Norman Finkelstein comments on the State of Israel’s unlawful blockade of Gaza, leading to its Navy’s aggressive invasion of a humanitarian aid convoy (5:23):
Yesterday morning, the Israel Navy invaded a flotilla of six ships carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid to unlawfully, immorally blockaded Gaza Strip, killing and wounding scores of the hundreds of Good Samaritans. The “Freedom Flotilla” was attacked in international waters and has been widely condemned by the international community and protesters around the world.
Professor Norman Finkelstein, in a Russia Today interview, asks whether Israel “acts like a lunatic State or has become a lunatic State” and concludes: “Israel is a lunatic State”.
He adds the question: “Can a lunatic State be trusted with 2- to 300 nuclear devices when it is now threatening its neighrbors, Iran and Lebanon, with an attack?”
Israel are preparing to station three “submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline”, Uzi Mahnaimi reported this weekend at the Sunday Times of London.
“The deployment is designed to act as a deterrent, gather intelligence and potentially to land Mossad agents,” he added.
An anonymous “Israeli security official” claims Lebanon launched anti-aircraft artillery at Israeli warplanes flying over its airspace, but inflicting “no damage”. The AFP notes the “overflights violate U.N. Security Council [UNSC] Resolution 1701, which ended a devastating 2006 war” initiated by Israel against the Lebanese, who issue “almost daily reports of Israeli violations of its air space, but its military rarely opens fire unless the planes fly within range of its guns”.
Israel has spent the last six weeks threatening a pre-emptive military strike on Syria and Lebanon, accusing the former of transporting Scud missiles to Hizbollah in southern Lebanon—a violation of UNSC 1701. The accusation has included that Syria has been playing as middleman between Iran and the former Lebanese ruling faction, Amos Harel recently reported at Ha’aretz.
Richard Beeston at the Times of London is reporting that “security sources” say satellite imagery of Syrian bases is proof—of some sort yet unknown—to validate this accusation. His report adds:
Jihad Makdissi, the spokesman for the Syrian Embassy in London, insisted that all military sites in Syria were exclusive to the Syrian military.
“Syria and Israel remain in a state of war as long as Israel refuses to implement [ UNSC 242] resolutions to end the occupation of Arab lands; therefore if these military depots really exist it would be for the exclusive use of the Syrian Army to defend Syrian soil, and it is definitely nobody’s business,” he said.
The recent flotilla invasion by the Israel Defence Forces was an act of piracy, at the least; international terrorism, to be most accurate. Unlike Iran, Syria and Lebanon, Israel actually possess and proliferates nuclear weapons, threatening to use them and strategically stations them to do so. While the government threatens Iran—which is exceeding past the mutual agreement of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (N.P.T.) by further opening up its weapons-grade-incapable nuclear program—Israel voices anger that 189 nation-states will convene at “a conference in 2012 to discuss ridding the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction”, as Janine Zacharia and Mary Beth Sheridan report at The Washington Post.
Israel neither confirms nor denies itself as being armed with nuclear weapons of mass destruction and is not a signatory to the N.P.T. Spokespeople routinely condemn accusations toward its nuclear program when transparency is consensually called upon. Ha’aretz recently reported Israel’s “nuclear ambiguity” is a “strategic advantage”, according to an unnamed Israeli official, and that “it would not sign the N.P.T. until a comprehensive Arab-Israel peace deal is in place”. Conveniently, it makes no effort to further such a “peace deal“, but only makes regressive propositions, backed by the U.S.
Along with a “secret pledge” by the Obama Administration to perpetuate the secrecy of Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal, it was prepared to deliver ‘bunker-buster’ bombs with devastating potential to Israel before re-routing them to Diego Garcia, an island viciously stolen from indigenous people to be used as a military base from which it could “run the planet“. The re-routing is simply more convenient to reach Iran than directly from Israel.
Bearing in mind that Iran is incapable of nuclear weapons and has not invaded or occupied territories further than its recognized borders in memorable history, what would be the response were Iran to invade Israel’s nuclear-armed submarines that actually pose an existential threat to Iranian security?
Now imagine if it pirated a civilian flotilla carrying thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to a forcefully blockaded territory in the midst of an Iranian-imposed humanitarian crisis.
My former pedagogue is right is that Israel is a lunatic State and he would agree with me—though in the context of this interview, it would’ve be a red herring—that all nation-states are lunatic. But the perpetuity of the U.S.-Israeli lunacy brings to mind my favorite quote from my favorite philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Roderick Long, a heroic left-libertarian philosophy professor at Auburn University, calls this lunacy, “The Logick of Kings,” when: “The Israeli government explains that it had to kill innocent people because they defended themselves when attacked.”
The grasping for straws to shape a dualistic narrative on Israel’s recent terrorist piracy is shaped as efforts toward objectivity. The truth is that recognizing the validity of Israel’s apologists as some sort of ‘other side of the issue’ deserving a significant degree of validity to constantly be measured up with—or in the U.S. manufactured to dominate—the truth of Israel’s lunacy. I don’t support suppression of such speech, but in any society not-lunatic would be publicized in order to be ridiculed like Sarah Palin, Orly Taitz or Glenn Beck. Instead, the lunacy of Harvard University Professor Alan Dershowitz is measured to a high degree of validity within the discourse and enjoys the privilege of regularly spreading his lunatic hatred and blacklisting at the—so-called ‘liberal’—Huffington Post.
As long as the Obama Administration enables this lunatic State with its own lunacy of financially and diplomatically enabling it—by vetoing every UNSC resolution of condemnation—my co-editor is correct that “no one in their right mind could accurately refute calling this a ‘U.S.-Israeli’ attack on a humanitarian convoy”.
Lunacy, no matter how collective or powerful the collective, is lunacy, nonetheless.
EDIT: The Turkish foreign minister spoke against the “banditry”, “piracy” and “murder conducted by a State” of Israel’s actions. He noted that it has “lost its legitimacy as a respectful member of the international community” U.N. , condemning Israel’s “use of force” as an “act of aggression”. He correctly notes it is an “advocate of aggression” (3:50):
Yesterday, CNN-IBN reported Turkey vowed to continue allowing aid to set sail from its coast to aid the Gaza Strip, but will be escorted by the its Navy. To which, Sayyid pointed:
Today’s attack by Israel is a terrorist attack by any serious definition of “international terrorism”. A future attack, with the Turkish Navy escort, would be an act of war in international waters. Israel could claim Turkish provocation by aiding to break the blockade, but this is nullified by the fact that the blockade itself is an illegal act of war.
Turkey is a NATO member-state is ‘good standing’. An aggressive act of war by the Israeli Navy would effectively be one against the U.S., 26 European nation-states and Canada.
I’m compelled to add that allegations of the flotilla being more cynical activism than a humanitarian mission is pure bullshit because the aim of such talking points are to form a narrative that Israel’s act were of self-defense. Israel’s aggression in international waters was clearly a political message that anyone who seeks to intervene in its efforts to force Palestinians to “live like dogs”, as then-Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan stated after its 1967 war with Syria, and “see where this process leads”.
The key being: “this process”, controlled by the U.S.-Israeli-Egyptian cabal. Any deviation from this control is viewed as a threat to the violent domination of the Palestinian people against which must be defended with extreme prejudice—with full force. Lunacy, dammit.
EDIT2: Over 500 634 of the flotilla passengers are being held in detention camps set up well before the naval invasion; 45 refused court hearings and were deported, Jonathan Ferzinger and Calev Ben-David report at Bloomberg (via Business Week). The number of the dead are reported as “at least nine” by Al Jazeera (AJ)—though yesterday it was reporting 19 and Israel Army Radio reported 16. Here’s today’s full update posted by AJ (10:00):
The I.D.F. posted the passengers’ resistance to the Navy’s invasion at its YouTube channel, showing the terrorist invaders being beaten with clubs and chairs and other random objects. It is said that live fire was used by the passengers, but no evidence shows the passengers were acting in any way other than self-defense to the invasion (1:02):
From the statement attached:
Large groups of passengers surrounded soldiers and beat them with metal poles and chairs, and threw one soldier over the side of the ship. Some passengers grabbed pistols from the I.D.F. soldiers and opened fire. As a result of the attacks, seven I.D.F. soldiers were injured, and nine of the passengers were killed.
The ‘Free Gaza’ Flotilla had publicly insisted on their non-violent intentions, however their violent attack on the I.D.F. soldiers was clearly premeditated. They had knives, metal rods, firebombs and other items ready to use.
Israel clearly prepared to aggressively engage the flotilla with force—about which Sayyid wrote, late last week—with detention camps, mass mobilization of the Navy into international waters and an invasion clear preceded by reconnaissance.
Good for them for preparing to defend against Israel’s terrorist aggression. Express solidarity with these heroic Good Samaritans for effort to defend the defenseless and themselves against the Israel Offensive Forces—this terrorist gang.
In fact, (h/t: Stephen Webster) shots are heard from the I.D.F. before the invasion and after passengers waved a white flag. An AJ producer and Press TV reporter are reporting tear gas and shots being fired in footage, clearly, filmed before the invasion (9:35):
Dorian Jones and Helena Smith have an article at the London Guardian of passenger accounts that:
- First, there was fire from the I.D.F.
- Next, smoke and gas canisters were launched onto the ships.
- Then, the I.D.F. invaded.
- After that, flotilla passengers resisted
Whether or not the flotilla was even equipped to exchange fire or soft-arms seacraft-to-seacraft resistance, I have yet to see. Israel apologists and flotilla demonizers don’t even need to accept basic principles of proportionality, in accordance with international law, but just the primal knowledge that the flotilla posed no threat to sinking or damaging an I.D.F. vessel. Accepting this basic truth is the first step away from lunacy. Accepting this and continuing to deny the I.D.F. committed unlawful, immoral “acts of aggression” is lunacy to a higher degree.
EDIT3: Egypt will open the Rafah border crossing to Gaza “to allow medical and humanitarian aid”, according to a state-run news agency and reported by Mr. Ferzinger and Ben-David. Hamas said in a statement that the border would be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
They also report another ship will attempt to break the blockade.
Also, the UNSC has been said to have condemned the attack, it “fell short of a resolution”, Thalif Deen reports at Inter Press Services. The U.S. rejected resolution drafts calling for an international inquiry, holding out that Israel ought to investigate the aggression it ordered the I.D.F. to conduct, Chris McGreal reports at the Guardian.
The five permanent UNSC members—the U.S., Britain, Russia, China and France—have ultimate veto power over all binding resolutions. Basically, any resolution calling for a U.N. or E.U. joint inquiry with another international body would’ve been approved by 14 of the 15 nations and vetoed by the Obama Administration. It seems to not want another Goldstone Report to condemn with piss running down their legs.
Also, I have to tip my glass to the Financial Times (FT)—and Prof. Finkelstein for sending it to me because I wouldn’t have caught it since I canceled my subscription. (If you’re not a subscriber, he posted it in full at his website here.) Their editorial page holds back no punches, saying Israel “dealt a blow to the legitimacy of its own struggle” as the flotilla attack sent it “hurtling into lawlessness”, recognizing “the true outrage is the illegal blockade of Gaza that it enforced”.
The FT recognizes Israel’s blockade is sold with that the “goal is to weaken Hamas”, but “the illegal collective punishment it implies, only shores up Hamas’s support” by turning “Gaza into a mafia-run statelet”, adding:
Hamas engages in terrorism and fires occasional rockets into Israel, but it is an example of that rarest of Middle Eastern species: a popularly elected government. It has also signed up to the 2002 comprehensive peace offer by the Arab League and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. If this is a bluff, it is one Israel has yet to call. That is what this is ultimately about. Israel’s government has been pretending it is ready to negotiate for peace, but that there is no one to negotiate with on the other side. The attack on the blockade-busters lays bare the country’s slide into contempt for international law, intolerance of dissent and wilful [sic] sabotage of viable representation for Palestinians.
Israel has always known the importance of its conduct being judged legal by the world’s leading powers. Those powers—in the body of the Quartet and the U.N. Security Council—must now make clear it has gone too far.
Compare this excessive level of honesty with that of The Washington Post (WaPo) editors who seem fixated on sympathizing with the I.D.F. soldiers confronted by “militants who swarmed around them with knives and iron bars”. The editors clearly expressed they “have no sympathy for the motives of the participants in the flotilla—a motley collection that included European sympathizers with the Palestinian cause, Israeli Arab leaders and Turkish Islamic activists”.
All of that said, even the WaPo concedes “the threat to Israel was political rather than military”. That said, it’s very dangerous to view this terrorist act of aggressive piracy when it adds that “lethal force only compounded the error”. There was no “error”. The invasion was deliberate and the resistance was defensive.