I’d Like a Stupak Amendment For This, Please

Your liberal media covers the Israeli raid on the flotilla:

The Israeli Navy raided a flotilla carrying thousands of tons of supplies for Gaza in international waters on Monday morning, killing at least 10 people, according to the Israeli military and activists traveling with the flotilla. Some Israeli media reports put the death toll higher.

The incident drew widespread international condemnation, with Israeli envoys summoned to explain their country’s actions in several European countries.

The criticism offered a propaganda coup to Israel’s foes, particularly the Hamas group that holds sway in Gaza, and damaged its ties to Turkey, one of its most important Muslim partners and the unofficial sponsor of the Gaza-bound convoy. Ankara recalled its ambassador to Israel and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cut short a visit to Latin America to return.

Sure, Israel boarded a vessel in International waters and killed a bunch of people, but think of the propaganda coup! Thanks, New York Times, for setting us straight!

I don’t know what this person was thinking, though:

“That is a lie,” said Greta Berlin, a leader of the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement, speaking by telephone from Cyprus. She said it was inconceivable that the civilian passengers on board would have been “waiting up to fire on the Israeli military, with all its might.”

“We never thought there would be any violence,” she said.

You never thought there would be any violence? Did you miss the entire Gaza incursion? The minute I read about the flotilla I knew what was going to happen- violence. The only thing that surprises me is that they bothered to board it at all. I thought they would just torpedo it and then have the “moderate” Tzipi Livni go on tv and smile about the reasonable reaction the IDF offered.

BTW- can we have a Stupak amendment so I am no longer paying for this? That is how it works, right? All you have to do is cite your personal morals and you can get things you don’t like unfunded, right?

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

288 replies
  1. 1
    scottinnj says:

    We need our bet on who will be the first US politician to declare unwavering fealty to Netanyahu on this – I’ll start with $5 on John McCain

  2. 2
    Andrew says:

    It’s bad for us, but good for both Hamas and Netanyahu, so is anyone remotely surprised, at all?

  3. 3
    Michael says:

    Collective Punishment has been the cornerstone of IDF policy for years, ever since they learned that they could do anything they want and have the undying support of the Talibornagain contingent here in the US.

    Thats why their response in Lebanon a few years ago was so stupid – nobody would give a shit if they dealt with the South, but they chose to destabilize liberal and moderate factions of the government by going after infrastructure around Beirut.

    The irony was not lost on me – the Lebanese government doesn’t have much in the way of an army to deal with the guys in the South, and is the sort of low tax, low regulation, Western oriented paradise that fiscal conservatives pretend to want. The lesson taught by our Israeli allies was punitive, and pretended that the government had control of private actors,

  4. 4
    cat48 says:

    Yes, infuriating……but it could be worse emoObama has to meet with emoBiBi tomorrow according to his schedule. Bibi is in Canada. Nothing is ever easy for this prez…..in fact, I agree with Al G…….he has been hazed since he took office & it continues. Bibi had to slaughter a few people before coming…..sorry bout that. Now I suppose bets can be taken to see if he will show his face here.

  5. 5
    Maude says:

    After the noise dies down, will Israel get away with this?
    It just makes feel sick.
    Israel won’t join the nuke containment efforts.
    Israel seems to be isolating itself.

  6. 6
    woody says:

    I am sure that the fact that the richest, deepest puddle of hydrocarbons in the eastern Med lies in what would be Palestinian waters–if there were to be a Palestinian state–is only a coincidence and has nothing to do with the isolation of Gaza…really!

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    @scottinnj:

    We need our bet on who will be the first US politician to declare unwavering fealty to Netanyahu on this – I’ll start with $5 on John McCain

    Not Joe Lieberman?

    dms

  8. 8
    scav says:

    oh goody! an optics and narrative smorgasbord! please don’t slip on the messy yucky blood but concentrate on the display of fine messaging tactics on display before you.

  9. 9
    woody says:

    @scottinnj: Nah… It’ll be Loserman…

  10. 10
    Nick says:

    Don’t think of it as your tax dollars funding an attack on an aide flotilla.

    Instead, reflect that Israel has universal health care, and that’s what’s being funded by your tax dollars.

  11. 11
    Onkel Bob says:

    “Israel launched this operation in international waters and to a ship flagged white, which is unacceptable under any clause of the international law,” the head of the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Commission, Murat Mercan, said on the Turkish station NTV.

    I believe the word for this action is piracy. So we are supporting pirates now?

  12. 12
    PeakVT says:

    So we are supporting pirates now?

    It’s not piracy if it’s state-sponsored.

  13. 13
    Riggsveda says:

    Yes, they were in international waters, and under international law, the people in the flotilla were perfectly within their rights to use any force necessary to defend themselves. When a state-sponsored armed group boards a vessel in neutral waters to take over that vessel without the captain’s permission, it is an act of war. Even if people on the aid ships DID have guns and shot first (which, given the Israeli penchant for dissembling seems ever less likely), they had every right to use them.

  14. 14
    Ed Marshall says:

    @scottinnj:

    The only U.S. politician I’ve heard so far is Joe Lieberman talking about how it was a terror ship full of Al Queda and I’m serious.

  15. 15

    OK, someone explain to me why GOS is exploding over this, and you-all have posted twice, but *none* of the Atlantic bloggers have mentioned it yet. I was sure Goldberg would have said something by now … is he waiting for his orders? Is he conflicted and hopes it will all go away?

  16. 16
    Ed Marshall says:

    @Doctor Science:

    It’s Labor Day.

  17. 17
    aimai says:

    My grandfather wrote a wonderful book called “Underground to Palestine”** after he accompanied a boat full of “displaced persons” aka Jewish refugees on a long, complicated, and dangerous flight to freedom from the old world to Palestine in the post war period. The idea of the Israelis killing people in this flotilla is just mind bogglingly horrific to me. Truly, becoming a fully fledged state with all its imperatives and politics, borders and goals has imperiled or destroyed any sense of internationalist morality that we Jews ever attempted. I’m not surprised, of course. Nationalism, jingoism, violence and exclusion of the other are the natural outgrowths of the state. We’re stuck with it everywhere but where the state’s natural enemies (stateless terrorist groups and supra-state corporations and multinationals) are more powerful.

    aimai

    **I believe it was this book that was practically banned in the US, by the AIPAC crowd, for containing two lines, at the end, advocating a “two state” solution to the Palestinian problem. It was published as is in Israel, with the two offending lines, but in the US (I forget the story) the lines were either stricken or because he would not strike them he couldn’t get permission to address certain pro-Israel groups for years and years.

  18. 18
    kay says:

    @Riggsveda:

    A military statement said two activists were later found with pistols they had taken from Israeli commandos. The activists, the military said, had apparently opened fire “as evident by the empty pistol magazines.”

    The empty Israeli magazines are evidence that the activists fired on the commandos.

    In upside-down world.

  19. 19
    Filler says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    It’s Memorial Day.

    And I’m choosing not to believe that your earlier comment was serious, because I’m afraid I might give the guy cancer by hating him too hard.

  20. 20
    Turgid Jacobian says:

    @Ed Marshall: might want to get that new calendar, sir.

  21. 21
    Ed Marshall says:

    The doublethink from the Israelis is really amazing. They are saying the ship was an assault on their sovereignty because a boat was taking food to Gaza and simultaneously believe that they generously left Gaza and got nothing but rockets in return.

  22. 22
    stonetools says:

    From the Israeli Propaganda Ministry, all together now:

    “No one could have predicted……..”

  23. 23

    Ed:

    Whichever day it is, various of them have managed to post about *other* things.

  24. 24
    Ed Marshall says:

    However, on the largest of the ships, the Marmara, commandos immediately were attacked by “peace activists,” who used rocks, knives, axes, and metal pipes, said Col. Avi Benayu, IDF spokesman.

    Yes, they took *rocks* with them out on the boat in case they were attacked by the IDF! Do they just have a script that they cut and paste for this sort of incident?

  25. 25
    Michael says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    The only U.S. politician I’ve heard so far is Joe Lieberman talking about how it was a terror ship full of Al Queda and I’m serious.

    Methinks you got him confused with Avigdor.

  26. 26
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @cat48 #4: NPR just told me that Bibi has cancelled his trip to Washington tomorrow and is heading home today.

  27. 27
    Ed Marshall says:

    @Michael:

    I think you are right, sorry.

  28. 28
    4tehlulz says:

    Bibi pulled this stunt to bail out of meeting with Obama.

  29. 29
    Violet says:

    BTW- can we have a Stupak amendment so I am no longer paying for this? That is how it works, right? All you have to do is cite your personal morals and you can get things you don’t like unfunded, right?

    Yeah, that’s how it works for blobs of cells. Because nothing is more important than the rights of blobs of cells. But actual living people? Especially if they’re brown and/or Muslim? Who gives a shit?

  30. 30

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Accordingto Ben Smith, this is good for Obama because it lets him be more vague in picking sides. I fucking hate these assholes.

  31. 31
    Michael says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    However, on the largest of the ships, the Marmara, commandos immediately were attacked by “peace activists,” who used rocks, knives, axes, and metal pipes, said Col. Avi Benayu, IDF spokesman.

    I’m reminded of an episode about 10-15 years ago. A fellow parishioner and her husband were Christian Palestinians orignally from somewhere around Ramallah, and were US citizens. She was a hairdresser, he was a public elementary school principal. They had decided that things had calmed down, and they wanted to take their teenaged son to visit extended family (including grandparents) for the first time. Anyway, I don’t think the son spoke any Arabic at the time, was a sweet kid, played football at the local Catholic high school, and never had a cross word for anybody.

    On getting to the area entering the West Bank, the IDF assholes manning the checkpoint immediately manhandled him, shoved him around, screamed at him in Arabic, and jammed a gun in his face. It pretty much shaped his views on “the Western democracy that is Israel”.

  32. 32
    Citizen_X says:

    @Ed Marshall: You mean they didn’t tear up the cobblestones from the deck to throw at the IDF? How about a bus? Did they set a bus on fire on the deck, Colonel?

  33. 33
    Michael says:

    Bonus points to anybody who can tell me what this “special relationship” does FOR the US. They can talk about how Israel is “the only pro-Western democracy in the Middle East”, but I’m damned if I can figure out the benefit to that since they give all the other nations in the region ample reason to hate them.

    Hell, I’m wagering that we pay about a buck a gallon extra just because of the regional instabilities exacerbated by Israeli bellicosity.

  34. 34
    scav says:

    @Citizen_X: oh deary indeed, a little boilerplate breakdown.

  35. 35
    flyerhawk says:

    This is an absolute coup for the pro-Gaza group. Unless they find real contraband on those ships, there is simply no justification for the action. It portrays the activists as peaceful people trying aid the people of Gaza and portrays the Israelis as being willing to engage in violence in order to enforce a brutal blockade that denies basic foodstuffs to the residents of Gaza.

    Bibi has already canceled his trip to Washington, which likely was in response to a request by the White House.

    Turkey has withdrawn their ambassador to Israel.

    This is bad for Israel and good for the people of Gaza. Hopefully Obama uses this to change the discussion.

  36. 36
    Stroszek says:

    @Michael: From what I’ve gathered, our benefit from the “special relationship” is that we expedite the return of the messiah, the end of the world, and, presumably, the destruction of the United States. This is clearly something any real patriot would want.

  37. 37
    dadanarchist says:

    @Ed Marshall: Yes, they took rocks with them out on the boat in case they were attacked by the IDF! Do they just have a script that they cut and paste for this sort of incident?

    I’d say yes: an IDF video, released to Youtube, claims that an activist on the largest ship, the MV Marmara, threw a “firebomb” at the commandos. Who throws a firebomb on a crowded ship? The IDF needs better liars.

    Video here: Promised Land Blog.

  38. 38
    Michael says:

    Our “allies”:

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-e.....9-1.292679

    Most Palestinian children arrested by the Israel Defense Forces and police are intimidated, abused and maltreated in custody, according to the sworn testimonies of minors who were arrested last year. This happens both before and during interrogation, and several minors have been sexually assaulted.

  39. 39
    Michael says:

    @flyerhawk:

    Bibi has already canceled his trip to Washington, which likely was in response to a request by the White House.

    I’m thinking along the lines of the request being worded like this: “The welcome mat has rolled up, fucker. Go home and sort your own shit, we won’t be backing you up on this one.”

  40. 40
    Dan says:

    I find that the attack happened on the high seas veeeerrry illuminating. State forces never touch vessels on the high seas, if you are attacked it is pirates or in a theater of war and for that you also have to be a war ship. Attack on civilian aid vessels and medical navy ships are a big no-no even during declared wars. During WW1 and 2 the german u-boats took great pains to target only navy ships, needless to say the rare case where it happened, the u-boat captain probably was executed and it was a huge propaganda coup for the allies.
    We are talking about millenia old traditions and laws here. Not the “quaint ” and modern notion of human-rights and laws against murder ya know. This is like the king chopping of the head of the ambassador, unthinkable.
    For god’s sake oil tanker captains flip the bird at the mighty US navy when running blockades and busting sanctions, once in international waters it is neyah, neyah. No stinking inspections!

    Of course like all things in life there is no guarantees but its usually pirates or rogue states like North Korea… that scoffs at maritime law.

  41. 41

    IWhat this incident demonstrates to me is how terribly hard true non-violent action is.

    For instance, an LA Times article reports:

    “Video released by television crews onboard and a live Internet signal transmitted from the boat show armed and masked Israeli soldiers rappelling from helicopters onto the boat and being attacked by passengers with iron clubs.

    Berlin said the activists were acting in self-defense after soldiers opened fire.

    “People had the right to defend themselves against soldiers armed with machine guns,” she said in a telephone interview from Cyprus.

    She’s missing the point of non-violence. The only way one can take and hold the high moral ground in a situation like this is total non-violence, even in the face of murderous provocation. This was the lesson learned and taught by organizers during the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. One reason it was so successful is that protesters were trained not to offer resistance even when set upon by officers with clubs and dogs. When the American public saw this non-resistance in the face of brutality, sentiment changed with amazing rapidity.

    Of course, the IDF will try to control the media coverage (and the media will go along, for the most part), so this is a long-term and often frustrating strategy.

    But consider this: if the footage referred to in the article exists, it will be seized upon by apologists for the Israeli government as a way of reinforcing the party line about violent Palestinians “invading” Israel, etc. ad infinitum. This is a failure for the humanitarian cause of Gazan relief, a failure caused by reliance on the same tool–violence–used by the Israeli state to enforce its unjust blockade.

  42. 42
    Hugh says:

    Is there any scenario, for any of you, where Israel is not at fault here? Any. Be creative.

  43. 43
    Citizen_X says:

    @Stroszek:

    we expedite the return of the messiah, the end of the world, and, presumably, the destruction of the United States. This is clearly something any real patriot would want.

    Ooh, but also! Some small number of Israelis convert to Christianity and get hoovered up into Paradise. For the rest of them, God says “DIAF.” Yay, God!

    And this is called “supporting Israel.”

  44. 44
    demkat620 says:

    I’m thinking along the lines of the request being worded like this: “The welcome mat has rolled up, fucker. Go home and sort your own shit, we won’t be backing you up on this one.”

    Oh I really wish you were right about that.

  45. 45
    Ed Marshall says:

    @Dave Trowbridge:

    Umm, OK, when we are demonstrating and start getting mowed down by machine gun fire, you sit there and die for the camera, but I’m going to try something.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hugh:

    Is there any scenario, for any of you, where Israel is not at fault here? Any. Be creative.

    Colin Powell showed them a presentation, including a small vial and blueprints, that convinced them the flotilla contained WMD’s?

  47. 47
    Ed Marshall says:

    Turkey is going to have to do something. The government will fall if there isn’t a serious reaction. These are some seriously nationalistic people and having a Turkish flagged ship dealt with in this way in international waters is a massive red line crossed by the Israelis.

  48. 48
    scav says:

    @demkat620: yup. and in case a guy from the middle east can’t catch the emotional overtones of a guy from the middle west, I hope Hillary immediately repeated the message.

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    Umm, OK, when we are demonstrating and start getting mowed down by machine gun fire, you sit there and die for the camera, but I’m going to try something.

    Not to speak for Dave, but IMO, his point was that this response was not only expected but counted on.
    IMO, the presence of so many well regarded peace activists on this flotilla had a purpose.
    If you were not ready to peacefully resist an IDF action then what were they expecting to happen? They were going to win a fight with commandos using fists and crowbars, and repel the boarders?
    It makes no sense to fight and diminishes what, IMO, they were trying to accomplish.

  50. 50
    Laertes says:

    @Hugh:

    Is there any scenario, for any of you, where Israel is not at fault here? Any. Be creative.

    This incident isn’t favorable ground for Israel apologists. Rather than defend the position, they’ll try to move the engagement to other nearby territory that’s more hospitable.

    Expect a lot of “meta” about motives of writers, choice of which stories get reported, framing, etc.

  51. 51
    dadanarchist says:

    @Hugh: Is there any scenario, for any of you, where Israel is not at fault here? Any. Be creative.

    The ships were filled with yet-to-be-reanimated Nazi zombies that the activists were planning to unleash on Israel.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @demkat620:

    Oh I really wish you were right about that.

    IMO, Bibi told the US, “Toodles peeps. I’ll get back to you. We’ll do brunch.”

  53. 53
    John Cole says:

    Is there any scenario, for any of you, where Israel is not at fault here? Any. Be creative.

    The scenario where Israel didn’t board a ship in international waters with machine gun toting soldiers and kill 16+ people.

  54. 54
    R. Porrofatto says:

    @aimai: It’s always a surprise to read opinion pieces in the Israeli press that would be condemned (or censored) here by our regnant AIPAC crowd. Of course, actual news is a different story. I don’t know if it’s a translation issue, but I see a couple of Israeli papers this morning using the word “lynching” to describe what the Israeli commandos faced from the flotilla civilians. Kind of bizarre.

  55. 55
    scav says:

    @Hugh: space aliens attacked and we’re all actually dead and this is a mutual dream in Purgatory with deep symbolic meaning.

  56. 56
    Laertes says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    Umm, OK, when we are demonstrating and start getting mowed down by machine gun fire, you sit there and die for the camera, but I’m going to try something.

    Perfectly legitimate. You’ve got every right to do so. But if you do, then you can’t say that you were “non-violent.”

    People who are better-trained and more determined than you will sit there and die for the camera.

  57. 57
    Ed Marshall says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I don’t know how it went down, or who started behaving violently (although the Israelis had no purpose being there in the first place) but once someone is unloading a machine gun at me I’ll try the crowbar, it can’t hurt.

  58. 58
    Dave says:

    Is there any scenario, for any of you, where Israel is not at fault here? Any. Be creative

    Let’s face facts here – the only good Jew to John Cole is a dead or suffering one.

  59. 59
    Laertes says:

    once someone is unloading a machine guy at me I’ll try the crowbar, it can’t hurt.

    Sure it can. As the Israelis are demonstrating, any resistance at all, however pathetic and improvised, will be used to legitimize the acts of murder that provoked it.

    It also looks half-assed. If you arrange a confrontation with soldiers, you need to either bring serious weapons and training to use them, or no weapons and training to absorb murderous punishment without losing your shit and reaching for a wrench.

    The latter is hard. I couldn’t do it. I stand in awe of the people who do. But such people do exist, and just because I don’t have the balls to be one of them doesn’t mean that I’m going to pretend that they don’t.

  60. 60
    Hob says:

    @Michael: The best explanations I’ve seen are all in “secret history”-type science-fiction thrillers. For instance Declare by Tim Powers, in which it turns out that superpower interest in the Middle East was less about oil and more about acquiring and controlling genies, one of which was subsequently buried near the Berlin Wall thus helping to prop up the Soviet Union. In the book they were mostly around Mount Ararat, but maybe there’s one in, say, Hebron.

  61. 61
    Laertes says:

    Me:

    This incident isn’t favorable ground for Israel apologists. Rather than defend the position, they’ll try to move the engagement to other nearby territory that’s more hospitable. Expect a lot of “meta” about motives of writers, choice of which stories get reported, framing, etc.

    Dave, right on cue:

    Let’s face facts here – the only good Jew to John Cole is a dead or suffering one.

    See? No comment on the incident at all. Instead, an almost comically lame accusation of anti-semitism. One can almost picture Dave, dejected, sitting as his keyboard with a long face and slumped shoulders. He’s going through the motions, but in his heart he knows he’s beaten.

  62. 62
    Craig says:

    Apparently it is beyond even consideration that this was also a way to incite/provoke a aggressive response by Israel via confrontation/boarding of the vessel, with some less than peaceful elements armed to resist and create a sympathetic and supportive world knee-jerk reaction?

    Nah, not even worth discussing. Apparently, every one of those simple “peace activists” could not possibly be sophisticated enough to understand the dynamics of how actions can be staged effectively to create a desired propaganda result.

    Besides, a spokesperson said it was an innocent mission, so it must be true!

    No one is clean in this sad history of events between these combatants. And few confrontations are simply black and white.

    To discuss it in certain terms, as to who the good guys and bad guys are, is naive.

  63. 63
    Michael says:

    @Hugh:

    Is there any scenario, for any of you, where Israel is not at fault here? Any. Be creative.

    I just hope to live long enough to see the demographic wave that is coming swamp the Government of Israel. I think it’ll make a fine province of a nation consolidated out of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait. Hopefully, the younger Israelis can get their acts together well enough to manage to retain some form of civil rights in their newer, bigger, Arab country.

  64. 64

    @Dave Trowbridge:

    That’s true to a point, but if you want to go that route, a true non-violent approach probably ends with Israel seizing the cargo which, while it may provoke some outrage, wouldn’t last half a day as a story, especially in the US. Troops opening fire and killing people has a much bigger effect.

  65. 65
    joe from Lowell says:

    A vessel of our NATO ally, Turkey, was attacked on the high seas by a hostile power.

    Does the North Atlantic Treaty mean anything, or not?

  66. 66
    Mark says:

    John,

    I don’t get your interest in this, specifically. There are numerous countries that undertake military action using US dollars and commit acts far more heinous than this.

    We have a special relationship with Egypt – costing the same amount of money as the special relationship with Israel – and yet no poster has mentioned Egypt on this blog this year. Are we not funding an autocratic Egyptian regime that engages in torture of its own citizens and does us absolutely no favors among those who believe the US pays for dictators to oppress the average person in the Middle East?

    I hate Netanyahu. He’s a racist, a crook and a happy murderer. He has been at the center of every disaster in recent Israeli history. I don’t understand why this vessel couldn’t be boarded without bloodshed, inside Israeli waters. But I have a hard time understanding why a blog that didn’t discuss what happened in Sri Lanka would take such interest in this story.

    Again, we send a lot of money around the world to allow various militaries to oppress the general public. There are many reasons to demand that money be spent on something else. But promoting this issue shows a disproportionate focus on Israel.

  67. 67
    Laertes says:

    Is there any scenario, for any of you, where Israel is not at fault here? Any. Be creative

    And to answer this question simply:

    Sure. Lots of ways Israel turns out to be the good guys.

    It starts with weapons being found on those ships that weren’t brought there by the soldiers themselves. Lame suggestions that weapons were taken from the soldiers and emptied by the demonstrators aren’t going to cut it, especially since only the demonstrators ended up with bullet holes in.

    I’m not an expert on the relevant law and traditions, but if someone who IS can offer a credible explanation of how this incident wasn’t an appalling breach of long-standing tradition, that’d get my attention. Bonus points if the scholar in question a) doesn’t have a history of excusing questionable Israeli behavior, and b) isn’t immediately hooted down by his colleagues.

    If some of the dead turn out to be terrorists with histories of serious violence, that’d also cast the incident in a different light.

  68. 68
    Michael says:

    @Dave:

    Let’s face facts here – the only good Jew to John Cole is a dead or suffering one.

    Let me guess – you’re from New York? And you whine at the drop of a hat that any goy who does anything which might not enable you to get your way in any situation is somehow a Heydrich?

  69. 69
    joe from Lowell says:

    Let’s face facts here – the only good Jew to John Cole is a dead or suffering one.

    The dead are all goyim, asshole.

  70. 70
    Ed Marshall says:

    @Dave:

    Dave you are a really, annoying little shit. I get it, everyone but the Israelis are nazis and anyone guilty of objecting to Israel’s right to murder people anywhere and everywhere is an attack on the Jewish people, which Israel represents by proxy. The world is engulfed in a massive sea of antisemitism.

    Try this out: You are fucking paranoid and nuts. Does that seem somewhat simpler?

  71. 71
    Mark says:

    @Laertes –

    Is it not a valid question to ask what John’s motivation here is? Why the interest in Israel and not Egypt, despite all the billions we send there too? Why no opinion on Sri Lanka?

  72. 72
    joe from Lowell says:

    Mark,

    Please, tell us about the last massacre committed by the Egyptians.

    We’re waiting.

    And, please, tell us about the billions of dollars we’ve seen to Sri Lanka.

    Again, waiting patiently.

  73. 73
    Laertes says:

    Me:

    This incident isn’t favorable ground for Israel apologists. Rather than defend the position, they’ll try to move the engagement to other nearby territory that’s more hospitable. Expect a lot of “meta” about motives of writers, choice of which stories get reported, framing, etc.

    Mark:

    But I have a hard time understanding why a blog that didn’t discuss what happened in Sri Lanka would take such interest in this story…promoting this issue shows a disproportionate focus on Israel

  74. 74
    Laertes says:

    Is it not a valid question to ask what John’s motivation here is?

    It’s not a question. It’s a Jackalope. What happened happened, and has nothing to do with which stories John reports on and which he doesn’t.

  75. 75
    Jay C says:

    @Dave:

    OK, let me be the first, and then we can get it over with:

    FUCK.
    YOU.
    ASSHOLE.

    I realize this is only a blog-thread, but can we dispense, at least for a little while with the inane “antisemitic” shit?

    Or are you under the mistaken impression that this sort of childish crap is somehow clever…..

  76. 76
    joe from Lowell says:

    Is it not a valid question to ask what John’s motivation here is?

    No, it is not. You’re not a mind reader. Talk about the facts of the case.

    Why the interest in Israel and not Egypt, despite all the billions we send there too?

    Because Egypt doesn’t carry out high-profile massacres of innocent people every couple of months.

    Why no opinion on Sri Lanka?

    Because we don’t seen billions of dollars in military aid to Sri Lanka.

    Ridiculously easy questions, that can only possible seem incisive if you live in an echo chamber.

  77. 77
    Michael says:

    @Mark:

    Is it not a valid question to ask what John’s motivation here is? Why the interest in Israel and not Egypt, despite all the billions we send there too? Why no opinion on Sri Lanka?

    The money sent to Egypt really needs to be attributed to Israel, since that’s whose security is being purchased.

    As to Sri Lanka, it isn’t as if the actions of Columbo have huge ripples throughout the world, particularly on commodity prices.

  78. 78
    Ed Marshall says:

    @Mark:

    Because he is an anti-semite, goddamn is this lame. I’m not going to waste time explaining that aid to Egypt is by legal definition related to aid to Israel because that isn’t the point: The point is to blow smoke around and scare people away from talking about Israel and it’s conscious and it’s repulsive.

  79. 79
    tavella says:

    @Ed Marshall: Turkey is going to have to do something. The government will fall if there isn’t a serious reaction. These are some seriously nationalistic people and having a Turkish flagged ship dealt with in this way in international waters is a massive red line crossed by the Israelis.

    Israel has already been working hard to destroy their relationship with Turkey — remember the incident where they humiliated the Turkish Ambassador over some petty thing, and then filmed it for the news bragging about how they humiliated him? Presumably there’s some Israel internal politics that makes it profitable to turn the Turks from a fairly friendly Muslim state that lets Israel army units train on their soil to a bitterly hostile enemy.

  80. 80
    John Cole says:

    Is it not a valid question to ask what John’s motivation here is? Why the interest in Israel and not Egypt, despite all the billions we send there too? Why no opinion on Sri Lanka?

    Send me the link to the front page story at the NY Times, CNN, USA Today, LA Times, or wherever about Sri Lanka or Egypt boarding and attacking a ship in international waters, and I’ll pay attention to it.

    Get the fuck out of here with your “motivations” bs. Laertes has you dead to rights– this was indefensible, so the apologists are going to work overtime to accuse anyone appalled by this as a Hamas sympathizer, an anti-Semite, or both.

    I’m an American- I react to news that involves America. And since it isn’t just money, but our tacit political support to Israel that enables this kind of behavior, I find it worthy of discussion. You do know who it is who blocks all anti-Israel resolutions in the UN, don’t you? They get more than money from us, and Egypt or Sri Lanka or any other nation in the world would kill for the kind of support and cover Israel gets from the US.

  81. 81

    @Mark:

    Well yeah. Israel is a more important/powerul country with infinitely more strategic consequences than Sri Lanka. Take that weak shit back to Goldblog.

  82. 82
    Laertes says:

    So. I’ve explained how things could break in a way that would make me change sides and take the view that Israel is in the right here. (This isn’t actually all that difficult–I’m naturally inclined to take Israel’s side anyway, and I’m disappointed that this incident leaves me absolutely no way to do so.)

    So, can any of the clowns who are so carelessly devaluing the concept of anti-semitism here today do the same? Can they explain some plausible set of facts that could emerge which would cause THEM to change their minds about who’s the bad guy here?

  83. 83
    Svensker says:

    @Dave:

    Mr. Sugarman, is that you?

    Are you still infesting Glenn G.’s place under various pseuds? Nice to see ya here!

  84. 84
    Jess Sane says:

    @Dave Trowbridge:
    Want to know what non-violent action against Israel gets you?
    Ask Rachel Corrie.

  85. 85
    Mark says:

    I don’t think John is an anti-semite by any stretch of the imagination. I just don’t see why there’s such interest in *this* specific event. There are plenty of horrible things that Israel does that can be highlighted. But why this one?

    If anyone doesn’t believe that Egypt engages in collective punishment, torture and murder of its citizens, you’ve got your head in the Sinai desert. What may once have been a non-belligerence bribe and a reward to Sadat for making Begin look like a fool has morphed into funds for Mubarak to maintain power. Do any of you really believe that if we ratcheted down military aid to Egypt and Israel to the levels we send Jordan that Egypt would be more likely to attack Israel? The purpose of this money is not the same as it was in 1977.

    As for Sri Lanka, we’ve sent billions of our tax dollars there too. Sure, nowhere near as much as Israel, but does ethnic cleansing only become a significant issue once we’ve sent $20 billion?

    Basically, I am asking why we give a sh*t about this particular thing that Israel did. On the list of Israeli crimes, it’s pretty far down the list.

  86. 86
    Laertes says:

    Basically, I am asking why we give a sh*t about this particular thing that Israel did. On the list of Israeli crimes, it’s pretty far down the list.

    On the list of Israeli crimes, it’s the only one that happened yesterday.

    You’re being deliberately obtuse.

  87. 87
    jefft452 says:

    65 “A vessel of our NATO ally, Turkey, was attacked on the high seas by a hostile power.”

    Good point, pundits always call Isreal “our ally” but we actually do not have a treaty of alliance with them

    We do with Turkey

  88. 88
    Comrade Dread says:

    The ‘pro’- Israeli narrative here already is that the Israelis were set up by terrorist sympathizing ‘peace activists’ who attacked them to provoke a violent response and give Israel bad PR.

    Suffice to say, they don’t bother trying to explain how Israel had a right to board a peaceful ship in international waters.

    Take a hop over to the Corner or Red State if you want to bask in the spin for yourself.

  89. 89
    Laertes says:

    “A vessel of our NATO ally, Turkey, was attacked on the high seas by a hostile power.”

    That angle won’t get you anywhere. There are allies, and then there are allies. We don’t even mind when Israel attacks our own ships in international waters.

  90. 90
    Laertes says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    The ‘pro’- Israeli narrative here already is that the Israelis were set up by terrorist sympathizing ‘peace activists’ who attacked them to provoke a violent response and give Israel bad PR.

    That’s pretty weak sauce, if that’s all they’ve got. If the best you can say about someone you’ve murdered is that he knew you were inclined to murder and deliberately placed himself where you were likely to find and murder him, such that you might be exposed as a murderer, all you’re really saying is that the guy read you right.

    They’re better off with the half-assed claims of anti-semitism. Or this frankly bizarre new shit about how the body count was less than Sabra and Shatila so we should all just STFU.

  91. 91
    Mark says:

    Seriously, I am not being deliberately obtuse. I just don’t get the focus on this issue.

    Nothing’s more boring than all-Israel, all-the-time. I’d listen to NPR if I wanted that, along with the jewish perspective, pro and con, on every issue.

  92. 92
    Laertes says:

    I just don’t get the focus on this issue.

    What part of “it just happened yesterday?” do you not understand?

    And if you think Cole is all-Israel, all the time, that lays your own prejudices bare. You’d have to be exquisitely sensitive to stories about Israel and entirely blind to every other issue to form such an impression.

  93. 93
    NobodySpecial says:

    Did those people really think Israel wouldn’t attack them? If they can take out US warships and not have any problems, they’re not gonna sweat over taking out unarmed merchantmen.

  94. 94

    @Mark:

    Now you’re just being disinegenuous.

  95. 95
    LD50 says:

    @Dave: Ah yes, Dave “If You Don’t Kiss Israel’s Ass, You’re a Nazi” is back. Expect the dialogue to get much stupider.

  96. 96
    scav says:

    @Mark: well, there’s always the bedrock fact that the world doesn’t always make sense and asking what makes this straw different from all other straws doesn’t fully explain the broken camel.

  97. 97
    Citizen_X says:

    @Mark: Shorter Mark: I don’t understand the concept of “news.”

  98. 98
    John Cole says:

    I just don’t see why there’s such interest in this specific event. There are plenty of horrible things that Israel does that can be highlighted. But why this one?

    Because it happened 12 fucking hours ago.

    Do you have a more recent incident in which they killed a couple dozen people you would prefer we talk about?

  99. 99
    Tensor says:

    Consider this: The Israeli Navy repeatedly warned the flotilla to turn back, or to dock in an Israeli port at which the cargo would be inspected and, if no guns or missile parts were included with the food and medicine, such goods would be delivered to Gaza. The flotilla refused, and continued to sail toward Israeli-controlled waters. The Israeli military could have sunk the flotilla. They did not so do. They boarded the ships, placing the lives of their soldiers at risk. Why? Because Israel is a responsible country. It applies the rule of law, is a democracy, and has equal rights for women. Gaza and the West Bank have no mechanism for, or concept of, any of these.

    L’chaim.

  100. 100
    Laertes says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Did those people really think Israel wouldn’t attack them?

    I expect they knew perfectly well that Israel was going to attack them. Which doesn’t change the fact that Israel attacked them. Eyes on the ball.

    (I wouldn’t have expected it, but they did, so maybe their read on Israel is better than mine.)

    This isn’t just the most recent Israeli incident I can recall, but it’s also one of the least justifiable. I can’t recite a big long list of Israeli crimes. It’s not an issue I spend every day thinking about. But there’s often SOME mitigating factor. “Fog of war–we thought that was someone else’s ship” or “that wasn’t us, that was some Lebanese Christian militia and our guys didn’t know what was going on” or whatever.

    Here…what the fuck? Did they get snookered? Are there crates full of guns or semtex or something on those boats that we haven’t heard about yet? It’s bizarre. I know Israel plays rough, but I’m surprised at this.

  101. 101
    Citizen_X says:

    OIL SPILLS ALL TEH TIME Y ARE U OBSESSED WITH BP/GULF? LOL

  102. 102
    Crusty Dem says:

    @Mark

    Wow. So you’re just naturally that obtuse?

    A helpful tip, it’s not your blog, so if you don’t like it, there’s plenty of other Internet available for you..

  103. 103
    Ed Marshall says:

    @Tensor:

    Well, this is better, Israel attacked a vessel in international waters because they are a law abiding country.

    Seriously, say Iran attacked a humanitarian relief ship in international waters and killed a dozen people. There would be cruise missiles headed for Tehran right now.

  104. 104
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Tensor:

    News flash: It wasn’t Israeli waters that they dropped commandos on ships and took them over on. It was international waters. That’s called piracy. You could look it up, we smacked around what we called Mohammadeans pretty good when they did that.

    Responsible country? Try again. Pirates.

  105. 105
    Rick Taylor says:

    Yes, they took rocks with them out on the boat in case they were attacked by the IDF! Do they just have a script that they cut and paste for this sort of incident?

    __
    Same one they used for Kent State.

  106. 106
    scav says:

    @Ed Marshall: and they get stellar mega style points for the jaunty little “L’chaim” right there at the end, no?

  107. 107
    Laertes says:

    @Tensor:

    The Israeli Navy repeatedly warned the flotilla to turn back, or to dock in an Israeli port at which the cargo would be inspected and, if no guns or missile parts were included with the food and medicine, such goods would be delivered to Gaza.

    That’s an excellent start. I’m ready to be persuaded here. Is there some law or long-standing tradition that gives Israel the right to make such demands? I’m ready to accept that there is, but you’ll need to show your work.

    The Israeli military could have sunk the flotilla. They did not so do.

    Utterly irrelevant. If you’re charged with the crime of X, showing that you passed on the opportunity to commit the more serious crime of Y is no defense.

    Because Israel is a responsible country. It applies the rule of law

    Objection: Assuming facts not in evidence.

    is a democracy, and has equal rights for women. Gaza and the West Bank have no mechanism for, or concept of, any of these.

    Objection: Relevance.

  108. 108
    Woodrowfan says:

    What worries me most is that I see us following in Israel’s footsteps. At some point during Intifada II most of Israel’s voters went insane. If there is another attack as bad as 9/11 on the US I can see the US going to same route. We really would elect a Dick Cheney to “keep us safe” and kiss our liberty good by….

  109. 109
    anonymous says:

    I wish we’d end our multi-billion dollar support for Israel. Fuck, let ’em deal with the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo.

  110. 110
    Woodrowfan says:

    Israel an ‘ally”? BS. The only countries that spy on the US as much as Israel are China and Russia.

  111. 111
    Citizen_X says:

    @Tensor:

    if no guns or missile parts were included with the food and medicine, such goods would be delivered to Gaza.

    Is that what they said? Interesting. Because the activists were pretty clear that they were bringing construction materials–cement and the like–and this is one class of items Israel did not want brought in. They destroyed Gazan infrastructure, and will not allow it to be rebuilt, so that the Gazans will eventually submit.

    How this is “legal” is beyond me.

    L’chaim.

    Nice thing to say over a pile of bodies.

  112. 112
    scav says:

    hmmm, wonder when any of the home-grown freakouts are going to blame the over the top military response on Israel’s allowing the dreaded ghay soldiers into their army? ’cause you know you can’t control their dreaded super-powers.

  113. 113
    Laertes says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    Israel an ‘ally”? BS. The only countries that spy on the US as much as Israel are China and Russia.

    Nothing unusual about spying on allies. I’d bet good money that, deep in the vaults of the NSA, there are very large hard drives full of electronic intercepts of allied governments.

  114. 114
    PeakVT says:

    if no guns or missile parts were included with the food and medicine, such goods would be delivered to Gaza.

    The problem here is that Israel is currently failing to deliver to Gaza food and medicine in adequate quantity and variety. Given the Israeli government’s chronic dishonesty, there is no reason to believe that the goods on the relief flotilla would be delivered to Gaza either.

  115. 115
    Tensor says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    Ed: Read the authorities on the law of armed action on international waters before you type your opinions for everyone to see.

    San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994

    SECTION IV : AREAS OF NAVAL WARFARE

    10. Subject to other applicable rules of the law of armed conflict at sea contained in this document or elsewhere, hostile actions by naval forces may be conducted in, on or over:

    (a) the territorial sea and internal waters, the land territories, the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf and, where applicable, the archipelagic waters, of belligerent States;
    (b) the high seas; and (= international sea areas, Turhapuro comment)
    (c) subject to paragraphs 34 and 35, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of neutral States.

    SECTION V : NEUTRAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND CIVIL AIRCRAFT

    67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

    (a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;

    http://www.icrc.org/IHL.nsf/52d68d14…e?OpenDocument

  116. 116
    srv says:

    @Mark:

    We have a special relationship with Egypt – costing the same amount of money as the special relationship with Israel

    “But what about Egypt” whines

    I cannot believe the morons here, they have absolutely no understanding of basic history and reality.

    We pay Egypt off as part of the peace deal between Sadat and what country? Anyone? Anyone? We have to prop up a corrupt Egypt and whatever it does so that the other country – Anyone? – can have peace with it.

  117. 117
    Patrick Meighan says:

    “Consider this: The Israeli Navy repeatedly warned the flotilla to turn back, or to dock in an Israeli port at which the cargo would be inspected and, if no guns or missile parts were included with the food and medicine, such goods would be delivered to Gaza. The flotilla refused, and continued to sail toward Israeli-controlled waters. The Israeli military could have sunk the flotilla. They did not so do. They boarded the ships, placing the lives of their soldiers at risk. Why? Because Israel is a responsible country.”

    I was gonna cross out “Israeli Navy” above and type in “Alabama police” and also cross out “Israeli-controlled waters” and type in “Edmund Pettus Bridge” but now my wife is calling me to breakfast and I’m out of time. Could someone please do it for me?

    Also, I want to point out the special balls it takes to write “L’chaim” when defending an act which just deprived 10+ human beings of their lives.

    Patrick Meighan
    Culver City, CA

  118. 118
    Mark says:

    And if you think Cole is all-Israel, all the time, that lays your own prejudices bare.

    Now that’s assuming facts not in evidence.

    Anyways, you guys see me entirely through your lens and assume that I’m some Netanyahu and IDF apologist throwing around accusations of anti-semitism. So it made it impossible for you to understand what I’m saying.

  119. 119
    Mayken says:

    @Tensor: Um… if they were such respecters of the “rule of law” they should have waited until the ship was actually in their frakin’ waters before attempting to board. There’s a word for boarding the ship of a foreign power in international waters outside of a declared war…. And I seem to recall the US Navy killing a bunch of brown people for doing it not too long ago.

  120. 120
    Bill H says:

    @Mark:
    The other actions you describe, Mark, are not picked up and amplified by Muslim nations to be used as reason to preach hatred against America. Middle East turmoil is being stirred by us and our support of Israel, and whether or not that is reasonable is irrelevent, it is happening. The Saudis, Iranians, et al, do not care about our support of the Egyptian government; they care very much about our support of Israel.

  121. 121
    Jay C says:

    if no guns or missile parts were included with the food and medicine, such goods would be delivered to Gaza.

    Because the activists were pretty clear that they were bringing construction materials—cement and the like—and this is one class of items Israel did not want brought in.

    Yes, but it’s thinking like this that will inevitably lead to another Holocaust, and must be prevented at all costs! After all, what if the terrorists infesting Gaza start making rockets out of drywall?? With cement warheads?? Not to mention the horrific things you can do with lumber….

  122. 122
    Laertes says:

    @Mark:

    Me: “And if you think Cole is all-Israel, all the time, that lays your own prejudices bare.”

    Mark, after: “Now that’s assuming facts not in evidence.”

    Mark, before: “Nothing’s more boring than all-Israel, all-the-time.”

    Look, I know that the “assuming facts not in evidence” thing is a fun phrase. But you have to learn how it works before you use it.

  123. 123

    @Tensor:

    Where do they get the authority to blocade Gaza?

  124. 124
    Tensor says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Dear Citizen

    Because they were pretty clear that they were bringing construction materials—cement and the like—and this is one class of items Israel did not want brought in.

    Yes, I’ll concede on this one; if there were munitions on board they would have been pretty clear that that’s what they had. The next time I’m boarding a plane with my guitar case I can just tell the TSA dude it’s a guitar in there, and then refuse to hand him the case. Then, when he tells me to stop, I won’t have to. I’ll just walk right past. I’ll claim copyright to the YouTube video of me being Tasered, pummeled with batons, handcuffed, and carted away.

  125. 125
    GregB says:

    Brave, brave Sir Benjamin.

    Remember when Israel used to be able to boast about taking on the assembled armies of the Arab world?

    Now their military conquests are a tad more modest, killing peace activists with bullets and bulldozers.

    There are no more sharks left for the nation of Israel to jump.

  126. 126
    Laertes says:

    123: Tensor is asked where Israel gets the right to blockade Gaza.

    124: Tensor employs a metaphor which assumes that Israel has that right.

    This is what “begging the question” REALLY means. A shame about the way it’s mostly used these days.

  127. 127
    Peter J says:

    Not to mention the horrific things you can do with lumber….

    The secret plan, thwarted by the Mossad, was that the people in Gaza were going to build an enormous wooden horse. Then they would roll it towards one of the security checkpoints, and suddenly every man, woman and child in Gaza would be gone.

    Happy having won, the Israelis would then wheel the huge horse into Israel. And then during the night, the stomach of the enormous horse would open and the Gazaites would climb out and kill every one.

    So, there’s a reason, that makes a lot of sense, why they can’t have any lumber.

  128. 128
    Laertes says:

    I think this is very simple: Israel has made a bet.

    They’ve staked some of their credibility and moral high ground on finding contraband on those ships. If it turns out there’s crates of weapons in there somewhere, then they’re going to look pretty smart, and those dead peace activists are going to look pretty stupid.

    If instead it turns out that it really was just a harmless convoy full of innocent stuff like food and medicine and construction materials, then Israel has made a poor bet, and will justifiably lose some credibility and moral standing.

    People who think that Israel is wrong either way or right either way kind of creep me out.

  129. 129
    bob h says:

    The US Navy would have handled this with nonlethal weapons, I am sure.

  130. 130
    Tensor says:

    @Mayken:

    Mayken:

    I suggest the following:

    1. See my response #115;
    2. audit a night class in Maritime Law at your local law school; and
    3. post a response using your newly gained knowledge.

    Best of Luck,

    Previous Attendee of Law School

  131. 131
    Chyron HR says:

    @Tensor:

    Your once-comical justifications for this incident have grown dull and repetitive. Why don’t you explain why the USS Liberty had it coming?

  132. 132
    Laertes says:

    Tensor, when you decline to explain your views, it sort of looks like you CAN’T.

    #115 (with a busted link, by the way) doesn’t end the discussion. As a “previous attendee of law school” (Does that mean you flunked out, by the way? Otherwise, I suggest saying “lawyer” instead) you’re probably aware that you first have to show that some bit of law that you’re quoting is in scope and applies to the case at hand.

    You’ve been asked a couple times whether Israel and Gaza are belligerents in the sense that brings that bit of law into scope. Got an answer?

  133. 133
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Laertes:

    That depends on the “ally” Some we spy on more than others. And listening in is one thing, recruiting human assets is another. You’re not going to find the Brits or most of the other NATO allies hiring Pollards…

  134. 134
    Mayken says:

    @Tensor: I attended law school, too. So frakin’ what? This was an aid ship which is protected under said Maritime law – and again, as others have said, under what international rule of law does Israel have the right to blockage Gaza?

  135. 135
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Peter J:

    I thought it was a giant wooden badger??

  136. 136
    Laertes says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    You’re not going to find the Brits or most of the other NATO allies hiring Pollards…

    Pollard peddled his ass to anyone he thought might buy a piece. It’s not like the Israelis went out of their way to recruit the guy. Pollard’s a piece of shit, but I don’t blame the Israelis for taking something that fell right into their laps.

  137. 137
    Citizen_X says:

    @Tensor:

    I’ll claim copyright to the YouTube video of me being Tasered, pummeled with batons, handcuffed, and carted away shot and killed.

    Fixed.

  138. 138
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Laertes: He managed to miss Section 3, articles 47 to 53 inclusive as well.

  139. 139
    Mayken says:

    @Woodrowfan: No, no, no, it was a rabbit!

  140. 140
    joe from Lowell says:

    If anyone doesn’t believe that Egypt engages in collective punishment, torture and murder of its citizens, you’ve got your head in the Sinai desert.

    Then it should be triflingly easy for you to find some links to massacres committed by Egypt. I’m still waiting.

    As for Sri Lanka, we’ve sent billions of our tax dollars there too.

    Bullshit.

    You are reduced to making up facts, but the actual facts destroy the argument you want to make.

  141. 141
    Mayken says:

    @Laertes: Actually one can only call oneself a lawyer if one has passed the bar – completing law school is not sufficient. I personally didn’t finish law school because I didn’t like the way it was changing my perspective – the purpose of law school not being to teach one the law but to teach one to think like a lawyer. It seems to have somewhat succeeded in Tensor’s case in that he readily able to sling BS based on some cherry-picked paragraphs from a law book.

    ETA please excuse my pedantic tendency. It’s my husband’s fault. ;-)

  142. 142
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jay C:

    After all, what if the terrorists infesting Gaza start making rockets out of drywall?? With cement warheads?? Not to mention the horrific things you can do with lumber

    I’ve always thought MacGyver was an Irish sounding surname.

  143. 143
    Laertes says:

    @Mayken:

    Fair enough. That was a regrettable bit of ad hominem on my part anyway.

    The thing is, I haven’t been to law school. So I know I’m largely ignorant of the law. I’ve seen lots of ways to get it wrong, though, in my long history on the intertubes. People mostly just half-ass it. They google up something with the key words that interest them, and quote some line of some statute. And then it turns out that:

    a. It’s from a different state.
    b. That law is 12 years old, and has been modified by three newer statutes.
    c. It’s from a section that only applies to a certain class of actors that isn’t revelant to the case at hand.
    and
    d. There’s a recent finding by a higher court which invalidated a big chunk of the statute.

    Or something.

    So I’m always skeptical when people quote tiny sections of statutes. I don’t know how to do the legal research that you have to do to find out if a statute is in scope, which bits of it are still in force, and what amendments and judicial opinons have since modified it, but I know that almost nobody else knows how to do it either, and most aren’t even aware that it’s important to do it.

    And when it turns out the writer is a “previous attendee of law school,” that doesn’t enhance my estimation of the authority of their legal analysis.

  144. 144

    Some of the people responding to my comment got it. The success of non-violent action is not measured by survival. And if you think of non-violence instrumentally or in terms of game theory, you have already lost.

    True non-violence requires even more courage than armed resistance, because death is so much more likely. Rachel Corrie, whom one commenter mentioned, is a prime example of true non-violence. She died, but she conquered; the anger and despite expressed towards her by apologists of Israel shows that they know this, and are enraged by their helplessness in the face of her courage.

    The ultimate example is Jesus, who “led captivity captive” by his non-violence. This is the only way to defeat the Domination System: by refusing to adopt the same means upon which it relies, violence and the threat of death. Humanity has tried the other way for 5000+ years, and it has never worked.

  145. 145
    Mayken says:

    @Laertes: :-) No worries. I completely agree… arguing from authority is a great big red flag for a fallacious argument.

  146. 146
    Tensor says:

    @Laertes:

    If you have been to law school, and graduated, you know that ad hominem attacks are useless.

    If you spend 10 second on Google you can find a good link.

    I will graciously respond to your request for support for my indirect assertion that Israel and “Gaza” are belligerents.

    Hamas is the governing authority of the Gaza region.

    The official position of Hamas is the destruction of the state of Israel. See, e.g., Hamas Charter (1988), Article 7.

    If you, or anyone else on this forum, conducts a search of public statements by Hamas officials, you will see that this official position remains.

    Hamas oversees stockpiling of weapons, for purposes including those set forth in the above-cited Article 7.

    I will engage in reasonable debate. I can respect well-developed argument, supported by verifiable fact, even countering my argument. That is the mechanism of debate. The purpose is to advance the collective consciousness toward the truth. Repeating of sound bites harms the mechanism, and defeats the purpose.

  147. 147
    joe from Lowell says:

    Mark writes:

    Seriously, I am not being deliberately obtuse. I just don’t get the focus on this issue.
    Nothing’s more boring than all-Israel, all-the-time.

    There have been precisely 2 posts about Israel in the past 184 entries on this blog. Both of them dealt with the Peace Flotilla being shot up by the Israelis.

    This line of bullshit, about why the mean blogger is always focused on Israel, has no connection whatsoever to reality. It is simply something that Likudnik shills write to deflect conversations.

  148. 148
    Laertes says:

    Tensor: Part of “reasonable debate” is reading what the other fellow writes. It’s impossible to have a reasonable debate with someone who sits there with his ears closed, ignoring what you say, and simply waiting for his turn to speak.

    If you’ll read your last comment, and my last comment, you’ll understand pretty clearly what I’m getting at here.

  149. 149
    Mayken says:

    @Dave Trowbridge: Look, I am in awe of any group of people who are capable of practicing true non-violent resistance. But the truth is most people just do not have that level of genital fortitude. And saying these folks failed because they didn’t live up (so to speak) to a nearly impossible standard is a bit harsh – I think that is what most people are responding to.

    Also, I don’t recall anyone stating that these folks were even attempting to practice true non-violent resistance. (I could be missing something and am perfectly willing to admit I am wrong on that score) just that they were non-combatants and carrying aid to a starving people.

    And, while I guess you’ll probably say we just exchange one domination for another, I do believe violent resistance has from time to time in the history of the world been effective. Witness the birth of the USA.

    Being a pagan of a Celtic tradition I am quite comfortable with the concept of victory through death (as opposed to “victory OR death”) but I’d rather do it with a sword in my hand, thanks.

  150. 150
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Sure, Israel boarded a vessel in International waters and killed a bunch of people, but think of the propaganda coup! Thanks, New York Times, for setting us straight!

    Dead on, Mr. Cole. This crap is even on TPM. Note that the “best take” on the incident is that it makes Israel look bad. Well, I sure am sorry North Korea torpedoed that ship because all it does is make Kim Jong-Il look bad. Christ.

    I’ve been having very nervous thoughts recently that the only way to solve the larger situation is not for “moderates” to win elections in Israel but for the outright fascists to do so. It’s a long shot, but maybe our political and “liberal media” class would finally have to think twice about the unremitting series of excuses for Israel’s behavior. But I won’t hold my breath.

  151. 151
    Bullsmith says:

    Tensor,

    Indeed, there are probably thousands of laws Israel isn’t breaking. Let’s cite them one by one and pretend that they make it legal for Israel to kill whoever the fuck it wants whenever the fuck it wants for any reason whatsoever. Cause Israel’s all about obeying the law isn’t it. Except for all the laws it chooses not to recognize.

    One silver lining to this event it really exposes assholes like you for what you are.

  152. 152
    Cain says:

    @Dave Trowbridge:

    She’s missing the point of non-violence. The only way one can take and hold the high moral ground in a situation like this is total non-violence, even in the face of murderous provocation. This was the lesson learned and taught by organizers during the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. One reason it was so successful is that protesters were trained not to offer resistance even when set upon by officers with clubs and dogs. When the American public saw this non-resistance in the face of brutality, sentiment changed with amazing rapidity.

    Which takes incredible discipline. Kudos to the civil rights marchers who were able to offer the other cheek in true Christian fashion.

    If you want see this kind of shit in action just watch “Gandhi” salt march scene. That one guy can get a whole country to do that is something else. This is why I find the whole Palestinian violence to be so tedious. Non-violence marches against Israelis is the way to go if you can pull it off. I would say that in a religious since it is a closer definition of “jihad” than using violence.

    cain

  153. 153
    Cain says:

    @Michael:

    Hopefully, the younger Israelis can get their acts together well enough to manage to retain some form of civil rights in their newer, bigger, Arab country.

    I hope AIPAC realizes that they are going to get screwed in the future since young Jews don’t hold the same views as their older generation. A lot of people including Jews are going to lose their shit over this.

    cain

  154. 154
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Cain:

    This is why I find the whole Palestinian violence to be so tedious. Non-violence marches against Israelis is the way to go if you can pull it off.

    Non-violent resistance occurs all the time in Palestine but, oddly, you never read about it in mainstream news sources.

  155. 155

    @Jess Sane:

    Cutting off the money is a non-violent action. I’m all for that kind of peaceful protest.

  156. 156
  157. 157
    Mnemosyne says:

    I think American Jews will be referring to this incident as “a shanda fur die goyim” for years to come.

    Oh, and of course the IDF is going to “just happen” to find weapons on board. I’m sure the IDF brought a few crates of contraband with them so they can justify themselves. They’ve already tried the lame cop maneuver of, “Look, he has a gun! Okay, it’s an IDF gun and it’s empty, but it’s laying right next to his bullet-riddled body, so clearly he must have fired it.”

    (Edited to fix grammar.)

  158. 158
    Hugh says:

    My intent was not to call anyone a Nazi for being against Israel. Not the way I view it. But I do believe there’s a knee-jerk, “save the freedom fighters” reaction on the left to anything Israel-related. Damn the facts; Israel is a murderous country that does not deserve to exist.

    And it’s in full bloom here.

  159. 159
    Dave says:

    Ah yes, I wondered when St. Rachel of the Pancake would be mentioned.

    The same St. Rachel, who worked with an organisation who supports and shelters Suicide Bombers. Who supports genocidal fascists like Hamas and Hezbollah. St. Rachel, who herself was caught leading violent demonstrations and orgies of violence.

    Bravery my arse.

    I have lost close family members to Irish Republican Terrorism, I have walked behind too many coffins belonging to friends killed by fascist thugs to have any sympathy for leftist terrorist groupies and useful idiots.

    Terrorists that people like YOU funded and supported for decades. ‘Noraid’ ring any bells?

    So spare me the canonisation of Rachel Corrie.

    And spare me the canonisation of the Hamas groupies and thugs on that ‘peace’ flotilla.

  160. 160
    Dave says:

    Just to remind people of the mindset of the thugs on the flotilla, before they set off, and all through the voyage, they were chanting:

    “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!”

    A well-known genocidal chant beloved of Hamas and Hezbollah calling for the genocide of the Jews.

    Yes, nice people you’re defending there, Balloon Juice.

    A textbook example of Hugh @ #157’s point.

  161. 161
    D-Chance. says:

    I’m sure O-boy will hold an important press conference on this where he expresses the appropriate amount of ginned-up emotion somewhere around July 10th or so…

  162. 162
    Mayken says:

    @Hugh: I’m not sure I agree though with your generalization re: the left and Israel. But, yes, in this thread there certainly is a lot of piling on Israel, but I think that is largely due to the fact we are dealing with an attack against what so-far appears to be an aid boat from a neutral 3rd party taking food to starving people and it is a little hard to see Israel as being in the right here. Absent them finding legitimate contraband (arms and ammo that is demonstrably not a plant) this is a clear cut case of Israeli over-reach, again.

    Now both sides are guilty of atrocity and terrorism (or I should say ALL sides as this isn’t really just a Palestine vs Israel thing and never has been) – the trouble is that Israel apparently had all the power in this situation and they went and acted like a bunch of pirates rather than honorable naval officers protecting their sovereign nation. Cutting of food aid to your enemy, however much that enemy may also be in the wrong, is a dick move no matter who does it!

  163. 163
    liberal says:

    @Dave Trowbridge:

    The only way one can take and hold the high moral ground in a situation like this is total non-violence, even in the face of murderous provocation.

    Nope. You can hold the high ground and resist with violence.

    Ever hear of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, for example?

  164. 164
    Bullsmith says:

    Dave,

    I see. People like Rachel Corrie only died to make you feel like an asshole. How selfish of her.

  165. 165
    Silver says:

    @Tensor:

    Your TSA analogy would be apt if the TSA intercepted your car on the highway on the way to the airport, killed a family member, and then searched the guitar case.

    You fucking retard.

  166. 166
    joe from Lowell says:

    Damn the facts; Israel is a murderous country that does not deserve to exist.

    And it’s in full bloom here.

    There has not been a single comment to that effect on the entire thread.

    Again, this is just Likudnik boilerplate, thrown out whenever Israeli actions are criticized, regardless of the nature of the actions, and regardless of the nature of the criticism. The purpose is to deflect attention from the indefensible actions of the Israelis.

    Hugh’s comment has nothing whatsoever to do with the Israeli attack on the peaceful aid flotilla, nor with the actual criticism expressed about that attack. This is deliberate. People like Hugh don’t want to discuss the merits of the episode; they want to stop people from talking about the episode. He’s using deliberately inflammatory language, because his intent is to goad people into responding to the topic he’d rather discuss, and deflect the attention away from the topic actually under discussion.

    Which makes his behavior here tantamount to an admission that Israel’s actions are indefensible. If he thought they could be defended, he’d be defending them, rather than trying to draw attention away from them.

  167. 167
    GregB says:

    In true David vs. Goliath fashion, the Israeli Defense Force’s shocking video of weaponry from the aid flotilla displayed by their propaganda video shows some mop handles and a few sling-shots.

    Never bring a sling shot to a nuclear armed nation. It’s a provocation.

    Also, the anti-Semite card has been so overplayed now that it holds no currency.

  168. 168
    scav says:

    @Hugh: piss off. I’m fully on record as being in the camp of a plague on both their houses and leaving the gingham dog and the calico cat to have at each other. Unfortunately, the imaginary force field I need to safely implement that option is needed in the GOM. Israel’s ™ actions have driven me to this position over the last 30 years (e.g. that period where I actually paid attention) and I’m tired of people that insist Israeli for Isalwaysrighti.

    (tm) I omit their neighbors actions solely because I figured out they were crazy slightly earlier.

  169. 169
    Hugh says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m waiting for the facts, John. I suggest you do the same. It’s less embarrassing.

  170. 170
    micah616 says:

    @Hugh:

    My intent was not to call anyone a Nazi for being against Israel. Not the way I view it. But I do believe there’s a knee-jerk, “save the freedom fighters” reaction on the left to anything Israel-related. Damn the facts; Israel is a murderous country that does not deserve to exist.
    And it’s in full bloom here. ”

    And that’s a load of bullshit. You could at least be as “honest” as Dave and just call us all anti-semites and be done with it.

    How many IDF soldiers were killed by those activists on the flotilla? Why is it every time there’s a problem, the IDF ends up with way more blood on their hands? Why are we paying for it?

    As far as the “knee-jerk, “save the freedom fighters” reaction on the left” that’s less about Israel and more a knee-jerk reaction to oppression. And yes, when you live in a country that has a functional government/institutions/infrastructure, and all the while is actively denying these thing to their neighbors, it is oppression.

  171. 171
    Mayken says:

    @Mayken: On the other hand, perhaps it is setting too high a standard to ask this country that is, after all, literally surrounded by enemies on all sides, to act with more honor than said enemies… will have to ponder.

  172. 172
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dave:

    St. Rachel of the Pancake

    Oh wow.

  173. 173
    Bullsmith says:

    Hugh,

    Oh, are the facts you’d like being manufactured? Because we do have some facts on the record already:

    1. The Turkish ship was cleared by the Turkish government before departure. The passengers and cargo were searched. There was no contraband on board, except for simple things like concrete, books, food and medicine that Israel has decided to ban from Gaza. Almost a full day after the raid, the IDF has produced no scandalous cargo of any sort.

    2. The ship was in international waters. It was boarded by armed soldiers.

    3. None of the dead were soldiers. No guns other than the soldiers’ own weapons have been produced by the IDF.

    So, as posed upthread, how about you suggest a scenario that includes those facts that doesn’t make Israel look like a murderous, out of control aggressor?

  174. 174
    LD50 says:

    @Dave: Shorter Dave: “Nazi! Nazi! Nazi! Nazi! Nazi!”

    It’s getting tedious and no one’s impressed.

    Ah yes, I wondered when St. Rachel of the Pancake would be mentioned.

    Your sharing the neocons’ sadistic glee at Corrie’s death certainly doesn’t detract from the moral high ground you’re claiming here, heavens no.

  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    @scav:

    leaving the gingham dog and the calico cat to have at each other

    You’ve said this a couple times. I read the poetry by Eugene Field but still don’t get the reference.

  176. 176
    liberal says:

    @Hugh:

    And it’s in full bloom here.

    Frankly speaking, you’re a douchebag.

    What’s in “full bloom” here is that we Americans don’t have to help fund this crap if we don’t want to.

  177. 177
    joe from Lowell says:

    The only possible claim Israel has on the sympathy of Americans, the only reason we might possibly consider it worthy of our support vis-a-vis its enemies, is because it is (supposedly) more decent and honorable than they are.

    If the difference between Israel and, say, Hamas is comparable to the difference between, say, Syria and Hamas, then what possible reason would Americans have to favor Israel?

  178. 178
    LD50 says:

    @Hugh:

    Israel is a murderous country that does not deserve to exist.

    Congratulations, you just reconfirmed a stereotype. Well played.

  179. 179
    ppcli says:

    @Dave:

    ” Just to remind people of the mindset of the thugs on the flotilla, before they set off, and all through the voyage, they were chanting:
    “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!”
    A well-known genocidal chant beloved of Hamas and Hezbollah calling for the genocide of the Jews.”

    Sure they were Dave. Sure they were. Because you would know. In fact, I heard they were also shouting “We’re coming for Tunch” and “The Steelers Suck”. And wearing Rich Rodriguez T-shirts. Whaddya think of that, Mr. Cole?

  180. 180
    El Cid says:

    Israeli Jews who hate their government’s human rights abuses and militaristic fetishism are anti-Semites, and self-hating ones at that, because, SHUT UP.

    Also, Americans who hated their government’s invasion and occupation of Iraq and said mean things about it hate America and love Saddam and want to have his babies, because, SHUT UP.

  181. 181
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dave:

    I have walked behind too many coffins belonging to friends killed by fascist thugs

    How many is too many?

  182. 182
    LD50 says:

    @Corner Stone: This is nothing unusual. Check out what the Freepers think of Corrie. They were THRILLED at Corrie’s death. It’s pretty revealing of what they think of their political opponents in general.

  183. 183
    joe from Lowell says:

    Just to remind people of the mindset of the thugs on the flotilla, before they set off, and all through the voyage, they were chanting:
    “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!”

    Link?

    I think you’re lying.

  184. 184
    Corner Stone says:

    @ppcli:

    In fact, I heard they were also shouting “We’re coming for Tunch”

    They’re going to need a bigger boat.

  185. 185
    El Cid says:

    @LD50: Rachel Corrie was attempting wanton vandalism to the front loader of a valuable armored bulldozer. No nation can put up with such terrorist anarchy.

  186. 186
    joe from Lowell says:

    thug – (n), from the Latin “thugulus, one who provides concrete and medicine by sea”

  187. 187
    El Cid says:

    @joe from Lowell: I heard the flotilla members were smuggling into Gaza all the WMD that we never found in Iraq. It’s true. If you don’t believe it, you’re an anti-Semite.

  188. 188
    Corner Stone says:

    @LD50: Yes, I already knew what they thought about her. It’s still interesting to see it expressed so clearly.

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mayken:

    On the other hand, perhaps it is setting too high a standard to ask this country that is, after all, literally surrounded by enemies on all sides, to act with more honor than said enemies… will have to ponder.

    You may want to ponder the fact that Israel and Egypt have been at peace for over 30 years, Israel and Jordan have been at peace for over 15 years, and Turkey was the very first Muslim country to recognize Israel way back in 1949.

    But despite those facts all you can see is an Israel that is literally surrounded by enemies at all times so apparently it has no choice but to strike out against its oldest ally in the Muslim world by attacking supply ships that are sailing under Turkey’s flag.

    At some point, even your oldest friends will turn against you if you insist on acting as though they’re your enemy. Israel has already poisoned its relationship with Turkey by its actions of the past five years. That looks more like the actions of a paranoid state that’s lashing out against everyone in sight than a rational actor who can distinguish between a country that’s been on their side for 50 years and terrorists who want to destroy them.

  190. 190
    liberal says:

    @Mayken:

    But, yes, in this thread there certainly is a lot of piling on Israel…

    It’s largely due to the facts that
    (a) Israel is comitting ethnic cleansing in the Occupied Territories, in contravention of the Geneva Conventions,
    (b) Our tax dollars help pay for that, which makes us at least in part responsible, and
    (c) There’s no actual so-called “national interest” at stake that would support our “special relationship” with Israel.

  191. 191
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    I have lost close family members to Irish Republican Terrorism, I have walked behind too many coffins belonging to friends killed by fascist thugs to have any sympathy for leftist terrorist groupies and useful idiots.

    “So however many Palestinians the IDF kills, that’s fine with me. Oh and BTW, you’re a Nazi.”

  192. 192
    joe from Lowell says:

    the WMD that we never found in Iraq

    You know, El Cid, it’s Muslim-loving traitors like you who help kill Americans.

    We found the WMDs in Iraq, you libero-Nazi. Bush was right!

  193. 193
    Corner Stone says:

    @liberal:

    Nope. You can hold the high ground and resist with violence.

    Generally speaking, holding the high ground against a superior military force will get you rewarded with artillery fire.

    And it’s my personal motto that if someone is using artillery against me, I have worn out my welcome.

  194. 194
    Kyle says:

    The LA Times buried a tiny article on a back page on this incident, titled (paraphrasing) “Israel Seizes Ship”, then casually mentions in the middle of the second paragraph that several people were killed.

    Way to go, American media.

  195. 195
    El Cid says:

    This will solve everything — the liberal Israeli press is demanding an international inquiry, so that this will mean nothing no matter the conclusions and any conclusions the Israeli militarists don’t like will be denounced as a conspiracy of anti-Semites, just as was done by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, Jewish, in his inquiry into the Gaza slaughter.

    Nothing will happen, nothing will be done, maybe some meaningless tepid commission will be set up, and if it’s international in character, every militarist bastard in and outside Israel will denounce it as a Hamas / Hezbollah / Al Qa’ida / Iran conspiracy of anti-Semites to, um, “push Israel into the sea”, because well, it looks sort of thin on the map.

  196. 196
    KXB says:

    Given that Turkey is a member of NATO, and Turkey had a major role in organizing this flotilla – wouldn’t Israel’s actions be construed as an attack in a NATO ally?

  197. 197
    El Cid says:

    @joe from Lowell: Don’t forget, the SURGE fixed everything (after the ethnic cleansing finished separating Shi’a and Sunni neighborhoods) and proved our policy right on Iraq and we now have this awesome new COIN strategy which means we can do this anytime we want and it will be great.

  198. 198
    El Cid says:

    @KXB: I have a life-sized picture of the other NATO members giving the slightest damn about anything other than statements of ‘concern’ for the Turkish dead, and anything other than them flat-out smashing any attempt to have a NATO response.

  199. 199
    micah616 says:

    Turkey is a bit miffed.

    A shocked world has responded with outrage. Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel and warned of unprecedented and incalculable reprisals.
    Two Turkish activists were reported to be among those killed in the flotilla. Ankara warned that further supply vessels will be sent to Gaza, escorted by the Turkish Navy, a development with unpredictable consequences.

  200. 200
    Laertes says:

    @Laertes:

    This incident isn’t favorable ground for Israel apologists. Rather than defend the position, they’ll try to move the engagement to other nearby territory that’s more hospitable.
    Expect a lot of “meta” about motives of writers, choice of which stories get reported, framing, etc.

    Wanted to trot this out again from early in the thread, just to claim my prize for accurately predicting everything that would follow.

    “You’re saying Israel is a murderous country with no right to exist!”

    No. We’re saying they killed a bunch of aid workers.

    “You’re a bunch of anti-semites!”

    No. We’re saying they killed a bunch of aid workers.

    “Rachel Corrie sucks!”

    News to me if she was among the aid workers killed yesterday by Israeli soldiers.

    “They were chanting anti-Israel slogans.”

    No. Those anti-Israel slogans you speak of, those were taken away from the aid workers by the Israeli soldiers and then used by the soldiers against the aid workers.

    “But I do believe there’s a knee-jerk, “save the freedom fighters”

    Translation: I’ve got nothing I can say about this incident, so I’d like to talk about YOU instead.

    C’mon, you pansies. Step the fuck up. Explain why my tax dollars should pay for foreign soldiers to board ships flying the flag of a NATO ally, carrying humanitarian aid to a besieged people, and murder several of the people on board, and then insult me with ridiculous stories about how they were asking for it.

    Why’s this gotta happen on MY dime?

  201. 201
    KXB says:

    El Cid,

    I agree with that NATO is unlikely to do anything. My concern is that if Turkey thinks it has nothing to gain by remaining in NATO, and chooses to leave it – that is not good. Does Israel really want to deal with a Turkish nation that is not restrained by NATO? It is one thing to “defend” yourself against Palestinian grandfathers walking the grandkids to school – but Turkey has an extremely capable military.

  202. 202
    Mayken says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m in no way saying Israel has no choice but to act like dicks – read MY OWN comment to which I was responding. I just wondered if expecting them to act honorable in these situations might not be as hard as expecting the Palestinians to act like Gandhi, which I took someone else to task for expecting earlier in the thread.

    It is a good point that Egypt and Jordan are technically not their enemies, though as I recall, we pay Egypt a lot of money not to be their enemy. And it is bloody stupid of them to continue to piss off Turkey. Really not sure what that is about other than certain members of the Israeli government are just being racist dicks I guess…

    I’m not defending Israel’s actions here or saying we should condone it. I was challenging my own expectations that Israeli would act honorably when the history of this conflict is that none of the sides have really done so from the word go.

    But yes, in this situation, Israel had all the power and they chose to act like dicks. A nasty and bad choice for which no amount of “we’ve been the victims for x thousand years” is sufficient excuse.

  203. 203
    Hob says:

    @Mark: A couple of commenters here have called you a Likudnik, but most haven’t. Most just said you were being obtuse, and you are.

    Look, first you started out saying “Why talk about Israel? Why not talk about Egypt and Sri Lanka?” Well we could discuss that, and some people offered reasons, one of which you sort of responded to. But for me it basically comes down to: we support lots of assholes around the world, but our support for these particular assholes is a huge thing in U.S. politics in a way that doesn’t apply to the others. When was the last time you heard Congressional candidates bashing each other for being insufficiently pro-Egypt, or TV pundits suggesting that we should be more like Sri Lanka? Israel has a mythical role here: outpost of Western democracy, homeland for exiles, promised land, etc… much like our own mythical role. Both get lots of free passes for doing the same shit that other aggressive countries do. And as much as it’s important to call out all the other shit, it’s particularly important to oppose shit that is being loudly defended and held up as a model of righteous strength.

    Anyway, besides that, you’re coming across as extra-obtuse because of the way you keep changing the subject. You went pretty quickly from “Why Israel, why not Egypt?” to “Why this latest extremely dramatic incident involving Israel, why not all kinds of other stories about Israel?” Pursuing both those arguments at once makes no sense. And calling this blog “all-Israel all the time” is just fucking ridiculous.

  204. 204
    LD50 says:

    @KXB: Well, if the Turkish navy fires back the next time the Israeli navy fires on one of their ships in international waters, perhaps the Israeli government will start to rediscover the virtues of international law. This does not seem like a bad thing, since god knows America won’t do anything.

  205. 205
    Mayken says:

    @liberal: I don’t think the piling on is either bad or wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t try to reason with trolls but I was simply reflecting back the commenter’s impression that there was a lot of people banging Israel here. I then on to explain that, yes, there is a very good reason for that: Israeli military personnel acted like a bunch of pirates against an aid ship from a neutral third party. A dick move if I’ve ever seen one.
    That doesn’t negate that “piling on” is, in fact, occurring here. But you seem to be left with the impression that this is a bad thing. In this case, it is not.

  206. 206
    El Cid says:

    @KXB:

    Does Israel really want to deal with a Turkish nation that is not restrained by NATO?

    My guess is that Turkey still wants to be admitted to the EU, any attempt to leave NATO would just cause (unjustified) jitters, and NATO partners would basically pressure Turkey to shut up, and in the end they probably won’t care enough. My guess.

  207. 207
    Laertes says:

    @Dave:

    Just to remind people of the mindset of the thugs on the flotilla, before they set off, and all through the voyage, they were chanting:
    “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!”

    As we all learned as children, just because someone says mean things to you, it doesn’t mean you get to shoot them in the head.

    Bonus points for the use of “thugs” here. One side had all the guns. The other side has all the corpses. And the “thugs” are the latter. Go figure.

  208. 208
    Corner Stone says:

    @KXB:

    My concern is that if Turkey thinks it has nothing to gain by remaining in NATO, and chooses to leave it – that is not good

    Turkey isn’t going anywhere over this.

  209. 209
    GregB says:

    We are watching the world cleave in to a new paradigm.

    Israel’s relationship with Turkey is finished. No more joint military maneuvers. No more overflights of Turkish airspace.

    Turkey moves further East in the metaphorical great game.

    Israel is running out of friends.

    Rev. Hagee is getting a chubby over these developments as it is a sign that their apocalyptic fantasy may come true.

    Netanyahu is now on par with Kim Jong Il ad Robert Mugabe.

  210. 210
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mayken:

    I just wondered if expecting them to act honorable in these situations might not be as hard as expecting the Palestinians to act like Gandhi, which I took someone else to task for expecting earlier in the thread.

    Fair enough. I think the contention of some people in this thread is that, because Israel has by far the greater firepower and resources, they have a greater responsibility to restrain themselves because otherwise you end up with results like the one in 2008 where 31 Israeli deaths were matched with 1,500 Palestinian deaths. When your ratio is 50 to 1, people start to think that maybe the Israelis are overreacting just a tad, especially since they started the crackdown in response to 2 (two) Israeli deaths.

    A lot of Americans seem to have this weird idea that Israel is our 51st state and always acts in our best interests. Israel knows perfectly well that they’re a sovereign country that acts in what it feels to be its own best interests, and they have no qualms about it. So every time something like this happens, you have a group of Americans who feel compelled to defend it to the death (no pun intended) because in their minds Israelis = Americans.

    We really need to start treating Israel as what they are: an independent country that has its own interests and goals, not an American territory that just happens to be in the Middle East.

  211. 211
    Ruckus says:

    Let’s see… We give almost a billion more dollars to Israel per year than Egypt so they play nice with their neighbors. We pay Israel several billion a year to support a democratic nation and they pay us back by attacking us (USS Liberty, OK maybe it was an mistake, or not, and over 40 yrs ago), and now piracy on the high seas. They obviously don’t need our monetary and military support anymore to protect themselves from non war ships in international waters.
    I not only think we should stop aid to Israel, we should get our money back. Isn’t that what one does when something one buys is defective?

  212. 212
    Mayken says:

    @Mnemosyne: You are absolutely right. Had a little moment of relativism there and forgot that perspective on Israel. Like the US, they do have a greater responsibility to honorable action. Thanks.

  213. 213
    Mayken says:

    @Kyle: Our “liberal” media at work. Sigh!

  214. 214
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mayken:

    Munich is a really depressing movie, but it really gives a good view of how Israel got to this point. Once you decide that you’re going to adopt the tactics of your enemies and do the same thing to them that they did to you, you start down that slippery slope of being able to justify just about anything because, hey, if they could do it, they would, so you’re morally justified in doing it to them first. And if a few innocent people get killed along the way, they should have known better than to live on the same city block as a terrorist.

    Pair that with a desire to prove that you’re not beholden to your biggest benefactor and will do what you please no matter what anyone else thinks and you get the Israeli government that we’re having to deal with today.

    (Not that we have a whole lot of room to talk about “with great power comes great responsibility,” especially in the wake of Bush II. Monkey see, monkey do, and we’re the demonstrating monkey here.)

  215. 215
    liberal says:

    @Mayken:
    Fair enough.

    I’m just trying to say it’s not merely this single act by Israel, but the backdrop. Furthermore, to me “piling on” has pejorative connotations.

  216. 216
    liberal says:

    @GregB:

    Netanyahu is now on par with Kim Jong Il ad Robert Mugabe.

    Hardly. What concerns us as Americans is that (a) these outrages are partly on our dime, (b) the neo-cons claims notwithstanding, the “special relationship” with Israel is not the US’s strategic, national interest.

  217. 217
    liberal says:

    @Ruckus:

    We give almost a billion more dollars to Israel per year than Egypt so they play nice with their neighbors.

    Valid point, though let’s note that if we look at things on a per capita basis, the aid to Israel dwarfs that to Egypt.

  218. 218
    liberal says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    We really need to start treating Israel as what they are: an independent country that has its own interests and goals, not an American territory that just happens to be in the Middle East.

    This.

  219. 219
    Mark S. says:

    Some dude at the Corner:

    The idea that we need to be neutral in the Arab-Israeli situation is silly: We should support Israel because it is in U.S. national interest to do so. What’s the alternative? Basing our regional national security on Syria? On Libya? On Hamas and Hezbollah? On Egypt?

    Um, that wouldn’t be neutral either. This is the part I loved:

    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.

    That’s our bestest ally in the whole fucking world. Let them do whatever the fuck they want or they will start a nuclear war.

  220. 220
    Mayken says:

    @liberal: Also a fair point. I was hyper-focusing on this particular instance to counter the “you’re all just piling on Israel because your bigots” offensive of the OC. Again, probably shouldn’t try to reason with trolls.

    Sorry for not being as clear as I should have!

  221. 221
    liberal says:

    @Mayken:
    Kudos to you for (altogether rare) civil back-and-forth in a blog comment section.

  222. 222
    Mayken says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah, just… yeah. I have nothing profound to add.
    I like you ideas and want to know more. How may I subscribe to your newsletter?
    (When all else fails, fall back on humor.)

  223. 223
    kay says:

    @Mark S.:

    Well, they’re wrong, as usual, about actual US interests, and Israel’s actions here:

    The situation is difficult for the United States, which has close relations with both countries and is now in the awkward position of crafting a reaction that avoids alienating either side. Both the United States and Israel use Turkish air space for military exercises. The United States supplies the majority of its Iraq effort from a military base in southern Turkey.

    For such huge patriots, they’re really, really bad at identifying what is and isn’t in US interests.

  224. 224
    Mayken says:

    @liberal: Thanks to you, too, both for also keeping the civility quotient high and for acknowledging it in someone else. I really do try very hard not to write anything on-line I wouldn’t be willing to say to someone in person. (I confess to not always being successful.)

  225. 225
    Svensker says:

    @Cain:

    This is why I find the whole Palestinian violence to be so tedious.

    Um, ever notice that you are living in a safe, comfortable place with food, medical care, schools, etc., and they are not? I’m sure they’ll note your boredom and change their ways. Cuz it would be very sad if you haz a tedium.

  226. 226
    Cain says:

    @Svensker:

    Um, ever notice that you are living in a safe, comfortable place with food, medical care, schools, etc., and they are not? I’m sure they’ll note your boredom and change their ways. Cuz it would be very sad if you haz a tedium.

    Alright, poor choice of words. Mea culpa. My point was that Palestinian violence doesn’t really help their cause and that a non-violent is probably the best way to achieve their ends.

    As for your whole point of being safe and comfortable, that’s pretty much everyone in this blog. It’s what we do. Blather from our keyboards.. I’m hoping someone who is active in Palestinian politics might look at the comment might consider it.

    cain

  227. 227
    El Cid says:

    @Svensker: If they would all just shut up and stop raising hell and smile a lot, I’m sure then they would be given peace and food and jobs and their own country. Because that’s how it works in the world — the quiet smiling types always are helped out by the nations around them, because, you know, SHUT UP.

  228. 228
    Cain says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Non-violent resistance occurs all the time in Palestine but, oddly, you never read about it in mainstream news sources.

    Where do you read it? I’d love to see such stories. And it is unfortunate that we don’t see this in the main stream press. But then again to them non-violence was always hokey stuff wasn’t it?

    cain

  229. 229
    Cain says:

    @GregB:

    Israel is running out of friends.

    Who needs friends? They got us?

    cain

  230. 230
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Cain:

    I don’t have any handy links for specific instances but if you google up “palestinian nonviolent resistance” or something similar you’ll get some useful jumping-off points for further reading. Some of the farther left sites like Counterpunch or Znet cover this issue more frequently than do the center-left sites.

    I did have this link which illustrates the other side of the same coin, namely, that a not inconsiderable portion of the Israeli settler community is violent and radical and their actions would certainly be labeled “terrorism” if they were on the other side. Only, you never hear about this stuff in the mainstream outlets. Odd, that.

  231. 231
    Hob says:

    @Cain: As Bruce said above, nonviolent resistance is not something that Palestinians just somehow failed to think of (duh), but something that continues to be tried there and internationally ignored.

    If you could persuade everyone there to try it at the same time, that might be different. But then you’d need to not only prevent every angry young guy with a gun from doing any stupid shit, but also persuade the factions whose political influence depends on violence that they’d be better off as small fish than big fish. If you’re a Hamas leader, and not an entirely idealistic one, then a successful nonviolent independence movement is competition… and, conveniently, all you need to do to keep it from being successful is to fire off a few more rockets, thus ensuring that (a) the rest of the world will shrug and say “well I guess they’re all dangerous and they don’t know what’s good for them” and continue to ignore nonviolent activists just as you’re doing, and (b) Israel will continue to do what it does, the territories will continue to be a war zone, and in wartime people will continue to support soldiers, even if the soldiers are the ones causing the trouble. Pro-war politicians in Israel are equally motivated to keep this shit going.

    The problem isn’t that no one has heard of Gandhi or takes Gandhi seriously. The problem is that everyone’s heard of Gandhi, and violent people now know that they’d better make sure not to let that kind of thing happen again, because it can actually work. The British ironically helped Gandhi out by cracking down so thoroughly on the earlier bomb-throwing militants; if they’d known the future, they might have let those factions flourish a little more.

  232. 232
    Hubertus Bigend says:

    The madwoman of the Internet is at it again:

    The tsunami of Jew-hating propaganda from the jihad-loving media has already begun. The international media, predictably, is spinning the story as if it were all Israel’s fault, saying that the IDF killed innocent civilian humanitarian workers on a flotilla headed to Gaza to bring aid to the starving people there.

    more

  233. 233
    Jay says:

    JCole, I get why you are angry about Livni, but here is Spencer Ackerman making a fairly convincing case that she’d be an improvement, maybe a slight one, over Avigdor Liebercreep or even Bibi:

    “She’s a right-of-center Israeli politician who speaks about peace as the fulfillment of a Zionist dream and the maintenance of a democratic state — with its demographically correlative obligation to divest Israel of Palestine — as central to the Zionist project. She does so without prompting, at least in English. She goes to AIPAC and she builds a constituency for a peace deal.”

    Worth thinking about.

  234. 234
    Dave says:

    Here you go. One example of the chants. Also note the organisers of the flotillla were the Jihadist IHH.

    Of course, the facts mean nothing when you can just blame the Jews for everything, eh?

    You’re acting just Republicans, blaming teh ghey for everything, y’know.

  235. 235
    kdaug says:

    @micah616: You beat me to it. Let’s see if Israel opens fire on Turkish Navy vessels.

    At that point, we are obligated under NATO (should the Turks request), to go to war with Israel. We are under NO such agreements with Israel, but we are with Turkey – and so is the rest of NATO.

    And believe me, there are a shitload of our European NATO allies who would be happy to join this one. Afghanistan, not so much. Israel? Oh, yeah. There’s some real anti-semitism in certain quarters on the other side of the pond.

  236. 236
    Hugh says:

    @Laertes

    C’mon, you pansies. Step the fuck up. Explain why my tax dollars should pay for foreign soldiers to board ships flying the flag of a NATO ally, carrying humanitarian aid to a besieged people, and murder several of the people on board, and then insult me with ridiculous stories about how they were asking for it. Why’s this gotta happen on MY dime?

    Laertes, you prematurely triumphant asscrumb.

    The rules regarding the blockade have been made painfully clear– these dimwits knew they could have had their shipment searched and then delivered. But that didn’t quite fit in to the whole PR/martyrdom plan. Watch the video. Anything short of getting shot would have been disappointing to these imbeciles with far too much time on their hands, who consider Cynthia McKinney some sort of sage.

    Pansies? Really?

  237. 237
    me says:

    @Dave:

    According to a Foreign Ministry press release,

    That’s not an example of anything except the line of bullshit that continues to flow out of Jerusalem.

  238. 238
    Bullsmith says:

    @Hugh:

    Pansies seems perfectly apt. After all these super-elite commandos are the real victims here. They were roughed up! On a boat, no less! Right?

    The worst thing here is that the official Israeli version of what happened is that the IDF are a bunch of fracking morons who can’t subdue DFHs. And that’s the spin!

    Pansies is dead on.

  239. 239
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mayken:

    I have no newsletter, but can I recommend our fellow B-Jer ellaesther’s website for this stuff? I think she said she’s been writing about it for about 25 years from her perspective as an Israeli-American and it’s very measured.

    (I would also like to mention that my cat’s breath smells like cat food.)

  240. 240
    KXB says:

    “One example of the chants.”

    Chants – well, why the fuck didn’t you say so? Sounds like a fair fight, if you’re Israeli.

  241. 241
    Michael says:

    @Dave:

    The same St. Rachel, who worked with an organisation who supports and shelters Suicide Bombers. Who supports genocidal fascists like Hamas and Hezbollah. St. Rachel, who herself was caught leading violent demonstrations and orgies of violence.

    Then the answer was for “law abiding” *snicker* Israel to lock her ass up and sort it out in their fine *snicker* courts.

  242. 242
    Michael says:

    @Mayken:

    On the other hand, perhaps it is setting too high a standard to ask this country that is, after all, literally surrounded by enemies on all sides, to act with more honor than said enemies… will have to ponder.

    I ask if maybe the enemies might happen to be correct. If everybody hates you, it might not be about something wrong with the haters.

  243. 243
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Hob:

    nonviolent resistance is not something that Palestinians just somehow failed to think of (duh), but something that continues to be tried there and internationally ignored.

    And it’s worth noting that militant black nationalism existed contemporaneously with the civil rights movement, and not all of India’s struggle for independence was nonviolent. Somehow, though, any violent act perpetrated by a Palestinian defers national aspirations for all of them.

  244. 244
    Dave 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.

    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: 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?

    Fact: Describing Israel as a racist endeavour, or equating it to the Nazis 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.

  245. 245
    wengler says:

    After watching that video produced by the Israeli military of the storming of the ship, I have to really question the professionalism of the commandos involved in this raid.

    I mean obviously they had a shitty, unethical task ordered by their commanders, but rappeling down from a helo in the middle of the deck in order to clear a ship? It was clear from the video that they expected no resistance of any kind and you can see that several of them appear to have some sort of non-lethal weapons no doubt to show the hippies who was boss as they cowered before them.

    So when the shit hit the fan and they were getting chairs thrown at them and guys with clubs coming at them they had literally no plan other than to break out the lethal weapons and start gunning people down. Their military is clearly poorly led and their soldiers are poorly trained, though this was clearly a political decision to even undertake this in the first place.

  246. 246
    Michael says:

    @micah616:

    Ankara warned that further supply vessels will be sent to Gaza, escorted by the Turkish Navy, a development with unpredictable consequences.

    Good for the Turks. Netanyahu is a thug and is likely to do something that threatens to trash NATO.

    I’m eagerly awaiting his time in the dock in Brussels. He’ll probably whine in that abrasive half New York accent of his about how this is just like the Holocaust. As they drag his ass off in cuffs, maybe he’ll start screeching like the bitch he is.

    The rest of the country’s cabinet can skate if I’m provided that spectacle. They’ll have plenty to do to rebuild the trashed cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa.

  247. 247
    Dave says:

    I ask if maybe the enemies might happen to be correct. If everybody hates you, it might not be about something wrong with the haters.

    What an absolutely vile amd disgusting comment.

  248. 248
    Dave says:

    They’ll have plenty to do to rebuild the trashed cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa.

    Tel Aviv: Population 393,000. Haifa: Population: 264,900

    Thank you for pointing out that you’d laugh at the prospect of half a million dead Jews and almost two hundred thousand arabs.

  249. 249
    Ruckus says:

    @liberal:
    Valid point, though let’s note that if we look at things on a per capita basis, the aid to Israel dwarfs that to Egypt.
    Thanks for making my point even stronger. What has our money bought? The idea that there must be a reason for this strong of a military. The idea changes to paranoia that everyone is out to get us so we need to be overwhelmingly bigger. And maybe a lot of people were out to get them at one time for religious reasons. Now the reason is much bigger, much less about religion and about being bad neighbors.
    The simple idea that might makes right. It doesn’t, as this event shows to most of us, as Iraq and Afghanistan has shown to most of the rest of the world.

  250. 250
    Michael says:

    @Dave:

    Here you go. One example of the chants. Also note the organisers of the flotillla were the Jihadist IHH.

    Danny Ayalon is a lying pigfucker. Since when do IDF spokeswhores get as much credibility as Baghdad Bob?

  251. 251
    AhabTRuler says:

    The majority of commenters here sound as if they’ve come straight from Stormfront.

    What an absolutely vile and disgusting comment.

  252. 252
    TenguPhule says:

    Sure, Israel boarded a vessel in International waters and killed a bunch of people, but think of the propaganda coup!

    Ahem.

    Military footage showed activists swarming around the commandos as they rappelled from a helicopter one by one, hitting them with sticks until they fell to the deck, throwing one off the ship and hurling what the military said was a firebomb.

    Turkey’s NTV network showed activists beating one commando with sticks as he landed on deck.

    Now granted Israel could very well be releasing cut footage out of order that took place after Israeli forces started shooting.

    But then again, we could try and at least confirm what the fuck really happened instead of trusting either side which have reputation for lying to everyone else.

  253. 253
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    The majority of commenters here sound as if they’ve come straight from Stormfront.

    Aside from an apparently unconcern for sounding like a human cartoon, WHY do you think calling everyone here Nazis somehow increases sympathy for your ‘let Israel do whatever the fuck they want and make America pay for it’ stance?

  254. 254
    quarks says:

    Dave –

    It’s just possible that they were responding to, I don’t know, armed people rappelling from a helicopter.

    Just a thought.

    It’s also just possible to criticize the actions of the Israeli government without being anti-Semitic. The same way it’s entirely possible to criticize the U.S. government (I do it all the time) without being anti-American.

  255. 255
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    I have lost close family members to Irish Republican Terrorism, I have walked behind too many coffins belonging to friends killed by fascist thugs to have any sympathy for leftist terrorist groupies and useful idiots.

    Lying dickhead.

  256. 256
    wengler says:

    @ Dave

    You are allowed to defend your vessel against pirates, state-sponsored or not, in international waters. The State of Israel does not own the Mediterranean Sea.

    FACT: It is illegal to board a vessel with violent force in international waters.

    FACT: These were Israeli soldiers that commandered this vessel, not Jordanian or Egyptian.

    FACT: Being against state-sponsored piracy against ships delivering food to hungry people does not in fact mean you hate Jewish people.

    Back during the Bush administration there was something in the blogosphere called the puppy killing test. If Bush killed a puppy live on television would you as a supporter condemn it or applaud it. There needs to be an Israeli puppy killing test.

    We criticize strategy and tactics of the US government all the time. We aren’t so stupid to pretend that terrible things have happened and continue happening in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. People in Israel do the same thing. It is just in the US where it is mandated under punishment of “anti-Semitism” labeling that there is not a debate.

    Being blinded by Israel partisanship ain’t gonna help it retain its democracy. In fact it will probably push it further down the road to a rightwing dictatorship which funds itself through weapons export. A Belarus on the Med. How super.

  257. 257
    TenguPhule says:

    It was clear from the video that they expected no resistance of any kind and you can see that several of them appear to have some sort of non-lethal weapons no doubt to show the hippies who was boss as they cowered before them.

    Wait, all this bitching about Israeli brutality and you’re mocking that they didn’t come armed for bear against peace activists? Make up your mind!

    So when the shit hit the fan and they were getting chairs thrown at them and guys with clubs coming at them they had literally no plan other than to break out the lethal weapons and start gunning people down.

    So the only acceptable response for Israel is to let their soldiers get beaten to death?

    Fuck it, Civilians wielding weapons against armed soldiers lose any civilian protections at that point. They stopped being peace activists the moment they attacked and became illegal combatants.

  258. 258
    Michael says:

    @Dave:

    Thank you for pointing out that you’d laugh at the prospect of half a million dead Jews and almost two hundred thousand arabs.

    Who said dead? I’m talking about the natural consequences of conventional warfare.

    In any event, I’m running out of my supply of “give a shit” when it comes to Israel whining and acting like an entitled neighborhood bully.

  259. 259
    Ruckus says:

    @Michael:
    I ask if maybe the enemies might happen to be correct. If everybody hates you, it might not be about something wrong with the haters.

    Used to have a kid working for me that the other employees nicknamed “mad the the world”. Everyone was against him. Everything that happened was because everyone hated him. But he was one 20 year old boy, not a vocal, political party. I’m hoping he grew up, you know matured a bit, maybe even has gotten help with that, instead of continuing on with his insecurities and immaturity. I see parallels with the 20 yr old boy, the current politics in Israel, and the neocons. And the response is the same, GTFU.

  260. 260
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    But then again, we could try and at least confirm what the fuck really happened instead of trusting either side which have reputation for lying to everyone else.

    That would be kinda nice, but you still have to deal with the fact that there are a minimum of ten (10) dead protestors on the boat and zero (0) dead commandos. Apparently for people like Dave, we should be weeping over the injured commandos and ignoring the actual, you know, dead people because an injured Israeli is much, much more important than a lowly dead Palestianian.

  261. 261
    TenguPhule says:

    You are allowed to defend your vessel against pirates, state-sponsored or not, in international waters.

    Oh fuck this lying shit. This was not piracy. This was a probable Article 110 violation on Israel’s part which was then counter-broken by the activists when they attacked the Israeli forces.

  262. 262
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Fuck it, Civilians wielding weapons against armed soldiers lose any civilian protections at that point. They stopped being peace activists the moment they attacked and became illegal combatants.

    I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean. You might want to look them up.

    (Hint: there’s no such thing an an “illegal combatant” on a ship in international waters. The closest thing to that was the Israeli commandos who illegally raided the ship.)

  263. 263
    TenguPhule says:

    That would be kinda nice, but you still have to deal with the fact that there are a minimum of ten (10) dead protestors on the boat and zero (0) dead commandos.

    So the fact that we have six injured commandos instead of six dead commandos is not preferable to have six more beaten to death dead bodies?

    Peace activists cease to be peaceful when they attacked soldiers. Now apparently from the footage the Israelis were not gunning for a fight, they went in with paintball guns for fucks sake, whoever led the protesters into attacking them damn well should be facing criminal charges.

  264. 264
    LD50 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Civilians wielding weapons against armed soldiers lose any civilian protections at that point.

    Right, once those armed civilians stepped onto an Israeli ship, then they had what was coming to them! Oh wait…

  265. 265
    TenguPhule says:

    I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean.

    You don’t think at all.

    A civilian attacking a soldier in uniform is an illegal combatant who has forfeited the general protections of being a noncombatant.

    Yes, Israel *probably* is in Article 110 violation of UN Maritime law. But that in no shape or form excuses the behavior of the activists.

  266. 266
    TenguPhule says:

    Right, once those armed civilians stepped onto an Israeli ship, then they had what was coming to them! Oh wait…

    “The bitch deserved it for walking in that neighborhood!”

  267. 267
    kdaug says:

    None of this makes a goddamned bit of difference at this point.

    Wait for the next Turk convoy escorted by the Turkish navy. The president said it was coming.

    Then we can dance.

  268. 268
    TenguPhule says:

    Oh, and of course the IDF is going to “just happen” to find weapons on board.

    Yeah, it’s not like Hamas would try and smuggle weapons using humanitarian cover….Oh wait…

  269. 269
    TenguPhule says:

    Then we can dance.

    What could possibly go wrong? /sarcasm

  270. 270
    kdaug says:

    @TenguPhule: Well, Egypt can refuse to enforce the blockade – they’re under a shitload more pressure to do so today than yesterday.

    Opening up the Gaza Strip’s southwest border to the free flow of armaments could prove to be another interesting development.

    But, again, why the fuck is this our problem? More succinctly, why am I paying for it?

  271. 271

    @Mayken: I didn’t intend to criticize them so much as to point out how hard true non-violence is. But they have no chance against Israel if they resort to violence, so I think their choice, considered instrumentally (as I warned against), was foolish.

    @Dave: “St. Rachel of the Pancake” Your comment, sir, proves my point. You are so shamed by her courage that you must invent a nickname to dehumanize her and denigrate her example.

    @liberal: Of course I’ve heard of the Warsaw uprising. But that was not “a situation like this,” where there is a chance of long-term success only if the participants eschew violence. I will note, as full disclosure, that as a Quaker, I’m not sure violence is ever justified, but that Warsaw is a certainly a hard type of situation for me to deal with. I certainly can’t definitely say that I would not resort to violence under similar circumstances.

  272. 272
    joe from Lowell says:

    Armed men carrying out a hostile boarding of a ship in international waters are “attackers.”

    Those who grab nearby chairs and sticks to stop the invasion are not, by definition, attackers.

    Wake me up when the flotilla members try to board an Israeli ship – then we can talk about Israeli troops “defending themselves” after being “attacked.”

  273. 273
    Ruckus says:

    @Dave Trowbridge:
    As someone who struggled mightily over 40 years ago with the very issue that you bring up, non violence, and with the same group, I have to say I have learned a few things.
    1. Almost none of us know how we will actually react given any situation. We can train for many scenarios till they become rote reactions, but we still have a large level of uncertainty of what we will do. The more situtations we are in, iow, experience, the better idea we have of how we might react.
    2. This is the same either if we are reacting to an event or if we are causing the event.
    3. Most people are dynamic, what they will do depends on the situation, how much stress they are susceptible to, how much stress they have been under, what is their ability to handle stress. And it changes. What a person can handle for months/years might be way beyond their capacity at any given time.
    Being a pacifist is very hard work, very few people have the wherewithal, the stamina for it. That’s why violence is frequently the answer used, it’s what animals know, it works some times in the short term. And it’s why pacifism works in the long term, because it answers the situation, not bloodies it up. But it is the slow way, and in the face of overwhelming force usually fails in the short term.

    Do you honestly think this would have gone any differently if handled totally non violently? Do you really think chairs and sticks are a match for guns? (10 to none kill ratio) Do you think anyone would pay attention to a non violent reaction to an illegal assault?

  274. 274
    Patrick says:

    Those Palestine Arab Dogs got what was coming to them. They were breaking a fucking Blockade.

    Too bad more were not killed and the fucking ship sunk.

    You bastard leftists ought to ran out of the Country. siding with terrorists. Gah! Ought to be ran out on a rail.

  275. 275
    josephdietrich says:

    Obvious troll is obvious. Or simply stupid.

  276. 276
    henqiguai says:

    “Or simply stupid. ” You denigrate the stupid, sir.

  277. 277
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    I’m probably going to get myself banned with this, but I don’t give a shit.

    Dave, TenguPhule, Hugh, and any other apologists for piracy and murder who have showed up since: Fuck you sideways with a rusty chainsaw with a magnesium flare mounted on each end!

    Dave’s “St. Rachel of the Pancake” has to take the absolute prize for the most disgusting thing I’ve ever read on the internet (And I’m kind of surprised the rest of you have heard of her—I assumed our Lie-burul media ignored her murder altogether and we only heard about it because she was a local girl.)

    There is no fucking excuse in Hell for this entire situation. Dave, TenguPhule, Hugh: You’ve never heard of Irgun or the Stern Gang? In your world Menachem Begin didn’t blow up the King David Hotel? The so-called state of Israel was founded on terrorism. They managed to terrorise the British into withdrawing and allowing the invasion of Palestine by a foreign army, an invasion bankrolled by the United States, that has been maintained at the cost of many billions of dollars of American money for 62 years.

    Any people whose country is invaded and occupied has the absolute right to use any means available to them to end that occupation and throw the invaders out. There are no Israeli “civilians”—they are all front-line soldiers in an army of occupation, and therefore fair game.

    I can’t believe Dave brought up the fucking IRA like that does something for his argument. Fine—give the Palestinians 3/4 of their country back and move the Israelis to the West Bank and Gaza. If the Palestinians are still murdering people in 2100, supposedly fighting a war that they fucking won 90 years before, that’ll be plenty of time to call them as unreasonable as the fucking IRA.

    And don’t bring up the fucking Anti-Semitism crap. It was perfectly appropriate for the Jews to be indemnified with a country of their own for their suffering in the Holocaust, but Why. In. The. HELL. was this not at the expense of Germany? The Allies were busy carving up Germany at the time, why not give the Jews a slice? Why should some innocent third party have their country invaded, occupied, be scattered to the four winds, terrorized and murdered for complaining about it for 62 fucking years at OUR expense? Fuck the Israelis! They sowed the wind, let them reap the whirlwind. On their own dime!

  278. 278
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    Oh Good—a live one! Israel slaps an illegal blockade on Gaza, and this somehow gives them belligerent rights, but their victims…not. Gotta love the cognitive dissonance these apologists for the occupation of Palestine can absorb without their heads exploding.

  279. 279

    @Ruckus: yes, I do think that people “would pay attention to a non-violent reaction to an illegal assault.” As I said, that was a big part of the success of the Civil Rights movement. I think, if the video had shown the people on the boats resisting without violence, the flotilla’s cause would be that much stronger, especially if there had still been fatalities.

    Yes, the deaths will garner more attention in the short term, but as you yourself implied, pacifism requires patience.

    BTW, your point is well taken about the training needed to sustain a pacifist stance. It seems obvious that the flotilla members didn’t have that training, or forgot it under stress.

  280. 280
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    @Patrick: Will nobody show proper respect for the ancient and venerated tradition of the blockade? What next, will they make collective punishments illegal? Perish the thought!

  281. 281
    Hugh says:

    @Bullsmith:
    Uh, he wasn’t talking about the Israelis. But we have some nice parting gifts for you!

  282. 282
    Hugh says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    what part of embargo don’t you get, nub?

    From the early chanting through their reaction when the Israelis arrived, they made it clear that this was a PR stunt. And you are their useful idiot.

  283. 283
    M. Bouffant says:

    A civilian attacking a soldier in uniform is an illegal combatant who has forfeited the general protections of being a noncombatant.

    Any civilian attacking any soldier is a freedom-fighter. Indeed, here in the United States we have a Constitutional amendment that keeps soldiers out of the houses of decent people.

    Incidentally, it there are “useful idiots” involved, it would have to be the Israelis themselves.

  284. 284
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    @Hugh: If someone is baited into doing something stupid, it’s not the person who points it out who’s a useful idiot.

  285. 285

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    Any people whose country is invaded and occupied has the absolute right to use any means available to them to end that occupation and throw the invaders out. There are no Israeli “civilians”—they are all front-line soldiers in an army of occupation, and therefore fair game.

    Wow, that’s reasonable.

    Rarely do you find someone so willing to take the killing of women and children and justify it in this way.

  286. 286
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @Norman Rogers:

    So German “civilians” in occupied France, or Poland, or Norway, etc., etc., should have been strictly left alone by the resistance movements? Bullshit! Nobody asked them to bring “civilians” along. I hope at least you agree that anyone wearing a Wehrmacht uniform was fair game? Oh, of course you would. The Germans invading and occupying France was bad, but the Israelis invading and occupying Palestine was good, because…SHUT UP, THAT’S WHY!

  287. 287
    Celtic Tiger says:

    @scottinnj: @dmsilev:
    Palin? the whole Boehner family? Eric Cantor?

  288. 288
    Celtic Tiger says:

    @Norman Rogers:
    So, Norm, it is fair to assume that you are vocally opposing the killing of innocent men, women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan by drones and CIA assassins? Or are they not innocent because they’re 1) Muslim 2) stupid enough to live in a country we’ve invaded?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

Comments are closed.