56 thoughts on “Israeli Assault on the Zaytouna-Oliva is Illegal

  • John Goss

    I hope your friend Colonel Ann Wright and the other women on board the Zaytouna-Oliva are safe. They are certainly not in safe hands. Apartheid Israel has no right to contravene international law. Unfortunately this is not the first time by a long way. The frightening thing is that in fascists states that believe they are above the law civilians have no rights.

    Mordechai Vanunu, who broke the story about Israel’s nuclear weapons program in 1986 has been in virtual captivity, in a country in which he would prefer not to be, for thirty years. Israel, the state, has no conscience. It believes itself to be above any international law. Its powerful tentacles stretch all over the globe. A simple example can be found in the Eurovision Song Contest which, although Israel is not in Europe, it has won the contest three times. Yes, it is a law unto itself.

  • fwl

    Thanks for that. I wasn’t aware of the incident and what you say about International law, San Remo and the law of the High Seas is worth listening to.

    I was particularly struck by your observation that a state can’t pick and choose if it is at war. These days there seems to be a lot of opting out of various law (I think its a trend – a sort of way of slipping out of the controls imposed by post WWII civilising governments in many areas of life, but that would be way off topic for page 1).

    I would like to hear more from you Craig about how states (not necessarily just Israel) use the so called ‘war on terror’ as a convenient device, on the one hand to legitimise acts of aggression and justify surveillance, whilst on the other deny rights usually bestowed on the enemy in war.

  • Sharp Ears

    Israel knows no law.

    There are other instances of aid boats being attacked by the Israelis.

    One in particular was the motor boat Dignity, on its second voyage to Gaza, just as Operation Cast Lead was being launched on Gaza in December 2008. The earlier voyage in October had gone without a hitch although some of the passengers like had difficulty getting out of Israei,

    Huge protests against Cast Lead were taking place in London in Kensington and in Hyde Park.

    The boat was 90 miles out in international waters in the middle of the night in rough seas when it was rammed three times by Israeli gunboats and it is a miracle that the 16 on board were not drowned. Although the superstructure was damaged as shown in the photo in the Guardian, it managed to limp to Tyre in Lebanon because of the strength of its clinker build, and not GRP.

    The Guardian report
    Israel accused of ramming Gaza aid boat

    and the Wikipedia version which distorts some of the facts.

  • Loony

    So the Israeli’s commit another illegal act – but an illegal act that pales into insignificance compared to the ongoing lawlessness of the US and its satellites.

    Fancy killing 500,000 Iraqi children through illegal sanctions – no problem
    Fancy launching an illegal war against Iraq – no problem
    Fancy illegally bombing Libya and illegally toppling Ghadafi – no problem
    Fancy overthrowing the legitimate government of Ukraine – no problem
    Fancy droning anyone you feel like in any place you feel like – no problem
    Fancy carrying out illegal acts of aggression in Syria and brazenly lying about what you are doing – no problem
    Fancy doing everything in your power to start WW3 – Well that maybe a bit of a problem

    Still lets all wail about Israel and demand that they comply with standards that the US would not even use to wipe its national bottom..

    • lysias

      Certainly the U.S. has committed many horrible acts, but you can’t let Israel and the UK off the hook merely by pointing that out, because Israel and the UK are essential accomplices of the U.S. in those acts, in addition to committing misdeeds of their own.

      Myself, I regularly criticize all three.

      • Loony

        The UK works hard to give the impression that it is an accomplice of the US – but in reality it is a vassal state of the US and it obeys orders.

        Israel has a degree of independence and is allowed to continue a quasi independent stance only because its actions are broadly acceptable to the US. Sure it commits crimes, but those crimes pale into insignificance compared to the crimes of the US.

        Why are people so exercised about Israeli crimes and atrocities and so disinterested in the atrocities of the US which, in terms of pure carnage, dwarf the actions of Israel.

        • Ian M

          Because of the political system and the systematic and planned cruelty of dispossesion, repression and dispersal of the indigenous population. The two tier system is much worse than Jim Crow in the US. The US has many faults, but it has not built into its political system and laws ethnic cleansing on an industrial scale, Nor is it holding over a million people hostage and under permanent siege.

          • Loony

            The US is holding the entire planet hostage and under permanent siege. What do you think ramping up the rhetoric against Russia is all about?

            Sure the US does not go in for “ethnic cleansing” in terms of the dictionary definition of that phrase, but it has killed many millions of people and destroyed the lives and livelihoods of many millions more.

            Why are the millions of deaths caused as a direct consequence of the US quest for global hegemony accorded so much less significance than the far fewer deaths caused by Israel in its quest for local hegemony/security?

        • Bhante

          “The UK works hard to give the impression that it is an accomplice of the US – but in reality it is a vassal state of the US and it obeys orders.

          Israel has a degree of independence”

          What is not entirely clear is whether Israel is a vassel state of the US, or the US of Israel, or one (which?) an accomplice of the other. What is particularly striking is the extent to which Israel is able to manipulate at its whim the foreign and domestic policies of the US (and the UK and most other countries).

        • giyane

          The UK is a vassal to the US, but it does not obey US orders. Any more than any of the other vassals. Even the US does not obey the orders of its own state legislature. Obama does not control the senate, the budget, the racism of its police, or any aspect of foreign policy.

          Shanty towns nearing Peshawar are exact copies of wild west shanty towns. Political Islam is the only ally the US has, and they backed a loser, because they thought the whoopee Jesus bible bashers were on the same toon as the dingos from hell Taliban, Qaida and Daesh.
          Singing from the same him-book, kinda thing.

          You won’t find the lost tribes searching for much meaning to life. Lost suits them fine.

  • fwl

    Craig, something else I would be interested to hear or read your thoughts about as and when you have a chance is the interaction between a state’s strategic objective and an individual’s conscience. How does the man with a conscience operate. If one reads or is taught something like The Grand Chessboard and has a clear global set of objectives, some essential and others of lesser grades of importance how then does the individual participant square that with his conscience? Utility vs Virtue / Conscience.

    1) Does he or she accept the greater good as taught by the superior and accept they are a worker bee, head down and keep conscience at bay;

    2) as per 1) until some particular event(s) are a step too far and then face a personal crisis

    3) as per 1) but still thinking and listening to one’s conscience……perhaps acting in such a way at all times as to be still a loyal servant and still a good man or woman, even in a war?

    Edward Wilson’s novels seem to explore aspects of this dilemma. Anyway, I would be interested to hear you on this. Maybe there will be something in Sikunder Burnes.

  • Dave

    Well, that’s you lot, and me too no doubt, now open to attack as being anti-semetic by the neo-Nazi Zionists.
    No doubt they’ll be flooding the comments any time soon.

  • Alcyone

    What does our 2009 Nobel Peace laureate have to say about it?
    What has been his contribution to the resolution of this eyesore of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
    What does our Middle East Special envoy have to say?
    What has been his contribution to the resolution of this eyesore of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

    As for protests, and their effectiveness, this news did not make it to any of the many evening’s news on TV in Britain, nor does it appear on the Google news page. Although, this does:

    “The Independent
    Ukip leadership favourite hospitalised after ‘altercation’ with fellow MEP in European Parliament”

    Nevertheless, hats off to the women on board. I think they know that we live in a Type Zero Global Civilisation of which Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and their muslim brother Pakistan are major actors.

    Now, back to Pokemon Go…

    Daily Mail
    Carl Gregory is beaten to death in car park ‘in fight over Pokemon Go’

    Oh What a Lovely World! oops War, Never-ending War! Now let’s go and make another few billions of babies….projected population at end of this century, nearly 10 billion people. Aren’t you just loving this party?

    • Ba'al Zevul

      To be uncharacteristically fair to the recently ex- Quartet envoy, his remit was never concerned with peace, but with the Palestinian economy. Also true of his predecessor, who left because he realised trying to fix the economy was a waste of effort without a political demarche, and of the present incumbent. However, someone in Dubai is doing his best for justice for the Palestinians (so far unreported here)


      • Macky

        Ba’al; “his remit was never concerned with peace, but with the Palestinian economy”

        Wrong according to the Galloway film on Blair; it makes it clear that his Quartet role was to give the illusion that something was being done about working towards a negotiated peaceful settlement, (and that his appointment was justified by his apparent role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process), but in reality it was to tread water so the status quo continued as the Israelis prefer it to; as to helping the Palestinian economy, he didn’t even manage in all those years to fix the chronic sewage problem, which he originally stated as a main priority.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Galloway’s take on the matter doesn’t really conflict with my own, though. Whatever the intention, the remit issued was unconcerned with peace. This was also true of the first envoy, James Wolfensohn, who was a little more honest than Blair about it.I don’t think they’d have appointed the chair of the World Bank to the post if there had been no intention to reform the Pal economy. The rationalisation was that if the Palestinians had a stable economy, greed – to put it crudely – would triumph over nationalism. Certainly this idea was eagerly promoted by the Israelis, concurrently with hindering in every possible way any economic transformation, but I don’t think this was the intention of the Quartet. Wolfensohn realised the task was impossible, and stepped down after a year. Our grinning chum was happier to play the Israeli game – and of course he could retain some shreds of international credibility by allowing it to be thought, via carefully worded press releases, that the position was concerned with peace. But he knew it wasn’t.

          Anyhoo, you’ll be delighted to know that Balir is thinking of returning to the UK for three days a month in order to run it for us*:


          (all media – hence a TBA press release)

          *As announced earlier, he’ll be spending 80% of his time doing charidee.

    • lysias

      Let us hope the Western imperialists’ stooges, the White Helmets, don’t get that Nobel Peace Prize tomorrow.

  • Alcyone

    Why does nobody ask the billion-dollar question: What are Palestine’s brethren the Saudis, Qataris, Emiratis et al doing to support them?

    • Ian M

      What on earth makes you think that the ruling elites of these Gulf States are in any way ‘brethren’ of the Palestinians? They have much more in common with Israel, being demagogic states ruled by regimes steeped in repression and punitive political policies.

  • Sharp Ears

    Jonathan Cook writing from Nazareth

    Odeh exposes the myth of Peres and Israel’s ‘peace camp’
     6 October 2016
    As world leaders congregated in Jerusalem to eulogise Shimon Peres as a “great peacemaker”, the peace camp of which he was the figurehead went to war against its main Palestinian partner in Israel. Ayman Odeh, head of the only Jewish-Arab party in the Israeli legislature, enraged the Israeli Jewish public by refusing to attend Peres’ funeral.

    Israel accused of carrying out illegal airport strip searches
     29 September 2016
    Israeli airport staff regularly violate Israeli law by subjecting Arab passengers, including Israel’s own Palestinian citizens, to strip searches and other degrading procedures, says Adalah, a legal rights group. The practices occur at Israel’s international Ben Gurion airport, as well as at many foreign airports where Israeli security officials are entitled to carry out pre-flight checks on behalf of Israeli carriers.

    • Sharp Ears

      The psycho is off his trolley. Delusions of grandeur, etc.

      I have just seen that the White Helmets did not get the Nobel Prize. That will greatly annoy Syria’s neighbour to the south and friends.

      Instead it has been awarded to the Colombian president for his peace deal with the FARC in spite of his and its unpopularity with the people.

      ‘Nobel Peace Prize for Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos

      Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the Farc leader known as Timochenko shake hands in ceremony in Cartagena in September

      Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the 52-year conflict with left-wing rebels.

      The Nobel committee in Norway praised him for his peace agreement with Farc rebels, signed last month after four years of negotiations.

      However, Colombians narrowly rejected the deal in a vote last weekend.

      The conflict has killed about 260,000 people. More than six million have been internally displaced.’


      Here is Brown’s Foreign Office Minister, Kim Howells, with the Government troops in 2008 who we were supporting. Howells had that job from Blair in 2005.

      Anger at minister’s photo with Colombian army unit linked to trade unionist killings
      · Picture of official visit posted on FO website
      · Calls to end UK aid over human rights abuses

    • Esclavo

      We came. We saw. We lied.

      Let’s have bayonets up the arse of Clinton, Sarkozy, Cameron, Obama, and that dirty little rat, the pseudo intellectual poser, Bernard Henri-Levy, who is so proud of his role that he made a movie about it starring – himself!

      And how about some reaction to the UK Government report from the tarts on this blog who defended the invasion and decimation of Libya and the murder of Ghaddafi.

      Libya – examination of intervention and collapse –

      In March 2011, the United Kingdom and France, with the support of the United States, led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from attacks by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. This policy was not informed by accurate intelligence. In particular, the Government failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element. By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change. That policy was not underpinned by a strategy to support and shape post-Gaddafi Libya. The result was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of ISIL in North Africa. Through his decision making in the National Security Council, former Prime Minister David Cameron was ultimately responsible for the failure to develop a coherent Libya strategy.


      Thanks, Bhante –

  • Sharp Ears

    Did you hear the psychopathic US Army Chief? Lusting for war.

    Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley warned last night that the United States was ready to “destroy” its enemies in comments that were clearly directed at Russia.

    “I want to be clear to those who wish to do us harm….the United States military – despite all of our challenges, despite our [operational] tempo, despite everything we have been doing – we will stop you and we will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before. Make no mistake about that,” said Milley.

    The General went on to warn that Russia and other countries had taken advantage of the U.S. being focused on the war on terror.
    Keep us alive: http://russia-insider.com/support

    • Esclavo

      Russia’s conditions to next US president:

      (1) the US must lift all sanctions against Russia;
      (2) compensation should be paid not only for the losses from American
      sanctions, but also for the losses incurred by Russian counter-sanctions;
      (3) the Magnitsky Act should be repealed;
      (4) the US’ military presence in Eastern Europe should be sharply reduced; and
      (5) the US should abandon its policy of confrontation with Moscow.

      – the essence of Putin’s demands: “ultimatum.”


  • Bhante

    State Department Official Admits Ties to Terrorist Groups

    (from: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/05/did-i-say-that-state-department-official-admits-ties-to-terrorist-groups/ )

    “We need to realize that our approach to terrorism is all wrong. Terrorism cannot be defeated by nipping at the edges or by killing individual agents or groups. That hasn’t worked and that won’t work. The cancer has to be eradicated at its source which — in all probability– means either dismantling or reigning in the CIA and bringing its deep-state paymasters to justice. That is how one wins the war on terror.”

  • Sharp Ears

    Pity the poor Haitians. There are 842 deaths so far reported from the storm and homes, water supplies and shelter lost. It is the poorest country in the Americas.

    They have already endured the earthquake in 2010, and the aftermath. when over 200,000 people were killed. Then cholera was brought in by the UN relief teams and there was even talk of organ harvesting by others.

    Bush and Clinton were ripping it off in Northern Haiti.

    Haiti: Five Months After The Quake
    “We Are Motivated”
    by Robert Roth / June 22nd, 2010

    Canada interfered in the 2006 presidential election which was fraudulent, landing the people with the far right Martelly. A new election is due to take place on Sunday but that will probably be postponed.

    The previous president Aristide was deposed in a US generated coup.

    Sycophants or dupes? Journalists and Haiti
    Yves Engler / October 4th, 2016

    Needless to say Blair visited in 2014 having met PM Lamothe earlier in Davos at the WEF.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Have the girls been released – yet? I assume the Israeli’s haven’t just murdered them?

    As well as me (though I disagree with most of his political views) Craig Murray has got a massive fan in whoever runs the website TruePublica

    Craig’s Speech is awesome. He ain’t half got some balls – and you just know he ain’t making it up.

    “Ex British Ambassador Makes Astonishing Speech About Tony Blair, George Bush, War and Profit”

    “Set aside 2 minutes to read this and watch a 20 minute video. It will truly astonish you, no matter how cynical you may be when it comes to the so-called ‘war on terror’, Iraq, Syria and many other conflicts around the world…..”



  • RobG

    We’ve got ISIS, we’ve got the Trots, we’ve got the immigrants and welfare scroungers, and as if that lot aren’t terrifying enough we’ve now got the Creepy Clowns (this is apparently a real news report)…


    It’s also infiltrating the UK…


    Oh, how the criminal psychopaths who rule us (which is why it’s relevant to Craig’s post here) like to totally take the piss out of the general public.

    But you’ll believe it, won’t you?

  • giyane

    It would be better to consign Mr Blair to the fate of the Curse of the Black Pearl. He was an infamous privateer to the vile neo-cons USUKIS. Nuff said.

  • Sharp Ears

    Any connection to; Hogan Howe;s decision to leave early?

    Scotland Yard considers probe into IPCC police misconduct allegations
    8 October 2016

    Scotland Yard is considering whether to launch a criminal investigation into claims the Independent Police Complaints Commission deliberately suppressed evidence during an inquiry into alleged police misconduct.

    Three police officers were cleared at a misconduct hearing in July and have lodged a criminal complaint with the Met about the conduct of the IPCC.

    Scotland Yard said it was “assessing” information relating to “two linked allegations of crime”. The IPCC said it was “aware” of the allegations.


  • Sharp Ears

    Whilst looking for news of Owen Smith, I read that he will not join the shadow government. Has he actually been invited? 🙂

    Then I saw this Google link to a Daily Mail article entitled.
    ‘British J*ws slam Shami Chakrabarti’s anti-Semitism report as a ‘job …

    That was a completely misleading title as the comment from the BBJD is buried way down in three short paragraphs in the long piece which concerns Corbyn’s selection of shadow ministers. How and why did that happen? The BBJD comments are not even included in the heading and sub headings, viz

    Jeremy Corbyn slammed by top MP for ignoring pleas for party unity with a brutal reshuffle that sacked rivals, promoted allies and tightened his grip on Labour’s ruling committee
    Corbyn completes reshuffle that includes promotions for close allies Diane Abbott and Shami Chakrabarti
    But he has been slammed by PLP chairman John Cryer for refusing to work with MPs to compromise on who is in his top team
    Dame Rosie Winterton was fired by Labour leader last night in shock move
    New appointments today include making deputy leader Tom Watson the shadow culture secretary and Jon Ashworth shadow health secretary
    Ashworth’s promotion cost him his seat on Labour’s top NEC committeee

  • Paul Barbara

    @ fwl October 6, 2016 at 22:20
    Craig, something else I would be interested to hear or read your thoughts about as and when you have a chance is the interaction between a state’s strategic objective and an individual’s conscience. How does the man with a conscience operate. If one reads or is taught something like The Grand Chessboard and has a clear global set of objectives, some essential and others of lesser grades of importance how then does the individual participant square that with his conscience? Utility vs Virtue / Conscience.

    1) Does he or she accept the greater good as taught by the superior and accept they are a worker bee, head down and keep conscience at bay;

    2) as per 1) until some particular event(s) are a step too far and then face a personal crisis

    3) as per 1) but still thinking and listening to one’s conscience……perhaps acting in such a way at all times as to be still a loyal servant and still a good man or woman, even in a war?

    Edward Wilson’s novels seem to explore aspects of this dilemma. Anyway, I would be interested to hear you on this. Maybe there will be something in Sikunder Burnes.’

    Conscience should override illegal orders. When the Israeli IDF launched it’s deliberate, murderous attack on the USS Liberty in the ‘Six-Day War’, some (I believe two) Israeli pilots refused to attack, as they had identified it as an American ship, They were told to attack it anyway, but refused. Just like the large numbers of ‘Refuseniks’, who refuse either the draft, or specific ‘Duties’ tied to the illegal Israeli occupation of vast areas of Palestinian land.
    A return to pre-1967 war borders would not be ideal, but it is the best possible result for the Palestinians; yet the Israeli government not only won’t entertain that idea, they want the lot, and more, for a ‘Greater Israel’.
    The US has the ability, but not the will, to bring Israel to heel by stopping the vast monetary and weaponry assistance, but Israeli lobbyists very largely control the US government, so it won’t happen.

  • Sharp Ears

    Ramzy Baroud
    Israeli Assault on the Zaytouna-Oliva is Illegal

    ‘The language used against Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and others is now being utilized against BDS. In a conference organized by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in New York last month, Israeli Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, called BDS a ‘terrorist organization.’

    “BDS is the new face of terror,” she said. “While in Gaza (terrorists) are digging underground tunnels into Israel, the BDS movement is digging tunnels to undermine the foundations and values of Israel. We have to stop these tunnels as well.”

    Like Netanyahu, Shaked too claimed to be “fighting Islamic extremism”, although BDS supporters come from many countries and profess no particular religion. In fact, many of them are Jewish activists.

    Yet, that does not matter. It never did, because the enemy, for now, has to remain “Islamic terrorism”, even if it is neither Islamic nor terrorist.

    In a response to the Israeli navy interception, arrest and deportation of a group of women who attempted to break the Israeli siege on Gaza by using a small boat, Israel’s Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, spun his words to connect the non-violent activists with something else entirely.

    “We will not accept any (rocket) fire, any provocation, against the citizens of Israel by whoever it might be, or any attack on Israel’s sovereignty. Not rocket fire, and not a flotilla,” Lieberman said in an army ceremony on October 07.

    The activists atop the boat, included Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mairead Maguire, of Northern Ireland. In Lieberman’s logic, Maguire’s act to end a decade-long blockade on a poor region is equivalent to the firing of a rocket.

    Regardless of the type of criticism Israel faces and the tactics used to end its Occupation of Palestine, Israel will always connect the proverbial dots to produce the same outcome: Israel’s existence is at stake, all acts of resistance, however symbolic, are terrorist, and Israel has to do whatever it takes to defend itself from looming destruction by rogue terrorists.

    Nonetheless, unlike Shimon Peres and his generation of leaders, the Israeli story as told by Israel’s new leaders is no longer selling. Gaza, which is rendered uninhabitable by the United Nations come 2020, hardly threatens the existence of Israel, nor are BDS activists, who demand accountability, vile terrorists. Needless to say, a group of women atop a small boat, carrying a symbolic amount of supplies to impoverished Gaza, were not about to take the Middle East’s only nuclear power down.

    “The Israeli army then took over the boat. The women showed no resistance as they wanted to emphasize that their mission was peaceful. The women cried because they could not reach Gaza,” Al Jazeera reported.

    ‘Terrorists’, indeed!’

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