35 thoughts on “Kafka in an Arab Sea – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Don’t worry… it can become even more Kafakesk… what about when the arrested fishermen for their defense demand the arresting officer to be present? And what about when the these fishermen demand to have the legal documents of their trial at Israel being sent over, and be authorized by legal representatives? It would mean that Israel should recognize Yemen, should cooperate with the authorities of Yemen, and be having legal representatives appointed who then legally authorize the documents that Israeli court must provide……..

    And what about being Kafakesk when the fishermen go in appeal to their sentence? It can be that we will be seeing the following:

    One morning a fisherman wakes up, thinks to be going out for a nice day of fishing, looking at the sea, dreaming about peace, and then finally ends up in the Hague, before the International Court of Justice, defending himself against the accusations of being a spy for Israel……… Speaking of something being Kafkaesk…….

  2. Israel has learned that it can board boats in international waters, kidnap passengers, throw them into prison, then deport them for entering the country illegally. They’ve been doing this since July 2009, when they pirated our “Spirit of Humanity’ and hauled our passengers into Israel. Since no one has ever held these pirates and miscreants accountable, not even for murdering nine of our passengers and wounding 50 others as we were traveling in international waters during Freedom Flotilla 1, they think they can continue to act with impunity.

    This story is just another example.

    1. Israel has not “learned” in the meaning of having been educated in my opinion, Israel has been allowed by the international community, and especially the so-called Defender of Values and Norms ie the USA, to breach international treaties, international laws and to perform war-crimes, without being held accountable and responsible for its actions!
      The People of Israel are simply doing what their former prosecutors did……. lie, cheat, commit crimes against humanity, murder, oppress and suppress human rights, same as what the nazis did prior and during WW2. In that sense the Israeli state learned, to that I agree!
      And no, I am not anti-jew, anti-Israel or even pro-Arab!
      The values that are supported by the Israeli state are despicable, foul, rotten and lower then low… in my opinion, and they should be condemned by all human beings who have a heart, who have compassion and who honor human rights!

      1. @Master Adrian: I have very specific rules for comments that warn against blanket comments associating either Palestinians or Israelis with Nazism. I don’t have a problem with very specific parallels that are factual, historically valid, & evidence-based. But blanket comments like yours start to sound like propaganda rather than serious debate.

        1. I do apologize for the possible impression gvien, but my referring to nazi-germany prior and during WW2 was not intended or thought to be propaganda, neither pro nor anti-Palestinian!
          My comment was also not intended to be a blanket comment, as what I see happening in the occupied territories by the state of Israel, or in the name of the state Israel, is factually equal to what the nazi-germans did during the occupation of and in several occupied European states…. arresting people due to reprisals, staring people, depriving people from basics, punishing collectively, arresting minors and subjecting minors to activities that are harming and breaches of international treaties and rules.
          IF comparing what has happened in the past to what is happening in 2013 is considered propaganda…. I think that history books can be thrown away, and history lessons can be stopped at schools, and history professors at universities can be fired……..
          I am fully aware that saying a negative thing about the state of Israel often if not always is considered being against existence the state of Israel, or being against the jewish faith, or being anti-everything-jewish/Israel-related, but be assured that I am pro-Israel, pro-existence of the state of Israel and that I am not propagandizing the extermination of the state of Israel!

          I hope this has clarified something.

  3. Israel has learned that it *must* board boats in international waters if it wants to prevent boats like Karine A, Victoria, Santorini, Abu Hassan, Francop and others from reaching the freedom fighters in the region.
    And guess what – Ejypt, Lebanon and even Yemmen itself boarded tohse innocent fishing boats. They caught big fish.

    1. @Yoyo: Other countries board vessels, inspect them, & when they find no weapons leave them be. Only Israel seizes a ship clearly not carrying any weapons, kidnaps the crew, imprisons it, dismantles the boat looking for contraband weapons that aren’t there, then expels the fisherman to further imprisonment in their home country. No other country commits such outrages.

      So no manner of hasbara will wipe clean this outrage, no matter how hard you try.

  4. The war against Iranian arms shipments to many different terror organizations throughout the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, the Sinai, the Gaza Strip & Lebanon, involves a tedious Sisyphus style (mostly intelligence focused) effort. Examining single events without looking at their context may lead the uninformed reader (and let’s face it, most of the readers are not privy to the entire intelligence picture, hence uninformed ) to the wrong conclusions.

    The takeover of the Yemenite maritime vessel took place amid December 2012. 2 Weeks after in Jan 2013, the Yemenite authorities, boarded and arrested the Jihan 1 vessel “pointing out that the vessel included surface-to-air missiles used to shoot down civilian and military aircraft, C4 military-grade explosives, 122-millimeter shells, rocket-propelled grenades and bomb-making equipment, including electronic circuits, remote triggers and other hand-held explosives.”

    “The Iranian weapon loaded boat was en route to the Houthi Movement through Al-Makha port in the Red Sea, AFP quoted Yemeni security sources.”

    In March 2013, The Jihan 2 vessel was arrested in Bab Al-Mandab Strait, as with Jihan 1, Jihan 2 was loaded with advance Iranian weaponry to the roof.

    The war against arms smuggling in the Red Sea theater produced strange alliances composed of “unnatural states”. The US leads this collaborative intelligence effort and serves as liaison between former (and some time’s current) enemies. One of the countries participating in this alliance is Yemen. Through the Yemenite Territory passes one of the main routes of weapons smuggling between Iran and is supported – terrorist organizations operating in the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, the Sinai, the Gaza Strip to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    I am totally aware of the fact, that the connection between the arrest of the Vessel in December and the Yemenite raid on the Jihan 1 – as presented to the public – is circumstantial at best (at this point), however no one would be able to deny the possibility that the information provided by the interrogated crew led to the successful raid two weeks later.


    1. @EladR: So your claim is that after Israel boarded the boat & found no weapons, it was then justified in kidnapping the crew, imprisoning them in Israel for months, destroying their ship in a fruitless search for weapons that weren’t there. Then it can expel the fisherman back to their home country to further years of imprisonment? And that’s acceptable behavior all because Israel wants to stop others who may be carrying weapons in their vessels?

      That’s ludicrous. And no amount of hasbara on your part will make this act of piracy acceptable. I would like to see you in a boat treated the same way. You’d change your tune quickly.

      Your consistent presence here, always playing the role of justifying Israeli intelligence snafus, leads me to believe you’re acting as a surrogate for these interests. I don’t know whether you do this officially or only freelance, but you are an agent of Israeli influence. You should actually register as an agent of a foreign power.

      1. First it’s a safe assumption that most smuggling networks, in that region, would smuggle everything: weapons, drugs, human trafficking, terrorists etc. some do it for money others do it for ideology. In that aspect i believe those fishermen served as a source of valuable information as to the operations of different smuggling networks in the region.

        Second The poor fishermen’s – as you portray them to be – were carrying about 220 pounds of Marijuana (it’s in the yediot headline in case you missed it) You claim they were innocent ? What would be the punishment for someone carrying 220 pounds over state lines in the US ? what would happen to his/her property ?

        I’m sure that the modus operandi of the Israeli intelligence services is not the only subject we do not think alike, does not agreeing with me makes you a surrogate for the Palestinian interest ? i don’t think so. it just makes you someone with a different opinion.

        1. There is even less justification for Israel kidnapping Yemeni fisherman merely to gain unspecified “intelligence.” Not unless you’re prepared to accept Israeli traders, etc. being kidnapped around the world in order for Israeli enemies to gain unspecified “intelligence” from them. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

          Further, what you believe Israel did in this case has no bearing or usefulness to the discussion. Who cares what you think happened? Did the commander of the navy ship that kidnapped them confide in you his thinking about what he did? Did Benny Gantz share with you the IDF’s thinking on this?

          As to drugs, are you claming that Israel has the right to monitor and curtail all drug smuggling in the region? Is that really the role you think the IDF is playing or should play? Is that the role the IDF wants to play? No, of course it isn’t. So bringing up the drugs is a red herring. Nice try. You earn a point in your Hasbara 101 Intro course. Actually, you’re more advanced–probably up to Hasbara 501. But clearly you’re not at graduate level yet.

          As for your relationship direct or indirect, to Israeli intelligence circles–you’ve fed me false intelligence-related stories in the past in an attempt to discredit my work. You’ve done this using various identities over the years. Who would it benefit to do what you were doing? Hmmm, let me think.

          As a result, I can’t trust any stories you offer unless I can confirm them through third parties.

          Now let’s compare you & your motives to mine. I publish under my own name. I don’t use multiple identities. I don’t dissemble. I never lie to anyone. I don’t pass out bogus stories attempting to discredit people.

          Finally, I’m not going to entertain protestations by you of your innocence & blah, blah, blah. I know who you are. I know what you’ve done.

          1. “I’m getting more and more convinced that you actually are the Elan Rubin
            that Oui linked to
            . Your hasbara is too slick to be your own.”

            I admire your patience to engage with people, even though the “conversation” is of itself informative.

          2. @Oui: He’s posted here under various pseudonyms over the past few yrs. Though he denies it of course.

            He peddled me one story I actually published that was probably invented. Then attempted to peddle another even grander story which I never published. Plus offered me some sort of top secret document which he never delivered (wanted to deliver it to the office of the synagogue I belong to!).

            You just don’t know what the motivation of people like that is. Whether they’re self-deputized to act on Israeli intelligence’s behalf; or whether there’s a more direct connection.

          3. “As to drugs, are you claming that Israel has the right to monitor and curtail all drug smuggling in the region? ”

            No, i am claiming that the street value of 220 pounds of Marijuana is in the hundred of thousands of dollars, where would a poor fisherman would get the funds to buy the drugs ? This is obviously a huge operation. A type of operation that points out to possible relations to smuggling networks in the region. That’s the reason those fisherman were arrested and brought to Israel for interrogation.

            The fact that this vessel was boarded to begin with, points to the high level of intelligence Israel has in the region.

          4. The fact that this vessel was boarded to begin with, points to the high level of intelligence Israel has in the region.

            What dumb trash you peddle. “High level of intelligence?” Kidnapping four poor Yemeni shlumps who had no weapons on their ship? That’s high intelligence? Like the high level of intelligence Israel used when it was duped by Hamas into kidnapping Dirar Abusisi in Ukraine, only to find it had another poor shlump trying to escape the clutches of Hamas only to run into the clutches of Mossad?

  5. the bottom line is – there is no regime anywhere in the world, at any moment in recorded history or pre-history, which exiss or existed) on the basis of any moral imperative. All regimes exist by force – sometimes skillfully concealed inside a velvet glove, of course. Humans ARE like chickens – they form pecking orders. To claim otherwise is to pretend that white folks have a moral right to live in Occupied Washington State.

    1. @Karl: Thank you, Thomas Hobbes or his modern incarnation. Contrary to your claims, nations and laws do have an underlying moral basis. Those values are often unrealized, even trampled asunder. But you cannot divorce morality from statecraft. It is part of the mix. Though of course there are pragmatic elements that are critical as well. You’re guilty of a typical extremist fault: overstating your case.

      And nice try at bringing up the claim of Native Americans to Washignton State. You’re only the 18th commenter who’s done so. Quite original. BTW, no Native American in decades has ever put forward such a claim. And the federal government actually paid some Native American tribes for the land that was stolen from them. When will Israel pay Palestinians for the land THEY stole?

    2. “the bottom line is – there is no regime anywhere in the world, at any moment in recorded history or pre-history, which exiss or existed) on the basis of any moral imperative. All regimes exist by force ”

      That’s excessive. At least in the post-2WW world, the notion of morality existed, even if it was not that much obeyed. States hid what they did. Now they don’t. And part of that is to be attributed to Israeli exceptionalism. Israel has never bothered with international law unless it’s useful. What gives you an advantage is the criterion. The disappearance of morality, even as a figleaf, is largely due to the Americans copying Israeli methods.

  6. @ Richard,
    i didn’t know where else to put this so you could see.

    the gag order was lifted on the abu Rida’s case. as i suggested in a comment i made before he wasn’t in sinai just to buy medicine for his wife (it’s always some lame excuse isn’t it – cake for his mother etc..). he is wanted for lots of terror activities – among them buying anti aircraft missiles to shoot down IAF planes and helicopters, suicide bombers training and the attempt to murder soldiers.
    in some reports he is defined as ‘one of the highest ranked terrorist arrested in recent years’.

    “formerly affiliated with Islamic Jihad, but is now affiliated with a group called the Al Quds Defenders.”
    you never elaborated what Al Quds Defenders is – a shadow organization of hamas.

    as i said when credit is due you should give it – but you also need to take responsibility for misleading information. i think you should at least close down the facebook page you opened to calling to free him.


    as soon as the English article will be published i’ll share it.

    1. Your comment is sheer nonsense. You’ve merely regurgitated what the Israeli secret police have told you just like Pavlov’s Dog who salivates when they ring a bell. They said Dirar Abusisi was Hamas’ rocket engineer when he’s never built a rocket in his life. So you expect that I’ll believe whatever the hell swill they spill about Abu Rida? Unlike you, I’m evidence-based. Give me some evidence. Then I’ll believe. Till then, you can fall for the horse manure your security services offer you. I’m not buying it.

      With a very common Israeli name like ‘Noam,’ please choose a different nickname so you will not be confused with the other Noam who posts here.

      1. @ Richard,

        you are not evidence based , since you are not able to collect them. you are source based. and that’s ok no foul in that (as long as the information is correct). but it seems you have a hard time connecting the dots when it comes to Palestinian militants. is it so hard to believe that some Palestinians are terrorists? the missiles fired in south israel (which you almost never mention) are firing themselves? you said yourself he was in the Islamic Jihad and now he’s affiliated with the Al Quds Defenders. and who are they? a Bridge Club? ever bothered to check? and may i ask , how can you be so sure that he is innocent? you know him personally?

        you like to hold on to the Abu Sisi’s kidnapping (i don’t know what evidence you have that he’s so innocent but lets not digress as we usually do) – but you don’t mention all the other arrests and intel operations made by the IDF, Mossad and other agencies which were spot on.

        the indictment is very specific going into detail of him using a 14 yrs old Palestinian as shield while installing an IED. i guess that saying he was a hamas militant commander is enough to get indited, why elaborate more if everything was made up and go to such specifics?

        and to that you can top he’s admission to the accusations. now, i know what you are going to say – even chuck norris would have admitted killing is own mother with the ‘abuse inflicted by the secret police’. well, his lawyer said to channel 2 that his client in 99% (of his admission) exaggerated or lied. so, as you can see it’s not a total denial, he fully admits some charges and in other he might have exaggerated – wonder what that means – i’ll tell you – it means he did much more than he is accused of.

        1. @Noam: I AM evidence-based insofar as the Israeli military-intelligence apparatus is concerned. I accept its claims when they offer evidence to support them, which they very rarely do. I do not accept their word. I do not accept rumors leaked to reporters that pass for damning proof of nefarious intent.

          I never said that Abu Rida was “pure and innocent.” I said that as a state Israel has a duty to respect the international laws that govern national sovereignty. If it doesn’t respect them then it no better than the terrorists themselves. Further, I said the Israelis have not proven their case against Abu Rida. That’s far different than saying he’s an angel. But as far as I’m concerned, he’s innocent till you find real evidence to prove otherwise. That, in case you don’t know, is how real democracies work in which there is rule of law. That’s not, of course, how Israel works.

          Hey I read the indictment too. The summary of it offers no substantive injury Abu Rida caused to any Israeli except a soldier who fell down when he was fired upon. The indictment notes the soldier wasn’t injured. So for the sake of argument, let’s say he did the things he did (which I don’t accept at all). How effective was this master terrorist? How many bombings did he succeed in carrying out? How many Israelis did he wound of kill? The answer? None.

          So I’m afraid you fail on every count. And I still await real proof of his bad acts. That doesn’t mean an IDF novella. It means real facts bolstered by supporting evidence.

          You say Abu Rida “admitted” to the accusations? Says who? The Shabak? Big deal. I’ll take their word for it when Hell freezes over. Even if he did admit to the charges (which again I do not accept), he was certainly tortured to achieve such admissions. Such torture is routine in such security cases & supported by numerous claims by suspects who’ve endured & described the torture, and supported by Israeli NGOs who’ve documented the torture.

          I’m not going to continue this argument with you unless you offer evidence. Your opinion or the secret police’s claims are not sufficient & I will not permit you to participate in this thread making such claims lacking facts or evidence.

          1. “So for the sake of argument, let’s say he did the things he did (which I don’t accept at all). How effective was this master terrorist? How many bombings did he succeed in carrying out? How many Israelis did he wound of kill? The answer? None.”

            For the sake of the argument, do you know a justice system that will free someone only beacuse he didn’t succeed in killing or injuring other people?!

          2. @ Richard,

            “he’s innocent till you find real evidence to prove otherwise. That, in case you don’t know, is how real democracies work in which there is rule of law.”

            is that how you acted in the Gideon Saar case? you waited for proof?? you waited till he was found guilty? or bcz is a right winged and opposes your views you just wrote an entire thread calling for other women to come out against him?! but in this case, you didn’t even post an update to your thread as if it’s irrelevant to the story.

            ” Even if he did admit to the charges” – as i said, lets say that the admission was by force – still why doesn’t his lawyer reject all charges? his he being tortured as well? maybe we can’t see the ‘secret police’ agent looming behind the cameraman while he gave an interview to israeli TV.

            “How effective was this master terrorist? How many bombings did he succeed in carrying out? How many Israelis did he wound of kill? The answer? None.”

            a ridiculous over used lefties argument. so bcz they are inefficient their attempts are Kosher? how many times have i heard that the rockets fired from Gaza don’t kill anyone – as if that’s a justification.
            as you said to EladR – if you were living in south israel you’d change your tune.

            and finally, ” I said that as a state Israel has a duty to respect the international laws that govern national sovereignty.” if Egyptian authorities cleared this operation how is that breaking the sovereignty of Egypt ? you can be disgusted all you want from the Mossad ops. but in this case you are wrong. in fact, one of the only silver lining in the Egyptian ordeal is that despite the turmoils the security co operation is still on going which helps building the trust among both sides. further more, if we – for the sake of the argument – say that Abu Rida is a terrorist isn’t it better to dupe him to come out of gaza and make a clear arrest than to bomb his house possibly hurting innocent bystanders?

            P.S about the hard proof you want – there will always be an excuse – like in past cases. as you said,
            “I’ll take their word for it when Hell freezes over.”

          3. @Noam: I had a source far more objective than any yellow Israeli journalist. That source offered me evidence even before Maya Katz’s letter becamse public. So I had plenty of evidence. You might not have liked the evidence because you’re a Likud fan.

            BTW, I still believe Gideon Saar is guilty of all the bad behavior with which he’s been accused. Once again, just because the incompetent, entirely politicized Israel police say they can’t or won’t investigate Saar, doesn’t mean he’s not guilty.

            I have reported on the sexual misdeeds of politicians of many Israeli parties, not just the Likud. So claiming I reported Saar was a cheat and womanizer because he’s a right wing extremist isn’t true (though he is a right wing extremist).

            I never said terrorism was “kosher.” I said that Israel needed to prove he was a terrorist which it will never do according to any legal standard acceptable in any western democracy. And that’s a tragedy for you & your country (not to mention victims like Abu Rida).

            I would never live in southern Israel or Israel in general until it ended the Occupation. I would never live in a State which has so much unaddressed injustice at its root. But if I did live in southern Israel my views would be the same as they are now. No different.

            I asked you not to continue commenting on Abu Rida unless you could offer proof. You disrespected my request. You are warned for violating the comment rules. Respect them in future or you may lose your privileges.

  7. Tell me Mr Richard,
    Are you extremly bored? every little fart Israel is doing you write mounds of rubbish. What’s up with you?

    Maybe you are jealous that Israel is thriving and you fading?

  8. This is too convenient, don’t you think?
    Sa’ar is guilty because…you say so, and it doesn’t matter what the Israeli justice system will say or do since it’s not legitimate by you.
    Abu Rida is innocent becuse… you say so! …and it doesn’t matter what the Israeli justice system will say or do since it’s not legitimate by you.
    What a win-win situation.

    1. The police never launched a full investigation of Saar. So your claim that the “Israeli justice system” declared him innocent is wrong. The reason he was not investigated is the political power he wields.

      I never said Abu Rida is “innocent.” I only said that Israel has never offered any proof that he was guilty & that it has lied through its teeth in similar previous situations. I know that sort of subtlety is hard for you hasbara folks to understand. But try harder. You might get the hang of it.

      1. @ Richard,
        in the Gideon Saar case there was a preliminary investigation (don’t know if that’s the correct legal term) which quickly concluded the letter was a fraud written in order to hurt his career (similar to the ugly Galant Affair). in any case like Azmy Bishara (if you remember our argument) he wasn’t trailed – argo, by your logic not guilty (at least for now) – you acted very differently on both cases.
        about the likud fan – you think that even if i was affiliated with the likud i’d want a convicted rapist as my children’s (future :)) education minister?? oh, i remember all israeli males are women abusers so maybe i do… richard get your perspectives straight.

        “I never said Abu Rida is ‘innocent.’ …..I know that sort of subtlety is hard for you hasbara folks to understand. But try harder. You might get the hang of it.”

        i know you ‘asked’ not to comment, but this doesn’t have to do with me having or not having the proof you are asking for (which by the way shouldn’t be presented to you but to the court). when you open a facebook page called “Free Wael Abu Rida, Stop Mossad Kidnapping” you are claiming (intentionally or not) that he his innocent – a concept i think lefties have a hard time understanding.

        1. @Noam: I don’t believe the police ever made an official determination the letter was a fraud. They just decided not to open a formal investigation. Those are two different things. Please when you comment here do NOT regurgitate for us what you read in Maariv or Ynet quoted from a police source. If you comment here offer information that is genuine & factual. Commenters like you attempt to pass off rumors, lies, innunendo, etc as truth every day & it gets old.

          I have word directly from Knesset staffers that they knew about Saar’s affair with Maya Katz. That is far more evidence than the Shabak ever had against Bishara. BTW, I’m still waiting for any fact, proof or evidence against him (again, not rumors or unsourced innuendo).

          When I call for the freeing of a kidnapped man I am not claiming anything other than that he was illegally taken by Israel & that country had no right to do so. Whether he is innocent or guilty has nothing to do with it. Israel has no right to hold or try him since it detained him illegally. If there was a real justice system in Israel it would throw the case against him out. But there isn’t.

          1. @ Richard,

            haven’t found the time to reply ’til now. i guess you moved already to other threads, so i’ll make it quick.

            in you view, what is the proper way to arrest a terrorist in a heavy populated area? assuming we have evidence etc. what would have made you say “hey, the mossad/IDF/Shabak/whatever handled it right”?

            if you could focus your answer to the tactical point of view and not to the vague “end occupation” etc.

            “I don’t believe the police ever made an official determination the letter was a fraud. ”
            this is haaretz saying the police declared the letter as a fraud – not from a source.

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