell says:

    @Dave:

    If Iran pulls the same massacre crap as Israel just pulled, I expect you to the defend it just the way you defended Israel.

    It is just beyond me how ANYBODY can defend a massacre by thugs.

    It took place on INTERNATIONAL waters!

    It is people like you that make Israel look bad; ie defending the indefensible.

  212. 212
    LD50 says:

    @Kelly:

    I like how Dave points to actual legal documents to make his argument and the mob responds by calling him a “fucktard” and telling him to go fuck himself.

    Yeah, like how he went to all the trouble to find the Legally Binding and Official Definition of Anti-Semitism For the Whole World. That was way helpful.

  213. 213
    Dave says:

    “You are a fucktard of the first order.”
    “Go fuck yourself”

    Charming.

    Abuse I can cope with (I’m Irish, its in our genes), but this takes the biscuit:

    “here’s a working definition for you”

    Antisemitism is just a big joke for you then I guess?

  214. 214
    anonymous says:

    Paintball guns as crowd control? Really?

  215. 215
    Dave says:

    Terrell, in what way was it a massacre?

    If it *was* a massacre, I’d be the first one to criticise it.

    *But*, as I’ve pointed out, it was NOT a massacre. Far from it in fact.

  216. 216
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    Antisemitism is just a big joke for you then I guess?

    Your definition of it is.

  217. 217
    debbie says:

    @Brandon:

    In any event, am I the only one offended by the use of the word “lynch” by the IDF and Israeli government in this case?

    No, you’re not. It’s of a piece with their labeling their Jewish critics “self-hating anti-Semites.” I smell Frank Luntz all over this.

  218. 218
    Dave says:

    Yeah, like how he went to all the trouble to find the Legally Binding and Official Definition of Anti-Semitism For the Whole World. That was way helpful.

    Gee, classy.

    Anti-semitism is just a big joke for you eh?

    What next? Racism just a big joke for you as well? And homophobia? Is that just a joke to you as well?

  219. 219
    Jon H says:

    @Dave: “Terrell, in what way was it a massacre?”

    The same way as the Boston Massacre, only more so. Only 5 people were killed in that incident.

  220. 220
    Dave says:

    Your definition of it is.

    My definition is the standard one.

    I’m sorry if you want to try and rationalize your teabagger-esque batshit-insane hatred of Jews and Israel as anything other than anti-semitism.

  221. 221
    LD50 says:

    @“Pancake Rachel” Dave: You think criticizing Israel automatically makes one an anti-semite. That qualifies as a very bad “big joke”, yes.

  222. 222
    Dave says:

    I smell Frank Luntz all over this.

    Frank Luntz is controlling the levers of power in Tel Aviv?

    You’re fucking insane.

  223. 223
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    I’m sorry if you want to try and rationalize your teabagger-esque batshit-insane hatred of Jews and Israel as anything other than anti-semitism.

    “You’re all Nazis! You’re all Nazis!” Shit, Dave, can’t you think of ANYTHING new?

  224. 224
    Asshole says:

    Is it ever possible for Israel to do something wrong? Is it ever possible for anyone to criticize any decision made by any Israeli government without being anti-Semitic?

    I’m serious. Am I ever allowed to think that Israel made a mistake without it making me anti-Semitic? What if I think Israel made a mistake because I think that mistake made things worse for Israel? Is that still anti-Semitic of me?

  225. 225
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    If Israel wanted to do everything by the book…

    they’d sign the NPT and abide by UN resolutions?

  226. 226
    Josh says:

    So, uh…

    Why hasn’t anyone offered the suggestion that the Palestinians are technically Semitic.

    Doesn’t that matter?

    I guess not.

  227. 227
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    My definition is the standard one.

    So Jews who criticize Israel’s policies must also all be anti-semites. Gotcha.

  228. 228
    wmd says:

    @Dave:

    It is the reflex usage of anti-semitism that is offensive.

    So… you seem to be very studiously avoiding asking about political rights for non Jewish people living in Israel.

    Dave, what happens if the non Jewish majority is able to determine policy in Israel?

  229. 229
    Dave says:

    Israel’s radio warnings and the ‘Free Gaza’ “humanitarian” flotilla’s response:

    “Jihad, Jihad, Jihad”.

  230. 230
    Terrell says:

    @Dave:

    If these poor people that were killed were Israelis, I have no doubt that people of your ilk would call it a massacre. And rightly so.

    You don’t have to believe anything I say. I take my information from BBC, LeMonde and other INDEPENDENT sources. The consensus seems to be clear, it was a massacre. Professional soldiers totally armed against civilians with very little to fight back. How can you not call it a massacre?

  231. 231
    neil says:

    @Dave: Frank Luntz doesn’t control the levers of power, he tells the people who do control them how to say what they want to say.

  232. 232
    themann1086 says:

    The reason nonviolent (or close to nonviolent) protests work (sometimes) is because the state has 2 options: let it happen, or respond with a disproportionate, overwhelming amount of force. The latter isn’t usually looked on too kindly by, you know, civilized people. It does sound like the people on the flotilla need a refresher course in “don’t hit them, morons” but the IDF, surprise surprise, is in deep shit for overreacting with unnecessary and lethal force.

  233. 233
    Brandon says:

    dave@Dave: I actually appreciate that and it demonstrates that you do present your arguments in good faith, which is rare these days on the interwebs. However citing misuse of the term elsewhere is not a valid excuse misusing it yourself.

  234. 234
    Josh says:

    @wmd:

    It is the reflex usage of anti-semitism that is offensive.
    So… you seem to be very studiously avoiding asking about political rights for non Jewish people living in Israel.
    Dave, what happens if the non Jewish majority is able to determine policy in Israel?

    Yes. This is an important point. So how about that, Dave?

  235. 235
    Jon H says:

    @Dave: “Israel’s radio warnings and the ‘Free Gaza’ “humanitarian” flotilla’s response:”

    Oooh, a jihad of pointed sticks.

    That would actually be an improvement for Israel.

  236. 236
    KXB says:

    If 15 dead is not a massacre, then the fact that zero Israelis have been killed by Hamas bottle rockets in two years is what?

  237. 237
    LD50 says:

    By the way, Dave, you didn’t answer my question in #195. An oversight, I’m sure, given your flawless track record for defending your claims.

  238. 238
    JL says:

    “..they are bringing us down with them”.

    I don’t have the time to slug my way through 200-plus comments. However, as I’m confident the point has already been made, please shine me on as I point out the obvious.

    We are permitting them to drag us down. Israel is the tail, and the United States of America is the dog it wags.

    Just why that is, I do not know.

  239. 239
    Dave says:

    So… you seem to be very studiously avoiding asking about political rights for non Jewish people living in Israel.

    They should have equal rights.

    Dave, what happens if the non Jewish majority is able to determine policy in Israel?

    There isn’t a non-Jewish majority.

    if there were, and there was full peace, then I’d be happy with whatever the majority decided, provided that minorities were accommodated.

  240. 240
    Dave says:

    Please tell us where we invoked the holocaust before this.

    No, you answer the question. Where did I invoke the holocaust as a defense for today’s raid?

    That’s right, I didn’t.

    I brought it up later in the thread, after the thread had developed, as an example of why Jews cannot depend upon anyone else standing up for them.

    YOU, and others, on the other hand, have used it as a stick to beat Israel with time and time again here on this thread and on the previous thread.

  241. 241
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    I’m sorry if you want to try and rationalize your *teabagger-esque* batshit-insane hatred of Jews and Israel as anything other than anti-semitism.

    Wow. The teabaggers hate Obama and support Israel, and yet my criticizing Israel makes me a teabagger. Who knew?

    Something tells me Dave isn’t real up-to-date on American political jargon, which might explains why he has to call us all Nazis every other post.

  242. 242
    wmd says:

    There are reports of civilians being fired on by Israeli commandos as they were waving a white flag.

    Would Israeli actions be wrong if this turns out to be true?

    I predict Dave won’t respond to this question.

  243. 243
    Jon H says:

    @themann1086: “but the IDF, surprise surprise, is in deep shit for overreacting with unnecessary and lethal force.”

    Which is probably entirely due to their method of approach.

    Dropping from a helicopter makes it rather more difficult to retreat once an ass-whooping starts.

  244. 244
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    No, you answer the question. Where did I invoke the holocaust as a defense for today’s raid?
    That’s right, I didn’t.

    But then non-Jews haven’t been subjected to 2000 years of persecution, and a recent attempt to wipe them out in industrial genocide. now have they?

    You lose. Again.

  245. 245
    debbie says:

    @ Dave

    Yes, I read the link, and the author is wrong. I am not anti-Semitic, but I am sorry if my Frank Luntz poke was too subtle for you.

  246. 246
    Dave says:

    However citing misuse of the term elsewhere is not a valid excuse misusing it yourself.

    I didn’t claim it was, Brandon, and I’m sorry if you thought I was. It wasn’t my intent at all.

    Two nations, seperated by a common language, it appears.

  247. 247
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    YOU, and others, on the other hand, have used it as a stick to beat Israel with time and time again here on this thread and on the previous thread.

    I use the Holocaust to ‘beat Israel’?

    Now you’re just babbling, Dave.

  248. 248
    Dave says:

    Would Israeli actions be wrong if this turns out to be true?

    Yes.

  249. 249
    Brien Jackson says:

    @LD50:

    Of course they do.

  250. 250
    LD50 says:

    Dave, if a Jew criticizes Israel’s policies as racist, does that make said Jew an anti-semite?

  251. 251
    bdg says:

    @Dave
    Because it wouldn’t have mattered to the hysterical lynch mob. Nothing Israel can do, short of commiting national suicide, will satisfy the haters.

    First ill lay out the usual credentials: 1. Im Jewish American. 2. I have been working in the Occupied Palestinian Territories on and off for 8 years as first a journalist and second a humanitarian worker, in that order.

    Yeah, I was raised a liberal Jew and taught never to question Israel’s actions. Then I started to and read a great deal (mainly Israeli authors). I was shocked by the 1st Intifada and Israel’s crimes and arrogance.

    Then I came to the OPT during the 2nd Intifada and witnessed far far worse daily crimes than I had ever read, on the part of the IDF — including the indiscriminate shooting of 12 year olds in Gaza.

    I am not a “hater” of Israel. That defense is not only a fallacy, but also a misdirection. I am a lover of human life and dignity. I was in he OPT during the Gaza War as well. If you cant recognize that a country is violating human rights and dignity without giving preference to one race/creed over another, than you are not a human.

    Israel has not only killed hundreds more children than terrorists but also collectively punished millions. I dont hate Israel for what it is. I hate its government when it acts like an asshole who can kill and hurt anyone it wants.

  252. 252
    Jon H says:

    I think if I were the Palestinians, I’d try to find a way to obtain a bunch of good-sized boats, and scuttle them in Israeli harbors in order to create obstacles for Israeli shipping.

  253. 253
    wmd says:

    @Dave:

    Could you take this admission and apply it to those that are condemning Israeli actions based on such reports?

    Might that condemnation be due to outrage at reported actions and not your reflexive attribution of antisemitism?

  254. 254
    Rafterman says:

    @Dave:
    Radio chatter in the middle east…….

  255. 255
    neil says:

    @Dave:I’d be happy with whatever the majority decided, provided that minorities were accommodated.

    Even if they enacted a policy of decreasing the Jewish population and increasing the Arab population? Even if they decided to fund Arab schools at 5 times the level of Jewish schools? Even if they gave automatic citizenship to everyone of Arab descent, while not allowing Jews under the age of 35 to gain citizenship at all? Even if they decided not to allow Jews to lease public land?

    Hell, what if they walled off Jewish cities, embargoed anything except subsistence levels of food, and occasionally dropped bombs on them? Would that be accommodating the minority?

  256. 256
    Dave says:

    I use the Holocaust to ‘beat Israel’?

    Yes, See for example, #10, #15, #33….and pretty much your entire output on the previous thread as well, actually.

    And again I quote from the EUMC:

    Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

  257. 257
    o kanis says:

    Really, the last thing anyone would believe is anything the Israeli war criminals have to say, much less their what their leg humpers here in the good old US of A.

  258. 258
    LD50 says:

    @Brien Jackson: Of course who does what?

  259. 259
    Alex S. says:

    @Dave:

    Can the word “anti-semitism” actually be applied in this conflict? After all, the palestinians are semitic people, too.

  260. 260
    Dave says:

    bdg. Israel is at war.

    If there is a peace deal, and they continue to behave as if they are at war, then I’ll be the first to criticise them.

    wmd, since the additional videos came out this evening, there’s been a change in the media narrative here – no longer can the hysterical claims of massacres that many BJers are flinging about be supported at all.

    If anything, it looks worse for the flotilla-ites – a bunch of thugs determined to attack a legal boarding operation.

  261. 261
    MagicPanda says:

    Wow. That was an illuminating thread.

  262. 262
    Jon H says:

    @Dave: ““Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis“”

    So comparing the settlements to Nazi “lebensraum” policies would be out of bounds according to some (probably bribed) European diplomat, huh?

    Well, who cares?

  263. 263
    J says:

    Israel claims, and not entirely without reason, to be a beleaguered state surrounded by enemies. It is also has the most powerful military in the region. In the unlikely event that the IDF sought my advice, I’d recommend that they stay alert. A conceivable, though for the foreseeable future, unlikely chain of events could leave Israel vulnerable to armed attack from its neighbors. I doubt they need my advice on this point. But another point about which they might is this. The second most powerful military power in the region is Turkey. Until quite recently, Turkey and Israel were allies. This was a very good thing for Israel from every point of view, military, political and so on. Though reasons of Realpolitik no doubt figured on both sides, but it was still a wonderful thing and, one could imagine, a step down the path that could lead Israel out of its status as a pariah in the region and perhaps, in conjunction with a host of other factors, towards some kind of peaceful resolution of the the mess in which Israel has been for more than half a century. As a tourist in Turkey, I met Israeli tourists! Almost enough to restore one’s faith in humanity. Alliances take a certain amount of mutual accommodation, however. Am I the only one who thinks it’s crazy for Israel to set the value of its alliance with Turkey at nothing? The spokesman for Israel on the BBC (cultivated English accent, probably Oxbridge, didn’t sound like one of my fellow American yahoos) was at pains to stress that Israel was not trying to attack ordinary Palestinians–which was jolly decent of him–but went on and on like a man obsessed about Hamas. Not all that long ago, Hamas didn’t exist. One wants to scream: fighting Hamas doesn’t justify everything; if Israel succeeds in extirpating Hamas without advancing any closer to a lasting peace with the Palestinians, it will be useless. There will be another group by comparison with which Hamas wasn’t so bad. If Israel bombs Iran without advancing any closer to a lasting peace with the Palestinians, it will do it no lasting good. None of these are worth good relations with Turkey, the one step it’s managed to take in the direction it needs to be going in. There is a view that the worst thing about the US’s blank check support of Israel, is that allows the Israeli government to act in completely unrealistic and counterproductive ways against Israel’s own best interests.

  264. 264
    LD50 says:

    @‘Pancake Rachel’ Dave: Ah, so now not only does CRITICIZING Israel make one a Nazi, but POINTING OUT that critics of Israel get called Nazis makes one a Nazi.

    What a world it must be inside your head, Dave.

  265. 265
    Jon H says:

    @Dave: “bdg. Israel is at war.”

    Pretty one-sided “war”.

    When was the last time Palestinian tanks rolled into Israel? Oh, never.

    On the other hand, Israeli armor pretty regularly rolls into Gaza or the West Bank for some reason or other.

  266. 266
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    In for a penny, in for a pound: Since I’m probably going to get banned anyway, I’ll just repeat my comment from the dead thread.

  267. 267
    Jon H says:

    @Dave: “wmd, since the additional videos came out this evening, there’s been a change in the media narrative here”

    Let me guess: you’re watching Murdoch’s Sky News?

  268. 268
  269. 269
    bdg says:

    @Dave
    dg. Israel is at war.
    If there is a peace deal, and they continue to behave as if they are at war, then I’ll be the first to criticise them.

    No, its an occupying power in violation of at least 13 UNSC resolutions.

    This might be an acceptable set up in the 19th century, but since WW2, foreign occupation and colonization is illegal.

    As a Jew, I find it despicable.

    Equal rights for all. Bibi is an enemy of this principle (sure Hamas is too, but they aren’t respected as a Western power like Likud is.) Please stop prevaricating.

  270. 270
    Asshole says:

    If I point out that my grandfather helped liberate Dachau, am I allowed to say that I think Israel made a mistake here without getting called a Nazi? Or does my criticism of the decision to board this ship in the first place make me a Nazi no matter what my grandfather did to personally stop the Holocaust?

  271. 271
    Brien Jackson says:

    @LD50:

    Israel claims territorial rights over the water off of Gaza.

  272. 272
    neil says:

    my criticism of the decision to board this ship in the first place make me a Nazi no matter what my grandfather did to personally stop the Holocaust

    There was a holocaust survivor on the flotilla, and that didn’t stop them from boarding it, so you’re probably still a Nazi. Sorry.

  273. 273
    Jon H says:

    @Brien Jackson: “Israel claims territorial rights over the water off of Gaza.”

    Of course they do. In their hearts they just think of Gaza as an Arab ghetto they’ve set up on land that’s actually Israeli.

  274. 274
    Dave says:

    Oh FSM, what a lousy analogy, neil.

    Even if they enacted a policy of decreasing the Jewish population and increasing the Arab population?

    There are many countries the world over with varying demographics.

    Why single out Israel?

    Even if they decided to fund Arab schools at 5 times the level of Jewish schools?

    Israeli Arabs to get greater school funding, settlements less
    Under plan, use of ‘national priority areas’ in determining elementary school budgets will be scrapped.

    Here in the UK, Scottish schools get more funding than English Schools.

    Why single out Israel?

    Even if they gave automatic citizenship to everyone of Arab descent, while not allowing Jews under the age of 35 to gain citizenship at all?

    You’re wrong. The under-35 criterion only applies to spouses requesting citizen ship through marriage, and applies to *all* potential Israelis.

    And you do know the UK has enacted similar laws regarding non-recognition of marriages where bridges are under a certain age recently as well?

    Why single out Israel?

    Even if they decided not to allow Jews to lease public land?

    Incorrect. The ILA cannot lease land to *foreign* nationals, whither they be Arab, Jew, Christian, Muslim or Pirate.

    Palestinan Refuges can’t buy land in Lebanon, Syria, jordan.

    Why single out Israel?

    Hell, what if they walled off Jewish cities, embargoed anything except subsistence levels of food

    That’s not correct. Hamas hijacks aid for their own goons.

    , and occasionally dropped bombs on them? Would that be accommodating the minority?

    Hamas launch rockets, from schools and mosques. targeted at Israeli towns and villages, Hamas have built bunkers underneath hospitals, and have used ambulences to ferry weapons about the Gaza Strip.

  275. 275
    Ruckus says:

    @Brandon:
    I’m a white person and I did catch the use of the word. But because one side of this discussion is being controlled by third graders I had pretty much decided to stay out. But what the hell it’s a slow day.

    And so I’d like to ask, how can a country who attacks a civilian ship be lynched? By definition of the word it may be right to call it a lynching but the wrong people are being accused.

  276. 276
    Dave says:

    There was a holocaust survivor on the flotilla, and that didn’t stop them from boarding it, so you’re probably still a Nazi. Sorry.

    <a href="http://www.winnipegfreepress.c.....&quot;?Nope.

    In any case, Hedy Epstein

    “…sits on the advisory board of the anti-Zionist group Deir Yassin Remembered, which is led by Holocaust deniers Daniel McGowan and Paul Eisen, both staunch defenders of imprisoned Hitler-lover and Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel (McGowan visited Zundel in prison). The Jew-hating Israel Shamir is a former board member. For this, Deir Yassin Remembered has been denounced even by anti-Zionists like Tony Greenstein and Sue Blackwell. Does Hedy Epstein know? Or care?”

    Nice friends you got there Neil.

  277. 277
    LD50 says:

    @Brien Jackson: But my understanding is that this incident took place even outside that limit, in waters that even Israel acknowledges as ‘international’. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  278. 278
  279. 279
    Dave says:

    No, its an occupying power in violation of at least 13 UNSC resolutions.

    Chapter 6, not Chapter 7. Only Chapter 7 ones are binding.

    And the UNSC resolutions don’t actually say what you think they do.

    Equal rights for all.

    If there’s a peace deal, I’d be happy to agree with you.

    But there’s not. There is war.

  280. 280
    LD50 says:

    @Jon H: Israel seems to be modelling Gaza after those Bantustans South Africa maintained for decades, like Transkei, Bophutatswana, etc.

    So Gaza has all the problems of independence, and absolutely none of the benefits.

    Oh whoops, I just set off Dave’s Nazi filter. Mibad.

  281. 281
    LD50 says:

    Dave, I ask again: if a Jew criticizes Israel’s policies as racist, does that make said Jew an anti-semite?

  282. 282
    bdg says:

    Final vitriol @Dave

    Have you ever been to Gaza?

    Have you seen how horrible life is there due to the Israeli siege?

    I lived there in 2002, 2008, 2009 and visited almost every year in between.

    All Abrahamic faiths teach kindness and support to the most vulnerable and poor. The current Israeli government and the last one are the enemies of this idea.

    Until you lift a finger to help these people, you are no Christian, Jew, Hindu, Shinto, Jianist, or even a secular humanist.

    Wasting your time on the internet to fight to help them to suffer more just makes you a horrible human being.

  283. 283
    Dave says:

    Dave, I ask again: if a Jew criticizes Israel’s policies as racist, does that make said Jew an anti-semite?

    If said Jew is holding Israeli to higher standards than other nations, then yes.

  284. 284
    Dave says:

    Have you seen how horrible life is there due to the Israeli siege?

    If you’ve been there so much you’ll know that a) there’s a land border controlled by Egypt. b) Israel withdrew, and what did the Gazans do, yes, that’s right, start attacking Israel.

  285. 285
    maus says:

    @LD50: A better question: How does anyone, jew or not criticize Israel’s actions towards Palestine without you defining them as an “anti-semite”?

  286. 286
    Dave says:

    Such a lovely bunch of people on those ships:

    From their own video:

    “Reporter: “Despite the Israeli threats and several unexpected delays, the arrival of the ships at the meeting point before sailing to the Gaza Strip inflamed the emotions and the enthusiasm of the participants.”
    Visuals from Gaza flotilla ship of young Muslims shouting Islamic battle chant invoking the killing and defeat of Jews in battle:
    “[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!”
    [Khaibar is the name of last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad’s army and it marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia in 628.]

    Reporter: “While singing songs reminiscent of the Palestinian Intifada (Palestinian terror war against Israel, 2000 – 2005), participants expressed their longing to reach Gaza.”

    A participant: “Right now we face one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza.” [Based on Islamic call before battle: “Either victory or Martyrdom”.]”

  287. 287
    neil says:

    There are many countries the world over with varying demographics. Why single out Israel?

    Because Israel’s policy is to lower the Arab population and increase the Jewish population. Also, because we’re talking about Israel. Sheesh!

    The under-35 criterion only applies to spouses requesting citizen ship through marriage, and applies to all potential Israelis…. Why single out Israel?

    If Wikipedia is correct, the Citizenship and Entry Into Israel Law applies only to Palestinians. And I single out Israel because we’re talking about Israel. Sheesh!

    The ILA cannot lease land to foreign nationals, whither they be Arab, Jew, Christian, Muslim or Pirate…. Why single out Israel?

    “The JNF’s charter specifies that the purpose of the JNF is to purchase land for the settlement of Jews.” JNF land is administered by the ILA, which is a government organization. This is government-endorsed discrimination. I single out Israel because we’re talking about Israel. Sheesh!

    That’s not correct. Hamas hijacks aid for their own goons.

    So are you saying there isn’t a blockade? Or just that the blockade is OK because of Hamas’ behavior?

    Hamas launch rockets, from schools and mosques.

    Israel drops bombs on Gaza, killing hundreds of Palestinian civilians and destroying homes and schools, which they do not allow to be rebuilt. (Any excuses about what Hamas would do with building materials are pointless when you don’t allow them to have any building materials.) Is this accommodating the minority, or subjugating it? Or do you simply assume that everyone living in Gaza is part of Hamas?

    The question is not why I’m singling out Israel. The question is why you are singling out Israel as the only nation allowed to do these things.

  288. 288
    neil says:

    See? I told you that being a Holocaust survivor wouldn’t save you from being a Nazi.

  289. 289
    maus says:

    @Dave: Does holding the US to higher standards than other nations make one Unamerican?

  290. 290
    cleek says:

    fuck israel

  291. 291
    numbskull says:

    @TenguPhule: Actually, yes I have. Stared ’em down, too.

    What this has to do with the issue at hand is beyond me, but I do feel good that I could answer your question.

  292. 292
    John Cole says:

    Does holding the US to higher standards than other nations make one Unamerican?

    Using Dave’s idiotic formulation, if attacking the policies of Israel makes you an anti-Semite, attacking the policies of the United States makes you anti-Christian.

    And I have yet to have Dave quote one damned thing I’ve said, using his own definition of anti-Semitism, that qualifies as anti-Semitic.

  293. 293
    Comrade Kevin says:

    What’s it called when you insist that Israel be held to a *lower* standard than other countries?

  294. 294
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    What’s it called when you insist that Israel be held to a lower standard than other countries?

    AIPAC?

  295. 295
    John Cole says:

    And how Dave can not figure out that this is a disaster for Israel is beyond me. Your country’s military just killed a bunch of turkish civilians on a Turkish vessel in international waters. You can chant “ambush” and “lynched” all you want, but this is an absolute debacle for Israel. Even Jeffrey Goldberg is conceding as much.

    But I suppose pointing that out is anti-Semitic, too.

  296. 296
    LD50 says:

    @Dave: So Dave has more authority in deciding who is antisemitic than Jews do.

    Congratulations. The ridiculousness of Dave’s argument is now complete.

  297. 297
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    If said Jew is holding Israeli to higher standards than other nations, then yes.

    So as long as there is a SINGLE COUNTRY ANYWHERE with a worse civil rights record than Israel, it makes you a Nazi to criticize Israel’s civil rights record. Even if you’re a Jew. Hell, EVEN IF YOU’RE AN ISRAELI.

    Why? Because Dave says so, that’s why.

    For some reason this reminds me of ’02, when the wingnuts said that they’d only accept that Muslims weren’t all terrorists if every single Muslim in the world denounced terrorism.

  298. 298
    o kanis says:

    In spite of the best efforts of US hasbara ethnic cleansing IDF fellators, the world knows the truth. You can lie, you can prevaricate, but realize this: Israel is the most hated country in the world, and Holocaust pimping is not going to make things better this time.

    “My son is 4 years old and my daughter is 6. They packed 300 lollipops for their father to take to Palestinian children in Gaza,” she said through tears.

    http://tinyurl.com/22twn6q

  299. 299
    TenguPhule says:

    Your country’s military just killed a bunch of turkish civilians on a Turkish vessel in international waters.

    Yep, so far legally and morally they look fucked.

    On the other hand, we’ve yet to see the whole fucking thing laid out. It could be worse. Or not.

  300. 300
    TenguPhule says:

    The current Israeli government and the last one are the enemies of this idea.

    And they got into power because the prior Palestinian leadership fucked the prior Dove Israeli government over 10 years ago. The Palestinian violence gave the Likud the pull they needed to take over so take that boo-hoo-hooing and go bitch at Hamas and company who helped fuck the situaiton up.

  301. 301
    NameRequired says:

    Perhaps the only alternative left to Obama is to dramatically change the game, I dont know how feasible would it be, but can a “Gaza Airlift” in the model of the “Berlin Airlift” of the cold war be implemented?.

    Imagine this:

    1) Thousands of tons of aid arrive at Gaza under U.S. flag.
    2) Obama vetoes the inevitable UN resolution against Israel while condemning both sides equally.
    3) Profit!(?).

    Could something like this work?, could something like this even be attempted by today’s overtaxed US?. perhaps with help from other interested countries?.

  302. 302
    PaulW says:

    @Kelly:

    I like how Dave points to actual legal documents to make his argument and the mob responds by calling him a “fucktard” and telling him to go fuck himself.

    It has a lot to do with Dave cherry-picking the documents to fit his facts and not the whole story.

  303. 303
    Nick says:

    @Dave:

    Israel is at war.

    which of course means they’re free to attack anything, anytime, anywhere, right?

  304. 304
    ellaesther says:

    Wow. So late to be chiming in on this thread. It’s what I get for daring to suspend my obsession with this story long enough to go outside with my family.

    @TenguPhule: At the risk of getting into the backwards two-step that has us dancing all the way back to the 19th century of who did what to whom: When Israel retreated from Gaza in 2005, the Sharon government refused to negotiate so much as a security arrangement with the Abbas government — which would have gone a very great distance toward keeping Israelis safer from Hamas — and Hamas was able to claim the retreat as a victory for terrorism. After years of official corruption and the painfully obvious fact that negotiations with Israel had literally made the lives of Palestinians harder, the Palestinian people voted (by a narrow margin much like that which brought the Republicans to Congress under Newt Gingrich) to throw the bastards out and try again. The day after that 2006 election 75% of Palestinians said that they hoped the new government would be able to negotiate a two-state peace with Israel. The Hamas government is the product of Israeli and American intransigence, plain and simple.

    Israel is the side with the power, and it has spent its entire history declaring one set of Palestinians too extreme to negotiate with — until they’re replaced by someone more extreme and all of a sudden Israel likes the old guys.

  305. 305
    Laertes says:

    @Kelly:

    I like how Dave points to actual legal documents to make his argument and the mob responds by calling him a “fucktard” and telling him to go fuck himself.

    That’s a bit of cherry-picking, don’t you think? If responses to “Pancake Rachel” Dave ran no better than mere obscenities, you’d have a point, but you can just look at absolutely anything bdg has written, to see that people are engaging “Pancake Rachel” Dave at a higher level than he merits, and filleting him in the process.

    I expect, though, that that sort of thing makes you itch. It’s much more fun to skip past the enemy at his best and focus on the worst. Nutpicking doesn’t help you make your case, of course, but you’re not trying to convince us. You’re simply trying to convince yourself.

    I’d wish you luck, but you won’t need it. In a pinch, one can always convince oneself of whatever one likes.

  306. 306
    ellaesther says:

    And again, if anyone’s interested, here’s my short history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (complete with lots and lots of links), and here are my preliminary thoughts on the flotilla—which boil down to: It matters not at all if the activists were armed, what matters is the blockade that they were symbolically trying to break, and the fact of the occupation—and the people who were killed trying to protest both. All discussion of knives vs. commandos is a distraction from those facts.

    (And for those who haven’t read my screeds in the past: I’m an American-Israeli Jew who has lived, studied, reported on, and written about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for something in the vicinity of 25 years. If you go to my blog you’ll find the story there).

  307. 307

    so late to comment, but why the fuck didn’t they board the boat by more traditional means? like the coast guard? i.e., boat to boat?

  308. 308
    Hugh says:

    @Comrade Bukharin:

    So 9/11 was in reaction to a crime?

  309. 309
    ellaesther says:

    @John Cole: Thank you so much for giving so much coverage to this, John. As you may have noticed, it’s the only thing I’ve chimed in on today — it’s the only thing I can think about, almost — but it’s been really good to see it so much here.

    (I did tweet about one other subject today, re-tweeting actually, to wit: @BorowitzReport BP has everything we thought Iraq had – tons of oil, and weapons of mass destruction).

  310. 310
    TenguPhule says:

    It matters not at all if the activists were armed

    Uh, yes, yes it does matter. That turns it from a protest into an armed mob.

  311. 311
    LD50 says:

    @TenguPhule: So I guess the IDF were an armed mob, too.

  312. 312
    ellaesther says:

    @TenguPhule: “An armed mob” – on a boat in international waters? And the “armed mob” lynched those poor commandos who wanted only to be free to drop down from helicopters, fully armed, in the dark of night to stop them from delivering aid to people being starved by the commandos’ government?

    My friend, I believe you have drunk the 1984 Kool Aid (which, as an Israeli, I will agree – the Israeli 1984 Kool Aid is particularly well-made), and as there is clearly no chance that I will convince you or that you will convince me, I think I’ll go out for pie.

  313. 313
    ellaesther says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: One might suggest that Israel has rather a history of failing to understand that one deals differently with civilian protesters — even angry ones, possibly armed with knives and/or stones (depending on the circumstances, of course) — than one does with an army.

    Also: One doesn’t sail off into international waters to do it.

    Oh, arguing, I’m beside myself…. The idiocy is just stunning, and were it not for all the blood in the water, would be funny.

  314. 314
    TenguPhule says:

    And the “armed mob” lynched those poor commandos who wanted only to be free to drop down from helicopters, fully armed, in the dark of night to stop them from delivering aid to people being starved by the commandos’ government?

    There is 1) a question as to the armament of said commandos 2)who attacked who first, if the Israelis started shooting then yeah, they’re at fault…but if not, fuck the fucking mob. 3)Oh boo hoo, mission of mercy and all, the ends justify the means only works one way!

    So if any of those commandos in critical die, do you support charges against the activists too? Or do they get to plead selfdefense?

  315. 315
    someguy says:

    I don’t normally believe in “she had it coming” but when Iran does nuke Israel in the next year or two…

  316. 316
    TenguPhule says:

    One might suggest that Israel has rather a history of failing to understand that one deals differently with civilian protesters—even angry ones, possibly armed with knives and/or stones (depending on the circumstances, of course)—

    One might consult the articles of war and see that armed civilians attacking uniformed soldiers forfeits any protection they have as noncombatants.

  317. 317
    TenguPhule says:

    I don’t normally believe in “she had it coming” but when Iran does nuke Israel in the next year or two…

    Hello Troll, get the fuck out.

  318. 318
    someguy says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Oh look, you sprinkled me with magic “shut the fuck up I won’t engage Hah I declare myself the winner” dust.

    Fact is decades of provocation by the Israelis have escalated the situation to the point where a lot of Israel’s neighbors view the threat posed by Israel as existential. We’re in no position to protest if Iran takes action (or anybody else) thanks to our stance on pre-emptive war.

    You can dress it up all you like but Israel is sowing the seeds of its own destruction. Turkey – a country that recently got a lot more friendly with Iran in case you didn’t notice – wasn’t their enemy until today.

  319. 319
    LD50 says:

    Frankly I think it’s far more likely that Israel will nuke Iran rather than vice versa.

  320. 320
    Fern says:

    @TenguPhule: Friendly fire is also a possibility in such close quarters.

  321. 321
    Seebach says:

    I guess what I don’t understand is why the Muslim sky-fairy is a bigger threat or sham than the Jewish sky-fairy. Seems like both sides should give up the stupid sky fairy charade.

  322. 322
    superking says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Oh great, another international law expert . . .

    Tengu, did it occur to you that dropping commandos of helicopters might not be the best way to minimize the chance of conflict while boarding a boat?

    If I come running towards you with a hammer, I think you’d be justified in knocking me on my ass even if my real intent was just to nail down a board you were about to step on.

  323. 323
    toujoursdan says:

    A state that denies equal rights and equal participation to a portion of the population under its control based on ethnicity, and uses confiscation of property and collective punishment against a portion under its control based on ethnicity is not a democracy. Nope nope nope nope nope. South Africa had a dynamic parliament in the 1970s and 1980s but it wasn’t a democracy.

    If that make me a anti-Semite, so be it. My Jewish boyfriend will be shocked but then the same group of people would turn around and call him a self-hating Jew because he agrees.

  324. 324
    someguy says:

    @toujoursdan:

    A state that denies equal rights and equal participation to a portion of the population under its control based on ethnicity, and uses confiscation of property and collective punishment against a portion under its control based on ethnicity is not a democracy.

    Which in light of the makeup of the U.S. prison population is a damning indictment of us as well. Which makes you an anti-Americite too, I guess.

  325. 325
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    It’s simple: anyone who ever, EVER favors the side of the palestinian semites over the side of the jewish semites, for any reason under the sun, is an anti-semite.

    Too bad BoB isn’t here to show us the math that backs up this simple fact.

    A state that denies equal rights and equal participation to a portion of the population under its control based on ethnicity, and uses confiscation of property and collective punishment against a portion under its control based on ethnicity is not a democracy.

    But, but, but, don’t you understand that Israel has to do it like that! The sole responsibility for Israel running an apartheid state belongs to the people being kept in the ghettos. Also, if anyone tries to bring building supplies into these ghettos, so that maybe those oppressed people (who totally brought it upon themselves with absolutely no guilt belonging to the Israelis) can live in something sturdier than a corrugated aluminum shack, the Israelis would be totally blameless to massacre those people. In self defense.

    Is that about right, Tenguphuck?

  326. 326
    toujoursdan says:

    Why not? I am a Canadian citizen. Being anti-American is in the blood somewhere (though my mother is from Chicago. But still.)

    Prisoners are allowed to vote in Canada…

  327. 327
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    One might consult the articles of war and see that armed civilians attacking uniformed soldiers forfeits any protection they have as noncombatants.

    A: Whose Articles of War? And:

    2: What “Article of War” gives Israeli occupiers belligerent rights without simultaneously giving belligerent rights to the people they’re supposedly “at war” with?

    It works both ways, you pig-ignorant asshat.

  328. 328
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    @toujoursdan: It’s a-ok to be anti-American, just so long as you don’t say anything remotely critical of Israel.

    No, I’m not joking. That’s how it works in the states, at least when Democrats control the government.

  329. 329
    MattR says:

    @superking:

    If I come running towards you with a hammer, I think you’d be justified in knocking me on my ass even if my real intent was just to nail down a board you were about to step on.

    Reminds me of a video I first saw on Tosh.0 from a candid camera type show where a guy grabs a purse (or something) in a mall and takes off. Some random guy sees this and just flattens him with a crazy spinning roundhouse kick as he runs by, knocking him completely unconscious. (Or the guy who held his upstairs neighbor at swordpoint while he was naked until police arrived because he was convinced the neighbor was attacking a girl who was hidden somewhere in the apt, but it was just fetish porn being played too loud.)

    On a more serious note, this was just a disastrous move from the Israelis, both morally/ethically and politically. As someone mentioned upthread, Tom Clancy’s solution to the IP conflict was created by an Israeli overreaction and killing of unarmed protesters. While this was not quite that bad, it still may very well be a tipping point when it comes to world reaction to Israeli policies and actions. At the very least, it created an opening for conflicts to escalate as Turkey escorts the next flotilla.

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: I was watching Mircale at St Anna earlier today and was struck by the scene where the German general (?) orders a subordinate to kill Italian civilians in retaliation for the death of German soldiers by Italian Partisans. The subordinate commented that it would violate the Geneva Conventions to which his superior replied that the Partisans were terrorists so the Geneva Conventions did not apply. Of course, I initially thought of American involvement in Iraq (and elsewhere), but sadly it just as easily applies to the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

  330. 330
    Fern says:

    @LD50: I think that is likely the best analogy for Israel’s actions here.

  331. 331
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    @MattR:

    At the very least, it created an opening for conflicts to escalate as Turkey escorts the next flotilla.

    As stupidly as the Israeli government is acting, I have to doubt that they’re attack-the-armed-forces-of-a-NATO-member stupid. Of course, underestimating the potential for stupidity among humans is a common fallacy, so we’ll see.

    Between this and the Korean ship recently sunk, I’m getting a bad WWIII vibe these days. All I can say is: thank the gods that McCain ain’t president.

  332. 332
    Pococurante says:

    Arguing that just because the ships hadn’t yet hit the port is nonsense.

    Look, the flotilla was always intended to run the blockade. Believe it or not, building materials are sometimes used to create bunkers, anti-tank pits, or even just nice homes for the criminal elite. It will definitely not go to the actual citizens. Hamas as recently as last week was running their own citizens out of homes and bulldozing the structures. But then they use their people as human shields.

    When Turkey tacitly allows vessels under their flag to get involved they are in fact creating international incidents. They came spoiling for a fight and to create an incident. They got what they wanted. Surprise!!

    The situation in Gaza sucks. Much of that is because their citizens are oppressed by a criminal organization that hides behind ideology.

    Focus on Israel all you want. Either way you are tacitly encouraging Hamas to exploits its own people and distract attention away successfully. I *still* have yet to see the BJ community at large begin to acknowledge Arab Palestinians may actually be provoking the situation.

    Had it been the British they’d have simply punched up a few Exocets and called it a day.

  333. 333
    Pococurante says:

    @Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix: Considering that would be an act of war Israel would be completely within its rights to scuttle them.

    I picture Venezuela running a blockade against San Diego to protect the poor oppressed illegal Mexican immigrants and wonder how we’d be expected to respond. Anyone think we’d send just fourteen commando with orders not to shoot on sight?

  334. 334
    MattR says:

    @Pococurante:

    I still have yet to see the BJ community at large begin to acknowledge Arab Palestinians may actually be provoking the situation.

    Of course they were provoking the Israelis, and the Israelis reacted exactly as they wanted, like dumbasses. The proper response to someone giving you the finger is not to punch them in the face.

    @Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix:

    All I can say is: thank the gods that McCain ain’t president.

    Seriously. Or worse yet, Palin.

  335. 335
    Pococurante says:

    @MattR: that’s great for hanging out in bars or playing in the schoolyard.

    Countries are actually expected to protect their national interests. You may not like that. But that is pretty much how the real world operates.

  336. 336
    gwangung says:

    @Pococurante: Yes it does. Too bad you’re not realizing that.

  337. 337
    Pococurante says:

    Ah ok just read Cole’s earlier post, “I guess they’ll just blow it out of the water”.

    Well… apparently attempting to simply seize the ships and force them to the common blockade port didn’t work out so well.

    So John, maybe next time you’ll be right.

    Seriously, what would we expect the US to do under such circumstances?

  338. 338
    MattR says:

    @gwangung: This is really the worst/scariest part – that the Israeli government and their supporters don’t realize how the rest of the world is viewing this.

  339. 339
    Pococurante says:

    @gwangung: Whatever. Turkey went out of its way to provoke this. Their tilt towards government Theocracy is already moving on to the next stage, mobilizing their populace by creating distractions.

  340. 340
    JimF says:

    The reports are the flotilla was 65km from shore. Israel only claims 22km. If they were that concerned all they had to do was wait until they crossed the territorial waters line then they would be legal.

    As an illegal boring operation the flotilla’s crew has the right to defend themselves. The fact that Israel decided to do this in the dead of night just highlights the fact it was illegal.

  341. 341
    Svensker says:

    @NameRequired:

    Could something like this work?, could something like this even be attempted by today’s overtaxed US?. perhaps with help from other interested countries?.

    If you think that our AIPAC-fellating Congress would allow this for even one second, you need to pass the bottle of whatever you’re drinking, cuz I want some.

  342. 342
    ellaesther says:

    @MattR: Yup. That they have bought into their own hype (or hasbara, if you will) so thoroughly that they think they can spin this.

    My only hope is that it will create such political chaos that it will allow for something creative to emerge. Which is a pretty damn slim hope.

  343. 343
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    @Pococurante: They were planning to build defenses against tanks with that concrete? The fiends! Thanks god that evil was put to rest.

    Don’t the ragheads know that the proper response to tanks trundling through your home is to neatly lie down in the street, for ease of crushing? How dare they plan to inconvenience the people coming to kill them!

    @Pococurante: Durr, wouldn’t it be more like Venezuela running a blockade against Mexico that was run by the US Navy? Or does the legal status of the palestinians trapped in Gaza simply shift to whatever best supports what Israel is doing at the moment? When it’s helpful to consider them an independent and belligerent entity, that’s what they are, but when it’s helpful to consider Gaza fully a part of Israel, that’s what it is.

    Calvinball belongs on the playground, not international relations.

    Nonetheless, justified or not, Israel would be incredibly stupid to outright attack one of our closest allies. Turkey at least lets us use their airbases, what the fuck has Israel ever done for us besides hoover up our money and make Arabs pissed at us?

  344. 344
    Mark S. says:

    @Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix:

    As stupidly as the Israeli government is acting, I have to doubt that they’re attack-the-armed-forces-of-a-NATO-member stupid.

    I don’t know, nothing I’ve seen in the last five years or so convinces me Israel will do anything other than something stupid and reckless. When you come up with schemes so crazy even Bush tells you to fuck off, you’re already well past the deep end.

  345. 345
    Pococurante says:

    @MattR: Perhaps. To me the worst part is realizing how many folks are buying into the distraction.

    At some point, folks, perception becomes less important than a country protecting its national interests. The very fact we (the major Western powers) are over there is a perfect example. Ever since the combustion engine became critical to national defense every nation has been over there twisting ME societies.

    Feel free to focus on Israel. In the meantime you’re helping the dictatorships and the brittle republics trembling towards more oppression. Again, I have yet to see any of the sensitive souls in this community wonder if perhaps Hamas really works in the best interests of common Arab Palestinians.

    “Look at the JEWS man!”

    I don’t know or care about anti-semitism. But I do see a lot of anti-Wog sentiment dressed up as White Man’s Burden.

  346. 346
    Pococurante says:

    @Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix: Turkey did NOT let us use their airbases nor their airspace because they asserted, rightly, we were provoking an unjust war.

    Mob sentiment unencumbered with historical context. Lovely. And this historical context just a few years old…

  347. 347
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    @Pococurante: Yes, it’s so silly to focus on Israel just because they were the ones killing people. Haven’t you heard that the people killed might not have been perfect? Isn’t that far more important than quibbling over who killed who?

  348. 348
    Mark S. says:

    @Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix:

    Don’t the ragheads know that the proper response to tanks trundling through your home is to neatly lie down in the street, for ease of crushing? How dare they plan to inconvenience the people coming to kill them!

    And how do the Israelis know that they weren’t going to use it to repave the streets and make it easier for the tanks to drive in? It would have been a very considerate thing to do.

  349. 349
    Pococurante says:

    @Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix: “Less than perfect”.

    Sheesh. What a sweet sweet handwave for the mafia running the show.

    And what am I to do with “they were the ones killing people”. How about, Hamas kills their own citizens weekly? Extreme torture, criminal hit gangs, informants selling out their landlords to escape rent. Bulldozing their own citizens out of homes, putting in compounds for the elite to live and shop.

    Less then perfect. Indeed.

    You’re ok with it when it’s brown on brown I take it.

  350. 350
    MattR says:

    @Pococurante:

    Again, I have yet to see any of the sensitive souls in this community wonder if perhaps Hamas really works in the best interests of common Arab Palestinians.

    Look, of course Hamas is not acting in the best interest of common Arab Palestinians. (Of course, that is true of most world governments) But that does not change the fact that the Israeli reaction strengthens Hamas and reinforces their rhetoric. As much as I am upset by the violence/injuries/death that occurred last night, I am just as upset that Israel has helped Hamas. (The same can be said about my reaction of the US attack of Iraq)

    (EDIT: And I am not alone in this concern. When I talked to my aunt this morning, she was more upset about the Israelis’ stupidity in this provokation than she was about the actual point of the phone call – that her sister had passed away the night before. Of course, it is hard to figure out why people are criticizing Israel when the first response to that criticism is calls of anti-Semitism [see dave])

  351. 351
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    @Pococurante: So sorry. Turkey has allowed us use of their airbases, and currently allows unmolested passage through their airspace and over their land. That’s still more than Israel has ever done for us.

    Of course, by making a somewhat incorrect statement, I’ve shown myself to not be perfect, and thus can expect Israeli commandos to storm my house (in self defense) at any moment. Oh well, I had a good run.

  352. 352
    Svensker says:

    @Pococurante:

    Oh bugger off. Jeez.

  353. 353
    Pococurante says:

    @MattR: Israel states very clearly how it will respond to different provocations. And every time they are provoked in each scenario, that’s how they respond.

    And every time they respond exactly as they said they would, the world condemns them instead of the provokers.

    I think we agree on that sequence of events. Where we differ is why you think it is Just for the provokers to provoke.

    Hamas puts up their own citizens as shields and they die, and its Israel’s fault. Turkey runs a blockade with people onboard who have every intent to kill innocents. It’s Israel’s fault.

    But it’s not the provokers who are to blame. Because, well you know brown wogs are brown wogs.

    Here’s a thought – how about Hamas and Turkey NOT provoke military incidents. How about Hamas NOT treat their citizens as shakedown victims and cannon fodder.

  354. 354
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    @Pococurante: I’m somewhat less disturbed by the actions of a duly elected government against the people who made the mistake of electing them than I am of a foreign government shoving those people into ghettos (and killing people who try to bring them supplies) until they’re desperate enough to elect madmen, yes.

    I mean, are you saying that as long as Hamas exists, the people of Gaza shouldn’t be allowed to build things? How can you not see how ridiculous that is?

    Apparently you think the existence of Hamas is automatic justification for anything Israel does. I think that’s fucking stupid. You also seem to think that the proper thing to discuss when Israel guns down a ship full of civilians is how bad Hamas is. I think that’s fucking idiotic.

    To each his own, I guess.

  355. 355
    Roger Wilco says:

    I’m curious about what people here think.

    Say an Israeli government takes power, and unilaterally withdraws to pre-1967 borders.

    Let’s say that following this withdrawal, the suicide bombers and rocket attacks intensify; say that in this scenario, Hamas claims victory and the Palestinians try even harder to drive Israel into the sea. After what happened in Gaza, this does not seem like an unreasonable assumption.

    What happens then? Under those circumstances, does Israel have the right to reoccupy the West Bank and Gaza?

  356. 356
    MattR says:

    @Pococurante:

    Israel states very clearly how it will respond to different provocations. And every time they are provoked in each scenario, that’s how they respond.
    __
    And every time they respond exactly as they said they would, the world condemns them instead of the provokers.
    __
    I think we agree on that sequence of events. Where we differ is why you think it is Just for the provokers to provoke.

    I go back to my previous comment. If you tell me in advance that you will punch me in the face if I give you the finger, and then you punch me in the face after I give you the finger, the rest of the people in the bar are still goint to think you are an asshole, regardless of the fact that you warned me.

    I am sorry. I thought the Israelis were the “good guys” and should be held to a higher moral standard than a bunch of “terrorists”.

  357. 357
    TenguPhule says:

    I’m somewhat less disturbed by the actions of a duly elected government against the people who made the mistake of electing them than I am of a foreign government shoving those people into ghettos

    As long as Palestinians get back to Palestinians, no harm no foul?

  358. 358
    TenguPhule says:

    The proper response to someone giving you the finger is not to punch them in the face.

    I consider the proper response to somebody trying to club you to death to be to shoot the son of a bitch.

  359. 359
    Mark S. says:

    @Pococurante:

    How about Israel stops building settlements in the West Bank which makes a two state solution practically impossible? That’s a lot of fucking provocation right there.

  360. 360
    Svensker says:

    @Pococurante:

    Turkey runs a blockade with people onboard who have every intent to kill innocents. It’s Israel’s fault.
    But it’s not the provokers who are to blame. Because, well you know brown wogs are brown wogs.

    See what he’s doing here? These peace activists were actually coming to kill innocent people in Israel, so killing them first is not bad. (Nice little slide-in of that meme, Poco. Well done.) And if you are critical of anything Israel does to the Palestinians, it is because you are racist AGAINST PALESTINIANS.

    Up is down. Black is white.

    “Bugger off” is the only possible response. Pococurante is not making reasonable arguments — he/she is either insane or a propagandist.

  361. 361
    MattR says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I consider the proper response to somebody trying to club you to death to be to shoot the son of a bitch.

    Yeah, me too. Of course the “punch in the face” was the Israeli decision to board the boat. But you knew that.

  362. 362
    Laertes says:

    Again, I have yet to see any of the sensitive souls in this community wonder if perhaps Hamas really works in the best interests of common Arab Palestinians.

    This bullshit is never lurking far below the surface.

    Of course Hamas are a gang of murderous thugs. Of course they’re violent criminals who prey upon their own people.

    What’s that got to do with Israel making stupid blunders like this? Nothing, obviously, but it keeps coming up, and there’s a reason for that.

    This kind of argument, always and everywhere, is a sign of moral laziness. It’s born of a deep-seated, if subconscious, bit of lazy reasoning that goes like this:

    “When two parties are struggling, all you have to do is figure out which is the more virtuous. That party can do no wrong.”

    Thus the genuine surprise and frustration on the part of Israel’s apologists: THEY see very clearly which is the more virtuous side, and therefore reserve all their criticism for the other side. When they hear criticism of Israel, they know that they’re hearing from someone who believes that Israel is the less virtuous side. (Confusingly for the poor dears, they’re often correct.) They’re puzzled that any reasonable person could reach the conclusion that Israel is worse than Hamas, but their little minds can’t comprehend any option besides “Hamas is worse + Israel is blameless” or “Israel is worse + Hamas is blameless” and whether they mean to or not, they drop everyone into one file or the other.

    They can’t tell the difference between a devoted hater of Israel and a disappointed well-wisher, because they honestly can’t imagine that the latter could possibly exist.

  363. 363
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    @TenguPhule: Still waiting for your response to 325, jackass. Or are you also on the “As long as Hamas does bad things everything Israel does is by definition good” caravan?

    Since you all seem so worried about it, I’ll explain, nice and slowly: Hamas is bad, and they do bad things. I sure do wish they wouldn’t do those bad things. If Hamas continues doing bad things for another few decades, they might start to approach Israel’s body count. This does not lead to the conclusion that the people of Gaza should not have building supplies and food, no matter how much you might wish it so.

  364. 364
    El Cid says:

    @Svensker: If you try to keep a Palestinian child from starving, this means you want to help keep Palestinian children from dying off, and this means that you want more instead of fewer Palestinian adults who grew from Palestinian children, and this means you want to destroy Israel and you hate Jews and/or are a self-hating Jew, because Israel is really narrow at some points and some Muslim-y looking people are about to push it into the sea by magic.

  365. 365
    scav says:

    @El Cid: Moreover, if that child knew its own best interests, it would die quietly and tidily in a manner that best served Israeli interests in the eyes of the world.

  366. 366
    ellaesther says:

    @scav: It’s good to see that someone has grasped the essential truth of the matter. Why oh why can’t the Palestinians just acquiesce to Israel’s narrative? Life would be so much better for everyone.

  367. 367
    Laertes says:

    Hey, “Pancake Rachel” Dave: I’m reading that an American named Emily Henochowicz lost an eye today to an attack from an Israeli soldier.

    Have you guys come up with a snotty nickname for her yet?

  368. 368
    Jess Sane says:

    @Mark S.:
    How about Israel stops building settlements in the West Bank which makes a two state solution practically impossible?
    They need the lebensraum.

  369. 369
    ellaesther says:

    @Jess Sane: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:

    Snarky “Israel = teh Nazis!” comments are ahistorical and unhelpful.

  370. 370
    scav says:

    Not to defend its use in that exact instance, but to be fair, lebensraum was introduced by Friedrich Ratsel in 1896 and is messed up with Bismark too. So it’s sorta like Wagner, to my mind — sorry, that’s the historical geographic training kicking in.

  371. 371
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Dave:

    Ah yes, everyone except the Jews can have a state of their own.

    To name just a few folks who don’t “have a state of their own”: Kurds, Quebecois, Alaskan separatists, Scots, Welsh, Cornish, Crimean Tatars, Australian Aborigines, Chinese Uyghurs, Chinese Mongols, Basques, Tibetans, Chechens, the Aymara of Peru, and Baluchis.

    Oh, right, and the fucking Palestinians too.

    But you were martyring yourself, and I interrupted. Forgive me.

  372. 372
    Sandmann says:

    I am no expert in these matters, but I thought this might be important to pass along…

    Former UK Ambassador and former FCO Maritime section chief Craig Murray http://tinyurl.com/26klw6y

    “A word on the legal position, which is very plain. To attack a foreign flagged vessel in international waters is illegal. It is not piracy, as the Israeli vessels carried a military commission. It is rather an act of illegal warfare”.

    “Because the incident took place on the high seas does not mean however that international law is the only applicable law. The Law of the Sea is quite plain that, when an incident takes place on a ship on the high seas (outside anybody’s territorial waters) the applicable law is that of the flag state of the ship on which the incident occurred. In legal terms, the Turkish ship was Turkish territory.

    There are therefore two clear legal possibilities.

    Possibility one is that the Israeli commandos were acting on behalf of the government of Israel in killing the activists on the ships. In that case Israel is in a position of war with Turkey, and the act falls under international jurisdiction as a war crime.

    Possibility two is that, if the killings were not authorized Israeli military action, they were acts of murder under Turkish jurisdiction. If Israel does not consider itself in a position of war with Turkey, then it must hand over the commandos involved for trial in Turkey under Turkish law.

    In brief, if Israel and Turkey are not at war, then it is Turkish law which is applicable to what happened on the ship. It is for Turkey, not Israel, to carry out any inquiry or investigation into events and to initiate any prosecutions. Israel is obliged to hand over indicted personnel for prosecution”.

    Credit to Jeffersonian Democrat @ DKos

  373. 373
    Mark S. says:

    @Sandmann:

    Thanks for that link. It really makes me wonder why the idiots didn’t wait for the ship to enter Israeli waters.

  374. 374
    Sandmann says:

    @Mark S.:

    I was thinking the same thing. It’s not as if this flotilla posed any real threat that couldn’t be dealt with 11.5 miles from shore.

  375. 375
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Sandmann:

    But on the other hand, why put of until tomorrow aid workers you can kill today? It’s not as though Israel has any reason to fear international repercussions.

  376. 376
    Seanly says:

    @Dave:

    I think we would all agree that we would like Israeli to be held to the same standards as other nations. However, the other piece of that argument is that they should comport themselves as other nations do.

  377. 377
    TenguPhule says:

    Or are you also on the “As long as Hamas does bad things everything Israel does is by definition good” caravan?

    Seeing as your rambling was fairly stupid and delusional I wasn’t sure what the hell you’re arguing against except for a big old pile of straw.

  378. 378
    TenguPhule says:

    There are therefore two clear legal possibilities.

    Warcrimes or murder, whee! Who needs trials or investigations when we have the verdict already at hand!

    /facepalm

  379. 379
    Darkrose says:

    @Brandon:

    In any event, am I the only one offended by the use of the word “lynch” by the IDF and Israeli government in this case?

    Nope. There really needs to be another corollary to Godwin’s Law stating that incorrect use of the word “lynch” in an attempt to gain sympathy for your position means you automatically lose the argument.

  380. 380
    Jess Sane says:

    If one doesn’t like to be called a duck, perhaps one should waddle and quack less.

  381. 381
    Uriel says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Aside from all the bats, knives and assorted instruments of hand to hand violence. But as long as they didn’t have guns they’re unarmed!

    You do understand that Fallout 3 is just a video game, right? And that in the real world, the odd mop handle doesn’t really do exactly the same damage as a .32?

  382. 382
    TenguPhule says:

    @Uriel

    /facepalm

    Six wounded, two critical and that’s what you come up with?

  383. 383
    Sgt. Jrod and his Howling Commandos says:

    @TenguPhule: Oh snap! How can I ever come back from that vicious rebuttal?

    Oh, I have it: I know you are, but what am I? I’m rubber and you’re glue!

    @TenguPhule: And yet the ones armed with sticks have ten dead, dozens of wounded, and are all being held prisoner. I wonder if it had anything to do with all the guns those commandos had? Naw, it’s silly to think there’s a difference between firearms and sticks. It must have been the Israelis’ superior tactics that did it.

  384. 384
    Uriel says:

    @TenguPhule:

    /facepalm

    Six wounded, two critical and that’s what you come up with?

    Six “wounded” and two critical (note-I’m resisting the urge to put that in scare quotes as well on the basis of IUPG) vs. at least nine, and possibly upwards of 15, clinically and irrevocably dead seems to suggest that, somehow, those sidearms you keep trying to claim were insignificant afterthoughts actually were a bit more weighty than you want to let on.

    Kinda hard to yell “lynching” when you permanently take out more of them than they temporarily disable on your side. I’m sure, back in the day, there were plenty of blacks who wouldn’t have minded a “lynching” where they could have killed a dozen or so klans men and only had to deal with a few stitches for the effort. Actually, that sounds a bit like what most people would call a “decisive, one-sided victory.”

    But you know, whatever. The vastly out-gunned protesters were not only clearly in the wrong, but were a existential threat to the national security of Israel itself, not to mention wholly and irredeemably evil in their own right, and deserved everything they got. No matter how many convoluted pretzel shapes you have to twist the facts into to get to that conclusion. I get it.

    By the way- you might want to stop hitting yourself in the face like that. Sure, it’s an nice way to emote a particular non-response- but the with frequency you’ve been indulging, there’s a danger of structural damage that needs to be considered.

  385. 385
    Uriel says:

    @Jess Sane: Even given that I have no idea on which side you’re arguing, I have to give you that that is pretty “heh.” Hats off and such.

  386. 386
    TenguPhule says:

    somehow, those sidearms you keep trying to claim were insignificant afterthoughts actually were a bit more weighty than you want to let on.

    Somehow those melee weapons you keep insisting aren’t that dangerous seemed to have played a factor in the decision to respond against it with lethal force.

    That’s why I want to know who attacked who first.

    If the Israelis started shooting first, they’re at fault and I’ll be right there calling for the commando’s hides.

    If they only opened fire *after* being attacked. Well then, I certainly will await your condemnations of the activists with bated breath.

  387. 387
    TenguPhule says:

    Kinda hard to yell “lynching” when you permanently take out more of them than they temporarily disable on your side.

    So if those two in critical die, the added bodies make it more even?

    Well, it’s nice to know the Israelis aren’t the only ones whose supporters do more harm then good to them.

  388. 388
    brad says:

    @Pococurante: “Turkey runs a blockade with people onboard who have every intent to kill innocents.”

    And, let’s remember, those mostly innocent men who committed suicide at Gitmo were waging “asymmetrical warfare”.

  389. 389
    brad says:

    TenguPhule, the IDF committed the first act of hostility and created the situation.
    Commando teams were sent in via helicopter in, I believe but may be wrong, the dead of night. That is not a signal of peaceful intent, particularly when it involves a group of people who would be certain to respond to their landing with what they would perceive as a defensive effort. The IDF could have approached by boat during daylight in a non-aggressive posture and have exponentially reduced the possibility of violence. As others have said across these threads, either the IDF is incompetent or they chose to create that situation in full knowledge of the likely outcome.
    I’d ask you how many angels can dance on the head of a pin but the q is obviously misplaced.

  390. 390
    Dave says:

    Good morning all!

    As can be seen from more videos released overnight, the so-called “peace activists” (in actualitie jihadists and their leftist hangers-on) were spoiling for a fight.

    And they got it. And immediately started whinging, as they always do. And most of you fell for it. For the obvious reasons.

    Pococurante has it right, btw, this place is infested with the racism of low expectations when it comes to brown fascists and nutters.

  391. 391
    Dave says:

    Commando teams were sent in via helicopter in, I believe but may be wrong, the dead of night. That is not a signal of peaceful intent,

    Tell you what, Brad. Go to your local police department and tell them to stop mounting operations at night. Its obviously not a signal of peaceful intent that criminals can’t get a full night’s sleep.

  392. 392
    Sgt. Jrod and his Howling Commandos says:

    @Dave: Whining just because a bunch of people were killed? What a bunch of pussies, amirite?

    But Dave, aren’t the people who “fell for it” the Israelis? They didn’t have to play into the jihadists’ sinister plan to make Israel look bad. They could have, gee, I dunno, let the activists deliver their building supplies.

    Or does Israel’s national security depend on the Gazans living in shanties?

  393. 393
    brad says:

    @Dave: I wasn’t aware police use SWAT teams inserted via helicopter onto the roof of the car for traffic stops.

  394. 394
    Sgt. Jrod and his Howling Commandos says:

    @brad: You clearly never lived in L.A.

  395. 395
    someguy says:

    @Roger Wilco:

    Say an Israeli government takes power, and unilaterally withdraws to pre-1967 borders.

    So, they withdraw to an only somewhat illegal occupation, rather than an entirely illegal occupation? And this is supposed to do what?

  396. 396
    Michael says:

    @TenguPhule:

    So if any of those commandos in critical die, do you support charges against the activists too? Or do they get to plead selfdefense?

    Fuck ’em. Stuff some pork in their mouths and bury them face first, as a lesson to mamas whose babies join the mob, er, IDF.

  397. 397
    Dave says:

    Fuck ‘em. Stuff some pork in their mouths and bury them face first, as a lesson to mamas whose babies join the mob, er, IDF.

    I think my point about the anti-semitism prevalent in BJ comments has been proved.

  398. 398
    debbie says:

    So Dave has more authority in deciding who is antisemitic than Jews do.

    I’ll tell you what’s really sad about all this slur-slinging: I’m old enough to have been called a k*ke more than once when I was a kid and to have been excluded from places because of my religious affiliation. (And I wasn’t even particularly observant!) To now be considered anti-Semitic because I believe Israel is acting in violation of every single principle I learned back in Sunday School is sad beyond description. This is more than just politics.

    Sometimes, I really despair when I see how Orwellian this conflict has become.

  399. 399
    Michael says:

    @Dave:

    I think my point about the anti-semitism prevalent in BJ comments has been proved.

    If you think that’s bad, you should hear what I have to say to insult Muslims, the Catholics and the Talibornagain. PZ and Dawkins are polite.

  400. 400
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Dave: Look, cherry-picking the worst examples doesn’t prove the rule.

  401. 401
    John says:

    @Dave:

    Oh, fuck off. Plenty of ethnic groups don’t have states of their own. Start with every American Indian ethnicity. Continue with every sub-Saharan African ethnicity. Then go to Australian aborigines and the various ethnic groups of New Guinea. Then head to Quebec. You can continue with the Hmong, Zhuang, Tibetans, Uighurs, Chams, Shan, Karens, and Kachins. There are numerous ethnic groups in India which don’t have their own state. Then there’s the Pashtuns, who are split up among two non-majority-Pashtun states. There’s numerous minority ethnic groups in Russia that don’t have a state as well, as well as a lot in Iran. There’s the Kurds, who don’t have their own state and probably never will. Even in Europe there’s a bunch – Basques, Catalans, Galicians, Bosniaks, Wends, Vlachs, Romansh, Bretons, Welsh, Scots…

    Obviously a binational state is problematic for any number of reasons, but the idea that it is somehow anti-semitic because “everyone except the Jews gets a state of their own” is fucking nonsense – the vast majority of ethnic groups do not have a state of their own.

  402. 402
    kay says:

    @Dave:

    Reading your comments, you’re incredibly biased, and yet you continue to accuse others of bias.

    You began with “wait for the facts”, did a complete 180, and somehow ended up with the civilians as the wrongful aggressor.

    After hearing one side. No inquiry into the veracity of the Israeli side, just blind, complete acceptance.

    It’s laughable that you continue to pretend you’re some rational fact-based even-handed actor, and the rest of the people here have an agenda.

    Nothing wrong with being an absolute advocate. Why not admit that’s what you are? It’s apparent from your comments anyway.

  403. 403
    NameRequired says:

    @Svensker: Would such an action need congressional approval?, was one needed for the Berlin Airlift?.

  404. 404
    John says:

    @Alex S.:

    Sigh. Obligatory post whenever this silliness is brought up: “Anti-semitism” refers to hatred of Jews. It was invented in the nineteenth century to mean that, and has always meant that. Even though Arabs speak a Semitic language, the term “anti-semitism” has never been taken to apply to them.

  405. 405
    brantl says:

    @Phil: Were you born one, or are you a self-made dick? I’m late to the party, so please excuse me if I’ve copied anyone else’s sentiments.

  406. 406
    brantl says:

    @TenguPhule: I’ve certainly never walked onto somebody else’s ship loaded for bear, when they had ad hoc weapons, and feared for my life, no. I’M NOT THAT STUPID.

  407. 407
    scav says:

    oh dear, I see the fainting debs from the Israeli charm school are back winning friends again with their delicate ways.

  408. 408
    brantl says:

    @Dave: What other religion got to pick an area that they weren’t native to, to have it be their state, for their religion? I’ll wait, while you try to figure that out.

  409. 409
    4jkb4ia says:

    I am proud of John for writing this level-headed post. No snark.

  410. 410
    4jkb4ia says:

    4jkb4ia’s Husband comments that they have to look at all 10,000 tons to see if there was anything they could use for a missile and that even if these folks were bringing in solely humanitarian goods, to break the blockade means that on the next shipment you can bring in things that aren’t humanitarian goods. I will now display cowardice by going back to watching Roger Federer and noting that 4jkb4ia’s Husband is at work now and has the impression that Balloon Juice is basically harmless.

  411. 411
    Bob says:

    : @Dave: Good morning, Dave! Back on the clock for the Israeli Propaganda Ministry?

  412. 412
    Laertes says:

    I think it’s time to consider the possibility (likelihood?) that Dave is consciously working against Israel’s interests, by doing his small bit to deliberately sabotage their image.

    There’s a reasonable defense to be offered here for Israel’s actions, but he stalwartly refuses to make it. Instead he flings comically lame charges of “anti-semitism” at the flimsiest provocation, shamelessly nutpicks, and generally warns people away from seeing things Israel’s way by making them understand that to do so involves standing next to him, a vile, stupid, racist caricature.

    If Dave actually gave a damn about Israel, he’d write something like this:

    “Israel is in a tough spot here. Nobody’s happy that a bunch of people got killed on those boats, but what’s Israel supposed to do? If they just let boats sail into Gaza without inspection, they’ll often be used to haul weapons. They either have to let anything and everything flow un-checked into Gaza, or they have to inspect the incoming ships and credibly commit to using force to do so when necessary. The use of force is never pretty, and young men being young men, it’s often uglier than it strictly needs to be. Everyone hates this outcome, but the Israelis had no better options.”

    Does he write that? No. Instead it’s all “holy shit u all h8 joos.” Fucking retard. He’s probably Hamas himself.

    Incidentally, if alternate-universe Dave who actually gives a shit about Israel were to appear and write that, I’d respond like this:

    “Israel overreached with their blockade. They’re not letting in enough food, and forbidding construction materials is just petty. The whole thing looks deliberately cruel, and gives the blockade runners a credible excuse for trying to get around it, which in turn lets them create a situation where they can easily provoke soldiers into badly tarnishing Israel’s image, straining relations with important allies, and obstructing efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear program. Yes, if you let in construction materials, some of it will be used to build fortifications. But some of it will also be used to rebuild housing that you’ve wrecked, and forbidding the construction material makes one suspect that it’s the latter that’s really motivating you. That kind of spiteful behavior doesn’t invite sympathy. As for the bunkers, sack up and deal with it. You’ve got a big expensive army. Dealing with people in bunkers is their job.”

    “Now they’ve got a bigger problem. Because of this over-ambitious blockade and this latest cock-up, the more sustainable option of inspecting every ship and letting absolutely everything through except for weapons may no longer be on the table. Depends on what the Turks do.”

    “That was a mistake. Whether it was motivated by spite, an effort to please your wingnuttier domestic constituencies, or a simple innocent misjudgment makes no difference. It was still a mistake.”

  413. 413
    henqiguai says:

    @John (#404): Oh, at this late date, just because I can.

    It was invented in the nineteenth century to mean that, and has always meant that.

    Living language, turkey, living language. And if it was supposed to be so xclusive, why didn’t they simply leave it at “anti-Jewish” or somesuch with less ambiguity. ‘Cause, I gotta tell ya, when I’ve been hit with that anti-semitic nonsense, I have long rightgeously pointed out that I have never denigrated a Babylonian in my life.

  414. 414
    Max says:

    The embargo is a perfectly legal and reasonable attempt to prevent missile-building material from reaching Gaza, where it’s used to build bombs aimed at Israeli civilians.

    These soldiers did not drop out of the blue. The crew was perfectly aware of the embargo and a warning was issued that if they continued they would be boarded and searched for weapons.

    If you think this is unreasonable, consider that Hamas has strapped bombs to children in the past. Consider that Israel is very reasonably checking ships for WMD-building materials, instead of, like another country I could name, shellacking half the globe in a non-stop rain of bombs because of its terrorist attack.

    Remember, we had a very effective blockade against Iraq. If a ship went there, we would have boarded, no question, and especially if they had communicated their intention to ignore the blockade in advance, as this ship had.

  415. 415
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Max:

    Of course, Iraq is (or at least was) a separate, sovereign nation under a sanctions regime that had been ratified under international law. The Israelis consider Gaza to be part of Israel, which means they have no legal standing to blockade it in the first place, and of course their blockade has never been recognized under international law.

  416. 416
    Older says:

    @John: Maybe I am mistaken, but I thought I learned long ago that in France, the term “anti-Semitic” used to refer to French prejudice against Muslims, particularly as immigrants to European France, rather than at home in the “Overseas Departments”.

  417. 417
    Max says:

    @ fasteddie9318

    The blockade is not just Israel’s blockade. Egypt is also participating. The blockade is officially supported and recognized by the United States. Those calling for an end to the embargo should take a lesson from the end of Iraq sanctions, which led to war.

  418. 418
    Duncan says:

    @Max: “Those calling for an end to the embargo should take a lesson from the end of Iraq sanctions, which led to war. ”

    Which Iraq sanctions are you talking about there? If you mean the sanctions imposed after the first Gulf War, those were still in place after the Second Gulf War ended.

    By the way, I’m mildly surprised that no one has pointed out, in response to the stuff about Hamas smuggling arms into Gaza, that vastly greater amounts of much more destructive weapons are being openly shipped into Israel, from the United States. Taken along with Israel’s violence against civilians and numerous human rights violations including torture, shouldn’t there be an international blockade of Israel?

    The question whether the Jews should be the only people in the world who don’t have their own nation also founders on the question of whether Jews are a people or a religion. Israel itself seems unclear on the point. But to me Dave’s question always sounds like someone asking whether the Methodists and the Pentecostals should be the only people not allowed to have their own nation.

Comments are closed.