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No More Phony “International” Investigations Aimed Only at Israel

Posted on June 4 2010 2:00 pm
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The New York Times continues to blame only Israel for the deadly consequences of the Gaza blockade-running flotilla. In an editorial today entitled “A Credible Investigation,”  the Times joins the loud chorus of hypocrites demanding an “international” investigation of Israel’s actions.

The images showing Israeli commandos on the floor of the Turkish ship being repeatedly beaten by groups of passengers with metal poles and other heavy objects “are being ignored by everyone,” the Times says, except Israel’s “most passionate defenders.”  Ignoring tangible evidence of what actually took place before the Israeli soldiers had to resort to using their pistols to defend themselves does not auger well for a “credible” international investigation.

More importantly, a truly “credible” international investigation would have to take an objective look at the totality of the circumstances. This means stepping back and determining whether the blockade itself and Israel’s actions to enforce it were legal under international law. It would also mean examining the blockade-runners’ declared motives, the sources of their funding and the affiliations of all of the passengers. But none of that fits in with the myth of Israeli unprovoked aggression and Palestinian victimhood that is the daily grist of anti-Israel propaganda.

Israel’s blockade against Hamas, which Egypt was also instituting at its border, is perfectly legal under international law according to the law of blockade which was derived from customary international law, codified in the 1909 Declaration of London and updated in 1994 in a legally recognized document called the “San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.” As required by this international law, Israel declared the blockade, notified it to all belligerents and neutral states, and blockaded only the area under enemy control. Hamas rules Gaza and is engaged in armed hostilities with Israel, which it has vowed to destroy.

Under international law, Israel can forcibly board a ship headed for the belligerent area controlled by its enemy to search for arms even if the ship’s passengers and cargo were all true peace-loving humanitarians. In this case, the so-called humanitarian flotilla included a number of non-humanitarian Islamic jihadists, some of whom were armed and ready for a fight.  Muslim Brotherhood, for example, was represented in the flotilla.  This terrorist sponsoring organization is not known for its peace loving humanitarians.

Israel was acting lawfully in imposing and enforcing its blockade against Hamas. However, in the international community – reflected at the United Nations – international law is regularly stood on its head.  Any investigation  which the United Nations leads or is a significant part of will turn into a farce.

On June 2nd, the rabidly anti-Semitic UN Human Rights Council in Geneva decided to dispatch a “fact-finding” mission to investigate Israel’s interdiction, having already declared Israel guilty.  That same day at UN headquarters in New York, I witnessed first-hand the blatant incendiary propaganda of the Libyan UN ambassador and the Palestinian UN observer as they attacked Israel for “flagrant” violations of international law and demanded another “international” investigation of Israel’s conduct to be undertaken by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

But the Libyan and Palestinian propagandists must have known something about the Obama administration’s intentions, because they indicated that the United States was now in line with the other members of the Mideast quartet – the European Union, United Nations, Russia – in demanding an immediate end to Israel’s blockade.

Sure enough, senior administration officials were quoted yesterday in the New York Times as declaring that the Obama administration considers Israel’s blockade of Gaza to be “untenable” and “plans to press for another approach to ensure Israel’s security while allowing more supplies” into Gaza.

As for an investigation,  the Obama administration has endorsed the idea of some sort of Israeli-initiated probe with “international participation.”  Whatever “international participation” means, the Times does not think it goes far enough.  It wants an “impartial international investigation.”  I have only one problem with that suggestion – when it comes to Israel, there is no such thing.

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