Looks fair

September 2nd, 2011 at 4:24 pm by David Farrar

YNet reports:

UN’s Palmer Report says ’s blockade legal, slams ‘reckless’ violence of Turkish activists facing IDF soldiers; however, ’s deadly raid on vessel characterized as ‘excessive, unreasonable’

A long-anticipated United Nations report on Israel‘s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound ship in 2010 justifies Israel’s blockade of the Strip, but accuses the IDF of using “excessive and unreasonable” force to stop the vessel.

 The UN’s Palmer Report was first published by the New York Times Thursday evening. The full report is available here.

Addressing Israel’s Gaza blockade, the UN’s Palmer Report notes that the Jewish state “faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza.”

“The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law,” the report says.

The UN panel noted that Israeli forces who boarded the Mavi Marmara in order to prevent it from breaching the blockade faced “organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers,” adding that the violence required the IDF to use force.

I thought that Sir Geoffrey would do a fair job, and without having read the full report, it looks like he did.

The summary that the blockade was legal, that the passengers were armed and violent but that the Israelis used excessive force in responding is pretty much what I expected would be the situation.

Sadly is rejecting the recommended settlement.

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149 Responses to “Looks fair”

  1. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    No need to thank me. Just passing on the news as it happens :-)

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  2. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    Just had a quick skim of the report. My thoughts would be — first of all trying to win the United Nations approval is a hopeless task for Israel. The United Nations has many countries that will not be appeased as far as Israel is concerned.

    However the report does maintain the blockade is valid and gives reasons for it. That at least is sensible.

    I think the problem is in the idea that the Israeli commandos used excessive force. It appears that the landing party was met with force and according to the report over half a dozen of the soldiers were injured, some receiving gunshot wounds. Remember that these are commandos, not police officers. So what would you expect? These are soldiers who tried to use minimum force — some were injured, some were overpowered and captured. I would expect they would start shooting. These are soldiers after all — they are trained to fight and trained to use lethal force.

    To me the onus was on those on the ship to not resist the commandos. By violently resisting the commandos to me they received the consequences which a reasonable person would expect.

    Now I use the word “reasonable person” to specifically exclude some of the bloggers who I have no doubt will soon be commenting — particularly Luc Hansen — who as far as Israel is concerned is incapable of being reasonable.

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  3. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Gee Scott, only 9 were killed, what would have happened if excessive force had been used?

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  4. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @Scott “To me the onus was on those on the ship to not resist the commandos. By violently resisting the commandos to me they received the consequences which a reasonable person would expect. Now I use the word “reasonable person” to specifically exclude some of the bloggers who I have no doubt will soon be commenting — particularly Luc Hansen — who as far as Israel is concerned is incapable of being reasonable.”

    Touche.

    Sir GP’s report appears reasonable – fault can be found on both sides. But when it comes to the question of causation – had the protesters not tried to send arms to Hamas directly through a blockade, the Israelis would not have boarded the ship in the first place.

    The outcome was totally predictable and an ‘action replay’ can be expected if there is another similar attempt by the placard wavers.

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  5. KH (695 comments) says:

    it’s all the fault of those naughty people from Gaza.
    Steal their land. Lock up a million people inside a small area.
    Surround it with a wall. Withhold opportunity of economic activity.
    Bomb them and shell them occasionally to show who boss.
    And they get ungrateful. What bad people them.

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  6. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I haven’t seen the report. Did it resolve the conflicting stories about whether the flotilla was carrying any arms?

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  7. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “it’s all the fault of those naughty people from Gaza.”

    KH nailed it!

    its also the fault of the pathetic jew hating left.

    fuck em. they shoulda used more force.

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  8. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    No comment yet from Luc. She who must be obeyed must have arrived home from work.

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  9. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    it’s all the fault of those naughty people from Gaza.
    Steal their land. Lock up a million people inside a small area.

    Israel stole none of Gaza. They in fact gave away parts of it which they had claim over, if not unquestioned ownership.

    The response? Thousands of rockets aimed at the very nation that gave them their territory.

    So Israel closed the border.

    If Gaza wants peace, they simply need to be peaceful.

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  10. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    “No satisfactory explanation has been provided to the Panel by Israel for any
    of the nine deaths. Forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were
    shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range has not been
    adequately accounted for in the material presented by Israel.”

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  11. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    To rephrase what I’ve said before: if this was a peace flotilla, then so is the IDF navy.

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  12. KH (695 comments) says:

    Yep Scrubone. Those people from Gaza just don’t know when to be grateful. Lock them up in the worlds biggest prison and they don’t like it. What are they thinking?

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  13. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    “Israel’s decision to board the vessels with such substantial force at a great
    distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior
    to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable:”

    “Israeli Defense Forces personnel faced significant, organized and violent
    resistance from a group of passengers when they boarded the Mavi Marmara
    requiring them to use force for their own protection.”

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  14. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    KH, when was Gaza stolen from the Palestinians?

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  15. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Elaycee – “had the protesters not tried to send arms to Hamas directly through a blockade, the Israelis would not have boarded the ship in the first place.”

    You made this up. Stick to the facts.

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  16. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    KH: I never said they should be happy.

    I do however expect them to understand that their own actions lead to their situation.

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  17. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    Who really gives a shit so long as NZ taxpayers money wasn’t used in the trough called the UN and by any of its functionaries.
    Oh wait a minute.

    UN, Clark, Palmer et al.

    These troughs never end.
    Mind you sooner later troughs get lids and then get called coffins.

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  18. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Stick to the facts.

    Ok. A ship tried to run a legitimate blockade, and was stopped by the IDF.

    Thanks in part to the fact that the IDF were stupid enough to believe their claims they were a peace flotilla, several passengers on that ship were shot after they resisted with violence.

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  19. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Scott Chris – “You made this up. Stick to the facts”…

    OK. This good enough?

    According to THE PALMER REPORT (read Item 70, 71 etc, starting on page 39). The same PALMER REPORT also says:

    Israel has faced and continues to face a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza. Rockets, missiles and mortar bombs have been launched from Gaza towards Israel since 2001. More than 5,000 were fired between 2005 and January 2009, when the naval blockade was imposed. Hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians live in the range of these attacks. As their effectiveness has increased, some rockets are now capable of reaching Tel Aviv. Since 2001 such attacks have caused more than 25 deaths and hundreds of injuries. The enormity of the psychological toll on the affected population cannot be underestimated. In addition, there have been substantial material losses. The purpose of these acts of violence, which have been repeatedly condemned by the international community, has been to do damage to the population of Israel. It seems obvious enough that stopping these violent acts was a necessary step for Israel to take in order to protect its people and to defend itself.

    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/world/Palmer-Committee-Final-report.pdf

    Enough facts for you now?

    And no, I didn’t make it up – I leave that tactic for the likes of you. Now STFU.

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  20. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Scrubone – “Ok. A ship tried to run a legitimate blockade, and was stopped by the IDF.”

    Yup, and the IDF made the……:

    “…..decision to board the vessels with such substantial force at a great
    distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior
    to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable”

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  21. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    Let’s not forget that the ship in question in fact was smuggling guns, and that armed soldiers responding to a ship knowingly running a blockage were attacked.

    Regardless of arguments over Israel’s right to exist, etc etc, it is outrageous that Israel has taken so much heat over this. The gun runners got exactly what Israel said they would get and what any blockade running ship that attacks the armed soldiers that respond should expect.

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  22. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    TV News has just opened with the report that it was ” excessive “..
    Nothing about their actions being legal..

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  23. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Elaycee – “And no, I didn’t make it up – I leave that tactic for the likes of you. Now STFU.”

    Yes you did. You claim:

    “had the protesters not tried to send arms to Hamas directly through a blockade”

    which is made up. I’m not discussing Israel’s right to stop the flotilla, which is legitimate according to the report.

    You are aware of what ‘facts’ are I assume Elaycee? They involve you not making them up.

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  24. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    ben – “Let’s not forget that the ship in question in fact was smuggling guns”

    You just made that up. Stick to the facts.

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  25. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    @ben: “the ship in question in fact was smuggling guns” Really? As far as I’m aware no evidence has shown this. The soldiers were attacked upon them trying to board the vessel after they’d already shot two members on the ship.

    All this is in the report.

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  26. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    It’s good to see a report out of the UN on Israel which doesn’t portray them as complete scum of the earth for once. Considering the UN is renownedly anti-Israel generally, Israel can chalk this one up as a victory I think.

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  27. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    @leftyliberal:

    Picking the eyes out of the document to suit yourself, eh? The Turks allege that the Israelis fired from the helicopters prior to boarding. But they would, wouldn’t they?

    The report does not come to that conclusion, as far as I can see. (see para 129 on page 60)

    So, are you misrepresenting the report for your own ends? Otherwise, what pages are you working from?

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  28. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    Lock them up in the worlds biggest prison and they don’t like it. What are they thinking?

    KH, sorry but that’s complete crap.

    Where do you get the idea that Gaza is a cramped dusty hole? The Left? Or is that how you prefer to think of it as being like?

    Gaza is more like a luxury resort with “Luxury Hotels, 5-Star Restaurants, Exclusive Private Clubs (if you can wrangle an invitation) Equestrian Facilities and Sports Clubs, Water Parks with Olympic Size Pools, Upscale Shopping Malls, Beautiful Beaches, Luxury Rental Cars, and much more!”

    Go HERE to see the photos.

    Oh yeh, they’re really badly off…

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  29. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth”

    Joseph Goebbels
    =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

    Godwin boundary ^^^^^^^

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  30. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    FE Smith: Correct regarding the allegations of shots being fired prior to boarding being of Turkish origin. I should certainly have noted that in my post. Thanks for clearing it up.

    It does not alter my point, however: There is no evidence of any weapons being found among the flotilla, therefore the claims of the ships being a peaceful protest appear substantiated.

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  31. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    leftyliberal,

    fair play on the amendment to your point, but you are not quite correct when you say no weapons were found among the flotilla.  What you mean, I think, is that no weapons bound for Gaza were on the flotilla.  

    There were definitely weapons in the possession of participants of the flotilla.

    Indeed, those photos are from the Mavi Marmara, no less.

    EDIT: FWIW, one of those knives looks seriously cool.

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  32. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    lefty liberal, looks like they had plenty to hand to use as weapons….

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  33. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    FE Smith: Yep – the Israelis cite “flares, rods, axes, knives, tear gas, gas masks, protective vests and night-vision goggles” as being on board the flotilla (item 50, pp 30). I’m sure, given some of the participants, that some of them were intended to be used as weapons, and indeed some of them may have been used as such.

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  34. KH (695 comments) says:

    …….Fletch @ 6.18 says about Gaza. “Gaza is more like a luxury resort with “Luxury Hotels, 5-Star Restaurants, Exclusive Private Clubs (if you can wrangle an invitation) Equestrian Facilities and Sports Clubs, Water Parks with Olympic Size Pools, Upscale Shopping Malls, Beautiful Beaches, Luxury Rental Cars, and much more!”………
    Well of course. That’s my point too. Fletch you are clever. Those naughty Gaza people are so ungrateful.
    Lets kick em off and go and live there. Coming Fletch ?

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  35. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    scott chris – the comment “had the protesters not tried to send arms to Hamas directly through a blockade” is factually correct.

    “The Israeli military said that in addition to medical aid and construction materials, they found knives, clubs, slingshots, bulletproof vests, gas masks, and night vision goggles aboard the Mavi Marmara. A statement released by the Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel claimed that violence against the soldiers was pre-planned, and that “light weaponry” was found on the ships, including pistols that had been seized from IDF commandos. Israel stated that the naval forces “found weapons prepared in advance and used against our forces.” IDF photos displayed daggers, kitchen and pocket knives, metal and wooden poles, flares, wrenches and slingshots with marble projectiles said to have been used against the soldiers. The activists were said to have also lobbed stun grenades at IDF soldiers, and the IDF furnished video reflecting this”.

    And best you look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvS9PXZ3RWM

    You may want to read this too: http://idfspokesperson.com/2010/05/31/weapons-found-on-the-flotilla-ship-mavi-marmara-used-by-activists-against-idf-soldiers-31-may-2010/

    And this: http://idfspokesperson.com/2010/05/31/pictures-of-weapons-found-on-the-mavi-marmara-flotilla-ship-31-may-2010/

    And just in case you think that Hamas is nice and innocent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCSnqY-HH5c

    Oh, and best read the report…. it may clear the fog for you.

    Because my original comment was accurate.

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  36. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    KH,

    are we getting an answer re when Israel stole Gaza off the Palestinians?

    Options are:

    1947 – the actual partition plan by the UN? or

    1948 – The invasion of Israel by Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the Muslim Brotherhood!!!; or

    1949 – The re-drawn boundaries agreed to by the nations involved in the war under the terms of the 1949 Armistice, which left Gaza in Egyptian hands and the West Bank in Jordanian hands); or

    1967 – Six Day War (noting again that Gaza was then part of Egypt and the West Bank was a part of Jordan, neither controlled by the ‘Palestinians’ and with no move by either country to set up a Palestinian state.); or
    1993 – When it was agreed that the territory would be handed over to the PLO under the Oslo Accords.?

    Or another that I might have missed?

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  37. kiwi in america (2,452 comments) says:

    Luc – where are you? Time you put Sir Geoffrey right.

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  38. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    F E Smith – accuses lefty of “Picking the eyes out of the document to suit yourself”

    Then makes this assertion:

    “There were definitely weapons in the possession of participants of the flotilla.”

    based on a link to photos courtesy of one of the protagonists. (IDF)

    Hardly objective.

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  39. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Scott,

    are you saying the photographs are fake?

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  40. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    Elaycee: In order to show that your statement is factually correct, you need to show that the knives etc. found on board the ship were destined for Hamas. I’m sure you’ll agree that arguing that Hamas would receive significant benefit from the kitchen knife and stick collection found is not particularly compelling. I’m sure there’s an ample supply of kitchen knives to be found in the 5 star hotels of Gaza that Fletch refers to ;)

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  41. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    ps, also Judge Goldstone, who prepared a report about the conflict in Gaza in 2008 for the UN, has pretty much reversed his opinion of it.

    The judge who chaired the controversial UN inquiry into Israel’s attack on Gaza from December 2008 has expressed regret that his report may have been inaccurate.

    Richard Goldstone, who led the committee that produced the Goldstone report, said in a newspaper article that “if I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone report would have been a very different document”.

    The judge’s article was welcomed by Israeli leaders. Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, told ministers on Sunday: “There are very few incidents in which false accusations are taken back, and this is the case with the Goldstone report.”

    He said that Israel would now try to get the report retracted by the UN.

    The Gaza War, which the Israeli army called Operation Cast Lead, began in December 2008 and lasted for three weeks.

    MORE

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  42. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    "kitchen knife and stick collection"

    Just a small downplaying of what was found on the ship…..

    Love the gas masks, by the way.  What were they for?

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  43. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    We are discussing the findings of the official UN Palmer Report, not any old rubbish you have trawled on the net to reassure yourself that your point of view represents absolute truth.

    As I read it:

    Israel were legally entitled under international law to stop the flotilla.

    A few members of the flotilla party resisted the Israeli boarding.

    The Israelis used excessive force, killed 9 protesters without reasonable explanation.

    My opinion? Typical OTT Israeli reaction causing more harm than necessary, and perpetuating the conflict due to their bone-headed heavy handedness.

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  44. JC (956 comments) says:

    Lets just have a think about this report..

    This is perhaps the fairest modern document from the UN regarding Israel.. and it took a New Zealand ex PM to do it!

    Easily the most significant part of the report is that Israel’s blockade is legal.. that kills about 90% of the lefty arguments, and the other 10% is Israel’s right to intercede the convoy is upheld (one argument logically following from the other).

    The report was finished several months ago, and in the fashion of such UN documents was sent to the parties for comment and bargaining. Although I have to call this speculation we know that with such matters involving Israel it gives a little, say 10%, and the anti-semites take 90%.. and the amended report then apportions 90% of the blame to Israel.

    It didn’t happen this time..

    I’ve little time for Palmer.. mainly because he is a sanctimonious bugger, but this time the anti-semites found a man who could neither be bribed or threatened and prepared to go just a small way to label Israel’s retaliation as “excessive”.

    Time Magazine.. you have your “Person Of The Year”

    JC

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  45. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    kia asked “Luc – where are you?”

    If she who must be obeyed catches him commenting on Kiwiblog again, it might end in divorce.

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  46. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    “Scott – are you saying the photographs are fake?”

    Nope. I’m saying that in any court of law, this ‘evidence’ would be inadmissible, and yet you, a Lawyer, choose to use this as evidence to support your political outlook.

    Having just accused another of bias. Rich.

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  47. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    Rodders

    He’ll be trying to build up brownie points with SWMBO tonight.

    Saturday evening is bath night & nookie night.

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  48. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Scott,

    “I’m saying that in any court of law, this ‘evidence’ would be inadmissible,”

    Wrong. And as a lawyer, I am, as you point out, particularly able to comment on that statement. So:

    We use photos taken by parties to proceedings all the time in cases. Most photographs used in criminal cases are taken by the police, the government agency that is bringing the prosecution, and they are very admissible. As well, I have had clients of mine introduce as evidence photographs they themselves have taken. There is no rule of law that says photographs have to be taken by a third, or an objective/independent, party to be admissible. What is important is that they can be shown to be accurate.

    In this case, and to my knowledge, the accuracy of these photographs are not disputed. Indeed, you accept they accurately depict what they allege to depict. So there is no bias involved at all in this.

    It is your assertion that is, in fact, ‘rich’.

    Which is a pity, because you have been, for the most part, correct on the facts; I disagree with your interpretation, however.

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  49. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I’m here, KIA. Thank you and the other kind souls above for asking.

    I haven’t read the report so I can’t comment much on it, yet.

    By the time I get around to it it will probably be past the current news cycle, but we’ll see.

    But I would like to make a couple of points in passing, if only to keep you all amused.

    With regard to F E Smith’s challenge on Israel stealing Gaza, the original post from KH read:

    it’s all the fault of those naughty people from Gaza.
    Steal their land…

    I don’t recall the exact figures offhand, but the majority of Palestinians in Gaza are registered as refugees from what is now Israel.

    In addition, the people of Gaza were part of Historic Palestine so stealing, say, Jaffa from Palestinians is similar to the Aussies, say, landing and occupying Huntly. I’m sure we would all say they have stolen Huntly (and we would probably have some idea of how Maori felt/feel!).

    Also, in the sense that Gaza remains occupied by Israel, according to all authoritative sources (outside Israel, of course), Palestinians who lived in Gaza before 1948 could consider their land stolen, anyway. Israel maintains tight control over the area, more than enough to be regarded as an occupiying force.

    So while a literalist interpretation of a cry from the heart may be convenient, it is insufficient to convey the whole picture, that is, the truth.

    And as regards the Mavi Maramara weapons saga, the photos shown by the IDF (and I’m assuming they are the ones that have long been in the public domain) have been long discredited. For example, the supposed molotov cocktail was in fact a discarded drip which had actually been in use (held up by twine) in the immediate aftermath of the attack. The knives, if from the ship, are kitchen and rope knives – a ship needs these for everyday purposes.

    When it became apparent that the ship was to come under attack in international waters, after the captain had altered course away from Gaza, and without prior warning, naturally the passengers sought to defend themselves. Especially the Turks. Turks always fight, as Kiwis well know.

    I strongly recommend visitors to view the first two videos in the link below of the attack by the IDF as viewed from and on the ship. Smuggling the film past the IDF was a miracle in itself.

    http://www.culturesofresistance.org/watch-more-videos

    Finally, it is certainly a topsy turvy world when a well armed and highly trained force descending on a civilian ship in international waters is considered to be the victim!

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  50. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    So, Luc’s answer to my question is (A) the 1947 Partition.

    Luc, tell me something we don’t know about your abhorrent views on Israel and the Jews. Oh, hold on, don’t; I am just not interested!

    With regards the knives, I don’t care what you say but that big curved one is unlike any I have seen used on a boat before!

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  51. reid (16,457 comments) says:

    Although I have to call this speculation we know that with such matters involving Israel it gives a little, say 10%, and the anti-semites take 90%.. and the amended report then apportions 90% of the blame to Israel.

    JC your description of [in fact the majority of people worldwide] who aren’t Israel-firsters as anti-Semites not once but twice in your 7:24 gives the game away re: what’s happening insida your head.

    People who use language as you do, seem incapable of considering the other side. Why the hey is that?

    What IMO people should do is imagine if the people of Israel weren’t actually the very same thing as the govt of Israel and look at the govt’s actions in that light.

    Would they then see a thug, or would they then see an angel?

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  52. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    FE Smith

    Okay I was wrong about the photos being inadmissible.

    However, do you believe that a photo taken by one protagonist in a dispute, unsupervised by an objective party, constitutes reasonable proof of the culpability of the other party, if that other party disputes the veracity of the photo?

    Furthermore, even if these weapons were aboard, do they amount to what is commonly considered to be “smuggled arms”, for the purpose of effectively aiding Hamas’ armed resistance?

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  53. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Scott Chris says: “We are discussing the findings of the official UN Palmer Report, not any old rubbish you have trawled on the net to reassure yourself that your point of view represents absolute truth”.

    Bollocks – you suggested I was telling porkies when I used the words “had the protesters not tried to send arms to Hamas directly through a blockade.” So I’ve provided you with more than enough evidence that my statement was correct. So stop being disingenuous.

    But I think we can agree that Israel was within its rights to impose the blockage and (using your words) OTT when ‘causing more harm than necessary’ when dealing with resistance when they boarded the flotilla.

    But the root cause was the decision [by the flotilla] to try and break the blockade.

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  54. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Scott,

    Sure, why shouldn’t it? If there is a dispute, provide proof to the contrary. EDIT: that is what we have to do in NZ Courts.

    With regards to your second question: No, I agree with you that arms were not being smuggled for Hamas (or any other terrorist group) on that particular flotilla. The weapons aboard the Mavi Marmara were there solely to use against IDF forces in the event that there was a physical attempt to apprehend the ship.

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  55. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    F E Smith

    I concede that it is not beyond the realms of possibility that 9 Turks were on board the flotilla with the objective of provoking their own martyrdom.

    But what cause would provoke such rage and sacrifice? To them, a just cause.

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  56. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Scott,

    accepted. But what may seem to one person to be a just cause may still be wrong. Or, even if the cause is just, the method may be wrong.

    But I doubt they the deceased went aboard with the object of provoking their own martyrdom. I suspect a number of the participants were there to provoke violence if the IDF boarded the ship, with ‘martyrdom’ a possible and accepted possibility.

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  57. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @F E Smith

    “But I doubt they the deceased went aboard with the object of provoking their own martyrdom.”
    Uhmmm…..
    The following is the transcript from Al-Jazeera TV:
    Reporter: “Despite the Israeli threats and several unexpected delays, the arrival of the ships at the meeting point before sailing to the Gaza Strip inflamed the emotions and the enthusiasm of the participants.”
    Visuals from Gaza flotilla ship of young Muslims shouting Islamic battle chant invoking the killing and defeat of Jews in battle:
    “[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews!
    The army of Muhammad will return!”
    (Khaibar is the name of last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad’s army and it marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia in 628.)
    Reporter: “While singing songs reminiscent of the Palestinian Intifada (Palestinian terror war against Israel, 2000 – 2005), participants expressed their longing to reach Gaza.”
    A participant: “Right now we face one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza.” [Based on Islamic call before battle: "Either victory or Martyrdom".]
    [Al-Jazeera TV, May 29, 2010]…

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  58. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    I don’t recall the exact figures offhand, but the majority of Palestinians in Gaza are registered as refugees from what is now Israel.

    I don’t recall the exact figures offhand either, but the majority of those refugees from what is now Israel went to Israel because they were promised free land when the Jews were wiped off the face of the earth.

    Also, in the sense that Gaza remains occupied by Israel, according to all authoritative sources (outside Israel, of course),

    Gaza remains occupied by Israel, according to all propaganda sources that disagree with Israel. The facts on the ground are that there are no Isralei solders in Gaza and the people of Gaza are welcome to be peaceful or wage war. They chose war – even as Israel makes massive sacrifices to offer peace.

    Palestinians who lived in Gaza before 1948 could consider their land stolen, anyway. Israel maintains tight control over the area, more than enough to be regarded as an occupiying force.

    Gaza remains belligerent towards Israel, more than enough to be regarded as a hostile territory.

    When it became apparent that the ship was to come under attack in international waters, after the captain had altered course away from Gaza, and without prior warning, naturally the passengers sought to defend themselves. Especially the Turks. Turks always fight, as Kiwis well know.

    The ship was traveling to Gaza for the expressed and open purpose of breaching the blockade, which this report makes clear was legal. So the ship did not come under attack, it was boarded because it did not stop when lawfully ordered to. There was sufficient warning since all other boats in the flotilla did in fact stop.

    The passengers had no right, not to mention no reason whatsoever to defend themselves. They made an attack on solders that they themselves had provoked.

    Finally, if Turks always fight, then they should have been kept off what was claimed to be a peace flotilla.

    Finally, it is certainly a topsy turvy world when a well armed and highly trained force descending on a civilian ship in international waters is considered to be the victim!

    It is an even more topsy turvy world when people claim to be the victims when they went out of their way to break the law.

    It wasn’t a civilian ship, it was the lead ship

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  59. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Other_Andy

    Good research. So, if you were an Israeli official charged with the responsibility of finding the best resolution to this flotilla incident, surely a softly softly approach using a tug boat or two would have brought about a better political result for Israel?

    No martyrs, kudos from the international community for Israeli restraint.

    Instead, we got bone-headed one dimensional foreign policy, which played right into the martyrs hands.

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  60. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    Luc, sorry, but there is no such thing as a specific historical land called “Palestine” or “Palestinians”. ‘Palestine’ was the name given to that whole area by the Romans – even Jews were know as Palestinians before 1948. It would be like calling a New Zealander an ‘Antipodean’. There is no such culture, people, or language – it’s just a generic term. The same goes for “Palestinian”.

    There is no Palestinian history, culture, or language, in direct contrast to the Jews. Take a look at this map of the area from 1926 – have a look at the small maps around the edges – ‘Palestine’ at lower right (1250 – 1125 B.C). Do you see any area specifically labelled ‘Palestine’? That’s because the whole area is called that. But it shows where the 12 tribes of Israel settled. The map lower left also shows the dominions of David and Solomon – the Jews have always owned this land.

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  61. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    “kudos from the international community for Israeli restraint.”

    Would never happen, regardless of what they did.

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  62. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @Scott
    I am glad I am not faced with those decisions.
    On a daily basis, they have to deal with people who have been fed on a steady diet of hate and celebrate death and violence.
    The Mavi Marmara is a 93 meter, 4,142 GT (gross tonnage) ship. You can’t just push it away. Even if this is possible, where do you push it? Push it back, lock the prop, leave it at sea and let them draw out the whole saga?
    Even if you were able to push it all the way to an Israeli port (To be able to tow it you will have to board it to attach a line), you will still have to board it in the end.
    Let’s face it, a group of people on board wanted to turn it into a violent confrontation, kill or be killed. No matter what the Israelis would have done, there wa always going to be a violent confrontation.

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  63. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    “…..a recent book by a Sefik Dinc, a Turkish journalist who records that the ship carried no humanitarian aid, but had on board a large number of Islamist activists spoiling for martyrdom. Dinc’s first-hand testimony and photographs show definitively that violent, heavily armed men set upon and viciously beat Israeli soldiers who had come on board to check for weapons.”

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/ruth-dudley-edwards/ruth-dudley-edwards-gazabound-vessel-really-a-ship-of-fools-2806080.html

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  64. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    With regards the knives, I don’t care what you say but that big curved one is unlike any I have seen used on a boat before!

    I guess that’s case closed, then. Personal experience trumps all!

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  65. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    So, Luc’s answer to my question is (A) the 1947 Partition.

    Actually, my answer was none of the above.

    Is this a courtroom tactic, FE, of inventing the answer that suits you.

    I wrote, and I will write it again very slowly so you can understand it slowly, that the “they stole our land” refers to the eviction of Palestinians from what is now Israel.

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  66. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Luc, tell me something we don’t know about your abhorrent views on Israel and the Jews.

    My attitude to Jews is the same as that to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians etc: I believe in freedom of religion and freedom of no religion. End of story.

    On Israel, it is simply that both sides should abide by UN resolutions, of which the most relevant to a settlement is UNGA242. It’s not my fault that Israel continually flouts international law and persecutes its indigenous peoples, and I object to any nation that does, including New Zealand.

    If you read my posts on Maori issues, no doubt you would call my views abhorrent to European New Zealanders. To be consistent, you would have to!

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  67. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    # Rodders (1,263) Says:
    September 2nd, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    kia asked “Luc – where are you?”

    If she who must be obeyed catches him commenting on Kiwiblog again, it might end in divorce.

    It’s OK Rodders, I’m off the leash :-)

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  68. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I don’t recall the exact figures offhand either, but the majority of those refugees from what is now Israel went to Israel because they were promised free land when the Jews were wiped off the face of the earth.

    Hmm, I’m not sure how to respond to that, other than, you are sorely mistaken, my friend. But let me start with recommending a couple of Israeli historians, Benny Morris and Tom Segev. And throw in Ilan Pappe for good measure. Just check your library catalogue. It’s never too late to learn.

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  69. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Fletch (2,024) Says:
    September 2nd, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Luc, sorry, but there is no such thing as a specific historical land called “Palestine” or “Palestinians”.

    Yes, that point is often presented as some kind of slam dunk. It’s off topic as regards the report, but never mind, I’m sure people won’t object.

    This line of argument is disingenuous, to say the least. It takes advantage of lack of knowledge of world affairs before modern nation states arose.

    As a general rule, so I am informed by reputable historians, the Romans did not invent names for the areas they conquered, they Romanised the local name. If you look at your map, you will see an area defined by natural borders: the Red Sea, the Jordan river and the Litani river. This has been known as Palestine/Filastin for a very, very long time. Since the Philistine occupation, perhaps.

    I suggest here, for you, the book “The Bible Unearthed,” by Israel Finkelstein. Yes, another Israeli. There is not much point in presenting a Palestinian historian to you, is there? But you could look up Nur Musalha, if you are brave enough. Or Rashid Khalidi. But now I’m being provocative!

    Anyway, Israel (the man, not the country) will take you through the archeological record of the populating of Palestine, including how the biblical record shapes up to the reality, a study he concludes with this: “Although these stories (in the Bible) may have been based on certain historical kernels, they primarily reflect the ideology and the world view of the writers” (of the Bible).

    Palestine has never been a state in the modern sense, because it has always been occupied by one or other of a long succession of great powers, such was its strategic value, but it has its indigenous people. Modern law recognises the claim of indigenous peoples. Palestinians are recognised as the the indigenous people of that area.

    Palestinians should have been granted their own state after WWI, but that’s the way it goes. Since we cannot pile injustice upon injustice, the two state solution is the best we can offer, and is one an overwhelming majority of Palestinians, including everybody’s favourite bogeyman, Hamas, accepts.

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  70. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Let’s face it, a group of people on board wanted to turn it into a violent confrontation, kill or be killed. No matter what the Israelis would have done, there wa always going to be a violent confrontation.

    http://www.culturesofresistance.org/watch-more-videos

    Watch.

    Courage, mon ami!

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  71. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    Luc, I presume you wait until you hear SWMBO snoring (then you tiptoe along to the computer room) :)

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  72. tom hunter (4,843 comments) says:

    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.

    Sir Winston Churchill

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  73. Nigel (514 comments) says:

    The law of unintended consequences. Back in 2000 Turkey/Israel were very close, Turkey was secular & Israel had a very strong ally in a volatile part of the World, basically the two most powerful militaries in the region, best mates, that was good for a lot of people.
    The Iraq invasion changed Turkey, pushing it on a path that finds it at best a little less secular, a massively less powerful military in political terms & post the the report no significant diplomatic relationship with Israel.
    Would all of this happened were it not for the Iraq war, possibly, Netanyahu is one very abrasive leader & the EU’s insincere courtship of Turkey for membership was not good, but I believe the core event that started the decline was the Iraq war & what changes that made to Turkish public opinion ( due to it’s affects on Trade/Kurd/Religion ) with the consequential implications for political leadership / military political influence.
    The real loser in all this is Israel, it’s incredibly isolated now diplomatically & that is most definitely not a good thing.

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  74. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    This was always going to be a fit up as the UN was calling the shots and they are not impartial towards Israel.

    The IDF behaved impeccably, they should have sunk the boats just inside the 12 mile limit after hailing them for 10 miles.
    Instead they boarded them armed with paintball guns.

    Sir Geoff should be ashamed of himself, he’s not a jurist anymore but a political whore doing his hirers bidding.
    If the flotilla was acting illegally against a legal blockade then the sovereign state has the right to exercise her actions against them and that would include sinking the ships.
    That they didn’t says everything for Israel and against the UN and it’s report.

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  75. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    For once I am with Israel on this. These arms traffickers sailed into Israel’s blockage. They prepared themselves by being ready to fight. To say Israel used excessive force is pedantic. They simply were not sufficiently prepared to fight the highly trained troops that Israel deployed. I feel sorry for the unarmed citizens which I assume where the focus of criticism lies. But these arms traffickers were asking for trouble and they got it.

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  76. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    Come on tvb, a few kitchen knives, sticks, tools and gas masks == arms trafficking?

    Yes, some on board were likely prepared for the boarding and violence ensued. That some of the bodies ended up with several bullets, some of them in their backs suggests that the IDF is not blameless. There were several things the IDF did wrong, and the report to it’s credit states them clearly with suggestions for how it should be handled should something similar occur in the future.

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  77. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I think there are a few facts that are clear:
    1. The blockade was, and is, legal under international law
    2. The flotilla was not trying to smuggle arms
    3. The Israelis had the right to intercept the flotilla
    4. When faced with resistance, the IDF used excessive force, killing nine people

    While the flotilla members are not completely innocent, in that they sought a confrontation, the outcome was clearly disproportionate compared to what was necessary to stop the flotilla.

    The rest of the extraneous comments on this thread re Gaza, refugees, Palestine etc, etc is just the usual entrenched positions with which we are already so familiar.

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  78. tom hunter (4,843 comments) says:

    As someone said above, the really key point in the report is that the Israeli blockade is legitimate and complies with International Law. If one goes back to the KB threads around this subject at the time it occurred you’ll see that there’s an awful lot of tub-thumping about the “illegal” blockade.

    Of course one of the pieces of information that has rarely been referred to – even though it was right in front of people’s faces – is that Gaza could never have been put under a blockade without the help of the evil Jewish state of Egypt, which just happens to also have a border with Gaza. If you do know that, and you also know that Muhbarak is gone, then you’ll also know that the Eygpt-Gaza border has since turned into a sieve. As a result I doubt we’ll see many more “peace” flotillas, since Hamas will focus more on acquiring better weapons than indulging in such symbolism.

    It’s rather like the endless talk about Haiti that I heard 30 years ago, which made the place sound like a singular island. To hear the talk one would never have guessed that it shares an island with the nation of the Dominican Republic. Of course, once you know that – together with the very similar history they share (Spanish colony, fights with the French, US occupation, various dictatorial thugs) – you might start asking questions about how two countries sharing the same island and history, could be so different. But that would break the narrative of Western Evil.

    Same here. In the early 00’s it was an article of faith with left-wingers that Israel’s control of the Gaza Strip would never be ended by Israel. The settlers who were on that land and the soldiers who protected them were there to steadily take over the place, just like the West Bank. “Trade Land For Peace” was the demand: do that and the beginnings of a two-state solution could be seen, with the same thing eventually being done with the West Bank. Again judging from various blog threads and articles at the time, these demands were made with no confidence that they would be met. The Jews would continue to be intransigent about such a thing since they were controlled by Zionist fanatics like Sharron.

    Then, amazingly, the Israelis pulled out, even using their IDF soldiers to physically remove Jewish settlers: fights were common and it caused a lot of anger throughout the country. But Sharron stuck with it and traded land for peace.

    And what has been the result? No let up in the demands to trade even more land for peace. A rapid takeover of the place by Hamas as they slaughtered members of the PLO, and promptly turned it into a base for firing countless rockets into Israel.

    But perhaps most importantly of all, no let up in the demonisation of Israel. To listen to the outrage nowadays you’d almost think that Israel had never obliged the requests to withdraw settlers and soldiers from Gaza. In order to give this hatred some cover the claims are made that Israel still “effectively” occupies the place, the naval blockade being just one example. Cute! Apparently they’re not only supposed to withdraw they’re supposed to just sit there and watch the place get turned into a giant weapons dump.

    Of course the result in Israel itself has been the collapse of the peace movement, whose support has dwindled enormously. Even people who used to believe in “land for peace” now have no confidence in it. They shrug their shoulders, believing that repeating the Gaza exercise elsewhere would simply lead to the same results. Given what they have had to live with who can blame them? But in the West, where the results of such demands do not have to be endured, the whole debate is given the memory hole treatment.

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  79. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    Palestinians should have been granted their own state after WWI, but that’s the way it goes.

    They were in 1948, but chose not to accept it. If you look at history, in 1948 the UN formulated a partition plan for two states in Palestine – one Jewish, one Arab. If you look at the site HERE, you can see the map of how it would have been divided up evenly between both, with Jerusalem being under international administration. The Jews accepted this plan – the Arabs did not.

    The newly created United Nations approved the UN Partition Plan (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181) on November 29, 1947, dividing the country into two states, one Arab and one Jewish. Jerusalem was to be designated an international city – a corpus separatum – administered by the UN to avoid conflict over its status. The Jewish community accepted the plan, but the Arab League and Arab Higher Committee rejected it. On December 1, 1947 the Arab Higher Committee proclaimed a 3-day strike, and Arab bands began attacking Jewish targets. Civil war began with the Jews initially on the defensive but gradually moving into offence. The Palestinian-Arab economy collapsed and 250,000 Palestinian-Arabs fled or were expelled.

    On May 14, 1948, the day before the end of the British Mandate, the Jewish Agency proclaimed independence, naming the country Israel. The following day five Arab countries – Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq –invaded Israel, launching the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Morocco, Sudan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia also sent troops to assist the invaders. After a year of fighting, a ceasefire was declared and temporary borders, known as the Green Line, were established. Jordan annexed what became known as the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip. Israel was admitted as a member of the United Nations on May 11, 1949.

    I know nothing is simple, but the map looks pretty much split 50/50 to me. The Arabs rejected it and 5 countries attacked Israel with help of troops from four other countries. Israel won and the rest is history. Of course, these countries also attacked Israel in 1956, 1967 and 1973 and lost again, but they will keep on trying…

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  80. hubbers (139 comments) says:

    Is quoting Ynet on the subject of the State of Israel murdering people the equivalent of asking the unions about labour reform??

    People are always going to struggle with gunning down people with sticks. Regardless of who holds the guns and who holds the sticks.

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  81. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    ps –

    Gaza was taken by Israel when they won the Six Day Way in 1967. Israel was willing to trade land captured in a defensive war for peace, as it eventually did with the Egyptians and Jordanians, but neither the Palestinians nor the Syrians have been willing to offer peace in exchange for land, as required by Security Council Resolution 242.

    Almost immediately upon prevailing over the Arab armies that had pledged and planned to annihilate Israel, the Israeli government agreed to comply with Resolution 242 of the U.N. Security Council, which for the first time in history ordered a nation to return territories lawfully captured in a defensive war. But it ordered this only as part of an overall peace agreement recognizing Israel’s right to “live in security.” This is what 242 provided:

    [The Security Council] (1) Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both of the following prin¬ciples: (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.3 [emphasis added]

    Note that the resolution does not require Israeli withdrawal from all the territories, only “territories,” thus contemplating some territorial adjustments of the kind proposed by Israel at Camp David and Taba in 2000.

    The elimination of the definite article the was an explicit compromise engineered by the United States in order to permit the reten¬tion by Israel of territories necessary to assure secure boundaries.
    Israel immediately accepted the principles of Resolution 242. Accord¬ing to Morris, “The Israeli government hoped to convert its stunning military victory into a political achievement: the conquered territories could be traded for peace.”4 Moshe Dayan, who was then defense minister, was quoted as saying that he was “waiting for a telephone call from King Hussein” to discuss an exchange of land for peace.5 The call did not come until many years later, by which time Hussein had renounced all claim to the West Bank in favor of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

    On June 19, 1967, the Israeli cabinet decided that Israel would “give up Sinai and the Golan in exchange for peace” with Egypt and Syria, writes Morris.6 “Within days both Egypt and Syria had rejected the overture.”7
    As we shall see, Israel has, in fact, implemented the operative principles of Resolution 242 by eventually returning all the captured territory sought by Egypt when Egypt terminated all claims of belligerency against it. Israel also returned land claimed by Jordan as part of the peace agreement with the Hashemite Kingdom. Finally, it offered to turn over to the Palestinian Authority nearly all of the remaining territory captured from Jordan in exchange for peace, but the Palestinians rejected this offer made at Camp David and Taba as recently as 2000, and instead resorted to increased terrorism.
    The major Arab states, along with the Palestinian leadership, on the other hand, categorically rejected the principles of Resolution 242 in 1967 because it required making peace with Israel, which they adamantly refused to do. At a summit in Khartoum, Arab leaders issued their noto¬rious “three no’s” statement: “No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel.” The Palestinians responded to the Israeli peace offer based on its acceptance of Resolution 242 by adopting the Palestinian National Charter, which expressly denied Israel’s right to exist and pledged to continue “armed struggle” as the only way to liberate all of Palestine.

    So you see, the Palestinians could have had that land back if they had sued for peace but they didn’t want to. They rather want Israel destroyed. In the end, Israel gave Gaza back in 2005 as part of the ‘roadmap to peace’, but all they got were more rockets fired from Gaza at them in return.

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  82. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    All the borders in that region are illegitimate, they were drawn up by the British and not by the citizens, consequently disputes will endure until the people have their say, which is occurring right now.(Arab Spring).
    For defence purposes, a standard emergency flare gun can drop a chopper at short range if hit in the right spot. It’s better than sticks.

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  83. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Fletch – “In the end, Israel gave Gaza back in 2005 as part of the ‘roadmap to peace’, but all they got were more rockets fired from Gaza at them in return.”

    As of December 2010, 327,750 Israelis live in the 121 officially-recognised settlements in the West Bank, 192,000 Israelis live in settlements in East Jerusalem and over 20,000 live in settlements in the Golan Heights.

    Step 1 Zionists go home.
    Step 2 Violent resistance to cease.
    Step 3 Withdraw to pre 1967 borders in compliance with UN resolution 242. Peace keepers move in to secure borders.
    Step 4 Palestinian and Israeli statehood formalized and recognized by each country.
    Step 5 Peace treaty signed.

    If this solution is the same as how events are projected to turn out anyway, then why not just do it now?

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  84. KH (695 comments) says:

    My eyes have been lifted. My thanks to all the knowledge gained from the posts above.
    1. Gaza is a paradise. Those naughty Gaza people have been keeping that info from us.
    2. Everybody who lives there is a local and always has been. There are no refugees there.
    3. The idea of palestine is a myth. And there are no such things as palestinians I suppose.
    Maybe those Gaza people fire rockets to keep people away from their exclusive country clubs. Do you think that’s it ??

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  85. kiwi in america (2,452 comments) says:

    I tried finding Palmer’s report on the UN’s website and no joy. Given Palmer’s political background and the long held hostility that many in the UN have towards Israel, I think these findings are about as good as they get.

    Much has been made by left leaning posters on this thread who are less sympathetic to Israel about whether the Mavi Marmara had weapons on board intended for Gaza. This is a red herring. The crucial point is that the IDF had intercepted ships heading to Gaza that DID have weapons on board intended for Hamas or Hezbollah http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_ntbPB_Ur8 OR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbCUDyZE2r0. The threat of such clandestine shipments led the IDF to declare that any ships bound for Gaza would run the risk of an Israeli Navy interception to prevent such arms shipments. In the case of the Mavi Marmara they indicated their public intent to run the blockade. For their to be outrage that the IDF actually carried out its very publicly stated threat to board vessels bound for Gaza beggars belief and to that extent the UN report seems to be unequivocal in stating the legality of the Israeli action.

    The second separate issue is that of disproportionate force. The video footage that Other Andy linked made it clear that some activists on board the vessel fully planned and anticipated a violent confrontation. I did view the link that Luc provided filmed I would guess in true Pallywood fashion to show that at least on one side of this ship, the side that the pro Palestinian activists seem to have reasonable control over, they were able to stage manage their reaction for the most favourable interpretation of any incidents. I have no doubt that some of the passengers on board had no intention to be violent and were less interested in a fight with the IDF however, the IDF footage doesn’t lie – its boarding commandos were viciously attacked – hardly the actions of benign peace activists. The actions of the violent few overshadowed the peaceful intentions of the rest of the passengers. The IDF were caught short in that they likely did not anticipate such a response and the worst that can be said is that a few soldiers felt their lives and the lives of colleagues were in sufficient danger as to warrant firing.

    I imagine that the IDF have learned a lot from this incident. The boarding of blockade running vessels will be handled with greater care and wariness with perhaps a 2nd crew at a distance ready to fire tear gas at the first sign of any violence. Nothwithstanding the threats of various new flotillas, it would appear that this incident has somewhat cooled the ardour of the Wadestown/Georgetown (DC)/Sloan Sq activist set in becoming part of ‘peaceful’ protests. The Turks have quietly ramped down their anti Israeli rhetoric.

    All in all, and I didn’t believe I’d ever say this about the UN, this UN involvement may actually do some good for a change.

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  86. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    KH, you still haven’t answered my question.  Luc’s answer, it seems from his drunken ramblings, was not (A), as I surmised, but in fact (F) Those Jews Don’t Deserve A State So All Israel Is Therefore Stolen.
    But we expect that from Kiwiblog’s resident Anti-Semite.

    What about you?  When was Gaza stolen from the Palestinians?

    And, just so you know, the concept of the Palestinian is a 20th century one.  Prior to it gaining political importance they were considered to be Palestinian Arabs.  The Jews living there were Palestinian Jews.  Indeed, there is no specific ethnicity there, they are still Arabs of a sort, just that it is convenient to label them Palestinians for political purposes.  So, technically, you could also describe the Jews resident in Israel as Palestinian.  If you wanted to.

    EDIT: Oh, and those Palestinians fire rockets and mortars into Israel with the aim of murdering Israelis. They celebrate when a fellow Palestinian cuts the throat of babe in arms. They celebrate when fellow Palestinians murder school children driving in a car with their parents. The unwillingness to negotiate peace, and their determination to murder Jews, is what is unreasonable here.

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  87. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Do you have any evidence that Luc is an anti-semite, or does his temerity in challenging the Israeli version automatically make him so?

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  88. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    KH, there are only “refugees” because the other Arab countries want there to be refugees. It suits them that way. Those oil-rich countries could take them in if they wanted. Israel had to take in refugees when the Jews were expelled from the other Arab countries.

    Scott, in 2005 Israel still dismantled 21 settlements in Gaza and uprooted 8000 Israeli’s. And what did they get for it? Increased rocket fire. That is to say nothing of the deal that Arafat turned down in the Camp David talks in 2000, which would have given them 95% of what they were asking for. Arafat was offered a state with its capital in Jerusalem, control over the Temple Mount, a return of approximately 95 percent of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip, and a $30 billion compensation package for the 1948 refugees. Yet he turned it down.

    How do I know? Because Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan was there to help broker the deal. Elsa Walsh interviewed him for the New Yorker –

    Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, who was serving as an intermediary among the parties, urged Arafat to “take this deal.” Could you ever get “a better deal”? he asked. Would you rather negotiate with Sharon? As Arafat vacillated, Bandar issued a stern warning: “I hope you remember, sir, what I told you. If we lose this opportunity, it is going to be a crime.”

    He did, and it was…

    Read the original article PDF’d HERE

    So, I am of the opinion that there is nothing one could offer the Palestinians where they would be satisfied, apart from the complete destruction of Israel. Their victim status is a much more useful weapon, wielded by both themselves and the liberal progressive media against Israel.


    In March 1977, Zahir Muhsein, an executive member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), said in an interview to the Dutch newspaper Trouw: “The ‘Palestinian people’ does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel.”

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  89. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    By the way, if the members of the Gaza ‘Peace’ Flotilla travelling on the Mavi Marmara had been in NZ at the time, there would no doubt have been charges of Assault with intent to Cause Grievous Bodily Harm and probably also Attempted Murder laid against them. To attack soldiers descending from helicopters with IRON BARS and KNIVES, to wrench the gun off one and start to use it, to throw one soldier off one deck and on to a lower deck, to stab some of them, all before the IDF soldiers began to shoot? Yeah, that is real peaceful like.

    In fact, the intent of the peace mission can probably be summed up best in the response to instructions from the IDF to turn around:   "Shut up. Go back to Auschwitz,"

    Of course, they were just helping the Palestinians, weren’t they?  Well, maybe or maybe not – "We’re helping the Arabs go against the US, don’t forget 9/11 guys", a
    man said later on during the radio exchange.

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  90. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    Bigger snippet from new Yorker article –

    On January 2, 2001, Bandar picked up Arafat at Andrews Air Force Base and reviewed the plan with him. Did he think he could get a better deal? Bandar asked. Did he prefer Sharon to Barak? he continued, referring to the upcoming election in Israel. Of course not, Arafat replied. Barak’s negotiators were doves, Bandar went on, and said, “Since 1948, every time we’ve had something on the table we say no. Then we say yes. When we say yes, it’s not on the table anymore. Then we have to deal with something less. Isn’t it about time we say yes?” Bandar added, “We’ve always said to the Americans, ‘Our red line is Jerusalem. You get us a deal that’s O.K. on Jerusalem and we’re going, too.’ ”

    Arafat said that he understood, but still Bandar issued something of an ultimatum: “Let me tell you one more time. You have only two choices. Either you take this deal or we go to war. If you take this deal, we will all throw our weight behind you. If you don’t take this deal, do you think anybody will go to war for you?” Arafat was silent. Bandar continued, “Let’s start with the big country, Egypt. You think Egypt will go to war with you?” Arafat had had his problems with Egypt, too. No, he said. “I’ll prove it to you, just to confirm,” Bandar went on. Bandar called the Egyptian Ambassador. Bandar reported that the Egyptian Ambassador, who was to join them shortly, was willing to support the peace process. “Is Jordan going to go to war? Syria go to war? So, Mr. Arafat, what are you losing?”

    When Nabil Fahmy, the Egyptian Ambassador, joined them, at the Ritz-Carlton, Bandar repeated much of his advice. Arafat said that he would accept Clinton’s proposal, with one condition: he wanted Saudi Arabia and Egypt to give him political cover and support. Bandar and Fahmy assured him that they would, and Arafat left for the White House.

    Arafat was supposed to return to Bandar’s house after his meeting with Clinton and, with the Egyptian Ambassador present, call the Crown Prince and President Mubarak. After three hours, when Arafat still hadn’t shown up, the Egyptian Ambassador told Bandar that something must have gone wrong. Bandar, too, was worried and called Arafat’s security detail. Arafat had left the White House twenty minutes earlier, he was told, and was back at the Ritz. When Bandar called, Arafat said that he needed to talk to him at once. George Tenet, the C.I.A. director, was on his way to the hotel to discuss the plan, and Arafat was then supposed to return to the White House. Bandar, accompanied by the Egyptian Ambassador, hurried to the Ritz.

    Arafat said that the meeting with Clinton had been “excellent,” but Bandar did not believe him; he thought that Arafat’s staff looked as if they had just come from a funeral. The Egyptian Ambassador later privately remarked that Arafat looked dead. Bandar asked Arafat if he wanted to talk to the Crown Prince or President Mubarak. No, Arafat replied. He said that he’d had a great time with the President, but the meeting had turned sour when Dennis Ross joined them. Yet, he went on, he and Clinton were in agreement. Bandar, concealing his disbelief, said that was good news. Soon after this exchange, Bandar got a note from a security officer, which said, “Urgent. Call the President.” In the corridor, Bandar called the White House and reached Berger.

    “Congratulations,” Bandar said, loudly and sarcastically, for he knew by then that the talks had failed. On what? Berger asked. “Arafat is telling me you guys have a deal.” Not true, Berger said, adding that he and Clinton had made it clear to Arafat that this was his last chance. Please, Berger said, tell Arafat that this is it. “It’s too late,” Bandar recalls saying. “That should have happened with the White House, not with me.” (A spokesman for Clinton recalled, “At one point, Clinton said, ‘It’s five minutes to twelve, Mr. Chairman, and you are going to lose the best and maybe the only opportunity that your people will have to solve this problem on satisfactory grounds by not being able to make a decision.’ . . . The Israelis accepted. They said they had reservations and Arafat never accepted.”)

    Bandar believed that the White House had hurt its cause by not pressing an ultimatum. Arafat, though, was committing a crime against the Palestinians – in fact, against the entire region. If it weren’t so serious, Bandar thought, it would be a comedy. He returned to Arafat’s room and sat down, trying to remember: “Make your words soft and sweet.” Bandar began, “Mr. President, I want to be sure now. You’re telling me you struck a deal?” When Arafat said it was so, Bandar, still hiding his fury, offered his congratulations. His wife and children were waiting for him in Aspen, he said, and he wanted to go. Bandar could see the life draining out of Arafat. He started to leave, then turned around. “I hope you remember, sir, what I told you. If we lose this opportunity, it is not going to be a tragedy. This is going to be a crime.” When Bandar looked at Arafat’s staff, their faces showed incredulity.

    The next evening, a White House spokesman said that Arafat had agreed to accept Clinton’s proposals, with reservations, only as the basis for new talks. Arafat said later that he had not been offered as much as had been described. When Bandar told all this to the Crown Prince, Abdullah was surprised, particularly about the offer on Jerusalem. A few months later, Abdullah asked Clinton, who was visiting Saudi Arabia, whether Bandar’s description of the offer was correct. Clinton confirmed Bandar’s details, and said that the failure of these last negotiations had broken his heart. Later still, the Crown Prince told Bandar he was shocked that Arafat had wasted such an opportunity, and that he had lied to him about the American offer. Bandar told associates that it was an open secret within the Arab world that Arafat was not truthful. But Arafat had them trapped: they couldn’t separate the cause from the man, because if you attacked the man you attacked the cause. “Clinton, the bastard, really tried his best,” Bandar told me last week when we met at his house in McLean. “And Barak’s position was so avant-garde that it was equal to Prime Minister Rabin” – Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in November, 1995. “It broke my heart that Arafat did not take that offer.”

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  91. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    milkmilo says: “Do you have any evidence that Luc is an anti-semite, or does his temerity in challenging the Israeli version automatically make him so?”

    C’mon – as you are a prolific poster on KB, you would (I assume) read a lot of the posts. If you looked at Luc’s ‘contributions’ you would be aware of his prejudices and biases very clearly – after all, almost every single post from Luc is based on his usual myopic meme.

    Stop trolling…

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  92. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    So, no evidence then.

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  93. tom hunter (4,843 comments) says:

    Back in 2000 Turkey/Israel were very close, Turkey was secular & Israel had a very strong ally in a volatile part of the World, basically the two most powerful militaries in the region, best mates, that was good for a lot of people.
    The Iraq invasion changed Turkey, pushing it on a path that finds it at best a little less secular, a massively less powerful military in political terms & post the the report no significant diplomatic relationship with Israel.
    Would all of this happened were it not for the Iraq war, possibly, Netanyahu is one very abrasive leader & the EU’s insincere courtship of Turkey for membership was not good, but I believe the core event that started the decline was the Iraq war & what changes that made to Turkish public opinion.

    That’s actually a great example in this thread of the classic Western outlook of the last few decades, which can be summarised as The Devil Made Them Do It. In other words, the primary driver is always what “we” did, we being the West (including Israel). The people concerned – whether Palestinians, Turks or North Koreans, don’t actually operate and act of their own volition, it’s always primarily a response to our actions.

    In fact there was an event in Turkey that preceded the Iraq war and far outweighed it, or any Israeli actions, in sliding Turkey towards the Islamist world; the election in 2002 that saw the AKP party take control of Parliament. Besides the facts on the ground in Turkey, If one is going to blame things like the Iraq War or Israel actions of the last ten years, you should be prepared to supply some explanation of why earlier such events did not lead to such things in Turkey. There are plenty to choose from: the various Israeli wars and the Gulf War being not the least of them.

    And if you want to talk about “abrasive” leaders of Israel perhaps you should take a look at this incident from the 2009 Davos forum. The AKP leader and Turkish PM, Erdogan, ripped into the Israeli President, Peres: “when it comes to killing, you know well how to kill.” Peres gave it right back to Erdogan, accusing Erdogan of ignoring the long history of Arab violence against Israel, causing Erdogan to storm off the stage. I don’t think anybody has described Peres as “abrasive” in the manner of Netanyahu. In case anybody would have any doubts about Erdogan’s internal impulses regarding Jews, note that as he accused them of deliberately targeting and killing little children, he also called on Turkish people to learn how to make money – like Jews do.

    At best the SOB is yelling fire in a crowded theatre. Do you really think that such things are minor factors in what is happening to Turkey or that such things would not have become actionable anyway. Why does the “trigger” of external forces count for more when they’re Western than when they’re Iranian or Saudi theological forces?

    No – this is down to the AKP party, who kept their Islamic aspect very quiet up to the 2002 election and even a little way beyond – constantly dismissing such claims as the shouting of nasty people who’d supported the various military coups over the decades. The AKP played it very slowly and carefully for several years.

    And if you do want to insist on a Western factor in all this, you might consider this angle, which can be argued as either action or inaction:>/a>

    But even if the AKP’s rise to power was eminently predictable, its ability to consolidate its control over just about every organ of governance in Turkey as well as what was once a thriving free press, and change completely Turkey’s strategic posture in just seven years was far from inevitable. For these accomplishments the AKP owes a debt of gratitude to both the Bush and Obama administrations, as well as to the EU.

    The Bush administration ignored the warnings of secular Turkish leaders in the country’s media, military and diplomatic corps that Erdogan was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Rather than pay attention to his past attempts to undermine Turkey’s secular, pro-Western character and treat him with a modicum of suspicion, after the AKP electoral victory in 2002 the Bush administration upheld the AKP and Erdogan as paragons of Islamist moderation and proof positive that the US and the West have no problem with political Islam. Erdogan’s softly peddled but remorselessly consolidated Islamism was embraced by senior American officials intent on reducing democracy to a synonym for elections rather than acknowledging that democracy is only meaningful as a system of laws and practices that engender liberal egalitarianism.

    Even on the verge of the 2007 elections you could read articles like this and this, which explained the background of the AKP rise, the failure of the opposition parties, the role of corruption, expressed concern about the AKP’s true intentions, but remained hopeful.

    To understand better what is going on, let me tell you about my former student and friend who I will call Mehmet. When I was teaching at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Mehmet was the leader of the Islamic student union. One day I wasn’t feeling well. “Take good care of yourself,” Mehmet joked. “If anything happens to you they’ll blame me.”

    After graduating he went to work for one of the top AKP leaders. One day he asked if he could visit me in Israel. When he visited, he had a wonderful time, fascinated with the Israeli system of a state that combined secularism and religious tradition in a unique way. Before he left, Mehmet told me that his goal was to make Turkey like Israel.

    I doubt whether many AKP leaders would put it that way. In fact, a professor friend of mine-who calls herself a secularist feminist following the ideology of Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish republic-said of Mehmet jokingly, “When the Islamists take over he’ll be one of the first ones they shoot.” But it does reveal the fact that Turkey has three choices.

    However, since their big win in the 2007 elections they’ve felt less need to hide under the cloak, Erdogans statements being merely the leading example. That election effectively gave them the power to select the next President, next military commander and stack the courts with friendly (Islamist?) judges. By 2009 even the WaPo wasn’t kidding itself any more:

    After six years of AKP rule, the people of Turkey are less free and less equal, as various news and other reports on media freedom and gender equality show. In April 2007, for instance, the AKP passed an Internet law that has led to a ban on YouTube, making Turkey the only European country to shut down access to the popular site. On the U.N. Development Program’s gender-empowerment index, Turkey has slipped to 90th from 63rd in 2002, the year the AKP came to power, putting it behind even Saudi Arabia. It is difficult to take seriously the AKP’s claim to be a liberal party when Saudi women are considered more politically, economically and socially empowered than Turkish women….

    But Erdogan’s recent anti-Israeli statements — he even suggested that God would punish Israel — have made normal relations a thing of the past. On Jan. 4, 200,000 Turks turned out in freezing rain in Istanbul to wish death to Israel; on Jan. 7, an Israeli girls’ volleyball team was attacked by a Turkish audience chanting, “Muslim policemen, bring us the Jews, so we can slaughter them.”

    Organised protests aside, as far as opinion polls can tell the Turkish people aren’t that big on the whole deal, even the likely 30% of voters that are the AKP core support. But so what, there are plenty of examples of political parties that pushed far beyond the bounds of their electoral claims and their core base. How many 1984 Labour voters can (or ever could) say that what happened later was what they voted for?

    At least they don’t blame National for what happened – much.

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  94. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    MM, Elaycee told you what you need to do. Don’t pretend that our not presenting the evidence to you on a plate means there is no evidence. Just go and read Luc’s ravings from days past. Last years bile, especially.

    But don’t expect us to do it for you.

    EDIT: Well said, Tom Hunter. The biggest cause of the change in the Turkey/Israel relationship is not Israel’s or the West’s actions, but the election of a proto-Islamist to power in Erdogan. His rule has seen a sea-change in Turkey, including a real power struggle with the Army to try to nullify that body’s historic role in keeping the Turkish government secular.

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  95. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Anti-semitism is a fairly serious charge to make. I’ve read a lot of Luc’s comments and don’t find them to be anti-semitic. In the same way that criticising Treaty claims etc does not make one a racist, criticising Israel does not necessarily make one an anti-semite. The accusation tends to be just a deflection from actual argument.

    According to FE Smith I could go back through Luc’s comments and find the evidence he is unable to present. Well, I don’t think accusations work like that. To use the legal analogies he is so fond of; should the party prosecuting the charge present the evidence?

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  96. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    MM, we aren’t making an accusation, nor are you a jury. We are making a statement of fact. We don’t care what you think about the issue, your questioning does not change what is clearly fact. Therefore we need prove nothing.

    Nice try, though.

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  97. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Assertion of a fact does not make it so. Not caring whether I agree does not necessarily make your position correct.

    I should have thought that if Luc was so obviously anti-semitic that it would be easy to demonstrate that ‘fact’. Seems not.

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  98. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    milkmilo: if you seriously can’t see the obvious, then it can only be put down to myopia.

    Or just being a troll…

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  99. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    MM, there is a difference between ‘cannot’ and ‘will not’.

    We ‘will not’ because we cannot be bothered justifying our position for you.

    Just because you ask does not mean we have to comply. As Elaycee said, you are trolling.

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  100. tom hunter (4,843 comments) says:

    Do you have any evidence that Luc is an anti-semite,

    Given that it’s the mikenmild standard of debate – which is to say, one-sentence questions that make no definition of what standard of expression would count as anti-semitism – perhaps I should await such.

    However, since the next millenium is approaching I think I’ll just leave you with this:

    JB, who said Israelis are at peace? War is in their DNA.

    Case closed for me, but I’m sure mikenmild would willingly engage entire teams of Jesuits to parse that statement or perhaps dismiss it as tongue in cheek – or something, anything but what it so obviously is.

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  101. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Fletch – My guess is that Arafat didn’t have a mandate from the various Palestinian factions to accept the 2000 Camp David solution to peace, as it still involved ceding land in the West Bank in exchange for Israeli territory to Zionist settlers. The other sticking point then, as it is now, is the descendants’ of displaced Israeli Arab refugees right of return to Israel.

    The thing I keep banging on about, is that the Israeli hard line ’10 eyes for 1′ eye policy in response to Hamas resistance makes it politically impossible for the Palestinian factions to even agree to stop rocket attacks, let alone sign any peace agreements. The Israelis on the other hand have an educated and disciplined army who would show restraint if ordered to do so.

    That is why I feel the onus is on the Israelis to show the way, as they began to do so with the 2005 Gaza withdrawal, as they are the only side who actually have the power to change the course of this conflict for the better.

    As far as any lasting solution is concerned, because the original State Of Israel was arbitrarily imposed on Palestine by the League Of Nations, it is up to the succeeding world authority, the UN, to arbitrarily impose the conditions for the territorial borders of the dual states that they deem fair in light of recent history, and the nearest thing we have to that is Resolution 242, plus compensation for the descendants of the Arab refugees.

    The power is in Israel and the UN’s and the USA’s hands to create peace. Mahmood Abbas and Hammas are powerless to make change. Their only option is resistance. Perhaps Israel are satisfied with this state of affairs.

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  102. tom hunter (4,843 comments) says:

    As an update to my previous comment I should say that there are critics of Israeli policies and actions that I do not consider Jew-haters (I rather dislike the term anti-Semite, given that there are non-Jewish Semitic peoples). Commentators on this blog including Dim, Pyscho Milt, and Cha, have issued very tough critiques of Israel over the years, but I’ve detected nothing in their comments that even hinted at the usual aspects of Jew hatred.

    Similarly there is at least one frequent right-wing commentator here who exhibits the same sort of traditional Jewphobia, to a greater degree than Luc as it happens, though slightly better disguised.

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  103. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Can one be pro Palestinian without being anti-Semitic. I say yes. Luc Hansen’s position, as I read it, is that the State Of Israel was instituted without a valid moral mandate, and her right to exist was arbitrarily imposed on those who lived in the region prior to 1947 United Nations decision to partition Palestine.

    This isn’t racist, it’s logical, but like a lot of idealism, it isn’t practical. Pro-Zionists toss the ‘anti-Semite’ epithet like confetti.

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  104. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    “Similarly there is at least one frequent right-wing commentator here who exhibits the same sort of traditional Jewphobia, to a greater degree than Luc as it happens, though slightly better disguised.”

    I’m inclined to agree that believers in Jewish conspiracy theories are more likely to be genuinely anti-Semitic.

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  105. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    Just send a warning shot next time and then sink the ship.
    sod the UN.

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  106. The Gantt Guy (30 comments) says:

    Yep, a warning shot right through the middle of the hull, at water level.

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  107. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    milkmilo asked: “Gee Scott, only 9 were killed, what would have happened if excessive force had been used?”

    Fleet sunk…. No survivors…

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  108. kowtow (8,475 comments) says:

    Looks fair but it isn’t ,it’s typical UN diplomacy.
    The Israeli commanddoes were entitled to protect themselves from a murderous mob intent on extreme violence.

    The Turks don’t like the report.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/09/2011927226423902.html

    These Turks are not to be trusted despite the best efforts of the political elites and the MSM to paint a nice picture of a secular ,benign country they are Islamist and illegally occupy European territory*(north Cyprus). They bomb northern Iraq with impunity and oppress domestic religous and ethnic minorities.

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  109. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Scott,

    of course the UN had a moral mandate to establish the state of Israel. Most of the free world at that time agreed that there was a moral mandate, especially after half of Europe had participated in trying to exterminate European Jewry.

    What they didn’t have was Arab agreement. But, given the fact that the Mufti of Jerusalem, one of the pre-eminent Arab leaders (and one who actively defined Arabs in Palestine as ‘Palestinians’) was a Nazi collaborater and an active proponent of the Holocaust, that is not suprising. Arguing with Luc is a waste of time, because Luc will never accept that there should be such a State as Israel. 

    Simple, really.

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  110. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    F E Smith – “especially after half of Europe had participated in trying to exterminate European Jewry.”

    Using that reasoning, surely it would have been more appropriate to have annexed Bavaria to use as recompense, rather than simply dispossess the Palestinian Arabs. That is what strikes me as being so unfair, and had I been living in the former Palestine and displaced by imperial decree, I would feel implacably aggrieved.

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  111. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Well, one third of the population of Palestine was already Jewish by that time, while most of the European Jews were dead. Moreover, their had historically been Jews resident in Palestine on pretty much continual basis and there was that whole ‘they used to live here’ thing (which Luc hates/denies as well).

    Of course, the demographics would have been different had the Ottomans not tried to wipe out the Armenians 30 years earlier.

    But I think you miss the point. The partition in no way deprived the Arabs of land in their ownership. It addressed government.

    EDIT: And don’t forget that they weren’t self-governing at that time anyway, so nobody was taking anything off them. They just didn’t want to live in a land with Jews.

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  112. DJP6-25 (1,387 comments) says:

    Scott 4:52. Good summation.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  113. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    Hell I’ll have to reassess you Lord Birkenhead. You are actually sticking up for people you can’t claim legal aid for! :)

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  114. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Palestine as defined by the 1920 Franco-British boundary agreement (modern Israel plus the West Bank):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine

    In 1900 population about 600,000 of whom 94% were Arabs.

    In 1914 population about 797,000 of whom 92% were Arabs.

    In 1948 population about 1,900,000, of whom 68% were Arabs, and 32% were Jews.

    Zionist movement’s emigration began in the late 19th century, comprised mainly of Ashkenazi Jews. Palestine was then little bigger than Northland.

    It’s not as if the land was empty before the Israelis moved in. Bit like New Zealand, but one tenth the size, and more recent.

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  115. kiwi in america (2,452 comments) says:

    mikenmild
    A good clue to Luc’s anti semitism is to examine his core beliefs on Israel and its ancient history, the literature he invariably turns to for his sources and the obsession that is his blog. He is an avowed Palestinian apologist – all his posts here and on his own blog are for that intent indeed he can and will hijack almost any thread with the plight of Palestinians and the naughtiness of Israel. The historical sources he cites to deny the reality of thousands of years of archeologically verifiable Jewish history in Palestine are the ancient history versions of Holocaust denial. When challenged to produce the land deeds that proved the loudly claimed pre 1948 Palestinian ownership of the vast majority of Israel he linked to a pretty looking pro Palestinian produced map of villages that was really an easy to read visual geographical summation of their claims that were utterly and completely unverifiable and were not even close to legal proof of ownership – kind of like how certain Maori tribes overlapped claims on disputed land claiming it was THEIR iwi’s because well someone said so.

    It is one thing to dispute the recent history such as using the Stern Gang’s antics as proof the entire IDF is evil and cruel and to believe the exaggerations of the Jenin incursions or to close your eyes to the use of civilians and their apartment blocks in which they live by Hezbollah and Hamas to stash and fire weapons, its a whole other category of the anti Israel line to pretend that the Jews have made up the whole ancestral homeland thing. Only the most venal and true believing Jew hating Arabs believe that but that’s where Luc is at I’m afraid.

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  116. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    kia – “The historical sources he cites to deny the reality of thousands of years of archeologically verifiable Jewish history in Palestine”

    The region between Egypt, Syria and Arabia has been controlled and settled by numerous different peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Ancient Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Sunni Arab Caliphate, the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mameluks, Ottomans, the British and modern Israelis and Palestinians.

    Modern archaeologists and historians of the region refer to their field of study as Syro-Palestinian archaeology.

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  117. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    I’ve posted this before, but here’s KISS rocker Gene Simmons (who is actually Israeli, born to a holocaust survivor), saying that Obama doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about when he says that Israel should go back to it’s 1967 borders, and that Obama needs to grow up and has no “f*ckin idea what the world is like”… too true… He also says that the UN is “the most pathetic body on the face of the planet” – also true…

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  118. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    Scott Chris –

    Mark Twain describes the land as very empty on his adventures…

    Also, Benny Morris and others say that the Arabs contributed to the “refugee problem” by telling Arabs to leave so the army could come in.

    —snip—

    Morris, who is harshly critical of traditional Israeli history with regard to the refugee issue, summarizes the problem caused by the Palestinian and Pan-Arab attack: “The Palestinian Refugee problem was born of war, not by design. . . . The Arab leadership inside and outside Palestine probably helped precipitate the exodus. . . . No guiding hand or central control is evident.”25 Morris states that “[d]uring the first months, the flight of the middle and upper classes from the towns provoked little Arab interest.”26

    It looked like a repeat of the exodus that had taken place during the riots of the late 1930s, and the Husseinis “were probably happy that many of these wealthy, Opposition-linked families were leaving.”27 Morris points out that “no Arab government closed its borders or otherwise tried to stem the exodus.”28 Finally, Morris notes that these refugees would
    be utilized during the following years by the Arab states as a powerful political and propaganda pawn against Israel. The memory or vicarious memory of 1948 and the subsequent decades of humiliation and depri-vation in the refugee camps would ultimately turn generations of Pales-tinians into potential or active terrorists and the “Palestinian problem” into one of the world’s most intractable.29

    —snip—

    A research report by the Arab-sponsored Institute for Palestine Studies concluded that the majority of the Arab refugees were not expelled and 68 percent of them “left without seeing an Israeli solder.”34 At the very least, the issue is too complex and multifaceted for simple finger-pointing in only one direction.

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  119. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Fletch – “saying that Obama doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about when he says that Israel should go back to it’s 1967 borders”

    Gene Simmons – Asked about his claim of having had sex with 4,600 women he told Terry Gross: “If you want to welcome me with open arms, I’m afraid you’re also going to have to welcome me with open legs.

    Now here’s a guy who knows what he talking about…..

    “Mark Twain describes the land as very empty on his adventures…” see my 6.44 pm post

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  120. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    Chris, keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass. But that’s too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today . . . No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough.

    Why should they be squeezed into a little box in lands that they have always historically owned? Aren’t they allowed anything?

    At the beginning of the 20th century, there were practically no Arabs in the Holy Land. When General Alenby, the commander of the British military forces, conquered Palestine in 1917/1918, only about 5000 Arabs resided there. They did not call themselves “Palestinians”. The concept of a “Palestinian” to describe the local residents has not yet been invented; neither was there ever in history a “Palestinian Arab” nation.

    Mark Twain – Samuel Clemens, the famous author of “Huckleberry Finn” and “Tom Sawyer”, took a tour of the Holy Land in 1867. This is how he described that land: “A desolate country whose soil is rich enough but is given over wholly to weeds. A silent, mournful expanse. We never saw a human being on the whole route. There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted
    the country.”

    Here is a report that the Palestinian Royal Commission, created by the British, made. It quotes an account of the conditions on the coastal plain along the Mediterranean Sea in 1913: “The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track, suitable for transport by camels or carts. No orange groves, orchards or vineyards were to be seen until one reached the [Jewish] Yabna village. Houses were mud. Schools did not exist. The western part
    toward the sea was almost a desert. The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many villages were deserted by their inhabitants.”

    The Arabs who now claim to be natives of the Holy Land have migrated to Palestine after 1918, from neighboring Arab countries, predominantly from areas now known as Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. None of these countries existed as nations prior to 1913. They were nothing but a disorganized collection of tribes, constantly terrorizing each other, trying to seize land from their neighbors.

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  121. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Fletch – “keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands”

    Arabs are not all the same people, just as Europeans aren’t.

    In Mark Twain’s heyday, there were 400,000 Arabs in an Ottoman Palestine the size of Northland. But I recognize Israels right to exist, having been recreated by UN decree.

    “Why should they be squeezed into a little box in lands that they have always historically owned?”

    The Children of Israel left home, which has also been home to many other tribes.

    The region between Egypt, Syria and Arabia has been controlled and settled by numerous different peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Ancient Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Sunni Arab Caliphate, the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mameluks, Ottomans, the British and modern Israelis and Palestinians.

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  122. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    Gee mikenmild can’t tell me if Hamas are anti-semitic, so how would he be able to tell if Luc Hansen is anti-semitic.

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  123. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    JB, who said Israelis are at peace? War is in their DNA.

    Perhaps I mispoke there, Tom, in the emotion of the moment, but do notice I said “Israelis”, not Jews.

    In fact, I prefer not to use the term Jews in the context of the Israeli/Palestine issue, just as I avoid using the term “Muslim” in the same context, because at heart this is not a religious dispute, or even a racial/ethnic identity dispute, but a dispute over land.

    The accusations of anti-Semitism are but the standard slings and arrows from supporters of the Palestinian dispossession and oppression for the moral stand I take.

    I use my legal name, I can be traced, and I am happy to engage people in reasoned discourse. There is precious little of that from those posters above who delight in attacking me personally and who, in fact, demonstrate all the traits required of serial bullies.

    Anonymous bullies, of course.

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  124. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    mikenmild (2,268) Says:
    September 3rd, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I think there are a few facts that are clear:
    1. The blockade was, and is, legal under international law
    2. The flotilla was not trying to smuggle arms
    3. The Israelis had the right to intercept the flotilla
    4. When faced with resistance, the IDF used excessive force, killing nine people

    Sorry, Mike points 1 and 4 are wrong.

    Point 1. This committee is not a court of international law, although no doubt if Turkey is successful in getting a case to the ICJ, this report would be presented as evidence.

    Point 2: The flotilla was still in international waters, by a long way, and the captain of Mavi Marmara, the lead ship, had altered course to head away from Gaza before the IDF acted.

    I suggest you watch the video I linked to above.

    And take a look at this interview featuring Norman Finkelstein, an American Radicalhero: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/9/2/as_turkey_freezes_israel_ties_critics

    A transcript accompanies the interview video for the convenience of the viewer.

    And you can watch the film American Radical on You Tube.

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  125. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    F E Smith (1,090) Says:
    September 3rd, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Luc will never accept that there should be such a State as Israel.

    Pathetic stuff, really, especially from someone who apparently passed the Bar exam. Mind you, so did Winston (Peters, that is, not the anti-Semite with the cigar!)

    I have said many times that Israel is a fact, end of story for the forseeable future. It is a legitimate member of the UN and the saddest thing I find about Israel is the same as the for the US, that a nation, even if born of injustice, could have been a shining light of human enlightenment instead of just another imperialist rogue state backed by immense military might.

    I support the resolution of the present conflict along the lines of UNGA242. That is, two states. But not two states for two peoples: that’s as apartheid in nature as Israel currently is. Rather, neighbours, just like Australia and New Zealand, with relatively free interchange of citizens, regardless of ethnicity or creed.

    Hark! Is that an Apache helicopter I hear throbbing overhead?

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  126. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Scott Chris (721) Says:
    September 3rd, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    kia – “The historical sources he cites to deny the reality of thousands of years of archeologically verifiable Jewish history in Palestine”

    Thanks for your reply in my absence, Scott, but I would add that Jewish presence in Palestine and beyond is undeniable. But the original Jews were Semites, West Asiatic Semites according to Israel Finkelstein, whom we (the West) generically refer to today as Arabs.

    In this modern era, sensible people don’t go back thousands of years to violently reclaim supposed past lands, dispossessing the recognised indigenous people of the land. That’s crazy stuff. Where would it end? Seven billion people claiming squatter rights in Ethiopia?

    Mind you, I suppose all eras were modern in their time!

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  127. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    And another thing. Based on the Israeli precedent reclaiming The Promised Land on the basis of historical sovereignty, I’m sure all the pro-Zionists on this thread will be in favour of the creation of a separate Maori state. I prefer a united New Zealand personally.

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  128. KH (695 comments) says:

    Well I learned some more things. It goes like this.
    Some people living in what is now Israel didn’t like some new guys moving in.
    the new guys moving were peaceful and generally – you know – lovely
    So – for no reason at all – get that, no reason.
    The first guys moved out, and sat over various borders protesting.
    Just to make the new guys look bad. And have been doing it for 50 years now. Thats naughty.
    Mind you I am not sure that is exactly correct.
    Some on this blog say the first guys were not there anyway.
    And only moved in the day before they moved out again.
    And the new guys weren’t new guys at all. Having been there all the time anyway.
    My special thanks to F E Smith and Fletch and others

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  129. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    KH, really it has nothing at all to do with land. If the Arabs laid down their weapons tomorrow there would be peace. If the Jews laid down their weapons, they would be wiped from the planet. As far as who owned what land originally – isn’t that a bit of a moot point anyway? This is as simple a way as i can put it (since you seem to prefer simple) –

    The U.N drew up a plan in 1948 saying, we’re going to split up this area of land evenly between both of you guys (Jews and Arabs), and put Jerusalem under international control so that there is no squabbling. The Jews said, sure OK, it’s a deal. The division of the area looks fairly 50/50 and fair to me (MAP). The Arabs said no way, and promptly attacked the Jews (8 countries attacked them in all) but the Jews won – and people say there is no God?

    Anyway, I know you don’t believe in God, but if you did then you’d know that God gave that land to Abraham and his descendants forever. It says so right in the Bible. And that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars.
    Looking back at history, the Jews should have been defeated or wiped out many times. There is a legendary story concerning an agitated Frederick the Great who, in frustration, demanded from his cabinet that somebody provide him with proof of the existence of God. There was a momentary silence before one of his counselors spoke up: “Have you considered the Jew, your Majesty?” he asked.

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  130. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    ps, Frederick the Great part taken from an article HERE that proves that countries are blessed that bless the Jews, and countries that turn against the Jews lose their prosperity. Are you listening Obama? America turns her back on the Jews at her own peril.

    Snippet –

    Finally, God promised that He would “curse them that curse you.” The precision with which God kept this promise is nothing less than astonishing.

    During the Crusades from 1095 to 1270, Jews in Southern Europe fled to Spain, England, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe as the result of severe persecution and wholesale massacres of the Jews.

    England turned out to be the wrong place to go, because in 1290 King Edward I expelled the Jews. King Charles II did the same thing in 1394 by forcing all Jews from France. Interestingly, Spanish Jews found peace and security in Spain and Portugal while those countries were under Muslim rule.

    At that point in history, Europe was fractured, ignorant and in constant turmoil, while that same period of time is known to history as the Golden Age of Islam.

    The Moors were world-renowned for their knowledge of astronomy, medicine and science, and the Islamic world boasted the most extensive libraries that had ever existed to that time.

    In the 1400s, the Moors were kicked out of Spain by the Papal forces of Europe. In 1492, on the same day Columbus set sail for the New World, Spain expelled any unconverted Jews who had survived the Spanish Inquisition. This time they fled back to England where the Protestant reformation now welcomed them.

    Spain’s global empire lasted less than a century after it expelled its Jews, to be replaced by the Jew-friendly British Empire whose reach extended to every corner of the globe. In 1917, the British captured Palestine from the Muslims. The British Crown offered the Jews a homeland via the Balfour Declaration, and a year later, England won the First World War.

    After the war, the British broke most of their promises to the Jews, restricted Jewish immigration to the Holy Land, and in the years since have increasingly turned their backs on the Jews that brought them such great blessings for more than 300 years.

    The British Empire upon which “the sun never set” in 1900, had, by 1948, lost its last colony when Burma declared independence, and the British Empire was no more.

    In 1933, Germany was among the most cultured and sophisticated nations in Europe. Old Berlin was Europe’s Crown Jewel. The Nazis turned on the Jews, together with most of Eastern Europe, and 12 years later, Europe’s Crown Jewel was a pile of burning rubble.

    The Arab world, which had been so blessed during its Golden Age, collapsed into its present state of affairs, with most of it still operating as if electricity had never been harnessed.

    The Arab Muslims supported Hitler, opposed Jewish immigration, waged repeated wars against Israel, deny Israel its rightful territory, and now mount a global jihad to finish Hitler’s goal of total extermination. The backward nature of modern Islamic culture and society are the fruits of those efforts.

    Historically, wherever the Jews were welcomed, that nation flourished and prospered. Where the Jews were persecuted, those nations floundered.

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  131. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    “So – for no reason at all – get that, no reason.
    The first guys moved out, and sat over various borders protesting.”

    Absolute rubbish. There was a war started by or with the support of the ‘first guys’ within minutes of Israel achieving statehood and a lot of the ‘first guys’ left as a result. What the ‘first guys’ did not expect was to lose said war.

    EDIT:”really it has nothing at all to do with land. If the Arabs laid down their weapons tomorrow there would be peace.”

    Probably the truest thing said in this thread.

    Oh, and KH? You still haven’t answered my question- when was the land stolen?

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  132. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Luc’s latest fiction includes his rejection of milkmilo’s comment: “the blockade was, and is, legal under international law”

    Luc opined: “This committee is not a court of international law, although no doubt if Turkey is successful in getting a case to the ICJ, this report would be presented as evidence.”

    Of course, the blockade is a legitimate and legal tool of defence set in place by Israel and has been recognised as such by the UN appointed panel in the Palmer Report. And the NOTAM to this effect (Notice to Mariners) remains in place.

    Luc’s usual tactic of attempting to discredit anything that is contrary to his own jaundiced views, is tiresome. Luc – you should be in the MSM – they have a habit of omitting facts from their opinion pieces too.

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  133. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Fletch – “The Arabs said no way, and promptly attacked the Jews (8 countries attacked them in all) but the Jews won – and people say there is no God?”

    So why didn’t God intervene on behalf of the Holocaust victims? Same race. Or perhaps they had been punished enough for killing Jesus, but then, I thought that’s what hell is for.

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  134. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Scott, please don’t go there.

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  135. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Spot the troll….

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  136. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    FE Smith – I apologize if I offended. What I meant was, I do not believe that God interferes in the affairs of man.

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  137. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    No, no, Scott, I wasn’t offended, I just didn’t want the question (which is an interesting one) to derail us into a religious debate, something that I think KB has too many of.

    KH,

    Still waiting…

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  138. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Elaycee (1,144) Says:
    September 4th, 2011 at 2:22 pm
    Luc’s latest fiction includes his rejection of milkmilo’s comment: “the blockade was, and is, legal under international law”

    My opinion is, by definition, not fiction. It is a fact that that is my opinion.

    The problem is that there has never been a ruling by a suitably qualified legal authority in the issue.

    However, in view of your certainty on this, I look forward to you supporting Turkey in requesting the UN to refer it to the ICJ.

    But wait! Israel objects! Why?

    Why would it refuse the opportunity to once and for all to silence those pesky, noisy naysayers, like, for example, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and influential people like Richard Falk?

    I’ll leave you to figure that one out.

    I hope you checked out the links I have provided above to both film of the actual event and interviews with a participant in the flotilla and Norman Finkelstein.

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  139. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Luc
    I’m happy to withdraw my comment about the blockade. I see now that the opinion in the UN report is by no means universally held.

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  140. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Cheers mm.

    The whole thing is quite murky when you consider all the report consists of is Israel says/Turkey says and a skewed panel offers subjective findings. No investigation was permitted. It’s a joke, really. I would love to have a quiet chat with Sir Geoffrey about what really went on.

    I’m posting this link just to answer some of the wilder claims made above about the Gaza Strip and inject some rationality into the discussion.

    And Wikipedia actually has a reasonably balanced article on Gaza too.

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  141. KH (695 comments) says:

    OK F E Smith …. You got me.
    I have been educated by so many on this blog with so much more knowledge than me and I have learned.
    1. No Land stolen
    2. Gaza is in fact an exclusive country club.
    3. They fire rockets at Israel to keep this exclusivity a secret. (Source above- well nobody has proved that idea wrong.)
    4. There are no refugees in Gaza. They all lived there all the time and forever. No Newbies.
    5. There actually are no Palestinians. It’s a myth. It’s just some PR construction.
    6. There was nobody at all on the lands that Israel now occupies. (or them now there were always there anyway.)
    7. There were some naughty people who moved in the night before, in 1948, so they could be kicked off the next day. And have something to complain about. Wicked behaviour that.
    Thank you all for all this new knowledge I have gained in this instructive weekend. The source of all these new and old facts can be found in this very blog above. Especially Fletch and also F E Smith. So it must be true.

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  142. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Fletch – ever noticed that God conveniently stopped doing ‘miracles’ just when technology became available to document them?

    Why doesn’t He just send 10 plagues or something on the nations that are against Israel, or part some seas or some bullshit like that, rather than ‘working through the hearts and minds of political leaders’ and crap like that.

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  143. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    http://i.imgur.com/tylPd.jpg

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  144. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    OK I take back what I wrote, here is some evidence:

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  145. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    KH, your answer is full of falsehoods and the form of your sarcasm is just rude. Have the courage to debate your assertions like an adult or else don’t join the debate.

    Related to this topic, an interesting quote from the Telegraph via Powerlineblog on the recent disruption of the Israel Philharmonic at the Proms:

    Thursday night’s events can only be understood in the context of anti-Semitism. When have there been similar protests against “violations of international law and human rights,” as was chanted on Thursday, by any other country? And this in the middle of the Arab Spring, when genuine protesters for human rights are daily risking their lives in Syria against a murderous dictatorship.

    If, indeed, this was a protest against the actions of the Israeli government, rather than against Jews, where have been the similar disruptions of performances by Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Iranian or any number of other nations’ musicians? What about disruptions of British national companies, in protest at British human rights abuses? To pose the question is to answer it. There’s little doubt in my mind that this was an action motivated specifically by the fact that the performers were playing in the national orchestra of the Jewish state.

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  146. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I’m not sure a protest against Israel becomes automatically anti-semitic just because not every breach of law or human rights by other countries is subject to similar protests.

    While I wouldn’t support, for example, John Minto and his crowd protesting agasint an Israli tennis player, I don’t consider them anti-smites because they do.

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  147. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    MM – I’m reposting the text below (I am not the author, and these are not necessarily my views), as you may find it interesting.

    However, as a side point, if you recognise that certain sides (i.e. Hamas) are anti-semitic, then how do you classify their apologists?

    Who here would fit the “3D”s test?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Not all anti-Zionists are Jew-haters! Or are they?

    Whether Jew-hate drives an anti-Zionist can be difficult to assess. For more about that, see 3D Test of Anti-Semitism: Demonization, Double Standards, Delegitimization by Natan SHARANSKY at http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-sharansky-f04.htm. I tend to agree with SHARANSKY’s ideas in that article and consider his 3D Test apt.

    Alan DERSHOWITZ provides a relevant list of examples in “When Legit Criticism Crosses the Anti-Semitism Line” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-dershowitz/when-legit-criticism-cros_b_3524.html. Here is one quote from that article: ‘”As Thomas Friedman of The New York Times accurately put it, “Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction — out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East — is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest”‘

    To discuss this, we must have a brief working definition of Zionism. Here is mine:
    Zionism is the national self-determination aspiration of the Jewish People. This aspiration has always been inherent in the daily lives of Jews.

    The idea of Zion has been central in Jewish history, thought and culture for well over 3000 years. During all that time, Jews have identified and have been consistently identified by others as a People of unique and common heritage and culture. Jews had and have an ongoing presence in and are linked indissolubly to the Holy Land which for Jews was and is Eretz Yisrael, the traditional Land of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital.

    So, are all anti-Zionists bigoted Jew-haters? Based upon the above, my answer is NO!

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  148. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    There’s nothing that I would disagree with there Tim. It is a sensitive area, and the borderlines between criticising the Israeli government, opposing Zionism and outright anti-Semitism can become quite murky.

    It”s perfectly possible to criticise Israel over Gaza, say, without agreeing with everything Hamas says or everything they do. Most reasonable people would abhor both terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens and disprotionate reprisals against Palestinians. As in most protracted conflicts, no side is completely innocent and no side totally blameworthy.

    One can only hope that over time the desire for a lasting peace will outlast the cycles of atrocity and revenge. Sometimes though that is a faint hope.

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  149. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    It”s perfectly possible to criticise Israel over Gaza, say, without agreeing with everything Hamas says or everything they do.

    OK – But the question is whether it’s possible to ignore Hamas, or somehow downplay the effect of what they do, which is inevitably what seems to happen.

    Most reasonable people would abhor both terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens and disprotionate reprisals against Palestinians

    Agree, although I don’t know what would be a “proportionate” response to Grad Missiles raining down over a civilian population, fired cynically from within civilian areas, and storage of munitions within Mosques and schools. What would you suggest is “proportionate”?

    One can only hope that over time the desire for a lasting peace will outlast the cycles of atrocity and revenge. Sometimes though that is a faint hope.

    I couldn’t agree more here. When I lived in Israel I was involved with PeaceNow, which was founded by Amos Oz. One of the big initiatives was tolerance and dialog between Arabs and Jews. It’s no secret that meeting places such as “Mike’s Place” where Arabs and Jews met were targets for Hamas. Hamas has aimed to kill off tolerance within it’s own people, to replace with it’s extremist ideals.

    Please forgive me if I aim to point this fact out to people who condemn Israel and ignore Hamas and without acknowledgement. I believe I have been and seen with my own eyes and made up my mind objectively.

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