Saturday, June 26, 2010

Best commentary on the firing of the general

From whoisioz:
On the other hand, I am glad to live in a world where the ongoing slaughter of civilians is a resume-builder but badmouthing the boss is a firing offense.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Right to Impose Collective Punishment

Collective punishment has a new name the "right of economic warfare" according to an article from McClatchy:

Israel imposed severe restrictions on Gaza in June 2007, after Hamas won elections and took control of the coastal enclave after winning elections there the previous year, and the government has long said that the aim of the blockade is to stem the flow of weapons to militants in Gaza.

Last week, after Israeli commandos killed nine volunteers on a Turkish-organized Gaza aid flotilla, Israel again said its aim was to stop the flow of terrorist arms into Gaza.

However, in response to a lawsuit by Gisha, an Israeli human rights group, the Israeli government explained the blockade as an exercise of the right of economic warfare.

"A country has the right to decide that it chooses not to engage in economic relations or to give economic assistance to the other party to the conflict, or that it wishes to operate using 'economic warfare,'" the government said.

The US State Department off the record said it didn't have anything to say. After three years of this:

Israel's blockade of Gaza includes a complex and ever-changing list of goods that are allowed in. Items such as cement or metal are barred because they can be used for military purposes, Israeli officials say.

According to figures published by Gisha in coordination with the United Nations, Israel allows in 25 percent of the goods it had permitted into Gaza before the Hamas takeover. In the years prior to the closure, Israel allowed an average of 10,400 trucks to enter Gaza with goods each month. Israel now allows approximately 2,500 trucks a month.

The figures show that Israel also has limited the goods allowed to enter Gaza to 40 types of items, while before June 2007 approximately 4,000 types of goods were listed as entering Gaza.

However, President Obama, eighteen months after taking office, says the situation is "unsustainable." So, everything is fine then.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lies, Damn Lies, and Israeli Statements

From Raw Story:

In what could be a serious blow to Israel's narrative on the killing of at least nine humanitarian activists making their way to Gaza through international waters, raw video by an Al Jazeera producer, who was filming during the raid, appears to provide evidence that the IDF opened fire on the flotilla even before boarding it.

Israeli forces assert they came under attack by the pro-Palestine civilian group, and video released by the IDF appears to show one soldier being tossed overboard amid a scuffle with unidentified individuals wielding melee weapons, like clubs and chairs.

However, in raw video captured by an Al Jazeera producer and published to YouTube late Monday, two journalists provide a play-by-play of the harrowing event as pops and cracks echo in the background. Even before the Israeli forces were aboard, one says, they were pelting the boat with tear gas and stun grenades, injuring numerous people.

Then he confirms the first death, saying the individual was killed by "munitions," but not specifying whether it was a bullet or something else. Then he confirms that Israeli forces were boarding the ship.

Another of the reporters featured in the video works for the Iranian network Press TV. "We are being hit by tear gas, stun grenades, we have navy ships on either side, helicopters overhead," he said. "We are being attacked from every single side. This is in international waters, not Israeli waters, not in the 68-mile exclusion zone. We are being attacked in international waters completely illegally."

"The organizers are telling me now, they are raising a white flag -- they are raising a white flag to the Israeli army," the Al Jazeera reporter said. "This is after one person has been killed; a civilian has been killed by munition. That number could be more ... Despite the white flag being raised, despite the white flag being raised, the Israeli army is still shooting, still firing live munitions."