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BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid

Emma B 28 Jun 10 - 06:15 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 28 Jun 10 - 06:15 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 28 Jun 10 - 06:20 AM
Emma B 28 Jun 10 - 07:14 AM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Jun 10 - 03:03 PM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Jun 10 - 03:09 PM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Jun 10 - 06:44 PM
mousethief 28 Jun 10 - 09:12 PM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Jun 10 - 01:26 AM
mousethief 29 Jun 10 - 02:12 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Jun 10 - 04:06 AM
Emma B 29 Jun 10 - 05:43 AM
Emma B 29 Jun 10 - 08:27 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Jun 10 - 09:47 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Jun 10 - 10:09 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Jun 10 - 02:53 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 Jun 10 - 02:54 PM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 10 - 02:12 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 10 - 02:14 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Jun 10 - 03:45 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 10 - 03:59 AM
Emma B 30 Jun 10 - 05:21 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 10 - 05:34 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 10 - 06:03 AM
Emma B 30 Jun 10 - 06:04 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 30 Jun 10 - 06:06 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 10 - 06:57 AM
Emma B 30 Jun 10 - 11:35 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 10 - 11:51 AM
Emma B 30 Jun 10 - 12:39 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Jun 10 - 02:05 PM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 10 - 03:24 PM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jul 10 - 02:35 AM
Emma B 01 Jul 10 - 05:51 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jul 10 - 07:24 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jul 10 - 08:47 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jul 10 - 08:49 AM
Emma B 01 Jul 10 - 09:01 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 01 Jul 10 - 07:17 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jul 10 - 01:36 AM
Emma B 02 Jul 10 - 06:22 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jul 10 - 06:38 AM
Emma B 02 Jul 10 - 07:09 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jul 10 - 07:17 AM
Emma B 02 Jul 10 - 07:46 AM
bobad 02 Jul 10 - 07:58 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jul 10 - 08:46 AM
Emma B 02 Jul 10 - 12:31 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jul 10 - 01:14 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Jul 10 - 03:05 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 06:15 AM

Is there any news of 'Miriam' the all-female Lebanese ship which plansed to set sail for Gaza on a humanitarian mission carrying about 30 Lebanese and 20 foreigners, including several European nationals Muslim, Christian and secular?

It was reported that the ship will carry four nuns from the U.S., cancer medication and other humanitarian aid.

Israel's UN ambassador has repeated that -
"Israel reserves its right under international law to use all necessary means to prevent these ships from violating the existing naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip'

Israel Radio reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned the Lebanese government that it would be held responsible for ships sailing from Lebanon to the Gaza Strip - so watch out Dublin! (the port of origin of the MV Rachel Corrie)

The Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah said that it would not take part in Gaza-bound aid missions so as not to give a pretext for Israel to attack Lebanon.


Although, in response to international outrage following the deadly commando raid on a flotilla of ships carrying aid to Gaza, Israel has relaxed its strict land blockade of Gaza allowing more food and some restricted construction materials to enter the strip there is no relaxation of the ban stopping Gazans from leaving what is effectively an open-air prison.

The commissioner-general of the U.N. refugee agency, Filipo Grandi says the Gaza Strip crisis is more than just a humanitarian situation and that people in Gaza need to import and export goods in order to boost the economy and to give the citizenry there a "normal life."


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 06:15 AM

""There are deaths, so Israel must have committed an atrocity.
They had wounds to their backs, so must have been running away.
""

Let's see if your logic is up to the task of handling a simple concept.

Hypothetically:- I have a hand gun. There are a number of people who are threatening to hit me on the head (well actually, the bullet resistant helmet) with iron bars.

I have choices.

1. I fire in the air, which in most cases would clear my opponents without bloodshed.

2. I fire at the nearest and most dangerous opponent, killing or injuring him, and the rest head for the hills.


What I do NOT do, is to continue shooting those fleeing opponents up to four times in the back.

1. It simply isn't necessary.
2. It simply IS murder.

Now, perhaps you with your vastly superior knowledge can explain to me in what other circumstances, most of the dead could have bullet entry holes in their backs?

And please don't suggest that anybody can mount a serious attack with his back to the intented victim.

Don T


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 06:20 AM

""Don, you brought up the Bloody Sunday thread in the context of me supporting bullies.""

DID I? That's news to me, pal.

Kindly point to my mention of Bloody Sunday, or the thread of that name.

NO? Of course not, because I never mentioned either.

I was referring to your well documented spats with Irish Catters Ard and Sweeney, among others when you demonstrated the same skewed disrespect for their views.

WELL DOCUMENTED on several threads.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 07:14 AM

I confess that, irritated beyond tolerance that a thread can be effectively sabotaged by continual nit picking, I drew attention to the tedious and diversionary similarities between the interminable cul de sac (or should that be roundabout? ) of posts on this thread and the Saville Enquiry thread

Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B - PM
Date: 17 Jun 10 - 06:46 AM

Now as I concluded in that post (my last on this thread until today for that reason)

"Please may we move on there are important issues and it is gratifying to see that at least one outcome of this attack is the international attention and disapprobation* that has pressurized Israel to allow more humanitarian aid through to the beseiged beleaguered Gazan population"

{* yeah ok it WAS a typo!}

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has taken note of the internal inquiry set up by Israel on the flotilla incident, but said that such an investigation would lack "international credibility". "My position is that there should be international credibility of their investigation"

Meanwhile, it is reported that
"Key supporters of the Israeli-right in the United States are now demanding with full force, Turkey's phased exit from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)."
- Business Magazine

The pro Israeli influential Washington based, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) group adds that the U.S. should now "seriously consider suspending military cooperation with Turkey as a prelude to removing it from the organisation".


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 03:03 PM

Don, I have replied on the Bloody Sunday thread, since it is about Bloody Sunday.
thread.cfm?threadid=130131&messages=140&page=1&desc=yes#2936147


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 03:09 PM

Sorry, that last for Jim.

Don, you posted about my comments on NI "a short time ago."

The Bloody Sunday thread was a few days ago, my debates with Divis and Ard were years ago, so don't get all sarcastic about which thread you meant!
In those years old threads I argued AGAINST the fascist bully boys of the IRA who wanted to deprive the people of the North of their human and civil rights to choose their own government, and to impose on them by force a regime for which they have refused to vote.

So no change there then.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 06:44 PM

Jim, you have accused that, "On this thread you have defended an act of outright piracy ..."

No I have not.
I have said that the legality is being debated.
(Piracy is the wrong term anyway. A state can not be accused of piracy.)


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: mousethief
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 09:12 PM

You still haven't answered how shooting somebody in the back is an act of self-defense.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 01:26 AM

It is not, but it could be an act of defending someone else in the melee.
Remember the very close range of many of the shots?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: mousethief
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 02:12 AM

That many? and that many holes in each? You're stretching it.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 04:06 AM

This is a distasteful subject Mousethief, but the multiple wounds of the dead argues against indiscriminate shooting.

A 9mm round often does not stop someone. British soldiers and no doubt others are trained to fire multiples.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 05:43 AM

American Jews for a Just Peace is

'proud to announce that we will serve as the U.S. Coordinator for the "Jewish Boat to Gaza."

The boat, sponsored by a coalition of international Jewish organizations dedicated to peace with justice in Israel/Palestine, is scheduled to sail from an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean this July.
It will head toward Gaza in an effort to break the siege imposed by Israel in 2006.
Passengers will include Jews from Germany, the U.K., and the United States, including at least one survivor of the Nazi Holocaust.

The moral imperative to end the siege of Gaza is absolute. When governments fail to act, ordinary people must organize to intervene. As ordinary people of conscience, we are determined to act on behalf of the people in Gaza deprived of their right to ordinary lives.'

AJJP

Meanwhile - a change of tactic?

I posted about the Miriam on 28 Jun 10 - 06:15 AM

"the all-female Lebanese ship which plansed to set sail for Gaza on a humanitarian mission carrying about 30 Lebanese and 20 foreigners, including several European nationals Muslim, Christian and secular
It was reported that the ship will carry four nuns from the U.S., cancer medication and other humanitarian aid."

I can't read Hebrew but an advert is said to have appeared in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, seeking
"Women with great physical strength and motivations" who are needed on a volunteer basis to attack and evacuate women from the Lebanese aid ship.
It also has a voice mail number for the volunteers to call and enlist.
Israeli Organization Places Ad for Volunteers To Attack Solidarity Ships

Perhaps someone can confirm or refute this?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 08:27 AM

The UN Security Council statement of 31 May said that there must be an "impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards." into the attack and deaths on board the aid flotilla

Should any Israeli-run inquiry have any credibility outside of Israel?


"it is no wonder that the world does not trust Israeli investigations"

Comment by the lawyer acting on behalf of American peace activist Tristan Anderson, shot in the head with a tear-gas canister on 13 March 2009 while taking photos following a demonstration against the apartheid wall in the West Bank village of Ni'lin.

While the findings of the Israeli investigation, found a "lack of wrongdoing" by Israeli border forces Tristan's family have filed an appeal based on an independent investigation.

'The appeal, which pointed out grave flaws and negligence in the original investigation, was based on an independent investigation, held parallel to the one the police conducted.

It shows clearly that the police decided to close the case despite the fact that the investigating team had never visited the scene of the shooting, and as a result questioned officers who had nothing to do with Anderson's shooting and, in fact, could have had nothing to do with the shooting, as there was no direct line of fire between where they were positioned and were Anderson was shot.

A second Border Police crew, which was located in the area where Anderson was shot from according to all civilian eye witnesses, was never questioned at all.
The force's commanders, who carry responsibility for the shooting were also not held accountable.

Nancy Anderson, Tristan's mother: "We expect someone to finally take responsibility for our son's shooting.
It is unimaginable to us that soldiers will shoot unarmed civilians whose sole crime was to demonstrate, and that no one will be held accountable. The re-launching of the investigation, so we hope, is a much needed first step towards justice for us and for our son." '

- Joseph Dana, American-Israeli freelance journalist

Compiling civilian eyewitness testimony and reports from the Palestinian Red Crescent, the independent investigation determined that accounts presented by the Israeli investigation were impossible.
Contrary to Israel's claim, Tristan was not shot "during clashes" with the soldiers and was not in a closed military zone either

nihil novi!


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 09:47 AM

"I have said that the legality is being debated."
Only by an Israeli minister who has offered no proof.
But let's see what their 'impartial' enquiry comes up with.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 10:09 AM

Jim, it is debated by experts on international law.
Proof of legality???


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 02:53 PM

"Jim, it is debated by experts on international law."
Whose experts on international law and to what conclusion?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 02:54 PM

""The Bloody Sunday thread was a few days ago, my debates with Divis and Ard were years ago, so don't get all sarcastic about which thread you meant!""

If I had meant just one thread I would have named it. I did not mention "Bloody Sunday", so don't get snotty because you make unwarranted assumptions based on insufficient, or no, evidence, or maybe because those assumptions would bolster your arguments better than the truth.

Tune up your mind reading ability, because it isn't working.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 02:12 AM

Don, you said "a short time ago"
I am entitled to get snotty if you expect me to read your mind, and then get all sarcastic because I went by what you actually typed!
Knob.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 02:14 AM

Jim, here is one expert debating the legality.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article7142055.ece


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 03:45 AM

"but it also tells us that those blockades must meet humanitarian standards to be lawful."
Humanitarianism isn't the word that spring to mind when the blockade of Gaza by Israel is discussed - now where did I put that list of banned items?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 03:59 AM

Yes, but the legality is not clear.
They argue that they let in enough essentials to cover it.
It is debated.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 05:21 AM

"They argue that they let in enough essentials to cover it.
It is debated."

'Debated' by who?

"The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger," senior Israeli government advisor Dov Weisglass explained in 2006.

According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation says 61% of Gazans are "food insecure".
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, reports that 80% of Gazan households rely on some kind of food aid.


Aid agencies operating in Gaza say they have largely been able to continue to transport basic supplies such as flour and cooking oil into the territory.

Unrwa provides food aid for 750,000 people, half the population.
However, its food distribution has been suspended several times since June 2007 as a result of border closures or fuel shortages

These rations provide about two-thirds of dietary needs, and so need to be supplemented by dairy products, meat, fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. Some of these items are grown locally, some allowed in from Israel, and some were smuggled in through tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border.

But after Operation Cast Lead and its devastating effect on infrastructure Palestinian Bureau of Statistics estimate unemployment at 38.6% in early 2010; some Gazans cannot afford the basics, even if they are physically available.

Even before the Israeli military operation in December and January 2009 disrupted food aid transfer and distribution significantly, as well as causing what the UN FAO estimates at $180m of damage to the agricultural sector ....

A UN survey in 2008 found more than half Gaza's households had sold their disposable assets and were relying on credit to buy food, three-quarters of Gazans were buying less food than in the past, and almost all were eating less fresh fruit, vegetables and animal protein to save money.

ACCORDING TO THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, ONE THIRD OF CHILDREN UNDER FIVE AND WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING AGE ARE ANAEMIC.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 05:34 AM

I am not supporting the blockade Emma, but why do the Gazan's expect Israel to be nice to them when they are so nasty to Israel?
They elect to government a party dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
They launch rockets at Israeli civillians.
They hold a soldier prisoner without Red Crescent visits for years.

Israel ought to be nice in return, but they choose to be only as nice as the law demands.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 06:03 AM

Sometimes aid can't get through because Gazans attack the crossing points.
Why do they do that?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 06:04 AM

Which 'law' demands Gaza be turned into an open air prison and its citizens be metered out collective punishment Keith?

Under the United Nations charter states have the right to self-defense, (jus ad bellum) but defensive actions should not exceed necessity.
States may deter future assaults aggressively, but they're not supposed to launch a counterattack that's radically incommensurate with the actual threat.

International humanitarian law takes into account the legitimate military imperatives of warring parties.
There is no justification for perpetrating serious violations of IHL.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 06:06 AM

""Israel ought to be nice in return, but they choose to be only as nice as the law demands.""

When was the last time that Israel gave a damn about what the law demands?

That's what this damn row, the rockets, and the election of Hamas is all about.Israel started, as you put it, "not being nice to the Gazans" decades ago, not last month.

Have you no humanity at all?

This is a population struggling to survive the illegal attentions of a vastly stronger neighbour (both numerically, and militarily).

Had the Germans managed to invade this country, your type would have been first in line to use on them the selfsame tactics which you decry, when used against your Israeli pals.

And I will refrain from responding to the above epithet in kind. You can just read my mind, to find out what I think of you.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 06:57 AM

Look, I said I DID NOT support the blockde.

Israel does let some aid in. We know it is not enough, but they let it through to comply with the law.
Otherwise none Don. Right?

If the attacks on Israel stopped, would the flow of aid be likely to increase or decrease?
If the soldier was shown to be OK, would it be likely to increase or decrease?

And if they stopped calling for the destruction of Israel....


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 11:35 AM

" but they let it through to comply with the law."

First let's look at some 'laws' Keith

We'll start with the obvious one which has been discussed here the naval and land blockade

The 1909 Declaration Concerning the Laws of Naval War (the London Declaration), the first international instrument to acknowledge the legality of blockades, specifically recognized the right of belligerents to blockade their enemy during time of war.
Article 97 of the San Remo Manual does likewise

But what justifies a blockade in non-international armed conflict (NIAC)? The London Declaration does not justify such a blockade, because it only applies to "war"– war being understood at the time as armed conflict between two states.

The seeming absence of support for blockades in NIAC is obviously important, because it is difficult to argue that Israel is involved in an IAC with Hamas.

First, it is obviously not in a traditional IAC, because Gaza is not a state.
Second, not even Israel claims that the conflict has been internationalized by the involvement of another state.
And third, although the Israeli Supreme Court held — controversially — in the Targeted Killings case that armed conflict between an occupying power and a rebel group is international, Israel's official position is that it not currently occupying Gaza.

Insofar as Israel insists that it is not currently occupying Gaza, it cannot plausibly claim that it is involved in an IAC with Hamas. And if it is not currently involved in an IAC with Hamas, it is difficult to see how it can legally justify the blockade of Gaza.

Its blockade of Gaza, therefore, seems to depend on its willingness to concede that it is occupying Gaza and is thus in an IAC with Hamas.

But Israel does not want to do that, because it would then be bound by the very restrictive rules of belligerent occupation in the Fourth Geneva Convention

As an occupying power that exercises effective control over Gaza, Israel has legal obligations to the residents of the occupied territory under the Fourth Geneva Convention, including the general duty to protect civilians under its control, and the specific duty to allow adequate access to food and medical supplies

Israel's claim that its occupation of Gaza ended with its 2005 withdrawal of troops and settlers from the Strip is an attempt to absolve itself of responsibility for Gazan civilians.
The continued control of Gaza's territorial waters, its airspace, the flow of people and goods through its land borders, and its continued ground and air incursions into the territory, verify that it exercises the "effective control" necessary to qualify as a foreign occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Even if the Gaza Strip were not occupied, Israel would still be constrained by the principle of proportionality in imposing the blockade.

This means that the military advantage gained must outweigh the harm caused the civilian population.

To comply with the law -

IT MEANS THAT THE BLOCKADE MAY BE NO MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN IS NECESSARY FOR MILITARY PURPOSES !

In other words there is no justification in law whatsoever for the refusal to allow in hundreds of items of food plus batteries for hearing aids, childrens crayons, school books, shoes, musical instruments hair brushes and the many purely arbitary list of banned goods which it took a court case to uncover except to break the spirit of the 1.5 million residents

Israel's stated objective in imposing the blockade is largely not military, but political in nature, namely, to weaken Gaza's economy and decrease support for Hamas.
The damage that the blockade has caused to the civilian population is therefore clearly disproportionate to any military advantage Israel could obtain from the blockade.


Settlements and international law

The consensus view of the international community is that the building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law.

The primary judicial organ of the UN, the International Court of Justice, found the settlements to be illegal under international law.
The Court's finding was based on the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN Security council resolutions, which condemned establishment of settlements and attempts by Israel to alter the demographics of the territories under its control.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 11:51 AM

I am no lawyer Emma.
I will rephrase my statement for you.

Israel does let some aid in. We know it is not enough, but they let it through to claim compliance with the law.

Disregarding the law would be letting nothing through. Right Don?

If the attacks on Israel stopped, would the flow of aid be likely to increase or decrease?
If the soldier was shown to be OK, would it be likely to increase or decrease?

And if they stopped calling for the destruction of Israel....


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 12:39 PM

Keith can you come up with ANY argument that the naval and land blockade of Gaza represents anything other than collective punishment in order to push the Palestinians and make them create a pressure on Hamas after it won the parliamentary elections?

The blockade, preventing all exports from Gaza and confining imports to a limited supply of humanitarian goods, has failed to bring down Hamas but has heaped misery on Gaza's 1.5 million residents.


There is no doubt that some Israelis justify the Israeli blockade solely by saying that it has to continue because of the imprisoned Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was taken hostage in the time the Israeli army was acting within Gaza borders.
(However nearly three-quarters of Israelis said recently they would back a prisoner swap deal, in a Yediot Aharonot poll.)

According to UN statistics, around 70% of Gazans live on less than $1 a day, 75% rely on food aid, 60% have no daily access to water and over half of under five year olds suffer from malnutition.

Even though the Palestinian militant group holding the soldier as hostage deny access as you point out -

Can you justify that this represents proportinate action?

Unfortunately the plight of detainees is used by both sides of the Israel/Gaza conflict as bargaining chips in political negotiations.

Since early June 2007, the Israeli authorities have barred all family visits for some 900 Palestinians from Gaza detained in Israeli prisons. Up to then, visits were already limited to some family members only.

Some people have not seen their jailed relatives for a decade or more. (figure from Amnesty)


Are you aware that in 2006 Hamas dropped any call for the destruction of Israel from its manifesto, a move that brings the group closer to the mainstream Palestinian position of building a state within the boundaries of the occupied territories?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 02:05 PM

"They argue that they let in enough essentials to cover it."
The have consitently refused to let in concrete to rebuild the schools and ospitals they razed to the ground in their last incursion.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 03:24 PM

"Keith can you come up with ANY argument that the naval and land blockade of Gaza represents anything other than collective punishment in order to push the Palestinians and make them create a pressure on Hamas after it won the parliamentary elections?"

The Israelis argue that Iran for instance would try to get weapons in.
Do you have any arguments that they would not?

"Can you justify that this represents proportinate action? "
No.
If it were my son though, I might well answer yes.

"The have consitently refused to let in concrete to rebuild the schools and ospitals they razed to the ground in their last incursion.
Jim Carroll "
They say they have refused concrete to build bunkers and rocket silos.

Aid is held up when Hamas attacks the crossing points.
Why do they do that?
Has Hamas allowed in the aid carried by the flotilla yet?
Why the delay?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 02:35 AM

A few people make a lot of money by bringing stuff in through the tunnels, and Hamas takes its cut.
When a large batch of aid comes in, the inflated price of tunnel goods takes a nosedive.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 05:51 AM

"Has Hamas allowed in the aid carried by the flotilla yet?
Why the delay?"

June 30th

"One month after Israeli commandos killed nine Turks in a raid on a flotilla trying to break the Gaza blockade, the ships' cargo of aid has begun to arrive here by land, starting Wednesday with 82 second-hand battery-powered scooters for the handicapped.

The cargo has been sitting in Israel for weeks while the Hamas authorities, the Israeli military and international aid agencies negotiated its fate.
Israel wanted to send in only materials that it was sure could not be used for weapons by Hamas.
It also did not want the sponsor of the flotilla, a Turkish Islamic charity known by the initials I.H.H., to distribute the goods
because of its close ties to Hamas

In the end, the United Nations agreed to distribute the goods.

A convoy of 128 trucks carried the cargo into Gaza from Israel as the American Middle East envoy, George J. Mitchell, watched from the Israeli side. He expressed approval at Israel's agreement, in the wake of the flotilla disaster, to ease its blockade somewhat, though the movement of goods and people out of Gaza remains largely blocked.

Mr. Daher, of the World Health Organization, told Israel he would NOT accept the scooters without their batteries and chargers, something Israeli officials considered withholding out of fear they would be diverted to militant use."

From The New York Times

Hamas had said that it would accept the cargo in its entirety including the batteries required by the scooters and the much needed cement


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 07:24 AM

Thanks Emma. I am glad it has been accepted now.

This was on 17th June.
Thirty loaded trucks have been stuck at the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip, while another 40 truck-loads of aid are being stored in warehouses operated by the Israeli Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) for the Strip.

The trucks contain desperately needed medical supplies, such as hospital beds and wheelchairs, and building materials.

"The UN will take responsibility for the delivery of the aid cargo," Ahmed Yousef, deputy foreign minister of the Hamas-led government in Gaza, said. He added that some other international aid relief organizations would join the UN in the distribution process.

The Hamas government initially decided not to receive any of the flotilla's aid before the release of those passengers "kidnapped and held hostage" by Israel and not until all the flotilla's relief supplies were greenlighted to enter Gaza, Ghazi Hamad, head of borders and crossings under the Hamas-led government, told IRIN.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/0036878dd5a26059afaa5d42abf42317.htm

Wikipedia says,
According to Israeli and Palestinian sources, as of 2 June 2010 Hamas refused to allow the humanitarian aid into Gaza until Israeli authorities released all flotilla detainees and allowed building materials, which are thought to make up the majority, 8,000 of the 10,000 tons of the goods, to reach them.[69][194][195] Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said, "We are not seeking to fill our (bellies), we are looking to break the Israeli siege on Gaza."[196]


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 08:47 AM

Emma, you clipped a sentence from your NY Times report.

I will add brackets to the missing bit for you.

Israel wanted to send in only materials that it was sure could not be used for weapons by Hamas. It also did not want the sponsor of the flotilla, a Turkish Islamic charity known by the initials I.H.H., to distribute the goods because of its close ties to Hamas. (Hamas, meanwhile, said it wanted either all the aid or nothing.)

In the end, the United Nations agreed


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 08:49 AM

And, you forgot the link.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/01/world/middleeast/01gaza.html


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 09:01 AM

The compelling need for building materials -

"During the three-year blockade, the U.N. has been forced to put nearly $110 million worth of construction projects on hold, including six schools, five clinics and 2,300 apartments for Gaza's poorest and those made homeless by past Israeli military operations.

In coming days, Israel will review building projects with representatives of international organizations, including the U.N., said Maj. Guy Inbar, a Defense Ministry official.
If there are no security concerns, talks will begin on how much material is needed, he said.

Such a procedure was in place during the blockade, BUT ONLY ONE U.N. CONSTRUCTION PROJECT WAS EVER APPROVED AND THEN ONLY AFTER THE DIRECT INTERVENTION BY U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON.
Cement and other building materials were delivered only last month.

Even before the blockade, most of Gaza's 119 U.N. schools were overcrowded, running morning and afternoon shifts with as many as 50 students crammed into a classroom.

With no new schools being built and a third shift deemed unacceptable, even by Gaza's harsh standards, alternatives were hard to find. One principal rented space outside his school to store supplies so he could turn a storage room into another classroom.

In the Nusseirat refugee camp, the U.N. turned 17 shipping containers into a school for nearly 900 middle school boys at the start of the 2009-2010 school year.
Principal Hamdan al-Hor said parents initially did not want to send their children there, but conditions became more tolerable when he mounted fans to circulate the stifling hot air.
Welders cut openings for doors and windows and whitewashed the metal walls, transforming the containers into classrooms, as well as a small science lab, a library and a computer rooms. A sandy lot serves as a playground.

Still, even the container model couldn't be copied elsewhere because Israel stalled on U.N. requests to allow in dozens more containers, with the first batch only arriving toward the end of the school year, U.N. officials said."

AP report by Karin Laub

BBC News video
- a look at stalled UN reconstruction projects and the use of tunnels to import the cement that the UN can't use.

'If the blockade doesn't make Gaza watertight - why does it continue?'


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 07:17 PM

""Israel does let some aid in. We know it is not enough, but they let it through to claim compliance with the law.

Disregarding the law would be letting nothing through. Right Don?
""

Keith, you amaze me.

You don't see that there is a world of difference between claiming compliance, and actually complying.

You can't "half" obey the law, you are either obeying it or you are not.

This is the selfsame nonsense which culminated in Saddam Hussain losing, first, control of his country, and eventually his life.

Israel get away with it, Iraq didn't.

It ain't what you do, it's who your pals are.

And if you are friendly with the USA, it appears that the normally accepted limits of behaviour simply do not apply.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:36 AM

All true Don, but completely one sided.
They can claim to comply with the law, and then we can only let the lawyers argue it out.
Does Hamas even do that.
Their rocket attacks and teatment of prisoners for instance is in total disregard of international laws.

We all wondered why Israel could be so suspicious about wheelchairs.
We assumed they were the basic sort.
We were not told that they were really motorised scooters that came with those useful heavy duty batteries and chargers.
How generous.
A pity IHH was not so generous with its "medical supplies"
The Gazans needed cancer drugs and medicine for hemophilia and cystic fibrosis."
What they got was Tamiflu.
Tamiflu was stockpiled in vast amounts during the swineflu panic.
Now you could not give it away.
Except to Gazans obviously.

(You will find all this in the NY Times piece I linked to, and which Emma supplied a carefully edited piece from.)


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 06:22 AM

Keith - I resent the implication I 'edit' with the intent to deceive.

As I have explained on another post, where I was criticized for copying a section of a report verbatim, I tend to give the 'gist' of the report with some quotes and the source - which in the case you cite was suffcient to refer back to, with or without a link - you obviously had no difficulty!

"We assumed they were the basic sort.
We were not told that they were really motorised scooters that came with those useful heavy duty batteries and chargers"

correction - YOU assumed Keith!

If you look back over the thread I think you will find references to motorized scooters, if not there were very many such references in the press

At one stage the Israel military reported -

"Major Guy Inbar, the Israeli military official charged with liaising with Palestinian officials told the German Press Agency dpa that Hamas was refusing to allow the aid in through Israeli-controlled border crossings over land.
Inbar denied charges by Hamas officials that the transfer of the electric wheelchairs to the Kerem Shalom crossing was a propaganda move and a "deception" because Israel had allegedly removed their batteries.

"The batteries are in the mini-scooters. That's another lie that you heard from the Hamas spokesman," he said.

Haaretz 8th June

But, in fact, we now know that wasn't true as the representative of the WHO negoitiated for the provision of the wheelchair batteries


The medical supplies were not matched to the need of the Gazans - this has also been extensively reported - however you will also find very similar reports about the type of inappropiate medical donations sent to Haiti in reaction to the recent disaster

From one Red Cross blog

"I spend a large amount of my time post-disaster speaking on the phone with people who tell me that they don't just want to donate money but they want to do more.
They have medical items, clothes or food to give instead.
People sometimes get cross or upset when I turn down their well meant offer.
And that's the point; their offer is genuinely well intentioned. They just aren't aware of the reasons why the Red Cross can't take these goods. Unfortunately I don't always have the time to fully explain why. Last Friday I spent more than half a day taking such calls for Haiti

In the Venezuela floods in 2000, seventy percent of donated pharmaceuticals had to be destroyed."


You are correct in identifying the need for drugs to treat cancer.

This is why I was particularly concerned about the progress of the all female aid ship Miriam which is said to be carrying medication for treatment of cancer in children and breast and uterus cancer treatments.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 06:38 AM

Emma, I was surprised and disappointed, but it did look like editing for a purpose.
You gave us an extract. Perfectly reasonable.
But, you deleted the one short sentence that referred to Hamas' initial refusal to let in any of the aid.
And that short sentence was in the middle.

I am sorry if I missed the scooter refs. but I have never heard such vehicles described as wheelchairs before.
I am sure I was not the only one deceived by that.

I have also never heard of such vehicles forming part of an aid shipment either.
And there were hundreds of them!

They are worth hundreds each.
Cement is cheap, Tamiflu worthless, but hundreds of mobility scooters?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 07:09 AM

"Cement is cheap, Tamiflu worthless, but hundreds of mobility scooters?"

Cement may be cheap but both cement and electric wheelchairs were banned from entry into Gaza - cement still is - so there is a shortage Keith.

However depite the 'worthlessness' of some of the medication (a common feature in this kind of response according to the Red Cross - see my most recent post) I agree with the commentary by James Hider the Times war correspondent that

"For the people of Gaza the most precious commodity on board the Turkish flotilla stormed by Israel last month was not electric wheelchairs or children's toys or medicine: it was hope.

Adults, unable to freely to express their trauma in a deeply traditional society, often develop psychosomatic physical symptoms for which inexperienced doctors prescribe painkillers — leaving many people hooked on prescription drugs. Domestic violence has increased as partners vent their frustration on each other in this sealed-off enclave whose infrastructure has been destroyed by Israeli bombs and cannot be rebuilt because no construction materials are allowed in.

That is why, when the Turkish-led flotilla tried to break the blockade, people in Gaza suddenly felt a renewed hope that the world had not forgotten them entirely"

Full report

Keith, I do not want to get into an interminable nit picking exchange that you seem to revel in with others as I think some issues are too important for that kind of exercise however

PLEASE NOTE -

" you deleted the one short sentence that referred to Hamas' initial refusal to let in any of the aid."

What I said Keith was that
"Hamas had said that it would accept the cargo in its entirety including the batteries required by the scooters and the much needed cement"

Same meaning but not the 'official' Israeli spin

"Be everywhere, and say the same thing / Give no ground / Deny Deny Deny"

and finally

"The last refuge.... When all else fails, point to a few examples of outrageous anti-Semitism, generalize them, suggesting that that is what motivates critics.
It stings, and may be over-used, but it can silence or put critics on the defensive."

How Israel's Propoganda Machine Works The Huffington Post


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 07:17 AM

I agree with all that Emma.
I have no problem with anything you have said, but you should not have deleted that sentence, and you have not explained why you did it.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 07:46 AM

"you have not explained why you did it."

Keith I appreciate that you have not yet had time to read the article in the Huffington Post from last year
How Israel's Propoganda Machine Works

before replying to my last post with more nit picking totally diverting attention away from the BBC report about the failure to allow the UN to complete desperately needed reconstruction of schools and homes by the Israeli authorities.

If I was as cynical of other peoples motives as you appear to be of mine I might wonder why you continually do this.


"Because it recognizes the importance of the propaganda war, Israel fights on this front as vigorously and disproportionately as it engages on the battlefield."

"Be everywhere, and say the same thing -- and make sure your opponents remain as invisible as possible"

Although this paragraph refers to the reporting of the war the same propaganda methods were applied to the attack on the flotilla and its aftermath

" The work of their propaganda operation, which spreads multiple spokespersons in venues across the United States with consistent talking points, guarantees success.
At the same time, they are able to deny media access to Gaza, only allowing the Western reporters to operate near the war zone under IDF supervision, guaranteeing Israel the opportunity to shape every aspect of the story while removing the possibility of independent verification of the horror unfolding in Gaza."

You emphazized the report that

"Hamas, meanwhile, said it wanted either all the aid or nothing."

I pointed out that in fact Hamas had declared it would accept the aid in its entirety

Now, while the two statements represent the same situation, there is a world of difference in the way they are reported and I think the Israeli propaganda machine has more than enough resources without my needing to repeat this heavily loaded line fed to the, mainly American, press.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: bobad
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 07:58 AM

Google "Hamas Propaganda" and "Palestinian Propaganda" - purely in the name of balance, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 08:46 AM

Emma,


"Hamas, meanwhile, said it wanted either all the aid or nothing."

That was Hamas' position, and you sought to hide that fact.

Your statement, "I pointed out that in fact Hamas had declared it would accept the aid in its entirety " conceals that fact that they would ONLY accept it in its entirety, and is deception.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Emma B
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 12:31 PM

Keith - you have totally sabotaged a thread concerning the plight of the civilian population of Gaza - congratulations and goodbye! - I really have no further interest in playing your diversionary 'games'

I have conducted no 'deceit' I'm prepared to let my posts speak for themselves
- I have never expressed any view contrary to my stance that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that neither the extent of it nor the opposition within Israel itself and the global Jewish diaspora is being allowed to reach many in the Western world due to the degree control exercised over the media and the extensive and well funded propaganda machine of the Israeli government.

Maybe you should make your elected role of acting as the mouthpiece of that machine by employing similar tactics clear too.


The use of 'edited' and misleading videos (like the completely discredited audio tape claimed to be from the Mavi Marmara) is nothing new to the Israeli authorities

Back in Jan 2009 the BBC was reporting
"The Israeli propaganda effort is being directed to achieve two main aims.

The first is to justify the air attacks.
The second is to show that there is no humanitarian calamity in Gaza.

Both these aims are intended to place Israel in a strong position internationally and to enable its diplomacy to act as an umbrella to fend off calls for a ceasefire while the military operation unfolds.

Israel has pursued the first aim by being very active in getting its story across that Hamas is to blame. The sight of Hamas rockets streaking into Israel has been helpful in this respect.

It has also allowed trucks in with food aid and has stressed that it will not let people starve, even if they go short.

One of its spokespeople, who has regularly appeared on the international media, Major Avital Leibovich said: "Quite a few outlets are very favourable to Israel."

Paul Reynolds, World affairs correspondent for the BBC News website commenting on a video that is not all it is claimed to be
Who is practising 'deceit' here Keith?

as Reynolds added

Update: "several readers have e-mailed to ask whether I believe Hamas. One said I had "bought into" Hamas propaganda. Another that I should have dealt with Hamas' claims: "What's missing speaks volumes about your one-sidedness."

I do not believe anyone's "propaganda."
We seek to verify all claims, from whatever source.
One of the main claims in Gaza at the moment is the serious situation for the population.
Having reported from Gaza many times over the years, I know how crowded parts of it are and how dependent the people are on food aid from the UN. This means they have no other source of supply but equally, if the system is working, they should be getting enough to get by on. The problem is that foreign correspondents cannot get in to establish the exact situation for themselves.

Further update:

"I have had several hundred e-mails about this article. They are more or less evenly balanced between those who criticise it and those who praise it.

I would stress that I looked only at the Israeli side because of the new factor -
ISRAEL SETTING UP A SPECIAL UNIT TO IMPROVE THE PROJECTION OF ITS ARGUMENTS AROUND THE WORLD"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7809371.stm

"When events and reality break through, contradicting the Israeli-established narrative, creating stories that run counter to the imposed story line, the propaganda machine works overtime to deny, deny, deny (saying quite boldly, "Who do you believe, me or your lying eyes?"),
and/or concoct a counter-narrative that shifts the blame."


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:14 PM

Emma, I understood this thread to be about the aid flotilla, and the events surrounding it.

There were few people prepared to take a balanced view.
The debate was very partisan.
You are a deeply committed person. Nothing wrong with that but you should be prepared to at least consider the views of others, and to make your own case without trying to hide relevant facts.
You lose credibility when you are exposed.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 03:05 PM

Emma;
Please don't let this eejit drive you from this thread - he really isn't the sharpest knife in the box and the subject in hand deserves far more than he can possibly bring to it.
Jim Carroll


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