Illegal Blockades 106


A new Gaza freedom convoy is preparing to sail, this time including a US flagged vessel. My friends Ann Wright and Ray McGovern are going to be on it. Ray tells me the ship, which is registered in Delaware, has been renamed “The Audacity of Hope”. I am not quite sure if he is joking. I hope it is true as the irony is delicious.

The boarding of a US flagged ship on the High Seas is something which, in any other circumstances, the US would never tolerate, and I am hoping that it will give Clinton a headache now – which is why that possible ship name would be so great. What is for certain, is that a US court would have jurisdiction over any incidents that happen on board, and I cannot imagine any US judge would renounce that jurisdiction. So if the Israelis shoot Ann, Ray or any of their fellow passengers, the implications could be profound.

At Ray and Ann’s request, I have added my weight to the legal assessment of their actions:

Ambassador Craig Murray is a former Alternate Head of the UK Delegation to the United Nations Preparatory Commission on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. He was deputy head of the teams which negotiated the UK’s maritime boundaries with France, Germany, Denmark (Faeroe Islands) and Ireland.

As Head of the Maritime Section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he was responsible for giving real time political and legal clearance to Royal Navy boarding operations in the Persian Gulf following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, in enforcement of the UN authorised blockade against Iraqi weapons shipments.

Ambassador Craig Murray is therefore an internationally recognised authority on maritime jurisdiction and naval boarding issues.

“The legal position is plain. A vessel outwith the territorial waters (12 mile limit) of a coastal state is on the high seas under the sole jurisdiction of the flag state of the vessel. The ship has a positive right of passage on the high seas. The coastal state can regulate economic activity exploiting the resources of the seas and continental shelf up to 200 miles, the extent of the continental shelf, or the agreed boundary, but there is no indication of fishing, oil drilling or analagous economic activity in this case. The vessel is entitled to free passage.”

“This right of free passage is guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas, to which the United States is a full party. Any incident which takes place upon a US flagged ship on the High Seas is subject to United States legal jurisdiction. A ship is entitled to look to its flag state for protection from attack on the High Seas.”

“Israel has declared a blockade on Gaza and justified previous fatal attacks on neutral civilian vessels on the High Seas in terms of enforcing that embargo, under the legal cover given by the San Remo Manual of International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.”

“There are however fundamental flaws in this line of argument. It falls completely on one fact alone. San Remo only applies to blockade in times of armed conflict. Israel is not currently engaged in an armed conflict, and presumably does not wish to be. San Remo does not confer any right to impose a permanent blockade outwith times of armed conflict, and in fact specifically excludes as illegal a general blockade on an entire population.”

“It should not be denied that Israel suffers from sporadic terrorist attacks emanating from Gaza. However this does not come close to reaching the bar of armed conflict that would trigger the right to impose a limited naval blockade in terms of San Remo. To make a comparison, in the 1970’s and 1980’s the United Kingdom suffered continued terrorist attack from the Irish Republican Army, with much more murderous impact causing many more deaths than anything Israel has suffered in recent years from Gaza. However nobody would seek to argue that the UK would have had the right to mount a general naval blockade of the Republic of Ireland in the 1970’s and 1980’s, even though the Republic was undoubtedly the base for much IRA supply and operations. Justifications of Israeli naval action against neutral civilian ships by San Remo is based on special pleading and an impossibly strained definition of the term “armed conflict”. ”

Craig Murray

They already have a more thorough and academic piece here, which I cannot fault.

All the boats and volunteers from various countries have my most earnest good wishes, and admiration for their courage as they brave the attentions of the murderous thugs of the Israeli state.


106 thoughts on “Illegal Blockades

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  • angrysoba

    By the way, this is an inadvertantly hilarious typo:
    .
    “You should have been at RIBA this evening to hear Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11”.

  • angrysoba

    Was this you Mary?
    .
    “@DAaronovitch
    David Aaronovitch Woman next to me taking copious notes in red ink. Audience very amused by idea of twin tower collapses being caused by planes. #911truth.”
    .
    And did you bring Ian Henshell with you?
    .
    “Henshall ended the meeting by thrusting his F’stein monster’s crankled head in my face and yelling “you fucking scumbag”.”

  • KingofWelshNoir

    I read Aaronovitch’s Voodoo Histories. To establish his even-handedness he had to offer some examples of conspiracies he believed in. But all the ones he cited were ones that had been accepted as true and passed into the historical record. Which is a bit like betting on the horses after the race is over.
    .

    Three cheers for Henshall.

  • mark_golding

    Aaronovitch is a thinking man. He cannot visualise the prodigious cover-up which is his main argument and the contention of Craig and many others. This is a perfectly natural human response.

    Aaronovitch said some people are so good at putting together the science, “there are always moments when you suddenly think, ‘maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s me, maybe I’m completely wrong’, and you’re gonna go back to basics and you look at it again and you ask yourself this one simple question: what is the actual evidence for their version of events?”

    I would turn the question on itself, what is the actual evidence of the government ‘official’ conspiracy regarding the collapse?

    Surprisingly or not the ‘evidence’ is non-existent – FEMA did not know why the third building collapsed and NIST took forever to propose a collapse based on a computer simulation that fails to fit the real event, omits vital information and in an unscientific way proposes a single failure event.

    I put this to any architect – would you design a steel high rise building that would fall 100ft to the ground at free-fall speed on a single failure?

    Now where is David’s phone number.

  • mary

    Ref A&E for 9/11 Truth Mark, and completely ignoring the remarks previous to yours, no that wasn’t me! Mr Aa is a clever scribbler/smudger/smearer. I thought green was the theoretical colour of the ink used by those who oppose him and see him for what he is. He was sitting at the back in an attractive black tee shirt some sizes too small and peering down at his (electronic) gadget throughout. Don’t know how he heard or saw anything as he was so concentrated on his task. He raised the question on his TWITter as to how Mr Gage was funded. implying something shady. He did not mention that the admission charge was £15, £10 unwaged and £7 OAP and there were enough paying audience members there to easily cover the hire of the Jarvis Auditorium ar RIBA. Also many book sales.
    .
    I have never heard of Ian Henshall. Someone else he is attempting to diminish no doubt.

  • YugoStiglitz

    Heh Mark Golding – why are all steel-structured buildings equipped with layers of fireproofing on each and every column?

    Single failure point? Hah! Now that’s a new one from the conspiraloons!

    You’re correct the FEMA did not explain Building 7. Neither did the New York City Department of Public Parks, the Bridge Club of Greater Philadelphia, nor Elvis Costello & the Attractions.

    NIST provided a perfectly workable explanation. It was completely predictable that, when the final report came out, not one of you conspiraloons changed your minds.

    Why are you so dedicated to right-wing American conspiracy theories?

  • YugoStiglitz

    The words of Aaronovitch seem to really sting you people. Might it be because you know he’s always quite right?

  • anno

    The West works on the Thatcher principle, make the rich richer so that they can drop a few shillings to the masses in exchange for bits and bobs they need, like luxury swimming pools. World politics operate on the same principle. All legislation is written by and for the rich and rich nations. The rights of the masses diminish into insignificance and then we call foul.

    Why did British people go along with the Thatcher lie? Now is not the time to cry foul about the steady diminution of rights caused by the Thatcher principle. Sending a flotilla to Gaza is like hunting foxes and giving the fox a head start to make the sport more fun. You create Israel and nurture it with billions of dollars so that you can bag trophies of your braveness on horseback or boatback for your stately homes.

    To me this is merely the spoilt behaviour of the enemies of life and honour having a spiffing time. b.t.w isn’t Yugostilitz supposed to be locked up safely in the Hague?

    • Jon

      @All, don’t feel the troll, folks.
      .
      @Anno, sure, Thatcher’s policies were appalling, and yes, some people supported her (it is sadly the case that some right-wingers are still fond of her). But to answer your question – why did British people go along with the Thatcher lie – well, it’s a complex question. I’d cite public appetite for military propaganda for a start – she made herself very popular domestically over the Falklands conflict. Also, in our class-ridden society, there is a significant number of people on the Tory right who think that some people deserve to be impoverished – though how much of that is subconscious it is difficult to tell.
      .
      I should be interested in your thoughts on my defence of the flotilla above – I reckon this stuff is important, and of all people you should be fully supportive, I should think.

  • anno

    Jon, as I see it Mrs T. used the sledgehammer of anti-christianity to break the existing aristocracy and its basically christian values. But the plutocrats who have replaced them are greedier and morally worse. In the same way the UK used Israel to undo the considerable lingering authority of the broken chaliphate of Turkey. And the successors have proved to be greedier and worse.

    We are not going to break the appalling power of our present plutocracy or the appalling power of Israel, easily. Bits and bobs of demonstrations are small compensation for those who warned of the dangers to come and who were ignored. Both of these old powers, the British and Ottoman were broken by means of very dirty politics and not by pacifism at all.

    I take inspiration from the women of Egypt in the Arab spring who showed that they had no intention of sacrificing one tiny part of Islam in order to create change. For the time being we are stuck with the plague of feminism ( did you see Germaine Greer exposing her psychosis that little girls kissing their fathers goodnight amounts tom sexual flirtation? ) and the Black Death of the Mark Regev psychosis of apartheid.

    I agree with you that this kind of protest is valid, but it will take the smashing of the Thatcher Capitalist model to cure the injustices of the War on Islam. The capitalists cannot stand the message of the Gospels and the Qur’an, that our lives are not only about this world and its wealth. The oppression of the Palestinians has to be seen in the context of wider Capitalist terror, rather than as a local issue of territorial borders.

    • Jon

      @Anno; not sure what the “sledgehammer of anti-christianity” is – but I’d wager that Thatcher wasn’t primarily driven by religious ideas. I think she genuinely believed in the validity of the free-market, and that it could “be made to work”. Hence her war with the miners, her belief in entrepreneurialism and that “there is no such thing as society”, her attacks on the welfare state, etc. Like you, I do wonder whether capitalism would be as rapacious as it is today without her, and Reagan’s, influence.
      .
      I think the issue of feminism is irrelevant here – I don’t think it has much bearing on the kind of injustices we’re discussing. Capitalism of course does, which I think we’re agreed about. But I should say I am surprised these days how much of a backlash there is against feminism – it seems to be, in theory at least, a reasonable idea of equality that should garner support from liberals of all genders. And yet the Guardian recently carried some pieces on feminism, and there was avalanches of angry criticism in response – and not all from the right. (My private view is that is mostly driven by latent misogyny – partly from an unreconstructed working class – as I can’t think of any other reason for it.)
      .
      Off-topic: Greer might not be that wrong, from a psychological perspective – perhaps Suhayl could chip in with some Freud? For example, psychologists understand that when girls move into puberty, a proportion of their respective fathers become less tactile, which is sometimes incorrectly understood by the daughter as a confusing rejection. I don’t know what you read, but I am sure Greer wasn’t endorsing incest – just describing a complex family dynamic.
      .
      Yes, to the smashing of the Thatcher capitalist model. Strangely however many capitalists are religious – I think perhaps that bit about passing a camel through the eye of a needle was missing from their bibles!

  • YugoStiglitz

    Trolls! Hah! Angrysoba and I certainly would not have brought up 911 conspiracy nuttery without the contribution of the 911 conspiracy nuts at this site.

    Still wondering why you nutters blindly buy into right-wing American conspiracy theories.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, anno, I agree with you that the form of the economic system is a root problem. I do not agree with you wrt your faith in a single, unifying spiritual solution. Such ‘solutions’ have been around for all time and will continue to fascinate and inspire. I do agree though that a different vision is lacking and is required to give the various movements direction, though in his discussions with angysoba, Jon did allude to something that might be described as visionary in another thread recently. But the ‘vision’ cannot be one-size-fits-all; that has been the problem in the past. Furthermore, if one waits for the perfect conditions for worldwide revolution (or whatever one’s equivalent Auspicious Event might be), it will never arrive. And if one simply await the Second Coming or the advent of the Word of God, one will still be waiting while the universe re-condenses. People have to work with what they’ve got. In the case of the Levant, whatever overlays and fabricated justifications might exist, it is primarily a territorial, imperial matter, a matter of power and earth.

    One must try to score a thousand tiny victories as well as thinking and acting strategically in the hope that gradually, inexorably, the hegemony of the economic system is weakened to the point where it becomes vulnerable and/or where it implodes through over-expansion.

    The continuous raising of the oppression of the Palestinians as a public political issue internationally – even if by ‘stunts’ – serves a greater purpose. No-one is under the illusion that such activity on its own will bring down the hegemon. Although there may be some tangible benefit, it is in essence a propaganda exercise, one which I support. I know what you mean (at least, I think I know what you mean) about guilt-ridden Westerners going off to grandstand for this or that cause while their governments and elites continue their rapine activities, regardless. However, just as Rome was not built in a day, neither was it dismantled in a day.

  • mark_golding

    And we seek new pastures ‘Suhayl’ across the river of blood. The bridge of knowledge once obscured by the trolls is in full view – really, all we have to do is cross over and leave the barren fields of deception behind. Is that so difficult? The fearsome trolls are now old and weak – just follow ‘Mary’ – her strength will lead you.

  • mary

    Mr Rasmussen conducts the next movement of the NATO Symphony.
    .
    Turkey To Take in NATO Ground Forces
    By Big News Network
    .
    June 21. 2011 “BNN” — Turkey has agreed that NATO can turn its airbase in Turkey into a base for ground operations into Syria.
    .
    The country will become the main base in the area for the US-led military alliance’s ground forces.
    .
    NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said the alliance will transfer the bulk of its ground forces from a military base in the city of Heidelberg in southwestern Germany.
    .
    Other troops will arrive from Spain to be placed at the Izmir Air Station in western Turkey, which will now become the centre for ground troops.
    .
    Turkey has recently toughened its opinion on neighbouring Syria, where unprecedented civilian unrest has led to the deaths of many people. Ankara has already created its own military bases close to the common border with Syria.
    .
    (Informstion Clearing House)

  • angrysoba

    King Of Welsh Noir: “I read Aaronovitch’s Voodoo Histories. To establish his even-handedness he had to offer some examples of conspiracies he believed in. But all the ones he cited were ones that had been accepted as true and passed into the historical record. Which is a bit like betting on the horses after the race is over.”
    .
    I seem to remember that he believed in the JFK conspiracy, the post-trial Templar nonsense and the idea that Hitler ordered the burning of the Reichstag. None of these has passed into the historical record; just about every specialist historian in the relevant fields will disagree with these conspiracy theories. The only one which Aaronovitch mentions as an unfounded conspiracy theory that is still widely accepted by relevant historians is the murder of Kirov being a plot by Stalin. Or at least I think it is still widely accepted.

  • angrysoba

    “I agree with you that this kind of protest is valid, but it will take the smashing of the Thatcher Capitalist model to cure the injustices of the War on Islam. The capitalists cannot stand the message of the Gospels and the Qur’an, that our lives are not only about this world and its wealth.”
    .
    To be honest, that’s pretty much a Marxist take as well. In that way most of the West is now Marxist. It’s unusual to see on this blog that Maggie’s being taken down for being an upstart commoner who destroyed traditional privelege. Of course, they too hated her for being common as muck and they too would have said that the deserving poor would be looked after in the next world so all the poor need do is stop complaining and turn to God. Remember the lines to “All Creatures Great and Small”: “The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate, He made them high and lowly and ordered their estate.”

    • Jon

      Angry, yes – Thatcher as “daughter of a greengrocer” showed her as an extraordinarily determined woman who rose to high office despite a working-class background. I would imagine that fact is used by conservatives to “prove” that capitalism is meritocratic, even though it was an unusual case. I wonder even that she might have believed this herself, strengthening her convictions in the free market (“if I can make it, anyone can!”).
      .
      I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen people prefer anecdotes to statistics to prove their case.

  • angrysoba

    Mark Golding: “The bridge of knowledge once obscured by the trolls is in full view – really, all we have to do is cross over and leave the barren fields of deception behind.”
    .
    Yes, yes, yes. Victory is just around the corner. The evil NWO/Zio-Nio-con empire will soon be exposed for blowing up their own buildings with non-flammable Top Seckrit Explosive Sparklers or something else incoherent. Was Kool Aid on sale as refreshment?

    • Jon

      Okay, so you guys disagree on 9/11. Think we established that, several times! Maybe you could agree to disagree?
      .
      This is, after all, not a thread about that topic 🙂

  • mark_golding

    Lizz Phelan has documented NATO bombing of a University and a market place in Tripoli killing women and children. UN and the Arab League are aware that NATO is trying to control the insurgency or Arab spring to promote civil war in Libya. Counter-revolutionaries are active in Libya controlled by Britain and France; both countries having a huge dependence on Libyan oil. Agent Cameron is tasked with *propaganda* to support the NATO’s role of supporting ‘democracy’ and the rights of the Libyan people.

    Libya has a population of 6 Million. On Friday last week one million Libyans took to the streets in Tripoli and hundreds of thousands marched in many other parts of Libya, all staging support for Gaddafi.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqY9VjQHNWE

    In three months NATO airstrikes has achieved nothing except civilian deaths and Gaddafi is still in power. Clearly the people of Libya are with their leader.

    UK and French special forces agents are paying insurgents to take advantage of splits in Libyan tribal allegiances while sanctions on Libya are causing a crisis similar to the sanctions imposed on Iraq – THIS IS THE INSIDE TRACK!

    America supports 75% of the NATO budget as countries have pulled out ie Germany has refused to support NATO in Libya. The yanks(CIA) are really helping Britain (assassinate Gaddafi??) because to them Libya is not so strategically important as Pakistan and Afghanistan right now. Of concern to America is NATO’s future role and Gates really wants to see a political solution in Libya to give NATO a clean exit strategy.

    Britain has caused a crisis in Libya; post Cold war NATO is ineffective as it was in Kosova with NATO bombing murdering many civilians and having to apologize – NATO is now struggling to prevent its disintegration.

  • mary

    Mazin Qumsiseh writes:
    The battle lines are drawn
    http://popular-resistance.blogspot.com/2011/06/battle-lines-are-drawn.html
    .
    Israel’s UN ambassador met with major American Jewish organizations telling them to work hard to ensure there will not be passage of any votes on Palestine at the UN. President Obama met with 80 influential Jewish donors (who each gave $25-35,000 to attend the private dinner with the President)and Obama assured them that the US has iron-clad commitment to Israel. He stated to them that any differences with the current Israeli government are not about goals and strategies but merely minor tactical differences among close friends and allies.
    {..}
    Further, the despotic regimes in Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Morocco and elsewhere continue to torture, kill, and imprison their citizens who dare call for democracy. Greece is being threatened about its loans unless it joins the US/Israel to stop the freedom flotilla. Turkey’s elections consolidated power in the ruling party which now felt a bit freer (or so we are told) to bend to US/Israel pressure to a) stop the Freedom
    Flotilla II, and b) drop its demand for an apology and for lifting the siege
    on Gaza (after the execution of 9 Turkish passengers in International waters
    last year).

  • ingo

    Thanks Mary, this is very disturbing, Assad is seemingly walking into his own noose by being a bastard to his own people. Using Insurlik and other facillities in Turkey means that the US and Israel have a pincer position and a springboard to Iran set up, should the latter profess military support for Syria.
    The mechanism is in place and I feel that the outrage over reactions to come re: peace flotilla, could easily escalate into a major world wide flagration. If Syria and Iran are attacked simultaneously we will see most conflicts erupt and simmering ones come to the surface, more hardship and sorrow so our economies can just about keep themselves alive with arms dealing and manufacture of.
    This coincides with a dollar thats dipping wildly, a casm opening up in the EU and my garden being devastated through a new water main, its a bad summer all round.

  • ingo

    Lets hope that Israel’s secret talks with Turkey was not over the co use of Turkey’s NATO bases. Attacking Iran from Turkish bases, a possible mission creep outcome of a scrap with Syria.

    NATO is turning out to be one hell of a whore these days, letting anybody with the right money use it for whatever they like, like a very old elephant it should lay down and die.
    Why should Turkey cow tow to the demands of Israel, not a NATO country and in breach of multiple laws, regulations and UN conventions?

  • anno

    Correction. I did not object to Mrs T because she attacked class privelege, which I have always detested and still do, but because she used the tool of sexual freedom to break the status quo, which damaged the whole of society. Yes Marxists would do the same, which is perhaps why New Labour’s intellectuals have so much in common with Thatcher.
    The new batch of plutocrats and scumbag New Labour politicians who have become millionaires by signing for the War on Islam for their Zionist banker sponsors, like chief bastard in chief Liam Byrne MP, want more class privelege without the moral responsibilities of their predecessors. They think that turning up at the mosque and praising religious practise, is the same as maintaining a moral, Christian fabric for family life. It definitely isn’t.

    There is however Islam, and it is a refuge for those who have realised that moral disintegration for the sake of neo-capitalism and neo-Marxism is a bum deal for the citizens of this country. We have benefits but no family life. We have mosques but no way to stop the killing of our fellow Muslims. We have cheap vegetables, but our houses are all owned by building societies.
    If you like Thatcherism you are measuring the wrong statistics. Why not look at the statistics from child protection agencies that the molestation of very small children( who have been deprived of the protection of the family) is now routine.
    May molten stones fall on the heads of all of those who dismantled family life in order to grasp the rungs of priveledge and who took bungs from the usurous bankers to attack Islam.

    • Jon

      Ah, right – a primary source of disagreement. Several, in fact: “the tool of sexual freedom” implies that a woman should have never become prime minister. This is of course silly – there should be more gender balance in political life, not less. New Labour have plenty to do with Thatcherism, yes – but it’s nothing to do with gender – New Labour moved to the right in tune with the requirements of capitalism as defined by the corporate-political-media class. Had they not done so, they may not have been voted in, since the public largely step to the media’s tune.
      .
      The idea that New Labour is/was “Marxist” is so plainly untrue it’s hardly worth responding to. There is nothing ‘neo-Marxist’ about our current phase of neo-capitalism. Perhaps you should read some Marx? I think you’d like him. (I am reading Chris Harman’s “Zombie Capitalism” at the moment, but I am not sure I would recommend it – the prose is quite dense and technical, but I am persisting with it for now.)
      .
      Another main point of disagreement is how you keep coming back to ride your religious hobby horse. The opposite of neo-capitalism is not Islam – the opposite of capitalism was the topic of my post on a past thread. That would be socialism, perhaps, or communism, or some economic system that involves central planning. There are lots of possibilities, as I outlined in that piece.
      .
      Again, there is no war on Islam – not a real one, anyway. Our jingoist media has concocted one, certainly, and this is helpful when the West wishes to steal natural resources from the Middle East and Africa, as is becoming increasingly normal for the present phase of capitalism. But if those countries were all Jewish, the media would repaint Judaism as a source of extremism – given enough time – and the culture of suspicion against Muslims would melt away. Yesterday’s news would become un-news, I suppose – and our malleable public sphere would forget all about it, as they are required to.

  • mary

    Good thread on medialens regarding BBC News output includes info on Hague restoring the cut to the BBC Arabic service on the World Service.
    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1308730487.html
    .
    btw Helen Boaden Head of News defends Corbin’s Death in the Med (well she would wouldn’t she) as follows:
    .
    /…Ms Boaden went on to describe Death in the Med as a ‘brave, thorough and highly forensic examination of what went wrong [on the Mavi Marmara]’, and described the programme’s presenter, Jane Corbin, as ‘one of our absolutely best reporters’.
    .
    A BBC Trust inquiry into complaints about the programme found that it had failed to make use of the autopsies of the nine passengers killed by Israeli commandos, had failed to mention the mistreatment of passengers by Israeli troops, failed to mention the amount of aid being carried on the Mavi Marmara and unfairly dismissed the medical aid as being out of date.
    .
    However, Ms Boaden reiterated the Trust’s comments that ‘it is unlikely that a current affairs programme such as this, covering such a contentious issue, would be found to be entirely flawless if it were subjected to the level of deconstruction and analysis that Death in the Med has undergone’.
    _______
    Sorry about your garden Ingo. Hope you don’t get charged for the water. I got s bill for £380 last Summer instead of the usual one of under £100. Your analysis of what is happening in the Middle East is spot on and alarming.

  • mark_golding

    Mary, you said, “Greece is being threatened about its loans unless it joins the US/Israel to stop the freedom flotilla.” – I didn’t know that and want to explore further – have you got a reference?

    • mary

      No Mark other than what Prof Qumsiyeh writes which is re-linked several times on Google. I should imagine he is well informed on this matter and being a respected American and now Palestinian academic, would not write something he could not corroborate. He has had a bad time as you might know. I think he has been imprisoned by the Israelis about a dozen times because he stands for non-violent resistance.

      • mary

        I think you can read between the lines here.
        http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/10/43577
        .

        Foreign ministry urges Greek citizens not to participate in Gaza flotilla

        22 Jun 2011

        (Turkish protestors accompany by boats the Mavi Marmara passenger ship during its return ceremony in Istanbul after Israel’s deadly raid on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza Strip on 31 May, in Istanbul, Turkey on 26 December 2010.
        Israeli commandos on 31 May 2010 stormed six ships carrying hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists on an aid mission to the blockaded Gaza Strip, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens after encountering unexpected resistance as the forces boarded the vessels.)

        The Greek Foreign ministry urged Greek citizens not to participate in the new flotilla for the port of Gaza, as well as the ships and seafaring means of the Greek shipping register.

        A relevant announcement by the Foreign ministry on Wednesday calls for the appeal by the UN secretary general, the declared intention of the Israeli government not to allow the approach of vessels to the coast of Gaza, to be taken into consideration, as well as the direct dangers for human life and security entailed by participation in this undertaking, particularly in light of last year’s events.

        It is also pointed out that “the defining and exercising of the country’s foreign policy is the responsibility of the government, with the criterion of the promotion of the interests of Greece” and “in this crucial conjuncture all must show the corresponding responsibility or fully assume the responsibility for their actions.”

        Moreover, it stresses that “the planned operation does not tackle the essence of the humanitarian problem in Gaza”, adding that Greece and Cyprus have made specific proposals in the past in the direction of handling the humanitarian needs of the inhabitants of Gaza.

        “Greece actively supports the resumption of the peace talks which constitutes the only path for an overall and viable solution of the Palestinian issue,” the announcement concluded. (ANA)

  • angrysoba

    Jon: “Angry, yes – Thatcher as “daughter of a greengrocer” showed her as an extraordinarily determined woman who rose to high office despite a working-class background. I would imagine that fact is used by conservatives to “prove” that capitalism is meritocratic, even though it was an unusual case. I wonder even that she might have believed this herself, strengthening her convictions in the free market (“if I can make it, anyone can!”).
    .
    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen people prefer anecdotes to statistics to prove their case.”
    .
    Well, the point is that if there were measures brought in by her to make things more meritocratic then she hadn’t benefitted from them because they were obviously non-existent before her time.
    .
    I just meant that she was generally looked down on by those reactionaries who yearn for the return of the Feudal system as being “common as muck” and with no sense of noblesse oblige. It’s similar to the yearning by some reactionaries for the restoration of the Caliphate.
    .
    And yes, I agree that anecdotes or samples of one are insufficient to prove most cases.

  • angrysoba

    “Mary, you said, “Greece is being threatened about its loans unless it joins the US/Israel to stop the freedom flotilla.” – I didn’t know that and want to explore further – have you got a reference?”
    .
    It’s just made up, Mark. You know, like the “incontroverible facts” at Gage’s talk.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thjere is an internal struggle within the Conservative Party b/w the ‘Etonites’ – the old priveleged traditional power-brokers – and the ‘working-class Tories’ like Heath (teacher’s son), Thatcher, David Davies, Andrew Neil, etc. Davies resinged as Shadow Home Secretary in part because of this dynamic. Yes, he held to a principle wrt detention but this was the background. With the ascendance of Cameron et al, the Old Tories have reasserted their dominance over the Party. But angrysoba, that is a separate matter; many of these people benefitted from the grammar school system, etc. and from other progressive facts of early and mid-C20th policy. The irony was, they then, once in power, seemed to turn around and reverse much of that, rejecting progressive consensus polictics pulling-up the ladder. So, we have Andrew Neil presenting a programme on the subject, seemingly oblivious to the irony.

    Anno, you seem to have forgotten that the Prophet Muhammad was an employee of his wife, Khadija, and that this was why he was able to travel as a merchant and to meet so many variegated people. Both Fatima (the daughter of Muhammad) and Aisha (the latter-day wife of Muhammad) were leaders in their own right. So, clearly, by your standards of opprobrium, Muhammad, Fatima, Aisha and Khadija were feminists. To say that because Thatcher was Thatcher, women should not aspire to the highest office is just hilarious and incidentally flies in the face of important – and often nowadays, deliberately ignored – aspects of the history of Muslim peoples.

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