111 thoughts on “Lying IDF Generals: ‘Israeli Blockade Recognized Under International Law’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. An independent panel cleared the Israeli military and government from any wrongdoing in the Israeli navy’s interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla last May,

    In its first report, the Turkel Committee established in Israel as a commission of inquiry into the incident, found that Israel’s enforcement of a naval blockade was, “found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law.”

    The committee, which includes four appointed members from Israel and two foreign observers-Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lord William David Trimble and Brigadier-General (Ret.) Ken Watkin-heard the testimony of 27 witnesses over the course of 15 days of open proceedings and the testimony of 12 witnesses behind closed doors.”

    The maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip, determined legal by the Turkel Committee, was established by Israel in 2007 as the Hamas terrorists seized control of the region and continued to launch thousands of rockets into Israel.

    1. An independent panel

      You don’t even bother to read my post. I’m starting to suspect you were sent here by Giyus & told what to publish. For yr information, the Marmara massacre commission was NOT independent. I’ve written extensively about the composition & complexion of its members. But you didn’t bother to read that did you because you parachuted in here to defend the homeland & you’ll parachute out to take on the next assignment offered to you by Hasbara Central. The Turkel Commission had a constricted mandate, no powers of supeona, members who had direct conflict of interest as former IDF senior officers, etc.

      Pls. don’t quote the NYT article to which I linked. You & others can read the article at yr leisure on the NYT site. Don’t waste our time by quoting fr it.

    2. “An independent panel”
      No, a panel which was formed by one of the involved parties is not independent – painfully obvious to anybody with functional brain cells.

      1. I see that not only does Mr. Silver insult commenters here.
        Now those who think like him earn that privilage also.
        This does not looks to me like a way for making the world a better place.

    3. Heh, heh an independent commission indeed. The commission is an inquiry set up by Israeli Government, so it is as independent and trustful as “Isrel Commission” (with several over 80 years old Turkish “experts”) set up by Turkish government and with two hand-picked international observers would be. Not a single Israeli would take seriously the findings of such a one sided commission or believe to its independence.

      The commission had five Israeli members (now four) and two international observers. The international observers are observers, not decision making and result writing members. The observers did not have the right to vote on the proceedings or the final conclusions. Their only real job and contribution was in the end to write some Israel favouring comments. With money everything is for sale, including moral and intellectual honesty. It would be interesting to know what was paid to the these international observers. Maybe our Israeli friends could search that figure. The sum should be public because the commission was working for the Israeli government.

      By the way run republicans with the logic of Turkel commission also Warsaw ghetto was then only a military-security “problem” when Germany’s “effective control” of the ghetto ended when it completed the disengagement from the territory and like Gaza the Ghetto was ruled by the (not very voluntary) inhabitants (Judenrat in the Ghettos). And the “cast lead operation of 1943” was then also intended to end the security “problems”. If Gaza can be seen by Israel favouring international law “experts” as an independent actor, with rights and responsibilities, then also Warsaw Ghetto and equal concentration camps from which some army has withdrawn must be seen as equal cases.

      1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_Hurtta

        Sir, you are, as your namesake,an insensitive creature.Why do you disrespect the memory of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters.What have they ever done to you.
        If you want to make a case then let that case stand on it’s own legs without cheap references to heroic individuals who have suffered enough (ה (הי״ד

        1. He didn’t insult them and any sincere person who reads his post, and not your lame attempt to ‘point-score’ or derail this discussion can see that.

        2. Daniel F. why are the people of Warsaw Ghetto heroic individuals, but the people of Gaza not? Both were defending their lives, families and livelihoods. The resistance of the Ghetto attacked the surrounding German army and German interests and was supporting and aiding the larger Polish and Soviet resistance.

          If you see that Israel has the right to block, starve and kill because the Gaza people resist occupation, siege and exploitation then you must admit that the Germans and Polish Quislings had the equal right when the people of the Ghetto resisted and attacked them.

          The difference is that we know how the Warsaw Ghetto story ended and what happened. The Gaza story is still happening and we the people of the world have a change to hinder a massive human tragedy with hundreds of thousands killed from happening again. If you Daniel F. really believe that the Palestinian – Jewish conflict will end peacefully with Jewish terms and a larger Israel will be born with very few dead you are naive. Like the people of Warsaw Ghetto finally saw no other solution than total war, so will the Palestinians and in the end Arabs see when there is no other realistic option for them. “You” have managed to humiliate and suppress them for over halve century, but soon that era is over.

  2. question of whether Israel acted legally nearly three years ago when it imposed a blockade on Gaza after withdrawing its troops. Most, though not all, scholars surveyed by The Chronicle said the blockade was legal.

    “Israel has suffered rocket attacks that have been launched from Gaza and has the right of self-defense,” said Chimene Keitner, an associate professor at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco who specializes in international criminal law.

    “Under international law, the blockade can be justified,” Keitner said.

    “Most international lawyers … would say a blockade is permissible in an armed conflict, and it includes the ability to stop and search ships in international waters,” said Allen Weiner, co-director of Stanford’s International Law Program.

    1. I don’t know who “the Chronicle” is. And you’re violating one of my key comment rules. When you bring proof, or in yr case alleged proof, you offer a link & explain who & what your source is. Cutting & pasting fr. other hasbara sources you’ve found or been provided by others is NOT acceptable here.

      If “The Chronicle” is the Jewish Chronicle it’s not exactly the most independent source as the leading mouthpiece of Britain’s pro Israel Jewish community.

      As for whether the blockade is an “act of self-defense” that’s highly debatable because it actually doesn’t achieve the goal of defending Israel from anything. Rockets, as I’ve written numerous times, fall whether there’s a blockade or not. As I & many others more credible than any you bring have pointed out this is an illegal act of collective punishment of 1.5 million civilians. An egregious violation of international law for which Israel will eventually be legally accountable.


    Yes it can, according to the law of blockade which was derived from customary international law and codified in the 1909 Declaration of London. It was updated in 1994 in a legally recognized document called the “San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.”

    Under some of the key rules, a blockade must be declared and notified to all belligerents and neutral states, access to neutral ports cannot be blocked, and an area can only be blockaded which is under enemy control.

    “On the basis that Hamas is the ruling entity of Gaza and Israel is in the midst of an armed struggle against that ruling entity, the blockade is legal,” said Philip Roche, partner in the shipping disputes and risk management team with law firm Norton Rose

    1. You’re no international law expert, you only play one on TV. You don’t know diddly about blockades or international law. You read this in a hasbara manual. And others last yr brought the same exact shoddy proof which proved nothing.

      San Remo is NOT part of current codified international law regarding blockades. It’s something some researcher in the MFA or IDF dug up to hang their hat on. And btw, Israel controls and occupied Gaza under international law. A blockade is an act of occupation.

      BTW, Israel allowed the first boats to break its blockade, therefore it’s violated its own blockade & rendered whatever validity it might ever have had null & void.

      And pls. don’t quote hasbarists as supporting the blockade esp. not ones who have no expertise or reputation. I’ve never heard of Philip Roche though no doubt Aipac has. He’s prob an officer of his local chapter.

        1. RE: “And btw, Israel does not occupy Gaza.
          No mmater how many times you iterate it.” – “free” man (lol)


          Israeli-occupied territories
          Gaza (excerpt)…The United Nations, Human Rights Watch and many other international bodies and NGOs continue to consider Israel to be the occupying power of the Gaza Strip as Israel controls Gaza Strip’s airspace, territorial waters and controls the movement of people or goods in or out of Gaza by air or sea.[5][6][7]
          The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs maintains an office on “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” which concerns itself with the Gaza Strip.[36] A July 2004 opinion of the International Court of Justice treated Gaza as part of the occupied territories.[37] In his statement on the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories” wrote that international humanitarian law applied to Israel “in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war.”[38] In a 2009 interview on Democracy Now Christopher Gunness, spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) contends that Israel is an occupying power. However, Meagan Buren, Senior Adviser to the Israel Project, a pro-Israel media group contests that characterization.[39]…
          5. ^ a b “Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: The conflict in Gaza: A briefing on applicable law, investigations and accountability”. Amnesty International. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
          6. ^ a b “Human Rights Council Special Session on the Occupied Palestinian Territories” July 6, 2006; Human Rights Watch considers Gaza still occupied.
          7. ^ a b Levs, Josh (2009-01-06). “Is Gaza ‘occupied’ territory?”. CNN. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
          36. ^ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs office on Occupied Palestinian Territory web site.
          37. ^ Summary of the Advisory Opinion: Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, International Court of Justice, July 9, 2004.
          38. ^ Richard Falk, Statement by Prof. Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, United Nations Human Rights Council, December 27, 2008.
          39. ^ A Debate on Israel’s Invasion of Gaza: UNRWA’s Christopher Gunness v. Israel Project’s Meagan Buren Democracy Now, January 5, 2009.

          SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli-occupied_territories

        2. By international law it does. And yr claim it doesn’t no matter how many times stated doesn’t change the fact that it does. Do a Google search on the terms “Gaza siege & definition of occupation” or similar language & then report back here on what you come up with.

          1. “International law” can also say that pi equals 3.
            Guess what, it will never be 3 no matter.
            Facts are stronger than fiction.

          2. Free man, Israel retains control over Gaza – who comes in, who goes out, what can enter, what can leave. It has established a no-go zone around the strip’s perimeter that ranges from anywhere between 0.5km and 3km wide. (The extent of the zone is changed arbitrarily.) Gazans entering the zone (which of course contains houses and other infrastructure) can be shot. Shootings and bombings are still carried out in Gaza on a fairly regular basis. A few weeks ago one of my penfriends there was complaining that the military drones overheard weren’t letting him sleep; he had an exam the next day. The Israeli military is still very visible.

            Imposing that degree of control over people’s movement, interfering in their political affairs (by prohibiting Hamas leaders from travelling to the West Bank meet with their Fatah counterparts, for example), preventing them from having a functional airport or a port, firing on fishermen in Gazan coastal waters, controlling their crippled export business (and taking a generous slice of the profits), determining exactly what can be imported and even what can be built – this is occupation. Is there any practical difference between Israel forbidding house construction in West Bank Area C and Israel preventing house construction in Gaza? Occupation is a mechanism of power and control, and Israel’s control extends deep into every area of Gazan life. The settlers of Gush Katif were occupation’s symptom, not occupation itself.

    2. “Under some of the key rules, a blockade must be declared and notified to all belligerents and neutral states”
      Care to tell us when that happened? And what the list of contraband (another requirement) was?

    3. Just because something was once customary does not mean that it can’t be illegal today. The ICRC advisor on the laws of armed conflict at sea has an article at the ICRC website which says that the 1909 Declaration of London never entered into force and that the San Remo Manual is not a binding document.

      Similarly, the official commentary on the San Remo Manual says that many of the participants expressed the view that prohibitions against the threat or use of force in the UN Charter and the adoption of prohibitions against collective punishment or starving protected civilian populations have rendered wars and blockades illegal.

      Here is an example. According to CAB/24/165, formerly C.P. 152(24), Herbert Samuel secretly obtained permission for special legislation from the Secretary of State for the Colonies that would allow him to impose collective punishment in the tribal areas of Palestine in the form of fines – or otherwise. Years later, Montgomery and Wingate used that authority when they employed the RAF to level entire Arab villages.

      In Prof. Susan Pedersen’s “The Meaning of the Mandates System: An Argument” she says that the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations was powerless to stop the practice of members with veto powers. However it did officially advise both France and Great Britain that the practice of bombarding undefended towns and villages did not fall within the definition of “tutelage”, which was strictly limited to rendering advice and assistance.

      In 1949 the Conference of the High Contracting Parties of the Geneva Conventions adopted a prohibition against collective punishment in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. In 1993 the UN Security Council adopted a Chapter VII resolution establishing the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia which is binding upon all the member states. It acknowledged that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the 1949 Geneva Conventions had passed into the body of enforceable customary law that is considered binding on all parties that engage in armed conflicts. The Council directed the members to provide the Court with every assistance in gathering evidence, making arrests, and extraditing suspects for trial. So, customs can be changed by the adoption of new ones.

  4. Richard, I’m not taking sides in the debate you and Run are having, but it’s very easy to google the names behind the quotes he brought and see if they are valid. So, not bringing direct links to the sources does not equal necessarily to dismissal of the contents of the sources. Maybe your ‘rule’ here needs some re-thinking.

    Note, I am not saying that the quotes themselves are valid – this needs to be checked. That said, if we assume a-priori that people fabricate quotes then that puts any debate on a dead-end.

    Now, the fact that you never heard, say, of Philip Roche, is not evidence that his views can be dismissed. I am sure you agree with that? Take a look at his web page:

    1. No, not the way it works here. You bring a source, you bring a link. If you’re lazy you don’t expect anyone to do yr work for you. I don’t have time to Google anyone else’s sources for them except in very unusual circumstances. I have better things to do. Clearly he didn’t fabricate the quotations & I didn’t say that. But the value of what he offered was nil because his citations were faulty & incomplete.

      As for Philip Roche, interestingly, he has expertise in martime affairs along with service in the Royal Navy. THough it says nothing about his expertise on international law & the laws of war, which is critical in the area of the siege. Sounds to me w. his military background & the likelihood that he’s Jewish & pro-Zionist that he’s not a disinterested party to this matter & I’d expect his opinions to come out pretty much the way they do.

  5. You said:
    Just who recognizes the legality of Israel’s siege of Gaza’s 1.5 million civilians? Why, the IDF of course. But since when is the IDF or any similar Israeli source the sole arbiter of international law? Are there any other non-hasbarist legal analysts who defend the Israeli siege as legal under international law?

    I am sure you are aware that the Israeli Foreign Ministry has an international law department. I am sure the IDF has access to opinions from them. So does the government who makes policy (not the IDF). In fact, it seems most of the world accepts Israeli policy regarding Gaza, since most countries don’t officially deal with the HAMAS regime there and I haven’t seen any European countries send official flotillas to Gaza. Even Turkey didn’t, they used the IHH to do it.
    I find it curious that all Israeli statements are dismissed by you as “lies” or “hasbara” which you mean to be “fascist propaganda” more or less. Why dont’ you say the same about Palestinian propaganda? Or is it that Israeli Jews are genetically born-liars while Israel’s Arab enemies are are sweet, honest people who would never let an untruth pass their lips?….you know, people like Assad.

    1. Are you arguing that “most countries” accept Israel’s siege as legal? If so, I challenge you to present a single piece of evidence that this is so. A single statement by a nation confirming the legality of it. Nations would have many reasons not to run Israel’s blockade, none of them having to do w. the fact that it recognizes the blockade as legal.

      “fascist propaganda” more or less

      DO NOT attribute opinions or thoughts to me. That is a definite no-no. Especially ones I never stated. Right now you’re moderated. If you put words in my mouth you’ll be gone fr. here pronto. I never said nor do I believe a single word you attributed to me in this sentence. I want to hear an apology from you for what you’ve done & a promise that you will not do it again. You have 24 hrs. to make such a statement.

    2. RE: “it seems most of the world accepts Israeli policy regarding Gaza…” – bar_kochba132


      2007–present blockade of the Gaza Strip
      ««•»» International positions
      «•» United Nations
      On January 24, 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a statement calling for Israel to lift its siege on the Gaza Strip…According to the Jerusalem Post, this was the 15th time in less than two years the council condemned Israel for its human rights record regarding the Palestinian territories.[138] The proceedings were boycotted by Israel and the United States. Prior to this, U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes, described the blockade as “collective punishment”
      …On December 15, 2008, following a statement in which he described the embargo on Gaza a crime against humanity, United Nations Special Rapporteur Richard A. Falk was prevented from entering the Palestinian territories by Israeli authorities and expelled from the region.[140]…
      …In August 2009, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay criticised Israel for the blockade in a 34-page report, calling it a violation of the rules of war.[143]
      In March 2010, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated that the blockade of Gaza is causing “unacceptable suffering” and that families were living in “unacceptable, unsustainable conditions”.[144]…
      …In May 2010, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that the formal economy in Gaza has collapsed since the imposition of the blockade.[146] They also stated that the “restrictions imposed on the civilian population by the continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip amount to collective punishment, a violation of international humanitarian law.”[147]
      In June 2010…Robert Serry, the UN special envoy for Middle East peace process, also said that “The flotilla crisis is the latest symptom of a failed policy. The situation in Gaza is unsustainable and the current policy is unacceptable and counter-productive, and requires a different, more positive strategy. The closure and blockade of the Gaza Strip needs to come to an end. There is now a welcome international consensus on Gaza.”[149]
      «•» European Union
      EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva, said that she believes that the “humanitarian crisis…was artificially created because of the [Israeli] blockade…
      «•» Countries
      • Turkey
      Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made harsh comments against the blockade..
      …The Turkish government made it clear that it opposes the blockade and regards it as illegal…
      • Ireland
      After visiting Gaza in March 2010, Irish foreign minister Micheál Martin described the Israeli blockade of Palestinian-ruled Gaza as “inhumane and unacceptable” and called on the European Union and other countries to increase pressure on Israel to lift the blockade. Michael Martin was the first EU foreign minister to enter Gaza in over a year…
      • United Kingdom
      David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, during Prime Minister’s Questions, stated that “Friends of Israel – and I count myself a friend of Israel – should be saying to the Israelis that the blockade actually strengthens Hamas’s grip on the economy and on Gaza, and it’s in their own interests to lift it and allow these vital supplies to get through. … We should do everything we can through the UN, where resolution 1860 is absolutely clear about the need to end the blockade and to open up Gaza.”[154] In July 2010, Cameron called on Israel to relax the blockade. He said “Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.”…
      • United States
      Although the United States officially supports the blockade,[15] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Israeli Minister of Defence Ehud Barak in February 2010 and urged him to ease the blockade. The United States has long been pressing Israel to ease the restrictions on Gaza.[159] Speaking about the Gaza flotilla raid, which occurred on 31 May 2010, Clinton stated that “The situation in Gaza is unsustainable and unacceptable.”[160]…

      SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007%E2%80%93present_blockade_of_the_Gaza_Strip

    3. wow! wow! bar_kochba132, are you stupid or what? or perhaps you think the whole world is stupid and blind to your hasbaric (barbaric !) pseudo-argumentation. enough man! you’re at the end of your rope. your approach used to work some fifty or sixty years ago when not too many people had unfettered access to an internet that now makes israel’s actions in gaza transparent and show them for the horrors they are, when not too many palestinians spoke the media english they now master, and when not too many american, european and israeli mensch-jews could stand fast for the honor of a moral israel and the sanctity of jewish values and call in defense of the palestinians’ right to self-determination in Palestine.
      the germans who feigned ignorance and stood silent when hitler massacred the jews in the thirties and forties are better than the likes of you who now shout in unison with an avigdor-lieberman-type of israelis who are nothing but the curse of Israel and the goebels in netanyahu’s regime. Richard Silverstein is a Mensch who is the real savior of Israel’s jewish honor. you should learn from him or be doomed, you poor stupid you.

  6. “Yonatan Shapira, the peace activist who refused to bomb Palestinians in the West Bank with his IDF Black Hawk helicopter.”

    Richard, Can you provide a link to some data backing your statement that a Blackhawk helicopter can drop bombs ? can you refer me to a link supporting your statement that Yonatan Shapira ever dropped a single bomb during his short career as a military aviator ?
    or do you just embrace any claim smearing Israel without looking for supporting evidence (in violation of your own comment rules?)

    for the sake of education the audience :
    The UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. The helicopter is usually armed with light machine guns (for self defense) and Generally speaking doesn’t carry any bombs.

    As for Yonatan Shapira, in his short career as active pilot he piloted only Bell-212, and UH-60 helicopters and never dropped a single bomb in his life. while signing the famous letter in 2003 he was no longer in active duty but rather an air force reserve officer.

    1. Rockets and missiles are also bombs. The end result from the viewpoint of those on the ground is the same if it is a traditional bomb without own “transport mechanism” or one with such (rocket or missile). Without doubt UH-60 can be and is equipped with missiles and rockets and there is no technical obstacle to arm it with traditional bombs. The only reason for not using UH-60 to traditional bombings is that it is not the best solution for such operations.

      A cruise missile with a nuclear warhead is also a atomic bomb. Likewise is a AGM-114 Hellfire laser guided missile is a bomb.

      Armed for self defence indeed – look at the pictures

    2. My point, which you’ve deliberately obscured was that Yonatan Shapira opposes Israeli violence against Palestinians & did so out of conviction & that he would never engage in violence against the IDF & that therefore the IDF lied when it claimed “extremist elements” would engage in violence.

      As for what he did or did not do during his military service, I presume that helicopter pilots engage in offensive operations that involve killing Palestinians either directly or indirectly & I presume that was why he refused service. As you are also conveniently obscuring, even pilots not on active duty will do reserve service which will involve offensive operations against Palestinians.

  7. “A blockade is an act of occupation.”

    A blockade is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as “an act of war by which a belligerent prevents access to or departure from a defined part of the enemy’s coasts.”[5]

    According to the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994,[10] a blockade is a legal method of warfare at sea

    can you support your claim (with reference to the international law please) that a blockade is an act of occupation ?

    1. So, Kim, the Leningrad Blockade of 1941-1944 was a perfectly legal method of warfare? Tell that to the relatives of the hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children who starved to death in Leningrad. Stay human, man.

    2. I’m declaring a new rule here. I never want to hear San Remo referred to again & anyone who does so will not see their comment published. San Remo is a 100 yr old document which does not apply to in any way shape or form to modern sea law or practice as applied to blockades. This is pure hasbara developed likely either by the IDF or MFA legal dept. & meant to obscure the issues.

      A blockade against 1.5 million civilians is collective punishment & defined as a violation of the laws of war by the Geneva Convention, which IS in force & governs modern day conflicts.

      It is widely understood except by hasbarists such as yourself that an enemy power that engages in a blockade of a nation & prevents access & exit from that territory for its inhabitants is an occupying power. Other readers have provided citations to the Geneva Conventions which govern this. I’m not going to do yr homework for you. Use GOogle & you will find yr answer in 30 seconds or less.

      And a hint to you: this is not a debating society. You don’t score pts here. You don’t come in here like Professor Kim asking leading questions which barely conceal your ideological bias. If you have statements to make you make them.

      1. I wanted to respectfully point out that you might be confusing two different documents in your statement above which asserts that San Remo is a 100 year old document that does not apply to modern sea law and practice.

        The San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea is a document that was developed over the late 1980s and early 1990s specifically to update and restate international law so that it is applicable to modern armed conflicts at sea.

        The document was published in 1994. It has nothing to do with the San Remo conference of 1920.

        Here is a link to the International Committee of The Red Cross web site which hosts the 1994 document in its entirety and includes an introduction explaining in greater detail the significance of the document with respect to current international law.


        In light of this, I hope that you will reconsider allowing the 1994 San Remo Manual to be referenced in these discussions.

        1. One of our right wing friends said that the San Remo treaty was dated 1909.

          As far as I am concerned a document that is “applicable to armed conflicts at sea” is not applicable to the Gaza situation since Gaza is not fighting Israel at sea, nor are the ships of the Gaza flotilla. This is an entire one-sided sea conflict. If you can tell me that San Remo deals w. sea conflict in which one side is armed & blockading the other while the latter possesses no armed ships & poses no sea threat whatsover then I’d say it’s applicable. Otherwise, it’s just more drivel thrown by the hasbarists.

          1. That right-wing friend is rather ignorant then. Either he has no clue about the purpose of the San Remo conference or he has no idea when the WWI ended.
            The 1920 San Remo Conference’s primary purpose was to redistribute the administration of the former Ottoman-ruled areas in the ME.
            The San Remo Conference such as the Balfour declaration are in fact a right-wing zionist red herring.

          2. According to the information on the Red Cross site, The San Remo Manual in 1994 was initiated in part to update the 1909 London Declaration which had previously been the basis for much of the international law with respect to naval conflicts. Perhaps that is where the erroneous reference to 1909 came from.

          3. Okay, maybe I was mixing-up the San Remo conference and the Treaty.
            The Hasbara that I referred to is in fact using the San Remo Conference of 1920 on the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, and NOT the Treaty that I don’t know.
            With the Balfour declaration (and the Bible) it’s used as a justification of Eretz Israel, don’t ask me why.

        2. 112 other countries recognize the State of Palestine. In the S.S. Lotus case the PCIJ ruled that “the first and foremost restriction imposed by international law upon a State is that – failing the existence of a permissive rule to the contrary – it may not exercise its power in any form in the territory of another State.” What rule permits Israel to carry out summary executions of Palestinian fishermen on boats registered in Palestine and operating in its territorial waters? The customary prohibition against summary execution of civilians not taking part in combat, contained in Common article 3 of the Geneva Convention, does not admit any exceptions: e.g. “prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever”

          The ICRC provides a web page here which explains that the San Remo Manual is not a legally binding document. So, it isn’t a treaty and its existence does not constitute a permissive rule. That means individual states can prosecute Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity without regard to the contents of the San Remo Manual.

          The non-binding character of the manual is due to the uncertainties that existed among the participants throughout the period of its development. As a result, the participants decided that it was premature to embark on diplomatic negotiations to draft a treaty on the subject. The participants (from a mere 24 countries) worked together in their own private (unofficial) capacities and didn’t represent their their employers or their governments.

          The Hague Conference of 1907 adopted eight treaties on various aspects of the laws of war on the seas. Neither the 1909 London Declaration nor the 1913 attempt at a more comprehensive codification (a.k.a the Oxford Manual of the Laws of Naval War ever entered into effect as treaties.

          Some of the 1907 treaties were overtaken by the 2nd Geneva Convention. In similar fashion, the San Remo Manual has been overtaken by:
          *The recognition of the customary status of the 1949 Geneva Convention by the Security Council in 1993 (including the prohibition of collective punishments).
          *The subsequent recognition of the customary status of the 1st Additional Protocol of 1977 (including the prohibition of starvation for any reason);
          *The development by the International Law Commission of the Draft Code of Crimes Against the Peace and Security of Mankind and the draft Statute for an international criminal court + the official commentaries;
          *Landmark decisions in the ICJ and UN ad hoc criminal tribunals;
          *The adoption of the Rome Statute by 114 countries;
          *The incorporation of the customary definition of the crime of aggression (including the prohibition of military occupations and blockades) by the Rome Statute review conference at Kampala in 2010.

          The participants in the San Remo process decided to publish an official commentary concurrent with the release of the manual itself. The commentary on Article 102 explains that it remains controversial. Many of the participants felt that the prohibitions against starvation and collective punishments rendered any blockade whatsoever illegal. Many of the remaining experts recommended that the clause regarding the illegality of blockades whose “sole purpose” is starvation should be reworded to reflect the fact that starvation for any purpose is illegal.

          In the Bosnia genocide case there was an intermediate judgement which held that, in accordance with Articles 24, 25, & 103 of the UN Charter, an obligation under a Security Council resolution preempts obligations under other international conventions, but that the Security Council remains unconditionally bound by jus cogens norms of customary international law.

          Since then, the better view is that even the Security Council doesn’t have boundless discretion to authorize blockades or occupations that might punish or starve any civilian population. So, for example.NATO was ordered not to put ground forces on the territory of Libya – and the no-fly zone could not be implemented without Security Council approval and follow-up reports from the Secretary General. Where does Israel derive its authority for its land and air blockade?

  8. @ Leonid, please care to describe the similarities in the German actions of 1942 and the Israeli actions of a present day ?

    Just for starters
    1. Germany attacked Russia on June 22 1941 – Operation Barbarossa
    2. Germany was trying to conquer Russian territory.

    and let me ask you this
    1. Who is the the initiator of violence between Israel and Gaza since the summer of 2005 ?
    and just FYI, yesterday despite the unity deal, cease fire, and other agreements a Qasam missile was fired by Gazans onto Israeli Territory. (http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4083312,00.html)
    2. does Israel tries to conquer the territory in Gaza ?
    3. Why there is no blockade in the west bank ?

    1. Kim,

      As stated plainly in the diplomatic cables revealed by Wikileaks, Israel’s objective is to bring Gaza to the verge of economic and humanitarian catastrophy in order to affect regime change.

      You want me to list some similarities? Here are a couple:
      1. Germany bombed Leningrad killing many civilians, including elderly, women and children. Israel bombed Gaza killing many civilians, including elderly, women and children.
      2. Germany intercepted any vessels that headed for Leningrad. Israel is intercepting any vessels heading for Gaza.
      3. Germany effectivly blocked supply of any goods into Leningrad. Israel is blocking supply of many essential goods into Gaza.
      4. Gemrany bombed the Ladoga lake, the only winter supply and escape route to and from Leningrad that was not under German control. Israel destroys tunnels between Egypt and Gaza, the only supply route into Gaza that is not under Israeli supervision.

      Enough similarities?

      Now, to answer your other questions:
      1. In this conflict, it’s impossible to say who initiates violence because the violence has been going on for over 60 years without any solution or compromise that would satisfy both sides.
      2. I don’t know whether Israel wants to conquer Gaza. What’s plain obvious is that it wants to keep it under complete economic, military and border control, which to many is not much better than occupation.
      3. Israel is content with the situatioin in the West Bank, where the Palestinian leaders essentially do what Israel wants them to do and where there is no progress on the settlements or Palestinian statehood issue.

      1. Not to mention that the Nazis starved millions in Leningrad, which Israel has starved Gaza’s civilian population. The only reason there hasn’t been massive starvation leading to death is the tunnels Palestinians dug to Egypt, which that country allowed knowing it would be blamed for such deaths if it stood by & allowed them to starve.

      2. Very funny.
        It is like comparing a raped woman who defended herself and killed the rapist and a cold blodded killer.
        The fact that the result is the same does not mean the act is the same.
        Gaza Rulers declared war on Israel.
        It is well documented, but the owner of this blog put a gag order on those documents, so I cannot show them to you.
        I cna however reffer you to more than 1000 different incidents that Gaza fired rockets and mortar on Israeli civilians during that time.
        The blockade is a legitimate act of war by Israel.

        1. Who’s the rapist and the cold blooded killer in your metaphor ? Israel ? Or are you so obsessed by your own victimization that you pretend it’s the Gazans ?

          1. Why do you have to ask? Of course he is.

            Israel is occupying the Palestinian people and stealing/colonizing their land. Israel subjects the Israeli Arabs to institutional discrimination.

            Etc etc etc

            There is no parity between the Occupier and the Palestinian people.

            Zionists like the guy above, have no sense of reality which is why they either ignore their apartheid State’s crimes, whitewash them, or change the subject to some other world conflict as if it were relevant to a discussion about Israel vs. Palestinians (‘but hey, blah blah in Darfur is much worse, so don’t complain about what we do to the Palestinians!’).

          2. Zionists like the guy above, have no sense of reality

            Racists like you don’t deserve to be answered.
            But, hey, you’re making the world a better place.

          3. That was uncalled for. She called you a Zionist a word you would surely use to describe yrself. And you replied in a totally unfounded, unsupported way calling her a racist. That’s simply unacceptable.

          4. @ Richard
            ‘Freeman’ was referring to Cliff, and NOT to me. At least he quoted Cliff. I know you don’t see the whole thread when you answer so that’s maybe why.
            But maybe to ‘Freeman’ Zionists have become a race and criticizing them is racist.

          5. As DY said I talked about cliff.
            Now to the facts.
            He sayed that Zionist have no sence of reality.
            This is a racist statement.
            In addition, I’m not just a zionist, I’m an Asian, a father, an Atheist, and many more things. I find labeling persons with such labels highly problematic and often it is a way to hide racism or bigotry.

          6. I don’t recall specifically what Cliff said but saying Zionists have no sense of reality can’t be construed as “racist.” Can we use such terms carefully & precisely please. Otherwise it just cheapens the discourse. And I have expressed my own reservations about some of Cliff’s language in those posts.

          7. @free man

            You have a problem being “labelled” a Zionist? I can see why!

            Since Zionism is proving its creators, Herzl and Jabotinsky, right as it’s turning out to be a supremacist ideology, I can see why you’d have a big problem being labelled a Zionist.

            I have no pity in my heart for you! Defending it and then recoiling from being labelled….hmm, it’s so hard to justify being a proud Zionist these days, err, I mean a proud su-pre-macist.

            But you know what really, really irritates me is that you laid your guilt trip on Cliff by falsely accusing him of being a racist.

            Did he attack your race? Did he attack your religion (unless of course you’ve replaced your religion with an ideology – in which case, not his fault or his problem, is it)? No and NO…he attacked you for being deluded by an ideology that he believes has an evil intent, an ideology that you’d like to equate with a religion, or rather, FAITH, to “legitimize” and protect it, and that’s precisely where your insecurity lies and where you tried to justify your accusation against Cliff. Could it be that Zionism actually tries to SUPERCEDE FAITH? Could it be you’re on the wrong side and this is all as immoral and inhuman as it appears to be? What a moral dilemma Zionism presents! And yet, it’s so easy to answer these questions. One only has to ask: Would God approve? Honestly…come on! Oops! I forgot you’re an Atheist…oh, how convenient for you!

            Cliff’s criticism of your disconnect with reality…totally justified, but the way you turned it around against him, makes YOU devious as hell! I’d say you do your Zionist founding fathers H & J proud!

    2. Who is the the initiator of violence between Israel and Gaza since the summer of 2005 ?

      An excellent article was written examining virtually every act of violence on both sides & found that almost universally Israeli acts of violence preceded Palestinian responses. THe article has been cited here I believe. Perhaps a reader can find a link to it for us.

      does Israel tries to conquer the territory in Gaza ?

      Routinely. It does routine incursions into Gaza territory & has had regular major military operations inside Gaza including a war in 2009 in which 1,400 were killed. It was widely reported that Israel considered permanently occupying Gaza then but lost heart for some reason.

      Why there is no blockade in the west bank ?

      Because there is an obsequious Fatah rump government there which does Israel’s bidding. Not that it earns them any credit or compromise fr. Israel.

  9. So what exactly are Silverstein’s credentials in international law, based on which he is pontificating about what international law says?

      1. Had you read the Geneva Convension, you’d know that in order for a place to be called occopied it has to belong to a state first.
        Since Gaza was not part of a state, it could not have been called occopied when Israel ruled there. Let alone now.

        1. That’s interesting. It’s kind of like how Zionists like yourself deny Palestinians their very existence by saying Palestinian identity has no legitimacy.

          And of course, if it doesn’t, then these people called Palestinians have no claim to the land you’re blatantly stealing from them.

          Similarly, we all know that Israel controls Gazan air/borders/sea and is strangling the people there with the illegal and immoral blockade.

          The occupation, if not technically in place, is in place in all meaningful senses of the word – CONTROL. Israel controls Gaza.

          Just as it de-developed Gaza’s economy (see: Sara Roy’s work) before, it can manipulate Gaza with brute force.

          This is not some prism we’re looking into, it’s a clear picture.

          Hence, all you can do is obscure it with technicalities (if we accept your premise, hypothetically) – when the meaning and reality on the ground say otherwise.

          1. Stop liying and distorting what I’ve written.
            I’ve never “denyed Palestinians”.
            Nor have I “denyed their very existance”.
            Nor have I said “Palestinians identity is not legitimate”.
            I did not say that “the Palestinians have no claim to the land”.

            I think you’re just projecting what you think about the Jews in Israel on me.
            Anyways, there is only moderating here for one political side, I had to write it myself.

          2. Free Man does have a point. Just as I don’t like right wingers putting words into my mouth that I don’t believe, I think it’s ill-advised to do that on Free Man’s behalf. If he says he doesn’t deny Palestinian existence & says their identity does have legitimacy, we must take him at his word, unless we can prove by other things he’s said that he’s inconsistent.

            I disagree w. much that Free Man says, but I think when he says he doesn’t believe something I’d tend to believe him.

        2. Quote it & provide the source. This is either a bald faced lie or else you’re ignorant. It’s utterly stupid to claim a country can only occupy territory that belongs to it. Did Poland or France “belong to” German before it occupied them? You might want to recheck your sources if you used any & try to get it right next time.

          1. No ! I said that according to the “4th Geneva Convension” a country can only occupy a territory taken from another country. Read the document, you said you knew it.

          2. @ free man

            Give us the exact article where it states that.

            The prohibition of pillage is applicable to the territory of a Party to the conflict as well as to occupied territories. It guarantees all types of property, whether they belong to private [p.227] persons or to communities or the State.


            Forcible transfers of persons living in occupied territory:


            Article 4:

            “Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.”

            Article 49:

            “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”


            All International entities including Israel’s Supreme court recognize the Territories as OCCUPIED.

            “”The general point of departure of all parties – which is also our [Israeli Supreme Court] point of departure – is that Israel holds the area in belligerent occupation (occupatio bellica).”


        3. well, “free man”, perhaps after september 2011 we can revisit your hasbaric pseudo-argument.
          why don’t you just get out of my land and save yourself from disaster. yes, you read me right, i said and i meant MY land not yours: Gaza, EretzIshmael /ArdIsma’eel the WestBank, and my personal houses in Yafa (jafo) and ElLidd (Lod). i will never give up and will never forget … Paraphrasing Patton: From one Semite to another, go play with yourself.

          1. Sorry, I threats don’t work on me.
            In addition, I was born here, so telling me to go away don’t hold watter. For the last 100 years Arabs tried to threaten Jews with disasters istead of trying to live with them. It played rather bad for the Arabs. I suggest you learn from history and to try something else.
            As for calling me names, I suggest you stop that as well. I do not call “hamass” every person here who do not agree with me, so don’t try to call me names.

          2. You think because Israel has survived for 100 years that it will survive another 100? If so, your confidence is ill-founded. I sugggest you stop thumbing your nose at Palestinians & figure out a way to live w. them before the next war or the one after turns out a disaster for yr side. After which you won’t be singing the same ol’ song of rejection & hubris like you are now.

            I think Kalaam is being overly confrontational. But I don’t think telling him essentially to go to Hell gets you/us anywhere.

          3. kalaam is back.

            1. i never threaten. i promise.

            2. i have not started to call you names. i don’t have to but if you insist i will. i respect intelligent conversation and yours is way way off on the negative end of the intelligence/stupidity spectrum. you are obvious, irrational, your arguments don’t hold water, you lie right and left, you lie consistently, and the worst is that you are so obvious and do it without intelligence that i have to call it what it is. i uggest you go tell your bosses at Hasbara Central that kalaam suggests that they fire you and hire someone better equipped to handle this forum. I hate stupidity and can’t believe israeli Hasbara Central can be that stupid.

            3. you say ” I was born here, so telling me to go away don’t hold watter.” ok. i completely agree. You can stay where you were born. But don’t presume you can get away putting words in my mouth. Stupid Hasbara does not work with me. if you were born in Gaza you can stay in Gaza. if you were born in Ramallah you can stay in Ramallah. but WHOEVER was born in Moscow, Latvia, or New York should not live in my house in Palestine, kill my kin, and deny me the Right of Return to where my family has lived for the last two hundred years.

            4. You say “For the last 100 years Arabs tried to threaten Jews with disasters istead of trying to live with them.” that’s an unmitigated Lie. and calling you a liar here is not calling you names for it is your nature as a hasbarist. remember i was not born in New York, i am from Palestine proper, i have lived the events personally and i say you are a liar. Thank heaven for google. It supports me in this. When you denounce shamir (“palestinians are cockroaches”) and golda meir (“palestinians don’t exist”) there is a chance that i may hold some respect for you and continue this conversation.

            5. i really don’t give a damn about hamas or the likudniks. they are both loser fundamentalists that history will trash when peace comes. and peace will come to Palestine-Israel. i will make it so. if you know history you have to know that the palestinians (canaanites) will not disappear (sorry Joshua!) and the israelis (hebrews) will not disappear either. so we better get to know each other kim. Who knows perhaps against all odds we might help change our attitudes, transform each other and together live in peace in Palestine-Israel. if you don’t believe this is possible, well we’ll surely both live, die, and meet in hell to continue the fight there.

            6. i studied history all my life and can teach you much about Judaism, Israel, and Palestine but only if you open your mind and heart and if you properly ask me. for we are a nation of priests. i hope you believe that. and please, don’t go there, don’t challenge me on history: I know more than you think.

            i am not confrontational by nature or temperament but if someone pushes some buttons i will push the same buttons back for a while before i lose interest and disengage. i am almost there with Mr. Kim but i have given him the opportunity to show that he really wants to engage in intelligent conversation. if he doesn’t I really won’t have the time for the likes of him because I value my time, don’t have much of it, and being for peace and the continued permanence and existence of israel in and as part of the middle east I have always tried to do my utmost best to turn my enemies into my friends. but to do that i require intelligent conversation with an intelligent enemy. i am essentially a Jew at heart. Kim doesn’t know it. if Kim loses me he loses Israel. But Let’s hope for the best.

            I thank you Richard, beg your forgiveness if I overstepped your blog rules, and hope to meet with you in person sometime in the future.

            @Kim and @Richard
            Shalom v’Salaam

          4. For the last 100 years Arabs tried to threaten Jews with disasters istead of trying to live with them

            Aren’t you quoting Free Man? If so, pls. carefully address yr comments to the person who made them. Otherwise we’ll all be scratching our heads & not know who you’re talking about.

            I’m really becoming uncomfortable with your tone. I do allow people to use words like “lie” & “liar” but only in extreme circumstances & only when they actually prove that someone has lied. In other words, if you accuse someone of lying you’re specific about what the lie is & you present counter-evidence that proves yr pt of view is correct. You haven’t done this. And you’ve used these words multiple times in the course of a single comment. So read the comment rules. Respect them.

          5. @ Ya kalaam
            I think you mixed-up Kim – a new Hasbarista – and “Free man”, a ancient one and more ‘nuanced’ if that’s the correct word.
            Please don’t leave.
            Sanarjiou yawman bi sumud.

        4. free man, technically Gaza is not a state nor does it belong to a state, technically, but let me tell you this: what Israel is doing in Gaza AND in the West Bank to a recognized nation of people is WRONG AND EVIL in every sense of the Law on earth and in heaven and mostly in the conscience of man and your smug rationalization will never get past that point. I feel like Israel is setting a precedent for the creation of a new law regarding regarding illegal OCCUPATION.

          Zionism is so morally bankrupt and it’s when I read stuff like what you just wrote there that I’m convinced of it.

  10. Leonid, surely you’re not comparing the siege of Leningrad to the blockade of Gaza?? 1.5 million people lost their lives in Leningrad in what has been described as the largest loss of life in a city, ever. People starved and froze to death and the Nazis sought to prevent the delivery of any kind of aid. In the winter of 1942, up to 10,000 people a day starved to death and cannibalism became a problem. By the end of the siege, over 3000 residential buildings, 9000 homes and 840 factories had been destroyed. Widespread looting took place by the Nazis and many cultural and historical buildings and palaces had been ransacked, with their treasures shipped back to Germany. Comparing the siege of Leningrad to Gaza is not only historically inaccurate, but it’s an insult to those who fought and lost their lives in Leningrad. You are using their unprecedented tragedy to score cheap political points on a blog.

    1. Pea,

      don’t you talk to me like that. What do you know about that? My grandfather was killed in action defending Leningrad, leaving a wife and 3 small kids, one of whom died in the war and who had to live in almost poverty for many years without a father to take care of the family. The tragedy of the people of Leningrad is also my personal tragedy.

      And thanks for copying facts from Wikipedia. I wonder if these facts mean anything to you accept inasmuch as you use them to make your point. You do not engage with the tragedy of Leningrad. Because if you did, you’d feel the tragedy of Gaza.

      I don’t score any points here. I don’t need to. I don’t belong to any political party or movement.

      Comparing blockades to each other is not an insult to those who were and are under siege, unable to live any normal life, suffering from nightmares and malnutrition. Those who’ve ever lived under a blockade will understand those who are under siege now. Those heartless individuals that have no compassion for the people of Gaza will not understand either of them. Please watch this Children of Gaza documentary directed by Jezza Neumann: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8TTFirNs8k and see if you have any compassion left in you.

      1. Touchy aren’t we Leonid? Of course I am sympathetic to your loss. But that doesn’t change a thing. While you denigrate my facts, you don’t actually dispute them. As for your personal connection to Leningrad, the Russian side of my family would find your comparison of Leningrad to Gaza insulting. People starved to death in Leningrad, nothing even close to that is happening in Gaza. As for your claim to being apolitical, fine. I’ll accept that. Instead you cheapened what the people of Russia had gone through in Leningrad in order to win an argument. The video you linked to is very compelling. You’d have to be a monster not to be sympathetic to the plight of orphans. I trust that those responsible will come to justice and that Gaza will one day soon enjoy peace.

        1. Who cares Pea, it’s bad enough in Gaza. Why don’t you go live their like the majority of the people suffering there?

          Zionists use these disgusting comparisons to whitewash Israeli crimes.

          It’s absolutely sadistic. You starve the Palestinians, steal their land, etc. and then here you deny it’s happening or essentially tell them to ‘toughen up’.


        2. nothing even close to that is happening in Gaza.

          Is this really the standard you want to invoke: bad, but not as bad as the Nazis?? BTW, people are starving in Gaza. The only thing that prevents mass starvation resulting in death & the types of plauges like typhus that felled millions in the cold Leningrad and Warsaw winters is UNWRA & the 300,000 it feeds. Were it not for that & the tunnels there WOULD be mass starvation. For shame. You attempt to justify this by saying it’s not as bad as Leningrad.

          Don’t you dare tell Leonid he cheapened anything. He is a native of Belarus, also once part of the Soviet Union. What are you? What Russian side of your family lived through Leningrad BTW? A family name & perhaps a token of something that happened to them during that time will authenticate your apparent claim. Otherwise, you’re a charlatan poseur (or is it posette?).

        3. Cliff: I didn’t introduce the initial appalling comparison, so please try and get over yourself.

          Richard: The facts speak for themselves; comparing the siege of Leningrad to the blockade of Gaza is prima facie ridiculous, on every level. There is no way I am going to share a family name on a public forum. My Russian relatives are very private people and would not appreciate it. I can tell you that they are natives of St. Petersburg and lived there until they immigrated first to Italy and then to Canada and Israel. I’ll gladly ask them if they have a story or opinion to share on this topic, but it doesn’t change the veracity of anything that I have stated. There’s no need for touching personal anecdotes, which in any case cannot be independently confirmed, when the historical record is so clear on the subject. The Nazis didn’t let any aid into Leningrad. They cut off the power, they bombed the heck out of the city and the resulting destruction was without historical parallel. 1.5 million dead, 1.4 million relocated, a constant state of warfare and bombardment – how can anyone compare that to the situation in Gaza with a straight face? I am not saying this in order to diminish the plight of the residents of Gaza but do you really think it helps their case to grossly exaggerate the extent of the situation there?

          And thanks for the name calling. Very classy Richard.

          1. I know Leonid FAR better than you. He’s one of the most thoughtful, gentle commenters here. So saying he’s ridiculous or all the other stupid, insulting things you said about him goes over like a lead balloon (not that you care as you’re generally obtuse about these matters).

            As for whether the comparison is ridiculous, I always say that someone who is livin’ large like you are who says the suffering of someone is less than someone else’s is a hypocrite. When you spend a month living in Gaza & then tell me it was a walk in the park, then we can talk. Until you learn to suffer, you don’t impress in the least.

            I am not saying this in order to diminish the plight of the residents of Gaza

            Sure you are. If you weren’t then the comparison wouldn’t bother you so much. You’re pretty much heartless when it comes to the suffering of Palestinians. YOu acknowledge it by the thimbleful.

          2. Pea, one last remark.

            My initial response to Kim was triggerred by his statement that a blockade is a perfectly legal method of warfare. I responded to him that in that case the German blockade of Leningrad was a perfectly legal method of warfare. Of course both of these events are incomparable in the extent of human life loss. But they are comparable in the intent of making people suffer and break them for their defiance.

            Kim asked me to list how those two events are similar, and I listed a number of similarities.

            I’m sure Germans would have preferred subjugating the Soviet people without enaging in a lengthy war in which they too sustained an irreparable damage and finally lost. But the Soviet people would not let them get away so easily, they resisted on all fronts, including a truly massive popular guerilla movement. So do the people of Palestine resist what they see as injustice, occupation, stealing of their land, apartheid practices, etc.

            I repeat that Israel was essentially intent on punishing Gaza for electing Hamas. This is very well documented in the U.S. Ambassy cables revealed by the Wikileaks. Their intent was to bring Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe and keep it like that until Hamas goes. It seems that the only thing stopping Israel from starving Gaza completely is international public opinion. Listening to some Israelis, including some of my relatives there, I am aware that many Israel feel that Arabs should be dealt with harshly and expelled as far as possible from Israel.

            Because of so much controversy, I suggest that we drop the comparison between Gaza and Leningrad, and just look at Gaza. I sincerely recommend you to read “Gaza Stay Human” by the recently murdered Vittorio Arrigoni: http://www.amazon.com/Gaza-Stay-Human-Vittorio-Arrigoni/dp/1847740197

            It’s a powerful book and definitely no propaganda book, but a book by a first-hand wintess to what Cast Lead did to Gaza. Maybe, if you read this book, we can talk about it.

            Stay human!

      2. Hi Leonid
        I’ll just post the film ‘Children of Gaza’ on one video instead of the youtube in 6 parts:
        Here’s their site: http://childrenofgazafund.org
        I join you in encouraging everyone to see this documentary. The voice of Amal – from the al-Samouni-family who lost 29 members during Cast Lead – haunted me for days. There are so many heartbreaking scenes: when Ibrahim says that he doesn’t hate Israeli children, when Amal explains how nice her father was, but Mahmoud, Amal’s brother, is the one who touched me most: at the end he’s fighting with his tears, saying “I’m not a terrorist, I’m a Palestinian”. As you said: after seeing this, one is completely empty.

    2. The siege of Leningrad is equal to the countless other sieges in past wars. Naturally the siege of Leningrad was a terrible human tragedy, but it was still a normal episode of a war between two independent states. There is in the end no difference between the siege of Berlin or Leningrad.

      Gaza is not a state. When Israeli army left Gaza that did not make Gaza an independent state with responsibilities and rights in front of international law. The PA or Hamas rule in Gaza are in the end as independent ruling mechanisms as the Judenrats in the Nazi ghettos were. When Gaza is compared to something in the past history the only possibility is to compare it to those “independent areas” declared by the de facto ruling military power. One of the closest examples is Warsaw Ghetto. Sad but true.

      Let us imagine that the majority of Sri Lanka would isolate the large minority, Tamils, to a very small peninsular, then withdraw all troops from there, build fences, let some “Tamilrat” take the “ruling responsibility”, establish a full naval blockade and begin to claim that that small area is at war with it. That would be a new Gaza or Warsaw Ghetto.

      If the Gaza example is widely approved as a legal method by international law, then it opens really terrible ways of getting rid of minorities/ oppositions.

    3. I am fairly certain you missed Leonid’s point on this.
      If in principle, the methods Israel uses against Gaza are legal, then the German methods against Leningrad were also legal. The methods of the siege were on a functional level the same. True, the Germans were more brutal insofar that they did not even let a trickle of supplies barely enough for subsistence through.

      But the bottom line is: If a belligerent has a right to impose whatever conditions he likes on a besieged enemy territory – and if this is not what you are arguing, then let’s hear which objective, legal restrictions on Israel you recognize – then the siege of Leningrad was just dandy.

    4. Oh by the way, just a little comparison: Cast Lead killed 1400 Gazans over the course of a few weeks. That is about 0.1% of the population.

      So just imagine, if you will, terrorists blowing up government buildings, police stations, power stations etc. across the United States, killing 300,000 Americans over the course of a few weeks, a minority of them being soldiers, policemen and government employees, and a majority civilians, many of them children.

      That little thought experiment should give you an idea of just how horrible the Israeli attacks were.

  11. @ Leonid
    Either you are extremely naive or you are extremely hypocrite, or you are just a propagandist, which one is it ?
    The similarities you listed are no base for comparison and that is due to the intent of the actions taken.

    if you look at WWII as a whole, the allies dropped more bombs, killed more civilians, and inflicted more damage then the Axis. Despite that fact other then few lucid crazy people, no one thinks that Allies were wrong in doing what they did. Why ? because they were facing the ultimate evil, and there is no dispute over that.

    with respect to the conflict over gaza, Israel’s intention is not to kill civilians or conquer the land, if that was the intent taking over the gazan territory would take 2 days, expelling everyone out of there another week, the fact that such travesty didn’t happen to is a testimonial to the fact that there is no intent on Israel’s behalf.

    as for your answers to my question.
    1. It’s easy to see both historically and recently who started the violence, The Arabs rejected resolution 181 and opened a war, prior to that they inflicted extreme violence over the yeshuv, and these are historical undisputed fact.
    2. i answered number 2 above
    3. Any Palestinian living in the west bank, will laugh reading your statement, Abu-Mazen and Fayad do not do what Israel want (do you live on a parallel universe?) unless you want to tell us that this is all a big conspiracy and Israel initiated the move of the PA asking the UN to recognize their state ?

    the difference is quit obvious, while Hamas resorts to violence and terror, in the west bank they leave (for the most part) the way of violence and terror and are concentrating in building their state and economy.

    The polls showing PA satisfaction from the performance of Fayad as a pm linked to as a comment in one of the other posts are a testimonial to that fact.

    1. Kim,

      I am an extremely naive hypocritical propagandist. Satisfied?

      the allies dropped more bombs, killed more civilians, and inflicted more damage then the Axis.

      Are you out of your mind, man? By most modest estimates, only Soviet civillian casualties (more than 10 mln) by far exceed all the civilian deaths of Germany, Japan, and Italy combined. I’m not even talking about the millions of Chinese and Indonesian victims.

      The bombing of Dresden was unnecessary from any military standpoint, as well as many other incidents of the war. Hitler was a sick, evil, deranged individual, but that doesn’t justify bombing civilians in densely populated city centres with no or little military significance.

      Israel’s intention is not to kill civilians

      Tell this to the families of hundreds of innocent Gazans killed during the Cast Lead. One gets a feeling that many Israelis would gladly kill or expel all Arabas from anywhere near Israel if they got a chance and were not hampered by the international public opinion.

      Any Palestinian living in the west bank

      I guess you personally know more Palestinians from the West Bank than I do.

      While Hamas resorts to violence and terror, the Israel state and army resort to violence and terror in Gaza and West Bank.

      I don’t think I will respond to you anymore, because I feel that our discussion is not leading anywhere. Have a good day!

    2. @ Kim, new Hasbarista in town, aren’t you ?
      As far as your point number one is concerned, your propaganda has been posted by all your former colleagues here, i.e. dozens. There’s absolutely no ‘indisputable facts’ about neither ‘the Arabs opened the war’ nor ‘they inflicted extreme violence upon the Yeshuv’. Your chutzpah, on the other hand, IS indisputable.

      Don’t pretend to know anything about what the majority of the Palestinians in the West Bank think ! In fact, to many Palestinians, Abbas and Fayyad are mere collaborators to the Israeli occupation.

      That’s another racist side of Zionism: you pretend to know what the ‘savages’ think, and they all think the same.

  12. @ Richard,
    Yontan Shapira’s indirectly involvement in hostilities against Palestinians was of the same nature of any other solider of the IDF, He may be talking out of conviction, not out of experience.

    @ Leonid
    The fact that you don’t want to continue the debate is understandable, you simply have nothing to say.

    I was wrong about the number of casualties, i am sorry for that. the fact is the he allied dropped more bombs and used more fire power.

    as for your notion that Gazan’s are being killed, you are right, and it is horrible, however civilians are not being targeted as a primary target, they do suffer as a by product of war. and that is a huge distinction.

    as for you comparing Israel and Hamas, i guess your grandfather was guilty to, to your logic there is no such thing as self defense. Israel acts out of self defense.

    1. Helicopter pilots are directly involved in hostilities against Palestinians as I assume Shapira was or would’ve been had he continued his service. If you have direct knowledge of his service & can quote a credible source to prove he took no part in hostilities I’d like to see it.

      you simply have nothing to say.

      Don’t you DARE say that to Leonid. He’s been reading & commenting here far longer than you & is a more valued member of this community than you ever will be. So if you want to insult someone you don’t know the day after you barge into someone’s front parlor, you won’t be a guest here very much longer. Humility apparently isn’t in your vocabulary. Most readers coming here in good faith spend some time reading & understanding the issues. Then after absorbing that they comment. Only those how are hasbarists in for the kill & then gone behave as badly as you have.

      civilians are not being targeted as a primary target

      That’s a lie. Civilians were targeted as primary targets during Cast Lead, when 1,100 were killed. In fact 4 civilians were killed for every Palestinian combatant. A grisly record which gives the lie to your hasbarist claim. And their killings were not a “byproduct of war” but a direct result of it. IDF policy dictated killing civilians. WHen you treat an entire neighborhood as free fire zone & kill anything that moves as the IDF did numerous times, you’re going to kill civilians. And they did.

      Israel acts of blatant aggression. The only one who cannot concede this is the hasbara brigade.

      You’ve published 12 comments today. I am invoking a comment rule I use for people like you who do seem to have far too much time to flood the threads here. So as not to allow you or anyone to monopolize the threads I restrict certain overvoluble commenters to three comments per day. YOu are now on what Dov Weisglass would call the Gaza diet. You’re not dead of starvation, just on a diet. Three comments per day. Any overage & you will be moderated.

    2. Kim,

      I understand Israel’s security concerns. Many of my very close family live in Israel, and I do care about their security. (Yet I’d do everything to help my sister and her family move away from Israel.) Where I disagree with the Israeli government, is how the security can be achieved.

      My grandfather was drafted into the Soviet Army. He came from a лишенец-family that was stripped of many of their basic rights by the Soviets because they used to own a shop in a small stettl and therefore were not members of the working or peasant class. They were barred from voting, from settling in many cities, from higher education, etc. I don’t know what went through his mind as he was giving his life in the summer of 1942 for a country that treated him very badly. He couldn’t know that his elderly father and mother, and his brother and sister and their entire families were already murdered by the Nazis. I guess, if given a choice, my granddad whould have preferred fleeing the country with his family instead of fighting in a war between two evil regimes that first colluded in dividing between themselves the independent states of Eastern Europe and the Baltics and then went into a devastating war with each other.

      One last response from me to you. Noam Chomsky, whom I deeply respect, once wrote: “Rational discussion is useful only when there is a significant base of shared assumptions.” It appears you and I do not have such a base and probably will not have it any time soon. We are wasting each other’s time. Good luck!

        1. Yes, I join you in your praise of Leonid. Seeing Kim and particularly Pea for whom I had a minimum of respect accusing him of ‘scoring cheap political points’ is just too much. No one around here has more empathy and humanity than Leonid.
          As he uses Vittorio Arrigoni’s “Restiamo humani/Stay human”, here’s a tribute to Vic AND to Leonid:

          1. I forgot: the poem ‘Unadikum’ is by the great Palestinian poet Tawfiq Ziyâd and has been put into music by Ahmad Qa’bûr, a famous Lebanese composer and singer.
            It has become one of the most known Palestinian songs of resistance, and Vittorio Arrigoni sang it all the time.

  13. @ Deir Yassin

    Great honor meeting you as well, talking about chutzpa, taking my statements which referred you to a another post on this blog, and claiming it was my own.. Wow. some chutzpa you have, in your case Lying is just part of YOUR DNA. (not the tribes, just YOURS)



    so what the organizations i linked to above are what you define as “hasbara” ? are they work for what ? the Israeli government ?

    Boy, if they would put your brain inside a cow’s head, it would run to the slaughterhouse.

    1. Kim is an amateur hasbararist. Still focusing on ‘Hamas terror and violence’.

      Israeli violence and terror trumps Hamas in every way.

      Israel kills 10 times as many children and 5 times as many civilians in general.

      Israel has been documented using human shields, and among every other crime it’s carried out (stealing organs from Palestinians, as documented 2 summers ago) – it is stealing their land.

      There is no comparison between Israel and Palestinians – Israel is the occupier and has a monopoly on force with no consequences to its actions.

      Israelis flaunt international law and blatantly violate human and civil rights. Stealing and colonizing while playing the victim!

      1. stealing organs from Palestinians, as documented 2 summers ago

        Cliff: I think you’re drifting off topic with this one. The Aftonbladet article was a red herring as far as I’m concerned. There are certain stories I hate because they’re like 9/11 conspiracy theories. They lead nowhere. And the organ stealing story is one of those. Let’s get off this one, please.

    2. Lying is just part of YOUR DNA

      This is almost a new blog record. She been here less than 12 hours & already moderated. Accusing someone of lying w/o offering any proof is ground for moderation. And yes, I do accuse commenters of lying at times. But I only do this when I can offer evidence that the opposite of what they say is the truth. You of course, cannot offer such proof. If you can & do so convincingly I will remove you fr. moderation. If not, you’re stuck with it for violating comment rules.

      it would run to the slaughterhouse.

      Hey, that’s really cute. And you try one more lame witticism like that & you’ll be banned pronto.

      Regarding the polls, what is this Hasbara Central. Another commenter brought the same polls. Where do you get these from? Your handlers at the MFA. Look the polls over again. The poll alleging Fayyad was favored by 44% to be PM…who was he opposed by? Marwan Barghouti? No. Ismail Haniyeh? No. Jamal al-Khudaree. Jamal WHO, you say? This is one of the lamest polls I’ve ever seen. And you offer this as proof that Salaam Fayyad is a sterling Son of Palestine & trusted leader of the Palestinian masses?? Say what?

      Wafa, btw is Fatah’s press agency. I’d expect Wafa to be pimping polls favoring Fayyad. But what really bugs me is that we’ve already covered this same thing here. You are repeating the subject, something I really detest. That’s why it’s a good idea to spend time reading posts & comments before you barge in & throw yr weight around. You’ll get a sense of what’s being discussed & where you can add to the conversation & where you’ll be repeating yrself. So stop repeating material that’s already been discussed. And if you don’t know what’s been discussed read before you write. Then you won’t look as boorish as you do sometimes.

      1. I just wanted to respond to the comment you made that I believe was directed at me as I had previously posted the poll referenced here.

        My issue is with the statement that “handlers from the MFA” and “Hasbara Central” is somehow behind putting these polls out.

        I cannot speak for the poster above, but I can honestly tell you that these were simply the two most recent Palestinian public opinion polls that had data about Fayyad that came up in a search.

        I believed that the polls were legitimate as they were hosted on Palestinian sites that I was not aware were suspect (and I do appreciate you pointing out the questionable nature of anything found on the WAFA website).

        I did also wish to respond to your critical comments about the other poll that is linked to from IMEMC (not sure what your take is on that site).

        You appear to be calling this “one of the lamest polls” you’ve ever seen on the basis of the fact that Fayyad’s opponents for Prime Minister in the poll did not include Marwan Barghouti or Ismail Haniyeh, but rather Jamal Al-Khudaree and others.

        The reason for this exclusion is that since Barghouti is a member of Fatah and Haniyeh is a member of Hamas, neither one would be eligible to be Prime Minister under the unity agreement.

        The only candidates, therefore, that were included in this poll were those who are members of alternative political parties or independents.

        Fayyad is a member of The Third Way (although as you pointed out, he has been affiliated with the Fatah government), and Al-Khudaree is officially an Independent but affiliated with the Hamas government.

        I would also mention that given Hamas’s rejection of Fayyad, Al-Khudaree (also spelled Al-Khudari) is probably the front-runner for the Palestinian PM position.

        You might be saying “Jamal Who?” now, but I think it is quite likely that he may indeed end up being named PM this coming Tuesday.

        1. So you’re defending a poll which posits a choice between a well-known Palestinian official & one no one’s ever heard of & believe the fact that many chose the one they’d heard of makes the poll credible? There are many other well known independent figures who could serve as PM in this gov’t. Among them Mustafa Barghouti (though he’s not the only one). No well known independents were included. Hence the poll is not credible.

          1. I would respectfully point out that this particular survey asked the following poll question and did not, in fact, provide any choices. That is to say, respondents could name whomever they wished to name.

            The question was:

            “Who do you think is the most appropriate Palestinian independent figure to assume the post of PM in the coming national reconciliation government as stipulated in the reconciliation agreement?”

            The most popular response to this question (with no options given) was Salam Fayyad.

            The second most popular response was “I don’t trust anyone”

            The most popular response after Salam Fayyad that was actually an individual was Jamal Al-Khudaree.

            Marwan Barghouti, Mahmoud Abbas, and Ismail Haniyeh were each given as responses by less that 3 percent of those surveyed (whereas Fayyad received 26.5 percent, the highest of any individual named).

          2. I wanted to add that Mustafa Barghouti – whom you also mentioned – was chosen by 3.8 percent of those surveyed on that open-ended question.

            I also find it strange that you regard Jamal Al-Khudari as someone “no one’s ever heard of” – especially considering how active he has been in working with the organizers of the Freedom Flotilla, a cause you appear to have been closely following. He is the head of the of the Popular Committee Against Siege on Gaza and is probably the person on the Palestinian side who is most involved with the coordination of the flotilla.

    3. @ Kim
      Richard’s blog has a very sophisticated answering-system. You actually have a reply button directly under my comment which would make it easier for everyone to follow the discussion.
      First of all, I take all polls concerning Palestinian politics, their opinions on this and that with a lot of precaution.
      Secondly, you wrote “ask ANY Palestinian in the West Bank” and they will tell you blahblahblah. When did you talk with a Palestinian ?? I answered that MANY – which contradicts your ‘any’ – contrary to your statement consider Fayyad and Abbas as collaborators. ‘Many’ vs ‘any’ which means ‘ALL’ in your sentence: do you even grasp the difference ?
      And once again: I’m amazed by the intimate knowledge that most right-wing Zionists seem to have of the Palestinians !
      Secondly, my ‘hasbara’-comment was linked to your ‘indisputable facts’ about ‘the Arabs opened the war’.
      You would have understood that if you actually read my comment before jumping on your laptop.
      Oh, I see you’re already leaving. Don’t slam the door, please.

  14. I think, when I am ready to die, instead of donating my organs to science – I will volunteer to mann a flotilla – as another way of putting my last breath of life to a good service, that is, in recognition of the suffering of the people of Gaza and in the hope of lifting the siege.

  15. “….stealing organs from Palestinians, as documented 2 summers ago “

    You grossly exaggerate the statement made by a disgruntled former chief pathologist
    (Yehuda Hiss) about a very limited and informal practice carried out many years before at Abu Kabir by an unscrupulous party(ies), where the vast majority of cases involved Israeli citizens and for which Hiss himself was removed from his post. As usual, when you catch a criminal he excuses himself by saying that others are also doing it .

    Why do you not report the numerous cases of free specialized medical treatment in Israel given to deserving cases from Gaza. How many IDF officers devoted countless hours of their time to expediting Gazan patients through the bureaucracy to get them to their designated medical center in Israel. How many time IDF officers used their personal time to accompany such patients when no manpower was otherwise available.

    I am not suggesting that Israel does not need to change the way it perceives the conflict,
    indeed Israelis very much need to be made more aware of how it feels to be a Palestinian in Gaza.However,when one is negative, as you are, the other side simply clams up.

    If you really want to improve the situation then build bridges and not hate-barbed fences.

    1. I think he’s talking about the Aftonbladet article which is a bit diff. But the Hiss story didn’t just affect Palestinians. Even Israeli soldiers had their organs harvested.

      I’m not sure Hiss was removed. Are you sure?

      But Daniel, lets get off the hasbara point scoring about what angels Israelis are. It’s OFF TOPIC & I can’t stand this shamelss pandering. Just as I can stand Cliff’s invocation of organ harvesting. Both are terrible strategies to win hearts & influence people.

      1. 1)…. Yehuda Hiss

        “Hiss was given only a reprimand and continued to hold his position as chief pathologist at Abu Kabir and eventually regained his position as director”


        2)…the Aftonbladet article

        Donald Boström,The author of the Aftonbladet article said in an interview with Yediot Aharonot(Israeli newspaper) that,in his article, it had not been his intention to suggest that IDF soldiers were killing Palestinians for their organs and that “….even the Palestinians don’t say that….. 20 Palestinian families I spoke to were certain that their sons’ organs had been harvested” (when being returned to their families after autopsies)
        “As far as I know no one examined the bodies. All I’m saying is that this needs to be investigated”.


        also of note….Stockholm Jewish leader: Israel caused this mess

        3) …..what angels Israelis are

        O.K…….I’ll go easy on the schmaltz even though I personally witnessed such cases at the “Erez crossing” in northern Gaza.

        I believe that this forum affords an exchange of perspectives,an opportunity to see the same reality from a different standpoint and to broaden our understanding accordingly.
        I am grateful to those who can (temporarily) conquer their emotions and provide the rest of us with an insight that is new to us.

        1. The subtle difference is in your mind alone! We’re not stupid naive children who don’t see through manipulation regardless of it’s wrapping, and all manipulation is wrong because it tries to create an unfair advantage through statements that are often biased, unsupported imbalanced exaggerations and your type of manipulation by the way is what I would refer to as subtle but the most dangerous of all. As a matter of fact this very comment of yours is a perfect example: “One of them aim to win heart, the other is to poison it.” When the truth is that both are cheating.

          I prefer the clumsy and obvious, because no one is fooled by that type, but you are much more devious: twisting, turning, shading and contorting the truth to advantage your cause. At first glance it looks good and you may fool “some” of the people…that’s where I step in, to ensure you fool the least amount possible.

          And I know I’m not alone…so you’ll have to be real, real good at what you do to get away with it.

  16. @Kim

    You wrote this aberration: “with respect to the conflict over gaza, Israel’s intention is not to kill civilians or conquer the land, if that was the intent taking over the gazan territory would take 2 days, expelling everyone out of there another week, the fact that such travesty didn’t happen to is a testimonial to the fact that there is no intent on Israel’s behalf.”

    Ever hear of the saying: There’s more than one way to skin a cat?

    Obviously, Israel can’t put the final solution into practice with the whole world watching. And after Cast Lead, Israel knows just how fast and how far it can go in that sense: killing civilians. Israelis can only hope and wish that the 7 plagues are visited upon Palestinians as Rabbi Ovadia out loud wished would happen. But you know, he merely voiced the opinion of a whole lot of Israelis.

    How often have I read or heard Israelis say about Gaza: next time we’ll finish the job?

    But unfortunately for Israel, and fortunately for the Palestinians, the world is watch-ing.

    So Israelis employ the “slow kill” strategy (you kill one Israeli with your resistance and we WILL guarantee provocation, and you give us an excuse to kill 100, of your women and your children which in turn ensures a demograpahic slowdown) and as for the “takeover” it is ironically being triggered by means of the ENDLESS, interminable peace process, whereby Israel keeps setting the goal post further and further, frustrating any resolution and in the meantime as punishment for the Palestinians unwillingness to settle for less which Israelis know the Palestinians won’t surrender to, as who in his right mind would give up an Internationally-recognized legal right? And so for rejecting Israel’s version of “peace”, Israel justifies gradually grabbing more and more of the pie with land theft, new infrastructure and colonizing to fudge the facts on the ground and make their shady proposals to Palestinians appear next to impossible to achieve in order to further discourage and frustrate a resolution. It’s called bad faith. Israelis are smug that way. They’ve been baiting Palestinians for decades and in the meantime their final solution steamrolls onward while they pray for the plagues and hope for an event such as the 67 war that will give them the perfect excuse to make their solution official and reach the end of their Palestinian problem.

    But, in the meantime, Israelis are stuck with the slow, drawn out process while they feed their delusion.

    Slow kill, systematic land grab or killing civilians and takeover….no difference.

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