Why San Remo Does Not Apply 105


Every comments thread on every internet site on the world which has discussed the Israeli naval murders, has been inundated by organised ZIonist commenters stating that the Israeli action was legal under the San Remo Manual of International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.

They ignore those parts of San Remo that specifically state that it is illegal to enforce a general blockade on an entire population. But even apart from that, San Remo simply does not apply.

The manual relates specifically to legal practice in time of war. With whom is Israel at war?

There is no war.

Israeli apologists have gone on to say they are in a state of armed conflict with Gaza.

Really? In that case, why do we continually hear Israeli complaints about rockets fired from Gaza into Israel? If it is the formal Israeli position that it is in a state of armed conflict with Gaza, then Gaza has every right to attack Israel with rockets.

But in fact, plainly to the whole world, the nature and frequency of Israeli complaints about rocket attacks gives evidence that Israel does not in fact believe that a situation of armed conflict exists.

Secondly, if Israel wishes to claim it is in a state of armed conflict with Gaza, then it must treat all of its Gazan prisoners as prisoners of war entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention. If you are in a formal state of armed conflict, you cannot categorise your opponents as terrorists.

But again, it is plain for the world to see from its treatment and description of Gazan prisoners that it does not consider itself to be in a formal position of armed conflict.

Israel is seeking to pick and choose which bits of law applicable to armed conflict it applies, by accepting or not accepting it is in armed conflcit depending on the expediency of the moment.

I have consistently denounced Hamas rocket attacks into Israel. I have categorised them as terrorism. If Israel wishes now to declare it is in armed conflcit with Gaza, I withdraw my opposition and indeed would urge Hamas to step up such attacks to the maximum.

Does Israel really wish to justify its latest action by declaring it is at war with Gaza? That is what the invocation of San Remo amounts to.

Craig Murray is a former British Ambassador. He is also a former Head of the Maritime Section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He negotiated the UK’s current maritime boundaries with Ireland, Denmark (Faeroes), Belgium and France, and boundaries of the Channel Islands, Turks and Caicos and British Virgin Islands. He was alternate Head of the UK Delegation to the UN Preparatory Commission on the Law of the Sea. He was Head of the FCO Section of the Embargo Surveillance Centre, enforcing sanctions on Iraq, and directly responsible for clearance of Royal Navy boarding operations in the Persian Gulf.

Reviews of Craig Murray’s War on Terror Memoir, “Murder in Samarkand” – published in the US as “Dirty Diplomacy”:

“It really is a magnificent achievement” – Noam Chomsky

“A fearless book by a fearless man. Craig Murray tells the truth whether the “authorities” like it or not. I salute a man of integrity” – Harold Pinter


105 thoughts on “Why San Remo Does Not Apply

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  • glenn

    TheTruthO: 100% mistakes in your article.

    1. You cannot have war crimes unless one is in a state of war. Arguably it’s terrorism rather than simply acting against an aggressor.

    2. Terrorism is to use force against a population to bring about a political aim. What do you suppose the aim is in this case? I’d say it’s the survival of the people of Gaza.

    Don’t give me any nonsense about the Israelis just responding to these bottle-rockets. Hamas gave it up for about a year until “Operation Cast Lead” – terrorist activity at a vastly different level – caused them to halt the agreed ceasefire.

    3. A state of war has not been declared but, if it were, people of Gaza would be entitled to GC provisions as prisoners of war. Wake up – they are prisoners. Gaza is the world’s largest concentration camp.

    Yours is, with all due respect, apologist drivel for a filthy, murderous regime entirely lacking a moral conscience, because it has never had cause to use restraint. If you took money to write your apologia, shame on you. If you wrote out of pure ignorance, shame on you again.

  • Bob

    @Glenn. A state of war exists between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Why do you think people keep trying to get a peace treaty going?

    “Prisoners of war” is a term that applies to captured soldiers and other lawful combat forces, not blockaded populations or captured terrorists.

    Since the only time the Gazans are endangered is in response to Gazan terrorism and other attacks on Israel, their terrorist attacks serve no military purpose. They are simply acts of murder and attempted murder against innocent people. If you think using targeting civilians is ok, then why all the complaints about Israel killing civilians in the Gaza raid?

    If Israel decided to adopt the Palestinian “morality” that says that murdering civilians is ok, Gaza and the West Bank would be wiped out in a couple of months.

    As for lack of restraint, look at the Gaza war. More than 3 weeks, probably at least 10,000 soldiers, tanks, planes, artillery. Death count? Even by the Palestinians’ inflated numbers about 1500. About one dead for every 6 Israeli soldiers. What kind of lame, wimpy murderous thugs are they, give them three weeks and they can’t even kill one person per soldier? I mean seriously, three whole weeks, modern weapons, and less than half the number of dead than the 9/11 attack, 19 guys, four commercial planes, a few hours.

    So, lets assume that your premise was correct. That the Israelis were a murderous regime. Figure, they could kill a bare minimum of one Gazan per soldier per day. How many is that? About 200,000 dead. Over 100 times the actual casualty count.

    Same with the latest boat. Hundreds of passengers and only 9 dead? And only on one ship? What kind of lame massacre is that?

    Seriously, it is almost comical to see people who obviously have no math skills look at incredibly low casualty rates and think that the intent was mass murder.

    Oh, and Hamas stopped taking credit for the rockets for a while, but the rockets kept coming.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Larry from St Loon ,

    What is your Opinion of that other Ship that was shot up by Israelis called the USS Liberty killing 34 American crew members and wounded 170.

  • glenn

    Bob: You don’t need to have a war – a term, incidentally, that is recognised under International Law – before peace processes can be got going.

    For instance, the ‘peace process’ was a long operation in Northern Island, although that was never a war.

    You say the only time people of Gaza are engaged is in response to terrorism. Would you mind explaining how the ceasefire concerning Hamas bottle-rockets actually ended, in that case? Would you care to demonstrate this rather sweeping principle you’ve asserted?

    Israel is most certainly wiping out Palestinians with starvation and disease. Malnutrition and deaths through lack of medical supplies are rife. This is the result of Israeli “morality”, you will have to agree.

    Oh, what “Restraint” you claim, was shown during “Operation Cast Lead”. Is that why white phosphorous was used on civilian areas, contrary to International Law? Is that how 1300-odd people, mostly citizens, died in Gaza? Your figure of 1 in 6 deaths being that of Israeli soldiers is utterly ludicrous. A score or so of IDF died, a large proportion of them through ‘friendly fire’ – doubtless because of this benevolent restraint!

    (Did you just make this stuff up, or is this the New Story we’re supposed to hold now?)

    *

    You might find this comical, Bob – decent people find it horrific. If the Iranians behaved anything like this, I don’t suppose for a moment you’d have the same view. For the rest of us, we would have _exactly_ the same view, regardless of who did it.

    That’s the difference between shills for Israel like yourself, and decent people.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, the web-world and MSM are full of lap-dogs, barking the same one-tone barks. All they need is a bone. Give a dog a bone. Woof! Woof! Bow-wow! Down, boy, down!

  • glenn

    Just for the record, can any of our filthy apologists for Israeli thuggery explain something. If they can. Why would the UK would not have been entitled to treat Ireland in exactly the same way as Israel treats Palestinians? After all, the IRA was a bigger threat. They blew up the government, attacked civilian targets all around, and even launched a real rocket (not a Hamas bottle-rocket) hitting Downing Street.

    Should Britain have had an “Operation Cast Lead” against Ireland, raining down white phosphorous, scattering cluster bombs and killing civilians by the thousand?

    Would Britain not be entitled to starve Ireland with a medieval style siege – for _years_ , and attack anyone who brought them aid with the excuse of “Well, aren’t we allowed to defend ourselves!” ?

    Could we not justifiably steal Ireland’s water, its best land, constantly erode its boarders, etc. etc. ?

    Couldn’t we criss-cross Ireland with roads for Jews, sorry, British citizens only, and hold up the Irish on check points indefinitely? This would have the effect of sub-dividing Palestine, sorry, Ireland so that people could not travel freely.

    Wouldn’t all this be just fair, given the activity of the IRA?

    (Oh yes, we’d regrettably be forced to imprison the Irish by the tens of thousands, children too, and torture them as it pleased us.)

    And if the Irish had the temerity to respond violently – well, that justifies everything we were doing to them in the first place!

    Can any Zionist apologist make a genuine attempt to answer my genuine question?

  • transfattyacid

    Oh come off it Craig, it really is time that you stopped playing school boy politics.

    There is a also a factial inaccuracy in your reasoning. You state…

    ‘They ignore those parts of San Remo that specifically state that it is illegal to enforce a general blockade on an entire population. But even apart from that, San Remo simply does not apply.’

    I was under the impression that Israel allows humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza via a land route. Which suggests to me that there is no general blockade.

    As for your sabre rattling and warmongering – well no doubt it plays well to your audience of student politians, but in the real world is it really your stance that people should be killed just to uphold your untested views on international law?

  • glenn

    transfattyacid: There is widespread and growing malnutrition in Gaza. A lack of medical supplies are causing huge incidents of death and disease despite easily treatable conditions – should medicines be available.

    Water treatment plants are not working, both due to a lack of spare parts, and a lack of fuel for the pumps. Electricity is in short supply due to the same.

    Rebuilding after Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” abomination has not taken place, due to a lack of building supplies.

    And you _seriously_ expect us to believe that “there is no general blockade.” Despite this aid flotilla being attacked, when it was utterly clear that it had nothing but aid on board – which was the case, incidentally, in case anyone had overlooked that point.

    That tells us far more about your supposed credulity than it tells us about any misconception the rest of us might hold.

  • Bob

    @Libertynut

    I don’t know about Larry, but as for me…

    Liberty was a friendly fire incident no different from the numerous times over the years that the U.S. has bombed or otherwise attacked its own troops or allies. Heck, we have bombed neutral buildings, which aren’t likely to move around to unexpected places. Like the French Embassy in Libya or the Chinese Embassy in the Balkans.

    The Israelis bombed one of their own armored columns the day before, so we aren’t talking about infallible targeting.

    Liberty was a tragic accident, not a deliberate attack on a U.S. ship.

    The Liberty is a thoroughly investigated case that is kept alive purely by anti-Semites and conspiracy theory nut cases.

    The main problems with claiming it was a deliberate attack is that there have been several investigations by various agencies and branches of the U.S. government that found that it wasn’t. Also the very facts you quoted are evidence that it was a friendly fire incident, not a deliberate attack on an American ship. 34 dead and a damaged ship. If they intended to attack a U.S. ship, the Israeli forces present could have easily sunk the ship and killed everyone on board.

    Tactically, there was no reason for a hostile force to break off the attack, and every reason for a hostile force to continue it. When you have the upper hand, you wipe the enemy forces out, you don’t damage them a bit and then leave.

    Then there is the question of motive, the conspiracy nutjobs have made up some garbage about the Israelis wanting to cover something up, but a partial attack can’t cover anything up.

    My favorite is “trying to frame Egypt” with an attack that the Israelis reported to the U.S. embassy right after it happened as an accidental attack by Israel. A bit hard to convincingly frame someone when you just admitted it was your mistake.

    Conspiracy nuts are fascinating. Basically, you start from the premise that nothing really bad ever happens without malicious intent. Or as was the case in the conspiracy theories of the JFK assassination, that a single bad person with luck on his side can’t have large bad effects.

    Once you make that assumption, otherwise insane reasoning becomes understandable.

    Some people are terrified by the chaotic nature of the universe. The idea that just at random, without you doing anything wrong you could die. They are somehow comforted more by the idea of large sinister forces that control everything. They find powerful evil less scary than bad luck and screw ups.

  • glenn

    Bob: So the USS Liberty was just a “friendly fire” incident? I’m _so_ glad you’ve cleared that one up, historians were jolly puzzled about it. Could you explain the exact reasoning that brought you to such a conclusion? After all, entire books have been written about it – lengthy witness testimony and so forth. Your hand-waving explanations so far do not count.

    You appear to postulate that the only argument is whether or not a sinking was intended, and that if the Israelis had intended to attack a US ship, “the Israeli forces present could have easily sunk the ship and killed everyone on board”.

    They could also have attacked it to show they could attack it. Why be so simplistic in your reasoning of motive? Personal limitations? Intentional coyness?

    *

    Since you’re clearly into neatly sewing up complex questions, maybe you’ll have the courage to have a go at explaining why the British shouldn’t have bombed Ireland, and treated it in exactly the way Israel treats Gaza. Have a go, don’t be shy. But no weasling, now!

  • super390

    The answer in the hearts of normal white bourgeoise bigots to the Ireland versus Palestine analogy is simple: The Arabs are jealous, violent animals and incapable of living alongside civilized settlements. The Irish are white.

    Yet in the 1840s the standard depiction of Irishmen in American art was of animalistic savages with strange clothing. Americans bought the English propaganda.

    I remember when I was young the Chinese were still a phalanx of chillingly robotic murderers who couldn’t be trusted. But 100 years ago they were stupid, childlike fools who required the white man’s orders. Recall the term “Chinese fire drill”?

    And in 1918 the Arabs were the heroes fighting alongside Capt. Lawrence in Lowell Thomas’ lurid accounts for Americans.

    Ever get the impression that races get added to the “good” list or the “bad” list based on the needs of the powerful? What would the Arabs be like now if Britain had not cheated Faisal out of a united Arab kingdom? What would the Chinese be like now if arch-crook Chiang Kai-Shek installed a Mubarak-like dynasty backed by the US?

    And if Britain had indeed decided to annex Ireland for good by crushing its people via Israeli methods, would we now regard all Irishmen as crazy, murderous religious zealots and terrorists?

  • Bob

    @glenn

    The people of Gaza are at war with Israel. Nothing says that a major population group has to be a sovereign nation to be at war.

    “You say the only time people of Gaza are engaged is in response to terrorism. Would you mind explaining how the ceasefire concerning Hamas bottle-rockets actually ended, in that case? Would you care to demonstrate this rather sweeping principle you’ve asserted?”

    The ceasefire never began. The number of rocket attacks decreased, but not a month went by without an attack. BTW, they fly 20 miles and have killed people at the other end. Calling them “bottle rockets” is just insulting the intelligence of your non-anti-Semitic readers. Should we start calling the Israeli automatic rifles “pop-guns”.

    The major reopening of hostilities was when Israel discovered the Palestinians digging a tunnel across the border to Israel to attack and kidnap Israelis, just like the tunnel they used to capture Gilad Shalit. The Israelis responded to this attempt to invade Israel and capture or kill Israelis by sending men in to destroy the tunnel. The Hamas fighters resisted and some of them got killed. If your enemy is raising his gun to shoot you in the back, and you notice, shooting him first is self-defense.

    “Israel is most certainly wiping out Palestinians with starvation and disease. Malnutrition and deaths through lack of medical supplies are rife. This is the result of Israeli “morality”, you will have to agree.”

    ROFL. Speaking of “can’t do the math”. OK, rule number one of “how can I tell if a genocide is in progress”: If the population keeps increasing during the period in question, there isn’t a genocide in progress.

    During the Gaza war, the Palestinian population of Gaza increased by a couple of thousand.

    Israel sends more than enough food and medical supplies into Gaza to feed all of the Gazans. If through corruption and theft by Hamas and other armed groups, some Palestinians get three times what they need and others get none, that’s not Israel’s fault. The food situation in Gaza is far better than in many places in the Middle East.

    “Oh, what “Restraint” you claim, was shown during “Operation Cast Lead”. Is that why white phosphorous was used on civilian areas, contrary to International Law?”

    Nothing in international law that says you can’t use white phosphorus to make smoke screens, which is what the Israelis did. They weren’t using white phosphorus bombs.

    “Is that how 1300-odd people, mostly citizens, died in Gaza?”

    If you mean “mostly civilians” then you are mistaken. The names of the dead are known, and even from public records it is possible to find out that many of the “civilians” the Palestinians are reporting dead were members of terrorist organizations. For example “civilian” Nizar Rayan, a leader of Hamas military wing, a man who organized terrorist attacks on civilians. A man who sent his own son to die as a suicide bomber just to kill a couple of Israelis. According to the Palestinian casualty reports: Nizar Rayan was a civilian. Actually, the number of non-terrorists killed was less than 500. The number of terrorists killed was more than 700.

    Find me a better kill ratio in an attack on an urban area used as a terrorist base.

    “Your figure of 1 in 6 deaths being that of Israeli soldiers is utterly ludicrous. A score or so of IDF died, a large proportion of them through ‘friendly fire’ – doubtless because of this benevolent restraint!”

    Oh dear, you can’t do math and you have reading comprehension issues. The 1 in 6 figure wasn’t the number of Israelis killed it was a rough estimate of the fraction of Israeli military people who killed a Palestinian (assuming about 10,000 Israeli soldiers and about 1500 dead).

    Seriously, you seem to think Israel said “kill as many Palestinians as possible”. I want to know how many Palestinians you think the average Israeli military member could kill in one day in an area like Gaza. Given modern weapons. Put it like this, if they wanted to wipe out the population of Gaza, with conventional weapons alone, the Israelis wouldn’t need the whole three weeks to do it.

    “You might find this comical, Bob – decent people find it horrific. If the Iranians behaved anything like this, I don’t suppose for a moment you’d have the same view. For the rest of us, we would have _exactly_ the same view, regardless of who did it.”

    Nice little straw man there. I don’t find the deaths comical at all. I find the deaths of the terrorists satisfying and the deaths of the civilians tragic and entirely the fault of Hamas.

    What I find comical is the insane interpretations placed on the number of dead by people who want to see Israel destroyed. Average of under 50 people a day with 10,000 soldiers? Given the circumstances, that’s a reasonable number if your orders are to show restraint.

    If your orders are “kill indiscriminately” then they suck. I mean you send out 10,000 soldiers with modern weapons, order them to kill every Palestinian they see, and at least 9,950 of them don’t even kill one in a whole day?

    The sad part is that you will just ignore the fact that the numbers are completely at odds with your conclusion. You are so far gone in hating Jews that you won’t even be able to think about the facts, just ignore them.

    In your twisted theory about Israel being murderous and blood thirsty, do you have any answer for why so many Israeli soldiers didn’t kill any Palestinians during the war? I’m curious what you will come up with.

    “That’s the difference between shills for Israel like yourself, and decent people.”

    I’m not a shill for Israel, just someone who thinks about facts and statistics objectively instead of hysterically.

    OF course, by “decent people” you mean “people who hate Jews”.

  • glenn

    Bob: To respond to you by point.

    If Gaza/ Israel is at war, please refer me to the declarations. Otherwise, why not stop talking about subjects you know nothing about, and are beyond you?

    A ceasefire was observed, until Israel broke it. And they are indeed bottle-rockets compared with F-16s, helicopter gunships, drone missile attacks, heavy motor, tanks, white phosphorous and storm-troopers who use bystanders as shields as they raid houses, before demolishing them with US provided bulldozers. Would you dare to disagree?

    Why not call Israeli rifles “pop-guns”? After all, a 60-foot high, 20-foot thick wall is a “fence”, and armed thugs who build villas with swimming pools actually are “settlers”.

    You forgot to answer the question – who resumed hostilities, and broke the cease-fire?

    *

    Nobody in the UK would have said “You can’t do the math” – you must be confusing this site with Americans blogs on which you are required to respond. That talking-point just don’t apply here, old chum – 0/10 for that, get someone more senior to work this blog. You’re incompetent.

    You’re not allowed to use White Phosphorous against people, and that is what the IDF did. International Law be damned, as always, when it comes to the IDF.

    Your surmising about what you think I think is about as credible as your recalling of facts on the ground. How many IDF were killed, compared with Palestinians in “operation cast lead”? You said 1/6. I say that’s utter BS on your part. Where’s your rebuff?

    And no – the “Kill indiscriminately” was not done in “operation lead” – that was done on previous rampages by the Israelis. I dare you to lie, and deny that the Israelis have never gone on murderous rampages against Palestinians.

    Go on, Bob – give us the Big Lie. Tell me that no Israeli force has ever gone on a real, genuine, full-blooded massacre of Palestinians, even while they were in refugee camps. Go on.

  • Bob

    @glenn

    “Bob: So the USS Liberty was just a “friendly fire” incident? I’m _so_ glad you’ve cleared that one up, historians were jolly puzzled about it.”

    Actually no historians are puzzled by it. There are two types of historians, (three is you count historians who never heard of it) the ones who know it was a friendly fire incident, and the conspiracy theorist whack jobs who think is was deliberate.

    “Could you explain the exact reasoning that brought you to such a conclusion?”

    I did in my last post. Go study.

    “After all, entire books have been written about it – lengthy witness testimony and so forth. Your hand-waving explanations so far do not count.”

    Entire books have been written about King Arthur, UFOs, ghosts, the JFK assassination and the moon landing being faked. Anyone with a computer, a typewriter, or pen and paper can write a book. They get published based on whether someone thinks they will sell, not on the truth content. A sensational conspiracy theory will outsell a boring truth any time. Some witnesses say one thing, some say another. Unless there was a telepath on board the Liberty, none of the witnesses from there were witnesses to what the Israelis were thinking. Which is the core issue.

    Of course, the end result of all the witness testimony and investigations is that 7 U.S. government investigations found it was a friendly fire incident. Zero U.S. government investigations found it was anything but a friendly fire incident.

    “You appear to postulate that the only argument is whether or not a sinking was intended, and that if the Israelis had intended to attack a US ship, “the Israeli forces present could have easily sunk the ship and killed everyone on board”.”

    The question is whether they intended to attack a ship they knew at the time of the attack was a U.S. ship.

    When you attack a ship, you intend to sink it. In fact, it was just luck that the torpedo didn’t sink it. The only reason they would have made one potentially sinking attack and then not follow up with a sinking attack is if they realized they had the wrong target.

    “They could also have attacked it to show they could attack it. Why be so simplistic in your reasoning of motive? Personal limitations? Intentional coyness?”

    Congratulations, I didn’t think anyone could come up with a stupider explanation than the “frame Egypt while informing the U.S. embassy that it was you”. But you topped it.

    At least “to frame an enemy” is a rational motive, even if the facts make it an impossible motive.

    You don’t attack an ally to show that you can attack him.

    Why not say “because they didn’t like the shade of blue of the ocean that day”. It would make about as much sense.

    Like I said, once you presume that nothing bad ever happens by accident, lunatic conspiracy theories follow.

    Sorry Glenn, but if you are so far gone in hatred of Jews that you think “just because they are evil” is why they do things, then there is no hope for you.

    “Since you’re clearly into neatly sewing up complex questions, maybe you’ll have the courage to have a go at explaining why the British shouldn’t have bombed Ireland, and treated it in exactly the way Israel treats Gaza. Have a go, don’t be shy. But no weasling, now!”

    Give us a hard one. Four reasons right off the bat:

    1) In N.Ireland and Britain, the number of UK citizens killed by the IRA et al., even in absolute terms was less than the number of Israelis killed by Palestinians. Compared to the population, less than an eighth.

    2) The UK is the government in N Ireland. They could arrest people, confiscate weapons making machinery, confiscate weapons. Generally without house to house fighting. Israel can’t do that in Gaza. They aren’t police against armed civilians, they are a government against a belligerent government.

    3) The N.Irish weren’t firing hundreds of potentially lethal rockets and mortars a month at the British.

    4) Most of the Irish didn’t support the terrorist attacks and the Irish didn’t elect a government with the stated goal of wiping out the non-Irish population of the UK.

  • Bob

    @Glenn.

    To respond to you point by point.

    “If Gaza/ Israel is at war, please refer me to the declarations. Otherwise, why not stop talking about subjects you know nothing about, and are beyond you?”

    Well, I could demand that you first show me anything in international law that says that a war must be declared before a blockade is legal (hint, no such law). But instead:

    ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it’

    -Hamas Charter

    ‘We will not rest until we destroy the Zionist entity’ – Hamas leader Fathi Hammad

    Sorry glenn, you are just too funny. You remind me of those lunatics we have in the U.S. who think that because a comma was missing (or something equally inane) on the 16th amendment that they don’t have to pay taxes. Newsflash, the instant Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, a state of war existed between the U.S. and the Japanese.

    “A ceasefire was observed, until Israel broke it. And they are indeed bottle-rockets compared with F-16s, helicopter gunships, drone missile attacks, heavy motor, tanks, white phosphorous and storm-troopers who use bystanders as shields as they raid houses, before demolishing them with US provided bulldozers. Would you dare to disagree?”

    Of course I disagree. A weapon is no less lethal because the enemy has better weapons. A Russian Tank isn’t a “pellet gun” because the U.S. nukes are more destructive.

    Obviously Oswald shot JFK with a rubber band because JFK had nukes and Oswald didn’t.

    You are simply lying about the weapons the Palestinians are using.

    “Why not call Israeli rifles “pop-guns”? After all, a 60-foot high, 20-foot thick wall is a “fence”, and armed thugs who build villas with swimming pools actually are “settlers”.”

    Because words have meaning and rifles aren’t pop-guns.

    How many people hear “bottle rockets” and think “six foot seven inch long, 200 pounds, 20 pound payload with a range of six miles”? That’s a description of Qassams the Palestinians make in Gaza (those are the little ones).

    So drop the bullshit about “relative weapons”. You were trying to lie about the weapons Israeli is being attacked with because you wanted to fool people who don’t already hate Jews the way you do into thinking that Hamas attacks were harmless.

    “You forgot to answer the question – who resumed hostilities, and broke the cease-fire?”

    Oh, sorry, I thought I was clear. Let me spell it out for you “H.A.M.A.S”. Digging a kidnapping tunnel is an attempted attack. It broke the ceasefire.

    “Nobody in the UK would have said “You can’t do the math” – you must be confusing this site with Americans blogs on which you are required to respond. That talking-point just don’t apply here, old chum – 0/10 for that, get someone more senior to work this blog. You’re incompetent.”

    Never said I wasn’t an American. Sorry, since American English is beyond you. You can’t do the sums. Happy now? Would you prefer if I said you were innumerate?

    “You’re not allowed to use White Phosphorous against people, and that is what the IDF did. International Law be damned, as always, when it comes to the IDF.”

    Sorry, but even the Goldstone hatchet job “accept[s] that white phosphorous is not at this stage proscribed under international law”. They suggested its use be banned in built up areas, but that hasn’t happened yet.

    “Your surmising about what you think I think is about as credible as your recalling of facts on the ground. How many IDF were killed, compared with Palestinians in “operation cast lead”? You said 1/6. I say that’s utter BS on your part. Where’s your rebuff?”

    My rebuff is that you are quite simply lying (again) about what I said. I said the number of Palestinians killed was less than 1/6th the number of soldiers sent in. Not that the number of IDF soldiers killed was 1/6 the number of Palestinians. The number of IDF soldiers killed was about 10-15.

    “And no – the “Kill indiscriminately” was not done in “operation lead” – that was done on previous rampages by the Israelis. I dare you to lie, and deny that the Israelis have never gone on murderous rampages against Palestinians.”

    Have you stopped beating your wife? I don’t have to lie. The Israeli government has never ordered such a rampage.

    Of course, like the Americans, the Irish, the Scots, and every other group on earth the Israelis have their murderous lunatics. On very rare occasions, individual Israelis commit acts of terrorism against Palestinians. Such as in Hebron a few years back.

    Such attacks are condemned by the vast majority of Israelis.

    “Go on, Bob – give us the Big Lie. Tell me that no Israeli force has ever gone on a real, genuine, full-blooded massacre of Palestinians, even while they were in refugee camps. Go on.”

    No Israeli force? If you mean Israeli troops, the closest to a genuine massacre was an attack on a terrorist enclave in Lebanon a few decades back. The Israelis saw most of the population flee before they got there. They blew up a lot of buildings thinking they were deserted. Unfortunately, there were people hiding in them. About 80 casualties IIRC.

    Or did you have something else in mind? The Deir Yassin hoax from 62 years ago perhaps? Even if that had been a real massacre, that doesn’t quite help you since your theory is that Israel is murderous and bloodthirsty, not that it was murderous and bloodthirsty three generations ago.

    Come on, don’t be afraid to make predictions based on your theory.

    Theory: A murderous and bloodthirsty regime sends 10,000 soldiers with all the weapons of a modern army into an area you can drive across in a couple of hours with 1.5 million people in it. The people have enough weapons to be a threat to the civilians of the bloodthirsty regime, but not enough to stop or seriously delay troops who will kill anything that moves.

    Now, under your theory. Ballpark estimate, how many people would each troop kill a day (on average)? 1? 5? 10?

    Be honest now. It’ll be a new experience for you. How many kills per troop per day (difficulty, no peaking at the actual number dead and working backward).

    In fact, anyone who isn’t a raving anti-Semite can play. Given a modern army, 10,000 men, tanks, planes, bombs, etc. Ballpark how many dead per soldier per day?

  • Larry from St. Louis

    Bob,

    Yo! To provide some context, Glenn is a 911 denier; he apparently believes that the Men in Black pre-wired the Twin Towers.

    He also probably thinks that both you and I are sitting in a basement in Dimona or at the Pentagon, engaged in Jewish-American disinformation.

  • John

    What ignorant nonsense. Of course you can categorise combatants as terrorists if they don’t adhere to international conventions. Combatants are only legitimate if they wear a uniform; are part of an organised military unit; their military unit itself follows international conventions on the conduct of war; etc, etc, etc.

    Hamas are not legitimate combatants. Even on the basis of not wearing a uniform, they can be categorised as spies and shot on the spot.

  • John

    Oh, yes, and Murray the ‘humanitarian’ is now encouraging Hamas to murder even more Israeli civilians.

    Why don’t you simply admit it, you ridiculous man: you don’t like uppity Joos.

  • John

    Nobody in the UK would have said “You can’t do the math” –

    Just more lies. I am a Brit, and I certainly would have said it, and have said it, many times, as have many of my friends.

    I suppose some people get into the habit of lying about Israel, and they simply can’t stop.

  • John

    “However, since no war has been declared between Israel and Turkey, the Law does not apply”

    Drivel. A state of war exists between Israel and GAZA, which was the declared destination.

    Plus: war doesn’t need to be ‘declared’. Germany was at war with Poland the second it attacked. Jordan was at war with Israel the second it attacked.

    Why do ignorant Jew-haters feel they HAVE to make such fools of themselves?

  • Redders

    @Bob

    “What I find comical is the insane interpretations placed on the number of dead by people who want to see Israel destroyed. Average of under 50 people a day with 10,000 soldiers? Given the circumstances, that’s a reasonable number if your orders are to show restraint.

    If your orders are “kill indiscriminately” then they suck. I mean you send out 10,000 soldiers with modern weapons, order them to kill every Palestinian they see, and at least 9,950 of them don’t even kill one in a whole day?”

    What an insane justification for murdering thousands of civilians!

    You are a certifiable lunatic if you consider any of this reasonable and I would be seriously worried to be living in your community.

  • Redders

    @John

    RE: “Math” instead of Maths.

    “I am a Brit, and I certainly would have said it”

    An ignorant, ill educated Brit., but a Brit. nonetheless.

  • Redders

    @Bob,

    “Now, under your theory. Ballpark estimate, how many people would each troop kill a day (on average)? 1? 5? 10?

    Be honest now. It’ll be a new experience for you. How many kills per troop per day (difficulty, no peaking at the actual number dead and working backward).

    In fact, anyone who isn’t a raving anti-Semite can play. Given a modern army, 10,000 men, tanks, planes, bombs, etc. Ballpark how many dead per soldier per day?”

    And again, more disgusting statistical nonsense in an attempt to justify murdering innocent civilians. If these Israeli soldiers are so damn good and restrained then why didn’t they just send 50 in to achieve their killing objective.

    You sir, are a criminally insane warmonger, jackboots and swastika’s at the ready!

  • Michael Petek

    If you read the San Remo rules you will find that there is no distinction between civil war and a war between states. If I’m mistaken, please point this out.

    The question of belligerency is a question of fact, not law or official recognition. Hamas are in effective political control of Gaza but have not declared their entity to be a state. Therefore the state of belligerency between Israel and Gaza, and acts of war between them, are not breaches of international peace and are not acts of aggression.

    Hamas is, in relation to Israel, an extraterritorial non-state counterbelligerent. Its acts of belligerency can come within the jurisdiction of Israel according to the protective principle, just as a civil war within a state is within its jurisdiction according to the territorial principle.

    Does Gaza have the right to attack Israel with rockets?

    International law has nothing to say about jus ad bellum. But it is unlawful under Israeli law, and those who fire these rockets without qualifying as lawful combatants (eg if they are not in uniform) are subject to the jurisdiction of the Israeli courts as common criminals, under the protective principle of jurisdiction. It would not be contrary to international law for Israel to exercise it.

    Whether or not they are lawful combatants, Hamas are subject to international law concerning jus in bello, and they can be fixed with responsibility for war crimes if their acts qualify as such.

    If Hamas, as a non-state belligerent, wage war in furtherance of a political, religious or ideological cause, then they would qualify as terrorists under British law – possibly under international law as well if sufficiently developed.

    On the facts, Hamas have as their aim the imposition of an Islamic state on the ruins of Israel. That is a furtherance of a religious cause and is therefore an act of terrorism.

    By any code which denies that Muhammad is a messenger of God, it is also morally unjust.

  • Michael Petek

    Ronnie Sofer of Israel News reported on Wednesday 19 September 2007:

    “The security cabinet voted on Wednesday to declare the Gaza Strip a hostile political entity. The ministers also discussed the continuous rocket attacks against Israel.

    “The unanimous vote also authorized the imposing of economic sanctions against Gaza, so long as they do not affect the civilian population. The measures to be taken against Gaza include cutting back on the supply of electricity and fuel, in accordance with international law.

    “Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that Israel’s decision constituted a ‘declaration of war.'”

    So there’s your declaration of war!

  • AbeBird

    Mr. Ambassador, you say that “There is no war” but the Gazans have the right to fire rockets into Israeli towns. Is sending rockeats at someone is not a practical announce of being at a state of war? Should the attacked person wait for a verbal decleration of the killer who point a gun on him? Or he may act before announcing some declaration into the open air?!?!

    Israel is in war with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. There are daily clashes between Hamas and its allies against Israel. Shooting rockets and sending bomb-terrorists into Israel means that there is practically a state of war. There is no need to vote in the Parliament, even it might be that there was such a vote. In any case, in the official papers of the state of Israel and in the Hamas announcements every sane person knows that both side are talking war. The Hamas even go further and claims war against non existing state which the call “the Zionist entity”, which is not shown on their maps. The Hamas calls to annihilate Israel in its and its leaders’ declarations. http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818.htm , http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Hamas+war+against+Israel/ .

    What it has to do with “complaints”? Does one side can’t complain on the other side just because they are enemies? If there is a side that is more-complaining that is the Hamas side. Is that means that they are not extreme Islamist enemies of the Israelis? What a loop of thinking you use?!

    What is your explanation for your saying the “Gaza has every right to attack Israel with rockets”?

    So you accept the very fact that Gaza fire rockets at Israel because “they have right”. In that case, doesn’t you think that Israel has the right to prevent that shooting by military means? And if I’ll proceed your way of thinking in that case, because there is a state of war, Israel has the right to initiate any attack on military and civilian targets in Gaza (why civilian target? Because according to you the Hamas has the right to fire on Israeli civilian targets in Israel!). Your way of interpretation the law is quite bizarre.

    In order to defend your judicial stand you ask to ignore the fact that the Hamas and other terror groups are firing rockets into Israel as a daily mission, as the Germans bombed Britain. Is that means that Britain hadn’t the right to defend itself by any plan needed to stop the German rockets? I didn’t check if the British government decided officially and vote for a “state of war” with Germany, but I’m sure that Churchill encouraged the British people to stand still against the attacks and to energize any power to fight back and to beat the Germans. Israel acts the same as Britain did, but their lucky because their Palestinian enemy is very dull, weak and incompetence. But that either doesn’t Israel’s fault! But their good luck. Opening a new supply corridor through the sea to Gaza port will change the odds and will turn that conflict to be more intensity, which will imposed upon the Israelis to react more aggressively. That would damage the Gazans more than they damaging their cause today. More Gazans than today will leave Gaza for good.

    The frequency of Israeli complaints about rocket attacks are much less than rockets attacks themselves. Can’t a state complaint because of being attacked by rockets? Is the complain itself minimize the virtue and the verity of the claim? Is just because Israel says so you can presume the opposite? How can you explain your assertion that “Israel does not believe” when her officials say the opposite?

    The war between Israel and Gaza is not a war between two states, but between one formal state and one terrorist entity that lays on fractions of some terror movements that sometimes fighting among themselves. Half of the Arab Palestinian chose to go with the Fatah that deny the rights of the Hamas to rule over Gaza (because forgeries and false election process). The war between both is not between states and in that case the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply. The UN failed to accept some “War against Terror Convention” from the last 20 years and there is no any international law that matches the current situation to deal with the Israeli-Palestinians conflict. I would say that the Maritime international law is not appropriate too, but because we might suggest that practical attitude of the law is to protect the peace and the states, I can interpret the existing law on the case before us, in order to compete the dangerous situation the extreme Islamic forces in Gaza want to impose on Israel, Gazans and the whole region. That’s why the Palestinian terrorists are not prisoners of war by law, but prisoners of terror. In any case the Israelis give the terrorists better conditions in jail than the Brits gave / give the IRA freedom fighters. The terrorists in jails have weekly meeting with their lawyers and families, they eat well healthy and tasty food, see television all day long, play most of the time, and study at the Open University. Israeli jails prepared many terrorist to be doctors through their stay on custody! Most of the terrorist are freed before time by seasonal agreements with the Fatah / PLO. The conditions that Israel is holding the terrorists at jails are better than applied and demanded in the Geneva Convention.

    Israel is state that preserves the law very strictly, much better than many western states. I see no real case and argument in your baseless tongue-lashing on Israel, but a little bit of hate mongering based on lack of knowledge or miss-knowledge… . or maybe something else? But I’m glad that you have the moral courage to denounce the “Hamas rocket attacks into Israel”. But you have to understand that Israel denounced too, but had no choice but to deal practically with that problem through military ways. The first obligation of any government is to defend the lives and property of its citizens. I don’t want to ask you what Britain would have done to protect you if some terror German group was to fire onto Britain 8000 rockets in 9 years… .. or would have Britain confront that threat proper at time to stop the shooting after the first rocket, or may be the 100 rocket? I wonder.

  • Stark Raving Bollocks

    Well, I’m glad everyone is talking about the USS Stark that was attacked by Iraqis.

    Of course, everyone has always said there was some conspiracy by the Iraqis to sink the Stark just like there so obviously was with the Liberty.

    That’s why everyone is always talking about the Stark these days just as they are with the Liberty, right?

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