Truly Disgusting 56

I have just spoken to the FCO press spokesman. The line on the legality of the Israeli attack is “We are not getting into that, especially when the details are unclear.” They are waiting for “clarification from our Embassy in Tel Aviv”.

That is a terrible reaction from the coailition government to its first test on human rights. The detail can make no difference to the fact that the Israelis attacked foreign flagged vessels in international waters. That is a priori illegal. Where the hell are FCO legal advisers? Is this government ignoring them just like New Labour?


Demonstration outside Downing St at 2pm. Doubtless it will be small, but I feel obliged to be there.

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56 thoughts on “Truly Disgusting

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  • Neil Barker

    I agree with many of your views, but not this one. There is no world government. International law is merely a gentleman’s agreement between countries. Sovereign countries can, do, and should be able to choose which bits they will abide by and which bits they will ignore.

    And please will you email me a copy of “Murder in Samarkand”, Craig? I’m broke.

  • Craig


    International law plainly exists. It is encapsulated in numerous reaties and can be seen operating on the ground all over the world. Bush and Blair did it great harm. but neither Bush, Blair nor Israel has succeeded in wishing it out of existence – any more than Jack the Ripper destroyed the law of murder by getting waya with it. The law is still there. Now the government has to stand by it.

  • brian

    Neil – have you tried the local library, I believe they have several in Tel Aviv.

  • chris

    What can we expect ? Hague and Cameron are both members of Conservative Friends of Israel.

    What would it take for them to resign their membership?

  • Neil Barker

    You miss my point, Craig. In the absence of a world government, sovereign countries can choose whether or not to abide by international law. Who made this law? Sovereign governments made it, by agreement. They are free to withdraw their assent to it at any time. And I don’t have a library, or any money!

  • brian

    Neil – no library? That’s shocking. Whereabouts do you live – I’ll see if I can find out if there is a mobile library service in the vicinity.

  • flotilla

    i guess it will take more than the deaths of innocent people to get them to resign chris… as proven so far…

  • craig


    sovereign states which breach international law lay themselves open to a variety of sanctions from the international community ie other states.

    That is why it is essential the UK invokes this to protect the rule of law.

    Whatever your intention, your argument gives flase comfort to the “might is right” philosophy of the Bush/Blair/Israel axis.

  • Chris Dooley

    So what you are saying Neil is that when a country agrees to something… it does not agree in principle ?

  • Neil Barker

    Thanks, Brian, but most of the underdeveloped/developing world (in which I live) has no access to libraries. If we want to read a good book we rely on gifts or loans. I don’t think it unreasonable for a poor but eager, would-be reader to ask a rich writer for an e-copy of one of his books.

  • Leo

    Neil, by your logic “individual people can choose whether or not to abide by national law. Who made this law? Individual people made it, by agreement. They are free to withdraw their assent to it at any time.”

    Also, I imagine the United Nations is what you are looking for, in terms of a body that can/should enforce international law and hold countries to account. (Not that it always does, but it should.)

    Not sure how someone with no money or library is accessing the Internet, either. It’d be nice if you kept your begging for a book out of threads which have nothing to do with that (especially not two threads on the same day).

  • Chris Dooley

    Craig already has a link to one of his fine free e-books… click on it at the top of this page. If you like it, maybe save up and buy the other even better fine book.

  • Neil Barker

    Sure, countries can reach agreements, but there is no reason why they can’t later change their minds. Real law is enforced by governments. There is no legitimate body that could possibly have the right to enforce agreements between sovereign countries. I’m not saying might is right, nor do I agree with the way some countries disregard the rights of others, but it’s a fact that countries can and do reverse agreements they reached at an earlier date. Now I have to go to work, I’m afraid. I’d be so pleased if I found an e-copy of “Murder in Samarkand” in my inbox when I return!! (-:

  • Pete


    Turkey is of course a NATO member. Any thoughts on that angle? A threat to withdraw if support from other NATO members is not forthcoming might not be an empty one. Having nationals killed in international waters by a foreign state would require a strong government response in any country, would it not?


  • craig


    You ignore the UN, the ECHR, the ICJ, the ICC, the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea and the numerous xamples of sanctions regimes.

  • Arsalan

    I’ve said it before, Craig Lib Dems are in the pockets of Israel.

    All Major Leb Dem players are members of Lib friends of Israel.

    It is a Zionist party!

    Just as Labour and conservatives are Zionist parties.

    Buying politicians costs a lot of money. Israel wouldn’t buy them if they didn’t get anything in return, and this is what they get in return.

    Just take a good look at where the three main parties get their election funds from.

  • Paul Johnston

    Did you actually believe the new government would behave anyway differently from the old one? Taking the Israeli side is the stock position for all major political parties (and the lib dems) you just need to look at the NPT debate.

  • Ruth

    It’s time for the Muslim nations to rise up against the scourge on earth and

    it’s time for those with any morality to support the Muslim nations.

  • Anonymous

    Once again the Israeli government must have had the blessing of the USA before committing this atrocity. The UK is an irrelevance, their support is taken for granted.

  • Dougf

    Why precisely is it ‘terrible’ to say “We are not getting into that, especially when the details are unclear.”?

    That is what all responsible Governments(not cults) do when something such as this happens. The World is for grown ups — It’s not a kiddies sandbox, where the toddlers get to be all rush to judgment before ALL the facts are


    Just in the interests of honesty, I am not a big fan-boy of Palestinian anything, but at first blush I really can’t understand why Israel allowed itself to be manipulated into this really bad action(by whatever measure you want to use). So I agree with you that it was ‘unacceptable’, but probably for hugely different reasons. But ‘unacceptable’ is ‘unacceptable’.

    Governments however as I said have to be ‘careful’ before rushing in. They just do. I’m sure something will get said or done in the near future. Just now RIGHT AWAY. Even if you stamp your feet and run around in circles.

    Give it 24 hrs and then see.

  • mike cobley

    Ah, good ol arsalan – libdems pro-israel fascists blah blah…zionist party blah blah….friend of israel blahdisoddingblah… Get a new record, mate, that one’s not fit for purpose. Or do you just plain enjoy insulting people you don’t know?

  • mike cobley

    Craig – just tried phoning round the HofC, and the FCO but hey, bank holiday, no-one in, Cowley St as well. But I left messages at Cowley St and on Jeremy Browne MP (minister at the FO) office ansafone. Also emailed my local MP about the Israeli assault. Damn, feel as if I’m banging head on da wall.

  • Craig


    It is terrible because it sends a signal that we don’t care about Israeli killings – as evidently you don’t unless they are counter-productive for the interests of Israel.

    The international law of boarding a foreign flagged ship in international waters is the legal issue here, whatever transpired upon the ship. Norway and Germany and Spain are among the many coutnries who have stated the blindingly obvious.

    I can tell you one fact. The murdered will still be dead after your 24 hours.


  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq


    Palestinians, Israelis, Tuskans or Tatooine, does it matter – forced starvation is the issue with crossing closed into Gaza or severely restricted because the ELECTED government is considered a terrorist organisation and Israel want to “smoke ’em out!”

    But kids are dying from malnutrition and waiting 24hrs is 24hrs too long.

    Who needs a ‘sandbox’ when your starving hungry dood.

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